After Katrina Seven Things You Can Do
If you are like me, you are living some distance from the devastation wrought by Katrina. If you are like me you not physically impacted and can watch the plight of others on television in the comfort of your home. And if you are like me, you are wondering what you can do.
I believe the answer to that question is an important one. It can help define who you are and what you have and choose to give to the world. The list that follows is not meant to stimulate your thinking. It is meant to stimulate action. All of us can do all of these things. And in doing them we will not only be helping others, we will be helping ourselves deal with and grow from these events as well.
Give Resources. You have heard it and will hear it often. The resources required by these events will be unprecedented. Open your wallet and give. It doesn't matter which charity you choose, just give. Pick a number, then add to it. Do a search on Katrina relief to find places to contribute. You can give more than money though. Perhaps you have other resources that you could offer. Spare blankets or other supplies will inevitably be leaving from your community in the coming days. Watch for these announcements and donate. If you know someone affected, or know someone who knows someone, perhaps you can provide a spare bedroom. You can even support relief efforts each time you search the internet. Go to http://allgive.com to search and learn more.
Give Yourself. If your situation allows, perhaps you feel drawn to go and help. If you are thinking about that and you can, go. Many of us won't be able to go and lend a hand directly. You can still give of time and talents locally and have a direct impact on efforts there. Organizations like The Salvation Army and The Red Cross will be spread thin for months. If you volunteer in your town, more physical resources can remain on the Gulf Coast longer.
Encourage Others to Give. This is a way for you to give of your talents. Use the leadership and influence skills that you have to encourage others to give. If you own a business, match employee contributions to relief efforts. If you are involved in any sort of organization, start a fund raising effort. A colleague of mine sent an email saying he would match any gifts given by those on his list up to a total of $500. Every person could do this. Ask yourself who you could influence and how you could personally help increase giving. Get creative! And get started.
Say a Prayer. Regardless of your religious beliefs, or how you would state this, say a prayer. Say one for those who have lost family. For those who have lost their homes. For those who are sick or thirsty or hungry. And say a special prayer those involved in rescue and recovery efforts - those giving of themselves to make things better for others.
Keep Your Perspective. It is sometimes hard to keep a healthy perspective as you watch the events on television. It is easy to let the worry and concern become overwhelming. Do yourself a favor and don't let these events overpower your life. Be grateful for your situation. Rethink how upset or frustrated you become at little inconveniences or challenges, because these situations mean little in the bigger scheme of things, and the events of recent days should make this very clear to us.
Conserve. Our country is going to be dealing with the aftermath of Katrina for a long time. There are other little things that we can do that will make a difference. Conserve fuel. Carpool to work. Combine your errands, or just stay home. Turn off your air conditioning and turn off the lights. Fossil fuels will be in short supply and every little bit helps. Plus every dollar you don't spend on fuel, is another dollar you could choose to donate to relief efforts.
Give Again, Later. Many will give now, but agencies like The Red Cross will tell you that after the situation leaves most people's conscious thoughts, the needs will still be great. Make a commitment now to make another contribution later in the year. One way to do this is to reduce your holiday spending and earmarking the difference for Katrina relief.
I'm sure there are many more things that you can do to help both yourself and others in the coming weeks. It matters less what you do than that you do something. That is my urging to you. You can make a difference, but only if you take action.
Aclu Or Aclj The Difference Is Like Night And Day
The ACLU has championed many causes since it was founded in 1920 by Mr. Roger Baldwin. Some of the most notable causes or rulings the ACLU supported have to do with abortion rights, homosexual and lesbian rights and removal of prayer from the public schools. Some of its most notable positions were of lesser significance but created much more press because they bordered on the frivolous and were more a nuisance than a legitimate cause. They adopted positions against bible studies and prayer groups in public schools and the removal of manger scenes in public during the Christmas season. Can't you hear the voices of many grateful Americans in a resounding...gee thanks?
Not to be mistaken for something that actually qualifies as the protection of our civil liberties is the new battlefield conjured up by the ACLU in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The three crosses adorning the city logo is a point of pride and history for the residents there but for the ACLU, they have given cause for it to rear its head and wield the battle axe. It has resulted in making "what ever happened to common sense" being the most oft used phrase in internet blogging history. But wait, it doesn't stop there.
