I saw the magazine last week at work, but, unfortunately, I didn't have time to read it. So, let me try to sum up the article for you, in my own way, using my personal experience.
As we went to the door of the building, I was surprised at the first person I saw walk out of the door. It was a Major and his pregnant wife! Now, to an E-3 like myself, seeing an O-4 walk out of that door with his wife behind him was a sight, indeed! (Sorry, people, but you would either have to be current military, a veteran, or a dependent of either to fully appreciate the meaning of this statement.) I looked at my wife. She looked back at me, shrugging her shoulders, and we continued inside. After signing in, we were directed to a room filled with nearly two dozen other pregnant women, some with their husbands (or significant others) and some by themselves. I noticed that one of the ladies sat next to another military member. Believe it or not, the uniform was not the first thing I noticed about them, but instead, it was the fact that they were holding hands! He turned around and I got a better look at his rank on his shoulder. This man was a Captain! An O-3! (My apologies, again, but... you know...!)
My wife and I were there for about an hour listening to two women explain how the WIC program worked. I caught the basics, but nothing else really stuck about the talk we received. What really stood out that day was the bittersweet feeling I had that we weren't the only ones.
Case in point:
Talk about a change: My starting salary on the job I have now was $12.82/hr. and I have a payday every two weeks. My military salary when I was discharged from service was $1,120/mo. and my paydays were on the 1st and the 15th of each month. My first two-week take-home paycheck (after taxes) on my current job was more than my entire gross salary in the military for a whole month at my highest rank! The best part is I didn't even need my military experience to get this job!!! Does this mean I'm a rich person? HECK NO!! But I am a helluva lot better off!
It's time for a change... and soon!
No matter what your stand is on the Elian saga, many of you have to agree that this is one of the most monotonous television events since the day-and-a-half of DNA testimony during the O. J. Simpson trial... especially when the answer is SOOO simple - send him back to his father!
Say what you want about Cuba, about Castro, about Communism itself, but there isn't much that's more important to a child than a relationship with his or her parents. There is nothing that can be substituted for this. Elian, unfortunately, will not get to learn from his mother as she died in their attempt to immigrate from Cuba, but he still has a chance to learn from his father. Why would his relatives, who claim they love him so much, want to deprive him of his relationship with his father? The only reason why this action would make any sense to me would be if Elian's father was a known abuser of his family, including of his late wife. But since no such allegations of this sort have been made, I see no reason to keep the little boy from his father.
Does this mean I approve of the government snatching him like they did in the middle of the night? Well... yes and no. Yes - because, again, the boy deserves to be with his father; no - because such a cloak and dagger act may traumatize the boy. Think about it:
On the flip side, much of this blame rests at the feet of his Miami relatives who kept throwing up roadblock after roadblock when his father came to see his son. The government wanted meets set up; the family wanted lawyers and hearings. The government wanted a neutral site; the family wanted lawyers and hearings. The government wanted a peaceful transfer; the family wanted lawyers and hearings. Well, guess what? Both sides got what they wanted. The government handed the boy over to his father and the family got their lawyers and their hearings. Only, the lawyers and the family didn't get what they expected out of the hearings as Elian was denied asylum, (of course, he can ALWAYS come to MY Asylum! as I have room for everyone!), which means Elian will be on his way back to Cuba with his father, barring any legal miracles from the lawyers retained by his Miami relatives.
(ASYLUM Note: We now no there were no legal miracles left to be found as the U.S. Supreme Court denied the emergency request put forth by the lawyers of his relatives without comment.)
So, there's no real need to worry. Soon, this country will be back to normal...
...or whatever passes for normal nowadays.
This whole saga began when Elian's mother decided to escape from Cuba with her son. She eventually paid for that decision with her life. Now imagine, if you will, his mother surviving the trip. Had she survived, we never would have heard of the name 'Elian Gonzales'. She would have either been rescued by the fisherman with her son and found a way to blend in with the rest of the population, or she would have been stopped by the authorities and promptly sent back to Cuba on the next available boat or plane out. No endless hours upon days of media coverage, no Miami relatives making national appeals on his behalf, no search and rescue mission in the dead of night to reunite father and son, and no 'media darling' to occupy so much of this country's time and attention.
