Sanding our assholes with 150 grit.

The Timeline

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2005_09/007023.php

"CHRONOLOGY....Here's a timeline that outlines the fate of both FEMA and flood control projects in New Orleans under the Bush administration. Read it and weep:"
Permalink son of parnas 
September 4th, 2005
From this article:

"Funding for the New Orleans district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is cut by a record $71.2 million."

Maybe a little Off Topic. But I wonder what the annual budget is? That is a shit load of money to cut out of a budget which makes me think the overall budget has to be pretty big.

Disaster aside, how much money have we been spending to keep this city dry? I know there is a human element, but there also needs to be a cost benefit analysis.

71.2 million for the last let's say 10 years could have successfully relocated many of the people that are left without homes tonight.

Unprecedented in US History; but worth a look if we are going to cut funds that may or may not provide a safeguard for a geographic area. I am not saying this funding cut in any way contributed to this tragedy.
Permalink Christopher Hester 
September 4th, 2005
> how much money have we been spending to keep this city dry?

My understanding is the netherlands built levees that would survive a 1 in 10,000 year storm whereas the those in NO were only built to survive a 1 in 100 year storm. I don't know if global warming changes that calculation any.

I suggest we build them right this time and then we don't have to turn our backs on millions of people.

Anyone know the history of NO? Why did people go through the effort of creating NO when the rest of the continent was basically empty? Was it the port?
Permalink son of parnas 
September 4th, 2005
NO is right at the mouth of the Mississippi river. Between NY and whatever west coast port we may have, it's definately one of our most important. Perhaps our single most important.
Permalink MarkTAW 
September 4th, 2005
A port and a big city are two different things. Most of NO revenue was convention/tourism based.

I do admit getting cargo onto the Mississippi is important. For land locked cargo, Port of Houston takes in a large amount of Cargo. I think just behind LA or Oakland.
Permalink Christopher Hester 
September 5th, 2005
Maybe NO itself isn't an important port now, but

- The Mississippi is important
- NO grew into a big city because of that fact
Permalink MarkTAW 
September 5th, 2005
"New Orleans is the largest port in the United States and the third largest in the world. It is an extremely busy shipping terminal that handles vessels with drafts to 40 ft as well as a multitude of smaller vessels engaged in a variety of marine transportation and service activities. River barge traffic is particularly evident as New Orleans is the southern terminus of the Mississippi River navigation system."

from:

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/facility/new-orleans.htm

where there is a big long article about it half way down. Worth reading.

Apparently it is a very very major port even today and of critical importance to national security because of its importance to the Navy.

Given these facts, the inability of DHS to stabilize the situation is tantamount to treason. This administration is an enemy of the united states.
Permalink Rich Rogers 
September 5th, 2005
3rd or 4th largest if you conflate the facilities between NO and Baton Rouge and certainly the biggest in the States (I think the big ports worldwide also include Singapore, Rotterdam and possibly Hamburg).

Houston?
Permalink trollop 
September 5th, 2005
Shanghai is the biggest port at the moment.
Permalink Erik Springelkamp 
September 5th, 2005
I guess in these days of electrically operated pumps, people have forgotten the original reason for placing cities was access to WATER.

Thus London, Washington D.C., New York City, Pittsburgh PA, etc. Originally, cities were placed at the junctions, or the mouths, of large rivers. Made getting drinking water to the people much more possible, and washing away the sewage.

Now, the mouth of the Mississippi is as good as it gets, in the U.S. anyway. Then it became a massive trading area. Now apparently 65% of the U.S. Oil, gasoline, and agricultural exports go through there.

Even today, moving freight by ship is the most efficient way to go about it. Trade. Free Markets. Feeding the world.

So New Orleans is there because that's where the money and the river is. And the money is there because that's where the docks are. And the docks are there because that's where access to the ocean, and more importantly barge access to the interior of the U.S. is.

I agree it's a major inconvenience that the river occasionally floods. But the simplistic answer of "just move" has SO many un-intended consequences.
Permalink AllanL5 
September 5th, 2005
Top ten ports by cargo tonnage, 2003: Singapore, Rotterdam, Shanghai, Hong Kong, South Louisiana, Houston, Chiba, Nagoya, Guangzhou, Kwangyang. [ http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0104779.html ]

Allan's right. Just look at the proportion of large U.S. cities located at major ports. Of the top of my head, I'd say it's probably all of them except Phoenix, Dallas, and Denver. And I believe those became sizable only in the past few decades.
Permalink John C. 
September 5th, 2005

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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