New Orleans, Fox News reporting, and the F-bomb

Phil wrote:

New Orleans was a city that depended on the Federal government
to plan and engineer it's protection. The gevernmetn levee
brike. The analogy to the government's mangement of banking and
finance is apparent. When a storm breaks the levee it will takw
a long time to dry out and many will suffer.

I just read an article, I think in the Wall Street Journal, where
someone claimed that the levees that are breaking were built by
private initiative, but the levees built by the Army Corps of
Engineers are still intact. I don't know if that's true, but it's
something to keep in mind if you argue the point with anyone. And
of course the liberals are blaming the Republicans for not funding
proper maintenance of the levees. The blame goes round and

I'm inclined to blame it on building a city below sea-level in a
hurricane zone in the first place... Kinda like, ummm, building a
neighborhood on landfill in an earthquake zone, as in our own fair


Justin, John McPhee wrote a terrific book about the lower Mississippi
a ew years back. New Orleans was not always below sea level. the
Mississippi has been reggularly flooding the ddelta for millions of
years piling silt upon silt. The weight of the silt has pushed the
underlying rock down. An wquilibrioum was reached whwere the rate of
siltation equaled the rate of decline.By putting the river behind
levees the siltation ceased and was pushed out into the gulf of
Mexico. The federal governmetn took on the projevt of controlling the
Mississippo very early on. As the river silts within it's narrow
channel and backs up behind silt at the mouth, and the surrounding
countryside continues to sink under the weight of geologically recent
siltation, the river has risen above the countrysice. The levees have
gotten ever higher. It was an impossible situation, predicted to have
catastrophic consequencws. . I read McPhees book almost fifteen years
ago I think, and visited many of the Missippi engineering projects.
Unfortunately, one can't getr very far with a Constitutional arguement
over all this because the constitution does provide Federal Authority
for Navigable waters. Unfortunately this led to the didaster prone New
Orleans. Budgetring for it's survival in Washington is clearly not the
optimal way to maintain this city, if inddeed it would still exist if
it was forced to fund it's survival locally. So I guess I really do
have to admit this is not exactly a good place to pound a libertarian
or Goldbug hammer. But I am sur i will find another nail soon.