...I'm living it for a couple of days. Then it's back to work!
...I'm living it for a couple of days. Then it's back to work!
This incident happened in January 2012 and, back then, I posted the story at a site that no longer exists and on my Facebook page. I thought it would make a nice Sunday story.
There's something I didn't mention explicitly in the story; an intentional omission. See if you can guess what it is. Language alert.
When I was a child, one of my greatest fears was being lost and separated from home and from my parents. For that reason, this little real-life vignette got to me.This past Friday, my friend and I were out running errands and we stopped by a gas station to fuel up. As my friend pulled up to the pump, he narrowly missed a rail-thin man who had walked right in front of his truck.
“Watch out, crack-head,” I said.
I gave the man a closer look and so it was. He had malformed ears and a slightly misshapen head. He was of either Korean or Chinese descent—something which made him stand out in the area where the gas station was located. His complexion and eyes were clear; he had an innocent smile on his face and a barely-healed gash on his right arm. He was no more than thirty years old. I watched as he headed toward the entrance to the gas station’s store, and then forgot about him for a minute.
As Todd went to pay for the gas, I sat in the truck and, like nearly everyone else in this first world of 2012, I picked up my phone to read my email and surf the Internet. But something told me to put the phone down. I did and glanced toward the store entrance right at the moment when the store’s manager/owner—either Middle-Eastern or Indian--was pushing the young man out of the door. The smile was gone and the young man was resisting.
I could see Todd standing in line while watching the commotion. I steeled myself because I know that my friend has great empathy for beings weaker than himself, and that he isn’t shy about intervening to help said beings when they are being hurt. I got out of the truck.
As I headed toward the entrance, I could hear some of the other patrons saying things like, “Leave him alone,” “Stop fighting him; he doesn’t know any better,” “He’s retarded.”
Then a couple of patrons--an older black man and a young Hispanic woman--lead the man away from the store. They talked to him and comforted him as they kept him among the pumps and out of the way of approaching cars. He didn’t talk to them, nor did he speak during the whole encounter, but the smile was back.
Todd came back and began to pump his gas.“Idiots in the store were saying things like ‘the hell with him; he’s not part of our community just because he’s Asian.”
“Fuck that stupid shit,” I exclaimed. “He’s a human being.” I looked at Todd.
“Please can we stay and help keep him of trouble?” I said. “I won’t be able to rest if I don’t know what happens to him.”
“Okay.”Todd made a few phone calls and we stayed. I turned to the young woman.
“Has anyone called the police?”
“Yes, but they’re taking their time getting here,” she said.“You want to go home, don’t you?” I asked the young man. The older man and the woman talked to him gently and tried to hold his hands to keep him from entering the store. He reacted as if they were playing with him and kept smiling at his new friends.
“I can’t stay here much longer,” said the older man, to whom the young man had taken a liking. “I have to take my sister to the doctor.”
“I’ll take care of him,” said Todd and we said our goodbyes.
So we waited and waited for the police to arrive. The young man tried to get back into the store, but Todd found gentle ways of stopping him. He and the young woman managed to corral the man right outside of the store.
“I’m having trouble keeping him out of there,” said Todd, laughing as the two played the hand-holding game. “I could do it easily but I don’t want to hurt him.”
The sweet smile remained. A minute later, one of the workers from the store--a tall black man—brought the young man an ice cream sandwich. Neapolitan. It stopped the struggle.
“I’m going to call the police again,” I said. I went to the truck to get my phone. Just when I connected with the emergency operator, a lone police car rolled up. I quickly told the operator what the situation was and disconnected.One of the officers, a young woman, was going to lead the man away, but just as that was about to happen, an employee of the group home where the man lived came up to claim him and I found out why the young man liked the original older man so much: he was a dead ringer for the group home employee. Our new friend was going home.
The woman and I smiled, hugged each other, introduced ourselves, and praised God. Then Todd and I were off.
“He was just a child, a lost child,” said Todd later.
“And all he wanted was some ice cream.”
UPDATE (9/27/2013): Eight donations for $275 so far, and I'm grateful for that. Please let your friends know about this campaign.
UPDATE (9/25/2013): Excerpt from Arlen's Harem. Language alert.
Can we consider this a bleg? I think we can. What do I need? I’d like fans to help me be able to finish my second novel, tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem.
At the top of the left sidebar, you can see the Go Fund Me image which has an embedded link. The widget doesn’t fit there and it is uneditable but, of course, it will fit here.
What I’m trying to do:
My latest project is a novel
entitled Arlen’s Harem. Its main protagonists are Arlen Tortelli, Cordelia
Okoto and Deanna Desmond. The three are friends and are refugees from
When Arlen’s ex-wife Monica continues to needle him after leaving him for another man, he, Cordelia and Deanna devise a plot to get back at her.
The story is set in Los Angeles and Fullerton.
Arlen’s Harem is my second book. My first is Tale of the Tigers: Love is not a Game. Like Tale of the Tigers, Arlen’s Harem will be a self-published effort in both ebook and paperback formats.
I have six chapters of Arlen’s Harem finished, and plan on having at least fifteen chapters.
I have one person working for me: a graphic artist and maintainer of my book site. [Right now, he’s working for free.]
And, at the link, there’s an itemized list of the things I need to finish this project.
Some immediate needs:
As soon as I get enough additional donations to take care of the two websites and the phone, I will post an excerpt of Arlen’s Harem here and link to it on the Go Fund Me page.
If Adam Carolla can crowdfund a movie, why can’t I do the same for a book? Right? And did I mention that it will be my second book?
And, okay, okay! I have already started blogging regularly again. :)
I notice patterns, more so now than back when I was a young woman--likely because my head was filled with fruitless things with which, all too often, young, single women occupy themselves. It was too crowded in there. Too bad. The ability to recognize patterns could have done me some good back then, both professionally and personally. But, it was what it was. And now, the patterns of life are pretty much all I think about. Allow me to expound on at least one.
Many people subscribe to subjective truth--that each person possesses his/her own truth that may be different from another individual's truth and I have noticed how normalized this way of thinking has become.
Not long ago, I had a conversation with a man, a friend of a friend, on the definition of earning money. For whatever reason, he thought that any money that a person legally possessed was automatically earned--that legal possession and earning were synonymous. We went back and forth about this until I put forth the following scenario: a man is walking down a street and sees a dollar on the sidewalk. He picks it up and puts it in his pocket. Is it legally his? We agreed that it was. But did he earn it? I'd like to think I won the argument. But I found it alarming that, somehow, the gentleman I was talking to--a reasonably intelligent man--had bound up earning and the legal possession in his mind.
Then there was another conversation with another person about the ethnicity of Jesus the Christ. This lady was adamant that Jesus in the flesh was not a "white European" in the manner in which He is often rendered. I agreed, but in the conversation, the passage in The Revelation describing Jesus' hair was cited. Here it is:
His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow…
--Revelation 1:14 (KJV, emphasis mine)
The lady contended that this passage was describing the texture of His hair; that it was like wool, and, therefore concluded that Jesus was "black." When I countered that the passage only described the color of His hair and nothing about the texture, she said that I wasn't "interpreting" the passage correctly. This particular conversation did not end as hopefully as the previous one. (As for Jesus' "race," I am...ahem...agnostic on the subject. Moreover, I don't think it matters.)
But whatever one thinks about the truth of the Bible or the proper translation from its original languages into English, it's fascinating to note that even an English description of a thing is open to "interpretation" in the minds of some; that an explicit mention of a color has many meanings outside of its scope.
And, by fascinating, I mean scary.
I don't think this type of thinking is an anomaly and I certainly don't think that the widespread inculcation of this type of thinking is accidental.
