Home > Earthquake, environment > GOP budget would slash tsunami warnings

GOP budget would slash tsunami warnings

Mother Nature has delivered a perfect example of why a Republican move to cut funding for the National Weather Service could lead to disaster.

“What would happen if the continuing resolution passes [is], there will be a dismantling of our nation’s early-warning system,” Dan Sobien, president of the National Weather Service Employees Organization, said in an interview with the National Journal. “It would result in a roughly 30 percent cut in the budget of the National Weather Service.”

The cuts would cause the NWS to shutter individual offices for a month at a time on a rolling basis.  In which case we might as well call the NWS the National Weather Gambling Service, because there’s no telling just when — or where — a natural disaster will strike.

Unlike Republicans, earthquakes and tsunamis are not predictable.

  1. Sam Spade
    March 12, 2011 at 4:41 am

    This post is surreal. Would be fuuny except its not some exagerated joke/parody by a democratic comedian. These are the folks who bankrupted American (Chapter 13 reorganization funded by middle class taxpayers) and now they have moved on to dismantle the systems which protect the American people from disaster. Tragic.

  2. March 12, 2011 at 5:18 am

    Psst, Politics, go play in a corner for a second while the rest of us who deal in the real world have a chance to get a word in:

    If I’m in charge of allocating a budget (or hell, just doing my job) for a mission-critical system involving the lives of millions of people, I’ll gladly fast-track that system to the front line, no matter what. Hey. I’ll kick down some bucks if I have to because I love their service. How’s that?

    30% cut? Give me a dollar amount and I bet we’ll find enough folks who love your services to make you wish you were a private business. :)

    March 12, 2011 at 6:54 am


    I personally DON’T NEED the Weather Service AND mankind for that matter, never needed the weather service through evolution.

    Besides, the earth needs a a good cleansing and reduction in population and wastes. Tisk, tisk.

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  4. Ned Cola
    March 12, 2011 at 7:14 am

    No Tsumani Alert, we need to let nature cut the population into 1/3. There is nothing wrong with natural selection.

  5. Mitch
    March 12, 2011 at 7:20 am

    Politics here, Josh, busting out of your corral. I’m in charge (that is, Politics is in charge) of swarms of “mission critical systems involving the lives of millions of people,” and yet I’m well known for allocating money on the basis of which campaign contributors paid best.

    But great idea to have only the interested parties chip in. It would be like a voluntary tax system, right? Let’s try it first for the Department of War, OK? After we see how it works out, we can review results and decide whether we should do it with the Department of Homeland Security. Then, if your idea has worked out, we can see where else it might be applied.

  6. Mitch
    March 12, 2011 at 7:23 am

    And Henchman and Ned,

    Assuming you’re serious (which is always a reach, but let’s just assume for the moment), before you advise on population reduction by eliminating warning systems, why not just lead by example?

    Yes, that’s exactly what I mean.

  7. Ponder z
    March 12, 2011 at 7:25 am

    So is Fema going to pass out iodine tablets to us now? Nuke fallout should be here in a few days. Maybe the Weather Channel will predict this time frame.

  8. Plain Jane
    March 12, 2011 at 7:48 am

    I “second that emotion,” Mitch.

    March 12, 2011 at 8:08 am

    Over-population is no joke, but it is a game of individual greeds (at what point do people and their selfish mass reproductions come back to haunt society); so yes, I am serious with respect to understanding that “point of origin” for all human problems. Logic – Human problems are man-made problems….babies are man made……. babies grow old and die…….What happens in between those years of life is debateable.

    It appears only those who profit off of MASS people would want over-population.


  10. maciebing
    March 12, 2011 at 8:12 am

    At this point you’d think there is enough information out there…the Republican’s should change their name to Bad Idea.

  11. Phigs
    March 12, 2011 at 8:15 am

    Of course you ding-a-lings have to politicize a natural disaster.

  12. Anonymous
    March 12, 2011 at 8:28 am

    You guys are flaming nuts. With cuts there is re-prioritization. As with all budget cuts things can not remain the same.

    What the hell does iodine have to do with this? You folks were probably the same fruitcakes hoarding iodine in the 80’s when Chernoble blew. Christ get a grip.

  13. Plain Jane
    March 12, 2011 at 9:31 am

    8:28, Since you didn’t specify which “guys” you think are “flaming nuts” and since there is a wide variety of opinion, you might be the one who is flaming nuts since you apparently disagree with everyone.

    Cutting vital public safety funding while refusing to even consider cuts in pork barrel military spending is political, Phigs. That a natural disaster once again made clear how vital the NWS is doesn’t make opposing cuts which would jeopardize its effectiveness political to anyone but a ding-a-ling.

  14. March 12, 2011 at 9:42 am

    “Ned” obviously has no idea what “natural selection” means.

  15. skippy
    March 12, 2011 at 9:46 am

    Thanks for carrying the news, H. Please excuse the Republican interruption here.

    Japan’s Fukushima Nuclear Power plant explosion is the biggest news of the day. Folks on the West Coast would best be served by staying tuned to the news of this disaster. The potential of nuclear fallout carried to the atmospheric prevailing winds is very rare but still real. Some reports indicate this danger is decreasing.

    From Voice of America:

    “Officials say a blast at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility destroyed an exterior wall, not the reactor. A radiation leak is decreasing, despite meltdown fears.

    VOA reporters close to the Fukushima nuclear plant say aftershocks are still rocking the area, more than 24 hours after the original 8.9-magnitude jolt and tsunami. After a serious explosion destroyed one of the Fukushima plant’s nuclear reactor buildings earlier Saturday, authorities called on all residents to move at least 20 kilometers away from the facility.

    The explosion north of Tokyo did not damage the reactor’s spherical metal containment vessel, and that the reactor’s internal pressure decreased after the blast. Pressure in the reactor built to dangerous levels after the earthquake knocked out power to essential cooling systems, greatly increasing the risk of a possible release of radioactive particles and gases earlier. Another nuclear plant near Fukushima also has been shut down due to a cooling-system failure.”

