Brave New World

Well, Democracy wasn’t saved by the electors yesterday, so the last chink in the wall to protect our country from being overtaken by evil failed to work. Our founders tried their best to envision all the dangers possible, and worked hard to build into our constitution many ways to protect our fragile and new form of government.

They foresaw an uneducated rabble, easily enticed by a smooth-talking cad, full of promises, and they tried to codify methods to work around such things. They did not foresee that a Congress could exist that would turn their heads and let Democracy die.

Congress and politics has increasingly become a gathering of elite multi-millionaires. Our gullible voting public flocks to whoever has the most attractive and glitzy advertising, and this takes money. Only the very rich can afford to run for office anymore, even down to county level in many cases. The rewards of having a political office are so great, that many aspire to it because of the power, and to some extent the prestige.

Donald Trump will be sworn in this coming January, less than a month from now. He has made all sorts of promises, but has said little about how he will go about fulfilling those pledges, and I’d be willing to bet that he has little interest in anything but continuing to build his personal prestige and family brand. He’s already openly practicing nepotism, with our Congress turning a blind eye, while groveling to obtain the leftover crumbs scattered in his wake.

I think our Democracy is experiencing the highest level of danger it’s ever undergone. I have no idea what will happen in the coming short span of a few years. Revolution? Civil War? It’s entirely possible, and some say even probable.



My younger son and I don’t speak. I’ll admit I’m the world worst parent, having done some pretty vile things in my life, of which I would rather not speak. In my old age, I’ve come to terms with my past actions, and while I may not sleep peacefully all the time, I am what I am.

However, trying to make amends, I’ve bent over backwards for my two sons. I’ve done all I know how to do, financially, as that’s the only thing I had left, at least until I retired, and the stream of money dried up.

My younger son has always been a challenge. He’s not so young anymore, pushing 40.  He’s a level IV bi-polar. He should actually be hospitalized much of the time, but today’s post-Reagan society lets people like him take charge of their own lives and try to live as best they can.

We’ve been pretty lucky, until the past year when he finally managed to get a girl pregnant. I had so hoped that they would see they light and decide to abort, but no, they were sentimental, and decided to keep the kid, who was born on December 16th. My 8th grandchild, and the 4th grandson. I should be proud and excited, but seeing as how my son and his now wife think that exposing an unborn child to THC and who knows what else is of no consequence, of course I am worried. I was never that irresponsible. A bad dad, sure, but a druggie? I would have rather cut off my privates.

I let my son use a rental property I had – for less than half the going rate. Of course, he destroyed it, and rarely paid any of his own expenses. He think’s that because he’s had such a crappy life, the world owes him a living. I don’t know what to do about that. After clearing the place of the 10 or 12 people he let live there, and investing another $20K or so to fix it up, and after cleaning up over 100 heroin needles, I realized that there simply is no hope. All I can do is watch, hand over mouth, and hope that on his way through the world he does as little damage to others as possible.

We don’t speak, but through others that he does speak too, I find that the Department of Family Services in the state where he lives refuses to let him and his new wife take their new baby home. Apparently some brave soul reported them as drug users, and the baby was found to have THC present in his blood.

How can you not worry about a newborn baby having THC in his bloodstream. How can you ask people what your options are when this happens? How can you not just give in, and let someone else more responsible take charge?

I don’t have the means or methods available to help, I only hope that someone loving and caring will take care of my grandson and make sure that he grows up strong and smart and able to take care of himself as all babies should. I know his parents aren’t capable of providing this environment, and as much as I know they hurt, I know that they have no business raising a child.

Life is not easy for anyone, and for a baby born addicted to any drug, it’s even harder. I will not sleep well for many nights, but I hope it all works out for my grandson, who’es name I don’t even know.

Merry Christmas, good will to all.

Trump, the Antichrist

Donald Trump is the best hope that the Republican party can offer in the 2016 trumpPresidential election. And, it seems that it is scaring the holy crap out of most genuine Republicans.

Of course most reasonable people are already clued into the fact that electing Donald Trump is a scary propostiion, on the order of having a Hugo Chavez or a Hitler in charge of America.

Sure, he says things that get a lot of people excited, but none of the stuff he actually says is of any substance. And it troubles me that a lot of people that I thought I respected and admired, a lot of people I thought I cared about, think that Donald Trump is the solution to whatever problems face our country right now.