A few years back, I coined the term Coconut Treatment. It didn't catch on but it's still useful for the purpose of recognizing this particular pattern:
Take a coconut, slice it in half, scoop out the meat from both halves and toss the meat—the substance--into the garbage disposal. Then take a pile of dog manure that Fido deposited into your yard, fill both halves of the coconut shells with it and glue the halves back together. What do you have now?
This is what has happened to words and concepts in the minds of many and it is the fruit of primary, secondary, and collegiate education also known as the Great Dumbing Down. The fruit has been emptied of its nutrients and then painted over or glued back together and called "fruit." At some point, individual words and concepts became subjective. That is, they became fluid and not set in stone. My old blog friend, Jeff Goldstein, has a series of posts on this phenomenon, and a lot of people didn't get that he was talking about this very thing.
(I was going to say that the idea of subjective definition is more common among those with bachelor degrees or higher, but, in the past few years, I've noticed that many who don't have much formal education also subscribe to the notion. The difference between the two groups is this: the latter are less likely to believe in subjective meaning and, even those who do will shake off this idea once it is pointed out and explained. The former tend to be too well indoctrinated.)
Being one of those with less formal education, I had long observed this phenomenon, but until I read Jeff’s intentionalism series, I didn’t know how to articulate it. Then, in last week’s Sunday Morning Book Thread at Ace’s place, OregonMuse, the book thread master, added to my informal education by posting the following
Postmodernism is a complex of concepts that asserts that all our constructs are just that, constructs; that there are no grand narratives or abiding truths; that all such grand narratives are illegitimate power moves; and that every perspective is necessarily a limited and local one.
and said, jokingly, that
One year of free AoSHQ Premium content goes to the first [person] who spots the giant logical hole in this worldview.
So, being insufficiently indoctrinated with the Coconut Treatment, I was the first one to point out the hole.
According to postmodern logic, postmodernism itself is a construct and, therefore, limited and local.
And, of course, that means that postmodernism, itself, is false, illegitimate and a mere power move, by the postmodern narrative’s own logic.
I started writing this post weeks ago, and, after reading OregonMuse’s post, it occurred to me that postmodernism is the very fecund parent of subjective definition. Oh, I’m know that I’m not the first person to come to this conclusion, but, keep these things in mind: I have only a two-year degree and, what little I do know and think about comes from volitional reading, observation and from thinking ideas through to the end. (I had heard of postmodernism, but whenever I began to read anything written by its adherents, my eyes began to close.)
Something else that occurred to me about postmodernism, besides its logical fallaciousness, is that its advent has been long predicted. Speaking of the perilous times in the Last Days, Paul in his second letter to his protégé, Timothy, writes this:
But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
--2 Timothy 3:13 (KJV, emphasis mine)
Lying and being lied to.
Postmodernists like to make their written offerings seemingly complicated, but such are really quite simple, and I mean that in both senses.
It is but one big gigantic lie, negating itself even. Above, I likened postmodernism to a mother with countless children and those who read the Bible know who the father is. Subject truth and definition? The Lie-baby.
It’s up to each individual to see the lies for what they are, to shake off the indoctrination.
My great-aunt Alma passed away on December 30th of last year at the age of 91. Born on the Fourth of July, she was the seventh of eight children, the last of her seven brothers and sister (her lone younger sibling, my grandmother, died in 2008), the longest lived, and the last of that generation in my mother’s and biological father’s families. I've written about her before.
I’ve been planning to post about it since then, but I felt that there would never be enough to say about it. (Plus, my general lack of motivation to post was a factor, along with the fact that, until this past Friday, I was typing almost one-handed due to a fractured left wrist.) However, Aunt Alma’s role in my life deserves whatever meager public tribute I am able to give it. She, along with my great-uncle, John W. Simpkins, Jr. (1920-2000), shaped nearly everything I am and gave me everything they had. You can read about Uncle John here.
Aunt Alma and Uncle John were the first real parents I had. This is no disrespect to my mother; as a very young divorcee, she determined that it would be better for me to be raised by two parents. So it was that my aunt and uncle raised me from ages one to nine. When my mother remarried, she and my new dad took custody of me, but my aunt and uncle always held a special place in my heart—more than any of my grandparents.
Aunt Alma had been pretty healthy into her eighties, but began to feel and show the effects of advanced age—and, as we discovered later, a slow-growing brain tumor--around 2007. In 2010, she took a bad fall and during the treatment for that fall, the tumor was diagnosed. The doctors thought she would die not long after that, but Aunt Alma was always the toughest of cookies. I took care of her at home for nine months, but that became unworkable, so she spent over a year in a nursing home. However, she made me promise to bring her home before Christmas of last year and I did. She was gone a little over a month after she came home.
We had the memorial service on January 10, 2013 and the interment on the 17th.
I feel as if there is a huge part of me missing, but I know where she is; she had long accepted Jesus the Christ as her Lord and Savior.
As one can see from the photo, Aunt Alma was drop-dead gorgeous in her youth and—before her two marriages--she was the toast of the old black club scene in both LA and Harlem back in the day. There are many photographs around the house of her classily dolled-up, with her straight, black hair elegantly coiffed and, sometimes, containing a flower. In her last years, she would often say that she could never complain to God about not having had fun in her life.
Yes, I know we don’t look alike. She had two white grandfathers; her white exterior and our distinct lack of resemblance made for some fun encounters over the years—and some not-so-fun. At the nursing home, some of the black CNAs would speak to her brusquely until some of them saw me come to visit her. Racist heifers. (PSA: if you have a relative in a nursing home, make it a point to keep them on their toes. Whenever I saw that “here comes that bald-headed b*tch again” look in their eyes, I knew I was doing my job.)
Auntie would occasionally remind me that, when I was about three or four years old, I informed her, in my logical toddler wisdom, that I was black and she was white. Not long ago, when she again reminded me of this, I thought about it for a second, and came to the conclusion that I was correct in the first place. She was white—and she was black. And a quarter American Indian for good measure.
Aunt Alma was in a bit of denial about her declining health, but she could be very sensible about it, too. One of the reasons that I moved in with her back in 2003 was that, after a few fender-benders, she voluntarily gave up her driver’s license.
When I sit in what is now my house, I am surrounded by a memorial to her and I’m grateful to God for it. More than that, I'm grateful to God for her.
I read it in one sitting.....stayed up late, only stopped once to take a leak and have a smoke. I must confess it ran the entire gauntlet with me...... a rare thought indeed when I have read a book I know will change my life. I just did. Somehow I am glad I know you somewhat. It messed with my head at work the day after..... You masterfully led one into a pleasant relation, abruptly shattered by the realities of unreasoned racism, jealousy and hatred. Then the belated epiphany of the ramifications of such behaviors. My gut was steel, my eyes wet..........for I know and have seen in my life what you related, both the greatest and worst in humanity. Fortunately I have never felt it, either given or received. I really think you should see about getting some reviews, say the NY Times? Well done, my friend...very well done!!!!!!!Thank you, friend.
As for the situation with my great-aunt, there have been ups and downs (today is an 'up' day), but I want to be a little bit more detailed when I come back from visiting her today.
FYI: my online friends--like Chris and like Ric Locke--are some of the best people in the world.
Today, I'm going to be changing how this website looks, so if strange things happen here, you'll know why! Additionally, I'll be looking at how the build a website for my American dad's business. I think I have just enough knowledge for both tasks--enough to be dangerous, that is.
Oh yes, and will be cooking too!
At Real Clear Politics this morning, the Top 5 Stories are as follows:
More than 40 million people get food stamps, an increase of nearly 50% during the economic downturn, according to government data through May. The program has grown steadily for three years.
The unemployment-insurance program involves a balance between compassion—providing for persons temporarily without work—and efficiency. The loss in efficiency results partly because the program subsidizes unemployment, causing insufficient job-search, job-acceptance and levels of employment. A further inefficiency concerns the distortions from the increases in taxes required to pay for the program.
