Patterico's Pontifications


Hurricane Dorian Update

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:31 am

[guest post by Dana]

CNN is providing live updates on the hurricane:

Category 4: Slow-moving Hurricane Dorian continues to pound the Bahamas. It’s the strongest storm anywhere on the planet this year.

The US: It’s expected to get “dangerously” close to Florida’s east coast tonight.

Wind gusts are reported up to 190 mph.

As the hurricane hits the Bahamas, the minister for agriculture said about a video clip of the flooding at his home in Grand Bahama:

In the video, Pintard estimates that sea levels have risen at least 15 feet to reach a level above the windows of his home.

“This is what I’m facing at the moment, and I have neighbors that are in a far worse position than me and my family,” he said.

And horribly, reports of price-gouging are increasing in impacted areas:

The number of alleged price gouging “contacts” due to Hurricane Dorian has grown to 2,100 in Florida and Georgia, according to Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody.

Moody provided this information in a video. She calls these people and businesses “bad actors.”

Price gouging “contacts” include phone calls or tips made to the agency’s app or online systems. The illegal practice of price gouging involves increasing the prices of necessary items like food, water and hotel rooms during any natural disaster.

Further impact of the storm: More than 1,000 flights have been cancelled, and at least 13,000 homes have been affected by the storm, according to aid group.

And finally, this from the National Hurricane Center:

Our thoughts and prayers for all of those in the path of the storm.


86 Responses to “Hurricane Dorian Update”

  1. Price gouging is the worst. It only allows the most desperately in need to obtain limited supplies instead of the more fair first-come-first-served-until-the-supplies-run-out system. I know when a natural disaster threatens my area, I run out and buy up all the available supplies of bottled water just in case I need to top off my swimming pool and when the neighbors come around begging for water I just tell them they should have done a better job of planning ahead. Sure, if the stores jacked the price of water up to where people only bought what they needed it might be more “fair” in the sense that everybody gets a little of a scarce resource, but it sure doesn’t sound fair for a greedy guy like me.

    Jerryskids (702a61)

  2. Price gouging is as bad as price fixing.

    felipe (023cc9)

  3. looks like trump land is going to get it. trump better get the toilet paper ready.

    lany (68157a)

  4. Now there was some lightning in Brooklyn. Basically, repeated thunders, eventually culminating rain with each thunder usually making the rain heavier. Temperature about 70 degrees.

    nk posted this a link to this weather map, as of about 5 am this morning, eastern time:

    News report 2 pm said the hurricane was still not moving west toward Florida. Evacuations ordered declared in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  5. Hurricane dorian has been downgraded to a Category 4, by the way.

    Those categories may not give you the top wind speed. If it’s like Hurricane Andrew in 1992, there could be tornadoes associated with the storm with even higher winds.

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  6. Price gouging is capitalism in its rawest form, shouldn’t be illegal.

    Ripmurdock (9ff85d)

  7. It might be a good way of rationing, if it is limited to the amounts of almost everybpdy has .

    Sammy Finkelman (083d4c)

  8. The rain has tapered down quite a bit here in Brooklyn although some is still falling, and there has been no more thunder.

    Note: It picked up again, a little.

    This is 1,000 miles away from the storm. (they’re warning some people in New Jersey to get away from the beach or something, by the way)

    That’s what came up in Google. I can’t even see what this says. The minimized box is circling like a hurricane,

    Sammy Finkelman (7d0f6e)

  9. “Now batting: Dorian.” Take a look at the Atlantic section of the Intertropical Convergence Zone at the site noted below. Some heavy weather in the line-up to come, too…

    Atlantic Basin & Tropical Storm Center Map:

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  10. Now I got it:

    Indeed, part of New Jersey has even entered the National Hurricane Center’s “cone of uncertaintly,” which forecasts all the possible areas that would feel the impact of the storm.

    Joe Miketta, warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Mount Holly, told Patch that he doesn’t expect the storm to hit New Jersey directly – thought part of Dorian’s western edge could “brush” over the Jersey Shore…

    ,,,Officials in Cape May County and Long Beach Island were advising and urging people to stay out of the water.

