Reflections on the bursting of the Lake Delhi Dam in Iowa

I saw on the Drudge Report this morning an article about the Lake Delhi Dam in eastern Iowa that broke last Saturday, July 24. They had had about ten inches of rain in a 12-hour period, and it overwhelmed the dam. People downstream on the Maquoketa River had to evacuate, and it was a mess. Click here to read the article on

It was interesting to read the comments. Political emotions were overflowing. One person said that since the Left had taken the failing of the levees in New Orleans during hurricane Katrina as meaning that Bush didn’t care about blacks, that the failure of this dam meant that Obama didn’t care about whites. Of course he doesn’t believe that, but he was clearly fed up with people making everything about race.

A few people indicated that they didn’t want people pointing fingers of blame. This was a natural disaster, and it was just unfortunate.

But there is a political lesson here. The dam was old and had been identified as needing structural repair. Reportedly, it is a private dam. But the repair was to be funded by the state of Iowa, and the governor was trying to get funding from FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency). Now I don’t want to pile on Iowa Democrat Governor Chet Culver. For all I know he could be a great administrator. What I see here is a general problem with government getting things done. We have seen this repeatedly with the failure of infrastructure. Bridges, levees, oil spill containment booms, are underfunded, and they don’t get the attention they need from our political leaders.

I have an idea. Let’s just cut back government and have it concentrate on things that we need government to do. Get out of the business of redistributing income and restructuring our society.

As a people we all know that the government simply isn’t as competent as private industry. Then why are we suckers for all these people in government who keep wanting us to give them more and more power?

My humble opinion.

And I wish the people affected by this disaster the best. I lived in eastern Iowa for a number of years and have been to Lake Delhi several times. It’s a beautiful area, and I hope they can get this fixed and get their lives back to normal.

Links: You may want to visit our page on the proper role of government – our consitutional limitations page.

About mesasmiles

By Dr. David Hall. Dr. Hall runs Infinity Dental Web, a small company that does Internet marketing for dentists. He has had a long-standing interest in politics and as a college student toyed with the idea of a political career.
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