The recovery is a creature of confidence, or its absence. "In normal times, psychology doesn't matter much. It reflects economic conditions," says Zandi. "But in abnormal times, it's the reverse. Psychology determines economic conditions." What the boom and bust left is a massive case of collective doubt.
[President Obama gave] a stirring Sunday secular sermon [in New Orleans on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina] on the value of the federal government—and on the idea of national community that, in its best incarnations, it does or should represent to us all.
He wanted to prove not only to the people of the [Louisiana] but the people of the nation that the feds can be a source for good.
Two years into what had been sold as a new politics and a new approach, the 70 percent are fully aware that they have been conned, suckered, and taken to the cleaners by a hyper-ideological amalgam of leftist public intellectuals, snarling bloggers, career politicians with limited abilities who are often corrupt, and a president wholly inexperienced in the management of complex problems who is in way over his head and prisoner to slogans and schemes that make for great campus debates -- but for disaster in the real world.
The Total Outstanding Public Debt as of today: 13 trillion dollars and change. (See what I did there?)
It’s a High-Tech Looting of We, the People; it’s reparations to the "deserving" from the "undeserving." Forget about the injustice and the immorality of it all and follow the mass dependence on public funding to its logical conclusion: what happens when there are no jobs to service this debt via tax revenue? What happens to all and sundry who are fed, clothed and sheltered by American treasury monies when the treasury money is gone?
Speaking of unemployment, I’ve been laid off from my position as Social Media Consultant at Carmel Coast Publishing Enterprises—no worries; it’s a friendly parting and but a sign of the times. And even though it was only a part-time job, it was sufficient for my needs. But now, my only source of income is…you guessed it, my novel.
I’ll get right to the point: I need to raise $10,000 to pay my bills and my taxes. So far, I’ve sold 23 books from Amazon and Barnes & Noble, 15 via Kindle and 150+ via my novel’s website. Here’s what I need:
589 books sold from the Tale of the Tigers website;
2000 Kindle Editions sold. (Only $5.00!)
I will accept any combination thereof and, of course, donations will be much appreciated.You can do so here:
It’s tough for me to get out and do the hard-core, in-person marketing I need to do because I’m the sole caregiver for my great-aunt. (My inability to be away from home for long periods stands as one of the reasons that I finished the novel and took the chance on self-publishing. Therefore, nearly all of my marketing has been online, word-of-mouth and reputational.) All of the reviewers have judged Tale of the Tigers to be an exceptional work and I am grateful to those who have bought, read and commented. But now I need more.
About the national debt: many observers conclude that it is impossible for the United States to recover from such a crushing weight. I’m not sure that I believe this, though. Oh, it isn’t that I don’t believe that the debt isn’t lethal or isn’t meant to be so. It’s merely that God-inspired human inventiveness and ingenuity always seem to save the day. Sometimes we see through a glass darkly as to how, but, with faith, hope, love—and work—the light can be turned on.
God gifted to me an allotment of talents and I chose to invest them rather than bury them. I know for a fact that I am far from being the only recipient.
UPDATE: Love ya, Jeff.
UPDATE: To the fine gentlemen at the RoadRaceAutoX.com message boards: I would say that my work isn't "chick book," but others might be a better judge. There's no bodice-ripping and there's some cussing and violence, so there's that. :) At any rate, welcome and thanks for the link! I think you will enjoy it; my reviewers are mostly men.
UPDATE: Welcome Instapundit and Ace of Spades HQ readers! I'm humbled by your purchases, donations and good wishes. As for the tally: 37 additional Kindle Editions sold and $1,100 in sales and donations! As for Amazon, I have to get a report from my publisher but I can tell that the book is selling when my rank drops. More report--and blogging tomorrow. I'm very grateful!
After you give your life to God, when He commands you to stand, you have no choice.
It was a joy and a privilege to watch Glenn Beck, Marcus Lutrell, Alveda King, Bishop Harry Jackson, and hundreds of thousands of others as they stood to remind the government that our rights are a free gift from God and that no man or government of men may insert its being in between that providential connection. Like all who love liberty, I would have found it a blessing to have attended, but other responsibilities took precedence.
However, during my morning reading and prayer, it “occurred” to me—again--to ask God what His will is for my life. I wanted to know what I was or wasn’t doing that is against His will. Was there something I needed to do more of? Had I failed to say ‘how high’ when God told me to jump? Every person still breathing has an assigned mission, whether it be great or small.
After admitting publically that I had had an abortion, I received many compliments for my courage and honesty, but I felt neither courageous nor particularly honest. It wasn’t false humility; it was simply a feeling that there was more—as if there was something else I needed to face. And there was.
The accolades I received for that admission were watered down by a very sobering state of affairs in my life. The one person from whom I needed love and support has, because of my confession, repeatedly ridiculed me for it--seeming to want to induce shame in me for being so public. The irony contained therein is that, prior to my admission, I had avoided blogging about abortion due to the shame I had felt for doing away with my own child. Admitting it publicly was an attempt to free myself from that shame and it was done in the hope that at least one young woman reading would realize that she did not have to be the fool that I had been.
Abortion was my greatest shame and, though my eternal guilt has been washed away by the acceptance of Jesus Christ as my Savior, its earthly effects have been extremely painful, spiritually and emotionally—the consciousness of sin and the regret at committing a form of suicide.
The interesting part is this: when God opens your eyes, your spiritual vision is 20-20. The person who wants me to feel shame for my admission once claimed to love me. But, my being continues to be shaped by God and when He says, “Stand,” I have no choice. And what I’ve had to face is this: anyone who would ridicule me and attempt to provoke shame from me for my obedience to the Lord cannot possibly love me.
Even more interesting is the realization that when you are doing what you know is morally correct in the sight of God—when you take a stand in the name of Jesus Christ—any chastisement you receive is an indication that you are on the right path. Additionally, the source of that chastisement will give you a clear window into the soul of that source. Be sure to pray for that soul, however.
In Glenn Beck’s decidedly pastoral address on the Mall in Washington, DC, the emphasis was on Restoring Honor. The primary recipient of our honor as individual human beings is to God and is simply outlined in Mark 12:30-31; each human being is commanded to love God with an entire heart, and with full mental power and to love one’s neighbor as self. Love is the variant of honor that should constantly pour from our being—the highest type of honor.
For the longest time, I did not understand what it meant to love God, this incorporeal being. But how does one love a sentient earthly being? We communicate. We talk to that person and, most importantly, we listen to them and when we do this, we trust that the communication consists of truth—we extend good faith to our beloved. (And we show love by rejoicing in our beloved’s happiness and comforting him in his pain. And we never, never, never ridicule our beloved when he reveals his soul.)
With God, loving Him has an extra component, of course. Since He’s omnipotent and omniscient, we show our love to Him by doing what He commands and trusting that the commandments of a loving God are meant for good. We extend to God the ultimate in Good Faith.
After talking to Him (praying in the name of Jesus Christ) and listening to Him (reading the Word), we do what He puts in our hearts, in spite of any earthly consequences. We take a stand.
So my eyes are open and my vision is clear. I will continue to stand for the unborn and the murdered.
And I will remember that true love is (Holy) spiritual.
UPDATE: Though the story seems sad, I feel set free; very happy and peaceful. Peace is what I prayed for. It's a great birthday gift.
The first part of my response has already been publicized here, but I posted the following originally in a Facebook note. For that reason, I will only post here what I deem to be the second part of the answer. There might be a little preaching. That's an essential part of me. He's a part of me.
I've been having my hair cut/head shaved every two weeks for about twenty years now. However, every so often I decide to let my hair grow just for grins. Three weeks ago, I made that decision yet again and I have a very tiny TWA. (Short-and-curly has a different connotation to me than it does to most other people.) This time, however, something was different.
