Faithful readers will remember my post from Friday about how TDS caused the writer of the excellent HBO show Chernobyl to equate Trump with the Soviet Union.

The Washington Post decided to weigh in on that Twitter thread as well.

How would the Trump administration handle a Chernobyl-scale disaster?

This requires quite a stretch of the imagination.

First of all, a Chernobyl-scale disaster is not really likely in the United States.

One thing you really have to understand about the Soviet Union is just the casual disregard that Communist governments have for human life.

The first battle scene from Enemy at the Gates is historically accurate.  Russian conscripts with no training and no weapons were sent to charge the German lines.  If they tried to retreat or even take cover, their own Soviet officers would shoot them in the back.

I remember having a US Army armor officer explain the difference between the M1 Abrams and the Soviet T-72 in design philosophy.  American tanks are designed to protect the crew.  The rest of the tank can be sacrificed to save the crew.  Areas of armor are weakened so that in case of an explosion, the magazine or turbine blows out to spare the crew.  The T-72 is designed to save the tank.  The crew is expendable.  They want the main weapon and power plant of the tank to survive,  and a new crew to be dropped into the tank.

Totally different ways of looking at people.

Then again, the Soviet Union starved 20 million to death to collectivize the farms.

Our nuclear power plants are designed with much higher levels of safety than Soviet designs because of deep philosophical differences between the United States and the Soviet Union.

Now, back to WaPo.  The author covers the same Twitter conversation I did.

And now you are all caught up, and probably feel dumber for having read this far. Let’s try to referee this debate.

Bongino’s “It Can’t Happen Here Because of Capitalism” claim is a comforting ideological line to take. It is also ridiculous to assert the very same week that this New York Times story by Jack Nicas, Natalie Kitroeff, David Gelles and James Glanz ran:

The fatal flaws with Boeing’s 737 Max can be traced to a breakdown late in the plane’s development, when test pilots, engineers and regulators were left in the dark about a fundamental overhaul to an automated system that would ultimately play a role in two crashes.

A year before the plane was finished, Boeing made the system more aggressive and riskier. While the original version relied on data from at least two types of sensors, the final version used just one, leaving the system without a critical safeguard. In both doomed flights, pilots struggled as a single damaged sensor sent the planes into irrecoverable nose-dives within minutes, killing 346 people and prompting regulators around the world to ground the Max.

But many people involved in building, testing and approving the system, known as MCAS, said they hadn’t fully understood the changes. Current and former employees at Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration who spoke with The New York Times said they had assumed the system relied on more sensors and would rarely, if ever, activate. Based on those misguided assumptions, many made critical decisions, affecting design, certification and training.

While prosecutors and lawmakers try to piece together what went wrong, the current and former employees point to the single, fateful decision to change the system, which led to a series of design mistakes and regulatory oversights. As Boeing rushed to get the plane done, many of the employees say, they didn’t recognize the importance of the decision. They described a compartmentalized approach, each of them focusing on a small part of the plane. The process left them without a complete view of a critical and ultimately dangerous system.

The company also played down the scope of the system to regulators. Boeing never disclosed the revamp of MCAS to Federal Aviation Administration officials involved in determining pilot training needs, according to three agency officials. When Boeing asked to remove the description of the system from the pilot’s manual, the F.A.A. agreed. As a result, most Max pilots did not know about the software until after the first crash, in October.

Boeing is viewed as one of America’s premier corporations, an actor that has a very strong incentive to preserve its brand image. The fact that this screw-up happened suggests that unregulated capitalism is hardly immune to complex catastrophes.

First of all, I would never say the US has “unregulated capitalism” especially in an industry as heavily regulated as the aviation industry.  It has its own Federal agency, the FAA.

Second, mistakes happen.  There is a whole series of Modern Marvels on the History Channel about Engineering Disasters.  Almost always, part of the disaster is a blind spot where nobody things that some feature will go wrong until it does.  Like the split rod of the Kansas City Hyatt Regency walkway collapse.  Part of becoming an engineer and the burden of becoming a PE is learning the process to catch and correct the mistakes so they do not endanger the public.

