Monday, July 7, 2008

I need your opinion!

"Joe Blow said about the post below entitled "Where were you"...
Hey Ernie! How old are you?
You talk like you just crawled out from under a rock!
That emotional clap trap you call patriotism is best left to your parents! You think those so-called terrorist struck America just because they wanted to? They used your kind of patriotism to suck this country right into where they wanted it. Spreading death, destruction and chaos all over the earth. For sure, what goes around, comes around."

Well gee Joe, and I’ve always said nice things about you. Both of us are fifth generation native. Both are world travled. Both are life educated. Yet from your blog, and I quote; “This report is about observations and not about opinions. Opinions are mostly worthless.”

I’m am just the opposite, on my blog opinions are what counts the most. I gain a lot of wisdom from other peoples opinions, and often I am enlightened by them. Sometimes I’ve even been moved to the point of saying “I wish that I had said that”.

Yet, you say that opinions are “Mostly worthless”. You are a unique person that can make it successfully through the world on your own opinions. At the end of my post I asked; “I'd appreciate your thoughts on America on it's birthday.”. That was a perfect opportunity for you to offer your opinion on what’s right or wrong with America, yet you used your opportunity to turn your opinions on me.

Possibly what might be wrong with America is we spend to much time picking on each other and not paying attention to what’s really going on that. We end up with “sales job leaders” that we would never have voted for had we been paying attention.

Another thing; How can we expect good people to run for office if all we do is ridicule them. We need to get away from electing leaders that can raise the most money, because with that money comes corruption.

I welcome your opinion on this blog but most people know that I’m not the wisest person in the world, but some of the wisest people in the world place their opinions on this blog and I appreciate that.

You talk to me like I’m what’s wrong with America, then you go on to say; “They used your kind of patriotism to suck this country right into where they wanted it. Spreading death, destruction and chaos” . I need more details, you have too much “Inside information” that I’m just not aware of. I told you that I have difficulty understanding things. I need some clarification, what am I doing wrong, and why is it so bad to say that I was stuck dumb by the death of so many people?

I watched the whole Twin Towers thing on television, as it was happening. I watched the firefighters grab their axes and shoulder their hoses and run into the buildings. I even told my wife, “I know exactly how those guys feel. They just want to get in there, and get everybody out before it all goes to hell!” Well they didn’t make it, maybe you noticed.

Then there was the firefighter that was suiting up to go into the next tower after the first one collapsed. The people in the crowd were urging him not to do it. He was terrified, but his reply to the crowd was “It’s my job, you would do it too, if you were me”. Then he trotted off to go into the second building before it collapsed. By then I couldn’t talk even if I wanted to, and I have to concede that I have no idea how he felt. I’ve often wished to know if he made it out alive. He said that I “would do it too,” I’ve wondered a million times if I really would have. That will be my second concession, I don’t know if I would, and I agonize over it.

Your opinion is one of the most thought provoking opinions that i've had posted in a long time!

Your life must be real simple not needing anyone else’s opinions, sometimes other peoples opinions are all that sustain me.


The Boy Most Likely to ... said...

Ernie, if I were in your shoes I would be taken back by Joe's comment also.

I for one understand that you have a connection to those brave fire fighters who gave their lives on that fateful day.

What Joe seems to do naturally is tie those deaths in with the political motives that lead to the event itself. It is almost as if the firefighters who were only their to do a job are somehow tied to the events that led to the terrorists' actions.

Too Bad some people can't separate the two. Then again, this kind of discussion is what makes this country so great.


capdiamont said...

Many thoughts here.

Patriotism is not what the terrorist had, to cause them to attack us. Patriotism is the love and support of one's country. They did not do it for their country.

They did it because they wanted us out of their Holy Lands, which is not a country, but a group of countries. They want their strict Militant version of Muslim as he rule of law in he countries they inhabit. They did it because the freedoms of the US doesn't match their religion. Things as dress code, Women's rights, drug use, sex, homosexuality, and what religion you can choose, or promote are strictly prohibited or controlled. The US doesn't hardly control any of it, therefore the US has to go, it is Satanic in their eyes, that is their thoughts/ideas.

Enough for now.

Rose said...

Call it Patriotism if you want. I just look at it as the best thing the world has ever seen - the people who came here fled feudal lords who could come in and take all of their possessions and earnings, their wives and their kids, and call it 'taxes.' They could be killed for having a different religion than that which was sanctioned.

they came here and they set up new rules that allowed humanity to blossom - freedom of religion, freedom from taxation without representation, freedom to congregate, government by the people. No feudal lords. No breaking into your house for no reason. Rules for government that respected the people and their "inalienable rights."

