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(USGS)   Mitt Romney didn't want to kill off FEMA and the USGS, he just wanted to turn it over to the states or the private sector. Let's see how that works   (waterdata.usgs.gov ) divider line
    More: Followup, Mitt Romney, U.S. Geological Survey, FEMA, United States, New York, current water, private sector  
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7434 clicks; posted to Main » on 30 Oct 2012 at 11:46 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



115 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2012-10-30 09:44:21 AM  
Mitt Romney is an ass of epic proportions.
 
2012-10-30 09:51:13 AM  

bdub77: Mitt Romney is an ass of epic proportions.


In fairness, he has ALWAYS been an ass of epic proportions. He's just gotten bigger...
 
2012-10-30 09:53:14 AM  
Pr
 
2012-10-30 09:59:43 AM  
Whenever a politician wants something killed but has to be a pussy about it they "leave it up to the states".

Nice web design, btw. Is it 1997 already?
 
2012-10-30 10:23:11 AM  

Freudian_slipknot: Pr


Damnit. That's what I get for trying to post from my phone.

Anyway, I was just going to say that it's clear private industry and local governments make everything better.

Now, if you'll excuse me I've got to go put another $40 in the Chicago parking meter downstairs so I can park there for another hour.
 
2012-10-30 10:27:36 AM  
Look we all have to make tough choices - today it may be streamgages, tomorrow, wind energy or someone else's pet project. I don't like Fed rights anymore then you do, so we get what we have here on the USGS site. It probably cost $100/hr for some USGS web developer to spend 40 hours of dev time writing those 'warnings' - which is the way Obama wants it, so he gets it. This $4000 could have been spent more prudently on upgrading these streamgages - something the private sector would be all over.

Remember folks - this USGS underfunding came on Obama's watch - his administration can't even handle something a simple USGS budget. They probably even tried outsourcing it to China or Kenya.
 
2012-10-30 10:30:51 AM  

Elzar: It probably cost $100/hr for some USGS web developer to spend 40 hours of dev time writing those 'warnings' - which is the way Obama wants it


Yes, web developers make $100/hour.
 
2012-10-30 10:35:35 AM  
Some states would do better than the feds, others worse.

If you have an Andrew Cuomo or a Chris Christie as your governor you're off to a decent start.

If you had Kathleen Blanco and Ray Nagin and an assortment of crooks and farkups who you blithely dismissed as "naw, they ain't corrupt, they're colorful"...well, that's on you and not on Washington.

So there are some places where the locals could pull it off, some places where the feds could do it, and a few where you might as well let Walmart run the show.
 
2012-10-30 10:36:39 AM  

Mugato: Elzar: It probably cost $100/hr for some USGS web developer to spend 40 hours of dev time writing those 'warnings' - which is the way Obama wants it

Yes, web developers make $100/hour.


The web developer makes $20/hour. The other $80/hour goes to some 1%er who knows nothing about web development.

As it should be.
 
2012-10-30 10:39:43 AM  

Mugato: Elzar: It probably cost $100/hr for some USGS web developer to spend 40 hours of dev time writing those 'warnings' - which is the way Obama wants it

Yes, web developers make $100/hour.


Contractors for the USGS bill nearly double that amount regularly for their 'professional services' - one more reason the Federal government can never compete with the efficiency that is inherent in private enterprise. You are correct in that nearly every web developer in the private IT industry do not make anything even close to $100/hr
 
2012-10-30 10:47:06 AM  

Elzar: You are correct in that nearly every web developer in the private IT industry do not make anything even close to $100/hr


Especially since all the programming jobs went overseas after the Bush tax cuts went to businesses that engaged in off shoring. Best thing that ever happened to my career, actually. Programming is farking boring and I'm doing FX for movies now, so I have Bush to thank for that. Of course, it took a while for all those companies to realize that Indians can't code for shiat and they sure as hell never document anything but that's not my problem.
 
2012-10-30 11:11:52 AM  

Mugato: Nice web design, btw. Is it 1997 already?


Budget cuts, man.
 
2012-10-30 11:28:05 AM  

bdub77: Mitt Romney is an ass of epic proportions.


I don't think he really understands the implications of his actions. he's lived such and isolated life that he can't 'connect the dots' anymore.
 
2012-10-30 11:35:11 AM  

Elzar: bill


Elzar: make


hmmm
 
2012-10-30 11:36:52 AM  
"Sure this bag of 'Apocalypse Chow' was only $5 last week, but that was *before* the storm. Now it's $500. Oh, and the time I spent coming to you with my Private Rescue Sedan De Ville out there idling is billed at $25/minute from the second the engine started. Hey, you're the guy who called Paulie Walnuts' Perfectly Legitimate Concrete Rescue Company."
 
2012-10-30 11:49:21 AM  
How can Mitt allow such an IMMORAL agency to continue??
 
2012-10-30 11:50:22 AM  
As Rick Santorum so eloquently put it, there is no need for any government agencies to be collecting data you can find out with a Google search.
 
2012-10-30 11:50:54 AM  
i225.photobucket.com
 
2012-10-30 11:52:11 AM  

Elzar: Look we all have to make tough choices - today it may be streamgages, tomorrow, wind energy or someone else's pet project. I don't like Fed rights anymore then you do, so we get what we have here on the USGS site. It probably cost $100/hr for some USGS web developer to spend 40 hours of dev time writing those 'warnings' - which is the way Obama wants it, so he gets it. This $4000 could have been spent more prudently on upgrading these streamgages - something the private sector would be all over.

Remember folks - this USGS underfunding came on Obama's watch - his administration can't even handle something a simple USGS budget. They probably even tried outsourcing it to China or Kenya.


1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-10-30 11:53:14 AM  
Mehh, even with a LOT of lipstick, it is still Divide and Conquer.

I am dissappoint, people. You are supposed to be able to recognize this chit when you see it.
Now, if we could just get the farking media to quit playing along.

Ya, know, with a decent media presence, we could clean this mess up.
 
2012-10-30 11:53:49 AM  
"You lack conviction." ~ Agent Phil Coulson
 
2012-10-30 11:53:49 AM  
I agree. I'm tired of fixing up coastal states that get hit by hurricanes year after year after year. Let them pay for it themselves. Don't like it? Move inland.

I don't actually believe this anymore. I used to, when I was 20 and when I was a Republican.

Ah, to be so young and ignorant again.
 
2012-10-30 11:56:38 AM  
having dealt with FEMA for the last three years I can tell you without a doubt it could be handled better by a private company.
 
2012-10-30 11:59:03 AM  

Elzar: $4000 could have been spent more prudently on upgrading these streamgages - something the private sector would be all over.


Private industry wouldn't touch it unless they can get the government to pay them $8000 with a 5 year maintenance agreement.
 
2012-10-30 11:59:55 AM  

Elzar: Look we all have to make tough choices - today it may be streamgages, tomorrow, wind energy or someone else's pet project. I don't like Fed rights anymore then you do, so we get what we have here on the USGS site. It probably cost $100/hr for some USGS web developer to spend 40 hours of dev time writing those 'warnings' - which is the way Obama wants it, so he gets it. This $4000 could have been spent more prudently on upgrading these streamgages - something the private sector would be all over.

Remember folks - this USGS underfunding came on Obama's watch - his administration can't even handle something a simple USGS budget. They probably even tried outsourcing it to China or Kenya.


Shows just how little you understand about the importance of what the USGS does, let alone your inability to grasp why we monitor stream gages and why this cannot be handled at the state level. Goddamn, the American public is so scientifically and environmentally retarded!
 
2012-10-30 12:01:12 PM  

turtleking: having dealt with FEMA for the last three years I can tell you without a doubt it could be handled better by a private company.


Have you dealt with a private company that has a complete monopoly before?
 
2012-10-30 12:01:25 PM  
Ya, the feds are awesome at running stuff.
 
2012-10-30 12:01:36 PM  
I say let the states handle it.
 
2012-10-30 12:04:21 PM  
What's this? States over federal gov't running the show? It's about time this guy said something I agree with.
 
2012-10-30 12:06:49 PM  

turtleking: having dealt with FEMA for the last three years I can tell you without a doubt it could be handled better by a private company.


Having worked for FEMA (Mitigation Division) for about the same amount of time, I can say that your experience is not standard.

Would a private company buy your house, demolish it, and rebuild you a new one in a flood-safe area for little or no cost? Would they rehab your house to prepare or recover from disaster damage without relying on government assistance?
Would a private company put its best practices on the internet for all to read, including explaining how $5 roof straps can save tens of thousands in roof repair, or a $10 backflow valve keeps your basement from flooding?
Would a private company issue flood insurance? (This one, we can answer:) No, they got out of the game because they couldn't make a good enough profit on it. Fortunately for us, the Feds think FI is a good idea, and they don't mind taking a loss for a few years in some states.
Would a private company have created free flood maps of every part of the country to assess the flood risks of living at, say 1700 Main Street, Bumfarkville, MT (population: 70)?
Would a private company tell you exactly how to take advantage of the many many programs that provide cash or services - often at little or no cost - to people wishing to prepare for or recover from disaster damage?
Would a private company be able to provide food, shelter and water - free of charge - to potentially a million people? Without coming to the state government every few years?

