After killing disaster-recovery rules, Ajit Pai can't understand why carriers aren't helping hurricane-hit Florida

Originally published at:


A diamond is the result of subjecting coal to intense heat and pressure.

Florida is the result of subjecting deregulation, lack of education, and income inequality to intense heat and conservative politics.

The American South is what happens when the resulting stupid leaches out and contaminates the groundwater.

Edited for spelling


It’s like they’ve never heard of ‘unintended consequences’.
Anyway, why should they care? The Randian market forces will be along to exploit the situation any day now, just as they want. If people wanted emergency backup or catastrophe recovery services they’d have paid a reputable supplier for them in advance, surely? /s


Stupider voters probably react positively to a governor haranguing the telecos, and give him credit for any progress, while they don’t notice at all if it all just gets fixed because some beauracracy quietly orders it done.


Bureaucracy is bad! I know, because I’ve been to the DMV and had to wait 45 minutes!
But Governor Scott shook my hand and let me know that he’s fighting for me. I sure am glad to have someone like him in my corner.


On the other hand, much of this area will have to be abandoned in a few decades. What is rebuilt should be to higher standards, which most current residents can’t afford.


Just stop it with that crap. Boingboing wouldn’t put up with it about ‘redneck’ Saudis and violence.
If you think that sort of ‘stupid’ is confined to the Southern USA you are very wrong.


The obvious answer is to solve this problem collectively, but I don’t see that happen in the US. Maybe they’ll surprise me.

1 Like

Mm, fair enough, maybe I crossed the line.


Umm - you do know this is socialism, don’t you?

1 Like

I was reading some article that focused on a house that survived the recent storm because it was built to withstand hurricanes in Florida (at great expense). It was the only one to survive in the area, even other buildings built to less exacting standards that were also supposed to be hurricane-hardened were destroyed. They interviewed the owner who lost me when he mentioned that the building was built to last for “generations,” at which point I laughed ruefully. The fundamental problem is that the land the house is built on will be underwater in a generation or two. The house won’t be worth much if there’s no neighborhood around it. And that’s the core contradiction with places like Florida - it’ll cost an enormous amount to build storm-hardened structures that’ll be abandoned in a few decades anyway because it’s impossible to keep the waters back.

Short of a global effort to actually reverse climate change, there’s no saving Florida. We’re already seeing non-storm flooding in coastal regions. When sea levels rise a little bit more, it’ll be permanently flooded - and there’s no way around it. The bedrock is porous and sea walls won’t work - the water will simply work its way under them. Likewise, groundwater is already being contaminated with salt water, miles inland, and a little further rise in sea levels destroys the state’s drinking water entirely.


Here would be a nice jolt: A timeline showing when Florida starts losing seats in the House. (It’ll probably keep the Senate ones until the last hill is washed away.)


That’s something I’ve been thinking about lately - what happens when a state like Florida starts radically depopulating? Does a state with no population get to keep its senators? There’s no no mechanism to deal with this issue.
I can imagine some rich reactionaries setting up some small community of floating/stilt-based mansions in Florida (and pretending they live there) just so they can have their own pet senators…


You mean “keep their pet senators”, right?

Does the formula for the Electoral College handle that?


Seeing as you can vote for a dead Republican in this election, I see no reason why they’d think that was any kind of problem.

1 Like

True. Though this feels like a whole new level of “pet politician.” A sufficiently depopulated state could have congressional representatives equal to or only slightly less than the population itself… so you’d have a state population consisting of oligarchs either representing themselves, or with personal politicians living in their (floating) guest houses.

Presumably even a totally unpopulated Florida would still get three electoral college representatives: for the two senators and the one (minimum) House member.

You know… In spite of the climate change denial that old right money is trying to sell to the public, I wouldn’t be shocked if there was a well-funded hush-hush think tank plotting scenarios like this, and how to profit from them. (With a cute code name like Project Atlantis.)

With a depopulated Florida, they could write their own laws to disenfranchise their hired help, deport the poors, set state taxes to zip. They wouldn’t even have to live there most of the time so long as the state residency laws were slackened.

Plus, all that Federal relief money… (Why waste it on Florida refugees eh?)

Maybe people should be keeping a closer watch on ownership changes of the most wave-resistant parts of Florida?


It would be modern day rotten borough.


When they figure out how to replace fiber with algae, Ricky boy will be home free.

I totally can imagine them keeping all the seats as a virtual nonexistent entity long enough after the state has been washed into the sea and original population dispersed. Just because constituency doesn’t actually exist is no reason for a politician to loose his seat.