Dude, in response to your question, no, I have never scene anything like the disturbing pictures being beamed back from the Gulf coast. I never thought I'd see anything worse than what September 11, 2001 delivered to my imported TV, but, "worse" has suddenly jumped up and down all over my head.
Typically, hurricanes come, and hurricanes go. Well, that is, for the folks like us viewing the damage from a couple thousand miles away. A coastline is damaged. Roofs were blown off. Trees were shattered. 17 people were found dead. And Home Depot's stock soared through what remained of the roof. If you've seen one hurricane on CNN, you've seen them all. Right?
The devastation in Mississippi and Louisiana is mind-boggling. Words cannot describe what has happened down there, and I'm not going to waste any time grasping for the perfect adjectives to aptly depict the total carnage that Katrina brought. The magnitude of the desperation in New Orleans was heretofore unthunk of, if you ask me. As one Francis Vincent Zappa once mockingly said, "It can't happen here!" Apparently, it can happen here.
I sat here last night with the trusty remote control in my hand, while I bounced from CNN to FOX to MSNBC and then repeated that cyclic journey over and over and over again. For me, this was one of those rarest of events where, if I could cry, I would have. In a nutshell, what the video advertising box was showing me was poor black folk trapped in what could easily be called "Hell on Earth." At some point, I turned off the advertising unit, grabbed my pager, both of my cell phones, a Maglite, a baton, a switchblade and went off to bed. Forever the Boy Scout, heyna?
And after my head hit the pillow, it suddenly dawned on me that one George W. Bush, in the space of only four years, has been forced to deal with not one, but two American cities being all but completely destroyed under his watch. Putting the war of revolution against England and the bloody civil war aside, no sitting American president has had to deal with what he's had to deal with. And he's going to be dealing with said devastation for quite a while. And for that, he has been, and continues to be unfairly villified by his hopelessly adrift political opponents. Politics used to stop at the water's edge. But these days, the hysterical left blames Dubya for the raging waters brought on by a hurricane. Yet, he never, ever lashes back at their abject absurdities and their completely baseless charges of having committed every crime under the Sun. What-f**king-ever.
When I rose from my slumber this morning, I switched on the radio, sipped my tea, and headed to MLB.com. I wanted to read of the Atlanta Braves latest exploits, ( or lack therof) but instead, I found myself staring at my imported desktop radio. Nancy & Kevin of WILK fame were going off on the president, and they had that hysterical inflection going on with their raised voices. At times, it sounded as if Kevin was screaming into his headset. They were accusing Bush of this, that and every insensitive, uncaring thing, and they sickened me. I had not intended to, but I headed back upstairs, tuned the AM radio in the bathroom to ESPN Radio, and took a very, very quick shower.
And when I headed back on down to the computer desk, they continued on with their non-stop, venomous attacks on a president who had to be just as shocked as I was to learn that a major hurricane did not destroy New Orleans, and, only to learn later on that the local dike system failed in a big way and did manage to destroy damn near all of New Orleans. Kevin's vociferous bullsh*t was especially annoying, and, believe it or not, I switched the damn radio off and said, "F**k off!" as I bid WILK adieu for all of this day.
I realize that WILK is a right-wing outlet just about all day long, and I have no problem at all with Nancy & Kevin trying to do a local version of Air America for three hours every morning. But I really expected better of them than weakly repeating the latest talking points, what they read at some commie blog, or what Ted Kennedy, or Jesse Jackson managed to blurt out between trysts. I mean, we all knew going in that Kevin was a total loser, but it's become obvious of late that he's starting to rub off on Nancy.
So...while tens of thousands of people waited for the most basic of necessities that we all, that's, all take for granted, Kevin & Nancy went off half-cocked and accused Bush of whatever it was that they read at Salon.com. Sorry, Sue, but I skipped your show, too. This is what can easily happen when you have no competition at all. You get lazy and the product begins to suffer for it. And from 6 AM 'til 9 AM, Monday thru Friday, you people are dishing out some disgusting slop. "Bush lied?" Wow! There's an original thought. Give those folks a f**king prize.
But, it got worse, much worse.
By mid-morning, I found myself surrounded by a horde of seemingly respectable local folks discussing what they too had seen on the cable news outlets the night before. And one of them had a question for the rest of us to ponder over. Ready? "Did anyone notice that all of the people in New Orleans are ni**ers?" What? My head spun around so fast, I just about made myself dizzy. Ni**ers? Is that what you see on your TV? What the f**k? These people are dying right before our very eyes! You know, not everyone can withdraw $500 from the ATM, jump in the SUV and head off to wherever it is that tickles their f**king fancy. Fact is, some people are just poor. We can go round after round debating how they came to be that way, but I'm here to tell you that it's doesn't take too much to wake up one day and find yourself poor. I'm also going to tell you that it's not all that much fun.
