Sunday, July 8, 2018

God Have Mercy on America

I cannot imagine creating a form to record information about children I am separating from their parents, without including the names and locations of the parents. It makes no sense!
Go to any Child Protective Services throughout America and the names and addresses of parents or guardians is standard information.

It reminds me of Hollywood movies where a kidnapped person is found in such horrible circumstances (held in an underground bunker with limited oxygen) that the hero shouts, “You bastard! You never intended to release her”.

Concentration camps, internment camps, the cages used in Hanoi Hilton during the Vietnam War all come to mind. I never believed such a thing could happen in America.

For decades, psychologists, sociologists, and historians pondered how a normal person in Germany could be glad when Jews were rounded up and placed behind barbed wire. How could otherwise good and decent people not only permit such a thing but how could they take joy in it? Well, we no longer need to study the history of those German people. We can look in the mirror and ask why.

Imagine that in America, the nation that championed human rights and especially the rights of children, tore toddlers away from their parents and their guardians to hold them as hostages so the adults would drop their petitions to be permitted to remain in America! If an author had created a work of fiction with such a plot we would have found the premise absurd.

We offer due process. We have open trials. We are a beacon to the world! At least that is what I thought.

Humanity is watching. God is watching. Reading the comments on news sites about this gross and vile action is sickening. So many people love the idea and see no problem that our government did not even bother to record the names and locations of parents/guardians when they tore the children from their arms.

May God have mercy on America. I can no longer ask God to bless America. God Bless America.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Heard in Mexico - July 2018

I saw photos of children in cages! Is America really doing this? 

Is America separating children from their parents and sending them to the other end of the country? 

Is America really telling people they can have their children returned if they give up their claims to asylum?

Our own Mexican election results make us wonder if we will become Venezuela.

In Del Rio, Texas they elected a man who marched in protests wearing high heels. He is openly gay and they elected him. We live in a time that nobody would have believed 10-years ago.

Like Trump, our new president says so many contradictory things that nobody can keep up.

We read that Trump hates France, England, and Germany, but loves Russia and North Korea. Is that even possible?

Monday, July 2, 2018

In What Country have I Awakened?

Our asylum laws, similar to those of most civilized nations, were prompted after World War II. The Nazi death camps, our own internment of Japanese Americans, our rejection of boatloads of Jewish people fleeing Nazi Germany and reflecting on the morality of not protecting people persecuted because of their politics, ethnicity, religious beliefs or gender prompted us to do the right thing. We created laws to protect those seeking asylum.

People can seek asylum in two ways. They can apply for entry into the United States from almost any country. The millions that languish in refugee camps can also make application for asylum. This process can easily take a decade before a decision is made. 

Our law also allows people to apply for asylum while on U.S. soil. If they have a reasonable claim to such status, they cannot be deported until their case is adjudicated, which can take decades. Our laws also guarantee that those granted asylum cannot be punished for illegally crossing our border.

There is no requirement that a person must apply for asylum at the first ‘safe’ country they enter.

Maybe a national debate will change those laws. But today, we should obey the letter and the spirit of those laws.

The disgusting and immoral occupant of our White House found a way to reduce the number of asylees. He simply kidnaps their children, holds them in far away detention facilities, holds their parents in detention facilities at our border and offers to free the children if the adults will cancel their asylum request and leave the United States of America. We are taking children away from parents and using them as hostages!

This is all so despicable and immoral that I keep hoping it is all a bad dream. In what country did I awaken?

On this 4th of July, I will read the poem, “The New Colossus” to myself while sitting at the edge of the Rio Grande and try to understand what happened to my country.

The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Emma Lazarus

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Solve the Issue of Those Seeking Asylum

1. Violate our laws.

2. Deny protection to people requesting asylum.

3. Separate children and parents by great distances. Hold the     children as hostages.

4. Offer to return children if asylum case dropped & agree to deportation

5. Both legally and morally reprehensible.

We turned away Jewish families seeking asylum from Nazi Germany's holocaust. After that disgusting decision and after reviewing the internment of Japanese-Americans, we created laws to protect those seeking asylum. We now violate those laws because we don't like the color or ethnicity of those seeking asylum.

Fear of change is our motive.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Happy Father's Day!

Victor, where-ever you are, I wish you a happy Father's Day.

You made me question my own image when I met you on the shore of the Aegean Sea on the Greek Island of Kos. I vividly recall the sound and smell of the waves as they hit the beach and the laughter of your children as they played in the small tent. Your words still haunt me. 

"When bombs drop and destroy the house next-door we do not know if they are barrel bombs from Assad, missiles from the U.S., or bombs from Russia. We only know that our neighbors are dead and we could just as easily been killed. Grocery stores are gone. Water is gone. People that I knew are hanging from lamp posts and trees. There was even a human head lying in the town square. Gangs roam the streets and shoot people at random."