The latest fit the ACLU has begun; concerns prayer offered by the U.S. military's chaplains. In short the ACLU thinks it should be stopped. Whew! That's good thinking. I don't know about you but the last thing I would want to have happen to me just before I went to battle for my country is to have my country tell me I couldn't go to God in prayer. In particular they are trying to stop chaplains from praying in the name of Jesus Christ. In a volunteer force made up of mostly Christian men and women isn't that an infringement of their religious freedom? In fact it is more than that.
The constitution says "Congress shall make no laws touching religion, or to infringe the rights of conscience." What genius does it take to see that the ACLU is actually crying "unconstitutional" while they are proposing laws that are clearly unconstitutional? Don't want to be crass but perhaps the ACLU lawyers and aides should all take a day off to watch Forrest Gump together. If I remember correctly the most often repeated line in that movie is, "stupid is, as stupid does"
Diametrically opposite the ACLU is the newly formed but no less formidable, ACLJ. The American Center for Law and Justice founded in 1990 is headed by Jay Sekulow who is the ACLJ's Chief Counsel. He is a well respected advocate for constitutional freedoms and has argued many cases before the U.S, Supreme Court.
The Center for Law and Justice has successfully argued cases and supported positions in other cases which resulted in an impressive list of good common sense decisions and rulings. A short list of the accomplishments of the ACLJ is as follows.
The Cat Magic Show
The gushing and fawning by Boston columnists over how quickly Governor Mitt Romney mastered the nuts and bolts of Big Dig information is frightening. I think his new found leadership is a diversion. In a slick show of "control" over the Central Artery Tunnel fiasco, Mitt commands respect with a flick of his magic pointer. The media swoon. It looks like a Boston rendition of Chicago; Bechtel as Roxie Hart kept safe and comfy in the lap of master puppeteer Mitt Romney, playing Billy Flynn. Nice guy, cute guy, downright lovable when he is home pretending he cares, great song and dance man, but there is more going on here than screwing in anchor bolts. Much harder questions need to be asked and investigated by the local media and by independent safety engineers to assure that no more 3-ton ceiling slabs land on commuters or travelers. But, as with any good magic show, Mitt has all eyes trained on the anchor bolts while he tries to convince the public jury that the real fault lies with Matt Amarillo and that Bechtel should be free to just walk out the door.
Just when we thought it was going to be safe to go back in the Central Artery Tunnels in Boston, the Governor let us know that more anchor bolts were faulty in several lanes of I-90 and perhaps in more tunnels. One of the problems with listening to Governor Romney, Turnpike Chair Matt Amarillo or most CA/T predecessors is that they are lawyers and businessmen, not engineers. So take a minute during Mitt's Magic Show to visit the CA/T with my tunnel vision because something does not smell right. Even though the laser light is dazzling and the hard hat adds such charm. I'm not ready to clear the deck of the Super Scoop barge for a decisive victory photo-op.
First, take a really close look at the failed epoxy holding the anchor bolts that suspend the 3-ton concrete ceiling panels. Here are some of the easy to follow instructions for construction workers regarding epoxy-
"Prior to application, all areas must be free of contamination such as waxes, oils, loose concrete, dirt, curing compounds, etc. Acid etching, followed by proper neutralization and rinsing, is usually acceptable if the concrete is in excellent condition, not contaminated." (emphasis mine).
Drum Roll-Mitt shines a laser light into the dark tunnel and we hear the "ooows" and "ahhhs" over the new, shiny anchor bolts, and a slight of hand trick begins. Will the rabbit now stay in the hole or pop out of the hard hat?
Wake up. Remove your gaze from the anchor bolts and focus on the other end of the suspension rods within the ceiling panels themselves. We see a concrete ceiling with newly tightened anchor bolts on the top and steel cable rods embedded in 3-ton concrete slabs suspended beneath on the other end of the cable. No steel beams exist in the I-90 connector to create the desirable steel-bolted-to-steel infrastructure. So any suspended cable will only behave as well as the concrete on either end allows it to behave. If I put an anchor bolt in a wad of silly putty and hang a rod embedded in 5 lbs. of modeling clay from it...well it's hanging there with a limited lifespan, I don't care how new the anchor bolt might be.
