Now the search begins

 Posted by at 22:29  General
Sep 132008

By air, boat and truck, search on for Ike victims

HOUSTON (AP) – Rescuers in boats, helicopters and high-water trucks fanned out along the flood-stricken Texas coast Saturday in a monumental effort to reach tens of thousands of people who stubbornly ignored warnings and tried to ride out Hurricane Ike.

The storm roared ashore hours before daybreak with 110 mph winds and towering waves, smashing houses, flooding thousands of homes, blowing out windows in Houston’s skyscrapers, and cutting off power to more than 3 million people, perhaps for weeks, though some had been restored by nightfall.

By evening, it appeared that Ike was not the single calamitous stroke that forecasters had feared. But the full extent of the damage – or even a rough sense of how many people may have perished – was still unclear, in part because many roads were impassable.

Some authorities feared that this could instead become a slow-motion disaster, with thousands of victims trapped in their homes, waiting for days to be rescued.

“We will be doing this probably for the next week or more. We hope it doesn’t turn into a recovery,” said Sheriff’s Sgt. Dennis Marlow in Orange County, where 600 to 700 people had to be rescued from flooded homes. He said hundreds were probably still stranded.

By some estimates, more than 140,000 of the 1 million or so people who had been ordered to evacuate the coast as Ike drew near may have tried to tough it out. Many of them evidently realized the mistake too late, and pleaded with authorities in vain to save them overnight.

Maybe they will listen next time. I realize it must be difficult to just up and leave everything you have spent your life building, but all that doesn’t mean a whole lot if you’re not alive to enjoy it.

Meanwhile… please help if you can…

Sep 132008

It is a gray and rainy day in Dallas today. We seem to be on the outer reaches of what remains of Hurricane Ike. They are saying it may get rainier and windier as the evening progresses. We shall see.

The people who did not leave Galveston (and other points on the coast) when they were advised to do so really were being idiotic. Still, I hope they are alright.


I have been spending a good part of the afternoon catching up on the writings of some of my friends on the right. The prevailing wisdom among a lot of them is that we Democrats are opposed to Sarah Palin’s accession to the vice presidency of the United States because we hate her. It reminds me of that “Bush Derangement Syndrome” they used to write about all the time. Remember that? It seems that the only reason we did not agree with most of George W. Bush’s policies was because of our blind and searing hatred for the man. According to many conservatives, it is impossible to disagree with someone (politically or otherwise) unless you hate them. (Which, I guess, explains their blind hatred of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Bill and Hillary Clinton (unless they can use Hillary to further Sarah’s candidacy), Jimmy Carter, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Howard Dean, etc. etc.) Thus, anyone who disagrees with Sarah Palin or John McCain and does not believe they should be allowed to govern this country only does so because they hate them. You get the picture.

It brings to mind something my friend Molly Ivins (remember her?) wrote several years back…

Did you know that it is quite possible not to hate someone and at the same time notice their policies are disastrous for people in this country? Quite a thought, isn’t it?

She also said…

I honestly don’t think you have to hate someone in politics to think they’re wrong.

I honestly don’t think that, either. I don’t hate Sarah Palin or John McCain. Chances are they are kind and decent people. I just happen to believe they are wrong for our country.

Then I happened upon today’s editorial in The New York Times. Wow, those people must really hate Sarah Palin and John McCain!

Gov. Palin’s Worldview

As we watched Sarah Palin on TV the last couple of days, we kept wondering what on earth John McCain was thinking.

If he seriously thought this first-term governor — with less than two years in office — was qualified to be president, if necessary, at such a dangerous time, it raises profound questions about his judgment. If the choice was, as we suspect, a tactical move, then it was shockingly irresponsible.

It was bad enough that Ms. Palin’s performance in the first televised interviews she has done since she joined the Republican ticket was so visibly scripted and lacking in awareness.

What made it so much worse is the strategy for which the Republicans have made Ms. Palin the frontwoman: win the White House not on ideas, but by denigrating experience, judgment and qualifications.

The idea that Americans want leaders who have none of those things — who are so blindly certain of what Ms. Palin calls “the mission” that they won’t even pause for reflection — shows a contempt for voters and raises frightening questions about how Mr. McCain and Ms. Palin plan to run this country.[..]

This nation has suffered through eight years of an ill-prepared and unblinkingly obstinate president. One who didn’t pause to think before he started a disastrous war of choice in Iraq. One who blithely looked the other way as the Taliban and Al Qaeda regrouped in Afghanistan. One who obstinately cut taxes and undercut all efforts at regulation, unleashing today’s profound economic crisis.

In a dangerous world, Americans need a president who knows that real strength requires serious thought and preparation.

But then, most people on the right side of the political spectrum in the United States really hate The New York Times, so I guess fair is fair. Right?

P.S. Another sign that perhaps you are not having a good week is getting four Pinocchios from Michael Dobbs.

See also: “Once Elected, Palin Hired Friends and Lashed Foes.” (Remind you of anyone?)

Update: I saw it. I actually saw it! Just now… a right wing blogger made a whole post about “Palin Derangement Syndrome.” Heh. Somehow I knew it wouldn’t take long.