The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It

Archive for the ‘ISIS’ Category

FEAR

It was 1960 and time to watch one of what, was to me, one of the most interesting shows on television, The Twilight Zone.  That night’s was the twenty-second episode of the show’s first season, an installment entitled, “The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street.”  Perhaps you remember this story.  Critics have called it one of the show’s ten best and it is always included in the “marathons” that run every New Year’s Day.  But for those of you who may have missed it, here’s my synopsis of the plot.

On Maple Street, a street in a typical middle class suburb somewhere in America, strange things start to happen.  Suddenly the electricity goes out.  The neighbors come out to see if anyone else is experiencing the same problem or if it is merely a power failure in their home.  But the outage extends throughout the entire block.  They begin discussing their options – whether they should call the power company – but they find their phones are out as well.  They also discover that they can’t start their cars.  Of course, they begin speculating about what could be the cause of all of this.

One teenager says that what is happening to them is just like what he read in a book – about how monsters from outer space came to Earth and disrupted our power – just before they launched an invasion of the planet.  And the scariest part of their invasion plan is that they had disguised themselves to look human and for a long period had planted spies among us.

Suddenly, one if the neighbors who had been working on his car is startled when it suddenly starts by itself.  The others begin probing him as to why his and only his car is now working.  They become suspicious of him, now that they have been seeded with the teen’s story about enemy infiltrators.  And they not only bring him under scrutiny but begin questionning why others of them do what they do, like going out late at night and staring up at the sky.

Rational people are quickly turned into a lynch mob and one of the neighbors who had walked over to the next block to see if their power was out as well returns and in the darkness of night is shot dead by one of his friends.  Their fear of the unknown and the imponderable has overwhelmed their felings of friendship.  Unexpectedly,the lights come back on and they are left with a murder and the realization that their comity is not as deep as they might have believed it to be before it was put to this test.

In the final scene, we learn that there are indeed aliens on the planet and that they were responsible for the power failure.  Their plan to conquer the planet is to allow us to destroy ourselves and then they can mop up the residue that remains.  One of the aliens speaks the last line of the episode, “It’s always the same  – every time, everywhere.”

In 1939 the S. S. St. Louis, a luxury cruise liner, departed Hamburg, Germany.  Aboard were 900 Jews who were fleeing Hitler.  They were bound for Cuba with the ultimate intention of coming to the United States.  But when they reached Cuba, the authorities refused them permission to dock or for any of the passengers to debark.

The captain tried negotiating with the authorities over several days but they were emphatic in their refusal.  So the captin turned the ship northwest toward Miami.  The ship was intercepted before it reached that port and they were again refused permission to dock – this time by the government of the United States.

Direct appeals were made to then President Franklin D. Roosevelt, but the ship did not receive permission to land and ultimately the captain had no choice but to turn the ship back around for a return voyage to Europe.  Out of fear and desperation, one of the passengers on board had slit his wrists and thrown himself into the ocean.  Of the remaining passengers, two hundred fifty-four were killed in the death camps.

One might argue that the reason that Hitler’s agression was allowed to grow exponentially as it did was because the other European powers chose to hope that they were dealing with a person who could be pacified by giving away the Sudetenland – a geographic area which was removed from their personal neighborhood and in which people lived to whom they were unrelated by blood.

One might argue that the reason that we have a Syrian refugee crisis today is that as the de facto leader of the free world, Obama has abdicated his and our country’s position of leadership and tolerated the intolerable – a dictator in Syria who regularly gasses his own people and has slaughtered more than 250,000 of them.

When the U. S. turned the S. S. St. Louis away it was four months before Hitler invaded Poland and started WWII.  There was no reason to fear that these refugees were coming here to act as a fifth column.  No open hostilities had yet occurred.  The sole reason for refusing them entry was that Roosevelt was not a fan of Jews in general.  He did consider allowing some of them admittance but wanted to keep them in small numbers and spread them throughout the country so that, “They wouldn’t disrupt our culture.”  This was discrimination and racism in its purest form.