I think you underestimate how much of business' "help" is seeded with government money (or tax breaks, which are essentially the same thing) or is provided by the government at far lower a cost than what the private sector would. The goal of government - especially as relates to disaster planning/recovery - is not to maximize revenue, it's to provide for its citizens.
 
2012-10-30 12:07:13 PM  

Elzar: 'warnings'


those warnings are written by scientists at the USGS.
 
2012-10-30 12:07:53 PM  

Elzar: Mugato: Elzar: It probably cost $100/hr for some USGS web developer to spend 40 hours of dev time writing those 'warnings' - which is the way Obama wants it

Yes, web developers make $100/hour.

Contractors for the USGS bill nearly double that amount regularly for their 'professional services' - one more reason the Federal government can never compete with the efficiency that is inherent in private enterprise. You are correct in that nearly every web developer in the private IT industry do not make anything even close to $100/hr


Because GM, AT&T, Comcast, Citibank, Chase, Goldman Sachs, et al are the pinnacles of customer service and efficiency.
 
2012-10-30 12:08:01 PM  
Can you imagine a broke-ass place like NOLA trying to get back on its feet without federal help? Does Mitt Romney....understand things?
 
2012-10-30 12:08:23 PM  
Haliburton needs to diversify since the proles aren't buying the warmongering bit at the moment. Private companies!

/$30 bucks a plate for Iraq chow hall food. farking profiteers
 
2012-10-30 12:10:09 PM  
Meanwhile Obama and this natural disaster DOES use the States as first responder and shows that it CAN and DOES work.

FEMA should NEVER be first responder. FEMA should support the state, the state support the local and the lowest level is the first responder.

With New Orleans we had a state and city that didn't even enact their own emergency procedures, instead they sat around screaming for the Federal Government. With this one we see the state and local governments doing their jobs and it is working well.

So before you slam Romney, realize that what he's suggesting is exactly what's happening right now, and Obama seems to be supporting it.
 
2012-10-30 12:11:57 PM  

Elzar: Contractors for the USGS bill nearly double that amount regularly for their 'professional services' -


Oh look. Ignorant lying Republican scum. You don't know how much the make, and you know they make too much.

Why to make up reality out of thin air in your mind, in order to justify the other made-up beliefs in your mind.
 
2012-10-30 12:12:15 PM  

lovegravy: realize that what he's suggesting is exactly what's happening right now,


Actually it's not.
 
2012-10-30 12:13:03 PM  

hubiestubert: bdub77: Mitt Romney is an ass of epic proportions.

In fairness, he has ALWAYS been an ass of epic proportions. He's just gotten bigger...


Nah, his face has only gotten smaller.

boingboing.net
 
2012-10-30 12:13:19 PM  
Keep slurpin and derpin!
 
2012-10-30 12:14:10 PM  
love all the 'discontinued because of lack of funding' all over that link.
 
2012-10-30 12:15:17 PM  
Republican belief: Why do we even need the National Weather Service? We can get this information from things like the Weather Channel!

Reality: The weather channel gets their data from the National Weather Service.
 
2012-10-30 12:17:16 PM  
Did obama find a UTube video to blame the wind, heavy rainfall and hurricane like weather (possibly a hurricane, still investigating, he'll know something after the election) on?
 
2012-10-30 12:18:16 PM  

Lost Thought 00: As Rick Santorum so eloquently put it, there is no need for any government agencies to be collecting data you can find out with a Google search.


and where do you think those statistics derived from?
 
2012-10-30 12:21:57 PM  
[facepalm]

Don't fark with the U.S. Geological Survey. If there's anything the Feds do that has endless multipliers though the economy, it's the USGS.
 
2012-10-30 12:22:55 PM  

Elzar: Look we all have to make tough choices - today it may be streamgages, tomorrow, wind energy or someone else's pet project. I don't like Fed rights anymore then you do, so we get what we have here on the USGS site. It probably cost $100/hr for some USGS web developer to spend 40 hours of dev time writing those 'warnings' - which is the way Obama wants it, so he gets it. This $4000 could have been spent more prudently on upgrading these streamgages - something the private sector would be all over.

Remember folks - this USGS underfunding came on Obama's watch - his administration can't even handle something a simple USGS budget. They probably even tried outsourcing it to China or Kenya.


Cool Hand Luke type parody detected
 
2012-10-30 12:23:54 PM  
Don't most states have a form of FEMA? I remember when Clinton appointed James Witt to head FEMA after he had reorganized Arkansas Office of Emergency Services. You know when FEMA had a great reputation before the horse trainer got put in charge.
 
2012-10-30 12:24:36 PM  

Mugato: Elzar: It probably cost $100/hr for some USGS web developer to spend 40 hours of dev time writing those 'warnings' - which is the way Obama wants it

Yes, web developers make $100/hour.


They don't get paid $100/hour, they COST $100/hour. You have to include employment taxes, P&E, insurances, etc. to get the cost number.
 
2012-10-30 12:25:11 PM  

Detinwolf: Can you imagine a broke-ass place like NOLA trying to get back on its feet without federal help? Does Mitt Romney....understand things?


Do you? FEMA is broke at the national level so how does that help? And even when it wasnt broke it was pretty incompetant and paralyzed at times by national level politics.

I dont know if privatization or making it a state level thing with federal funding assistance would make it work well or not (and tend to assume it will not) but it isn't doing well as a national one.

Romney wasn't necessarily wrong about breaking up FEMA but with a crisis looming people don't want nuance, they want yes or no.
 
2012-10-30 12:25:40 PM  
Privatization works so well! That's why cell phone services are so cheap, insurance is so cheap and easy to use, utility costs are so affordable nobody goes without heat, water, and electricity. And if you get sick, medical and dental service rates are so competitive anyone can afford them!
 
2012-10-30 12:31:38 PM  

zjoik: Lost Thought 00: As Rick Santorum so eloquently put it, there is no need for any government agencies to be collecting data you can find out with a Google search.

and where do you think those statistics derived from?


This is what blows my mind.

"Why do we pay someone to gather this precise scientific data? It's all on Google!"

Do people really think Google just magically whisks these things out of thin air?
 
2012-10-30 12:38:36 PM  

Dr Dreidel: I think you underestimate how much of business' "help" is seeded with government money (or tax breaks, which are essentially the same thing) or is provided by the government at far lower a cost than what the private sector would. The goal of government - especially as relates to disaster planning/recovery - is not to maximize revenue, it's to provide for its citizens.


This. Private, for-profit disaster response already exists as insurance companies. How're those workin' out for folks?
 
2012-10-30 12:44:31 PM  

Civchic: zjoik: Lost Thought 00: As Rick Santorum so eloquently put it, there is no need for any government agencies to be collecting data you can find out with a Google search.

and where do you think those statistics derived from?

This is what blows my mind.

"Why do we pay someone to gather this precise scientific data? It's all on Google!"

Do people really think Google just magically whisks these things out of thin air?


Why do we still have farmers? Why don't they just buy their food at the store like everyone else?
 
2012-10-30 12:46:47 PM  

Muta: Elzar: $4000 could have been spent more prudently on upgrading these streamgages - something the private sector would be all over.

Private industry wouldn't touch it unless they can get the government to pay them $8000 with a 5 year maintenance agreement.


Don't forget the corporate welfare tax incentives.
 
2012-10-30 12:48:04 PM  

gulogulo: Elzar: Look we all have to make tough choices - today it may be streamgages, tomorrow, wind energy or someone else's pet project. I don't like Fed rights anymore then you do, so we get what we have here on the USGS site. It probably cost $100/hr for some USGS web developer to spend 40 hours of dev time writing those 'warnings' - which is the way Obama wants it, so he gets it. This $4000 could have been spent more prudently on upgrading these streamgages - something the private sector would be all over.

Remember folks - this USGS underfunding came on Obama's watch - his administration can't even handle something a simple USGS budget. They probably even tried outsourcing it to China or Kenya.

Shows just how little you understand about the importance of what the USGS does, let alone your inability to grasp why we monitor stream gages and why this cannot be handled at the state level. Goddamn, the American public is so scientifically and environmentally retarded!


Pretty much. We have bid very aggressively on some GIS projects that USGS was opening up for agricultural land use optimization and sustainability modeling, a hell of a lot cheaper than we would bid for a private entity and USGS rejected it because they didn't have the money. They've been extremely tight with money for the last several years (with reason) and they're doing a lot of "quiet" things I'd say are pretty essential to a lot of core industries especially here in the Midwest.

