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  1. #1301  
    You didn't just compare Haliburton to the Red Cross did you ?
    Uh, no - FEMA.
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  2. #1302  
    Quote Originally Posted by NRG
    And that is why it is a claptrap. He would not do this if he could not benefit from it in some way. You watch the following weeks and we will see their plan emerge. My guess would be he is going to try and privatize FEMA's (diaster relief) responsibility. Which means more money in Bush's friends pockets.

    His words are rather hollow if you take them in context. He probably still feels the Fed. did "a heck of a job". This "I take responsibility" claptrap is empty. I would like to know what does he feel he is responsible for? Is it when he ignored/went to bed without acting upon a request from Gov. Blanco to "send everything you got"?


    I now ask what is he going to do to show he takes responsibility, words are empty without actions. Remember to not pay too much attention to what he says here, but to what he says here on out. We shall see, but I don't trust him for one minute!

    Over all: More Damage Control.
    OK, which is it? On the other thread you thought it was great he was assuming responsiblity...here you his action "claptrap" and "damage control".

    What do you REALLY think?
  3. #1303  
    The owners of St. Rita's Nursing Home in Chalmette "were asked if they wanted to move (the patients). They did not. They were warned repeatedly that this storm was coming," Louisiana Attorney General Charles Foti said.

    "In effect, their inaction resulted in the deaths of these patients," Foti said.
    ..................
    There were apparent efforts to fight the incoming water inside St. Rita's. A table was nailed against a window and a couch was pushed up against a door, the Times said. There was also evidence that water had reached the roof.

    Tom Rodrigue, whose mother died in the nursing home, was angry Tuesday and near tears.

    "She deserved the chance, you know, to be rescued instead of having to drown like a rat," he told CNN.
    La. Nursing Home Owners Charged in Deaths
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  4. #1304  
    Quote Originally Posted by NRG
    I would think there is less accountability within' a private company(i.e. Halliburton's overcharge of the U.S. government).
    Haliburton is currently under investigation for those alleged overcharges. If wrongdoing is discovered, there will be penalties paid. The former head of Enron is in jail. When was the last time a government bureaucracy paid a fine or served jail time?
    I would also say you can get services cheaper via direct government service.
    Wow. I don't even know where to start with that one... I can only assume you mean within the narrow scope of disaster recovery and reconstruction. Even then... look at FEMA's budget. That money couldn't be better spent by dispersal to private organizations (like the Red Cross) and perhaps the establishment of a regulated but private disaster insurance company? Perhaps something similar to (forgive my ignorance) what's done with mortgage lending with Fannie Mae? Something not subject to the political whims of the current President, whoever that might be?
    The government is going to have pay for it one way or another, w/ a profit going to a company, or wo/ a profit via government workers.
    Name for me one civil service bureaucracy that's more efficient at the same job than a private entity...
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  5. #1305  
    Another view from overseas (apologies for the large post - the originating site required registration):
    The Irish Times, September 08, 2005 -- "Ill Wind May Not Blow to the Whitehouse"
    By Newton Emerson
    As the full horror of Hurricane Katrina sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if this is the end of George Bush's presidency.

    The answer is almost certainly yes, provided that every copy of the US Constitution was destroyed in the storm. Otherwise President Bush will remain in office until noon on January 20th, 2009, as required by the 20th Amendment, after which he is barred from seeking a third term anyway under the 22nd Amendment.

    As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if the entire political agenda of George Bush's second term will not still be damaged in some terribly satisfying way.

    The answer is almost certainly yes, provided that the entire political agenda of George Bush's second term consists of repealing the 22nd Amendment. Otherwise, with a clear Republican majority in both Houses of Congress, he can carry on doing pretty much whatever he likes.

    As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if the Republican Party itself will now suffer a setback at the congressional mid-term elections next November.

