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Estimating Natural Disaster Deaths
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With lots of talk about how to estimate death tolls from natural disasters, here’s one almost completely forgotten instance that I experienced: the day it got to 106 degrees in Chicago: July 13, 1995. From Wikipedia:

1995 Chicago heat wave

The 1995 Chicago heat wave was a heat wave which led to 739 heat-related deaths in Chicago over a period of five days.[1] Most of the victims of the heat wave were elderly poor residents of the city, who could not afford air conditioning and did not open windows or sleep outside for fear of crime. …

The humidity made a large difference for the heat in this heat wave …

Also, the power went out in many neighborhoods including mine. All the food in my refrigerator spoiled. I drove over to a part of the city that had power and went to a nice cool air-conditioned movie theater and saw “Apollo 13″, which I enjoyed very much, thank you

Most of the heat wave victims were the elderly poor living in the heart of the city, who either had no working air conditioning or could not afford to turn it on. Many older citizens were also hesitant to open windows and doors at night for fear of crime. Elderly women, who may have been more socially engaged, were less vulnerable than elderly men. By contrast, during the heat waves of the 1930s, many residents slept outside in the parks or along the shore of Lake Michigan.

Before the 1960s crime wave, city people used to sleep outdoors rather often during heat waves.

Because of the nature of the disaster, and the slow response of authorities to recognize it, no official “death toll” has been determined. However, figures show that 739 additional people died in that particular week above the usual weekly average.[10] Further epidemiologic analysis showed that blacks were more likely to die than whites, and that Hispanics had an unusually low death rate due to heat. At the time, many blacks lived in areas of sub-standard housing and less cohesive neighborhoods, while Hispanics at the time lived in places with higher population density, and more social cohesion.[2]

Mortality displacement refers to the deaths that occur during a heat wave that would have occurred anyway in a near future, but which were precipitated by the heat wave itself. In other words, people who are already very ill and close to death (expected to die, for instance, within days or a few weeks) might die sooner than they might have otherwise, because of the impact of the heat wave on their health. However, because their deaths have been hastened by the heat wave, in the months that follow the number of deaths becomes lower than average. This is also called a harvesting effect, in which part of the expected (future) mortality shifts forward a few weeks to the period of the heat wave. Initially some public officials suggested that the high death toll during the weeks of the heat wave was due to mortality displacement; an analysis of the data later found that mortality displacement during the heat wave was limited to about 26% of the estimated 692 excess deaths in the period between June 21 and August 10, 1995. Mortality risks affected Blacks disproportionally. …

Other aggravating factors were inadequate warnings, power failures, inadequate ambulance service and hospital facilities, and lack of preparation.[14] City officials did not release a heat emergency warning until the last day of the heat wave. Thus, such emergency measures as Chicago’s five cooling centers were not fully utilized. The medical system of Chicago was severely taxed as thousands were taken to local hospitals with heat-related problems. …

The scale of the human tragedy sparked denial in some quarters, grief and blame elsewhere.[2] From the moment the local medical examiner began to report heat-related mortality figures, political leaders, journalists, and in turn the Chicago public have actively denied the disaster’s significance. Although so many city residents died that the coroner had to call in nine refrigerated trucks to store the bodies, skepticism about the trauma continues today. In Chicago, people still debate whether the medical examiner exaggerated the numbers and wonder if the crisis was a “media event.”[8] The American Journal of Public Health established that the medical examiner’s numbers actually undercounted the mortality by about 250 since hundreds of bodies were buried before they could be autopsied.[10]

In the following years, any time the weather forecast called for hot weather, Mayor Daley would go on TV to remind people to check in on their elderly relatives and neighbors.

So 739 deaths is a big number. On the other hand, in terms of years of life expectancy lost, this wasn’t that big of a deal. Probably very few few of those who died were employed at the time, so their deaths weren’t a big economic blow to their dependents.

In contrast, for example, practically everybody killed in 9/11 was currently employed, or a tourist.

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  1. Anonymous[638] • Disclaimer says:

    I think the building codes for houses costing more than a certain amount should require a standby generator to be part of the build. At my vacation house we routinely have 36 to 48 hour power outages, at least once or twice a year. I have a Servel refrigerator and the freezer and a few other things are backed up by a vintage Lister diesel genset. The neighbors bitch and moan that this sort of thing is too expensive but when I ofer to help them put in something at reasonable cost, they say it’s too much bother. So they lose piles of food each year.

    • Replies: @Jim Bob Lassiter
  2. donut says:

    I don’t know if it some kind of bias in noticing but it seems that every summer I would hear on the news the number of heat deaths in Chicago no matter where I’m living at the moment . I mentioned it a few years ago to a friend in Ca. and a few weeks later we had a laugh because he heard about the number of heat deaths in Chicago out in Long Beach .

