Quick Hits

Kinda busy catching up with other stuff, but I do have some time for some quick links:

1.) David Horowitz- Still nutty, but with more suck.

2.) Wildfires rage in California, and Michelle Malkin knows who to blame: ENVIRONMENTALISTS! “Lawsuits have tied up the president’s Healthy Forests Initiative passed in 2003,” Malkin laments.

3.) Captain Ed, last week pissed off at the do-nothing house, shows his intellectual honesty and consistency by attacking them for wasting time with the failed attempt to censure Pete stark today, is still pissed off at the House, but for different reasons.

75 replies
  1. 1
    cain says:

    Wingnuts will use any tragedy to further their aims. I highly doubt Bush’s “Healthy Forests Iniitiave” is going to help here. From what I understand, this is one massive grass fire that grows back the next year. Malkin is pretty dumb. She can’t be that intellectually dishonest, can she?

    cain

  2. 2
    Zifnab says:

    2.) Wildfires rage in California, and Michelle Malkin knows who to blame: ENVIRONMENTALISTS! “Lawsuits have tied up the president’s Healthy Forests Initiative passed in 2003,” Malkin laments.

    If only we’d listened to the President. No forests means no forest fires. But we didn’t listen! We didn’t listen!

  3. 3
    Dreggas says:

    Ok I want to personally bitch slap that Malkin. She has absolutely no fucking clue what she is talking about, not unusual but in this case she is just plain retarded. With the exception of the forests up in the lake Arrowhead area the rest of the fires are burning through scrub brush and grass. The “trees” aren’t even fucking trees.

    I truly, truly hope some californians who read that bitch get a clue on this and either tear her a new one or at least wake up to what a truly pathetic moron she is.

    Forget for a moment most of the forests out here would be pretty unreachable for clear cutting we’ve also had the pine beetle issue, incredibly dry conditions, no humidity, the santa ana winds and in the case of the fire near me fucking pyro arsonists who were, given that this is orange county, most likely REPUBLICAN.

    That bitch ain’t fit to lick the sweat off a dead mans balls let alone diagnose the “reason” for the fires here. Fuck her.

  4. 4
    Dreggas says:

    cain Says:

    Wingnuts will use any tragedy to further their aims. I highly doubt Bush’s “Healthy Forests Iniitiave” is going to help here. From what I understand, this is one massive grass fire that grows back the next year. Malkin is pretty dumb. She can’t be that intellectually dishonest, can she?

    cain

    Oddly enough, a lot of the vegetation in this area that burns needs to burn in order to reproduce. It grows for 3 or four years then when it’s ready it starts the seeding process but requires fire to spread those seeds. Don’t ask me just how the hell this is possible but they were mentioning this a few years back, I think it was the manzanita bush or something.

  5. 5
    Zifnab says:

    It seems rather sad that 196 members of Congress couldn’t bring themselves to follow Pelosi’s lead. One wonders what kind of remarks they would find bad enough to bring censure, a rather weak response in any case.

    *ahem*

    Does the phrase “General Betrayus” ring a bell? Anyone? No? Well, back to passing more war funding then. Can’t get behind in that. Ho-hum.

  6. 6
    Bombadil says:

    Here’s today’s entry for “One Word Answers to Simple Questions”:

    Malkin is pretty dumb. She can’t be that intellectually dishonest, can she?

    Yes.

    Tune in tomorrow for more of “One Word Answers to Simple Questions”

  7. 7
    Evinfuilt says:

    Oddly enough, a lot of the vegetation in this area that burns needs to burn in order to reproduce. It grows for 3 or four years then when it’s ready it starts the seeding process but requires fire to spread those seeds. Don’t ask me just how the hell this is possible but they were mentioning this a few years back, I think it was the manzanita bush or something.

    Its an important issue thats taken the US Forest Service way too long to figure out.

    All the time they spend battling each and every fire has made larger disaster fires more common. Where as small brush fires help the older plants live longer/stronger as well as distributing the seeds.

    If we allowed more brush fires to stay wild, and also not spread out so deep into the forests, problems like this would go away.

    BUT… Development happens, no matter what the environment. When people move further out, the Fire Service has to fight more fires they should just be ignoring. Then the tinder box explodes and their houses go with it.

    Somehow I expect this to get much worse before it gets better. They’ll probably get FEMA or the Army Corp of Engineers involved, then California is totally screwed.

  8. 8
    Rudi says:

    In Florida all new building or remodeling must be up to “hurricane code”. Maybe California needs to change code to limit damage caused by these annual fires in a dessert region. In Florida 99% of homes are stucco and brick, what is the situation in California.

  9. 9
    Dreggas says:

    Watching the 24/7 coverage of the fires, literally watching areas I flew over yesterday that weren’t on fire that are now burning. Just got word of another new fire that has started in the Santa Clarita Valley.