    The answer is almost certainly yes, provided that people outside the disaster zone punish their local representatives for events elsewhere a year previously, both beyond their control and outside their remit, while people inside the disaster zone reward their local representatives for an ongoing calamity they were supposed to prevent. Otherwise, the Democratic Party will suffer a setback at the next congressional election

    As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if an official inquiry will shift the blame for poor planning and inadequate flood defences on to the White House.

    The answer is almost certainly yes, provided nobody admits that emergency planning is largely the responsibility of city and state agencies, and nobody notices that the main levee which broke was the only levee recently modernised with federal funds. Otherwise, an official inquiry will pin most of the blame on the notoriously corrupt and incompetent local governments of New Orleans and Louisiana.

    As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if George Bush contributed to the death toll by sending so many national guard units to Iraq.

    The answer is almost certainly yes, provided nobody recalls that those same columnists have spent the past two years blaming George Bush for another death toll by not sending enough national guard units to Iraq. Otherwise, people might wonder why they have never previously read a single article advocating large-scale military redeployment during the Caribbean hurricane season.

    As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnist are asking how a civilised city can descend into anarchy.

    The answer is that only a civilised city can descend into anarchy.

    As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if George Bush should be held responsible for the terrible poverty in the southern states revealed by the flooding.

    The answer is almost certainly yes, provided nobody holds Bill Clinton responsible for making Mississippi the poorest state in the union throughout his entire term as president, or for making Arkansas the second-poorest state in the union throughout his entire term as governor. Otherwise, people might suspect that it is a bit more complicated than that.

    As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if George Bush should not be concerned by accusations of racism against the federal government.

    The answer is almost certainly yes, provided nobody remembers that Jesse Jackson once called New York "Hymietown" and everybody thinks Condoleezza Rice went shopping for shoes when the hurricane struck because she cannot stand black people. Otherwise sensible Americans of all races will be more concerned by trite, cynical and dangerous political opportunism.

    As the full horror of that sinks in, this columnist is simply glad that everybody cares.
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  6. #1306  
    Quote Originally Posted by Sukiyaki
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,169194,00.html

    Contract Connections?

    Reuters reports that companies with a web of connections to the Bush administration are winning the first contracts to rebuild New Orleans. The story notes that the Shaw Group (search) of Baton Rouge, which has been awarded $200 million in clean-up contracts, employs former Bush campaign manager and FEMA director Joe Allbaugh (search) to provide "general business consulting."

    The Shaw Group's founder and CEO is J.M. Bernhard of Baton Rouge, Louisiana who is the chairman of the Louisiana Democratic Party and was co-chairman Governor Kathleen Blanco's transition committee, a fact left out of the Reuters story.
    The Shaw Group is one of only a few Louisiana companies that are truely qualified to earn this contract. Any suggestion that they are going to receive this contract as a political favor is BS.

    BTW- I have no connection to The Shaw Group...but I do live in Baton Rouge and am very familiar with their qualifications.
    digitalfx
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  7. #1307  
    Quote Originally Posted by phurth

    ...Perhaps workers are being brought in because the displaced people are friggin displaced?

    The Washington Post article you referenced is a terribly biased "news" article - no quotes from anyone other than the union boss Sweeney and some hip-pocket Dem congressman - what a joke! I'd like to learn more about the rationale for suspending Davis Bacon Act - unfortunately the Post didn't even bother asking anyone who didn't have an axe to grind...
    during the last week I heard NPR do a factual report on the Davis-Bacon ploy -- I could not find it on a casual google -- but your googling talent is greater than mine (that's not sarcasm).

    here though, is a NY Times editorial --


    Editorial

    A Shameful Proclamation
    September 10, 2005

    On Thursday, President Bush issued a proclamation suspending the law that requires employers to pay the locally prevailing wage to construction workers on federally financed projects. The suspension applies to parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

    By any standard of human decency, condemning many already poor and now bereft people to subpar wages - thus perpetuating their poverty - is unacceptable. It is also bad for the economy. Without the law, called the Davis-Bacon Act, contractors will be able to pay less, but they'll also get less, as lower wages invariably mean lower productivity.