  3. I’m especially motivated to respond to this post because I just checked the heat index at my location here in Hong Kong. It’s 90 degrees Fahrenheit, with 71% relative humidity, for a heat index reading of 106 F exactly.

    Hong Kong’s weather is very hot from roughly May through September each year. After enduring many such summers, one thing I’ve learned about heat problems is that the urban heat island effect produced by big cities such as HK (and Chicago) is significant.

    The HK Observatory’s official temperature monitoring station is right downtown. I regularly compare its readings to the one nearest where I live, which is more suburban, and the differences jump out — the daytime highs are not much different, but the nighttime lows are often 2-5 degrees F cooler where I live. If you’re an old person, that could be the difference between making it or not in a heat wave.

    You don’t hear all that much about research into HIs, because their existence undermines the Climate Change Narrative, i.e. it’s possible that much of the increase in global temperatures could be written off if the effects of heat islands on temperature monitoring stations were seriously acknowledged and corrected for.

    I did find an obscure research paper a few years ago produced by the HK Observatory that actually estimated the HI effect here. I compared that result with the HKO’s own claims of how much temperatures have risen here because of ‘climate change’, and found that the HI effect accounts for more than 2/3 of the overall rise. The HKO will never, ever, ever put those numbers together and publicize them, however.

  4. Abe says: • Website

    Since this is 00’s throwback weekend apparently- Thilo Sarrazin’s new book with its rants against Islam the religion (not that they are wrong necessarily, just that I don’t care to examine the internals of Islam anymore, because down that road lies question like how to fix it…)- I am reminded of the major stir caused about 15 years ago when the highly-respected British medical journal LANCET published a study claiming 250K Iraqis had died in the 2nd Iraq War. Ah, the good ol’ days of fake news; I’m sure Andrew Sullivan gave it a proper ‘Fisking’.

  5. anon[193] • Disclaimer says:

    The Chicago heat wave deaths were directly caused by heat. The estimated 3,000 Puerto Rican deaths were indirect and partly due to their inability to restore services after the catastrophe. There was no harvesting effect as increased mortality was estimated to have continued for 6 months. 1/3 of the estimated deaths were based on an assumption that 8% of the island fled to the mainland. People on their death bed don’t usually migrate.

    On July 2, 2017, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority filed for bankruptcy protections under PROMESA for its $9 billion in bond debt

    It is reasonable to see the island’s disorganization as a result of the debt crisis and the storm.

    The lack of harvesting and the migration adjustment are reasons to have less confidence in GWU’s estimate.

    • Replies: @anon
  6. Could they have used a better term than “harvesting effect”? It sound very Soylent Green-like. On the heat thing, people are definitely softer than they use to be – they will have the house at 70F in the summer, run out to the air-conditioned car, and then into the air-conditioned office. In the winter, many have their houses heated to warmer than they are cooled to in the summertime, say 72F.

    I like living a bit closer to the outside environment, so I don’t feel like I have to avoid it. YMMViM (Your Mileage May Vary in Minnesota, for example!)

    Yeah, I do realize they were old people, but if they had been set up prior to that heat wave with fans, used to drinking more water, etc. they may have been able to handle it more. You don’t have to go all out and be a prepper to at least be ready for some slight hardship.

    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
    , @Anon
  7. @The Last Real Calvinist

    This summer in NYC has been particularly nasty. Taking off my clothes and running them under the hand dryer in the bathroom when I get to work. Descending into the subways feeling just like descending into the ninth circle of hell. Nonstop thunderstorms. And walking through these narrow brick-and-steel canyons that are filling up with all the excess heat and humidity being pumped out of every floor of every building around me. And yet, people pay ever more insane prices to live here.

    The heat island effect provides a sort of natural experiment in assessing the utility cost of climate change on people’s actual lives. We already know what it’s like when human-caused changes to the environment heat things up by several degrees, and seeing as a majority of the world’s population now lives in urban areas, by all indications we’re quite willing to accept the tradeoffs.

  8. Dave Pinsen says: • Website

    The Washington Post had a relatively balanced article about these sorts of estimates last year. Quite a difference compared to the current insistence that 3,000 Puerto Ricans died in Maria and anyone who disagrees with that official figure is a Maria-denier.

    9/11 is 21st Century America’s holocaust, and 3,000 is the new 6,000,000.

    The 3,000 figure for Puerto Rico strains credulity though, considering the initial death estimate was 16. In 9/11, estimates went the opposite way: I recall estimates of 6,000 or more in the first couple of weeks after the attack (the Twin Towers had so many offices that each building had its own zip code, but they weren’t as occupied as people initially thought on the morning of 9/11).

