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Super Typhoon Yolanda Aftermath One Year Later — The Lesson : “Live Life”

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by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Super Typhoon Yolanda changed my Life.

I lived inside “Ground Zero.”

I am a “Survivor.”

One obvious change Yolanda has made to my Life is I am more “aggressive.” Any pretense of patience is completely gone from my Life. I get a project done or I toss it and move on to one I can get done.

One obvious change Yolanda gave me is the opportunity to “Face Death.”

I have had a year to look at my reaction. I should be “Petrified.” I definitely felt, “Concern.”

Today is Saturday, November 8, 2014. A year ago, at “Ground Zero”, I stood in my bedroom and watched the winds of Super Typhoon Yolanda bow the coconut wood door back and forth like a warped, black LP record flexed back and forth.

Three times, Yolanda blew open the door. Three times, I pushed against the wind and intense walls of blowing rain to close the door.

Yolanda took the roof, but she left the thin sheets of plywood over the roof. Although, she did bend one down almost double to continue to pour a persistent waterfall of rain into the room.

Christy Warren, my wife, stood in front of me, and stared out the single window in the wall. I stood behind Christy and had my arms down around her. I watched the door disco dance against the door jab.

I still remember my chant: “You can stop anytime now.”

I have no idea, how many times I repeated those words. Everyone else in the room was quite.

Junea and Vanissa stood behind me. Digna Mora, the cleaning lady, stood behind the girls. Her son, David was under the concrete shelf sink at the back of the room. He fell asleep.

We heard Yolanda’s winds take the tin roof over the bedroom and the abundance of sudden sunlight over the plywood section confirmed the roof had gone airborne.

There was a plywood section for a roof under the tin. The plywood section held, but a sheet of the wood buckled in half.

The wingtip of “my” Archangel Michael statue held up that section of the roof, while the torrential rain poured in and the dry concrete floor began to fill like a swimming pool. The water inside the room would rise to a half-inch before Yolanda ceased her seize.

I remember every second of Yolanda’s bombardment.

Today, a year later, the sun is shining. The temperature is not too hot. Earlier this afternoon around one p.m., there was a nice breeze. A year ago, the phrase “Hell On Earth” had “A Real World” meaning.

I decided not to go to the “Yolanda Commemoration Ceremonies” in Tacloban City and Tanauan because I wanted “The Day” to think about my reaction to Yolanda.

All week long, ABS-CBN has aired the “Survivor Stories.” As a retired military newsman, I understand the decision. People want to know, “What Was It Like ?”

“Scary,” in a word.

The catch is, obviously, there is a limit to how much adrenaline your body pumps in a crisis situation. You sense and feel, “Fear.” But, the “Fear” can’t last.

“Numbness” replaced the initial “Fear” and the “Concern.” I stood at “The Mercy Of A Force Of Nature.” There was absolutely nothing I could do.

Yolanda could of snatched me or anyone else in the room and tossed us against the walls like rag dolls. Yolanda could of tossed any of us out through the roof.

Yolanda could of reached inside the room and pulled any or all of us out through the narrow doorway. Yolanda kept us corralled and “pinned up” in the room until her winds were done outside.

“Thanks To Yolanda, I no longer ‘Fear Death.’”

Naturally, I have “The Death Fantasy” where you lie in bed, surrounded by family and friends who love you. You close your eyes for the last time and “Death” arrives.

If I get “The Death Fantasy” fine; if not, at least, Yolanda, provided the lesson of awareness and acceptance of “Here Comes, The Last Ride ! ”

A year ago, once I heard the winds disappear, I stepped to the door and opened it.

“Stunned,” is the only word that works.

A Child Of The Cold War, I cut my baby teeth on the stories of United States, Soviet Union and Red Chinese Nuclear Armageddon Aftermath.

I remember the Civil Defense lessons in grade school. I got the blue prints I got in the mail from the United States Superintendent Of Documents to “build a bomb shelter in your backyard.”

Momma never let me build the bomb shelter. I couldn’t even convince her to build a basement. I always wanted a basement.

As a teenager, I had watched countless TV shows and movies about The Cold War Nuclear Apocalypse.

As a senior citizen, I stood on the concrete porch and looked at the devastated landscape of the island of Leyte.

No Hollywood Cold War Nuclear Holocaust Movie even came close to Super Typhoon Yolanda.

The brutal sky remained angry swatches of gray. The horizontal canvas was saturated. The rain had stopped and the sky still appeared soaked. The sky around me dripped like running paint on a wet canvas.

