Year in Review: A Different Look at 2005

Major events such as natural disasters and minor events that touch almost no ones lives can shape our lives. We look back and see a huge missed opportunity in natural disasters. Hurricane Katrina was a major event of the year and the government agency charged with preparing for and being ready for just this sort of thing fell woefully short in being ready.

I was in the military and we took every chance to be ready and prepare for things that might happen, militarily speaking. Why could this organization not get it’s act together and with it’s billions be as ready as the military has been. Instead they had to play catch up and try to redeem themselves, under new leadership, of course. And we also saw smaller parts of that greater disaster that begs to ask questions but we’re not sure just who to ask these of.

Or if it’s politically correct to even ask them. Why are people complaining about getting even more help when others are picking themselves up and moving on. When FEMA announced that they would be stopping payments to survivors staying in hotels, some months after the disaster and after they had been moved into areas not stricken with the disaster, why did people not thank the organization for the help and start to find work. Why instead did they just complain all the louder and try to blame the government for more of the entire situation. We sure did not hear loudly enough about the people who did pick themselves up, found work and moved on.

One thing that I saw on the news that was a great opportunity for the police of New Orleans, they got the clean up of a life time. While everyone can agree that it was a disaster, they at least on some level were glad for one of it’s outcomes. Crime dropped to a stand still. From being the murder capitol of the U.S. to being without any for a couple of months, the police enjoyed a brief respite after their hard work of helping victims, recovery and cleanup.

And other smaller disasters happened that beg to ask questions and see what people don’t do that seems so obvious. Hill slides and mud slides in California took many by surprise that were living on the sides of some pretty steep hills. Not so to many watching on the news, and then later just as the year closed California was again hit by flooding and the inevitable problems that follow. If we keep taking from the land and doing what we want, won’t we be messing with something that was made almost perfect in the first place. We strip the land, build houses on the tops of hills that are bare of trees and bushes that held the soil in place and then wonder why the house slides down the hill side along with a lot of the dirt we moved in. Well, maybe not all of us wonder why it happened.

On to the government and more missed opportunities. The President spent a good portion of his time defending why we went into another country when the main reason is still on trial as the year comes to a close. And what a trial. While President Bush has been on the news defending our involvement in another countries problems, the cause of those problems is skipping out on his day in court. Saddam Hussein has taken a new defense for his actions in court. He protests his treatment, tries to stall the proceedings and focus attention elsewhere. He seems to want attention and focus turned away from the witnesses and atrocities that are being brought as evidence against him, and he talks about not having clean clothes in jail.

President Bush has nothing to defend, it is our job, nay our privilege to defend those other countries around the world from atrocities such as the ones Hussein is being accused of. President Bush is missing a great opportunity for a historical speech but he is probably afraid of the fallout he would get. One big missed opportunity in the history books.

Another part of the government begs to ask why, and gets their answer in big missed opportunities. The National Transportation Safety Board announced that they would be allowing nail clippers and files back onto airline flights, using certain guidelines. What happened to putting lockable doors onto the cockpits of these planes. While they worry about some grandmother with knitting needles or a mother who wants to have trimmed nails, they forget the main thing that will provide pilots and passengers with the safety of not being able to get into the cockpit of the airplane.

Many missed opportunities seem to be a way for people to get rich. Take the way some do things to get that major story of the year, and possible book rights later on. Why would someone put a finger into her chili and lie about it. Money. She put it there and wanted Wendy’s to pay for her harrowing ordeal. It all comes down to money and the chance to get rich using whatever some people can do to become wealthy, or at least better off.

And not just something that someone will plan and carry out as a scam or con to get money. If she was so afraid of the wedding and the aftermath of being married, why would the runaway bride make up so rich a story as being kidnapped. Now the book rights have been sold and a movie is in the works. Which just goes to show you that any kind of outrageous behavior, no matter who you worry or hurt can be made into money.

The year 2005 had many major tragedies by the hands of terrorists, but our government has been working in secret and doing it’s part to fight terrorism. We may not see the outcome in arrests, or even big news breaking show downs with terrorist cells. But what we do not see is major disasters on our soil where people are killed and hurt by these terrorists. One big missed opportunity that many do not see or even take notice of is our nations defense against these terrorists. Just because we don’t see the people behind these acts getting arrested or taken out, doesn’t mean the actions of our nations defense is not happening. After all isn’t a major terrorist attack not happening in our country an outcome of our nations defense against terrorists.

We saw many people convicted or exonerated in our nations courts, and beg to wonder about our judicial system. If Michael Jackson was so innocent of the accusations of child molestation or whatever it was he was accused of, why did he flee the country right after wards. Some will say he wanted no part in the publicity or that he wanted no one else to get a chance to accuse him and thereby gain the opportunity of fame and possible riches at the expense of others like I said earlier. But we all know a bit more about it by looking back. If he was so worried about all this why did he buy an island in Bahrain, a country that has United States relations but no extradition policy.

We also saw another major event in our judicial system with the execution of the founder of the Crips, Stanley Tookie Williams. Many wanted his execution stayed but it was carried out. Reasons for his stay were given as his attempts to prevent children from becoming involved with gangs and his remorse shown after he was jailed. But his execution was carried out and many miss just why his sentence was carried out after he was found guilty. We execute criminals found guilty of especially heinous crimes to not only punish them for doing these crimes but to prevent the next guy from doing them also. He committed the crime and was found guilty, many appeals also found the evidence and crime to justify his sentence and the execution was carried out for his crime. Not what he felt or did afterwards.

We also saw a major change in religion this year, and wondered about many things philosophical. The head of the catholic church passed on and a new Pope was elected. Now we see after all that happened the mechanics and inner workings of the election of the head of our worlds largest religion. We get to see some pretty interesting and informative things happen, but only after something as sad as the passing of a great man.

We also lost many great people in our lives, whether they touched us from afar or if they were sitting next to us one day and then were gone the next. We can look back and cherish these people and see what the opportunities were that we missed with them. We should try in the future to do the things we see that we missed and make ours and other’s lives better.

Many times in the year, things happen and we don’t see the impact or outcome until we look back at them. But we can be sure of one thing, we do know that there will be an outcome and can be glad that we did not miss the opportunity to look back at it and can gain from whatever the outcome was, good or bad.

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