REAL WORLD EVENT DISCUSSIONS

wildfires and politics

POSTED BY: MAL4PREZ
UPDATED: Tuesday, July 3, 2012 21:33
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Wednesday, June 27, 2012 6:50 PM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.


"... and its pretty clear that Gov't is fairly ineffectual at doing much of anything about 'em 'cause they still get out of control every year."

It's kinda' like public schools, isn't it? Just keep cutting the funding, and then blame them for not doing the job.

If government were to really control fires, it would need crews, equipment and money. And a plan. I read a study, which I haven't been able to find again, where the government funded a study on fire suppression that set up four VERY large areas as quadrants in a square - perhaps 5x5miles each - and did four different things. 1) nothing 2) thin the trees 3) controlled burning 4) thinning AND burning. A year or two later a very large forest fire raged through the area. So the researchers went back to see what worked in their unanticipated test. The 'do nothing' area was burned just as badly as the surrounding forest. The 'thin', and the 'burn' areas took longer to succumb, and didn’t burn quite as badly (the dirt wasn't glassified), but were not very successful either. The 'thin AND burn' area OTOH came away nearly unscathed. The aerial photo was stunning in its simplicity.

So, what do YOU think stands in the way of effective fire suppression?


"I'm saying I think they should be funded and run by civillian organizations."

Local? Small? Uncoordinated with other organizations from other areas? I'm hoping you see the limitations of that.

"I think WE ALL depend on gov't too much."

So that your air pollution doesn't hurt my lungs? So that your water pollution doesn't hurt my water supply? So that your E. coli contaminated beef doesn't end up in my supermarket? What do you mean by that?

"When you seek Gov't protection, you get what you get..."

When you have the vote and don't vote on issues, or don't vote at all, you get what you deserve.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012 8:49 PM

MAGONSDAUGHTER


Quote:

Originally posted by Niki2:
Can you even conceive of how many civilian organizations it would require, and at what cost, for each state to "take care of" its own? Where would Colorado be today if they only had their own "civilian organization" of firefighteres out there fighting the current fires?

It's sad how some peple seem to be incapable of conceiving of a middle ground. How they can't imagine citizens pitching in to help when their own resources requires help from the government. It has to be all or nothing for people like you, and that's sad because the result, if you got your way, would be devastating. I'm sorry for you.

Absolutes when it comes to political stances are no answer to anything, just partisan blathering.




It doesn't have to be an either/either scenario. Living in one of the worst fire prone areas in the world, I know this first hand. People do prepare themselves and their homes, but as in the case of the 2009 Black Saturday fires, it wasn't enough. Lots of well prepared people died.

I live in a country that has lots of government, but people still pitch in and work damned hard for their community for nothing. We have highly trained volunteer firefighters known as the CFA and the State Emergency Service, also volunteer. They both do highly dangerous work when taking care of the rest of us nuff nuffs, but they need equipment, they need training, they need co-ordinating. And when large scale disasters happen, like back in 2009 when basically the whole state was on fire, many, many services, volunteer and professional were working around the clock to help save lives and property, central co-ordination was needed to make it all work. Lots of mistakes were made, and lots of learning had to happen as a result.

I guess what I am trying to say is that all of this can use imput and financial assistance from a central authority.

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Thursday, June 28, 2012 3:55 AM

MAL4PREZ


Quote:

Originally posted by Wishimay:
I don't think you get anything I said really, including that I am not conservative. Neither am I liberal. I wouldn't claim either side. In fact, I think people choosing sides just bogs EVERYTHING down...

I did not say you were. I purposely said something like: "you and conservatives", putting you in a list with them, but as a separate item. That's because I do not know where you stand but in this matter you are stating exactly the rightie line.


Quote:

I'm saying I don't want anybody risking their life over a damn building, especially mine, as you can have a better one ordered and built in the same month, now.
Um, I've been over this before. You do understand, I hope, that no one is talking about one building here. Right? We are talking about a wildfire that looked damned near stoppable, like it is was heading for Kansas, but now thanks to the firefighters (and improved conditions) it has retreated.

Quote:

I am also saying that I see these wildfires every year, and its pretty clear that Gov't is fairly ineffectual at doing much of anything about 'em 'cause they still get out of control every year.
This is incredibly immature, simplistic, and has nothing to do with reality. Why bother feeding your kid today, since they're just going to hungry again tomorrow, right? *facepalm*

As I asked you before, would you please look at the news before you say something like this? The city of CO Springs would be ashes right now if not for the firefighters. They have been very fucking effective.

About saving people first: again, you seem to think that this is your idea that hasn't ever occurred to anyone else. Which proves that you aren't paying attention. If you listened to the firefighters, you'd know that this is exactly what they're doing, what they ALWAYS do. You'll also note that there have been no injuries in the Waldo County Fire so far. Evacuations were handled smoothly - hey, by the govt - and more than 30000 were evacuated from their homes without incident. So yes, they saved the people first. But then they did NOT just forget about the "junk", which is nice because now the city is, for the most part, intact. And still no one is hurt.

If they'd done what you suggest and let the fire freely go on its way, which meant right into the heart of the city, it's very likely that someone would have been hurt.

Quote:

And Firefighters do more than just fight fires. I'm not saying we should get rid of Firefighters. I'm saying I think they should be funded and run by civillian organizations.
Back to what Anthony said (and I'm getting a very strong feeling that you aren't reading anyone's posts, because this has been stated multiple time.) Fire departments ARE funded and run by civilian organizations. That's what govt is.


Quote:

I think WE ALL depend on gov't too much. Some people like that...I don't. I doubt my opinion will change much.
I'll avoid saying "I Told You So" when they start by regulating customs like circumcision, and end up doing worse, like medical experiments on soldiers, or drafting people to fight wars they don't believe in, or accidentally blowing up whole buildings full with drones.... wait... I guess those were necessary evils for civilization, right?


You've got a funny filter. You're pouncing all over the bad things govt does, yet won't admit to a single good thing. Then you relate the bad things to other groups that have nothing to do with it. Sounds an awful lot like you've made your conclusion already, or had it impressed on you: "GOVERNMENT=BAD" and you only admit observations that back this up. Sure, there are bad things in govt, and they should be stopped. Do you cut off you child's hand because he/she mouthed off to you? Of course not. Nor do you throw out schools and fire depts because some far-off branch of govt is misbehaving. You go after that bad branch. Which needs to be done, but is not part of this thread.

So, because I really don't think you're reading my posts, and certainly you're not answering any specifics, I will list my questions to you:

1. You do understand that this thread is not about a single building, right?
2. In the general case and not just for you specifically, please explain how letting a fire grow and spread freely is better for the safety and welfare of everyone in a community.
3. If, as you say, the firefighters in CO Springs have been completely ineffective, how do you explain that the city is not currently on fire?
4. What do you see as the difference between "civilian organizations" and local govt.

Thank you.

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Thursday, June 28, 2012 3:56 AM

ANTHONYT

Freedom is Important because People are Important


Quote:

I'll avoid saying "I Told You So" when they start by regulating customs like circumcision, and end up doing worse, like medical experiments on soldiers, or drafting people to fight wars they don't believe in, or accidentally blowing up whole buildings full with drones.... wait... I guess those were necessary evils for civilization, right?

When you seek Gov't protection, you get what you get...



Hello,

I think any collective takes power away from the individual. On the other hand, there are problems that only a collective seems well-equipped to handle.

What I want to aim for is a better collective. It doesn't particularly matter whether you want to call that collective 'the federal government' or 'the fifty-thousand free people who assembled into this volunteer militia and who are answerable to the three-hundred million society for the defense of the common people.'

I would agree that current wildfire fighting methods are poor, but I do not think abandoning entire cities to burn in a fire is a better option. A better solution would probably be to perform forest management and urban containment in anticipation of wildfire season before any fire presents itself. However, no collective I am aware of, private or public, has been given the resources or authority to do such a thing effectively.

I would very much like to hear suggestions about how to build better collectives. And I really don't care what these collectives are called, because I don't see much difference between a state government and a state public coalition of free persons assembled voluntarily for the good of the group. Those are just names.

