Couldn't the local residents and officials from New Orleans take a look around for themselves and see that the levee system was inadequate before the storm. I think the strategy there was hope and pray instead of action. Human Nature is such that unless it is right in front of our faces or an immediate threat we tend to dismiss it. I'm from the Northeast. I know nothing of the levee system in New Orleans. Nor should I be expected to care. I have no vested interest. But the residents, activists and politicians in the area should have taken care of this potential problem way before Katrina. Didn't any engineers even do a test? An emergency plan? If my house was located in a major flood zone with an aging and inadequate levee holding back the sea, I'd think of contacting my local congressman to see what they were doing about it. It is the failure of the local government for not addressing the levee problem before Katrina and it is the problem of the Federal Government for resting on its laurels after Katrina. How can anyone expect a ravaged area to organize evac and rescue without outside help while the government watches them get deeper and deeper under water. We rush to the aide of natural disaster victims half a world away (as we should). But the government was reluctant to get involved in a national matter. Once the city began sinking the FEMA exec should have been on the phone to the president to say, "Those people need help." Isn't that his job? Isn't it the job of the executive branch of government to enforce laws and protect the people of this country, rich or poor? We can send poor people over to Iraq to fight; the government has no problem with that. But we can't go in and rescue poor folks when they're drowning. I don't get the mentality of this administration.