The rest of the world should be so lucky as to have what we have here.

It shocks me that so many in this generation seem to have lost sight of the very preciousness of what we have, what we reap the benefits of. Including the ability to adjust and correct.

By our own stupidity and weakness we can lose it. It is fragile. If we lose ourselves in hating each other and ripping our own country and its leaders apart, we forget that our only strength against those who would turn this little experiment upside down is that we must stand together as one, united, and proud.

I don't fly the flag (actually, the kids put one up for the first time this July 4th) I have my generations aversion to symbolism ingrained.

So again, I don't know if Patriotism is how I would describe it. Fierce. Protective. Appreciative. Grateful. Pride. Ours. To Keep. Or Lose.

Anonymous G said...

I enjoyed reading the still-fresh "Movies and Parking Meters" blog entry this morning and looked forward to quite a few recollections of others who frequent this site. Surprisingly, Ernie, you somehow saw fit to quickly pilot us away from such pleasant nostalgia. Instead, you began anew and singled out a post from someone ranting about an issue with tired, hot-button words such as “patriotism”, “terrorism”, etc. that might now take us into the abyss of charged emotions and knee-jerk responses.
Please understand: Being a member of an Emergency Response Team is a noble calling. Their duty can include the ultimate sacrifice for the ineptitude of those who govern us without the benefit of clairvoyance. But would the wisest among us aspire to be political leaders? Those who are left are the ones to whom we want to point fingers.
It’s your blog and you can obviously do with it as you see fit, but if it’s your desire to include matters not related to your home page dedication statement (“Remembering how it was “back then”, and Tales about the Eel River Valley, etc.”), then perhaps you should host a 2nd blog that deals with political matters, although there are a plethora of those already in existence. Of those, I am weary: They unfailingly consist of indulgent comments with no basis in fact, seeking instead to glorify the contributor’s so-called “wisdom”, inflating his or her ego, while provoking others to respond in kind, perpetuating a vicious cycle. This is enlightenment?? Let's not go there.

ben said...

Ernie, I also think about the Russian firefighters who went into the Chernobyl disaster knowing they would die. Flying helicopters with buckets of sand into an area so radioactive that there was no hope of survival. They were not there to save those inside but rather the thousands of potential victims throughout Europe. I think about the Iraqui disaster crews who go to the site of a bombing knowing well that another bomb may be waiting for their arrival. In the midst of terror and violence we see these remarkable people going in to help. To me, this is the most reassuring aspect of human nature, That people are willing and capable of such sacrifice in order to simply save others.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Thanks for your comment Ben. It is strange, but the people that do those sorts of things never think of themselves as heroes. They are thinking of their kids and family and friends, and it occures to them that there are more important things.

Anon 1:50

Great words of wisdom, thank-you. Maybe that it is best to stay away from issues that are to complicated to solve. So how about a little history?

Most of the early settlers of California came here to find their fortunes in the Gold Fields, mine included. But some came here to find a new way of life, one without so many rules to live by. Those people that came here for a new life realized that they would be living by their wit, and their strength, and their stubborn will to survive, no matter what. My ancestors included.

One of the main celebrations that they had back in the beginning of California history was “The Fourth of July”. The old timers loved their independence and freedom more than anything else and they celebrated it vigorously. Celebrating the fourth of July is an old tradition in the South Fork Canyon.

It is difficult to explain the connection that firefighters share, it is similar to people that have been to war. Even though they didn’t all fight in the same place, they all connect with one another, because their lives depended on each other. I think that “Boy” picked up on that. The post that I started to make was about firefighters, then I waffled and I asked for opinions about America. Maybe I realized that the average person doesn’t understand those connections, and I wasn’t looking for sympathy, but I was trying to make the connection that we are all in this together and we need to feel the bond for one another like the people that have been faced with death, and the need to get each other through it feel for each other.

Without going into detail, I will explain to you that my life has been saved by other firefighters keeping me safe , and I have saved other firefighters lives by keeping them safe. It only works when you work together. It is so routine that you don’t really think about it. You depend on each other to warn you of dangerous situations, and you depend on your fellow firefighters to rescue you when you get in too deep. At some point you realize that you would have been under that wall that collapsed if someone hadn’t warned you. Late at night when you re-think what happened that day a little chill goes up and down your spine, but during the event it was routine.

I guess what I should have said about the New-York Firefighters is that my feet were in their boots with them, and I felt the weight of their hoses on my shoulder with them, I felt their duty to their fellow man and their fellow firefighters as they ran into the building to rescue people, and when the building collapsed a part of me died with them.

I don’t put myself in their class, and I never want to know if I am a hero, but those guys were certainly my heroes.

I guess what I’m trying to say is; just like our ancestors, we are still living by our wit, and our strength, and our stubborn will to survive.

Just like ice cream, apple pie and the fourth of July, it all connects to the South Fork Of the Eel canyon for me.

Rose said...

The heroism of firefighters should not be considered political. How did that happen?

There was a time when all men stood together and banded together to help each other. If a neighbors house caught fire, they all went to help. There was no paid fire department. There was no government to take care of you and blame everything on.

This is what's real, and it is not political. It's why firefighters represent what is best about us. Our common ground, Our community. And if you weave what was then into what is now, which you often do, Ernie, your post is entirely appropriate.

How your reader found it political, that's another question. My opinion.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Rose, it was a political event, but the firefighters were not part of the politics. They were only concerned about the people. I failed to make that clear.

Kym said...

I feel that true patriotism is like true heroism--a willingness to sacrifice oneself for others.

And true writing is about being open and exploring ideas-- which may include politics. So, in my opinion, the peaceful place you evoke here on your blog is only enlivened by the spice of politics. I would hate to see this blog you have built become totally about politics but likewise I would miss hearing your views on the current world.

beachcomber said...

I am so NOT knowledgeable about the methods of war. I don’t think we should have gone but, like Kym, don’t believe we can just “pull out”. I don’t have the answers. I agree that, though killing is bad, sometimes it’s the only way to stop and evil to prevent their killing of innocents. 9/11 shattered so much of the peace and naiveté I grew up with. I believed that we are the good guys. America does good things. We help those that need our help, even if they don’t know us or appreciate our help. After 9/11, I also began to understood that there was no guilting terrorists into believing the good we did changed their beliefs. They live in their own world, fed filtered information by their government and have been lead to believe that the U.S is evil. Maybe they too were naive. Maybe it is we that are given filtered information by OUR government. Nah, I don't think so either but 9/11 made me consider the possibility. Maybe because I don’t like believing that evil like that exists.

I still believe we are a grand country and that essentially, the people are good. We still have people of greed in leadership roles and people who use their power to inspire others to hate but most of us think for ourselves and enjoy the freedom to question and defy those with whom we don't agree. We enjoy the freedom to blog and the freedom to disagree with the blogs of others -- even those who don't have the guts to put their names on their opinions. And we have firefighters and peace officers that will regularly put themselves in harm’s way to protect us. We wept for the losses of them especially on 9/11 because they had a choice and they went in anyway…to help.

After 9/11 the biggest change in me was the need....the see the Statue of
Liberty and Ellis Island. The twin towers were symbols of prosperity but what I truly feared was that these zealots would bring down Lady Liberty and that would rock us to our core. She is just a symbol but she's a symbol of our freedom and her destruction would de devastating. But these terrorists don't have a sense for symbols. They don't have Lincoln Memorials and Washington Monuments and Mount Rushmores. Their loss. I’m just glad Mark and I got back to see “the Lady” and Ellis Island.

Rose said...

Sadly - the TS reports - Oregon firefighter drowns in Trinity River Near Kimtu. It was his day off. The rivers are still high.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Anonymous gave me a bunch of reading to do in the thread below, but I’m going to move my answer up here, because I have formed some theories that I would like to share.

You are being unusually cruel to me for a variety of reasons, first you sound sincere, so I want to believe you, but the plot that you present is more complicated than a Peter Sellers movie. I keep expecting Kato to jump out of a closet and beat the crap out of me.

I’ll admit that I haven’t read all of the information that you gave me to read, but some of it confuses me. By the way, are you one anonymous or more?

If Silverstein blew up the buildings for the insurance, which it seems like he must have collected about 1.5 billion over and above what he will spend rebuilding. Which would seem like a sufficient reason for a heartless greedy bastard to blow-up thousands of people, but I’m not sure many people are that heartless and greedy. Plus, he would have to have trusted and relied on hundreds of people to help him. That would mean hundreds of greedy heartless bastards, that were also flawless in their execution of the plot. When, hell, I can’t even get Tiffany the parts girl to send me the right part, even if I give her the number. So, to expect me to believe that there are that many heartless, greedy, lawless rejects from society, that are also competent, boggles my mind.

Another thing that I’m still confused about, Why did they blow-up the Pentagon during the same time frame? Was that a clever diversion to throw off the investigators? Did they make it look like a terrorist attack to lose the blood hounds so to speak, A euphemistic Red Herring dragged across the trail of the insurance people?

And, what about Shanksville? I’m beginning to agree with you, Shanksville was nothing but a big hole in the ground. There wasn’t even a pick-up truck full of airplane parts came out of there. So, that couldn’t have been a plane crash could it? Those sneaky bastards blew a hole in the ground and sprinkled a few plane parts around and called it a crash. The only trouble is, one of those people on that plane was from Arcata, and a lot of people knew him, but he disappeared. Some other people are missing relatives that were also on that plane, where did all those people go? Who collected the insurance on that plane? Did they make enough to pay those people to disappear?

The whole thing just sounds too complicated for me to wrap my mind around. Hey this is America, we can’t even build a television set. I just don’t think we could find the kind of people to pull off an elaborate plot like that and get away with it.

But, I have a theory that it was nineteen people that hated us, that took over four airplanes and flew two of them into the twin towers, one into the Pentagon, and one into the ground in Shanksville. Naaaa… To simple!

But, if it is any consolation to you, I’ve been wrong before. I hope that I’m not wrong this time.

Anonymous G said...

Hey Ernie,
If my trivia questions to you about: a) the Silver Spur pre-existing Tarantino's and: b) the drive-in being located on the current site of the CalTrans maintenance yard were too easy for you, then how about this?
In the 60's, which Garberville merchant would temporarily change the name of his business to "Trader Torg's" during Rodeo Days each summer?

Anonymous G

Ernie Branscomb said...

Anonymous G

Thorsen's Variety Store. Bob and Patsy Thorsen.

Tom Sebourn said...

If terrorism is so important to the U.S. Congress, why did they not initate an investigation as to what really happened on 9/11 until 441 days had passed. The investigation which cost 10's of millions of dollars less than the White Water investigation, lasted only 21 months. More time was spent investigating pot growers on the North Coast by the DEA and other agencies. 21 months spent on 9/11 investigation and 24 months spent in Humboldt County to look for pot. What are are priorities?

Ernie Branscomb said...

Well Tom, my opinion on that is that our Government is inept. The politician's main priority is staying elected. I don't think that they even realize how foolish that they look sometimes. There seems to be some degree of incompetence in every agency.

Besides if they were really good, they probably would have eliminated Marijuana in the first place. So those that enjoy the stuff should rejoice in their ineptitude.

Carol said...

I read that we should expect these smokey conditions for months and that all these fires are going to just burn until the rains come. I have heard there is just not enough equiptment and persons available to put the fires out. Meanwhile, we have to breathe. It may be a good time to start an oxygen bar. Ernie, why can't the fires be put out?

Ernie Branscomb said...

Carol. The fires are overwhelming. Some of the fires in the parkland, that are not threatening anything, don’t even have personnel on them. Basically what happens with a mass of fires like this, is that the firefighters build a fire line around them and “Contain” them. After that most of the fire personnel are moved to another fire. The fires continue to burn in the interior until they can get back to put them out or it rains. It is obvious that we will not have enough people to fully extinguish these fires and “Mop them up”, so they will be allowed to burn themselves out.

If Eel River Ernie is out there reading, he is an expert on wildland fires, and he can give you a better handle on the situation. But from my standpoint, I never seen so many fires with such little information to the public as is with these fires, and it is still early in the season. I think that the firefighters are so busy focusing in on the fires in front of them that they don’t have much info on the ones that aren’t under control yet.

Carol said...

Thank you for the explaination, Ernie.
I have some friends that just moved to Hayfork this year. They have not seen blue skies since June 21st. It is very depressing.

Anonymous said...

One thing I have noticed over the years is the far left is so venomous.


Robin Shelley said...

And Tom Sebourn(program director for some radio talk show in HumCo?)has skewed logic.

kaivalya said...

ernie said: Well Tom, my opinion on that is that our Government is inept. The politician's main priority is staying elected. I don't think that they even realize how foolish that they look sometimes. There seems to be some degree of incompetence in every agency.

Part of the problem I see with any rhetoric about patriotism and terrorism is that the our government is not as patriotic as the people on this blog. I won't get into grand conspiracy theories, but it's no coincident that the hijackers were Saudi Arabian. And it's no coincident that we didn't wage war there.

I don't believe that the problem of terrorism lies with the rank-and-file or common citizens. Terrorism is caused by and manageable by those few on the very top who do business in the least patriotic ways.