Friday, April 18, 2008

An Earth Shaking Day

Days and weeks come and go. Most of them will not be memorable, which is probably a good thing. Even though we are bombarded by local news, national news, and world news day after day, we usually feel no immediate affects of it, unless we are personally involved in and affected by that news. In most cases, the daily diet of news usually just ends up to be something to talk about on breaks or at the water cooler at work. Occasionally, a story will hit home. Those are the stories that can drastically change our lives in one instant or over a short period of time. It does seem that at times that it is those “local stories” that can hit the closest to home. I guess that is an obvious observation, but it is significant in the context of what I want to write about today.

While natural catastrophes will probably affect you at some time in your life, no matter where you live, fortunately, those days are rare. Today was a perfect example, though, of how we are sometimes allowed a wake up call. We can quickly realize that we are not always going to be totally safe. This thought came to me after I had heard that there was a 5.4 earthquake in Eastern Illinois at around 4:30 a.m. Central today. I did not feel it, but I know people that did. And from watching the news this morning when I got home from work, I saw that not only did we feel it in Iowa, but skyscrapers in Chicago swayed, a building in or near Louisville, TN. had some damage, and they felt it in Missouri, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio, Kentucky, and even South Dakota.

Thankfully, I haven’t heard of any casualties or injuries because of the earthquake. What if it had been a bigger one, a 6.0 or 7.0? We may have seen some massage damage, and thank the Lord, that didn’t happen. But one thing we can be sure of, and that is many people would have depended on assistance to get their lives back. And whom do people depend on assistance from? Who would be the first responders? Depending on the damage, and the threat of civil unrest, there could be the Red Cross, or maybe it could be the National Guard, and now, FEMA. When these disasters first strike, there will be an immediate need for food and shelter. I personally have no problem with the government being able to offer assistance to us to protect our lives. And sometimes, they even fail in that, as seen in the Hurricane Katrina disaster in New Orleans in 2005.

In the long run, however, it could, and most likely will, end up being where we must depend on each other, and ourselves, to find a way to survive whatever comes our way. And another thing we must keep in mind is that while we may have no ability to prevent a disaster from happening, we do have the ability to figure out a way to get through most catastrophes. It is called self-reliance.

While it may be good for the government to be around to maintain or even restore order after a major catastrophe, do we really need them to be finding ways to keep us all safe from every possible mishap in our lives? If the government were to totally outlaw autos and every other possible mode of transportation – including your skateboard or bicycle – MAYBE they could protect us from all possible injury and/or death. But here in Iowa, the Governor (Chet Culver) had just signed a draconian law in order to prevent and protect all the good citizens of the State of Iowa from the evil effects of all tobacco smoke, including “second-hand” smoke. Regardless of any unintended consequences where some businesses may close, it was for our good. That has become the prime responsibility of our governments – local, state, and federal – we MUST be protected from ourselves.

I had to spend most of today writing just to get to the point where I wanted to steer you to. The government, meaning those that have the power and the arrogance to believe they know much more than any of us, want to protect us. Yet, they can NOT protect us from the possible natural disasters that could occur where you live. At the same time, it’s not all that unbelievable to know that elected and non-elected officials can CAUSE problems for many of us because of their policies based on their agenda. But while it is easy to blame those public officials for their messes, whom should we REALLY blame? We, the people. Too many of us seemed to have wanted the government to not only solve all of our problems, but to have the ability to prevent them, too. That just isn’t going to happen.

Whether there is a natural disaster or horrible blunders caused by the elite few that make our lives miserable, there is only one thing that we can do. We CAN and we will vote out those that are suspect of not respecting our Constitutional rights. We are personally responsible and we must pursue personal reliance on doing what it takes to prevent our personal freedoms from evaporating. We must take a stand against those that feel that they know more than we do, we cannot allow our Freedom to be continuously carved up until there is nothing left for us to do.

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