  10. 10
    RSA says:

    Oddly enough, a lot of the vegetation in this area that burns needs to burn in order to reproduce.

    Probably not what you’re thinking of, but I have this vague memory of a tree, I think, that puts out a seed with such a tough husk that almost nothing can break through it so that it will germinate–except a fire. That is, there are plants that have evolved to take advantage of a cycle of forest fires.

  11. 11
    Bombadil says:

    In Florida all new building or remodeling must be up to “hurricane code”. Maybe California needs to change code to limit damage caused by these annual fires in a [desert] region. In Florida 99% of homes are stucco and brick, what is the situation in California.

    Good question. Fire retardent roofs (clay tiles, other materials) are at least encouraged if not required, as is landscaping that moves heavy growth farther away from buildings (my understanding, anyway). Seeing some of the pictures of what’s happening in California, though, I wonder how much any of that does. Rather than comparing the wildfires to a hurricane, I think a better comparison would be to a tsunami. This enormous entity sweeps in taking everything out in front of it.

  12. 12
    cain says:

    That is, there are plants that have evolved to take advantage of a cycle of forest fires.

    That is pretty damn cool. The adaptive nature of living things is always fascinating to observe.

    cain

  13. 13
    MobiusKlein says:

    A good place to start looking – talk to botanists from the area who know this sort of thing:

    http://www.cnpssd.org/fire/

    The California Native Plant Society has chapters in nearly every county in CA, and all the cool plant nerds go there.

  14. 14
    Dreggas says:

    Evinfruit says:

    Somehow I expect this to get much worse before it gets better. They’ll probably get FEMA or the Army Corp of Engineers involved, then California is totally screwed.

    Chertie is on his way…nuf said.

    I agree WRT fire fighting strategies and the sword of damocles that it has been especially here in So Cal.

  15. 15
    Dreggas says:

    RSA Says:

    Oddly enough, a lot of the vegetation in this area that burns needs to burn in order to reproduce.

    Probably not what you’re thinking of, but I have this vague memory of a tree, I think, that puts out a seed with such a tough husk that almost nothing can break through it so that it will germinate—except a fire. That is, there are plants that have evolved to take advantage of a cycle of forest fires.

    Yeah that’s similar.

  16. 16
    Evilbeard says:

    Oddly enough, a lot of the vegetation in this area that burns needs to burn in order to reproduce. It grows for 3 or four years then when it’s ready it starts the seeding process but requires fire to spread those seeds. Don’t ask me just how the hell this is possible but they were mentioning this a few years back, I think it was the manzanita bush or something.

    It’s called Chaparral and yes burning down is part of its lifecycle . The plant emits flammable fumes that make it incredibly combustible and prone to wildfires.

    I grew up in Ventura County (north of Los Angeles) and we had wildfires at least every other year. Some years are just worse than others and I guess this is one of the worst.

  17. 17
    Dreggas says:

    Bombadil Says:

    Good question. Fire retardent roofs (clay tiles, other materials) are at least encouraged if not required, as is landscaping that moves heavy growth farther away from buildings (my understanding, anyway). Seeing some of the pictures of what’s happening in California, though, I wonder how much any of that does. Rather than comparing the wildfires to a hurricane, I think a better comparison would be to a tsunami. This enormous entity sweeps in taking everything out in front of it.

    The comparison should be that of a tsunami generated by a hurricane that is fed by said tsunami. Whenever the conditions are right a fire starts, that’s the wave. The heat of that fire begins to generate its own weather system, mainly wind but it can even generate lightning and/or thunder. This then whips the fire faster in X direction. Thus the fire consumes more fuel, gets hotter, builds its mini weather system and is driven onwards.

    There was a perfect example of this a while back when there was a fire at a nursery, the fire was burning manure at extreme hot temps. There was video of a fire “tornado” forming that was made out of flame.

    Watching the Silverado and Santiago Cyn fires right now, they are moving so fast they can’t be contained and the flames are estimated at over 100 ft high.

  18. 18
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    That is, there are plants that have evolved to take advantage of a cycle of forest fires.

    Ahem, I believe you mean that there are plants that were intelligently designed to take advantage of a cycle of forest fires.

  19. 19
    Dreggas says:

    Evilbeard Says:

    It’s called Chaparral and yes burning down is part of its lifecycle . The plant emits flammable fumes that make it incredibly combustible and prone to wildfires.

    That’s it couldn’t remember if it was that or Manzanita bushes.

