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Trump fiddles (around) while Santa Rosa burns

October 14, 2017

Full disclosure: I have even less objectivity than usual this post.  Jude and I have family in Santa Rosa.  They had to evacuate their apartment because they live in the still endangered Bennett Valley area.  And my daughter’s brother-in-law and wife were on alert to evacuate in nearby Rohnert Park.

We are aghast as we view the photos of destroyed places that were part of our lives: the Applebee’s where I introduced her to my best friends; the Luther Burbank Center where we saw Ellen Degeneres; Annadel State Park where I often hiked.

So I’m maddened by the response (lack of, more accurately) to this ongoing disaster.  It’s bad enough that CNN — which seemingly can’t get enough of the Las Vegas massacre — treats the fires like a red-headed stepchild.  But I’ve yet to see Trump even acknowledge their existence, let alone extend any sympathy.

I understand he’s busy turning every other news story into a personal slight or his Best Accomplishment Ever.  And he has the responsibility to alert the nation again about the bogus War on Christmas.

How can he ignore a catastrophe so ghastly that some of its victims can only be identified by the serial numbers on their hip implants?  Thanks for asking.  Here’s why: Northern California, like Puerto Rico, is of no political value to him.  It’s voter rich, but strongly Democratic.  Texas has 38 electoral votes and Florida has 29.  There’s no talk of FEMA help being temporary there.

We know that Trump makes decisions based strictly on the math, never the misery.  And we know that he read off some sympathetic notes regarding the Las Vegas slaughter.  So maybe a body count of 58 is the Donnie’s threshold point.  Puerto Rico is at 48 and California is at 31, with hundreds missing.


P.S.  For better coverage of the fires, try


  1. Judith SEars permalink
    October 14, 2017 4:47 pm

    I find the Chronicle does a good job with the latest. We have one daughter in Calistoga evacuated to American Canyon –A son and family in Napa ok–A daughter in Santa Rosa OK–But it can change on a dime. Our old house burned down on Porter Creek Rd. A friend with a large ranch on Atlas Peak in Napa lost everything she and her extended family were lucky to get out alive. Too horrible to imagine I am glued to the computer and soical media to stay on top of it all.
    Regarding everything else I am so glad to be in Canada

  2. Anonymous permalink
    October 15, 2017 6:34 pm

    I have such fond feelings for many of these Napa and Sonoma County places, including Santa Rosa and Calistoga where I’ve spent some rejuvenation time in hot springs. So sad. So sorry for those of you with losses and with family being evacuated. The loss of life I hear has now reached a California historical high from natural disasters. It’s chilling and ghastly to think of the people unable to escape reduced to “ash and bone.” So sad, so horrific. And then there’s Puerto Rico with only 15% of the population with electricity and an estimate of two more months before most people will again be plugged in. What a year, this 2017. IT

    • October 23, 2017 3:53 pm

      And with Trump in office for the rest of ’17, who knows what else could happen?

  3. Dora Mathis permalink
    October 16, 2017 12:39 pm

    Allen, I am sorry your family and friends are suffering through this and hope everyone comes out if it okay. I have fond memories of visiting you & Jude in Santa Rosa and am horrified at the devastation there. I just read that The Charles Schulz home was destroyed – that is irreplaceable. So many lives destroyed and the abomination of a US president simply doesn’t care. I wont rant here but our situation is a daily ordeal. You are so fortunate to have left exactly when you did and only hear of the horrors here instead of having to endure them. My love to you and Jude.

    • October 23, 2017 3:50 pm

      Thank you, Dora. We’re fairly sure the family is okay, but communication is hinky due to damage to cell towers and such (we’re guessing). I hadn’t heard about Schultz’s home burning down, but thought about you when we feared the Snoopy statue may be in danger. I also worried about Jack London’s house, but it looks like it made it. Our love right back to you.

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