Saturday, August 29, 2009

Nobel vs. Noble

It is old news that former vice president and senator from Tennessee, Al Gore, won the Nobel Prize in 2007 (along with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.’ Although I found this news troubling I dismissed it as nothing more than political correctness at its lunatic fringe. Until today, when I finally stumbled across the remarkable story of Irena Sendlerowa (Irena Sendler.)
I will not go into detail about Irena’s life other than to share with you that as a young woman in Warsaw, during the darkest hours of Nazi occupation of her beloved Poland, she single-handedly rescued over 2,500 children from harm’s way and assured their escape from certain torture, enslavement and death. (I would encourage you to read this amazing story at Irena was caught in the act of her merciful mission and subsequently beaten – the Nazis broke both her arms and legs – starved, interrogated and imprisoned. Miraculously, she survived the war and lived a long life succumbing to pneumonia in May 2008 in Warsaw. She was 98 years old.
Here’s what causes my personal global warming: Apparently Ms. Sendler was a candidate for the mighty Nobel Prize. Her competitor? Yes, that’s right – Al Gore – huckster, hoax man, court jester, smooth-talking maniac, medicine man, carnie. Oh my goodness.
Good night Irena – I’ll see you in my dreams.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hold 'er Steady, Eric

My beloved country was attacked on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 by international terrorists. I happened to be on my way to the airport in Calgary, Alberta, Canada – another country I hold very close to my heart. My traveling companions and I did not make it out of Calgary that day; nor did we make it out for the next five days. The good news for us is that we were in a friendly and accommodating country and provisions were made for a hospitable sojourn during a very difficult time. Most of us had families in the States and the separation – during such an emotional and anxious time – was almost unbearable. But we were among the fortunate ones. We were not instantly incinerated, left to die under millions of pounds of rubble or tortured by the decision to breathe smoldering fire into our lungs or jump from a 70th story window. We were not expected to climb 90 flights of stairs with 100 pounds of equipment on our backs or commanded to dig down deeply into hot steel, crumbled concrete dust and jagged glass. We were the fortunate ones.
In the ensuing months I watched images on television of strange and foreign men carrying weapons, faces hidden under cowards’ veils, digging trenches, climbing into caves, stabbing at straw cadavers and saluting Osama Bin Laden who was armed, tall, limping, crazy and dangerous. I saw him sharing a cup of coffee with his comrades in some dark and dank crevice carved into this earth by Satan Himself, laughing and rejoicing at how well The Towers had collapsed. These people are my enemies and I am to pray for them. I have not done a good job.
Eight years later we are about to try a few brave American citizens who were ordered to interrogate these enemies with the goal of gathering any data that would assist us in tracking down these lethal and vial human beings. I have no idea what they did within those dark cells of interrogation. Water boarding gets the headlines but I suspect things got far beyond pales of water up the nose. I am steadfastly on the side of the CIA. They were patriots following orders. Those orders were set in place to protect my beloved country from further acts of insanity.
It has been stated that these efforts produced very little valuable intelligence information. Tonight I am sitting in my home in Nashville, TN. The world is, indeed, still on edge, much more fragile because of these events. But I am reasonably confident that Bin Laden’s mob of evil is not on the verge of another attack on my beloved country. The main reason for this is that we hunted them down like the dogs that they are, asked them some tough questions under dire circumstances and made them do a little human repentance for their actions. Osama, on the other hand, is probably still in a damp cave swatting at bats, brushing away scorpions, talking with his dipshit friends and drinking that bitter coffee they strain through their socks.
I am a fortunate one. Mr. Holder, I urge you to be wise…and sensible.


I have been a good steward of my family’s income and we have done our best to plan and save. However, with three young adult children in various stages of higher education and employment, money seems to vanish overnight. Years ago I set up a ‘Bill Pay’ account with our bank and I have found it to be a useful and efficient tool for keeping current with monthly bills. We also have our utilities set up on auto-draft and my wife and I share this bank account. Inevitably something goes wrong and I sign-in to my account one morning to find that our checking account has been overdrawn. It is also the case that the account has not been over-drafted by one check or automatic withdraw; sometimes three or four drafts hits at the same time and we are charged $35 per overdraft. This always puts me in a good mood – especially around the 25th of the months when there’s no paycheck due for another week and maybe the savings has been tapped out because we’d just paid cash for another semester of college tomfoolery. I always figure some way of covering the losses and padding the account until the first of the month when it is reinvigorated with a couple paychecks. As I recall, the worst occasion of these overdraft fees cost us $350 for ten checks that totaled $214. Oh, happy day.

This very morning I awoke and opened our on-line banking account to find that we had $70.68. Several large checks had gone out yesterday and we barely made it under the wire. While on the Internet I also noted that The United States of America has overdrawn their account by $1,600,000,000,000 (1.6 Trillion) this fiscal year ending September 30th, 2009. Further, it is projected that this figure will total $9,000,000,000,000 (9 Trillion) in debt within ten years.

I feel better about myself. No, no I don’t.