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Catching Up!

A server outage provides time for reflection.

by Michael H. Thomson
November 29, 2006

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Catching Up!
The Partial Observer is truly a non-profit organization. Not in the governmental or tax sense, of course – but that, we have no source of income and therefore, no profit. We do not have flashing banners advertising product or sponsors who underwrite us and influence our content. Greg Asimakoupoulous, James Leroy Wilson, Rita Ayers, Everett Wilson, Drew McManus, Richard "Mr. Moo" Moore, myself and the other writers who grace these pages write without compensation.
 
Our blog section hosted by Mark Johnson and our photoblog section with Jonathan Minter and Janet Johnson provide readers high quality articles and photographs - all for free.
 
Like other websites, we have our share of technical difficulties. Unlike other websites, when we have a severe server outage, it takes us a little longer to come back on line. Recently we had such an outage. I don't know what my colleagues did in the weeks we were down, but I took the time to recharge my creative batteries and observe the world around me. Here are some things I was watching:
 
The Political Landscape – Wow, what a dramatic change, the voters expressed their discontent of the status quo. An Italian lady named Nancy Pelosi now leads the House of Representatives and is third in line of succession for the Presidency. Harry Reid, a former poor boy from Nevada who was once a boxer heads the Senate. A bona fide war hero named James Webb is now the junior senator from Virginia. During his campaign against once presidential hopeful, George Allen, Webb wore the combat boots of his son who serves in Iraq. There were many other changes in Congress and all of them will affect our lives in various ways.
 
Iraq – News organizations are now calling this conflict a civil war which will undoubtedly result in civil unrest in this country as the public attempts to get a grip on why we are there and why our kids are dying in somebody else's fight. I keep saying it's the oil, but is the oil powerful enough to keep us there. Time will tell.
 
Russia– The poisoning of a spy in London brings us flashbacks of the Cold War. An oil rich Russia is reverting to its old ways. How far will they regress?
 
China– The second largest number of billionaires in the world is in China. This country is making serious inroads in Africa and South America. Who knows someday they may own the Panama Canal – they certainly have the dough to buy it…
 
Morristown, Tennessee- This is a quiet little city in the Tennessee Valley. In the last few years, while I was sleeping, this city's population has become ten percent Hispanic. The Hispanic population of several Tennessee cities has increased by over 200 percent. I bring this up because if I mentioned Yuma, Arizona or a Southwestern city in citing a demographic shift in our population due to illegal immigration – most people wouldn't pay attention. No matter what happens in Congress regarding an immigration bill, the cultural shift is in full gear. The Hispanic population of our country is growing faster than any other segment of our society.
 
The Roman Catholic Church which already a major influence on this country's politics is the major beneficiary of the Hispanic growth causing many parishes to add Spanish services to their church schedules. Back to Morristown, St Patrick's Catholic Church in that city has a separate Catholic mass in Spanish due to the population increase. This would have been unheard of twenty years ago. My father used to attend mass at Our Lady of Fatima in  nearby Alcoa, Tennessee – which once had  a very small parish – now Our Lady has a very large parish and it also has a Spanish mass...
 
Brittany Spears Breakup – Is this really worth mentioning. It seems that the more serious our country's problems become, the more trivia dominates our news.
 
The Beauty of This Country – During the server downtime, I got out of the house and toured my local countryside. One of the most interesting places I found – only twenty miles from my home was Great Falls, Virginia. Anyone visiting the Washington D.C. area definitely needs to include this scenic site in his or her itinerary.
 
Until next time…
 
 
During his break, Mike Thomson took the time to change the look and feel of his personal website Thomsontalks.
 
 

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