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Old 26th April 2019, 11:32 AM   #121
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Claim: Trump is especially catastrophic.

Counter-Claim: Trump is no more catastrophic than other politicians.

Case Study: Disaster preparedness and response, specifically hurricanes.


---

If Trump isn't unique in this regard, why even bother to complain?
That's just silly. First of all, I don't recall ever saying that Trump was "unique" in his greater likelihood of screwing up in catastrophic way. What I said was catastrophic results are probabilistically much more likely with incompetence such as Trump's--it's happened before with GWB, as I acknowledged days ago. If you disagree and continue to think I claimed "uniqueness" I invite you to post a link where I said such a thing.


Even so: "Why even to bother to complain"? Seriously???? You don't have to be unique in your incompetence and corruption to be worth complaining about, and I can't believe I have to explain that to an adult (assuming you are an adult). If other presidents suck as bad as Trump that does not mean we shouldn't complain about Trump sucking. How can you not realize this???

According to your "logic" once a president sets the bar so low, no subsequent president is worth complaining about until he "uniquely" lowers the bar EVEN MORE. If a president, for example, embezzles $1,000,000 from the treasury, we can't complain when future presidents steal <=$1,000,000 because he's not "unique".

But sure, I'm going to tell my friend that he's not the only one suffering from cancer and therefore he has no right to complain. GTF outta here with that "argument".

For what it's worth, I like to call this behavior TIS: Trump Infatuation Syndrome.
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Old 26th April 2019, 11:36 AM   #122
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
The claim was that Trump was uniquely unprepared to deal with catastrophes. That wasn't my claim. I've merely pointed out that that claim hasn't been backed up.


You're absolutely right--it WASN'T your claim.

It was your STRAW MAN.
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Old 26th April 2019, 11:41 AM   #123
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On further review I see that others DID claim uniqueness for Trump, but seeing as how Ziggurat has attributed that claim to me, specifically:

Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
So when you look for a failed response to a hurricane, instead of pointing to Trump, you point to GWB. And that's supposed to demonstrate that Trump is uniquely unprepared for catastrophes?

Do you not understand what you just did there?



You're asking if *I* am playing dumb, after you just scored a goal against yourself?

Oh, of course: you aren't playing.
I stand by my straw man claim.
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Old 26th April 2019, 12:39 PM   #124
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Originally Posted by Cabbage View Post
On further review I see that others DID claim uniqueness for Trump, but seeing as how Ziggurat has attributed that claim to me, specifically:



I stand by my straw man claim.
I think you need to step away from this thread for a bit. You seem to be getting understandably upset by what is going on here.

I'm reading posts by the Trump apologists that imply that the disaster on Puerto Rico wouldn't have been as bad if the people had just had some home insurance and bottled water. Well, Trump apologists: **** you. I really hope that one day you find yourself in the situation of seeing your house a pile of rubble with all the bottled water underneath it, with no prospect of a roof overhead for tonight because there are no roofs anywhere within twenty miles, with no prospect of help from the "local government" because all their buildings are just as flat as yours and their emergency response vehicles are gone. Not that there's any way for them to find out your predicament because all communications are dead. And your insurance claim will not get processed for many months because it's three millionth in the queue.

You Trumpistas should be ashamed at the way your government failed your fellow citizens on Puerto Rico. You should be humiliated that Oxfam felt the need to step in. The first duty of the US government is surely to protect its citizens. It failed on Puerto Rico and Trump, as the chief of the executive bears ultimate responsibility.

Time to step away from the thread a bit.
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Old 26th April 2019, 02:00 PM   #125
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Originally Posted by jeremyp View Post
I think you need to step away from this thread for a bit. You seem to be getting understandably upset by what is going on here.
Actually, I'm perfectly fine. I'm just tired of the BS and decided the BS needed to be pointed out somewhat forcefully.

I do sincerely appreciate the thought, however, but it's long past the time to pretend Trump apologists' have an argument worth considering. Admittedly, perhaps some of them do. The one I was responding to was not one of them (We shouldn't complain about Trump sucking because other presidents have sucked...hurr durr). That argument absolutely deserves the scorn I gave it, and theprestige should be embarrassed that he even thought it was worth posting.
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Old 26th April 2019, 02:05 PM   #126
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Originally Posted by jeremyp View Post
I think you need to step away from this thread for a bit. You seem to be getting understandably upset by what is going on here.

I'm reading posts by the Trump apologists that imply that the disaster on Puerto Rico wouldn't have been as bad if the people had just had some home insurance and bottled water. Well, Trump apologists: **** you. I really hope that one day you find yourself in the situation of seeing your house a pile of rubble with all the bottled water underneath it, with no prospect of a roof overhead for tonight because there are no roofs anywhere within twenty miles, with no prospect of help from the "local government" because all their buildings are just as flat as yours and their emergency response vehicles are gone. Not that there's any way for them to find out your predicament because all communications are dead. And your insurance claim will not get processed for many months because it's three millionth in the queue.

You Trumpistas should be ashamed at the way your government failed your fellow citizens on Puerto Rico. You should be humiliated that Oxfam felt the need to step in. The first duty of the US government is surely to protect its citizens. It failed on Puerto Rico and Trump, as the chief of the executive bears ultimate responsibility.

Time to step away from the thread a bit.
Bottled water always helps in an emergency because, get this, people need water. That's one of the reasons that the government delivers bottled water in an emergency, and one of the reasons it's always near the top of the list of disaster preparedness lists. So yeah, it DOES help to have bottled water in an emergency. A lot. Especially if emergency response vehicles can't reach you.

As for insurance, that's actually an interesting story. First, note that flood insurance doesn't cover wind damage. Ordinary home owner's insurance may do that, and that's private. Not everybody buys flood insurance. The rates can be quite high since you may be at high risk, which is why the government created the National Flood Insurance program. This is a government-run program, and payouts from the program are included in disaster spending totals referred to earlier.

Now let's look at Puerto Rico specifically.
https://riskcenter.wharton.upenn.edu...uerto-Rico.pdf
There were only something like 4,200 National Flood Insurance policies for ALL of Puerto Rico. So payouts from flood insurance are going to be minimal, and that's going to skew the totals. But that's not the whole story. Puerto Rico is actually unusual in that unlike the rest of the US, the flood insurance market is dominated by private insurers, NOT by the National Flood Insurance Program. So there's another 40,000 odd privately insured flood insurance policies, and payouts from them will not be counted in the federal disaster relief totals. Why are there so many more private insurance policies in Puerto Rico? Because they're cheaper than the National Flood Insurance policies, because most house construction in Puerto Rico is concrete rather than wood framing, making structures much more flood resistant than most US construction. But even including these numbers, the total number of people with flood insurance is quite low. That's not Trump's fault. Wind damage (such as a roof being blown off) may be covered by other home owners policies, and I don't have numbers on that. But damned straight insurance matters in the aftermath of a disaster. If you've got insurance, that helps A LOT. If you don't have insurance, you may be able to get a government loan to rebuild, but loans have to be repaid. You can get a FEMA grant to help you, but those are quite limited by law, not executive decision, and nothing close to a substitute for insurance.

For some reason, the indisputable fact that having bottled water and insurance helps in a disaster causes consternation in you. You haven't disputed this. Instead, you've tried to create a straw man that I'm saying those are the only things that you need. But I never, ever made any such claim. Assuming you survive the actual hurricane (and the government can't do much about that), bottled water is the number one thing that will help most people survive the aftermath. That doesn't mean that other emergency services aren't important. That doesn't mean bottled water will restore things to normal, or that returning to normal isn't important. I haven't argued any of those things.
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Old 26th April 2019, 02:07 PM   #127
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And I will acknowledge my cancer reference in the post at the top of the page wasn't really analogous or appropriate, but I do stand by everything else I posted.
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Old 26th April 2019, 02:10 PM   #128
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post

For some reason, the indisputable fact that having bottled water and insurance helps in a disaster causes consternation in you. You haven't disputed this. Instead, you've tried to create a straw man that I'm saying those are the only things that you need. But I never, ever made any such claim. Assuming you survive the actual hurricane (and the government can't do much about that), bottled water is the number one thing that will help most people survive the aftermath. That doesn't mean that other emergency services aren't important. That doesn't mean bottled water will restore things to normal, or that returning to normal isn't important. I haven't argued any of those things.
Well, when the actual topic is "Federal" aid, bringing up bottled water, insurance, self prep, and local aid aren't really relevant.

It's a federal aid thread, not a pamphlet on how to prep for and survive a disaster.
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Old 26th April 2019, 02:37 PM   #129
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Originally Posted by Cabbage View Post
Well, when the actual topic is "Federal" aid, bringing up bottled water, insurance, self prep, and local aid aren't really relevant.

It's a federal aid thread, not a pamphlet on how to prep for and survive a disaster.
I've pointed this out already: the mods chose the title, not the people actually engaged in the debate. It isn't an authoritative title.
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Old 26th April 2019, 03:21 PM   #130
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
I've pointed this out already: the mods chose the title, not the people actually engaged in the debate. It isn't an authoritative title.
The thread title was chosen because that was the debate. Find me a reference to bottled water, insurance, self prep, and local aid before you irrelevantly brought it up.

Bringing up a topic does not imply it's relevant to the debate. Sometimes it's a deflection.
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Old 26th April 2019, 03:23 PM   #131
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Unless, of course, your interest in the debate truly was, for some reason, disaster preparedness.

