Thursday, January 17, 2019

American Standoff

There once was a government closure

That caused quite a loss of composure.

Don and Nancy held tight,

For a long, ugly fight,

While citizens tired of both him/her.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Border Fence, Common Sense

My new fence
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down.
~ Robert Frost, Mending Wall

I had a new fence installed across my rear property line today. How timely.

The old fence was rickety, full of dry rot, and starting to lose boards. The neighbor's house on the other side faces onto a main road, in close proximity to a bus stop and tons of traffic. Uncounted people pass within yards of my property each day. Call me crazy, but I like to feel safe in my home. The fence was a large expenditure, but I feel more comfortable now that a secure barrier encloses my little piece of God's earth.

The need for a wall or fence along the southern border is simply my personal situation, writ large. Just as my house is my home, the United States is our national home. So many unknown people attempt to breach its border, just as the many strangers that pass by my home each day might wander into my yard if no fence existed. A border fence will cost some money to build, yes, just as my own fence did. It's worth the cost to protect our country, along with everyone in it. What is so difficult for Democrats to understand?

I'd prefer not to spend money on a fence. I'd much rather be able to see all the way past my yard, my neighbor's yard, and off into the distance. I'd like to be able to welcome any unknown person who stepped into my garden. But the fact is, I would not be safe in that situation. Walls and fences work quite effectively as protective barriers. They have worked since "medieval" times up to this very day. As Frost's classic poem Mending Wall reminds us, "Good fences make good neighbours." There's a current of common sense embedded in this beautiful poem, a timeless message about careful stewardship, keenly relevant for any era.

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Unsung Hero

Corporal Ronil Singh with Sam, his K9 partner
Corporal Ronil Singh--the legal immigrant, who followed United States law to earn the right to live here and who served his commuity as a police officer, was shot dead on December 26.

His "alleged" killer was an illegal alien with ties to Mexican gangs who had several drunken driving violations on his record. Yet he had "sanctuary" in California. Yes, I'm ashamed to say that my state protects criminals, even to the disgusting extreme of allowing--and ignoring--the murder of a precious law enforcement officer, husband, and new father.

Not a word is being uttered about this atrocity by the Democrats, who are so dearly fond of citing "the American people" as their highest concern. How terribly inconvenient Cpl. Singh's death is for the left's cherished narrative of welcoming and having compassion for all immigrants, regardless of their legal status. Not so fast, criminally negligent Democrat lawbreakers. Stop to observe what overwhelming evil you have wrought by refusing to enforce the laws you are sworn to uphold.

The murder of Cpl. Singh outlines the difference between legal and illegal immigrants in the starkest shades of darkness and light. Thus the Democrat politicians remain silent, refusing to admit their fatal error. But I cannot ignore it as they do. And for the record, I'll gladly welcome the legal immigrant-dedicated cop into my town any day. As for the illegal alien criminal-murderous gang member, I'd like him very far away--preferably behind a high, thick wall.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Saint of the Day

It's been a while since I wrote about one of the saints.
December is so consumed with the hustle and bustle of Christmas preparations that the saints honored at this time of year are almost completely forgotten.

Not that they mind, of course. After all, they're saints. They're not concerned with being noticed.

Most of us are familiar with St. Stephen's Day, December 26, either from the carol about King Wenceslas and/or the post-Christmas holiday of Boxing Day, which is celebrated in several countries. But outside of the Marian feast on December 8, the Immaculate Conception, who knows much about December saints?

So with this week being the home stretch of Advent, I decided to look up today's "Saint of the Day," and I learned something. I had never heard of St. Nemesius before, but I won't forget him. Poor guy. That was one rough end he endured. There's not much information about it, but how much do you need if someone was burned alive? You can stop right there for me, thanks.

December 19, feast of St. Nemesius. I'll remember.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Chambers, Branches--Whatever!


We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.

~ Benjamin Franklin

Image: CO2islife
The new darling of the left seems to be the amusingly idiotic Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  Her $21 trillion "Pentagon accounting errors" that would fund "Medicare for All" are actually defense spending transactions by our government.

Oops. I think maybe another source besides the left-wing magazine The Nation is in order. But prior to benefiting from additional homework, it's necessary to comprehend that you're wrong. In Ocasio-Cortez's case, that might take considerable effort.

Although newly elected, Ocasio-Cortez appears to be unfazed by factual challenges. Consider this jaw-dropping statement:
"If we work our butts off to make sure that we take back all three chambers of Congress—uh, rather, all three chambers of government: the presidency, the Senate, and the House."

