Friday, September 30, 2005

Global Warming

I am sure I am not the only one hearing the far left blame the recent hurricanes on global warming. They have no trouble blaming President Bush's refusal to get onboard the Kyoto Treaty as the cause of such warming. Like so much of the left wing's rhetoric this is based more on emotion and less on the facts.

Now, let me first say that global warming is occurring and that this could very well be influenced to some degree by pollution and the greenhouse effect. But one must understand global warming is nothing new. A look back into the ancient prehistory of mother earth will reveal some interesting facts about climate change on earth.

In the middle of the Paleocene epoch, which begins at 65 million years ago, the mean temperature on earth was hovering around 17 degrees centigrade. By the time the Eocene epoch rolled around the the mean world temperature had climbed greatly spawning the extinction of may species and the creation of new species of plants and animals. In the middle of this epoch, which ranges from 53 million years ago (mya) to 37 mya, the temperature was up to 30+ degrees centigrade. This occurred without any intervention or lack thereof by President Bush, believe it or not. By the middle of the next epoch, the Oligocene, temperatures had dropped dramatically to less than 10 degrees centigrade. The Oligocene spans 37 to 22.5 mya. From there there was a slow but steady rise in temperature into the Miocene, which spans 22.5 to 5 mya. In the middle of this epoch the temperature dropped again to around 10 degrees centigrade. This temperature remained relatively stable with only minor increases until the Pleistocene which spans 1.8 mya to 10,000 years ago. The Pleistocene is commonly known as the Ice Age. Humans, Homo sapiens, came into the world during this period during a slight warming peak during this period.

Since about 10,000 years ago the earth has been coming out of the Ice Age. This means it has been warming. This process, as in all the epochs, is not an nice neat rise. it is slightly erratic when viewed in thousand year increments, even more so when viewed in decade or annual increments. None-the-less we are getting warmer as we have done many times, for millions of years. We are nowhere close to approaching the mean temperatures that occurred in the Eocene when tropical forests could be found as far north as modern Canada.

So what is my point? Global warming is real but it is nothing new and, Kyoto Treaty or not, it is going to happen. With this comes changes in flora, fauna,sea level and weather. Hurricanes are the result of global warming but are not the result of any action or lack thereof by President Bush. The erratic nature of global warming or cooling and subsequent weather patterns can be easily observed when looking at the hurricanes that occurred in the last one-hundred years. This is not the first time in a century that the hurricane numbers and categories have been high. Perhaps this is why Time Magazine chose to only look at data back to 1970 in its article about how President Bush caused Hurricane Katrina.

What we have is just one more example of the emotional reaction of liberals hindering their ability to think objectively and act rationally and responsibly.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

GOP Reformer?

I believe I may have found my Ronald Reagan conservative. I heard his name as one of the House Representatives pushing for cutting wasteful spending and warning against more entitlements a few days ago. His name is Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN) and please take the time to read this article in its entirety.

Another Time for Choosing

Monday, September 26, 2005

Crossroads

Everything I know about Conservatism I learned from Ronald Reagan. Reagan was President during my “political” formative years. I was almost ten years old when he took office and almost 18 by the time he left. Through those years I came to identify with his brand of conservatism and his belief in the American spirit. Strong on defense, proponent of small government, freedom and the belief that the American dream was still alive. He is why I am a strong supporter of the Republican Party.

I feel we have entered a crossroads of sorts for the GOP. We seem to have lost our conservative roots. The Republican controlled Congress has become as adept at pork barrel spending as any past Democrat Congress. The good news in this, for Republicans at least, was pointed out by Paul Mirengoff over at Power Line today, and that is that while most people dislike Congress as a whole, they like their representative. So at worst the Republicans may lose a few seats in 2006 but will most likely maintain control over Congress. Somehow this does not make me feel any better. I understand that locally elected officials owe their constituencies, but is not part of what they owe them fiscal responsibility.

