Nanny State and the Professor

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This is CNN:

Bill Nye on natural disaster prevention: “We could pass laws making it difficult or undesirable to build fragile houses in the path of tornadoes”

As tornadoes continue to batter America’s heartland, on Tuesday evening “Piers Morgan Live” invited Bill Nye and Bjorn Lomborg to join the program for an impassioned discussion on the environment, and climate change.

Noting that it’s impossible to persuade Mother Nature once a natural disaster is underway, Nye suggested that the goal should be to improve the ways in which such events are planned for, and dealt with, all with a mind towards limiting trauma and tragedy:

“We could, for example, pass laws making it difficult or undesirable to build fragile houses in the path of tornadoes,” said the gentleman forever known as “Bill Nye the Science Guy.” “I’m not sure we disagree about that.”


Every spring tornadoes hit the Midwest. Every summer fires hit the Southwest and hurricanes hit somewhere along the Atlantic and/or Gulf Coasts. Every winter blizzards hit the Northeast. Every few years a major earthquake hits somewhere along the San Andreas Fault.

Every year natural disasters strike at various places around the nation. The destructive power of Mother Nature is awesome to behold. I was an eyewitness to the Loma Prieta earthquake back in 1989 when Big Mama shook the whole map like a Polaroid picture. (I’m pretty sure she was PMSing that day.) Every year we spend a lot of money repairing the damage she causes.

Over the past several decades California has spent hundreds of billions of dollars retrofitting or replacing bridges, buildings, stadiums, dams and other structures to make them earthquake resistant. This is in addition to some very strict building codes for all new construction. (Notice I said “earthquake resistant”. That’s because nothing is earthquake proof.)

We could do that same kind of thing all across the country. We could tell people in Oklahoma they can’t build nothing that ain’t tornado resistant. We could tell the people in NOLA that their houses and businesses have to be able to handle a category-5 hurricane. We could pretty much ban mobile homes everywhere.

Of course that would price some people right out of the housing market and it would dramatically change the appearance of architecture around the country. I’m sure there would be other unintended consequences as well. But we could do it.

The question is, do we want to?

Where do “common sense building codes” cross over into nanny statism? We have helmet laws and seat belt laws and smoking laws and laws regulating the size of soft drinks. All of them were passed for our own good. So where does it stop?

Let’s not forget, every single one of those laws restricts our freedom just a little bit.

How much is too much?


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About Myiq2xu

I was born and raised in a different country - America. I don't know what this place is.
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100 Responses to Nanny State and the Professor

  1. myiq2xu says:

    Hobbit holes would make nice tornado resistant homes.

    • Lulu says:

      It would in effect depopulate large sections of very productive parts of the country. Did the Science guy say New Jersey and large parts of NYC should be rebuilt using building practices of nuclear missile silos? No. This is what you get from “experts” who know about one thing. Nye knows science. It is obvious he doesn’t understand anything else. He might be some kind of idiot savant.

    • Lulu says:

      And hobbit holes flood. Then they would bitch about that.

    • DeniseVB says:

      Actually, trolls under a bridge are a lot safer.

    • elliesmom says:

      I live in a very old house. We have a lot fewer problems when blizzards and torrential rains hit than the brandy new houses a block away. We don’t need a sump pump because the part of the floor that used to be the coal bin still has a dirt floor, and it’s lower than the rest of the basement floor. The basement is fieldstone, and cracks in between the huge granite stones are easily repaired. It’s not “air tight” so the guys with the fancy radon abatement systems have nothing to sell us. People have been living surrounded by granite here for a long time without radon exposure being a problem because our houses “leaked” air. Before someone could sell me on “new technology” to deal with the kind of natural disasters we get in the Northeast, I’d have to be convinced it worked.

    • swanspirit says:

      Obviously , this planet is a hostile environment and uninhabitable . Let’s send Bill Nye and Piers Morgan to explore the moon , or Mars .

  2. 49erDweet says:

    Our states really don’t want to pass such laws. Example is the CA earthquake insurance scam. CA inhibits Home Insurers from including EQ and other disaster coverage in basic packages but pushes the pricey state policies from a different (well connected) carrier. It’s the kickback motive, not the true protection politicians crave.

