Friday, September 02, 2005

Expecting a Miracle from Government?

Okay, I just have to say this: Those who were expecting a miracle from the government(s) were looking in the wrong place. Miracles have never come from a temporal government, in all of recorded history.

What is the point in looking for perfection from the elected leaders of the City of New Orleans, State of Louisiana, or the United States of America? These leaders are human, and they are doing the best they can. "Hindsight is 20/20", the saying goes, and it is true in this case. Emergency preparations were begun in advance of the landfall, but no one knew exactly where the hurricane would hit or what the results would be. I don't think we know, even at this point, what the full ramifications of this disaster will be. We're all Americans, and we're all in this together.

What is the value, at this point, in finger-pointing? I hate to have to state the obvious, but here it is: The "crystal ball" is broken at the White House, and it's been broken since long before this country was founded.

Get over it. Roll up your sleeves, pitch in and do whatever you can, even if that is just donating money.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Katrina Disaster Relief Day Today

Today is the Kartina Disaster Relief Day in the Blogosphere, and while I have few, if any, readers, I want to encourage everyone to make a donation today. I am choosing the Salvation Army and the Red Cross for my donations.

Even if you have already donated, please make another if you possibly can. It looks as if we Americans are "on our own", for the most part. We have the will, resourcefulness and resources necessary to accomplish great things, but it will take a long time to recover from this disaster.

I believe there will be challenges beyond anything we can imagine right now, but one simple thing we can do today is donate money to help in the initial relief efforts. There is overwhelming need, and we must meet it with an overwhelming outpouring of money, prayers, and willingness to do whatever we can to help.This morning I learned that dear family friends, whose home is right up against Lake Ponchatrain in the area where the levee broke, are safe in Houston, where they are staying with relatives! Not all are so fortunate, so I really encourage a generous donation to the Salvation Army and/or the Red Cross today.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Our New "Adopted" Soldier

We have a new (as of the end of June) "Adopted" Soldier, who we received through Operation Airconditioner. This is the third soldier we've adopted through Operation A/C, and our first two are safely back in the states (which is why we've "adopted" another). I tried another group, which sounded good, but I didn't end up with anyone to "adopt" after six months, so I went back to the tried-and-true. (By the way, I hear that Soldiers' Angels is good, also).

Our new "Adopted" Soldier is named Leonal. He has responded to my emails, and has thanked me for the care package and letter I've sent. He's a busy guy, in a busy company, so I don't expect too much detail in the way of replies-- it's enough for me just to know that he is okay! Our last soldier was in Bagdad and had access to email regularly, which Leonal does not, but that doesn't matter. While I really loved getting longer emails from our last soldier, and even photos (occasionally), I also believe that Leonal is doing an important job on behalf of all of us, in an armor division, and I am happy to support him and his friends, whether I receive thanks or not.

Dear Leonal, Please know that we are all thinking of you and praying for you and your friends, and for all the troops serving our country. Thanks so much for your service!

Sunday, July 17, 2005

And We Need to Know This... Exactly Why???

Today, on the front page of my local Sunday paper, often called the "Austin Un-American Mistatement", is a really stupid article, written by Douglas Jehl and David E. Sanger of the New York Times. It is an article about something which did not happen. Now, why would the newspaper put such an article on the front page, as the lead article?

I know there are plaques being sold which say something like, "In 1828 Nothing Happened in This Place", but I don't think I've ever read a front-page newspaper story about a negative before. Imagine the headlines: "Tornado Halted Plan to Form", "Stock Market Halted Plan to Fall 230 Points", "Austin Man Halted Plan to... ". Well, you get the idea.

In reading the lead story today, headlined "Bush Halted Plan to Sway Iraq Election", I learned that 1.) there was concern in Bush's Administration about Iran trying to influence the January elections in Iraq, 2.) there were discussions about whether or not to try to provide "covert support" to candidates which weren't favored by Iran, 3.) this was discussed with certain members of congress which should have been privy to the discussions, 4.) no one knows whether Bush actually signed off on this or not, BUT, in the end, 5.) the decision, by the Bush Administration, was to do NOTHING to influence, one way or another, the election in Iraq, so nothing was done.

Okay. I "get it"-- the sky is not falling.