Anchor bolts will mean very little if this construction mess in downtown Boston is the result of mixing contaminated dirt and fill into the composition of the concrete ceiling, walls or floor. Here is how the trick might have been done:
(1) While most eyes follow the light and focus on anchor bolts, our current investigation shows that there is a global demand for recycled construction products. This demand has increased substantially during the past two decades. The Big Dig produced over 4,000 miles and over 11 million cubic feet of dirt in the early digging stages. Most of this dirt and debris was processed for contamination and recycled into the Big Dig as clay landfill capping material, project backfill and as aggregate (mix) for the tons and tons of concrete needed for the project. The miles of extra dirt came from the demolition at the airport, the dredging of the harbor floor by the Super Scoop for the Ted Williams Tunnel, the digging of the coffer dam, excavation of miles underneath downtown Boston for the Tip O'Neil Tunnel, digging out tunnel entrances, etc.
In Big Dig II: Down Under, co-producer Arnie Reisman and I investigated this dirt and decided to follow the good news. The uncontaminated clay portions of this fill were going to be used to cap Spectacle Island and hundreds of Massachusetts landfills, an appropriate reuse of heavier clay materials. We were assured that there was a dirt-testing lab and that all of the contaminated soil was being properly distributed and reviewed by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). We were handed stacks of literature, interagency agreements regarding contaminated materials and many, many press releases about the massive volume of dirt being tested and processed. Occasionally there was other good news on the disposition of the dirt. There were mountains of dirt and any disposition was cause for celebration. After all, any unused dirt was going to cost the project and the managers big money for disposal.
(2) Digging back through my Big Dig materials I unearthed a 1992 Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Environmental Protection and the Massachusetts Highway Department about the "contaminated materials" in the soil. This addressed the process for oversight and inspections of the dirt for specific chemicals contaminating the soil that are harmful to humans and wildlife. Of course, those employees at the state DEP who were "overseeing" the process with the Big Dig were salaried by the Massachusetts Highway Department and the Central Artery Tunnel Project. We won't even begin to examine that closet. Why? Because right now we are trying to figure out the rabbit in the hat for Mitt's Magic Show about the anchor bolts.
(3) During construction, there seemed to be an ongoing safety process regarding the concrete. Footage in Big Dig IV: Still Working contained a segment on the concrete testing process that was overseen by the Joint Venture of Bechtel and the Massachusetts Highway Department. This footage will soon be available at our web site, PolarisProduction.com where we will also uncover what we consider to be the design change that is causing continuous leaks in the I-93 tunnel.
This past winter, a small Big Dig contractor was accused and indicted for allegedly mixing too much old concrete in with new concrete to create a substandard mix that may be contributing to some leaks in the I-93 tunnel underneath Boston. This was a red flag that something may be NOT O.K. with at least some of the concrete but no one really noticed.
(4) By looking carefully at the Memorandum of Agreement it is obvious that the chemical contaminants in the DEP agreement are not the same chemical contaminants that can be harmful to the strength of the concrete or to the tendency of certain chemical contaminants to corrode embedded steel. When certain chemicals are present in the sand and soil used as the "aggregate" or the mixing soil that is added to cement to make concrete they can weaken or affect other properties of the concrete. These effects may happen over time and consequently may not be detected using temperature and slump tests on the not-yet-hardened concrete. The Joint Venture (the state and Bechtel) was required to sample portions of the concrete in all Big Dig contracts for strength. If the aggregate used to make this same concrete contained chemical contaminants that do not affect concrete strength, but can corrode steel fittings rapidly how would we know? Well, obviously we check the standards, right? That way we always mix in aggregate that does not contaminate the concrete in ways that can be disastrous.
When I looked for national standards on chemical contaminants and concrete mix, I found only an early attempt in Australia (1994-1996) to develop such construction standards for recycled material used in concrete construction. Many more Internet references attested to a lack of the type of precise testing over time that could lead to such standards. Perhaps the CA/T was following a set of engineering standards of which I am not aware. Of greatest concern is for the public to be informed about which chemical contaminates can affect the strength and durability of the concrete and which were present in what percentages in the recycled fill used throughout the CA/T tunnels. It is particularly important that an independent evaluation team makes a thorough investigation of the chemical properties of the recycled aggregate soil used throughout the project. This could help to identify areas that can be expected to have premature corrosion of steel rods embedded in concrete or that cause the concrete to expand or crumble or leak.