Now comes Hurricane Katrina and Rita and how to finance the aftermath. A lot of money has been promised to rebuild the Gulf Coast and I am all for rebuilding, but at what cost. So far Bush has promised to keep the tax cuts, you can almost hear his father saying “read my lips” right now. Robert Novak rather poignantly talked about this very trouble today in his townhall.com column. He points out that the White House will not even consider delaying Bush’s Medicare subsidy and with the exception of a few, no one in Congress is jumping on the cut pork bandwagon.

Bush and his Administration are overreacting to the mainstream media’s bantering of slow and inadequate federal response due to the Republican agenda of small government. Even in the face of overwhelming evidence of incompetence on the state and local level and the fact that if the federal response was slow it was due to FEMA being bureaucratically hamstrung by being lumped in with the Homeland Security Department, Bush is succumbing to democrat and media pressure to expand the federal government.

Where is all of this leading? Well, how can it lead anywhere but to a tax increase. A tax increase, larger federal bureaucracy, and more government entitlements. Does this sound like the Party of Reagan? Sounds more like the party of Tip O’Neil and Ted Kennedy. Not to long ago someone at the Townhall.com Soapboxes asked if there were any potential Republican presidential candidates out there that resembled Ronald Reagan. I could not think of any so I did some research and could not find any. I went back and checked the soapbox regularly throughout the day and obviously nobody else knew of any either.

Please do not get me wrong I am a strong supporter of President Bush and contrary to the moonbats he is compassionate and feels strongly about helping the people displaced by the Hurricanes, as do I. However, I feel he is overcompensating for the media attacks and he is pushing us closer to the socialistic country the democrats hope to make us. Forty years of government entitlements have not helped end poverty, tax increases do not create growth, and loss of public support can lose a war.

It is time the GOP moved closer to the Party of Reagan and away from what it is becoming. Bush can start that process. He has some of the qualities. Believer in tax cuts, a strong defense, and the promotion of democracy. However, he has let the left and the media push him into a corner by blaming him for the aftermath of a monumental natural disaster. If he is not going to come out attacking and exposing the incompetence on the state and local level and he feels his only way out is through exorbitant spending programs then at the very least he needs to whip his party into shape by insisting on cuts in wasteful pork spending. Another Reagan quality but one he, unlike Bush, was unable to push due to a tax and spend democrat controlled Congress. If Bush does not do this he risks losing the conservative base and it is entirely possible the GOP will fragment and find itself in the unenviable position the democrats find themselves in now. This is the crossroads where we find ourselves.

Santorum Frustration

Rick Santorum (R-PA) leveled some harsh criticisms toward the Bush Administration Thursday in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Santorum is the head of a Senate subcommittee on Social Security and is livid at the lack of progress on Social Security reform.

Santorum's biggest complaint with Bush's Administration is one that I have pondered in a few of my other columns. Santorum questions the strategy of announcing plans to reform Social Security and then take a break during the Holidays last year while the democrats went into full scale attack mode. As has been the case throughout the Bush Administration there was no rebuttal in the press to relentless attacks about the President's plans. Santorum states in the article that he implored the Administration "to construct a plan on the order of a presidential campaign" to promote the Administration's plans for Social Security.

Santorum also states in the article "It's the old thing in politics: You either define your opponent or your opponent defines you, and we sat back and let our opponents define us and define the issue." He is absolutely right. I cannot for the life of me understand what it is going to take for the Bush Administration to fight back against the mainstream media. I'm tired of hearing that Bush is supposedly "taking the high road" for not fighting it out with the press.

Luckily so far according to polls the left has not been able to make much headway in public support even with Bush's low approval ratings and constant attacks by the left in the mainstream media. I have said it once and I'll say it again, Bush is doing a disservice to the Republican Party by not fighting back in the press. I usually have a problem when Republican Senators break ranks and criticize the President, but this is one I'm behind Santorum on. It is about time somebody in the ranks recognizes the need for staying on the offensive.

Bush has a long way to come back from where he finds himself and his Administration right now. I believe it is possible but it is going to take a Karl Rove style offensive that has to start now and continue until the end of his Presidency.

