My humble opinion on
December 3, 2001
If you haven't done so, check out
account of the heroic men and women on board Flight 93, the jet that
crashed into the Pennsylvania countryside on September 11. Those brave
people overcame their fear and gave their lives to save others, the
ultimate sacrifice. They knew about the World Trade Center and Pentagon,
and were determined to prevent the hijackers from crashing into a fourth
As the Newsweek authors note, the war
against terrorism didn't start when we began bombing the smithereens out
of the Taliban tyrants. It began on Flight 93, when American patriots,
the so-called average American, fought against terror and won. Their
names must be remembered for all time.
But so should the name of Randy
Heather Carlson, in Athens, GA, with
her husband, was visiting her in-laws. Tuesday afternoon, she decided to
take a walk with her infant daughter.
Rolling the stroller up the street,
with her in-law's dog in tow, Carlson struck up a conversation with
Burris, a neighbor. As they spoke, an Oldsmobile came speeding around
the corner toward them.
Carlson tried to push the stroller off
the sidewalk and onto the grass, but the wheels were stuck. Burris
pushed her out of the way, grabbed the stroller, and ran toward the
lawn. But it was too late. The out of control car, driven by a drunk
driver, struck Burris and the stroller. The child flew into the air but
was not hurt. Burris was killed.
The Bible says there is no greater
love than to lay down your life for a friend. Randy Burris and the
heroes aboard Flight 93 gave up their lives for strangers. Their
ultimate sacrifice, freely given, should serve as an inspiration to all
of us, and a sterling example.
Joy Yauslin lives in St. Petersburg,
FL. In an effort to conserve water, she installed an artificial lawn in
her front yard. It cost her $5,000, but it's always green, perfectly
groomed, and has no weeds.
But the Wexford West Homeowners
Association says it violates their rules. She has 30 days to rip it out
and put in real grass.
A letter from the HOA accused Yauslin
of failing to maintain a sodded yard. But that's the idea. The
artificial lawn is always green without the water. Now she doesn't have
to choose between a water-hogging green lawn and an ugly brown dead
The HOA says that rules are rules and
they must be enforced. They even conceded that they prefer a dead lawn
with real grass rather than green artificial turf.
I'm no fan of HOAs. In fact, I pretty
much hate them. A former colleague referred to them as "Hitler
Housewives," and the name fits for too many of them. They seem to
thrive on poking their noses into everyone else's business and homes. My
attitude is this: As long as I'm not disturbing or harming anyone else,
I can do what I wish with my house. Don't tell me what shrubs I can or
can't plant in my yard. Mind your own business.
This specific HOA could end this in a
second by modifying the rules to allow unsodded lawns. But that requires
a little humility and a live and let live attitude. Don't hold your
Does Laura Bush Nurture you?
A recent article in USA Today reveals
some of the silliness still rampant in American life. Some people had
hoped that September 11 would have toughened us up a bit, yanked us out
of some our juvenile and meaningless ways, and forced more folks to act
It hasn't happened yet. The USA Today
story reports that the first lady, Laura Bush, is emerging from
September 11 as the nurturer-in-chief. "People are starting to know
her," said Gary Rose, chairman of the History and Political Science
blah-blah-blah. "I think she's assumed the role of healer in many
"Laura Bush is evolving,"
chimed in Betty Winfield, a professor of journalism at the University of
Missouri. "What's separating Laura Bush from her predecessors is
this national need for nurturing, a national need to say it's OK, we're
going to get through this. The times call for it, and she's fulfilling
that role, which is super."
A national need for nurturing? The
role of healer? What utter pap! This is pure hyper-sensitive, emotional
drivel. It's like the American people are poor little lost sheep,
wandering in dark scary woods and bleating for Mama. How insulting!
Look, I have nothing against Laura
Bush. I'm sure she's a wonderful lady. But if I need nurturing, I'm not
going to turn to some person who's never met me. I'll rely on family and
friends for that, not government.
I want a SmarTruck
Have you heard about the U.S. Army's
latest weapon? It's called the SmarTruck. A souped-up Ford F-350, this
true urban assault vehicle has high-voltage door handles, blinding
lights to blind an enemy, device that sprays pepper spray and smoke as
far as 12 feet, armor plating, bullet-proof glass, on-board bomb
detector, electronic fingerprint ID locks, turret with a high-powered
laser gun, laser-sighted machine gun, touch-screen Internet access,
Global Positioning System, voice activated radios, windows and cell
phones, night-vision technology, and in case you're being chased by bad
guys, it spews out oil slicks and tire-puncturing tacks.
One question: Where can I get one of