  3. myiq2xu says:

    VDH:

    Our Make No Mistake About It/Let Me Be Perfectly Clear President

    If only Barack Obama had something to say…

    After all, we have never had a president who descended the steps of Air Force One with such catlike agility, hands almost as paws lightly bouncing in synchronization with each elfish footstep. Never has a commander in chief so casually, so confidently approached the podium as if he were popping open his own laptop, his jaw almost in Mussolini style thrust out, with eyes fixed three feet above the heads of the audience — all with just the right mixture of self-assurance and canned humility. No wonder that after all that we expect a “four score and seven years ago” that will match the perfect choreography.

    Never has a president so mastered the teleprompter — no easy task in itself — with just the right pauses, followed with a timely ratcheting up of passion, punctuated with a half-smile, a grimace, a laugh. Never has a president mastered both the art of empty bluster and the art of bowing. Never has a president so mastered the patois and cadences of an intended audience: with corporate CEOs, he sounds like a Ivy League Citibank exec; with foreign-policy types, he can out-authenticate the multicultural experts with accentuation like “the Taleeeban” and “Pakeeestan.” Among African-Americans, he drops his g’s, affects the slight drawl of the South, inserts an old-time Southern colloquialism, and follows the mannerisms of a Rev. Wright thundering at Trinity Church. Among Latinos, the “r” is rolled, and accent marks fall in the proper places, better than any third-generation Latino evening-television newsreader.

    In short, Obama is the most impressive sophist of his age. In classical rhetoric, when the speaker was about to equivocate, he added an emphatic adjective or parenthetical that he was never more candid and sincere. Sometimes he inserted “on the one hand / on the other hand” to show his awareness of every point of view other than his own. Rhetoricians often projected their own base motives onto others, using straw men like “some will say” or “there are those who…”, as if illiberal enemies were so ubiquitous that there was no mundane need to name them all. Obama has mastered all that and more.

    • Lulu says:

      Ba-rock is now fair game. Swaggering while saying he knows nothing about anything is now obvious. Empty suit, empty chair, empty head is not cool. He prances while reading what someone else wrote for him. I noticed that the laughter at his little mean jests is getting hysterical. I thought the noises accompanying his last speech was a 1970’s cartoon laugh track. Freaked out, nervous squawking from your thralls is not a good sign.

    • leslie says:

      I have a bumper sticker that says, “Nobody says nothing like Barack Obama” on my back door. It drives my neighbors crazy.
      (it’s a Freedom fairy original.)

  4. Hoping this will work:

    NoEmptySuits ‏@NoEmptySuits 8h

    Most excellent!! RT “@mindchangez: THE PREZ LIE DISPENSER pic.twitter.com/zRrzMRdlAX”
    View photo

  5. yttik says:

    LOL,Oh man, don’t even get me going about building codes! Yes, we’d price people right out of housing and other unintended consequences, but the real problem is the ineffectiveness of bureaucracy. Where I live we have to tie down mobile homes with hurricane ties, even though we don’t have hurricanes here. We have to put ice guard on our roofs, even though we don’t get icicles like they do in North Dakota. There are dozens of building codes that have no basis in common sense, at least for the area we live in. Locally we have some issues with flooding and landslides, but we don’t really have any codes about building your house on a riverbank or the edge of a cliff.

    • DeniseVB says:

      In South Florida new homes have to be built of cinderblock which really jacks up the price and why so many of those homes are “underwater”. Ironic, isn’t it 🙂

  6. yttik says:

    Also, I used to like Bill Nye, back when he was serving science. That man’s transformation into Obot is now complete. I feel like he’s been absorbed into the Borg and really won’t be coming back.

  7. votermom says:

    People must be protected! From nature! From others! From themselves!
    But not from the government!
    This message brought to you by the Bloomberg Bubblewrap Burea (no actual bubblewrap used; we banned that too)

  8. wmcb says:

    Bill Nye would shit a brick and vehemently deny this, but he makes the same mistake that the young-earth, man-walked-with-dinosaurs type creationists do.

    What mistake is that? Both include an assumption. Their assumption is that the Bible is literally true. His assumption is that the prog worldview is absolute truth.

    Both factor this “absolute truth” into their interpretation of scientific facts. Neither sees this as corrupting the science, not at all. In their minds, it is true science to work around and incorporate known facts, and their worldview IS a “known fact” (to them.)