    “Due to extremely dangerous rip currents, and numerous water rescues please stay out of the ocean. NO SWIMMING!” Long Beach Township officials told swimmers.

    Rain picking up, but not as heavy as it got a while ago. No lightning or thunder.

    Sammy Finkelman (7d0f6e)

  11. DCSCA @9. Google Chrome says:

    Your connection is not private

    Attackers might be trying to steal your information from

    I think maybe you spelled accuweather it wrong.

    Sammy Finkelman (7d0f6e)

  12. I think maybe you want this:

    Sammy Finkelman (7d0f6e)

  13. @DCSCA Your link has hurricane spelled wrong, too. Without an “a”

    Sammy Finkelman (7d0f6e)

  14. DCSCA has been upgraded to Catagory 4.

    harkin (d58e4f)

  15. It’s located, in the latest update, at 26.8° N, and 78.4° W

    Winds at 149 mph, gustd up to 189 mph. Moving WNW at 1 mph. The eye is projected to head out to sea, paralleling the coast all the way to Cape Cod Massachusetts. hey don’t extend the track to Nova Scotia.

    All this is probably just guesswork, and they don’t even know what is the best guess, becsause President Bill Clinton messed it up in the mid-1990s, and that’s why you should rely on the European models.

    Sammy Finkelman (7d0f6e)

  16. @11/12/13 Right– sorry Sammy– keyboard is acting up- ‘a’ sticks w/hiccupping wifi. My bad. Site is:


    BTW Sammy, know LBI well; family lived there 30 years. Picture ‘Amity’ from Jaws. A day lost – like Labor Day… = 3 weeks of $ by February. Back in the day, the local real estate agents got together w/LB Township and created a campaign called, ‘It’s Better In September’ [it is, too] to draw business into the autumn. But losing any business this long weekend hits the local economy there hard.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  17. Have a former coworker that retired two months ago and moved to the Bahamas. He’s in there with the worst of it.

    NJRob (5b4ac6)

  18. My wife was at Harbor Island in the spring and a bottle of water was $7.00. I imagine it has doubled by now.

    mg (8cbc69)

  19. These BarcaLounger weathermen… I miss Dr. George, the KABC weatherguy in SoCal back in the day.

    Colonel Haiku (33b771)

  20. He didn’t need any fancy gauges or instruments, he could tell if a high pressure system was building by which side of his mustache was drooping the lowest.

    Colonel Haiku (33b771)

  21. Does anyone disagree that “price-gouging” is well in keeping with the basic tenets of capitalism?

    Leviticus (45c233)

  22. While I agree that it is capitalism, price gouging is not a basic tenet of capitalism. It is more of an intersection of capitalism and man’s greed.

    felipe (023cc9)

  23. Capitalism does allow people to price things acording to the what the market will bear but there is also a role for morality. Charging more because it costs more to obtain and stock supplies is understandable. Profiting off of a disaster just because you can is not.

    DRJ (15874d)

  24. On second thought, price gouging is more aptly described as an abuse of capitalism. Just as bullying is an abuse of free will.

    felipe (023cc9)

  25. The police officer who was the first to engage and stop the Odessa shooter was shot and seriously injured. His GoFundMe account reached its goal of $65,000 in one day, and the family closed it. They said that was enough money, even though more people would have gladly given. That is an example of capitalism and morality.

    DRJ (15874d)

  26. Ανάγκα και οι θεοί πείθονται. It’s an eternal law.

    If only capitalism was content with providing only needful things.

    nk (dbc370)

  27. 21… basic tenets? Wow…

    Q: What did the first Socialists use before candles?

    A: Electricity

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  28. On second thought, price gouging is more aptly described as an abuse of capitalism…

    felipe (023cc9) — 9/2/2019 @ 4:48 pm

    Yes, it’s capitalism, however it’s driven by sheer greed at the expense of others. It’s not enough to say that the market supports the higher price when lives are also at state. That’s little more than avarice and a seared conscience.