Yesterday, I was hand-washing dishes in my great-aunt's kitchen. The house is old-school, almost eighty years in existence. (We've even had to add electrical outlets because it was built when electricity was as new and rickety as iPhones are now.) Anyway, over the sink are a medicine chest with a mirror and a light which shines down on the head of whomever is standing at the sink. As I washed dishes, I happened to look at my new growth of hair and guess what!
There is a whole frickin' lot of salt in my used-to-be unadulterated pepper.
See you tomorrow, my beloved barber.
Those of you who bought my book—promised to be autographed--before it was on sale with the big online booksellers know that there has been a huge delay in getting those books into your hands. The day before yesterday, I sent out an email informing each of you that the books would be here at my house today. Well, early this morning, my publisher sent me an email saying that the delivery date is now the 10th.
Normally, I’d be feeling pretty frustrated about now. But ever since my publisher told me that the printers were located in Tennessee, the urge to look deeper at the disaster there has been stronger than my need to smack my fist on a table for not getting what I want when I want it. So, I looked and I am flabbergasted.
People are dead and another American city rich with history—Nashville--is under water. It is Katrina minus the demagogy of the Left.
Flash flooding and storms killed at least 29 people in Tennessee, Mississippi and Kentucky and at least two people were still missing Wednesday. The flooding was caused by rains of more than 13 inches and affected both rich and poor in this metropolitan area of about 1 million.
Mayor Karl Dean estimates the damage from weekend flooding could easily top $1 billion in Nashville alone.
As the rain-swollen Cumberland River continued to recede Wednesday, Nashville's downtown remained without power and one of two water plants was disabled, but officials said progress was being made on both problems.
And instead of waiting for a handout or a symbolic gesture from the federal government, Country Music stars have already begun the process of rebuilding Music City.
Radio fundraisers are taking place, and star-studded benefits are in the works after 19 people died in weekend storms in Tennessee.
Among the events is a telethon Thursday with Vince Gill for NBC affiliate WSMV-TV to benefit the Red Cross, Salvation Army and Second Harvest Food Bank.
"Nashville is a community of great spirit," country superstar Keith Urban told CNN's Rick Sanchez via Skype from the Nashville-area home he shares with his wife, Nicole Kidman, and their daughter.
Michelle Malkin has a list of those who are making it easy to donate and/or assist in other ways.
And Ed Morrissey calls this The Disaster America Ignored.
I cannot point fingers, for I am guilty of feeling only vaguely sorry for these people until their plight affected me personally. But this isn’t about my mea culpa while sitting here in my nice, dry home office with my nice, dry worldly possessions. It’s about the little and big taps on the shoulder which the Almighty gives Christians all the time to remind us of the second of Jesus the Christ’s two commandments: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
As was so when Hurricane Katrina battered the Gulf Coast (which is having contemporary problems again of its own; discussed in a bit), a philanthropy link for Tennessee flood victims will appear at the end of each post for at least two weeks.
Let’s start by lifting one from Michelle. I’m sure she won’t mind.
So there I am in Dulles airport just after disembarking my flight out of LA. I'm heading toward Baggage Claim and, as I'm walking, I look into a baseball-capped, familiar face. The owner of that face looks at me and calls me by name.
It was none other that Michael "Cobb" Bowen, here in DC on business unrelated to my business of attending the 2010 Milblog Conference and who treated me to a late lunch and an early beer. Seeing him was a little wonder-inducing; we've been friends for years but have only seen each other in person twice. Such is the nature of blog-friendship.
As for the Milblog Conference, you can catch it (and me) streaming here. It starts tonight at 6:30 EST.
There was a big quake around these parts--a 7.2 monster centered down in Mexico. Up here in South Central LA, we felt it and it was the oddest thing. The house felt as though it had been put on giant rockers and, a couple of times, the house felt (and looked!) as though it was about to tip over. Actually, a better description is that it felt as if the world were about to tip over!
We're fine, however. But I bet Mexico isn't.
From all reports, yesterday's major earthquake--the strongest in the area in the last 200 years--has disintegrated a country that was barely being held together in the first place.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Haitians piled bodies along the devastated streets of their capital Wednesday after a powerful earthquake crushed thousands of structures, from schools and shacks to theand the U.N. peacekeeping headquarters. Untold numbers were still trapped.
said he believes thousands of people were dead from Tuesday afternoon's magnitude-7.0 quake.
"Parliament has collapsed. The tax office has collapsed. Schools have collapsed. Hospitals have collapsed," Preval told the . "There are a lot of schools that have a lot of dead people in them."
The Roman Catholic archbishop ofwas among the dead, and the head of the was missing.
The international Red Cross said a third of 's 9 million people may need emergency aid and that it would take a day or two for a clear picture of the damage to emerge.
President Barack Obama promised an all-out rescue and humanitarian effort, adding that the U.S. commitment to its hemispheric neighbor will be unwavering.
There are reports that the president has already sent more US troops to the island that Haiti shares with the Dominican Republic, with the Coast Guard having already arrived. Between Hurricane Katrina and the Boxing Day Tsunami, the US military has plenty of experience in disaster rescue and relief.
Civilian agencies are also on the case.World Vision
May God have mercy on these people.
UPDATE: Hip-hop artist Wyclef Jean has had a Haiti relief page for four years, but it appears that the server has been overwhelmed. Keep trying.
Many more relief programs are listed here.
UPDATE: Here's Wyclef's donation page (Yele Haiti).
UPDATE: Food for the Poor Twitters
The nearly 900-foot ship is staffed largely by doctors, nurses and technicians from the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda. It has 12 operating rooms and room for 1,000 hospital beds.
From Chuck Simmons on Facebook:
USCG cutters on location. USAF moving to secure airport. CVN Carl Vinson steaming to assist - expected arrival tomorrow.
UPDATE: Visions of Hell.
Today is a busy day--one not much different than the foregoing few days.
Yes, I have two posts in the mix, one continuing on the topic of the white American fear of being branded racist and another on the fact that America seems to be surrounded by her enemies.
Today, however, I'm going to behave as if I am a citizen of the freest, strongest, most blessed nation on Earth, a country filled with limitless opportunity. My publisher and I will have a meeting about my novel, during which he will agree to everything I request and, later on, I will have the chance to meet face-to-face with that raging racist Stacy McCain during his sojourn to the West Coast. (Man, can that guy talk!) I'll have him buy me a glass of wine to redeem himself.
Maybe we'll invite a certain jazz musician, cyclist, Christian-hater, race-baiter!
Nah. Not unless said-person is interested in an exorcism...
Happy New Year!
UPDATE: Due to life circumstances, raging racist Stacy McCain will buy me a drink tomorrow night instead of tonight. However, my publisher is putty in my hands!
I have the flu. Not the H1N1 kind, but it's yucky. And I haven't had anything respiratory in seven to eight years, so I'm thinking conspiracy.
Yes I'm kidding. But I'm annoyed because it's keeping me out of the gym. Oh...have I mentioned that I've lost thirty pounds since July? :)
Last week I came perilously close to cursing at a friend of my great-aunt’s--a woman in her seventies who has known me all of my life and for whom I sometimes run errands. (Both ladies had enough marbles and enough humility to give up their driver’s licenses when the time came to do so; therefore I am often the driver.) I’ll call her Mrs. Sampson
Anyway the slip almost happened when Mrs. Sampson said that her church was praying for President Obama. Now before you folks who are prone to jumping to conclusions make that leap, know that I pray for him also. I pray that he is called to repent of his sins and accepts the Lord Jesus Christ—the real one rather than the abomination--as his savior and that his decisions are guided by the Holy Spirit. I presume that Mrs. Sampson and her church’s other congregants pray the same thing since Christians are exhorted to pray for their leaders.
However, Mrs. Sampson’s actual words regarding the reason her church was praying for the president got to me. “Oh they’re criticizing him so. It’s just horrible!”
I didn’t say what I was thinking, but those thoughts did contain the f-bomb.
After biting my tongue—almost literally—I pointed out that if he didn’t want to get criticized that he should not have run for president. She agreed, then pointed out that Jesus had been criticized(!)
I quickly asserted that, contrary to some opinions, he was not Jesus, and then took the conversation to the place that had initiated my anger.
“President Obama is the Commander-in Chief of the Armed Forces. There are many young men--teenagers some of them--who are sleeping on the ground, who haven’t had showers for weeks and they are doing so under his orders. Many of these men have seen their friends blown to bits and some may have that happen to them or may come home minus a body part. If they can put up with that, don’t you think that their Commander-in Chief can put up with a little criticism?”
“You’re right, he can.”
“Is your church praying for any of them?”
Why are all of these people treating the putative Leader of the Free World as if he’s a puling infant? Oh wait. He is.
Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. --Romans 12:19 (NIV)
Black Cop: "If I told you once to take [poster with Obama-as-Joker] down and you put it back up then I can charge you with whatever I want to charge you with, okay?" [snip]
White Male Protester: "This used to be America."
Black Cop: "Well it ain't no mo', okay?"
When I asserted that the above-documented incident was evidence of racial discord that is being sown in the minds and spirits of Americans since the inauguration of President Barack Obama, some people didn’t believe me (and copped an attitude in their disbelief as well, which is always fun).
As the aphorism goes, there are some things that cannot be defined, but we know them when we see them. However, I will attempt to explain to my readers and guests why that incident was emblematic of the racial Sign of these Times. Fair warning: I’m thinking that this will take at least two posts.
Last year when those who were paying attention discovered the I-deology called “Black Liberation Theology,” many black Americans—including me--had the proverbial light bulb come on over our heads. You see, we had heard the rhetoric before. Not often in churches (though sometimes it is--as I’ll demonstrate below) and not holistically, but piecemeal--from various organizations within the communities in which we often live; organizations designed to “help” black people or “uplift” black/African heritage. (Side note: Often, the celebrators of this “African” heritage do not have the smarts or discipline to immerse themselves in the scholarship of any singular existing African culture. Knowing this to be a fact, a certain enterprising individual saw the value in fabricating a hybrid of African cultures and marketing that hybrid to a black populace who was mostly ignorant of what they were really embracing. Thus do we have Kwanzaa.)
Most black Americans have long been familiar with the Nation of Islam, their wacky theology, their assertion that the white race is Satan incarnate, etc. As a matter of fact, I’ve never hidden the fact that my immediate family--mother and stepfather--were members of the NOI when I was a teenager. (We’re all born-again Christians now.) But what most of us did not know was that smaller, almost unknown organizations had sprung up in the 1960s with its messengers and its rhetoric, most of it similar to that of the NOI; revolving around hatred of white people and the innate supremacy of black Africans--a counter to the white supremacy under which most black Americans were subject prior to that time—and predicting that the superior African would ultimate triumph over his “natural” enemy, the European/Caucasian/white.
Most black Americans did not join these organizations; most didn’t even know that they existed and if they did know, they held them in contempt. However, if the formal structure was unknown, the rhetoric was not. “God-d*mn Amerika,” “US of KKKA” and much worse ersatz curses could be heard coming out of the mouths of every father, uncle, brother, grandfather, etc. who had ever been stopped for the sin of Driving While Black or whose progenitor had been formally if unjustly executed by the state…or had disappeared into the night, only to be found in a river…or buried in a shallow grave. Such curses were often heaped upon a country that once adhered to the separate-but-equal legal doctrine and once looked the other way as local government entities heaped oppression on American citizens of African descent. (Side note: not part of the Lynching Narrative were those black Americans known as “crazy n*ggers”--that is, black Americans in the South who took their right to bear arms seriously. Those white Southerners inclined to terrorize blacks wouldn’t bother such men. I’m told that my great-grandfather, Lucius Jenkins, was such a man. Dr. Condoleezza Rice says that her father was yet another.)
In the fifties and sixties, things began to change—not all at once, but gradually, as is typical of societal upheavals. (In reality, the “gradual” change happened pretty quickly.) But by that time the anger was already brewing and the impatience with the work of the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob had already caused many to abandon Him—as often happens when humans operate by their own time rather than God’s.
That’s an overview of why organizations like both the old and New Black Panthers exist. But there's something special about Black Liberation Theology: many if not most black Americans knew of its fabric but did not know that it existed as a coherent package of principles and tenets with a label. Black Liberation Theology has long walked covertly as underlying current snaking its way into the thinking of Americans who are black and who fail to keep up their spiritual guard. This previously unnamed ideology would pop up its head in various venues and unlikely sources. Example: several years ago, my great-aunt claimed that somewhere in the Bible there existed a prophecy predicting that “the black man would rule the earth.” Having read the Bible back and forth, I heatedly disputed this notion—not because I cared whether black people would rule the earth or not, but because I was disgusted that someone would lie to her about the Word of God. Of course, she couldn’t cite the quote.
Several years later—last year to be specific—after the name of Reverend Jeremiah Wright became infamous and the tenets of Black Liberation Theology became well-known, I asked my aunt to think about where she had heard about the notion of world-wide black rule. She didn’t have to think too long. She’s Catholic and the assertion had come from a priest who was visiting her church; a Liberation Theologian--one of Sowers of the currently and continuously sprouting sapling called Racial Discord.
So what does all this have to do with the incident that occurred on August 25, 2009? Hint: go back to the beginning.
To be continued...
(Thanks to bgates)
PREVIOUSLY: What the Sowers of Discord Hath Wrought
I've been reaalllly busy the last few weeks, as if you couldn't tell. At least one more day and then I'm back, God willing. BTW, Saturday I attended the McCain-Palin rally in Carson, CA with Darleen Click (pics!) and Joy McCann (Little Miss Attila) and we hung out for the day with Ace, Patrick (Patterico) and a member of Ace's Moron Nation,
drinking finding solutions to the many problems with which we are beset.
Go see what they all have to say--especially Patrick.
UPDATE: Girls' Day Out: one of Joy's contacts from France's Le Monde--a very nice lady--took our photo.
If you've guessed that I have more than one on-going responsibility, you're correct. It's a blessing for sure but it takes up time away from the computer. I'll try to get in some posting this afternoon.
I can throw you a bone: my father is very ticked-off at some American journalists right now--especially Jerome Corsi.
Duties call. Send links and general comments. Yes, even you, Guest-known-as-'me.'
In LA right now...rockin the house.
UPDATE: Alles in Ordnung. For now.
5.6 5.8; felt from San Diego to San Francisco Santa Barbara. LA Times server must have caught something heavy. It's down.
Epicenter: 29 miles east of LA...Chino Hills.
UPDATE:LAT back up.
UPDATE: Breitbart (AP):
Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey said there were no immediate reports of damage or injury in Los Angeles. San Bernardino County fire dispatch also had no immediate reports of damage.
The quake struck at 11:42 a.m. PDT. Buildings swayed in downtown Los Angeles for several seconds.
Workers quickly evacuated some office buildings.
"It was dramatic. The whole building moved and it lasted for a while," said Los Angeles County sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore, who was in the sheriff's suburban Monterey Park headquarters east of Los Angeles.
UPDATE: My great-aunt, a Californian through and through: "Enough with the earthquake coverage already!"
UPDATE: They're still talking about it on FNC. Overheard passing by the TV: "...as soon as we get some video of those [presumably broken] ceiling tiles..." ZZZZ
East Coasters, relax. We're used to this.