Barone's Big Picture

If you are tired of turning on the news and hearing reporters do nothing but talk doom and gloom about the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita then click here where Michael Barone talks about the big picture.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Quote of the Week

Dear Readers of MCV,

From now on I will be posting a quote each week. Sometimes it may be a classic quote from a long dead icon, sometimes it may be a quote straight out of the daily grind that makes the news or it may be a quote of words of wisdom offered from a friend. I will post them with hopes that you will gain pleasure and insight from reading them. I will offer no explanation of their significance. Enjoy!

Quote of the week:


"A civilization that feels guilty for everything it is and does will lack the energy and conviction to defend itself."

Jean Francois Revel

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Progressive? Please!

Is it just me or has anybody else noticed that the liberals have now changed their name? They are now calling themselves progressives. What is this all about? Well, it could be one or both of two reasons.

One possibility is that it is time for a makeover. The people spoke in the 2004 election and they said something along the lines of, we don’t much like your liberal agenda nor your tactics of deceit. I think this led to the desire of the Democratic Party to try to create a new image by changing their name. Liberal has, in fact, become a derogatory term in as much as the majority of Americans have no use for the liberal agenda. So, as the liberals were licking their wounds wondering why all the lies and misinformation they spread around about the President did not win them an election, they decided on a name change. I don’t know if it will do much good considering the poster child of liberalism is now heading the DNC.

Another possibility is that they are deluded. Actually, they are deluded about a number of things. Maybe they are also deluded into thinking they are actually progressive, progressive being defined as making progress toward something better. I think this needs to be questioned by those of us who view the world rationally. So is the liberal agenda a progressive agenda? I think you will find that the answers to the following questions may answer this question.

Is government sanctioned discrimination based on the color of one’s skin and/or their gender progress? Is the perpetuation of the welfare state progress? Is the removal of personal accountability progress? Is drifting toward socialism progress? Is ignoring threats to national security progress? Is rewarding those who abuse a system while punishing those who play by its rules progress? Is allowing the UN the power to dictate US foreign and domestic policies progress? Is ignoring illegal immigration progress? Is the practice of identity politics progress? Is legislation from the judicial bench progress? Is the ignoring the wording of the constitution and twisting it to fit special interest agendas progress? Is political correctness progress? I would say no to all of these. I would also have to say liberal does not equate with progressive.

None-the-less, liberals are slowly remaking their image by calling themselves progressives. Do not be fooled; I could call myself a lot of things but it does not mean that I am any of them. The liberal agenda is just that regardless of the new label. I predict that the use the label “progressive” will continue and grow as 2008 approaches. It is a reflection of the time honored liberal traditions of deception and delusion.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Ophelia is on the Way

Posts have been lacking the last few days. I've been busy and it looks like I will remain busy for the next few days. As a law enforcement officer in Ophelia's path I will most likely be unable to post for awhile. However, I'm sure my good buddy Barry will be able to drop a line or two in my absence.

Check back frequently I cannot wait to see what the reaction is after the storm. I'm wondering if the whining about the feds in New Orleans is going to be contagious to the people of this area. I'm betting no. I have worked several hurricanes. The feds are never there the next day and I've never heard anyone complaining. What I see are people pulling together and helping each other until outside help arrives.

Seriously speaking, I hope the storm turns and heads out to sea or at least looses strength and does little more than rain and blow a little. Believe me I'm really not hoping the storm hits so I can see if people complain about the federal government. However, in the event we do get hit I will certainly relate my experiences. Good luck to anyone in the path with me and I'll be back when it is over.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Time for a "Thank You" and an Apology

I seem to recall a time not so long ago when members of the American military were being referred to as Nazis. They were being accused by the far Left of committing atrocities like torture, murder and targeting journalists. The LA Times even went so far as to doctor pictures of American soldiers in Iraq to further distort the truth. They also accused the government of staging the heroic rescue of Jessica Lynch for the purpose of propaganda.

