Saturday, September 15, 2012

An Old Guy And A Bucket Of Shrimp

This is a true story,
Hope you appreciate it and want to pass it along.

It happened every Friday evening, almost without fail, when the sun resembled a giant orange and was starting to dip into the blue ocean.
Old Ed came strolling along the beach to his favorite pier.. Clutched in his bony hand was a bucket of shrimp. Ed walks out to the end of the pier, where it seems he almost has the world to himself. The glow of the sun is a golden bronze now.

Everybody's gone, except for a few joggers on the beach. Standing out on the end of the pier, Ed is alone with his thoughts...and his bucket of shrimp.

Before long, however, he is no longer alone. Up in the sky a thousand white dots come screeching and squawking, winging their way toward that lanky frame standing there on the end of the pier.

Before long, dozens of seagulls have enveloped him, their wings fluttering and flapping wildly. Ed stands there tossing shrimp to the hungry birds. As he does, if you listen closely, you can hear him say with a smile, 'Thank you. Thank you.'

In a few short minutes the bucket is empty. But Ed doesn't leave.

He stands there lost in thought, as though transported to another time and place.

When he finally turns around and begins to walk back toward the beach, a few of the birds hop along the pier with him until he gets to the stairs, and then they, too, fly away. And old Ed quietly makes his way down to the end of the beach and on home.

If you were sitting there on the pier with your fishing line in the water, Ed might seem like 'a funny old duck,' as my dad used to say. Or, 'a guy who's a sandwich shy of a picnic,' as my kids might say. To onlookers, he's just another old codger, lost in his own weird world, feeding the seagulls with a bucket full of shrimp.

To the onlooker, rituals can look either very strange or very empty. They can seem altogether unimportant .... maybe even a lot of nonsense.

Old folks often do strange things,
at least in the eyes of Boomers and Busters.

Most of them would probably write Old Ed off, down there in Florida . That's too bad. They'd do well to know him better.

His full name:
Eddie Rickenbacker. He was a famous hero back in World War II. On one of his flying missions across the Pacific, he and his seven-member crew went down. Miraculously, all of the men survived, crawled out of their plane, and climbed into a life raft.

Captain Rickenbacker and his crew floated for days on the rough waters of the Pacific. They fought the sun. They fought sharks. Most of all, they fought hunger. By the eighth day their rations ran out. No food. No water. They were hundreds of miles from land and no one knew where they were.

They needed a miracle. That afternoon they had a simple devotional service and prayed for a miracle. They tried to nap. Eddie leaned back and pulled his military cap over his nose. Time dragged. All he could hear was the slap of the waves against the raft..

Suddenly, Eddie felt something land on the top of his cap.
It was a seagull!

Old Ed would later describe how he sat perfectly still, planning his next move. With a flash of his hand and a squawk from the gull, he managed to grab it and wring its neck.. He tore the feathers off, and he and his starving crew made a meal - a very slight meal for eight men - of it. Then they used the intestines for bait.. With it, they caught fish, which gave them food and more bait.......and the cycle continued. With that simple survival technique, they were able to endure the rigors of the sea until they were found and rescued (after 24 days at sea...).

Eddie Rickenbacker lived many years beyond that ordeal, but he never forgot the sacrifice of that first life-saving seagull... And he never stopped saying, 'Thank you.' That's why almost every Friday night he would walk to the end of the pier with a bucket full of shrimp and a heart full of gratitude.

Max Lucado, "In The Eye of the Storm," pp..221, 225-226

PS: Eddie started Eastern Airlines.
As you see I wanted to pass it on.
It was a great story that I didn't know.
You got to be careful with us old guys.
You never know what we have done.
Thank you for your time.
God Bless our Troops.
God Bless America.

"When you change the way you see things, the things you see change."

