9-11-01 13th Anniversary / Plus Why Sending Combat Forces To Defeat ISIS IS A No Go


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NOTE:  This post reflects on the 9/11 attacks, and talks about my opinions on the ISIS threat, this is one of the few times I get political on Geek Alabama, enjoy!

On this exact day thirteen years ago, America and the world witnessed the worst terrorist attack in American history. When the entire event unfolded just about everyone was shocked. And it did change everything we think about our world today. I would like to say thank you to all the first responders or heroes I like to call them who risked their lives during the attack. I would also like to say thank you to all the people serving our country keeping us safe and our freedom intact. I would also like to say thank you to all the people who are volunteering their time to make our communities better. This is one day no one will forget ever again. And visiting the 9-11 memorials in New York City, Washington and Shanksville, PA on TV is one thing everyone needs to do.

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Here is a 9-11 picture video memorial from Chris Cheatwood, it’s good to reflect and remember.

Here is an article that I wrote which was published in a newspaper on how I witnessed the 9-11 attacks on TV.  This story is about our thoughts in witnessing the attacks on America.  Never forget 9-11-01!

Most of us Began to Cry

“I was in school at Marion Academy, and our teacher said there is a huge event going on that could start World War III. We went to the library, though none of us there could believe what was going on. We were asking the other students that were already there what happened, and they said a plane went into the tower. Most of us thought this could be an accident until we watched the plane go into the second tower. Then we all believed this was a terrorist attack.

Most of us gasped and a few began to cry because we knew America was being attacked. Some students were talking about what is going on when someone yelled that one of the towers was starting to lean. Then one of the towers collapsed. Some in the library screamed, some cried, and some were silent and in shock. We were all stunned. Everyone knew people were getting killed; most of us in the library thought more than 10,000 were killed.

How could this happen in America, what is in store in the future, could things get any worse? We were high school students then and we were thinking about what could happen next. When I got home, I went immediately back to a TV to continue watching the non-stop coverage. I was still stunned and shocked about what happened that day.

I kept my little brother from watching any news coverage; he watched kid’s shows for the rest of the day. I just kept watching the coverage and reading stories on the Internet until I went to bed that night. The next morning at school, the entire school had a prayer and a talk about what happened. That is one day I will always remember.”

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Now, while everyone is thinking about the 9/11 attacks, we have a new threat in the Middle East, ISIS.  ISIS or the Islamic State Group has already beheaded two American Journalists, and threaten people inside Iraq and Syria.  President Obama has already laid out a plan to deal with ISIS with air support and some troops going to train the forces in the Middle East and give them support.  In no way I support sending American troops overseas again and be put on the ground to do combat.  Somehow, some people think this will be the only way to stop ISIS, and I do not agree with that.

You see, where I live in the Anniston/Oxford area, many people are unemployed and the metro area has one of the worst economic problems in America, mostly thanks to military cutbacks.  If some lawmakers see this ISIS threat as a way to send troops overseas, risking their lives.  While military depots like the Anniston Army Depot can re-hire everyone laid off because they will have work to do repairing military vehicles and weapons, this is a no go!  Who wants to see families suffer when their loved one is killed overseas while people get to earn a paycheck maintaining and repairing military vehicles, I don’t!  Here is the proper way to repair the economic damage in the Anniston/Oxford metro area.

I really believe America will eventually have to put a permanent military base somewhere in the Middle East.  Because when ISIS is defeated, another group will step up, and we will be back to square one once again.  After World War II, America set up permanent military bases in Germany and Japan.  And I think the only way we can keep the Middle East under control is to build a military base over there.  There are military forces in the Middle East in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and other countries who can deal with this problem!

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Yeah, my mother was laid off from a plant closing down here in Anniston who repaired military vehicles.  My mom has found another job, but some others laid off have not found anything and have had to move.  I just do not think going to war again is the best thing to revive the economy in the Anniston/Oxford metro.  Having men and women in our military killed while people repair military equipment for a paycheck is un-American in my opinion.  America needs to get off their military mentality.  Yes, we need to do airstrikes and send support to help the military forces in the Middle East.  But if we send combat troops, ISIS will find anyway possible to attack America, and we will have a repeat of 9/11, end of story.

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Sunday Discussion: Gas Prices


I think this Sunday Discussion is a very important topic.  People are getting tired of the  gas prices that are too high.  Right now gas prices around this area are around $3.50 a gallon.  But many experts think those prices are going to go way up.  Many are expecting gas prices to be over $4 a gallon by this summer.  And if there is conflict in the Middle East or a hurricane coming up the Gulf of Mexico.  The sky’s the limit.  Do you remember the movie called Oil Storm that was on TV a couple of years ago?  Here is the full movie to refresh yourself.

The movie depicts a major hurricane and war in the Middle East causing a major disruption in the oil supply and causing gas prices to go through the roof.  This almost crashed the U.S. economy.  Of course this is all portraying a major oil disruption in this country.  But we have had similar events.  Remember Hurricane Katrina and the gas supply disruptions afterward?  And we may get to see what happens if a conflict over Iran starts.  Which I hope does not happen.