    Dana (fdf131)

  29. Price Gouging = Free Enterprise. Its what made America Great. Talk to the Libertarians.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  30. Capitalists are interested in making money. Your landlord charges what the market will bear. Any benefit to others is a irrelevant by-product.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  31. Ανάγκα και θεοί πείθονται. No article οι.
    It’s from the same guy who wrote the epitaph at Thrmopylae: “Stranger, go tell the Spartans that we lie here, obedient to their laws.” (As good an interpretation as any.)

    You’re on better footing ascribing a moral code to a shark, than to a capitalist. Sharks eat only as much as their stomachs can hold.

    nk (dbc370)

  32. Price gouging is a result of the use of pure market forces for pricing. It’s well within the realm of Capitalism.

    Good luck to anyone in the path of that storm. Stay safe y’all.

    Nic (896fdf)

  33. Oh ffs. Price gouging is yet another leftist hyperventilating BS that so many so-called conservatives wet their pants about. It hardly ever truly happens and can ONLY happen in extreme circumstances, none of which truly exist in Florida right now. Worse than any mythological gouging is the ridiculous fear and panic the media, and let’s face it, the people themselves generate. There is no “gouging” in Florida because there is no monopoly situation. When demand spikes unreasonably, prices SHOULD rise to stave off hoarding, something I HAVE seen in Florida this past week, and to make people think clearly about what they really, truly need. If you are concerned about price gouging in Florida right now, you do not understand economics well enough to understand the fundamentals of conservatism.

    Ptw (ba8d75)

  34. ‘Does anyone disagree that “price-gouging” is well in keeping with the basic tenets of capitalism?’
    Leviticus (45c233) — 9/2/2019 @ 4:25 pm

    Does anyone disagree that slander is well in keeping with the basic tenets of free speech?

    Does anyone disagree that bigotry is well in keeping with the basic tenets of freedom of association?


    Munroe (33bad0)

  35. Price gauging is monopoly price or as close to that as possible.

    Narciso (52211c)

  36. “price gouging” ensures everyone only takes how much they really need in an emergency but no more, leaving some for the rest of us.
    it also makes sure the store is actually open versus the owner deciding it isn’t worth it and leaving ahead of everyone else.

    Question: you are a Lyft driver in NYC. do you expect to make more driving from Times Square at 2 PM on some random day in October or at 1205 AM on 1 January? If you think you should get more for driving drunks home from the New Years Eve celebration you a a price gouger. Shame.

    some of you need to watch all those economic podcasts Patterico links to.

    kaf (c408bb)

  37. So far (since Friday anyway), every time they’ve updated the models Dorian’s projected path has stayed further east and more north. Even that dingbat lime green TABS track has finally stopped showing a loop de loop over Florida.

    Hope this continues and that it’s accurate.

    harkin (d58e4f)

  38. Price gouging is the typical commie belief that it’s better to have shortages, that NO ONE should have things that the poor can’t afford. So-called conservatives fall for it over short timeframes like hurricanes and such. But it’s no different over the long term. Same excuse that people need food, therefore food prices should be controlled by the government. That people need housing, therefore there should be rent controls, etc. etc. etc. Which leads to shortages and thus resources appropriated by government connections rather than the far more democratic market forces. Also, let’s be clear about something else…The market is the market. It’s a totally separate thing from however you define capitalism. Markets exist in North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, USSR, China, etc. They are simply cleared in a non-monetary manner.

    Economics is an easy thing to understand once you acknowledge that it’s a hard thing to accept.

    Ptw (ba8d75)

  39. What the apologists are describing as “price gouging” is not the price gouging the Florida law prohibits. (Too long to copypaste, lick the clink.)

    nk (dbc370)

  40. I will grant, however, that it is not as bad as Kelo-taking an old lady’s home to build a casino. That is avarice and no conscience.

    nk (dbc370)

  41. “Price gouging is yet another leftist hyperventilating BS”
    “Price gouging is the typical commie belief ”

    The concept of price gouging is much older than the concept of communism, or even the modern left/right divide.

    Davethulhu (fe4242)

  42. Most recent advisory [8PM EDT]

    I am in the part that’s under a Tropical Storm Warning. At the moment, it’s very windy but nothing more. It seems whatever heavy weather I will get will start in the wee hours of Tuesday morning and continue for much of the day.