Administration Springs into Action Following Mid-East Crisis

Semi-News/Semi-Satire ^ | 15 Sep 2012 | John Semmens

In the wake of numerous attacks on US embassies throughout the Mid-East, the Obama Administration has undertaken several initiatives aimed at quelling the crisis.
One of these initiatives has been to launch an investigation of those responsible for producing the video alleged to be the spark inciting the violence. Attorney General Eric Holder has already disclosed the real name and location of the individual who produced the offending video.
Holder maintained that his Department is acting within the bounds of the First Amendment. “We are not abridging anyone's freedom of speech,” he insisted. “Mr. Nakoula has had his say without any interference from us. We are now endeavoring to smooth the way for others to freely exercise their religious beliefs.”
Tommy Vietor, a spokesman for the Administration's National Security Council, contacted You Tube and Google demanding that the offensive video be suppressed. “Hurting the feelings of over a billion Muslims cannot be tolerated,” Vietor contended. “The President is determined that this misuse of the Internet must stop.”
Joint Chiefs Chairman General Martin Dempsey phoned Florida Pastor Terry Jones and advised him to disassociate himself with the offending video. “I wanted to impress upon him the serious national security threat posed by this video and other actions deemed to be offensive to Muslim religious sensibilities,” Dempsey said. “I also reminded him that the President has the authority to arrest and detain anyone he considers a threat to national security.”
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hastened to reassure the Egyptian Government that their failure to prevent the attack on our embassy will not endanger a planned shipment of over a billion dollars in US foreign aid. She also urged him not to overreact to suggestions that US Marines guarding our embassies be allowed to carry loaded weapons. “I would caution President Mursi to remember that it is only a suggestion at this point,” Clinton reminded. “For now we will study the matter. And we will certainly get his buy-in before we go ahead.”
Presidential Press Secretary Jay Carney urged Muslims “to direct their wrath not at the US Government, but at the right wing extremists who callously offend their religion. They need to recognize that President Obama is the best friend they could have in the White House and refrain from doing anything that might give aid and comfort to his opponent during the weeks before our elections.”
if you missed any of this week's other semi-news posts you can find them at...

Great Recession still slamming the middle class (NBC still blames Bush for Obama's failures)

nbc ^ | 9/12/2012 | John W. Schoen

The poor stayed poor and the rich got richer, but the middle slipped a few more rungs down the economic ladder.

More than five years after the Great Recession began, the lingering impact of the worst downturn in a half-century continues to deplete the standard of living of middle-class American households. (But this is Obama's recession, right?)

Median household income, after adjusting for inflation, fell 1.5 percent last year to $50,054, according to the Census Bureau's annual report on income and poverty issued released Wednesday. The poverty rate, at 15 percent, remained stuck at the highest level since 1993.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Our House Divided Against Labor ^ | September 15, 2012 | John Ransom

Their hunger can’t be satisfied.

In a country where government spending now makes up 40 percent of our GDP annually and where our national debt is 106 percent of our GDP, public employees are helping out their fellow citizens during tough economic times by demanding a larger slice of the shrinking national pie.
In California, the state public pension plan is stiffing private investors- even ones they just recently borrowed from to make up for poor investment performance- in order to make sure that government employees are golden.
In another case in California, the Poway Unified School District is borrowing $105 million to build schools, with promise to pay back close to a billion dollars at the end of the 40-year loan period.
“Last August, district officials obtained $105 million for school construction with the promise to repay investors $981 million under long-term financing known as capital appreciation bonds, or CABs,” writes the U-T San Diego News. “The deal prevents the district from paying anything on the bond for 20 years as interest compounds, and requires repayment in the 20 years after, reaching the maximum 40-year term permitted for bond repayment under state law.”
More schools mean more union construction jobs and more union teachers.
How can we let a billion dollars stand in the way of that kind of progress?
In Jefferson County, Colorado the public school system- after continuing the spending party during the recession by dipping into reserve funds and taking federal stimulus dollars- is putting off making the tough budget-cut decisions by again asking voters to hike taxes. The primary beneficiaries of a successful tax hike in this case will be union employees.
Across the Mississippi, in Chicago, coddled teachers, in what is one of the chronically worst school districts in the nation, have rejected a 16 percent raise over four years and have chosen to hit the picket line demanding higher wages and better benefits than small business owner have.
“Keep in mind that CPS is a system where the average median salary for teachers is $76,450 a year,” writes PolicyMic, “compared to the $53,976 made by the average private sector employee, where their graduation rate is barely half (55%), and where only 6 out of every 100 children in a system responsible for over 400,000 children will go on to earn a bachelor’s degree by the time they are 26-years-old.”
On the east coast longshoreman- not public workers but same deal- are threatening to strike the ports on the east coast because shippers have had the gall to ask union workers to abide by over-time rules to help keep costs down. To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, we are now far into the third year since a policy was initiated under Obama with the avowed object and confident promise of putting an end to labor agitation. Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only not ceased, but has constantly augmented. In my opinion, it will not cease until a crisis shall have been reached and passed
The crisis won't only be electoral, it shall also be- will primarily be- financial.
In Detroit, Michigan a judge recently denied the police union’s request to halt the ten-percent reduction in pay that Mayor David Bing ordered in July to combat annual budget deficits for the city.
Detroit, the city Obama “saved” is in such bad shape economically that it is only operating under a consent agreement with the state and is a hair’s breath from bankruptcy.
Although Scott Walker’s struggle against public unions in Madison was the first open outbreak of fighting in this long war of attrition between the public purse and the public porkers, the stakes for the rest of the country are far greater.
There is no more corrupting influence in politics than union money going to the very politicians who are supposed to be negotiating on behalf of taxpayers with the unions who keep them funded.
The unions eat up the politicians and the politicians gorge on the taxpayers, and thus the food chain is complete.
And despite 100 years of education reform in the United States, we still haven’t gotten the formula right.
According to USC the United States spends $7,743 on each school aged child- more than any other country- and yet the test results compared to other countries are middling.
The country commits to close to a trillion dollars on K-12 education annually without much result.
And the unions cry for more, more, more.
As long as we have greedy public unions funding self-interested politicians, expect the money binge and purge to continue.