No offense to young Elian, but I'm glad you're gone...
...back to Cuba with your father, where you belong!
I feel another rate increase coming!!!
That is unless you count Brahms Lullabye.
I had planned on saying a few words about Whitney Houston's Greatest Hits CD, but I couldn't seem to get past the chant of "CRACK - HEAD! CRACK - HEAD!" that keeps playing over and over in my mind, so I guess I'll leave this one alone.
For the 'other' BASS-Heads, those who like their frequencies low and loud, I want to refer you to the Greatest Hits CD from Bass Mekanik. This is the true, unadulterated bass with no fluff or filler. The trademark sine waves, pink noise, and speaker test tracks are nowhere to be found on this CD. You can put this in your trunk, roll down the boulevard with yo' homies, and bump da boomin' bass till ya jus' can't get enuff! This is a MUST-HAVE CD for all the lowriders in the audience!! I heard it and it was enough to make me want to scream 'Arriba La Raza!' Y yo no soy latino! Three-wheeled motion and the Bass Mekanik were made for each other. GET IT! NOW!!
Before I go, though, I want to throw my support towards 'The Boss' Bruce Springsteen for standing behind his convictions. For those of you who may be in the dark, Springsteen recorded a song condemning the NYPD in the death of Haitian immigrant Diallo (please let me be right about the spelling). In a recent concert in The Big Apple, the local policemen refused to give their support to Springsteen by not providing concert security for him in a protest move against the song. Springsteen went ahead with the concert anyway. Like Sinatra, 'The Boss' did it his way... and that's why he's 'The Boss'!
On a sad note, I want to note the passing of mambo king Tito Puente. At the age of 77, he succumbed to heart problems. He will be sorely missed.
If you run your car into a ditch, don't panic. Four men in a four-wheel drive pickup truck with a 12 pack of beer and a tow chain will be along shortly. Don't try to help them, just stay out of their way. This is what they live for.
If you hear a Southerner exclaim, "Hey, y'all, watch this," stay out of the way. These are likely to be the last words he'll ever say.
Don't be surprised to find movie rentals and bait in the same store. Do not buy food at this store. The North has Sushi. The South has bait.
Remember, "y'all" is singular, "all y'all" is plural, and "all y'all's" is plural possessive.
Get used to hearing "You ain't from around here, are ya?"
The proper pronunciation you learned in school is no longer proper.
Be advised that, "He needed killin," is a valid defense here.
If there is the prediction of the slightest chance of even the smallest accumulation of snow, your presence is required at the local 7-11. It doesn't matter whether you need anything or not. You just have to go there.
When you come up on a person driving 15 mph down the middle of the road, remember that most folks learn to drive on a John Deere, and that this is the proper speed and position for that vehicle.
Do not be surprised to find that 10-year-olds own their own shotguns and are proficient marksmen. Or that their mammas taught them how to aim.
You may hear a Southerner say "Ought" to a dog or child. This is short for, "Y'all oughta not do that," and is the equivalent of saying, "No." Don't be worried at not understanding what people are saying. They can't understand you either.
The first Southern expression to creep into a transplanted Northerner's
vocabulary is the adjective "big'ol," as in big'ol truck" or "big'ol boy."
I'm trying to locate a friend of mine whom I have lost touch with. Her name is Elizabeth A. Robinson and she is from Trinidad, W.I. She is now 30 years old. She and I have been pen-pals for several years when I was living in Alabama
and Texas, but unfortunately, we lost contact with each other around 1994. I still have her old phone number, but ever since the area codes were changed for the Caribbean islands, I haven't been able to get a phone call to go through to
her. To anyone who is currently living in Trinidad or has any contacts in Trinidad, any help you can give me will be greatly appreciated. Elizabeth was one of my dearest friends for many, many years, and I'm dying to get in touch
with her again! If anyone knows how I can get in touch with her or if she's online with e-mail capability, please e-mail me or have her e-mail
me, her pen-pal from Alabama, here at Asylum_Mail@yahoo.com or at one of the following e-mail addies: