July 20, 2008

July 20, 2008
Hey friend! Thanks for stopping by and visiting a day in my life. Today is Sunday and I hope you are having a great day in your life as I am.

The big news today is the storm in the Gulf of Mexico. Tropical Storm Dolly was over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and could become a hurricane by Tuesday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in its latest report. Weather models show the storm crossing the western Gulf and striking the South Texas coast on Wednesday. Some models showed a strike near the Texas border with Mexico, while others showed Dolly hitting further north along the coast near Corpus Christi, Texas. A hurricane watch was issued for the Texas coast from Brownsville northward to Port O'Connor. A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 36 hours. A tropical storm watch was issued for the Texas coast from north of Port O'Connor to San Luis Pass, the NHC said. Dolly was moving west-northwest at nearly 18 miles per hour, with a gradual decrease in forward speed and little change in direction expected for the next couple of days. Dolly was expected to approach the coast of the western Gulf of Mexico by Wednesday. Maximum sustained winds were near 50 mph with higher gusts. The NHC was also issuing advisories on Tropical Storm Cristobal, about 190 miles east-northeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and was monitoring a large, well-defined tropical wave just inland over extreme western Africa. The NHC said the wave had the potential for some development after it emerges into the eastern Atlantic within the next day or so.

So this isn't a major hurricane, right? So what is all the big deal? Well we all know what has happened to the price of crude oil futures and gasoline in the past year. A hurricane or major storm could cause damage to the oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico and interrupt what little production we do have here in the states. That interruption could cause another soar in the price of crude oil which in turn would mean even higher prices at the gas pump. Energy traders watch for storms that could enter the Gulf of Mexico and threaten U.S. oil and gas production facilities. So I am praying that we will not have any hurricanes come close to the US this year because I have heard the experts forecast with three major storms hitting the coast this year. What are your thoughts on the subject?

I was also watching a report about the continued devastation from the cyclone that hit Myanmar a couple of months ago. Myanmar needs at least $1 billion over the next three years to put the survivors of Cyclone Nargis back on their feet, a United Nations led report said in the first comprehensive assessment of damage caused by the disaster that killed more than 84,000 people. The May cyclone caused damage estimated at $4 billion, said the report prepared by the United Nations, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the military junta that governs Myanmar. Damage to assets was determined to be about $1.7 billion and loss of income was estimated at $2.3 billion. The cyclone devastated large swathes of the Irrawaddy delta and the Yangon region, killing at least 84,537 people and leaving 53,836 missing and presumed dead. Secretary-general Surin Pitsuwan told a news conference the three parties involved in the report are seeking at least $1 billion in international aid for humanitarian relief efforts alone over the next three years to deal with a tragedy of immense proportions.

Despite the grim statistics, the report makes no mention of the junta's limited action in the first week of the disaster, which drew worldwide criticism. The junta initially refused to allow foreign relief workers in and pictures of bodies floating in the water amid reports that soldiers were standing by idly horrified people around the world. The junta was also slammed for failing to accept international aid quickly and even physically preventing them from going to the hardest hit areas. The military government had also insisted on full access to international relief, holding up delivery for weeks while survivors waited in desperate conditions. ASEAN helped facilitate exchanges between international donors and Myanmar's governing military junta. Singapore Foreign Minister George Yeo, who chaired the news conference to release the report, refused to allow an Associated Press reporter's question to Myanmar's foreign minister about whether the junta felt that many lives could have been saved had it acted differently. Yeo said that while political questions are relevant, the news conference was only about the assessment report. Nyan Win said the junta hoped the international community will provide increased assistance.

Now considering our national budget is in such a deficit crisis, I have always wondered where our politicians continue to find funds to send to other countries? I mean it's not like we as citizens could just keep spending when we have exhausted all our funds and not expect some consequences from our actions. But yet the world continues to insist others take care of the problems they did not plan on for themselves. Or is it that Americans are suppose to have personal responsibility but other countries and their citizens should not have that duty and responsibility? Now I am not saying people shouldn't help each other. But with all the Americans that are homeless, uninsured or struggling; shouldn't we be helping people at home first. I know the conservatives will argue this destroys our commerce way of life. If we give the poor and sick the assistance here in the states then it will negatively affect our economy. How sad that the economy is more important than the people that paid into it. But my how the rich have become cry babies since the stock market has come down over twenty percent this year. Guess feelings only count if you are rich and powerful... or at least that is the way some of those people think.

I am headed over to Patrick's house for Dale's memorial this afternoon. I am sure I will be worn out and headed straight for bed by the time we end up getting home. So I will talk about the memorial in tomorrow's entry.

I hope you had a safe and great weekend. Remember to strive for happiness in your life in your busy week coming up. Wishing you health, hope and happiness.

Big bear hug,

Daddy Dab