November 19, 2018

"There's Swedish death cleaning and there's Finnish forest raking."

Said Meade, as I was reading "Trump Says Finland Prevents Wildfires by 'Raking' Forests. Finland Isn't Sure What He's Talking About" (Fortune).
“You’ve got to take care of the floors. You know the floors of the forests, it’s very important,” Trump said amid the ruins of the town of Paradise, which was entirely razed by the Camp Fire. He added that President Sauli Niinisto of the “forest nation” of Finland told him “they spent a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things, and they don’t have any problem.”...
(For a post about Swedish death cleaning, go here.)

Trump is getting mocked for using the word "rake," but I'm thinking it's not rake rake. (I'm deploying a Whoopi Goldberg style locution.) Everyone seems to be acting as though they don't know what Trump was talking about, and the image of lots of Finns with rakes out in the forest is silly. It made me think of "The Walrus and the Carpenter":
The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand:
"If this were only cleared away,"
They said, "it would be grand!"
"If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year.
Do you suppose," the Walrus said,
"That they could get it clear?"
"I doubt it," said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.
If seven Finns with seven rakes raked the forest for half a year, do you suppose, the Trumpster said, that they could get it clear?



But if anyone is inclined to give Trump a sympathetic reading, consider that "raking" is simply a description of gathering underbrush together for removal, which might be done with some larger-scale equipment than the leaf rake that springs to mind. I googled for a few seconds and learned that there's something called a ratchet rake that attaches to a tractor.

Laughing at Trump and picturing Finns with rakes in the forest is a distraction from the real question of whether the Finns have anything to teach us about resisting and controlling forest fires. Trump said they're "raking and cleaning and doing things." What things? According to the Fortune article, what's working in Finland is "the country’s extensive forest road network—which helps firefighters move quickly and also slows down fires—and the fact that so much of the Finnish forest is privately owned. That means many small sections of the forest are cleared or thinned out, and therefore don’t easily let fires spread. Finland is also full of rivers, lakes and wetlands."

How are the small sections cleared or thinned out? Maybe it looks something like this.

ADDED: WaPo put up a piece titled "Trump suggests Californians can rake their forests to prevent wildfires. (He is wrong.)" Then it added this update:
Since this article originally published, some have suggested that Trump had in mind a more esoteric form of raking, such as perhaps an excavator rake; or a McLeod tool (a.k.a. a “fire rake”); or the 19th century European practice of removing organic topsoil known as “litter raking;" or — as a reader put it in a profanity-laced email to The Washington Post — “He didn’t mean literally raking with a rake, like some guy with a little rake from Home Depot, it’s a term meaning to clear underbrush and rotted forest floors with control burns which California does not do.”

The White House has not responded to a request for clarification on what Trump meant by “raking," so the above possibilities cannot be totally discounted.

However, it’s worth pointing out that when the president spoke of watching firemen rake beneath a little nut tree, he moved his hands back and forth as if he were miming a garden rake.
They love writing "He is wrong," but they hate saying "We were wrong."

129 comments:

Bob Boyd said...

You never finnish raking a forest.

YoungHegelian said...

Finland is also full of rivers, lakes and wetlands.

Finland doesn't have cyclic droughts which go on for years, either.

Mr Wibble said...

This goes back to the line from the election: "Trump's opponents take him literally, but not seriously. Trump's supporters take him seriously, but not literally." They understand that even if Trump isn't very precise when he speaks, he generally gets closer to the truth than the professional political class that we've grown sick and tired of hearing lie to us.

Anyone with half an ounce of common sense knows what Trump was trying to say. The people mocking him for saying "rake" are either stupid, or willfully pretending to be ignorant because it benefits them.

Matthew Sablan said...

Just like Obama himself did not sneak into Trump tower and tap some wires, I doubt there's kids in Finland raking up leaf piles. It must be exhausting to decide when to take politicians literally and when to understand they're using short hand or... Wait. Trump's quote lists raking as one of a number of things done to protect the forest floors. It sounds like any other slip up people make when talking to me.

Matthew Sablan said...

Why is every site I going to making it sound like Trump's only claim was raking?

EDH said...

To help do the work Trump should form a new version of the CCC Conservation Corps for difficult to employ at-risk youth and prisoners newly released under prison reform he signs into law. Cheaper than incarceration and a quasi-military supervised transition to civilian life.

With record low unemployment, it'd be hard to argue they are appreciably displacing law-abiding workers; to argue otherwise would be to make Trump's argument about illegal immigration.

Watch his enemies' heads explode.

Fernandistein said...

This is liable to turn people into environmentalists:

Tree chaining with D9 cats and anchor chain

and

New Methods Clear [G.W.] Bush (1959)

Mr Wibble said...

To help do the work Trump should form a new version of the CCC Conservation Corps for difficult to employ at-risk youth and prisoners newly released under prison reform he signs into law. Cheaper than incarceration and a quasi-military supervised transition to civilian life.

With record low unemployment, it'd be hard to argue they are appreciably displacing law-abiding workers; to argue otherwise would be to make Trump's argument about illegal immigration.


Agreed.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

When it comes to rakes, Trump knows of which he speaks:

rake noun: (Entry 5 of 5)

: a dissolute person : LIBERTINE

john said...

