The terror in NOLA has taken incompetence to a new level. First, the response to the disaster is pathetically slow, and, second, the levees and pumps weren't strong enough to withstand a hurricane in the first place.
Incompetence is the weak backbone of this story. If the levees hadn't burst, the damage would be significant, but not catastrophic. What went wrong? TPM Cafe has some answers, but there's a grand old tradition of shabby engineering in America. In a passage I've had highlighted for years, Paul Fussell writes,