Anecdotal evidence for sure, but everything I've seen goes against the conventional wisdom of "omg US govt pays billion dollar contracts and there's no spending oversight wasteful wasteful waaaah" like Obama is personally approving every dollar that every one of the hundreds of thousands of USGS/USDA/etc employees request and spend. That poster above throws out a made up $4000 number then goes on to argue on the basis of it, even though I just attended a USGS 'data users conference' last week where plenty of industry analysts talked about how vital the data those agencies collect and surface on their sites is, and it's available free (funded by taxpayers). I know that the same folks will read that and make snide comments about OH GREAT HELPING BIG BUSINESS but a lot of these aren't web developers sneakily extorting $100/hour from uncle sam, they're regular dudes trying to get money to do their job. And the industry analysts have people from Monsanto and the like, but there are also small businesses like ours and individual farmers to balance out 'the little guy' side of things.

Sorry for rant but I hold USDA and USGS pretty highly as far as gov't agencies go, wonderful to work with and genuinely helpful and interested in being a service to the public good in my experience. That just doesn't make a narrative that's as good, but it boggles my mind how people dismiss them offhand when they're doing some of the best gov't work for the money out there, IMO.

/EPA, DoE not quite as nice thus far
 
2012-10-30 12:50:05 PM  

Civchic: zjoik: Lost Thought 00: As Rick Santorum so eloquently put it, there is no need for any government agencies to be collecting data you can find out with a Google search.

and where do you think those statistics derived from?

This is what blows my mind.

"Why do we pay someone to gather this precise scientific data? It's all on Google!"

Do people really think Google just magically whisks these things out of thin air?

Yes

 
2012-10-30 12:55:53 PM  

Agent Smiths Laugh: Privatization works so well! That's why cell phone services are so cheap, insurance is so cheap and easy to use, utility costs are so affordable nobody goes without heat, water, and electricity. And if you get sick, medical and dental service rates are so competitive anyone can afford them!


I don't entirely disagree that privatized services can be expensive, but many of your examples are screwy. Frequently utilities are public and even private works that offer utilities or telecom are highly regulated (have you every seen the boat load of taxes on an itemized cell phone bill? you pay for the govt infrastructure that provides your telephony services). And as for the public regulation of/competition with insurance, all of the insurance costs in my household went up after Obamacare passed. While some of our insurance services became more comprehensive, the government didn't create some magical competition in the market to drive down the prices.

Because many of those services are being closely monitored and regulated, you probably aren't being price gouged. Things are just expensive and the economy sucks. Oh, and bureaucracy does drive up the cost of doing business.
 
2012-10-30 12:56:04 PM  
What would happened without FEMA?

Well there you go.

ww4.hdnux.com
 
2012-10-30 01:03:11 PM  

elysive: all of the insurance costs in my household went up after Obamacare passed


Know what? The health benefit premiums for our company were going up anyway, to the tune of about 30% a year, for several years. I sure don't see Obamacare as any worse than what we were getting before.
 
2012-10-30 01:04:51 PM  

Detinwolf: Can you imagine a broke-ass place like NOLA trying to get back on its feet without federal help? Does Mitt Romney....understand things?


I think he does, quite well, actually. He sees a highly responsive market and an opportunity to capture consumer attention while competitors have limited access, opportunities to leverage data before the general public can. You see thousands of people dying, bodies of people and animals decaying in the street, malnourished children, abandoned elderly left to die in their own feces, and private police forces who only respond to the "correct" addresses.

You're both seeing the exact same events, the difference is, you sound like someone with a conscience. Safe to say you won't be getting an invite to the Ayn Rand Romney Inaugural Sneerfest.
 
2012-10-30 01:21:52 PM  

honk: elysive: all of the insurance costs in my household went up after Obamacare passed

Know what? The health benefit premiums for our company were going up anyway, to the tune of about 30% a year, for several years. I sure don't see Obamacare as any worse than what we were getting before.


This year was significantly worse for my significant other and for me...and it made more sense considering that my insurance is now covering more, but that's neither here nor there. We could go back and forth with anecdotes indefinitely. I was just promised by the media that everyone being insured would bring my insurance costs down.

It may ultimately do that, but I'm just pointing out that increased government regulation doesn't magically improve private sector prices...or at least our private insurance coverage wasn't bending us over before. If it had been I'm suspecting Obamacare would have laid down the smack and we might have seen a price decrease. I got a whole $4 refund because they spent too much on paperwork and too little on claims but I wouldn't call $4 "getting bent over".
 
2012-10-30 01:22:31 PM  

elysive: Agent Smiths Laugh: Privatization works so well! That's why cell phone services are so cheap, insurance is so cheap and easy to use, utility costs are so affordable nobody goes without heat, water, and electricity. And if you get sick, medical and dental service rates are so competitive anyone can afford them!

I don't entirely disagree that privatized services can be expensive, but many of your examples are screwy. Frequently utilities are public and even private works that offer utilities or telecom are highly regulated (have you every seen the boat load of taxes on an itemized cell phone bill? you pay for the govt infrastructure that provides your telephony services). And as for the public regulation of/competition with insurance, all of the insurance costs in my household went up after Obamacare passed. While some of our insurance services became more comprehensive, the government didn't create some magical competition in the market to drive down the prices.

Because many of those services are being closely monitored and regulated, you probably aren't being price gouged. Things are just expensive and the economy sucks. Oh, and bureaucracy does drive up the cost of doing business.


My city built a municipal fiberoptic network, and has been able to provide a better telecom product at a lower price than Time-Warner would have without competition. Of course, instead of improving their product and services, TWC just bought off the state legislature to make sure other towns couldn't duplicate Greenlight without jumping through so many hoops as to make it infeasible.
 
2012-10-30 01:24:13 PM  

peg_leg: Mugato: Elzar: It probably cost $100/hr for some USGS web developer to spend 40 hours of dev time writing those 'warnings' - which is the way Obama wants it

Yes, web developers make $100/hour.

They don't get paid $100/hour, they COST $100/hour. You have to include employment taxes, P&E, insurances, etc. to get the cost number.


Plus, there is the cost of hiring a manager to look over the web developer's shoulder and make useful comments like "it needs more green."
 
2012-10-30 01:41:42 PM  

UNC_Samurai: elysive: Agent Smiths Laugh: Privatization works so well! That's why cell phone services are so cheap, insurance is so cheap and easy to use, utility costs are so affordable nobody goes without heat, water, and electricity. And if you get sick, medical and dental service rates are so competitive anyone can afford them!

I don't entirely disagree that privatized services can be expensive, but many of your examples are screwy. Frequently utilities are public and even private works that offer utilities or telecom are highly regulated (have you every seen the boat load of taxes on an itemized cell phone bill? you pay for the govt infrastructure that provides your telephony services). And as for the public regulation of/competition with insurance, all of the insurance costs in my household went up after Obamacare passed. While some of our insurance services became more comprehensive, the government didn't create some magical competition in the market to drive down the prices.

Because many of those services are being closely monitored and regulated, you probably aren't being price gouged. Things are just expensive and the economy sucks. Oh, and bureaucracy does drive up the cost of doing business.

My city built a municipal fiberoptic network, and has been able to provide a better telecom product at a lower price than Time-Warner would have without competition. Of course, instead of improving their product and services, TWC just bought off the state legislature to make sure other towns couldn't duplicate Greenlight without jumping through so many hoops as to make it infeasible.


I suppose it's good you have competent government employees. Here, really good and ambitious network people don't usually stick around for government pay. Ultimately it sounds like your state's problems came down to the government. If anyone should be getting exorbitant amounts of cash, it should be excellent employees, not dumbass politicians.
 
2012-10-30 01:42:23 PM  

turtleking: having dealt with FEMA for the last three years I can tell you without a doubt it could be handled better by a private company.


Yeah, everyone has a hard time picking a cable company because they just love all the options SO MUCH. Private companies with monopolies or near-monopolies make everyone happy.
 
2012-10-30 01:44:27 PM  

stampylives: turtleking: having dealt with FEMA for the last three years I can tell you without a doubt it could be handled better by a private company.

Yeah, everyone has a hard time picking a cable company because they just love all the options SO MUCH. Private companies with monopolies or near-monopolies make everyone happy.


What, you have a problem with the "License to Steal" business plan?

/no-bid license
 
2012-10-30 01:48:53 PM  

elysive: Agent Smiths Laugh: Privatization works so well! That's why cell phone services are so cheap, insurance is so cheap and easy to use, utility costs are so affordable nobody goes without heat, water, and electricity. And if you get sick, medical and dental service rates are so competitive anyone can afford them!

I don't entirely disagree that privatized services can be expensive, but many of your examples are screwy. Frequently utilities are public and even private works that offer utilities or telecom are highly regulated (have you every seen the boat load of taxes on an itemized cell phone bill? you pay for the govt infrastructure that provides your telephony services). And as for the public regulation of/competition with insurance, all of the insurance costs in my household went up after Obamacare passed. While some of our insurance services became more comprehensive, the government didn't create some magical competition in the market to drive down the prices.

Because many of those services are being closely monitored and regulated, you probably aren't being price gouged. Things are just expensive and the economy sucks. Oh, and bureaucracy does drive up the cost of doing business.


Really?
Have you seen how those executives live on your money?
And that is after they "contribute" to a reelection.

