April 22, 2014
President Obama Visits Democrats in Oso

President Obama is currently en route to Paine Field in Air Force One, where he will go up to Oso to visit with locals, including Snohomish County Councilman Dave Somers. Oh, but Somers isn't a local: he's from South Snohomish County. The Councilman who actually represents the district, Ken Klein, who lives just a few miles from Oso, wasn't invited. Somers is a Democrat, and Klein is a Republican. Maybe it's not directly partisan: maybe Somers just has connections (which are probably partisan, to a large degree). But if the President is going to spend a ton of money coming out here and tying up traffic, shouldn't he at least invite the only local representative that the Oso residents have?

The don't have any municipal representation, and while they have three fine state legislators in the 39th Legislative District -- Senator Kirk Pearson, Representative and Minority Leader Dan Kristiansen, and Representative Elizabeth Scott, all Republicans, none of whom were invited -- who have been up there almost every day since the slide, Klein is the one guy who is most important to the residents in representing their interests to the government. After Klein, though, it's those three who matter most.

He has also invited other Democrats, all of who make sense: Representatives Rick Larsen and Suzan DelBene, Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, Snohomish County Executive John Lovick, and, of course, Governor Jay Inslee. They are all important to Oso's residents. But the four closest representatives who matter the most aren't there, and it just so happens all of them are Republicans.

This looks to me like nothing more than a convenient Earth Day photo op (and how much are we betting that he blames the slide on global warming?). It isn't going to help anyone or accomplish anything. I've never been a big fan of presidential visits to disaster sites. While Bush at Ground Zero was an important event, generally, he just gets in the way. I never understood why it mattered that Bush didn't visit New Orleans: I figured it was best for recovery efforts that he stayed away. Obama has put enough time between the event that he won't significantly impact recovery efforts, but it's still not helpful for him to be here, and the fact that he is not even meeting with any of the state or local representatives for Oso just highlights that this is about himself, not Oso.

Cross-posted on <pudge/*>.

Posted by pudge at April 22, 2014 08:09 AM | Email This
Comments
1. I am reminded of the 1990's Canadian film entitled "The Sweet Hereafter" where a smarmy lawyer comes to town to try to capitalize on the town's grief (see Roger Ebert's review of it).
No good can come of this.
As I picked up my pet from the groomer's yesterday, she commented on the amount of grumbling by local folk about this Liar-In-Chief's visit.
He's not wanted here by the townsfolk, but you won't catch that on the local, state, or national news sites.
Just sayin'....

Posted by: Al on April 22, 2014 08:30 AM
2. Also not meeting with any of the people who represent the Freedom County movement which had broad support in Oso.

Posted by: patriot on April 22, 2014 11:47 AM
3. patriot: he shouldn't meet with them. Their cause, creating a new county, has nothing to do with the mudslide or the federal government.

Posted by: pudge on April 22, 2014 11:50 AM
4. In the era of Obama, the American middle class is now NOT the most well-off middle class in the world. Never thought we'd see this day.
Our national credit is downgraded, and now this, among other negatives such as perverse Obamacare incentives to keep worker hours down and people having their medical insurances taken away even if they liked them.

America is drooping under Obama. This is not acceptable. When he said he would 'remake' America, he didn't tell people this is what it would look like. These are ominous signs.

Posted by: Monterey on April 22, 2014 02:04 PM
5.
Today is Earth Day. President Obama will mark the day by flying from Washington, D.C. to Washington state -- 2,328 miles, generating 568,032 pounds of carbon emissions at 244 pounds per mile -- and then beginning his week-long trip to Asia, flying tonight to Tokyo -- 4,792 miles, an additional 1,169,248 pounds of carbon emissions. The two trips add up to 1.73 million pounds of carbon or 868.64 tons.

For perspective, the average American generates about 19 tons of carbon dioxide in one year.

This figure does not count the carbon emissions from the president's backup plane, cargo planes transporting the president's limo and helicopter, advance staff, etc.

Perhaps the president will discuss climate change during his trip to Asia.

It's OK to be a flaming hypocrite if you believe in global warming.

1004 days

Posted by: RagnarDanneskold on April 22, 2014 02:54 PM
6. Wow. Obama, in his prepared remarks, just prounounced "Oso" as "ah-so" instead of "oh-so". A few times.

Posted by: pudge on April 22, 2014 04:04 PM
7. Obama has put enough time between the event that he won't significantly impact recovery efforts, but it's still not helpful for him to be here, and the fact that he is not even meeting with any of the state or local representatives for Oso just highlights that this is about himself, not Oso.

Agreed. It's a lacking part of the American political system that the President is a figurehead for the government, because it is expected that he do pointless things such as this. Better to handle the executive like the Swiss do -- boring, administrative, and rotating within a committee to keep the attention on the functions and not the personality.

If you need a consoler-in-chief, make a new office.

@4: America is drooping under Obama. This is not acceptable. When he said he would 'remake' America, he didn't tell people this is what it would look like. These are ominous signs.

This has more to do with overall trends in the economy than a single Administration. If you believe that a President Romney or President Paul would expand the middle class, you're blind to shifts towards a flexible (read: part-time) service economy, wide-scale outsourcing and offshoring of jobs in all sectors, and deepening divisions between rich and poor.

Ominous signs? Sure -- but absolutely nothing that could be averted by a Republican (or Libertarian) president. You're simply spewing your angst about the world in general at a political opponent, and not dealing with the real causes.

Posted by: demo kid on April 22, 2014 04:14 PM
8. Nature was the real cause of this disaster, which should be abundantly clear. What Pudge pointed out was the segregation of Republican officials who were conspicuously left out here.
I doubt if Pres. Clinton would have done that to this extent.

Considering our president was here, it is fitting to illustrate by the quotes below, of which Mr. Obama, along with former cocaine dealer Sharpton are front & center at being a ring leader, in the midst of campaign season - this is true, so don't be ashamed to wear it; Democrats and Democrat Party (the label Democratic Party is no longer valid now that the truth is known as illustrated by this vapid phenomenon);

"If you want to see rabid racism, watch what happens when a successful black admits to being conservative, leaves the plantation; or a black kids works hard and succeeds, "acts white". The Democrats have always been the party of racism; nothing has changed except the political machine, the talking points,the budgets. What is amazing is that it works on establishment Republicans, maybe they are also racist; probably cowardice and corruption are better explanations."

As you can see, this does not speak highly of many Republicans either. This is why we have a country unaffected by a disaster such as in Oso that is out there circling the drain.

Posted by: KDS on April 22, 2014 06:56 PM
9. I received the invite at 10:30 pm last night. I am currently the Chair of the Council which probably explains why I was invited.

I was joined at the event by State Senator Kirk Pearson, and Representative Elizabeth Scott, both Republicans.

I agree, Ken Klein should have been invited. As of yesterday, I was under the impression none of us were invited. If I could have arranged for Ken to go, I would have done so.

Posted by: Dave Somers on April 22, 2014 07:28 PM
10. @8: Nature was the real cause of this disaster, which should be abundantly clear.

Not at all. Building in an area prone to landslides is the real cause of this disaster, which should be abundantly clear.

Posted by: demo kid on April 22, 2014 08:14 PM
11. @10 - The problem was that a study stating what you wrote was published back in about 1998 indicating a distinct landslide hazard esixted, but the locals (people, government, etc.) and the media did not appropriately acknowledge it.

Unfortunately, the natural disaster that occurred in Oso affected so many people that should not have been allowed to built there in the first place had they been aware of the hazard in this area.