--Anthony




Note to Self:
Raptor - women who want to control their reproductive processes are sluts.
Wulf - Niki is a stupid fucking bitch who should hurry up and die.
Never forget what these men are.
“The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.” -Thomas Szasz

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Thursday, June 28, 2012 4:42 AM

PIZMOBEACH

... fully loaded, safety off...


Quote:

Originally posted by ANTHONYT:
I would very much like to hear suggestions about how to build better collectives. And I really don't care what these collectives are called, because I don't see much difference between a state government and a state public coalition of free persons assembled voluntarily for the good of the group. Those are just names.




Not to thread jack but this is a very interesting thing to contemplate. I think it's the structure of "group problem solving" that we don't have right, not necessarily the "bad" people. Or, the structure has to be such that the variety of people and their intentions involved can't defeat the groups ability to solve problems. Too often we use top down (one person in charge), instead of sideways (equal input from a number of people). In a very broad sense I wish the president was more of an Organizer (not a reference to Comm.Org. in Chicago) - someone who's job it was to see that goals that have been agreed on are met.
Anyway... another thread.

Best to your folks M4P - losing my home would be one of the worst things I can imagine, just the threat of it has to be gut wrenching.
Fwiw - I think Wish is just responding out of great frustration - seeing these tragic cycles repeat themselves, whatever the source, can make it seem like there's no real solution, like we're almost powerless to stop them so why not adopt a "if I don't LET it hurt me it can't." It's another way to deal with it.

Scifi movie music + Firefly dialogue clips, 24 hours a day - http://www.scifiradio.com

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Thursday, June 28, 2012 5:14 AM

MAL4PREZ


Quote:

Originally posted by pizmobeach:
Quote:

Originally posted by ANTHONYT:
I would very much like to hear suggestions about how to build better collectives. And I really don't care what these collectives are called, because I don't see much difference between a state government and a state public coalition of free persons assembled voluntarily for the good of the group. Those are just names.




Not to thread jack but this is a very interesting thing to contemplate. I think it's the structure of "group problem solving" that we don't have right, not necessarily the "bad" people. Or, the structure has to be such that the variety of people and their intentions involved can't defeat the groups ability to solve problems. Too often we use top down (one person in charge), instead of sideways (equal input from a number of people). In a very broad sense I wish the president was more of an Organizer (not a reference to Comm.Org. in Chicago) - someone who's job it was to see that goals that have been agreed on are met.
Anyway... another thread.

I don't think this is a thread jack, I think it's a natural place for the conversation to go.

There's a trade-off here. Top-down gets things down more quickly, but group work can incorporate more ideas and be more creative. There are times for each. Personally, I prefer something more top-down when I'm working with a group, because I generally want to get shit done and be on my way. You know, unless the "top" person is a moron.

But I think you're right that it isn't that people are "bad", it's just hard to get anything done as a group. I only have small experience with trying to organize a group of widely varying people, to form an organization that will continue to serve its purpose for the indefinite future. (A college club, actually.) It was shockingly hard. So many complications to handle, different situations to predict and deal with. It made me see how any govt gets to be such a mess.

It's sadly inevitable that things get too messy. I wish there was a rule about getting rid of as many rules as possible. Every 10 or 20 years, we need to throw everything out unless there's a very compelling reason to keep it. Of course, the rules that would spring up around such a rule-clearing-out would be their own tangle.

Oh - the point I mean to make is that all these anti-govt people would learn a lot by trying to form groups that bring disparate people together. See how hard it is to get things done. It would be lovely to 1) find better ways to work together 2) be a little more forgiving when a collaborative (ie govt) process takes time and effort and the results are imperfect.


Quote:

Best to your folks M4P - losing my home would be one of the worst things I can imagine, just the threat of it has to be gut wrenching.
Thankfully, the danger is much lower now. Tuesday really was scary, that fire was moving like nothing in the world could stop it. As of today, it looks almost shut down. (Hoping for no afternoon winds!) Still, a few hundred homes were lost, and the Flying W ranch, which is very sad. Another thing that may seem silly: the people of the Springs, especially my dad, really love that line of mountains. He was talking about it yesterday, and was genuinely grieved about the fire scar, the lack of trees. To him, it'll be like a scar on his own body. It'll be there for the rest of his life.


Quote:

Fwiw - I think Wish is just responding out of great frustration - seeing these tragic cycles repeat themselves, whatever the source, can make it seem like there's no real solution, like we're almost powerless to stop them so why not adopt a "if I don't LET it hurt me it can't." It's another way to deal with it.
I just wish she'd look closer, and see that events are not repeating themselves exactly. Blinding oneself, or numbing oneself, is precisely the wrong thing to do. It guarantees that no solution will be found, and worse opens one to manipulation. Like blaming the govt when, for once, the govt is a force for good.

Believe me, I'm not a huge fan of govt powers. I just don't like how the right wing is using frustration with the dysfunctional parts of govt as a weapon against useful, necessary programs.


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Thursday, June 28, 2012 5:20 AM

HERO


Quote:

Originally posted by Kwicko:
Quote:

Originally posted by Hero:

Katrina, Bush let the black folks drown.

Colorado, Romney said let the white folks burn, since we don't need any more firefighters.




Fixed that for ya!



I note for the record that Obama cut the funding for the planes and helicopters that drop water.

H

Hero...must be right on all of this. ALL of the rest of us are wrong. Chrisisall, 2012

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Thursday, June 28, 2012 6:09 AM

NIKI2

Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...


Thing is, if you think about it, Romney's call for fewer firefighters, cops and teachers has a purpose; he wants such things handled by FOR-PROFIT oranizations; as only one example, charter schools. Given his way, everything would be for profit, which is pretty much what the right wants, too. The problem is that for-profit corporations don't necessarily do any better job than government does, and their bottom line is profit. That potentially means short-cutting on things to save money which, as we've seen over and over, ends up being worse than what the government tries to do. That's pretty much what it comes down to. I would assume in the case of fires, that would mean whatever is saved is pro-rated and paid for by the homeowner, or taxed and the for-profit company is paid that way...in which case a fire would raise the cost. That's kind of what insurance does, and we know how effective and willing to abide by their "contract" most insurance companies are.

This is, of course, in part what the government does already, but we can't know how MUCH more it would cost to have all fire departments be for profit. Given the government (city, county, state, fed) doesn't make a profit on providing firefighters, cops, teachers currently, I'm guessing it would cost a lot more to have them all be private organizations whose bottom line is profit.

I'd like to know how any citizen-created organization would work and who would pay for it, and how it would coordinate when it comes to huge disasters such as this. I guess I just see it that, as Anthony so beautifully put it (he IS a peach, isn't he?), as a country we ARE one group and not only interdependent, but abiding by a covenant that one state helps out another, and the fed kicks in its share.

Mal4 is absolutely right in that if there was no federal assistance, things in situations such as this would be FAR worse. The government isn't perfect, by far, but in my opinion it's better than leaving it up to individuals and/or states/cities/counties whose priorities, preparations, and effectiveness would vary from place to place more than they already do now.

Like I said, Jim's son Jeff was trained in firefighting--these are the guys who are sent around to big fires like CO's on a national level. The training is grueling in its demand for physical fitness, and very, very rigorous in its demand for everyone to know how to deal with different problems, how to coordinate, etc. I just don't see any group could be as effective, or how they could handle something without a lot of loss of life among THEMSELVES< not to mention the public.

As to Obama having cut funding for some of this, the pertinent question is what made him do so? Given the Republicans demands for cut, cut, cut, was it a choice between that and something else? So many cuts have been forced by the Republicans' obstinate determination to ONLY cut, that I'm pretty sure that's how the cuts came about. I don't see Obama deciding out of the blue to cut firefighting funding. Just sayin'.


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Thursday, June 28, 2012 6:34 AM

PHOENIXROSE

You think you know--what's to come, what you are. You haven't even begun.


Quote:

Originally posted by Hero:
I note for the record that Obama cut the funding for the planes and helicopters that drop water.