Never heard of a crown fire?

AllenS said...

Once you make fire breaks, I would guess that "raking" would be nothing more than keeping the fire breaks clear of burnable materials.

Bob Boyd said...

When I was young I worked as a logger, a skidder operator specifically, among other things. When trees are cut down they have to be moved from where they fall to what is called a landing where they can be loaded onto logging trucks for transport to the mill. This is done with machines called skidders. Sometimes the entire tree is dragged to the landing before it is limbed, topped and cut into measured logs. Other times the timber fallers limb and cut the tree into logs right there next to the stump.
In the later case we sometimes were required to clean up all those limbs and tops after we finished logging the sale. This was done by attaching big brush rakes to the blades of the skidders and pushing all the debris into piles. These piles would sit and dry out for a year or so, then, during the fall or winter, when fire danger is low, the piles would be burned.

Nonapod said...

To clear out old, dead forest I'd imagine they'd use things like forest mulchers. They're these crazy things that chew up brush and shrubs (and even whole trees) that you can mount on tractors, dozers, and skid steers. There's even one that can be mounted on the arm of an excavator.

Hagar said...

Finland has a very different climate than California.
Trump may be conflating Finland with German forestry practice, which indeed treats the forests in settled areas like parks.

FIDO said...

To meld into the Trump interview 'fake news', reporters were screaming about cannibalism and gang rapes during Katrina.

All fake. ANYTHING they can say, elide or slant to make Republicans wrong or stupid is their core goals these days. Certainly not to inform people.

William said...

Which is a more practical solution to California's problems: Regulating the world's temperature and increasing the rainfall in California or doing what you can to minimize these fires with forest management?

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

You did better than I did in searching. I found "mechanical scarification" of the soil as an alternative to prescribed burning. This is more to attract more species of plant and animal than to prevent fires. This seems to be the trade-off now. Good boys and girls want to encourage a great variety of forest species, and dead wood of various kinds helps with that. Dead wood is fuel for fires. I think it's fair to say Trump favours removing dead wood to an extent that helps prevent fires.

Paul said...

EDH said...

To help do the work Trump should form a new version of the CCC Conservation Corps for difficult to employ at-risk youth and prisoners newly released under prison reform he signs into law. Cheaper than incarceration and a quasi-military supervised transition to civilian life.

With record low unemployment, it'd be hard to argue they are appreciably displacing law-abiding workers; to argue otherwise would be to make Trump's argument about illegal immigration.

Dang good idea EDH! Prison chain gangs. Might even warn illegals the punishment for illegal entry is a year on these gangs... and then we deport you.

Bob Boyd said...

"Which is a more practical solution to California's problems: Regulating the world's temperature and increasing the rainfall in California or doing what you can to minimize these fires with forest management?"

Great point.
But I guess it depends on where your interest lies. If your interest lies in creating opportunities for graft, like a high speed rail project or Solyndra, controlling the weather is just the ticket.

robother said...

In the mid 90s, Clinton outlawed building any new roads in National Forests, which effectively ended logging any new areas of National Forest lands. Any attempt to overturn that Clinton era regulation (or even get an exception for a particular California forest) would endure a gauntlet of environmental hearings and lawsuits that would be costly, time-consuming and uncertain of success.

Darrell said...

Within the last year, I recall a television program that showed Japanese crews stationed in some forests around Mt. Fuji that raked the forest floor every day--removing debris from the trees and creating patterns in the dirt. They've been doing it for hundreds of years. They let a twenty-something American join one of the crews for a day and he gave up after a couple of hours.

Hagar said...

In the 18th and 19th centuries the large estate owners in Norway hired German and Swiss professional foresters to advise on and manage their forest properties. This had more to do with reclaiming the forests ravaged in the lumber booms of the 16th and 17th century wars and restoring lost income than preventing forest fires; Norway being cool and wet and not much troubled by fires.

rcocean said...

I think the key is first, Finland is full of snow for 5 months of the year and 2nd -
its full of lakes, streams, and bogs.

Just as important, Finland doesn't get that much rain, 18-25 inches, but its spread throughout the year.

In the Sierras, you might not see Summer Rain for months, except for thunderstorms. There are relatively few lakes and streams. The whole place is a tinder box by September.

rcocean said...

Do people ever get tired of lying about Trump?

Its the same pattern, take him out of context, or be literal minded and treat any short-hand, humor, obvious hyperbole, deliberate exaggeration, or slang as deadly serous statements,

and then spin it so it hurt's Trump the most.

The MSM's been doing it for 3 years now - its goddamn boring.

Bob Boyd said...

Trump tends to look for solutions to problems.
The media tends to look for ways to portray Trump as an idiot.

rcocean said...

Remember when they laughed at Trump for thinking he'd been "Wiretapped"?

Why there were no "Wires" on his phone! Haha that Trump was such a clownish Liar.
Haha.

Except Trump wasn't literally referring to Wires on a phone

Ken B said...

This is one of the most striking things about modern America: playing dumb to look smart. We see it all the time.

There was an interesting example of it at Mizzou. A protester pushing someone but saying “I'm just walking here. Don’t I have the right to walk?” Playing dumb. I think the logic is: see my mastery with words, applaud my control of narrative. It seems like an outgrowth of the “There is no truth only competing narratives “ nonsense.

