Posts tagged Wildfires
Posts tagged Wildfires
Not to derail this conversation but this proclamation is actually dated April 2011, before any wildfires broke out in Texas. And we do badly need rain here. Texas is in the throes of the worst single-year drought on record, affecting nearly everyone in the state and spelling financial disaster for Texas’s farmers and ranchers. I’m not praying for anything, but I sure as hell wish it would rain.
Considering one of the tags on the post you reblogged (and presumably deleted) was, “Perry prays for rain and gets fire,” you could probably have guessed that yes, we’re all aware that Perry’s prayer came before the fires.
The point is, all the people passing along this chain mail—which is about the wildfires—with Perry’s prayer for rain in it are fools who don’t realize that Texas would have been far better served in responding to the massive wildfires if Perry had continued to invest in Texas’ volunteer fire departments, rather than leading a big showy prayer about weather.
Not to get technical, but the wildfires had broke out before Perry’s proclamation. This article, dated April 11th, discusses the already record-breaking fire season. This photo is from April 10th:
Caption: An uncontrolled wildfire burns near Fort Davis, Texas, on April 10. A fast-moving wildfire had spread to more than 60,000 acres in Presidio County and Jeff Davis County, where it destroyed about 20 homes in Fort Davis.
So Perry’s prayers came when it wasn’t getting better, and in fact, accelerated at a horrible rate. Several of the photos in that slideshow feature volunteer firemen battling the blazes. It was after this began that Perry cut the firefighters’ budget by 75%. Instead of properly funding his fire crews, he’s asked the people of Texas to pray and FEMA for federal dollars to help.
Moral of the story: Firemen are more effective than prayer.
This is what I just got in my email from a conservative pal. Right when I bitch about chain emails…
The email is a copy/paste of the "Pray for Rain" proclamation from Rick Perry, and a long, rambling prayer about God returning his favor to the U.S. and to Texas.
You know what would have worked out better? Rick Perry not cutting 75% of the volunteer fire department’s budget. They’re the main line of defense against Texas wildfires.
Apparently, Rick Perry is having difficulty with running for president and running Texas. I’m guessing it’s poor form to miss a press conference about the wildfires in a town where nearly 1,400 homes have been destroyed by said wildfires.
Of course, he might face embarrassing questions about his slashing 75 percent of the volunteer fire department budget. In Texas, 80 percent of firefighting in wildlands is done by volunteer firefighters.
Perhaps he might also face questions about these cuts coming after Perry began asking for federal funds to combat fires in April. Whether it was a scheduling issue or him just dodging and weaving, as my friend Bob is fond of saying, that’s rather “unsportsmanlike” behavior.
Under Gov. Rick Perry (R) this year, Texas slashed state funding for the volunteer fire departments that protect most of the state from wildfires like the ones that have recently destroyed more than 700 homes.
Volunteer departments that were already facing financial strain were slated to have their funding cut from $30 million to $7 million, according to KVUE.
The majority of Texas is protected by volunteer fire departments. There are 879 volunteer fire departments in Texas and only 114 paid fire departments. Another 187 departments are a combination of volunteer and paid.
For that reason, aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) could be more important than ever to the state where wildfires have recently been raging.
At a press conference Monday, Perry promised to seek federal disaster relief and said that FEMA would be in the state by Wednesday.
"The issue is taking care of these people right now," Perry insisted. "We can work our way through any conversations about how to make agencies more efficient, how to make Department of Defense equipment, for instance, more available. There are a lot of issues we can talk about, but the fact of the matter is now is not the time to be trying to work out the details of how to make these agencies more efficient. Let’s get people out of harm’s way."
Hypocrisy and anti-government rhetoric has consequences when the legislature takes it to heart. I feel terrible for the people of Texas, but I feel no pity for their governor, who was the ultimate signing authority on spending cuts. Ever heard of the Boy Scouts and their whole ‘always be prepared’ thing? I’ve seen people defending Perry by saying, “There’s no way he could have known this would happen!”
McCain blames some Arizona wildfires on illegal immigrants
U.S. Sen. John McCain is blaming illegal immigrants for starting some of the wildfires that have scorched hundreds of thousands of acres in Arizona.
"There is substantial evidence that some of these fires have been caused by people who have crossed our border illegally," McCain, R-Arizona, said Saturday at a press conference. "The answer to that part of the problem is to get a secure border." The Arizona senator, however, did not say what the evidence is, prompting a swift rebuke from Latino civil rights advocates.
"It’s easier to fan the flames of intolerance, especially in Arizona," said Randy Parraz, a civil rights advocate who ran unsuccessfully against McCain as a Democratic candidate in 2010. Parraz called McCain’s remarks "careless and reckless" but not entirely surprising given the political climate in Arizona. Parraz said McCain "should know better" than to make such an accusation without presenting any facts.
McCain said that illegal immigrants set such fires either to send signals, keep warm or distract law enforcement agents. But he did not specify which fires allegedly had been started by illegal immigrants, nor did he identify his sources or provide details of the “substantial” evidence he cited.
McCain is pandering to the old, white, racist demographic here. If he’s going to claim immigrants started fires, I’d really like to see some evidence. Actually, I’m going to claim it was John and Cindy McCain, camping (in a luxury RV, natch) and Cindy decided to make things all romantic and lit some vanilla candles. In the throes of passion, John McCain knocked a candle out the window. I have as much evidence of my scenario as he does of his.