  20. 20
    Punchy says:

    Who are you kidding, Cole? Malkin could just as plausibly have blamed any of the following: Liberals, Sheehan, the Schiavo judge, Beauchamp, Grahme Frost, otters, beatles, The Beatles, beatniks, or rusty beaters…and her crazed posse couldn’t care a less. They’d just go fucking crazy on cue, spewing some twisted mixed up rant blaming Lennon’s otter driving a shitty car to Sheehans house to party with rich-kid Frost and some chick with no brain activity. Thus, causing fires.

  21. 21
    Teak111 says:

    Awe, all those lush, tranquil forests here in San Diego, all burned up now. Talking heads 24/7 here in SD and that is the keenest observation yet. Put Michell, Hunter, and Bilbray in the same bucket.

  22. 22
    cleek says:

    Malkin is pretty dumb. She can’t be that intellectually dishonest, can she?

    she’s 100% honest and true to her principles, of course. don’t assume her principles are anything deeper than:

    1. Liberals are bad
    2. Conservatives are great
    3. She’s a Conservative and supports Conservative things
    4. “Conservative” means exactly what she wants it to mean. Nothing more, nothing less.

  23. 23
    Billy K says:

    Bombadil Says:
    Here’s today’s entry for “One Word Answers to Simple Questions”:

    Malkin is pretty dumb. She can’t be that intellectually dishonest, can she?
    Yes.

    Tune in tomorrow for more of “One Word Answers to Simple Questions”

    *ahem* Hat tip Atrios? *ahem*

  24. 24
    jenniebee says:

    I followed Josh Marshall’s article on IAW to A Student’s Guide to Hosting Islamo-Fascist Awareness Week and let me tell you, there is so much potential for tomfoolery there, I’m sorry that more campus theater and Rocky Horror Fan groups aren’t aware of it. For instance:

    To protest the silence of Women’s Studies programs and Women’s Centers in our universities while women are suffering brutal and inhumane treatment in the Islamic world, we recommend holding a “sit-in” at the offices of your campus Women’s Studies Department or Women’s Center.

    Personally, I think it would be faboo to get members of the drama department coming out for that in character – say as members of the stuck-up frat in Animal House. They could introduce themselves as “Chas Peabody” with their best girl “Babs Sloane” running to fetch cold drinks for everybody. The potential for unbridled sillyness is there, people!

    OR!!! You could combine this:

    you should first apply to your student government to request funds. Even if you suspect that the student government will turn down your request for political reasons, you should still take this step, as it will prove the hypocrisy of your university’s claim to be committed to intellectual diversity and academic freedom.

    with a detailed list of costs to print up errata-based drinking game rules for:

    The Path to 9/11… This controversial ABC miniseries dramatizes the 1993 World Trade Center attack and the events leading up to the terrorist attack of September 11th. Due to pressure from Bill Clinton and his supporters, ABC was forced to edit out several crucial scenes before the broadcast. While this miniseries may never be released, we are lucky to have the full, unedited version intended for broadcast on DVD.

  25. 25
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    OT, but too good to pass up:

    BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq promised on Tuesday to close the offices of Kurdish rebels and work to prevent them launching attacks on Turkey, hoping to head off a threatened invasion to crush them by Turkish troops massed on the border.

    Why didn’t we think of that? We’ll just close the offices of the Badr Corps, the Mahdi Army and AQI. General Petraeus can display a yet another chart, this one graphing America’s success in Office Closing. That’s gotta’ be good for six more months of war.

    *Bonus points when they find Iranian-made FAX machines in the PKK offices.

  26. 26
    Stooleo says:

    I worked for three summers as a firefighter in Montana when I was in college. I’m telling you the only thing that will stop the fires is for the winds to stop and rain. As long as there is fuel the fires will keep on going.

  27. 27
    Peter Johnson says:

    The reason why SoCal burns so often is because of the vegetation, not the winds. Chaparral is designed by nature to burn often. Its an evolutionary design to release nutrients back into the poor soil every few years. If you took away the chaparral then these fires wouldn’t happen.

    SoCal fires are as inevitable as floods along below-zero elevation river banks. If you want to build your million dollar mansion in such a precarious area, then you can pay for it yourself when it goes up in smoke.

    And it’s true that the Healthy Forest Initiative would have helped with this fire, but not as much as Michelle claims. It’s not the trees (which HFI primarily deals with) so much as the chaparral. The fact is that stopping this from happening again will involve measures many environmentalists will oppose, though.

  28. 28
    Evinfuilt says:

    I worked for three summers as a firefighter in Montana when I was in college. I’m telling you the only thing that will stop the fires is for the winds to stop and rain. As long as there is fuel the fires will keep on going.

    Keep your logic away… back foul beast, back, back I say.

    The fires need to happen. Its unfortunate that the fire fighters have to risk their lives to save those homes. Many of which should have not been built in those areas. But as I’m not from there, I can’t say which homes. When there are fires in Colorado, then I can pretend to be an expert (my parents new home is screwed if Pike Forest ignites.)