Acosta didn’t “lay hands” on her! It was one hand! He didn’t lay it!

rehajm said...

Why is every site I going to making it sound like Trump's only claim was raking?

It seems harder to make the case for these deliberate misreads. Sure it's salve for the butthurt but it makes the accusers look dumb.

rehajm said...

My parents moved the high desert where it was mandatory to remove the tumbleweed, sage and underbrush around your home. Everyone used a variety of tools including rakes.

HA! So there...

Mr Wibble said...

This is one of the most striking things about modern America: playing dumb to look smart. We see it all the time.

There was an interesting example of it at Mizzou. A protester pushing someone but saying “I'm just walking here. Don’t I have the right to walk?” Playing dumb. I think the logic is: see my mastery with words, applaud my control of narrative. It seems like an outgrowth of the “There is no truth only competing narratives “ nonsense.

Acosta didn’t “lay hands” on her! It was one hand! He didn’t lay it!


The litigation of everything in society. It starts at the school level, where kids and their parents try to play rules lawyer to argue why little Johnny shouldn't get a B+ instead of an A- in class.

Darrell said...

The scientific Lefties hired by modern Democratic politicians in the Western States, say firebreaks and brush clearing offend Gaia. So do people and their houses. The science is settled.

Gk1 said...

Trump gets two scoops of ice cream while others only got one. Zzzzzz

Paddy O said...

Finland also has the benefit of a much colder climate and a lot more rain.

We're supposed to get rain on Wednesday here in NorCal. That's the first in quite a few months. It's very late in the season to get rain.

Also, I'll bet Finland doesn't string above the ground power lines through forest areas. That's been the cause of quite a few fires of late, including the Camp Fire.

glenn said...

Well folks, for one thing in California it’s the whole infrastructure not just the forests or the highways. Some of the highest taxes in the country and the place is falling apart. How do I know? I didn’t read it on the Internet, I live here. In the Central Valley.

MountainMan said...

When Reagan was President and he was at his ranch in California he would get his exercise by cleaning the brush on his property to help prevent the very kind of fire that is occurring now.

Burning of the brush and ground cover of forest is a natural process of cleaning the forest floor for new growth. I believe it is either coastal redwoods or sequoias - maybe both - which have bark which is resistant to fire and the periodic fires are necessary for the seeds of the tree that have fallen to the floor to burst open and germinate in the newly cleared forest floor.

I was watching an old National Geographic documentary on YouTube the other day on America before Columbus how the plains Indians, long before they had the horses brought by the Spanish, regularly burned large areas of the prairie grass to clear off the old growth and stimulate the growth of fresh green grass, which attracted herds of bison and elk, making it easier for the Indians to hunt them on foot. Even they practiced very aggressive land management for their own survival.

When I lived in east TX I had a co-worker who owned a tree farm for his retirement. He worked hard to keep the underbrush cleared to protect his acres of pines from fire, they were going to be a significant part of his retirement in 30 years when he sold them to the paper mill. Privately owned forests are often well-managed because the owner's livelihood depends on it.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

statistics show 1 in 5 forests will be raked on college campuses.

Finland has a rampant rake-culture

Mark O said...

Is there anything so amusing as reading the musings of city kids about the forest?

rehajm said...

The fake rake industrial complex is not to be believed.

Howard said...

Blogger john said...

Never heard of a crown fire?


Even city fire fighters don't fully comprehend the fierce dynamics of wildland fire, so don't expect the public to have inside baseball knowledge.

Jersey Fled said...

Maybe he meant it in the sense that Obama did when he said that all we had to do to solve our energy problems was to put more air in our tires.

Terry Resort said...

Raking and cutting and thinning and burn,burn,burn pretty much decribes what we do all year round on 15 acres in The Ozarks that had no management.

The parts of the forest cleared with fire are the happiest.

Trump is right, and reasonable people know it.

wild chicken said...

"Trump should form a new version of the CCC Conservation "

Whatever happened to the Job Corps? They used to do forest work here in MT. Doubt they could handle tree falling though.

Yet so many of the old fallers are dead and gone now...they really got screwed over by fedgov.

Phidippus said...

WaPo is probably right that Californians cannot "rake" their forests, but not for the reasons they think.

In CA, nearly everything that is not compulsory is forbidden. If someone tried to maintain privately owned forest by thinning or clearing brush, they would probably be arrested for violating Gaia.

Human casualties from wildfires are a secondary consideration.

Fritz said...

When I was a kid my Dad and Mom owned a small mountain cabin up near Lake Arrowhead California. One of the chore each year was to go up and rake the accumulated pine needles and leaves up off the plot for fire safety. It was a state or local rule.

Howard said...

Blogger Phidippus said...

WaPo is probably right that Californians cannot "rake" their forests, but not for the reasons they think.

In CA, nearly everything that is not compulsory is forbidden. If someone tried to maintain privately owned forest by thinning or clearing brush, they would probably be arrested for violating Gaia.

Human casualties from wildfires are a secondary consideration.


Apparently you have never heard of Big Creek Lumber

bagoh20 said...