    The ostensible rationale for suspending the law is to reduce taxpayers' costs. Does Mr. Bush really believe it is the will of the American people to deny the prevailing wage to construction workers in New Orleans, Biloxi and other hard-hit areas? Besides, the proclamation doesn't require contractors to pass on the savings they will get by cutting wages from current low levels. Around New Orleans, the prevailing hourly wage for a truck driver working on a levee is $9.04; for an electrician, it's $14.30.

    Republicans have long been trying to repeal the prevailing wage law on the grounds that the regulations are expensive and bureaucratic; weakening it was even part of the Republican Party platform in 1996 and 2000. Now, in a time of searing need, the party wants to achieve by fiat what it couldn't achieve through the normal democratic process...


    If Mr. Bush does not rescind his proclamation voluntarily, Congress should pass a law forcing him to do so.
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  8. #1308  
    It's amazing how the ignorant minority tries to lead the majority over the cliff of rationality.
  9. #1309  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    So what you are trying to say is that the Mayor of NO only planned for the levees being overtopped, but not for the levees breaching, based on a false sense of security resulting from the misjudgement of the federal Army Corps of Engineers? They didn't expect the levees breaking in a Category 5 hurricane, but they did, several times, even in a Category 4 hurricane.
    No... I'm not making any judgement about the mayor's actions in relation to the levees. It seems that the reporting in the media on this levee issue has been extraordinarily bad. The following are some things most people likely don't know and wouldn't find out by reading most media accounts. Stick with me... I'm not going black helicopter on everyone:

    - None of the levees in New Orleans failed.
    - No one is certain any flood control structures in New Orleans were even overtopped.
    - New Orleans has flood walls, very different animals from levees, along the shipping canals. These are the structures that failed - perhaps due to structural problems, overtopping and subsequent undermining, or damage from debris - no one yet knows.

    Source

    I'm drawing no conclusions here about who should have known what or when. Just read the linked source article (from today's NO Times-Picayune), and keep in mind how much we do not yet know as factual information. Everyone I've talked to has thought the levees were swamped by the storm surge and failed. This basic assumption might not be true.
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  10. #1310  
    FYI...

    Please this on to anyone you think it may be helpful to.
    The American Association of Christian Counslers has added a special section to their site as a resource to Katrina Surviors and their families.

    http://aacc.net/relief/relief.htm


    Main site http://aacc.net
    The value of knowledge is not in its possession, but in its use.
  11. #1311  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE
    during the last week I heard NPR do a factual report on the Davis-Bacon ploy -- I could not find it on a casual google -- but your googling talent is greater than mine (that's not sarcasm).
    OK, I accept the challenge (er... compliment!) .

    Here's the Other Side of the Story (Source: Heritage Foundation):

    "Super-Minimum" Wage. The Davis-Bacon Act, passed in the depths of the Great Depression, requires contractors to pay all workers on federally funded construction projects valued at more than $2,000 the "prevailing wage" as determined by the Department of Labor. In practice, however, the Labor Department has tended to avoid making the complicated wage calculations for each job classification. Instead it uses local union wage scales as a proxy for the "prevailing wage." Since the union wage is significantly more than the market wage, this sets a "super-minimum" wage for each classification. This higher wage in turn sharply reduces the pool of eligible workers likely to be hired at that wage. Usually only union workers meet the wage test. Traditionally the big losers in this process have been minorities -- those who are at the entry level or those who cannot break into the union ranks.Yet individual workers are not the only victims of Davis- Bacon. Minority and small contractors suffer also. Most of these contractors are non-union and feel that paying Davis-Bacon wages on a few federal projects a year would so disrupt their pay scales that it is not worth the trouble or the administrative costs even to bid on government projects. Most of these contractors, therefore, never bother to bid on a Davis-Bacon regulated project.