Posted by: KDS on April 22, 2014 08:27 PM
12. Dave: glad that Kirk and Elizabeth went. Thanks for letting us know.

Were you as embarrassed as I was (watching at home) at how the President pronounced "Oso"? Ugh.

Posted by: pudge on April 22, 2014 09:19 PM
13. "12. Dave: glad that Kirk and Elizabeth went. Thanks for letting us know."

Thanks for updating your post. (Wait, what?)

KDS -- the unstable nature of the slide zone had been known for decades prior to 1998, and even if the hazard had been totally unknown until 1998, that was fifteen years before the recent slide. There was simply no good reason for building homes in such a vulnerable area.

Posted by: tensor on April 23, 2014 09:07 AM
14. the unstable nature of the slide zone had been known for decades prior to 1998, and even if the hazard had been totally unknown until 1998, that was fifteen years before the recent slide. There was simply no good reason for building homes in such a vulnerable area.

You're totally correct about this, but can you imagine the howling on the right if Big Government had used this information in 2000 to deny building permits? It would be government "taking" value from property owners via needless regulation, or questionable science, or whatever.

Government serves an important function and people suffer when it's not allowed to do its job.

Posted by: scottd on April 23, 2014 10:38 AM
15. Were you as embarrassed as I was (watching at home) at how the President pronounced "Oso"? Ugh.

Does your embarrassment extend to attempting to politicize human suffering by making false and misleading statements? Ugh.

Posted by: scottd on April 23, 2014 10:41 AM
16. scottd: you are referring to ... ?

Posted by: pudge on April 23, 2014 11:04 AM
17. @14: Government serves an important function and people suffer when it's not allowed to do its job.

Precisely. Complain about the Growth Management Act all you like, but there are specific requirements in there for land use planning related to geological hazards. By being cowed by "Freedom County" morons, Snohomish County officials simply didn't do their jobs under the Act.

Posted by: demo kid on April 23, 2014 11:36 AM
18. demo kid: Precisely. Complain about the Growth Management Act all you like, but there are specific requirements in there for land use planning related to geological hazards.

... which were followed, from all I've seen.

(Also, you can complain about the Third Reich all you like, but they made the trains run on time, blah blah blah. Nothing you can say can make the GMA into a good thing. :p)


By being cowed by "Freedom County" morons, Snohomish County officials simply didn't do their jobs under the Act.

Please provide an example of this happening.

Posted by: pudge on April 23, 2014 11:42 AM
19. Pudge,

Don't worry about the pronunciation of Oso - it's what a real Marine corpse man would say...

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on April 23, 2014 04:39 PM
20. @18: ... which were followed, from all I've seen.

Under the law, critical areas, which include "geologically hazardous areas", must be identified and development regulations adopted to protect them. If a landslide threatened an area, the County had prior knowledge about this, and issued even one development permit for the area, they are at fault if the development regulations were insufficient.

Also, you can complain about the Third Reich all you like, but they made the trains run on time, blah blah blah.

Weird hyperbole, especially since the quote is usually about Mussolini.

Nothing you can say can make the GMA into a good thing.

The GMA has a severability clause. Complain about the urban growth boundary or density targets all you like and compare them to Hitler's reign ad nauseum, but prohibiting development in geologically hazardous areas is a valid use of government police powers.

Please provide an example of this happening.

It's clear that they did not do their jobs. If any development permit was approved in an area shown to be "geologically hazardous" before the fact, they did not provide sufficient controls to keep people out of harm's way.

The reasons for this will likely be debated for a long time, undoubtedly in a number of high-profile court cases. However, the County wasn't looking to buy out landowners and compensate them for the takings -- they were carrying on with business as usual, and protecting short-term property values for fear of being sued.

Given the political climate there, though, what exactly would you think the reaction would have been to either a voluntary buy-out or wide-scale condemnation of land? Especially when there were outspoken opponents to land use regulation in the community?

Posted by: demo kid on April 23, 2014 08:27 PM
21. pudge: Do you think government did enough to protect lives in Oso? Would you recommend any future policy changes?

Posted by: scottd on April 23, 2014 09:07 PM
22. Given the field day the progressives had with the last president's mangling of words, I'm content to let the right have their Oso moment. Then again, it's not like he invaded the wrong country or something.

Pudge, I talked with a musician friend about your Oso song. I was impressed. We recently finished creating a music video which we gave to a local charity, including all rights to the original song, recorded performance, video editing, etc. In a day or two there will be a music video released on You Tube with the song available at on-line stores - all money raised going to two Syrian refugee charities, UN Refugee Relief Fund and Islamic Relief USA. Now we're starting a new project for a local Christian charity which builds schools in remote Ugandan villages. Like the other charity, this one gets all the rights and any future assistance they need. We try to remain anonymous.

We've been through all the hoops - US Copyright, song royalty collection through BMI, digital distribution and collection from over 60 world-wide download stores through CD Baby. Besides, BMI and CD Baby, there's also ASCAP, Tunecore and others to work with.

It's an interesting model we've come up with, kind of a charitable spin-off of Death Cab. You have the makings of a great song. Your heart is in the right place. The Oso imagery is incredibe and both uplifting and heart-wrenching. It's the makings of a viral video and a lot of song downloads. Perhaps you might be interested in taking what you have to the next level where you can try to use that song to raise some serious money for Oso. There's no guarantee that it would raise a dime. It'd take a lot of work. But you'd get all the assistance you need. If you care to talk off-line, I'll give you a real email address. If not, forget I brought it up and delete my comment.

Posted by: Dr. Zatoichi, the Blind Video Editor on April 23, 2014 09:48 PM
23. "Do you think government did enough to protect lives in Oso? Would you recommend any future policy changes?"

Amazing, isn't it? Faced with clear evidence their ideology and resultant policies enabled an entirely preventable loss of human lives, our fellow citizens on the libertarian/right respond with denial ("Nature was the real cause of this disaster..."), more rigid ideology ("Nothing you can say can make the GMA into a good thing.") and silly quibbles (the original post). It certainly puts all of their rhetoric about "the sanctity of human life" into proper perspective, that's for sure.

Posted by: tensor on April 23, 2014 10:37 PM
24. demo kid: Under the law, critical areas, which include "geologically hazardous areas", must be identified and development regulations adopted to protect them.

Which was done, from what I have heard.


If a landslide threatened an area, the County had prior knowledge about this, and issued even one development permit for the area, they are at fault if the development regulations were insufficient.

I see nothing in the law that says the county is at fault for incorrectly predicting that something wouldn't happen.


... prohibiting development in geologically hazardous areas is a valid use of government police powers.

All I am saying is that just because the GMA does this, doesn't make the GMA a good thing.


It's clear that they did not do their jobs.

No such thing is clear at all, in fact.


If any development permit was approved in an area shown to be "geologically hazardous" before the fact, they did not provide sufficient controls to keep people out of harm's way.

But if they thought at the time that they were providing sufficient controls, based on the best available science etc., then they were doing their jobs.


However, the County wasn't looking to buy out landowners and compensate them for the takings -- they were carrying on with business as usual, and protecting short-term property values for fear of being sued.


Prove it.


Given the political climate there, though, what exactly would you think the reaction would have been to either a voluntary buy-out or wide-scale condemnation of land?

Don't be stupid. The reaction would be negative from the residents, of course, but that would happen absolutely anywhere such an action were taken.

Also, there's a difference between condemning and taking land, and refusal to issue new permits.

