Sunday, September 04, 2005

Katrina... a 2-minute analysis

What went wrong?
We're going to hear that question interminably in the wake of the devastation of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent flooding.
Here's one man's quick analysis of the situation.
The officials in Louisiana did do the right thing in calling long and loud for evacuations as early as they did. They were prepared for the second-worst-case scenario and reacted to that. Unfortunately, the worst case scenario -- a levee break and massive flooding -- hit.
For that, there was clearly insufficient preparation all the way around.
You cannot blame any government for people's refusal to evacuate, unless you think that officials in Louisiana should have ordered the National Guard in before Katrina hit and forcibly evacuated people.
In our system, local officials and state officials make the first call in any emergency situation. If you think that people in Washington... hundreds and hundreds of miles away... should have the primary responsibility, you're quite probably a statist sort.
Were preparations for the worst-case scenario inadequate? Most assuredly. For that, people at all levels of government must share responsibility... starting at the local and state levels, where there seemed to be a delayed reaction to almost everything that happened. That created a monster that could not be controlled, even with federal assistance. Example: Why wasn't the Louisiana National Guard activated until a full two days after the levee broke? That's the governor's job... not the president's... not the mayor's.
But I can tell you this -- the spiteful crap coming from the left is absolutely unforgivable. Some folks' vocal cords should be permanently disengaged, which would then parallel the inactivity of their brain cells.
More ranting later.