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Comment Re:Go after em Nate (Score 5, Informative) 335

Well then here is another piece for you...

Every state that receives federal assistance for disaster is required by the Stafford Act to have a FEMA approved mitigation plan. It can be one of two flavors. Standard all hazards mitigation plan or enhanced all hazard mitigation plan. Larger states go for enhanced because it gives up to 20% instead of 15% but to be enhanced a state has to demonstrate a capability and dedication to running their own programs. Smaller states like mine don't have the staffing to pull that off properly so we go standard. These plans are public documents (sensitive critical infrastructure mitigation may be redacted) so check with your State Hazard Mitigation Officer who is responsible for those plans. (WV citizens can find theirs here: http://www.dhsem.wv.gov/mitiga... )

Add to that each local unit of government must have an approved local plan if they want to participate in mitigation funding programs. (Again, WV citizens can use the link above for their regionalized plans).

State plans have an update cycle of 3 years while local plans have an update cycle of 5. SHMOs nationwide have been arguing this update cycle is backwards. After all, which is more likely to change over time, local or statewide?

Comment Re:Go after em Nate (Score 5, Informative) 335

One of the criticisms I've seen of this paper is that Pielke doesn't take into account the fact that we've built more resilient structures in response to past natural disasters so the fact that the costs remain about the same means either those responses haven't been very effective or that the natural disasters have been getting worse but the additional resilience keeps the costs about the same.

Disclaimer: I am the State Hazard Mitigation Officer for my state...

Having said that, I can vouch for the fact that every state gets 15% of the cost of the disaster just for mitigating future damages. Everything from acquisition / demolition and elevations for flooding to safe rooms and wind resistant construction for hurricane and tornadoes. This has been going on since the late 80's and is part of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Public Law 93-288) as amended. Section 404 covers the Hazard Mitigation Assistance and 406 covers Mitigation for Public Assistance (infrastructure).

http://www.fema.gov/robert-t-s...

Currently, our state has over 1,500 properties that are under deed restriction preventing any structures from being built there ever again.

Title 44 of the Code of Federal Regulations stipulates how the Hazard Mitigation Grant programs are to be implemented.

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/C...

Add to that the newly (and controversially) enacted Biggert Waters National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 and it makes the NFIP risk based as it should be.

http://www.fema.gov/flood-insu...

So yes, this nation has been actively seeking ways to make communities much more resilient to natural disasters.

And from an anecdotal point of view having been in emergency management for 15 years, I can say from personal experience that storms are getting more frequent and more powerful.

Comment Re:Millions of people. (Score 1) 99

In some cases I have. For example, I stopped trying to rid myself of the flu virus through the totally ineffective flu vaccine. Haven't had a single instance of the flu in the ten years I stopped getting the vaccine. But the thousands of strains of the flu virus is exactly the kind of mutations I am talking about. Nature will always find a way.

Comment Re:Millions of people. (Score 1) 99

That depends on the quality of life I will have after the treatment and what is involved in the treatment in the first place. If the quality of life goes below my standards, then yes, I would refuse treatment and live life to the fullest for the time I have left. If the treatment is worse than the disease then yes, I again would refuse treatment and live what life I have left to its fullest.

Comment Re:Millions of people. (Score 2) 99

...Flying insects kill millions of people each year. ...what? This goes beyond hyperbole.

Even if it wasn't, our constant struggle to defy nature is astounding. The thing is, nature will always win. Death is inevitable and frankly, things like disease and famine are natures way of population control. Just look at some of the modern day diseases and their resistance to antibiotics for an example of nature getting around the problem. Until humans can face the fact that death is around the corner, the more waste of time and resources we have trying to outwit nature. Just because we can do a thing doesn't mean we should. We have no idea how this technology will upset the balance nature has struck. Wiping out an insect species may very well wipe out others that depend on them for food. Eventually, that can lead right up the food chain to us.

It will be interesting to see how nature gets around this problem.

Comment Re:sNOwden Listen to this (Score 4, Insightful) 273

sNOwden decided to make our nation look completely idiotic in the eyes of the world , decided to put its citizens at risk further...

I would say those that dreamed up the spy program, implemented it, got it sanctioned and enshrined in law and defend it made our nation look bad in the eyes of the world. All Snowden did was leak it's existence. If you don't want the US made to look bad, then maybe the US shouldn't be doing things that make them look bad.

Comment Re:Probably not Illegal. (Score 2, Informative) 417

Ummm... No...

After Charles I of England became king in 1625, this religious conflict worsened. Parliament increasingly opposed the King's authority. In 1629, Charles dissolved Parliament with no intention of summoning a new one, in an ill-fated attempt to neutralize his enemies there, who included numerous lay Puritans. With the religious and political climate so hostile and threatening, many Puritans decided to leave the country. Some of the migration was from the expatriate English communities in the Netherlands of nonconformists and Separatists who had set up churches there since the 1590s.

The Winthrop Fleet of 1630 of eleven ships, led by the flagship Arbella, delivered 800 passengers to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Migration continued until Parliament was reconvened in 1640, at which point the scale dropped off sharply. In 1641, when the English Civil War began, some colonists returned to England to fight on the Puritan side, and many stayed, since Oliver Cromwell, himself an Independent, backed Parliament.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M...

The Quakers had the same issues and they too migrated to the US to escape religious persecution. Look it up.

So to say it was "religious freedom they were running away from" is totally false.

Comment Lock up the wild birds! (Score 5, Interesting) 49

Lee said they were looking at three possible routes the virus could have taken onto campus: wild birds, NIAS vehicles, and supply deliveries. 'We will determine the reason for the infection, and we are going to hold those responsible accountable,' he said."

OK... Just how do you hold wild birds accountable???

Comment Re:Oracle Services (Score 3, Informative) 132

But I've spoken to a half-dozen or so of their clients, and not one of them has ever had a successful completion of a project, and they've all gone over budget. Purely anecdotal evidence, I know.

I could tell you from a West Virginia perspective it isn't good:

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/...

And that's not anecdotal evidence.

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