Thursday, December 11, 2008

No Sirens In Dension

Last Monday, the sirens in Denison didn’t sound when a severe storm with tornadoes in it approached. A little research showed that the equipment was malfunctioning. I have to wonder about a few things:
1.) How long had it been known that the equipment wasn’t working?
2.) What measures had been put in place to get the equipment repaired?
3.) Why wasn’t it common knowledge that the equipment wasn’t working?
4.) Why are people so reliant on the sirens?

I guess that my biggest question is why WERE the people so reliant on these storm sirens. First of all, no matter where I’ve lived, I’ve been told that these sirens aren’t designed to be heard while one is indoors and their windows closed. So, any person worried about storms have a few options:

1.) Watch the TV for the local weather
2.) Have a weather alert radio.
3.) Use their internet to monitor incoming storms.

While I don’t own a weather alert radio now, I have in the past. They work pretty well. They do get annoying to some extent because many times one will get a warning they’re not exactly wanting. It all depends on how one programs their weather radio. They really don’t cost very much in respect to what they do. After all, isn’t a little personal safety worth a lot? What I DID was I watched the local TV for the incoming weather. The TV stations, KXII and KTEN had VERY good coverage. I will say the KXII “froze” up for several minutes, during the peak of the storm. I tuned to KTEN. I also monitored the incoming weather from my computer. I do realize that some people haven’t jumped into the 21st Century and don’t own computers. OK. I don’t know of ANYBODY that doesn’t have one or more TVs. There may be a few out there. That’s when neighbors come in handy. If I knew that my neighbor didn’t have a TV or a weather radio, I’m pretty sure that I would be knocking on their door, alerting them. However, that doesn’t seem to be the thing to do any more.

The one thing that perturbs me is the attitude that the Government needs to “baby-sit” everybody. Why is everybody up in arms about the lack of a siren that they may or may not be able to hear? It seems to me that people are far too reliant on the Government for far too many things. It’s almost as if ADULTS need baby-sitting. I’m sorry, but this is one of those ideologies that has been preached to me since I was old enough to comprehend, fend for yourself!! I’m an adult now. I have been for many years. The people complaining about the lack of the sirens are also “adults”. I’m sorry, but people need to suck it up and come to the realization that the Government can’t do EVERYTHING!! Just remember, “If the government is big enough to give you everything you want, it is big enough to take away everything you have." (Gerald R Ford) I guess some folks just don’t grasp this. Our taxes are extremely high as it is. Pretty soon, we’ll be giving most of what we have back to the Government, be it Federal, State, or Local. In today’s world, I’d like to see a smaller Government. Wouldn’t you?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

On Racism

Seems to me that every time a person of any other race than "white" has committed a crime, been "offended", been criticized, or simply just doesn't get their way, that rampant cries of racism seem to sprout from many of their mouths without hesitation. These very same people are allegedly the "Liberals" that are supposed to be "open minded". How many times during the recent election was the race card played?? (rhetorical question) WHO, exactly, was the first one to play the race card??

It has come to my attention from a couple of other blogs that there are a few things going on. They both bug the hell out of me. The first one is about an election to FORCE the L.A. police to OBEY the law. Why on Earth should we need to VOTE on a subject that is already law?? Have some City Administrators decided that they are above the law?? Apparently. Why is it deemed "racist" to have our law enforcement do their freaking jobs ??

Then we have my friend, Texas Fred, blogging on the hyphenated American. I must admit that I pretty much agree with his sentiments in this post. I've often said similar, myself. I see that this is the bigger problem. Americans are divided. We can never truly come together as a country when we have become this divided. I recall reading stories about WWII and the Americans of German & Japanese descent went to fight for America. They weren't "divided". They didn't call themselves Japanese-Americans or German- Americans. They were just "Americans" All of this division seems to perpetuate the growing racism that we are seeing today. In addition, we seem to have somehow added in a "hate" factor. I was born and raised in Texas, a "typical" Southern State. I didn't KNOW racism until I joined the Navy. I didn't hate blacks or Mexicans. Now, there have been people that I just didn't like, but let me assure you, it has exactly ZERO to do with the color of their skin. What I've grown to disdain is how we are having other folks' race/ethnic background/ sexual preferences FORCED down our throats. The words of John Wayne (or whoever wrote the poem for him) seem to come to my mind pretty quickly. They still ring true today:

"The Hyphen, Webster's Dictionary defines,
Is a symbol used to divide a
compound word or a single word.
So it seems to me that when a man calls himself
An "Afro-American," a "Mexican-American,"
"Italian-American," An "Irish-American," "Jewish-American,"
What he's sayin' is, "I'm a divided American."

Well, we all came from other places,
Different creeds and different races,
To form a become as one,
Yet look at the harm a line has done -
A simple little line, and yet
As divisive as a line can get.
A crooked cross the Nazis flew,
And the Russian hammer and sickle too-
Time bombs in the lives of Man;
But none of these could ever fan
The flames of hatred faster than
The Hyphen.

The Russian hammer built a wall
That locks men's hearts from freedom's call.
A crooked cross flew overhead
Above twenty million tragic dead-
Among them men from this great nation,
Who died for freedom's preservation.
A hyphen is a line that's small;
It can be a bridge or be a wall.
A bridge can save you lots of time;
A wall you always have to climb.
The road to liberty lies true.
The Hyphen's use is up to you.

Used as a bridge, it can span
All the differences of Man.
Being free in mind and soul
Should be our most important goal.
If you use The Hyphen as a wall,
You'll make your life mean...and small.
An American is a special breed,
Whose people came to her in need.
They came to her that they might find
A world where they'd have peace of mind.
Where men are equal...and something more-
Stand taller than they stood before.

So you be wise in your decision,
And that little line won't cause division.
Let's join hands with one another...
For in this land, each man's your brother.
United we stand...divided we fall.
WE'RE AMERICANS...and that says it all."

Monday, December 1, 2008

Black Friday

I realize that many other bloggers have already covered this, but I really wanted to develop an opinion of the Walmart Stampede besides the one I initially developed. It's tragic that people have dropped to the depths of animals, all in order to get a "bargain". To kill one person and injure several others shows me what we are becoming; insensitive, narcississtic animals!!! (At least many of us) Black Friday IS a good day to catch some sales and great prices on Christmas gifts or just "stuff". But, at what cost are we willing to sacrifice for these sales?? People stand in line for hours, if not overnight?!?!?! HUH ?? Sorry, but I've never stood in line for longer than an hour for anything, INCLUDING my twenty years in the military. I won't even go to a restaurant if t has more than a half an hour wait, unless it is a TRULY SPECIAL occasion. Get up at 0400 (or earlier) just to go out and snag something incredibly marked down, of which there may be few in the store?? Nahhh, I'm sorry. I don't like the crowds that much. I especially detest racing into a store to find that one special "bargain". I'll spend the extra $ to get what I want WHEN I want.

However, this brings up other thoughts on how we, as "civilized" human beings (and many of us proclaim to be Christians) and how we treat others any more. It seems to me that we have become a self-indulgent, self pleasing (read: Hedonistic) society. Others are no longer a concern unless it's a convenient contribution that makes ourselves "look good". I see it daily. In the way people drive, the way they act towards each other, and just general attitudes. The "Golden Rule" seems to have been long forgotten. This mentality crosses ALL racial, ethnic & class lines. I'm saddened by the fact that we no longer treat each other as human beings and equals. WE have political divides, we have ethnic divides, we have religious divides, and we have other things that keep us divided. One group thinks they're better than another, for whatever reason. And, I think these are the reasons that one man was killed, a pregnant woman hospitalized, and a couple of more injured. For Pete's sake, take that extra 10 seconds to HELP someone in need !!!

Finally, recession, you say ?? The national media reports that sales on Black Friday were up some 3%. I don't know about nationally, but my local Sears store sold roughly some $260K last year on Black Friday. This year, that very same Sears store sold somewhere in excess of $300K. That's up some 20+% .......Things that don't add up..........