    Nye is just as married to his progressive worldview as a “known fact” as any religionist is to their biblical literalism. It warps his interpretation of data.

    • yttik says:

      You are so right. You can’t be a good scientist if you don’t have an open mind, at least to possibilities.

  9. votermom says:

    It was the egg rolls. Not easter egg rolls. He was delivering egg rolls with lo mein in his part time job as chinese food delivery man.

  10. myiq2xu says:

    One of the popular premises of science fiction is the perfectly planned city or world, where everything is designed for maximum efficiency.

  11. votermom says:

    Check out Daily Caller’s chart on how often Shulman was at the WH compared to other Cabinet members
    http://dailycaller.com/2013/05/29/irss-shulman-had-more-public-white-house-visits-than-any-cabinet-member/

    • votermom says:

      wonder how many times Kal Penn has been to the WH hmmm…

    • jeffhas says:

      That is seriously SHOCKING… The IRS commissioner during Bush’s term visits ONCE, and Shulman visits 157 times…. more than his SOS, SOD… come on!!!!!

      When is the media going to place that information for the public to make their own judgement?

      … and who was he visiting that many times?

      There is just no other plausible reason for him to be there that many times other than to inform officials about what he has learned about people/opponents/etc at the IRS.

      What are the chance this gets thoroughly investigated….?

  12. votermom says:

  13. votermom says:

    • HELENK says:

      of the many examples this one is just disgusting. by called Ft Hood workplace violence the victims get screwed and the shooter gets paid.

      Retired Sgt. Alonzo Lunsford, shot seven times in the Ft. Hood terrorist attack, is stuck with paying his own medical bills. The shooter, Nidal Hasan, has been paid $278,000 while awaiting trial.

  14. myiq2xu says:
    • DeniseVB says:

      And I would approve that appointment 😀

      Our military leaders are being neutered by this administration too. Relieving commanders for disagreeing with Obama is sending a message, kiss my ass or you’re out. Not good, not good at all.

  15. HELENK says:

    http://freebeacon.com/uncertain-times/

    This officer makes some good points

  16. DeniseVB says:

    From Keith Koffler, at Politico:

    Why the Dems might reject Hillary in 2016

    http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=582D2892-9D79-4379-ADB6-D0D0B0FACED4

    I think he reads this blog 😀 A very good read and a peek at Biden’s chances being the nominee.

    • HELENK says:

      many who supported Hilary in 2008 will not be there for her in 2016. that includes me.

    • DeniseVB says:

      Did you see this one ? Who talks like this?

      http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/302481-first-lady-urges-dem-donors-to-max-out

      I wonder if “max out” is code for “audit”. Or exposing their horrific working conditions in sweat shops ? Wouldn’t put it past the Obamas…..hmmm.

      • DeniseVB says:

        “We need you to keep on writin’ those checks!,” she (Michelle Obama) said, according to a pool report of one of the events. “And if you haven’t maxed out, you know what’s my motto: Max out! Let’s say it again, max out! And if you’ve maxed out, get your friends to give and max out!
        “It sounds kind of baller too, maxing out!,” she added. “Everyone here should be maxed out!”

        Wish she would have begged like this for the victims of Sandy, Boston and Moore, OK.

      • HELENK says:

        she is so used to maxing out other people’s credit cards that she thinks it is normal. when is the last time she had to pay for anything?

  17. HELENK says:

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/gop-requests-benghazi-emails-between-obama-s-reelection-campaign-and-state-department_731969.html

    now this could get real interesting.

    GOP requests the Benghazi e-mails between backtrack’s reelection campaign and the State Dept

  18. HELENK says:

    http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/55565

    the obamacare meltdown begins
    .
    this is something that is being drowned out with all the scandals

  19. HELENK says:

    http://www.kdrv.com/man-attempts-to-stop-felon-with-firearm/

    it has gotten to the point that your are not supposed to defend your self in this country.

    BTW
    this is the same state that a woman got assaulted because there was no police response

    • HELENK says:

      there seems to be a pattern in the country today. you not only get preyed on by criminals but the government seems to be on their side.

      from Fort Hood to Oregon, there is open season on Americans with no help from the government that we pay

  20. HELENK says:

    http://weaselzippers.us/2013/05/30/poll-obamas-approval-rating-among-independents-tanks-to-only-37/

    only 37% approval for backtrack among Independents. I think that is high

  21. swanspirit says:

    Charles thinks the White House missing hours were spent concocting the story too !