A lot of large sand beaches are raked or "combed" regularly to clean up the trash. I suppose these people think they use small combs from the drug store. The machines comb a path about 20 feet wide in a single pass, but it's still called "combing" or "raking". Lefties, especially city folk, don't understand how a lot of work is done in their world. They should - we have Youtube now.

Howard said...

I don't think it possible you cucks have the masculine perspective to understand the scope and scale of western state wildfire dangers.

https://www.redding.com/story/news/2018/11/11/trump-blames-state-fires-but-many-worst-federal-land/1971196002/

Bob Boyd said...

Perhaps we should send young men and women out into the forests to rake brush and have sex.

Yancey Ward said...

I grew up in Eastern Kentucky's Appalachian region, and Fall/Winter forest fires were a common occurrence in especially dry late Summers and Falls, and pretty much no one put them out because almost everyone lives in the valleys, not the hills. The area's mountains are densely forested, but we could easily trek through the forest anywhere because the undergrowth and underbrush was everywhere very thin because it all burned out every 5-10 years.

I never really appreciated that fact until I was much older visiting the Smoky Mountains- there it was incredibly difficult to walk off trail there because the undergrowth and brush chokes everything. In 2016, this area (I live in Oak Ridge, TN) suffered one of those periodic dry Summer and Fall, and the fires started in the area in late October, and by late November they eventually got out of hand of the Forest Service in and around Gatlinburg. The difference, though, is that in the Smokys, extreme fire suppression is the rule, and, of course, the result was that once that suppression failed, the fire became cataclysmic, just like the California fires we have seen this year and last year.

I do understand that in California controlled burns are harder to do- the area is lot more arid, and so there are fewer windows to do this safely, especially given how many people actually live in the forested areas. But if you can't do the controlled burns to periodically clear the brush and dead growth, Nature will take care of it for you by doing it every 50 years in an uncontrolled way.

Chuck said...

Good lord, Althouse; the effort you expend, in trying to put a positive spin on Trump’s language. At the same time that you are dissecting the rhetoric from others.

You have tremendous skills as a language critic, but when it comes to Trump, you contort those skills into apologias for Trumpism.

rcocean said...

They love writing "He is wrong," but they hate saying "We were wrong."

rcocean said...

Small controlled fires are the easiest way to prevent large uncontrolled fires.

But peeps don't like that.

rcocean said...

Standard Never Trumper analysis:

Orange man bad.

Never praise the Orange man.

Gk1 said...

I won't ever accuse Trump of playing 4 dimensional chess but I have to say I have enjoyed the internal family discussion of forestry management here in northern california where the conversation starts by ridicule and derision of Trump's raking comments and have it stumble on to more serious scrutiny of California's horrible management of the issue. Its is indefensible that Sacramento has again sat on their asses while a problem mushrooms. Even my liberal friends are wondering why brush isn't being cleared and what can be done about it and expecting mankind to lower the earths temperature doesn't see like the quickest way to address it. Advantage:Trump!

Sigivald said...

I think the President's kind of a sh!t, but every time they do something like this, I dislike them more, and, unavoidably, him a little less.

Farkin' pathetic.

Paddy O said...

"Small controlled fires are the easiest way to prevent large uncontrolled fires."

A number of large uncontrolled fires in California have been caused by small controlled fires that get out of hand. We're a state in which averages are shaped by extremes.

Big Mike said...

They love writing "He is wrong," but they hate saying "We were wrong."

Kind of like university professors in my experience.

bagoh20 said...

"You have tremendous skills as a language critic, but when it comes to Trump, you contort those skills into apologias for Trumpism."

OK, so you believe Trump thinks the Fins use a bunch of small rakes because he said "rake". That is your prerogative. It seems unlikely, since Trump understands construction and large scale work probably better than any President in history, but if it is true, so what?

stevew said...

A pedantic focus by Trump's detractors and haters on the word "rake" so as to mock and ridicule the man? If I could post a photo here it would be of my shocked face.

Honest people and those of good faith know exactly what he meant.

Earnest Prole said...

Anyone who lives in the forest knows exactly what Trump meant.

Howard said...

Blogger Earnest Prole said...

Anyone who lives in the forest knows exactly what Trump meant.


Exactly. I think what the coastal elites are frustrated with is that to effectively communicate to his base, Trump needs to use nursery school language: rake the floor. Lets hope he can get his own administration behind implementing this on Federal lands which dominate the west and have contributed to many of the largest western fires.

tcrosse said...

Down on the farm they know what a hay rake is, and what you do with it: you rake.

Ken B said...

“Chuck, Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that passed both houses unanimously that would have cleared underbrush to help prevent and ameliorate forest fires. This veto might well have cost billions of dollars and dozens of lives. What do you have to say?”
“Rake!”

kwenzel said...

Besides their climatic advantages, let's not forget that the Finns absolutely love tractors (and presumably anything you can attach to them)!

https://youtu.be/zXLjMKKXz4w

chuck said...

Lot's of "smart" people on the left like to repeat these things to prove Trump is stupid. If Trump were actually stupid I'd worry, but it seems to me that his detractors are fooling themselves. Maybe that is a good thing.

rcocean said...

"A number of large uncontrolled fires in California have been caused by small controlled fires that get out of hand. We're a state in which averages are shaped by extremes."

Well, fires are either controlled or uncontrolled.

If it turns into a guessing game as to which one it is - you probably shouldn't start them.

