WTF 1/31

 

Danger Zone…

I recently read an article where it reported the Philippine defense secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that villages in a danger zone around erupting Mount Mayon should be turned into a permanent “no man’s land.” The reason being that every time the active volcano erupted it meant the country had to evacuate thousands of residents.

For instance, in the Mount Mayon’s recent two-week eruption, 80,000 villagers were displaced. Putting aside the most important part of the equation… people’s lives… the cost of committing resources… human and materials… will be enormous and if those assets could be utilized in a much better manner elsewhere… like keeping up the infrastructure of the country… or simply kept in reserve for a time when needed to alleviate the results of other catastrophes or natural disasters the country would be much better served.

It is being said the idea to create that danger zone is complicated and that is more than likely a fact. Nothing is ever as simple or uncomplicated as when it is first proposed. And, in this situation the biggest complication will be moving the people who have been living there for many years now. For generations these impoverished folks have eked out an existence from the farms they have developed on the land, which most people have shunned, for enough food for a subsistence level life for their families. Now the Philippine government would need to find a suitable area where these people could be moved and where suitable housing could be erected as well as enough arable land provided so they could continue to farm for their food.

Still, Mount Mayon has been belching red-hot lava with columns of ash and molten rocks into the sky and that, for multiple and obvious reasons, is not a favorable situation for anyone… the people who live there, as well as the Philippine government needing to deal with the logistics of taking care of those that live there who are in in harm’s way and then having to deal with the aftermath after the volcano is done… for the time being… spewing its molten rock and deadly gases.

Me?

I think this is a very sage idea.

Creating danger zones that would not allow people to inhabit or live in those areas that were consistently, if not constantly, subjected, to mass destruction because of an ongoing dangerous, and very unpredictable, natural occurrence.

Hurricane Sandy… aftermath in Seaside, New Jersey

So much so, that I would like to see some geographical areas in the United States be declared off limits to anyone wishing to build habitats, whether for year-round homes or the so-called ubiquitous vacation homes that seem to be everywhere lately and are sometimes being built within inches of one another. Yep. Declare certain geographical areas, that have been and will most probably be in the future subjected to a natural weather phenomenon that will cause mass destruction of all property and put people’s lives in immediate danger, danger zones where no one will be allowed to live or build.

I am specifically thinking of all the times that hurricanes and the resulting very high tides that result in extreme flooding have caused almost inestimable damage and cost the lives of many people.

The obvious cost in manpower, time and material expenditures to confront all the possibilities that may arise during the storm… mostly protecting and saving people’s lives… as well as the cost to clean up after the storm and quite possibly to go into the areas of devastation and perform any search and rescue operations that may still be required is itself in the billions of dollars. As well as the need to bring relief and needed comfort to the people left without homes and quite possibly without any food, clean and drinkable water or material goods to help them in their day to day existence.

Then in the aftermath of all of this is not only the necessary cost to the government… local, state and eventually federal… to protect and safeguard people’s lives but there is the cost of helping these people to rebuild their homes that were destroyed. It is not a law that government must help people rebuild their lives but without a doubt, at least in my memory, has the government ever outright refused to commit very large sums of tax payer money to help people who had home and property devastated or destroyed in floods caused by hurricanes on the shorelines of states up and down the east cost of the United States as well as along the gulf coast.

But…

How intelligent is it to continue to allow people to build a home and then watch it get washed away, then rebuild and after some time it might get washed away once more and then either in their lifetime or their heir’s lifetime the entire process occurs all over again?

Get the idea?

Once would be an outlier. Twice a coincidence. More than that and in a relative short time span? It is just plain dumb to continue to rebuild and allow people to live in what obviously is a danger zone. Or should be relegated into being a danger zone where no one should be allowed to build and then live.

Hurricane Sandy damage

Fact: Hurricane Katrina cost $108 billion. Insurance covered $80 billion of the losses. Flooding in New Orleans caused half the damage. It destroyed or rendered uninhabitable 300,000 homes. It left in its wake 118 million cubic yards of debris.

Fact: Hurricane Sandy did $71.5 billion in economic damage and at least 650,000 homes were lost.  Storm surges were massive: 8 1/2 feet higher than normal at Sandy Hook, New Jersey, and 12 1/2 feet at Kings Point, Long Island.

