I'm a bit shocked at the extent to which the situation has deteriorated in New Orleans. I get the feeling that by the time this is all over, some heads are going to roll. As Terry Ebbert, head of New Orleans’ emergency operations said, “FEMA has been here three days, yet there is no command and control.” The state of the national macrocosm seems to have been made manifest in the state microcosm.
Ex-Army Corps officials claim that budget cuts have imperiled flood mitigation efforts. I suspect that similar things can be said about American infrastructure investment nationwide. Last year, I recall driving up to San Francisco and hitting endless potholes in the freeway. We're talking about one of the nation's major freeways; yet it felt like I was driving across a country road. Similarly, the East Coast transportation infrastructure is appalling with Marc and Amtrak using ancient trains that constantly break down. And the cutting-edge internet technology and cell phone networks in the U.S. also seems to be lagging behind those of many countries. Granted, these observations have been pieced together from my own personal experience and observations, but I do think there's a pattern of neglect of the things that have helped the U.S. create great wealth in the past. Instead of building bridges and dykes and working to establish strong communities here in the "homeland," the U.S., under Shrub's "leadership," has been running around the world destroying other country's infrastructure and social cohesion. And all we've got to show for our troubles is a sky-rocketing deficit and improvements in the prospects for Halliburton shares.
It's amazing, if you think about it. We've supposedly got this military augmented by state National Guard units that can, at the drop of a hat, fly around the world and project force in the most obscure places, yet there are currently 2,000 people living outside the New Orleans convention center with absolutely no water.
Tag: Hurricane Katrina