    Kishnevi (53eb02)

  43. Hey, we have to have a Trump gaffe, don’t we?

    In all fairness I could easily live with a Trump admission that his tongue got too far ahead of his brain. But that’s something his ego can notnallow.

    Kishnevi (53eb02)

  44. “The concept of price gouging is much older than the concept of communism, or even the modern left/right divide.”

    Yeah. Good job Sherlock. I was speaking of the concerns about price gouging. You know, in the current context of this discussion. You may have picked yourself another nit, but I’m guessing by your avoiding addressing my main point, you don’t care to refute the basic economics of it.

    Ptw (ba8d75)

  45. “Yeah. Good job Sherlock. I was speaking of the concerns about price gouging. You know, in the current context of this discussion. You may have picked yourself another nit, but I’m guessing by your avoiding addressing my main point, you don’t care to refute the basic economics of it.”

    Seems to me that you don’t understand what’s motivating people to pass anti-gouging laws.

    Davethulhu (fe4242)

  46. An argument for price gouging:

    As of this weekend, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody has activated the state’s “price gouging” hotline. If a business is caught charging significantly elevated prices for goods, it could face a civil fine of $1,000 per violation.

    But sky-high prices can be vital information to suppliers and customers who are facing a natural disaster. “Prices are not just money. They are information,” John Stossel explained in 2018. “They are what signal entrepreneurs to go into a given business. Rising prices are the clearest indicator of what most customers want.”

    Jerry Taylor and Peter Van Doren argued something similar in a 2003 commentary piece for the Cato Institute:

    Gougers are sending an important signal to market actors that something is scarce and that profits are available to those who produce or sell that something. Gouging thus sets off an economic chain reaction that ultimately remedies the shortages that led to the gouging in the first place. Without such signals, we’d never know how to efficiently invest our resources.
    High prices also help prevent a handful of consumers from hoarding the majority of supplies.

    Dana (fdf131)

  47. Seems like, as I said, you don’t understand economics. Pass all the laws you want. The laws of supply and demand trump them all. They are a part of nature beyond man’s control. The Gods of the Copybook Headings don’t care about people’s motivations. A hard thing to accept.

    Ptw (ba8d75)

  48. To me, the argument, while making sense on one level, avoids addressing the fact that while it does provide knowledge and important signals to the market, it completely ignores that the gouging often happens during very real life and death situations. While perhaps economically advantageous, it nonetheless is immoral.

    Dana (fdf131)

  49. but I’m guessing by your avoiding addressing my main point, you don’t care to refute the basic economics of it.

    There is a point at which charging whatever price the market will bear becomes the equivalent of “your money or your life”.

    But it’s not really a question of economics. It’s a question of being a decent human being.

    Kishnevi (53eb02)

  50. “it completely ignores that the gouging often happens during very real life and death situations. ”

    No. There is absolutely no life and death situation in Florida right now. There are and have been shortages however because people ARE hoarding resources. It’s the hysteria mostly driven by the media, that is the real problem. There are only shortages because, as Stossel alludes, because of the price controls that rob the broader market of communicating the degree of need. It’s not about economic advantage as it is about the rational allocation of resources. Price fixing creates shortages. Every time. Virtue signaling your self righteous “decency” at the expense of the repeatedly proven most efficient method of distribution of even temporarily limited resources is itself immoral.

    Ptw (ba8d75)

  51. So when Motel X charges twice as much for a room today as it did yesterday, it’s a signal that we need more motels? Pull the other one, it’s got bells on it.

    nk (dbc370)

  52. This goes to the fundamental divide of economics, Austrian vs Frankfurt. Nothing can be consumed unless it is first supplied. Dampen the motivation of suppliers and you ultimately drive up the the aggregate costs, either in actual monetary costs or, by creating shortages, opportunity costs. Fail to understand this is to fail to understand why western civilization has accelerated so rapidly since the Enlightenment. That’s kinda why we call it the Enlightenment.