My, how times have changed. As I watched videos of paratroopers wearing their maroon berets marching into New Orleans I realized that these saviors were the same paratroopers who were being demonized by the press not so long ago. Now they and the countless other military personnel in the Gulf region, Gulf of Mexico that is, are saving the day. There are thousands of military personnel who have served in Iraq who are now engaged in the rescue and relief efforts. The air, sea and land assets the military has brought in are too numerous to count. Where are the protestors? OK forget the extreme Lefties for now. What about those Democrats who like to repeat the oxymoronic mantra about supporting the troops but not the war? When are they going to come out and thank the military? Maybe it will happen after they have quit pointing fingers for political gain.

None-the-less, all those Democrats who constantly whine about how much money our country spends on its military should take note. If it was not for this large, well-trained and well-equipped military there would have been no rescue whatsoever in New Orleans. The military did and is doing what it was intended to do, protect us from harm.

While most of the far Left Wing has stopped bashing our soldiers, for now, I have yet to hear any of their loud mouths thank these brave men and women who are risking their lives to save American lives. It is almost as if it hurts to do so. I think it hurts the far Left-wingers to admit that our service men and women are not monsters, not minions of evil, not heartless killers. All this good that is being done by our troops right here on the home front has got to make the radicals a little uneasy. There are, however, always those on the extreme left fringe that cannot see the forest for the trees.

A few are still so caught up in their agendas they have apparently not noticed the good work of the military in the aftermath of the storm. In fact, some in particular, are planning on protesting the Navy’s Blue Angels at a Maine air show. Something about the Blue Angels being instruments of destruction was said; I don’t recall exactly what it was. It was probably just another one of those liberal mantras that I try to ignore. I should add at this point that US Naval aviation was and is essential in the response to Hurricane Katrina. So who in this country could possibly be so blind, so caught up in fantasyland as to think the Navy and its fliers should be subject to protests? Why it is Cindy Sheehan and her minions.

It is high time for the Left stop its rantings and thank the military. It is also a perfect time for the Left to apologize to these men and women for all the harm and hurt they have caused our troops.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Madness in the DNC and MSM

Every time Howard Dean opens his mouth I am utterly amazed. I fail to understand why the Democrats chose him to be chairman of their party. So he raised a lot of money via the internet. That was before anyone heard his rant filled pep talk after his early primary defeat. After that I thought everyone saw him for the kook that he truly is. People in their right mind have to ask themselves, just what were the Democrats thinking when they picked him to lead their party? That is certainly the question I ask myself every time he embarrasses himself and his party by speaking out loud in public.

The Democrats are blinded by the free reign they have been afforded by the mainstream media to say anything they wish no matter how outlandish and get away with it. Because they have gotten away with it for so long the more outlandish their senseless diatribe has become. The evidence is staring us in the face everyday in the mainstream media starting with Cindy Sheehan and culminating with the Hurricane Katrina conspiracies.

To believe that the MSM would actually use Mrs. Sheehan as a credible news story after her anti-Semitic statements and her assertion that we are using nuclear weapons in Iraq is unbelievable. Then for them to seriously report as some are contending that Hurricanes and global warming are all Bush’s and Haley Barbour’s fault is absolutely mind numbing. Not to mention that now they, along with Howard Dean, insinuate that there was a concerted conspiracy on the part of the federal government to respond slowly to this natural disaster because most of the victims were poor and black. This is absolute madness.

In a previous post, Go on the Offensive, I asserted that the Bush Administration should fight back aggressively in the press. I stand by that assertion. I do not, however, advocate that Republicans sink to the depths of depravity that the left-wing loonies have, but I would certainly like to see some stronger and more consistent rebuttals from the Administration.

I will concede that in the end maybe the Bush Administration is getting it right. Maybe the MSM and the far left are getting just enough rope to hang themselves. Perhaps a reverse A Clockwork Orange effect is taking place. (see reference to this title in post mentioned previously) Perhaps the people in America are starting to see through the madness that the MSM and the Democrats are bombarding them with on a daily basis. The evidence of this may be seen through a recent poll showing that only 13% of the American people are buying this crazy drivel that the response to Hurricane Katrina is all Bush’s fault.

