Cuccinelli Owes Me Royalties

Bot too long ago, I wrote a sarcastic parody about the Statue of Liberty, suggesting that it no longer stood for the ideals it once did. I never suspected that one of the members of the White House Theatrical Society, which includes all the “acting” federal officials, would steal my idea without at least attributing the source.

Ken Cuccinelli, Acting Director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services has decided that immigration should only be available to those who can stand “on their own two feet.”

Of course, that was the standard when thousands of black Africans were brought here as slaves.

When the Irish fled starvation and the Jews fled persecution.

Oh, and may I add for the benefit of Mr. Cuccinelli that his ancestors may have arrived during the significant immigration of Italians, who fled their home country because “decades of internal strife had left a legacy of violence, social chaos, and widespread poverty. The peasants in the primarily poor, mostly rural south of Italy and on the island of Sicily had little hope of improving their lot.”

Thank heaven that the people of Guatemala, Venezuela, Syria, aren’t facing such problems.

Ken, you can send my royalty checks to any charity that supports the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, the hungry, the pure of heart, the peacemakers, and those who are persecuted.

 

Scriptural Reflection

Sacred writings of the various religions around the world and throughout history provide guidance for living a good and fruitful life. Many of the different writings provide similar directives; in fact, some are not only in various scriptures, but also in the common parlance. An example is the Golden Rule:

Do to others as you would have them do to you.[1]

Unfortunately, scripture is often seen as a buffet from which “believers” can pick and choose which thoughts to ignore and which thought to accept. Some use their chosen quotation to justify decidedly unchristian behavior.

I have heard many self-proclaimed Christians who are vehemently opposed to immigration, even when it is the only hope for people who are in danger of their life.

They pontificate their justification. They endorse obvious falsehoods from their political leaders. They use both scripture and politics to justify their personal bias.

I was born—and died—long before Jesus was born, so I was not in a position to be a Christian. However, your Christ was a devout Jew and read the Tanakh, the Jewish scripture, which is nearly identical to the Christian Old Testament. The Tanakh includes the Torah, the five Books of Moses (including Exodus) and the Nevi’im.

Both Christian and Hebrew scripture contain this advice:

Exodus 22: 21 “Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt. 22 “Do not take advantage of the widow or the fatherless. 23 If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry. 24 My anger will be aroused, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives will become widows and your children fatherless.

[1] Luke 6: 31

Lies and Damned Lies

Hitler said that if you are going to tell a lie, tell one so huge that people will believe it has to be true, because no one would expect anyone to believe such a lie.

Today, people willingly accept falsehoods that are blatant, obvious, and able to be factually proven as false with little or no effort.

I am confused.

In past conflicts in which psychological warfare was brutally applied, one of the techniques was to coerce a victim to admit to an obvious falsehood. Physical discomfort or torture was often involved.

“How many fingers am I holding up,” the captor asks as he holds up two fingers.

“Two,” the victim replies.

“No, I’m holding up three,” the captor would say and continue to badger the victim until the victim would say that three fingers were held up. Sometimes it was done to halt the torture or discomfort; in other cases, after enough torment, the victim began to believe whatever the captor said. Reality was whatever the captor said it was.

I’m amazed as to how people willingly accept falsehoods today. There’s no discomfort, no torture. Nevertheless, people are willing to accept things that they could, if they wanted to, easily determine to be lies.

Hitler could learn a thing or two if he were alive today.

 

Maybe the South Should Rise Again

Robert Todd Lincoln, President Lincoln’s son, was very concerned about the rewriting of history after the Civil War by Southerners. He charged the slain president’s two secretaries with writing the definitive and factual history of the war. It was not about state’s rights—it started as the effort to maintain the Union, but over time, Lincoln committed to eliminating slavery. Lincoln’s son wanted to make sure that people knew the truth.

If you read history and take into account the fights in Congress in the years leading up to the war, you will see that this is true. The Missouri Compromise, The Compromise of 1850, and the Kansas-Nebraska Act—all attempting to appease slaveholders—sought to avert war; unfortunately, war was inevitable.

The issue of slavery had been divisive since before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. John Adams—founding father and second president of the United States had warned that if the South formed a new nation, it would ultimately be torn apart by an extremely violent slave insurrection. The Confederacy did not last long enough to test his prediction, but it seems logical.

What if the effort to preserve the Union hadn’t been successful? If the slaves had rebelled or otherwise escaped, what would things be like today?