I note for the record that Obama signed an order to add seven heavy air tankers to the Forest Service Fleet, which has been a substantial help because there are areas of these mountains that ground support just can't get to.
Hey look, I have citations: http://www.startribune.com/nation/158424715.html
http://www.collegian.com/2012/06/27/udall-sponsored-bill-signed-by-oba
ma-allowing-colorado-forest-service-access-to-new-air-tankers/(This
article also mentions a move to mitigate the effect pine beetles that have turned miles of forest to tinder. Hopefully this means cutting some of that dead wood out, if any of it is still around after all this.)
These seven tankers were provided by the government after a contract with a private company was cancelled last year. (In other words, you're full of shit to say funding was cut. Government funds were used to build government planes.) The newer tankers are actually quite a bit better; older, private air tankers were prone to breaking down, as some of them have this year. I think a few of them crashed last year, which I'd guess was part of the problem with keeping the contract. One crashed this month in Utah, I know. I think its job is now being filled by a Canadian government tanker.


What reason had proved best ceased to look absurd to the eye, which shows how idle it is to think anything ridiculous except what is wrong.

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Thursday, June 28, 2012 8:12 AM

PIZMOBEACH

... fully loaded, safety off...


Quote:

Originally posted by Niki2:
Thing is, if you think about it, Romney's call for fewer firefighters, cops and teachers has a purpose; he wants such things handled by FOR-PROFIT oranizations; as only one example, charter schools. Given his way, everything would be for profit, which is pretty much what the right wants, too. The problem is that for-profit corporations don't necessarily do any better job than government does, and their bottom line is profit. That potentially means short-cutting on things to save money which, as we've seen over and over, ends up being worse than what the government tries to do. That's pretty much what it comes down to. I would assume in the case of fires, that would mean whatever is saved is pro-rated and paid for by the homeowner, or taxed and the for-profit company is paid that way...in which case a fire would raise the cost. That's kind of what insurance does, and we know how effective and willing to abide by their "contract" most insurance companies are.




Maybe there's a way to make a hybrid?

For-Profit under the control of Gov? Both have their pluses and minuses (just like the one vs many in leadership approaches). Looking at the US Post Office it's easy to imagine that if some of today's smartest and hungriest entrepreneurs were put in charge how much better and more profitable it could be run. With so much more retail now being done online with the associated increase in shipping... there should be a windfall.

Scifi movie music + Firefly dialogue clips, 24 hours a day - http://www.scifiradio.com

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Thursday, June 28, 2012 9:37 AM

PIZMOBEACH

... fully loaded, safety off...


Quote:

Originally posted by mal4prez:

There's a trade-off here. Top-down gets things down more quickly, but group work can incorporate more ideas and be more creative. There are times for each. Personally, I prefer something more top-down when I'm working with a group, because I generally want to get shit done and be on my way. You know, unless the "top" person is a moron.



I think some of the for profit folks would say it's even worse if it's a gov employee running things because they don't have profit motive to move things along - no carrot, all stick. That's where my imagined Resolution for Dummies comes in :)

Quote:

Originally posted by mal4prez:
But I think you're right that it isn't that people are "bad", it's just hard to get anything done as a group. I only have small experience with trying to organize a group of widely varying people, to form an organization that will continue to serve its purpose for the indefinite future. (A college club, actually.) It was shockingly hard. So many complications to handle, different situations to predict and deal with. It made me see how any govt gets to be such a mess.

It's sadly inevitable that things get too messy. I wish there was a rule about getting rid of as many rules as possible. Every 10 or 20 years, we need to throw everything out unless there's a very compelling reason to keep it. Of course, the rules that would spring up around such a rule-clearing-out would be their own tangle.



I have been on both sides too - the great thing for me was that I was 100% certain (heh) I could do better never thinking I'd have the chance to actually be in that position and then - bang - howdy. It was a great teaching moment. I think Mr. Auraptor would be my primary candidate here for that experience. Someone should ask him at least once in each of his threads going forward, "ok, so what would you do then?" I've tried and it seems to go unnoticed.

Quote:

Originally posted by mal4prez:
Oh - the point I mean to make is that all these anti-govt people would learn a lot by trying to form groups that bring disparate people together. See how hard it is to get things done. It would be lovely to 1) find better ways to work together 2) be a little more forgiving when a collaborative (ie govt) process takes time and effort and the results are imperfect.



Yes! We should have a class in high school - everyone should have the experience of trying to run a group (herding cats) with their back side on the line.

Scifi movie music + Firefly dialogue clips, 24 hours a day - http://www.scifiradio.com

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Thursday, June 28, 2012 11:21 AM

NIKI2

Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...


Quote:

Looking at the US Post Office it's easy to imagine that if some of today's smartest and hungriest entrepreneurs were put in charge how much better and more profitable it could be run.
I doubt they could. You DO know the reason the Post Office is in trouble, don't you?
Quote:

In 2006, Congress passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. This law requires the Postal Service to do something that no other business or government agency has to do--pre-fund its FUTURE retiree health care benefits. This is a 75 year liability that has to be paid in 10 years. The Postal Service makes a payment of approximately $5.5 billion on September 30 at the end of every fiscal year to meet this obligation. The Post Office has been paying these benefits the past four years into a trust fund for employees who have not even been born yet. This is the burden that is creating the “financial crisis” for the Post Office.
I'm sure private enterprise could make the Post Office run smoother, and no doubt could lessen some of the expenses, but do you really think they could overcome such an obstacle?

To me, this is the height of insanity and pretty much makes it impossible for ANY organization to run long-term, profit or not.


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Thursday, June 28, 2012 1:20 PM

MAL4PREZ


Quote:

Originally posted by PhoenixRose:
These seven tankers were provided by the government after a contract with a private company was cancelled last year. (In other words, you're full of shit to say funding was cut. Government funds were used to build government planes.)


Brava PR!

Pizmo: I have this dream that government would be a required task for everyone. No elections, just random draws, kind of like jury duty. When your number comes up you HAVE to go serve for a full year, possibly two. You get paid a more than a living wage, so it's a bit of a windfall for poor folks and a bit of a hit for the wealthy. There would be no professional politicians, no PACs, no lobbyists. All of us would bear responsibility for running this country and figuring out just how hard it is to, say, build a reliable fire department.

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Thursday, June 28, 2012 4:42 PM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.


Quote:

Originally posted by pizmobeach:
Looking at the US Post Office it's easy to imagine that if some of today's smartest and hungriest entrepreneurs were put in charge how much better and more profitable it could be run. With so much more retail now being done online with the associated increase in shipping... there should be a windfall.


Yanno, if one more completely ignorant right-wing talking-point comes out of your brain I think it will implode from the vacuum.

The Post Office is in the state it's in b/c the right-wing Congress hobbled it with extra expenses no other business OR government agency has to support, then hobbled its ability to stabilize its finances by forbidding it from making a profit.

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Thursday, June 28, 2012 4:51 PM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.


Quote:

Originally posted by pizmobeach:

I think some of the for profit folks would say it's even worse if it's a gov employee running things because they don't have profit motive to move things along - no carrot, all stick. That's where my imagined Resolution for Dummies comes in :)


Profit is not a way to take care of things that are necessary. It's a way to make things that are below the single-item purchase-price threshold for most individuals. It's far easier to sell lipstick for a couple of dollars to many than it is to sell steel at 10X the unit price. That makes it far more profitable to make lipstick than it is to make steel.

And profit isn't a way to make things BETTER - it's a way to make them CHEAPER. But not SO cheap that people won't buy it - unless it's a necessity or you have a monopoly, in which case, you can do what you want. Grease, salt and pink slime, anyone? You need to eat SOMEthing and it's cheap!

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Thursday, June 28, 2012 5:01 PM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.


"I only have small experience with trying to organize a group of widely varying people, to form an organization that will continue to serve its purpose for the indefinite future. (A college club, actually.) It was shockingly hard."

The most successful movements I've seen are single-item movements that many different people crystallize on.

What happened to 'the disappear'? Mubarek must go. Britain out of Ireland ... Britain out of India ... Give me Liberty or give me death.

Once those goals are met, it gets far far more complicated to go forward on the host of other items. That's why the bazzilion opposition candidates with a large overall movement behind them in Egypt lost out to a small minority of the Muslim Brotherhood. The people of Tahrir Square and others had got that one thing done and hadn’t figured out yet how to move forward as a group on other things. The Brotherhood (being tolerated as a religious opposition in a way a socialist opposition wouldn't have been) had been around longer and was simply was more cohesive.