/not really having a problem with richie lifestyle, it is the loss of capital to offshore holes in the wall
 
2012-10-30 02:00:19 PM  

elysive: UNC_Samurai: elysive: Agent Smiths Laugh: Privatization works so well! That's why cell phone services are so cheap, insurance is so cheap and easy to use, utility costs are so affordable nobody goes without heat, water, and electricity. And if you get sick, medical and dental service rates are so competitive anyone can afford them!

I don't entirely disagree that privatized services can be expensive, but many of your examples are screwy. Frequently utilities are public and even private works that offer utilities or telecom are highly regulated (have you every seen the boat load of taxes on an itemized cell phone bill? you pay for the govt infrastructure that provides your telephony services). And as for the public regulation of/competition with insurance, all of the insurance costs in my household went up after Obamacare passed. While some of our insurance services became more comprehensive, the government didn't create some magical competition in the market to drive down the prices.

Because many of those services are being closely monitored and regulated, you probably aren't being price gouged. Things are just expensive and the economy sucks. Oh, and bureaucracy does drive up the cost of doing business.

My city built a municipal fiberoptic network, and has been able to provide a better telecom product at a lower price than Time-Warner would have without competition. Of course, instead of improving their product and services, TWC just bought off the state legislature to make sure other towns couldn't duplicate Greenlight without jumping through so many hoops as to make it infeasible.

I suppose it's good you have competent government employees. Here, really good and ambitious network people don't usually stick around for government pay. Ultimately it sounds like your state's problems came down to the government. If anyone should be getting exorbitant amounts of cash, it should be excellent employees, not dumbass politicians.


Which is why government jobs should pay competitive wages. If good people leave to get higher paying jobs in the private sector, then you are left with Mr. 299 out of the class of 300.
 
2012-10-30 02:00:30 PM  

theorellior: [facepalm]

Don't fark with the U.S. Geological Survey. If there's anything the Feds do that has endless multipliers though the economy, it's the USGS.


B-b-but the Invisible Hand(tm)!!!
 
2012-10-30 02:06:43 PM  

Dr Dreidel: Having worked for FEMA (Mitigation Division) for about the same amount of time, I can say that your experience is not standard.


Hot damn, no wonder you're so sexy.

And I'm guessing that person's experience is "not standard" because they're only seeing one aspect, which is probably recovery. They're not seeing mitigation or preparedness, so they think they can just sit & pout & take everything else for granted like a big spoiled baby who only got an Audi for Christmas instead of the Batmobile, like he really wanted.
 
2012-10-30 02:06:55 PM  

snocone: elysive: I don't entirely disagree that privatized services can be expensive, but many of your examples are screwy. Frequently utilities are public and even private works that offer utilities or telecom are highly regulated (have you every seen the boat load of taxes on an itemized cell phone bill? you pay for the govt infrastructure that provides your telephony services). And as for the public regulation of/competition with insurance, all of the insurance costs in my household went up after Obamacare passed. While some of our insurance services became more comprehensive, the government didn't create some magical competition in the market to drive down the prices.

Because many of those services are being closely monitored and regulated, you probably aren't being price gouged. Things are just expensive and the economy sucks. Oh, and bureaucracy does drive up the cost of doing business.

Really?
Have you seen how those executives live on your money?
And that is after they "contribute" to a reelection.

/not really having a problem with richie lifestyle, it is the loss of capital to offshore holes in the wall


I hate insurance, if you are talking about insurance execs. But no, I don't really have a huge problem with the boss or exec of a company making more than the underlings if you really want to get down to it.

Do you really think I was trying to say private industry was better? Not really. Both public and private sectors have their own pros and cons. I was simply saying that the government places limits on what a business charges people in most of those industries, so unless the regulations suck, you aren't being ass reamed beyond comprehension. My experience is sometimes I pay a little bit more for the private service but get better customer service. Sometimes it seems that the government is is hemorrhaging money (such as in the industry where I work, I have seen govt entities redo massive projects multiple times due to incompetence). It really depends on the product.

Private industry eliminates a lot of waste that is extremely common in the public sector. If you have ever worked a government job you might be familiar with the waste of which I speak. Would I have a problem with a manager coming into a place like that, eliminating the wasted time and resources and keeping a fraction of the money that he saved the company/business? Not really. It provides incentive and without incentive, you are stuck with crappy managers who often bide their time until they qualify for a pension.

If you want regulations to limit how much executives are paid, then good for you, but I expect there may be unintended consequences in those industries.
 
2012-10-30 02:09:10 PM  

StopLurkListen: Elzar: Look we all have to make tough choices - today it may be streamgages, tomorrow, wind energy or someone else's pet project. I don't like Fed rights anymore then you do, so we get what we have here on the USGS site. It probably cost $100/hr for some USGS web developer to spend 40 hours of dev time writing those 'warnings' - which is the way Obama wants it, so he gets it. This $4000 could have been spent more prudently on upgrading these streamgages - something the private sector would be all over.

Remember folks - this USGS underfunding came on Obama's watch - his administration can't even handle something a simple USGS budget. They probably even tried outsourcing it to China or Kenya.

Cool Hand Luke type parody detected


Oh thank you, Jesus! I thought I was the only one who saw this.
 
2012-10-30 02:11:04 PM  
This is stupidly simple. The states can't replace FEMA because they don't have the money and the "private sector" (greedy bloodsucking corporations) don't do anything they cant get rich off of. There is no profit in disaster relief.
 
2012-10-30 02:19:03 PM  

purple kool-aid and a jigger of formaldehyde: elysive: I suppose it's good you have competent government employees. Here, really good and ambitious network people don't usually stick around for government pay. Ultimately it sounds like your state's problems came down to the government. If anyone should be getting exorbitant amounts of cash, it should be excellent employees, not dumbass politicians.

Which is why government jobs should pay competitive wages. If good people leave to get higher paying jobs in the private sector, then you are left with Mr. 299 out of the class of 300.


I agree 100%. I believe that good govt employees have a high burn out rate because they are underpaid and often are overworked because they constantly have to pick up the slack.

macdaddy357: There is no profit in disaster relief.


THIS.
 
2012-10-30 02:21:36 PM  

Di Atribe: Dr Dreidel: Having worked for FEMA (Mitigation Division) for about the same amount of time, I can say that your experience is not standard.

Hot damn, no wonder you're so sexy.

And I'm guessing that person's experience is "not standard" because they're only seeing one aspect, which is probably recovery. They're not seeing mitigation or preparedness, so they think they can just sit & pout & take everything else for granted like a big spoiled baby who only got an Audi for Christmas instead of the Batmobile, like he really wanted.


A common problem. FEMA is not a "disaster recovery" agency. FEMA is a disaster PLANNING agency - that word "management" is right there in the title.

The way they've studied it, every dollar spent on mitigation saves $3 in recovery. For serious disasters (like, I don't know, a freak hurricane/Nor'easter that runs down 5th Avenue), IIRC the multiplier jumps to 5:1 or 10:1.

stlstreets.com 

// and your sports charts get me all hot & bothered, Ms Attribe
// if that is your real name
 
2012-10-30 02:29:46 PM  

Lando Lincoln: I agree. I'm tired of fixing up coastal states that get hit by hurricanes year after year after year. Let them pay for it themselves. Don't like it? Move inland.

I don't actually believe this anymore. I used to, when I was 20 and when I was a Republican.

Ah, to be so young and ignorant again.


Then what do you do when you run out of other peoples money?
 
2012-10-30 02:44:58 PM  
Self inflicted October Surprise. Badmouth FEMA during Hurricane season.

(Roots around in pockets for a minute)

Nope. No sympathy to give Mitt. None at all. You would have completely tanked your campaign with that. The icing on the cake is that the Hurricane plowed over 162 votes in the electoral college. And parts of Canada.
 
2012-10-30 02:46:22 PM  

Joe Blowme: Lando Lincoln: I agree. I'm tired of fixing up coastal states that get hit by hurricanes year after year after year. Let them pay for it themselves. Don't like it? Move inland.

I don't actually believe this anymore. I used to, when I was 20 and when I was a Republican.

Ah, to be so young and ignorant again.

Then what do you do when you run out of other peoples money?


Ah yes, when you identify a risk which would be catastrophic for you - say, flooding in coastal areas, tornados in the plains, earthquakes in the west, and forest fires in the south? Well that's when you look into setting up an agency which exists to coordinate resources and share best practices - so when CA isn't battling a wildfire, they can lend emergency assistance to another region, and vice versa. And you also make a commitment to each other, that when the scope of a rare but catastrophic disaster overwhelms your local resources, you will assist your neighbors so they may return to being a prosperous part of the economy, and a safe place to do business.

That was a pretty good idea you had there :)
 
2012-10-30 02:49:02 PM  
While we're at it, why not do the same thing to the armed forces? I mean, 50 Air Forces? That'd be neat, and it totally would be more efficient.
 
2012-10-30 02:50:14 PM  

Joe Blowme: Lando Lincoln: I agree. I'm tired of fixing up coastal states that get hit by hurricanes year after year after year. Let them pay for it themselves. Don't like it? Move inland.