They are ever so wrong. The fact that many long standing Republicans of note, such as Lindsay Graham and Susan Collins are telling people they can’t support Donald Trump, and in fact won’t vote for him. This alone ought to make most people take pause. Sure, there are problems we face, and most elected officials end up corrupt in some manner, but really – Donald Trump isn’t the answer. This man will involve us in an apocalypse.

Why is it that the people I know and love can’t see that in the tens of thousands of words to fall out of the mouth of Donald, there actually hasn’t been anything of substance. His most recent speech on financial policy has already been shown to be full of lies, exaggerations and utter nonsense. While better than his original tax policy, which has been removed from his website, it still is utter nonsense.

I still can’t get over the fact that there are now over a dozen died in the wool Republican elected officials who are now stating that Trump is dangerous. An ex-CIA official even goes so far as to state that Trump is a tool of Putin, being manipulated because his ego is so large that he can’t resist the fact that Putin thinks he is a leader.

Donald Trump is a complete douchbag, not worthy of cleaning the toilet in your home, and yet approximately half of all Americans are actually considering voting for this man.

God Help Us All.

Growing Old

According to most of the people that I hang around with, at age 60, going on 61, oldmanI’m not old. I’m a mere youngling. Either I need to get new friends, or they are right. I’m not sure which way to fall on this.

However, I’ve certainly had some time since I retired in September of 2014 to give some thought to what remains of the rest of my life. Most of it is positive. I look forward to new adventures, I look forward to new friends, and I’m really beginning to learn to just be me.

One of the problems with being young is that you have not yet learned quite who you are and what your place is in the world. You get all wrapped up in whatever the latest trend might be, whether it be clothes, or hobbies or a certain slang or a certain kind of cell phone that you absolutely have to have, and you never really navelget around to turning yourself inward, examining your own navel, and figuring out that it’s OK to be whoever it is you turned out to be after you finally got around to leaving home.

Trust me, there is a good part of me that is annoyed with myself. Why is it you have to wait until you get old before you finally figure things out, before you finally become confident in who you are, before you finally stop trying to be whatever it is you think other people want you to be?

If I could reach out and grab my 3 young grandsons who are now in their very early twenties or late teens, the first thing I would want them to know is that they need to stop trying so hard to make everyone around them pleased. Seriously. It doesn’t even matter if your parents like you or agree with what you think. They will be long gone before you know it, you’ll be on your own, and all that work to make them happy will be gone like a fart in the breeze.

By the time you get to be “old”, it’s just you and whoever you have decided is NoGodimportant to you. Your maker? Some old people still believe there is a God, but truly most of us just go through the motions so that we don’t get tarred and feathered and run out of town. There is no God – or if there is, he made us during a brief period of boredom and is long gone, and gives not a single hoot what we do with our lives.

By the time you are my age, you have hopefully stopped trying to impress people. It doesn’t matter that you like those old faded jeans with the spaghetti stain on the crotch. It doesn’t matter that the only time you make the bed is when you change the sheets. It doesn’t matter if you obsess over having the sink shine or all the dishes done before you go to bed. You are who you are and hopefully you’ve either found people who like that, or that you have learned to live a fulfilling life alone. It’s too late to start over and it’s time to settle in for the downhill ride and enjoy what time you have left.

In fact, I’m learning to do that just now. I like who I am. I’ve made some royal screw-ups in my life, trust me. Some doozies. On a slightly different tack I could be rotting in a jail, or living my life out as a homeless person under a bridge. Would I still like myself had my life taken either of those dotted line pathways that I once could have taken very easily? I hope so – in the end, you only have yourself, and if you don’t like who you are, it’s going to be a really rough ride.

I think I’m lucky. I’m not alone. I have someone in my life who lets me be who I am and doesn’t get jealous and often encourages me to just be. I have begun to develop some friends, although most of them are still friends only because I met them through who I live with. I have never made friends easily, but will take what I can get.

I’m not homeless, which for some reason never ceases to amaze me. I always aloneimagined my old age to be one of stark loneliness and poverty. Where I skulked from one shelter to another, or perhaps lived alone in the woods, or wandered lonely beaches, eating raw fish. Not sure where that came from, but I think it’s a part of my lifelong inability to understand that I’m worthy of anything.

Yet, part of me still longs to reach out to my younger self and smack some sense into that strange person I was during my teens and twenties and thirties and even into my 40’s. How could I have been so dumb? How could I have missed so many opportunities?