Posted by: pudge on April 24, 2014 05:07 AM
25. scottd: Do you think government did enough to protect lives in Oso?

In retrospect, obviously not. The charge here, however, is whether at the time they were doing enough based on the information they had. And since some experts at the time thought they were doing enough, and some thought they were not, who are any of us to say that they -- at the time -- they were making the wrong decision based on the information they had? This kind of second-guessing, in the absence of serious evidence that they were wrong at the time, is idiotic.


Would you recommend any future policy changes?

No. I do not have enough evidence to recommend any changes. And neither does anyone here, as best I can tell.


tensor: Amazing, isn't it? Faced with clear evidence their ideology and resultant policies enabled an entirely preventable loss of human lives ...

False. You're just making things up. Again, as we all know by now, the science on this was not clear. This is a fact. If it was clear, then the decisions likely would've been different. But it wasn't. Despite the fact that the news loved to show the one guy who predicted this would happen, other experts said it was safe. The Army Corps of Engineers itself signed off on it. So just stop lying, please.


our fellow citizens on the libertarian/right respond with denial ("Nature was the real cause of this disaster...")

Well, it obviously was. That doesn't mean we can't be more proactive in the future, and if the evidence warrants such action, I'd favor it.


more rigid ideology ("Nothing you can say can make the GMA into a good thing.")

Shrug. You can call that "rigid ideology," but you can't a. show that I am wrong, b. show that this has anything to do with the GMA as a whole, c. show that I am opposed to the GMA as a whole for anything but practical reasons.


It certainly puts all of their rhetoric about "the sanctity of human life" into proper perspective, that's for sure.

You're a liar.

Posted by: pudge on April 24, 2014 05:20 AM
26. Zat:

Then again, it's not like he invaded the wrong country or something.

Well, he did. He's the only President who has, that I am aware of, at least in my lifetime, when he illegally invaded Libya. But I don't know why you bring that up. :p

As to the song, I'm glad that you liked it. I am unfortunately not interested in doing a lot of work. I am extremely busy with job and family. But if someone else wanted to take it and use it for charity, they would have my full support (including, but not limited to, the master recording [such as it is] and re-recordings and new arrangements). You can probably find my e-mail address easily enough.

Posted by: pudge on April 24, 2014 05:25 AM
27. What do Oso and the Obama administration have in common?

They both are a slide in to disaster.

Where there was Hope and Change and the most transparent administration ever, we now have 1/6 of the still stagnant economy in ruins.

It will be amusing to watch the video of Obama scratching his head trying to figure out how a mud slide works like the videos of when he tried to figure out how an oil spill works.

But the media tells us he is a brilliant man.

Posted by: Leftover on April 24, 2014 07:11 AM
28. Got it, pudge.

You don't think government did enough to protect lives but you wouldn't recommend any changes because you don't know enough to do so. And yet, you claim to understand how much information was available to government and imply that you have the technical competence to understand its significance.

That's brilliant! But at least you know how to pronounce Oso.

Posted by: scottd on April 24, 2014 08:45 AM
29. scottd: You don't think government did enough to protect lives

False.

you wouldn't recommend any changes because you don't know enough to do so.

True.


you claim to understand how much information was available to government

False.


... and imply that you have the technical competence to understand its significance.

False.


you know how to pronounce Oso.

True.

You're not very good at this. As usual.

Posted by: pudge on April 24, 2014 09:17 AM
30. "Don't be stupid. The reaction would be negative from the residents, of course, but that would happen absolutely anywhere such an action were taken."

Seattle suffered landslides at the end of 1996, after a big ice and rain storm. Some of the houses destroyed were on Magnolia bluff, home to some of the city's wealthiest and best-connected citizens. In some cases, owners of the destroyed buildings filed for building permits, which the city rejected. Do tell us about the voiciferous protests these wealthy and well-connected citizens then made.

Posted by: tensor on April 24, 2014 10:15 AM
31. tensor: Do tell us about the voiciferous protests these wealthy and well-connected citizens then made.

You're being dishonest. All I said is the reaction would be negative. You're telling me that people who had permits turned down didn't have negative reactions?

Posted by: pudge on April 24, 2014 10:20 AM
32. OK, you can't cite so much as a single negative reaction from the Seattle residents who had their permits denied. Or maybe Seattle isn't absolutely anywhere?

Also, if you can find any evidence of a secessionist movement over such land-use regulations in Seattle, please let us know.

Posted by: tensor on April 24, 2014 10:35 AM
33. tensor: you can't cite so much as a single negative reaction from the Seattle residents who had their permits denied.

You're lying. I never said I couldn't. I only, merely, didn't. And I won't even attempt to, not unless anyone gives a reason to think that someone who went through the trouble of filing for a permit would not have a negative reaction to it being rejected.


Also, if you can find any evidence of a secessionist movement over such land-use regulations in Seattle, please let us know.

You're lying. I never implied any such thing.

Please go away until you can stop lying. Thanks!

Posted by: pudge on April 24, 2014 10:40 AM
34. You're not very good at this. As usual.

Once again, you've buried me with your superior intellect and debating skills:

pudge@25:

scottd: Do you think government did enough to protect lives in Oso?

In retrospect, obviously not.


pudge@29:

scottd: You don't think government did enough to protect lives.

False.


Posted by: scottd on April 24, 2014 12:24 PM
35. scottd: wow, you're dishonest. I said, "in retrospect," based on the information we have now. But you're not talking in retrospect: you're implying they made the wrong decision at the time, with the information they had. And there's no serious evidence to believe that.

Posted by: pudge on April 24, 2014 12:45 PM
36. 24. Which was done, from what I have heard.
So what you're saying is that no new development permits have been issued for the area in question for the past 10-15 years, and this has been supported by thorough designations of landslide risk areas by the County? I respect your greater knowledge on the ground there, but it's hard to swallow as it flies in the face of what's coming out now about the situation.

I see nothing in the law that says the county is at fault for incorrectly predicting that something wouldn't happen.
There is a specific obligation in the law to identify and regulate critical areas. If they did not issue or enforce these regulations, they are at fault under the law.

All I am saying is that just because the GMA does this, doesn't make the GMA a good thing.
And I never suggested what the good or bad parts of the rest of the law were, just that this section specifically is a clear police power of the government and is currently in force.

But if they thought at the time that they were providing sufficient controls, based on the best available science etc., then they were doing their jobs.
If they were providing for piecemeal interventions to address the problem but still issuing building permits, the best available science was telling them that there was a risk there. They weren't willing to do much about it.

However, the County wasn't looking to buy out landowners and compensate them for the takings -- they were carrying on with business as usual, and protecting short-term property values for fear of being sued.

Prove it.
Did they try to buy people out or purchase development rights of properties in the area? You have more experience in the area -- I'd be interested in hearing whether there were any County programs you heard of around there.

Don't be stupid. The reaction would be negative from the residents, of course, but that would happen absolutely anywhere such an action were taken.
If the County establishes that you are in an area at risk and you can get fair market value for your land, it sure beats getting the entire value of your property wiped out, plus additional issues with getting insurance if you decide to stay on the land. Now, if existing residents would want to stay in a high-risk location, that's fine by me -- as long as all of the real risks and economic costs of that are clear.

However, griping about the policy ignores that the County was required to deal with critical areas by the GMA. It is irrelevant whether the community would object. They had an obligation and did not properly manage it.

Also, there's a difference between condemning and taking land, and refusal to issue new permits.
I'm not sure what you mean here. If a government restricts the highest and best use of land through new land use policy and effectively prevents all development on a site, it is a taking and subject to compensation under the constitution. If a community refuses to issue new permits, and those refusals do not correspond with a specific land use policy, it is useless and can be challenged successfully in court.