UPDATE: Gabriel Malor was taking his bar exam in the
LA Ontario Convention Center where the ceiling tiles in question fell and that they're heavy enough to hurt someone. My bad. I'm glad that no future lawyers were hurt.
7/27/08 around 4:15PM
I’m sick of this town. I’m sick of this state.
A man, late forties or early fifties, walked out in front of me while I was sitting in line at an In-n-Out drive-thru and while my car was rolling forward, so I said “hey could you make sure that I see you before you walk in front of me? I almost hit you.” He looked at me with a mixture of incomprehension, disgust and bluster, but said nothing. He was Latino, so I asked, “do you speak English?” He did, at least a bit. “F*ck you, b*tch.”
I watched open-mouthed as he walked over to a light-green Toyota Rav 4. As some may remember I carry a camera everywhere I go. So I got out and took his photo and took one of his vehicle. “You want my ID too?” he asked. “No," I said and walked back to my car.
He began cursing me in Spanish so I yelled back: “None of this would have happened if you had just said you were sorry! NONE OF THIS WOULD BE HAPPENING IF YOU WOULD HAVE SAID ‘LO SIENTO!!’
His wife tried to block the plate but I got a photo of it when I got back in my car. So he gets out and writes down my plate number. I have veteran’s plates and two window stickers: 'United States Air Force Retired' and 'National Rifle Association.'
“You make sure you tell whoever it is that I’m a veteran of the United States Air Force protecting your right to be an A**HOLE!” This was at the top of my lungs also.
If it’s the LAPD he’s telling I should be okay, but if it’s some gang member, who knows? There is a low-level race war going on here, you know. That’s the only reason that I’m making this information public.
I won’t post his face or his plate number unless something crazy happens, but I’ve sent the images to someone I can trust.
I’m tired of people-of whatever race--who can’t even be bothered to display simple manners and who then have the nerve to get offended when you take exception to it.
Go ahead, lambaste me for this post, but I've had enough of this crap.
UPDATE:++undead says that just wearing this outfit would adjust pedestrians' attitudes appropriately.
It was written by Hog on Ice's Steve H. who is an Internet friend and a good guy who links to me and who
enjoys it takes it with good humor when I beat up on him rhetorically.
Actually I bought the book a few years back but Steve is asking people to promote it again for whatever reason and I'm happy to do it.
I'm not reading it like one would read some other piece of non-fiction, of course. What I'm probably going to do, however, is pick some dish out of it and cook it for my great-aunt's eighty-seventh birthday tomorrow.
As you can imagine, Aunt A. pretty much eats what she wants at this point, allowing for salt content and dentures. As for me, I will be making my pilgrimage to a base gym tomorrow morning, as I have been doing every morning for the last three weeks, Sundays excepted. So we're throwin' down on Auntie's and the USA's birthday tomorrow.
Any suggestions, Steve?
And it seems like yesterday.
I missed the anniversary (June 26th) of the death of my friend Rob Smith aka Acidman, but I don't think he would care. It wasn't his style to get all in a snit about such things. That's why I liked him.
His blog remains updated, using reposts of his excellent missives and the repeats garner few comments; however, on the day in question there are many tributes to that crazy "old" man. Go and see.
Thank you to the folks who have hit the tip jar.
I wasn’t going to post today--I need to work on a couple of projects--however, when I took a break, I couldn't help but notice that our friends at Hot Air have taken it upon themselves to publicize the difficulties suffered by minorities in this country.
First they note the plight of Fugly Americans:
This morning, Imus discussed the case of Adam “Pac-Man” Jones, the NFL player that sat out 2007 with disciplinary suspensions and has been arrested a half-dozen times since being drafted the previous year. While Imus’ news announcer talks about Jones’ desire to drop his nickname — it’s too “negative” now — Imus startled him with a question:Then there are Imbecile Americans (pdf; apparently Imus qualifies in this category as well):
“Imus: ‘What color is he?’
A: ‘He’s African American [sic].’
Imus: ‘Well there you go… now we know.’”
21% of atheists believe in GodAll kidding aside, someone in HA’s Imus thread laments ad infinitum that white Americans are bound to unofficial Politically Correct speech laws to which their black fellow citizens are not. I’m sorry but I’m less that sympathetic to that particular complaint.
See, when a group of people—conservatives--all but abandons its principles and allows a group with opposing principles to make the rules, this is what you get. As a result, when an Imus insults black women for the "sin" of not being attractive in his eyes and does so using racial language, he will get fired. Conversely, no one will turn a hair when terms like “white trash” or “redneck” are thrown around publicly in serious discussions. (Interestingly enough, these same rules allow for the same Imus—a Democrat supporter of Obama and friend of the MSM-approved "black leader," Al Sharpton—to get his job back and re-offend.)
Sorry but if you allow the Lefties to base “the rules” on the shifty sands of relative truth, don’t be surprised when you come out the loser.
Stop whining and man up.
I won't be on tomorrow until the evening, Pacific time.
"I meant that he was being picked on because he's black," Imus said in a statement released by his spokesman.Why not just say "they can't help it it's in their nature?" That'd be more honest.
Remember when the World Health Organization predicted that AIDS would become a heterosexual pandemic worldwide? Now the organization has retracted the prediction.
A quarter of a century after the outbreak of Aids, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has accepted that the threat of a global heterosexual pandemic has disappeared.(And no, considering the name of the physician, I'm not sure that WHO isn't trying to prank the world.)
In the first official admission that the universal prevention strategy promoted by the major Aids organisations may have been misdirected, Kevin de Cock, the head of the WHO's department of HIV/Aids said there will be no generalised epidemic of Aids in the heterosexual population outside Africa.
Dr De Cock, an epidemiologist who has spent much of his career leading the battle against the disease, said understanding of the threat posed by the virus had changed. Whereas once it was seen as a risk to populations everywhere, it was now recognised that, outside sub-Saharan Africa, it was confined to high-risk groups including men who have sex with men, injecting drug users, and sex workers and their clients
James Taranto notes the many ominous cries of panic regard heterosexual AIDS since the 1980s and wonders whether there will be a similar reversal of opinion with regard to Global Warming twenty-five years hence.
One thing I found noteworthy in the Independent report is that Russians have a high rate of infection HIV (1%)--the identical rate of that in South Africa in 1991. Seventeen years later, South Africa's rate is 25%.
WHO attributes Russia's rate mostly to the large and growing amount of IV drug-users. That fits with this report on Russian "hypermortality, where, between AIDS, alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, avoidance of healthcare and abortion rates, the citizenry appears to be committing mass suicide.
Is this the inevitable final comedown of a wholly atheistic society?
(Thanks to James Joyner)
MORE ON MASS SUICIDE: In...Japan.
Since 1998, when it nearly doubled in a year, Japan’s suicide rate has remained among the developed world’s highest. (Although, arguably, not as high as it is sometimes portrayed as being, with over 30,000 people taking their own lives every year so far this decade.) Recently, suicide in groups, usually by means of a charcoal stove in an enclosed car in a remote park, has been on the rise, with participants usually meeting on line. More recently, suicide has taken a turn toward being a public health problem of the sort normally only considered in areas where the threat of a suicide bombing is a reality: hydrogen sulfide gas and other noxious gasses emerged as a new trend in suicide earlier this year, with people in hotel rooms or other densely populated areas killing themselves, then taking others with them as the gas spread throughout the building or emergency workers tried to rescue them.I'd call it post-war depression. The war in question is World War II.
No, not him. Me. I have one that's keeping me from concentrating on composing a post at the moment. Hopefully (no pun intended) it will be cleared up by today.
