The thoughts that were thunk and the goings on of my life.

Friday, December 31, 2004

I notice you have a steering wheel stuck there in front of you. Isn't that kind of uncomfortable?

Arrrh! It's drivin' me nuts!

But on to things that really do drive me nuts this is one of my pet peeves, but I'll let the emails speak for themselves. I got the first email from a group I belong to and the person writing it is a friend of mine (very nice girl). However, she's in a part of the world that gets a lot of bad information and is quick to pin anything on the US. Without Further adieu:

-Original Message-
it has been few days that i listened from the news what happened in the ocean and how it affected the countries around.. and it really made me sorry...but there was something that made me even more the news it was said the scientists of the USA had already detected the tsunami waves but they didnt think it was important to let the countries aware of it as,USA wouldnt be ,i wish the USA could use its high technology not only for invading poor countries for getting some petrol and killing the people overthere,but also use it for saving some human lives...

-My Reply-
Look, I think you guys are great, but this is EXACTLY the sort of
stuff that really upsets me. Immediately if anything bad happens in
the world people look for a way to blame the USA.

Here is a link to an article. To be fair I referenced something from
Al Jazeera (who if anything is biased against the USA).

Let's think about this for a second.
1. A facility to monitor earthquakes in the US would be simply be
something for scientific research. It would not be meant to warn of
quakes because in the USA that's not needed. If there is an
earthquake it is typically in California and people know the second it
happens. A facility like that would be used for scientific analysis
of the data after the events happened.

2. It was Christmas. The fact that there was anybody in the office at
the time is amazing and yes they DID try to warn the nations that a
tsunami might occur (there was no way to know that it in fact WAS

3. This is the first time something like this has happened. It is not
the United States' problem to set up a global warning system...perhaps
now that we know there is technology to help with this we can set
something up like this. But the truth is the situation was handled
the way it was supposed to be handled. A warning was sent out an the
proper people were notified within 20 minutes of the event. As a test
of how quick that is I challenge any of you to call me within 20
minutes of getting this email.

4. Even IF the warnings got to all the right people at all the right
times then there would have been no way to evacuate all of the people
in time. This was a natural disaster, although the impact may be
lessened in the future things like this will occur again...hopefully
they just won't be quite as disastrous.

In the great words of Forrest Gump, "Shit Happens". In this case it
was really bad. The loss of life is beyond what anybody thought was
possible. But then again we are humans, we have evolved to grow and
learn from past mistakes. Chances are a system will soon be in place
to help better prepare the evacuation of the people in those regions
if something like this happens in the future.

There will continue to be bad stuff happening in the world. And while
the USA may be responsible for some of it don't forget that we do a
lot of good in the world too (see below). And we are going to do our
part in helping prevent something like this tragedy from occurring
again. You cannot blame my country for everything bad that happens in
the world, if you do you will only grow angry and have an irrational
hatred towards a people that really do want to help the world become a
better place.

~Matt Otis

Excerpt from Reuters:
"In the year 2004, our government provided $2.4 billion in food and
cash and humanitarian relief. ... That's 40 percent of all the relief
aid given in the world last year," he said.

"The United Nations has for decades pushed for rich nations to give
away 0.7 percent of gross domestic product every year in development
aid. The United States gives 0.13 percent of its GDP.

"But this amount excludes aid to Iraq and Afghanistan as well as food
aid, where the United States is the biggest donor but does not attach
a monetary value to its contributions."

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