The Syrian situation is very different.  For one thing, while it is apparent that ISIS has declared war against the U. S. and the West, they are not an enemy in the traditional sense.  Their borders are amorphous albeit growing.  The other nations of the world do not recognize them diplomatically.  But they are beginning to look more like a traditional country as western leaders, notably Obama, dawdle in their efforts to defeat them.

They do occupy territory, now the size of the UK.  They have an income stream from black market oil sales, and they have initiated laws which they impose on those who live within their occupied geography.  They have also developed a currency.  All these are characteristics of legitimate governments and countries.  And, to state the all too obvious, they have weapons and are not hesitant to use them.

Two thirds of Americans do not want us to admit any of the Syrian refugees.  But is their opinion formed by the attack in Paris, the Brussels lockdown or is this merely an overreaction owing to the “Maple Street Effect.”  For me, I think the most alarming reason for leaning this way is Obama’s statement that, “We really have nothing to worry about in the U. S.”  The man hasn’t made a truthful statement on any issue of substance during his seven years in office.

At the very least, we ought to take a pause before admitting anyone who might potentially be a terrorist.  That is what the House bill does.  It is sad that partisan politics rather than national security in the guise of Harry Reid may delay or abrogate discussion of this matter in the Senate.  But it is government’s responsibility to keep the country and its citizens as safe as it can within their capabilities.  However this plays out, this is merely a short term deferral of the real problem.

And that real problem is ISIS, its sister organizations and terrorism in general.  And the real solution is for America to get on the Reality Train that Europe is now boarding, make and take real steps to decimate it militarily so that the refugees can return to their homes and start the process of rebuilding their country.

WHAT’S IN A LETTER?

If you thought from the song that this post was going to be about music, the lost art of letter writing or the post office I’m sorry to disillusion you.  I just happen to like the song, haven’t heard it in years and when it suddenly came to mind it provided the inspiration for what is to follow.  Today we’re going to talk about letters – those little funny symbols which are the building blocks of our language and which you are currently reading.  I know that all those who stop by here can read since I seldom include pictures in these posts.

But let’s get down to business.

One day I was perfectly happy, sitting at home when my parents announced that I was going to be going to something called school.  Heck, I was barely potty trained and still had to make occasional mad rushes to the bathroom hoping that I could loosen my belt in time.  I’m pleased to report that I was successful at this endeavor – usually.

Anyway, my parents explained that school was a place where you learned things and met new friends.  Sounded good to me.  So I went.

Well, sure as the sun rises in the east, I found myself in school with a bunch of kids I had never seen before and a lady who introduced herself as Mrs. Scott.  She was going to be our teacher for the entire school year.  She seemed very grandmotherly with her beautifully coiffed grey hair, but at this point my greatest concern was knowing where the bathroom was – because of those occasional accidents, don’t you know?

As luck would have it, our classroom was as far from the bathroom on our floor as it possibly could be.  So I planned on making sure that if even the slightest urges started to overtake me, I would ask for permission to go and if I had to sit on the potty for a half hour before something happened, at least I would avoid the ignominy of messing myself.

Anyway, we were all assigned to a particular desk which stood on a metal base to which both the desk and our seat were attached and which had a wooden top that opened so that we had a place within the desk to keep our school supplies.  Those consisted of a pad of very yellow lined paper that felt coarse to the touch and had chunks of wood pulp stuck in it and a couple of the biggest pencils that you had ever seen – or at least the biggest that I had ever seen.  I mean seriously, they were so large that when I found out that I was supposed to make marks on the yellow paper with them, I had to hoist the end with the eraser so that it rested on my shoulder in order to maneuver it.  Well, I was a small kid.

Of course, it never occurred to me that there were no warning labels on the pencils that we should not eat them as it might result in lead poisoning.  In fact, in those days, I’m not sure if we had warning labels on anything – and somehow most of us made it through.  But as I later found out, there was probably no reason for such a notification as most of the kids who got lead poisoning did so by eating the paint from the walls of their apartments.