  29. 29
    dslak says:

    Damn you, Scott Beauchamp!

  30. 30
    Tsulagi says:

    So Malkin blames environmentalists, which of course equals liberals, for the fires? I would expect nothing less. Or more.

    Maybe the other equally smart half of the Party of Bush can blame the gays. Provoking God’s wrath again as they did on 9/11.

    Of course the Malkinettes and Robertsonites with their combined brainpower to see the big picture will just know gay environmentalists are the leaders actually starting the fires. You can’t fool them.

  31. 31
    RSA says:

    Maybe the other equally smart half of the Party of Bush can blame the gays.

    Gays may be hot, but they’re not that hot.

  32. 32
    Mark S. says:

    From the Josh Marshall link:

    In case you’re not familiar with Horowitz, he’s probably most charitably described as a rather entrepreneurial self-promotion artist, though perhaps more accurately as one of the great buffoons of the modern American soapbox. I should probably say, as a matter of disclosure, that I’ve had a couple run-ins with Horowitz, one in person. And he’s probably one of only two people I met in Washington, or really in any of my dealings with people through TPM or any other professional writing I’ve done, who was just as nasty and whacked in person as anything you see on TV. It’s no act

    Hmmm, I always kinda assumed Horowitz was an act, since I had a hard time believing a Marxist in cahoots with the Black Panthers could turn into a right wing ideologue unless he had no real core principles to begin with. When you add in his legendary intellectual dishonesty, I thought he was mostly doing it because sucking off Scaife pays well.

  33. 33
    Punchy says:

    I worked for three summers as a firefighter in Montana when I was in college. I’m telling you the only thing that will stop the fires is for the winds to stop and rain. As long as there is fuel the fires will keep on going.

    This is so wrong I don’t even know where to begin. Stopping this has nothing at all to do with wind and rain. It has everything to do with praying to God, going to church, and cutting back the foot-tapping bathroom stall bid-nezz to one weekend a month. Only when God applies the Magic Saliva between his Magic Fingers and squeezes San Diego County between those digits of his will this fire end.

    Sacrificing a minority illegal alien’s first born will probably work to….In which case, I suspect TanKKKredo is starting these blazes himself.

  34. 34
    Llelldorin says:

    Brick wouldn’t work in Southern California, because it’s about the worst building material imaginable when an earthquake strikes.

    You can make brick work in earthquake country, but it’s hideously expensive–you have to drill out all the bricks and thread them with rebar.

    Somehow, the notion of lumber companies eagerly using HFI to start “logging” chapparal is so entirely ludicrous that for once I can’t even get mad at Malkin. It’s as if she’s trying to be a Monty Python version of herself.

  35. 35
    Jake says:

    “Lawsuits have tied up the president’s Healthy Forests Parking Lots and Shopping Malls Initiative passed in 2003.”

    Do you think it would be worth while to explain to Ms. Mawkish that all of the plants Bush Cutter wanted to remove have these things called “roots,” and without them you get more erosion, mud slides and other fun stuff?

    Yeah right, what am I thinking?

  36. 36
    Darkrose says:

    Maybe the other equally smart half of the Party of Bush can blame the gays. Provoking God’s wrath again as they did on 9/11.

    *insert obligatory flaming joke here*

    Now me, I’m wondering if perhaps the Goddess is annoyed that the Governator vetoed the marriage equality bill yet again. Please note that same-sex marriage is legal in Massachusetts, and the Red Sox are going to the World Series twice in the same decade. Who’s being punished here?

  37. 37
    Bombadil says:

    ahem Hat tip Atrios? ahem

    Did Atrios post this somewhere else? Or are you talking about the “one word answer” thing (which is done all over, including “Cheers and Jeers” at DailyKos).

  38. 38
    Zifnab says:

    SoCal fires are as inevitable as floods along below-zero elevation river banks. If you want to build your million dollar mansion in such a precarious area, then you can pay for it yourself when it goes up in smoke.

    Or you can buy fire insurance at inflated rates, and tap Federal Disaster Relief dollars to subsidize the repair of the damage.

    Heck, I’ll do you one better. You can send your Congressman, one Mr Duncan Hunter, to procure millions in relief money for your district while he actively votes down the Children’s Health Insurance Program, because government handouts for people who have too much money is wrong.

    Then, you can tell Michael Chertoff to go out and start lambasting everyone in San Diego who isn’t a Republican donor and making over a $1mil/year for taking up residence in the city when everyone knows So Cal is fire-prone. Maybe a few years later, you clear funds for luxurgy apartments to get built around Qualcomm Stadium with government relief money. Then you eat a baby.

    God bless our country.

  39. 39
    Dreggas says:

    Ya know,

    I can agree when it comes to mudslides if you build your house on a hill side and strip it of vegetation you can probably expect to see your house go down the side of the hill and it is your own damn fault. HOWEVER looking at the fires right now, knowing damn well that most of these areas have taken precautions against fires and the homes are built them in relatively decent areas I can’t blame these people and no, HFI has nothing to do with this. This was the perfect storm of fire conditions.

    Any area, given the right conditions, is fire prone period. This is not a case of “You made your bed”.

  40. 40
    Dreggas says:

    oh and the estimates of Evacuations stands at 950k.

  41. 41
    Chris Johnson says:

    New Orleans, Southern California… I keep waiting to see disasters happen to people Republicans DON’T wish would all die, to see what they’d do.

    Not happened yet. Maybe in tornado country, or some kind of storms in the Great Lakes region?

  42. 42
    Dreggas says:

    Chris Johnson Says:

    New Orleans, Southern California… I keep waiting to see disasters happen to people Republicans DON’T wish would all die, to see what they’d do.

    Not happened yet. Maybe in tornado country, or some kind of storms in the Great Lakes region?

    Well….San Diego and the inland parts of So Cal are not liberal bastions despite the blue they paint this state. Lousiana went for bush both times as did Miss.. The last round of major fires pummeled Idaho and Utah as well as Az which all went for bush. The midwest has been flooding out a lot this year and there have been a ton of tornados…

  43. 43
    GOD says:

    Well….San Diego and the inland parts of So Cal are not liberal bastions despite the blue they paint this state. Lousiana went for bush both times as did Miss.. The last round of major fires pummeled Idaho and Utah as well as Az which all went for bush. The midwest has been flooding out a lot this year and there have been a ton of tornados…

    Yes, My son. And those stupid fucks still won’t take the hint.

  44. 44
    JWeidner says:

    SoCal fires are as inevitable as floods along below-zero elevation river banks. If you want to build your million dollar mansion in such a precarious area, then you can pay for it yourself when it goes up in smoke.

    Fuck off pal. I don’t know where you live, but chances are you’re in the path of some natural disaster or another. No one is immune to them…that’s why they’re called “natural” disasters.

    C’mon down and wait out the fires with me and my family in our house (definitely not a millionaire’s mansion). Until you do, shut your pie hole.

  45. 45
    Dreggas says:

    JWeidner,

    Where ya at? OC here.

  46. 46
    JWeidner says:

    Same here Dreggas, we’re in San Clemente.
    How about you?

  47. 47
    Dreggas says:

    Santa Ana

    Just a wee bit north of the Santiago and Silver cyn fires.

  48. 48
    JWeidner says:

    good luck and stay safe.

  49. 49
  50. 50
    Peter Johnson says:

    C’mon down and wait out the fires with me and my family in our house (definitely not a millionaire’s mansion).

    JW: no offense meant. I wish you all the best and am praying for your safety as well as that of everyone in the possible path of the fire.

  51. 51
    Delia says:

    The reason the wildfires are getting worse is because it’s getting drier. I left SoCal three years ago, and I remember seeing the forests filled with sugar pines turned red from bark beetle blight. They’re weakened from inadequate water and then the beetles can kill them. More die every year, and then they virtually explode when fire hits.

    And see, the Healthy Forests Initiative is intended for places like Oregon, Washington, Montana, etc., where there’s a lumber industry, and the timber companies can use it to go into National Forest land and do some clear cutting they wouldn’t have been able to get away with otherwise, and rape and pillage what’s left of the forests. There’s no timber industry in SoCal, the trees down there are no good for lumber, and frankly, there’s no money to made clearing dry grass and scrub oak, so I’m afraid the Healthy Forests Initiative is good for nothing except maybe a little ill-informed Michelle propaganda. But what else is new?

  52. 52
    TenguPhule says:

    So Malkin blames environmentalists, which of course equals liberals, for the fires? I would expect nothing less. Or more.

    But if we removed all the plants, there would be nothing left to burn, amirite?

    Yes, the Right is fucking insane.

    You’d think they’d start getting the hint that something is *WRONG* when we have less and less water coming down while the average temperature keeps going up.

    Carbon Dioxide, they call it…life.

  53. 53
    Mr. M'Choakumchild says:

    Hmmm, I always kinda assumed Horowitz was an act, since I had a hard time believing a Marxist in cahoots with the Black Panthers could turn into a right wing ideologue unless he had no real core principles to begin with.

    In Horowitz’ case, a love of Stalinist style authority, and a sick vicarious thrill in watching street thugs promoting violence and domestic terrorism are his core values. He claims some sort of conversion to conservatism, but as far as his twisted personality is concerned, he did not change one bit.

  54. 54
    D-Chance. says:

    But, of course, blaming global warming is fine?

    I mean, California never had wildfires before man invented the SUV? Please. This is nature at work. And this is the way nature has worked for decades, centuries, millenia… long before ol’ Chris ever bumped into the other shore.

    Left-wing lunacy, right-wing lunacy, it’s all lunacy. Just don’t be selective about jumping one side’s case while giving the other a free pass. That’s why so many moderate R’s remain R’s… the grass ain’t that much greener on the other side of the fence. Hmmm… maybe that’s due to global warming, too?

  55. 55
    Zifnab says:

    But, of course, blaming global warming is fine?

    I mean, California never had wildfires before man invented the SUV? Please. This is nature at work. And this is the way nature has worked for decades, centuries, millenia… long before ol’ Chris ever bumped into the other shore.

    Shorter D-Chance: GEORGE BUSH DOESN’T CAUSE HURRICANES FOREST FIRES YOU STUPID LIE-BRULS!

    You know, D-Chance, lightning strikes happened long before we invented rebar, but I’d have to be an idiot to hold a piece of rebar above my head in a thunderstorm. People do stuff, and doing stuff has consequences.

    While it is true that fire has existed since, arguably, the dawn of time, record heat waves in the South and West are a relatively new phenomenon. And heat waves cause grass to dry, which in turn produces a giant pile of kindling for any potential fire that may begin. What could cause a series of record heat waves? Some suggest it is an increase in the average global temperature, a “change” in “climate”, some might call it a “warming” of the “globe”. Crazy, I know.

    It’s also worth noting that this is the biggest firestorm to sweep California in recorded history. This suggests that California is more fire-prone than it was ten, twenty, or thirty years ago.

    Perhaps we should investigate why we’re having these fires, rather than calling people stupid for presenting their hypotheses. If we wanted to go the extra mile, we could then analyze the research we conduct and act on it, rather than sticking our heads in the sand and screaming about how scientific studies are a myth and all natural disasters are caused by teh gh3y. Radical change of policy, I realize. But given our track record over the last seven years, I think its worth giving a shot.

  56. 56
    Dave says:

    Perhaps Michelle can give her endorsement to the Ralph for President campaign!

    He’s not taking this Nobel Prize thing sitting down!!!

  57. 57
    Dreggas says:

    Quick update:

    The san diego fires have merged, this is bad because they were saying if they merged they didn’t think they’d be able to fight it.

    Over 1 billion dollars in property damage in San Diego county alone, over 800000 evacuated in SD County alone.

  58. 58
    Doorman says:

    I live in Wisconsin. moons away from the Hurricanes of the Southeast and the wildfires in the West.

    It does seem to me that some places should simply not be developed. Or if so – the buyer must accept a greater risk.

    In my lifetime (57 years) I have heard the same story replayed constantly. Floods down the Mississippi. Hurricanes in Florida, Texas or the Carolinas. Forest Fires in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho and wildfires followed by Mudslides in California.

    Something has to give. Don’t build in those areas again.

  59. 59
    TenguPhule says:

    Please. This is nature at work. And this is the way nature has worked for decades, centuries, millenia… long before ol’ Chris ever bumped into the other shore.

    Shorter D-Chance.: I don’t understand the difference between what causes a fire and what makes a fire worse.

    A moderate idiot is still an idiot.

  60. 60
    D-Chance. says:

    TenguPhule Says:

    Please. This is nature at work. And this is the way nature has worked for decades, centuries, millenia… long before ol’ Chris ever bumped into the other shore.

    Shorter D-Chance.: I don’t understand the difference between what causes a fire and what makes a fire worse.

    Shorter TenguFool: I WANT TO BLAME CONSERVATIVES, GODDAMMIT!

  61. 61
    jcricket says:

    Something has to give. Don’t build in those areas again.

    You know, I am generally sympathetic to the idea, but only in theory. Sure, building an entire section of a city well under sea-level next to a flood-prone river and/or Ocean seems asinine. The people who build their homes way up in the hills near an area that burns every year, sure, that’s a problem. Maybe we shouldn’t rebuild in areas that get hit every year with one disaster or another.

    But there’s almost nowhere in the US that isn’t at least somewhat susceptible to natural disasters now and then. Should everyone who lives in CA or Seattle (big fault lines) move somewhere else? Desert-dwellers (dwindling water supply) too? Anyone in the midwest with periodic twisters, occasional flooding, drought? Where do we draw the line?

    It’s just something we can deal with, through a combination of private insurance, private charities and government stop-loss programs (FEMA). That’s how it works in massive countries with expanding population centers that are located in less than 100% stable areas.

