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Haiti

Perry blames God for oil leak

That sure is what this sounds like to me.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry Monday offered a stern warning against halting oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico in the wake of a massive oil leak, and he raised the question of whether the explosion was an “act of God.”

The Republican governor, speaking at the Chamber of Commerce in Washington, warned against a “a knee-jerk reaction” to the spill and said the government doesn’t know what caused the leak, which took 11 lives and threatens the Gulf coast’s vast fishing industry.

“We don’t know what the event that has allowed for this massive oil to be released,” Perry said alongside several other governors on a panel Monday. “And until we know that, I hope we don’t see a knee-jerk reaction across this country that says we’re going to shut down drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, because the cost to this country will be staggering.”

Perry questioned whether the spill was “just an act of God that occurred” and said that any “politically driven” decisions could put the U.S. in further economic peril.

“From time to time there are going to be things that occur that are acts of God that cannot be prevented,” Perry said.

I’m sure I know as much about this sort of thing as our Governor, but I don’t think it would ever occur to me to call a mechanical failure an act of God. I mean, as Juanita asks, does that mean that the explosion at the BP refinery in Texas City back in 2005 was an act of God, too? Honestly, I have no idea what he’s getting at here. The radical cleric Pat Robertson has claimed that Hurricane Katrina and the earthquake in Haiti were acts of God; specifically, acts of God’s wrath against us for our sins. Would Perry care to venture a guess as to what God was punishing us for with this?

To help Haiti

I received the following email from the American Red Cross:

I’ve got a brief update for you on Haiti.

The situation is dire. Hundreds of thousands of people are feared dead. Government offices, including the Presidential Palace, have collapsed. Hospitals and the local Red Cross office have

sustained major damage. Children, families and communities are still suffering aftershocks following yesterday’s devastating earthquake.

We’re sending a team of trained Red Cross responders to support our local staff and the Haitian Red Cross volunteers already providing food, water, and medical treatment to survivors. We pledged $200,000 from our International Response Fund in relief services yesterday, and increased our commitment this morning to $1 million thanks to your advance generosity.

Additional help will be needed. To support our International Response Fund and help victims of disasters like the earthquake in Haiti, please click here:

http://american.redcross.org/HaitiRelief

Matthew Marek, who runs our office in Haiti, managed to relay the following details to us last night using Skype, an online messaging service:

some neighborhoods are completely flat. major individual home damage. no telephonei’ve seen untreatable issues. bones broken and exposed. lacerations of all kinds

medical attention is needed all throughout the capital. people are scared and gathered in the streets

there is really no place to go in many of these neighborhoods

the dust from the collapse is still lingering in the air.

If you can, please contribute to our International Response Fund today. If you already donated, please share this email with a friend. Your donation will help provide immediate relief and long-term support to victims of disasters like the earthquake in Haiti:

http://american.redcross.org/HaitiRelief

The next 48 hours are critical for life-saving operations such as search and rescue and first aid.

Thank you,

David Meltzer
David Meltzer
Senior Vice President
International Services
American Red Cross

P.S. To get the latest updates on the situation in Haiti and view photos and video, visit out our online disaster newsroom or follow us on Twitter: @RedCross.

Needless to say, every little bit helps. You can also donate $10 quickly and easily to the Red Cross by texting HAITI to 90999. More information is here.

UPDATE: From the inbox:

MEDIA ALERT

Contact:  Roselene Alexis

281-857-9335

Houston Haitian Community

News Conference on Earthquake Relief Efforts

WHO:              Houston’s Haitian Community

WHAT:             News conference to announce community meeting on earthquake relief efforts

WHERE:           Multi-Ethnic Community Center, 9819 Bissonnet

(north of 59 on west side of Bissonnet in back of shopping center)

WHEN:             10 a.m.

Friday, January 15

Houston’s Haitian Community is several thousand strong.  They will discuss what they know about what’s happening in Haiti with personal stories and announce a town hall meeting to be held Friday night to update Houstonians on the situation there and how they can help the people of Haiti get through this terrible disaster.