    Other local tsunami news carried by the Times-Standard wire this morning:

    Thadeus Greenson’s report, “Tsunami ‘Destroyed’ Crescent City Harbor” is found here.

    Donna Tam’s report, “Tsunami Take Toll on North Coast; Hundreds Evacuated– Governor Brown Declares Emergency” can also be found here, too.

    Stay tuned, people. The world is rocking and rolling today.

  16. March 12, 2011 at 10:27 am

    Why should it surprise anyone that our domestic enemies should want to eliminate early-warning systems, or any of the other public infrastructures? These guy’s are against the people of this country. Their job is to destroy it so they can remake it for themselves. Civil war; coming to a neighborhood near you.

  17. Mitch
    March 12, 2011 at 10:28 am

    Thanks, Skippy.

    I’d add this link to last night’s Rachel Maddow show, which featured an excellent explanation of the situation (before the explosion destroyed the reactor building):


    While the Japanese authorities might be giving factual information, it would be hard to blame them for making the nuclear situation seem better than it is — the last thing they want or need is to add to the panic of a population that cannot quickly relocate anyway.

  18. NewBaku
    March 12, 2011 at 10:28 am

    Mr. Lytle, raising the subject of human overpopulation–a very real problem for the planet, I agree–in the face of the human devastation being experienced right now in Japan is unconscionable. Every person who died in fear and anguish yesterday loved her or his life as dearly as you love your own, and will be mourned by friends and loved ones as you would be, if you died under such horrific circumstances. I’m personally grateful that my loved ones and I got a tsunami warning yesterday, but we’ll be sure to tell them to take YOUR number off their list for next time, “Henchman.”

  19. Phigs
    March 12, 2011 at 10:37 am

    The story in the National Journal speaks to unspecified cuts to a program (DART) that was successful despite many of the early warning systems in the Pacific being nonfunctional.

    When the country needs to tighten its belt, I believe that the pain needs to be shared. None of this cut every else but my projects/programs. I think NWS along with other agencies should be financially accountable.

    Yes, PJ, that includes the military, Medicare, Social Security, and myriad legislators “pork barrel” local projects. I don’t care what political party that may impact. It isn’t about what “team” your on or sympathetic to, tough times require tough decisions.

    Pointing fingers and laying blame are not productive means of overcoming the financial storm we are in. But, some can’t get past their entrenched partisanship to help the problem.

  20. Prophet of The End
    March 12, 2011 at 10:46 am

    The seaports that have become like Sodom for wickedness, are swallowed up by the angry waters. Babylon the Great hath come in remembrance before God, “to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.” [REV. 16:19, 21.]

  21. Mitch
    March 12, 2011 at 10:49 am

    Just saw video of Japanese defense forces carrying kindergartners off of rescue boats. Prophet of the End, you and your belief system are foul beyond words.

  22. tra
    March 12, 2011 at 10:51 am

    “When the country need to tighten its belt, I believe the pain needs to be shared.”

    That might be a wee bit more persuasive if the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy had been allowed to expire.

    Apparently the plan is to “share the pain” among a broad range of Americans, but at the same time “spare the pain” among those fortunate folks who are already the most comfortable.

  23. Plain Jane
    March 12, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Of course, the fact that the states that need warning systems for tsunamis, aside from Alaska, are primarily “blue” (especially the districts right on the coast) is totally unrelated to GOP defunding priorities. (said sarcastically)

  24. kale estanoche
    March 12, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Oh, come on Phigs. We continue to see extreme bailouts to the rich, huge subsidies to the oil industry and industrial ag, insane expenditures for the military…
    Meanwhile, slashing social- and health-related services – it is unconscionable. These actions are a direct attack on the middle-class and poor. It is, indeed, a call to class-war.

  25. kale estanoche
    March 12, 2011 at 11:04 am

    And, Heraldo, your take on this story is quite good. Good work!

  26. Prophet of The End
    March 12, 2011 at 11:06 am

    The time is near when large cities will be swept away, and all should be warned of these coming judgments. Oh, that God’s people had a sense of the impending destruction of thousands of cities now almost given to idolatry! For Worldly Interests and Love of Gain.–It is often the case that parents are not careful to surround their children with right influences. In choosing a home, they think more of their worldly interests than of the moral and social atmosphere, and the children form associations that are unfavorable to the development of piety and the formation of right characters. . . . Parents who denounce the Canaanites for offering their children to Moloch, what are you doing? You are making a most costly offering to your mammon god, and then, when your children grow up unloved and unlovely in character, when they show decided impiety and a tendency to infidelity, you blame the faith you profess because it was unable to save them. You are reaping that which you have sown–the result of your selfish love of the world and neglect of the means of grace. You moved your families into places of temptation; and the ark of God, your glory and defense, you did not consider essential; and the Lord has not worked a miracle to deliver your children from temptation. Cities Offer No Real Benefit.–There is not one family in a hundred who will be improved physically, mentally, or spiritually by residing in the city. Faith, hope, love, happiness, can far better be gained in retired places, where there are fields and hills and trees. Take your children away from the sights and sounds of the city, away from the rattle and din of streetcars and teams, and their minds will become more healthy. It will be found easier to bring home to their hearts the truth of the word of God. Many parents remove from their country homes to the city, regarding it as a more desirable or profitable location. But by making this change, they expose their children to many and great temptations. The boys have no employment, and they obtain a street education and go on from one step in depravity to another, until they lose all interest in anything that is good and pure and holy. How much better had the parents remained with their families in the country, where the influences are most favorable for physical and mental strength. Let the youth be taught to labor in tilling the soil, and let them sleep the sweet sleep of weariness and innocence. Through the neglect of parents, the youth in our cities are corrupting their ways and polluting their souls before God. This will ever be the fruit of idleness. The almshouses, the prisons, and the gallows publish the sorrowful tale of the neglected duties of parents. Better sacrifice any and every worldly consideration than to imperil the precious souls committed to your care. They will be assailed by temptations and should be taught to meet them; but it is your duty to cut off every influence, to break up every habit, to sunder every tie, that keeps you from the most free, open, and hearty committal of yourselves and your family to God.