I don't actually believe this anymore. I used to, when I was 20 and when I was a Republican.

Ah, to be so young and ignorant again.

Then what do you do when you run out of other peoples money?


Do you understand the basic concept of a society? One that has communal interests like infrastructure and defense?
 
2012-10-30 02:50:32 PM  

Drasancas: While we're at it, why not do the same thing to the armed forces? I mean, 50 Air Forces? That'd be neat, and it totally would be more efficient.


Except the Air Force wasn't in the Constitution, so there shouldn't be any Air Forces at all.
 
2012-10-30 03:06:20 PM  

Dr Dreidel: A common problem. FEMA is not a "disaster recovery" agency. FEMA is a disaster PLANNING agency - that word "management" is right there in the title.

The way they've studied it, every dollar spent on mitigation saves $3 in recovery. For serious disasters (like, I don't know, a freak hurricane/Nor'easter that runs down 5th Avenue), IIRC the multiplier jumps to 5:1 or 10:1.

stlstreets.com

// and your sports charts get me all hot & bothered, Ms Attribe
// if that is your real name


But mitigation is a hard sell since the results aren't immediately obvious, unlike the cavalry coming over the hill on white horses carrying bottled water & a bulldozer.

/degree in EM
//now let's make out
 
2012-10-30 03:06:53 PM  

Electromax: gulogulo: Elzar: Look we all have to make tough choices - today it may be streamgages, tomorrow, wind energy or someone else's pet project. I don't like Fed rights anymore then you do, so we get what we have here on the USGS site. It probably cost $100/hr for some USGS web developer to spend 40 hours of dev time writing those 'warnings' - which is the way Obama wants it, so he gets it. This $4000 could have been spent more prudently on upgrading these streamgages - something the private sector would be all over.

Remember folks - this USGS underfunding came on Obama's watch - his administration can't even handle something a simple USGS budget. They probably even tried outsourcing it to China or Kenya.

Shows just how little you understand about the importance of what the USGS does, let alone your inability to grasp why we monitor stream gages and why this cannot be handled at the state level. Goddamn, the American public is so scientifically and environmentally retarded!

Pretty much. We have bid very aggressively on some GIS projects that USGS was opening up for agricultural land use optimization and sustainability modeling, a hell of a lot cheaper than we would bid for a private entity and USGS rejected it because they didn't have the money. They've been extremely tight with money for the last several years (with reason) and they're doing a lot of "quiet" things I'd say are pretty essential to a lot of core industries especially here in the Midwest.

Anecdotal evidence for sure, but everything I've seen goes against the conventional wisdom of "omg US govt pays billion dollar contracts and there's no spending oversight wasteful wasteful waaaah" like Obama is personally approving every dollar that every one of the hundreds of thousands of USGS/USDA/etc employees request and spend. That poster above throws out a made up $4000 number then goes on to argue on the basis of it, even though I just attended a USGS 'data users conference' last week where plenty of industry analysts talked about how vital the data those agencies collect and surface on their sites is, and it's available free (funded by taxpayers). I know that the same folks will read that and make snide comments about OH GREAT HELPING BIG BUSINESS but a lot of these aren't web developers sneakily extorting $100/hour from uncle sam, they're regular dudes trying to get money to do their job. And the industry analysts have people from Monsanto and the like, but there are also small businesses like ours and individual farmers to balance out 'the little guy' side of things.

Sorry for rant but I hold USDA and USGS pretty highly as far as gov't agencies go, wonderful to work with and genuinely helpful and interested in being a service to the public good in my experience. That just doesn't make a narrative that's as good, but it boggles my mind how people dismiss them offhand when they're doing some of the best gov't work for the money out there, IMO.

/EPA, DoE not quite as nice thus far


Farkied as an intelligent person that knows his ass from a hole in the ground.

I couldn't agree more, the USGS and USDA both collect and act as a clearinghouse for an enormous amount of spatial data that anyone can use, from private contractors to cities and states.

Not going to go into too many details because privacy, but a state employee I work with recently won a grant to do some geologic mapping for a federal agency. As a state employee working for a state organization whose mandate from the legislature is specifically geologic mapping, his bid came in way under a private consultant's bid. So what does the consultant do?

Run to the press and complain that big government is stealing jobs from the little guy, of course. Then he wrote letters to the governor and secretary of the state demanding that the state government withdraw its bid on the federal contract. Keep in mind the guy wanted to charge almost $100k more to repackage federal and state data into new maps, WITHOUT doing any new fieldwork or analysis. So he was not only twice as expensive, his end product would have been nothing but repackaged data. Yet somehow his interview with the press harped on government inefficiency yadda yadda yadda.

And for those of you that think some government web developer created the USGS pages at $100/hr, I laugh at you, because you can count to potato.
 
2012-10-30 03:18:51 PM  

Di Atribe: Dr Dreidel: A common problem. FEMA is not a "disaster recovery" agency. FEMA is a disaster PLANNING agency - that word "management" is right there in the title.

The way they've studied it, every dollar spent on mitigation saves $3 in recovery. For serious disasters (like, I don't know, a freak hurricane/Nor'easter that runs down 5th Avenue), IIRC the multiplier jumps to 5:1 or 10:1.

stlstreets.com

// and your sports charts get me all hot & bothered, Ms Attribe
// if that is your real name

But mitigation is a hard sell since the results aren't immediately obvious, unlike the cavalry coming over the hill on white horses carrying bottled water & a bulldozer.

/degree in EM
//now let's make out


Sure. I mean, we're still trying to convince a huge section of the electorate that buying medical insurance is a good thing, so maybe convincing them that attaching $5 roof straps can keep it from tearing off in a hurricane is for the AP course.

// degree in Communication
// so let's discuss the terms of how we'll make out, including a socio-cultural examination of male-female arousal-based nonpenetrative sexual congress and suggestions of rhetorical appeals that may initiate the aforementioned arousal-based nonpenetrative sexual congress
 
2012-10-30 03:21:56 PM  

Di Atribe: But mitigation is a hard sell since the results aren't immediately obvious, unlike the cavalry coming over the hill on white horses carrying bottled water & a bulldozer.


Or a politician handing out a couple hundred bucks worth of "supplies" in a photo op.
 
2012-10-30 03:25:33 PM  

Dr Dreidel: Di Atribe: Dr Dreidel: A common problem. FEMA is not a "disaster recovery" agency. FEMA is a disaster PLANNING agency - that word "management" is right there in the title.

The way they've studied it, every dollar spent on mitigation saves $3 in recovery. For serious disasters (like, I don't know, a freak hurricane/Nor'easter that runs down 5th Avenue), IIRC the multiplier jumps to 5:1 or 10:1.

stlstreets.com

// and your sports charts get me all hot & bothered, Ms Attribe
// if that is your real name

But mitigation is a hard sell since the results aren't immediately obvious, unlike the cavalry coming over the hill on white horses carrying bottled water & a bulldozer.

/degree in EM
//now let's make out

Sure. I mean, we're still trying to convince a huge section of the electorate that buying medical insurance is a good thing, so maybe convincing them that attaching $5 roof straps can keep it from tearing off in a hurricane is for the AP course.

// degree in Communication
// so let's discuss the terms of how we'll make out, including a socio-cultural examination of male-female arousal-based nonpenetrative sexual congress and suggestions of rhetorical appeals that may initiate the aforementioned arousal-based nonpenetrative sexual congress


You two need to get a room already. You're making me blush.
 
2012-10-30 03:29:16 PM  

Elegy: Not going to go into too many details because privacy, but a state employee I work with recently won a grant to do some geologic mapping for a federal agency. As a state employee working for a state organization whose mandate from the legislature is specifically geologic mapping, his bid came in way under a private consultant's bid. So what does the consultant do?

Run to the press and complain that big government is stealing jobs from the little guy, of course. Then he wrote letters to the governor and secretary of the state demanding that the state government withdraw its bid on the federal contract. Keep in mind the guy wanted to charge almost $100k more to repackage federal and state data into new maps, WITHOUT doing any new fieldwork or analysis. So he was not only twice as expensive, his end product would have been nothing but repackaged data. Yet somehow his interview with the press harped on government inefficiency yadda yadda yadda.


Absolutely. I was a programmer by education but am more of a GIS and map analytics guy at my job now and it always amazes me how much money some of our competitors make just putting NASS data into a county map and charging a $2k overhead on free data for doing a 5-minute join in ArcGIS. We try to do the actual derivation or added value analyses as we're a little more oriented on solving problems/decision support than straight visualization, but in a field like GIS where there's still a relative lack of public education, there are some big companies getting fleeced on their location intelligence contracts.

Makes it all the more frustrating that our startup is still starting up 4 years later... we've spent too much time on almost pro-bono emergency management support work and not enough on exploiting deep pockets. Another case where the government agencies seem well ahead of the curve with their spatial clearinghouses you mention and the early lidar efforts starting to get underway. Privatization is great if you want to work overcharged and under-delivered.