Another thing about being retired and not getting up to slave for someone else for forty or more hours a week is that you finally realize that your time is your own, there is no one to make happy but yourself, and that whatever you choose to do is OK. There is no wrong choice. Read a book. Go to the pool. Sit and watch the birds. Cook an elaborate meal for no one. Stay in bed and nap the day away. None of it is a wrong choice.

I suppose I regret not being able to learn these things when I was young. I’ve always felt inferior to others, and I have no idea what made me feel that way. I have had people in my life who recognized this, and told me to stop being silly. I never believed them. I was never fully capable of recognizing my own worth. Even when it came to employment, I always felt someone was doing me a favor when they offered me a job, and I was always ever so grateful for whatever came my way. I never realized that I earned it all, was worth it all, and could in fact have probably had more, if only I’d had the confidence in myself to reach for it.

That’s what young people need to know today. It’s OK to reach for it.


Leaving Colorado

After almost 20 years in Colorado, I have returned to Florida, land of my birth, source of much of my DNA. I was born in South Florida, as was my Mother, and my maternal grandparents and one set of great-grandparents came to Florida Coloradoback in the 1920’s. Florida was much different in the 1920’s. Hell, it was much different in the 1960’s, and even in the 1990’s when I returned after a nearly 20 year absence.

At various times in my life, I have been ashamed of Florida. Bush vs. Gore for instance, and that incidence of the “hanging chad” on voters ballots. That isn’ the Florida I knew, although the Florida I knew was racist, a picture perfect snapshot of Old Jim Crow. When I was a small child, my mother had someone in to help with housework. I can’t recall her name, but I know she was the daughter of Rose, who ran the company store where my Dad worked in Bean City. Bean City was a creation of the Billy Rogers farm, where Bean City-Pike3Dad worked and serviced the huge machinery that it took to grow the corn, green beans and celery. He would often bring home fresh cases of whatever vegetable was in season. We took it all for granted, we thought everyone got corn off the cob right out of the field.

Rose had a very prominent gold tooth front and center, wore a bandanna around her head, and was very short and very stout. I sort of remember an accent, so she probably was from the Bahama’s, as many of the black workers around us were. Her daughter used to come help my mother with housekeeping and ironing. This was back in the day when my mother’s house was neat as a pin, so clean you could literally eat off the floor. Later, she devolved into something just this side of a hoarder. I don’t know what caused such a drastic change, but when you are a kid, there is so much that you simply fail to notice.

I know from pictures that my mother was once slim enough for my dad to nearly be able to put his hands around her waist. When she died in 2006, she was way north of 300 pounds. But, above her favorite chair in the double-wide trailer she had, was a picture of her and Dad when she was very slim and very pretty and very trim. I think she wanted to remember those days.

I’ve always had an inferiority complex. Several of my bosses were frustrated by it, and even though I know for sure that I’m smarter than your average Joe, because I’m awkward, because I’m gay,. because I’m from the south, because I only have a high-school education, because ..well, for a lot of reasons, I assume nearly everyone else is better than me at most anything. Even though I have evidence to the contrary, this complex persists.

I did quite well at working, even though it seemed to be all accidental. I went from High School to the Navy. I managed to get myself thrown out of the Navy, albeit with an honorable discharge and all the benefits accorded to a Vietnam Era veteran. I walked into a radio station in a small Tennessee town and asked for a job, and got one, with no experience. I have sold life insurance and installed cable television services and eventually ended up working at the corporate office of the worlds largest cable tv company, being paid far more than I though I was worth, which allowed me to retire far younger than most people can or should.

USS Edenton (ATS-1)

USS Edenton (ATS-1)

I’ve visited Bermuda, Spain, The Azores, England, France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Tunisia, Japan and Venezuela. I actually lived in Okinawa for a year, and Venezuela for nearly four years. I lived on Oahu in Hawaii for almost four years. I enjoyed all of it and wouldn’t exchange any of it for anything. Since 1998, I have made Colorado my home. At first, it was a grungy little apartment in Glendale, a suburb of Denver, famous mostly for it’s proliferation of strip bars. I used to come home and find my kitchen crawling with roaches, so I’d spray and drive them to the neighbors. A few days later, he would spray and they would return. Eventually they raised the rent to something pretty unreasonable, and I bought a condo where i lived for a few years until John and I met and we bought a house together.

mountainsI spent some time with a jeep, running some of the mountain trails in the Rocky Mountains. I fell in love with the hot springs at Glennwood Springs. I never tired of the mountain views, often snow covered, even into July and early August. I lived in Colorado longer than I ever lived any other place in my life, including the 17 years I spent in Florida before leaving for the Navy. It was as much home as Florida.

