Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Designing for Disaster

You can't turn on the TV, radio, or open a newspaper without being reminded of Hurricane Katrina today. We were all pretty shocked at the pictures coming out of New Orleans last year, and the Johnny Jihads of the world looked like ineffective little punks compared to a giant swirling cloud of rain and wind.
Are we prepared for another natural disaster, have we learned anything and more importantly have we done anything?
"The American Society of Civil Engineers last year gave the nation a "D" for its infastructure conditions, esimating it would take over five years and $1.6 trillion to fix the problems. "
So the infastructure of the USA is only one natural or man-made disaster away from total collapse?
Will someone please tell me what our wise and noble federal government is doing about this? "Experts say that a transportation bill passed last year (to address these problems) is riddled with some 5,000 'earmarks' for projects sought by members of Congress that do nothing to systematically address the problem*"; such as the infamous 'bridge to nowhere' in Alaska.

In the words of our beautifully blunt on-line community: WTF?

Maybe roads and bridges and sewage treatment plants and landfills arn't exactly sexy, but damn; they're really really important.

Lets hope that all the Katrina anniversary celebrations draw attention to the extremely basic needs in our own country, and perhaps we'll start getting some much-needed maintenance.

Until then?
We're fighting wars in foreign countries; re-building the Gulf Coast (supposedly); cutting taxes (for rich people); and building cookie jar museams in North Carolina with federal money; but the airplane landing instruments at LAX keep breaking down.

Come and get us Islamo-nutcase-terrorists; we're wide open.
*Italicized info by Chuck McCutcheon, Newhouse News Service


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