Above our blackboard were individual pieces of  heavy paper on which were written something I found out were called letters.  They came in two versions – big and not so big.  Learning these was one of our first orders of business – and Mrs. Scott led us in the familiar jingle that begins, “A, B, C, D, E, F, G …” – well if you’re over forty you know the rest and I won’t bore you with it.  If you’re under forty you can google it.  Mrs. Scott always began our recitation with the letter “A”.  We were a very conservative school.  It never crossed my mind that doing so somehow diminished the value of L,G B T or Q by making them take a back seat, not to mention the other twenty letters.

But as I’ve learned that we must be sensitive to and respectful of all things (letters being a sub-set of all things), I’ve written to my school and suggested that they have an annual random drawing to determine which letter should be first, which second, etc. during that particular school year.  That way every letter has an equal opportunity to shine.  I have a set of missives going out to the publishers of dictionaries with the suggestion that they list words in their books in the same way.

Anyway, to get back to our subject, I learned that when you put certain letters together in a certain order they could form something called words.  Of course, if you just combined them willy-nilly you might accidentally get words but were more likely to get gobbledygook.  As I mentioned earlier we were a very conservative school so at age five they weren’t teaching us sex education – or even that there was a sexual tension that existed between letters.  That’s something that I had to figure out on my own.  And for those of you who have missed it, this is your lucky day.

Take the letters “K” and “R”.  They sometimes have a very intimate, nuzzling relationship standing strong together against the world.  But they also have a sort of Dominator/Submissive relationship as well.  Fortunately, they have found a way to work out their relationship without having to resort to a court of law and both of them share the opportunity to be in a position of control.

Think about it.  “K” and “R” can be together in that order to start a word, “Kruller” comes to mind.  But they cannot end a word in that same order.  On the other hand, “R” and “K” can end a word in that order, as in “Landmark” but can never begin a word in that position.  What a perfect example of harmony and mutual respect.

Mrs. Scott informed us that some of the letters were called “Vowels” and others were called “Consonants”.  There were five vowels and twenty-one consonants – except that “Y” sometimes was a vowel and sometimes was a consonant.  I guess in today’s parlance one could say that “Y” was a transgendered letter depending on its mood.  This would have been useful information because if I had known about all this I would certainly have done a thorough investigation of any “Y’s” I brought along with me as I sat straining on the potty for a half hour.

Now there are some letters which are so strong and powerful that their mere presence at the beginning of a word makes that word so sacrosanct that we cannot even speak its full name but call if by its first letter.  The “N” word, the “F” word and the “B” word are examples.  This, of course, is a recent improvement to the language brought about through the creation of “emojis” which came into being so that people with limited vocabularies could communicate with other people with limited vocabularies and do so by using a total stranger’s idea of how they should convey their feelings.

This movement towards condensation has been going on for some time.  It’s at least a half century that we began referring to more and more things by acronyms or initials although there seems to have been a geometric increase in the numbers of such things which occur in our speech.  Perhaps that’s a function of convenience although my personal belief is that trend has been far more influenced by the lack of ability on the part of much of our population to spell words correctly.  To them, should the publishers of dictionaries follow my suggestion, it will make very little difference.

So what does all this have to do with the 2016 election.  (If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you knew we would get to that).

Most of us are aware of the rise of a radical, hateful and otherwise despicable group of people who have called themselves by three separate sets of letters during their brief existence:  IS, ISIL, ISIS.  Those translate into “Islamic State”; “Islamic State in the Levant”; “Islamic State in Syria.”

Republicans regularly refer to their version of dismembering and murdering people as “Radical Islamic extremism”.  Democrats including President Obama and front runner candidate Ms. Hillary Clinton refer to them merely as “Radical extremists”.  The Democrats argue that by using the word “Islamic” to describe these bastards we somehow will be offending the vast majority of Muslims who are as horrified as the rest of the world at their activities.  But wait a minute Madam Secretary Dunderbutt.

How can you possibly offend (not that we should really be too concerned for that as the basis for establishing a policy on how to combat these people) when they describe themselves using the very word you seek to avoid using at all costs?

Well, it’s late, I’m tired and I think I’ve pretty much exhausted my entire knowledge of letters.  Perhaps tomorrow I’ll attack numbers.  But then again, maybe not.  Check back to see what’s in store.  And remember on this blog, “What you see is what you get.”