The dense emerald vegetation was yanked, pulled and discarded like a giant weedeater had gone ballistic on the landscape.

The huge tree at the corner of the porch had been yanked up by the roots and dropped like a weed at the hole, which moments before had covered the roots.

The 50 to 75 coconut trees in front of the house were gone. Two complete trees stood and four giant busted toothpicks, which had been coconut trees were still embedded in the ground.

Some of the coconut trees had fallen like discarded Lincoln Logs on to the plundered landscape.

Silence.

No sound.

In rural Leyte it is rare for an hour to pass without a rooster crowing somewhere nearby.

Across the barangay road, the neighbor’s bamboo house was gone completely. Christy’s white sari-sari store building was tilted at a 15 degree angle toward the road.

The bamboo carport had served it’s purpose. The bamboo poles were still in the ground. The dried coconut leaves roof had gone airborne.

Fortunately, the carport had stood long enough to keep the van on the ground. The other benefit of the carport, is it helped provide temporary shelter.

When the neighbors across the road, felt their house was going around them, they ran outside to the carport and got next to the van, according to the neighbor woman, they essentially formed a human chain and she held on to the van’s door handle.

Today, I stand with a mug of coffee in my hand and look out at the Land in front of the house. Sunlight bathes the dense vegetation.

We have a tin roof again over the house. The US AID gray tarpaulin still serves as two walls of the house.

I strolled up the barangay road a distance this afternoon. Houses are again beginning to take shape. The rice fields seem to be recovering. The Cameri Barangay Elementary School has a roof again. Neighbors’ roosters chase hens in the school yard and a concrete building in the corner is going up in a corner of the school yard.

Son, Samuel Ranilo Warren got tagged to participate in a Yolanda Commemorative Ceremony in Tacloban City as did cousin,Vanissa Saldana. Daughter, Donna Junea Warren got to “Fly Free” to a girlfriend’s birthday celebration today.

Christy and I have been relaxing around the old Pacific Ponderosa today. One Warren Way got severely remodeled by Super Typhoon Yolanda, but with time, I am sure we will have walls again someday. I need to find a carpenter, I believe, can put my concrete hollow blocks up to build a “Strong” wall.

As a political science and history student, I had memorized the photos of the destruction of “Fat Man” and “Little Boy” to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan in 1945. A year ago, Yolanda at “Ground Zero” in Tanauan, Barangay Baras delivered the “Destruction” without the radioactive “Fallout.”

November 8, 2014 — Tacloban City reports 6,000 people dead. Officials calculate, at least, 1,061 are still missing. I doubt an accurate “body count” for Super Typhoon Yolanda will ever be firmly established because a tidal wave came ashore and took structures and, no doubt, people back out to The Leyte Gulf and The Pacific Ocean.

The brutal winds of Yolanda took roofs and “bombed out” the insides of churches and smashed all the pews to smithereens. More than a week after Yolanda’s winds, I saw that Yolanda had parked a car and a Chevrolet pickup with the grilles against the ground. The trunk and pickup bed pointed up toward the sky, while the wheels rested on the side of a building.

Super Typhoon Yolanda, a year later, has reminded me of an Important Lesson Of Life: ”Live Life !”

I would emphasize : “Live Life With A Passion !”

Today is Saturday, November 8, 2014.

Tomorrow, at sun rise, my plan, is like the plan for today : “The sun is up. Time to make a cup of coffee and enjoy the day.”

Sam

Written by samwarren55

November 8, 2014 at 11:40 PM

Posted in Bloggers, Blogs, Business, Current Events, Ecology, Editorial, Family, Observances, Philippines, Tropics

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American Health Care Bullet – Your Name On It

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American Health Care Bullet – Your Name On It

A National Day

Of Civil Disobedience

for Health Care

Plan and Campaign

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

The American Health Care Bullet has your name on it. An unexpected medical crisis or an accident and the bullet fires and destroys your lifetime of work, savings and accomplishments.   Copyright Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

There is a loaded gun at your head – American Health Care.

The finger on the trigger is the United States Government.

James Richard Verone dodged the bullet – He robbed a bank to go to prison to receive Health Care,

The loaded pistol of American Health Care remains at your head.

The American Health Care Pistol Is At Your Head waiting for an unexpected medical crisis or accident to strike you. The American Health Care Bullet with your name on it then fires and allows you to be blown into poverty. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

You In The Orange Jumpsuit.

Look in the mirror. You could be the next James Richard Verone.