  27. tra
    March 12, 2011 at 11:26 am

    And so it shall come to pass that in these end times, the paragraph break shall be banished from the face of the earth and, lo, the people shall suffer and call out to God, “Why hast thou forsaken me?”

  28. Plain Jane
    March 12, 2011 at 11:31 am

    Let’s hope the Prophet leads his people out into the desert away from evil cities, and hopefully far away from any polling places. Why don’t you have to be sane to vote?

  29. kale estanoche
    March 12, 2011 at 11:34 am

    on a few occasions we have disagreed, but i always appreciate your writing. Well said.

  30. Huh
    March 12, 2011 at 11:50 am

    So god is destroying us and yet you maintain your vicious, vengeful god is a loving being. Nothing better exemplifies the baseless belief system that leads to nearly impenetrable screeds as seen above.

    Unreasonable, irrational faith in a non-existent being used as a cudgel against fellow human beings.

    Fuck you and your invisible sky-daddy.

  31. Mitch
    March 12, 2011 at 11:57 am


    Your 11:26 response cannot be bettered. Thank you for treating our prophet with the respect and dignity he (and he’s just gotta be a he) deserves.

  32. skippy
    March 12, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    Ditto, Tra and Mitch (nice clip from Rachel Maddow, too). Yours truly will leave this paragraph short for my fellow heathens.

  33. High Finance
    March 12, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    So which is worse, the Jesus freaks like the Prophet of Doom or the “The rich Republicans want to kill us all” types like several of the posters above (and Heraldo) ?

  34. Anonymous
    March 12, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    I think rich Republicans and Jesus freaks are one in the same, essentially.

  35. Prophet of The End
    March 12, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    The messengers sent by God to deliver His warnings are hated by those whom they warn. The people charge upon them the calamities which are the result of their own departure from righteousness. Those who thus place themselves in Satan’s power do not see things as God sees them. They are blinded by Satan. When God’s mirror is held up before them, instead of repenting and turning from sin, they become indignant to think that they should be reproved. They think that an uncalled-for attack is being made upon them, and that the messengers of God are their enemies.

  36. skippy
    March 12, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Alongside Prophet, Kym Kemp is diligently carrying recent reports and updates, “At the Precipice of a Massive Nuclear Crisis”, and a very surprising ‘Nuclear Fallout Map’ indicating being in the wake of this potentially occurring disaster in 6-10 days should the condition of the Fukushima nuclear plant worsen,

    on her excellent website here.

    Yours truly wonders if there will be a run not only on faith but iodine tablets, too, Prophet in the End?

  37. Plain Jane
    March 12, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    Rich Republicans only pretend to be jesus freaks because they need the nutty fringe.

  38. non-prophet
    March 12, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Prophet of the end,
    You are either just another troll stirring the pot or a severely misguided, vengeful human – it was not just large cities that were swept away. It was farms and villages and homes and people trying to do their best in a world gone mad.

    Every person who lives with the privileges of contemporary society (e.g. computers) whether in a city or in their own private xanadu contributes to the unjust, inequitable realities of our day.

  39. Mitch
    March 12, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    Parental Advisory:

    The following comment is rated B,BT (Blasphemy, Bad Taste)

    How did the Bible forget that the pillars of salt were IODIZED pillars of salt?

  40. Walter
    March 12, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Politicians and Jesus freaks are all nuts. Let’s just redirect “Foreign Aid” to “Domestic Aid”. Problem solved. Oh, let’s also fire about 75% of the politicians in the United States. Starting at the top.

  41. Ed
    March 12, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Lo, a bible thumper. I’m so glad! We need comic relief in such times.

  42. Justice Beaver
    March 12, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Predictable? You mean like “Tingles” Matthews using this tragedy to exhort the community organizer to emphasize that he was born in Hawaii? Or maybe the usual fraud suspects blaming the quake on global warming? Yeah, that was predictable. Or that the neo-progs would do something, anything, to politicize the tragedy? Same thing.

  43. Prophet of The End
    March 12, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    Satan works through the elements also to garner his harvest of unprepared souls. He has studied the secrets of the laboratories of nature, and he uses all his power to control the elements as far as God allows. When he was suffered to afflict Job, how quickly flocks and herds, servants, houses, children, were swept away, one trouble succeeding another as in a moment. It is God that shields his creatures, and hedges them in from the power of the destroyer. But the Christian world has shown contempt for the law of Jehovah; and the Lord does just what he has declared that he would do, he withdraws his blessings from the earth, and removes his protecting care from those who are rebelling against his law, and teaching and forcing others to do the same. Satan has control of all whom God does not especially guard. He will favor and prosper some in order to further his own designs, and he will bring trouble upon others, and lead men to believe that it is God who is afflicting them.

  44. Ed
    March 12, 2011 at 1:20 pm


  45. Plain Jane
    March 12, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    Who blamed the earthquake on global warming?

  46. Mitch
    March 12, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    Satan works through the elements also to garner his harvest of unprepared souls.

    Satan works through the elements. But does he work through the compounds, organic and inorganic? That’s the critical question. And if he does, which compounds?

    Satan has control of all whom God does not especially guard.

    The least a person can ask of an omnipotent deity is that he guard everyone. I mean, what sort of useless shepherd doesn’t especially guard all the sheep. If Jehovah’s going to be a slacker, you can hardly blame the competition for edging in.

  47. Anonymous
    March 12, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Cutting the parent agency doesn’t mean cutting that agency’s worthwhile programs. To try to spin it otherwise is like the education clique threatening to cut sports, cheerleaders, band, and glee club to play on emotions when budget reductions may be required.

  48. Isis
    March 12, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Prophet, I agree wholeheartedly – minus all the God stuff.