    Davis-Bacon openly was intended to discriminate against blacks, and that is precisely what it has done. The original Davis-Bacon Act was drafted in 1927 by New York Republican Congressman Robert Bacon after an Alabama contractor won the bid to build a federal hospital in Bacon's district. As Bacon stated in the first hearing on the bill, "The bid... was let to a firm from Alabama who brought some thousand non-union laborers from Alabama into Long Island, N.Y., into my congressional district." What Bacon was hinting at was that many of the workers were black, and willing to work for less than local building tradesmen. The debate on the bill took matters beyond hinting. When the final bill was debated on the House floor on February 28, 1931, Alabama Congressman Miles Allgood argued for the Act, stating: "That contractor has cheap colored labor... and it is labor of that sort that is in competition with white labor.. . This bill has merit... [and] it is very important that we enact this measure."
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  12. #1312  
    Quote Originally Posted by phurth
    ...- None of the levees in New Orleans failed.
    - No one is certain any flood control structures in New Orleans were even overtopped.
    - New Orleans has flood walls, very different animals from levees, along the shipping canals. These are the structures that failed - perhaps due to structural problems, overtopping and subsequent undermining, or damage from debris - no one yet knows.

    Source

    I'm drawing no conclusions here about who should have known what or when. Just read the linked source article (from today's NO Times-Picayune), and keep in mind how much we do not yet know as factual information. Everyone I've talked to has thought the levees were swamped by the storm surge and failed. This basic assumption might not be true.
    Thats also my understanding -- but its a factual distinction that really makes no real difference.

    It was flood walls/barriers that failed -- structually.

    I continue to believe that if an aggressive intelligent effort with helicopters, construction supplies, and engineers had been made during the 12 hours after the hurricane passed -- New Orleans could have been saved.

    As I have said from the beginning -- this was always both the worst case -- and the most probable case -- scenario.

    That the Army Corps of Engineers and National Guard were not preemtively, proactively protecting any flood barrier being overtopped was incomprehensible.

    This transformed a million dollar near miss -- into the greatest physical calamity we have ever experienced as a nation.
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  13. #1313  
    Quote Originally Posted by phurth
    OK, I accept the challenge (er... compliment!) .

    Here's the Other Side of the Story (Source: Heritage Foundation):


    The Heritage Foundation is a advocacy organization that is essentially the propaganda/research arm of the richest wing of the GOP. It is not a source comparable to the Washington Post (or even the NY Times editorial page).

    The motivations behind the decades long effort by republicans and construction companies I assure you have nothing to do with any altruistic compassion for poor black southerners --

    it is naked, unadulterated, GREED.

    And since this change "doesn't require contractors to pass on the savings they will get by cutting wages from current low levels" it is by design a way to further enrich junior's cronies at the expense of desperate workers.
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  14. #1314  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE
    Thats also my understanding -- but its a factual distinction that really makes no real difference.
    First, I find it interesting that the media can't seem to report correctly the basic facts regarding what happened. Second, of course it makes a difference: if the flood walls failed due to a structural/construction weakness or debris-induced damage there is nothing in heaven or earth anyone could have done to stop the flooding. A 400 foot section of flood wall gave way. They weren't going to repair it no matter how many helicopters were observing the unstoppable rush of water.
    As I have said from the beginning -- this was always both the worst case -- and the most probable case -- scenario.
    This is where I think you're wrong. The worst case scenario was always an overtopping of the levees and/or floodwalls not a total collapse of huge sections. This would have caused flooding, to be sure, but at a much slower and more manageable rate. The ACoE has said that the breaches we saw were completely unexpected.
    That the Army Corps of Engineers and National Guard were not preemtively, proactively protecting any flood barrier being overtopped was incomprehensible.
    Do you mean immediately after the storm? What were they supposed to do, somehow make the floodwalls grow another couple of feet?
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  15. #1315  
    Quote Originally Posted by phurth
    Do you mean immediately after the storm? What were they supposed to do, somehow make the floodwalls grow another couple of feet?
    not my specialty -- but I would have expected that as trouble revealed itself at particular locations -- aggressive action would have been applied to those areas of vulnerability.

    i.e. -- if a wall was being overtopped -- heaven and earth would be transported to that location to maintain the structural integrity of the wall.