FullMoon said...

The oldtimers in Northern California all say basically the same thing:

They stooped clearing the forests in order to protect endangered species. This leads to fires which destroy the endangered species.



FullMoon said...

Worth repeating:


Bob Boyd said...

When I was young I worked as a logger, a skidder operator specifically, among other things. When trees are cut down they have to be moved from where they fall to what is called a landing where they can be loaded onto logging trucks for transport to the mill. This is done with machines called skidders. Sometimes the entire tree is dragged to the landing before it is limbed, topped and cut into measured logs. Other times the timber fallers limb and cut the tree into logs right there next to the stump.
In the later case we sometimes were required to clean up all those limbs and tops after we finished logging the sale. This was done by attaching big brush rakes to the blades of the skidders and pushing all the debris into piles. These piles would sit and dry out for a year or so, then, during the fall or winter, when fire danger is low, the piles would be burned.
11/19/18, 9:22 AM

rehajm said...

I think what the coastal elites are frustrated with is that to effectively communicate to his base, Trump needs to use nursery school language: rake the floor.

It makes Howard feel good to imply Trump's base is simple minded. Hope you feel better, Howard...

Remember how the Clintons used to talk to their base in that extremely slow cadence and with simple language as if they were talking to someone dim witted and little hard of hearing?

(Okay, I tired it. Can't say that it made me feel good...)

Henry said...

However, it’s worth pointing out that when the president spoke of watching firemen rake beneath a little nut tree, he moved his hands back and forth as if he were miming a garden rake.

Sounds like "pexcavator"

Big Mike said...

I have been trying to sort out the claims and counter-claims, but it appears that there was a piece of legislation passed with no dissenting votes on either house of the legislature, and which might have mitigated the Camp Fire. But it was vetoed by Jerry Brown for no intelligent reason. The deaths of the 63 known dead, and however many of the 993 missing turn up dead or never turn up and are presumed dead, ought to weigh heavily on his conscience. If he had one. He doesn’t. Howard doesn’t. Inga for sure doesn’t. Neither do Freder or roesch. Maybe that’s the difference between the Democrats of today and 20th century Democrats — no conscience.

Nonapod said...

The pattern:

1.) Trump (a man well known for speaking in a sort of linguistic short hand) says a thing that if taken literally is wrong and absurd, but if taken in a more abstract and less literal sense is true.

2.) His detractors in the media immediately point out this "error", scoff about it being more evidence of the man's idiocy and/or lunacy.

3.) This is followed quickly by his supporters saying this is just another example of Trump not being literal and the media once again falling the same trap.

4.) The anti-Trump people say the Trump supporters are the ones being delusional or missing the point by defending him. The pro-Trump people counter that the anti-Trump people are being either dishonest or stupid for apparently taking him literally

5.) Both sides go round and round like this for a day or two but at the end of it all nobody is persuaded away from their original position.

I wonder if this pattern will change any time soon? My guess is no.

Earnest Prole said...

I have a house in the woods 30 miles or so from where the Camp Fire started, at about the same elevation, so I'm intimately familiar with this debate. Care of the forest, as Trump noted, is essential to reducing its fuel load. But when the wind blows fifty miles an hour and the tinder-dry forest ignites, nothing can stop that fire. Anyone who's turned a leaf blower on a pile of burning leaves will know exactly what I mean: it becomes a terrifying blast furnace. It's as though oxygen is as powerful a fuel as gasoline, which in the right conditions it is.

Henry said...

California has a law that requires homeowners to clear brush around their houses in fire-prone areas.

It doesn't say with a rake, though.

Paddy O said...

"Well, fires are either controlled or uncontrolled."

Sometimes one turns into the other due to loss of control.

Probably the better way is to say prescribed fire versus wildfire. Both can be controlled (we get a lot of roadside fires that don't do much) and both can get out of control. Prescribed fires are generally more controllable.

Howard said...

BM: I have basically agreed with Drumpfs rake the floor proposal. I did the maths. Were you the genius that didn't know that heat rises?

Bob Boyd said...

Trump said rake, but it wasn't like, rake rake

Big Mike said...

Okay Earnie maybe you can explain what the legislation was that Governor Moonbeam vetoed? But I gather that you are of the opinion that nothing could have stopped the Camp Fire.

Howard said...

BM talking out his ass... unexpectedly

Fernandistein said...

rake rake

You spoiled my "A rakist walks into a bar" joke, fortunately.

bgates said...

FACT CHECK: Obama described infrastructure projects as "shovel ready", but in fact most construction uses heavy machinery.
He was also lying about the projects being ready.

FACT CHECK: Obama said that "The arc of history is long", but in fact history involves a single dimension of time, while an arc occurs in two dimensions of space.

FACT CHECK: Obama said that racism is "part of our DNA", but in fact there is no scientific evidence linking any gene or combination of genes to racist beliefs. Also, what an asshole.

Fernandistein said...

It's as though oxygen is as powerful a fuel as gasoline, which in the right conditions it is.

It's cool to fill up a bottle with oxygen and then toss in a cigarette, lit end first - it'll shoot right out! Don't let your mom see it though.

roesch/voltaire said...

