Friday, October 20, 2006

Dems want Cat 5 flood protection for New Orleans 

From today's Times Picayune:

Democrats need to pick up 15 seats in the Nov. 7 election to regain control of the House and set the legislative agenda for Gulf Coast recovery.

The biggest item would be levee protection for metropolitan New Orleans strong enough to withstand a Category 5 hurricane. Estimates run into the tens of billions of dollars.

Despite a promise to rebuild the area higher and safer, the Bush administration has avoided committing to hurricane protection much beyond what was in place when Katrina, a Category 3 storm, shredded New Orleans' levees and floodwalls. But Democrats say the substantial investment would be worth it to avoid a replay of what turned out to be the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history.

Protecting South Louisiana from flooding and erosion is the most important issue in this state, bar none. I also believe it is one of the most important national issues. President Bush, who has committed the U.S. to an unnecessary war in Iraq and a space expedition to Mars, cannot commit to Category 5 flood protection for South Louisiana. Even after Katrina, he wants to only "study" the problem, to see what "science dictates".

Should Democrats regain control of Congress, and pass a bill containing Category 5 flood protection for New Orleans, I would expect Bush to veto it. Protecting South Louisiana is "too expensive", for Bush and his GOP. We need to invest those tax dollars in Iraq, because the terrorists hate our freedom. Bush will zealously pursue a utopian vision of Iraq 30 years hence, and will commit thousands of lives and a trillion dollars towards that goal. But where's the commitment to Louisiana 30 years hence? For example, why should we rebuild marshlands in Iraq and not in our own country?

Let's face it: Bush's appeal to "science" is a way to avoid helping Louisiana. It's a stall tactic, a "run out the clock" maneuver. Bush hates science; he's about as scientific as Rip Taylor*. I didn't see him blink twice when scientists from the Dept of Energy and the International Atomic Energy Agency disputed his administration's claim that Iraq was using aluminum tubes to make uranium for nuclear weapons. No, the "dictates of science" were simply dismissed when the Bush administration went before the United Nations and presented a litany of "facts" that turned out to be totally false.

So, the question becomes-- after Bush vetoes a Cat 5 flood protection bill-- how does Louisiana respond?

* R.T. was a former U.S. Senate page.
22 comments DiggIt!


Geez, Rip Taylor WAS a page, at least according to Wikipedia...

As to the point of your post though, yeah, it doesn't get any simpler than that: Shrub and the GOP will throw money away in a heartbeat if its a pet project, but I guess tax paying American citizens are just a burden and a bother.

By Blogger Michael, at 11:45 AM  

See link below for the full 18 page PDF 'Katrina and Beyond, Recommendations for Legislative Action' (via Rep. Gene Taylor's website)

By Blogger joejoejoe, at 1:33 PM  

Hey, I've got a suggestion: Move to a place that's not below sea level AND in hurricane alley.
Why do you chose to live in an unsafe area then expect the rest of the country to fund a public works project to make you "feel" safe?
Why is it our responsibility to keep your house dry?
How about taking responsibility for your own choices?

By Anonymous Flintlock Tom, at 1:35 PM  

Brilliant suggestion, tom.

Should we move the nation's largest port system and its oil/gas infrastructure out of South Louisiana, too? I'm sure you've never "chosen" to benefit from the energy, imports or seafood from this "unsafe area" that you disapprove of.

No, I'm sure you wouldn't benefit from things that S. Louisiana provides and then castigate its residents for living where they do-- especially after poorly designed government levees failed and contributed to the nation's largest (man-made) catastrophe.

No, you seem far too smart to indulge in such obvious hypocrisy.

By Blogger oyster, at 1:54 PM  

I'd be interested in Flintlock Tom's list of "acceptable" areas to live within the United States, and his criteria for selecting them.

By Blogger Michael, at 2:24 PM  

Tom sure sounds a lot like Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO. Got the same dumb outlook and typical GOP "Compassion" for sure.

By Blogger Donnie McDaniel, at 3:26 PM  

Entitlement mentality?
Go whine on someone elses shoulder.

"Help, help, our feet are wet, why weren't you here yesterday".

Nope, no compassion for people who build on a flood plane then complain because their houses are moldy.

By Anonymous Flintlock Tom, at 4:53 PM  

Tom, and I mean this with all sincerity, go fuck yourself with a baseball bat.

Love, Ashley

And it's "flood plain" twit.

By Anonymous ashley, at 4:59 PM  


Oops, caught me. I guess your intellectual counter-argument trumps my failure to use the dictionary.

I guess you're right, it IS okay for morons who don't know enough to come in out of the rain to expect other people to pay for their dry-cleaning.

By Anonymous FLintlock Tom, at 5:36 PM  

"Go whine on someone elses shoulder."

Umm, this is my blog, flintload. You came here to whine about my post. I don't know who's interested in your shoulder (perhaps a blind canine?) but I'm not.