Sooner or later, everyone gets ill. Sooner or later, everyone needs medical care. Without National Health Care, the finger on the trigger squeezes and in an instant your life is reduced to poverty. Everything you have ever worked for is now owned by a doctor, a hospital, an HMO, an insurance company or numerous creditors, who wait for the belching bureaucratic buzzards of the American Legal System to claw apart your financial carcass.

Look in the mirror – Your grandfather, grandmother, father, mother, sister, brother, your son, your daughter, or you . . . You could be the next James Richard Verone.

You might only be a single heartbeat away from wearing an orange jump suit.

The Bomb Vest Of Uncertainty

  For decades, Americans have screamed at The Deaf, Dumb And Blind Fools Of The Congress Of The United States Of America. For decades, Presidential Wannabes have “Promised” A Plan For National Health Care. Americans cannot continue to work with The Bomb Vest Of Uncertainty strapped to their chests as they go about trying to earn a living. A simple accident or incident triggers uncertainty and a diagnosis of cancer, hospitalization from a car wreck and suddenly a life ends up weighed against medical bills.

  Gas prices rise. Food prices rise. The U.S. Economy is a myth of vanishing smoke. And there is no net to even protect citizen’s health, which allows them to receive health care to keep working.

You have a job today; you might not have a job tomorrow. No job and your Health Care goes away.

  The United States Government does not flinch when the pistol fires. The American Health Care Bullet bores through the gray matter of your brain. The weapon’s recoil simply signals that another American is Dead from lack of affordable health care. Family and friends will grieve over your obituary and try hard to ignore that lack of health care is being written into their obituary.

James Richard Verone still wears his orange jump suit and sits ignored in the American Legal System. We have all read the story and moved on with our lives.

But, the American Gun Of Health Care remains wedged against our temples. The finger flexes on the trigger and beads of sweat emerge on our foreheads.

The American Health Care Pistol Stays Loaded And Ready To Fire. The constant threat of an unexpected medical crisis or accident forces Americans into bankruptcy and poverty. The White House and Congress seem unwilling to stand up to HMOs and insurance companies. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Someday, pershaps, someday soon – you will need expensive, excessive health care. The American Health Care Bullet in the chamber has your name on it.

The uncertainty of Life always manages to spring unforeseen medical issues upon people.  An automobile accident, an

The American Health Care Pistol Stays Loaded And Ready To Fire. The constant threat of an unexpected medical crisis or accident forces Americans into bankruptcy and poverty. The White House and Congress seem unwilling to stand up to HMOs and insurance companies. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

unexpected heart attack, a sudden stroke or a diagnosis of cancer can be the pressure that squeezes the trigger and starts the explosive chain of events that can destroy a person’s lifetime of achievements and personal savings.

Will the hot metal shoot down the barrel, break through your skull and send gunpowder and metal fragments exploding into your brain because you don’t have Health Care coverage ?

Civil Disobedience

Throughout history there has only been one nonviolent way to force a government to listen to citizens – Civil Disobedience.

Civil Disobedience helped to end America’s involvement in the Vietnam War. The problem was the sits ins and protests were sporadic and uncontrolled like lightning sparked brush fires and it took years before the United States Government finally had to listen to citizens.

National Day Of Civil Disobedience For Health Care

A National Day Of Civil Disobedience For Health Care will get political leaders attention. If people come together to agree upon a Day Not To Show Up For Work, then, Government will grind to a halt for a day.

For A National Day Of Civil Disobedience to be successful all participating Americans have to agree to basic ground rules.

No Violence

The Essential Requirement For Success is No Violence. The success of the student sit-ins of the 1960s were they did not destroy lives and personal property. Violence only mobilizes the American Legal System to pull out all the stops to maintain Public Order, which allows the Government the ability to use any and all means at it’s disposal to put down any suspected hint of an uprising.

Take The Day Off

A National Day Of Civil Disobedience where Americans agree not to show up for work is the one technique that Uncle Sam can not defend against. If people don’t show up for work, then, No Business gets done. It breaks no law for a business to simply “Take The Day Off.”

Common Sense Rules

The Uniformed Code Of Military Justice requires military personnel to perform their official duties, so they cannot legally participate in such a day, nor, should anyone in military uniform risk the threat of court martial.

Americans, who work in law enforcement and in life saving jobs, should not jeopardize their lives of themselves or fellow citizens by participation. Thus, guards at Federal and State prisons and local jails should not walk off the job or fail to show up for work. Naturally, paramedics, nurses and doctors should not just walk out of hospitals.

