Sunday, December 6, 2015

Photo-of-the-Week #240 Scene of Latest U.S. Terror Attack, San Bernadino, California, December, 2015

This is not my photo! It's a stock photo I downloaded from the Web. I could have chosen any of a number of photos of the scene of the horrific terror attack that took place in the city of San Bernadino, California this past week, but I chose something that was more indicative of the city.

I was in San Bernadino this past winter. It is a California city of something over 215,000 people. Like several cities in California, it has been going through difficult economic times and is dealing with a bankruptcy. But, I don't care what the specific circumstances of any city, town or village in the U.S., nothing should make it the target of a terrorist attack. And, just as happened in Paris only a few short weeks before, this unsuspecting city was dealt an undeserved blow below the belt. But, even worse, it took the lives of 14 innocent people, physically wounded another 21 and emotionally and psychologically wounded not only hundreds of people related to these direct victims, but tens of thousands who see their hometown and the world through different eyes, now.

My first visit to San Bernadino was in the early 1970's, when the now closed, Norton Air Force Base was part of that community. I was in the Air Force, based in Washington, DC assigned to the Secretary of the Air Force Office of Information. I was on a TDY (temporary duty) assignment in California and was ready to return to Washington. I was authorized to fly home by commercial airline, but chose to don my blue uniform, drive my rental car to San Bernadino and fly home from Norton Air Force Base on the “U.S. Air Force Airline.” That was about 43 years ago.

I've driven through San Bernadino a few times since then and, as I mentioned, the latest time being in December of last year and again in the early part of this year. And just one year later, this horrendous event takes place. Of course, I couldn't have imagined such an event taking place in San Bernadino, or anyplace else in the U.S. for that matter. But, then again, just a little over 14 years ago, in plain sight of where I grew up, two airliners became the weapons of foreign terrorists who ultimately took the lives of nearly 3,000 innocent people that day.

No! I'm not going to be stupid and blame workplace violence. No! I'm not going to be stupid and blame inanimate, brainless, objects, namely guns, for this. No! I'm not going to blame global warming or climate change (whichever anyone wants to call it), racism, religious persecution, the economy, education or anything else for this. I'm going to blame the REAL cause – HATE! It's that plain and simple. For all the good there is in this world, there is a lot of evil and it manifests itself in four ways – HATE, GREED, CORRUPTION and STUPIDITY!

The stupidity part is mainly home-base right here in the U.S. It starts from the top down. I'm so sick of political correctness and our government trying to make us believe we're to blame for all of this. Yes, we are arrogant. Yes, we are affluent in many ways, other than just financial. Yes, we are materialistic, over-indulgent and even shallow. But, in general, we are the most generous, caring, sharing people in the world. We, in general are not the Kardashians or the Trumps or the Obamas or the Caitlyn Jenners or any of the other “over the top,” bigger than life, so called “idols” of American idiocracy. We are just a whole lot of nice people.

Guess what? A whole lot of nice people were massacred this week because they just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. They were celebrating a part of our American way of life when a couple STUPID people full of HATE, and one of them born, raised and educated in this very country, decided they were going to become the judges, jury and executioners of people who never did a thing to them or their child. They were treated like welcome members of The American Way.

People often ask me - because they know I'm a wandering, living free, freedom loving nomad, exploring the country of my origin, experiencing its beauty and wonder and meeting the wonderful diversity of people who make up this great place – whether I carry a gun with me for self-defense. Frankly, whether I do or whether I don't is no one's business except my own. It's another of the personal choices we can all make in our lives. In order to defuse a controversial subject before it has the opportunity to turn into a discussion or argument that I personally don't want to be involved in. I typically will say, I don't. But, only I know the truth and that's going to be the way it remains.

However, let me go on record to say, I support the 2nd Amendment. No! I'm not an NRA member. I have no need or desire to become an NRA member. But, I know one thing for certain. Evil, stupid, hate-filled, greedy and corrupt people WILL always find a way to get their hands on the inanimate objects we call guns and all their accessories and ammunition and will use them against unarmed people, regardless of whatever controls are put on obtaining and owning such inanimate objects.

Further, they will continue to buy readily available materials and, with knowledge readily available on the Internet, construct bombs, IEDs (as they are now called) and weapons of mass destruction just like these two mad dogs in San Bernadino had. Evil people with no outlook for a future for themselves will embrace ideologies that reward them in their death to take on suicide missions and attacks (and suicide attacks are as old as humanity).

So, my heart, my thoughts and my prayers go out to the families of the dead victims, the wounded and their families and the people of San Bernadino, California for the losses they experienced this past week. But, even more, my heart and thoughts go out to all the personal freedom loving people in the U.S. and the world and ask you to pull your fucking heads out of the sand and start calling evil what it is. Stop blaming it on everything that has nothing to do with it.

I'm sorry, but innocent people will die when right/good stands up against evil and destroys evil. No civilized person is happy about that and none of us condone it. But, that is part of the cost. And, I have to support that over innocent people anywhere being tortured and massacred barbarically and inhumanely by stupid, hating, evil people who don't give a damn who they kill, period.

That's my piece for today. Like it or lump it. I don't care. I love life. I love living it without fear and intimidation. And I sure as hell don't want my life ended because of too damn many politically correct assholes, both in and out of our government, who can't stand up like real men and women and call a duck a duck, a hate monger a hate monger and a terrorist a terrorist and stop this shit! 

Happy Holidays and remember to live free and be happy. EH

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