Do me a favor, though, and angle the bat sideways.

By Blogger oyster, at 5:49 PM  

Wow, how open minded.

How positively progressive of you, that you're only interested in commenters who agree with you.

By Anonymous FLintlock Tom, at 5:54 PM  

Your display name gives us no idea where you were raised or where you currently live. But based upon your cracker jack spelling, razor-sharp logic and heart warming compassion, I would assume you are from a progressive city with an award winning school system, such as New York or San Francisco. Wonderful places, both.
One problem, however, with each of those cities is that they, too, are populated by morons, as you define them. Let's think for a minute, Tommy (something anathema to you, I suspect). Were the 3,000 souls in the World Trade Center on 9/11 morons? They certainly must be. Terrorists had attempted to blow up those two buildings a few years before the 9/11 attacks, yet each of those morons returned to work, knowing bin Laden was dead set on turning their offices into a smoldering morgue. Why in the hell did my hard earned tax dollars go to waste, giving the families of these morons a generous financial reward for blowing themselves up? Nobody in their right mind should live or work in Manhattan.
The same holds true for San Fran, Tommy. Why would any moron live in a town on a fault, and why were my tax dollars spent (in the late 1980's) rebuilding homes and schools which will only crumble again? Why should I subsidize those morons who choose to live on the precipice of a death pit, just because the weather is so nice? Based upon your logic, the 7 million folks living in L.A. (the city, not the state, Tommy) are also morons.
If nothing else, I think your comments help us understand what it really means to be a true moron.

By Blogger Medium Jim, at 6:19 PM  

Sorry, my comments were thoughtless.
Please forgive me.
I'm guilty of a knee-jerk reaction to a situation I did not fully understand.

By Anonymous Flyntlock Tom, at 6:49 PM  

I just heard on the radio that Rep. Alexander is being sued for sexual harrassment of a staffer. I don't see it anywhere online. Has anyone heard anything about this???

By Blogger scout prime, at 7:14 PM  

'Flood plane' is Air Force One, what asshat Bush was riding in when, after ending his month long vacation a day early, he gazed down at a disaster area the size of the UK and decided not to stop.

And Flintlock Tom, 1/3 of the US lives in 'Hurricane Alley'. We'll come save your stupid ass when the New Madrid fault pops whether you like it or not. It's called being a good neighbor. Icestorms, wildfires, hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes - living near them sucks but it beats the alternative.

By Blogger joejoejoe, at 8:40 AM  

Flintload-- you never responded to any of my arguments, or medium jim's for that matter.

Perhaps I am closed minded when it comes to morons.

By Blogger oyster, at 8:44 AM  

Medium Jim,
Since you have chosen to rise above the vitriolic name calling, (the snide condescension not-with-standing) and instead provide a cogent response to my less than cogent assertions, I would like to respond to your rebuttal.
I acknowledge that most every location in the United States has some drawbacks and risks associated with living there. And I agree with you that it is very illogical for a major city to be built and rebuilt on known, active geological fault lines. However, when industrial/financial considerations are introduced the decision of location becomes a balancing act of profit vs. risk.
The decision to locate an extensive petroleum and natural gas distribution hub and processing plants in New Orleans was made based upon that consideration of profit vs. risk. Also I know for a fact that the corporations that made that decision took steps to mitigate the potential risks involved. The nature of the risks involved with that location were researched and evaluated; investments were made in capital improvements to help minimize the damage from the inevitable category 5 hurricane. In other words: they knew of the probability of damage from storms and took steps to deal with it.
My criticism is upon the individuals who knew, or should have known, of the probability of danger and damage and took no steps to prepare for it. But I would not be criticizing them if that were the whole story. My frustration stems from the demonstrated attitude of a great many individuals that someone else is responsible for their well-being. That somehow the rest of the country is obligated to compensate for their individual lack of preparedness.
As to your attempt to extend my conclusions to San Francisco and New York allow me to explain why I believe that the association is not applicable.
The coast of California most likely to suffer from catastrophic earthquake damage has been hit by 4 “catastrophic” earthquakes in the last century. When the affected cities were rebuilt they were constructed (and retrofitted) to withstand more powerful earthquakes by at least an order of magnitude. I am informed that most Californians have a basic knowledge of what to do during and after an earthquake. If a citizen of California fails to educate himself or prepare for that eventuality he is a “moron” (lacking in good judgment).
The differences between CA and LA are:
Earthquakes give no warning; hurricanes give several days warning;
An earthquake that is likely to take lives happens 4 times per century, hurricanes that are likely to take lives happen annually at the same time each year.
In California or Louisiana a citizen who knows of a risk and fails to prepare for it is a moron (lacking in good judgment).
The World Trade Center is a different case: the one and only attack (prior to 9/11) on that location was ineffectual and proved the buildings to be safe. Therefore the people who worked there were not “lacking in good judgment” (morons) for continuing to work there.
As to the original post which motivated me to comment in the first place: I disagree with the philosophy that somehow the federal government, and, by extension, the American people, are responsible for local infrastructure. I also object to the implication that the federal government should be artificially propping up private industry, especially in light of the petroleum industries obscene profits.