    Overlapping was only a problem if it was allowed to compromise the reverse side's stability and structure.

    BTW -- the Wash. Post has an article (that I've only just begun to read) that describes a study done in May this year that exposed a critical vulnerability in a canal levee system


    Canal May Have Worsened City's Flooding
    Disputed Project Was a 'Funnel' for Surge, Some Say

    By Michael Grunwald
    Washington Post
    September 14, 2005

    On May 19, Hassan Mashriqui addressed a roomful of emergency planners and warned of a "critical and fundamental flaw" in the coastal defenses for New Orleans. Mashriqui, a computer modeler at Louisiana State University's Hurricane Center, singled out the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, a 40-year-old shipping canal aimed at the city's gut.

    For years, local residents had decried the little-used canal as a "hurricane highway" that would deliver massive storm surges into their neighborhoods.

    But now Mashriqui was offering proof. His hydrodynamic modeling showed that a "funnel" created by the Gulf Outlet and a nearby waterway would amplify storm surges by 20 to 40 percent. He described the funnel as "Crescent City's Trojan Horse," carrying the Gulf of Mexico's waters into the city.

    "I showed how dangerous that outlet was -- there was no ambiguity," says Mashriqui, who came to the United States after a tropical cyclone devastated his native Bangladesh. "And now it's all come true."

    Authorities have not yet concluded what caused the drowning of New Orleans, and most attention has focused on two breached floodwalls near Lake Pontchartrain, to the city's north. But now experts believe that the initial flooding that overwhelmed St. Bernard Parish and the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans came from the Gulf Outlet, a channel that was an ecological and economic disappointment long before Hurricane Katrina.

    Satellite images show that levees along the outlet were severely damaged by storm surges. Flyovers by the Army Corps of Engineers have revealed a path of destruction consistent with Mashriqui's theory that the Outlet provided a pathway for storm surges from the Gulf and neighboring Lake Borgne.

    Mashriqui had warned that the confluence of the MRGO and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway created a funnel that would direct storm surges into the New Orleans Industrial Canal and on into St. Bernard Parish. On the Friday before Katrina made landfall, the parish's state senator, Walter Boasso, complained at a congressional hearing that the federal government was "playing Russian roulette" with his constituents...
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  16. #1316  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE
    The Heritage Foundation is a advocacy organization that is essentially the propaganda/research arm of the richest wing of the GOP. It is not a source comparable to the Washington Post (or even the NY Times editorial page).
    I've already pointed out the flaws and clear bias in the WaPo reporting. I consider that particular bit of reporting no more reliable that the Heritage Foundation research piece. The NY Times Ed was just that, an editorial opinion.
    The motivations behind the decades long effort by republicans and construction companies I assure you have nothing to do with any altruistic compassion for poor black southerners --

    it is naked, unadulterated, GREED.
    And that is your opinion. If the other side were given an opportunity to respond, people could make up their minds for themselves whom to believe. It certainly makes sense to me that requiring union wages to be paid, in essense preserves those jobs for union workers only (duh, or else I wouldn't have had to wade through 2 Google pages of pissed off union press releases to find the Heritage thing). Not exactly entry level work for the desperate and displaced workers of New Orleans.
    And since this change "doesn't require contractors to pass on the savings they will get by cutting wages from current low levels" it is by design a way to further enrich junior's cronies at the expense of desperate workers.
    Cronies like this one?
    The Shaw Group's founder and CEO is J.M. Bernhard of Baton Rouge, Louisiana who is the chairman of the Louisiana Democratic Party and was co-chairman Governor Kathleen Blanco's transition committee, a fact left out of the Reuters story.
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  17. #1317  
    Alright, one more Davis-Bacon (mmmm.... bacon!) article:

    The Davis-Bacon Act: Let's Bring Jim Crow to an End

    This time from the Cato Institute. Still propagandists, I know, but Libertarian ones, at least.
    Last edited by phurth; 09/14/2005 at 12:02 AM.
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  18. #1318  
    Quote Originally Posted by phurth
    Alright, one more Davis-Bacon (mmmm.... bacon!) article:

    The Davis-Bacon Act: Let's Bring Jim Crow to an End

    This time from the Cato Institute. Still propagandists, I know, but Libertarian ones, at least.

    as general rule, Cato, Heritage, and rush are as unworthy of citation, as uncredible, as any liberal blog.