Further evidence may be seen in the upcoming off year election. If the Republicans retain or even gain some seats in Congress then the Administration is getting it right. If not, then the Administration needs to seriously consider a full blown “shock and awe” campaign on the media to make them accountable for the irresponsible fantasies they are peddling to the American people.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Chruch and State

How many times have you heard the “separation of church and state clause” mentioned in regard to the US Constitution by people who have been offended by the word God or some other reference to religion in the public arena? I hear it all the time. Most recently national atheist organizations are up in arms because the President and the Governor of Louisiana have asked Americans to pray for hurricane victims, of whom very few are atheists. Military chaplains carrying Bibles into the devastation that once was New Orleans also offends them.

I am here to clarify exactly what this supposedly vague clause says and question how it has been applied but first I have another question. We are in a time of national crisis. Many people have lost everything including their lives. An entire city has been wiped out, yet there are still Americans who have the energy, time and gumption to jump up and down because someone referred to a God they don’t believe in. I say grow up! Is this what we have become? These people have the luxury of being offended while tens of thousands suffer. Well, I hope the mention of God does cause them a little angst because they are obviously too comfortable for it to be healthy. Now, back to the Constitution.

The First Amendment of the constitution states:

“Congress shall pass no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press or of the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

There you have it. “Congress shall pass no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” Any questions? The phrase, "separation of church and state" is not even written in the Constitution. How did such a clear statement get twisted into a means of purging the US of religion? The framers of the Constitution made their position perfectly clear. They said what they meant; it does not need to be “interpreted”. After reading the entire Constitution and Declaration of Independence one will quickly realize that the Founding Fathers felt God was important to the new country. In fact, they felt so strongly about this they wanted to ensure freedom of religion for all Americans. What happened?

I must say that I am not a particularly religious man, but I recognize the need for freedom of religion and its subsequent practice by many Americans. This includes the President. I agree with the Founding Fathers and understand their intentions clearly: no law should be made to establish a religion nor prevent the practice of a religion. How does a Supreme Court with much more intelligent people than me, who are the most well versed of all of us in the law, fail to understand this? How come many Americans don’t understand this? I do not know the answer to the first question but I can answer the second.

There are three categories of Americans. One group has never read the Constitution and there are a lot of them. They are easily manipulated by what people on television say about “separation of church and state.” One group has read the First Amendment and understands it. That would be you and me. The third group may or may not have read it because its words really don’t matter to them. It is not what they want to read. They don’t like it so they ignore the words completely and call it the “Separation of Church and State Clause” to make it vague to those in the first category. They interpret (read distort) its clearly stated meaning into something that better fits their agenda. Their agenda is the quest for a secular nation.

If you have never read the Constitution, or it was so long ago you don’t recall reading it, go out and buy a copy today. Educate yourself by reading it in its entirety. You may be surprised to find how distorted its so-called interpretation has become in modern America.

Monday, September 05, 2005

"He lied! He lied!"

