This will be a quick post, with a few observations…about a sick hateful portion of the human race that seems to really gain confidence from the veiled anonymous sense of security that comes from the comment sections and social media widgets/apps on the internet.
Last night, while watching the updates on the tragic tornado in Moore, OK on the local news station WFOR….they had a live updating social media chat box right next to the live TV feed. It was disgusting, and no matter how hard I tried to keep from looking over at that shit stream of trolling assholes saying the most horrible things…my eyes just kept drifting over and reading them. It was fortunate that this morning, the network had the brilliant idea to shut the damn thing down. It still is down, which is good!
These assholes were even making prank calls for help, or crying for assistance with finding family members…when they were actually full of shit. Some were saying they were first responders, and had info about various rescues…all false and misleading. It wad disgusting.
Case in point, look at the comments in this thread TV Reporter Breaks Down On-Air While Touring Oklahoma Tornado Aftermath | Mediaite
I know we have talked about the trolls before, but sometimes it amazes me just how far these assholes will take it.
Now for some links on the schools that took a direct hit yesterday in Moore, OK.
First, have you seen this video? A mother finds her son after the tornado as he sits with his teacher, if you keep watching you will see some other video of the scene that is very upsetting…hearing screams and such, just fyi.
Students emerge from Briarwood Elementary moments after a massive storm ripped through Moore, Oklahoma.
Look at those teachers, and what they did for their students…now read these next articles and keep those images in your mind.
Heroes or just doing their jobs? Teachers save lives during Okla. tornado
The two elementary schools leveled by the deadly tornado that swept through the Oklahoma City area Monday lacked designated safe rooms designed to protect children and teachers, despite state warnings that the absence of such facilities imperils lives.
At least two other schools in Moore — the epicenter of the disaster — did have safe rooms. So far no fatalities have been tied to those schools, whose buildings were fortified after a devastating twister hit the area in 1999.
These disparities in structural standards speak to the seeming randomness of who lived and who died in a natural disaster now blamed for taking the lives of at least 24 people, including nine children. Requirements for safe rooms in public schools vary from community to community across the swath of Midwestern and Southern states so accustomed to lethal twisters that it is known as Tornado Alley.
The city of Moore applied for $2 million in federal aid to help build safe rooms in 800 homes, but the city complained the program was delayed because FEMA standards were a “constantly changing target.” NBC’s Tom Costello reports…
>>> welcome back. here in the state of oklahoma , the expression “this hard land” comes to mind, and it’s true in more ways than one. when you think about it, the national conference of tornado preparation is held in oklahoma city , and they do that every year for a reason. this weather is a surprise to no one, and for the most part they’re ready for it when it comes. but nationwide, especially people on both coasts are asking why aren’t there more shelters, cellars, basements? why aren’t there more safe houses within houses across this region given the weather here? our report on that tonight from nbc’s tom costello.
>> reporter: yet another devastating tornado, and so many people are asking why aren’t there more basements in the very place they need them most, tornado alley , and why aren’t there more tornado shelters ? many of those who managed to get underground survived.
>> it ripped open the door , and it just glass and debris started slamming on us. we thought we were dead, to be honest.
>> reporter: basements are not common in oklahoma because the soil, heavy with clay and water, makes anything underground prone to flooding and mold. so most homes are built on a concrete slab. and most homes can only withstand 90-mile-per-hour winds, not 200.
>> we just don’t design homes on the interior of this country to sustain winds the same way we do along the coast.
>> reporter: but building a safe room for a shelter is a different matter. a safe room can be installed in the ground or inside the home itself. a reinforced box almost like a bank vault but built to fema tornado standards, but they cost 8,000 to $10,000 each. oklahoma has a lottery to decide who gets state help to pay for them. last year 500 homeowners were chosen out of 16,000 applicants. separately, the city of moore was applying for $2 million in federal aid to help build safe rooms in 800 homes, but the city complained that the program was delayed because fema standards were, quote, a constantly changing target. fema says it’s looking into what caused the delay. so why weren’t schools better prepared.
>> certainly yesterday raised a lot of questions with people, why don’t schoolses have storm shelters?
>> reporter: today state officials said 100 schools do have same roofs but they’re expensive. fema estimate $1.4 million per school.
>> when you’re glued to a limited number of funds you set priorities on which schools do want to ask for. not a matter they would be left out for any reason. it was a matter they hadn’t been brought forward yet.
>> reporter: the town of moore had not built any community tornado shelt bears the town said it faced only a 1% to 2% chance of a tornado ever hitting on any spring day . tom costello, nbc news.
Beside a temporary high school in Joplin, Mo., sits a field of concrete boxes with steel doors — bunkers trusted to guard students against 200-plus-mph winds like those that ripped their school apart two years ago Wednesday.
At the new Joplin High, a 16,000-square-foot music room will serve as a better version of the same thing. After tornadoes leveled the same school twice — the first time in 1971 — district leaders accelerated plans to include safe rooms in all new school construction, Superintendent C.J. Huff said.