That’s probably why I’ve never considered running for public office.

THE WAKING DREAD

Several days ago I mentioned the impact that 9/11/01 had on me psychologically.

It was inconceivable to me that a person could be so unfeeling to take an airliner filled with innocent people and crash it into a building filled with thousands of other innocent people.  And that sense of overwhelming despair only increased as we found out that it wasn’t one person but many.  And the death count mounted, as those whom they left behind hoped against hope that perhaps somehow, by some incredible miracle, their loved ones had escaped the devastation and the rubble.  But for most of them, their hopes would not come to fruition and they had to face the reality that they were gone forever.

The ennui that I felt I’m sure was shared by many Americans.  And if there were one thing that helped me through it that came in the person of two individuals.

The first was President George W. Bush, (not one of my favorite people).  But giving credit where it is due, when Bush went to New York, donned a first responder’s jacket and rallied the people of the city to press on, I believe that was one of the defining moments of his presidency and was a statement of his love for this country.

The second was Mayor Rudy Guilliani (one of my all time favorites).  The Mayor not only had the Herculean task of dealing with all the turmoil, the heartbreak and the aftermath of the destruction of two of New York’s landmarks but he did so without giving any indication of feeling the strain from this undertaking and, most importantly got the job done.

Both of these men fulfilled their duty and went above and beyond the call of rallying us out of our shell-shocked state and proved examples of how the American people can rise above tragedy and regroup and rebuild.  They were an inspiration – at least that’s how I viewed them.

One of the more popular current television programs is The Walking Dead.  I inadvertently ran across it as I was surfing channels in a desperate attempt to find something that would be entertaining and stimulating.  I had the show up for probably ten seconds when I saw a lineup of men, apparently kneeling and then systematically having their throats cut over a trough into which their blood ran.  I happened to catch this episode not too long after the iconic picture of some Syrian Christians wearing orange jump suits were similarly slaughtered by ISIS.

I quickly changed the channel.

Now movies about zombies are nothing new.  They’ve been around since I was a kid – although the preferred method of “zombie-ification” was normally caused by a spell or potion which the Haitian voodoo doctor had concocted.  Today, we have managed to advance beyond herbs and arcane rituals and have been able to harness the power of chemicals, germs and viruses with the intent of weaponizing them.  (Normally, the research is done under the much more noble guise of trying to figure out how to weaponize them so that if one of the “bad guys” weaponized them we would be prepared with an antidote – if you believe that story).

But what if, just what if, there were some virulent poison released on the general population which either decimated the population or transformed us into those flesh-eating zombies?  Would those of us who might be lucky enough to survive such an attack be able to rely on the resources and people who head up government – or would we have to go it alone?

Or what if a far more realistic possibility occurred and those JV terrorists knocked out the electric grid?  We’ve known that is a serious vulnerability and have known that for at least a decade.  What is more disturbing is that we also have a way to fix the problem so that it wouldn’t cascade into a national power outage but have failed even to take steps to begin to implement that protection.  And with all that knowledge, with all the money that Washington finds for pet projects, not one dime has been allocated to protect this vital resource which, if it were crippled, might result in the death of as much as ninety percent of the population.

The way in which the Obama administration has addressed every assignment thrown at it or which it has initiated does not inspire me with confidence.  The mantra of Hope and Change suckered enough of us to hear a chord of promise which turned into a cacophony of pretense.  And as I wake each morning with a sense of dread deep set in the recesses of my mind, I now cling to that campaign theme and hope that we make it through the next fourteen months and find a leader who will help us change back into a united country, strong in resolve and optimistically leading the world toward a new and brighter dawn.

REFUGEES – PART TWO

The UN Human Rights Commission agreement considered the best outcome for those who were displaced by war to be their repatriation to their homeland once hostilities had ceased.  Those who were able to escape in the course of the war become the legal responsibility of that country to which they first made their way.  In the case of the Syrian refugees, that burden has heavily fallen on Jordan.  But in the latest waves our NATO ally Turkey has become a migratory route.  For whatever reason it has acted less as a new host country than it has as a funnel for these refugees to reach western Europe.