  49. Anonymous
    March 12, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    PJ. Its 8:28 here. Flaming nuts are you, Mitch, Maciebing, TRA, Skippy, Moviedad – you know, all of you frequent fliers. Hugs.

  50. Toohey
    March 12, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    I was waiting for you guys to find a way to politicize this tragic disaster. You guys remind me of Carl Panzarm who killed 23 people and whose last words were “I wish the whole human race had one neck and I had my hands around it.” You just wish it was everyone that disagrees with you. Get help.

  51. Phigs
    March 12, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    My point is being made by rebuttals. Kale would have some programs funded and others defunded based on ideology. I say cut it all by a certain percent. And, for that matter, tax everyone the same percentage, too.

  52. retired guy
    March 12, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    Prophet of the End. If there is a God, being that “he” is all knowing, how can you believe shit like the earthquake and tsunami happen? In other words, if this character is so loving, how can you explain how this is so? It’s easy, there is no such thing. It’s difficult for true believers to fathom, but give it a try. Rationalizing things away by quoting a 2000+year old book full of “visions” really doesn’t cut it any more. Open your mind, you might like it.

  53. Phigs
    March 12, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    That would be true “fairness” and “equity”.

  54. Plain Jane
    March 12, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    I don’t know, but I think closing NWS offices for a month at a time on a rotating basis is likely to negatively impact their “worthwhile” projects. Bankrupting the government with tax cuts and unfunded wars and then demanding reductions in worthwhile and greatly needed programs already struggling economically is asking too much. Put the taxes back where they were in 2000 and then talk about cutting necessities.

  55. Plain Jane
    March 12, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    “Fairness and equity” would be the people who profited from the profligate tax cuts, no-bid cascading war contracts and deregulation of our financial / housing markets give the money back.

  56. March 12, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    “I personally DON’T NEED… mankind…”

    The feeling is mutual, Mr. Lytle. And I doubt that womankind has much use for you either.

  57. A. Nomnomnom
    March 12, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    I’m not a big fan of Bill Maher but every once in a while he makes a great point. This week he said something along the lines of if America were 100 people ordering a 100 slice pizza, the first guy to grab the box would take 80 slices, leaving only 20 for the other 99 to share. And if god forbid someone should suggest that maybe that guy could make do with only 79 slices, well THAT’S SOCIALISM!

  58. Anonymous
    March 12, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    8:28 again. Notice how I left joel off the list. He’s ok and pretty funny and although we disagree at times, a cool dude. Ya made me belly laugh with that last post Joel!

  59. Big Louie
    March 12, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Yeah, well, the guy who bought the pizza should have what is his. The other 99 who didn’t pay for it should be happy to get the 20 free pieces – without bitching.

  60. LittleLytle
    March 12, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    HEY_ZEUS,please deliver us from your inbred nutcase followers.

    Joel Mielke says:
    March 12, 2011 at 1:51 pm
    “I personally DON’T NEED… mankind…”

    The feeling is mutual, Mr. Lytle. And I doubt that womankind has much use for you either.”

    I’d like to nominate the Joel’s post above for “Best of Heraldo.”

  61. skippy
    March 12, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Redheaded Blackbelt’s Kym Kemp is reporting in her article, ““Japanese Officials Checking Children for Signs of Radiation”:

    Residents, including children, who live not far from Fukushima’s nuclear power plant are being checked for radiation. The power plant just suffered a breakdown in the cooling system of a second installation, the number 3 reactor. It desperately needs to have an infusion of water to keep it from a second explosion! The number 1 reactor has had an explosion already and up to 160 people are believed to be exposed to radiation.”

    More at her site located here.

    To note locally, Eureka Natural Foods said they’re all sold out of iodine tablets as of an hour ago…

  62. Anonymous
    March 12, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    8:28 here. I second LittleLytle’s nomination of Joel’s post. Here, here!

  63. Steak n Eggs
    March 12, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    I with you Phigs…don’t expect these sheep to agree with anything equitable until there has been adequate payback by the right. Jeez.

    Since that idea is clearly going nowhere in Washington, institute a temporary flat tax and get the fuck on with it. Time is a wasting.

    March 12, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    NewBaku says:
    March 12, 2011 at 10:28 am
    Mr. Lytle, raising the subject of human overpopulation–a very real problem for the planet, I agree–in the face of the human devastation being experienced right now in Japan is unconscionable. Every person who died in fear and anguish yesterday loved her or his life as dearly as you love your own, and will be mourned by friends and loved ones as you would be, if you died under such horrific circumstances. I’m personally grateful that my loved ones and I got a tsunami warning yesterday, but we’ll be sure to tell them to take YOUR number off their list for next time, “Henchman.”

    Response: Hmmm, how many disasters does society, anywhere, have to mourn because there exists soooooo many people? Anyhow, yes, take me off any “numbers list” since most all humans now today are numbers – not very loving if ya ask me. On to the next mass disaster….. to again discuss over-population.

    Yes, it is sad that people lost their life, I concede that willingly. Do I wish it never happened – absoulutely. Anyhow, over-population is ALWAYS on the menu (how can it not???).

    Comment: as if this QUAKE experience is really any different in SCOPE when compared to discussions that take place during wartime. People live, people die and somewhere between it all, taxes are paid.


  65. Anonymous
    March 12, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    Hey Phigs — true “fairness and equity” would be that EVERYONE, NO MATTER WHAT THEIR OCCUPATION makes the same income.

  66. Anonymous
    March 12, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    No it doesn’t. True fairness and equity would be an equal ability to make your own choices and not be penalized for someone elses laziness. It also brings with it the moral obligation to help the less fortunate which is different than doling out free handouts to deadbeats freeloaders etc.

  67. March 12, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Dang, I wish craigslist was back on. These nut-jobs are annoying.

  68. Rick Khamsi
    March 12, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    The Henchman is at it again. Today, he rejoices over the catastrophe in Japan. A few days ago, he fell all over himself rushing to condemn the private life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in his haste to ignore the life-experience of a woman who at age 14 was the intended victim of a KKK bombing.