By Anonymous flintlock tom, at 10:39 PM  

Flintlock Tom,

You sound like an intelligent person. Thus, I simply don't understand how you fail to see the gaping holes in your argument above. Let's begin:

First, you praise San Francisco for it's excellent rebuilding efforts..."when the affected cities were rebuilt they were constructed (and retrofitted) to withstand more powerful earthquakes by at least an order of magnitude." Who do you think paid for this excellent construction and retrofitting? Locals? Insurance companies? Have you read anything about the great San Fran quake of 1905, or even the Loma Prieta quake of 1989? I've got a news flash for you: yes, local people, governments, and corporations expended a great deal of money and effort, but the majority of the support came from the federal government.

Yet, you continue to ridicule the idea of rebuilding New Orleans..."I disagree with the philosophy that somehow the federal government, and, by extension, the American people, are responsible for local infrastructure". How can you praise one city for it's rebuilding efforts yet deny the need for rebuilding one of this nation's most important ports, not to mention - as you recognize - the hub of the petroleum industry? I'm sure you're enjoying your $2 gas right now. Without New Orleans, you can bet you'd be paying much more.

For what it's worth, I've lived in both San Fran and - currently - New Orleans. Actually, I've lived all over the country, and I can not think of a single place that did not face the risk of some sort of natural disaster. Be it hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, fires (hello - should we move LA? The hills there burn and/or slide every year!), snowstorms, hailstorms, can't name a single place that is completely free of all natural disasters. But - as you point out - by rebuilding properly and educating people so they know how to respond (and - by the way - most/all Gulf Coasters know full well how to respond to a hurricane. I suppose you've never lived month-to-month, and simply can't grasp the concept that one might just plain not have the $1000+ it took to fill up the car with gas - if you had a car, and if you could find gas! - drive through hours of traffic, stay in hotels, etc etc at the end of the month when your pension funds for the month have run low).

Look at Holland - would you say that we should just let Amsterdam flood? Who needs it, right? Who cares about Van Gogh or Anne Frank, and all the other history in that city. No - Amsterdam is a vibrant city, BECAUSE of the strong levees. New Orleans is a vibrant city - but we NEED strong levees to survive!

I dare you to come down here. Drive around the 9th Ward. Drive around Gentilly and Lakeview, the upscale subdivisions. Talk to the people who've spent their lives here, whose families have lived on the same blocks for generations. Watch the countless tankers going through our ports. Then tell us we shouldn't rebuild. But just don't go back to your comfy home then. And certainly, when your home gets robbed, or hit by a tornado, or split apart by an earthquake (by the way, if you know anything about geology, you know they're finding major faults in the most unexpected places these days) - or heck, when the neighbor boy hits a baseball through your window - whatever you do, don't expect the police or the insurance companies or - god forbid - FEMA or the government to bail you out. Because you were stupid enough to take that risk.

Give me a break, please!

A New Orleanian - by choice

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:14 AM  

Flintlock Tom - "I disagree with the philosophy that somehow the federal government, and, by extension, the American people, are responsible for local infrastructure."

It's not philosophy, it's reality. The maintenance of navigable waterways in the US is a federal responsibility, period. Levees exist as much to maintain reliable river banks for traffic on the rivers as they do to protect the populations beyond the levees.

There is legitimate criticism to be made of the local levee boards in NOLA but they are a flea on an elephant compared to the Army Corps of Engineers, the agency that has true responsibility for maintaining the levees. To confuse the two responsibilities is to fundamentally deny reality.

By Blogger joejoejoe, at 10:12 AM  

Anonymous and joe, good points.

I just didn't want to waste the breath or keystrokes telling this fuckmook the same crap that we've all been saying over the past year.

If flintolad didn't know all this, he's simply ignorant by choice.

By Anonymous ashley, at 12:50 PM  

Hey, I've got a suggestion: Move to a place that's not below sea level AND in hurricane alley.

Get your facts straight. A good chunk of the area is above sea level, and the NOLA area is NOT Hurricane Alley. The main targets for hurricanes are SE Florida and the NC coast because of long-term steering currents.

And coastal erosion and subsidence are man-made problems. People in the rest of the country benefited from upriver leveees that let them live in a floodplain and from oil production. But now you don't want to pay to clean up your own mess.

Hate to break it to you, but you're the welfare queen here.

By Blogger Bacon, at 1:52 PM  

Nice one, bacon.

By Blogger oyster, at 4:52 PM