FWIW I've been lucky enough to be in three organizations (spark one by speaking up, join one as a founding part of the common group, and be lucky enough to be in the third) that seemed to come together almost by magic. They were EXTREMELY efficient, fruitful, unified and organized for quite some time. There is nothing so powerful as an idea whose time has come.


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Thursday, June 28, 2012 5:22 PM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.


But as I think about it Mal4Prez - did you learn anything from your efforts besides that it was hard?

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Thursday, June 28, 2012 6:36 PM

FREMDFIRMA



I grok ya, Mal4 - Anarchists have a pretty strong sense of civic responsibility, they kinda have to cause otherwise they'd be pretty damn hypocritical (and yeah, a lot of em are, sure) - and *I* am of the opinion that ANY Fire Department or equipment not currently engaged, should be deployed on something like this, whether private, government, military or what have you...

There's just no HUMANE excuse not to go all-hands when one has the ability, skills and equipment to do so in a case like this, and having those skills and equipment at hand is *WHY* we have fire departments, et cetera.

We had a smallish one here in Ann Arbor which thankfully was quickly stomped, but knocked out power to 6,000 people, which was a double misery cause of record temps here (I am hiding under my wheezing, suffering air conditioner right now) and causes me a lotta concern about potential fire hazards of 4th of july fireworks - this place is up to code, barely, but these are old buildings and although not explicitly my job, I do have a fallback plan and some volunteers to pin down a fire if need be till the VFD gets over here with the big hoses.

But politics in a situation like that ?
Always stuck me as lunacy - shit, we OUGHT to have a couple heavy tankers in the air already, I mean a KC130 can hold how much liquid, and mounting even a halfass sprayer shouldn't take that bloody long!

-Frem

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Thursday, June 28, 2012 7:32 PM

WISHIMAY

THIS machine kills fascists- Woody Guthrie


Quote:

Originally posted by FREMDFIRMA:

We had a smallish one here in Ann Arbor which thankfully was quickly stomped, but knocked out power to 6,000 people, which was a double misery cause of record temps here (I am hiding under my wheezing, suffering air conditioner right now) and causes me a lotta concern about potential fire hazards of 4th of july fireworks - this place is up to code, barely, but these are old buildings and although not explicitly my job, I do have a fallback plan and some volunteers to pin down a fire if need be till the VFD gets over here with the big hoses.

Always stuck me as lunacy - shit, we OUGHT to have a couple heavy tankers in the air already, I mean a KC130 can hold how much liquid, and mounting even a halfass sprayer shouldn't take that bloody long!

-Frem



There's gonna be a hellova lot more fires before this season ends... I'm thinking of heading towards water this Fourth myself. Let the fools fry themselves...


I'd love to know stats on how many people have successfully fought off a fire in one of these big ones, and if there are current methods of building and landscaping to assist, 'cause I saw the pics today and you can tell where a lot of people tried to fight it off and lost...

The thing about mounting sprayers is partially what I'm talking about, I think more better could be, should be, done, bigger, better, faster.... and if it's not, why bother fighting it at all? Let's just order some more battleships and billion dollar stealth jets. That'll fix it...
One house on fire can be fought. A moving wall of flames with 50 mph winds??That's crazy talk....

And Mal4prez, You ask too many damn questions for me to respond and still have time for things like sleep. Some of you people need to learn the subtle art of saying the stuff you wanna say without taking ALL damn day.... I don't even read posts over a few paragraphs. I have things to DO.


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Thursday, June 28, 2012 7:39 PM

MAL4PREZ


Quote:

Originally posted by Wishimay:
And Mal4prez, You ask too many damn questions for me to respond and still have time for things like sleep. Some of you people need to learn the subtle art of saying the stuff you wanna say without taking ALL damn day.... I don't even read posts over a few paragraphs. I have things to DO.



Wishy dear, that's exactly why I made it easy for you:

1. You do understand that this thread is not about a single building, right?
2. In the general case and not just for you specifically, please explain how letting a fire grow and spread freely is better for the safety and welfare of everyone in a community.
3. If, as you say, the firefighters in CO Springs have been completely ineffective, how do you explain that the city is not currently on fire?
4. What do you see as the difference between "civilian organizations" and local govt.

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Thursday, June 28, 2012 7:41 PM

MAL4PREZ



Furthemore (I put this is a different post so you can return to it after you've had your nap), if you don't understand these questions, or if you wish to be polite and respectful person, or if - heaven forbid - you just want to make communication be open and successful, you could go back and read my posts. You'll note they started short and got longer when I saw that you weren't understanding or replying to what I wrote. I figured that more explanation was needed.

Now I see that you just don't want to engage in actual two-way communication. Check. If nothing else, I am getting to know you much much better.

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Thursday, June 28, 2012 7:47 PM

MAL4PREZ


Finally, I'll make this simple. My previous two posts were my subtle way of suggesting that you seem to be full of shit. I think you don't read or reply to my posts because you are incapable of addressing my questions.

If I'm reading you right, you will now claim to be horribly offended and overwrought and you'll swear off continuing any interaction with me yada yada yada etc etc. (And how convenient is that for question #1-4 avoidance!) It's the common thing that righties around here do, and while you may not have an official "R" by your name, you're sure walking like a duck.

I do hope you surprise me. Neigh instead of quack.

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Thursday, June 28, 2012 8:07 PM

MAL4PREZ


Quote:

Originally posted by 1kiki:
But as I think about it Mal4Prez - did you learn anything from your efforts besides that it was hard?



I did, and I tried to summarize it above but it's hard to explain succinctly. I'll have to be long-winded again. (Bite me Wishimay ) I learned that at first sight, the task your organization is facing may seems simple, but the more you dig the more you realize that all those twisty-turny complications are actually necessary. My experience: a college student dance group that was growing insanely, in four years it went from 5-6 too a few hundred members. The performance had become a nearly unbearable 3 hour show with 25 different dances because everyone wanted to do their own piece. And a majority of the pieces were simply horrible. The poor audience!

The founder of the group (not me, and frankly she was a prime offender as far as horrible dances) was soon to leave the school. Other people would be making decisions soon, and it wouldn't be clear who was top dog. So we needed guidelines as to who set the rules, who got to choreograph, how auditions were run etc...

The challenge was to maintain what was good about the group: the freedom of opportunity. ANYBODY could be involved, so some weirdo math major could sign up and put a finished piece on stage with costumes and lights. The dances ranged from bad funk (a LOT of that *shakes head*) to jazz, ballet, modern, martial arts, and undefinable. As a place open to exploration, it was great. We wanted to keep that alive so no faction, like my own modern dance group, could took over and drown out the rest.

But we also didn't want this thing to crumble under its own weight, so that every student who'd seen a music video would stage yet another unbearably bad MTV-wanna-be-but-I-ain-t-got-no-abilities dance. All members agreed that we needed some encouragement to grow and learn and improve, not just wiggle on stage (not good wiggling, but the shield your eyes kind) for the frat boys in the audience.

I think the committee did all right, but it took several meetings and much debate over exact language. The final document was a bit of a nightmare on first read. But it had to be, to cover the necessary grounds.

That's what I learned. When I see an official document or policy that seems way too complicated, I have to remind myself that the drafters likely started with something simple, but due to real life they had to keep adding and adding until their meaning was fully spelled out. So it's possibly worth my time to try and figure out all those complications, so I can understand the full situation.

Hey, that's kind of like my posts in this thread, if only folks would bother to read them... (Oh yeah I'm having fun with this!)

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Thursday, June 28, 2012 8:11 PM

MAL4PREZ


oops

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Thursday, June 28, 2012 8:19 PM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.


"... due to real life they had to keep adding and adding until their meaning was fully spelled out. So it's possibly worth my time to try and figure out all those complications, so I can understand the full situation."

Well, thanks for repeating. I appreciate it. It does seem to roughly mirror my own experience and observations - what distinguishes a single-issue movement for example from a fully fledged political party.

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Thursday, June 28, 2012 8:43 PM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.


