Month: January 2016

“Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor”

Syrian and Iraqi refugees abandoned their homes and everything familiar in a desperate search for safety. Carrying their babies and scant worldly possessions they trudge across the burning sand, pile into battered boats, face a hazardous Mediterranean only to land on strange lands seeking shelter. They want be safe. They are not going through all this because they’re bored or greedy. They aren’t seeking better paying jobs, nicer clothes or bigger cars. They simply want to avoid being slaughtered by the same maniacs who are threatening the rest of the world. We’re on the same side of this war, folks. It’s not like they’re friends with the terrorists. Even if a bad guy sneaks across with them, it doesn’t mean they invited him. However, several Republican presidential candidates have lost their program guides.  Instead of standing by the words inscribed on our Statue of Liberty:

“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

These pompous candidates are determined to slam that golden door in their faces. And why? Because immigration and terrorism are hot button topics and they want votes. So before you jump on the closest political band-wagon think about this:

  1. Terrorists can go wherever they want to go – Syrian immigrants or no Syrian immigrants.
  2. They are well funded. Their groups have money and means, passports and bombs. Islamist extremists have been getting into the USA for years. On student visas, work visas, in freighter cargo holds or as stowaways on Boeing 747’s.
  3. Not all terrorists are imports from the Middle East. Some of them already live here. Some were born here. Many are not and have never been Sunnis, Shiites, Kurds, Druze, Yazidis, or any other ethnic minority who call the middle east their home
  4. Groups like al Qaeda are transnational groups made up of many nationalities and based in many countries, so let’s not discriminate against one terrorized nationality.

It’s abhorrent that these political wanna-be’s spout simplistic, reductionist ideas and pretend that they are solutions. It’s even more abhorrent that so many potential voters swallow this crap as if it were the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.



How Far Have We Come?

January 12, 2016 should have been a proud night for Americans. In presenting his final State of the Union address, President Obama was everything we could hope for in an American president. He was dignified, articulate, gracious, capable, well-prepared, intelligent, thoughtful, emotionally well-regulated, rational, wise and grounded. Additionally, he was socially appropriate, (and looked great, too), plus, he was linguistically elegant, poised, mature, reasonable and remarkably restrained when speaking of Congressional Republicans and current Presidential candidates.  He said having different views should not, by definition, make us enemies, rather, in a free society, one expects and welcomes diversity of opinion, culture and background. His views for our country, and ultimately for the world, were optimistic and balanced. And he put his finger precisely on the problem we face as a nation: our political process or rather those who currently dominate it, is a mess. The Almighty Dollar and cultural elitism have inflated and leveraged hot button topics, and infused the rancorous political process with hate, increasing our dividedness.

This current batch of political combatants exhibit a zealous, unrestrained contempt for each other that barley stops short of snarling. It reminds me of National Geographic videos of marauding chimpanzees slaughtering rival troops. The battles on Capital Hill with their screeching and thumping, has descended to the level of primates in the wilds of Tanzania. If any of us think our American political campaign process is more erudite and sophisticated than that of many third world countries, take another look. Their hateful witches’ brew accompanied by its twin assumption — God-given ‘rightness’ have driven us to a precipice.  Across the globe there are regressive, primeval, archaic belief systems competing for power on the world stage and the last thing we need is for our own politicians to regress to a matching level of un-socialized, uncivilized sloppy discourse.