Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane Irene, Ron Paul and other blowhards

What to do about Ron Paul?

Sometimes he makes absolute sense, other times it's like listening to your crazy uncle rant - you know, the one who goes off after a few drinks at Thanksgiving about how the Holocaust never really happened.

 With Hurricane Irene heading up the Eastern Seaboard, he chose to spout off about how FEMA was just a drain on the economy and not necessary. "We should be like 1900," he said, referring to the great Galveston hurricane of that year.



For those of you unfamiliar with the 1900 Galveston hurricane, here's a little context which Dr. Paul conveniently failed to supply us with.

The storm, estimated to be a Category 4 hurricane, hit Galveston on September 8, 1900, with a resulting loss of life estimated at between 8,000 and 12,000. Over 3,600 homes were destroyed. Survivors lived in tents and shelters constructed from debris, and were without water service for 4 days.


The suggestion here is: why get the government involved? Let the survivors deal with the problem. In other words: its not my problem, it's your problem.

You may bet tempted to point out the mediocre response FEMA made in the aftermath to Katrina. And why was that? Possibly because George W Bush made FEMA a stepchild of the Department of Homeland Security and packed it with incompetent cronies ("You're doing a heck of a job, Brownie!"). That's a little like dumping stale beer in the gas tank of your car then bitching about how rough the ride is. Spare me.

One of the factors in the huge loss of life in the 1900 Galveston hurricane was the lack of early storm tracking at the time. Curiously enough, one of many places where our Tea Party friends in Congress are cutting budgets (so the beleaguered Koch brothers can stay afloat) is to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which will impact their ability to forecast severe weather events.

So for Ron Paul, living in filth and disease for weeks is just fine, as long as it keeps our taxes low. There's nothing like the clarity of vision that comes with being a lunatic.

Thanks to Salon.com, which has a excellent write-up on this. Also on Salon.com: What's the worst that could happen in a Ron Paul presidency?

1 comment:

Dan Brekke said...

I heard Ron Paul on "Talk of the Nation" talking about FEMA and Irene. He came off as an inarticulate crank, though he did seem to say something I agree with--that government shouldn't make it so easy for people to build in disaster-prone areas like flood zones. Of course, he's not saying people shouldn't build there--folks in the real-estate business might get mad--he's just saying that they should bear the risk of building there.

ShareThis