Saturday, September 03, 2005

wham, bam, thank you Dave

Tell me Dave, why do catastrophic earthquakes happen in Iran?

The answer to Hemati is that, after a quarter of a century, Iran is still being ruled by a useless, incompetent semi-theocracy, which is fatalistic, complacent, unresponsive and often brutal. And such a system does not deliver to its citizens one fraction of what the Great Satan, for all its manifest faults, manages to guarantee to ordinary Americans.

Tell me Dave, why do catastrophic hurricanes happen in the USA?

Twice in recent years there have been full-scale disaster drills in New Orleans, because the risk to the city — should anything happen — was so great. But in 2000 and in 2004 the assumption made by experts and officials was that the levees would not be breached. In other words the disaster they got was far worse than the disaster they’d planned for.

You can’t help wondering whether this omission wasn’t essential — that had they hypothesised a levee failure, it would have called the whole existence of the city into question. After the great Galveston, Texas, hurricane of 1900 the seawalls were built 17ft high and the whole town was raised by something like 8ft. It would have been impossible to do that in New Orleans. So maybe they just didn’t let themselves think just how bad things could be.

Tip


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14 Comments:

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9/03/2005 07:19:00 PM  
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9/03/2005 07:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do you guys make of Johann Hari? Can you incorporate him into this blog?

9/03/2005 10:10:00 PM  
Blogger Levi9909 said...

Hey thanks for the tip. I'm going to link to you.

9/03/2005 11:00:00 PM  
Blogger Bruschetta Boy said...

You're the man Rioja Kid (I suspect). I was gonna call qualified victory on "the vulnerability, the fallibility", but this is much better.

9/04/2005 12:06:00 AM  
Blogger Vinnie Grett said...

He's really lost it now hasn't he.
V.

9/04/2005 01:57:00 AM  
Anonymous backword Dave said...

In other words the disaster they got was far worse than the disaster they’d planned for.. Why does DA not consider this culpable negligence?

9/04/2005 08:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Rioja Kid said...

Yes, it was me thanks, brushy boy.

Note the evolution of the line:

The US administration must be defended for its policy in Iraq.
Because I support it's policy in Iraq The US administration must be defended on any grounds.

So what do we make of our Nick then, this week?

9/04/2005 03:05:00 PM  
Blogger Backword Dave said...

As for Nick's main essay, I'd agree with him, if you allow for two doubts. First I don't much trust his reporting. I looked up "Emma Lewis" on Google News; no joy. Second, "The best test of the veracity of any story is to ask if you would be taken aback if it was true" is the stupidest thing I've read in a very stupid week. His final paragraph in that essay isn't much better; makes me think more highly once again of Michael Moore and Adam Curtis though.

His second essay makes a few points I agree with: the intellectuals of the post Thatcher generation have been largely unsuccessful; Portillo is quite smart; and Tony Blair is really a Tory. But it's done in an I-can-twist-anything-into-a-pretzel-shape way, which is annoying. The "best pupil Cowling never had" is perhaps the third stupidest thing I've read this week.

So for me, boo for Ken, and boo for Nick.

9/04/2005 04:59:00 PM  
Blogger Bruschetta Boy said...

would anyone care to guess which website called "Harry's Place" the Emma Lewis story originally appeared on?

[btw, as a long time carrier of water for Ahmed Chalabi, it ill behooves Nicko to call anyone else a fantasist, or to pretend that "Arab liberals" have doen alright by us so far]

9/05/2005 06:40:00 AM  
Anonymous isakofsky said...

I can feel an aaronvitch itch coming on...my crystal ball tells me that he's figuring out a way of saying that he would rather have lived in New Orleans during Katrina than in Baghdad under Saddam. And that's why he was right to approve of the war. I bet you a copy of the communist manifesto i'm right

9/05/2005 10:25:00 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

Whereas Hitchens, wonders will never cease, manages to get through a whole interview sounding reasonable and not having a go at the Left.

http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2005/s1453763.htm

9/06/2005 07:45:00 AM  
Blogger Backword Dave said...

That's because he's moved on to filthy immigrants in the good ol' USA.

I'd like to add that I just got the pun in the title. Ho, very good.

9/06/2005 09:46:00 PM  
Blogger Sonic said...

I saw that Matthew just after I set up Hitchenswatch he goes all sensible on me.

grrrrr

http://christopherhitchenswatch.blogspot.com/

9/07/2005 12:18:00 AM  

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