Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Let's hire the Dutch!

What we'd get:

If there's any question why I still haven't taken down the Katrina Boneless Chicken Award, consider the Corps of Engineers' just-issued Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration (LACPR) Preliminary Technical Report.

Sen. Mary Landrieu's (D-La) reaction:
Levee and flood control is a life-or-death situation for the people of coastal Louisiana, and so, it is very disappointing that this report fails to do what Congress mandated: Give us all the facts and show us what it will take to protect coastal Louisiana. ...

Of particular cause for concern is the appearance that the report may have been altered to eliminate important technical information and proposals. As a result, the modified report omits many recommendations that could have helped protect the people of Louisiana and the nation they serve.

The criticism of the Corps' report isn't just limited to Louisiana's Democratic Senator. Nevertheless, I always view Sen. David Vitter's (R-La) criticism of the Corps' as an extension of his pre-Katrina strategy to dismantle Corps' authority over wetlands protection on behalf of his political supporters in the logging industry:
Vitter could kill coastal restoration act

Vitter cypress mulch provision bagged by the press

Vitter to kill the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker once and for all

Update on Vitter provision that will endanger the ivory-billed woodpecker's habitat

Vitter, on the Corps' Category 5 report:
The assistant secretary of the Army decided to gut the report and remove all substance from the report. This lack of leadership and ineptitude has become the rule rather than the exception. Two weeks ago, I expressed frustration with the corps on their repeated failures to meet self-imposed deadlines and goals. This report is nothing more than another slap in the face of Louisiana.

When Congress authorized $20 million for the Corps to develop plans to protect Louisiana from future hurricanes, the law called for "information based on the Corps' expertise in a timely manner and unfiltered by the policy goals of the administration."

Again, Mary Landrieu on real "homeland security" for people in "the homeland":
"The Dutch recognize that 'homeland security' includes developing a comprehensive storm and flood protection strategy that not only protects people and communities, but also respects a vital harmony with the nation's commerce needs," Sen. Landrieu said, referring to the Port of Rotterdam - Europe's largest port, and the second largest in the world. Similarly, Louisiana's port system is the U.S.'s largest.

Independent, objective science

Organizational dysfunction at the Corps of Engineers

PGR search results - Cat 5

First-Draft -- Bush "The Decider" Can't Decide

Your Right Hand Thief -- What is the Decision Matrix?

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At 7/11/2006 09:06:00 AM, Anonymous Sophmom said...

Looks like more of the same. I have to think that it's the "US Army" that goes before "Corps of Engineers" that's causing the problem. Not an organization known for being forthcoming, straightforward, or, for that matter, even honest. Good post, Schroeder. Thanks. *sigh*

At 7/11/2006 11:02:00 AM, Anonymous adrastos said...

Excellent post, piano man. (visualizing Billy Joel, shuddering and apologizing)

The Dutch also did their dyke magic in the Fifties and the Corps is telling us we can't do it now. Nonsense. Perhaps they think it has something to do with gay marriage...

At 7/11/2006 03:00:00 PM, Anonymous ashley said...

When I told people in Europe that Louisiana was obligated to use the USACE, they were shocked. Their reaction: "why not just use the Dutch? They've done it before, and it works."

Screw them and their logic...we'll just add more dirt.

At 7/11/2006 09:40:00 PM, Blogger Schroeder said...

Billy Joel, ugh.

No, more like Keith Jarrett, Andras Schiff, Chick Corea, Murray Perahia.

Ah ... I think you're right sophmom. We've had this discussion before I think. Thanks for bringing it up again. That whole military indoctrination, the whole command hierarchy and obedience culture really stifles stepping out of line with independent ideas.

Yeah, but it works. Isn't that the problem Ashley? They wouldn't want to build something that actually works. The primary objective is building something that pays the most to preferred contractors. The Dutch would probably want to pay the most competent contractors.


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