He lied, he lied!” It is just one more of the far left’s emotionally based mantras. There are others we are all familiar with, “No war for oil!” Yes, how silly does that sound now that Iraq’s oil infrastructure is up and running and we are paying so much for gas? That is another story for another day. I am here to talk about “He lied, he lied.”
Like so many liberal mantras this one is based on emotion and not reason nor facts. President Bush did not lie, he was incorrect, he was misinformed but he did not lie. If the far left bothered to look at the facts they would see that all the members of the U.N. Security Council were in agreement that Sadam possessed weapons of mass destruction. This includes the French, the British, the Russians and the Germans. I guess they were lying too. What about Tony Blair, of Britain’s Labor Party? Our liberal media does not touch him with a ten-foot pole. I think this is mostly because they are not in the business of spewing propaganda to prevent him or his party’s successors from getting elected. I also think that it is because his party traditionally represents the ideals of the liberal left in this country, though Blair continues to deviate from these ideals when it comes to his nation’s security. Did he lie too? Britain’s intelligence services are considered some of the best in the world. They got it wrong too. Blair did not lie, neither did Bush nor anybody else.
By the way, since when did the left become so interested in honesty? I seem to recall their golden child, Bill Clinton, lying under oath. Granted, war did not result but anybody who thinks the repercussions of this lie did not affect Clinton’s ability to govern are severely deluded. But what about other Presidents and their lies?
Well we all know about Nixon; let’s go further back to the Johnson administration. Want to talk lies and war? Then lets talk Johnson and Viet Nam. OK, OK Johnson was a dirt bag and maybe he is not representative of the Democrats. How about their icon, the man who supposedly saved the U.S. and the world, Franklin Delano Roosevelt? Well, everyone knows about his intentional lack of action that led to the Pearl Harbor attack but what about his actions regarding Germany?
Roosevelt really wanted to get involved with the fight against Nazi Germany, but the American people were not behind him because the Germans had not attacked the US. Sound familiar? Anyway, FDR’s solution was simple, lie. He did this in at least two ways. One was the “discovery” of secret invasion maps supposedly captured from the Germans, which showed the German’s plans for invading South America and thrusting north to the U.S. These were fabrications; the Germans were incapable of pulling off such an invasion even at the height of their power. Another lie was that the German attack on the USS Greer off of the coast of Iceland on September 4, 1941 was unprovoked. FDR contended that the Greer was on a mail run, literally. The truth is that this ship was tracking the submarines and directing British airplanes to their position to drop depth charges. So what are all these lies about? Well, to FDR’s credit he recognized the threat that Hitler posed to the U.S. long before the U.S. citizenry did. In retrospect getting in the fight early was the right move; FDR just lied to justify this. In short, “He lied. He lied!”
Rational, well-informed Americans regardless of political affiliation will recognize that Bush did not lie but did have worthless intelligence, as did the rest of the world. With this he committed us to a preemptive war on a country that has in fact attacked U.S. interests since the end of the first Gulf War. You did not hear much about the fact that Iraqi troops engaged U.S. aircraft patrolling the no-fly zone over 500 times since the end of the Gulf War. This is no lie.
What is comically sad about the far left and their mantras is that that is all they have. These mantras are based purely on the emotion of hatred for the President and are never followed up by a rational solution to a problem. For example, their solution to the tough war we are fighting in Iraq is equally as emotional and irrational. It is too pull everybody out. Do you ever get the feeling half of our country has the emotional maturity of a 5 year-old. I do.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Taking Responsibility for Yourself

