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Who we are as a nation

August 29, 2017

Hurricane Harvey has weakened to a tropical storm, but it’s still wreaking havoc by lingering on and dumping heavy rains on already-flooded parts of Texas as it moves into Louisiana. As many as 13 million people could be affected by one of the worst storms in history. Many people in Texas were uninsured and are facing financial ruin as well as the loss of their homes and possessions. Fortunately, both federal and state emergency authorities seem to be working quickly and efficiently to help. Thanks to Texas’ well-managed government and pro-business policies, the state has a $10 billion “rainy day fund” that might literally have to be used to deal with all the rainy days. And both the professional first responders and an army of volunteers are pitching in on a massive and unprecedented rescue effort. Nearby cities are taking refugees into shelters, animal shelters are taking in lost and abandoned pets, and Texans and Louisianans (such as the famed “Cajun Navy”) are scouring Houston and surrounding areas with their boats to save people and animals trapped in rising flood waters.

As terrible and tragic as this devastation continues to be, it’s also providing Americans with a much-needed reminder about what’s really important and who we are as a nation. For the longest time, things have been going along pretty well. The economy was improving, air and water were getting cleaner, lifespans were getting longer – and yet, all we ever heard in the news was negativity. “If it bleeds, it leads” was the mantra. There are a number of factions that derive their power from stirring up anger and division along every possible line: political beliefs, religion, gender, age, race, you name it. They would have us believe that the biggest threat to our safety and well-being is people who don’t look or think exactly the way we do.

But when something like this happens that threatens everyone in its path, just look at how quickly all those surface differences disappear. First responders of all races, religions and genders put their lives on the line to save victims of all races, religions and genders. Instead of complaining to the government to do more, the good people of Texas and Louisiana drop whatever they’re doing and rush to save their neighbors, with no regard for what those neighbors look like or how they worship or how they voted. And even a thousand miles away, people are hurrying to make donations to organizations such as the Red Cross and the Salvation Army, to help people in need whom they’ve never met.

They are Americans helping Americans, just as we always have and always will, despite all the petty efforts to tear us apart. It would be nice, though, if everyone could remember what an extraordinary nation we are and what a great, diverse-yet-connected people we are, without needing a disaster to remind us of it.

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Today's Commentary:  The biggest story in America -- Iran violates Obama nuclear deal -- Paul Ryan rushes to the microphones -- Vacationing in North Korea -- Fanatical movements 101  -- News Bits 

 

The biggest story in America continues to be the historic floods along the Texas coast, caused by Hurricane Harvey and the lingering heavy rains. At least two people are known dead. By the time it’s over, it’s possible that 50 inches of rain will have fallen on some areas, and it’s moving into Louisiana as well. Thousands of homes and businesses have been destroyed. The town of Rockport was especially hard hit (the high school completely collapsed), and many areas of Houston are under water.

That’s led some to question why Houston wasn’t ordered evacuated. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott urged Houstonians to leave, but some mocked him for overreacting and the Democratic mayor thought a mandatory evacuation wasn’t necessary. Turns out, it was. But it’s a city of three million people, so it’s not clear whether that would have been possible given the time frame, anyway. Houston flooding is expected to get even worse today because water levels in the flood-preventing reservoirs were rising at over six inches an hour, and some water has to be released. By the time it’s over, this may be the worst weather catastrophe ever to hit Texas, and rival Katrina for the scale of disaster, destruction and dislocation.

President Trump okayed a request for federal disaster aid in near-record time, and this morning, FEMA officials held a press conference to lay out emergency rescue measures. And other towns unaffected by the storm are taking in refugees. There are currently at least 30,000 people in shelters, and many more whose homes have been damaged or destroyed, and who have suffered as-yet unknown losses.

If you’d like to help, the quickest and easiest way is with a donation to RedCross.org (kudos to comedian Kevin Hart for donating $25,000 and challenging his celebrity friends to match it.) The Rev. Franklin Graham also has a group that’s helping survivors and seeking donations and volunteers at SamaritansPurse.org.

The Humane Society is also engaged in a massive rescue effort to save animals caught or abandoned in the floods (HumaneSociety.org) and get them to safe shelters. One major shelter taking in the rescues can be found at AustinPetsAlive.org, if you are searching for your lost pets or would like to help them out. And as always, your prayers for everyone affected are welcome. That includes the many first responders and volunteers who are working tirelessly to save those caught in the floods. They are all Huck’s Heroes.

Sincerely,

Mike Huckabee

 

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Iran violates Obama nuclear deal

By Mike Huckabee

In case anyone cares, there are credible reports that Iran is secretly using civilian aircraft to move weapons into Syria, in direct violation of the Obama nuclear deal, in an effort to turn Syria into an Iranian client state. It’s not surprising that Iran would be expansionist, aggressive, and dismissive of its obligations under that particular deal. But it will surprise me if the US media say anything about it, or if the government, even under the GOP, does anything about it.

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Paul Ryan rushes to the microphones...

By Mike Huckabee

House Speaker Paul Ryan wants to make sure everyone knows he condemns President Trump’s decision to pardon Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Still waiting for the press releases from Democratic Congressional leaders condemning President Clinton for pardoning fugitive financier and accused tax evader Mark Rich, or Obama for pardoning treasonous leaker Bradley/Chelsea Manning, who put the lives of US troops at risk.

I’m not asking Republicans to circle the wagons the way Democrats do, but it would be nice if they’d just stop forming circular firing squads.

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Vacationing in North Korea

By Mike Huckabee

What could these people possibly be thinking who are rushing to visit North Korea before the travel ban and/or nuclear war starts? If you miss your chance for a vacation in North Korea, don’t worry. I’m sure there are other despotic nations that will be happy to arrest, torture and kill American tourists.

READ MORE

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Raising a godly child

By Mike Huckabee

Some good advice for Christian parents from the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission's national conference: five tips on raising a godly child who is uncorrupted by the ugly, cynical, sex-drenched, foul-mouthed, self-centered, godless culture around us. Or as we used to call these tips: “parenting.” Warning: if you do this, the term the speaker uses to describe such children is “alien child,” because they’ll be so different from the kids around them.

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News Bits

What can I say? Getting a little emotional over things that deserve it runs in the family.

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The SPLC not only needs to stop branding differences of religious opinion as hate crimes, but it should also consider that under its own definition, which involves demonizing entire classes of people, you could make a case that the SPLC itself is a “hate group.”

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We interrupt the “Trump Is A Racist” media narrative to bring you this inconvenient truth bulletin.

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