Monday, May 25, 2009

Garrett "Teddy" Townsend A Hometown Hero

I grew up not far from Teddy. I know the street where he saved a 7 year old boy from certain death. I didn't know Teddy personally, but I know who and what he is all about. I know him because these people were my neighbors growing up. From the Detroit Free Press

Garret Townsend, 58, died shortly after rescuing the 7-year-old boy, who had fallen into approximately 10 feet of water in a pit that had been dug for a new home's basement on the 3900 block of Miracles Boulevard.

Teddy didn't know how to swim. But I know there wasn't a seconds-worth of hesitation when he looked around and saw that he (and his life) was the only thing between that kid and a muddy grave.

Here is a picture of the pit after it was drained this morning.

The orange construction (snow) fence was added when they drained the pit.

Teddy's wife and daughter must know that his sacrifice was just part of his character. I know they won't ever be comforted, but he would not have wanted to live if he hadn't saved that child. That part of him that compelled him to jump into the dark water, was a big reason you loved him. That didn't die today.

God bless you Teddy and every one like you.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Contempating Suicide? Be Sure About It If You Are In China

From the Beeb

BEIJING (AP) - Chen Fuchao, a man heavily in debt, had been contemplating suicide on a bridge in southern China for hours when a passer-by came up, shook his hand - and pushed him off the ledge.

Chen fell 26 feet (8 meters) onto a partially inflated emergency air cushion laid out by authorities and survived, suffering spine and elbow injuries, the official Xinhua News Agency said Saturday.

The passer-by, 66-year-old Lai Jiansheng, had been fed up with what he called Chen's "selfish activity," Xinhua said. Traffic around the Haizhu bridge in the city of Guangzhou had been backed up for five hours and police had cordoned off the area.

Several things jump out there.

1. Why in the hell are you trying to kill yourself off a 26-foot ledge? Call that disability point, not a suicide leap.

2. The guy was standing there for 5 hours? I agree with Lai, that is plenty of time to contemplate things. Dave Ramsey can fix your financial life in a 2.5 minute segment.

3. Most important. What kind of a protective air cushion causes spine and elbow injuries when you fall from 26 feet? If this happened in America, Chen would be a fucking millionaire, pay off his bad construction debt and go on the Rodney King talk show circuit.

Apparently, Lai was seen saluting the crowd in TV after Chen bounced. That doesn't fit my stoic buddist image of Chen, but it is TV.

Explains Lai:
I pushed him off because jumpers like Chen are very selfish," the newspaper quoted Mr Lai as saying.

Their action violates a lot of public interests. They do not really dare to kill themselves. Instead, they just want to raise the relevant government authorities' attention to their appeals.

And then this explains everything.

The bridge has gained a macabre reputation, attracting at least 12 would-be suicide jumpers since the start of April, according to the China Daily report.

None of the 12 has jumped, although each has held up traffic for several hours, it said.

How 'bout some Obama haiku. The only rule is it must start like half of his phrases...In America

Using my Obama voice,

In America
people get suicidal
and jump from up high

In China the shame
is a wasted tragedy
and no body count

Monday, May 4, 2009

Banana Republic Leadership

From ABC News Jack Tripper.

A leading bankruptcy attorney representing hedge funds and money managers told ABC News Saturday that Steve Rattner, the leader of the Obama administration's Auto Industry Task Force, threatened one of the firms, an investment bank, that if it continued to oppose the administration's Chrysler bankruptcy plan, the White House would use the White House press corps to destroy its reputation.

This is amazing. Use the White House press corps to destroy people? Threatening private citizens? I've said this before and I'll say it again. This guy will end up making Nixon look like an amateur.

To quote our fearless negotiator in chief:

"While many stakeholders made sacrifices and worked constructively, I have to tell you some did not," the president said. "In particular, a group of investment firms and hedge funds decided to hold out...[for more than 29 cents on the dollar]."

A great ruler always governs from the gut. He can't be held back by constitutions or laws. He needs the flexibility to pick and choose. To make or eliminate rules. To threaten, if need be, to get things done. Law in a Banana Republic works that way. And it's for our own good. Kinda reminds me of a Hugo Chavez story from December.

The White House denies this report of course. And threatens anyone who repeats it with severe repercussions. When can we cancel the next election already?