I see no evidence of that.
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Old 26th April 2019, 04:13 PM   #132
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Are construction engineers making the claim that Trump failed?



No, he probably didn't. But that's fairly typical of government. It rarely works as well in practice as it could in principle. So how is Trump a unique risk in this regard? It's not enough that he didn't do as well as he could have.



I don't know. It depends a lot on the details of what exactly broke, and I don't see anyone presenting a case on that basis. The argument from incredulity doesn't suffice to convince me they could. Maybe they could, but I don't accept that as a given.
Hmmm.....Interesting line of argument. The government always screws things up, so of course they would screw up this, too?


Well, whatever. To my way of thinking, the military ought to be capable of moving lots of heavy stuff into place in a very short time, and a good civilian administrator ought to be capable of finding out which heavy stuff to move in order to get things going. All it takes, then, is a guy who is in charge of both to make it happen, and a little bit of cooperation from a couple of guys named Ryan and McConnell just in case some checks need to be signed.

I'm not even sure that's necessary. I read somewhere that the military can do construction and can pull the money from somewhere else to do it if the president declares a national emergency. Maybe Trump isn't aware of that law.


I think it could have happened faster, and if it had happened faster, fewer people would have died.
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Old 26th April 2019, 09:23 PM   #133
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Whether Trump is unique is the entire basis for this thread.
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Claim: Trump is especially catastrophic.

Counter-Claim: Trump is no more catastrophic than other politicians.

Case Study: Disaster preparedness and response, specifically hurricanes.


---

If Trump isn't unique in this regard, why even bother to complain?
Whoa! Stand back fellow members. Zig and theprestige are moving some goalposts!

When did the question turn to "unique". You are both rather literate, so I know you know what "unique" means.

Grossly Incompetent doesn't mean unique.
Bilious Pimp doesn't mean unique.
Racist Toad doesn't mean unique.
Autocratic Nepotist doesn't mean unique.
Vindictive Man-child doesn't mean unique.

(I'm limiting the list to avoid terms that we can't all agree on. )
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Old 26th April 2019, 11:12 PM   #134
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
Hmmm.....Interesting line of argument. The government always screws things up, so of course they would screw up this, too.
That isnít at all what I said. I said the government rarely operated optimally. Thatís true of large organizations in general.

And get specific about what should have been done. It doesnít suffice to say that you think something should have been possible. What was needed to turn the power back on? Was it rate limited by transportation, or some other factor? And if it was some other factor, was it even possible for the military to speed it up? And if so, by how much?

Do you know any of this? Or do you just assume because Orange Man Bad?
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Old 26th April 2019, 11:16 PM   #135
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
Whoa! Stand back fellow members. Zig and theprestige are moving some goalposts!

When did the question turn to "unique". You are both rather literate, so I know you know what "unique" means.

Grossly Incompetent doesn't mean unique.
Bilious Pimp doesn't mean unique.
Racist Toad doesn't mean unique.
Autocratic Nepotist doesn't mean unique.
Vindictive Man-child doesn't mean unique.

(I'm limiting the list to avoid terms that we can't all agree on. )
Trump is definitely unique in some ways. But not all ways are relevant here. For this discussion, the question is whether he poses a unique threat because of an inability to respond to a catastrophe. And that hasnít been remotely demonstrated. His unique penchant for insulting his opponents, for example, doesnít matter for that question.
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Old 27th April 2019, 05:23 AM   #136
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
For this discussion, the question is whether he poses a unique threat because of an inability to respond to a catastrophe.
Are you including not only the disasters that he inadequately responds to, but also those disasters he creates through his white nationalist policies? Or is that a different kind of disaster?
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Old 27th April 2019, 06:11 AM   #137
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
That isnít at all what I said. I said the government rarely operated optimally. Thatís true of large organizations in general.

Hmmm...."Always screws up" versus "rarely operates optimally". Deciphering the difference between the two seems like an extremely productive activity. Then, once we establish the difference, we could try and debate whether the two are kind of the same, or very much the same, or "not at all" the same. That could entertain us for weeks, no doubt, but I'll leave it to others to take up the challenge.



Quote:
And get specific about what should have been done.
I suppose I can't. I don't know about military logistics. I don't know how they manage to build bridges so tanks can cross them. I don't know how they move so many men so fast. I don't know how they respond to novel situations. I don't know how they coordinate civilian assistance for the non-military actions they participate in.

And yet, despite the fact that I don't know how any of that stuff works in detail, I have confidence in saying that the French army did it very badly in 1940. I can't get more specific than that, but I'm sure they screwed up in a big way.