The house on Berry Avenue in Centennial closes this coming Friday, the 24th of June. The new owners will take over, and I hope that they appreciate the Iris’s that bloom, the deck we spent tons of money on, and the other little improvements we made over the years. I’m sure they will do things to make it their own place, things we will never know about.

We are now in Florida. I’m not really all the comfortable here in the condo we have had for a few years. There is very little for me to do. I’m not happy just sitting around reading or playing video games or looking across the marvelous view of the lake. I need a bit more. So, we’ll look around for a house, as much as I know that John really would like to just stick with the condo. He is pretending to be enthusiastic, but I know that if I decided we should stay in the condo, he’d be just as happy. I want a yard. A place I can grow things, even if it is just in pots. I want to be able to hang my fishing poles out in the garage. I’d like a pool and a hot tub. I want to be able to putter around and spend my time on little projects that never really amount to much, but make me feel good about having gotten out of bed to do something. I’m sure we’ll find something that we can afford. We’ll hang onto the condo, unless we need to sell it to afford a house, and perhaps we’ll return to it in ten years or so.

In the meantime, Colorado is now in the rear view mirror. I loved it, and will miss it a lot.RVMirror

An Open Letter to Hillary

Dear Secretary Hillary:

I was listening to a radio show on PBS the other day when one of your spokespeople was asked a question about whether or not your relationship with the rich hedgefund managers of Wall Street might give voters pause. Your spokesperson jumped right in with the answer that she didn’t think it was an issue, and that voters would not be concerned at all with the fact that you received big money from Wall Street, or that you were personally friendly with anyone on Wall Street.

I wanted so much to jump through the radio and confront her, and by extension, you. Your relationship with the wealthy of America is precisely why I have lost faith in you and Bill. Your hillaryhusband did great things as President, and a lot of us were hoping that should you win the presidency, you too could do great things, perhaps even greater than your husband. It is after all, a new century, a new time, and more things are possible than they were when Bill was the President.

Unfortunately, in that time, you and Bill have become multi-millionaires. You socialize with Wall Street. You live in New York. You spend time with, and share values with other one-percenters and by virtue of that lifestyle you have taken on, you have lost touch with the every day common American.

Although your home state is Arkansas, you have probably not set foot in a Wal-Mart in the past dozen years or so. Do you know who shops there? Not because they necessarily want to shop there, but because it is the only choice left to them because Wal-Mart has forced the closing of tens of thousands of other businesses across the world. The loss of jobs and security have been nothing short of phenomenal.

Have you ever had to go grocery shopping with a calcuator? Knowing that before you hit every aisle in the store that your budget would be exceeded? Have you ever had to face a child who was jumping up and down in the cereal aisle with a box of their favorite breakfast poison, only to have to make them put it back and take a box of the store brand instead?

Hillary, you used to be special and you used to give reassurance that you understood the underdog. That you were on the side of those of us with less. That you empathized with the single mother who worked four part-time jobs just to pay the rent.

You can no longer do that. You are in bed with the rich, and should you win office, you are beholding to the wealthy. You will not make policy based on what is best for the country, but instead you will make policy based on the people to whom you owe favors, and trust me, the list of those favors is growing quite lengthy.

I do not believe the people who say you are at fault because of what happened or didn’t happen in Libya. I do not believe the people who say that you will let Bill make the actual decisions of your presidency. I do not believe that you actually think that you would be a bad President. However, I do know that you now carry way too much baggage and can no longer be trusted. You don’t tell the truth when the opportunity presents itself. Neither did Bill by the way, and we didn’t hold it against him, but now we are holding it against you.

You no longer represent the best interest of the common, every day, get up and feed the dog and go to work American.

I have never voted other than as a Democrat, and I’m here to tell you that we don’t trust you.

The Law vs. Ethan Couch

Unless you have been living in a cave the last few years, you have certainly heard of Ethan Couch, otherwise known as “The Affluenza” guy.

While it may seem like this guy is first cousin to Typhoid Mary, he isn’t. In actuality, he was a sixteen year old boy, blond haired and fair of cheek, who decided to go driving off in his pick-up truck while drunk.