Prisons, Privatization, Patronage

Over the past few days, The New York Times has published several terrifying reports about New Jersey’s system of halfway houses — privately run adjuncts to the regular system of prisons. The series is a model of investigative reporting, which everyone should read. ( http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/17/nyregion/in-new-jersey-halfway-house
s-escapees-stream-out-as-a-penal-business-thrives.html?_r=3
) But it should also be seen in context. The horrors described are part of a broader pattern in which essential functions of government are being both privatized and degraded.

First of all, about those halfway houses: In 2010, Chris Christie, the state’s governor — who has close personal ties to Community Education Centers, the largest operator of these facilities, and who once worked as a lobbyist for the firm — described the company’s operations as “representing the very best of the human spirit.” But The Times’s reports instead portray something closer to hell on earth — an understaffed, poorly run system, with a demoralized work force, from which the most dangerous individuals often escape to wreak havoc, while relatively mild offenders face terror and abuse at the hands of other inmates.

It’s a terrible story. But, as I said, you really need to see it in the broader context of a nationwide drive on the part of America’s right to privatize government functions, very much including the operation of prisons. What’s behind this drive?

You might be tempted to say that it reflects conservative belief in the magic of the marketplace, in the superiority of free-market competition over government planning. And that’s certainly the way right-wing politicians like to frame the issue.

But if you think about it even for a minute, you realize that the one thing the companies that make up the prison-industrial complex — companies like Community Education or the private-prison giant Corrections Corporation of America — are definitely not doing is competing in a free market. They are, instead, living off government contracts. There isn’t any market here, and there is, therefore, no reason to expect any magical gains in efficiency.

And, sure enough, despite many promises that prison privatization will lead to big cost savings, such savings — as a comprehensive study by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, part of the U.S. Department of Justice, concluded — “have simply not materialized.” To the extent that private prison operators do manage to save money, they do so through “reductions in staffing patterns, fringe benefits, and other labor-related costs.”

So let’s see: Privatized prisons save money by employing fewer guards and other workers, and by paying them badly. And then we get horror stories about how these prisons are run. What a surprise!

So what’s really behind the drive to privatize prisons, and just about everything else?

One answer is that privatization can serve as a stealth form of government borrowing, in which governments avoid recording upfront expenses (or even raise money by selling existing facilities) while raising their long-run costs in ways taxpayers can’t see. We hear a lot about the hidden debts that states have incurred in the form of pension liabilities; we don’t hear much about the hidden debts now being accumulated in the form of long-term contracts with private companies hired to operate prisons, schools and more.

Another answer is that privatization is a way of getting rid of public employees, who do have a habit of unionizing and tend to lean Democratic in any case.

But the main answer, surely, is to follow the money. Never mind what privatization does or doesn’t do to state budgets; think instead of what it does for both the campaign coffers and the personal finances of politicians and their friends. As more and more government functions get privatized, states become pay-to-play paradises, in which both political contributions and contracts for friends and relatives become a quid pro quo for getting government business. Are the corporations capturing the politicians, or the politicians capturing the corporations? Does it matter?

Now, someone will surely point out that nonprivatized government has its own problems of undue influence, that prison guards and teachers’ unions also have political clout, and this clout sometimes distorts public policy. Fair enough. But such influence tends to be relatively transparent. Everyone knows about those arguably excessive public pensions; it took an investigation by The Times over several months to bring the account of New Jersey’s halfway-house-hell to light.

The point, then, is that you shouldn’t imagine that what The Times discovered about prison privatization in New Jersey is an isolated instance of bad behavior. It is, instead, almost surely a glimpse of a pervasive and growing reality, of a corrupt nexus of privatization and patronage that is undermining government across much of our nation.
A version of this op-ed appeared in print on June 22, 2012, on page A25 of the New York edition with the headline: Prisons, Privatization, Patronage.


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Thursday, June 28, 2012 8:53 PM

BYTEMITE


Yeah, it's ugly.

Some of the privatized groups trying to get into managing prisons and schools are groups like blackwater, and then you have some serious bad mojo.

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Thursday, June 28, 2012 9:23 PM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.


As Escapees Stream Out, a Penal Business Thrives
By SAM DOLNICK

selected excerpts

After decades of tough criminal justice policies, states have been grappling with crowded prisons that are straining budgets. In response to those pressures, New Jersey has become a leader in a national movement to save money by diverting inmates to a new kind of privately run halfway house. At the heart of the system is a company with deep connections to politicians of both parties, most notably Gov. Chris Christie. Mr. Christie, a Republican who took office in January 2010, has for years championed the company that plays a principal role in the New Jersey system, Community Education Centers.

Mr. Christie himself was registered as a lobbyist for the company in 2000 and 2001 when he was a private lawyer, according to disclosure reports that his law firm filed with the state. In early 2010, he hired the son-in-law of Community Education’s chief executive as an assistant in the governor’s office, according to state personnel records.

And as United States attorney for New Jersey and then governor, Mr. Christie has often visited the company’s halfway houses and praised its work. The company has highlighted those visits in its publicity material.

“Places like this are to be celebrated,” Mr. Christie said in a 2010 speech ... “A spotlight should be put on them as representing the very best of the human spirit,” he said. “Because as you walk through here, as I’ve done many times, what you see right before your very eyes are miracles happening.”

Community Education said it had developed a highly successful model of “community corrections” that had improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of inmates across the country. It said the rate of escapes at its halfway houses in New Jersey was “staggeringly low,” given the many people who go through the system. April, eight months after The Times undertook its investigation.

.
.
.

Many of these halfway houses are as big as prisons, with several hundred beds ... New Jersey officials have called these large facilities an innovative example of privatization and have promoted the approach all the way to the Obama White House. (But) Perhaps the most unsettling sign of the chaos within is inmates’ ease in getting out.

While these halfway houses often resemble traditional correctional institutions, they have much less security. There are no correction officers, and workers are not allowed to restrain inmates who try to leave or to locate those who do not come back from work release, the most common form of escape. The halfway houses’ only recourse is to alert the authorities.

And so the inmates flee in a steady stream: 46 last September, 39 in October, 40 in November, 38 in December, state records show.


Assemblyman Sean T. Kean, a Republican, said of the escapes, “It’s not really a problem.” “It’s a cheaper way of doing business,” he said of the system, “so that’s why it behooves us to use that option.”

The financial incentive is also clear. The state spends about $125 to $150 a day to house an inmate in a prison. The corrections, parole and other government agencies in New Jersey pay roughly $60 to $75 per inmate per day to operators of halfway houses, including Community Education, based in West Caldwell, N.J.

But as the system has grown, the percentage of New Jersey inmates convicted of violent crimes but lodged in halfway houses has been rising, to 21 percent now from 12 percent in 2006, according to state statistics. Their ranks currently include dozens of people serving time for murder, and hundreds convicted of armed robbery, assault or weapons possession — some of whom escaped.

At the same time, the state acknowledges that it has never examined whether the system helps inmates. Last year, the Christie administration commissioned a three-year study. Community Education has financed its own research that it says shows the success of its programs.



Last year, the New Jersey comptroller, Matthew Boxer, released an audit ... “As a state, we have done a poor job of monitoring the program and have made no real attempt to find out what taxpayers are getting for their money,” Mr. Boxer said.




... The primary purpose of the nonprofit has been to pay Community Education hundreds of millions of dollars that the nonprofit has received in recent years from state and county agencies, disclosure records show. The nonprofit has only 10 employees, and gave Mr. Clancy a $351,346 salary in its 2011 fiscal year, according to the records. Community Education itself, which is privately held, does not disclose how much it separately pays Mr. Clancy.

Mr. Christie and Mr. Palatucci were major fund-raisers for George W. Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign. After Mr. Bush won, Mr. Palatucci sent Mr. Christie’s résumé to Karl Rove, the president’s political strategist. Soon after, Mr. Bush picked Mr. Christie to be the United States attorney for New Jersey.

In that job, Mr. Christie had no direct role in the state corrections system. Even so, he regularly visited Community Education’s facilities. He even attended the ribbon-cutting at the company’s new corporate headquarters in 2007.


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Friday, June 29, 2012 3:28 AM

PIZMOBEACH

... fully loaded, safety off...


Quote:

Originally posted by 1kiki:
Quote:

Originally posted by pizmobeach:
Looking at the US Post Office it's easy to imagine that if some of today's smartest and hungriest entrepreneurs were put in charge how much better and more profitable it could be run. With so much more retail now being done online with the associated increase in shipping... there should be a windfall.


