Off Topic: A good read.

This is from my buddy Mike Hamilton, former Athletic Director at the University of Tennessee, now President of Blood: Water Mission operations in the United States.


He just started blogging and is off to a great start.  I mentioned him in a previous post titled You may be missing out.  You can find him here  This story was worth reposting in it’s entirety.  Enjoy.

Please Read My Dam Blog

Posted on September 18, 2012 by 


A few weeks ago I wrote a blog for Blood:Water Mission to bring attention to a significant need in Northern Kenya. Water is life and folks in Northern Kenya are in a desperate search for water daily…daily. I hope you will read about the need and will join us in this fight at

I distinctly remember the crunchy crust of dried silt under my feet, the decaying carcass of a dead baby goat, the whipping hot wind and the feel of desperation as I surveyed the empty reservoir.

I asked the question of where the water is and when it comes, will this silt simply become mud and ultimately limit the amount of water available for use? Why was no one excavating the silt to prevent that? Where were the animals getting their water? Where were the people getting their water? Where is life here and what does the future hold?

These, among others were the thoughts and questions as I led a group of friends, Blood:Water Mission staff and board members and an ABC television crew from the US into this vast desert in Northern Kenya in January, 2011.

What I learned was that this area was in the 15th month of what would ultimately be a 25 month drought. The drought would bring worldwide attention to neighboring Somalia but not so much to this region of Kenya. In fact, as I shared with new acquaintances in Nairobi of our trip to Torbi and the Marsabit region, I received quizzical looks and questions like “Why would you go there, Kenyans don’t even go there?”

This is an arid region with approximately 160,000 nomadic residents located across thousands of miles of rocky, desert soil. There is little to no vegetation. The primary food source consists of a mixture of camel blood and camel milk with the occasional dried meat from a dead animal. Life is hard here. The people of Torbi are proud pastoralists. They have for years lived in this area and value their heritage, their animals and their families. As with every area of the world, water is life- but perhaps even more so here. When your animals are your livelihood and represent your total net worth they must have water. When you personally have such scarce access to food, you must have water. I met people who traveled 6 miles for water and people who traveled 35 miles for water…..35 miles for water.

There is hope. The rains came. As I returned this summer to Torbi, we were met at the landing strip by a large group of men. These same men were not present a year ago as they were gone from the village in a desperate search for water for their livestock and their families. We visited rain tanks installed by Blood:Water Mission and our partners that were used to store water provided by the Kenyan government during the drought.They are now full from the rain. We visited boreholes provided by Blood:Water as well that will eventually provide additional help when funding for more infrastructure is complete. And finally, we visited the dam. Water is in the reservoir. The water is non-potable. However, locals bring their animals and when they do- they also bring yellow jerricans for filling for their own consumption as well. Groups of animals are queued up out into the desert waiting their turn. There is a system and order and hope.

What’s next? The needs for human consumption remain real. So, this year Blood:Water Mission will work with our local partners and build a dam….for $75,000. That’s not much when you consider that 3000 residents of the region will now have a clean, reliable source for drinking water. And when you have that, you avoid disease and diarrhea. You have sustenance, you have life.

We need your help. Will you help us build this dam? Will you give a dam?

Derision 2012! – A gaffe is a gaffe: except when it isn’t.

So it appears the Governor doesn’t want the Frank’s Place vote.  We here at Frank’s Place are ready to pull the lever for him, but he just called us losers.  Odd strategery Governor, very odd strategery.

Here’s the low down.  Governor Romney was at a private fundraiser last night.  Well, private except for an iPhone video that was reportedly made or discovered by the grandson of President Jimmy Carter.  More on that in a sec.  In the video Romney can be heard saying that roughly 47% of the country will most likely vote for Obama.  He expounded to say that those 47% are the people who take no responsibility for their lives, expect government to provide them food, shelter, clothing, etc…     Here is the exact quote from the Wall Street Journal:

“There are 47% of the people who will vote for the president, no matter what,” Mr. Romney said in the video. “All right, there are 47% who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what.…These are people who pay no income tax.”

Quick tough guy side note:  Bro, I’m not a victim, I’m a retired vet with 22 years of service.  I worked for 15 years in the warehouse at Sears & Roebuck in Mays Landing NJ. Smarten up Governor.