You did not abandon your family, but you protected them as you walked all the way from Syria to Turkey. You hid to avoid the roaming gangs. (The U.N. estimated over100-waring factions in Syria). You scavenged for food and water to feed the children. You carried the girls as you ran into abandoned buildings when bombs suddenly started dropping. You negotiated with smugglers who stole what little remained of your possessions, and you held the girls tight in a tiny, overloaded boat. The day after you waded to shore, the Greek military picked up you and your family. (Thank God that the Greek Military did not even consider separating you from your children). You were released and told to the daily list outside of the police building for your names and the date and time of your final interview that determines if you can continue your journey.

You had no idea what awaits you. You believe that there will be work for you in Germany if you can make it to Germany. There will be opportunities to put food on the table and your girls will live in safety. 

During my life as a Father, I never had to sacrifice for my daughters. Not really. I like to think that I would have been brave enough to protect them and to leave all that I know, for their sake. 

Happy Father's day. I wish you well.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Nobody Seems to Care about the Children, Just the Right to own lots of Guns

When I visited Germany, Greece, and Hungary, I met people from across Europe. Lunch with a group of law enforcement officers from Sweeden and Norway, dinner with a group from Holland, another day sailing with people from Italy, France, and Great Britain all had one common denominator. Someone always asked why we need so many guns in America and why we think that owning guns is more important than the loss of innocent lives. I had no answers, but since that time I've spent a lot of time reading and researching facts about guns in America.

Disclaimer: as a person who spent over 35-years in law-enforcement, I was part of a gun culture. However, that experience also resulted in seeing the aftermath of shootings and suicides and witnessing what officers feel after taking a life. I spent a night in the hospital when my partner was shot and expected to die. With less than a year on the job, I went to my first police funeral when a 24-year old member of my squad was gunned down. So, my opinions were not formed in a vacuum.

The fact is that every other industrialized nation survives without the open gun ownership allowed in America. Some people point to the Mexican murders and say that this is what happens when the average citizen cannot own guns. I reject that premise. Almost all cartel murders involve people in the drug trade of those combating the drug trade. Also, I note that shootings of school children are almost unheard of in Mexico. Furthermore, I do not see citizens who are licensed to carry firearms doing a damn thing about deterring the drug trade. Imagine the impact if a dozen armed citizens began standing on every drug-corner in the inner-city with cameras to intimidate dealers and buyers. But the truth is that our gun owners flee to the suburbs.

The bottom line is simple. We have guns because we love owning guns. Gun possession is a fetish that gives the illusion of power. We want those who are mentally ill and those with criminal records to buy all of the guns that they can carry at our gun shows, where private sales (not requiring any background check) flourish. I know that we want it because we sure do not protest and demand that a law is enacted to prevent such sales.

Our answer to gun deaths is 'more guns,' and we blame victims for not being armed!  We provide rocks for school children to use against an armed killer. We talk of arming teachers and pretend that in the confusion and chaos of the murder of children by a gunman, more gunfire will not cause additional innocent deaths and that the police will magically be able to distinguish between an armed teacher and an armed assailant.

There is no answer to the question, "Why do we value gun ownership over the lives of innocent people?"  

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Rational Thoughts not Allowed

The knife-wielding terrorist in France injured four-people and the Internet is abuzz with people blaming Islam. May I offer a few facts and thoughts? I examined the most recent year of facts. Let me share. I invested 20-years of my life developing and implementing crime analysis processes for a major police agency to identify the most likely places and people engaged in violent crime. So, I think in analytical terms.

In France there were 8.5 million Muslims in 2017. 
Eight different Muslims engaged in terrorist attacks during that same year. 

So, 0.00009% of a group committed terrorist attacks in France during 2017 and people conclude that the Muslim faith is responsible. 

Why would we not conclude that since the remaining 8,499,992 Muslims did not engage in terrorism that the religion cannot be the problem? If the religion were the problem, why do we not see millions of terrorist acts in France?

I firmly believe that we don’t want to think. We want to keep it simple and find one culprit to blame?

However, by avoiding a rational analysis to find causes for the 8-people to commit acts of terror we lose all hope of finding a solution. Were they from other countries? Were they radicalized in France? What caused such profound hate?

In the USA we not only look for a simple ‘answer’ that requires no thought, we also want our answers to confirm our fears and beliefs.

Millions of Americans fear the loss of gun ownership and believe that the government should not further restrict guns.

Millions also believe that severe mental illness and fanatics are the cause of mass shootings.

Yet, these same millions and the NRA want every Muslim, terrorist and mentally ill person to be able to buy large quantities of guns and ammunition at gun shows across America. How does this make any sense?

My point is only that we need to think and form opinions based on rational analysis of facts. 

If you are against thinking and facts, please tell me why.