So 12 years of Republican controlled reassurances that the harmful soil was being disposed of properly failed to explain to us that the tests were only for the chemicals and soil properties directly dangerous to humans, for example, piles of dirt that contained mercury. The tests and press releases from the CA/T in 1991-1995 did not describe the concentrations of chemical contaminants in fill that could cause premature collapse of the tunnel ceiling or walls from faulty concrete. We have those listed on our web site at our web site, PolarisProduction.com . We would appreciate hearing from any students, engineers or chemical engineers who can provide clarification on this matter. We will post your information and we will post any established standards for contaminates used in concrete aggregates along with any standards used by the CA/T in disposition of the dirt back into the Artery construction.
While we will continue to investigate this potential concrete catastrophe and review the documents and tapes at our disposal, someone with far greater resources, like the mainstream media needs to examine the CA/T deals made with contractors. How much of the previously used dirt and debris from demolition, dredged or excavated material were each of these contractors required to reuse in their concrete? Was it tested for the road salts and other contaminants that may not be immediately harmful to people and therefore ruled usable by the DEP? Were those contaminates in sufficient quantity to pose problems as a concrete aggregate? Does the effort to get rid of over 4,000 miles of soil through recycling and to save money or make money from disposal of the fill now threaten our lives when we drive through 3.8 million cubic feet of weakened or corrosive concrete? Our future could depend upon understanding the nature of these man-made caverns before the Big Dig becomes the Big Tomb. Remember, look beyond Mitt's Magic Show to see how this rabbit was stuffed into the hole in the first place.
Next we look at the design change that may be the primary cause of I-93 tunnel leaks.This one change might have set in motion an on-going set of problems with downtown leaks in Boston's Central Artery/Tunnel.
How Iranian Crisis Can Be Resolved
Several months have passed since Russia announced that it would be ready to take Iran's uranium for enriching process. This could have been a feasible solution to long thorny nuclear crisis. Apparently few persons do not know that there are suffice reasons to assume that Iran intends to acquire nuclear weapons, yet at the same time Iran continues to claim that it needs nuclear energy for peaceful purposes only. Most of the representatives of Western countries that participate in negotiations with Iran on this issue claimed that it was a reasonable solution to the stalemate in the crisis. Moreover it looked like Iran might be inclined accept this solution as well.
Even if Iran agreed on Russian proposals, there is no guarantee that this would be an effective solution for the long term period. One must remember that Iran had been developing nuclear program secretly before it was revealed several years ago. Even if most of Iranian nuclear program was transferred to Russia, Iran would still have suffice resources, knowledge, professionals and above all-will to produce nuclear weapon. If one takes into account past experience, then it is possible to draw the conclusion that Iran will continue its efforts to acquire nuclear weapons whatever solutions other countries and nations might provide. Iran is determined to become regional superpower. Few persons who are know current social, economic and political situation in this region would doubt that Iran has all reasons to transform itself into the strongest military power in the region. It has comparatively modern and highly-equipped army as well as large resources of oil and other energy sources. As one can judge by current internal situation in Iran some hardliners and conservatives might believe that Iran should acquire nuclear weapons in order to enhance its power in the world.
Neither there are substantial grounds to believe that Iran will inform other nations about its decisions in the future. So what steps must be taken to resolve the issue?! In order to answer this question one should differentiate between long-term and short-range prospects. Apparently none of current proposals is fully acceptable for all nations that participate in negotiations. Productive progress can be possible only if there are some valuable concessions from Western countries. Concessions such as concrete proposals to resolve some economic and social problems in Iran in return for the abandoning of nuclear ambitions of the country might help to resolve this protracted and very dangerous crisis.
The Sales Boom In Diesel Motorhomes Defies The Economic Forecasts
Thor Industries Chief Executive Wade Thompson, whose business is the globe's largest allocator of diesel pusher motor coaches and travel trailers, is looking forward to the holiday ramble industry's overall product shipments to ascend in 2005 for the fourth straight yearly performance period.