Classes were out when the Sunday tornadoes decimated Joplin in 2011, but on Monday, the schools in Moore, Okla., were in. Seven children died at Plaza Towers Elementary School, some of them drowning after a pipe burst in the basement where they hid.
In both cases, the nation’s eyes turned to the schools, and their safety in the face of a tornado.
You can read the rest of those articles and think of this as an open thread…
I read this link in the morning thread from BB and thought it was about the worst thing I had read for some time. It’s called the “Oklahoma Test” and it’s written by one of our blog favorites Charlie Pierce. It shows how absolutely vile some republican officials are these days. Monsters. Psychopaths. A$$holes. You choose the name. Today’s republicans are poster children for depravity.
Remember that Tom Coburn of Oklahoma is often cited as one of the Republicans with whom the president might be able to do business. He is a conservative, but not a crazy person, like his colleague, James Inhofe. He can be expected to listen respectfully to other points of view and to at least consider the virtues of the kind of compromises that take the Davids, Gregory and Gergen, to their respective happy places.
Then remember that, fundamentally, Tom Coburn is also a monster.
“That’s always been his position [to offset disaster aid],” Coburn spokesman John Hart said. “He supported offsets to the bill funding the OKC bombing recovery effort.”
This is a guy who, one day after a devastating natural disaster killed his own constituents, said he will not vote to alleviate their suffering unless he can inflict some pain on someone somewhere else in the country. And his spokesman defends this as a matter of principle, and uses the worst act of domestic terrorism in the history of the United States as a salutary example. (And the link demonstrates that Coburn’s aversion to tossing money down various ratholes is not universal.) Does Senator Coburn really believe you can budget for the unthinkable? That tornadoes are zero-sum events? That you can horse-trade on human suffering as though it were a line-item on a transportation rider? I no longer am willing to try to understand how people like this think. They are monsters and they operate on their own monstrous imperatives.
I frequently find myself in disbelief at the depths of ignorance, selfishness, and utter disregard for human life and our country that makes up the minds of today’s Republicans. That was Senator Coburn. Now try the pretzeled psychosis that is the mental and moral state of Senator Jim Inhofe.
Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe (R) said on Tuesday that federal aid to tornado-ravaged parts of his home state will be “totally different” than a Hurricane Sandy aid bill he voted against late last year.
Speaking on MSNBC, the lawmaker said that in the case of Hurricane Sandy, “everybody was getting in and exploiting the tragedy that took place.” However, he said, “that won’t happen in Oklahoma.”
President Barack Obama on Tuesday said he has already signed a federal disaster declaration for parts of Oklahoma, where tornadoes have caused dozens of fatalities and flattened entire communities.
Inhofe said the Sandy Relief bill “was supposed to be in New Jersey,” but “they were getting things … in the Virgin Islands, fixing roads there, and putting roofs on houses in Washington, D.C.” Both Inhofe and Coburn voted to slash aid to victims of Hurricane Sandy, with Inhofe saying he considered the full proposed aid amount to be a “slush fund.”
While Northeastern states like New Jersey and New York suffered some of the worst damage from Hurricane Sandy, the storm affected 24 U.S. states in total during October of 2012. Sandy carved a destructive path from the Caribbean Sea to the Great Lakes, where it produced 25-foot waves in Lake Huron.
Hurricane Sandy is believed to have cost more than $50 billion, making it the second-costliest storm in U.S. history.
While it’s too early to estimate what the damage from the Oklahoma tornadoes might cost, in 1999 the state requested and received more than $67 million after a series of tornadoes.
I still live with the Hurricane Katrina aftermath. I will never forget that money and help was doled out faster to Mississippi than Louisiana for pure political reasons. They wanted to turn Louisiana red and bring down the governor a lot more than they wanted to help those of us that suffered from that huge horrible storm. I felt the long shit-stained hand of Karl Rove in the treatment of our diaspora and especially of our middle class black population who voted solidly democrat and kept the state purple.
FEMA Director Michael Brown, who resigned over his handling of the response, later told a group of students that the White House only wanted to federalize the response in Louisiana, where the governor was a Democrat, and not in Republican-led Mississippi in order to embarrass Louisiana officials. Brown said the White House believed they had a chance to “rub [Kathleen Blanco’s] nose in it.”
Even my asshole Senator David Vitter came up with money for Sandy victims. You can’t spend time in the wake of death and utter destruction and stay heartless. Or can you?
For these two and many more of their ilk, it seems you can.
It seems that disasters in republican states are more deserving than disasters in democratic states. It also seems that you can help your own by taking from the mouths of others. Time and time again, we see the absolutely unhinged policies put forth by the Republican party. We see them block the most reasonable national responses to national problems for unhinged, fanatical reasons usually based on myth, lies, and greed. Of course we won’t leave Oklahoma in the dust and destruction. But, it won’t be their elected officials that lend them real helping hands without taking from some of the rest of us. C’mon Oklahoma … my birth state … how can you justify reelecting psychopaths like these? How can you keep sending your country these monsters? Please, pen them up somewhere and build them a personal hell realm here on earth.