Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Bye, Harvey

From tropical storm to class 4 hurricane, Harvey was one of the worst disasters in Texas history. No one is sorry to see Harvey move along and dissipate. Harvey formed fast, but it did not act alone. A high-pressure area to the north and west of Texas kept the storm from moving inland, as tropical storms normally do. The consistent high-pressure area lingering to the north caused Harvey to stay in the same area for a long, long time, dropping rain for a good portion of its existence. Rockport and Aransas Pass took the brunt of the wind, but Houston received the most flood damage. Recovery will take years.


I felt all the government agencies worked well together. Greg Abbott and Dan Patrick, the Texas governor and lieutenant governor seemed to be well prepared to manage the crisis. President Trump, FEMA, the Department of Homeland Security and Housing and Urban Development were all engaged. Sylvester Turner, the mayor of Houston took some flak for not ordering an evacuation, but people complaining do not understand the issues he had to face. Houston is big. Way bigger than any other city in land area. Evacuating the whole city was not a possibility and determining who to evacuate was equally impossible. Turner stayed engaged and helped coordinate disaster relief. Who could ask for more? There is nothing smooth in handling disasters. Leadership staying engaged and coordinating is the best you can ever hope to get. I saw that happening.


The governor of Louisiana, John Bel Edwards was also engaged and helping with relief efforts. Texas and Louisiana both called the National Guard into service. The Department of Defense is mobilizing other National Guard units to assist in the rescue and clean-up efforts.

Kathi and I are in Utah, far away from the storm, but I am a proud Texan. People helped one another. Family members took care of their extended families, then looked elsewhere to provide more assistance. Some of the volunteers had their own homes under water and were still out helping others. Some were gathering donations to provide warmth and food to evacuees. Other volunteers, including the Coast Guard and Cajun Navy were out in boats rescuing stranded people.

With all the commotion in Texas it is easy to overlook the problems people were having elsewhere. We had friends in Florida that had flooded houses and cars. Hurricanes and tropical storms are a big deal.

There were some looters and a few burglaries, but these incidents were few and the compassion of the Texas people much overshadow these lawless creeps.

The rain is slowing and some sunshine is returning. Recovery will take years. Some of our friends and neighbors lost everything. State and federal help is available. Insurance money will come in slowly, but it will come. Mostly people will have to help themselves and get some help from their friends and families. That is how we always recover. The help is always there. That is why we will always recover. What a country and what great people.


Friday, August 18, 2017

Remember Harry?

Harry S Truman was our 33rd President. I remember him as an individual thinker and one that did not shirk responsibility. He authorized the use of atomic weapons against Japan to help end WW II. Following the war, he initiated the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe. He also led the way into the cold war to combat Russian and Chinese Communism, via the Truman Doctrine. He also was instrumental in the creation of the NATO agreement.


He inherited a progressive Congress that followed the socialist policies of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Truman vetoed 180 bills that Congress sent to him. He liked a good political fight, especially when he thought he was right. The Congress overrode his veto 12 times.

Some Harry Truman quotations that describe his thinking:

Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.

The reward of suffering is experience.

America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.

I never did give anybody hell. I just told them the truth and they thought it was hell.

You know that being an American is more than a matter of where your parents came from. It is a belief that all men are created free and equal and that everyone deserves an even break.

A leader in the Democratic Party is a boss, in the Republican Party he is a leader. 

The only things worth learning are the things you learn after you know it all.

The buck stops here!

Those who want the Government to regulate matters of the mind and spirit are like men who are so afraid of being murdered that they commit suicide to avoid assassination.

When even one American - who has done nothing wrong - is forced by fear to shut his mind and close his mouth - then all Americans are in peril.

Political Correctness is a doctrine, recently fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and promoted by a sick mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a piece of shit by clean end!

I see a lot of Harry in The Donald.



Sunday, August 13, 2017

Charlottesville

Truth is funny in political conversations. I tell people facts all the time and my friends on the left accuse me of right wing propaganda. I may use satire occasionally, but I never intentionally mislead anyone and I do not intend to do that here. There are two sides to every story and I like to hear and try to understand both sides.

I do not like or support white supremacists or KKK members. I also do not like or support black lives matter. I do not like the Muslim Brotherhood. I do not support the Democrats city and state leaders who are removing Confederate statues and Confederate names from buildings. When the last statue is gone, will we no longer be a racist country, where slavery existed? 

Robert E Lee memorial statue
I see no value in trying to erase our history. You can do it in public, but you will never get rid of all the books that tell our story. If you think you need a safe space, you actually need another country. Once you walk out of a safe space you are back in the real world with people that have freedom of speech, freedom of expression and freedom to do a lot of things none of us like.

History is something to embrace and study. As a country, there are things we are proud of and things that do not bestow pride. Both are part of who we are as a nation. People are supposed to learn from their mistakes and become better people. We call it informal education. People collectively learn the same way and those memories help us adjust our laws and social norms to fit the needs of all of us. There is no safe space, there is just here where we live.

We are at a place in our history where people on the left feel obligated to beat up people they think might say something they do not like. They accuse the people they beat up of saying words that might cause violence, so the leftist solution is to fulfill their own prophesy. Is this not insane?

In Charlottesville, a statue of Robert E. Lee was being removed to satisfy some people that hate slavery. Well, some other people that also hate slavery have a different understanding of the purpose of the statues. Until we understand that others also have a right to a point of view, we will have conflict.

White supremacists got a permit to demonstrate the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville. White supremacists showed up for the rally from states all over the country. A few joined in that just like statues and some joined in because they resent our history being destroyed. If these people were allowed to hold their rally in peace, the hateful supremacists would have been peaceful. They normally do not riot and destroy property.


The peace was threatened when opposition, ready for a confrontation, showed up to antagonize the supremacists. It seems to have worked. One of the supremacists got in a car and drove into the crowd, killing one and injuring several others. He should be prosecuted for murder and he will get his trial. You cannot equate what this person did and assign the blame to everyone in the group to which he belonged. That is not proper, just or legal.

President Trump disavowed the violence on national television. News pundits are criticizing him for not placing all the blame on the white supremacists. He is smart enough to realize they were not the only ones involved. Take off the political blinders and you can see the truth.