This video from the USA is called Rick Perry Fire Department Cuts & Wildfires.
By Charles Abelard and Tom Carter in the USA:
Wildfires devastate Texas following historic drought
14 September 2011
Wildfires, historic in scope, are devastating rural and small-town households across the state of Texas.
Texas has languished for months with the lowest rainfall in all of its recorded history, as well as unprecedented high temperatures. Under these conditions, vast numbers of dangerous, independent wildfires have flared up that now threaten countless homes and workplaces (see “Historic heat wave and drought in southwestern US“).
As of September 5, Texas wildfires had burned a staggering 3,582,000 acres so far this year. With the profusion of fires by no means contained, this number is expected to increase substantially over the coming months.
As is always the case with such disasters, the burden of the Texas wildfires has fallen most heavily on rural and small-town working people, who continue to lose their homes, their crops, their pets, and in some cases, their lives. Bastrop resident Frank Davis, whose new home was destroyed in the fire, told MSNBC, “The fire was so hot, there are even panes of glass that melted.” Davis, a 47-year-old home remodeler, had recently moved to Bastrop from Austin, about 30 miles away. “It’s all gone,” he repeated sadly. It was Davis’s first home and he had no insurance.
A single fire in Bastrop, Texas, has claimed at least 1,554 homes so far. Countless photographs of devastated neighborhoods show piles of ash where houses once stood, while the corpses of livestock and pets that succumbed to the smoke litter the fields.
With support services slashed by the savage austerity measures that have already been enacted, there are reports of thousands of families sleeping in their cars in grocery store parking lots with no hope for aid or relief. Like Davis, many of the wildfire victims have no insurance and are hopelessly ruined. …
Earlier this year, in the face of the historic drought, the state government headed by governor and Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry slashed funding for state firefighting and relief programs, doubtless exacerbating the ultimate scope of the devastation wrought by the ongoing fires.
In May, in the midst of the historic drought, the Texas state government cut the budget of the Texas Forest Service, which is responsible for combating wildfires, from $117.7 million to $83 million (see Texas plans drastic cuts to education, health care, and social services). The government directed further cuts to the state’s volunteer fire departments, on which the state’s millions of rural workers rely, reducing total grants from $30 million annually to $13.5 million.
State emergency services were hamstrung by the removal of their funding just as the fires began to break out. Many local administrations have already spent well over their budgets taking measures to combat the wildfires, and now will be forced to pay for those measures with cuts to other vital programs.
Wildfires are described endlessly in the media as constituting an “unexpected” natural disaster or an “act of God.” This is not true. First of all, much of the blame for the wildfires must be placed squarely on the Texas political establishment, which made a deliberate decision to cut funding for firefighting services in the midst of a drought. This is the equivalent of disbanding an army on the eve of an invasion. Second, more generally, scientific research has clearly linked human activity to the increasing frequency of extreme weather events such as droughts that give rise to the proliferation of wildfires.
3 years after its inception, Texas’ wildfire protection plan is only half-funded: here.
Eyewitness to Texas Wildfires Watches Austerity Burn Rural Community. Dallas Darling, Truthout: “When I arrived in Bastrop, I encountered a second set of wildfires: angry, bitter citizens. At one meeting, residents – who had spent nearly a week wondering if their homes had been destroyed by the fire or remained standing – shouted questions at county officials…. Most Bastrop residents did not make the connection between Gov. Rick Perry’s deep budget cuts to local police and fire departments and the chaos they were facing, or criticize the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) stripping of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of funding and staff to address national disasters (nor did they mention the ongoing wars around the globe sucking money from domestic programs)”: here.
Rick Perry hails from a state with a sizable Hispanic population, the nation’s second-largest. Unfortunately, his record on issues that concern the Latino community is very troubling. It makes me want to shout, “Not so fast, cowboy!” Here.
Texas executes more people than any other American state – here’s an interactive guide to the 300+ inmates on death row: here.
Rick Perry Still Blocking Reporters on Twitter: here.
Will Perry’s Halting Debate Lead to a Faltering Campaign? Here.
Rick Perry, Pay-for-Play Jailer. William Fisher, Truthout: “Given what we know about Gov. Rick Perry’s keen predilection toward ‘crony capitalism,’ we should not be surprised to learn that he’s a big fan of private for-profit prisons. Lobbyists and executives from that industry have contributed generously to Perry’s re-election campaign, and he returned the favor by proposing policies that would benefit the prison industry”: here.
Cain Calls Rick Perry “Insensitive” for “N*ggerhead” Ranch Sign: here.
Liberal Guides to Rick Perry, Mitt Romney: here.
Michelle Bachmann: I’m Not Responsible For The Words Coming Out Of My Mouth: here.
The Pro-Hunger Lobby: GOP Frontrunners Fight Aid for Starving Americans. Maya Schenwar, Truthout: “The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), otherwise known as food stamps, is one of the most efficient, effective, penny-pinching programs in today’s government-scape. Food stamps have cushioned the recession’s blow for the 45 million Americans that depend on them for daily meals. And we’re not talking government-subsidized caviar: On average, food stamp recipients can expect an allotment of $30 per week. Plus, it’s a dream of a stimulus – every $5 in SNAP benefits generates nearly double that in economic activity. However, as the race to 2012 builds and the crazies get crazier, the top GOP presidential hopefuls have turned on this all-star program with a vengeance”: here.