He killed four people.

ethanBad luck at the very least. His defense lawyers, paid in full by his parents, decided to pursue a rather novel defense strategy. Because he was so rich, and because rich people consider themselves so much above such mundane rules as “the law”, poor Ethan Couch simply did not know any better than to get into a truck and drive down the road while drunk out of his ass.

Were it you or I, poor reader, we would have the book thrown at us and we would expect to spend the rest of our days in Jail. But, this is Ethan Couch. Blond haired and perfect, and he was raised to know that he was the King Of The Earth. He could do no wrong.

He was sentenced to probation, and had he kept his zipper zippered, and prevented any of his friends, acquaintances or random strangers nearby from taking any photographs, he could have managed the years between sixteen and twenty-six without any offense. Unfortunately, even a person of his wealth was unable prevent pictures from appearing on the internet of his transgressions, particularly his appearance at a party, apparently drunk out of his mind. An obvious violation of his probation.

ethan-blondeAs soon as the pictures appear, his mother Tanya collects her precious baby and hightails it off to Puerto Vallarta. By the way, I’ve been there, it’s one of my favorite towns on the planet. How dare Ethan and his mother Tanya sully the reputation of this excellent paradise?

Mothers Against Drunk Driving, who I am sure have done many marvelous things to assist society, have started an on-line petition to have Mr. Couch brought back to America and then served up justice in an adult court. They feel that the mere fact that so many mothers’ have spoken means that someone besides the news outlets will take notice and things will happen that will make them feel all warm and cozy.

Not so. We do still have the rule of law in this country. Not even Donald Trump and his wayward hair can overcome “the law” in this country. At least while the rest of us are paying any attention.

Ethan murdered four people while he was a mere lad of sixteen. He was tried and convicted in a juvenile court, he was sentenced in a juvenile court. While the claim of “I am so rich I can’t possibly know right from wrong because my rich parents never bothered to teach me” triumphed, it still happened in a juvenile court. And, it happened in the great state of Texas, where of course we all know that more often than not you are sentenced to death for stealing food.

I tend to like poor Ethan. He’s pretty. He’s also apparently immensely stupid. It’s quite visible that all the money in the world can’t make you smart.

He will be eventually returned to Texas. The law of the land will prevail, despite the petitions signed by MADD. But, fear not! Ethan Couch is not a smart person, and sooner or later, despite his money, his good looks or his mother, the law or an aggrieved parent will catch up and Ethan Couch will get what he deserves.

Amazon has killed off any chance of finding a good book …

booksOk, I have two varieties of kindle devices, I’m as guilty of creating the problem as Jeff Bezos might be, I can only plead that there isn’t much alternative because Amazon has made the old-fashioned bookstore an anachronism.

I have a largish bookcase in my home filled with books that all have a central theme around being gay. Not a one of them would be classified as pornography. They are literature.

Today, if you search Amazon for “gay” books, you have to weed through hundreds of thousands of self-published authors, nearly all of them really terribly written porn. It’s not even good porn, it’s just words on a page, uploaded by someone who thought they were an author.

It’s not just gay literature that is hard to find. Search any genre you like. From self-help to cookbooks to “literature” you can find hundreds to tens of thousands of results – and the overwhelming result is not worth the digital space they occupy.

There have always been bad books. Since man learned to string words together as a story, there have been books that might not have been anyone’s particular cup of tea. Yet, you could pretty much figure that if they made it onto a shelf at a bookstore, they were at least worth looking at the cover. Perhaps even most of them could be read without finding a misspelled word or grammar that was invented by author.

Amazon allows anyone to publish anything at no cost. You can write anything you want, upload it to Amazon, set a purchase price, and Voila! you are an author.

That doesn’t mean you should. It also doesn’t mean that you should buy the crap you find. Even if you subscribe to the remarkable Kindle Unlimited – where you can ready any of nearly a million published books for just 9.95 a month, you’ll find a hard time finding something readable.

It would be really helpful if Amazon would allow you to sort your search results by the number of reviews posted instead of just the quality of the review. I’ve found that the more people who have posted a review of a book, the more likely the book is to be readable.

There are lots of books on Amazon that have five-star reviews. Yet you’ll find that 98% of the five star reviewed books have less than ten people reviewing it, and I’d bet a paycheck that a majority of those posted reviews are from people who are personally acquainted with the author. Whether family or friends, those reviews are tainted and shouldn’t be allowed.

