Archive for July, 2014

192 – “Sharing”

Saturday, July 26th, 2014

By Hetty Gray


July 26, 2014


Given the events over the past two weeks, I am not surprised that a column has not come forward forthwith. Every once in a while, current events — both national and international — come down with a thump to the point that words can fail a columnist. And so it has been with me….

Some human conditions are truly horrible, and most — sadly — are of other humans’ making. The only concept surviving this maelstrom is sharing armaments with neighboring countries.

For more than two hundred years, Americans have shared the message that freedom and unleashing men and women to launch their ideas into products and services are the highest and most valuable of all examples to put forth for all peoples.

Lest we forget, the taking of Crimea is the first instance since World War II that one European country has forcibly taken a portion of another. And what do we do? Nothing. Do we answer the pleas of the Ukrainian government for small arms to use against the Russian-supported rebels? No. Do we take a public position and institute further sanctions against Russia for this macabre sponsorship? No.

It is the same scenario seen in 2009 when young Syrians begged for the US to help them. We stood by and did nothing. Never in our history have we taken such a passive stance. And why?

Perhaps it is because those within the highest levels of government are deluded by the rancorous socialist (yes socialist!) ideal that violence never accomplishes anything. Well, if that were true, then we would all be speaking German and no Jew would be breathing in either Europe or America. Yes, folks, Hitler would have single-handedly taken Europe, and likely, America. Those V-2 rockets and similar weapons were meant for us. Thankfully, Adolf did not get that far.

Why? The European nations, with America’s help, defeated him and his precious Third Reich.

And so we come to today. Christianity preceded Islam in Iraq. Yet we see the Muslims threatening the few remaining Christians. Convert, flee or die. My, isn’t that a nice tenet for a “religion?”

And where is our government on this? AWOL: “Absent With Out Love.” This nation was based on the strong belief in God and the freedom to worship. Yet we see God routinely banished from the public schools and the public squares. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to read the Old Testament and see what happened to a nation that turned its back on God. As I remember, those nations ceased to exist.

I fear that the United States is on a similar path. Have we sunk so far that we heed the voices of an infinitesimal number of atheists? It’s may be more than the tail wagging the dog. I may well be the death knell for a civilization.

We have shared the message of peace and freedom, but it has been a hard won message. Phrases like “walk softly but carry a big stick” and “peace through strength” come to mind.

If we are anything these days, it’s not strong. We show no strength in the face of real crises. We proclaim no strong message to the Palestinians who lob rockets into cities across Israel. We send them billions — yes billions with a capital “b” — of dollars every year. Oh, joy! We fund the people who bomb Israel at every available opportunity.

Thanks to Joan Rivers, a proud American who has been to Israel. She stood up to a reporter at an airport the other day and told it like it is. Before she finally gathered up her bags and went into the terminal, she made some cogent, informed comments, uncommon these days, especially from people in the entertainment arena.

Joan Rivers, clearly irritated by press coverage of the Hamas-Israeli situation, said the major networks should be ashamed of themselves for not telling the American people the truth. Clearly, her following comments merit repetition.
When first approached to comment, (paraphrased) she said, “If New Jersey fired rockets into New York City and tunneled underground to get into the city, we would flatten it.”

Replying to a question about collateral damage and innocent people dying, Ms. Rivers said, “Then tell them (The Hamas Palestinians) not to put their ***-dammed missiles and rockets in schools and private homes!”

Clearly hoping for a liberal answer, the reporter kept up questions. In response, Ms. Rivers recoiled at the press and shouted, “What’s the matter with you people (the press)? They (Palestinians) started it! THEY started it! I’ve been there (Israel). I know.”

Disgusted, she turned and walked away. Kudos to you, Joan Rivers. You see what is happening and you are not afraid to “tell it like it is!”

So, is this what America has become? A by-stander to unspeakable carnage on an international scale? Pulling US Embassy personnel from Libya? At least somebody is getting our people out this time. Explain that to the families of Ambassador Chris Stevens and his comrades killed at Benghazi.

Slowly but surely, we are becoming an international joke. Donald Rumsfeld said it best, “Weakness is provocative.” What’s next? I would not hazard a guess. Perhaps hazard is a word that best describes what awaits us.

We have tens of thousands of Central American women and children pouring over our borders. We are no longer a nation, because the definition of a nation is land defined by a border. Our borders are not only ill defined, they are also invisible.

