Fires in California

***See Update Below***


My mom called me the other day and asked me about the fires.  I had to tell her the truth that I hadn’t heard about them (this was on Monday I think).  I’ve been totally swamped with work and I haven’t been able to even read the newspaper.  Anyway, it is pretty horrible.  As usual with something like this, arson is a probable cause for some of those fires.  When we lived in Sydney it was the same thing. 

As usual, Stacy is proudly touting all of the Christian help that is flowing in.  I say they should be doing even more.  They are supposed to help the poor and needy, aren’t they–and they should be doing it without having to advertise to the world that they are doing something good for a change.  She wants ‘atheists’ to send her what their organizations are doing.  Well, I’m not an atheist, so I’m not sending her anything (and I prefer to have no contact with that woman since I’ve heard how she treats people like Joe Brummer…).  Anyway, she won’t be happy with this, but a large number of community colleges in northern California have pitched in to help raise money for people who have been hurt by these fires.  This has nothing to do with the religion that people choose to be in.  And she can’t pretend that the Red Cross is taking money from only Christians–these community colleges are asking people to donate money directly to the Red Cross.  So the Red Cross is helping people with ‘atheistic’ tendencies or no religious reasons.  She won’t like that, but tough…

or how about Tzu Chi, a Buddhist organization that is helping with relief. 

Or the United Jewish Communities.  (well, maybe Stacy doesn’t consider this group to be atheists, but they certainly aren’t Christian)

Or Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders)

The ‘atheist’ list goes on.  But I’m not going to get into an argument with Stacy about whether Christian groups are giving more than ‘atheist’ groups–the important thing to focus on are the hundreds of thousands of people who need help. 


She also has this bit of wisdom to leave us:

Maybe Ellen Johnson, the President of American Atheists hasn’t figured out that the fires are happening. Then maybe again, she has, and doesn’t care.

Maybe she should be worrying more about her own political party and their lack of care about what is happening with these fires:

Fires provide no break from GOP fundraisers

(10-25) 21:19 PDT San Francisco — While California burns, top presidential candidates apparently think the Golden State is still golden – at least for campaign events and fundraising.

Though none of the leading GOP presidential candidates offered formal public condolences or expressions of concern for the fire-damaged state until Thursday – four days after wind-whipped blazes caused an estimated 500,000 to be evacuated in Southern California – at least two plan to attend high-profile campaign fundraisers in the region.

Arizona Sen. John McCain has scheduled a $500-a-head and up fundraiser Friday at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.

Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson has a California trip on the books beginning with a fundraiser scheduled Monday in Rancho Bernardo – a fire-ravaged area in San Diego County – followed by fundraisers in the Orange County cities of San Juan Capistrano and Newport Beach. He is also planning events in the Bay Area.

The noticeable delay by the GOP candidates to formally recognize the California devastation, while still planning to raise money in the state, bothered even leading state Republicans.

"I find it very distasteful that while neighbors are dealing with these fires in their own way, whether directly impacted, or trying to empathize with those who have been – that they are being hounded by presidential campaigns – Republicans no less," wrote Jon Fleischman, the Irvine-based publisher of the Flashreport (, a leading GOP Web site.

It continues:

The GOP presidential candidates were forced into damage control mode.

The campaign of Mitt Romney sent out a statement noting that the former Massachusetts governor has acknowledged the fires, noting this week that his son, Matt, had been evacuated from his home in Rancho Bernardo. The candidate’s wife, Ann Romney – who was in California on Tuesday as fires raged – posted a comment on Thursday, and her son wrote a brief blog about his evacuation experience.

But Romney didn’t issue a formal expression of concern. Neither did former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani until Thursday, when his Web site posted this statement: "Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by the wildfires in California. The firefighters are performing an absolutely heroic effort as they face dangerous and unpredictable conditions."

His campaign included a link to the American Red Cross for donations to fire victims.

Asked why McCain – although he is planning a fundraiser in the state – has not publicly acknowledged the fires, spokesman Brian Rogers said, "The senator obviously cares a lot about the people of California and feels for their loss. And we do have something up on our campaign Web site that calls on folks to contribute."

Republicans argued that Democrats, too, haven’t exactly let California’s troubles slow their campaigns.

New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton was one of the first to send out a statement of concern about the fires – and was joined by all the leading Democratic presidential candidates in doing so. But she kept to her schedule on Sunday as the fires began raging, attending a fundraiser in Hollywood.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger – who had planned a fundraiser for Thursday in Sacramento – delayed his event until mid-November.

Whoops. I guess those nasty atheists aren’t the only ones…

And although she might believe that Christians are the source of all good and all help, she might be interested in knowing that Buddhists, in the 4th century BC (yes, that is before Christ and Christianity) were interested in public health and doing good things for people.  So the Christians have no monopoly on doing good things.



A big welcome to Stacy Harp’s readers!  She seems to think I am obsessed with her, but don’t you find it interesting that she writes about my blog about as much as I write about hers? 

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