Since it’s explicitly clear that neither western Europe nor the United States has a legal obligation to accept any of the Syrian refugees, the question of whether we should accept refugees comes down to a question of morality.  Should we as caring people accept these people and welcome their to our country?  Sadly, that question is not as clear cut as those who are advocates for bringing the Syrian refugees into America would have us believe.

Obama and the left offer a case intended to make any opposition to accepting Syrian refugees appear to emanate from people who have no hearts and no compassion.  But a truly compassionate and insightful president would have been aghast at the more than one quarter million Syrian civilians who have been killed by President Assad during the last three years and would have, once he had drawn his “red line,” actually taken action against that tyrant.  But he didn’t.  And in large measure, the current Syrian refugee crisis is a direct result of his lackluster “policy” which seems to be founded on the theory that if you don’t pay attention to a problem or give credence to it, it will ultimately go away – hopefully before your term of office expires – but, if not, it will be your successor’s problem.

But setting aside the root cause for the massive influx of immigrants from Syria, why should we believe that offering them safe heaven in the United States will actually benefit them?   According to HUD, there are nearly two million Americans who are homeless.  These people are citizens of the United States.  It is estimated that of this number more than fifty thousand are veterans of our military.  So if we are unable to care for our own people, why would we add additional people who in many cases do not have language skills that will enable them to fit into society and whose customs and culture is so different from our own?

The serious and real objection to the acceptance of Syrian refugees does not stem from hard-heartedness but a genuine fear that ISIS will implant some of its operatives in their number.  Obama pooh poohed this as an irrational fear, challenging Republicans as “cowards” for their fear of “widows and orphans”.  If the president’s passion were as great for destroying ISIS as it is for denigrating any who challenge his opinions this crisis might not have existed.  But even some staunchly partisan Democrats, notably Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) have advocated taking a pause before admitting any further Syrian refugees.

Of course, the president and his administration have claimed that there is a thorough vetting process to ensure that no terrorists will be admitted among those to whom we might give refuge.  Several days ago, the National Security Council’s advisor, Ben Rhodes, who holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing – which makes him an ideal spokesperson for the administration but might call into question his qualifications for making recommendations about national security – again put forth this notion that the vetting process would be both thorough and certain.  That is in direct contradiction to what the heads of both the FBI and the CIA who will share in the responsibility of vetting these prospective refugees have stated.  So who are we to believe?

Most of us who were raised within the Judaeo-Christian tradition believe that lying is always wrong.  The same cannot be said of Islam in even its most benign varieties.  Both the Quran and the hadiths permit a devout Muslim to lie to the infidel if his intentions are good and his goal is to spread the “true faith” which is their mission.  Muhammad signed a ten year truce with the Qurayash residents of Mecca and a year later, after he had built up his military, broke the truce and slaughtered them.  Yassir Arafat, apparently inspired by the prophet, signed the 1993 Oslo Accord, by his own words, strictly for the purpose of deception.

If we review the mis-statements and outright lies that Obama has spewed during these last gruesome seven years, perhaps his statement that, “There is no more beautiful sound than that of the Muslim call to prayer” may be the most, if not the only, truthful statement that he has made during his term in office.

REFUGEES – PART ONE

There is a reason that I love and admire dogs which is summed up in the statement, “Dogs never bite the hand that feeds them.”  That is a minimalist statement about the quality which dogs generally exhibit but suggests that they’re at the least smart enough not to kill the golden goose.  I would say that dogs are the most loyal and dedicated creatures with whom I have spent my time.  In fact, in terms of honesty they far exceed most of the people I’ve encountered over a lifetime.

Now our friends the French are happily notorious in their love of their canine companions.  It’s unusual to be at a cafe in Paris and not see dogs of several breeds enjoying a bite to eat together with their companion people.  And I can’t help but wonder if this is one of the reasons that ISIS carried out its destructive mission on Friday the 13th.  You see, dogs are considered “unclean” animals in Islam (not radical Islam – just your plain, ordinary vanilla variety).  A devout Muslim is required to wash his clothes three times should a dog lick them or himself if the same tragic fate befell his hand or face.

