Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Inspiration...and the ongoing saga of the dead guy.

First, let me apologize.  Last night's blog was.....well, horrendous.  So bad that I deleted it.  I do have standards, you know.  You didn't know?  Well, I do...and that certainly didn't measure up.  Again, forgive me.  Quite honestly, it sucked.  Out loud.  Tonight, however, I've watched the news, spoken to friends, and come up with fodder for conversation.

The only word I could think of that best sums it up is 'Inspiration'.  It has now been one week since the country, most notably the southeast, saw the most tornadoes ever recorded in a single day - 226.  Amazing.  226 tornadoes in a single day and a death toll well over 300 with more than an additional 300 still missing.  In the past week, stories have emerged that have disgusted most people, and other stories that prove incredibly inspirational.  The bad news?  People have begun looting the homes ravaged by the tornado in Tuscaloosa and other remote areas of the state.  The police have instituted a curfew from 8:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m.  It's been helping and they promise to prosecute everyone involved.  I, personally, have my own idea of how to serve justice in these cases.  I say we put the offenders in a wind tunnel, crank up the air to at least 190 mph, then let the homeowners and neighbors toss things into the wind.  We'll even let them use pointy, metal objects.  I'm not positive but think it might be a deterrent.  Just a thought. 

The good news, though, is so much better and the stories are emerging more every day.  Take, for example, the gentleman that found $10,200.00 in cash, $3,000.00 in silver dollars, and 18 guns.  He returned them all.  Simply took them to a police station, told them there was no identification but that someone must be missing these items.  How many people would do that?  Most, we hope, but.....are we sure?  One of the most inspirational stories was how, in one particular county, the news anchors told of the upcoming prom at the high school.  Most of the county had been devastated but the prom would go on.  The trouble is that many of the families had lost their homes and their daughters had no prom dresses.  The call went out and within 24 hours there were 200 prom dresses donated.  All shapes and sizes, any color imaginable.  They kept coming, too, and are now at well over 400 dresses.  The Pro-Am golf tournament that was held today will benefit the relief fund....and the pro golfers that came to town brought gifts.  Clothing, money, and many other items sorely needed by the survivors.  There were two trailer loads of 5-gallon buckets that arrived earlier in the week.  These buckets, from a group called God's Pit Crew, were filled with cleaning supplies, toiletries, and other essentials that the citizens need.  I know...and I understand - your first thought is that, of course people are bringing things.  It's what they do.  My mind, however, goes back to the days of Katrina when we saw so many at the Superdome in New Orleans.  How much was needed and how it took forever to get there.  Maybe it's true.  Perhaps we do learn from our mistakes and, in a time when we are all too eager to help 'aid' other nations, at least we, that are not in politics, know how to help each other first.

I was speaking with a friend today and the question was posed - "Are the people there depressed?  How are they doing?"  My answer was quite simple and why, as I mentioned earlier in the week, I am proud to live here and consider myself an Alabamian.  Yes, I will always call PA home, however this is where I live now and I am extremely proud of that fact.  The people here are not depressed - they are reactive.  They looked around after the storms had passed and, in true southern  true American fashion.....responded with simple actions that seemed to say, "Wow, that was a big one.  Hmmm.....looks like a pretty big mess.  Damn, we lost a lot of stuff.....and, sadly, a lot of lives.  We're still here, though, and this mess ain't cleaning itself.  C'mon, let's get to it."  That is the attitude they displayed and the attitude that continues.  We can get knocked down, you can kick us when we're down, but for God's sake finish the job if you don't want us to get up...because we will.  Trust me, the people of this area will take care of this mess because it is what they do.  They survive.  They help each other, gladly, and then take care of their own issues.  The south is a wonderful place and if you haven't been here for awhile, give us some time.....then come to visit.  The 'Southern Voice' is alive and well....and resonates deep within all that live here.  Amazing.

On another note, and speaking of the dead guy (I'm tired of mentioning him by name), can we please get past the fact that he was unarmed.  I really am quite tired of reporters, digging for any nugget of 'news', that begin to make issues out of ridiculous things.  He was unarmed?  Yes, so were the people on 4 airplanes back in 2001.  So were the sailors on the USS Cole.  So was every other American that this coward and his brethren killed from afar.  They used bombs to get the biggest body count.  He never got close enough to look them in the eye before killing them.  I believe some of the 'hood's finest drug dealers are less cowardly than this piece of dirt.  Here's my take on it - I really could not care less if he was unarmed.  He took a shot to the head and two to the chest.  He got off easy, in my opinion.  What had someone said earlier?  He wanted to meet 72 virgins on a beach.....and instead met 27 SEALS from Virginia Beach.  Damn shame, huh - NOT!  The other point being raised and argued, again, is the effectiveness and legality of interrogation techniques.  Waterboarding, in particular.  Let me say again for those in the back of the class - these are terrorists and extremists.  I DO NOT CARE what interrogation techniques we use.  Keep my family, and all Americans, safe and I am fine with it.  Want to argue the point?  I'm in.....and you won't win.  Don't try giving me the only argument I've heard to date, either.  It's a violation of their human rights.  Seriously?  How dare you even think that?  Read the news...and let me know who's rights have truly been violated.  Please, everyone....take a pill and come back to reality.  That, for the moment, is my plan.  The reality, not the pill.  Thanks again for letting me has been one of those days.....

Until next time........

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