  9. A half a million iraqis died at american hands in iraq. 4 million in vietnam. congratulations.

    • Replies: @APilgrim
  10. @WowJustWow

    This summer in NYC has been particularly nasty. Taking off my clothes and running them under the hand dryer in the bathroom when I get to work. Descending into the subways feeling just like descending into the ninth circle of hell.

    We Calvinists were in NYC last summer, during which time it was pretty hot and humid. The subway stations were indeed almost intolerable.

    The heat island effect provides a sort of natural experiment in assessing the utility cost of climate change on people’s actual lives. We already know what it’s like when human-caused changes to the environment heat things up by several degrees, and seeing as a majority of the world’s population now lives in urban areas, by all indications we’re quite willing to accept the tradeoffs.

    This is an excellent, well-stated observation. You see this all over Asia: the relentless growth of cities (HK, Bangkok, Taipei, KL, etc.) that at first glance might seem hot-n-hellish, but which remain extremely attractive to lots of people who can’t wait to get out of their leafy sylvan villages.

  11. Dave Pinsen says: • Website

    I happened to have a cold during one of those humid stretches in July, so I went to a local Starbucks for this delicious cold buster drink they have on the menu, I forget what it’s called, but it’s some kind of hot herbal tea with lemon and honey and maybe ginger in it. I figured it would be tolerable to drink something hot in an air conditioned place. Turned out their air conditioner was broken, which explained why the lot was almost empty. I sat there anyway and drank the tea, wiping the swear off my forehead with a stack of napkins.

    Anyhow, one solution to the summer weather in New York is to live on the beach. When the sun goes down, it’s usually pretty comfortable outside, even when it’s oppressive inland. There are people who do that on the Jersey Shore and commute to lower Manhattan by catamaran.

  12. @Achmed E. Newman

    In the future, “All You Can Eat Negro” won’t be an old Phil Hemrie bit.

  13. APilgrim says:

    64 Dead Bodies in Puerto Rico.

    The other 2,936 ‘dead’ are statistical nonsense.

    Meanwhile the ACTUAL DEAD, from Fukushima are still hidden from view.

    Don’t be GAMED!

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
    , @AnotherDad
  14. Anonymous[270] • Disclaimer says:

    “On the other hand, in terms of years of life expectancy lost, this wasn’t that big of a deal.”

    I think that death risk should be measured in “half lives.” This is sort of a joke or pun, because the idea came to me after Fukushima. Get it?

    Anyway, a half life would be half the number of years of a country’s average estimated actuarial lifespan. In most cases, a half life equals a life, if a disaster has demographically random victims by age.

    However, where the victims are young or old, there would be relatively more or fewer half lives respectively. And (this is where Fukusima comes in) if the risk is from estimated cancers that will appear decades later, and the victim will only lose a decade of life, and he may get hit by a car or die of a heart attack, or be curable by modern medicine, you have to massively reduce the estimated risk, as measured in half lives.

    So the half life risk of a worker in his twenties falling off a wind generator is equal in half lives to give or ten nuclear power plant radiation exposures.

  15. APilgrim says:

    Your fears are irrelevant.

    veni vidi vici abi

    I came, I saw, I conquered, I departed.

  16. “Before the 1960s crime wave, city people used to sleep outdoors rather often during heat waves.”

    An amusing scene from Hitchock’s Rear Window (1954), where during the heatwave in NYC, a couple sleeping outdoors experiences a sudden rainstorm, and they hurriedly gather up their things and retreat back inside to their apartment.

    Regarding sleeping outdoors during summer heat waves back in the day, wouldn’t people have experienced tons of mosquitos? Its no fun trying to sleep while being bitten by mosquitos all night.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  17. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Chicago didn’t have many mosquitos in the 1980s-1990s, while the exurbs where the Cub Scout camp was (Camp Hoover) had lots of them.

    One summer there were bad mosquitoes in Chicago. I took the kids to a picnic in the garden of the Chicago Art Institute next to the lake and we got bitten by mosquitoes. I was very offended. Mosquitoes were for suburbanites, but we are at the A.R.T. I.N.S.T.I.T.U.T.E. so mosquitoes are an offense against all that is right and proper and Hizzoner should do something about them.

  18. Dtbb says:

    Waaaa! You want real heat. Work outside in a Fla. Summer. The HI effect. Used to be able to set your watch by the afternoon thunderstorms in summer. Nature’s a/c. Not so much anymore.

  19. There is a huge difference between situations like in Haiti after the earthquake in 2010 when estimates were that 200,000 people had died, but no one really knew exactly how many, because bodies were loaded into trucks with backhoes and buried in mass graves or buried under buildings and never found, or cremated on the spot to prevent disease from rotting corpses, and Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, which was terribly badly damaged, but most people were still surviving in the wreckage and there must have been US built buildings that could be used as hurricane shelters when it was known the hurricane was approaching.