Sandy was dubbed Frankenstorm because of an amazing once in a lifetime confluence of weather events that caused it to be as severe as it ultimately happened to be.

Or was it? …

This year alone we had one fo the most devastating hurricane seasons in maybe forever…

Hurricane Harvey… caused massive flooding in the Houston, Texas area… it cost $180 billion and killed 70 people.

Hurricane Irma…  most of the damage occurred after it hit Florida with sustained winds of 115 to 130 mph and resulting severe flooding… it cost $100 billion and an unofficial total of 101 were left dead.

In all there were seventeen named storms, 10 hurricanes, and 6 major (Category 3 or stronger) hurricanes that tore through the Atlantic Basin and either hit the United States coast or if a storm missed the country totally still caused massive flood tides that affected various coastal areas severely.

The cost of these storms was an unofficial total of $200 billion. It was expected, when all was said and done, expected to be much higher.relief efforts are still ongoing in many effected areas.

Some of the coastal flood damage was rare and unavoidable. Other areas were places that have been historically hit by flooding and there really isn’t much that can be done to stop the areas from being effected  by floods from storms in the future… except total evacuation and then the creation of danger zones that eliminate any humans living in the areas.

No one should ever be allowed to build on any shoreline or beach area that is consistently endangered by flood tides due to storms or hurricanes. If they do the government…  especially the federal government who will ultimately pay for the costs… will no longer bail them out when flood tides come in and wash away their homes into thousands and thousands of pieces of driftwood or flotsam.

How many times should someone be allowed to build a home on a beach front that has already been subjected to horrific floods?

It is worth remembering that Mother Nature never intended for us to live in certain areas…

The federal government should give anyone living in these beach side homes fair market value and then render them every reasonable assistance they can to help them find some suitable living quarters nearby BUT decidedly away from the beach front. All beach property will henceforth be transitioned into bird and wild life sanctuaries. Someone wants to come and visit a beach? Fine. Use it where appropriate for sun bathing or swimming? That’s cool.

Living there and then expecting we the people to bail them out every time there is catastrophic flood?

Fergeddaboudit.

But what if someone is rich and signs a contract or a promise that in the event of a catastrophe where their home is destroyed that they would assume all costs to rebuild and they would absolve the government of all responsibility to render them any help in any reclamation of their beach front land or in absorbing any of the costs of a rebuild.

Great! Just what we need… another freaking elitist rich people zone in this country.

The answer is an emphatic take your money and go build your elaborate beachside summer home elsewhere.

Simply, I propose putting the no vacant land into the aforementioned sanctuary. People can visit and see nature unfold and develop in all its magnificent glory and the fauna and the flora of the area will have a place where it can flourish uninhibited from its worst enemy….  us. We the human beings.

Landscape with Snow… not available

A golden throne…

According to the Washington Post, the White House asked the Guggenheim  Museum if the Trumpty Dumpty family could “borrow” a Vincent Van Gogh painting titled “Landscape with Snow.”

The Post says that the museum’s curator… Nancy Spector… said the Guggenheim could not grant the request from the White House. However…

Spector sent the White House an email that said in part… “The curator’s alternative: an 18-karat, fully functioning, solid gold toilet … an interactive work entitled ‘America’ that critics have described as pointed satire aimed at the excess of wealth in this country.”

A golden throne is offered instead…

Spector told the Post that “America” was placed for public use at the Guggenheim for a year, but the exhibit has closed and the toilet is available. Spector also added that the artist Maurizio Cattelan said he would be more than willing to offer the sculpture to the Trumps as a “long-term loan.”

I have a place for it to be installed… right behind that big honking desk that Trumpty sits behind in the Oval Office. With the shit that flows from his mouth I think it would be very appropriate for him to sit his ass on a golden throne.

Excuse me?

On January 14, a dude gets shot by some unknown assailant while in his car in Cleveland multiple times and somehow manages across the street over the city line into Euclid. Cops respond and find him lying on the ground screaming for help.

All of this can be seen and heard on video that was newly released by the Cleveland PD.

After Cleveland PD arrives, the man in obvious agony is heard saying, “Please take me to the hospital.”

A cop is then heard saying, “They got EMS coming but they’re coming from South Euclid. Can we see if one of our guys can come over here a little faster?”