Yanno, if one more completely ignorant right-wing talking-point comes out of your brain I think it will implode from the vacuum.



Do you think insulting people makes you some how more right? Or do you just enjoy it?

Quote:

Originally posted by 1kiki:
The Post Office is in the state it's in b/c the right-wing Congress hobbled it with extra expenses no other business OR government agency has to support, then hobbled its ability to stabilize its finances by forbidding it from making a profit.



Right. Let's review: "forbidding it from making a profit" = failure. Does that give you any ideas on what we should try to fix it?

This may come as a shock to you but not all Profit is bad. There are even Democrats and very left leaning people who wake up every day and pursue Profit with a great deal of passion. Your favorite restaurant, artists (they don't just give their art away), the guy who used to deliver your paper, even the company that makes those all-weather pointy hats you favor - they all need to be profitable. It's not an ugly thing except in extremes, kind of like social behavior.

Scifi movie music + Firefly dialogue clips, 24 hours a day - http://www.scifiradio.com

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Friday, June 29, 2012 3:46 AM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.


The problem w/ the PO, if you think about it for half a second, which you obviously haven't, is that if it's unable to collect a bit more here and there it never can build up a reserve for the unexpected. It ALWAYS ends up either at par (not often) or behind (most of the time, while it's waiting for a review to allow it to raise its rates just enough to catch up to the past). Overall, it calculates to being behind. It doesn't matter if you call it profit or a reserve, a prudent operating BUSINESS cushion is a good thing.

But capitalist profit? Where people who have capital get personally paid for NO OTHER REASON THAN having capital, at every turn of the cycle ... not a good thing.

If you REALLY REALLY want people to be getting the full value if their work - you do, don't you? - you can't allow that kind of profit.

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Friday, June 29, 2012 4:57 AM

M52NICKERSON

DALEK!


Quote:

Originally posted by FREMDFIRMA:Always stuck me as lunacy - shit, we OUGHT to have a couple heavy tankers in the air already, I mean a KC130 can hold how much liquid, and mounting even a halfass sprayer shouldn't take that bloody long!
-Frem



Slightly less that 7,000 gallons, fully loaded out and provided it is a KC-130J.

Unfortunatly that is very letting when fighting fires. Larger water plants have high service pumps in excess of 5,000 gpm specificly to provide enough water to firefighters to fight fires within small cities.

I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.

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Friday, June 29, 2012 6:35 AM

DEVERSE

Hey, Ive been in a firefight before! Well, I was in a fire. Actually, I was fired from a fry-cook opportunity.


Quote:

Slightly less that 7,000 gallons, fully loaded out and provided it is a KC-130J.
Unfortunatly that is very letting when fighting fires. Larger water plants have high service pumps in excess of 5,000 gpm specificly to provide enough water to firefighters to fight fires within small cities.
Quote:



Had to comment here.
Largest water bomber in the world (Martin Mars) is here in my country and it has a capacity of just over 7000 US gallons. It is currently deployed in California.
While the capacity of a C-130J or a Super Herc is quite large, it isn't a simple matter of a big tank and dumping it. The fire fighting package that would need to be in the aircraft limits these two aircraft to about 3000 US gallons fire fighting capacity.

Two of my provinces (not Canadian government, but provincial government) Convair 580A air tankers and one Turbo Commander birddog aircraft are in Colorado. Convairs carry about 2200 US gallons. The Canadair CL-215 we have are 1700 US gal and the Canso's are 800 US gal but were not sent as they are in use here (at 53 forest fires, 11 still out of control).

My source - my 34 years as a fire fighter (structural, forestry and shipboard) and 18 years as the Operational Fire Commissioner for my province.

Supposed to be 10 degrees cooler and a bit of rain in Colorado today. See there has been a death (hopefully no more will occur and people will listen to the evac notices).


Oh let the sun beat down upon my face
With stars to fill my dream
I am a traveler of both time and space
To be where I have been

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Friday, June 29, 2012 6:44 AM

WISHIMAY

THIS machine kills fascists- Woody Guthrie


Quote:

Originally posted by mal4prez:

Furthemore (I put this is a different post so you can return to it after you've had your nap), if you don't understand these questions, or if you wish to be polite and respectful person, or if - heaven forbid - you just want to make communication be open and successful, you could go back and read my posts. You'll note they started short and got longer when I saw that you weren't understanding or replying to what I wrote. I figured that more explanation was needed.

Now I see that you just don't want to engage in actual two-way communication. Check. If nothing else, I am getting to know you much much better.





Screw you AND the condescending horse you rode in on. I don't generally HAVE conversations with idiots who use natural disasters to get on their high horse and pick on a political point of view, and now I know why...

I was using the "one building" thing as a hypothetical to posit the morality of asking people to risk their lives to save your material shit. I'm guessin you MISSED THAT. One does when they talk that damn much. Also, I wasn't home all day yesterday, and I certainly wasn't even thinking about you or this thread, then when I do get a minute to sit down, I see a novels worth.

This place is fun, but I'm not gonna waste all day here. Maybe you oughta go help the people who saved yer parents precious junk instead of sitting here and snarking at people who don't see things your way.

I'm done with this thread...

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Friday, June 29, 2012 6:59 AM

PHOENIXROSE

You think you know--what's to come, what you are. You haven't even begun.


Quote:

Originally posted by DEVERSE:
Largest water bomber in the world (Martin Mars) is here in my country and it has a capacity of just over 7000 US gallons. It is currently deployed in California.
Two of my provinces (not Canadian government, but provincial government) Convair 580A air tankers and one Turbo Commander birddog aircraft are in Colorado.


Thanks, provincial Canadian government

Quote:

See there has been a death (hopefully no more will occur and people will listen to the evac notices).

Yeah, there was an old woman who wouldn't leave her house in the first few days of the High Park fire, here. She was presumed dead and has recently been confirmed dead.
Also, the fire station in my town was flying their flag at half-mast. I hope that doesn't mean any firefighters died







Quote:

Originally posted by mal4prez:
If I'm reading you right, you will now claim to be horribly offended and overwrought and you'll swear off continuing any interaction with me yada yada yada etc etc. (And how convenient is that for question #1-4 avoidance!)


Quote:

Originally posted by Wishimay:
Screw you AND the condescending horse you rode in on. I don't generally HAVE conversations with idiots who use natural disasters to get on their high horse and pick on a political point of view, and now I know why...
I'm done with this thread


...Wow.

Hey mal4, you're psychic!


What reason had proved best ceased to look absurd to the eye, which shows how idle it is to think anything ridiculous except what is wrong.

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Friday, June 29, 2012 7:12 AM

MAL4PREZ


Quote:

Originally posted by Wishimay:
Screw you AND the condescending horse you rode in on. I don't generally HAVE conversations with idiots who use natural disasters to get on their high horse and pick on a political point of view, and now I know why...

I was using the "one building" thing as a hypothetical to posit the morality of asking people to risk their lives to save your material shit. I'm guessin you MISSED THAT. One does when they talk that damn much. Also, I wasn't home all day yesterday, and I certainly wasn't even thinking about you or this thread, then when I do get a minute to sit down, I see a novels worth.

This place is fun, but I'm not gonna waste all day here. Maybe you oughta go help the people who saved yer parents precious junk instead of sitting here and snarking at people who don't see things your way.

I'm done with this thread...

Hadn't noticed that you got started on it, seeing as you kept replying to my posts without actually reading them. And you wonder why the communication didn't work...

I see you still didn't address my points, including the one specifically stating that my argument, and this thread, has never been about one single house. Oh yeah, if you actually read the posts rather than saying your own thing over and over again without listening to anyone else, you might have got that.

It says that a lot that you think I'm condescending just because I would like a TWO-WAY conversation out of you. Since you can't do that, it really is best that you go your own way. But thank you for playing.

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Friday, June 29, 2012 7:15 AM

MAL4PREZ


Quote:

Originally posted by PhoenixRose:
Quote:

Originally posted by mal4prez:
If I'm reading you right, you will now claim to be horribly offended and overwrought and you'll swear off continuing any interaction with me yada yada yada etc etc. (And how convenient is that for question #1-4 avoidance!)


