September 11, 2014

This morning as I listened to the memorials and news footage from that awful day in 2001, I ponder other events. I was thinking about how our then-president George W. Bush took to the podium and, eventually the bullhorn, to talk to the American people about the tragedy. He came out strong in his leadership abilities.

I wondered if the death of the 3000 that day (at first thought to be perhaps 60,000) was comparable to the tragic, horrific death of one lone American journalist at the hands of an ISIS killer. I wondered if his death should have been mourned any differently. I believe Pres. George W. Bush would have mourned his death just as much as the 3000 who died 13 years ago. I believe the awful facts merit it. Is one death equal to 3000? Perhaps only if it is your own. But the fact that an American journalist (actually, two recently) had his head sawed off in the cruelest fashion makes me mourn for him and the others who have suffered in this most unimaginable way. And then there are the other evil atrocities being committed against women and Christians by these same types of groups.

Like the music in The Hobbit, The Misty Mountains Cold, if we are paying attention and are the least bit a compassionate people, there must always be a mournful song in all of us as long as evil is present and large in our world, as long as ugliness and cruelty destroy other human beings. God mourns…and I mourn. I know the end of God’s story, but the ugliness of what people do to each other still makes me weep. The ugliness of reprobate men…

Anyone Know What Planet We are Living on?

As if our world couldn’t get any more bizarre, today I read that there are gray-haired adult illegal aliens attending public schools in Lynn, MA. This is reported by the town’s mayor at a press conference. That’s fairly bizarre, but it gets more bizarre: the Department of Justice (it must be a misnomer) has ruled that the school cannot inquire what age the “students” are. Read it here. I smell a rat.

FUNNY RAT002

And we are lunch. When did the federal government get the right to take over local schools in this manner? Not only did the Feds secretly ship illegals all over the US and force them on communities…now they are doing this. What country do we live in? Not in the United States of America…not any more. Our Federal government has declared war on its own citizens.

FOIA – Protection for All

I work for a newspaper. A small town newspaper, but a newspaper nonetheless. This week we got a letter from a “Freedom of Information Officer” from one of the small towns in the area. It seems we are “making too many mistakes in reporting the minutes of their meetings.” But no one has ever, not once, called in to tell us that; not one complaint has ever come. We would gladly print a retraction if we are wrong about something. This baffles me. They want the right to preview our reports from now on before we print.

This is a government board. How much would they want retracted from the original report? And who the heck is a “Freedom of Information Officer?” The Freedom of Information Act is there to guarantee that citizens are allowed to see and hear what their government is doing. In another town, they threatened to do all their meetings in executive session, just because we brought a recorder. The recorder is to guarantee we get it right, not to do a “gotcha.”

Imagine if the Federal Government or the State government asked for the right to preview everything that gets printed about them. It would be gridlock!

Like most of what we see in politics these days, someone throws out a vague accusation against another, but never gives the details, and when asked to give one, they usually can’t think of anything. I suspect that may be what this is. Being a newspaper employee, I intend to have them put all those details, list every single error they think we have made, in writing, because if we did make a mistake, we need to correct it, right? This also validates our decision to record the meetings. It’s benefits both of us, media and government. It protects both of us.

On a Lighter Note…Smokey Bear Turns 70

Smokey Bear was created in 1944 because of fears that America’s enemies would set forest fires while most U.S. firefighters were in battle overseas. When the war ended, Smokey stuck around — and he is now at the center of the longest-running public service announcement campaign in U.S. history. Research shows he is known by 96 percent of American adults and ranks near Mickey Mouse and Santa Claus for name recognition. His creation was a collaboration of the U.S. Forest Service, the National Association of State Foresters and the Ad Council.

Happy Birthday, Smokey!

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