As Christmas season nears, wreaths are placed on all graves in the Veterans Cemeteries, ceremonies are presented, flags are flying and bag pipes are playing.
The Star Spangled Banner and God Bless America are sang. The fly-over, and then TAPS are played ever so softly as to not disturb the heroes.
Families, friends and fellow Americans begin placing Christmas Wreaths.
When completed, the beauty for the heroes is awesome to behold. Bless all that lie below the flags and wreaths. Freedom is not free.
As a concerned American, I would like to offer some observations and opinions about current events and our nation’s future. The hope is that our focus will remain on the critical problems and not move toward the distractions, and from there it will lead to effective solutions.
1: The semantic issue related to whether a slaughter of humanity is “workplace violence” or “terrorism” is, in the eyes of the victims and their families, irrelevant.
It may be a technical factor in determining which federal agencies get involved in the subsequent investigation. However, the arguments over the description should wait until the victims are buried. It would make sense initially to characterize every such act as terroristic in order to call every available resource immediately into the subsequent investigation.
2: There seem to be two strategies against these acts that are most highly publicized: extinguish ISIS (or ISIL), and tighten gun control. Neither of these has a snowball’s chance in Hell of succeeding! Citing that guns used in terrorist acts were legally purchased, even when they were, is a red herring, as anyone who is committed to such acts can get a gun through other pathways. I can recall a sign that ran the length of the Pistol License Division office of the New York City Police Department: “If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns!” You might as well pass regulations against the fabrication or possession of pipe bombs!
Any perception that elimination of ISIS will single-handedly solve the problem is naïve and short-sighted. I recall similar statements about the Taliban and Al Qaeda, but unless a festering hatred of our culture is dealt with, the fields for growing new terrorists will remain fertile. Unless the passionate, obsessive feelings against our society are mollified, we will continue to see it attacked by zealots who seek an afterlife in the company of 50 virgins.
3: Most people seem to realize that the threat of an armed target is a deterrent to crime. The backlash from our President’s gun control rhetoric, ironically, is that Barack Obama is the greatest gun salesman in the history of our country.
4: The new Texas open carry law is another “backlash” example of enhanced rights of private citizens to protect themselves. What is interesting is that opponents seem to think that this means “The Wild West” will return, but any visions of America bristling with sidearms is surely exaggerated. I suspect there will be little change, and that “concealed carry” will remain the standard for most lawfully armed citizens.
5: I find the rhetoric following Donald Trump’s suggestion that Muslims be banned from the country fascinating examples of personal opinion “trumping” logic and history. Perhaps if he had said to our citizens and allies: “Let us stop all immigration without regard to faith until we know what is going on and we can safely resume.” it would have gone over well and he would have not been called an anti-Muslim bigot. One may look at the past to see similar actions taken to protect ourselves, including what President Obama himself did when the ebola epidemic hit sub-Saharan Africa.
6: If there is any word in the English language that acts as a double edged sword, it is “diversity”. Carried to an extreme, it includes “acceptance of incompatibility” and is used to mix all levels of patriotism, productivity, and competence. One only need to look at the effects of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and the standardization of academic syllabi across broad landscapes to notice the homogenization of classrooms which tends to clone mediocrity rather than to challenge our best and brightest students to reach their full potential.
7: Perhaps one of the greatest proofs of the brilliance of our founding fathers was their insertion into our Constitution of amendment procedures for keeping it a timely document, even when times change. “The Electronic Age” has empowered incredible volumes of potentially disastrous information to be exchanged, often without any available means of scrutiny. It seems that either we must espouse “free speech” to continue down a perilous spiral or curtail it in futile attempts to keep those dastardly conspirators from conspiring.
This is probably the biggest problem that needs to be solved, and the one whose solution is farthest away from being understood.
Those who would do harm are often just as smart and twice as obsessive as those who try to find and stop them. Having private industry assist the government with data decryption is putting a Band-Aid on a bullet hole. I could publish on FaceBook that last night I had chocolate ice cream, and that could tell my terrorist colleagues, wherever they are, the attack will be today; and who else would know?
8: My experience has taught me to see the “Terrorism Problem” as deep and complex, one which cannot be solved quickly. Looking at history shows more differences than similarities in comparison to our earlier wars. It was pointed out in the most recent Republican debate (December 15, 2015) that we are fighting not a nation or a faith but the fringes of a total religious and cultural paradigm which in some ways attempts to set itself apart from the rest of humanity. It is no wonder that any suggestions they (for example, the Syrian “refugees”) would come to America in large quantities and assimilate into our constitutional republic are not regarded highly, either by the Americans who would become their neighbors or by the potential immigrants themselves.
These sentiments make it clear the 2016 election will be extremely consequential to the future of our country. I hope every qualified American will think about this, and will factor these concerns into their votes for those would be our leaders for the next two, four, or six years!
Turn Texas Blue
Help turn Texas and Fort Bend Blue for justice. Taxpayers time to wake up voters into electing new lawmakers instead of lawbreakers, that are willing to help end or cut county wasteful spend, after CAD unlawful appraisal valuations taking place annually. It is effecting home property owner with higher taxes to pay, thence loosing their home with higher unlawful appraisal value increases each year.