Disaster Preparedness

I want to follow up on something that I mentioned last night and that Charles wrote about as well: The offensive attack Bobby Jindal and the Republican Party made on disaster preparedness during his response to Barack Obama's address to Congress.

I grew up in Portland, Oregon, about 50 miles from Mount Hood, an 11,249-foot volcano that has been active in the past few hundred years, and only about 75 miles from Mount St. Helens, the eruption of which led to dozens of fatalities not even 30 years ago. Most of my family still lives in Portland, and I am in the city on a fairly regular basis. In the event that Hood, St. Helens, or any other volcano in the region were to blow, I would most certainly want the federal government to have done all it could on the detection front so that my family had ample warning to get to safety. Do Bobby Jindal and the Republican Party begrudge me that?

At present, I live in Berkeley, California, which is nearly constantly experiencing earthquakes. It has been just two decades since an earthquake killed 69 people in the region, and just a century since another earthquake killed more than 3,000 people. By the logic presented by Bobby Jindal last night in the official Republican response to President Obama's address, should I and the millions living in the Bay Area not have the latest detection technology to ensure our safety?

And it goes beyond volcano or earthquake detection. Should the people in the Plains states not be protected by the latest in meteorological technology to alert them in the case of a twister or a dust storm? Should the people in the Rockies not be enabled to detect avalanches? Should the people in the Gulf Coast -- including the residents of Bobby Jindal's own state of Louisiana -- not have the resources to track major hurricanes?

Disaster detection is no joke, and Bobby Jindal and the Republican Party ought to know better than to play politics with people's lives.

Tags: Bobby Jindal, natural disasters (all tags)



Re: Disaster Preparedness

The Cascades' volcanoes are daunting enough, but they're not the only volcanic threat to the Lower 48.

The biggest threat is Yellowstone National Park, which is actually a giant volcano known as the Yellowstone Caldera. God help us all when this one blows because when it does, everyone east of Yellowstone will be buried in ash. (Not that this will be the first national and international disaster to come out of Wyoming.)

Welcome to the major leagues, Bobby. Don't let the door hit you in the ass...

by Railfan 2009-02-25 07:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Disaster Preparedness

Not that this will be the first national and international disaster to come out of Wyoming.

Very true, how can one forget Cheney, the mother of all disasters?

by Charles Lemos 2009-02-25 09:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Disaster Preparedness

Indeed, but no one should forget Darth Cheney. Remembering increases the probability that we never elect someone like him again.

by Railfan 2009-02-25 10:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Disaster Preparedness

Krugman: "the political philosophy of the GOP right now seems to consist of snickering at stuff that they think sounds funny. The party of ideas has become the party of Beavis and Butthead."

Krugman was responding to what Jindal said about volcano detection, and he's exactly right.  All they've got left is finding stuff in Democratic bills that sounds funny, and publicly snickering at it.

If this were the summer of 2001, when the big stories were shark attacks and Chandra Levy, that sort of triviality might work as a political play.  But by playing this sort of game now, they're not only digging their own grave, but stepping in it and dragging the dirt down on top of themselves.

Maybe we can loan them some more shovels. :-)

by RT 2009-02-25 07:58AM | 0 recs
Not only the party of Beavis and Butthead

But the Republicans are more the party of Idiocracy, an even MORE relevant work by Mike Judge (creator of B&B)


Anyone that wants to see the future of America if the home-schooling right wing loonies with their anti-science anti intellectual elite mantra were ever to gain complete control of the US..

by WashStateBlue 2009-02-25 08:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Disaster Preparedness

Of course the Republicans begrudge you preparedness! You are just a pinko commie hippy loving f*g so you are beyond consideration! Berkeley! Sheesh....


by lowly grunt 2009-02-25 08:00AM | 0 recs
Or As Paul Krugman Put It:

Why bother having an army?  Why not just count on volunteer armed citizens to protect us all?

by kaleidescope 2009-02-25 08:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Disaster Preparedness

god, what a disaster, jindal looks like a total douchebag, and the public is openly contemptuos of them.

talk about a pr failure

by theninjagoddess 2009-02-25 08:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Disaster Preparedness

If you are serious about disaster preparedness, I heartily recommend the Zombie Squad.