Been there. Done that. Dad's fault. Step-Dad's fault. Not my fault.
So, should I have jumped on the suddenly over-flowing bandwagon and talked all kinds of frightening and destructive sh*t on the fourth consecutive generation of babies weaned on welfare? Nah. Sorry. Ain't gonna happen. In my mind, a toddler forced to camp out in a high-priced football stadium for days on end without food, water or any sense of normalcy is just that...a toddler. It's not a friggin' white toddler. And it's not a black toddler. It's a frightened and confused toddler--an American--that needs our help and needs it fast. Kurds or Shiites? Blacks or Whites? If we continue to allow ourselves to be split into opposite, warring camps, this once unflappable country of ours will come unraveled like so many countries that came before ours did.
There are those times when events dictate that we need to put our petty politics and our handed-down prejudices aside. And trust me, this is one of them. There aren't any ni**ers crying out for help in New Orleans. Rather, there are only desperate American citizens praying that we'll come to their rescue and soon.
Put the politics aside. And, please, put the problematic prejudices aside. We, ourselves, got flooded out once and damn near everyone came running to our rescue. So, how will we respond when someone else needs help from wherever they can get it?
Should we take a page from Nancy & Kevin and savagely attack the sitting president, who happens to sit on the opposite side of the political aisle? Should we temper our compassion simply because the victims of this enormous tradegy happen to be of the wrong pigment? We're better than that. I know we are. Now, all we have to do is to go out there and prove it.
The Valley with a Heart?
We shall see.
Let's do this.
Here's the smart-ass question that was recently posed on our forum page:
By the way how many Search and Rescue mission [sic] have come out of Langley (air force base) lately?
Well then. Ask and you shall receive.
Just for the record, this would be J.J. Murphy's unit.
Air Force Rescue Coordination Center
The Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC) is located at Langley Air Force Base, Va. As the United States' executive agent for inland search and rescue (SAR), it serves as the single agency responsible for coordinating on-land federal SAR activities in the 48 contiguous United States. Additionally, the center provides U.S. SAR assistance to Mexico and Canada.
Staffed by people trained and experienced in SAR operations, the AFRCC operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year. The center has extensive telephone capabilities including a direct tie-in to the Federal Aviation Agency's alerting system and the U.S. Mission Control Center. In addition to the Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking (SARSAT) information, the AFRCC computer system contains vast resource files that list federal and state organizations, which can conduct or assist in SAR efforts throughout the contiguous United States. These files include Mexican and Canadian SAR coordinating agencies.
There are many reasons to initiate a SAR mission. These include searches for lost hunters, hikers, or Alzheimer's patients as well as the source of an emergency locator transmitter signals and missing aircraft. AFRCC missions accomplish far more than searching. The center frequently dispatches rescue assets to provide aid and transportation to people needing medical attention in remote or isolated areas, for emergency organ or blood transportation, or for medical evacuations, when civilian resources are not available.
Any person or agency may provide initial notification of potential SAR situations to the AFRCC. The center, through coordination with federal, state, and local officials, then gather the information required to determine the type and scope of response necessary. Historically, the AFRCC resolves two thirds of the potential SAR missions without committing federal resources.
After authorities or AFRCC people verify an actual distress situation, the AFRCC selects, briefs, and launches an appropriate federal SAR force. This may include Civil Air Patrol, U.S. Coast Guard, or other Department of Defense (active duty, national guard, or reserve) assets, as needed when available. State agencies can be contacted to obtain assistance of state, local, or civil SAR resources within their jurisdiction. The AFRCC chooses the rescue force based on availability and capability of forces, geographic location, terrain, weather conditions, and urgency of the situation.
Throughout AFRCC missions, the center serves as the communications hub, providing coordination and assistance to on-scene commanders or mission coordinators in order to recover the mission's objective in the safest and most effective manner possible. AFRCC people also work innovative programs, which include monitoring emergency locator transmitter signals detected by a network of satellites. These systems help to reduce the critical time required to locate and recover persons in distress.