President Sauli Niinisto said in an interview published Sunday in the Ilta-Sanomat newspaper that he told Trump during their brief meeting in Paris on Nov. 11 that “Finland is a country covered by forests but we also have a good surveillance system and network” in case of wildfires.
But of course Trump in is tweet logic reduced it to rake.

Bob Boyd said...

"A rakist walks into a bar"

The bartender looks at him and says, "Why the long handle?"

Jim at said...

Grazing is the easiest way to manage undergrowth. Cattlemen know this.

Inga...Allie Oop said...

“Good lord, Althouse; the effort you expend, in trying to put a positive spin on Trump’s language. At the same time that you are dissecting the rhetoric from others.

You have tremendous skills as a language critic, but when it comes to Trump, you contort those skills into apologias for Trumpism.”

Seems so.

Fernandistein said...

Raker, raker, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

Gordon Scott said...

Look, this is not rocket science. When Los Alamos burned in 2000, after a controlled burn got out of control, they looked and why some houses survived and others didn't.

https://tinyurl.com/ycodpekf

Some homeowners kept flamable materials off their roofs, didn't have gutters to catch pine needles (and flaming embers) and Kept Burnable Materials Raked Away From The House.

Now if you want something scary, try this:

http://americandigest.org/wp/bring-out-your-dead/#comments

Gerard lived in Paradise. There are many people living out in the woods, beyond the maintained roads, in old trailers and such. Those folks got no warnings. No one knows how many were out there.

Ken B said...

Roesch/Voltaire is one of these “aren’t I smart” fools, like de Sitter, who picks a name suggesting he is a deep thinker. Then he decries as foolish someone else using a short word as a pointer to a fuller argument.

Chuck said...


Blogger Ken B said...
“Chuck, Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that passed both houses unanimously that would have cleared underbrush to help prevent and ameliorate forest fires. This veto might well have cost billions of dollars and dozens of lives. What do you have to say?”
“Rake!”


I am perfectly ready to accept an intelligent argument that California has failed to manage the wildfire dangers of its public lands. But Trump did not make an intelligent argument. Trump made the dumbed-down, over-simplified argument. A kind of a trashtalk argument. In which Trump’s attempt to make things sound as though he had a simple solution to a complicated problem only exposes the cartoonish worldview inside of Trump’s head.

Ann Althouse’s working at it made a credible point about what Trump might have meant but didn’t say. Trump’s foolish language is all on him; not on his critics. When it takes a sympathetic lawprof three paragraphs to explain one line from a President of the United States, then that President, with an entire communications office at his command, has a communicating problem.

Earnest Prole said...

Okay Earnie maybe you can explain what the legislation was that Governor Moonbeam vetoed? But I gather that you are of the opinion that nothing could have stopped the Camp Fire.

The legislation Brown vetoed was essential to reducing the damage caused by most forest fires, but nothing could have stopped the Camp Fire, the Tubbs Fire, etc. Until you actually experience hurricane-strength winds creating blast-furnace flames in tinder-dry forests, you have no idea.

Fernandistein said...

"Why the long handle?"

To Finnish faster...? Um, sorry.

Big Mike said...

@Howard, even a poor, old, mathematician like me knows that fires only start in crowns if there is a lightning strike. Absent a lightning strike, the fire needs fuel on the ground to get started before it works its way up the trunk to the crown. Are you with me, so far?

I've seen drone footage over what's left of Paradise. There are homes with no trees around them where noting is left but a slab. How did a crown fire burn them to fluffy ash?

Howard, sometimes you write some useful comments, but on the whole you appear to be an educated fool.

Big Mike said...

@Earnest Prole, thank you. I've experienced Santa Ana winds on a trip to visit Teradata in Rancho Bernardo way back in the day (circa 1989). Sucked the moisture right out of my sinuses, and I had to lean into the wind to walk forward. I can picture it.

Derek Kite said...

These journalists are f**king idiots. They know nothing and are incapable of understanding even very basic things, and expect us to listen to them.

This is a real problem. The fire suppression efforts that have been very successful over the last 3,4 decades have left extraordinary amounts of fuel on the forest floors, which means in a dry year you have very hot fires with lots of fuel that are impossible to control.

Nature burns this stuff off. Forests grow to burn. We are facing a catastrophe in British Columbia for the same reason. If a fire gets past very small stage they turn into infernos that cannot be stopped.

The solution is what everyone hates, and whole organizations have been built to stop. Burn the stuff during the spring and fall, or log off the mature trees. The alternative is it burning out of control.

These jackasses are intent on removing themselves from the adult conversation that needs to be had about these real issues.

Bob Boyd said...

A rakist walks into a bar.
The bartender says, "Why the long face?"
The rakist says, "They want me to rake the forest."
The bartender says, "Which part"
"All of it."
"That's a lotta rakin'. Have you raked a forest before?"
"No. Mostly I work on the date farms. I'm a date rakist. For a while I worked as a statutory rakist cleaning up after people kept smashing those confederate monuments, but I prefer to rake dates."
"Can't you just keep doing that?"
"They say I don't have a choice. It's forest rake."
"You'd better have a drink."

dhagood said...

@Howard: Were you the genius that didn't know that heat rises?

heat doesn't rise; heat flows from hot to cold. heated air rises.

Earnest Prole said...