Likewise, I don't know much about getting water and electricity to a hospital. I know if involves plugging in parts, and replacing some that may have been damaged. I know that it might involve tracing a line, and perhaps moving one or more large trees that might have fallen on it, or putting up a tall pole and stringing a new wire, but I know that if you have heavy equipment in place, and you don't have to deal with all the paperwork that is usually required as part of normal activity, you can get it done.


It didn't get done in a timely manner. People died. I blame the guy in charge.


It was interesting searching through the web for some discussion of these issues. What I found was a lot of government agencies talking about what they did. As it turns out, they all did great, but they could have done better if they had more funding. One organization that discussed it was the Army Corps of Engineers. The general in charge talked about getting the call 8 days after the storm. In my opinion, he should have gotten the call 1 day after the storm. But....the White House phone system isn't like a regular phone system. Since I can't describe the specific steps necessary to make a phone call from the White House, I guess we can't conclude that Trump could have notified them to start moving the day after the storm. Maybe it was impossible.
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Old 27th April 2019, 06:46 AM   #138
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This is at least a step up from what Trump serves for lunch to visiting sports teams


Not by much though
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Old 27th April 2019, 03:41 PM   #139
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Originally Posted by applecorped View Post
This is at least a step up from what Trump serves for lunch to visiting sports teams


Not by much though
Yeah, because serving a fast food hamberder meal to a football team at the White House is really no different in significance from a failure to respond to a disaster that killed thousands of Latinos. In fact, I struggle to find any meaningful distinction between them at all.
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Old 27th April 2019, 05:27 PM   #140
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
That isnít at all what I said. I said the government rarely operated optimally. Thatís true of large organizations in general.

And get specific about what should have been done. It doesnít suffice to say that you think something should have been possible. What was needed to turn the power back on? Was it rate limited by transportation, or some other factor? And if it was some other factor, was it even possible for the military to speed it up? And if so, by how much?

Do you know any of this? Or do you just assume because Orange Man Bad?
If one can't explain large scale military operations in enough detail for Zig, he gets to hand wave away any complaints about Trump. Likewise, unless you were literally there, on the ground, and can explain to Zig in enough detail everything that needed done and how it was done and what could have been done to improve that process, then Zig revokes your right to complain about Dear Leader.

Really, Zig? 'Where you there?' mixed with irreducible complexity? This is really your best argument to defend Orange Man Bad?
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Old 27th April 2019, 10:28 PM   #141
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
I suppose I can't. I don't know about military logistics.
It's not just about military logistics. It's also about power grid infrastructure. What was broken? What's required to fix it? How long does that take? Some of the equipment in a power grid is very expensive, very specialized, and doesn't always have spares available. It can take a long time to repair some of that stuff even under ideal conditions. Without a clue about what broke and what it takes to fix it, then you really can't say how long any of it should have taken.

Quote:
It was interesting searching through the web for some discussion of these issues. What I found was a lot of government agencies talking about what they did. As it turns out, they all did great, but they could have done better if they had more funding.
Every government agency can always do better with more funding. You will never find one that claims otherwise.

Quote:
One organization that discussed it was the Army Corps of Engineers. The general in charge talked about getting the call 8 days after the storm. In my opinion, he should have gotten the call 1 day after the storm.
Finally, a concrete criticism. I can accept that one.
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Old 13th June 2019, 01:47 AM   #142
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Quote:
FEMA admits itís Ďshort a few thousand employeesí as hurricane season begins
https://thinkprogress.org/fema-short...74Ll4_gsbeXtx4



...Gosh, who could have ever predicted that an incompetent president might leave federal agencies (disaster or otherwise) understaffed/underfunded?

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Old 29th November 2019, 08:00 PM   #143
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Hey, I've tried telling you all this repeatedly, but some of you just refuse to listen. Just what the hell does it take for you to finally pay attention?

Quote:
Team Trump Admits Holding Back Billions for Puerto Rico Disaster Recovery


Trump Team Told Nine States and the Virgin Islands How to Get Money, But Not Puerto Rico




Trump administration officials have admitted that last summer they knowingly withheld billions of dollars Congress appropriated to help Puerto Rico recover from Hurricane Maria. House Democrats say withholding the relief money violates the law.

Federal law requires that our government help Americans hit by natural disasters. But two Housing and Urban Development officials acknowledged at a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on Oct. 17 that HUD blocked the Puerto Rico relief funds.

The HUD delay meant the island missed a deadline to apply for billions of dollars in disaster relief funds, raising doubts about when, if ever, the money will flow to the island devastated in September 2017 by a Category 5 hurricane.

https://www.dcreport.org/2019/10/24/...ster-recovery/


....Go ahead. Let's start hearing the usual excuses from the usual suspects.....
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Old 30th November 2019, 09:27 AM   #144
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Think of the children. Especially of all those corrupt politicians, bureaucrats, and contractors who could have skimmed millions off additional aid.
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