Posted by: demo kid on April 24, 2014 01:09 PM
37. As predicted above. The President could not even be bothered to learn the proper pronunciation of Oso. Something that even a casual glance at some of the local media reports in the days following the event would have revealed. One would expect that if the President was flying all the way across the country to address a disaster that he could familiarize himself with the basics of what happened and that his aids would brief him on pronunciation of the name of key local place and local dignitaries. Especially in a region with so many Native American names.

One would expect a "brilliant orator" like Obama to know his audiences well enough not to make such amateur speaking mistakes.
Or maybe he is not a "brilliant orator" but instead a "brilliant poser?"
Or maybe he was just too busy thinking about his golf game?

And this is the same dud of a leader who bowed to a robot in Tokyo. So maybe we are expecting too much.

Posted by: Leftover on April 24, 2014 01:31 PM
38. demo kid: I have to think you're being deliberately obtuse. You are equating following the law, which is about making predictions, to whether those predictions came true. They are not the same thing, and you are committing the equivocation fallacy.

Either that, or you asserting the should not have used the predictions they used, or that they didn't use any predictions at all. There's no evidence supporting such claims.

You have provided zero evidence that the county did not -- based on the best evidence at the time -- "deal with critical areas" as required by the GMA. You're just making things up and not making sense. You're not being serious, in the least bit.


It is irrelevant whether the community would object.

I wasn't the one who brought up whether the community objected, you are. I agree that your comment was irrelevant.


They had an obligation and did not properly manage it.

You have provided absolutely no evidence to back up this claim.

Also, there's a difference between condemning and taking land, and refusal to issue new permits.

I'm not sure what you mean here.

Exactly what it says. You said, "Given the political climate there, though, what exactly would you think the reaction would have been to either a voluntary buy-out or wide-scale condemnation of land?" This was in the context of comments about issuing permits. I only pointed out the fact that they are different, and you were treating them as the same thing.


If a government restricts the highest and best use of land through new land use policy and effectively prevents all development on a site, it is a taking and subject to compensation under the constitution.

In a given circumstance, it may have the effect of being a taking, yes, of course. But simply denying permits for certain purposes is not necessarily a taking, no.

Posted by: pudge on April 24, 2014 01:43 PM
39. I'm mostly with pudge here. (But only here.) No land is 100% safe to build on and, while Oso was clearly at more risk than most places, government had to make a tough risk analysis. Just because someone said there would be a disaster doesn't mean a balanced review would have concluded they shouldn't have issued more building permits. There's certainly enough cause to investigate what went wrong, but I wouldn't assume government made a mistake, let alone that it was for political reasons.

Posted by: Bruce on April 24, 2014 09:42 PM
40. What Bruce said.

Posted by: pudge on April 24, 2014 10:39 PM
41. No land is 100% safe to build on...

True, but insufficient. The Great Wall of China and the Pyramids of Egypt have stood for thousands of years.

In the case of the Oso disaster, we had a known danger, and yet houses were built on land known to be vulnerable to exactly the hazard which ultimately destroyed them. No one needed to live in that place; every one of the now-deceased residents could have lived elsewhere, with a far lower risk of dying in the horrible way they did.

If pudge or anyone else wants to adopt an ideology which puts something ahead of consideration for human life, they are free to do so. They should just be honest enough to admit they care more for their ideology than they do for human life.

Posted by: tensor on April 24, 2014 11:33 PM
42. Tensor@41, our society makes decisions all the time that put money and personal choice ahead of human life. We weigh the cost-benefit of all sorts of safety regulations -- in airplanes, cars, roads, bridges, housing, food, healthcare, and so on. Most things can be made safer with enough money.

Did government know that Oso was more dangerous than most places where people live? Yes.

Should Snohomish County have known that Oso was so dangerous that it should have banned people from living there, or at least banned more people from building there? Maybe, though probably not for ideological reasons. We should certainly investigate this and try to learn from it.

Posted by: Bruce on April 25, 2014 12:05 AM
43. tensor: In the case of the Oso disaster, we had a known danger

There's known dangers everywhere. I live near trees that can burn and catch my house on fire. You're not actually making a serious case by saying there was "danger." To make a serious case, you have to show that a. the danger was sufficient such that the county should've had different rules disallowing this development, and b. that they should have come to this conclusion based on the evidence they had at the time.

No one has seriously made this case, that I have yet seen. The only case you're making is that because this happened, therefore they should have known it would happen (and therefore disallowed development), but that's obviously irrational.


If pudge or anyone else wants to adopt an ideology which puts something ahead of consideration for human life

Well, of course, I put individual liberty above human life. Doesn't everyone? That's why I hate marijuana and other drugs, because they destroy human life (even if marijuana doesn't kill you, it steals a portion of your life), but think their use should be legalized. But that's not the point here, because I've already said several times that I think if the county knew this was likely to happen, they should have had disallowed the development.


They should just be honest enough to admit they care more for their ideology than they do for human life.

You're a liar, as usual. Why can't you be honest when debating people you disagree with? It's really sad that you have so little confidence in your views that you need to resort to lies.

Posted by: pudge on April 25, 2014 07:10 AM
44. If pudge or anyone else wants to adopt an ideology which puts something ahead of consideration for human life, they are free to do so. They should just be honest enough to admit they care more for their ideology than they do for human life

Said the proud and loud pro-bort.

1000 days of Barack Obama Anne Boleyn comes to mind....

Posted by: RagnarDanneskold on April 25, 2014 12:00 PM
45. BO was on his way to Japan for a Thursday wine/dine, grip and grin with the Emperor.
The fact that in his press conference he kept referring to "O"so as "AH" so ought to be a clue he was here to promote through the press and support the failing Democrats of Washington State.
Too bad they will continue to reign because the Republicans are do disconnected.

Now the pressing question,,, how are we going to beat Hillary in 2016.
If she is elected I am moving any where!

Posted by: Antithesis of Politics on April 25, 2014 12:24 PM
46. "Did government know that Oso was more dangerous than most places where people live? Yes."

And, as demo kid noted, the government there had the obligation, under the Growth Management Act, to do more investigation at such a site that it would have in a place which was not well-known for repeated destructive landslides over the course of many decades. As even pudge helplessly spluttered, this slide wasn't just entirely predictable, it had been predicted by a competent person who had done the proper investigative work. Please don't fall into pudge's trap, of throwing up your hands and making vague statements about how the local government might have done something. They had no need to issue home-building permits for a region of known geologic instability.

"Again, as we all know by now, the science on this was not clear. This is a fact."

No, it's just more of your groundlessly asserting as fact something you need to show. But let's do you the disservice of playing along, and for the sake of argument, let's say you are correct. If the "science was not clear" on whether it was safe to build in an area which had repeatedly experienced large and sudden landslides for decades, then that's a perfect reason not to build there. Thank you for supporting my point, and agreeing the permits should not have been issued.

Posted by: tensor on April 26, 2014 07:01 AM
47. "They should just be honest enough to admit they care more for their ideology than they do for human life."

You're a liar, as usual. Why can't you be honest when debating people you disagree with? It's really sad that you have so little confidence in your views that you need to resort to lies.

Look in the mirror and if you were to apply that assertion to yourself, you would admit that you are a little LIAR, and it can be seen that you have a fatal character flaw.

"Thank you for supporting my point, and agreeing the permits should not have been issued.