No, seriously.

From their website:

Zombie Squad is an elite zombie suppression task force ready to defend your neighborhood from the shambling hordes of the walking dead. We provide trained, motivated, skilled zombie extermination professionals and zombie survival consultants. Our people and our training are the best in the industry.

When the zombie removal business is slow we focus our efforts towards educating ourselves and our community about the importance of disaster preparation.

To satisfy this goal we host disaster relief charity fundraisers, disaster preparation seminars and volunteer our time towards emergency response agencies.

Our goal is to educate the public about the importance of personal preparedness and self reliance, to increase its readiness to respond to disasters such as Earthquakes, Floods, Terrorism or Zombie Outbreaks. We want to make sure you are prepared for any crisis situation that might come along in your daily life which may include having your face eaten by the formerly deceased.

by pneuma 2009-02-25 09:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Disaster Preparedness

Yeah, I am from Colombia which has 15 active or dormant volcanoes. They are things of beauty. From my school as a boy I could look out and see the Nevado del Huila towering 18,000 feet with its snow pack glistening. In 1985, Colombia learned the dangers of not keeping close tabs on its volcanoes. The Nevado del Ruiz erupted melting its snow cap and sending a lahar, a mudflow, down its flanks. It buried 25,000 people in the town of Armero. It was the largest death toll from a volcano since Kraktoa erupted in 1880s. Pasto, a provincial capital, lies under the very active Galeras. A few years ago a number of scientists were killed with a gas release. Monitoring the volcanoes in the Aluetians is important because just above all US-Asia air traffic overflies the region. A volcano blows and airliners can tumble out of the sky. Volcanoes are majestic and deadly.

Now here's what gets me. To write my little post last took 15 minutes. All I had to do was google USGS volcano monitoring to ascertain the few facts required. Is the GOP this lazy and intellectually uncurious? Or they prefer to be simply stupid? And doesn't it make sense that it you are going to attack a Federal program that you look up what it does before you derisively attack it?

My question from last night is valid. How can you trust the GOP with our lives when they can't even do 15 minutes of research?

by Charles Lemos 2009-02-25 09:32AM | 0 recs
I have to wonder

how many people reviewed the draft of Jindal's remarks. Who would think it's a good idea to make fun of volcano monitoring?

by desmoinesdem 2009-02-25 11:32AM | 0 recs
I thought that as well....

But either they are that tone-deaf, or, as been suggested, they literally ONLY care about the base for now.  

If you look on the electoral map, it's mostly blue states with volcanos and earthquake possibilities?

That's probably a good strategy for those jockeying for national positioning, as clearly Jindal is wont to do.

The second part of the strategy, after holding the base is, Obama HAS to fail. They have to be counting on we are still mired in terrible economic or worse times, cause the base is not enough anymore, as Obama proved in 2008.

But, even then, I think Jindal did himself a lot of harm last night.

I can't even see him as a potential VP anymore, he seemed like an mirror-evil Mr. Rogers...

"Can you say Big Spending Liberal? I knew you could..."

The base may like being talked to like third graders by a condescending dickhead, but not sure he is going to win the swing vote with that persona.

by WashStateBlue 2009-02-25 11:56AM | 0 recs
He doesn't hate science

He hates US. He, like the Republican Party and their core supporters hate the "Left Coast". I even know of some rare conservatives in SF who hate the Coast (why they are here I have no idea). Volcanoes are easy to snicker at when your party is reduced to mostly a part of the country where they do not exist. And if the SF Bay Area was flattened by a "big one", they will be dancing on our graves.

by RandyMI 2009-02-25 12:17PM | 0 recs


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