China asks for earthquake rescue/recovery resource help. In response, individuals and nations mobilize. Examples:
Russia, Japan and Taiwan:
A 60-member Japanese rescue team arrived in Beijing late yesterday and is expected in the quake region early tomorrow, Xinhua said. A chartered freight flight from Taiwan arrived at the hard-hit city of Chengdu, the provincial capital, loaded with blankets, tents and clothes.Thailand:
Russian planes delivered aid to the quake area, and China agreed to accept rescuers and medics from its northern neighbor, Xinhua said, quoting a Russian Emergency Ministry statement distributed by the Russian news agency Interfax.
BANGKOK, May 15 (Xinhua) -- Thailand's Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn on Thursday made a personal donation of 100,000 RMB (some 14,286 U.S. dollars) in cash to help disaster relief in China after a strong earthquake hit the southwestern province of Sichuan.Cambodia:
Earlier on the day, representatives of the Thai Red Cross Society and the Chaipattana Foundation under royal patronage, also passed on a donation of 200,000 U.S. dollars to China Red Cross Society.
PHNOM PENH, May 14 (Xinhua) -- The Cambodian Red Cross here on Wednesday donated 10,000 U.S. dollars through the Chinese Embassy to the Red Cross Society of China to facilitate its humanitarian activities for the earthquake-affected areas in China.Phoenix, AZ, USA:
"We, therefore, would like to ask your kindness in conveying the message of condolence to the families of the dead and our sharing of the hardships and difficulties being struggled over by the survivors and the rescuers," said Bun Rany, president of the Cambodian Red Cross, in a letter to Peng Peiyun, president of the Red Cross Society of China.
[American college student Carlos Hernandez and] hundreds of others who had traveled from Phoenix to Chengdu as part of sister city exchanges – from students and teachers to firefighters, police officers, and judges – awakened with the same reaction. They immediately reached out to their friends and counterparts in Sichuan Province's capital, a city of some 11 million people located 60 miles from the epicenter of Monday's earthquake. The confirmed death toll in the region reached 19,509 Thursday, and China said the number could rise to 50,000 once all the missing are accounted for.
Phoenix Sister City officials swung into action, setting up a Chengdu Earthquake Relief Fund to accept cash donations. They sent a group member to China on Wednesday to meet with counterparts in Chengdu and set up a bank account where the funds collected in Phoenix can be transferred to help the local population.
Canadians have donated $80,000 [to the IRC] so far for relief efforts.Meanwhile the UN finds itself in a quandary: what should it do if a nation refuses most disaster aid and--like Myanmar and unlike China--isn't mostly up to taking care of itself.
The Nova Scotia branch of the Chinese Benevolent Association of Canada will also take donations on Sunday. Members will be touring some of Halifax’s cemeteries, visiting their ancestors’ graves. The association will ask for donations at the end of the tour, when the group meets at Dragon Buffet King in Bayers Lake Business Park at about 1 p.m.
Myanmar's isolated military regime is still allowing only a "trickle" of aid and a few international aid workers into the country, the U.N. said Tuesday, reaching about a quarter of the 1.5 million people affected by the recent cyclone that killed more than 34,000 people. Meanwhile, China has welcomed foreign money and supplies, but not international rescue teams, to help survivors of the earthquake that has killed more than 12,000.The LA Times staff writer couldn't resist rolling in this little moral equivalence grenade:
Rejection of outside aid by governments in times of crisis is not unprecedented. India did so after the 2004 tsunami, China after floods last year and after the 1976 Tangshan earthquake that took more than 240,000 lives. The United States also turned down offers of help from the U.N. and other nations after Hurricane Katrina. Such decisions are generally made out of national pride and in efforts by governments to demonstrate their capability to care for their own people.Because it's only "national pride" which would cause a self-sufficient nation to refuse aid which could be better utilized by more needy nations.
Anyway, some have suggested that the UN should airdrop the aid anyway. The French foreign minister rightly called Myanmar's response to the cyclone aftermath "a crime against humanity." But as with other such governmental abuses of citizens, the UN remains prone. To be honest, though, I'm not sure how the body should respond otherwise, at least in this case.
Though not (yet) a drop in the bucket as compared to the death toll from the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster of three years ago, the casualty figures from the Myanmar cyclone continue to grow: from 350 to 3000 to 10000 and now to 22,000 dead and 40000+ missing. As for the living, an unknown number are wounded (probably four times the number of dead) and up to one million persons are homeless.
Myanmar, also known as Burma, is run by a military dictatorship and had initially refused outside aid. They appear to have changed their minds, but UN officials are still waiting for access into the country.
"The government has shown a certain openness so far," [U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs official Elisabeth] Byrs said. "We hope that we will get the visas as soon as possible, in the coming hours. I think the authorities have understood the seriousness of the situation and that they will act accordingly."Read more about the political situation in the country which, undoubtedly, has been radically altered in the past week.
The appeal for outside assistance was unusual for Myanmar's ruling generals, who have long been suspicious of international organizations and closely controlled their activities. Several agencies, including the International Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders, have limited their presence as a consequence.
My broadband link has been intermittent since Saturday.
I have plenty to say about Reverend Jeremiah Wright's appearances--especially this morning's horror show--but I just wanted to put up this quick blurb to explain why I hadn't said much about these things in the past few days and why it might be tomorrow before I do.
(Thanks to Phelps)
Please give this man a job--one that pays exponentially more than delivering pizza.
A pizza delivery driver, who police said defended himself by shooting a robber who attacked him, was fired from his job on Friday.I'm not sure whether Pizza Hut deserves the flak that it's probably getting. After all, it's a private business and may make its own rules which an employee must follow. However, were I a pizza delivery chick, I'd carry too. After all, as one of Say Uncle's commenters points out, you can always get a new job if you get fired--but only if you're not dead.
James Spiers, 38, confirmed to KCCI that he is no longer employed by Pizza Hut. Spiers said he was given two months severance pay and was offered help finding a new job by the company. [SNIP]
According to court documents, Melanie Stout, 18, called in a pizza order to an apartment building at 2050 SE King Ave. Police said her fiancee, Kenneth Jimmerson, 19, was waiting in the lobby with a gun when Spiers arrived at 10:39 p.m. on March 28.
Police said Jimmerson tried to rob Spiers at gunpoint. During a struggle, Spiers pulled out his own gun and opened fire. Spiers shot Jimmerson several times, in what police said was a justified shooting. Jimmerson survived was sent to the hospital and a couple days later moved to the Polk County Jail.
Though Spiers had a permit to carry his gun, Pizza Hut suspended its long-time delivery driver.
Oh and I must say that young Melanie sure can pick 'em. I'm guessing that the nuptials have been postponed.
(Thanks to Instapundit)
I slept in a bit this morning due to having fallen asleep in the wee hours.
This isn't my house.
I don't know whether anyone was hurt, but I saw a barefoot older man sitting on the grass across the street from the burning house. He looked shell-shocked.
Nothing like a fire on your block in the middle of the night to keep you from sleeping, especially when you have a senior to take care of.
Check your alarms--and your parents.
I'm going to devote most of today to the three projects I have going. One of the things I'm listening to in the background, however, is the coverage of Pope Benedict's sojourn in the East Coast. (Happy Birthday to Papa Ratzi!) Go to Belief.net for the wall to wall coverage.
One thing about my projects: how does one get access to information held by Stanford University's Hoover Institution? The information on access isn't all that clear. Do I have to fly up there to retrieve it?
Oh and thanks to the people who have donated to the this site (hint: in case I do have to fly up there).
(Thanks to Michelle Malkin)
I could at least steal some guy traits that might make my life a bit simpler, and that included carrying a wallet. Men seem calmer than women, and maybe not having to keep up with a purse 24/7 is part of the reason.It would be for me as well. Not trying brag or anything (okay I am, just a little), but putting items in my chest or pants pockets would make already overly curvy areas look even curvier--or look as though some abnormal growth which required immediate surgical attention was present on T or A. Additionally, the sheer number of items I carry--wallet, glasses, phone, camera, make-up bag, sundries--does not allow for me to go without something in which to hold them. So I'll keep carrying purse and, sometimes, backpacks.
