US Disaster Hotspots

us_hotspots.jpg (110 KB)

Lil’ bit in the corner says:

NOTE: Due to the changes in geography and FIPS codes, the 2010 (social?) vulnerability of Alaska was not able to be projected. In addition, there are counties within the (unreadable) US that were unable to be projected due to changes. These counties are represented by the following symbol:

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    29 Responses to US Disaster Hotspots

    1. I thought the entire country was a disaster after the last few presidents. You realize that right? The United States is a joke now. We all laugh at you and your weak economy.

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    2. Assuming these are natural disasters, I’d say the wrath of god sure tends to hit the Bible Belt a lot.

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    3. I’ve been thinking that in the far future I should move to Seattle or Portland. This helps my choice a little bit. I’m so tired of Texas.

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    4. “I thought the entire country was a disaster after the last few presidents. You realize that right? The United States is a joke now. We all laugh at you and your weak economy.”

      Well that’s really nice of ‘you’ guys, it’s good to know that human kindness isn’t just an American thing (what with the billions of dollars we donate privately and through the government to the mass of world states, most likely including your own country).

      😀

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    5. Also, as a side note: The ‘unreadable’ word is “conterminous” (dictionary.reference.com/search?r=2&q=conterminous). It basically means the same thing as “contiguous”, which is being connected through (and in this context through a land border).

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    6. If I remember right, Guswat, Alec is Canadian, which means that his peacekeeping troops are, right now, dying weekly to fix your problems in Afganestan, which were entirely manufactured by Americans, mainly for some minor cold war strategic victory and a distinct lack of foresight.
      .
      The fact that Canada is sending soldiers to die to help you fix your problems, which were none of Canada’s responsibility, and which provides no benefit to Canada, should give you pause for thought on the whole charity thing. Especially because most US federal foreign spending is done in exchange for crippling economic concessions in the third world and in many cases only acts as a minor offset to unplayably large debts to, guess what? Americans, you altruists you.

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    7. Erm, dieing. That was rather silly of me.

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    8. @RSIxidor

      Keep out of Portland. We don’t like new people.

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    9. Plus, you know, it rains 6 months out of the year. Thank Jebus it keeps the Barbies and Kens from SoCal out of here.

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    10. I love rain. I’ve been to Seattle and liked it there, but from what I understand Portland is one of the best cities in the country for vegans to live. Some of my buddies visited their Portland, their dad lives 50 minutes away, and told me amazing tales of all you can eat vegan buffets and donut shops that have vegan donuts and I realized once more how much I hate Texas. Austin’s pretty cool, but somehow the capital of Texas is not a good representative of the rest of the state.

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    11. “and donut shops that have vegan donuts…”

      I didn’t realize donuts were made of meat. I’m obviously shopping at the wrong donut shops!

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    12. @suicydking

      what do you think they’re frying that in? Sunshine and rainbows? That’s animal lard!

      well it used to be at least, now it’s likely peanut oil, or plastics

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    13. I hate vegans, but yeah you can find that there. Vegan donuts? Probably. Are they made with eggs or something?
      ~
      Though we do have one of the most innovative donut places out there: Voodoo Donuts. The Reeses Peanut Butter Cup donuts are bomb, but they have some weird flavors than no man should eat, too.

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    14. Voodoo is the place they were talking about.

      Donuts are typically made with eggs, often with milk or some kind of dairy, and in many cases animal shortening (especially things like ‘donettes’ that you buy at a gas station. And depending on the restaurant or producer there maybe something funny in the glaze.

      Vegans go far beyond not eating meat, but in fact, many donuts have animal shortening, which is basically fat, so yeah, some donuts are made with ‘meat.’ So there.

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    15. “If I remember right, Guswat, Alec is Canadian, which means that his peacekeeping troops are, right now, dying weekly to fix your problems in Afganestan, which were entirely manufactured by Americans, mainly for some minor cold war strategic victory and a distinct lack of foresight.
      .
      The fact that Canada is sending soldiers to die to help you fix your problems, which were none of Canada’s responsibility, and which provides no benefit to Canada, should give you pause for thought on the whole charity thing. Especially because most US federal foreign spending is done in exchange for crippling economic concessions in the third world and in many cases only acts as a minor offset to unplayably large debts to, guess what? Americans, you altruists you.”

      First off, it’s GusWUT. I’d like to thank you in advance for making a note of it for future posting so as to not make the same mistake.

