Saturday, April 14, 2012

Two Topics: Titanic, Taxes

I guess it's pretty inevitable that I'd mention the centennial of the sinking of the RMS Titanic... yeah, I'm going with the herd on this one. The story of the Titanic disaster resonates with us still because it combines the elements of glamor, hubris, death, pathos, the struggle between "Man" and "Nature", and recrimination... if someone should decide to base a film on the sinking of the Titanic, I imagine it would be a huge blockbuster at the box office.

Of course, the timing of this anniversary corresponds with the tax-paying season in the United States, so I'll be able to get on my soapbox and bloviate. The Titanic disaster occurred at a time before radio, radar, and weather satellites were invented. There was no good way to track the movement of dangerous icebergs, and no way to transit information regarding oceanic and atmospheric conditions in real time. Whether or not the crew of the ship committed errors in judgment, they were largely sailing "blind" in the North Atlantic.

With the use of satellite imaging and communications, such disasters are less likely to occur in the present day. The funding of monitoring programs is not certain, though, as the Paul Ryan budget adopted by the GOP House of Representatives would cut funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration while cutting taxes on the wealthiest Americans. One glance at the NOAA website, with its posts about record high temperatures, horrific storms, and shrinking arctic sea ice, is enough to tell you why the GOP House wants to cut NOAA funding- obviously, NOAA's a hotbed of Communism, even more so than the Democratic Caucus in the House. Take that, pinkos! Who the hell needs your monitoring of storm systems? The Free Market will protect us from the ravages of storms! Iceberg monitoring, who the hell needs it? If the meddlesome government just left multinational energy corporations alone, there wouldn't be an iceberg problem!


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Global Warming Will Solve Our Iceberg Problems.

Brought to you by ExxonMobil and the Heartland Foundation (along with all the politicians they've bought).

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Brought to you by ExxonMobil and the Heartland Foundation (along with all the politicians they've bought).

Please pay your oxygen bill or we'll be forced to repossess your air tanks!

M. Bouffant said...

They're going to wrap up all the water before they take over the oxygen market.

Pedantic quibble: The Titanic had wireless telegraph. Distress signals were sent. No iceberg warning system 'though.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

I stand corrected regarding the communications! Thanks for the clarification.

Laura said...

My son Joe's girlfriend dragged him off to see Titanic 3D this past week. I warned him that it was loooong and that it was kind of 2 movies in one. A crappy love story at the beginning then an action flick mid way through.

It's been renamed "Shitanic" by him since seeing it.


wiley said...

"Pearl Harbor" was also a romance set against the backdrop of a disaster. Hollywood really should reign that stuff in.

Cutting out the NOAA is cynical beyond all reason.

"They knew they were getting into. They bought the tickets. I say, "Let them crash!"

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

It's been renamed "Shitanic" by him since seeing it.

Poor Joe, dragged to the longest chick flick in history!

Cutting out the NOAA is cynical beyond all reason.

The crazy thing is, the stereotypical "Heartlander" who tends to vote Repug will be hit harder than the Northeastern elite types like yours truly.