Sunday, October 22, 2006

I Pledge Allegiance To:

….the United States of Mexico???…

Never thought in my life time that I would see the disintegration of the country I so love. Before I get into this, let me preface what I have to say. I am a first generation American, raised by two people who were legal immigrants to the country. Both of whom are naturalized citizens and love this country as much as I do. I’ve been to the country of my parents’ birth. I have no desire to live there. Not that it’s a bad place, but, I’m spoiled. I am not against immigration as long as it is legal. If you here legally, I will bend over backwards to help you. If you are here illegally, get out of my country.

I was disturbed to read a “story” Friday, about a school district here in Texas that distributed the Mexican flag to the students and had them recite the Mexican pledge of allegiance. Although the principal says the students weren't asked to recite it. Now the last time I checked, Texas was still a part of the United States. I know my Texas history. We were once a part of Mexico. We also fought at the Alamo and San Jacinto. We obtained our independence. We joined the US.

So forgive me when I become just a tad UPSET that we have our students reciting the Mexican pledge when the ACLU is all a-twitter because we say “one nation under God” in our pledge????? The principal didn’t realize folks would be upset??? Maybe he was smoking some good drugs that came up from Mexico.

Where is the allegiance to the United States? It’s all about what we can do for them but nothing about what they can do for this country. Once upon a time, immigrants would come and embrace the American dream. They would learn to speak English, they would assimilate into our melting pot culture. They would contribute to society. What happened? When did it all go so very wrong?

We are told that illegal immigrants make significant contributions to our society. Really? What might those contributions be? I am certainly not reaping the benefits of illegals doing the jobs “that Americans don’t want.” If I hire a landscaping company to mow my yard, I’m paying between $30-35. I’m paying $1500 to have my fence replaced. All the work is done by non-English speaking Mexican, supervised by an English speaker.

I was recently in Denver, Colorado. I stopped at McDonalds to use the facilities and get a milkshake. I asked what time the sun set and the gal at the counter didn’t understand a word I said. She got her manager and the manager did not understand me either. Yet, there they are, working with the public.

This is not a screed against Mexicans. I enjoy traveling to Mexico. There are many beautiful vacation destinations. I was there this past May and had a wonderful time. However, I did my best to speak my broken Spanish. I was given some of the best service because I tried. The Mexican culture is vibrant and colorful; sometimes bloody. They have a history and should try to preserve it. It’s their heritage.

As an American citizen though, I should not have to feel obligated to embrace their culture in my own country. Yes, I can appreciate and acknowledge what they have brought to Texas in the past. However, I don’t think it’s a good thing when I have to learn another language to communicate in my own city.

Unfortunately, I think this is a sign of the times. I know that I certainly do not want to pledge allegiance to a green, white, and red flag. Do you?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

A Lesson on Society

….from an unlikely source: the boob tube….

Who would have thought that a succinct statement about our society could come from a popular television program? I am a fan of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigations" . The original series which takes place in Las Vegas, not the NY or Miami variety.

I record it on my DVR in order to breeze through annoying commercials. Thursday's (October 12) show was a good episode (“Fannysmacking”) as all of them tend to be. However, this one struck me as extremely powerful. The ending made me say “Wow!” That a popular television program would make this statement, floored me.

Long story short, a gang of thugs spent their time assaulting tourists in Vegas. One of the CSI investigators, out on his own, stumbled upon these thugs and stopped them from killing another victim. He, in turn, was beaten. Eventually the thugs were taken down by the team. The dialog from the last 3 minutes of the show was profound.

In the locker room, the investigators were talking about the thugs, only one of which was over 18; the remainder underage, the youngest of which was 14. Ensuing discussion dealt with where the parents were, who was raising the kids, what caused these kids to beat up people for entertainment, etc. “Sara” commented that it sounded as though the other investigators were exonerating the kids because of bad homes, drugs. Essentially, she said the kids knew right from wrong.

Enter “Gil Grissom” and his comment, “The truth is, a moral compass can only point you in the right direction. It can’t make you go there. Our culture preaches that you shouldn’t be ashamed of anything you do anymore. And unfortunately, this city is built on the principle that there’s no such thing as guilt. Do whatever you want; we won’t tell. So without a conscience there’s nothing to stop you from killing someone and evidently you don’t even have to feel bad about it.”

What a statement of our times. How often have we heard about horrors in a person’s past which caused him to do one thing or another? You see it day in, day out. From the media, politicians, social groups; they celebrate “victimhood”. We are constantly barraged with the idea that we are not accountable for our actions.

Poor serial rapist, he was abused as a child and it caused him to rape these people. Poor pedophile, he was molested by a minister, so he molested kids. Poor drunk, he came from an alcoholic home, so it really wasn’t his fault he killed someone while driving. For the uneducated, poor, downtrodden person, killing someone for their vehicle rims really isn’t his fault. Society has not given him the tools to succeed, so it’s our fault he is a murderer.

Following that path, it is a wonder that we survive as a society. Maybe we should all succumb to peril that is victimhood. Apparently it grants absolution from personal accountability.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Managing Terrorism

...The latest addition to the American Management Association Seminar: Managing Terrorism (Beheadings - Strategies for Living). Join us in this two-day seminar exploring all avenues of appeasement, new ways to get a head, and avoiding the explosion of terrorists...

Last week, Oliver Stone proved that his brain remains at large. Maybe he equated the praise he received from his recent movie, "World Trade Center" with a PhD in Terrorism Management. At the San Sebastian International Film Festival in Spain, he said "Terrorism is a manageable action. It can be lived with."

Let's see here, the last time I checked each incident of terrorism has exacted its toll in a loss of life. WTC, Oklahoma City, USS Cole, Khobar Towers. Please Mr. Stone, tell me how terrorism can be "lived with" when the ultimate goal of the terrorist is to inflict the highest casualty count possible?

Perhaps Mr. Stone believes we should appease the terrorists. Maybe we should submit to their indomitable will and high spirit, or better yet, convert to their way of thinking. Surely we should not raise their ire by defending ourselves, our values, and our way of life.

Should we manage by caving in? By placating? By being pacifists? How do you manage the irrational and illogical? Mr. Stone should know; he works with Hollywood actors. Apparently he thinks the terrorists are angling for a feature film. Maybe he can direct/write "Born on the Fatwa of July" or "Natural Born Terrorists".

Yes, let's manage and live with terrorism. After all, what are a few beheadings in Mr. Stone's grandiose machinations.