      Secondly Caio, I completely support the removal of American troops from overseas (or even over-border). I think it’s IDIOTIC that we’re allowing our men and women to die for the ‘greater good’ when we should have them at home to keep our borders safe. While ‘bringing the fight’ to them is a great idea when THEY have a set location, in the current case of ‘terrorism’ being our enemy we really have no where to take the fight to. What it comes down to is a personal and political agenda by a group in our government. Hopefully in this upcoming cycle we’ll have a leader that isn’t a nut case (or at least, I think that Ron Paul is less of a nut than Hillary/Obama/McCain/etc).

      The fact that Canada hasn’t told the US to fuck off and pulled their soldiers out just goes to show how bloody smart they are (read as: not much at all). If THEY don’t want to fight, then they shouldn’t be fighting, eh? The charity thing is mostly done through private organizations which, as we’re still a (mostly) capitalist society (until a useless socialist finally gets elected) so they speak for themselves on that (which just goes to show that while the US government might have it’s issues, the US people still want to try and help whenever they can). Oh, and yeah, giving money to get something in return is part of our society. Fancy that, eh mate? It’s an investment!

      Of course, though, I’m perfectly sure that you have a complete understanding of the way the world works in your own mind, so I won’t bother you anymore with any attempts to challenge your cognitive dissidents. Enjoy yourself while you still have the chance to!

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    16. “While ‘bringing the fight’ to them is a great idea when THEY have a set location, in the current case of ‘terrorism’ being our enemy we really have no where to take the fight to.”

      Guess what, Guswut? We (America and allies, etc) just (well, just being like 5 years ago when we first invaded Iraq) MADE the location. Yeah. That just happened.

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    17. Right, mate. Is cognitive dissidents supposed to be beat poetry, or do you mean dissonance? As in “Why is that random n00blet not only trying to stand up to Caio, but using semi-generic commonwealth English while claiming to be American and making spelling mistakes which suggest a North American accent? Also, why is he simultaneously continuing the argument while backing off like a pussy. He must have some serious identity issues and cognitive dissonance going on.’
      .
      Most of the third world debt was racked up in the context of SaPs, generally in exchange for making these countries economically ‘safe’. That is, the countries, in exchange for large sums of loaned money without any consideration of actual cost, transport, labour, expertise, availability, were forced to make structural economic changes in their legislation. Most of these changes were based on completely untested economic theories heavily tilted to an extreme form of objectivism which could not be called capitalistic in the Adam Smith sense of the word. What the economists failed to take into account was that the real-world shock made any sort of productive infrastructure building non-feasible, and virtually all of these nations were left poorer than before. In essence, the impact of the conditions meant the money from the loans didn’t go very far, leaving most of these countries worse off than they were before, but now paying out money they don’t have which is worth nothing to fill a debt in USD. Which, of course, is causing out of control inflation, which is further isolating these economies and preventing any kind of progress in terms of actual, material economic tools.
      .
      Now, how are your US charity dollars to Africa being used? Well, you’re mainly paying to ship food to places where people are dying of hunger on arable land. Because all the economic means of these countries is being payed out mainly to Americans, the local farmers can’t maintain equipment (so even giving them a tractor wont work, because if it breaks, who will fix it?) and end up working the land by hand, guaranteeing a low return on crops and thus everything else.
      .
      So when you pay money to charities, you’re paying a lot of money to move food to places that could potentially be producing surplus food.
      .
      Charity to third-world nations is an illusion meant to give fat Americans and Europeans some purpose in between hamburgers. All of the developed world, with all their contributions, is managing to contribute famine relief and generally non-potable water to a handful of villages. Real economic progress in those countries is and will continue to be a closed issue until long-term economic planning based on tested and solid foundations becomes a world priority. It’s an illusion. You may as well burn your money and claim it’s going to the God of Charity, who will solve all problems from the firmament.
      .
      But I’m sure as you smugly shove cheeseburger ten of the day down your throat, the daily $1 (or pound?) you send to the tv infomercial charity (which goes to a few seconds worth of gas) gives you some kind of peace of mind: It even lets you brag on the internet for what a fucking Mother Teresa you are. The fact that such indolence-driven ignorance and ego-gratification could actually be called charity is mind-blowing.

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    18. @Caio
      Trust me, you are going to want to let this one go. I pointed out his CD last time, by showing him how his stance changed to whatever semi-logical position (sometimes near the opposite) seemed to counteract what I was saying after each rebuttal, without actually acknowledging any of the factual evidence I was presenting him.
      ~
      After he claimed the past was better because, “Everyone was happy on TV in the 50s,” I decided either he’s beyond repair or the best troll ever. Seriously. Scripted television, in the most censored period of television production, being evidence of happier times. My mind was literally blown.