GIS is awesome though. Knew nothing in college but it's a fascinating field to have your head in.

/obviously not always the case
 
2012-10-30 03:44:36 PM  
The federal government is not disaster insurance. Why should the flyover states have to underwrite shiat that only happens to the coasts? If individual states and the inhabitants thereof want to be covered against disaster then they should raise taxes on their own residents and pay into an insurance pool.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
 
2012-10-30 03:47:41 PM  

GranoblasticMan: Or a politician handing out a couple hundred bucks worth of "supplies" in a photo op.


Ugh. I just saw that. I don't understand how people can NOT see how badly they pander to them. One dude is off kicking ass while the other hands out shirts that say, "Obama, you're fired." Really? How much more classy can you get?

Dr Dreidel: Sure. I mean, we're still trying to convince a huge section of the electorate that buying medical insurance is a good thing, so maybe convincing them that attaching $5 roof straps can keep it from tearing off in a hurricane is for the AP course.


I find those people to be incredibly short-sighted & generally only worried about what's in their paycheck instead of how the world works around them. It truly is all about money with them.


Dr Dreidel: // so let's discuss the terms of how we'll make out, including a socio-cultural examination of male-female arousal-based nonpenetrative sexual congress and suggestions of rhetorical appeals that may initiate the aforementioned arousal-based nonpenetrative sexual congress


I don't have a degree in communications, so I'll just say that I'd let you doctor my dreidel any day.
 
2012-10-30 03:48:54 PM  

b0geyman: The federal government is not disaster insurance. Why should the flyover states have to underwrite shiat that only happens to the coasts


Oh hey, what did I just say about short-sightedness? Great example. Thanks, bro!
 
2012-10-30 03:52:15 PM  

Agent Smiths Laugh: Privatization works so well! That's why cell phone services are so cheap, insurance is so cheap and easy to use, utility costs are so affordable nobody goes without heat, water, and electricity. And if you get sick, medical and dental service rates are so competitive anyone can afford them!


Everything you listed there is heavily regulated by government at multiple levels, except maybe the dental rates. Here is a good example of something that govt has very little to do with, and it is cheaper than ever. Cosmetic plastic surgery.
 
2012-10-30 03:52:39 PM  

Holfax: Plus, there is the cost of hiring a manager to look over the web developer's shoulder and make useful comments like "it needs more green."


Oh yes, as a former developer, I can't even estimate how valuable my managers have been.
 
2012-10-30 03:53:30 PM  
CSB:

I worked for a software company during Katrina. We had been contracted to work with FEMA during emergencies. Our contract started the summer leading up to Katrina, so no, it wasn't our fault.

I spent a week at an ad hoc depot that FEMA was managing in Selma, Alabama on an old air force base. On Monday we checked in hundreds of trailers of ice, then we shipped them off for NOLA the next day. On Friday, the same hundreds of trailers were back in Selma, unused. Maybe the people in NOLA didn't need ice. Fine. But the point is, there was a lot of waste that week, and it was but one example of everything that went wrong. Part of the problem was that when a truck came in, no fewer than 5 government agencies (FEMA, Core of Engineers, DOD, DOT, State Agencies) and their contractors would all have to check the same information on the truck. I tried to get them to go with one check-in and distribute the data (hey, I was working the night shift... more sleep for everyone) but they couldn't do it. Instead, 10 people would approach the truck and capture the same data.

Water and ice sat out there unused or was driven around Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana for a week before it was shipped back to Memphis (I think) the Army CoE's cold storage facility (why in the FARK does the Army COE handle the ice???).

When I visited our commercial clients, many of whom were retailers, they had distribution centers filled with water. "Oh yeah" they all said, "we shifted our water to DCs where we could get quick access and put the water in stores ASAP as a result of the storm." Private industry reacted much better.

I don't think FEMA should be privatized. But private industry already has a better (and redundant!) distribution system. In an emergency, wouldn't it be simpler for FEMA to just order water from retailes, Pepsi, Coke, etc.? Ice too. And whatever "first responder" materials are needed? They already had the supplies and in better locations. They reacted because they saw a spike in the market. The government simply cannot react that way. So, if Wal-Mart failed to meet its contract with the government, we'd have the other retailers and suppliers who could make up the difference. The cost would be made up on in not having the huge investment (2 million SFT cold storage facilities are expensive) and having all of the staffers and contractors. States could tap into the same distribution network.

Mitt is a flip flopper. I get that. And Bush and team mismanaged Katrina.

But the merits of using market solutions to at least some of the problems associated with disasters are worth looking at.
 
2012-10-30 03:58:52 PM  
This is what what I love about the states can decide issue once a disaster hit they are all WHAR IS OUR DISASTER MONEY WHAR?! Its a bunch of bunk.

Just ask Bobby Jendial
 
2012-10-30 04:06:57 PM  

Di Atribe: Dr Dreidel: Sure. I mean, we're still trying to convince a huge section of the electorate that buying medical insurance is a good thing, so maybe convincing them that attaching $5 roof straps can keep it from tearing off in a hurricane is for the AP course.

I find those people to be incredibly short-sighted & generally only worried about what's in their paycheck instead of how the world works around them. It truly is all about money with them.


Yeah, whaddayagonnado? [homer-simpson.jpg]

I bet these same folks would rant and howl about FEMA's relocation programs, where they've moved houses or entire towns out of floodplains, as being "big-government planned-economy socialism" and even if you point out that a rain/flood that came through after the relocation (which again swamped the old area, and the new area stayed dry), they'll counter with "Muslin Kenyan Frank Marshall Davis!" They'll need to be reached one at a time, when it's their house in the crosshairs. Sigh.

Sometimes, people can't be led by the nose. (This is the same group that can't be bothered by the fact that we'd have fewer abortions if we had free birth control.) "You can lead a horticulture, but you can't make her think," or so the fella says.

Dr Dreidel: // so let's discuss the terms of how we'll make out, including a socio-cultural examination of male-female arousal-based nonpenetrative sexual congress and suggestions of rhetorical appeals that may initiate the aforementioned arousal-based nonpenetrative sexual congress

I don't have a degree in communications, so I'll just say that I'd let you doctor my dreidel any day.


And you don't even know what I look like.
 
2012-10-30 04:07:16 PM  

b0geyman: The federal government is not disaster insurance. Why should the flyover states have to underwrite shiat that only happens to the coasts? If individual states and the inhabitants thereof want to be covered against disaster then they should raise taxes on their own residents and pay into an insurance pool.


It's because we're the United States of America and not the 50 colonies. If something bad happens that overwhelms a state's individual capacity, then the other states help out via the federal government.
 
2012-10-30 04:39:13 PM  

macdaddy357: This is stupidly simple. The states can't replace FEMA because they don't have the money and the "private sector" (greedy bloodsucking corporations) don't do anything they cant get rich off of. There is no profit in disaster relief.


Take a look at the CPS reform. In Nebraska. Nothing has improved. CPS should not be for profit. Kids should not have decisions made with a balance sheet. Same with disaster recovery. I actually classify natural disasters under a national security matter, but that's only an opinion.
 
2012-10-30 04:52:12 PM  

Di Atribe: b0geyman: The federal government is not disaster insurance. Why should the flyover states have to underwrite shiat that only happens to the coasts

Oh hey, what did I just say about short-sightedness? Great example. Thanks, bro!


Great job selectively editing my post where the correct solution to the problem resides, numbnuts.

If individual states and the inhabitants thereof want to be covered against disaster then they should raise taxes on their own residents and pay into an insurance pool.

NOT doing that and relying on the bankrupt federal government to print more money to bail them out is the short-sighted strategy.
 
2012-10-30 04:53:49 PM  

Lando Lincoln: b0geyman: The federal government is not disaster insurance. Why should the flyover states have to underwrite shiat that only happens to the coasts? If individual states and the inhabitants thereof want to be covered against disaster then they should raise taxes on their own residents and pay into an insurance pool.

It's because we're the United States of America and not the 50 colonies. If something bad happens that overwhelms a state's individual capacity, then the other states help out via the federal government.


Not according to the tenth amendment to the constitution, which you have curiously deleted from the post you quoted.
 
2012-10-30 05:03:20 PM  

Aikidogamer: Kids should not have decisions made with a balance sheet.


Sweet. And if you don't want to pay to have Alice Waters be my kids' lunchlady and Landon Donovan running the JV soccer team...You Just Don't Care About The Children, You Heartless Plutocrat Bastard!

Because hey, no balance sheet, right? They should work for free.

Obviously I'm overdramatizing there but people put a value on their children, and as sentimental as we might get about our own kids, we do NOT get that sentimental about other people's kids, and so somewhere along the line that value has not only a dollar number attached to it, but also a political value.

So not only is there a balance sheet...there are two.

Regarding raising kids, there are some things you probably can't handle yourself (teaching physics). There are other things people can't handle OR don't feel like handling themselves (making a nutritious meal). And if you have an outside person or service involved, who handles that service is going to be either a political decision based in part on what your representatives say you'll pay in taxes (and based on what'll persuade you to vote for them), or a business decision based on what you feel like spending or can afford to buy.