Sucked the moisture right out of my sinuses, and I had to lean into the wind to walk forward.

To envision the deadliest Northern California fires, imagine a desert-dry hurricane blowing embers instead of rain through tinder-dry forests. The Tubbs Fire was driven by the highest winds ever recorded in Sonoma County.

Howard said...

Blogger Big Mike said... How did a crown fire burn them to fluffy ash?

Howard, sometimes you write some useful comments, but on the whole you appear to be an educated fool.


I never brought up crowning fire in regard to the Camp Fire or floor raking, so I have no idea what your comment means. The Camp Fire was/is a firestorm which burns everything, even fire-resistant construction. Once again, your math doesn't add up

Howard said...

Blogger dhagood said...

@Howard: Were you the genius that didn't know that heat rises?

heat doesn't rise; heat flows from hot to cold. heated air rises.


Hey dipshit, you forgot that for heated air to rise, you need gravity. So there, Mr. Pedantic Pants.

FullMoon said...

Chuck says
Ann Althouse’s working at it made a credible point about what Trump might have meant but didn’t say. Trump’s foolish language is all on him; not on his critics.


Right. Trump not as loquacious as Chuck. But Trump multi billionaire ignoramus who defeated Democrats, Republicans, Television Newspapers Magazines and most brilliant minds in the world to become President.

Chuck has penis envy, pure and simple.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

would any of these rake jobs be shovel-ready?

rcocean said...

We can skip a lot of these arguments by just agreeing with the Never Trumpers:

Orange Man is always bad.

Kevin said...

They love writing "He is wrong," but they hate saying "We were wrong."

We were wrong = Our news was fake.

Our news was fake = Trump is right about more than this story.

That's the trap they've gotten themselves into, and they have no way to get out of it with what remains of their honor intact.

BUMBLE BEE said...

Exactly what was "sparking" wires?

Bob Boyd said...

"Exactly what was "sparking" wires?"

It was the juice.

Meade said...

Finns make some of the best yard tools. If you need a leaf rake, search "Fiskars Leaf Rake, Cushioned Grip". Order 2 and get free shipping. You won't regret it.

Lewis Wetzel said...

"Order 2 and get free shipping."
If they are so good, why do you need two of them?

Bruce Hayden said...

“In the later case we sometimes were required to clean up all those limbs and tops after we finished logging the sale. This was done by attaching big brush rakes to the blades of the skidders and pushing all the debris into piles. These piles would sit and dry out for a year or so, then, during the fall or winter, when fire danger is low, the piles would be burned.”

Best job I had in college, and then for a bit afterwards, was the summer I spent helping cut the trails at a ski area in Colorado. And that was most of what I did there, except that our piles had the Lodgepole Pine too. During the day, we would use a (I believe) D3 Cat with a brush rake and winch to build huge piles in the middle of the trails. We’d haul a cable up the slope, wrap it around a felled tree or two, and it would be winched down to the pile. Then on a damp, windless night, we would put several old tires in the piles, add some gasoline to the tires, and set them on fire. Then we would climb up and down the mountain checking the fires for much of the rest of the night. Great fun, and so much of it became politically unpopular soon after that. Making it a bit safer, if winds did pick up, and the fires got away from us, winds were almost always from the west, and just east of us was the treeless Continental Divide. And the fact that some of the best skiing in Colorado is in places that had burned in relatively recent times, often clearing out the thick woods from skiable glades. Except that I am pretty sure that even back then they didn’t mention that possibility to the Forest Service, on whose land we were cutting the trails. In any case, none of our fires ever got close to getting away from us, so no glade skiing when the area opened later that year.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Ya let them logger fellas in there, thed prolly build you some firebreaks n roads n such, n wunt even charge ya fer it. Just a thought.

But seriously, after that Santa Rosa burn jest this summer, Ida thot folks at got all them tall trees aroun there house wuda cut summem down n cleared it out a bit. Guess not.

Third time's the charm, maybe.

Latigo Morgan said...

Where I cut wood, in New Mexico, the Forest Service had someone come in with some kind of machine which they used to literally mow down and mulch all the undergrowth for acres and acres. This was not in the actual woodcutting area that was being thinned, but on the road up to it.

They cut and mulched scrub oak, small trees, and brush. It actually looked like it had been landscaped.

Meade said...

"If they are so good, why do you need two of them?"

Raking is always better with 2.

Meade said...

https://thefederalist.com/.../misguided-environmentalism-blame-californias-wildfires/

Drago said...

Fullmoon: "Right. Trump not as loquacious as Chuck. But Trump multi billionaire ignoramus who defeated Democrats, Republicans, Television Newspapers Magazines and most brilliant minds in the
world to become President."

Did you happen to catch todays comments from LLR Chucks hero "republican" consultant john weaver, top advisor to LLR Chuck's favorite "republican" John "long live the Democrat Party!" Kasich?

Weaver, like all "True conservatives" (LOL) is calling Stacy Abrahms the rightful Gov elect of GA.

LLR Chuck and all his conservative faker pals have been thoroughly and completely exposed.

But only completely.

And thoroughly.

Bob Boyd said...

"If they are so good, why do you need two of them?"

There's nothing sadder than a lonesome rake. It can bring the whole tool shed down. Terrible for for morale.

Drago said...