Remember that “line in the sand” about Syria and chemical weapons? I imagine that the Syrian people do. They could not count on us then, and the Palestinians think that the Israeli people cannot count on us now.

America’s love of freedom spread to peoples far and wide over centuries now fades for her own people here at home. Our freedom teeters with government intrusion into the most basic portions of our daily lives. Our freedom teeters when bureaucrats hold sway over what health care we receive and rend the relationship between doctor and patient. Our freedom teeters when the executive arbitrarily changes a written law and chooses to only enforce other laws of which it approves. Federal law rules at the border, yet this administration brings suit against states that try to enforce immigration law and stations personnel 40-50 miles inside the border. And when did you hear that Mexican troops recently fired on US Border agents?

If, as I believe, masses of Americans see what is happening today, how can they remain silent? I hope and, yes, pray they do not. Do your part and email and call anyone and everyone you can. They are your representatives. Do they represent you and your views? Ask yourself that and then look at the children around you every day. It is their future — that is, if we GIVE them a future.

My grandparents often made a statement that describes today’s events. “The world is going to hell in a hand basket.” It is, isn’t it? There is only one resource left to us, and it is not man, but our Creator.

It’s high time that we shared something else. It’s time we shared the love for America that has fueled her progress from her founding. America is a nation of which to be proud, not a nation for which to apologize.

Its time we shared the firm effort to demand and exact change at the highest levels of our government. It’s time we changed BACK to the America we knew before it was “fundamentally changed.” Fundamentally, America was strong, firm, and a world power. This “changed” America is anything but….

“God help us.” Nobody else seems to care.

Think about it.

191 – Dotted Line

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

By Hetty Gray

# 191

“The Dotted Line”

As I walked through a room the other day, I stopped before a document carefully framed and displayed for all to see — my great-grandfather’s immigration papers issued at Ellis Island.

Ferdinand Schott, Republic of France, 1895. Six words, simply put, indelibly a part of my heritage and that of my brother. Republic of France, the nation borne of struggle and the nation that came, under Lafayette, to the colonists’ aid during the Revolutionary War… the nation with the starring role in the memorable, moving musical derived from Victor Hugo’s magnificent work, “Les Miserables”… the nation to which Americans returned to wrest it from the iron grip of Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich….

I remember my grandfather, Lewis Schott, telling me of holding his mother’s hand on deck of a ship leaving LeHarve. He was five years old. His family embarked on a journey to a strange land in search of freedom and opportunity. He found it, eventually becoming an electrical engineer and bringing electricity to my hometown in the early 1900s. The early years were hard, but hurdles did not stop my ancestors. They learned English immediately and set about to earn their living, first in a “soddy” in Kansas and then near Rankin, Illinois, where they finally found a permanent home.

I’ve seen a picture of my great-grandfather. It was taken in a vineyard. He was a small man, but with big dreams. When I was in grade school in the 1950s, one of my teachers looked forward with zest to a bottle of Grandpa’s homemade wine, brewed carefully in large jars on the enclosed back porch of the little house on Broadway. There were jars of cherry, grape, and elderberry wine. I lament the fact that none of us learned from him. Any wine we serve comes from wineries, not from the back porch.

Ellis Island suffered mightily during Hurricane Sandy, but will once again welcome visitors who will marvel at its vacuous spaces where untold numbers of immigrants first met Americans in person. Interviews and medical examinations proved too much for those returned to their points of origin. Even at the height of the surge in the late 19th century, America had her thinking cap on tightly and refused those with dangerous health conditions or communicable diseases.

That’s a 180-degree departure from what we see on our borders today. No longer do we see orderly immigration, immigration complete with papers and documentation of those wishing to come to America. We see hordes of people urged to come here with false information. The British press coverage is interesting, because it notes that people in South America also hear the message that coming to the USA is free and open to all.

Oh, please. Consider the rules for importing pets into this country. All such importation is subject to health, quarantine, agriculture, wildlife, and US Customs requirements and prohibitions. Pets taken out of the United States and returned are subject to the same requirements as those entering for the first time.
Sadly, pets excluded from entry into the United States must either be exported or destroyed. While awaiting disposition, pets will be detained at the owner’s expense at the port of arrival.
The U.S. Public Health Service requires that pet dogs and cats brought into this country be examined at the first port of entry for evidence of diseases that can be transmitted to humans. Dogs coming from areas not free of rabies must be accompanied by a valid rabies vaccination certificate. Turtles are subject to certain restrictions, and monkeys may not be imported as pets under any circumstances.
So, our government is more concerned with pets entering the country than people. So much for any modicum of common sense here!