This is important for us to know... why? I'm confused, because this seems like a supreme waste of time and effort for a newspaper which is losing circulation. The article cites "a dozen current and former government officials from Congress, the State Department, intelligence agencies and the Bush Administration" and says "None would speak for the record, citing the extreme sensitivity of discussing any covert action". Am I impressed? The journalists spoke with a dozen people, none of whom would speak for the record, and none of whom could confirm any fact beyond the fact that there was lots of discussion.

Back in "the old days", my parents told me, the newspaper was referred to as "the weekly wiper" and was recycled in the outhouse. I had pondered renewing my annual subsription, which runs out in August, but realized that, with the easy availability of toilet paper and flush toilets, there is not much reason to subscribe to a newspaper anymore.

So, Austin American-Statesman, here's a headline for you: "Reader Halts Plan to Use Our Newspaper Instead of Toilet Paper

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Our Thoughts and Prayers are with the Brits

Today Americans are keeping all the Brits in our thoughts and prayers, especially those in London, and express our sincere sympathy to those whose loved ones were killed or wounded in these horrific, cowardly attacks on innocent citizens. Today I watched, with admiration, as the Brits reacted to these attacks by displaying same grit and steel they became known for during the Second World War. I was very impressed with the citizenry, and with the well-trained, courageous "first responders". I am thankful the Brits have such leadership as Tony Blair, and the wonderful Mayor of London, Ken Livngstone, who seems to be an inspirational and courageous leader, as Rudy Guiliani was for New York after 9/11.

Monday, May 23, 2005

"Compromise"?

I have not been blogging lately for two major reasons: 1.)various deaths in family and need to do stuff about that, and all the various feelings, etc. and 2.) no one reads my blogs anyway, so I didn't think I'd be missed.

Tonight I have to blog to blow off some steam-- because I am really furious at a number of spineless worms who call themselves Republican Senators, and most especially at the proverbial snake-in-the-grass, John McCain. I have already written numerous emails pledging lack-of-support, but I'm still mad.

I have read blogs trying to say this is a good thing, drawing the Democrats in (kind of like Brer Rabbit and the Briar Patch), but I don't think so-- I think the Republicans are the ones who have been suckered.

As Captain Ed said at Captain's Quarters, "The net effect is that an even smaller minority in the Senate has hijacked the confirmation process than we saw during the filibusters -- and like all tyrannies, we can only hope for benevolent despotism rather than disaster.

And we can thank Bill Frist for his lack of leadership and resolve for taking a majority and turning it into a minority."

I was immediately suspicious when I heard references to "trust" during the news conference announcing the "compromise". Next was the announcement that only three up-or-down votes would be guaranteed as part of the "compromise". My son thought I was crazed when he heard me moaning and yelling (at the t.v.) "No.... No!!!!! What idiots!!!! They're getting nothing!!!!" as the details were announced. That was my first, visceral reaction, and I think it will be proved true (though I hope not).

I know I won't give any money or other support to McCain, ever, and I don't plan to support the Republican Senatorial or Congressional fundraising efforts unless and until the Republicans repeal or drastically modify the McCain-Feingold bill's provisions which cripple the common people's ability to speak out during election campaigns.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Operation Photo Supports Our Troops

Have you recently purchased a new digital camera, as I have, and have no further use for your old one? Support our troops and their families by donating your used (but functional) digital camera to Operation Photo. Other links with information and news stories about the project can be found here.

Think how much it would mean, if you were separated from loved ones, to receive digital photos via email from time to time. You can make that possible through this great program. Your used, older model digital camera may be donated to the families of our troops, and, in return, you will receive a tax deduction from Operation Homefront and a discount when ordering prints online from 30 Minute Photos Etc.

Although the Eastman Kodak Co. is donating 100 cameras and Olympus is donating 50 cameras, the founders of the program were hoping to have 10,000 cameras donated by Valentine's Day. Let's help them make more than that goal by the end of February!

Requests for cameras have far outpaced donations, and they really need our help.

So, if you receive a new camera from your sweetie for Valentine's Day, or just plan to buy one soon, please consider making someone in our armed services very happy by donating your used camera to Operation Photo. Please pack your camera carefully and mail it, along with the user-manual and any accessories to:

"Operation Photo", in care of:
30 Minute Photos Etc.
92 Corporate Park Plaza
Irvine, CA 92606

For information, check links above, email info@30minphotos.com or call (949) 474-7654

Congratulations to Our "Adopted" Soldier

Our "adopted" soldier, recently returned home from Iraq, has gotten married! We are wishing them all the very best, as she and her husband begin their new life together. She is a very special person, and we are so pleased for them both.