"There are two big forces at work, external and internal. We have very little control over external forces such as tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, disasters illness and pain. What really matters is the internal force. How do I respond to those disasters? Over that I have complete control."
-Leo F. Buscaglia
Ok, so I was sitting at my desk today, looking over some notes I had made regarding President Bush's news conference, when I started to feel a little dizzy. That's nothing new since the onset of Fibromyalgia, so I did what I usually do when I feel a little off balance, I sat back in my chair, put on my lavender mask, and tried to visit my Zen place. Not an easy thing to do at times, especially considering how infuriating George Bush can be. There were a lot of thoughts running through my mind, mostly about how frustrating it is to have him as our president. How hard it is to be an American today, how much we are hated around the world, how our elected officials don't listen to us, when we say, "things have to change." Sometimes, I wonder if I am losing my values, because I don't really care about Iraq anymore...I care about America. Frankly, I didn't feel this unsafe on 9/11. I think George Bush has not just made us unpopular in the world...he has made us hated. And with hatred, comes danger. Sigh. So, I guess I was a bit stressed.
With my head resting against the back of my comfy chair, and with everything quiet in the house, except for the peaceful sound of Elvis snoring, I heard a loud sound which my mind had just enough time to register as an explosion. It seemed to be far away, because the sound was muffled. Before I could register the thought completely, and open my eyes, the earth beneath me shook...and it shook hard. Elvis, sat up with a start, then ran to me where he sat under my desk, frightened, but calm. The earthquake lasted only a second or two, and nothing fell or broke. Why? I don't know. I was surprised, given how sharp the quake was, that nothing broke or came off the wall. I got the distinct feeling, I had been very lucky...this time.
We have been experiencing quite a bit of seismic activity here in the East Bay since the first of the year. This particular series of quakes have been centered 4 miles s/e of Moraga, California. That is basically Berkeley. The magnitude of the quake today, according to the USGS, registered 3.7 on the Reichter scale. As quakes go, that is not huge, it's barely considered moderate, but when it is directly beneath you...it is what it is. In this case, it is a continued reminder that we are all on our own. Recently, I wrote about the fact that Homeland Security Chief, Michael Chertoff, toured California's levee system with Governor Schwarzenegger. As I said at the time I wrote that entry, I was skeptical that California would be granted the funding we need to shore up our out of date levee system. I was right.
After taking an ariel tour with Schwarzenegger, Chertoff stopped short of promising us anything in the way of funding. Sigh. Not a big surprise, although a disappointing one. This is an election year here in California, so if Governor Schwarzenegger wants to continue being governor, he may want to consider distancing himself from the Bush administration. If he isn't reelected, it won't be just because of that fiasco of a special election he insisted on last fall. Some things in politics are growing old, such as having warning after warning of dire circumstances by experts, and having those warning fall on deaf ears by elected official. The sad part for Mr. Schwarzenegger is that at least he sees the need to fix the levees, he asked for funding, so will it be his fault that we don't get the funding, out of Washington,that is needed?
As I have said before, and I don't really think I can stress enough...we all must prepare. Karen raised a very good point in the comments section of the last entry I did on the subject of preparedness. She doesn't live in "earthquake country," or "flood country," or "hurricane country," she lives in a part of the country that is spared most conditions which must exist for a natural disaster. As her friend, I am of course relieved, but even if you do happen to think you have it all covered, the unexpected can occur. Do you have an overnight kit with a change of clothes should, god forbid, your house catches fire? Do you have a good supply of flashlights and batteries? How about fresh water or food for your pets? Does everyone who reads my blog, have a roadside emergency kit in their car? How about a spare telephone book for your area? Do you have a prearranged place to meet your loved ones, should the worst happen?Do you change the batteries in your smoke detectors every six months? Let's try something simple, raise your hand if you know how to change your own tire! In this age of terrorism, where nothing should be taken for granted, is there such a thing as being over prepared? Really?
Ok, rant over. On a lighter note, wasn't it great to see Helen Thomas, back in the front row at a White House press conference? Asking the tough questions, that should have been asked months ago?
"I'd like to ask you, Mr. President...your decision to invade Iraq has caused the deaths of thousands of Americans and Iraqis, wounds of Americans and Iraqis for a lifetime. Every reason given, publicly at least, has turned out not to be true. My question is: Why did you really want to go to war?"
-Helen Thomas 3/21/06 "Bush: Troops To Stay In Iraq For Years."
Note: Steven wrote a very good entry, in which he shares his thoughts about Bush's news conference yesterday. If you haven't been by his blog, please stop by and give it a read! You'll be glad you did. "Monarch"
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