Posted by tensor at April 26, 2014 07:01 AM"

Stupid comment - so what difference does that make now ? The damage has been done. Only future policies can be influenced and obviously should be, but that is up to the lawmakers.

Posted by: KDS on April 26, 2014 08:04 AM
48. tensor: And, as demo kid noted, the government there had the obligation, under the Growth Management Act, to do more investigation at such a site that it would have in a place which was not well-known for repeated destructive landslides over the course of many decades.

And they did do more investigation there than in other places. Your implication that they did not is a lie.


They had no need to issue home-building permits for a region of known geologic instability.

Actually, they do have a need -- an obligation -- to issue home-building permits unless they have a strong reason to not do so.

And you keep dishonestly asserting they had a strong reason not to. You're lying. Maybe they had a strong reason not to, but no such evidence has been presented. You can't just point to the case made against the issuance of permits; you have to compare it to the opposite case and show how one was obviously superior, and not based on evidence in retrospect.

No one's even attempted to do that, that I've seen, and certainly not in this discussion.


"Again, as we all know by now, the science on this was not clear. This is a fact."

No, it's just more of your groundlessly asserting as fact something you need to show.

It was shown clearly: we have -- at the least -- a UW professor saying it was not safe, and the Army Corps of Engineers saying it was safe. Why do you think that the assertion that the science was not clear is "groundless" and we "need to show" it when this has already been made clear?

Why do you continue to push this lie? I mean, other than the fact that you're a liar.


If the "science was not clear" on whether it was safe to build in an area which had repeatedly experienced large and sudden landslides for decades, then that's a perfect reason not to build there.

False, obviously. That is a judgment call based on the perceived strength of the different positions. And as you probably know, the Army Corps of Engineers carries a lot of weight with people, and if they say it is safe, then most people are going to trust that. Perhaps they shouldn't, but it's obviously stupid to say that just because a professor says it is not safe, that they should not build ... hell, if that were the case, then we just need one professor who is against "sprawl" to say something isn't safe, and then nothing will ever get built.

Judgments actually have to be made in the presence of conflicting conclusions. Sometimes, yes, you should weigh the negative evidence more, because lives are at stake. But it depends entirely on the circumstances, obviously.

Posted by: pudge on April 26, 2014 10:23 AM
49. "I am unfortunately not interested in doing a lot of work."

It was just a thought. It does require a lot of work, as well as a lot of heart. Such causes deserve only our best.

"the Army Corps of Engineers saying it was safe"

Citation needed. Safe for what?

That said, I've read a number of technical studies and I'm understanding better now that it's one thing to map hazard areas, quite another to ascertain the degree of hazard that exists at any location. One might say that the science becomes "iffy".

Science with a degree of uncertainty identifying the degree of a hazard and requiring increased regulation in order to mitigate risk. Hmm, what would the right do? Whether climate change or landslides, don't we already know the right's answer to this one?

Of course we do. Hell, we couldn't even get funding for hazard mapping out of them.

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/investigations/how-politics-buries-science-landslide-mapping-n73256

"Congress gave the U.S. Geological Survey a mandate a decade ago to set a national policy to mitigate landslide risks. The USGS estimated that the cost would be $25 million a year, and the National Academy of Sciences offered a higher estimate, $50 million. Instead, Congress allocated only $2.5 million, which has slowly increased to $3.5 million, Lyttle said."

As was pointed out, Republicans in Congress fought for and won more money than that each year for penis pumps. So this isn't about what hazard mapping and assessment costs, it's about GOP priorities.


Posted by: Dr. Zatoichi, the Blind Surgeon on April 26, 2014 12:49 PM
50. "... other experts said it was safe. The Army Corps of Engineers itself signed off on it."

Are you claiming the Army Corps of Engineers approved local building permits? If not, what "it" did the Corps "sign off on"?"

"...the Army Corps of Engineers carries a lot of weight with people, and if they say it is safe..."

When and how did they say "it" was "safe"? Their 1999 report said pretty much the opposite:

Meanwhile, a 1999 report filed with the US Army Corps of Engineers warned of "the potential for a large catastrophic failure," the Seattle Times recently reported.

"I knew it would fail catastrophically in a large-magnitude event," though not when it would happen, said geomorphologist Daniel Miller, who was hired to do the study. "I was not surprised."

Apparently, the Corps' report did not "carry a lot of weight with" the "people" who wrongly allowed building permits in a place where the land had been sliding for decades.

Posted by: tensor on April 26, 2014 08:52 PM
51. tensor: Are you claiming the Army Corps of Engineers approved local building permits?

No. But why are you only following up now, when this is the second time I informed you of the fact that the Army Corps of Engineers weighed in on it?


Their 1999 report said pretty much the opposite

No, it doesn't.


Meanwhile, a 1999 report filed with the US Army Corps of Engineers warned of "the potential for a large catastrophic failure," the Seattle Times recently reported.

Maybe you should have read the Seattle Times story referenced, wherein you learn that the Army Corps of Engineers said that homes on Steelhead Drive were safe, as recently as 2006.


Apparently, the Corps' report did not "carry a lot of weight with" the "people" who wrongly allowed building permits in a place where the land had been sliding for decades.

It didn't carry enough weight to override the other evidence, yes. So? Again, in order to say their decision was wrong, you have to show it was wrong at the time. You've not even attempted to actually demonstrate that. That is an admission that you have no case.

Posted by: pudge on April 26, 2014 09:16 PM
52. zat: Where's your new video?

"the Army Corps of Engineers saying it was safe"

Citation needed. Safe for what?

See my immediately previous comment.


it's one thing to map hazard areas, quite another to ascertain the degree of hazard that exists at any location. One might say that the science becomes "iffy"

Exactly right.


Science with a degree of uncertainty identifying the degree of a hazard and requiring increased regulation in order to mitigate risk. Hmm, what would the right do? Whether climate change or landslides, don't we already know the right's answer to this one?

No.


Of course we do.

Hm. What is the answer? You didn't provide it. You seem to be implying the answer is more money, but that's obviously silly.


As was pointed out, Republicans in Congress fought for and won more money than that each year for penis pumps. So this isn't about what hazard mapping and assessment costs, it's about GOP priorities.

False. You've provided no actual argument backing up this claim. And your claim about the penis pumps is simply incorrect, and my guess is that you know it's incorrect. The story has literally nothing to do with Republicans. What the actual made-up "story" is, trying to tie this to Republicans: they want to allow companies to opt-out of contraception, but not penis pumps. That's an obviously false equivalence not deserving of a response -- because an intelligent and informed person would need no explanation of how it's false -- but to say this shows the Republicans in particular favored the penis pump funding, let alone for fought for it, is bullshit.

Posted by: pudge on April 26, 2014 09:28 PM
53. Tensor@50 and Pudge@51 are both wrong.

The Army Corps as an organization never said it was safe to build in Oso. Rather the Seattle Times says that one homeowner remembers that unnamed Corps "officials" told him his street would be safe. That's not how you make life-and-death decisions.

On the other hand, nor did the Corps say it was dangerous. Rather, a geomorphologist consultant to the Corps gave them a report saying it was dangerous. It's not clear to me who saw that report at the time.

In any case, it's not the job of the Corps to say whether it's safe or dangerous to build. The report was about the practicality of ecosystem restoration, not safety.

Clearly the county had some other reasons to be concerned. I'm not sure exactly what they knew, should have known, did with that information, or should have done with that information.

Posted by: Bruce on April 26, 2014 10:13 PM
54. Thanks for the quick deletes, Pudge.