Thompson and chief executives of three rivals pronounced they are projecting to quest after extra product delivery staff and originate industrial facilities to deal with rising demand. They were interviewed while visiting the National Recreational Vehicle Production Convention that was held last week in Louisville, Ky., where the organizations registered sales orders for 2005's first two fiscal quarters. The business leaders far from pesimistic view point discounts a market estimation narrated by the University of Michigan that cites mounting crude rates and costs and rate of interest as negative market indicators for the future.
Thor, Fleetwood Enterprises, Winnebago Industries and subsidiary rv loan canada producers anticipate overall product shipments to spring up fourteen percent this season to 364,900 units, the best since 1978, as an increasing number of people between ages 50 and 64 retire from their jobs and as people move around the country side more inside the U.S.A. due to circumstances attributed to cares about terrorism overseas.
"We had seen the market start to soften but then November is strong again, and I expect next year to rise 8 percent to 10 percent," Thompson, 64, arrogated from the living room of a Thor travel trailer on location at the Holiday Coach Trade Show.
The University of Michigan maket place estimation calls for overall product deliveries next financial year to fall 3.3 percent to 352,700. The market forecast is molded on a pattern that mentions historical references and is researched by Richard Curtin, the Ann Arbor, Michigan based university's directing manager of surveys, who in addition grooms its consumer confidence index.
Industry executives and the industry's leaders dealers disregard his market prognosis.
"We just don't foresee doing any fewer sales next year," Ted McKay, sales manager at Media Camping Center in Hatfield, Pa., stated. He anticipates sales to spring up from the current 60 newmar diesel motorhomes and go on trips trailers every month with finance cost for recreational based vehicle loans on the vehicles at 5.75 percent, still lower than the 10-year average of 7.5 percent.
"Rates just aren't high enough to hurt sales," Barry Vogel, an market data forcaster and analyst while on loacation at Barry Vogel & Associates in White Plains, N.Y., declared. "The industry is still healthy."
Fleetwood admitted 1,000 production employees in the past yearly reporting term and probably will add 300 to 400 more while appearing at Pennsylvania and California rVs manufacturing plants in the next year, CEO Ed Caudill, 61, claimed. The Riverside, Calif.-formed commercial enterprise had shed 9,000 product delivery staff from 2000 to 2003 to cut costs.
Thor plans to about twice monitary disbursal to $50 million this financial reporting term from $27 million as the Jackson Center, Ohio-molded company constructs at least seven futuristic production facilities, Thompson claimed. Winnebago, which employed 1,000 fresh employees in the endure yearly performance period, likewise doubts gross product deliveries will fall next financial reporting term, CEO Bruce Hertzke said.
"We haven't even been able to meet demand three of the last four years," declared Hertzke, 53. "Not only are more people retiring but a wider age group, people as young as 35, are starting to buy recreational vehicles."
Coachmen Industries' sales reveunes slacked approaching the prevent of the summer and ricochetted in November, said Chief management leader Claire Skinner, 50.
The Elkhart, Ind.-dependent corporate organization received about 400 people in the latter month and very possibly add further next twelve month period if total sales spring up, she announced. The unenmployment conditions in the Elkhart metropolitan area is 3.7 percent as a result of the manufacturing revival, she announced. "A month ago I probably would have said I agreed shipments might fall, but since the presidential election it seems like things are opening again," Skinner proclaimed in an discussion with reporters.
A Bloomberg index based on shares of the five most bombastic suppliers of bank of america rv loan has heightened 7.9 percent this season, more than the 7.1 percent gain for the Standard & Poor's 500 Index of big U.S.A. producers.
James Lovelock S Latest Book Trashes Renewables Endorses Nuclear Energy
On the front page of the World Nuclear Association website prominently rests a quote from what some consider the world's leading environmentalist and among the world's top scientists, Dr. James Lovelock: "There is no sensible alternative to nuclear power if we are to sustain civilization." - James Lovelock, preeminent world leader in the development of environmental consciousness
At age eighty-six, Dr. Lovelock has just published his fourth book, The Revenge of Gaia (Penguin Books, 2006). "Gaia" is Dr. Lovelock's belief that earth is a living, evolving organism, not just a hunk of rock we all live upon. Through his book, Lovelock refers to Gaia, when he is discussing our third planet from the sun. His latest book is a MUST read for anyone who is following the renaissance in nuclear energy. Environmentalists won't read this book. Perhaps their bosses will BAN them from reading this book. Those environmentalists who carefully read Lovelock's latest book may very well become nuclear power lobbyists, if they would bathe, shave and spiff up a bit. Chapter Five, "Sources of Energy," will instantly disintegrate every ridiculous argument propounded by the na
Epidemic Of Anger As Smokers Go To War
Going to burn both ends of the candle with this subject on the smoking ban in public places.
