Tuesday, May 10, 2011

It's the Dough, Joe

Headline: Maine to get money for tsunami evacuation signs.

Makes me wonder what "they" know that I don't know.

Then, I shake my head to clear out the little voices and chastise myself for being silly with my concerns about conspiracy theories, and I start to wonder why, all of a sudden, "they" think there needs to be an evacuation plan in the (very unlikely) event that Maine is hit by a tsunami. Maine (and the whole Atlantic Coast) aren't like Japan, which has long been an earthquake prone area, and in such an area, tsunamis are also a concern, but that's not been the case here. On the one hand, I agree with being proactive, but on the other hand, it seems silly to: 1. spread the fear of an unlikely event occuring by putting up signs that read Tsunami evacuation route; and 2. spend the money to put up the signs.

And then, suddenly, it makes sense. Money. Because our State and Federal governments, and indeed, "We, the People" have so much of it to waste spend on signage for an event that's so highly unlikely that it would make good disaster movie fodder.

I wonder if Yellowstone and the surrounding towns in a hundred mile radius have put up "Caldera Evacuation Route" signs just in case the volcano blows.


  1. The sign company: the guys son is marrying the governors daughter?

    Just sayin' 'sall


  2. Boy, oh boy....common sense isn't that common, is it?

  3. Too funny! I read this post and then drove home listening to a piece on NPR about a swarm of microquakes Maine has been having lately. Ok, granted they're piddly, but I found the timing amusing.

  4. Kaye - Interestingly, people who don't live in Maine keep asking us about the quakes (Julie asked Deus Ex Machina, in fact ;), but the "quakes" haven't even made the news here.

    Now, THAT'S funny!

    Suburban - Ah! You must be acquainted with our Governor ;).

    Julie - Unfortunately, it isn't.

  5. About 5 minutes of looking would show you that the threat is not illusory.

    Like the turkey in the run-up to Thanks Giving, you are making the typical Black Swan mistake.


  6. Russell1200 - Thank you for the link.

    You seem to feel that my laissez-faire attitude is misguided, but your link reinforced my feeling that wasting money on signs when we already have evacuation route signs in place (albeit for a different threat, but the routes will be the same, given that there are only so many roads) is wasteful and stupid. That money could have been spent on so many other things that would have done so much more good.

    You can call it whatever you wish, but the fact is that there are a lot of things that we should be preparing for that are being ignored. That money could have gone to pay for classes to teach people gardening, food preservation, or even low-cost insulating techniques for keeping our houses habitable in the event that we lose electricity – which happens a lot more often than earthquakes large enough to cause tsunamis. That money could have gone into teaching people how to find and purify drinking water or how to identify and prepare wild edibles.

    That money could have gone into a micro-loan/grant program to help finance a home-based business for someone who’s been out of work for the past two years.

    But, instead of addressing some REAL problems that we face as a community and a State, we have signs that show evacuation routes, just in case there’s a tsunami.

  7. The problem lies in our fiscal budget system. Every department of every agency submits a proposed budget, being reasonably smart managers. Every manager ask for more than he needs, Because he nows that his budget might get cut. When this manager gets his money for the year he spends it all!!! Evan if he has to waste it. If he does not his budget gets cut the next year by that amount. Its not common sence, its goverment mentality. A fiscally responcible manager gets penalized. When you factor in all the departments of all the state ,county, city and federal agencies then you begin to understand extent goverment wastage. And why getting the goverment fixed is nearly impossible. Its a like a house where addition after addition and then more addition have been added. Such structures tend get very unstable and have temites and rot, are poorly insulated and difficult to manuver and live in.