Rachel was an exercise in using every songwriting trick in the book. I had the idea to help the girl and started by writing a crudely-written song. The verses remain and that's it. Then friends with vast musical education and experience (from top-40 hits to Cornish and Nashville) took it to a much higher level. The tempo went from my 4/4 to 3/4 to give it life. A true bridge was added and my chorus replaced. The solo is played over a middle-8 that sets up a key change for the last chorus to give it that celebratory blow-out effect. Vocals are by two students from CWU.

Syria was originally an avant-garde project and was an exercise in breaking every songwriting rule in the book, but getting away with it because it's done to serve the film. But because it was completed, it was used to set up the first fundraising music video in order to get some lessons learned. And I happen to feel strongly about the plight of the refugees.

You hear a mandolin in Rachel and an oud in Syria. The oud is a Middle-Eastern stringed instrument similar in appearance to a lute.

Way O-T, but I wanted to share these thoughts. Please delete.

Posted by: Dr. Zatoichi, the Blind Surgeon on April 26, 2014 11:42 PM
55. If pudge built an auto-delete for any comment that contained Doctor or Dr. In the name field, that would be a useful addition to the site.

Posted by: Mike on April 27, 2014 07:17 AM
56. "No. But why are you only following up now, when this is the second time I informed you of the fact that the Army Corps of Engineers weighed in on it?"

Because you did not "inform" anyone of anything, except of your own opinion, which you stated as if it were an actual fact. Your statements had no source citations, and, as I pointed out to you, were so vague there was no way to evaluate them.

Furthermore, you haven't even come close to citing anything from the Corps which supports your claims. I believe your link refers to this:

When the 2006 mudslide hit the area, the Thompsons made soup and tater tots for Army Corps of Engineers officials and a TV news crew, Johnson said.

"I had conversations with the Army Corps of Engineers the last time this happened. They showed me a map and said Mom and Dad's house would be safe," she said Monday.

*If* that's what you meant to cite, you might want to learn to read. That quote owes nothing to the Corps; it's one person claiming, many years after the fact, that someone from the Corps said something. Please note the person making this claim really, really wanted to believe this site was safe, which may have affected both her understanding of what she'd heard and also her memory of it.

"...override the other evidence,,,"

What other evidence? The story to which you linked was full of evidence the site was hazardous. You might have taken a hint from the very title, "Risk of slide 'unforeseen'? Warnings go back decades".

Posted by: tensor on April 27, 2014 01:45 PM
57. @ #7: Denial really isn't just a river in Egypt. Unemployment is still not what it was in the 8 yrs preceding the Obama administration, the U.S. credit rating has been downgraded twice, the middle class is not what it used to be. Medical insurances people were assured they could keep are now outlawed. Economic growth is not what it should be. Record #s of people are taking food stamps.

If Obama's policies were actually good for America, these markers would all be improved, not drooping down. Many people can see what you refuse to see.

Posted by: Monterey on April 27, 2014 02:21 PM
58. "Hm. What is the answer? You didn't provide it. You seem to be implying the answer is more money, but that's obviously silly."

The answer is that the GOP has a track record of opposing regulations, period, and they have been particularly opposed of late to regulations based on what they determine to be "iffy" science, which, when it comes to landslides, you agree is a problem with specific site analysis.

To be clear, the mechanics of landslides is well understood. But the variables associated with risk evaluation are buried deep and any site-specific evaluation is subject to varying levels of uncertainty.

If we decide that we want more slide hazard mapping and site evaluation as a result of the Oso tragedy, that's going to cost money and there's nothing silly about that. And it'd be understood that any regulations imposed on a specific site would be based on uncertainties. If we do nothing or too little, it'd be understood that things can go horribly wrong, as in Oso, and that many people might die.

I wouldn't lose sleep over excessive regulation. Take a look at the geological history of debris flows from Glacier Peak eruptions. Damned solid science compared to site-specific slide evaluation and we'd be kissing a lot more than Oso goodbye if Glacier Peak blew its top. Have we banned construction on top of past debris flows from Glacier Peak? Do you even have a mud flow warning system like Orting?

Essential facilities in our region such as hospitals are designed to withstand a 7.0 quake. Every 300 years or so we can expect a 9.0 subduction-zone quake. Do we need stiffer seismic regulations that would significantly increase the cost of construction? Nobody is calling for that.

I believe we at least owe the people of Oso some lessons learned from this terrible tragedy. I would suggest that it would be prudent to invest in additional slide hazard mapping and site evaluations. That would cost money and it's hardly a silly consideration. It might lead to some difficult decisions. So, meanwhile, we might discuss what additional regulations, if any, would be appropriate to impose on what are determined to be high-risk sites.

Posted by: Dr. Zatoichi, the Blind Surgeon on April 27, 2014 02:26 PM
59. tensor: Because you did not "inform" anyone of anything, except of your own opinion

You're a liar.


Your statements had no source citations

I thought it was common knowledge. I state it as a fact; if you needed a citation back then, you should have asked.


you haven't even come close to citing anything from the Corps which supports your claims

You're a liar.


What other evidence?

Um. That's my point: you do not know how the decision was made. You don't know what they did and didn't consider. You're just lying about, well, everything.

Posted by: pudge on April 27, 2014 04:00 PM
60. Zat: The answer is that the GOP has a track record of opposing regulations, period

You're lying.


... they have been particularly opposed of late to regulations based on what they determine to be "iffy" science

Well, that is, of course, a good thing. It's called being responsible. But that is not what is going on here. You are committing the equivocation fallacy. When we say that fiscal conservatives oppose spending on "iffy" science, it would be, say, spending money on studying bee populations as means to predict solar flares. What we're talking about here is spending money on understanding particular environments to try to measure known risks. That's a completely different thing.


To be clear, the mechanics of landslides is well understood. But the variables associated with risk evaluation are buried deep and any site-specific evaluation is subject to varying levels of uncertainty.

And you have not offered even a shred of evidence -- nor even hinted at the existence of such evidence, except in your false claims about the GOP opposing this kind of science, or opposing all regulations, or being in favor of penis pumps, all false claims -- that there's any connection to the GOP here. In fact, the only evidence you've given of any political connection at all is the lack of funding for USGS landslide risk mitigation, but even that doesn't create a tie to the GOP and this: not only were the Democrats in total control of the Congress for years with plenty of opportunity to increase funding, but you didn't show that lack of money money had anything to do with Oso.

If we decide that we want more slide hazard mapping and site evaluation as a result of the Oso tragedy, that's going to cost money and there's nothing silly about that

What's silly is your completely unsubstantiated assumption that there isn't enough money, that they could have avoided the mudslide by doing more mapping and evaluation if there had only been more money.


I believe we at least owe the people of Oso some lessons learned from this terrible tragedy.

Agreed. But all you and tensor are giving us is false and unsubstantiated claims and assumptions.


I would suggest that it would be prudent to invest in additional slide hazard mapping and site evaluations.

And I would suggest that your suggestion makes zero sense, because there is zero evidence that the mapping and evaluations they did could have been improved upon by just doing more.


That would cost money and it's hardly a silly consideration.

Without evidence that it would make a significant difference, yes, by definition, it is tremendously silly.


So, meanwhile, we might discuss what additional regulations, if any, would be appropriate to impose on what are determined to be high-risk sites.

Or, we might not, since we are not equipped to even consider those possibilities, not having a significant amount of the information necessary.