Quote:

Originally posted by Wishimay:
Screw you AND the condescending horse you rode in on. I don't generally HAVE conversations with idiots who use natural disasters to get on their high horse and pick on a political point of view, and now I know why...
I'm done with this thread


...Wow.

Hey mal4, you're psychic!



Not the first RA (if that''s the term for it) mindset I've encountered, here or in real life. So predictable.

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Friday, June 29, 2012 7:19 AM

MAL4PREZ


Regarding the death in CO Springs: I kind of expect that there might be more. When that fire turned on Tuesday there were only a few hours to evacuate thousands of people, in the middle of Armeggedon. I was amazed that they carried it off so well, but I've been wondering how many people didn't leave their homes and got caught in it. Almost 350 houses gone, most in one single night. It would be astounding if there's only this one death.

Definitely yay for the weather change. Those people really need the break!

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Friday, June 29, 2012 1:46 PM

FREMDFIRMA



Thanks for the info on the KC130 and C130 folks - but it did occur to me just HOW one could make use of a C130 in a hurry this way...
You know them plastic water barrels they use on highways ?
Load em up on C130, cap em off and have a bunch of troops roll em out the back, maybe ?
Or here's another thought, maybe some of those fekkin police forces with vehicle mounted water cannon could put the bloody things to a better use than abusing protestors ?

Again, I'm of the opinion that a spreading fire trumps all politics, and should be an all-hands maximum effort thing.
And untrained civvies with no gear can still be handed shovels to grub out firebreaks, mind.

We had another fire a couple miles from here, again thankfully stomped before it went anywhere - housefire caused by a box fans electrical motor blowing out in a blaze of sparks, yikes, and the heat around here is hideous, especially for folks not used to it... worse for me cause all them prosthetics are heavy and hot, and I gotta pull a full shift tonite, argh.

On that note, I ain't payin no damn $190.00USD for a freakin Kilt...
(screw you utilikilt, ya greedy bastards)
Anyone know where I could get a decent work kilt for a rational price ?

-F

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Friday, June 29, 2012 2:10 PM

M52NICKERSON

DALEK!


Quote:

Originally posted by FREMDFIRMA:

Thanks for the info on the KC130 and C130 folks - but it did occur to me just HOW one could make use of a C130 in a hurry this way...
You know them plastic water barrels they use on highways ?
Load em up on C130, cap em off and have a bunch of troops roll em out the back, maybe ?
Or here's another thought, maybe some of those fekkin police forces with vehicle mounted water cannon could put the bloody things to a better use than abusing protestors ?

Again, I'm of the opinion that a spreading fire trumps all politics, and should be an all-hands maximum effort thing.
And untrained civvies with no gear can still be handed shovels to grub out firebreaks, mind.

We had another fire a couple miles from here, again thankfully stomped before it went anywhere - housefire caused by a box fans electrical motor blowing out in a blaze of sparks, yikes, and the heat around here is hideous, especially for folks not used to it... worse for me cause all them prosthetics are heavy and hot, and I gotta pull a full shift tonite, argh.

On that note, I ain't payin no damn $190.00USD for a freakin Kilt...
(screw you utilikilt, ya greedy bastards)
Anyone know where I could get a decent work kilt for a rational price ?

-F



The problem with the barrel idea is that it is not until the barrels hit the ground that they will break open, making the ground wet. That will not stop the fire above ground level.

The problems with the fires they are facing is more size them man power. The one that has destroyed the most homes is something like 7 miles long and 4 miles deep. In other words fucking huge. Plus depending on the area a creating a fire break takes more than just a shove. You will need heavy equipment to remove trees.

I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.

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Friday, June 29, 2012 2:43 PM

FREMDFIRMA



Oh I take your point, just pitchin out ideas and whatnot, is all.
As for heavy equipment, seriously, show me a combat engineer who DIDN'T want to be unleashed on a wildfire or the highway system, them guys are crazeeeee.
But yanno, in a good kinda way.

-F

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Saturday, June 30, 2012 4:21 AM

PIZMOBEACH

... fully loaded, safety off...


Quote:

Originally posted by 1kiki:
The problem w/ the PO, if you think about it for half a second, which you obviously haven't, is that if it's unable to collect a bit more here and there it never can build up a reserve for the unexpected. It ALWAYS ends up either at par (not often) or behind (most of the time, while it's waiting for a review to allow it to raise its rates just enough to catch up to the past). Overall, it calculates to being behind. It doesn't matter if you call it profit or a reserve, a prudent operating BUSINESS cushion is a good thing.

But capitalist profit? Where people who have capital get personally paid for NO OTHER REASON THAN having capital, at every turn of the cycle ... not a good thing.

If you REALLY REALLY want people to be getting the full value if their work - you do, don't you? - you can't allow that kind of profit.



And you have obviously only thought about it for half a second. You have a lack of imagination, you embody the Can't Do spirit, which funny enough, is the hallmark of a lot of gov agencies. That's why I suggested entrepreneurs (does that word scare or anger you?).

Here's a list of some of the kinds of problem solvers that are out there:

http://www.fastcompany.com/most-innovative-companies/2012/full-list

They would love the challenge, they'd probably line up to "fix" the post office, and they would either go around or find a way to change the funding issues. Creative people find solutions, they don't stop at the first road block, they enjoy the challenge.

Besides fixing the Post Office, I'd love to hear what you think my other "ignorant right wing" ideas are. I don't think I've even had a single one. Maybe you have confused me for someone else?

I'd also like to hear you answer to my earlier question:

"Do you think insulting people some how makes you more right?" I know you hate it when AU doesn't answer direct questions, so I'm sure you'll be happy to answer this one.

Scifi movie music + Firefly dialogue clips, 24 hours a day - http://www.scifiradio.com

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Saturday, June 30, 2012 5:51 AM

ANTHONYT

Freedom is Important because People are Important


Hello Frem,

What size of kilt do you wear?

--Anthony



Note to Self:
Raptor - woman testifying about birth control is a slut (the term fits.)
Six - Wow, isn't Niki quite the CUNT? And, yes, I spell that in all caps....
Wulf - Niki is a stupid fucking bitch who should hurry up and die.

“The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.” -Thomas Szasz

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Saturday, June 30, 2012 6:02 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Quote:

They would love the challenge, they'd probably line up to "fix" the post office, and they would either go around or find a way to change the funding issues. Creative people find solutions, they don't stop at the first road block, they enjoy the challenge.
PIZMO, have you even THOUGHT about the Post Office, or for one second tried to figure out the reality of their situation?

So there I was at the PO, and I needed to make a photocopy. Had to run a couple of stores down to find one, and finally got around to asking the PO clerk Say, have you ever thought of putting a photocopier in here? Or fax? The answer was We are FORBIDDEN to do that. Same with a number of other nifty services the PO might offer... internet access, packaging as a service, and so forth. It's hard... impossible, really... to come up with nifty solutions if you're prevented by law from implementing them. Because the PO - that weird public-private hybrid - is not supposed to be actually competing with Kinkos and UPS and FedEx for god's sake. Heaven forfend. They might actually out-compete the competition. Nope, the PO is meant to be a money-loser... to have to live on the dregs that the "real" companies find unprofitable.

It is for that same reason that the public option was eliminated from our health-care plan. Not because it might be inefficient, but because it might be TOO successful. Might actually.. yanno... force the health insurance to do something for their money other than screw their customers.

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Saturday, June 30, 2012 6:14 AM

ANTHONYT

Freedom is Important because People are Important


Hello,

It's very irritating to see otherwise intelligent and thoughtful people accuse one another of not thinking. "If you would bother to think for a second" and "have you even bothered to think" and all their cousins are unfriendly sentiments.

I am sure a thoughtful person is aware of the fact that the Post Office operates under limitations so as not to compete very well with private business.

I am sure a thoughtful person is aware that if private business was introduced into the Post Office, this would be less of a concern and allow competitive innovations.

I am sure a thoughtful person is aware that privatization introduces its own pitfalls and spectres which would have to be navigated to ensure an equitable situation.

I am sure a thoughtful person is aware that both positions offer their own problems.

