I was going to write about this today, too. But Maitri really hit all the salient points on this particular subject. If the Army Corps of Engineers won't listen to their own experts, what do we do? It really stings to know that while it is more than possible to effectively defend New Orleans, a strategically important part of the United States of America, from water, the powers that be are more interested in spending tax dollars on stuff that their own purchasing departments and experts know doesn't work.
Erosion may take 10 years to destroy a metropolitan American city, an earthquake may take 10 minutes, but incompetence will pretty much ensure that you can't ever get back up once you're knocked down. Nature loads the gun, nurture pulls the trigger, and that's a national problem.
Thing all the rest of you back in the world should be worried about is this: you may be sick of hearing about New Orleans, but you should be outraged at the way the government is handling all this. You can blame the locals all you want, the same Federal failures that New Orleans is dealing with now, you will have to deal with in the future.
Walter Reed Hospital, New Orleans' levees, and our inability to win in Iraq are all fruit of the same poison tree.
Changing gears a little, I must ask where that poison comes from. I have more than a few ideas. They aren't linked solely to one individual in one office, though that individual has more power to do something about the rot, the listing of our ship of state, than any other individual. That this particular individual has failed to adequately address the issues of competency - and has failed to do so with such swagger - will forever saddle him as the figurehead of that poison. But I see him and his entourage as mere symptoms of the larger issue. There was something bigger than him brewing long before we got to this point. I can't put my finger on it, but we're going to have to start working on what that is. We can work on the micro and the macro at the same time.