So what is causing the gas prices to go up.  I give you a couple of reasons.  One is conflict in the Middle East.  Just the talk of bombing Iran is causing the oil prices to go up.  Two is the speculators.  They are wanting the price of oil to go way up so they can line their pockets with money.  This is a very greedy way to make money.  Third is the growth around the world.  India and China has exploded in economic growth and guess what they need?  Gas!  When you have more people needing energy around the world.  Prices are going to go up.  We are in an election year and one of the candidates Newt Gingrich has proposed ways to lower the gas prices.  By the way Newt Gingrich will be in Pell City on Wednesday at 2pm at the Pell City Civic Center.  And yes I am going there.

I would like to question a couple of things about the gas supply.  One is the U.S. exporting a record amount of gas to countries around the world.  Why are we doing this?  We should be keeping the supply of gas in this country.  And this brings me to the second point.  Some refineries in the North East are going out of business.  The talk is there is not enough refineries in this country to process the oil and now there is talk to shut down refineries.  Could it be greed or low demand?  Who knows.

So in my beliefs; what can be done to lower the gas prices.  Here are some ways.  One; we need to drill for more oil.  Until we get the network of alternative fuels set up we need to keep up with the demand.  And the Keystone pipeline was blocked by Obama.  So if Obama does not like the route of the Keystone pipeline through Nebraska; let’s move it around.  Because Canada wants to export its oil to us instead of China.  Plus we have oil reserves all over the country that can be tapped.  So we can get started now!  And yes I would make sure it was done the right way to protect the environment.

Another way is to punish the speculators on Wall Street.  We have nothing going on in the Middle East right now and the oil price is very high.  Something is wrong here.  We need to pass laws and increase the supply so the speculation is taken out of the oil prices.  Another way is to increase the fuel mileage in cars.  Also we can develop mass transit and better communities so people do not have to drive too far to work or school.  But here in Alabama mass transit is a joke.  Birmingham has some of the highest ratio single car drivers in the world.  Mass transit is very bad in the Birmingham metro and is not properly funded.  That needs to change.

But here is the ultimate change we need to do.  We need to transition off of oil.  America has become way too addicted to oil and no one out there has talked about new ways to fuel our cars.  Natural gas is one great alternative to fuel our cars.  And we need to accelerate development of new ways to keep our cars moving.  Batteries and hydrogen can be great new ways to fuel our cars.  We can also design our communities better so people do not have to drive to do simple errands.  Let’s create areas so people can walk or ride a bike from their homes to the store or to have some fun.  We can also say we are addicted to our cars.  And this is something we need to change as well.

America is very divided right now on issues from the size of government to what to do in jump starting the economy.  But I think we can all come together to solve the energy problem.  And who knows; maybe we can solve some other problems too.

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Bell Ringers and the Military


Salvation Army Bell Ringers

One Christmas tradition that we all see when we go Christmas shopping is seeing the bell ringers from The Salvation Army ringing the bells asking for donations to be put in the ironic red kettle.  We can not escape the bell noise.  We hear the bells ringing when we go inside and it reminds us to get an dollar when we are checking out of the store.  Or when you get out of the store you will try to make up an excuse on why you have no money to put into the red kettle.  I have done that a couple of times this holiday season.  When you are unemployed for over five months now you really keep track of where your money goes.  Now I have donated a couple of bucks to the Salvation Army this year and I hope I do not have to use their services next year.  But the good thing is the volunteers standing there with the ringing bell understand my situation.  The best time to walk out of the store is when the bell ringers are taking a break.  Then you do not feel guilty by refusing to donate into the red kettle.  You can walk out with ease knowing you did not have the choice to donate because no one was there.  But if you can do donate to The Salvation Army Red Kettles as help needed this year has exploded due to the bad economy and the tornadoes here in Alabama this year.

Military Homecoming and Send-Off

Christmas is often the best time of the year to see people from the military coming home to see their family and kids for the Christmas holidays.

http://www.abc3340.com/story/16308923/returning-soldier-surprises-daughter

Here is an local story of an solider surprising their kids at school wrapped as a present.  There are many videos and stories on the web showing off unique ways to surprise loved ones that their military family member has come back home.  Everyone just has to love those stories.  No matter if you are for or against the wars in the Middle East.  You just have to love to see the reaction of seeing your loved ones back home in your arms.  But this time of the year you can also see people in the military leaving for the Middle East right before Christmas.

http://www.annistonstar.com/view/full_story/16839924/article-Home-by–next–Christmas?instance=home_news

Troops from our area; the 1312th Engineer Detachment are deploying for a one year commitment.  The families are happy and honored to see their loved ones helping to defend our country.  And the support from people from all around us who will support and comfort the people here at home.  So do something this holiday season.  Thank a person who is serving or has served in the military.  It will make your day!