But, there are jobs in America, where Americans can simply stay home from work for a day.

The financial fallout should be sufficient enough to sober up Congress.

Red, White And Blue Flu

A National Day when Wall Street feels the national surgical strike of No Business, No Revenue For A Day.

Americans across the nation, simply come together with family and friends and agree to a day when they will “Take The Day Off.” Then, they pick up the telephone or cell phone and call their bosses to “Stay Home From Work With A Massive Case Of Red, White And Blue Flu.”

Small business might support the national sick day because they can’t afford to provide employees with health care and Congress has ignored small businesses as well as Americans on this issue.

Wake Up The White House, Sober Up Congress!

A single day would wake up the White House and Sober Up Congress – but, it will take more than one day for the White House, Congress and The Supreme Court Of The United States Of America to realize ALL Americans are united in a demand for an immediate and effective policy of national health care.

By 1973, the Italian Government had already had about 42 new governments since the end of World War II, based on my research. Italians felt their government wasn’t working and they walked away for a few days until a new government could be organized. The simple National Stirke – No Confidence Vote technique meant that leaders had to come up with a way to solve the immediate issue.

Congress Can Find The Money For National Health Care

America can afford National Health Care.

Congress found the money for the Space Race.

Congress found the money for the Arms Race during the Cold War.

Congress can find the money for National Health Care. They just have never wanted to. HMOs, insurance companies have lobbied Congress to go fishing and forget about health care.

Congress found the money to fight the War In Afghanistan.

Congress found the money to fight the War In Iraq.

Congress can look at the budget and divert funds from some programs into National Health Care until they pass legislation to set aside funds beginning in the next fiscal year.

Inalienable Right

A Non-Violent – National Day Of Civil Disobedience will fire the starting gun to make the White House, Congress and the Supreme Court realize that “Life, Liberty and The Pursuit Of Happiness” involves – a person’s health to be able to live that “inalienable right.”

We can all forget James Richard Verone and move on with our lives. When a major Health Care Crisis hits our life, we might remember that guy back in 2011 who robbed a bank to get health care. Then, we will wonder why we didn’t do something to try and convince American politicians to make National Health Care a matter of national law and policy.

National Health Care is not a political issue; it is a neglected, inalienable right of human dignity and citizenship.

Without health a citizen cannot work for a personal livelihood, nor, can he or she contribute to the local, state and national treasuries to ensure the social and political stability of public order at all levels.

National Volunteer Denial Of Service Campaign

While A National Day Of Civil Disobeidence would be the opening salvo in the battle for American Health Care there would probably have to be a strategic nonviolent escalation for the White and Congress to realize that Americans believe Health Care is a Freedom forgotten by the Founding Fathers.

The Second and Final Phase of National Disobedience would require the volunteer efforts of Americans and businesses in a National Denial Of Service Campaign. American businesses have always had the right to refuse service.

The Second Phase of the National Civil Disobedience Movement For Health Care simply requires businesses to deny personal and professional services to the president, the first family, the cabinent, members of their families, members of the Administration and their families, members of Congress and their families for a period of at least 30 days.

Basically, for at least 30 days, Washington D.C., policymakers and their families should be denied services for groceries, gasoline and access to medical care unless they are willing to pay excessive prices. The action would be a symbolic real world gesture to remind policymakers what it is like for an average American to be “denied basic services because of an inability to earn money to purchase products and services.”

Naturally, Washington D.C., policymakers would be ready to flock to Bethesda or Walter Reed for medical services, but the simple nuisance of lawmakers having to temporarily rearrange their schedules should be enough to remind them of the seriousness of not being able to expect an immediate response.

As for groceries and gasoline, American businesses should stand ready to treat national, state and local policymakers with the same lack of concern that average Americans face daily. Since there are no Price Controls for average Americans, then, there should not be any for policymakers. Wouldn’t it do your heart good to know a United States Senator from Missouri had to pay $10 for a carton of eggs?

Would you feel bad if a former president had to pay $20 a gallon for a tank of gas ?

The Denial Of Service Campaign to policymakers is to remind them what it is like to “Walk A Mile In An Average American’s Shoes” for a few days. The campaign should also remind them they were elected to do a job and accept the responsibility to find solutions.

The American Health Care Bullet with your name on it is in the gun . . .

Do We The People unload the gun or do we continue to allow the United States Government to repeatedly keep squeezing the trigger?

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