The Fly and the Flooding

Let me get the frivolous, silly stuff out of the way first.

Apparently, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has expanded their base. It’s not longer just our furry friends, but also those barely large enough to make a blip on the radar.

In a recent interview, President Barack Obama swatted a fly, killing it. The moment was seen as light – until PETA found out. The group, which protects the rights all of animals, now wants to make sure bugs are protected. They have sent the President a gift”: a humane fly catcher for him to use the next time a fly happens to cross the President’s path.

obama fly

Obama vs the fly ( Courtesy: CNBC/AP )

At best, this is seizing the moment for publicity sake. At worse, this is the silliest stand this organization can make. I’m going to assume it’s the former because if it is the latter, PETA has done more damage to itself and its very serious message.

Look, I am a pet owner and a pet lover. When I see a bug on the ground or a squirrel crossing the street, I go out of my way to avoid it and give the creature a few more minutes of life. That being said, I will be the first one to crush a fly if it comes into my air space. Is the cruel, insensitive? It’s a fly. Let’s get over it, PETA. I see enough animal abuse stories on a weekly basis on this broadcast that deserve PETA’s attention and focus.


Now, onto a more pressing matter: the flooding in Western Pennsylvania.

I think I was like many of you. Awed by the lightning show which initially began the evening, concerned by the dark clouds and funnel-shaped things forming in the sky and then completely shocked by the length and strength of the rain storms.

We were on the air, along with meteorologists Demetrius Ivory, Erin Kienzle and Michael Haynes for five hours. I can honestly say it was difficult to watch some of the video knowing full well that many of those who had their homes damages and their cars submerged were in no position to pay for the destruction about to befall them. It was even harder today to listen to those whose lives and belongings were covered in mud.

Nature can be kind to some and cruel to others … and such was the case last night in our region. Why is one house in Plum standing while the other was hit by lightning and set on fire?

While we all felt the rain, some got the brunt of the storms. Communities like Export and Wilkinsburg saw flooding like they have never witnessed before … and its always the poorest in our communities who seem to get the worst of this.

Erin Kienzle says we are not done. More wet weather is coming tomorrow and while it may not be an exact repeat of Wednesday, it will drop enough rain to make a bad situation worse for many.

I hope you keep your neighbors – the ones you know and the ones you don’t – in your prayers tomorrow as we hunker down for round two.

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