We currently see that, owing to the civil war in Syria, there are hundreds of thousands of refugees, most of whom are Muslim as one would expect, who have been displaced from their homes.  That is tragic.  And Europe and the western world is being called to step up to the plate and provide them refuge.  Americans have demonstrated their generosity throughout our history and, on the surface, it would seem reasonable to expect us to accommodate some of these.  In fact, President Obama has committed to at least ten thousand of them with talk of that number increasing to a quarter of a million.

As of this writing, there are thirty governors who have said flat out that they will not accept any of these refugees in their states.  Why are these fiends so hard hearted?  Or are they merely fulfilling the duties of their office for which they were elected by attempting to protect the citizens of their states?

It is clear that, despite the objections of these governors, that they have no supportable legal basis for their positions.  The fact that federal law trumps laws that states pass is a long established principle.  Certainly the governors must know that.  But perhaps they’re relying on the fact that this administration has chosen to ignore this Constitutional principle more than three hundred times by declining to intervene and enforce the law when it comes to the subject of “sanctuary cities” which have been established in clear violation of the laws passed by Congress and signed by the president.

It is perhaps telling that when the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution, they first turned their attention to the responsibilities and duties of the legislative branch in Article 1.   Only after they had delineated what they considered to be the most important function of government did they turn their attention to the executive branch in Article 2.  And there are few duties that are enumerated in that Article but one of the most important is that, the president  must “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”

It is clear what the rationale of the Founders was in the way in which they wrote the Constitution.  They had just participated in a revolution which overthrew a king who could impose law at will.  As a matter of personal and national self-interest, the Founders wanted the law to be made by people who represented the people and wanted to preclude any president from assuming the role that the king had previously held in dictating their affairs.  That seems to be a lesson that our current president either never learned, has forgotten or has purposely chosen to ignore.

While Obama clearly has the authority to bring in an unlimited number of refugees under a 2005 law, if there is anything that will preclude him from doing so will not be the law but his analysis of the political implications of what is a tide of rising public sentiment and even some opposition in his own party.  Those dissident voices come not from a hardness of heart or a lack of concern for the fate of these people but from what might be a well-founded concern that among those are affiliates of ISIS whose stated goal is to do harm to as many of us as possible.

If we have an obligation to accept refugees as we have in the past, it comes from a national sense of charity but there is no legality for us to do so.  Below is a link which is the statement of the UN Human Rights Commission which delineates the responsibilities of its signatory members.

http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Publications/FactSheet20en.pdf

The document is lengthy but well worth reading as it contains some useful historical information as to the reasons it was written as it is.

But there is more to be said on this subject.  And tomorrow is another day in which we shall continue coverage on this important topic.

ISLAM AND IMMIGRATION

Long before there was an organization known as ISIS, I read about the way that people who are adjudicated criminals in the majority of Muslim countries are handled within the Sharia code of justice.  Application of this law to offenders of whatever description seems to our Western minds to be harsh.  And it certainly is swift.

Caught for stealing … have your hand cut off.

Caught in adultery … get stoned to death.

Caught questioning the religious authority … get 1000 lashes – if you survive for the full term of the punishment.

Caught in a same sex relationship … get thrown from a building, stoned to death or beheaded.  (I’m not sure if the soon-to-be-deceased gets to pick which way to make his exit).

I remember thinking to myself, you know, I don’t think I would even consider jaywalking in Riyadh – or most of the rest of the Muslim world.  By the way, jaywalking is also a punishable offence – and it is punished through the imposition of fines.  Presumably that is an effort to make the streets safer both for drivers and pedestrians.  And please, no snarky comments about “women drivers” since Saudi Arabia does not allow women the privilege of being able to obtain a driver’s license.

Beginning this year, King Abdullah has allowed women the right both to vote and to run for minor public office.  But if one of the requirements to be able to vote is proving identity by presenting a driver’s license, well the ladies of Saudi Arabia may be back in the same second class status that they’ve had bestowed on them for over a millennium.

