See this lede from the latest AP story on the nuclear crisis in Japan:

TOKYO (AP) — Two weeks after an earthquake and tsunami triggered a crisis at a nuclear plant, the facility is still not under control, and the government said Friday there is a suspected breach at a reactor. That means radioactive contamination at the plant is more serious than once thought


When there's a disaster, especially a natural disaster exacerbated by human design (nuclear plants, seawalls and levees), there's a process that the people who think they're in charge go through when communicating to the rest of us. Let's make a flow chart, shall we:

Everything is under control, nothing to see here. > Ok, things are worse than we thought, but not so bad, really. > All right, things are getting bad, but still under control. We are in charge and know what we're doing. Note human-interest stories about heroic first responders. Look, it's Haley's Comet!> [At this moment, it becomes clear to insiders that things are very very bad, getting worse, and when it's all over, heads will roll, unless they're in the Bush administration] All right, this warning has nothing to do with the other thing, but everyone evacuate now. The final step is the Superdome, or what I suspect will be a large uninhabited area of Japan.

Denial, cover-up, and obfuscation all will be undone by reality: Nature—whether it's the waters of the Gulf or the Tsunami—and the man-made—whether it's a system of sea walls and levees or a nuclear reactor—are subject to the laws of physics.

Whether it's Katrina or Fukushima, heckuva job.