Jimmy Hussein Obama

Tea Party Tribune ^ | 2012-09-14 17:46:30 | mrcurmudgeon

By Mr. Curmudgeon:
When President Obama was meeting with members of his administration to decide whether to intervene in Libya's civil war in 2011, he polled everyone in the room - including low-level staff. "Of the choice not to intervene he says, 'That's not who we are,' by which he means that's not who I am. The decision was extraordinarily personal. 'No one in the Cabinet was for it,' says one witness. 'There was no constituency for doing what he did,'" writes Michael Lewis in Vanity Fair.
The Lewis puff piece intended to show a president willing to translate personal compassion into a foreign policy to bridge the cultural gap between the people of the United States and the Arab Street. Ironically, the Vanity Fair story hit the newsstands Tuesday - the day Islamic militants murdered U.S. Ambassador to Libya John Christopher Stevens and three others. The terrorists concealed themselves among an Arab-Street mob demonstrating outside the U.S. mission in Benghazi.
If this has the ring of familiarity, that's because we've been down this road before. In 1977, President Jimmy Carter met with the Shah of Iran to discuss the unease he felt over the Iranian leader's human rights record, a matter of personal concern for Carter. Carter told the Shah that "disturbances have arisen among the mullahs and other religious leaders, the new middle class searching for more political influence, and students in Iran and overseas," recalled Carter in his memoir.
When human rights, Carter's personal hobbyhorse, became official U.S. foreign policy, and the Shah's government fell, Carter's National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski met with Iranian Islamic revolutionary representatives to assure them "of American acceptance of their revolution, ... the need to cooperate on security matters relating to the Soviets, and left open the possibility of resuming military sales," wrote Brezinski aide Robert Gates in a White House memo.
The very students that were a focus of Carter's human rights concerns later stormed the U.S. Embassy in the Iranian capital and seized our diplomatic personnel.
"It is perhaps ironic that Jimmy Carter, arguably the most devoutly religious occupant of the White House in modern times, would be confronted by a religious revolution that neither he nor any of his advisers adequately anticipated or understood," writes Robert Strong in his book Working in the World: Jimmy Carter and the Making of American Foreign Policy.
Later, when a U.S. military mission to rescue the hostages failed, resulting in the death of 8 American servicemen, Carter aide, Hamilton Jordan, had the unenviable task of reviewing calls to the White House switchboard by angry Americans who described the mission as "stupid" and the Carter administration as "inept."
"Many call for the President's resignation," said Jordan in a memo, "Some of the people express the thought that the rescue attempt was a means for the President to win votes for re-election. Others express a fear that the hostages will be killed and war will result."
In 1980, Americans took matters into their hands and voted Ronald Reagan the nation's 40th President. Our hostages were released after 444 days, while a downtrodden Carter watched Reagan take the oath of office, and war with Iran was avoided. Reagan replaced Carter's personal foreign policy with one that saw the world as it is.
It was one of Reagan's foreign policy triumphs to supply Iraq with weapons to wage a bloody war with Iran. Israel secretly provided Iran with the same. The eight-year Iran-Iraq war resulted in the deaths of 300,000 Iranians, and the Islamic Revolution's debt to America was paid.
"I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world," said President Obama in his speech at Cairo University in 2009, "one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect ... they overlap, and share common principles - principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings."
When, in 2011, mass uprisings toppled governments across the Middle East and North Africa, the president tried to sell the Arab Spring as a reinterpretation of the familiar, "In America, think of the defiance of those patriots in Boston who refused to pay taxes to a King or the dignity of Rosa Parks as she sat courageously in her seat."
"Those shouts of human dignity are being heard across the region," the president continued, "And through the moral force of nonviolence, the people of the region have achieved more change in six months than terrorists have accomplished in decades."
Recent events clearly show that the "moral force" of Arab-Spring demonstrators and the aims of violent jihadists are one and the same.
At the Democratic National Convention last week, former President Carter spoke to his party's delegates in a video address. "Overseas, President Obama has restored the reputation of the United States within the world community. Dialogue and collaboration are once again possible, with return of a spirit of trust and good will to our foreign policy ...," said Carter.
"The biggest challenges and problems that we face don't lend themselves to quick fixes nor to the snappy rhetoric of a television commercial," continued Carter, "Solutions are complex and difficult requiring the judgment, skill and patience to pursue the right policies for the right reasons. There's a clear choice facing voters this November ..."
Iran's Islamic terrorist dictatorship blossomed under Carter's watch. A nuclear Iran will surely occur on Obama's. A clear choice, as Carter said, faces voters this November.
That choice is Mitt Romney.