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"It is better to be drunk with loss and to beat the ground, than to let the deeper things gradually escape."

- I. Compton-Burnett, letter to Francis King (1969)

"Cynical realism – it is the intelligent man’s best excuse for doing nothing in an intolerable situation."

- Aldous Huxley, "Time Must Have a Stop"

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Saturday, 25 September 2004

Topic: Oddities

Odds and Ends: A Curious Map Reveals God's Politics

This has been going around the net for a week or so. One Bob Morris created it - and that might be Bob Morris, President, Leica Geosystems GIS & Mapping / Technological Advancements Imagery Processing and Distribution - or not. It has moved into de facto public domain with his copyright release at the bottom.

And Rick, The News Guy in Atlanta, where the effects of such things are felt, comments on it - "This is wonderful! It's like I keep saying, but nobody will listen: Jesus was a liberal!" (See August 8, 2004: Rehabilitating the word LIBERAL - and Elvis? in Just Above Sunset for that discussion.)

Rick adds - "I wonder how accurate this map really is? Of course, those lines would in theory be tracking the eye of the storm, which means Gore counties would in some cases get hit pretty hard, too. But still...."

The Map:


God punishes Republicans, it seems. Over at Snopes: Urban Legends Reference Pages, one of the many sites that debunks internet hoaxes, you will find this:

Claim: Three hurricanes that hit Florida in the summer of 2004 touched only counties that voted for George Bush in the 2000 presidential election.

Status: False.

The discussion that follows there parallels Rick's comment - "The map shown above presents the hurricanes as if they traversed neat, narrow paths, hitting only counties that voted for George Bush in 2000 (colored pink) and avoiding all counties that voted for Al Gore (colored blue). It took some finagling with the actual storm data to produce those results, however." And a complete discussion follows.

But still....


The final word from Rick in Atlanta -
All well and good, but if you read that Snopes analysis closely, you will note that all mentions of wind speeds in the hurricane range of over 75 mph in Gore counties were "gusts," while all the "sustained winds" were below hurricane strength! As you know, hurricanes are measured by "sustained wind" speeds, not "gusts"! So it seems that this Morris guy may be onto something after all.

Also, who of us was not already aware that the damn storms would have to take a huge leap into outer space in order to land on some state that voted for Gore in 2000? The point here is that God knew the Deep South was just an irresistible target of opportunity, since all those segregationist Dixiecrats had switched over and became Republicans! (Except for Zell Miller, of course, but for all we know, God was aiming for him anyway!)

Okay, okay, okay! Of course those Snopes people are right when they call this map just a "clever case of political humor"! But you have to admit, it sure is funnier than all those Republican hoaxes that, on a routine basis, rate Snopes Urban Legend exposes!

So yes, I confess, I can keep this feeble attempt at "suspension of disbelief" going for only so long. Then again, I would imagine the only people able to maintain "suspension of disbelief" indefinitely will all be voting Republican this year.

And Rick adds this - "I'm enjoying we Democrats finally getting a chance to have our own urban legend, just as long as we don't betray our souls by actually believing it."

Posted by Alan at 20:00 PDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Sunday, 26 September 2004 10:43 PDT home

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