Posted by: pudge on April 27, 2014 04:14 PM
61. Well, pudge, thanks for validating my claims about denial. We knew all along you would not ba able to produce a report from the US Army Corps of Engineers saying the site was safe, because there never was any such report. The report they did write told of the chronic hazards of the site.

"Um. That's my point: you do not know how the decision was made. You don't know what they did and didn't consider."

Wrong. We know the local officials didn't consider the actual US Army Corps of Engineers report on the site. The very story to which you linked was written to show how local officials' denials were based entirely on ignorance -- the very ignorance you keep displaying here.

"Actually, they do have a need -- an obligation -- to issue home-building permits unless they have a strong reason to not do so."

Assuming your first clause has even the remotest connection to external reality -- and, don't worry, we're not expecting you to quote laws or court decisions to support it -- the US Army Corps of Engineers' actual report was just one of many pieces of evidence over many decades which provided "a strong reason not to do so." Local officials, as demo kid already described, simply did not do their jobs, and, as scottd noted, real people suffer when that happens.

Posted by: tensor on April 27, 2014 04:55 PM
62. tensor: thanks for validating my claims about denial

You're a liar.

We knew all along you would not ba able to produce a report from the US Army Corps of Engineers saying the site was safe, because ...

I never claimed or implied there was one.

You're a liar.


"Um. That's my point: you do not know how the decision was made. You don't know what they did and didn't consider."

Wrong. We know the local officials didn't consider the actual US Army Corps of Engineers report on the site.

You're a liar. That never happened.


The very story to which you linked was written to show how local officials' denials were based entirely on ignorance

You're a liar. The story said no such thing.


But thanks for demonstrating to everyone that not only do you not care about facts and truth, but you will gladly invent them to suit your purposes, in order to attempt to gain political advantage over lost lives. Never let a tragedy go to waste, right?

You're a despicable vulture.

Posted by: pudge on April 27, 2014 06:21 PM
63. It took some nerve for you to call Tensor a despicable vulture. After all, you're the one who turned the Oso tragedy into a vanity video intended solely stroke your ego. Funny, you found time to do the work to write a song, record and videotape it so you could have your ego massaged, but given the opportunity to do a little more work and turn it into something that might actually help Oso, and you couldn't find the fucking time.

You, Pudge, are the despicable vulture 'round these parts. You know it and I damn well know it.

Posted by: Steve on April 28, 2014 12:30 PM
64. Zat: you're the one who turned the Oso tragedy into a vanity video intended solely stroke your ego

You're a liar.


Funny, you found time to do the work to write a song, record and videotape it so you could have your ego massaged

You're a liar.


... but given the opportunity to do a little more work and turn it into something that might actually help Oso, and you couldn't find the fucking time.

You say that as though you're making a point. Yes, I took a couple of hours to write, record, and post the video. I don't have the dozens of hours needed I think it will need to do what you spoke of. I offered to donate the video and audio to be used for a charity for Oso in any way, but I don't have the many hours needed to do it.

Are you just upset because I turned you down? Or were you lying when you commended me on the video?


You, Pudge, are the despicable vulture 'round these parts. You know it and I damn well know it.

You've given no evidence of it. All you've got is you changing your tune about my video when I turned down your offer ... an offer, I might add, that you said would take a lot of work, and then you accepted that I said I don't have time for a lot of work, and you said it was "just a thought." Now you're all of a sudden angry about me turning it down? Why? Just because I correctly pointed out the fact that tensor is lying about Republicans to try to turn these tragedies into political advantage?

Pathetic.

Posted by: pudge on April 28, 2014 01:02 PM
65. Hmmm - how many lefty rock stars recorded music and profited from death and tragedy? How much of the money earned at benefit concerts made it to those for whom the 'benefit' was purported to benefit?

Do you condemn Bono?
Do you condemn Elton John?
Do you condemn Slash, Alice Cooper, Sammy Hagar, Aerosmith, Jimmy Buffett, Paul McCartney, Jay-Z, The Who, Eric Clapton ...?

I thought not. To write a song or a poem or journal entry can only be righteous if it comes from the left. Because only lefty's can have good intentions and pure hearts.Ask your messiah Obama.

997 days ... Only cowards turn petty tyrants into gods.

Posted by: RagnarDanneskold on April 28, 2014 01:43 PM
66. "I never claimed or implied there was one."

Yes, you did. You repeatedly made the false claim that the Corps had described the site as safe for construction of residences. The only way they would have done that would have been via an official report If you don't know how the Corps operates, that's not my problem.

"You're a liar. That never happened."

The very story you cited contains their claim of ignorance. Are you calling them liars?

"You're a liar. That never happened."

"Snohomish County Executive John Lovick and Public Works Director Steve Thomsen said Monday night they were not aware of the 1999 report."

They made their decisions based on ignorance, and people died as a result.

"But thanks for demonstrating to everyone that not only do you not care about facts and truth, but you will gladly invent them to suit your purposes,"

That's rich, coming from you. Where's your source for the statement you've repeatedly attributed the the Corps? What's the legal basis for your claim that local officials had to issue residential building permits for a region of known soil instability? Where's the support for your claim about the ambivalence of the science which explains that instability?

"...order to attempt to gain political advantage over lost lives. Never let a tragedy go to waste, right?"

Had the permits been denied, there would have been no tragedy. For once, you're right: we should ensure this tragedy never gets repeated. From now on, science, not failed small-government ideology, should guide our decisions.

Oh, and let's recall the original topic of this thread was not the human lives needlessly lost; we liberals introduced that during the comments. Your post was a bitter, inconsolable, and contra-factual whine about how President Obama didn't invite enough Republicans, because in your mind, conservatives and Republicans will always be The Real Victims Here.

But at least you can pronounce Oso.

Posted by: tensor on April 28, 2014 03:43 PM
67. But at least you can pronounce Oso.

He can also write a sad song! That's something...

Posted by: scottd on April 28, 2014 05:21 PM
68. I apologize for becoming royally pissed off at you.

I believe what that your song was done with the best of intentions and that the tragedy of Oso was very deeply felt. I also believe that you have come up with the beginnings of a very good song. Not only that, you have the perfect voice to deliver it with the power such a song deserves.

Such a thing is rare and a shame to waste. It was worth the time for myself and others to discuss the matter and decide if we could commit to the work required. But you have been quite clear that you have neither the time nor inclination to do any more with this. Fine.

"Never let a tragedy go to waste, right?"

I was quite sincere when I offered you a flattering comments above and in the song thread. I'm sure the others with their flattering comments were sincere as well. However, in the end, that's all that was accomplished, a few pats on the back for Pudge. With what you did, post it here, that's all it would ever accomplish. Whatever your intentions, however deep your feelings, in the end, yours was just one more vanity video in this world and I'm not going to apologize for calling it that. Good show, Pudge, you didn't let this tragedy go to waste.

By the way, the Snohomish County Revised Draft Summary of Best Available Science
for Critical Areas that I linked to in my comment you refused to post contains the rebuttal to Tensor, starting on page 147 - Landslide Hazard Areas.

Posted by: Steve on April 28, 2014 05:23 PM
69. tensor: I am not going to bother to respond to your post, which is once again filled with lies, except I'll respond in one part. You wrote:

"Snohomish County Executive John Lovick and Public Works Director Steve Thomsen said Monday night they were not aware of the 1999 report."

They made their decisions based on ignorance, and people died as a result.

Tell me, what decisions did they make? Thomsen took his position in 2006. Lovick took his less than a year ago, after Aaron Reardon left in disgrace.

