A Montanan's Frustration with Hurricane Harvey

A Montanan's Frustration with Hurricane Harvey

Compassion Coming From a State That's Receiving No Compassion
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I want to first offer my condolences to all affected by Hurricane Harvey, in Houston and around the country and the world. It has been a horrific tragedy in many ways, including the shock for those who have lost all their worldly possessions let alone those who have lost friends and family. And I encourage anyone and everyone who can afford to, to help with disaster relief through reliable resources. This article is in no way meant to minimize the tragedies and impact of Hurricane Harvey across the Southern United States.

That all being said, I would like to explain why the national media coverage has been unnervingly frustrating for me.

My beautiful home state, Montana, has been burning up for months with very little coverage or outrage of the lack of help we've gotten from our Federal Government. As of July 24, 2017, Montana has considered the numerous large wildfires a state emergency, with the executive order coming from Governor Bullock. After already leaving multiple fires to burn for months, this executive order finally allowed for Montana to utilize resources such as the National Guard and other state services to combat the destruction being caused by fires.

To put this in perspective, on August 29th, 2017 evacuation orders were given to more than 1,100 homes in the Seeley Lake area of Western Montana. Thousands more homes and families are being put in danger by various other fires throughout the state including those in Lolo, MT and throughout Ravalli County. There was no way of knowing that these fires would become such huge problems to these areas due to the fact that they were quick to ignite through lightening strikes. Because of this, there was very little warning for people to get their personal items or pets and livestock together before having to leave their homes. Thousands of people are being forced to find temporary housing situations and are scared of losing everything.

Firemen and women have been putting their lives in danger's way for months with very few chances to catch a couple hours of sleep and rest. Resources are scarce and with so many large fires on the doorstep of populated areas of the state, they seem to be outnumbered in many ways. Already two firefighters have lost their lives protecting their fellow statesmen. And without reasonable resources available, it's possible more casualties are to come.

While I am not one of those directly affected by the wildfires, as I haven't had a close friend or family member die and I haven't had to move my belongings out of harm's way, there is another issue affecting Western Montana.

Smoke.

For weeks the city of Missoula, MT has been blanketed in thick smoke, along with many other valleys in the area. The smoke has been so terrible that we are unable to see the usually prominent mountainous backdrop of the state we love so much. Almost everyone I know has had health concerns due to the smoke varying from headaches to vigorous bloody noses. For populations at risk to even more harm, such as the elderly and young children, the smoke has been even worse causing people to visit hospitals and clinics - looking for some kind of relief.

The reason all of this information is pertinent to Hurricane Harvey in any way whatsoever is the fact that our Federal Government has refused to come to the aid of the people of Montana for months. It is frustrating that the mainstream media has, if talked about it at all, kept the fires in Montana as fluff pieces. It is frustrating to wake up one day to Facebook suggesting I give aid to those in Houston when Montana has been left to fend for itself. It is frustrating to feel as though our lives and well being are seen as less important simply because we live in a less populated state, rarely thought of by our fellow countrymen.

So this is a hopeful call to action. My hope is that this can be an eye-opening moment for the country - to see that there are others in dire need of help. I hope that our Federal Government will see the need for more resources in Montana and declare a Federal state of emergency before fires begin to threaten larger cities. I am worried that Montana will fall farther to the bottom of concerns of the United States of America. But I am hopeful that the compassion of the American people can focus on two tragedies at once and come to the aid of Southern states as well as Montana.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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53 Dogs Who Are Just Too Pure For This World

Dogs truly do make the world a better place.
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Animals are by far some of the most empathic creatures on the planet. Sometimes it seems even more so than humans. While cats have their moments, and fish don't really care for cuddles, dogs take the glory for being the most human out of the animal kingdom. They're loyal, loving, and despite what scientists say, they do have a soul. And boy oh boy, their souls are just too dang pure for this world sometimes. Here are 53 dogs who were too pure for this world:

1. When it's been awhile since he saw his bff:

2. When you open the front camera but it doesn't matter because you're so cute:

3. Ohana means family, family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten:

4. When this pupper knew you gotta dress to impress:

5. When your dog knows you like a book, and only half judges your life choices:

6. When the dog is actually the baby of the family

7. When this dog literally created happiness:

8. When this dog was just too innocent to be guilty:

9. When this dog knew he was serving looks:

10. When the insult went just a little too far:

11. When the before and after photos were proof enough that this doggo is a good boy:

12. When the force was too strong with this one:

13. When dogs sum up what it's like to have a sibling:

14. When the food testing is strictly business and not for personal reasons at all:

15. When this dog summed up how doctors visits make me feel:

16. When pinecones are life:

17. When this doggo thought ahead:

18. When your pup nurses you back to health:

19. When this dog got heckin bamboozled

20. When this dog proved he truly was man's best friend:

21. When this doggo isn't the best at fetch but at least she's trying:

22. When this dog helped his owner create a work of art:

23. When this dog was the definition of 'sharing is caring':

24. When this pupper has the quick fix to all your technological needs:

25. When you're the goodest boy to ever live:

26. When nap time is the best time:


27. When life is ruff but you're still optimistic:

28. When Ralph just wants to say hi to everyone:

29. When this dog has better manners than most people:

30. When this pupper just wanted to stop the scary noises:


31. When this doggo taught us to only pack the essentials:

32. When this doggo was just trying to make fetch happen:

33. When it doesn't pay to be kind:



34. When ball is life:


35. When you don't have to be perfect to be loved:

36. When this doggo took his oath seriously:



37. When the realization that his brother was possessed hit:

38. When this pooch is too polite for his own good:

39. When this doggo came with convenient sub-woofers:

40. When land doggo meets aqua doggos:

41. When you don't even notice 1/4 of the doggos isn't an actual doggo:

42. When this doggo had a better birthday than you did:

43. When this pup was the cutest nurse ever:

44. When this pup showed what true friendship looked like:

45. When this dog showed more compassion and humanity than most people do:

46. When this dog was heckin' framed:


47. Where can I buy one of these plants?

48. When this doggo was just trying to help you with your hardware needs:


49. When this good boy has had enough of coming in second place:

50. When even good boys have their limits:

51. But in the end, you're always their #1:


52. Fight on, my noble steed:

53. Because no matter what, good or bad, dogs will always be too pure for this world:

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Thousands More Dead In Puerto Rico From Hurricane Maria Than Expected

Study Puts Death Toll From Hurricane Maria Near 5,000
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Last September, a powerful Hurricane hit Puerto Rico, causing widespread destruction and the complete collapse of the island's grid system. Afterwards, the government of the island, with assisstance from the US Federal Government, began to assess and rebuild the damage, and announced the death toll to be 64. However, reports began to arising contradicitng this statement, as many people reported more causilities than the official count. The magnitude of the destruction proved to be worse than It is very simple. expected. Approximately 5,000 people died in Puerto Rico in 2017 for reasons related to September's Hurricane Maria, according to a study that dismisses the "official death toll of 64 as a massive underestimate."

A research team led by scientists at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health didn't simply attempt to count dead bodies in the wake of the powerful storm, they surveyed randomly chosen households and asked the occupants about their experiences, as the government had begun to appear useless in accuratly determining the death toll.

From that approach, they concluded that between Sept. 20 and Dec. 31, 2017, there were 4,645 "excess deaths" — that is, deaths that would not have occurred if the island hadn't been plunged into a prolonged disaster following the devastating storm.

The magnitide of the government's failure to track the death toll and assess the destruction is for shown by how Harvard's study was not the only study whom of which, had come up with higher estimates than which is stated by the government. CNN surveyed funeral homes after the storm and tallied 499 hurricane-related deaths. The New York Times compared official death records from September and October 2017 and found more than 1,000 excess deaths, compared with the average for 2015 and 2016. Researchers at Penn State University used death certificates to come up with a similar estimate.

Many of these deaths could have easily been prevented had the government acted more effectively, but it sadly didn't. However, they need to be held accountable for their poor handling of a natural disaster and mistreatment of a U.S. territory, and the media needs to be held accountable for completely ignoring the suffering of American citizens.

Cover Image Credit: Sky News

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