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Monday, September 06, 2004 

Frances!

It was quite a three-day weekend. Not much damage here, but a lot of rain and a lot of sitting around. This storm just left a little while ago. While it wasn't as strong as Charley, it was far more annoying. People on the East Coast started evacuating on Thursday. It hung out offshore for a long time (probably placing college football bets) and then sloooooooooowly made its way across the state. Anyway, it's now on to Ivan. Stay tuned.

And now the remnants of that storm are making for a very wet and ugly mid- to late-week up here. As I watch the storm tracks on TV and online, I am made to think of just how powerless we really are. For all this talk about how the U.S. is an empire, and how it wields it power with so little thought--a critique to which I am surely not unfriendly--moments like this make you realize just how little human power really counts for. As much as we might wish we would do better with the influence we have in the world, our sheer incapacity to do ANYTHING as these storms have their way with us are a real lesson in humility.

NOT that that excuses, in any way, the manner in which Floridians (and Americans in general) have been more or less brain-dead and intransigent in terms of refusing to upgrade building codes and pay the 20% more for materials that would make the majority of structures hurricane resistant. THAT of course is a failing of our power--we can send troops all over the world and basically dare all the conventional armies of the world to try to stop us, but we cannot build building for low- and moderate-income families that can stand up to storms we KNOW are coming. (Think also of last year's blackout in this regard, and just how little has been done to make sure something like that won't happen again.)

shut up, you commie bastard...

There definitely needs to be more done regarding low-income housing. People should not be allowed to live in trailers in hurricane or tornado prone areas. It's ridiculous how useless they are as shelter in even a moderately strong storm. But, they're cheap and the people who live in them are poor, so who's going to make this a priority?

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