It was never easy to find good books. We’ve always relied on the opinions of others, which is why Amazon has a sort option based on the number of stars.

The problem is, that by eliminating the traditional path to being published, we are now subjected to utter garbage, and who has time to weed through all the newly self-published crap that litters our digital worlds?

It’s no wonder that reading a book is no longer one of the favorite things to do of a great majority of our young people. They’d rather play a video game – and don’t get me started on how much video games have been dumbed down to suit the masses.

I am officially an old person. I miss the old days.

Losing Someone Important

We’ve all suffered loss. A parent. A sibling. A boss. A best friend. If you have lived at all, you’ve lost someone important to you. Sometimes you don’t even know you’ve lost someone important until weeks or months later.

You may think that people in your past are no longer important. You can kid yourself until the cows come home. It’s simply not true.

My second ex-wife just died. September 27th, 2015. She was 72 years old. You know of course that 72 is not old. My mother died at 71. One of my grandfathers at 71. I used to think 70 years old was ancient. It isn’t. People live to be 90. 100. 85. 72 is not old.

Lynne Harding Leahy Richardson died on September 27th, 2015. I thought I was done with her. I thought that although we were friends, we were over. We were through. We made Amanda, one of the most important people in my entire world. Then we were over  – I gave her Amanda so I could live the rest of my life. Amanda is still here, still one of the most important parts of my life.

I’ll miss her.

I do miss her.

Did I make a mistake? We never know until the end that we should have walked other paths. I’m happy. I truly am happy. I still have Amanda, or at least the parts she is willing to share. Lynne is part of the stars now.

Cherish the ones you love because you never know when the end will come.




Rusted Copper Tears

As of 2014, the population of the United States was about 318.9 million people. According to an article at Infoplease, the population of Native Americans is about 5.2 million people.

I don’t claim to be a math genius, but even my weak skill have determined that this mean that over 99% of all residents of the United States are either immigrants, or descend from people who immigrated from somewhere else.

One of my hobbies is genealogy, and I know exactly how three branches of my family arrived here. The earliest was in 1609, as part of the Jamestown companies, and you can’t tell me that there was a “legal” way for those people to get here. In fact, if memory serves, the Jamestown settlements almost didn’t survive the winter of 1623/24 because of Indian raids, and nearly 85% of the inhabitants were either killed or starved. That doesn’t sound like a very welcoming foreign government if you ask me.

Now, I’ve also documented arrivals of parts of my family in the 1730’s, as part of a mass migration from what is now Germany, people who were fleeing civil war and weeping-statuereligious persecution. They just showed up in Philadelphia, got off the ship and moved on to new lives. There weren’t a lot of formalities involved.

Ok, I’m being simplistic, but my point is that this country, as it exists today is truly a melting pot of peoples and cultures from every other corner of the world. Whether your ancestors came on a boat and passed under the Statue of Liberty and spent time clearing formalities at Ellis Island, or whether they came across the Straits of Florida strapped to a floating barrel, or came over from China in 1870 to build railroads in the west, or slipped over the border into Texas on a hot steamy August night, the point is that they were trying to get away from a place that was terrible to a place that promised freedom, or at least a place where you weren’t just a bag of flesh and bones made to serve the state.

There have always been undesirables entering the country. Thieves and bullies of all types came here and made a killing because they could. Honest people eventually find them out and deal with them.
Today, we are afraid of “terrorists” and some of our most prominent political wannabe’s and even our own Congress are beginning to think that our doors shouldn’t be so open to some people. Or that we should start a database and register some people of a certain religion.

It’s simply wrong.

Yes, we can screen those who wish to come, yes we can be cautious, but to slam the door to an entire people simply because we are afraid is shameful and should cause all the ghosts in our national cemeteries to rise and haunt us until we regain our reason.

The terrorists win when they force the entire rest of the world to cower in fear, to shut the doors, and spend time, money and effort to allay our fears and “make the world safer”. I call bullshit by the way – if a powerful bomb can be built in a used soda can and left in an airplane cargo bay by a ramp worker – how can you make the world safe from that?

The answer is not to curl up in fear and slam our doors and gather everyone who is different into a locked box and point at them and declare ourselves safe. We did that with the Japanese in 1941 and it’s a stain on our conscience that can’t be cleared away, and it did nothing to make us safer.

I have no answers, I leave them up to the professionals, yet in my soul I know that denying immigration to an entire people because we are afraid of them means that we have already lost our war on terror.