The government have already taken away our parental rights where a prison sentence hangs over our heads if we chastise our children with a smack.
Children today get away with murder and why you may well ask? The reason is because the government knows best.
Kids are resorting to blackmailing mum and dad with threats of social service involvement. By doing this parents are forced into submission to allow the kids to do as they please.
Sorry this is one parent that would fight to the death to protect her family, but also one who is willing to do time if under threat from her own flesh and blood. What happened to the days when a clip round the ear solved any unruly behaviour?
Let us compare our generation to that of today when no such government ruling was enforced. I rest my case.
Give us back our parental role as nature intended to deal with our kid's in our own way. I do not condone any abuse or beating of a child but one hell of a good hiding made us think twice before doing wrong a second time.
Why so many rebellious riots are going on in the world to today is, because governments know what's best. These political powers enforce new laws and expect the nation to sit back and accept.
We have a lot of educated people out there who know when they are being fleeced. Then you have the ordinary few like me that are not fully aware of the government's sneaky moves to take their hard earned cash. Prepare your self all governing bodies because people are getting wiser when they see the food on their tables rationed. .
Now we have the non smoking ban in public places put into force. Top priorities are restaurants cafes where food is served, which is definitely a justified move and one that I am 100% in favour of.
There is not an ounce of doubt in my mind that smoking is a very serious health risk. This is a medical issue of importance that has to be addressed, but once again members of parliament have not thought this through. An even bigger health matter may be on their hands by this imposed law.
Have they gave any consideration to the people who's lives are going to be affected where there livelihood is at stake, all because they provide a socialising atmosphere where smokers and non smokers alike gather through their own choice.
Take the food from their mouths then face the consequences of an epidemic of anger.
A major health risk can escalate out of this ban if smokers go to war
I myself am a non smoker but there are things I enjoy in life and should they be taken from me then I am afraid I would not be very pleased.
What right do our government have to dictate to us what is right and wrong, Moses did that when he handed down the Ten Commandments.
Hypocrites of the system still preach with what they think they know is best. Well it has to end. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. Are all these rules laid out for the nation, adhered to by the enforcers? I don't think so.
Remember the lords saying. He who is without sin cast the first stone. Well if the Muppets in the house of parliament can hold their hand up to this, then I gladly give up my rights if they say so.
Momma Always Told You Don T Play In The Street
In the cold early morning hours of Saturday, February 16th, 2008, before the St Valentine's Day Celebrities had subsided, about Twenty (20) miles South of Washington, D.C., Eight (8) people lay dead in the street along Route 210, a four lane highway, in Accokeek, Maryland. Why? Because no one listens to momma any more.
Some Twenty (20) years ago the Tennessee Mountain Man transported telephone equipment around the southern states and up the eastern seaboard for ma bell. A prominent sign was displayed at the exit for each of ma bell's maintenance shops which read, "You Are About To Enter The Most Dangerous Place In The World... An American Highway. Buckle Up!". Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and other hot spots around the world notwithstanding nothing has changed and the warning is as applicable today as it was all those years ago.
Concerning the Accokeek deaths, according to FOX News, Prince George's County Police Captain Donald Frick said "there was a speed event going on". That has to be the understatement of the year. There had been an illegal drag race that resulted not only in the high number of deaths but several injuries and an unlimited number of lives that have been changed forever because the immature must play... even if it could reasonably mean they die.
A "speed event" is the Daytona 500 which was scheduled to run the following day or Power Boat Racing... events scheduled and licensed under the appropriate authority in a relatively safe place with safety precautions and viewer protection adhered to. This was a clear criminal violation which resulted in injury and death, and yet the police do not know, they say, whether charges will be filed against anyone or not. Can you say, "duh"?