Or some combination of both.
 
2012-10-30 05:17:03 PM  

b0geyman: Not according to the tenth amendment to the constitution, which you have curiously deleted from the post you quoted.


You don't think that disaster recovery is covered under the "ensure domestic Tranquility", "provide for the common defence" or the "promote the general Welfare" clauses?

Well, aren't you just precious.
 
2012-10-30 06:00:23 PM  

b0geyman: Great job selectively editing my post where the correct solution to the problem resides, numbnuts.


I wasn't selectively editing in an effort to edit out your "solution." I selectively edited to show the most short-sighted part of your post.


b0geyman: If individual states and the inhabitants thereof want to be covered against disaster then they should raise taxes on their own residents and pay into an insurance pool.


OK. So this is your solution? Because it won't work. Let's take Katrina. Disastrous hurricane hits Louisiana & Mississippi. Residents evacuate. Most of NOLA evacuees end up in Houston. Let's say in your scenario, Texas has paid their insurance, while Louisiana has blown their insurance money on hookers & booze. Now the burden is on Texas to take care of these Louisiana residents, regardless of who paid what. We can't just put them up in the Astrodome forever (actually, we probably could, but that's not important right now).

However, out here in the real world, we have a federal agency who employs professionals to handle such a situation. An agency who helps out no matter where you are. No matter if Louisiana paid $20 and Texas paid $20,000. Because helping people who have been in a disaster is beneficial to all of us. If you need me to outline why, then just let me know. However, I don't think it's a difficult concept. I mean, for those who aren't short-sighted, that is.

theorellior: You don't think that disaster recovery is covered under the "ensure domestic Tranquility", "provide for the common defence" or the "promote the general Welfare" clauses?


Also, I can't THIS this enough.
 
2012-10-30 06:02:16 PM  

Dr Dreidel: And you don't even know what I look like.


Like it even matters at this point
 
2012-10-30 08:15:30 PM  

b0geyman: Di Atribe: b0geyman: The federal government is not disaster insurance. Why should the flyover states have to underwrite shiat that only happens to the coasts

Oh hey, what did I just say about short-sightedness? Great example. Thanks, bro!

Great job selectively editing my post where the correct solution to the problem resides, numbnuts.

If individual states and the inhabitants thereof want to be covered against disaster then they should raise taxes on their own residents and pay into an insurance pool.

NOT doing that and relying on the bankrupt federal government to print more money to bail them out is the short-sighted strategy.


---

Yeah, because all natural disasters respect state boundaries. And in the 1% chance that they don't, state governments work together harmoniously and everything just clicks when a massive natural disaster occurs.

//Give me a farking break. We have a strong federal government for a reason. Otherwise we'll just be a bunch of states constantly engaged in political in-fighting. Just look at the Eurozone right now.
 
2012-10-30 08:28:55 PM  

b0geyman: The federal government is not disaster insurance. Why should the flyover states have to underwrite shiat that only happens to the coasts? If individual states and the inhabitants thereof want to be covered against disaster then they should raise taxes on their own residents and pay into an insurance pool.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.


This. What libtards don't understand is that we are a farking republic, and the reasoning behind this is pretty simple, so that there is no consolidation of power. You make exceptions for one thing, you set precedent for the next. Look at the ridiculous amount of power Obama has given himself. The right to execute American citizens by drone strike? All of these czars? Sealing Fast and Furious documents from congress, continuing the Patriot Act etc, etc. Not saying that Bush and Clinton didn't do their own part but we need to at least give Romney a chance because at the very least he hasn't proven that he will trample all over the constitution to get what he wants like Obama has.
 
2012-10-30 08:56:09 PM  
Before we give Mitt too hard a time, it's worth noting that the federal government gave the Red Cross a gorram charter to do disaster-relief stuff.

So, in other words, the feds themselves seem to generally approve of the idea of letting private organizations take care of these things.
 
2012-10-31 12:08:01 AM  
Ah, Katrina photos that supposedly are to teach us how important FEMA is, when they actually should be teaching us how important electing competent state and city officials are.

FEMA didn't leave the schoolbusses to flood. Some local/state agency did. Blame them, not FEMA.


FEMA did spend 416,000 per capita to temporarily house people after Katrina, and the housing they put up wasn't up to snuff, but I am sure they will work better now.

And of course, the private sector is extremely fast in an emergency. anyone here biatching about Walmart or Home Depot's service? No, because they have a great motive to serve people: money.

ZERO.
 
2012-10-31 12:45:31 AM  

bdub77: Mitt Romney is an ass of epic proportions.


Constitution of the United States of America, 10th Amendment thereto --

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.


/done
 
2012-10-31 01:24:05 AM  

Dr Dreidel: The goal of government - especially as relates to disaster planning/recovery - is not to maximize revenue, it's to provide for its citizens.
The goal of government - especially as relates to disaster planning/recovery - is not to maximize revenue, it's to provide for its citizens.
The goal of government - especially as relates to disaster planning/recovery - is not to maximize revenue, it's to provide for its citizens.
The goal of government - especially as relates to disaster planning/recovery - is NOT to maximize revenue, it's to provide for its CITIZENS.


This goes for almost ALL government services we pay taxes for at all lavels, and cannot be repeated enough for the farking dickheads who don't get it.
 
2012-10-31 01:45:13 AM  
Always nice to add a new troll to the farky list.
 
2012-10-31 01:53:05 AM  

elysive: A
Because many of those services are being closely monitored and regulated, you probably aren't being price gouged. Things are just expensive and the economy sucks. Oh, and bureaucracy does drive up the cost of doing business.


Here's an idea - instead of whining like a little crybaby about the evil boogyman called "bureaucracy" and his equally evil cousin "red tape", why not just do what you're supposed to do in the first place?
If there's a regulation that makes it so that an insurance company doesn't fark people over for pre-existing conditions, why not... refuse to fark them over for pre-existing conditions? If there's some evil regulation that restaurant bathrooms must be handicap accessible, why not just... make the bathrooms handicap accessible?

See how easy that is? Most of us, at least those with any home training whatsoever, know what is right and what is wrong. Unfortunately, the more money people make the less likely they are to listen to that inner voice which tells them "this isn't right".

See, if you look at most regulations that businesses have to deal with, including insurance companies, utility companies, cell phone and internet companies, banks and the like, you will see the reasons for those regulations written right into the regulation itself. They are to make sure that these businesses do what they are supposed to be doing in the first place but don't because doing the right thing to do would eat into their profits.

And yes, we still are being gouged, though not as deeply as if there were no regulations. This is because corporations have more of a hand in writing these regulations than ever before, with former legislators lobbying for them in DC and on the local level every single day, and present legislators being promised fat jobs as lobbyists when their terms end. There are plenty of loopholes and get-arounds they use, because they wrote the the loopholes and get-arounds, and this is why they continue to make gajillions in profits in spite of all the "regulations" and "monitoring".
 
2012-10-31 03:41:22 AM  
rewind2846: You make some valid points, but the issue here is that the government should be a referee to make sure there is an even playing field so that no one can profit more than anyone else by doing an injustice towards someone or cutting corners or creating monopoly. Our government inevitably fixes the game, gives unsportsman like conduct penalties to its enemies and extra points to its friends.

There is a free market counter argument that is equally as simple. If you don't like a restaurant not being handicap accessible, don't eat there. If you don't agree with a Catholic hospital not giving you birth control, don't go there. If a product harms you, sue the company. Of course there are certain situations such as the pre-existing medical condition problem, but I don't think anyone in their right mind is asking for a completely free market, just a more sensible system that is easier to understand for the businesses and the consumers and limits the power that government has over certain industries (look at the coal industry's raping by the hands of Obama)
 
2012-10-31 12:20:03 PM  

rewind2846: elysive: Because many of those services are being closely monitored and regulated, you probably aren't being price gouged. Things are just expensive and the economy sucks. Oh, and bureaucracy does drive up the cost of doing business.

Here's an idea - instead of whining like a little crybaby about the evil boogyman called "bureaucracy" and his equally evil cousin "red tape", why not just do what you're supposed to do in the first place?
If there's a regulation that makes it so that an insurance company doesn't fark people over for pre-existing conditions, why not... refuse to fark them over for pre-existing conditions? If there's some evil regulation that restaurant bathrooms must be handicap accessible, why not just... make the bathrooms handicap accessible?

See how easy that is? Most of us, at least those with any home training whatsoever, know what is right and what is wrong. Unfortunately, the more money people make the less likely they are to listen to that inner voice which tells them "this isn't right".

See, if you look at most regulations that businesses have to deal with, including insurance companies, utility companies, cell phone and internet companies, banks and the like, you will see the reasons for those regulations written right into the regulation itself. They are to make sure that these businesses do what they are supposed to be doing in the first place but don't because doing the right thing to do would eat into their profits.