  62. 62
    D-Chance. says:

    And, btw, TenguFool, there is no evidence that this fire is any worse than thousands upon thousands of previous fires. In fact, it’s not even the worst fire in the US to happen this year. The only difference is that man willingly moved into this historic firezone. Remove man and you have the North Texas fires from only 9 months ago, where more than TWICE the acreage went up in smoke. Difference is that the near-million acre North Texas fires occurred in a rural region of the country and didn’t involve nearly as many wealthy white folk and their fancy wealthy white mansions, so the hysterical new coverage wasn’t there to go wall-to-wall for full 24-hour cycles.

    Take out man, and you would still have a bunch of big-ass fires out there… with no one to try to snuff them out. Man is only significant to this event in that he willingly and purposely moved himself into the danger zone.

    It isn’t man who flamed the fires in California, it wasn’t man who spawned the hurricane in New Orleans, it wasn’t man who pushed the tsunami wave into Indonesia. Man isn’t that influential in nature… get over yourself and purge yourself of such phuleish thoughts.

  63. 63
    mr.ed says:

    Malkin has a point. If there were no trees to burn, the fire wouldn’t be able to spread as fast. So, kill all the trees. Remember when somebody substituted Jews for trees? Same blind, illogical hate, different date.

  64. 64
    Doorman says:

    It is beginning to become a priority to stop building in dnager zones. The barrier islands in the Carolinas is being taken off the available sites. They should be doing it throughout the lowlying areas in the gulf. Leave the coastal areas for recreation and a buffer to protect runoff and drainage. Move the homes inland. Off the river and out of the grassy brushy hills.

    It’s a small price to pay for security and environmental protection.

  65. 65
    chopper says:

    In my lifetime (57 years) I have heard the same story replayed constantly. Floods down the Mississippi. Hurricanes in Florida, Texas or the Carolinas. Forest Fires in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho and wildfires followed by Mudslides in California.

    tornados and blizzards in wisconsin…oh, wait.

  66. 66
    Dreggas says:

    Ya know, I get a kick out of these people who site here and talk like it’s only rich people living here in So-Cal and it serves us all right for living in such a “danger zone”.

    I’ll remember that the next time I hear about blizzards, floods, tornados, or any other natural disaster striking the area they live in that results in a state of emergency. Then I’ll be sure to tell them, too bad, so sad, they built there knowing the risks.

  67. 67
    Tax Analyst says:

    Dreggas Says:

    Ya know, I get a kick out of these people who site here and talk like it’s only rich people living here in So-Cal and it serves us all right for living in such a “danger zone”.

    Wait! You mean I’m NOT some fabulously wealthy fat-assed schmuck sitting around sucking down trendy drinks with little umbrellas in them and luxuriating in the spoils wrought by exploiting the masses in less-fortunate states? You mean I’m (shudder) a “Working Class” asshole sitting in his work cube talking bullshit on-line on his boss’s dime?

    Holy Shit!

  68. 68
    Dreggas says:

    Tax Analyst Says:

    Wait! You mean I’m NOT some fabulously wealthy fat-assed schmuck sitting around sucking down trendy drinks with little umbrellas in them and luxuriating in the spoils wrought by exploiting the masses in less-fortunate states? You mean I’m (shudder) a “Working Class” asshole sitting in his work cube talking bullshit on-line on his boss’s dime?

    Holy Shit!

    I know man, was a one helluva slap in the face to figure that out. I just don’t know how I will go on. My shitty apartment in a shitty city is NOT a mansion in the hills woe is me.

  69. 69
    Tax Analyst says:

    Dreggas Says:

    I know man, was a one helluva slap in the face to figure that out. I just don’t know how I will go on. My shitty apartment in a shitty city is NOT a mansion in the hills woe is me.

    Somehow this reminds me of a fairly stupid but nonetheless oddly entertaining movie from around 1967 or 1968…I think it was called “Psych-Out” (Not kidding), with, of all people, a young Jack Nicholson (as “Stoney”, bass player in a psychelic band), Susan Strasberg, Bruce Dern, Dean Stockwell. Adam Roarke and, get this, Garry Marshall! Strasberg plays a deaf runaway who comes to Haight-Ashbury to look for her missing brother, a seriously messed-up (surprise) Bruce Dern. Anyway, I believe Dean Stockwell’s character has this line near the end, “Reality is a deadly place. I hope this trip is a good one”

    Seriously…

    I imagine the dialogue seems even more dated today than it did when I saw this movie, which was probably sometime in the 80’s. But I also imagine this flick would be good for several or more hearty laughs & guffaws.

  70. 70
    Mr. M'Choakumchild says:

    How can you live in the Northeast?
    How can you live in the South?
    How can you live on the banks of a river where the flood waters flow from the mouth?

    Paul Simon, of course.

