I blogged earlier this week on lessons from Hurricane Katrina on the assumption that the relief effort would be swift and efficient and that we could therefore turn our minds to the longer term lessons to be drawn from this disaster.
Unfortunately I was wrong. It seems the greatest lesson to be drawn from the past five days is that the United States is a first world country with a third world government. The response from the government of the world's richest and most powerful country has been nothing short of pathetic bordering on criminally negligent.
Four years after September 11, having spent trillions on "Homeland Security" and pushed through the largest re-organisation of the Federal bureaucracy in three generations, we're unable to address the basic requirement to ensure that those affected have food to eat, clean water to drink and the urgent medical attention many of them need.
People are dying while the Homeland Security boondoggle continues. But at least we can all sleep well knowing that our aviation system is safe from nail clipper toting terrorists.