Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Natural Disasters Should Not Be Political Fodder
The scale and scope of the infernos raging from Ventura to San Diego, California have caused the largest peacetime mobilization of American s since the Civil War. While precise numbers are not yet reliable, best estimates provided by state and local officials have the number of evacuees between 500,000 and 950,000. Whatever the actual total, the sheer magnitude of what is virtually one contiguous fire born from 16 smaller localized fires, is staggering. Already, an area over twice the size of New York City has been consumed by flames, thousands of homes, businesses and other structures destroyed with financial estimates of the damage already nearing 1 billion dollars in San Diego County alone.
Forces of nature in the form of winds, dry ground conditions and the topological propensity for fire along with some questionable fire control tactics over the last years and decades have combined to create this massive conflagration. All the resources available are being brought to bear along the 137 mile long fire line.
Democrats did not cause this catastrophe. George W. Bush, global warming nor the war in Iraq created this fire. It is shameful when politicians callously exploit the misfortune of others for their own political purposes. Not that this should come as a surprise to any of us. We have seen all too clearly for far too long the depths to which our elected officials willingly sink to score points.
Sadly, the politicians of this day and age are so far removed from the responsibilities and duties of their offices, so contemptuous, negligent, self-centered, power hungry and rabidly partisan, that any issue is fair game for exploitation. The last six years have seen several monumental. tragic events transpire each of which was used for political reasons on both sides of the party divide. It was as if the events themselves, the deaths, losses and human suffering occurred merely to serve the politicians. It is simply despicable and shameful.
We the people ought to hold our elected representatives accountable for all their actions, inaction's and self serving ways. From pork barrel spending, nonstop fund raising, legislative gridlock and the sickening fact that Congress is only in session less than 100 days a year, these hacks should realize who they work for, whose money they spend, who supports them financially and that they have each sworn and oath. Their individual and collective ineptitude, distinct lack of character, morals and conscience should find each of them out of office come next election.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those suffering in California as well as the men and women on the fire lines in harms way. These people do not have the luxury of behaving like the scum in the House and the Senate.
NASA has released several photo images captured from one of their satellites in geosynchronous orbit over 220 miles above the earth. These images show the massive clouds of smoke generated by this fire. Imagine, a smoke cloud visible from space. That provides some perspective when considering what is happening in California.
We don’t require satellite images to illustrate to us what is transpiring in Washington, DC. We can see it all very vividly from where we live. It is on the TV news, the radio and in our newspapers. We see not only the cloud of filth that hangs over that city but also the careless disregard of those we elect and send there to do our business.
The forces of nature are already beginning to shift. The winds are dying down and will soon change direction bringing moister air into the vast fire region. That would be helpful. The only force we can wield against the dangerously ineffective leadership in Congress is to vote. We can be vocal, make our opinions heard, learn about the facts related to the issues we care about and, come next election day, we can - and must - go out and vote every incumbent out. That is the only way we can counter balance the disdain with which they treat our concerns and the havoc they continue to rain down upon the American taxpayer.
Nicholas Palermo writing for BronxWest Consulting
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Copyright © 2007 BronxWest Consulting