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    19. Paul:
      Actually, I think Ciao was responding to Guswut, but, in response to you, my stance does not change, I simply do not type out every single thought and belief I have, because I don’t care to try and help you understand how I think or what my positions on every single thing ever, I am merely trying to get across enough of my point to help show my viewpoint. Also, I didn’t claim the past was better, I merely said that I wished I lived when the world was a better place, and gave the example of 50s TV as AN EXAMPLE of what a “better world” looks like.
      Plus, links to websites mean absolutely nothing to me, thanks to the internet being a place that anyone can do anything they want. But have fun being a fucktard. WHEEEE!

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    20. “Now, how are your US charity dollars to Africa being used? Well, you’re mainly paying to ship food to places where people are dying of hunger on arable land. Because all the economic means of these countries is being payed out mainly to Americans, the local farmers can’t maintain equipment (so even giving them a tractor wont work, because if it breaks, who will fix it?) and end up working the land by hand, guaranteeing a low return on crops and thus everything else.”
      .
      I’ll call BS on this. Speaking as the child of a USAID worker who has gone to and visited places which received funds I’ll have to point out that you are full of it. I’ve seen medical clinics in Swaziland, Peace Corps volunteers in Haiti, locally operated fabric manufacturers in Guatemala, schools and hospitals in South Africa, and a multitude of other very direct contributions to local communities. This may not be how the majority of the money is distributed, but I can tell you what I have personally seen. Good people have made best efforts to put what money was available to good use.
      .
      You are right in that most US foreign aid is spent on US company products but that’s the way the money was made available in the first place. Want that new power generation plant? Bechtel has to build it. Net effect? They have a power generation facility. Are you under the misapprehension that this is different for any given country’s foreign aid?
      .
      If you want to talk about radical economic policies how about we look at a historic example. After WWI what did the Allied nations do? They imposed harsh economic reparation regimes on the conquered countries. After WWII what did the Allied nations do? They insisted on reparations but then created a massive financial investment mechanism to rebuild the Axis economies first. Why am I point this out? Because that’s how we learned that the first method was bad economic policy. We learn from the economic missteps we experience. In 1974 Panama had a catastrophic earthquake. The US sent a massive amount of food aid to help with the impact. It essentially put many Panamanian farmers out of business. Bad economics, we learned from it, we (eventually) learned to moderate food aid. You point out that the economic policy of free market adoption hasn’t resulted in the benefits expected. Guess what? Lesson learned. Time to move on.
      .
      I’ll just say in passing that most of your assertions rap a healthy dose of fertilizer around a seed of truth. Charities send food places! Uh, most of them are trying to teach people to farm sustainably not how to import corn on the cob. (ADM may have their own ideas here.) Sometimes they do ship food but these days most realize it’s a bad long term practice and do so only in emergencies. Real economic progress is a closed issue! So the adoption of microbanks (originating in India) and specialization of production on local talents with international distribution (fair trade) is a non-occurrence? Good to know, sensei. Radical changes to lower income countries failed because of untested economic policies ! So the countries were pictures of economic health beforehand and weren’t taking the terms of the loans because of dire need and past policy failures? These countries were ready to institute their own perfect economic policy poised to revolutionize their economy when ham fisted, cheeseburger gobbling imperialist running dogs put a gun to their head to do what they demanded? They weren’t making the changes because they needed the loans to prop up already failed economic policies? (Oh, and by the way the US was at fault for any corrupt leader who chose to accept the loans in the first place, of course. The US number one export is cronyism and nepotism.)
      .
      If you want to smugly shove bullshit down the throat of us stupid cheeseburger gobbling American’s you might want to step back and reconsider your own infallibility. The people who made the policy decisions did what seemed best at the time. They lacked your 20/20 future vision. How the policy played out wasn’t dictated by them. And afterward they learned from the results. But the one thing they unequivocally did was get up off their fat asses and do something. You?

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    21. Just had dinner. Guess what it was. Cheeseburgers. Glad to show you’re right about at least one thing.

