Harvey, Irma, FEMA, and Jesus

Hey you senators, governors, and mayors of the cities and states of Texas, Louisiana, Florida…

  • You convinced yet? Climate change is real and caused by humans who burn the gas that is produced in Texas, among other places. Or, maybe you’d like to side with Sarah Palin, “Global warming is just God holding us closer.” (or, was that Tina Fey?)

Please listen to Sam Harris’s podcast from September 5, 2017 (Sam Harris.org). It is a long interview with Joseph Romm, a climate scientist. Romm reviews all that is being done – and not being done –  to slow or stop global warming. Isn’t it strange that for the past week’s wall-to-wall TV coverage of these storms there has been virtually zero talk about climate change or global warming. Sadly, there is little hope, with sea levels rising, ice caps melting, extreme weather events, food shortages, etc., etc. Bottom line: the human species is headed for extinction and very soon. The earth doesn’t need saving. The planet couldn’t care less. It is US who need saving.

  • Strong, centralized government supported by taxes is good. Where do FEMA, the National Guard, and other federal, state, and local agencies get their funding? Who pays for all these “first responders?” We all do through the taxes we pay. It is ironic and sad to see these states that have so much hatred for “big gubment,” need it so badly now. The reason we have big, strong, effective government paid for by taxation is because we care about each other – or we used to.

Strangers in Their Own Land” by UC Berkeley sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild shines a light on how people in these southern states think. One person in Louisiana told her, “Environmental destruction is the price we pay for capitalism.” Bet the Koch brothers and their ilk love that idea.

Oh, and let’s not forget Ronald Reagan: “Government is not the solution. Government is the problem,” or Grover  Norquist: “I want to drag government into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.” Hey Mr. Big-Gubment-Hating Norquist, now that you’ve drowned our despicable gubment in a bathtub, who you gonna send to help with the devastation? I know, let’s have a bake sale and send in the Boy Scouts.

All of this is dog whistle for, “Let the poor go to hell. Why are they my problem? Keep the 1% as rich as possible.”

  • Oh, and one more thing: Stop saying, “We send you our thoughts and prayers.” Ha, ha! You gotta be kidding. It was pathetic to watch Texas Governor, Greg Abbott praying with Vice President Mike Pence in front of a destroyed church in Rockport, Texas, “It is the power of God that pulled people out of the water and literally saved them.” Really? I’m thinking it was more the power of the first responders. Also, it occurred to me, “If your god is so almighty powerful, why the hell didn’t he stop this killer hurricane?” Maybe your god is just pretend.

Here’s an idea: Let’s stop praying and thanking Jesus, and start thanking those rich, liberal, atheist elites from the northern states for sending money, food, and shelter.

And, of course, Donald “Make America Great Again” Trump plans to cut hundreds of millions from FEMA and other relief agencies. What a mess.


4 thoughts on “Harvey, Irma, FEMA, and Jesus

  1. John Warren says:

    Hi Rick,
    Thank you for being one of those “rich, liberal, atheist elites” for helping people like me who are without power! In fact, right now I am one of about 6 million people in Florida who have no power.
    I share your amazement that all the conversations are about storms, destruction, and clean up, without a mention about the climate crisis! I am further amazed by the plans to rebuild structure right along the coast, as if future storms won’t strike again.
    Thanks for the rant!

  2. Hal says:

    Nice write up Rick. Whenever, I see a quote from a book – I go to Amazon to read raters’ comments. I read the one and two star ratings first. Some of the comments about “Strangers in Their Own Land” reflect an unforgiving attitude for people who are seen as too ignorant to figure things out. And then there is the criticism of the !% who say, “Fuck you Jack, I got mine and I want more”. Rich tribes versus poor tribes?? Then there’s the rest of us looking up and looking down with varied attitudes about who has really fanned inequality flames.

  3. Ray Mayeri says:

    Right on Rick!
    It’s obvious that the super-rich powers-that-be know exactly what their extreme selfish needs are or, more frightening, that they believe that armeggedon will occur in their lifetime. Welcome to extreme Puritan America! Its always been there and it ain’t going away anytime soon
    Just how can these fucks live with themselves?

  4. Susan Page says:

    Hi Rick,

    I tried to post this comment but it wouldn’t post. No matter how many times I entered my URL, it kept saying, “Please enter a URL.” Little glitch. But I wanted you to see my comment:

    This is an excellent rant and summary of the real problem. I too read Hochschild’s extraordinary account of her five years working to understand the mentality of the big government haters. It’s a knee-jerk reaction for them. They’ve been brainwashed by Fox. They never give logical reasons that the federal government is so bad; it’s just BAD. We all know that from birth! — In the face of their own massive environmental disaster that destroyed their neighborhood, they still say there should be no government oversight of environmental protection. It’s amazing! How do you talk to people like that? — They identify with the billionaires, who “did it on their own,” because, without big government interfering, they too will be able to achieve that. They do not identify with the poor, whom they view as victims, unlike themselves. — It’s a most enlightening (and depressing) read!

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