    • DeniseVB says:

      GOP is requesting emails between the WH and Obama’s re-election committee the night of Benghazi. Didn’t see the subpoena word used, but they should.

  22. HELENK says:

    when the video becomes available I just found my Just Because for today.
    Air Force Pilots climb Mt Everest.

    they used their own leave time and financed it themselves

    is a story on Fox today.

  23. swanspirit says:

    Our local terrorist support organization :

    OCEAN CITY — Two local business owners, indicted by a New York grand jury earlier this month for allegedly being the “ringleader” and “enterprise treasurer” for a vast cigarette smuggling and money laundering scheme with possible links to terrorism, have plead not guilty and are being held in the New York’s Department of Corrections without bond…….

    At the Ramadans’ West Ocean City homes in the Oyster Harbor community, $1.4 million in large black bags was recovered, along with 20,000 cartons of untaxed cigarettes. Also seized were numerous vehicles and other property belonging to the Ramadans.

    The Ramadans allegedly conducted the vast cigarette smuggling operation out of their Ocean City properties, but 14 other co-conspirators, from transporters to distributors to resellers, were also rounded up at locations all over the mid-Atlantic region…….

    “The association of some of the suspects in this case to the Ari Halbestram’s killer, the Blind Sheik and a top Hamas official concerns us,” said Kelly. “While it hasn’t been established yet where the illicit proceeds ended up, we’re concerned because similar schemes have been used in the past to help fund terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah.”

    An N.Y. Attorney General’s Office source said this week the investigation is ongoing on several fronts and every possibility is being explored.

    The Ramadan brothers have ownership stakes in several corporations, which operate local businesses, including the convenience stores in the Village Market on 18th Street and on 9th Street, the beer and wine store located in the Gold Coast Mall parking lot, the local Ledo’s Pizza franchise and the Subway on Sunset Drive. One of their corporations is Atlantic Ice Cream LLC, which operates the Ocean City-based Dairy Queen franchise and maintains a corporate office on 57th Street in Ocean City.

    http://www.mdcoastdispatch.com/articles/2013/05/24/Top-Stories/NEW-FOR-THURSDAY-Ramadans-Plead-Not-Guilty-Held-In-NY-Without-Bond

  24. HELENK says:

    http://weaselzippers.us/2013/05/30/obama-state-department-says-it-may-not-comply-with-congressional-subpoena-of-benghazi-documents/

    has anyone else noticed that the backtrack must get a crick in their necks from holding their noses in the air? I am thinking about praying for a deluge in DC to see if they drown

    • HELENK says:

      good for them

    • DeniseVB says:

      Ugh, the comments are nasty. Must be a pocket of OFA media trolls up there. Even the author snarked the ending.

      Sarah will give an inspiring and age appropriate speech. I look forward to reading the transcript of it …. and compare it to Michelle’s /snork.

  25. votermom says:

    LOLOLOL

    btw, there’s a gun store not far away from us that’s right next to a liquor store.

  26. votermom says:

  27. votermom says:

  28. votermom says:

  29. votermom says:

    Great video rant

  30. votermom says:

    More Ricin letters. I wonder what kind of impersonator will get arrested this time – Michael Jackson?
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/05/30/bloomberg-guns-ricin/2372183/

  31. gxm17 says:

    I’d be interested to how all of the “no regulations” folks feel about government funded disaster relief. IMO, if the government is going to be expected to pay for disaster relief then they can damn will set regulatory requirements. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. If you agree that disaster relief is necessary then you need to pay the piper already.

    • myiq2xu says:

      Now that Obamacare is the law of the land I guess the government can set regulations over our personal diet and exercise too. We can ban unhealthy lifestyles.

      • myiq2xu says:

        People with certain genetic conditions could be prevented from having kids, along with people with family histories of diabetes, alcoholism, cancer, mental illness, etc.

    • myiq2xu says:

      I’d be okay with a law that says to qualify for a federally-guaranteed home loan you have to buy disaster insurance too.

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