starting to calm down just a tiny bit…

…some of the fires in Southern California, I mean.

Many of them are still ferociously blazing, unfortunately: the worst of them in San Diego County, for instance. But apparently the winds are finally starting to die down in L.A County, allowing the firefighters to start to get an upper hand.

Many have said this, but it’s true: this is the worst fire season that I’ve ever seen. I’ve lived in Southern California since 1977 and many fire seasons have come and gone, but so many fires simultaneously springing up over such a wide area is unheard of in my recollection. When I first heard about how broad an expanse the various fires covered, my first thoughts were arson. It looks like that may be the case in several of the fires. These are the sorts of people who need to be strung up by their most sensitive body parts and left alive for a very long time.

No one I know has yet been affected, which is of the good, but I still feel for everyone who’s been affected. If y’all want to help out and haven’t done so yet, please do.

*************************

On a less positive (and far more cynical) note, while I’m happy that the folks in San Diego County who are being displaced have found shelter at Qualcomm – amongst other refuges – I am furious that this sort of coordination and level of help wasn’t available to the folks profoundly affected by Katrina. Granted, part of it is that the head of FEMA in 2005 was an idiot who didn’t have the first clue of how to organize a sock drawer, let alone such a vitally important federal emergency agency. The current FEMA chief comes from an emergency response background and shows signs of competence that is stunning for anyone appointed by Bush and Buddies.

However, that doesn’t excuse the continuing lack of attention paid by the federal government to the fine folks in New Orleans and the surrounding areas. There’s no reason why ALL the federal attention is going to the displaced in Southern California and none is being diverted to NO. Well, no good reason. The only other thing I come up with – besides FEMA being run by someone who knows a thing or two about fires – is that the areas hardest hit by the fires are in northern San Diego County. And if’n ya know anything that area, you know that the residents are, for the most part, rich, white and Republican.

Cynical? Perhaps. But being “governed” by those currently in the Executive Branch has engendered a definite cynicism where none previously existed. Besides which, I, like many others, have seen how this administration caters to the wealthy and Republican. It’s certainly not beyond the realm of probability. It would also explain why the only people really doing anything to help the Katrina-ravaged areas are those who live there. People who, for the most part, are not rich, are not Republicans, and are less white per capita than the population of NE San Diego.

Again, I am happy that the displaced have got quality shelter. But the federal government still needs to turn their attention back to the Gulf Coast.

We’re ALL American citizens, Bush and Co. Don’t you dare forget it again.


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