The USACOE built & rebuilt & repaired levees & floodwalls are stuffed with newspaper and leaking. The backup systems for their emergency response plans are not in place. Their actions are incomprehensible. They have no credibility left and should either be removed from the project, forced to outsource to competent contractors (like the Dutch), or at the very least be placed under the close and direct supervision of a civilian board of scientists & engineers. A heavily armed civilian board of scientists & engineers, so lessons may be taught, as needed.
I had to teach my students - the ones who believe that the levees were blown up - an old malleable quote sometimes attributed to Napoleon, otherwise as Hanlon's Razor: "Never ascribe to conspiracy or malice that which can be explained by incompetence and stupidity."
Incompetence and stupidity are killing our country. It isn't an ideology, or a political party or a conspiracy. It is not because of who allegedly stupid people vote for, or even that the people who have been "running things" for the last 20 years think we're too stupid to catch on.
Part of it is because anti-intellectualism has been around for a long time. It isn't cool to be smart. We demonize teachers and college professors while we lionize Larry the Cable Guy, Jackass and Bling-Bling thug culture. We're not falling to the bottom, we're racing to get there.
It is because whatever sector of this nation you work in - defense, education, business, disaster policy, wherever - if you go high enough, you will find someone of desperate importance who has no clue how to do their job, yet they keep getting paid and people continue to listen to and cover for them.
They don't even know how they got the job. Hell, they don't even know how lucky they are not to walk through moving airplane propellers. They just know that one day, they walked into their office and for some reason eveyrone started complaining about needing something done that they didn't know how to do. Instead of actually learning their own job requirements, or figuring out exactly what it was they were getting paid for, they got defensive. They didn't listen to smarter people who gave them advice, training or marching orders because nobody can tell them anything.
For the last 10 years while they should have been doing what they were getting paid to do, they were spending time blaming someone else or trying to prove why they aren't at fault. Because people at that level get paid anyway, even when they're fired for not doiong their job.
(Explain to me, again, why "capitalism - the stupid people version" rewards failure so handsomely...)
Soon the stink of this will be too bad and change will come. The course will correct. It won't be perfect, but it will be better. It happens, societies move in cycles. I just hope that change is worth the wait. I also hope we don't have to go through too many more disasters before we get to that point.