It’s hard to sleep tonight knowing that so many areas around Southern California are burning out of control. What sticks in my mind, as I check the news for updates on the fires, is the report from Media Matters that Glenn Beck stated on his syndicated radio show on Monday, “I think there is a handful of people who hate America. Unfortunately for them, a lot of them are losing their homes in a forest fire today. There are a few people that hate America. But I don’t think the Democrats are those. I think there are those posing as Democrats that are like that.”
Glenn Beck must really “hate America” to say something so vile, as thousands of people are forced to flee from their homes as wildfires rage around them. There are no partisan lines here as firefighters who are dog tired struggle to at least keep the blazes in check if at all possible as the Santa Ana winds ravage our state. Where are Becks principles, to say something so crass and unconscionable? Does Beck think that only Democrats live in Southern California — is he that brainless? And is he so consumed with his hatred of Democrats that everything comes down to partisan lines?
Joe Gandelman of The Moderate Voice, who lives down near San Diego, has a post about Becks’ vile comments and what he saw as he drove home from Central California on Monday. Included in Joe’s post is the following video from a veteran reporter in the area who lost his home in the fires. Joe says:
I turned on the local CBS outlet KFMB to watch Larry Himmel do a report in front of what was once a home and is how a simmering burned-out lot — his OWN home. He was standing in front of it, bravely letting readers know what happened.
Go read all of Joe’s post including his letter to Glenn Beck.
The latest report from AP News on the wildfires notes:
At least 655 homes burned — about 130 in one mountain area alone — and 168 businesses and other structures were destroyed. Thousands of other buildings were threatened by more than a dozen blazes covering at least 240,000 acres, the equivalent of 374 square miles.
There are at least “14 fires were burning in Southern California, said Patti Roberts, a spokeswoman for the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.”
From San Diego to Malibu, more than 150 miles up the coast, at least 265,000 people were warned to leave their homes. More than 250,000 were told to flee in San Diego County alone.
“It’s probably closer to 300,000,” said County Supervisor Ron Roberts.
Hundreds of patients were moved by school bus and ambulance from a hospital and nursing homes, some in hospital gowns and wheelchairs. Some carried their medical records in clear plastic bags.
A 1,049-inmate jail in Orange County was evacuated because of heavy smoke. The prisoners were bused to other lockups.
Governor Schwarzenegger has “declared a state of emergency in the seven affected counties, opening the way for government aid.”
He also made 1,500 California National Guardsmen available, and San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders said the troops’ main focus would be to prevent looting and help with evacuations.
“Its a tragic time for California,” the governor said in Malibu, where a church, homes and a mansion resembling a medieval castle were destroyed over the weekend.
White House deputy press secretary Scott Stanzel said in an e-mail that President Bush called Schwarzenegger to make sure the state is getting the help it needs.
Well, hell even the “I am relevent” president is concerned about the horrific disaster here in Southern California. Glenn Beck owes the people of Southern California an apology. He needs to go on air and announce his wrong-minded comments were petty and vile and then he needs to get the f*ck of the air waves. And stay off the air waves.
Finally, Schwarzenegger also said that “FEMA officials will arrive in San Diego Tuesday morning to start working with those harmed by the fires, as a result of state and local efforts to push through a federal disaster declaration.”
“American cities and states have learned from mistakes made in the past. We want to make sure we are prepared and we will be here every step of the way,” he said.
I hope he’s right. We know Glenn Beck certainly hasn’t learned anything from past disasters in our country.
Memeorandum has all the buzz on Beck’s vile comments. Bloggers from SoCal and beyond are reeling on this one, unless of course they are kool-aid drinking wingnuts.
Related: California Burning – Update on the SoCal Fires