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Saturday, December 10, 2005

The Krewe of Dunces

There is talk of having an abbreviated Mardi Gras season here come February next year. The biggest obstacle seems to be money, the city doesn't have the cash to pay for extra police, fire and emergency services needed to put on the sprawling event that takes over the entire city. In the meantime, most of the residents don't even have a fucking house to live in and the ones that do have a roof and four walls, it is most likely in a barely livable condition considering virtually every home was severely flooded and in need of major repairs. Thousands of people are actually living in tents!! There are several major obstacles to getting any home repaired here, the National Flood Insurance Program backed by the Feds is OUT OF MONEY, my parents home received considerable damage that is covered by the NFIP and now over 3 months later they still have not received any money! They call and call but they keep being told to "be patient". Even if they did have the money then there is the major problem of getting someone to actually do the repairs, all the area contractors have so much backlog that it will take them years to catch up with 100's of thousands of homes needing major repair work.

Now we come to the really juicy, fun part. Just over a week ago the local newspaper put up a story describing what actually happens at the semi-annual levee inspections. It turns out that the 30 odd board members are actually getting together for a large social event including a very expensive meal with dishes like crab cake with champagne dill sauce topped off by a dessert of white chocolate mousse with a raspberry coulis. And that there was much more time spent on the communications concerning and planning the actual dinner which they retire to after a long and oh so fucking difficult day of thoroughly inspecting all 125 miles of the city's extensive levee system. They claimed that they were able to do a "proper inspection" of the entire levee system in less than... get this now... 5 MOTHERFUCKING HOURS. And the brainless wonders still had time to make it for the expensive luncheon at 1pm! Yeah. Riiiight.

When questioned about the events leading up to and surrounding the so called "thorough inspection" the levee boards top administrator (apparently in charge of planning expensive luncheons) defended himself and the board by stating "On a daily basis, our people are out in the field cutting the grass and most of their supervisors have been here 25 or 30 years, so they know what a good levee looks like and what one with problems looks like. If there's a problem, it's looked into further." In other words the guys cutting the grass are also levee engineers is what he has the gall to say. Have you ever heard anything so fucking lame?

Then to really knock these assholes off their already ridiculous position, within a week we get this headline in the local paper "Evidence points to man-made disaster" "Human mistakes led to N.O. levee breaches" Investigations have shown that the levees failed BEFORE Katrina even came ashore, toppled and breached by storm surges ahead of the storm that had not yet had the chance to even reach a Category 3 much less a Cat 5!! They know what a good levee looks like??? Apparently a good one is one that hasn't toppled over yet from storm surges below the design strength, and a bad one is one where the water is pouring through so fast that the water level reaches rooftops in just a matter of minutes!! It doesn't take a fucking rocket scientist or a levee engineer to see the difference now does it?

Need I say more????

Personally, I don't care if there is a Mardi Gras celebration this coming year but if they do, I would like to see a parade put on by the members of the levee board of New Orleans and call themselves the Krewe of Dunces. I think it would be a great parade if the actual members were on the floats in various displays of torture on the rack, bondage in old fashioned public stocks and chains, public whippings, self-flagellation, maybe even a few of them being crucified in the ancient Roman fashion. In this parade I think the throws should be the other way around, with the parade watchers throwing stones at the levee board members on the floats rather than them tossing beads, doubloons and trinkets into the watching crowd. Wouldn't that be fun! Damn, I think I would pay good money for that!! In fact hand me a whip and a few stones, it's time to party!!