Timothy Galarnyk, Inspector America. Able to imagine solutions that the entire Army Corps of Engineers can't. Either he's a genius, or the Corps is filled with really, really stupid people.
Welcome to the Kingdom of Dumbasses, where no one is accountable, people are flooded all the time, Power Point rules the day, and Irwin Allen's ghost loves to hang out.
Lindsay Lohan and the Mighty Mississippi, brought to you by the perpetually failing Army Corps of Engineers. The Wildlife Federation wants to use the techniques of Lindsay Lohan's parents: it's okay, let the river run around and do whatever it likes.
Floods make for great television, but enough is enough.
If you're an engineer of some sort, and you have a severe lack of imagination, intelligence, and competence, then you might want to consider a career in the Army Corps of Engineers.
There, you can oversee failure on a level so grand, and with so few personal consequences, that even Irwin Allen would be ashamed by it all.
Case in point: the might Mississippi, which is even now destroying billions of dollars worth of private property across the United States.
Since the 1920's, the Army Corps of Engineers has been tasked to prevent flooding from that river, and has failed over and over again. Despite this, it continues to use the same strategy over and over again: build big levees. Dredge. Spend tons of money maintaining levees and dredging systems. When it all fails, spend even more money.
Now there's a growing chorus from the Heckles and Jekylls of the country (namely, collectivist environmentalists) to let Mark Twain's river run free.
Wednesday, as barge traffic resumed after the Coast Guard opened the river north of New Orleans, the National Wildlife Federation called on the government to scale back its control of the Mississippi. "Give it room to run," said the federation's John Kostyack. The federation said the river's flood controls "create higher flood levels and faster flows," which destroy more farmland and property.
The federation says the government should not repair the levee it blew open in Missouri on May 3. Leaving the breach would turn thousands of acres of farmland into a floodplain with little or limited agricultural use. "Our over-reliance on levees is not going to get us through these crises year after year," Kostyack said.
The Army Corps of Engineers destroyed the levee, flooding 130,000 acres of farmland, to protect small cities such as Cairo, Ill.
The monumental stupidity of this notion is beyond breathtaking. Yes, let the River run wherever it likes. It works for parents in the Baby Boomer generation. It's not like they created monstrous illiterate brats that idolize Lindsay Lohan. Let the River do whatever it likes, it's natural, and as we all know, nature is our best friend, and humanity really doesn't belong on this here Mother Earth.
Before we get all wrapped up in a faux debate between the "Levee Mongers" and the "Let The River Run Around Without its Pants On (Even When We Have Company Over) Crowd," let's consider a third way.
It was floated by a most unlikely source, the host of History Channel's "Inspector America." During an episode called "Dam This City," Timothy Galarnyk wonders why we don't build a water pipeline from flood-prone areas to Las Vegas and other places out West. We've got all this water where people don't need it, and we've got all this drought where no one can cure it, let's put the two together and get a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.
Which is really a good idea! (Strictly speaking, it's not entirely new. Others have conceived of it. But when good ideas are forgotten and re-conceived, I like to give credit where credit's due).
As Galarnyk noted in the episode, we can build a freakin' oil pipeline across Alaska. Are you saying we can't build an aqueduct from the Mississippi all the way to Lake Meade? Why are there farmers dying for water in California, and farmers drowning all along the Mississippi?
Why does it take the host of a reality TV show to come up with a good idea like this? Was there not one person in the Army Corps of Engineers that could conceive of it? This is why Congress should immediately outlaw Power Point in all branches of the Army Corps of Engineers. The pernicious software destroys human imagination and absolves the purveyor of any guilt. For almost 100 years the Corps has been tasked with preventing floods from the Mississippi. For almost 100 years, they have failed.
But don't let that stop them from cramming their workforce into feckless Continuing Education classes all the damned time.
Look, don't tell me the idea is too grandiose, too difficult to do. The Romans built thousands of miles of aqueducts with primitive tools and oxen. We have bulldozers, computers, and dynamite. I don't want to hear small talk. And I don't want to hear about water rights treaties. I don't think anyone in the flooded states will be terribly upset if someone relieved them of their extra water. That's an equation that even Congress can figure out.
Speaking of Congress, if any of you morons are reading this article and considering legislation to task the Army Corps of Engineers to build the Great American Aqueduct, may I suggest a few items for the bill?
First, make sure that the bidding process is double-blind, meaning: the government weenies who are evaluating the bids don't know who the bidders are. Prevent hanky-panky and good-ol' boy horsing around.
Second, make it illegal for any member of Congress to recommend to the Corps anyone to work on the project. No favors for members of Congress, no pork, no idle workers, blah blah.
Third, make the entire project immune from environmentalist red tape and lawsuits. The Wildlife Federation and others are thoroughly against anything that makes sense and would try to stop it. Tell them to shove it where the sun don't shine.
Fourth, provide big bonuses for both the contractor and the Corp's program manager if The Great American Aqueduct is finished on time and on budget.
Fifth, give them three years to bid and build it. If the contractor fails, put a trigger provision in to force 'em to give us a full refund. Or something else really painful. And put the Corp's program manager into the stockade for a decade.
Sixth, give the contractor immense leeway to imagine and design the Great American Aqueduct. Too many government projects are hampered by moron bureaucrats who pile conflicting requirements on top of needling detailed requirements. Just tell them to get the water from Point A to Point B and then STFU and leave them alone.
While I am anti-collectivist, I am not an anarchist. Certain things can only be done and paid for by the government. Defense of the nation. Protection of life, liberty and personal property. Within this rubric falls infrastructure: roads, dams, levees, and yes, aqueducts.
Republicans would do well to champion such an endeavor. It would be a significant alternative to the stimulus crap that Obama has floated over the past few years, like high speed rail, which is a ridiculous boondoggle. The only thing built through this effort will be Power Point slides and environmental impact studies. It's government vaporware designed to transport nobody nowhere. In the age of the webcam, there's little reason for people who don't know how to drive to leave New York city and travel down to Florida. Collectivists like Rachel Maddow pretend to support big projects like The Hoover Dam, when they're really just wanting to look cool and maybe help out their overlords at General Electric.
The Great American Aqueduct, on the other hand, could very well change the electoral landscape for Republicans if they championed it. The Western states are drying up. Water is being rationed. Meanwhile, how much money do we lose year-by-year through flood disasters? I know it makes for good television - who doesn't love to look at a red stop sign with water up to it's neck, after all? - but look. Enough is enough.
contact ladd @ filmladd dot com