How has it worked out? It’s hard!
Now about that hair...
(Comedy ensues at Protein Wisdom)
First posting will commence a bit later today, as I find that I am without an essential blogging element: caffeinated coffee. Additionally, I have to walk to purchase it. (Did I forget to mention that my car is out of commission again?) Anyway, there is decaf on the premises but, on top of not being able to provide what I need, it's yucky.
Will be back in a bit.
LA Times’ Steve Lopez accurately describes the neighborhood in which young Los Angeles High School football star and all around good kid Jamiel "Jazz" Shaw, Jr. grew up. In spite of stereotypes about South Central Los Angeles, it's been a nice neighborhood for a long time. I remember its middle-class diversity well since my old house sits only a few blocks away from Shaw’s; LA High is my alma mater.
It seems that the neighborhood remained relatively tranquil right up to the time when Shaw was shot to death in front of his own home—in front of his father.
The preliminary report from police suggested a random gang hit on a kid who was clean, Latino suspects targeting a black kid, here on a block that had defied ignorance and hatred and knocked down the walls we build between ourselves.Jazz may be a victim of the low-level war at home. (In a brutally ironic twist, his mother had to come home on emergency leave from Iraq. She’s a U.S. Army sergeant.)
I look at that boy’s face and I see my nephews and the sons of my friends. I think of all the times that I’ve ranted about black unwed mothers and the types of progeny they generally set forth into the world. And then I look at this kid, who had both of his biological parents, a good home, a clean record and a bright future.
And I understand why people just give up.
My prayers go out to the Shaw family, because it’s the only thing I can give them. In a way, it always was.
(Thanks to Patterico)
I hate it when anyone knocks on my door without calling first--it's a form of inconsideration. So you can imagine that I really, really hate it when random solicitors knock.
At my house there's a sign on the outside gate that greets a prospective guest with the admonition that "No Soliciting" is welcome by the occupants therein. Then, as a secondary measure, a printed sign hangs on the security door (hey, I live in South Central LA) with following message appearing almost like this
NO SOLICITING MEANS DO NOT KNOCK ON THIS DOOR SELLING ANYTHING, GIVING ANYTHING AWAY, ASKING ME TO SIGN ANYTHING, BEGGING FOR ANYTHING OR TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO YOUR RELIGION.except that on the sign, the font size is 36. It's meant for those whose vocabulary may not including the verb 'to solicit.'
So why did some guy knock on my door anyway yesterday? When I pointed to both "no soliciting" signs, he still had the nerve to try to get me to sign a political petition! I guess that he thought he was too cute to be gainsaid. The answer, however, was--shall we say--an emphatic 'no.'
And, yes, I'm complaining without offering a viable solution--simply because I can't think of one which would keep me out of jail.
Help! Does anyone know how to open the old-fashioned can version of John McCann's Steel-cut Irish Oatmeal (pictured)? I had to stoop to eating Quaker's this morning. Not that I haven't stooped to it before, but I bought the McCann's because it has no sugar in it.
Oh. Did I mention that I've been on a diet? The South BeachTM type. I'm feeling pretty good, having lost fourteen pounds in three weeks. Oh yes and then there's the exercise (again). This isn't the first time that I've been able to exercise myself down in weight, but I've never been able to stick to a diet before. The quick results, however, are encouraging.
A friend of mine--an ex-boxer--says that if I start jumping rope, the weight will drop off even more quickly. I don't know. I wasn't that coordinated back when I was jumping rope on a regular basis and now I'll have to strap down a pair of assets that I didn't have back then. Send armor.
And, no, there'll be no video.
UPDATE: Three and fifty (I'll let you guess).
UPDATE (2/22/08): Opened.
Twice in the past year, I have awakened to a non-functioning/improperly functioning computer with one of those times being yesterday morning. To make a long story short--after being patiently walked through the trial and error process by a Microsoft guy via the telephone, we finally hit upon the solution.
A benediction: may the country of India remain fertile and evergreen and may its tribe(s) continue to increase.
These past few weeks seem to be ones in which the older members of my family require extra attention from their children. Today is one of those days (no worries). I’ll be back later.
I've toiled in hostile work environments (mostly civilian). So I feel for this poor guy.
I'm constantly being corrected, chastised, and punished for using the wrong words.He's a young man who works at a non-profit in an office full of women. The Chastiser is his boss, a radical lesbian feminist; the words he uses are those dreaded tools of the patriarchy: girl, lady, etc.
However, I'd like to say this: the political/social demographics under which his boss falls are not the problem. Working in any female-dominated office is the problem--that means the vast majority of offices. In female-dominated offices, one person--the one who is "different"--is singled out for correction or to be driven into resigning. Often whisper campaigns are started to that end.
I'd rather be a Figueroa "street merchant" than work in such an office again.
IMO, this phenomenon is merely a distaff version of the gang-mentality. Whenever you read of someone going "postal," it's probably someone who was ganged up on at work in such an environment and didn't know how to handle it constructively.
I'd suggest that the young man in the "Dear Prudence" letter document the date, time and particulars of every incident and keep that documentation at home. Here's an even better suggestion: start your own business, kid.
So I’m coming home from church via a Los Angeles MTA Bus Sunday because the brakes on my hoopty are gone. In LA, using the Metro is perceived to be only for the “underclass” and it’s a shame too because if more used public transportation there would be more money to expand it.
I’d give up my vehicle if the public transportation were like that in East Coast cities. Maybe.
Anyway, I’m on the one of the accordion-style busses, sitting in the seats located in the “accordion.” (As far as I can tell, all of LA’s MTA busses are of this style.) The seats right next to and further to the front of the bus than the accordion seats are roughly a foot above them. And on this day, seated in such seats right next to me are two young Muslim men. They’re medium brown–skinned--around the same complexion as the youngest of my American sisters and as the two young Hispanic men sitting across from me—and, at first, the only way that I can tell that they are Muslim is that they are both wearing the little white knit caps similar to a yarmulke. (Any assistance as to what that type of cap is called is welcome.)
At first I barely notice the men. Being bored makes me nuts, so I carry a book everywhere I go in order to fill the times of expected or incidental waiting. On this day I happened to have two books, one being a Bible, of course. But I was reading the other one, a thick hardback from the library.
Then, something one of the young Muslims did caught my attention. He was wearing a thick leather jacket and he hugged himself for a long time with his hands hidden. (It was one of those warm days that occur during LA winters, around 75 degrees Fahrenheit.) I began to silently pray.
In the Name of Allah the Most Beneficent the Most MercifulI nearly got up and jumped out of the window of a moving bus. Instead I opened up my Bible to Matthew 21:21.
All praise is due to Allah the Maker of Worlds.
Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done.I wasn’t up for withering fig trees that day. All I asked was that the guy not be a jihadi or if he was, to not be at “work” on that day. But of course I acknowledged that “God’s will be done.”
Just then a shapely young black girl walked done the aisle in front of us. The Muslim guy and the two Hispanic guys were staring at her with open mouths. I relaxed a bit because surely he wouldn’t want to blow up the pretty girl, right? (Okay, I understand that that does happen a lot sometimes, but cut me a break; I was grasping at straws.)
Then the Muslim decided to try out his Spanish on the other men. One cannot grow up in LA and not understand at least the rudiments of the language. And, in this case, even though the Spanish was accented, I understood every word.
I heard those n*gger b*tches are hot in bed.I was angry now instead of afraid. Then I remembered the other book that I was carrying—the large hardback. I closed it so that the Muslim would be able to read the book’s emphasized subtitle should he look down over my shoulder. He noticed the subtitle--and the photos--as soon as I closed the book because I saw him do a double-take.
The book was this one.
Please contribute to my brake fund.