    Ptw (ba8d75)

  53. That an immoral action may have superficially beneficial results does not make it a moral action.

    Kishnevi (53eb02)

  54. Yes, it is a signal we need more motels. Not necessarily in the immediate timeframe, but if there is no profit in the present, there is insufficient motivation to provide them in the future. Or for producers of temporary shelters from producing. You are failing to understand opportunity costs, future incentives, etc. Stossel does a better job of explaining it, but so does Hayek, Bastia, Friedman, or anyone else from the Austrian school. Don’t believe me? Save yourself a lot of pain and misery and join the communist party now, while you can get sufficiently ensconced in the leadership designing the glorious future of the planned economy of next Tuesday. Price controls are bad. Just as monopolies are bad. But the way to fight monopolies is to encourage competition, not discourage new players from entering the market.

    Ptw (ba8d75)

  55. Dang! As if Dorian wasn’t bad enough, now poor Florida has the Austrians mad at it, too.

    nk (dbc370)

  56. A moral action that leads to destruction, that inhibits production and innovation, is an immoral action. Providing goods and services is and always will be a voluntary effort. It is morally wrong to punish someone for providing a service. You cannot legislate morality nor productivity. It fails every time. And we are seeing it right now in the misapplication of resources in Florida.

    Ptw (ba8d75)

  57. Economic theory is only good for people who have nothing else to talk about, and to provide a living for economists who would otherwise need to “learn to code”. Like you said, if they didn’t produce it, nobody would consume it. And nobody would miss it.

    nk (dbc370)

  58. Yet another classy and pertinent remark from nk. No surprise there.

    Ptw (ba8d75)

  59. It’s late and it’s clear you have nothing relevant to say. I’m done for tonight. AMF.

    Ptw (ba8d75)

  60. Adios a ti tambien, MF!

    nk (dbc370)

  61. “I will grant, however, that it is not as bad as Kelo-taking an old lady’s home to build a casino.”

    Did they even build it? I thought the land was still vacant.

    harkin (58d012)

  62. In fact, Florida has too many motels…

    Kishnevi (53eb02)

  63. re: Price gouging and capitalism:

    “[In a free society] there is one and only one social responsibility of business–to use its resources
    and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of
    the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud.”

    That’s from an apparently infamous 1970 Milton Friedman NY Times op-ed titled “The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits.”

    JRH (52aed3)

  64. That [also?] disregards game theory, JRH, which makes “open and free competition” an illusion. The businesses know their competitors and adjust their prices, and the quality of the goods or services for the price, to match theirs. Tacit price-fixing.

    nk (dbc370)

  65. Kishnevi (53eb02) — 9/2/2019 @ 7:55 pm

    There is a point at which charging whatever price the market will bear becomes the equivalent of “your money or your life”.

    That happens mostly in the medical field, with new drugs and with hospital costs, although he latter is mostly surprise billing.

    But it’s not really a question of economics. It’s a question of being a decent human being.

    That’s not the worst. What do you say about Trump’s new crackdown on people receiving medical treatment – he wants to kick people out of the country who are receiving it. (The original policy has now been modified to keep applications alive for those who had applied for suspension of deportation on medical grounds before August 7th.)

    Without notifying the public, the administration had stopped allowing certain immigrants to stay in the country to receive life-saving treatment, a policy shift that quietly went into effect on August 7. Now, caseworkers will reconsider some applications that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently denied, as long as they were pending on August 7.

    Do you think any Democrats are going to go out of their way to criticize that policy? I doubt it.

    Sammy Finkelman (e24bc2)

  66. The hurricane is stalled over the main island in the Bahamas. It is like an F-5 tornado staying there for 30 hours. They are still reporting only 5 deaths, all in the Abaco Islands.

    The Bahamas is about 4 feet above sea level and most houses no more than 20 feet high and the storm surge should be greater than that. Some people in Florida are planning to collect and send relief supplies.

    Hurricane Dorian has been downgraded to a Category 3 hurricane. It seems generally expected to move north, but they keep on issuing these evacuation orders (which governors issue like puppets, not one of them maybe making their own independent evaluations) based on its heading west.

