Just Let Me -- G -- Indoctrinate You!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

It's a That was Then, This is Now Thing

Dear America,

what a difference a day makes, huh?

it was shocking news, late last year, when the Obama Administration classified the murders at Fort Hood as just another case of workplace violence.   Thirteen people died -- with three times more wounded -- while all the rest of America was left stunned by the brutal attack -- at the hands of a doctor, an Army psychiatrist of all things, someone who actually studied the mind - body connection, and should clearly know better.

Especially in light of the truth :  It was a methodical, violent, radical, extremist action against our own troops, no less -- on American soil --  in the name of Allah.

In other words -- not even close to the average, random, boiling-over-point manifestation at the hands of  a disgruntled worker.

That was then; this is now.

Now we could sense the tides changing with the Afghanistan attack upon sixteen civilians, including women and children; we knew what was coming; they [this administration, if not the entire world] intend to throw the book at him -- and then it just rolls into  'it's high time'  -- with high hopes to hang him high at high noon (high tide optional).

Now -- if there is ever a case of workplace violence -- this might be the one.   hello.

Bringing to light the obvious issues leading up to the horrible, unthinkable actions of a soldier in pain:

the previous brain injury -- the post traumatic stress -- the four deployments to the middle east -- the marital distress -- the personal economic worries -- the cost of active duty in a war zone -- alcohol (rumored) -- sleep deprivation -- pure insanity

the army officer showed signs of trouble and the army did not respond appropriately, if at all; the army could have done better to protect the Afghan community -- and the soldier from himself.

[just as the army could have done better in seeing the Nadal Hassan rampage coming...cuz there were plenty of signs there....but then, we would be falling backwards to rehash that, there's no need and no time to re-litigate that again]

oh, but the army is responding now.  Staff Sgt. Robert Bales has the whole world standing at attention now.

Bales was, is, a broken soldier.  And yes, consequences should come.
Hassan went rogue on purpose -- in the name of Allah, actually; it was a terrorist attack by a homegrown terrorist.  Workplace violence?  Only one proves true.  And it was the one done in a remote part of the southern province of Kandahar.

oh my.

you know, this wasn't even where I wanted to go today at all.

but make no mistake -- I intended to go down memory lane, alright -- just not rounding Fort Hood and stopping there for as long as I did.

My morning really got going with the April 2010 issue of Bon Appetit  [I have a real problem throwing out my food mags].  Only by accident, when flipping through the pages in search of the cover recipe [salmon with sweet chili glaze, sugar snap peas, and greens] did something crazy catch my eye:  "Egypt - where it all begins --  'the river fed my soul' ".... Which is ironic, really, considering the blend of sketchy illustration in various sand tones is hardly something that would stop you dead in your tracks and go oh wow.   so hey --  so what if it's two years later, right?

so circling around again to how we started this day...  'what a difference a day makes'.

Just think of how mornings begin in Egypt these days -- in the immediate days following the fall of Mubarek, we have seen more death, more religious persecution, less stability, less tolerance, more extremism than the days under him.  Just six months ago -- less than a year after the end of Mubarek's rule -- we watched workplace violence, in a no place like home kind of vein, amplified; clashes by Egyptians on Egyptians is now common place.

[Oh, not to worry -- go ahead and book your trip today; I'm sure everything will be cool.  Go to www.egypt.travel and let the egyptians help you with the itty bitty nitty gritty details.]

I feel like I am really running on today...but I'm not apologizing for it one bit...

But here's the thing -- this ad -- this sultry little sales pitch to come booze cruise the Nile away -- uses a fascinating typeface to spell out   e   g  y  p  t.   The "t" is twisted into something reminiscent of a palm frond, looking quite religious -- almost like a Christian cross, jumping off the page, calling to you.   See for yourself.  Go here to bear witness of the official logo.

[fascinating, isn't it?  -- two years ago, Egypt's advertising to boost tourism was based upon appealing to our Christian roots back to the homeland of sorts  -- our religious, peaceful, Moses loving roots. AND now look at them!   ah but that was then; this is now.]

[Almost reminds you of our administration, of how quickly they took a step back post-Mubarek -- you know, to allow for the everyday common-man egyptian to painstakingly go through the proper "democratic" course, and making it sound like the Muslim Brotherhood is our friend and we have nothing to fear but fear itself... ah but that was then; this is now... Coptic churches -- attencion -- heads up....] 

Alexis de Tocqueville made the following observation, once upon a time in a day in the life in America:

"Religion in America takes no direct part in the government of society, but it must be regarded as the first of their political institutions...I do not know whether all Americans have a sincere faith in their religion -- for who can search the human heart?  but I am certain that they hold it to be indispensable to the maintenance of republican institutions.  This opinion is not peculiar to a class of citizens or to a party, but it belongs to the whole nation and to every rank of society."  from The 5000 Year Leap

ah but that was then; this is now.
5000 years is a leap through many, many days.

The kind of religious liberty this country was made, gave us security in ways we have learned to totally take for granted today.  If nothing else, it was the kind of religious liberty that gave good reason to trust our fellow man to do the right thing (because more often then not, we did).

Even without fully knowing what is in the human heart, there was a spiritual connection to something greater than ourselves that grounded all of us, collectively.   The guiding of society to live by principles and values through a system of government elevating the consequences of cause and effect, good vs. evil, duties and privileges, rights and responsibilities simply became the way, and the only way.

Only now, look at us -- evolving into the every day untethered to our religious liberty at all.

Make it a Good Day, G 

and speaking of traveling...

how about Malia traveling to Mexico for Spring Break?  
this is an interesting website, just discovered today -- Death by 1000 Papercuts

but what up?  after issuing travel warnings, you send your daughter???  [just questioning the wisdom of both parents....don't hate]
next question -- with 25 secret service and a dozen friends, how much is this costing us?
what everrr...(say it like a teeny-bopper it's more fun)

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