Thursday, May 26, 2005

Why do people do some of the things they do?

Red Skelton's(remember him?) Mean Widdle Kid had a line where he'd get this GREAT idea then stop and say "If I dood it, I get in trouble... I dood it!) and run off to cause destruction and mayhem. KNOWING he'd get his butt whipped, he did it any way.

Kind of like, oh, building a house on a hillside with a history of houses sliding downhill every ten years or so, or rebuilding the house that just washed away in the same place. Or building a major structure next to a known fault line. Or building a house where the next hurricane that comes through will- not maybe, will- blow or wash it away. Or, to take it away from the concrete stuff, listening to a child molester or rapist or murderer say "I have changed, I'm a nice guy now" and deciding "He just needs another(second, third, fourth) chance, and I'm going to give it to him".

Got started thinking on this by this article about scientists planning out possible scenarios for a quake on this particular fault the next time it turns loose. I know there are fault lines in lots of places, and in some cases building was done before it was known a fault ran right through, but stuff built after it was known? A few years ago I watched some documentary about earthquake disaster preparation in southern California, and one of the things it showed was a shot of the major hospital for a city; the damn thing was built right on top of the fault that ran through the city. And they knew it was there when they built it! Why, in the name of whatever, would anyone with a working brain DO that?

That led me into thinking about people building houses on hillsides in CA. In many cases, rebuilding right where their last house washed away. In their case, one of the reasons is that when this house slides downhill rebuilding will be paid for by US. When they'll not have to pay for replacing the house(and probably their stuff, though I don't remember about that) they don't really care if it washes away every ten years or so. Same for the people who build a house right above the normal high-tide line on the east coast; when it washes away in a hurricane, that taxpayer-provided insurance(read 'money taken out of your pocket') will pay for it and the contents. That pisses me off all by itself- why should I be paying for their replacement costs?- but what's even worse is, when these people are interviewed, they think they deserve it; they think it's only right for the government to loot other people to pay for their bills on this. And considering a lot of these(most?) are built by people with the money to pay their own damn way, it pisses me off HUGELY! The others who can't really afford the insurance? Tough shit, folks. You knowingly build where your house can go away, will go away, it's on your head to take care of it. We're not talking about tornados that can come down anywhere, or once-in-a-century(or thousand years) events, we're talking about something that happens regularly. So either plan for it, or DON'T BUILD THERE.

And if you ignore the probabilities, DON'T expect me to pay for it.


Anonymous said...

I have some relatives who lived along Rapid Creek in Rapid City SD. When the dam containing Pacota Reservoir broke in 1972 flooding part of Rapid city they lost their house, and most of their belongings. Rapid City and the State of South Dakota bought out all the residents and property owners along Rapid Creek and dedicated the flood plain to recreational use. Development is no longer allowed where there's a risk of future flooding. That's the way it should be.

Also if memory serves, for several months after the flood every Male ofver th eage of 18 was repuired to be armed at all times out of doors in the area and was required to shoot on sight any loose dog seen. Dogs had been feeding on bodies of flood victims and had lost any fear and respect for humans. It was very comforting seeing damn near everybody in town wearing a sidearm or carrying a rifle, usually a .22.

Gerry N.

BULLSEYE said...

I remember ol'red. He was cool. I think the Twilight Zone came on after him. He used to end his show with the phrase "Goodnight and may gawd bless" or something like that.

Firehand said...

Gerry, sounds like Rapid City did it right. I can see someone getting wiped out by an unforseen thing and needing help; no problem at all helping there. It's the people who KNOW it's going to happen, and build there anyway- expecting to be bailed out when it comes- that piss me off. And yeah, a lot of people have no idea what a problem dogs can become after a disaster.

Bullseye, I think that's exactly how he closed. That man could be funny as hell without a curse word or racial insult.