Friday, December 30, 2005

Wildfires Consume Texas, Black Cattle Hardest Hit

CBS/AP - CROSS PLAINS, Texas - Wildfires raced through grazing areas dried out by the region's worst drought in 50 years earlier this week. Wind gusts of 40 mph and temperatures reaching the low 80s set the stage for the fires which tore through ranching regions affecting the lives of thousands of cattle, most of them black.

Victims of brush fire forced to flee homelands. Posted by Picasa

Authorities contacted by CBS believe the Texas fires were set by white people ignoring fire bans and burning trash, setting off fireworks or by throwing cigarettes and big cigars out of their gas guzzling pick-up trucks and ozone depleting SUV’s.

The massive fires have caused thousands of black cattle to be herded like cattle into overcrowded stock yards from their home, home on the range and the uncertainty in their lives is causing some of the herds to stampede. Stories of rustling abound in this overwhelmingly Republican state and there is even one unconfirmed report of a barbaric ritualized branding of a calf taking place in one of the corals to shouts of "Yee Haw" and "Yippy Ki Yo, Ki Ya" by onlookers.

At a morning press conference, Democratic Party spokesman for the displaced cattle, former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin said, “this is another example of the Bush Administration's racist agenda.” "Why are all the black cows in one area and all the brown cows in another?"

Mr. Nagin relocated himself and his family to the Dallas/Fort Worth area in September of this year after unsuccessfully attempting to save New Orleans Parish single handedly when The Army Core of Engineers blew up all the levees and the town was struck by a meteor caused by global warming.

President Bush, who is white, is staying this week at his Texas ranch, was briefed about the fires Thursday, according to White House spokesman Trent Duffy (who is also white). An CBS affiliate witnessed the president making a comment to Mr. Duffy that looked like he said, ‘I don’t care’.

At the end of the press conference, Mr. Nagin announced he was relocating his family to Nebraska.

Nancy Giles, CBS News.

Italics Mine


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