My take on a couple of things…
From time to time Americans have to go to war. You don’t have to agree with the wars being fought, but you should always respect the men and women fighting them. Were it not for the American armed forces, much of the world might be speaking German or Japanese, or if you go further back, maybe you’d be talking in some American Indian dialect. When we ask brave men and women to enter the battlefield, we do so knowing that some are going to get killed or wounded.
When they come back they should be shown the respect and dignity that they deserve, but all too often they are shunted aside and sometimes forgotten.
A difference of opinion is what this country is founded upon. King George thought that because he was King of England he was also King of the New World colonies…and the hardy folks that came here to escape such nonsense made that very clear to him. Americans, as they came to be known, were not just dissidents, they were pioneers and they believed that their opinions counted. The Crown did not want to recognize this sort of free thinking and so we went to war. Eventually, the Americans defeated what was then one of the mightiest armies in the world…if not THE mightiest.
To our great humiliation, we had slavery in the United States and for many years after the Emancipation Proclamation we still had de facto apartheid. On the other side of the coin we acknowledged the error of our ways and made it right. There are people, to be sure, that will have a difference of opinion about the races…but those people are becoming fewer and fewer. At some point we may understand that everyone can have an opinion, even if it’s at odds with what we think and believe. Opinions and differences are good, they inspire ideas and create new things.
We are in the throes of a presidential campaign…that should be no secret to anyone that’s been watching television or reading newspapers. The differences in opinions expressed by the various candidates, though, is what makes it interesting…at least to me. Expressed in simple terms, the United States is going broke, if we aren’t there already…however, that does not stop the government from borrowing money and giving it out to other countries with little or no chance of ever getting it back. The money that we borrow, we pay interest on that, and that by itself is a big chunk of money. An example of what I call fiscal stupidity is this…the United States is going to give Tunisia $24.9 million to build a wall about 100 miles long.
We don’t think a wall will work for our borders, but we’ll gladly supplement another country’s plan to build a wall to keep out invaders, refugees, or terrorists, or whatever they call them. Now, there’s a difference of opinion that we seem to be misunderstanding…if a wall works for other countries, why wouldn’t it work for the United States? Mexico has a wall, on its southern border, to keep out the Guatemalans. China has had walls going back to the 7th Century. Cyprus has a wall to keep out the Turks. Greece has a wall to keep out the Turks. There’s a wall between Israel and the West Bank. Turkey is building a wall to keep out ISIS. Why is there such a difference of opinion in our government, over building a wall?
Recently, in the Mojave Desert in California, a group of “Middle Eastern” looking men were caught shooting, and some witnesses said they were shooting in the direction of campers. A 911 call to the Victor Valley Sheriff’s Station reported “more than 100 shots” were heard and “5 to 7 subjects wearing turbans were seen” in the area of Deep Creek Hot Springs in the Mojave Desert within San Bernardino County, California. The men were also heard “chanting,” according to news reports. Now, what do you suppose they were chanting? Any guesses? If you said “Allahu Akbhar” you might be right. The details are sketchy and the Sheriff’s department didn’t arrest anyone. The men were detained and searched, revealing several handguns, a rifle, and shotgun among their items. According to the police report, all guns were properly registered, as were the group’s vehicles. The only exception was the rifle, which had been purchased in parts, but the authorities still declared it legal. None of the men had a criminal history or outstanding warrants for their arrest.
So…was this a dry run to check out the local authorities’ response time? Was it to allow these men to get familiar with their various weapons? We may never know since it was not pursued once it had been determined that everything was legal. What happened to “see something say something”? Have we become SO politically correct that this sort of thing can go by the boards? You can reach ME at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Larry Usoff, US Navy Retired
(aka The Old Alarmist)
Duty. Honor. Country.