Sometimes I wish Mother Nature had a paddle…. (More)

“Hurricane Matthew is heading straight for Mar-a-Lago, and President Obama isn’t doing anything to stop it”

So wails Andrew Stiles at Heatstreet:

Hurricane Matthew is expected to reach Florida on Thursday at Category 4 strength, and millions of residents have been urged to evacuate.

Donald Trump, who owns the legendary estate of Mar-a-Lago on Florida’s eastern coast, took to social media to express his concern.

As it turns out, Hurricane Matthew is heading straight for Mar-a-Lago, and President Obama isn’t doing anything to stop it.

The article concludes with a poll:

Do you think President Obama ordered the U.S. military to engineer a hurricane for the sole purpose of destroying Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate?

Worse – in terms of human gullibility – only 54% of respondents said “No,” while 34% said “Yes” and 13% said “It’s possible, but I’d need to see more evidence.”

“The deplorables are starting to wonder if govt has been lying to them about Hurricane Matthew”

And then there’s Matt Drudge:

The Drudge Report also spouted a half-baked conspiracy theory claiming the National Weather Service is hiding the real weather data. The Washington Post’s Jason Samenow collected replies from meteorologists and other people with actual brains, and Vox’s Libby Nelson explains why this is not just stupid, but dangerous:

Hurricane Matthew is looking to be the first major hurricane to hit Florida in a decade. It killed more than 100 people in Haiti. Officials in the state are taking on the difficult task of getting people to take the threat seriously enough to leave their homes.

Matt Drudge just made it a lot harder with a suggestion that the warnings are part of a left-wing conspiracy to convince Florida residents that climate change is real.
[…]
Drudge’s conspiracy-mongering is a dangerous game. More than 1.5 million people live in the evacuation zone for Matthew. It’s already difficult to get people to take evacuation warnings seriously – so difficult that emergency managers have a slew of haunting tricks to drive home the danger of hurricanes, including asking people to write their Social Security numbers on their arms if they’re staying behind so that their bodies can be identified.

The implication of Drudge’s tweet is that resisting evacuation isn’t a bad, self-destructive move but a brave way for “deplorables” to stand up for the government. That’s not just stupid – it could very well be deadly.

Even RedState’s Caleb Howe agreed:

Now that is a conspiracy theory. The enormity of it is really mind-boggling. I mean, if you’re going to go, go all out right? Sure, it’s irresponsible and has no foundation. Sure wild speculation to the hundreds of thousands of people who listen to him on the cusp of what could be a major disaster suggesting they maybe don’t take the danger seriously is borderline maniacal. But it’s siren-y though, right? [Original emphasis]

Alas, Stiles and Drudge are not lone nuts.

“It’s in the interests of the left to have destructive hurricanes”

That was Rush Limbaugh, yesterday:

The National Hurricane Center is part of the National Weather Service, which is part of the Commerce Department, which is part of the Obama administration, which by definition has been tainted just like the DOJ has. … With hurricane tracking and hurricane forecasting, I’ve been able to spot where I think they might be playing games because it’s in the interests of the left to have destructive hurricanes because then they can blame it on climate change, which they can continue desperately continue trying to sell.

Yes, “Hurricane Truthers” really are A Thing.

The universe doesn’t care what you believe

As it happens, the BPI Main Campus is on the fringe of Hurricane Matthew’s forecast path. The campus is in a no-evacuation zone and we’re only forecast to have tropical storm conditions. Newer Venerable Hall is very sturdy, with Category 3-rated hurricane film on the windows, so Mrs. Squirrel, our son Regis and his wife Regina, our twin girls Nancy and Michelle, and I have moved out of Árbol Squirrel and into the mail room until the storm passes. Oh, yes, Árbol Squirrel is pretty much a squirrel condo.

Now, you may choose to believe that my family and I are fictional characters and a human being is actually writing this. Or you can suspend disbelief and play along. It’s fine either way.

But when it comes to a hurricane, the universe doesn’t care what you believe.

Maybe you’re arrogant enough to believe that god will protect you, on the theory that a deity values you more than the almost 300 people Hurricane Matthew killed in Haiti. But pride is one of the seven deadly sins and Jesus reportedly said “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” I’m not a biblical scholar, but to me that says you shouldn’t expect god to give you special protection and – if you’re in an evacuation zone – you should get out of the storm’s way.

Maybe you’re so angry at President Obama and the federal government that you refuse to believe the reports of devastation across the Caribbean, the warnings on every TV station, and even Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s warning: “It’s a monster. Get out.” But your anger won’t hold back the storm surge, or stop the over-100-mile-per-hour gusts from tearing your roof off.

And don’t expect Andrew Stiles, Matt Drudge, or Rush Limbaugh to pay for a statue honoring you for standing up to Big Government. They won’t even send your family a condolence card.

So for the next couple of days, put your beliefs on the shelf. You can argue politics and conspiracy theories next week. For now, if you’re in Matthew’s path, act like a responsible adult – or even a common squirrel – and find a safe shelter.

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Photo Credit: AccuWeather

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Good day and good nuts