My kitchen strainer has better control than the US border. The only thing that deters illegal immigration is a permanent, enforced border. Walls and authorities It’s time that we dispatch California, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas National Guard personnel to the border. What better time for a terrorist to come across the border than when border guard workers are pulled from their normal areas to deal with all these children?

Our country is at risk. Our everyday lives are in peril. What happens if a terrorist gets across the border with a suitcase nuclear device. What if some of these children are pawns in a deadly game of disease as a weapon? Remember, these children are not dispersed in areas close to the border. HHS is flying them to every corner of this nation. What better way to spread disease and mayhem. Trojan horses? No Trojan ponies — innocent children used in the most despicable ways.

Murrieta, California, residents see the danger. Do you?

Our power grid vulnerable to attack, too. It only takes an attack on it to cripple us all.

A nation without borders is a nation without laws. A nation without laws is doomed. Demand security of your government — if there is still time., as Americans, are much too passive. We leave big problems to “the other guy” to solve. I would hate to see what would happen if “Undercover Boss” used responsible Americans to infiltrate government agencies, specifically HHS. (For the time being, let’s leave IRS, NSA, and VA out of it.)

My, that would be enlightening, wouldn’t it? I wonder what we would find? Hmmmmm….. It’s as if HHS and the Department of Justice are hell bent on bringing in anyone who breathes, regardless of the fact that the vast majority cannot speak English and lack the skills to do even the most basic jobs. The one say to “fundamentally transform America” is to assure that the gap between rich and poor (seen throughout human history) will disappear. Why? There will be equality. Everyone will be equally poor.

I don’t want to think that those at the highest levels are using our federal agencies to deliberately weaken the nation, but too many events point in that direction. It’s as if all these crises are part of a carefully orchestrated plan. Oh, one more point on the border situation — not one truck would have crossed that border and not one tourist plane would have lifted off a runway in the USA until Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi was released. Our government stands by and does nothing for him, and yet extends a full welcome to hundreds of thousands of illegals. Yes, folks, illegals. Not undocumented. Against the law means illegal.

Even a lifeboat has a capacity. Ours is overflowing. It’s time we stiffened our backs and opened our mouths to demand full compliance at the borders with enough armed authorities to enforce the borders. If we don’t, our fate is sealed. We will have been fundamentally transformed as a nation all right, but to one we will not recognize.

Oh, we need transformation, but of another kind altogether.

It’s time that any US border is more than the dotted line appearing on a map. It’s time for THE dotted line at the bottom of common sense Congressional legislation — a bill moved that lands on the desk in the Oval Office. It’s high time for a bill to “fundamentally transform” the US Border Patrol to fully enforce the border to maintain national security. We deserve nothing less. Think about it.

Red, White and Blue

Friday, July 4th, 2014

By Hetty Gray

# 190

July 4, 2014

“Red, White and Blue”

A recent poll astonished me, until I thought about the demographics involved. Scantly over a third of the polled Americans claimed they were “patriotic”. If you heard the statistic, you probably were a bit surprised, too — especially if you are over the age of fifty.

Children born after 1970 have never experienced a conflict that drew upon the allegiance of all Americans. The only information they have on World War I and World War II is from scant data among highly edited textbooks.

War exacts a terrible toll on any population. However, when a war draws upon one country to come to the aid of one or a group of other countries finding themselves endangered, losses incurred by the helper nation leave a deep impression.

To a person, Americans supported their soldiers in those costly conflicts. Tracing one’s heritage back even one generation found family members with strong ties to Europe. That sense of family translated into unwavering support for the soldiers and the cause for which they fought: freedom.

It is sad to see that many do not feel that pride we were taught as children. Some of the first songs we sang at school were the “service hymns.” Today, you would be lucky to find a child who knew any one of them.

Let’s set all that aside today and remember that we are the most fortunate people on the face of the earth and belong to a national family that has, with blood and treasure, given untold numbers of people around the globe that precious opportunity to live and breathe free.

God bless America. (You shouldn’t have to think about that at all.)