Lori has asked for my “spin” on Marie Osmond and the fires in Southern California.

First, the fires.

Almost a million people have been evacuated and, from what I’m hearing, these fires are not contained to the outlying areas as they usually are — they’re taking the scenic route into San Diego and other communities.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has been crowing about how well FEMA and other organizations have responded to the devastation and, from all accounts, it appears that he might be right in this regard. 

Evacuations have been the single-most reason, in my opinion, that loss of life has been extremely low (two people have died).

As this compares to Katrina — it simply doesn’t except for the fact that it’s a natural man-caused disaster that has affected hundreds of thousands of people.  Television footage of people with tears streaming down their faces at the loss of everything they own simply doesn’t tug at some part of me deep inside as much as the footage of bodies laying, floating or being carried somewhere, like the after affects of a bombing during some war.  The carnage left by Katrina is measured in human terms.  The fires in California, while devastating (and don’t get me wrong, I feel awful for those people) is simply measured in terms of “stuff.”

There simply is no comparison except in very broad terms (a natural disaster that displaces hundreds of thousands).

From CNN:

FEMA and other relief and rescue services face significantly different challenges in the fire zone than they did on the Gulf Coast in 2005.

For example, the fires aren’t covering every square foot of the region, as Katrina did. The devastation in California is intense but not universal.

During and immediately after Katrina, the destruction was so complete that relief personnel and supplies — even the U.S. Army — could not get within miles of the disaster’s epicenter, New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward, for several days.

By contrast, roads in Southern California have remained open for residents to get out and help to get in without delay. Residents there are generally more affluent and are able to use their own vehicles to escape, whereas many of Katrina’s victims were poor and had no means of transportation.

Victims in California are not stranded on rooftops without food or drinkable water, but are able travel the relatively short distances to safe places.

One of those safe places is San Diego‘s Qualcomm Stadium, which is not endangered by the fires. FEMA and other relief agencies are able to stage supplies and meet victims’ needs in an organized way.

New Orleans’ Superdome, on the other hand, sitting in the center of the disaster zone, was severely damaged by hurricane winds and threatened by rising water. What had been a shelter devolved into a trap.

Katrina also wiped out the Gulf Coast’s communications infrastructure, crippling the coordination of relief efforts — even for the military.


As far as Marie Osmond is concerned, I heard someone say the other day that she “faked it.”  Yeah, I’m sure she needs that kind of attention so badly that she’s willing to do a body flop on stage in front of millions of viewers.

I also heard “She’s not eating right” as an explanation.  Why is it that people are so quick to blame eating problems for a health issue?  It would seem to me that if she’s been able to lose weight AND have the energy to do the kind of dancing she’s doing, she must be doing something right. 

Faked it and not eating right (or taking diet pills) are just bullshit.

Here you have a 47-year-old, slightly pudgy, pre-menopausal (or mid-menopausal for all we know) mother of eight who said “That sometimes happens when I get winded and stop breathing.”

Well, gosh, Marie!  Get your heart checked out!  Push the doctor to investigate beyond a simple EKG (which she claims to have had done).  Get that ruled out before you just shrug it off in front of millions of women in their heart attack years!

Also, if you think it’s a combination of allergies and bad air, you need to do something about that, too.  Heck, I have allergies and just recently (a month ago) was diagnosed with a form of asthma that goes hand-in-hand with allergies.

Finally, there could be a very simple explanation for the whole thing.  The salsa number that she did was extremely physical and, after she had herself all wound up physically she simply stopped to hear the judges.  If she locked her knees while standing there, all revved up, that could explain what happened, too.

I’d like it if Marie were to get herself checked out physically BEFORE something happens that could result in more than a knock on her noggin from passing out on stage.  Get the cardiac stress test done.  Get the glucose levels checked.  Get one more hour of sleep.  Get the carotid arteries checked. Get the estrogen levels checked.  Get a full workup — don’t shrug it off.


 Can you believe that it’s almost the end of October? 

We’ve had some record-breaking and near-record-breaking temperatures (heat) here this month.  Monday it was over 80 degrees and last night we had a frost warning.  Seems like Mother Nature is into hot flashes these days, too!


Great thinkers