    The general public thinks of hurricane deaths in terms of people killed by falling trees,debris, and flooding rivers, not dying at the age of 99 a month later due to lack of clean water.

    How many Americans died in Desert Storm? Should we include Timothy McVeigh who apparently suffered psychological damage that caused him to do things that led to him being sentenced to death. Should we include all those who died in the Oklahoma Alfred P. Murrah office building bombing as Desert Storm casualties?

    Clearly there are public health and political agenda benders who have an interest in exaggerating the number of deaths in natural disasters to bolster their own funding.

  20. @Steve Sailer

    … so mosquitoes are an offense against all that is right and proper and Hizzoner should do something about them.

    I live on a quiet street in a quiet small town in a small county, but we have trucks drive by spraying to kill mosquitos. I was sprayed last week while standing on my front lawn at dusk. I am mosquito free. I would think large cities would have mosquito eradication programs.

  21. @Anonymous

    In the so called prepper community there is a theory that the sound of a home back-up generator is an invitation to roving gangs of urban looters.

  22. @Jonathan Mason

    Does anybody know how many of anything or anybody there was or is that got done in Haiti at all?

  23. @Dave Pinsen

    I once worked a job at the intersection (heh) of finance and public relations (media). That experience, and what I have learned second hand from others I trust, convinced me that,

    1) most media people are almost completely innumerate,

    2) on the rare occasions they actually take an interest in anything quantifiable, their sole question is “what is the number most favorable to our narrative that we can at least remotely justify?”, and

    3) for the finance people feeding these numbers to the media, the main question is, “what is the most favorable number to our narrative that we wont be prosecuted/sued into oblivion for?”

    Of this is the news that we read made.

    This is why I never take amiss Trumpo’s misstatements of quantifiable things, which drive the media so wild. I know (and apparently Trump knows) just how cynically crafted all their supposedly hallowed figures really are. He’s just showing them the respect they deserve. And they hate when that happens.

    P.S. I could have appended this Reply to almost any numerative comment on this thread.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  24. Are we going to start examining any other infamous death counts that have been used to push an agenda? Or

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
  25. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @Almost Missouri

    I didn’t see this at the time I posted my previous comment.

  26. @Almost Missouri

    most media people are almost completely innumerate,

    Most people don’t think about the numbers they hear to see if they make any sense. I remember a co-worker back in the 90s telling me that there were 3 million homeless people in the USA. I told her that could not possibly be true or else you would see them everywhere. 300k maybe. 3 million no. She remained unconvinced.

    Many of these numbers are called “advocacy numbers”. The most famous case was a Super Bowl some years ago where a woman’s group said more women were assaulted around SB than any other time. When challenged, they said their numbers were advocacy numbers. Always consider the source.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  27. @APilgrim

    Meanwhile the ACTUAL DEAD, from Fukushima are still hidden from view.

    Hidden?  In a country so caught up in Hiroshima syndrome radiophobia that it evacuated areas far LESS radioactive than popular resort areas in India and Brazil?  There were fewer thyroid cancers in the Fukushima population than controls elsewhere in Japan.  They finally got around to attributing ONE fatal heart attack (years later) to the meltdowns, never mind that heart attacks have only ever been associated with high PROMPT doses rather than the lingering exposures from remnant Sr-90 and Cs-137.  Heart attacks come from things like criticality accidents.

    The number of fatal Fukushima radiation exposures is zero.  However, there were well over 1500 deaths from the mandatory evacuation.  People would have been safer just staying put.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @AnotherDad
  28. @Dave Pinsen

    Didn’t pay much attention to the 3K number initially, though it seemed rather high in contrast to the previous estimates. As always, where’s the proof? Did the 3K have names?

    As a footnote, slightly less than 3k died as a direct result of 9/11 but this doesn’t take into account indirect death. Lots of people since developed cancer and assorted problems which hastened their (in many cases) premature demise, so the “true” number of deaths from 9/11 is probably well over 3K.

    • Replies: @anon
  29. Ian M. says:

    I drove over to a part of the city that had power and went to a nice cool air-conditioned movie theater and saw “Apollo 13″, which I enjoyed very much…

    Apollo 13 is a great movie.

    Before the 1960s crime wave, city people used to sleep outdoors rather often during heat waves.

    I recall reading somewhere that before air conditioning became common, people would often sit outside in their front yards in the evenings to cool off and shoot the breeze with their neighbors on the block. This promoted neighborliness and a sense of community.

    Another example of how technologies that have undeniably great life-saving benefits often have unforeseen consequences that tend to weaken communal bonds.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    , @J.Ross
  30. gwynedd1 says:

    What killed them wasn’t just the heat. It was the low sodium diets .

