Tom in Iraq as a Military Observer

Tom in Iraq as a Military Observer
They sent me here just to watch...

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Where have my good friends Reason and a Sound Mind gone?

The qualities of reason and sound mind have left the country.  I would get out too if I knew what they did.  The sad thing is that I do know.

Our courts—United States of America courts—will be or perhaps are entertaining arguments about who has constitutional rights; specifically, do you even have to reside in the country to have right guaranteed under our constitution.  Many who live here and are not citizens have constitutional rights.  Whether that was the founder’s intent or not, the courts have said that they do.

But what about someone who is not a citizen and has never been to this nation—do they have constitutional rights?  On its face, it seems crazy, but the courts have ventured far beyond their legitimate domain in their recent findings concerning immigration and national security, so what’s a little more craziness on top of that?

Does someone in Afghanistan or western Kenya who would like to come to the United States have constitutional rights under the supreme law of our land?  Do two Ukrainian soldiers who get in a bar fight over the quality of the vodka have the right against self-incrimination and should we get them a court appointed lawyer if they can’t afford one?

I am trying hard to be facetious, but at this moment some attorney full of vigor but short of standing and legitimate argument is adding my last paragraph to his brief.  We have come to the brink of insanity and insanity—desiring to retain some dignity—will have nothing to do with us.

This is the question that I pose to those desiring to grant constitutional rights to anyone and everyone on the planet:

Why do you believe that a child still in the mother’s womb has no constitutional rights?  Is the membrane between the mother’s body and the world that awaits so much more substantial that an international boundary? 

It seems that somebody has already built a 30 foot wall but it is not on the Mexican border.

How can we consider it constitutional to kill a child that is 9 months old, within hours of delivery, because it has not entered the air breathing world in which we exist?

How can someone on the other side of the planet who made have only heard of America have rights that a child so close to delivery does not have?

Who has deported my good friends Reason, Sanity, and a Sound Mind?

May God have mercy upon us!

How I long for the days of the test pattern

The mute button on my television remote is almost worn out, and it is the most important among the dozens of functions that this small device performs.  Do we realize how far from any standard of reasonableness we have come in this country?  I speak now of the rush to condemn certain actions.

Bad things happen in this world.  Evil is still at work.  People do terrible things, but does the President of the United States really have to comment on all of them?  Why can’t the people of this nation be outraged enough at a desecration of something sacred without the help of the chief executive.  Instead of counting the minutes between the event and the eventual statement, could we not use our time and efforts to lend some support to the victims.  Perhaps we could have organized protests against the offenders, even if we have yet to find them.  That would at least satisfy our propensity to protest things that portend whatever doomsday the protesters see on the horizon.

Perhaps the real news is not how long was it before the President said something official and talking heads analyzed its sufficiency; but the real news is what is happening to catch the offenders?  Silly me—who wants to follow that story?  Who is helping with restoration?  Sorry, that will not pay the empaneled bank of consultants.  How can the common person who wants to be something other than outraged, actually do something to help?  C’mon, that’s a link on the website, not news. Who is already doing something to help that deserves some recognition?  That surely won’t satisfy our appetite for criticism.

The 24-hour news cycle has created an epidemic of diarrhea of the mouth.  There are no new facts or tangible information going into the system but there is no slowdown on the outward flow of blarney.                                                                                                                        
For now, it’s just the mute button.  My next step will be to identify the sponsors of these broadcasts and boycott their products, and encourage others to do so.  I hope I do not have to write the eulogy for the press that once understood its privileged standing in this nation.  I am optimistic but not blind.  We as a nation crave blame and vitriol more than truth.  The media is simply our drug dealer.

How I long for that bygone day that when there was nothing more of substance to say, you stopped talking.  You stopped talking!  This small nugget of wisdom has surely been expunged from the journalism schools of our land.

Oh, how I long for the days of the test pattern that pronounced with certainty and even a little dignity that programming was completed for this day.

May God have mercy on our judgmental and cynical souls.  Heal us!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Darkness has come to America and we have embraced it.

Darkness has come to America and we have embraced it.  It is not Donald Trump.  It is not the protests that seem to pop up everywhere in response to everything.  It is not the media trying to fill a 24 hour a day news broadcast by manufacturing news out of nuance.

It is the people of this nation that have invited darkness into their lives.

We have stopped conversing with each other.  Now we only target those that disagree with us and demonize them.  We no longer discuss the issues.  There are surely conversations to be had on defense and immigration and education and so many other issues; but nobody cares to engage the issues.  We muster a minority of the facts then just take cheap shots at those whose thoughts differ from our own. 

We fear discussion.  We have lost the ability to listen to each other.  We respect neither the high offices of our officials nor our peers who elected them nor those who hoped that others might prevail.

We have become a small-minded people.  That does not mean we lack intelligence.  We lack the wisdom to use our intelligence to advance our nation and our culture and the common good to a better place.  We have chosen extreme divisiveness over the divine application of our diversity.

In the process, we have placed our liberty at risk.  Self-government is work, not complaining and demonizing those who disagree, but finding ways to do things that work for the common good. 

The pendulum of politics swings left and right.  The wise see this and know that balance is not something that exists at any given time, but over time.  The foolish can see only the moment before them and rail against any and everything that they don’t like.

In this distrust of a system of government that has not only prevailed for over two centuries but done so continuing the blessings of liberty, we set the stage for self-destruction.  In this ubiquitous demonizing of individuals who hold different perspectives of how to continue this Grand Experiment, we accelerate the demise of our democratic republic.

I for one am not ready to discard what our founders embraced so dearly and until this current century, we as Americans preserved as part of our patriotic duty.  The time to set aside acrimony and vitriol is now.  Bitterness and hatred towards our elected officials must end.  The civil and patriotic way to object is the ballot box and we must honor the result of our peaceful transition of power or know that we are destined to lose it altogether. 

For decades, we were light unto the world.  Now we embrace darkness.  Give those elected a chance to do what they said they would do even if their approaches are different.  Stop demonizing each other because we disagree.  Civil discourse must prevail among the millions of Americans who are blessed to live in the liberty that we know.

So many around the world look to us as the example of how to live in a free society.  We as the people of this great nation are setting a terrible example for those in the rest of the world that only dream of liberty.  We must once again be a light to this world.

Let us set aside our selfishness, our self-pity, and our childish behavior and model civil discourse.  Let us respect each other again though we may differ in almost every thought or philosophy.  Let’s be the American people that we want our grandchildren to model their lives after.

Let us live lives of light and not darkness!