Singapore has an even higher rate of executions than Saudi Arabia – most of which were effected through hanging – and the majority of those for what the authorities define as drug trafficking.  (The typical person who patronizes his neighborhood Colorado pot shop would be able to buy a sufficient quantity of marijuana to qualify them as traffickers under Singapore’s definition).  But there are also lesser offenses which we would consider trivial – such as failure to flush a toilet (who would do that) and chewing gum subjects the chewer to a fine of five hundred dollars.  Sorry about that Mr. Wrigley.

I realize that laws, by whomever and wherever they are made, are designed to be punitive. That is, to my mind a fundamental flaw – offering only the meting out of punishment rather than a reward for good behavior.  As an example that I’ve proposed in the past, rather than simply fining the driver who breaks the law by giving him a ticket, how about providing an incentive to the good driver who does not weigh on the local police’s time and never gets a ticket by reducing the cost of annually registering his vehicle.  That might, I can’t say with certainty as it’s never been tried and is unlikely ever to be tried, encourage and incentivize each of us who drives to follow the rules.  Over many years of running my own business, I always found that the carrot rather than the stick approach did more to motivate my employees.

But returning to Saudi Arabia and the punishments which that government feels merits the death penalty is one with which we are becoming all too familiar.  And that crime is called “terrorism.”  Although Bo(Peep)Bama has officially referred to ISIS (ISIL by the administration’s terminology) as a terrorist organization, he and his mouthpieces still refuse to label it for what it is – Islamic terrorism.  But if we play along with BoBama’s definition, anyone who engages in terroristic activity which is the “use of force to achieve political or social ends” is therefore a terrorist.  Whether they are an avowed ISIS member or not.  And clearly it would be in the interest of all the residents of the United States to be certain that before a person gains entry into the country we make sure that person has come here with no ill intention.

The oath of allegiance which is required to be sworn to by naturalized citizens is as follows (my bolding):

“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.”

Liberal pundits like Geraldo Rivera and Juan Williams have tried to make the argument that illegals in the United States actually commit crime at a lower rate than American citizens.  That argument is, of course, poppycock since by the very act of being here illegally in the first place, each and every one of them has already broken the law.  That is, by my math, a rate of one hundred percent who are lawbreakers.

Certainly there are extreme cases where people are fearful of threats to their lives in their countries of origin – and we ought to treat those exceptional cases with both expediency and compassion and waive our rules.  Strangely, I have not heard of calls from either side of the aisle offering the Yazidis of Iraq who were driven from their home’s by ISIS a sanctuary in the United States.

It would be hard for anyone to argue that of the estimated twelve million illegal aliens in the United States the majority of  these were people who would qualify for a compassionate exception to our present immigration policy.  That doesn’t mean that they are bad people.  Perhaps they didn’t understand the process – or perhaps the process, mired as it is in bureaucratic red tape – was just too onerous for them to feel the need to wait.  And without a doubt, many of these people and their children would be excellent additions to the populace and citizenry of the United States.  Personally, I would support a long term path to citizenship for these people.  After all, by one means or another, most of us are the children of people who either immigrated here of their own free will – or were imported in the slave trade.

But it is equally clear, the shooting death of Kate Steinle in San Francisco last week by an illegal who had been five times deported is not an isolated incident.  There is an element of our illegal population that is criminal and has a background in illicit behavior not only in their home countries but here as well.  And there are a significant number of these criminals who have been deported multiple times and have found a way to return.  In my view, by placing economic duress on our economy, diverting our law enforcement people to devote resources to dealing with them and in many cases incarcerating them, they are engaging in economic terrorism as well as violent crime.

Do we have the right to protect the nation, by any means possible, from those who would attack us in acts of terror?  No.  We have that as a responsibility.  So here’s a rather draconian but potentially effective way of dealing with this issue.

If we apprehend a person who enters the country illegally and deport that person, we should give him or her a warning that if that person returns to the country, other than through legal means, that person will, if apprehended a second time, be summarily executed as a foreign combatant and terrorist.  No trials.  No appeals.  No exceptions.