The Computer man grew up in the backwoods country atop Sand Mountan in Jackson County Alabama. Running in front of the old home place about fifty (50) feet from the front door was a dirt road which mom always told us to stay out of. There were less than Ten (10) vehicles a day that literally crawled down that road, but mom insisted "stay out of the road".
When one of the children was required to make a trip the three quarters (.75) of a mile to the country store that serviced the little community, mom always warned, "walk on the side of the highway... stay off the road". A toe stumped on the asphalt and bleeding (not to mention hurting) when arriving back home was a dead give away and earned an extra punishment which seemed pretty severe until the computerman had a teenage step daughter killed by a car while she was crossing a city street.
Many years ago, Johnny Cash recorded a song about a momma's warning. It was to her young son and entitled "Don't Take Your Guns To Town".
The first verse was:
"A young cowboy named Billy Joe grew restless on the farm
A boy filled with wonderlust who really meant no harm
He changed his clothes and shined his boots
And combed his dark hair down
And his mother cried as he walked out
Don't take your guns to town son
Leave your guns at home Bill
Don't take your guns to town".
As strange as it may be, that was the first thing that popped in the Tennessee Mountain Man's mind upon learning of this tragedy that happened on a dark unlighted stretch of suburban highway fifty-five (55) miles north of Boston. As the two racing cars sped away and the spectators stepped into the roadway to watch, an eighteen (18) wheel tractor trailer and a car appeared behind them from nowhere. Not being able to see the people standing in the middle of the roadway dressed in dark clothing against the dark of night compounded by the smoke from cars and burning tires there was little the operators of those vehicles could do to avoid the by standers.
For a little fun, a restless crowd of somewhere between fifty (50) and two hundred (200) souls had assembled on a busy roadway in the dark night and gambled their life against a little entertainment, and in only a short moment in time they lost.
Listen to your momma. She warned you, "don't play in the street".
The Rising Risk Of A Terrorist Attack Could It Happen Today
You've read about it, you've seen it: terrorist attacks on trains, in nightclubs and the worst terrorist attack in U.S history on September 11th in New York City. But will the next terrorist attack strike even closer to home - your own hospital's emergency room. Dr. Paulo J. Reyes, a First Responder in California, ER Doctor, and author of the fiction thriller, Sledgehammer fears there exists a clear and present danger today and has written a book on the possibilities of a biochemical attack with smallpox. It clearly outlines how unprepared our nation is and what could happen if we don't prepare now.
Dr. Reyes contends that our government continually acknowledges that it's not a matter of "if" we are attacked again, but "when." He supports voluntary smallpox vaccinations, which the military and President Bush himself have already received, but feels more needs to be more done to educate the nation of the risks involved in order to be adequately prepared for a biochemical attack. Reyes states, "As is evidenced with Hurricane Katrina and the reports that are now publicly known, the government needs to step up its disaster recovery efforts especially for First Responders and Emergency Personnel."
Also of equal importance is the fact that First Responders and medical doctors can be ill equipped to handle such an attack. A study listed in Archives of Internal Medicine showed 631 doctors, mostly medical residents, were given a test prior to completing an online training course. On the pretest, half the doctors misdiagnosed botulism; 84 percent misdiagnosed plague and a case of routine chickenpox was misdiagnosed as smallpox by 42 percent of the doctors. "We've got a dangerous gap here and we need a much clearer strategic game plan," said Shelley Hearne, executive director of Trust for America's Health, which tracks how well states are prepared for bioterrorism or a pandemic.
Reyes' book, Sledgehammer, although a fictional account of a small pox outbreak in a Los Angeles emergency room, is based on extensive research by Reyes and his experience and terrorist training as a First Responder. In Sledgehammer the hospital staff of a Los Angeles emergency room face the daunting challenge of preventing the contagious disease from quickly spreading and affecting their patients and colleagues alike. What adds further drama is the discovery that this particular form of smallpox is an aggressive type - sledgehammer smallpox or a malignant smallpox, which although it starts as non-typical rash, it quickly turns into a life-threatening situation. The terrorist's threats also expand to several sports arenas, airports and shopping malls. The 5 star review book begs to ask the question, what if? What if this happened today, are we ready? After reading this medical thriller, you'll want to do everything you can to ensure we are.
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