Sunday, August 28, 2011


Gotta hand it to FOX News, they never pass on any opportunity to attack the notion that the federal government has any business helping Americans making less than six figures.  The latest stupidity thanks to Hurricane Irene:  this FOX Nation hit piece on, believe it or not, getting rid of the National Weather Service courtesy of the Randian think tank brotherhood at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

While Americans ought to prepare for the coming storm, federal dollars need not subsidize their preparations. Although it might sound outrageous, the truth is that the National Hurricane Center and its parent agency, the National Weather Service, are relics from America’s past that have actually outlived their usefulness. 

No, seriously.  That's the argument.  It gets worse.

As it stands today, the public is forced to pay more than $1 billion per year for the NWS.  With the federal deficit exceeding a trillion dollars, the NWS is easily overlooked, but it shouldn’t be. It may actually be dangerous.

Relying on inaccurate government reports can endanger lives. Last year the Service failed to predict major flooding in Nashville because it miscalculated the rate at which water was releasing from dams there. The NWS continued to rely on bad information, even after forecasters knew the data were inaccurate. The flooding resulted in 22 deaths. 

Private weather services do exist, and unsurprisingly, they are better than the NWS. When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, the National Weather Service was twelve hours behind AccuWeather in predicting that New Orleans would be affected. Unlike the NWS, AccuWeather provides precise hour-by-hour storm predictions, one of the reasons private industry supports them.

You know why AccuWeather and the Weather Channel stay in business?  Because they take the basic weather data that the National Weather Service provides and they refine it.  They are provided raw meteorological data provided at the public domain level by, you guessed it, that barbarous and outdated relic known as the NWS.  Otherwise, we need to abolish the NWS because they're not 100%, and the Magic Of Liberty Free Market power will make forecasts more accurate...if you are willing to pay for them.  The weather service providers take a public service and make it better.  If anyone's guilty of corporate welfare here, it's AccuWeather and the Weather Channel, who take the free data provided and then make money off of it

That of course is not mentioned in this idiotic tirade where meteorologists are added to the list of government evil that must be drowned in Grover Norquist's Bathtub Of Liberty.  Because the NWS doesn't have enough funding, they are dangerous and should be eliminated so that, why exactly?  We live in a world where weather forecasts are only available to those who can afford it?  As global climate change makes weather patterns more erratic and dangerous, are these morons really saying that we need to cut the NWS and privatize all weather prediction, so that the rich survive and the ignorant poor are literally washed away?

But why should anyone be surprised by this nonsense?  We've turned teachers, police officers, firefighters, public safety employees, and bus drivers into evil, parasitic unionized cancers on American society that must be expunged.  Why should the weather guys get a pass?

Let's put the NWS on the block and put them in the unemployment lines too.  Hey, it's a "jobs program."