She doesn't realize it, but Ocasio-Cortez is quite fortunate that she is not required to take a US citizenship exam to serve in Congress. Last year I helped a coworker study for the citizenship test, and it's no piece of cake. Those pesky government structure questions come up with dependable frequency. Any naturalized US citizen could have explained to Ocasio-Cortez that the government has three branches, not "chambers." And she got all three "chambers" wrong, anyway. It's not "the presidency, the Senate, and the House"--it's the executive, the legislative, and the judicial. That's enough to flunk the citizenship exam right there. Double--or is that triple?--Oops. The new congress woman from the Bronx is woefully uninformed, yet blissfully unconcerned.

But, of course, being a loyal lefty, she gets a quickly glossed-over pass from the media. I wonder what would have happened to Sarah Palin had she made these outrageously stupid remarks. Well, I don't really wonder. Can you imagine the cacophony of ridicule and criticism Palin would have suffered? Her gaffes would have filled at least a couple of 24-hour news cycles.

One of Ocasio-Cortez's goals is to be president. This week she went off on an incoherent tangent about the US Constitution saying "he cannot run unless he’s 35," when actually the text reads "person," not "he." Evidently the Constitution represents more required reading for this wondrous new gift to our "chamber of Congress."

Ocasio-Cortez doesn't have a clue about the three branches of government, but she does successfully complete the three sections of stupidity: ignorant, egotistical, and unaware.

Sunday, December 02, 2018

Well Done...

...good and faithful servant. ~ Matthew 25:23
George H. W. Bush, 41st President of the USA - Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Giving Tuesday, Going Broke

I like the concept of Giving Tuesday. Truly, I do. Charitable giving has been part of my budget for many years, a specific sum I have committed to donate each month to a worthy organization. I have a small, trusted, set of charities that I support in a revolving manner. For example, I contribute to military organizations in May and November (Memorial Day, Veterans Day); food-centric charities in November (Thanksgiving); toy drives in December (Christmas). There's a margin built into the budget for unexpected disasters such as wildfires, tsunamis, and earthquakes.

I provide this painstaking personal detail to emphasize that, 1) I firmly believe in consistent support of charitable causes, and 2) almsgiving is an integral part of my value system and lifestyle. With all that said--I am bone weary of Giving Tuesday.

In a perfect world, all charitable organizations would be as meticulous in disbursing their donations as they are in maintaining contact databases. Every stray charity I have ever donated a dime to has been hounding me for weeks via every communication means available. I've been bombarded with email pleas, telephone solicitations, snail mail letters and donation forms. Even my workplace has, for the past several days, sent lengthy email entreaties to all employees for donations to "the Foundation." (Wait, I'm at work--aren't you supposed to give me money?)

My college wants money, too, and they have been especially persistent. In fact, this year they've been so annoying that I'm considering cutting them off permanently. My charity allocation for the month of June (graduation season) always goes to my alma mater, but evidently that's completely insufficient when Giving Tuesday rolls around. I'll think twice next June.

The accounting slates seem to be wiped clean of any remaining balances, and the hapless giver is accosted by an insistent army of demanding, self-entitled charities. If I gave even a modest amount to each and every request I've received this month, I'd have to tap my retirement savings to buy groceries next week. Is that the goal?

Come on, nonprofit organization people, back off. You don't have to explain this to me--or to most Americans. Do you realize that in 2017, Americans gave more than $410 billion to charity? Yes, I know--we're fortunate in this country, we're blessed with riches most of the world can only dream of, and we should give back to those in need. But I don't need a special day of the year to remind me to do it. For Giving Tuesday, I'd like you to give me a break.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

After the Fires

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
The destruction left in the wake of California's November wildfires is mind-numbing in its enormity. Both Northern and Southern California face massive rebuilding efforts. But the town of Paradise in the Chico area, destroyed by the Camp Fire, faces especially daunting, discouraging challenges--it has been essentially obliterated by the flames.

How does a community go about rebuilding in the face of such vast devastation? I'm reminded of the old saying about how to eat an elephant: one bite at a time. But even going one step at a time, the cleanup, recovery, and rebuilding of Paradise will take years. Our northern neighbors will literally begin at the ground, sweeping away ashes and beginning again. It takes courage, faith, determination--and a great deal of financial support and resources--to undertake such an overwhelming task. 

This week was Thanksgiving, a uniquely American holiday dedicated to being grateful for our many blessings. It's a good time to remember our neighbors who have lost loved ones, homes and all their possessions. The Salvation Army, the American Red Cross, and many religious charities are among the many organizations assisting the fire victims in their time of need. All safe-and-sound Americans would do well to pause and make a donation, however modest, now that the fires have been extinguished and life begins to move on with its customary swiftness.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018