The victim can be heard still screaming as police are trying to get assistance from Cleveland EMS.

Then another cop is heard saying, “Our EMS won’t come. Their EMS is coming from South Euclid. That’s why I asked if they would come over here.”

Another says, “They won’t come because it’s in your city. (Assumedly Euclid PD is also now on the scene) Even though it’s our victim they won’t come.”

Long story short… cops eventually took matters into their own hands and rushed the seriously wounded man to a nearby hospital. Nothing in the story I read says which PD force did what but I am assuming the Cleveland PD force were the ones who transported the dude.

The good news out of all of this… The guy survived the shooting, but at the time the story was printed his condition was not known.

Authorities were later told by hospital personnel that that the victim was shot 16 times, including multiple wounds in the chest, the right knee, the right shoulder, the right hand, the left knee and the left foot.

According to Cleveland.com, the city of Cleveland is investigating whether rules were violated.

EX-FUCKING-CUSE ME!?

If rules were violated?

I don’t care what the damn rules were, the man was shot multiple times… sixteen in all. He was screaming in agony for assistance. And some damn EMS fucking peeps decided, “Oh, sorry… he is across the street in another city that we don’t service. We can’t respond.
“But he was shot in Cleveland. He is our responsibility.”

“He’s in Euclid now. He is not our responsibility. Not anymore. Sorry

Fuck you people. You need to go out and get another damn job. In fact, any EMS “person” involved in this sad example of man’s inhumanity to man should be told “You are canned.”

Gone. Finito.  You are not doing the job that you were hired to do.

If they got a union… and believe me I am a big union guy. I believe in the need for unions… but in this case even if they got a union the City of Cleveland needs to have some big balls and say we are fighting you all the way on this, if the union tries defending these pukes who failed to help a mortally wounded human being lying bleeding on the ground screaming for help.

Simply put… I find this entire story shocking and completely unbelievable. I also find it a sorry sad piss poor vision of what our world is sometimes being… becoming. A selfish half assed fucked up place where people think of themselves and what they are required to do versus what they should do and sometimes need to do as fellow human beans travelling in world where there are sometimes those who are less fortunate and need a helping hand…

like some damn person laying on the ground bleeding from sixteen gunshot holes.

Inescapable network of mutuality

After that last story it may sound like I might be a tad sad and forlorn about the condition of our society and the direction it is headed. And, yep, I am. Sometimes. Sometimes all too often I am.

I am in the habit of rising about 5:30 every work day morning. Monday through Friday. And, the first thing I do is get dressed and then go walk my dog who is anxiously yipping and yapping… let’s go dad! Damn it I gotta peeeee!

It’s dark outside, so I have a leash that I use when I walk him that is illuminated along its entire six-foot length. It’s very visible. In fact, I have two leashes that I switch off using. One is dayglo orange; the other a day lo yellow.

Anyway…

This other morning I was walking my dog around our very long suburban block… hell gotta be longer than a football field on one side of the block… I came to the one street on the block that is used by peeps going to work, or wherever, and one of the commuters slowed and came to stop near me and Scamper. Immediately, my mind thought… what now?

A very polite voice, lightly Spanish accented voice, said… excuse me. I see you walk your dog every morning and I thought maybe this would help so that people driving by would be able to see you better.

She got out of her car and showed me one of those very brightly colored yellow vests that you see many people wearing when they are out directing traffic… working on the streets… or… even in parking lots maybe collecting shopping carts… the ones with the reflective strips on them.

I said the only thing I could… thank you.

Many times. As she helped me put the damn thing on. Right then and there on the dark cold street.

She drove away.

And my day was a little better.

Why am I telling ya’ll this?

Because every time the shit happens that I printed in the piece just before this, I remember things like this.

That there are good people in this world that care for their fellow people and are willing to do something nice for them even if it cost them a few bucks out of their own pockets simply because it is the right thing to do.

That people care.

And to remind everyone… but… maybe mostly myself… that there is still hope for us all.

We just must remember that we are all in this together and we had better row together or we will sink like a stone.

Or in the words of Doctor Martin Luther King Jr…

“We must all learn to live together as brothers or we will all perish together as fools.  We are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality And whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.  For some strange reason I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be.”

Another thousand words…

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