At this time, countless writings and commentaries have been focused on Hurricane Katrina and I do not intend to focus this essay on that topic specifically but on what it teaches us about personal responsibility. I, as a citizen of a large country with many layers of bureaucracy, know that I cannot depend on the government to support me and protect me from harm. In my daily life, I do not depend on the government to feed me, shelter me, and pay me etc. whether I am in a crisis situation or not. In short, I accept personal responsibility for my own well-being.
The disaster that has befallen us demonstrates how dependent many Americans have become on their government and society’s infrastructure. Many Americans are unprepared to help themselves, in other words, helpless. This is the case even without a disaster. To take it a step further, those who wholly depend on the government are that much more helpless. To take my point even further, I would argue that those who depend on the government to meet their daily needs when we are not in a crisis are not only helpless but feel a sense of entitlement to the resources that are literally given to them.
In this most extreme but common case above everything manages to function OK as long as the distribution of assistance is not interrupted. That is, as long as the government is supporting all aspects of the people’s existence. What happens when the government fails to meet the unreasonable expectation of unwavering support? What happens when those who have the expectation of and the belief that they are entitled to complete support by the government lose that support over night? Well, I think you know the answers to these questions. If not watch the news.
Now lets look at another group of Americans. These citizens take responsibility for their own well-being in their daily lives. They work, pay taxes, pay rent or a mortgage, pay for food, pay insurance or pay out of pocket for healthcare. They understand that the government’s ability to protect them and support them is limited, even more so during times of crisis. Not only do they understand such limitations in the system, they accept them and do not assume that they are entitled to support. These are the people who, in short, have accepted responsibility for their own well being. These are the people who also have made preparation for almost any unexpected crisis or emergency, beyond just daily living in “Pleasantville”. So what happens to them when the worst transpires around them? Again, watch the news.
Now, ask yourself which end of the spectrum do you fall in. Most probably you do not fit on either extreme end of the spectrum but somewhere closer to one end or the other. Well, I am writing this to educate you so that you can be more responsible for your own well-being. Let’s assume that you think you fall more in the range of the second example but you are not sure you are prepared for “almost any unexpected crisis or emergency”. What is the crisis or emergency of which I speak anyway?
Well, it could be a massive natural or man-made disaster or it could be something smaller. What if your power went off for a week? What is your plan? Power and water are both out, what is your plan? Do you see where I am going with this? How about another angle? You smell smoke and you go into a room in your house and there is a fire blazing. What is your plan? Do you have a fire extinguisher, no? You have a fire department; surely they will get there in time to save your house, family and possessions, right? Maybe not, do you have a contingency plan for not having a house? A drug crazed maniac is kicking in your door while you are sitting there watching “The Simpsons”; quick, what is the plan? Call the police? Will they get there in time to stop the crime or in time to put you in a body bag and pullout a rape kit for your wife? One evening you are driving your SUV in a rain storm and the rain turns to freezing rain. Your big bad 4X4 will protect you; at least that is what you think. You are running low on gas; there are cars piling up all over the road, traffic comes to a standstill and you have to spend the night on the roadside. The cold front comes in and the rain stops and the temperature drops even more. It is going to be a cold night. Cell phone to the rescue! Oh, the towers are down because of the ice. Ever hear of hypothermia? By the way, you do have some water don’t you? Surely somebody will come along to save your rear end, after all that is what you are counting on, right? Don’t be so sure.
In all these examples above it is painfully obvious that most people’s plans depend on some form of government or other external intervention. They demonstrate just how dependent most people are on a system that is inconsistent at best. There is the expectation of immediate help; we are entitled to it right? Well, think what you want, but the truth is a different story. Don’t believe it? Watch the news.
Accepting responsibility for one’s own well being is a necessity. As we can see, we are only one step away from life altering experiences, which can be deadly if you are not prepared. For those of you who match the first description outlined in the beginning you have much further to go in accepting your role in your well-being and safety. Unfortunately many of you who think you are a closer fit to that second category have more to do than you may realize. It is time for all of us to start being responsible for ourselves.

$500 Million from Kuwait

Soon after Hurricane Katrina many asked where are the humanitarian aid offers? Soon thereafter we had the not so genuine offer from Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Then little by little aid offers filtered in from various countries. Today we learn that Kuwait has offered to donate $500 million.

The oil-rich Persian Gulf state of Kuwait said Sunday it will donate $500 million in aid to U.S. relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina.

The offer is the largest known put forward since the hurricane ravaged Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama and follows a $100 million aid donation from the emir of a Mideast neighbor, Qatar.

Kuwait's energy minister said his country would provide "oil products that the disaster-stricken states need in addition to other humanitarian aid."

"It's our duty as Kuwaiti's to stand by our friends to lighten the humanitarian misery and as a payback for the many situations during which Washington helped us through the significant relations between the two friendly countries," Shiek Ahmed Fahd Al Ahmed Al Sabah said in a statement carried by Kuwait's official news agency, KUNA.

Kuwait is one of America's closest Mideast allies and owes its 1991 liberation from Iraqi occupation forces to a U.S.-led coalition that drove Saddam Hussein's army out.

Kuwait and Qatar's donations came as the Egypt-based 22 member Arab League called on Arab nations to provide relief to the U.S.

The Arab League said that its secretary general, Amr Moussa, sent a cable of "deep condolences and regret to the U.S. administration over the effect of Hurricane Katrina...and called on all Arab countries to extend aid to the United States to face the exceptional humane circumstances."


So much for the left-wing mantra that America's War in Iraq has significantly crushed United States world standing and destabilized the Middle East.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Go on the Offensive

Polls polls polls. It seems the polls come in on a daily rather than a weekly basis. Almost everyday we see the poll for Bush’s approval rating. Then we see the poll on his handling of the Iraq war. Then we see the poll about how Americans feel about the worth of the Iraq war and the one about the Iraq war making us safer and on and on, well you get the idea. The craziest one is despite the fact the economy is starting to boom according to a Fox News poll only 38% of Americans approve of the way Bush is handling the economy and only 43% are optimistic about the economy.