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    22. I can’s say I know much about Swaziland, but, perchance, when you were there, did you cross that border into Mozambique? I used to volunteer for a charity organization which gave supplies to schools in Mozambique, Zaire, Botswana, India, Nepal and Peru. Above I mentioned a tractor. This is based on something the head dude told me about Mozambique:
      .
      Basically, there was a pile of tractors and trailers which you’d attract to the tractors for different purposes (don’t know the term) behind the mission where the school was. They’d been sitting there since the 80s and arrived as part of some American economic revitalization thing irregularly and in the middle of the civil war (the rebels were funded by Apartheid SA, which was one of the few countries to put loans to good use, by the by). Most of the farmers couldn’t afford gas, and the large-scale farmers who could couldn’t maintain them. There were no parts, and no one knew how to fix a fucking tractor, so after a few years, all the farmers were back to hand-plows and scythes again. I’m going to admit that my knowledge of economics and policy is a bit weak, but there’s a serious problem there. The grain farmers were harvesting and planting at a 1/4 ratio on bad years and they were keeping livestock. That’s fucking nuts. Of course, they were provided with irrigation, but most of the canals aren’t maintained, so they’re still pretty much in the middle ages. Of course, IMF continues to issue loans.
      .
      And let’s not forget: The South African loans which were mainly used for arms to fuck up all those countries where the blacks still ran things was never cancelled for Mandela. Apartheid wasn’t subject to such strict adjustment because they were fighting the ‘commies’ ohohoho good ol american charity.
      .
      For your examples: As you point out yourself, African countries didn’t have much of an agricultural base to begin with. European countries were simply rebuilding. India struggled compared to Europe, but they’ve always had fairly developed agriculture, an educational system, a class system which lent itself to the economic specialization by individuals and so on. Oh, and they proved themselves willing to fight the commies inspite of their socialist leanings. The comparison doesn’t hold.
      .
      Wow, it’s like you read my entire post and chose to ignore the section which threw the whole thing into context. Wilful blindness and self-righteous rage for the win. You do realize that countries have pulled themselves out of the mire before. Ireland, Portugal both did. This came largely from the EU economists analyzing the entire history of what works and doesn’t work. IMF (in which US members have the most voting power) used no examples, facts or real-world experience, and then you say “How the policy played out wasn’t dictated by them.” Yes it fucking was. Read my lips: If you use an entire population as a Guinea Pig because you really liked Atlas Shrugged, you will fail.
      .
      And you ignore the most central fact of all: The justification for loans, as opposed to donations, in the 1980s was that these African Countries would shoot right up to the first world and prove capitalism would win over communism and the debts would pay themselves. When these countries failed and people stopped caring about the cold war, IMF continued (and continues) to issue loans in exchange for near economic hegemony, still on idealistic grounds. African governments haven’t restructured, but are still depending on loans for basic functionality at this point, and are in the meantime paying interest with the majority of their taxes. There’s no money left for infrastructure or even good old Keynesian investment. I just that’s because Keynesian Economics actually had a limited amount of success at one point and thus is beyond the realm of consideration.
      .
      Do you know why China is on the up and up money-wise lately? I think it has to do with the long term effects of Deng’s policy: “Do what works.” Fucking crazy right? After 30 years of failure, we should continue issuing these loans because like check it in the Fountainhead the individual was king, y0.
      .
      To address the final point, yes the US was completely at fault for supporting corrupt leaders:
      findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1079/is_v87/ai_4991192
      (good friends by all accounts)
      Propping up dictatorships to prevent communism in parts of the world where the threat of communism was minimal got a lot of my family killed. It was the same sort of Empire-for-Empire’s Sake that left Africa so screwed up in the first place. Now with a new boogieman in the form of the Shanghai pact, you yanks have yet another reason to keep those countries your fucking surfs. Yeah, good intentions I’m sure, Dan.

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    23. Oh, and for those of you who aren’t familiar with the US-backed dictator and personal friend of Reagan in the link, because he fought the commies (as Reagan points out on several occasions), he was allowed to spend his loan money on literally dozens of castles in Europe amongst other things. I’m sure Reagan visited them regularly when abroad. Yeah, totally the people of Zair’s fault and not Reagan’s and the Americans’, check, y0

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    24. Oh, and what am I doing to help poor countries? Well, leaving the land of my birth after my family lost land it had owned for a century because you yanks turned it into some fascist hellhole, and payed to have half my family killed. So your father worked for some phony propaganda organization that threw a few band-aids out here and there? Fuck you, Dan.

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    25. *sniff*
      and you still have time to post rants here.