  31. Anon 2 says:

    Re: Gas explosions in Lawrence and Andover, MA

    The breakdown of the infrastructure in the U.S. is heartbreaking,
    especially if you just returned from overseas, as I have, and saw
    perfectly functioning infrastructure in Europe or East Asia.
    Almost 10,000 people were affected by gas explosions in 3 towns north
    of Boston. What’s it like to sit in your home and worry it might explode
    any second? NY Times recently ran a story about thousands of
    shuttered storefronts in New York City. This and the abysmal state
    of the NY subway system makes it seem like New York is slowly but
    inexorably declining to Third World mess. One might conclude that
    NYC lacks the engineering talent to bring its infrastructure to world class
    status, esp. with much of the city’s energy going into finance and entertainment.

  32. Anon[394] • Disclaimer says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    You can build passive homess that work pretty well in winter and summer. There are various ways to do this, which tend to be regionally specific.

    Other than that, I’m not sure what you mean by “softer.” People put up with heat if they have no choice, but the siesta has been around for a while.

    And then there’s this from a couple of months ago:

    Extreme heat and reduced cognitive performance in adults in non-air-conditioned buildings

    Students who lived in dormitories without air conditioning (AC) during a heat wave performed worse on a series of cognitive tests compared with students who lived in air-conditioned dorms, according to new research led by Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health. The field study, the first to demonstrate the detrimental cognitive effects of indoor temperatures during a heat wave in a group of young healthy individuals, highlights the need for sustainable design solutions in mitigating the health impacts of extreme heat.

    College students downloaded an app that pinged them from time to time with a short quiz. Some of the university dorms had air conditioning and some didn’t.

    So you have to wonder a bit about the accuracy of IQ tests in underdeveloped equatorial countries.

    Also, in addition to low birth rates among the intelligent, you also have climate change making things hotter. We’re really going to get stupider and stupider. Idiocracy will come true.

    Heat also interferes with getting a good night’s sleep, which affects you during the daytime.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  33. syonredux says:

    Before the 1960s crime wave, city people used to sleep outdoors rather often during heat waves.

    Note the couple at approx one minute, thirty-five seconds in who are beating the heat by sleeping on their fire-escape:

    • Replies: @anon
  34. @Jim Bob Lassiter

    Those small Honda units (not full-house fixed back-up generators but just portable units) are pretty quiet – quiet enough for a looter to hear a .22 round, even.

  35. @Jim Don Bob

    JDB, I had a guy in my 3rd time around evening driving school class tell us that 1 in 3 Americans was going to die in a traffic accident. It was obviously a ridiculous number to me, but I’m not sure to how many of the other 20-25 “students” it was. To drive home his point in a well-meaning way, he went through the aisles pointing at every 3rd one of us (I wasn’t picked cause I’m a good driver … NOW.)

    While the guy was doing this, I quickly thought, “well, if there are 300 million of us, then that means that 100 million will die in wrecks, If we averaged living to 100, that’s a million each year, call it 750,000 if we live till 75. Yet, the real number is 40,000 or so, well under 10% of this guy’s factoid”

    I didn’t even notice I was shaking my head, as I’d been trying to lay low to make sure I got the last 4 points returned back to my license*. The guy came up to me and said “you don’t believe that?” “There’s no way that’s right.” I told him, but again, I didn’t want to make a stink. I wasn’t even legal to drive home.


    Steve would like this – at a different evening traffic school we spent 1/2 the time watching the Lakers in the play-offs and the other 1/2 discussing how to behave in front of the cops during a traffic stop in order to avoid tickets. They pretend to teach us, and we pretend to drive better.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    , @Autochthon
  36. @Ian M.

    Didn’t you used to watch Andy Griffith, Ian, in which Andy Taylor, Barnery, Ope, Aunt Bea and maybe a girlfriend or two would sit outside on the porch in the evenings? At least when I was younger people would sit inside and watch “Andy” late at night. Even THAT was more community than the family sitting together each texting some different neighbors from his smartphone.

  37. anon[768] • Disclaimer says:
    @Prester John

    Did the 3K have names?

    Of course not. The 3K is an estimate of excess deaths based on a model.

  38. Of course blacks were more adversely effected by the heat than whites, they are always given the shitty end of the stick. I learned that from the MSM. Oh, and those same houses that were oppressively hot in the summer, with windows that can’t be opened…are drafty in the winter.

  39. Anon7 says:

    If it’s true that there were additional deaths due to the hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico, I think that rather than blaming President Trump, you could blame Puerto Rico for being an s***hole third-world country. A s***hole country that could have chosen to properly prepare for inevitable storms, but didn’t. A country that could have taken the American aid sent to help them prepare for weather events and follow up on its use, as opposed to allowing aid money to be stolen by politicians and their cronies.

    The ultimate judgement on Puerto Rico as an unprepared s***hole third world country comes from its own people. Puerto Rico has an open border with the USA, and sixty percent of PRs have chosen to live in the continental USA. ‘Nuff said.