Ok, my wounded pride not withstanding, the 47% not paying taxes Romney thinks he’s talking about is actually made up of the working poor, seniors, the filthy rich (aka Romney), and wounded veterans returning from the war.   And those people, the 47%ers, turns out they live in predominately red states – meaning the governor and the state legislature is made up of republicans.

Intriguing side note:  A popular dig at Obama made by Romney, Ryan, and most republicans is that he’s the worst president since Jimmy Carter.  They have been saying that since the primary started in August 2011.  Let that sink in – August of 2011.  How awesome would it be if Jimmy Carter’s grandson dropped the 50,000 a plate fee to go to the fundraiser just to video Romney.  Talk about a dish served cold.  Revenge with an iPhone.

Enough of the intrigue.  Lets make a quick stop at hypocritical-ville while were here.  The party of no government, the party that thinks what Romney said last night, is also the party that wants government to intervene in marriage, pregnancy, rape, religion, what language we should speak, and union strike busting.  So I think we can all agree the “less government party” mantra is the biggest load of bullshit ever sold to, and then bought by, a group of people. More accurately, it’s less government for the things I don’t like and more government for the things I do want.  That won’t fit on a bumper sticker but it’s at least more honest. And you know what, saying that out loud would not deter me from voting for a republican candidate if I thought they were able to fix things.

But let’s get to the real issue – the media and the orgasms they were having after watching that tape.  This story will go on for three days at least.  You’ll see headlines about a gaffe, about the race being over, about Romney making a huge mistake.  None of those will be true by the way.  The liberal media will ring this out like a soaked dish rag for as long as possible.  The conservative media will trumpet it for a news cycle, maybe 12hrs, then bring up the bibles and guns “gaffe” the president made when he was running in 08, and then they’ll drop it.

The only comparison between the two episodes that’s apt is the fact neither statement was a gaffe.  It wasn’t a mistake by either man.  The President said the “clinging to guns and bibles” line at a private fundraiser as well.  So there is one other comparable fact. But it wasn’t a gaffe.  The President actually believed that at the time and probably still does.  I guarantee the Governor believes what he said last night.  So what separates the two issues.

The first is the coverage. The bibles and guns comment was really the only thing Obama said that ever got any analysis from the press.  And that analysis didn’t last long.  Romney will get his chops busted over this for weeks and as I said it will dominate every minute of every news show not on FOX for at least three days.

The second but more obscure issue is the following comments each man-made.  Obama was saying how he would need to go out there and change the minds of the people who cling to their guns and bibles.  He was detailing how he would try to turn diehards because he would have to be president to everybody.  Romney was explaining why he was giving up on those people because they would never be convinced to vote for him.  The funny thing is Romney is right for the most part.  The diehard Obama supporters will never be convinced to vote for Romney and won’t support him in anything he does as president even if it would help the country. It’s the same treatment Obama is getting from the conservative diehards now.  Saying it out loud is just seems like bad form because it sounds like, and it will be spun like, Romney doesn’t care about half of the country, while Obama was painted as trying to convert the country to his way of thinking. One statement is a positive thought, the other, negative.

The third issue – Obama made his comments with almost 6 months to go until the election, prior to his convention.  Time does heal all wounds, as it did in his case.  Obama did win the election convincingly.  Romney has less than 60 days to put out this fire and refocus on why people aren’t back to work even though wall street has clearly rebounded. It’s a message that should stop Obama’s second term bid in its tracks.  But for some reason Romney can’t seem to stay on that message.

The issue now facing Romney – can he withstand the amount of media whoring coming his way and get back to talking about things that matter.  At the end of the day the fact that he called me a victim and a loser makes no difference in the real hierarchy of what’s important.  I can take it.  He’s just a soft handed, rich boy, jerk off anyway.  But he may be the next great president.  Don’t think so?  Go read The Election of 1800.  Thats’ the battle between Jefferson and John Adams.   They said the most hurtful and heinous things about each other and their families, wives, kids, pets, the poor, uneducated, people who do manual labor, etc..  and both of those men are considered founding fathers and great presidents.  Either one of those guys would have made these two current cream puffs pee their pants during a campaign or debate.

Romney’s only issue now – can he get the all important Frank’s Place endorsement bump.

The fact that Romney couldn’t be more wrong is really beside the point.