One of my former employees came from Polish immigrant stock.  She was a no nonsense kind of person who worked hard and expected to be paid for her efforts – and she was.  And when she opened her own office for me she had no compunction about dismissing an employee who did not perform to the standards which we and she had set and to which they had agreed before being hired.  As she put it, “When you play – you pay.”

Maybe it’s time we applied that same standard to illegal immigration.

THE NUDIST REVOLUTION

Thankfully, we survived the dire warnings that there would be an ISIS strike against the homeland on the 4th of July weekend.  (Those in my former home town, Chicago, didn’t fare quite as well with fifty shot and ten killed there).  Perhaps the attitude of the gang members, presumably the ones who were the perpetrators of these crimes was that if ISIS is going to take a break from terror, we’re here to stand in for them.  As a side note, not one single NRA member was arrested in conjunction with any of those shootings.

Perhaps it’s one of those glass half empty/glass half full scenarios.  No reasonable or even anemically red-blooded American would hope that there had in fact been an ISIS related incident this past weekend.  But what is disturbing is that there was a bombast of information spread through the media that we should all be on our toes and report any suspicious behavior – although if this message were really intended for us to do that, one would expect that there would be some central phone number which we should call.  Most of us do not have the number for the FBI on our speed dial.  And while there was no ISIS incident this weekend, the unfortunate side-effect of that is that in the future we are more likely to be skeptical and less inclined to be vigilant should another such alert be broadcast.  Most humans have an attention span of a goldfish and at least some of us have read the story of The Little Boy Who Cried Wolf.

Perhaps our biggest impediment to defeating the potential of an ISIS attack, other than the present administration, is that a significant portion of our population, we’ll call them the far left, are more concerned with seeking political advantage than they are addressing real problems – and one of their most potent tools is trying to dissect the population of the USA by dividing us into preformed little cubby holes.  Among those are gender, race, sexual orientation, national origin – but the list goes on and on.  So as I was thinking about this I realized that there is one thing that is true of all humans, irrespective of any of the pigeon holes into which the left would assign us.  We are all naturally nudists – or at least we are all born naked.

Now I defy anyone to dispute that claim.  No, I don’t have a science background (which is to say I’m not dependent on a government grant to maintain my life style by coming up with “data” to support what the bureaucrats in Washington, D. C. want me to find).  And it’s true that I have not been personally present at the birth of every human child since mankind discovered whoopee and began making more of us.  But I’ve never yet heard of a later to be straight woman being born wearing an Hermès scarf or a future lesbian woman being born wearing a newborn-sized set of steel toe boots.

Nudism could unite the country.  If nothing else, if we all adopted a nudist lifestyle, those of us – and I include myself in this group – who are a bit out of shape, could perhaps find motivation to eat more healthfully and perhaps get more exercise.  Think about the money that would be saved by not having to buy the latest fashion since there would be none.  Granted, we might cause significant damage to the industrious, hard working and underpaid people in Sri Lanka and other third world countries which manufacture the stuff that we find in our retail stores.  But that might encourage them to find new jobs in agriculture, turning previously unfertilized land into new and rich farm soil and increasing the rice crop which might go far in eliminating hunger globally.

The largest impediment to bringing about a nudist revolution in the United States is probably the airlines.  (But since they’re presently under the scrutiny of the Department of Injustice – their days may be numbered anyway).  No longer will they be able to gouge the flying public with outrageous fees for regularly checked or overhead placed baggage since all we would need for our trips would be a toothbrush and some mouthwash.  And as an improvement to national security, we would no longer be faced with the threat of some militant jihadist trying to get on board wearing an underwear bomb since Fruit of the Loom (a Warren Buffet company) would be a thing of the past.

You might think this idea farfetched – but rumor has it that if she’s elected our next President, Hillary Clinton plans to issue an executive order, mandating that all Americans go nude.  Of course, as is characteristic of Ms. Clinton’s past behavior – this newly enacted edict will apply to everyone else – but not to her.  And that would be a blessing.

Tag Cloud