The mainstream media bombards us daily with news stories blasting the Bush administration’s policies both foreign and domestic. Bush has even been blamed by some for Hurricane Katrina. It would not surprise me if next week he is blamed for being the shooter on the grassy knoll. All the while there is hardly any type of rebuttal coming from Bush or his administration.

I know some of my readers will not agree with me on this, but I think it is high time for Bush to go on the offensive in the press. I know, I know Bush is a terrible public speaker and does not have the charisma with the press of a Ronald Reagan or Bill Clinton. I also know Bush’s feelings about the press that have roots back to his father’s presidency. Austin Bay posted one of the best quotes ever by President Bush about the press. When asked how he knew what the public was thinking since he did not read the newspaper or watch much news Bush replied, “You’re making a powerful assumption, young man. You’re assuming that you represent the public. I don’t accept that.” I agree with that assessment, to an extent.

Have you ever seen the movie A Clockwork Orange? How long can the population that actually does watch the news and read newspapers be barraged by anti-Bush rhetoric before they practically become physically sick at the mere mention of his name? (If you have not seen the movie look up the story line so you will understand the analogy.) I believe this is happening to the average American and also the reason for the ever spiraling poll numbers.

In my humble opinion the Bush Administration has to start combating this media firestorm. They need to get the good news about Iraq out there and outline the progress that is being made. We in the blogoshpere know that progress is being made, but without anybody from the Administration outlining it, how does the public know? The mainstream media certainly is not reporting it. There should be weekly news conferences from the President on the state of Iraq and the war on terror. This would not be that unusual given the fact that we are at war. The offensive however, should not be limited to Iraq or the war on terror but should include the economy, support for their supreme court nominee, social security reform, rebuilding the Gulf Coast and many other policies. Bush cannot rely on one or two speeches a month at military installations to stem the tide of negative reporting. Perception is a powerful thing and right now Americans are getting their perceptions from one side. What’s more he owes it to the troops and he owes it to republican candidates in 2006 and beyond.

Katrina

Thus far I have resisted posting anything about Hurricane Katrina and the devastation that it has wrought the Gulf Coast. It is not that I am ambivalent to the situation. My heart goes out to the people of this region and it is my hope as it is everyone’s hope that the recovery effort is finally grabbing a foothold and relief for the thousands is near. I refuse however, to get too deeply involved in the politically motivated blame game.

This disaster is no one’s fault. This is the worst natural disaster to hit the United States and it covers more than 90,000 square miles. 90,000 square miles is just a number to many people. Most people will have a hard time putting that number into perspective. Just as most will have a difficult time understanding the logistical nightmare this number represents compounded by the fact that a lot of this area is now under water.

Speaking as someone with experience in working a flooded area in the aftermath of a Hurricane on more than one occasion, water is one of, if not the, most dangerous and relief inhibitive obstacles to be confronted. The experience I mentioned above was certainly on a smaller scale then the disaster confronting New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf Coast, but the complaints I have been hearing over the last few days are the same. Officials should have been better prepared or relief has been slow to arrive.

The logistics of transporting relief supplies and moving refugees always takes some time and has never been instantaneous. Immediate relief has always been dependent on neighbors helping neighbors in the best way possible and neighbors have been helping neighbors all over the Gulf Coast. Yes, there are certainly some bad apples in these places taking advantage of the situation and preying on the weak but I guarantee you there are many more instances of people helping others. These stories will not be told until the aftermath of this disaster but they will be told.

As stated before I am not going to get into blaming anyone or talk about how things could have been done better or defend how things are being done now. Having worked with them and for them, I believe that officials in charge of preparing for and responding to disasters do the very best that they can. No plan is perfect and some events that spawn from natural disasters cannot be foreseen. However, I do know this, the relief effort currently underway is lighting fast compared to what would be taking place in any other developed country and that with every disaster comes lessons learned that will benefit the victims of the next disaster.

Pray for the victims of the Gulf Coast and help them in anyway possible.