    But its legitimate in my view to use them though if it is to communicate the philosophical viewpoint of the anti-worker right (& semi-libertarians).

    Those points of view are clearly the basis for junior's hostile action against average americans. As such you are right to quote them.
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  19. #1319  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE
    as general rule, Cato, Heritage, and rush are as unworthy of citation, as uncredible, as any liberal blog.

    But its legitimate in my view to use them though if it is to communicate the philosophical viewpoint of the anti-worker right (& semi-libertarians).

    Those points of view are clearly the basis for junior's hostile action against average americans. As such you are right to quote them.
    So the work of scholars or thinkers (I didn't mention Rush, who's beside the point) who publish articles for legitimate institutions is not acceptable source material for citation? They are lumped in with the Koz's (and right-wing equivalents) of the world? That's an interesting point of view.

    Davis-Bacon is a political issue. A law. And apparently one with an odious parentage. Anyone who looks at it is going to have a point of view. This includes the New York Times, the Washington Post, the unions, Cato, me, and you. I don't have a deep basis of knowledge on the subject, so I read the WaPo and NYT articles. Hmmm, I thought, seems to have been written from a particular point of view (psst - from the same point of view as you). So I went looking for alternative sources. I found two apparently well thought-out and researched contrary sources of information. The Cato piece is thoroughly footnoted as well. Both articles I found were longer and contained more information than either of the articles you cited. Frankly they were both more persuasive that the tantrums thrown by the newspapers. I admit that both Cato and Heritage have a point of view. The Washington Post doesn't? The New York Times? The difference is that Cato and Heritage admit their biases and you can choose to weigh them into any info you get from them.

    At any rate, you are correct: this is the philosophical basis for the Administration's desire to be rid of Davis-Bacon. You characterize it as anti-worker and hostile. They would obviously disagree. If people are presented both sides, they will judge for themselves who is correct.
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  20. #1320  
    Quote Originally Posted by phurth
    No... I'm not making any judgement about the mayor's actions in relation to the levees. It seems that the reporting in the media on this levee issue has been extraordinarily bad.
    It actually was in the news, e.g here on CBS, as early as September 5:
    Despite what you’ve been hearing, not one of New Orleans’ levees failed. All of the massive earthen levees survived. The failure was in flood walls like this one on the 17th Street canal. The flood walls are miles long, but only two feet thick.

    Al Naomi is the man who manages them for the Army Corps of Engineers. He was probably the first to understand what was about to happen to New Orleans.

    "Flood walls are unforgiving. They’re either there or they’re not," Naomi says.

    The walls were designed in 1965 to withstand a Category 3 storm. Category 4 Katrina pushed her surge over the top.

    "It just was overtopped and the water started pouring over the support for the flood wall, failed and it just pushed out and toppled over and that was it," Naomi explains.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/...79_page2.shtml
    I'm drawing no conclusions here about who should have known what or when. Just read the linked source article (from today's NO Times-Picayune), and keep in mind how much we do not yet know as factual information. Everyone I've talked to has thought the levees were swamped by the storm surge and failed. This basic assumption might not be true.
    Does it make a difference whether the levees failed or the floodwalls? Army Corps of Engineers seem to be in charge of both, and it does not seem to be the case that they suspected the walls might fail or warned anybody about it.

    I still get the impression that Nagin executed quite a good plan for a hurricane in quite a good way, but the collapsing walls were not part of the scenario because those responsible for them did not anticipate it.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)

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