    The headline in this Orlando Sentinel article says the hurricane is beginning to move towards Florida, but the contents don’t: (although winds in places may reach tropical storm speeds.)

    The storm is projected to continue a north-northwest movement today and Florida is completely out of the the cone of uncertainty, although the size of the storm continues to send tropical storm-force gusts into the state’s coastal counties. Hurricane-force winds extend out 45 miles with tropical storm-force winds extending out 160 miles.

    That’s, I think, 45 and 160 miles away from the eye.

    There was a tornado that yesterday hit a place in Suffolk County, in eastern Long Island. Some trees uprooted, but no people were injured.

    It stopped raining yesterday in Brooklyn before 6 pm, but it must have rained during the night because I saw park benches were wet at about 7 am.

    Sammy Finkelman (e24bc2)

  67. engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud.”

    I think we also want it without favortism, except to family and friends.

    Every time there’s a “market price” you don’t call it price fixing – that’s only when the price has been set higher than what someone in that business might consider on their own. Gasoline tends to retail for about the same price in different places, but it’s not price fixing.

    Sammy Finkelman (e24bc2)

  68. Some video from Freeport. Friend of a friend.

    Ptw (ba8d75)

  69. Weather Channel now showing it as Cat-2.

    Hopefully the lower winds are some relief to the Bahamas, which got slammed.

    harkin (d58e4f)

  70. Kim Campbell deprived of her fantasy.

    nk (dbc370)

  71. Priceless, nk:

    Kim Campbell, Canada’s former prime minister for a coffee break, desperately wants to be relevant.

    Dana (8b25a4)

  72. Chingaderos… can’t we all just get along?

    Colonel Haiku (33b771)

  73. The nk Bee

    President Trump Astounded That There Is A Kim Who Does Not Like Him

    “Kim Jong Un loves me”, the visibly wounded President Trump said. “Kim Kardashian loves me. Why doesn’t Kim Cambell?”

    White House aides rushed to comfort the inconsolable Trump, reminding him that Ms. Campbell is, after all, Canadian, but that was oil on the fire for the distraught real estate tycoon turned politician. “And after all I’ve done for Canada”, he lamented.

    nk (dbc370)

  74. Wonder if Grand Bahama is big enough to impede the process whereby hurricanes feed off warm water.

    Also wonder if it will start building wind speeds again as it heads toward the Outer Banks.

    harkin (58d012)

  75. 5 pm accuweather update.

    Hurricane now acategory 2

    About 105 miles east of Vero Beach, Florida.

    Location: 27.8° N, -78.6° W

    Winds at 109 mph gusts at 132 mph (5 pm update: rounded to 110 and 130)

    Moving NW at 7 mph (later 6 mph)

    Pressure 28.29 inHg

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  76. Wonder if Grand Bahama is big enough to impede the process whereby hurricanes feed off warm water.

    It’s not. But it stayed so long in one spot it (in effect) used up all the warm water and started bringing cold water to the surface, and therefore started weakening.

    It might strengthen somewhat as it moves past Florida, but not to anything like what it was when it hit the Bahamas.

    BTW, it stayed far enough from me that all I got were strong breezes and a couple of quick squalls. I have had worse weather on a normal summer afternoon. The central and north parts of Florida’s coast are getting some heavy weather.

    Kishnevi (a992d1)

  77. Dorian has been downgraded to a Category 2 hurricane, but the problem is that it’s a slow moving storm, increasing in size. As long as the eye remains offshore, the coastlines will be hit by tropical storm force winds, heavy rains, storm surges, and flash flooding. Wind damage will probably be minimal, but it’s the water damage that is the greatest concern.

    Look at what Dorian did in the northern Bahamas. There the eye, the most powerful area of the storm, slowly moved across the islands for 40 hours at Category 5 strength. The devastation is absolute, with storm surges of up to 20 feet above sea level in some areas. That’s enough water to wash away entire neighborhoods and towns, and it did. The average ceiling height in most homes and buildings is 10-12 feet. Imagine a 20-foot storm surge flooding an area like that. The water is almost twice as high as the houses and buildings! It brings complete and total destruction.