  71. 71
    dmbeaster says:

    I have lived in a brush zone in California for 25 years (Topanga Canyon) and have seen four major fires in the area over those years. A few interesting facts.

    The plant community is adapted to the annual six month drought from May to November — it is always tinder dry this time of year, and the brush is very prone to wildfire for that reason. Add to that the hellish seasonal Santa Ana winds this time of year. Essentially every square mile of the mountains of Southern California have burned over the last 100 years. That has been going on for thousands of years. The plants are adapted to it in many different ways (and many rely on it for reproduction since fire is inevitable) — those that weren’t were killed of eons ago. They are actually fairly fire resistant, but in the current conditions, it makes little difference. Also, they tend to accumulate dead branches over the years, which do not fall away because the plants are slow growing and tough, and the dead branches are not weathered as quickly in the dry climate. They become more flammable with age (it takes about 30 years after a burn to regrow the typical fuel load — areas that are not burned for decades are explosive when fire begins).

    The plant community is called “chaparral” — manzanita is one type of plant in that community.

    There is no practical means to prevent this — that oxymoron “Healthy Forests Initiative” would have zero impact since no one is clearing brush for economic benefit, and certainly have not been prevented from doing so because the HFI has been held up. I spend an average of $500 per year to clear dried grasses and brush from my .3 acre property, and every few years a lot more to trim back the growth over the last few years. Annual clearing of brush away from structures and construction with fire resistant materials is the only effective remedy, and even that can be hopeless in the current conditions — The Malibu Canyon fire burned several concrete structures.

    The incidence of fires has not increased so much as the effect of those fires. There is so much more development in fire prone areas over the last 30 years. I can remember 100,000 fires in the 70s. We had two in the last few years in the essentially empty areas in northern Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties that burned very few structures. But there are lots of other areas with structures now.

    Fire insurance in brush areas is pursuant to “assigned risk” fire plans managed by the State. These are underwritten by private insurance — not state subsidy. The insurance rate is not that much greater than regular insurance. The point of assigned risk is to guarantee that no insurer is the unlucky one who happens to have most of the policies in the area that just got burned. They underwrite the pool — not property by property. The overall fire risk is not that much greater; it is a catastrophic loss in one area that makes the risk difficult to underwrite — like 20th Century Insurance and the Northridge earthquake.

    California is well below the national average in fire deaths per 1000 (US Fire Administration, FEMA; navigate its site for a number of interesting statistics) and property loss per 1000. Wildfires do not figure as a major portion of losses from structure fires — they are, however, catastrophic and high profile.

  72. 72
    TenguPhule says:

    D-Chance. Says: Yes, I’m a fucking moron who can’t tell the difference between what starts a fire and what makes a fire worse! Not to mention I’m about as conservative as Bush is compassionate!

    Corrected.

    there is no evidence that this fire is any worse than thousands upon thousands of previous fires.

    Translated D-chance: Yes, The fact that the fire is visible from orbit means there’s nothing wrong with this picture. Welcome to Crazyworld, let my ignorance be your guide!

    It isn’t man who flamed the fires in California, it wasn’t man who spawned the hurricane in New Orleans,

    But it was man who’s helping to make these disasters just that much more worse by screwing with the climate factors.

  73. 73
    TenguPhule says:

    D-Chance. Says: Yes, I’m a fucking moron who can’t tell the difference between what starts a fire and what makes a fire worse! Not to mention I’m about as conservative as Bush is compassionate!

    Corrected.

    there is no evidence that this fire is any worse than thousands upon thousands of previous fires.

    Translated D-chance: Yes, The fact that the fire is visible from orbit means there’s nothing wrong with this picture. Welcome to Crazyworld, let my ignorance be your guide!

    It isn’t man who flamed the fires in California, it wasn’t man who spawned the hurricane in New Orleans,

    But it was man who’s helping to make these disasters just that much more worse by screwing with the climate factors.

  74. 74
    Doorman says:

    Reference has been made to Tornadoes and Blizzards in the Midwest being like the Fires and Hurricanes of California and Florida and the Gulf.

    Doesn’t really fit. A blizzard is really no big deal and won’t destroy a house unless you live in a tent. Tornadoes are impossible to predict and can show up anywhere. In the case of Hurricanes and Fires – We know where they will be and just about when it will come.

    We can adjust by not building in those areas. There are limits to development.

  75. 75
    Doorman says:

    Finally simply this. How many chances does someone get when they build a house in a flood, fire or Hurricane zone? If someone wants to pay for it – fine. Insurance ought to be a bit high.

    I don’t much like the idea of replacing some schmucks 5th house after it was burned down like all the others. Or rebuilding on a flood plane or Coastal keys with tax money or insurance that is partly paid with my better choices.

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