    I hope I never meet Jeffrey Lytle in person, for then I will be forced to turn on my heel contemptuously and walk away with all due speed.

    March 12, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    4:19 pm,

    Good points; and, American Taxes will be spent in the QUAKE aid efforts too which raises the question of, “when American tax dollars won’t be spent domesticly on homelessness or other actual social issues/services, then what justifies foreign aides to help others in situations that are justifiably secondary to those currently living in poorer conditions here at home?”

    Yes, helping is human, but a thought, “why is it so hard at home in America for tax dollars to be expenditured for domestic aides?” Is there a time one day that the world returns aides to the U.S. with money and aide?

    Or, is it just mere political lobbying to look good or better than the nearest competetive foreign entity while being viewed as world leaders on the world media stage at a time of disaster? Whatever may be the case, how much money can be printed for all the world’s natural and man-caused disasters until people can’t produce net returns for that money and those resources rendered (current evolution is like tornado alley – throwing money and resources down the drain, knowingly ahead of time)?

    Anyhow, I wonder how many QUAKE free-loaders will receive “hand-out” aides, and as American Taxpayers, we would never know who were helping, could we? (sarcasm about free-loader, dead-beat, hand-out comment)


  70. M'Airie
    March 12, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    Whenever I i hear JL the Henchman, I would rather be subjected to Charlie Sheen 24/7.

  71. Steak n Eggs
    March 12, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    Hench… there is a sincere empathy towards the victims of natural disasters that have no political, economic or cultural boundaries. When you look at disaster aid, individual donations often exceed those of governments.

  72. March 12, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    Man, you are so full of it.

  73. Chris K
    March 12, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    Or Keith Olbermann.

  74. Mr. Nice
    March 12, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    We don’t need no tsunami warning system. Who is that extra siren after the 5 fucking minutes of earthquake supposed to do, warn some kinna videographers in Klamath to recharge their camera?

  75. March 12, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    Close the NWS for a month at a time? I was on the phone with Troy Nicolini of the National Weather Service before 2 am Friday morning coordinating the media response for where I work. I interviewed him to give information on the air about what to do and what to expect. The on air interviews were in the 3am and 4 am hours. Our dj’s called him after that. He was there for us with the information we needed to pass along to the community.

    If people like Mr. Nice were in charge, we would all just wait and see what Khum and their listeners have to say.

    Mr. Nice, next time you hear the sirens, why don’t you go down to the beach and report in for us.

  76. March 12, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    No ofense to khum, the did a good job as usual. Just sayin they are not the National Weather Service.

  77. March 12, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    And what does this have to do with trying to cut the Weather Service budget? Without them many more right here in Humboldt, Del Norte, and Curry counties would have died when taken off guard by the tsunami surges. That alone earns them their keep. Farmers, fishermen, people going to work without raincaots, all need accurate weather forecasts. The tsunami thing was almost an add-on until the Indonesia events of a few years ago. This planet is geologically active and we’d better be paying attention.
    All you freeloaders who think government services like health and SAFETY come for free, think again. I’ve never balked at paying my share, but, then again, I’m not mega-rich (or even mega-middle class). There ain’t no such thing as ‘free lunch’. If it’s worthwhile, pay for it.
    Question: Would an unexpected tsunami hurt the mega-rich more than us ordinary peons?

  78. Sammi
    March 12, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    I listened to KHUM all day. They did a great job getting the word out regarding school closures, road closures, evacuations and listener reporting. Nicely done.

    In contrast,KHSU was MIA.

  79. A-Nony-Rat
    March 12, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    Mouse says

    “Question: Would an unexpected tsunami hurt the mega-rich more than us ordinary peons?”

    Question: Would you like it to?

  80. Anonymous
    March 12, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    HSU sits atop a mountain,
    Where oceans generally fear to tread.
    So the campus radio station ignores tsunamis,
    And turns its attentions to other matters instead.

  81. Sammi
    March 12, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Yes, things seem so trivial from their lofty roost, don’t they.

  82. Profit from Endtimes
    March 12, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    And God said “build your Samoa dune homes and your home deopt marina center walmart catastrophucks.

    For the Cascadia Subduction Zone shall render us all a wetsuit grant for fine swimmins cometh 2012. And then Jebus took a nap.

  83. Anonymous
    March 12, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    the ground shakes so much,
    Humboldt is retarded,
    smoke your meth, you bums

  84. Anonymous
    March 12, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    If there was a God, the 5th district of the “Henchman of Justice” would have have been been ground off the face of the Earth by piles of twisting burning old growth redwood 2 x 4’s.

  85. Owltotem
    March 12, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    Prophet, Whats the matter, didn’t want to get a face book page? Damn TS anyway, I knew this would happen. Owl

  86. Owltotem
    March 12, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    Oh Heraldo I love the bold, I can see :)

  87. Owltotem
    March 12, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    A nony, mega, I don’t know but beach front and river front is always more valuable real estate and more at risk for disaster. So, I guess if you can afford the view you accept the risk.

  88. Been There
    March 12, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    I have no problem with deity worshipers, but I cannot trust any God that would chose humans to speak through.

  89. walt
    March 12, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    She doesn’t: hadn’t you heard? She speaks through cats.

  90. skippy
    March 13, 2011 at 12:00 am

    Associated Press now reporting, “Japanese Government Warns of Fresh Explosion Threat”:

    “Date: Sun. Mar. 13 2011 3:15 AM ET”
    “TOKYO — Japan’s top government spokesman is warning of a fresh threat of explosion from a nuclear unit at a power plant in the country’s earthquake-ravaged northeast.

    Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said Sunday that a hydrogen explosion could occur at Unit 3 of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex. That would follow a blast the day before at the same power plant as operators attempted to prevent a nuclear meltdown of another unit by injecting sea water into it.