    I’m sick and tired of listening to the networks and newspapers badmouthing our president and seeking to nullify our last election.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @Dtbb
  40. anon[768] • Disclaimer says:

    Here is a database with 450 names of ‘hurricane related deaths. A lot of these strike me as old age. Still, I believe that maybe 1000 deaths are indirectly related to the hurricane. 3000? Not so much.

    They initially reported less than 100. The PR government believed at that time, the lower the better. Now They want a bigger number, presumably because they won’t lose their jobs and can appeal for sympathy.

    Look at the data. There are a lot of really old people on this list. Regardless, this list isn’t particularly actionable. If clearing debris caused a death, how would that be prevented in the future? Or electricity (lack of) related deaths? I am most suspicious of their migration adjustment and the relative absence of a diminution of estimated deaths with time.

  41. hundreds of bodies were buried before they could be autopsied

    We’re these Jews? Overdressed in black?

    If Julius Cæsar could be autopsied 2,000 years ago, you’d think they’d get the hang of it by now.

    This is autopsy-turvy.

    • LOL: Mr. Rational
  42. J.Ross says: • Website
    @Almost Missouri

    I note that NPR gave no contextualization at all to the deaths and instead helpfully illustrated a lying press practice: they invoked that magical word “deny” (“President Trump denied the figures,” which by the way he objectively did not do). People who disagree with us are not dissidents, they’re ridiculous lunatics denying reality.
    Every day we grow more and more Chinese.

  43. J.Ross says: • Website
    @Ian M.

    I recall reading somewhere that before air conditioning became common, people would often sit outside in their front yards in the evenings to cool off and shoot the breeze with their neighbors on the block. This promoted neighborliness and a sense of community.

    There was a type of small, second storey balcony, that would let people sleep outdoors. They would move a bed onto it. I remember thinking that was crazy when it was first explained to me, seeing an older neighborhood where every house had one or two of these.

  44. APilgrim says:

    Democrats jam their fist in and pull numbers out of their butt.

    64 dead bodies with Actual Death Certificates = 2,975 #NeverTRUMP deaths.

    Alternate Reality mortality tables, from LBGTQ Democratic PERV-MATH.

  45. J.Ross says: • Website

    Quote from NPR’s Friday political discussion, today featuring Jason Johnson of “The Root” (which is like “The Grio” but less black): “This is what white nationalism looks like in policy.” You would think a white nationalist policy would mean cutting Puerto Rico off and giving it sovereignty, in which case its insufferable San Juan mayor would have no streams of foreign aid to mishandle.

  46. anon[768] • Disclaimer says:

    Yet while Davis said he is “100 percent for doing everything possible to reduce carbon emissions,” he said, “It’s not clear to me whether it’s an election winning argument. It might be an election winning argument in some counties in California, and maybe in some of the other … states that tend to follow what we do. But it’s a little under the radar.”

    Weather isn’t climate change. The severity of the costs Atlantic Hurricanes is due to costal development.

    This dog won’t hunt.

  47. @Achmed E. Newman

    Yeah, a lot of these numbers are off by an order of magnitude at least and still everybody believes them. But then, most people don’t know what an order of magnitude is and can’t do the mental arithmetic you did.

  48. J.Ross says: • Website

    OT Ignore thread at link, check out the chart illustrating the first post. It purports to be the actual criteria used by the Chinese government to identify Uighur troublemakers.

    The thread this links to is a “President Trump General,” so it’ll be rather one-dimensional. But the chart in the first post is hilarious. Xinjiang is the far-western, rural Chinese province where the Uighurs mainly live.
    The chart itself (sometimes image linking works and sometimes it doesn’t):

  49. J.Ross says: • Website

    OT Not sure if this is anything, but it is being claimed that this link illustrates blowback against outside leftist organizers in Ferguson, Missouri, which was gutted by paid astroturf groups effecting outrage over the police killing of a dangerous criminal a few years ago. A book promoting event is heckled by “red-pilled blacks.”

  50. @John Derbyshire

    Thanks for the link to that explanation. It’s plausible, certainly, that heat stroke did him in.

    Now, of course, any qualified mistress to a big star like Bruce Lee would have a nicely air-conditioned flat for him to chill in. Would Ms Ting’s flat, in HK in 1973, have had aircon?

    • Replies: @John Derbyshire
  51. Dtbb says:

    Has anybody ever sued God yet?

  52. @Steve Sailer

    Perhaps also being so close to Lake Michigan had something to do with it as well.

  53. So instead of dying from the heat wave these people were victims of black crime.

  54. J.Ross says: • Website

    OT Black Lives Matter are out in the rain in Dallas. Maybe they think robots can’t hold an umbrella.