    Dorian may intensify to a Category 3 as it skirts along the northeast coasts. Storms like these are unpredictable. It may hit landfall in Georgia or the Carolinas. Or it may stay offshore and travel upward along the east coast, dissipating as it goes. Either way the odds of strong winds, heavy rains, storm surges, and flash flooding are all but guaranteed.

    Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Fernand is forming in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s expected to hit norther Mexico around the Yucatan Peninsula, but it could move into the Gulf and intensify into a hurricane. That would be a real problem. The thing is that once a storm gets into the Gulf, it swirls around and becomes increasingly stronger before it moves inland. A seriously strong hurricane, such as a Category 4 or 5, would literally wash away South Padre Island. Seriously, because South Padre Island is not an “island,” it’s a sand bar. If a strong enough hurricane hit there, it would destroy everything. We’re talking about luxury hotels and skyscraper condominiums–you would be surprised at how many NFL, NBA, and MLB players own properties there–restaurants and tourist shops, all gone in a matter of days.

    I’m not saying it’s going to happen, but it could. The vanity of Man is nothing compared to the power of Nature. And Nature is unforgiving and amoral.

    Just this morning, we had thunderstorms. They weren’t much, a lot of sound and fury, some light rain. These are the outer bands of Fernand. I don’t expect much flooding, just some lightning and thunderstorms, maybe some heavy rain.

    But we did have a power outage the weekend before last. I don’t know what kind of freak thunderstorm this was, but 100,000 people lost electricity for several hours. The power went off, then came back on, then went off and came back on, then went off and came back on. It was at least six hours of hell. And there wasn’t even a storm outside! But what can you do when the power grid goes dark?

    You can’t cook. You can’t even walk around without a flashlight. No warning, no explanation, just poof! no electricity. What do you do? Well, the only thing you can do is get in the car and drive around, hoping to find a restaurant with electricity. We found one, a Luby’s; apparently the northern part of town is on a different power grid, because the southern part of town was completely dark, with not even traffic signals operational.

    It goes to the fragility of the economy, the over-dependence on technology. One power outage and the whole thing goes dark. It could be because of stormy weather; it could be because of an EMP pulse, or a solar flare. If you are not prepared for sudden emergency, then you are not prepared.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  78. Did anyone else catch Trump’s little chat in the oval today? He, or one of his toadies took an old projected path that didn’t include Alabama, and used a sharpie to draw a little tumorous growth over Alabama to include it in the path. It’s the most obvious, silly, stupid, moronic thing that I’ve yet to see out of this administration…because instead of just ignoring his mistweet and just moving on, they have actively tried to retcon an idiotic thing, onto an idiotic thing, to triple down on an idiotic thing. Here’s a still of the dumb graphic.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  79. Returning to price gouging, it seems to me there are at least two issues here:

    1. Economists see price gouging as an acceptable response to scarcity. From a utilitarian perspective, price gouging maximizes the total welfare of those in a disaster.

    2. Thus, economists do not see price gouging as moral or immoral.

    But is 1. true in practice or only in theory? If it is both, then as to 2., is it moral to price gouge in a small-scale disaster like a hurricane when the economic disruption is relatively temporary?

    DRJ (15874d)

  80. 1. Where, specifically not in theory, has price gouging actually happened where it had serious negative impact that outweighed the negative impact that is consistently been demonstrated from shortages brought on by price controls in the real world? When did this ever become a problem BEFORE the hurricane or whatever disaster hit?

    2. Now show similar with any other form of government price controls.

    I will grant, as I believe I also stated above, that IF a natural disaster is so severe as to create a real and sustained monopoly on goods and services, there is a potential problem. Though one much more reasonably rectified by encouraging more supply directly via government or if possible by government doing whatever necessary to enable more suppliers to get their products to the affected area.

    Ptw (2ba249)

  81. Why (again) are my comments going directly to moderation?

    Ptw (2ba249)

  82. I see I’m still being moderated, for what reason not explained, but thought I’d add this in regard to the morals, so-called, vs. “greed”, in so far as shortages being the result of the presumed virtue of government control of other people’s resources. from C.S. Lewis:

    “It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

    Ptw (2ba249)

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