You are just making things up, as usual. You have no idea what either of them was ever involved in any decisions. You're just lying. You're trying to make political hay out of dead citizens.

Posted by: pudge on April 28, 2014 10:11 PM
70. Zat: I apologize for becoming royally pissed off at you.

Shrug. You just demonstrated that I'd have to be a fool to work with you.


But you have been quite clear that you have neither the time nor inclination to do any more with this.

Only after your last comment, and only in regards to you. Before that, I quite clearly said the opposite: that I would offer myself to do more, including doing a new arrangement and recording if need be. I never implied I would do nothing more; I said I cannot do a lot of work (emphasis in the original). That still stands: all that's changed is that I won't do any work with you.

Lying about what I wrote won't help your case, because it's right there.


However, in the end, that's all that was accomplished ... With what you did, post it here, that's all it would ever accomplish.

Again, I offered the song to charity. If you think it is so important to accomplish something with the song, you could have taken me up on that offer. So every bit of criticism you have toward me for not doing something with it, applies directly to you.

By the way, the Snohomish County Revised Draft Summary of Best Available Science for Critical Areas that I linked to in my comment you refused to post

No such comment exists, or ever did. The only comments made that were not posted in this discussion were the ones linking to videos that you requested I remove, and a couple of spam comments I removed. I have no idea what you're referring to.


contains the rebuttal to Tensor

He needs no rebuttal. It is entirely clear that he is just making unsubstantiated claims in the hopes that some of it might stick. He's a liar.

Posted by: pudge on April 28, 2014 10:24 PM
71. "That still stands: all that's changed is that I won't do any work with you."

Rather silly of you, seeing as how I already dismissed the project.

We are very much are that there are fee-for-services industries built around every aspect of this. When you see a charity with promotional materials and videos, they paid for it. Nobody gives it away.

"So every bit of criticism you have toward me for not doing something with it, applies directly to you."

You accuse people who are already deeply involved with producing a promotional music video for a local Christian charity and who were willing to give you services worth more than $10K to assist you of not being willing to do something with your song. Classy.

"I cannot do a lot of work"

That, Pudge, is the one and only reason why this won't happen.

"No such comment exists, or ever did."

If you're saying that a comment I submitted never existed in this thread then, yes, you are correct. I submitted a comment and instead of the it being posted, the screen said my comment was being withheld for moderation. My comment never made it to the thread. If there's an explanation for this, it'd have to come from you. It's not like I'd lie about submitting a comment with a link that supports a point that both of us are trying to make - and then follow by giving you and others the complete title so you could find it.

"He's a liar."

No, tensor is not a liar. We disagree, but he's not lying about anything.

I happened to find a Snohomish County Best Sciences report that concurred with my thoughts on the matter, that mapping landslide hazards is one thing (certainty), evaluating risk for any specific site is another (uncertainty). Unlike an elusive Army Corps of Engineers report discussed here, I provided a link so you and others could read it for yourselves and form your own opinions and not take my word for it as you would have us do with yours.

I've concluded for myself that the "best sciences" available aren't up to task of evaluating any but the most extremely hazardous sites. It's possible that that would have included Oso, but I really don't know. I do know that much will eventually be revealed about the permitting process and many other paper-trail aspects of the tragedy. I can wait for the evidence before reaching any conclusions about Oso.

Posted by: Dr. Zato on April 29, 2014 10:14 AM
72. Zat: Rather silly of you, seeing as how I already dismissed the project.

What's that got to do with anything? I did not say here that I would not do this project with you. I said something broader.


We are very much are that there are fee-for-services industries built around every aspect of this. When you see a charity with promotional materials and videos, they paid for it. Nobody gives it away.

So? You seem to think you are making a point. You're not.


You accuse people who are already deeply involved with producing a promotional music video for a local Christian charity and who were willing to give you services worth more than $10K to assist you of not being willing to do something with your song.

No, I accuse you of being a hypocrite. Yes, I could have done more work; but so could have you. Yet you attack me for not doing more, when you won't do more. That makes you an ass and a hypocrite.


I submitted a comment and instead of the it being posted, the screen said my comment was being withheld for moderation. If there's an explanation for this, it'd have to come from you.

False. You're ignorantly making that up. I don't control anything having to do with that; only the site admin does.

I did just now find the comment junked, though. Pretty funny: you used a word common in spam (beginning with "C" and ending in "alis") so it was caught by an apparently automatic filter.


It's not like I'd lie about submitting a comment with a link that supports a point that both of us are trying to make - and then follow by giving you and others the complete title so you could find it.

If you mean I can find the comment by the title, no, I cannot search comments easily by text.

Posted by: pudge on April 29, 2014 11:02 AM
73. Pretty funny: you used a word common in spam (beginning with "C" and ending in "alis") so it was caught by an apparently automatic filter.

Chrysalis?

I'm stumped -- can I buy a vowel?

Posted by: scottd on April 29, 2014 02:19 PM
74. scottd: close. "Camelopardalis", actually.

Posted by: pudge on April 29, 2014 03:36 PM
75. "you won't do more. That makes you an ass and a hypocrite."

I offered you professional services worth thousands of dollars to assist you. Now you say, because I won't volunteer more, that makes me an ass and a hypocrite. Thanks for sharing.

"False. You're ignorantly making that up." "I did just now find the comment"

You might consider retracting your baseless accusations that I made this up, maybe even an outright apology for lying. But I'd say that's as likely to happen as your thanking me for my offer to assist you.

"If you mean I can find the comment by the title, no, I cannot search comments easily by text."

One simply puts "Snohomish County Revised Draft Summary of Best Available Science for Critical Areas" in a search engine and click search. With Google, it comes up right at the top of the page. Then you click on that and it takes you here,

http://www.co.snohomish.wa.us/Documents/Departments/pds/code_development/BAS_Final_%20Draft_3.27.06.pdf

The section on landslide hazards begins on page 147.

Posted by: Dr. Z on April 29, 2014 07:17 PM
76. Zat: I offered you professional services worth thousands of dollars to assist you. Now you say, because I won't volunteer more, that makes me an ass and a hypocrite.

You're a liar. I did not say offering "me" services -- and that isn't how I took it, by the way, as I took it as an offer of services for a charity, and not for me -- makes you an ass and a hpocrite, I said it makes you an ass and a hypocrite for criticizing me for not doing more when you won't.

And the only reason I say that is because it is factually and objectively and obviously true. And evidence that it is true is that you have to lie about what I said to try to make your case that I am being unreasonable.


"False. You're ignorantly making that up." "I did just now find the comment"

You might consider retracting your baseless accusations that I made this up

You're a liar. Again, you're ignoring my actual case that proves you're wrong: you did make up the false claim that "If there's an explanation for this, it'd have to come from you."


But I'd say that's as likely to happen as your thanking me for my offer to assist you.

Why would I thank you for that? You presumably weren't doing it for me, but for others. Any thanks you may be due aren't due from me.

How bizarre. Maybe this is why you keep dishonestly claiming this was a vanity video: to you, this is about me and you. But to me, any "help" you offer is not for me or to me, it's for and to the victims.


One simply puts "Snohomish County Revised Draft Summary of Best Available Science for Critical Areas" in a search engine and click search.

And once again you're ignoring what I wrote. But it's right there: "If you mean I can find the comment by the title, no." You apparently meant find the document, but that wasn't clear, so I said "if you mean this, then no." You didn't mean that, so your proper response would be, "no, I meant find the document, not the comment."

Posted by: pudge on May 1, 2014 07:25 AM
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