  55. Anon[103] • Disclaimer says:

    Just look at Dubai. Godawful climate, yet a lot of people are willing to live there.

  56. @Dtbb

    Has anybody ever sued God yet?

    Yes. State Senator Ernie Chambers of Nebraska. He’s an atheist, and was doing so to make some point.

    That’s the Unicam for you.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
    , @Dtbb
  57. @The Last Real Calvinist

    Polly, p.473: “July 20, 1973, was the hottest day of the month in tropical Hong Kong. In Betty Ting Pei’s small apartment, Bruce demonstrated scene after kung fu scene from Game of Death. ‘In telling the story, he acted out the whole thing,’ Raymond Chow says. ‘So that probably made him a little tired and thirsty. After a few sips [of water] he seemed to be a little dizzy.’ Just like on May 10 [when he'd collapsed from heat stroke] Bruce exerted himself in a hot enclosed space and ended up feeling faint…”

    No specifics on Betty’s a/c. I lived in HK 1971-3 & everyone not seriously poor had a/c, but the quality was … variable.

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
  58. Skyler says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    600,000 is the catch all number the Media uses in their stories. Google 600000 deaths or 600000 children or 600000 died.

  59. Anonymous[119] • Disclaimer says:
    @Mr. Rational

    Japanese government statistics – particularly those relating to government-caused disasters – tend to be massively falsified and often wholly spurious.

    The Japanese govt. maintained for years that the number of AIDS cases in all of Japan (pop. ca. 120 million) was in the low tens. Anyone who has watched Japanese “salarymen” on trips to SE Asia will realize that these figures are too low by at least three orders of magnitude.

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
  60. anon[146] • Disclaimer says:

    I know its off-topic but why doesn’t the USA give Puerto Rico its independence? The island is such a train wreck. What benefit does America get from its relationship with this impoverished Spanish-speaking island?

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
  61. Puremania says:

    I was there too, Steve. Two people on my block succumbed. USA Today put the area total at 1025. Mayor R M Daley started the popular idea that Dey Woulda Died Anyways, but the Medical Examiner, Edmund Donaghue countered with a careful explanation of “death displacement” and showed that the deaths didn’t have an offsetting decline later. Amazingly, he kept his job.
    The way to understand the denial discussed at Wikipedia is, Chicago is completely Democrat, from the city council to the mayor, and in 1995 was aligned with Democrat senators and Bill Clinton. So the media won’t discuss any imperfections. In fact, in Chicago that kind of reporting is dangerous. I know people who’ve learned the hard way.
    For those interested, Eric Klinenberg’s Heat Wave: a Social Autopsy is excellent. You’ll read about citizens who run live AC wires to their doorknobs because they wisely trust no one. And you’ll see photos of the mass grave in Homewood where they dumped many of these victims.
    It’s the Democrat Katrina, except that in this case, they didn’t bother warning anyone. Oh, and the fact that no one knows about this situation that one Springfield rep called “cold blooded murder”.

  62. anon[146] • Disclaimer says:

    Pre-1965 America. Sadly now gone forever.

  63. @Reg Cæsar

    How can you sue God if you don’t believe he exists?

    Unfortunately He filed for bankruptcy aeons ago, so it would be a waste of time suing him.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  64. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jim Bob Lassiter

    Right, but we don’t have looters in this area in normal times, such as when the power has failed the last 50 times or so. When we really are in a SHTF situation not running the genset would be wise, and not being in a resort area wiser still, since that’s the first place the half-sophisticated hordes will head.

  65. Dtbb says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Thanks. I’m a little confused. By “Unicam” do you mean Nebraska’s unicameral legislature?

  66. @Jonathan Mason

    Ever since Hurricane Andrew struck South Florida in 1992, there have been persistent rumors – urban legends – that hundreds if not thousands of migrant workers died and that the government buried them in mass graves and covered it up.

    I know people who swear that, in the days after the storm, they talked to National Guardsmen and cops who admitted that corpses were being dumped by the truckload. I’ve never met anyone who claims to have witnessed or participated in such activities.

    The logic behind these rumors is:

    * Andrew’s strongest winds affected Homestead, in the heart of South Florida’s agricultural district.
    * Thousands of migrant workers were living in wooden shacks in and around Homestead.
    * Nearly every single building in Homestead was destroyed or severely damaged. Even many concrete buildings were ripped apart. The worst-hit areas looked like Hiroshima in 1945.
    * In all probability, many if not most if not all of the migrant workers did not evacuate.
    * What are the odds that illiterate migrant workers could survive the fury of a Category 5 hurricane in tiny shacks that were literally blown to pieces?

    The rumors persist; the truth remains elusive.