So rather than starting every statement with a suggestion that the opponent is a thoughtless dumbkopf, perhaps we could simply present our arguments and let the merit of what we say shine through.

--Anthony



Note to Self:
Raptor - woman testifying about birth control is a slut (the term fits.)
Six - Wow, isn't Niki quite the CUNT? And, yes, I spell that in all caps....
Wulf - Niki is a stupid fucking bitch who should hurry up and die.

“The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.” -Thomas Szasz

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Saturday, June 30, 2012 6:27 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


WISHIMAY
Quote:

There will still be natural disasters WITH or WITHOUT government. I'd rather say "Ta hell with Gov't, I'll pay MY insurance and look after me n' mine, you stay on yer side of the line!" than have them be all up in my business AND do nothing in the face of disasters...which, judging by the track record- they are pretty damn good at...

There have always been large burn-offs, and most likely always will be. Harsh truths of nature...I've pretty much built half this place with my own two hands, but if it were ta burn....So what??? I'm not gonna stand around and whine that no one helped me out, I'm gonna get my ass up and KEEP GOING...that's what. Do what's best for me and mine NO MATTER WHAT.

Ah, I see where this whole idiotic argument started. Forgive me if I don't re-read the entire thread and then wind up repeating some points.

There is more going on with forest fire than YOUR house, or even a bunch of houses. Forests, by themselves, are an essential public good. Aside from turning carbon dioxide into wood (climate regulation is an essential public good) and releasing oxygen from water (oxygen is an essential public good), they provide a habitat for a number of species (biodiversity is an essential public good) and regulate stream flow (surface water is an essential public good) and aquifer recharge (ground water is an essential public good). That's not counting the pleasure they bring to outdoor recreation and the lumber they provide.

So I see that your capacity to imagine a scope of any situation which is immediately beyond "your and yours" is rather limited. Insurance won't cover these costs.

As far as "large burnoffs" always occurring, the sad fact is that the burnoffs now are record sizes, not just here but around the world due to global climate shift. Also, in this nation, due to a previous policy of stamping out fires as soon as possible. The policy ended in 1983, as I recall, but the forests are now chock-o-block full of fuel. Where there used to be 50-100 trees per acre, there are now as much as 600. Thanks to previous policies and global climate shift, the forests need active management. Since forest management is not ever likely to produce a profit, private companies will never make the investment, no matter how high the cost of failure or how large the benefit of success.


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Saturday, June 30, 2012 6:33 AM

ANTHONYT

Freedom is Important because People are Important


Quote:

the forests need active management.


Hello,

I strongly agree with this. I think if a sufficient investment was made before the fires started, then we'd be in a better position to contain the fires when they happened or even to largely prevent them.

Sadly, as you pointed out, this is not seen as a money-maker. This is doubly unfortunate when you consider how many assets are used up or lost in these fires. Ounce of prevention vs pound of cure.

--Anthony



Note to Self:
Raptor - woman testifying about birth control is a slut (the term fits.)
Six - Wow, isn't Niki quite the CUNT? And, yes, I spell that in all caps....
Wulf - Niki is a stupid fucking bitch who should hurry up and die.

“The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.” -Thomas Szasz

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Saturday, June 30, 2012 7:29 AM

PIZMOBEACH

... fully loaded, safety off...


Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
Quote:

They would love the challenge, they'd probably line up to "fix" the post office, and they would either go around or find a way to change the funding issues. Creative people find solutions, they don't stop at the first road block, they enjoy the challenge.
PIZMO, have you even THOUGHT about the Post Office, or for one second tried to figure out the reality of their situation?

So there I was at the PO, and I needed to make a photocopy. Had to run a couple of stores down to find one, and finally got around to asking the PO clerk Say, have you ever thought of putting a photocopier in here? Or fax? The answer was We are FORBIDDEN to do that. Same with a number of other nifty services the PO might offer... internet access, packaging as a service, and so forth. It's hard... impossible, really... to come up with nifty solutions if you're prevented by law from implementing them. Because the PO - that weird public-private hybrid - is not supposed to be actually competing with Kinkos and UPS and FedEx for god's sake. Heaven forfend. They might actually out-compete the competition. Nope, the PO is meant to be a money-loser... to have to live on the dregs that the "real" companies find unprofitable.

It is for that same reason that the public option was eliminated from our health-care plan. Not because it might be inefficient, but because it might be TOO successful. Might actually.. yanno... force the health insurance to do something for their money other than screw their customers.



I'm a shameless, true believer in the creative mind, the Problem Solvers - these are my heroes - I'll take whatever blame you want to give me for that.
To me, your post only outlines the problems, a place to start, not stop. To throw up your hands is to say, "Can't make it go further." I know, that's a quote from a television show, but I've seen the benefits. When I schlepped as a photo assistant (some grip) our mantra was, "there's alway a solution." Lose a tripod? Make a tripod. Again I know, can't fix the PO with duct tape (well, maybe), but that same attitude I learned then has been a great ally ever since and in much more important circumstances. So go ahead, say "It" can't be done, fine.

Scifi movie music + Firefly dialogue clips, 24 hours a day - http://www.scifiradio.com

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Saturday, June 30, 2012 7:50 AM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.


"Do you think insulting people some how makes you more right?"

No, I just enjoy it. I enjoy irritating the people who irritate me. And unlike little Rappy, I'll actually address the questions with real facts and logic. It's my facts and my arguments that make me more right. But if you skip past both I can see how that might be lost on you.

"... to throw up your hands is to say, "Can't make it go further.""

There's a difference between saying "can't" and "by law forbidden to". Signy and myself are both saying the PO is FORBIDDEN/ CONSTRAINED from running in new ways that makes sense and from doing new things that are useful. Don't blame the PO for lack of vision or initiative. Blame the roadblocks that are specifically put in front of the PO, and the hobbles specifically placed on it.

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Saturday, June 30, 2012 7:58 AM

HKCAVALIER


Hey gang,

Is there perhaps a generational divide in this (and other) discussions on the board? 50-somethings "condescending" to 20-somethings? I know I come up against that wall here, thinking to myself "Oh, well, they're just kids," and walking away from a conflict. Now, of course, I've gotten into plenty of wrangles with my fellow grown ups, to be sure. Just wondering if the older, wiser participants might consider imagining the younger posters as nephews/nieces or beloved students and I wonder if the younger folk wouldn't get further in these conflicts if they recognized that the argument is naturally gonna be a little slanted against them owing to simple inexperience and other developmental issues. Is that too utopian of me?

Having spent some time in and around tribal cultures, I find a lot of value in gerentocracy as a model of governance (within a close-nit small community such as the RWED ). I'm really sorry if that sounds "condescending" to the youngsters hereabout, but in a healthy community shouldn't that have some bearing??? Just felt the need to point out what certainly looks like an elephant in the chatroom.

HKCavalier

Hey, hey, hey, don't be mean. We don't have to be mean, because, remember, no matter where you go, there you are.

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Saturday, June 30, 2012 8:10 AM

ANTHONYT

Freedom is Important because People are Important


Quote:

No, I just enjoy it. I enjoy irritating the people who irritate me. And unlike little Rappy, I'll actually address the questions with real facts and logic. It's my facts and my arguments that make me more right. But if you skip past both I can see how that might be lost on you.


Hello,

I think this is the wrong approach. Once you incense someone, they are less likely to consider what you are saying. This prevents a subject from being as thoughtfully discussed as it might be otherwise. If the object of these discussions is to either A) educate or B) examine, then insults are self defeating. Insults are only useful if the object is to infuriate someone or make them feel bad. (Which is perhaps a sign that the benign portion of a conversation is at an end.)

Perhaps most importantly, if you enjoy having your own assumptions challenged, insulting someone is counter-productive. It invariably reduces the effectiveness of their analysis by contaminating their rational thought processes with the desire to throttle you.

I try to reserve insults for people or conversations that are no longer useful or productive in any way. Perhaps you feel this thread or your partner in these discussions fits that mold?

--Anthony







Note to Self:
Raptor - woman testifying about birth control is a slut (the term fits.)
Six - Wow, isn't Niki quite the CUNT? And, yes, I spell that in all caps....
Wulf - Niki is a stupid fucking bitch who should hurry up and die.

“The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.” -Thomas Szasz

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