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    26. You know, any monetary aid the US provides to other countries, is just borrowed from the Chinese. The US keeps going deeper and deeper in debt, and it’s the next several generations that are going to have to suck it up and deal with it (or go all Jericho).

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    27. I’m sorry for your loss Caio. Sese Seko was a monster and I won’t try to defend the US’s support of him.
      .
      That said I’ll still disagree with almost everything you assert.
      .
      I lived in Swaziland at the time of the Mozambique civil war. Did I visit? No, I make it a policy to stay out of freefire zones. I remember that the functional currency were international food aid vouchers. I remember that South Africa aided the rebels. I remember that the US presence there was negligible during the hostilities (ambassador was recalled and the consulate had a skeleton staff). I also remember the context for those tractors.
      .
      This was just after the Green Revolution had spread out of Mexico and increased crop yields world wide. India had used new strains of rice and wheat to become self-sustaining agriculturally. Africa was expected to be the next big success. Zimbabwe and South Africa did have great success but mainly because of two factors: Latitude and Stability. The latitude dictates the kind of crops you grow, and because the latitude of southern Africa is the opposite poles version of Northern Europe it could use some well understood farming techniques. Unfortunately, where South Africa and Zimbabwe had stability to maintain long term investments in agriculture Mozambique had a civil war. So those tractors, they were there because somebody invested in making Mozambique a bread basket and failed.
      .
      So someone, let’s say the IMF, made a loan to Mozambique. Mozambique then invested in irrigation and farming equipment (tractors) and started to farm. Then the instability comes along and civil war disrupts the economy. Prices go up. The price of gas, in particular, makes using those tractors economically infeasible. (In all probability it also made anyone with a sellable skill, like fixing tractors, leave the country.) So the fault here is obviously Americas. We caused the price of gas to spike. We caused the civil war. We caused the devaluation of the currency. Let’s laugh long and hard at those bozos who gambled on Africa’s future and lost.
      .
      Now you indicated that US loans to South Africa were behind all this. I have a question, are you narcoleptic? Because someone was napping at a strategic time during history class. South Africa was under embargo from the US. We didn’t make loans to South Africa. The pop sensation around the world was “Sun City” (look it up). South Africa was a pariah state with its own agenda.
      .
      My pointing out the WWI vs. WWII example was to show how we learn about economics. I wasn’t comparing the development of the individual nations.
      .
      Your central fact needs some work. Nobody thought these countries would suddenly become first world nations. They did expect the loans to be used to boost the economy. The central premise of those loans were threefold; help create a stable economy that would be resistant to Soviet aid, engender good relations with the country (or usually with its leadership) and BUY AMERICAN WEAPONS TO FIGHT THE COMMUNISTS. Nobody had any illusions about the US agenda at the time. And leaders like Sese Seko played the US fears of communist incursions into a nice steady paycheck, from both sides. But the IMF really did expect that money to be used to create a good economy, that was one of the central premises for the loans.
      .
      Back to the learning of economics from experience. I agree that these loans are crushing developing economies. The economists have learned and are modifying the terms of new loans. But see, that modification is now the ‘new and untested’ economic policy. You test it by doing it. They are also trying hard to better the management of loans. It’s not an easy thing to do because those loans are matters of national pride and what happens once the money leaves the IMF coffers is up to the recipient. Loan forgiveness is also being increasingly adopted (though it took Bono to force the issue with the governmental underwriters). But here they are requiring benchmarks be met too. There are no free lunches. Hopefully the economics work better now.
      .
      I can’t help myself. I have a one name response to “Read my lips: If you use an entire population as a Guinea Pig because you really liked Atlas Shrugged, you will fail.”
      .
      Alan Greenspan
      .
      That would be our own economy used as a Guinea Pig. (In case you are unaware he was a student and friend of Ayn Rand and is a leading proponent of the obectivist school of economics.)
      .
      By the way, what was the section that gave your post context? You said there was one but didn’t reiterate. As far as I could tell your central premise was that the US was the boogieman who made all evil occur and that we are all cheeseburger eating idiots. Was it the bit where you made wild assertions about the parameters of loans without considering how intergovernmental loans work? Or maybe where you pointed out that economists weren’t precogs who could foresee all the unintended consequences of their loans? Or maybe about how untested economic theories were used to test econo … hey, wait a minute!
      .
      Anyway, unfuck you Caio. This isn’t personal.

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    28. What the FUCK IS THIS CHART SUPPOSED TO REPRESENT?

      Especially considering 2010 hasn’t happened yet.

      /anti-threadjack

      Reply

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