    The NYT ran an article on this subject back in ‘92:

  67. @Achmed E. Newman

    I’m reminded of how accidents are deemed “alcohol-related” in all the official statistics if, say, a passenger was drunk, and about the recent discovery the number of “school shootings” included an incident involving a man who drove to the parking lot of a shuttered school to kill himself with his firearm without bothering anyone else.

    Not even stupid so much as silly, the statistics people generate and others gullibly believe.

  68. @Dtbb

    Satan was sued in Federal Court.

    Suit alleged that “Satan has on numerous occasions caused plaintiff misery and unwarranted threats, against the will of plaintiff, that Satan has placed deliberate obstacles in his path and has caused plaintiff’s downfall”.

    I know, right? I hate it when that happens too. There oughta be a law!

    The judge declined to let the case proceed because the plaintiff had not provided process serving directions to the Marshals Service.

    Whew! A close scrape for Old Scratch!

    • LOL: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @Dtbb
  69. @anon

    We need its harbor as a coaling station for our dreadnoughts protecting the approaches to the Panama Canal.

    Or do you have a better way to keep the Spanish Empire back in their own hemisphere?

    • LOL: Autochthon
  70. @John Derbyshire

    Uh oh.

    Derb admits he was in Hong Kong in 1973 with Bruce Lee when he died.


    There is film on record of Derb and Bruce fighting beforehand.


    All we need to do is establish the means employed, and we can close this cold case once and for all.

    • LOL: Mr. Rational
  71. @Jim Bob Lassiter

    As is smoke during the day, and light during the night.

  72. @Anonymous

    Japanese government statistics – particularly those relating to government-caused disasters – tend to be massively falsified and often wholly spurious.

    The government had a scapegoat in the form of TEPCO.  The government declared a mandatory evacuation which caused documented fatalities (e.g. from moving fragile elderly to sites with no medical support for their conditions) but there’s silence rather than denial and hush-ups.

    Read up on the Hiroshima syndrome.  Japan has had it bad for decades, from the maltreatment of the hibakusha to the back story of Godzilla up to the present day.  That Japan started a major study to detect thyroid cancers—with unexposed controls!—which debunked the “every dose of radiation is dangerous” model and then PUBLISHED IT says a lot about Japanese honesty despite rampant radiophobia.

    Anyone who has watched Japanese “salarymen” on trips to SE Asia will realize that these figures are too low by at least three orders of magnitude.

    There’s this stuff called “latex” that Japanese salarymen are rumored to be familiar with.  It’s very effective at preventing most STD transmission.  The Japanese tend to be conscientious practitioners of a great many things.  Those numbers may not be off by much at all.

  73. @Mr. Rational

    The number of fatal Fukushima radiation exposures is zero. However, there were well over 1500 deaths from the mandatory evacuation. People would have been safer just staying put.

    The whole episode was incredibly stupid. Amazing the stupidity and incompetence of these people who pose as managerial elites the developed world. (Though the ones in Japan are manifestly less stupid and abusive of their people than the one’s in the West.) Basically hysterics have cost the Japanese 100s of billions of dollars for no particular reason whatsoever.

    I don’t believe the 1500 figure for the evacuation, though it no doubt hastened the deaths of a bunch of elderly people they had to move. And, of course, it screwed up the lives and livehoods of an extra 100,000 odd people who didn’t need to evacuate. Mostly just a huge, completely unnecessary waste of money.

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
  74. @AnotherDad

    I don’t believe the 1500 figure for the evacuation

    As of the third anniversary there were 1664 fatalities associated with the evacuation vs. 1603 killed by the wave.  I’ve seen an estimate of over 1800 fatalities.  You have to realize, people were forced out of their homes and literally housed in cube farms.  This is extremely stressful and depressing, not to mention the disease risk from so many people packed together so tightly.

    it no doubt hastened the deaths of a bunch of elderly people they had to move.

    And quite a few others too.  Some of those elderly didn’t live long enough to get off the buses they were crammed onto.

    The whole episode was incredibly stupid.

    And it was all driven by the fraudulently-supported “linear no threshold” theory of risk from radiation exposure.  That this happened in Japan is beyond ironic, because a recent re-study of hibakusha health data found that those in the lower dose range had LESS than the background level of cancer.  That radiation can extend life has been known since the 1958 BEAR report.  That this has not been used as a basis for policy… blame the fossil-fuel interests who are the financiers of the “environmental” movement.

  75. @Jonathan Mason

    Unfortunately He filed for bankruptcy aeons ago, so it would be a waste of time suing him.

    In which jurisdiction? The Southern District of New York?

  76. @APilgrim

    Meanwhile the ACTUAL DEAD, from Fukushima are still hidden from view.

    Because there are no “actual dead” from Fukushima.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  77. Dtbb says:
    @Almost Missouri

    How far back does “the devil made me do it” defense go? Cain maybe?

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