Btw, rational naturalists in California in the 70's were arguing for more aggressive clearing out of the underbrush in CA's parks and wooded areas.

But nope. The moron lefties thought they knew better....not.

Who can forget how these idiot lefty environmentalists (commies really) freaked out when their fake claims about "old growth" and "new growth" forests collapsed after simple cursory analysis and observations.

narciso said...

well john weaver, is the one who fed the iseman innuendo to the times, then signed on with john huntsman, who has subsequently been exiled to Moscow, and then john Kasich, I guess jeff flake will be next, or will rick Wilson pick up that bit with a long pole,

narciso said...

well smarter than john weaver, so is an irish setter,

https://legalinsurrection.com/2018/11/hollywood-wants-to-boycott-georgia-over-governor-race-but-abrams-pushes-back/

narciso said...

surprised by any of this:

https://libertyunyielding.com/2018/11/19/rep-ocasio-cortez-and-the-three-chambers-of-government/

Howard said...

Blogger Drago said...

Btw, rational naturalists in California in the 70's were arguing for more aggressive clearing out of the underbrush in CA's parks and wooded areas.

But nope. The moron lefties thought they knew better....not.

Who can forget how these idiot lefty environmentalists (commies really) freaked out when their fake claims about "old growth" and "new growth" forests collapsed after simple cursory analysis and observations.


I get sick of this type simpleton labeling of the looney tune left as commies. It takes balls to be real commies. Think of them more as parasites who want a friends with benefits relationship with the free market.

FullMoon said...

READ THE WHOLE THING


Feather River hospital, had received a one-word text from her husband earlier that morning: “Fire.” He texted again a minute later, “Huge.”

Staff at the hospital had begun moving out its 67 patients before the official evacuation warnings. Now Jolly searched the halls and bathrooms to be sure no one was left. As she pulled out of the parking lot, the human resources building was on fire.

Pentz Road, one of the town’s four evacuation routes, was jammed. So was the crossroad to the other nearest exit route. Cars inched forward as brush burned on both sides of them and embers rained. People yelled to be heard over the sound of exploding car tires.

The fire caught up to Jolly on Pearson Road, blasting her car with heat. She reached for the stethoscope slung around her neck and flinched as the metal burned. Her steering wheel was melting — the plastic stuck to her hands.

As her car caught fire and began to fill with black smoke, she called her husband. “Run,” he told her.

Jolly fled for safety to the car ahead of hers, but it too was abandoned. She ran on.

The rubber on her shoes melted into the asphalt. The back of her scrubs caught fire, blistering her legs. She tried another car, but it wasn’t moving.

“I can’t die like this,” she told herself. “There’s no way I’m going to die sitting in a car. I have to run.”

Jolly plunged into the smoke, now blinding, and ran with her hands stretched out in front of her. She hit firm, hot metal. A firetruck.

Two firefighters lifted her in and radioed for help, pleading for a water drop. The crackled response came back: “Impossible.”

“Start turning people around,” a dispatcher said. “Get them going toward the hospital.”

Gretchen said...

As always, Trump's use of the word "rake" brings attention to the matter he is trying to communicate to the American people, that is poor forest management, not global warming made these fires terrible. it is uncanny how often he makes these things work in his favor. The media goes insane over word-usage or embellishment, and the American public takes home "the Finns don't have fires because they clean up the forests more".

At some point, Trump is a genius at making his point despite the media.

Gk1 said...

Don't look now, it looks like Orange man was correct again. Jerry is pulling his head out of his ass long enough to do something right for once.

https://www.santacruzsentinel.com/2018/08/23/gov-jerry-brown-proposes-easing-logging-rules-to-thin-forests/?fbclid=IwAR13bm2Uv3XwUB_merQVcqOzgeCr4CMr6d2xrGiL_nQmrACxd542Dp2YsAA

dhagood said...

@howard the jackass: Hey dipshit, you forgot that for heated air to rise, you need gravity. So there, Mr. Pedantic Pants.

i may be a pedant in trying to correct your fundamental lack of understanding, but you are self-important asshole who likes to insult others gratuitously. congratulations, you're a jackass.

JAORE said...

Reporter 1: Hey,Trump said "rake". That moron thinks you can hand rake an entire forest!
Reporter 2: What a f'in idiot!
Reporter 1: Exactly! THIS time when we publish the old, "He's an f'in idiot story" it will FINALLY sink in to all the f'in idiots that support him!
Reporter 2: I'll bet this is an impeachable offense too.
Copy boy (are there still copy boys?): You know there are other kinds of rakes than hand rakes. My uncle is a logger from Montana and he once told me...
Reporter 1: Get out of here kid. Montana, geez...
Reporter 2: Yeah, we got Trump now. We got him good.

Rusty said...

" It takes balls to be real commies."
No worries from you then.


Ty said...

Tool time for 200.

Timeforchange said...

In my area in Wisconsin tree farmers hoe the area next to the roads to prevent fires from cigarettes thrown from passing autos. There are also fire roads to help if a fire should occur.

Curious George said...

"Meade said...
Finns make some of the best yard tools. If you need a leaf rake, search "Fiskars Leaf Rake, Cushioned Grip". Order 2 and get free shipping. You won't regret it."

In Milwaukee it's Mexicans.