Besides actively coordinating actual SAR missions, the AFRCC formulates and manages SAR plans, agreements, and policies throughout the continental United States. Additionally, it presents a Search Management Course taken on the road to Civil Air Patrol (CAP) wings throughout the contiguous United States. The AFRCC designed this course to produce qualified Incident Commanders thus improving national SAR capability. The AFRCC also assigns instructors to the USAF branch of the National SAR School at the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve Training Center, Yorktown, Va. The instructors teach the Inland Search and Rescue Class throughout the United States and at many worldwide military locations. This joint school is designed for civilian and military personnel from federal, state, local, and volunteer organizations, all of whom are responsible for SAR mission planning.
Prior to 1974, the Air Force divided the continental United States into three regions, each with a separate rescue center. In May of that year, the Air Force consolidated the three centers into one facility at Scott AFB, Ill. This provided better coordination of activities, improved communications and economy of operations, and standardized procedures. The newly formed AFRCC permitted operations with fewer people, while creating a more experienced staff. In 1993, the AFRCC relocated to Langley AFB, Va., when Air Combat Command assumed responsibility for Air Force peacetime and combat SAR.
Since the center opened in May 1974, missions have resulted in more than 12,834 lives saved.
See AFRCC for further information.
(Current as of October 2002)
Point of Contact
Air Combat Command , Public Affairs Office; 115 Thompson St., Suite 211; Langley AFB, VA 23665-1987; DSN 574-5014 or (757) 764-5014; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got any other stupid questions?
Ebon... er, Coach Cour, makes her coaching debut next Wednesday.
She hasn't coached a single game yet, but her coaching "career" has already been a rollercoaster ride to some degree. She's a tough bird. She's one of those big chicks who thrives upon athletic competition. She always wants to win, and if she can't win, she'll likely put on the tough-as-nails routine and go Ty Cobb on anyone who wants some. While I can understand her frustration when not winning, I can only admire her never-let-em-see-you-cry attitude, no matter what. She's more than proven herself on many a court and many a ballyard, but she's recently grown somewhat frustrated by what she sees as a lack of mental toughness coming from those she has been charged to lead into athletic battle.
Basically, she wants to win. But, being a first-year coach of a team that hasn't won much of anything lately, I know she'd he content with losing for now if she felt that she had instilled that tough-as-nails attitude within the impressionable, but still non-believing minds of the high school girls not so far removed from her own age group.
There are those days when she comes home after a practice feeling upbeat. More often that not, she comes home from practices totally frustrated by what she sees as a lack of progress on the part of her players. I keep telling her the same thing, and knowing her mindset, I honestly believe that with the passage of time, she'll produce some of the toughest big chickies this side of the Russian Olympic teams of old. Basically, I keep telling her that, while this group of current players may not want to commit to whatever it is that she's selling, some underclassmen will, being just a bit further removed from her age group. I think a 21 year-old coaching an 18 year-old breeds a bit of contempt. But at the same time, a 21 year-old coaching an impressionable 14, or 15 year-old is not the same deal. Then again, there is that one underclassmen Ebon is really excited about letting loose on the unsuspecting teams on the schedule.
I know Ebon all too well, and with the passage of some time, the girls at G.A.R. will want to be tough-as-nails "big chicks" just like their youngish coach that took absolutely no prisoners when she waged many a volleyball battle right here in the valley. She didn't flinch at 10-years-old when a, then, gargantuan Little League pitcher named Paul Jefferson threw a fastball directly at her stationary head, and I doubt that she's going to flinch anytime soon. By the way, on that day seemingly so long ago, she went one-for three with a two-strike triple against Paul Jefferson while her team was being one-hitted and shut-out.
Fact is, the real chicks--the big chicks--play fast pitch.
I'll see ya at the G.A.R. gym next Wednesday.
Volleyball is for girls!
Lemme see if I've got this straight.
This is what the hopelessly adrift Democrats who happen to be in bed with the clueless enviro kooks are telling us:
We can't build hydro-electric dams.
We can't build oil refineries.
We can't build nuclear power plants.
We can't drill for oil on, or anywhere near U.S. soil.
We can't even erect a few dozen windmills in the most inaccessable forests.
BUT...we can pay through the nose for a gallon of gas, and be held hostage by the maladroit OPEC nations that all eventually wish us some major harm?
My impression of Kevin Lynn.
Gene from Dallas, you're on WILK,
Gene: Geez, I support the war and I support George Bush.
Kev: Gene, are you a Christian?
Gene: Yup. I'm a Christian.
Kev: Gene, what would Jesus do?
More misdirection bullsh*t!
More importantly, what would a drunkard wobbling home from Grotto's Sports Bar do?
Now, there's a question for ya!