The difference between Boeing and Chernobyl is that the FAA didn’t know about this flaw for years and classify it as a state secret, then cover up 737 Max crashes, then tell people that the crashes were caused by other factors, then have a show trial and execute some Boeing middle manager that was high enough to have responsibilities but low enough not to be within arm’s length of the President.

That type of action takes a tyrannical socialist state.

I would posit that the key driver mitigating against a Chernobyl-type disaster in the United States in the Age of Trump is the existence of the free press. The president follows the news as closely as any human being. If reports of a nuclear disaster or a similar event emerged, Trump would recognize the need to appear to take action. He would also react if the media highlighted that his claims of taking action were bogus.

This is absolutely true.

This also leads to the question: How would the Obama administration handle a Chernobyl-scale disaster?

If a free press is critical to the proper handling of a disaster and the free press is busy kissing Obama’s ass, how would that benefit the American people?

None of this is a guarantee of a competent federal response to a disaster. The Trump administration whiffed badly in its response to Puerto Rico, but the president has refused to acknowledge that fact. So it is possible that if the administration messes up its initial response, Trump’s refusal to acknowledge error could exacerbate a deteriorating situation.

What the WaPo leaves out here is the death and suffering that was a direct result of the corruption of the Left Wing Puerto Rican government.  The refusal to acknowledge how the mayor of San Juan put actual effort into curbing the rescue to win resistance points, or that the San Juan police were caught selling emergency food, or that millions of water bottles were stored on a runway under a tarp is journalistic malfeasance.

Still, I have marginally greater faith in the federal government under Trump than the Soviet government of the mid-1980s. Which is the nicest thing I have said about the current administration in quite some time.

That’s quite magnanimous of the Washington Post.

I mean it totally ignores that the United States does not have a KGB to arrest and imprison scientists for telling the truth about said disaster.

The FAA isn’t going around disappearing aerospace engineers doing failure analysis or suggesting that the fleet be grounded and checked.

That is the blind spot that Mazin and WaPo have.  They cannot fathom the omnipresent oppressive police state that was the Soviet Union.

One thing you learn about old Russians is that they do not engage in idle chit-chat.  Idle chit-chat is something easily overheard and could reveal a lack of faith in the Soviet system.  Even a minor complaint about not having shoes that fit could cause the KGB to knock on your door.

A nation was stifled into silence.

The response to Chernobyl wasn’t the result of simple incompetence.  There were very knowledgeable scientists and engineers in the Soviet Union.

It was the result of the omnipresent oppressive police state putting more effort into saving face than saving people and trying to control the narrative at every turn.

I have talked about Hanlon’s Razor before.

“Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”

When it comes to the Socialists, WaPo (and the Left) reverses it.  They attribute to stupidity what is explained by malice.

It’s nice that the Washington Post thinks that Trump would respond slightly better than the Soviet Union of the 1980’s.

It’s ridiculously stupid that the Washington Post thinks that the Soviet’s response is the result of simple bureaucratic incompetence and not the callous disregard for human life and total focus on state power that is the hallmark of the Soviet Union.

What the Washington Post needs to ask isn’t:

Would the response to the natural disaster be better, Trump or Gorbachev?

It is:

Would the response to the natural disaster be better in a liberal Democracy like the United States or in a totalitarian nation that had deliberately starved 20 million of its own people to death and shot or worked to death another 10 million in gulags and political prisons to consolidate its own power?

To a rational person, the answer is evident.

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By J. Kb

One thought on “HBO idiot forces WaPo idiot to say something marginally nice but incredibly stupid about Trump”
  1. We may get a chance to see the Socialist.vs.Freedom response to a major disaster if there ever is an earthquake in California.

    I just hope PDT is smart enough and ruthless enough to kick Governor Newsome aside if he and his SJW Democrat Clown Show screw up like Louisiana Governor Blanco and New Orleans Mayor Nagin did during Katrina. George Bush took all the blame for the mistakes made by the Democrat Incompetence. Bush should have put the feds in charge when he saw how bad the Governor Blanco was dithering, panicking, and screwing up. Contrast that with the response in the State of Mississippi, which was hit harder, but recovered better.

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