    More than 170,000 people were evacuated as a precaution, though Edano said the radioactivity released so far into the environment is so small it does not pose any threat to human health.”

  91. Pal my Pal
    March 13, 2011 at 12:42 am

    Dear Prophet, I know God as do you. My God may be your God. I have never before heard the stories of your God. I am a kind and ancient soul and my God is forgiving. A prophet may know that forgiveness is the greatest of all gifts to be bestowed upon oneself. Do you profess yourself to be a prophet of God?

    March 13, 2011 at 9:45 am

    Steak n Eggs says:
    March 12, 2011 at 6:41 pm
    Hench… there is a sincere empathy towards the victims of natural disasters that have no political, economic or cultural boundaries. When you look at disaster aid, individual donations often exceed those of governments.

    Response: True, I will whole-heartedly agree (especially on donations); but, what about New Orleans and Katrina? Are we talkin’ a domestic versus international sitcom show for popularities at home and abroad? Just sayin’, Americans are too easy to donate or expend tax dollars abroad on others for whatever reasons, when here at home, so many are in the same or worse position/condition in life. The caveat is that here at home – bigotry towards the humanoid exists – whereas abroad – no bigotry. In other words, what proof does America have that in times of disaster, bigotry at home does not exist? It is clear to me Americans like to look good TOO in disasters but care less when no disaster is present. That is a HUGE difference between night and day emotional activities relative to human compassions, imo.


  93. High Finance
    March 13, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    One thing we can all agree on is that the Tsunami warning system worked well for us locally. Everybody knew many hours ahead of time to prepare.

    So lets get the politicians to leave that part of the budget alone. There are plenty of other areas that can use some cost cutting like the free public services for illegal aliens.

  94. Plain Jane
    March 13, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    Almost all agree on the tsunami warning system, HiFi. Nan is the only one I’ve seen posting who can’t grasp its necessity; but I suspect if certain people were arguing against it being effective, he would take up the pro argument.

  95. March 13, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    “The possibility that hydrogen is building up in the upper parts of the reactor building cannot be denied. There is a possibility of a hydrogen explosion,” Mr. Edano said.

  96. March 13, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    The site causing greatest concern is reactor No. 3 at Fukushima-Daiichi, whose plutonium-uranium fuel mix poses a greater radiological risk than that of reactor no. 1.

  97. March 13, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    And a few more links:

    There are different interpretations of jet stream speed from Japan to North America (eight days, or a day and a half): “Any airborne radiation would make its way across with the jet stream, reaching the U.S. in approximately 36 hours, depending on the actual speed of the jet.” (http://modernsurvivalblog.com/nuclear/west-coast-usa-danger-if-japan-nuclear-reactor-meltdown/).

    “How Iodide Pills Work” http://www.livescience.com/13203-japan-nuclear-meltdown-iodide-pills-work.html, noting they are useful for radioactive iodine, which breaks down in … eight days, and not for cesium, strontium in fallout.

    For data freaks: http://www.radiationnetwork.com/RadiationNetwork.htm

    Chinese Team Tackles Meltdown: http://newamericamedia.org/2011/03/officials-stall-reports-on-reactors-chinese-team-tackles-meltdown.php

    March 13, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Thank You for the links Richard – You be da man!


  99. skippy
    March 13, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    Kym Kemp and her website are doing an admirable job of sorting and keeping up with updates in Japan for Humboldt County.

    Kym recently reported:

    New Hydrogen Blast at Fukushima; 1000 Bodies Found; Radioactive Particulates Found 60 miles From Japan’s Nuclear Plant:

    “UPDATE @8:46 pm: 3 Injured 7 Missing in Explosion at the Unit 3 reactor of Fukushima says Associated Press.

    UPDATE @ 8:15 :International Atomic Energy Agency says: Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) has informed the IAEA that there has been an explosion at the Unit 3 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The explosion occurred at 11:01AM local Japan time.

    BBC reports Hydrogen blast at Fukushima but containment wall has held. The video above (on Kym Kemp’s site) shows the explosion.

    New York Times reports: Pentagon officials reported that helicopters flying 60 miles from the plant picked up small amounts of radioactive particulates — still being analyzed, but presumed to include Cesium-137 and Iodine-121 — suggesting widening environmental contamination.

    Tokyo stock market falls sharply as Japan starts new week. It’s Central Bank pumping $85.5 Billion into market.

    Earthquakes continue to rock Japan the latest a little after 6pm our time. This was a 5.8. Here is a constantly updating map of earthquakes.

    Voice of America Bureau Chief Steve Herman is reporting that 1000 bodies have been found on Ojika Peninsula. He’s also reporting that a tsunami alert is in Sendai. Other sources say 2000.”

    Thank you for sorting through this information and keeping us up to speed, Kym. Your site rocks for Humboldt.

    Peace, everyone… it’s going to be a bumpy week… skips

  100. tra
    March 13, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    It sounds like the best case scenario is that they avert a complete meltdown by continuing to pump in seawater and boron and let it boil off, venting the radioactive steam as needed to prevent the reactor vessel from rupturing from the pressure. This venting of radioactive steam could continue, on and off, for months, even a year or more. And, again, that’s if everything goes as well as it possibly can from this point forward.

    And the worst case scenario? Total meltdown, with massive radioactive fallout and many people sickened in the short term, then many thousands of excess cancer deaths for the next several decades.

    So much for “safe, clean, and too cheap to meter.”

  101. tra
    March 14, 2011 at 12:48 am

    In this era of hyper-partisanship, any sign of bipartisan cooperation is usually welcome. But this particular Obama-Republican flirtation might have come at an awkward moment, in light of recent events in Japan…

    An article from McClatchy, about the attempt by Republicans to revive the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste site, included the following little nuggets:

    “…They want to revive the site as part of a broader plan that calls for building 200 new nuclear plants by 2030. Under that plan, the nation would begin building nuclear plants on an unprecedented scale: Currently, the nation gets 20 percent of its electricity from 104 nuclear reactors…

    …Obama, though, has become a fan of nuclear power, reflecting how much things have changed since the “no-nukes” days of the 1970s. He regards nuclear power as an important part of his push for “clean energy.”