And yes, we still are being gouged, though not as deeply as if there were no regulations. This is because corporations have more of a hand in writing these regulations than ever before, with former legislators lobbying for them in DC and on the local level every single day, and present legislators being promised fat jobs as lobbyists when their terms end. There are plenty of loopholes and get-arounds they use, because they wrote the the loopholes and get-arounds, and this is why they continue to make gajillions in profit ...


So are you saying the problem is or isn't with the government? It seems to me that the modern lobbying and padding politicians' pockets should just be illegal. I thought price fixing was illegal or else companies like insurers would be competing for our business. I know I did price comparisons when shopping for health insurance and we shopped around for car insurance. Never felt that gouged or pressured into a specific price. The only time I felt a captive audience was with our utilities...where I believe pricing is more heavily regulated anyway.

I do understand why insurers have used the pre-existing conditions thing...I truly do. It's like getting into a car accident and calling to buy car insurance while sitting in the wreckage. If you know you have repairs that need fixin' before you buy the coverage, your risk and cost to the insurer goes up substantially.

That said, changing insurers is such a pain in the ass. I moved states and quit my job and HAD to get new insurance, but one insurer wanted to deny me prescription coverage altogether because I had used prescription coverage too much in the past and one insurer wanted to deny me all mental health coverage. Both of those are ridiculous. For instance if a person is depressed in the past, do you think it is acceptable that an insurance company can or should remove their future safety net because mental health coverage represents a cost to them? And can anyone afford to buy medication out of pocket? It seems unfair and maybe dangerous to me, but I recognize that insurance is a business and they are balancing the real and present costs of doing business. The problem I had was I couldn't just offer to pay more for these services and every company I went to seemed to have some bizarre condition. So I appreciate Obamacare regulations...but I probably do cash in a lot of my premiums in prescription benefits, so maybe that one insurance company was onto something.

If I don't go through a private provider then it becomes my tax dollars that are absorbing the cost of a poorly managed service. The customer/taxpayer pays either way.

And when I mentioned bureaucracy, I didn't mean "zomg I have to follow the rules?" I meant filling out forms every time you need to wipe your ass. When rules become that convoluted in offices they often hire extra people just to fill out paperwork or they just increase prices to cover worker overtime. I worked in a place where they did not hire extra people and it was a clusterfark. I got to work overtime for no extra pay and then I quit. Woohoo!

I'm sure that most businesses with customers will happily make themselves handicap accessible and will raise prices (or do tax write offs) if they must do so to afford the upgrade. I don't recall complaining about regulations. The only difference is when a private business does something like this, you pay through price increases. When the public builds a handicap ramp, your tax dollars pay. When politicians do stupid things, your tax dollars pay. At least the private business owner is not compelled to drive his customers away with price hikes unless absolutely necessary.
 
2012-10-31 01:41:24 PM  
I'm seriously sick of Mitt & every other GREEDY Republican's SELFISH hatred of every beneficial good-will program.
As if the world is some limited sum game where if someone else is benefiting then THEY must be losing out somehow.
It's like they can do NOTHING but think of THEMSELVES, and oppose anything that helps OTHER people.

The GOP's motto should be; "Why think FOR yourself, when you can just think OF yourself."
 
2012-11-01 01:24:36 AM  

elysive: And when I mentioned bureaucracy, I didn't mean "zomg I have to follow the rules?" I meant filling out forms every time you need to wipe your ass. When rules become that convoluted in offices they often hire extra people just to fill out paperwork or they just increase prices to cover worker overtime. I worked in a place where they did not hire extra people and it was a clusterfark. I got to work overtime for no extra pay and then I quit. Woohoo!



Which goes back to my original premise... why do the regulations exist in the first place? Is it because some politician woke up one bright and early morning, reached deeply into his/her gaping anus, and pulled out a steaming pile of regulations? I know that's what some people who believe that nothing should be regulated, as least if that nothing has anything to do with them or what they want to do, but that is not the case.
Regulations, laws and other government and societal constructs exist for one reason: somebody farked up.

A good example - traffic laws that don't permit people to drive through red lights. Reason for those laws: obvious. People can die if they aren't obeyed, and people did die before they were enacted. They farked up, and new laws were written to make the fark-ups fewer and further between.

Another good example: pollution regulations. Wasn't too long ago (less than 50 years) that factories poured millions of gallons of who-knows-what-the-fark into lakes, streams, the ocean, even into underground aquifers and pits under suburbs and housing developments. Whole neighborhoods and towns became unlivable, dozens of people developed cancers and other diseases on just one block, and some areas still haven't been cleaned up - and may never be - well enough for people to be allowed to even WALK on the ground there, lest they take those poisons out on their shoes.
Got so bad a whole new agency had to be formed, the EPA (by a republican president!) to put a stop to it. Even today there are STILL companies that do this dumb sh*t, even though it's been outlawed for decades.
They farked up, and new laws were written.

If you want to gripe about regulations being too "convoluted", blame lawyers for this. They are one of the biggest reasons why bills and laws like ACH are so long... because for every bill, law, rule, regulation or even suggestion, there will be a lawyer somewhere going over every word, every paragraph, every period trying to find a loophole so their client doesn't have to follow that bill, law, rule, regulation or even suggestion. Every eventuality and "what if?" must be covered, and in excruciating detail, so that the weasels can't destroy it because of a missing apostrophe on page 469, paragraph B, sub-paragraph G.

This also is why tax forms can sometimes be complicated... they need to cover any and all "what if's?" that people have in their lives which deal with money, and there are many, many, many different circumstances. Tax lawyers will find the holes. It's their job.
To cover everyone you can either have a few forms with many possible answers, or many many many forms with simple answers. Which do you think will cost more?
 
2012-11-01 11:46:49 AM  

rewind2846: elysive: And when I mentioned bureaucracy, I didn't mean "zomg I have to follow the rules?" I meant filling out forms every time you need to wipe your ass. When rules become that convoluted in offices they often hire extra people just to fill out paperwork or they just increase prices to cover worker overtime. I worked in a place where they did not hire extra people and it was a clusterfark. I got to work overtime for no extra pay and then I quit. Woohoo!

Which goes back to my original premise... why do the regulations exist in the first place? Is it because some politician woke up one bright and early morning, reached deeply into his/her gaping anus, and pulled out a steaming pile of regulations? I know that's what some people who believe that nothing should be regulated, as least if that nothing has anything to do with them or what they want to do, but that is not the case.
Regulations, laws and other government and societal constructs exist for one reason: somebody farked up.

A good example - traffic laws that don't permit people to drive through red lights. Reason for those laws: obvious. People can die if they aren't obeyed, and people did die before they were enacted. They farked up, and new laws were written to make the fark-ups fewer and further between.

Another good example: pollution regulations. Wasn't too long ago (less than 50 years) that factories poured millions of gallons of who-knows-what-the-fark into lakes, streams, the ocean, even into underground aquifers and pits under suburbs and housing developments. Whole neighborhoods and towns became unlivable, dozens of people developed cancers and other diseases on just one block, and some areas still haven't been cleaned up - and may never be - well enough for people to be allowed to even WALK on the ground there, lest they take those poisons out on their shoes.
Got so bad a whole new agency had to be formed, the EPA (by a republican president!) to put a stop to it. Even today there are STILL compan ...


I have no problems with the existence of most rules, laws, regulations or the other and I wasn't complaining about regulations on these industries (yet you still seem to be going at me like I'm an evil adversary)...but are you seriously defending lawyers and the gaping anuses of our grand politicians? One can be okay with the existence of laws without agreeing with every implementation thereof and seriously...there are plenty of stupid implementations! For instance, I am okay with red lights and even yellow lights, but when cities use traffic studies to tune their yellow light times to hand out more tickets rather than increase public safety, then they are being jackasses and aren't following the spirit of the law. Red lights are no longer about "someone farking up", they are about revenue and making paper. Sorry to burst your bubble.

And I never defended companies who polluted shiat (nor did I ever defend any company's outright wrongdoing against the public). It's just that a company filling out a form stating that they disposed of waste in a safe/alternative way does not guarantee that they aren't still abusing the environment. Unethical people aren't suddenly going to become ethical when completing official paperwork. People can lie all day on their paperwork. Companies do it. Cops lie in their reports. I've seen government employees lie on forms about having completed things when they were too lazy to actually do the tasks. There's nothing new about lying. But the more paperwork you give people that is irrelevant to actually accomplishing their assigned tasks, the more I believe you see people BS'ing it. I even hated filling out the eight forms I had to fill out going to a new eye doctor and the three forms I had to fill out returning to my ob/gyn this year and I had to resist skimming the forms. I know some of those forms are for safety but most are because they don't want to get sued...so I'll ask again. You really want to defend lawyers??? Maybe you aren't, but I can't tell if lawyers help write law in your mind. Btw, I didn't know you had to be a lawyer to read and find a way to cheat.

So the guiding message of your post seems to be that all private businesses are evil, politicians are all good and we should be thankful for even the most idiotic laws enacted to counter malicious acts of individuals. Bureaucracy will cure the moral ills of the private sector.
 
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