What Fresh Hell Is This?

March 2, 2010

Scaife's Brain Trust Can't Read

Even their own editorials - while they're being written.

Case in point - today. In an editorial about the recent earthquake in Chile and why the damage was so more severe in Haiti than in Chile, the Tribune-Review's editorial board makes two contradictory statements and gives no clue that they even see the contradiction.

First point:
As bad as it was, the massive earthquake that struck Chile early Saturday, one of the largest anywhere in centuries, could have been worse. And for two reasons.

The first has to do with the mechanics of the 8.8 magnitude temblor. Despite being 500 times as powerful as the devastating quake that hit Haiti, this quake was centered deep offshore. Had it been land-centered and shallower, the damage and death toll would have been far greater.

That said, the South American nation also featured building codes designed for such events in a region prone to earthquakes. Haiti knows few such safeguards.[emphasis added]
And now the second:
"With a market-oriented economy, per-capita income in Chile is more than 10 times higher than per-capita income in Haiti," reminds Donald J. Boudreaux, the chairman of George Mason University's economics department and a regular Trib columnist.

"One result is that Chileans demand and can afford better-constructed buildings -- buildings designed by more-skilled architects, made of stronger materials, and erected (and maintained) by better-trained and more highly specialized workers."

As Professor Boudreaux sees it, Chile's relatively low death toll isn't necessarily thanks to what its politicians do but what they don't do -- "meddle excessively in the market." [emphasis added]
Can I ask where Scaife's braintrust thinks do those "building codes" come from? Do they even read from one paragraph to the next?

The most offensive part, however, is the last paragraph of the editorial:
History is a wonderful teacher. What shame too many choose to continually ignore it.
Did they really write that? In an editorial comparing and contrasting the earthquake preparedness of Chile and Haiti, they end by shaming those who choose to ignore history?

It all makes complete sense now: The problem in Haiti was that they chose not to have good building codes and their politicians meddled excessively in the market. That's what brought about 200,000 deaths.

A far more rational explanation can be found here. Some thoughts:
Chile is wealthier and infinitely better prepared, with strict building codes, robust emergency response and a long history of handling seismic catastrophes. No living Haitian had experienced a quake at home when the Jan. 12 disaster crumbled their poorly constructed buildings.

And Chile was relatively lucky this time.
"On a per-capita basis, Chile has more world-renowned seismologists and earthquake engineers than anywhere else," said Brian E. Tucker, president of GeoHazards International, a nonprofit organization based in Palo Alto, California.

Their advice is heeded by the government in Latin America's wealthiest nation, getting built not just into architects' blueprints and building codes but also into government contingency planning.
Too those Haitian's weren't as smart as those Chileans.

My guess is that since Scaife's braintrust doesn't follow it's own editorials paragraph by paragraph, they didn't bother thinking through the disgusting ending paragraph.

Why should they? They've got teh crazie.

1 comment:

Ol' Froth said...

They forgot to add that people in Chile are whiter than the people in Haiti.