    And nuclear power is moving up on the agenda on Capitol Hill after the president talked it up in his State of the Union speech. Since then, Republicans have repeatedly cited nuclear power as an issue that could result in their cooperation with the White House.


    So they can’t come to an agreement on a budget, or health care, or any number of other pressing issues, but the one thing Obama and the Republicans can agree on is nuclear power?

    Not good.

  102. tra
    March 14, 2011 at 1:16 am

    And here we go again: Now a third reactor is overheating.

    Another nuclear reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in northeastern Japan has lost its cooling capabilities, the country’s chief Cabinet secretary said Monday.

    The problem was detected in the plant’s No. 2 reactor Monday afternoon, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told reporters.

    Water levels were falling and pressure was building up inside, he said, and officials were working on a plan to release pressure and also inject seawater into that reactor.


  103. Plain Jane
    March 14, 2011 at 6:34 am

    Actually there are 4 reactors in Japan in trouble, Tra.


  104. March 14, 2011 at 7:43 am

    “any sign of bipartisan cooperation is usually welcome.”
    In my world bipartisanship equals dictatorship. I would welcome it if there was any fundamental difference between the rich who govern under the guise of separate parties. They throw off the cloak of differences when the issue is of benefit to their true masters. Not that it’s the case here, But “bipartisanship” makes me nervous.

  105. skippy
    March 14, 2011 at 12:23 pm


    The Hindu News: Meltdown Threat After Hydrogen Blast and Japanese Nuclear Plant Water levels dropped precipitously leaving the uranium fuel rods completely exposed and raising the threat of a meltdown, hours after a hydrogen explosion tore through the building housing a different reactor. The fuel rods in all three of the most troubled nuclear reactors appeared to be melting.

    BBC News: Meltdown Alert at Reactor The latest hydrogen blast injured 11 people, one of them seriously. It was felt 40km (25 miles) away and sent a huge column of smoke into the air. Nearly 185,000 people have been evacuated from a 20km (12 mile) exclusion zone around the plant. The US said it had moved one of its aircraft carriers from the area after detecting low-level radiation 160km (100 miles) offshore.

    New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/cwire/2011/03/14/14climatewire-desperate-attempts-to-save-3-fukushima-react-84017.html Crews prepared Monday to pump seawater into a third reactor in order to prevent a meltdown of its fuel. Experts called the injection of seawater into the site’s three crippled reactors units a desperation move never attempted before in the industry…describing this measure as a Hail Mary Pass…

    Christian Science Monitor:“Oil Prices, World Markets Affected The natural disaster in Japan has put an end to the recent rise in the price of oil. Crude oil tumbled over $4 to below $100 per barrel as Japanese refiners shut plants. This drop was dramatic, and looks like some traders took advantage of the natural disaster to go ahead and take profits on the higher oil prices.

    Google Crisis Response Information: Quake, Tsunami, Nuclear Resources Page is found here: Listing shelters, aid agencies, phone numbers, transportation and flight status out of Japan, Disaster Message Boards, Power and Blackout Status, etc.

    Newsweek: Is Our Next Big Earthquake Going to Be California? The scariest earthquake is yet to come– the tsunami that struck Japan was the third in a series of events that puts California at risk:

    “Now there have been catastrophic events at three corners of the Pacific Plate—one in the northwest, on Friday; one in the southwest, last month; one in the southeast, last year. That leaves just one corner unaffected—the northeast. And the fault line in the northeast of the Pacific Plate is the San Andreas Fault, underpinning the city of San Francisco.”

    Current reports indicate 500,000 individuals evacuated from tsunami, quake, and nuclear areas. Japan’s Nikkei stock index closed down 6.18%, the worst drop in two years. US DJIA currently down 96 points.

    Folks, it’s gonna be bumpy… disaster moons, Mayan calendars, iodine tablets and Geiger counters aside…keep those emergency supplies ready at home.

  106. tra
    March 14, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    And now serious problems keeping the fuel rods covered with water at the Number 2 reactor.

    “They continue to work hard to raise the water level to cover the fuel. Let’s pray again,” Tatsujiro Suzuki, vice chairman of Japan’s Atomic Energy Commission, posted on Facebook today.

    The fuel rods on unit 2 have been fully exposed for the second time today, a dangerous development in the effort to stop the reactor from melting down.


    I think it’s safe to say that when the vice chairman of Japan’s Atomic Energy Commission starts telling people to “pray,” the situation is really quite grave.

  107. tra
    March 14, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Meanwhile, both the Obama administration and the Republicans have been pushing for construction of 200 new nuclear plants here in the U.S., and thousands worldwide.

    If anything good comes out of this crisis, it will be that we’re all reminded that nuclear power is not, nor has it ever been, either “safe” or “clean.”

  108. tra
    March 14, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Two conflicting explanations have been given for why the fuel rods in Reactor 2 had become fully exposed: (1) A stuck valve prevented steam from escaping, making it impossible to pump in more water, and (2) a pump had run out of fuel. Not sure whether one report is inaccurate or whether both problems occured.


    Meanwhile, they’re having problems keeping the core in Reacor 3 covered with water, the explanation offered in that case is that the water is leaking out the bottom of the reactor vessel. That doesn’t seem to quite fit with the official line that the reactor vessels are intact and that therefore the release of large amounts of radiation is unlikely. It certainly raises questions about the claims being made that even a full fuel rod meltdown might remain contained in the reactor vessel — if the vessel can’t contain seawater, how will it contain the massive pressure and heat of a full-scale meltdown?

    All this should serve as a reminder that even the “redundant safety systems” they always talk about are still no guarantee when dealing with a technology that is inherently extremely dangerous. Given enough reactors in enough places, for enough time, Murphy’s Law (“anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”) will come into play sooner or later. And sometimes multiple things can and do go wrong at the same time. Thinking that we can anticipate all possible scenarios and head them off is just pure hubris.