Perhaps all the “Whites Only” bigots would live in the Confederated States. The rest of us wouldn’t. It’s an interesting idea.

Turnabout

He’d always hated traveling, but sometimes it was unavoidable. He wasn’t quite certain how he’d managed to be headed away from home this time but chalked it up to getting older. His memory wasn’t quite what it had been–everything about him had diminished with age. Then again, it might have been that bottle of Jack Daniels he vaguely recalled consuming the night before.

Traveling in America was bad enough with the TSA security screening, but many other countries were worse. They did all of the TSA things, and then insisted on conducting interviews with each. and. every. traveler.

So here he was, standing in line, with some old guy (well, older than him, anyway) behind a podium, waiting to be interviewed. The line snaked forward until it was his turn. The old man looked down a list.

“Ah! Here we go. Would you please state your occupation?”

“Damned bureaucrats,” he thought, “always poking their nose into other people’s business.” Then he said, “I work for Homeland Defense, protecting America’s borders.”

“Ahhh,” commented the man behind the podium. “What’s your position on immigrants?”

“If they are legal, educated, employable, and speak English, I can tolerate them,” he replied, surprised that he was so blatantly candid.

“And if they’re seeking refuge from dangers?”

He looked for an ID card or at least a badge so he could complain about this jerk, but all he had was one of those stupid stick on “Hello my name is” labels with Rock written in sharpie. He realized that the man was waiting.

“If they don’t have a visa, they’re not allowed in. That’s the law.”

“What about natural born citizens?” the man behind the podium asked.

“No problem.” he replied, “If they have proof of citizenship, we let them right in.”

“But not the refugees?”

“Right. The law is the law.” He smiled inside, proud of himself for sticking to his values.

“Tell me,” the man behind the podium asked, “were you born here?”

“No,” he replied, irritated at Rock’s stupidity. “I was born in America.”

“So you’re not a natural-born citizen here” Rock replied.

“Of course not” he responded. This guy was a real idiot. The man behind the podium put his finger on a button that was visible on the top of the podium. “Since you are not a citizen here and since you have not completed the immigration process, I cannot let you enter.”

“Where am I going?”

“Some call it limbo, others call it purgatory. You can call it whatever you like.

“Once you complete your application and submit it through proper channels, we should get around to it in an eon or so. Next!” he pushed the button. A trap door opened and the man began to fall.

I Can’t Do It

I have kept my stylus to myself lately, because I just cannot deal with your so-called systems of government.

Some rulers are interesting, such as Genghis Khan or Alexander the Great who conquered everything in site before he died at age 32. Some are bizarre, such as Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (who hated being called Caligula) or China’s Jin Hui Di. Others were just evil, like Stalin and Hitler. Even with all their faults (maybe because of them) these leaders were, at least, interesting.

On the other hand, the current cast of the play, “Modern Earth and It’s Leaders” is just plain bad theater. It’s boring and the characters are all one-dimensional. I’m not so fond of the script, either, and recommend it be completely rewritten.

Please, for the sake of posterity, either rewrite the tale and recast the entire troupe or close the show. Farce does not work with these players, all of whom take themselves far too seriously for comedy. For the record, I’m not fond of tragedies.

I cannot write about something if it is not at least minimally interesting.

 

Cowards

In my millennia, I have observed many cowards. Every one of them disgusts me.

I can understand the man, woman, or child who hides from a threat. That is survival. To confront every challenge without having the ability to prevail is foolish. Even a strong army retreats for strategic advantage. The failure to do so is “Winning the battle, but losing the war.”

I cannot contain my disgust with those who enter a school or place of worship in order to do harm. It’s a one-sided interaction. The aggressor is heavily armed, armored, and has the advantage of surprise. The victims are unprepared, innocent, intending to learn or worship–not to engage in war.

The perpetrators have no honor and certainly no courage.

If, when they arrived at their target, they were met with one–even one–other who was equally armed and equally prepared, they would run away because they would know they would lose.

Unfortunately, the media acknowledges their desire for publicity, showing their names and faces on the news. Their friends, family, and anyone else available are interviewed on camera. All of these images and sounds are played and replayed until the next big news story comes along.

For hundreds, indeed, thousands of years, I’ve advised people to see these losers for what they are. They are bullies–nothing more. If you want to meet one, just shovel out the stables. They will be what stinks the worst.