    It will be interesting to see how the nuclear power industry, and their boosters in Congress and in the Administration, try to spin the this. In the past, Japan has always been pointed to as a country that “did it right” as contrasted with, say, the Chernobyl plant. If all hell can break loose even in a nation as technologically advanced and competent with engineering as Japan, this raises the question: Is there anywhere that this sort of thing couldn’t happen?

    In my opinion, the best case scenario is that they avert full-scale meltdowns at all three reactors, but also that we are hopefully witnessing the beginning of the end for the commercial nuclear power industry.

  109. Plain Jane
    March 14, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Fortunately, the nuclear power plant built on our fault riddled coast has been decommissioned; but they are still storing “spent” fuel rods there. It isn’t hard to imagine, with the horrors of Japan fresh in mind, the west coast being hit with a massive earthquake and tsunami. What will happen to San Onofre WHEN it does?

  110. Anonymous
    March 14, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    Ohhhh the sky is falling. The sky is falling!

  111. tra
    March 14, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    Oh crap.

    That number 2 reactor has now had an explosion as well. Not yet clear whether this was “just” a hydrogen explosion like 1 and 3 had. The Times notes that:

    “Some early reports in the Japanese press suggested the latest explosion amounted to a different and more critical problem than the previous two.”


    So for those keeping score at home, there are a total of six reactors at that site, three of which were already shut down for maintenance when the quake & tsunami hit. ALL THREE of the plants that were in operation at the time of the quake & tsunami have now had serious problems with keeping the reactor cores cooled, ALL THREE have had explosions that released at least some radiation (the worst being the most recent one), and ALL THREE remain in at least some danger of a full-scale meltdown.

    The Times also notes that:

    “They’re basically in a full-scale panic” among Japanese power industry managers, a senior nuclear industry executive said. The executive is not involved in managing the response to the reactors’ difficulties, but has many contacts in Japan. “They’re in total disarray,” he said. “They don’t know what to do.”

    Imagine the “full-scale panic” among their Public Relations staff — and among the nuke-lovers in our own Congress and the Obama Administration.

    Obama seems to have really bad timing on energy issues, at least as far as when he decides to flip-flop and abandon his campaign promises in order to suck up to industry. You may recall that it was shortly before the BP disaster that Obama started advocating for more ogffshore drilling (and then had to backpedal furiously), and now, just before this Japan disaster he’s been pushing for massive federal funding to build a new wave of nuke plants here in the U.S. Let the backpedaling begin!

  112. Plain Jane
    March 14, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    Backpedaling is certainly better than the full steam ahead the right does when faced with a roadblock.

  113. tra
    March 14, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    All it would take to end the use of nuclear power would be to enact one or both of these two simple policy changes:

    (1) Repeal the Price-Anderson Act, which indemnifies the owners of nuke plants in the event of a major catastrophe, and require them to have insurance coverage that would cover the costs of a full-scale meltdown. Under Price-Anderson, which was recently renewed in 2005, the U.S. taxpayer is acting as the insurer against catastrophic events for all these plants, at no cost to the industry. Without that hefty bit of corporate welfare, there is no way anyone would be able to operate a nuclear plant — nobody in their right mind would be willing to insure it, at least not at a price that was anything less than astronomical. (That should tell us something about whether it’s such a great idea in the first place.)


    (2) Require that in order to be an investor, high-level manager, CEO, or board member of any utility that owns a nuke plant, those people must reside, full-time, within a 5 mile radius of a nuclear plant, and are to report directly to the plant in the event of any earthquake, tsunami, tornado, hurricane, terrorist attack, nuclear accident, leak, meltdown or any other emergency that puts the plant at risk. No evacuating to a hotel suite in a distant city, corporate boardroom, country home, fallout shelter, or anywhere else. If these nuke plants are really so “clean” and “safe,” surely those who profit from them and advocate for more of them, should be delighted to have one in their own backyard.

    The fact is, the only way that these accidents-waiting-to-happen are able to operate is that the financial and personal health risks are foisted onto the taxpayer and the general public, while the profits, largely disconnected from those risks, are allowed to flow freely to the investors, CEOs and so on, who stay well out of harms way even as they tout the “safety” and “cleanliness” of their radioactive cash cows. It’s quite an impressive business plan — no wonder they want to build 200 more nuke plants in the U.S.

  114. tra
    March 14, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    True, P.J.

    Now if only we could find a way to harness the energy generated by all that backpedaling. Combine it with the hot air emanating from politicians and pundits on all sides, and we’d have no need for any other power sources!

  115. skippy
    March 15, 2011 at 8:40 am

    Thank you Tra, Plain Jane, and others working hard providing the above information.

    Times-Standard’s mighty Thadeus Greenson in his article, “State, Feds: No Current Nuclear Risk from Japan; California Hotline Set up to Field Questions” reports today:

    “As the risk of a nuclear meltdown increases in Japan, numerous media outlets reported that winds in the island nation are carrying any radioactive material being released east into the Pacific Ocean…there is no need for alarm, according to state and federal agencies. ”Given the thousands of miles between the two countries… the U.S. West Coast are not expected to experience any harmful levels of radioactivity,” stated a release from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Robert Lima, owner of Lima’s Pharmacy, said a customer actually started screaming at one of his store’s pharmacists Saturday when it was discovered the tablets Lima’s had on its shelf were expired. ”We’ve got several calls,” Lima said Monday. “We are trying to get some more in.”

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency spokeswoman Mary Simms said in an e-mail to the Times-Standard that the agency has testing stations set up throughout the West Coast and throughout California that would pick up any radioactive particles in the air. There’s a station in Eureka, according to the EPA’s website.

    “At this time, there is no indication that materials from the incidents in Japan have the potential to have any significant radiological effect on the U.S.,” the (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) list states. …The California Department of Public Health has set up a hotline to field questions, which can be reached by calling 916-341-3947 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.”

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