This was originally written in 2009 and revised last night. To me, it was sad then and even sadder now. i am amazed we have created a system of two groups of political lemmings. i am amazed at the vitriolic, poisoned, and untruthful slime these two groups of lemmings throw at each other. Quit trying to be funny by spreading BS, or worse just passing it on. Our system is broken and spitting venom from either side is not going to make it better. We need to take appropriate and effective action to wipe out those who would destroy innocent people and our system, but putting good folks in the same category as the bad ones — and i don’t care which group is categorizing and which group is being categorized — is not the answer. In fact, it’s the opposite of the answer.
Okay folks of the good ole US of A, get real. i don’t think we can.
A Flight From Fancy
The flying experience takes many twists and turns.
If one can keep his wits and not dwell on the inconvenience and lack of customer service, it can be an entertainment medium through watching the characters.
In the long lines and mostly ineffective security measures employed in San Diego, i embarked on this business trip today. Even before i got on the flight, i witnessed a montage of characters that would have fit well into a novel of international intrigue.
Amidst the seasoned travelers, trying to act like they were seasoned while still perplexed at the continuing change in rules, regulations and procedures, and the wide-eyed questioning new air travelers, i found my way to the Delta counter.
A tall, slender Muslim woman was at the next counter to the automatic ticket processing, which i have come to use rather than the redcaps. She wore a head-to-toe black veil that was attached across her face at the left ear. While checking in, she unattached the veil in order for the counter personnel and, later the TSA security guards match her identification with her features.
“Ahh, i wondered with no malice, “i wonder what Allah thinks about this particular waiver for progress?” While going through these checks, she would demurely hold the garment across her nose with her graceful slender fingers of her right and touching the lobe of her left ear. When requested, she would open out the veil just enough for the evaluator to see that the face did indeed match the photo on the plastic card.
After each check to see if she was really who she really was, she would reattach the veil so it would drape across her face of its own accord. From my vantage points, this semi-permanent visage reminded me of the “Black Bart” characters in the black and white western movies of my youth – Oh Hoppy, where have you gone?
For me, the veil enhanced her allure. The floor length garment was of fine material and it flowed elegantly around her slender frame. The garment would occasionally flitter open, revealing a blue and white sheer taffeta gown underneath. The chic, square-toed, black leather and low-heeled shoes slipped out from underneath the black folds when she walked. They strangely fit the image of this mysterious lady. Her eyes were deep, dark and fetching.
But in one of those vulnerable moments of identification verification, i caught a brief glimpse of her face. The skin was flawless and matched the beautiful eyes. The nose, however, was long and hooked, ill fitting, and it shattered my illusion of her allure. That is not to say she was not beautiful to some.
i recognized my prejudice in such a judgment and chastised myself.
Later while waiting for our aisle numbers to be included in the boarding process, a well dressed lady with a sharply pulled back pony tail, short sleeve sweater, and slacks passed the Muslim lady while moving toward the boarding pass screening. She looked directly at the lady of the veil. Her look was a combination of loathing and fear.
Inexplicably, she made the traditional Catholic sign of the cross gesture and moved quickly away.
i felt sad and powerless. It struck me we, all of us, at our core are mean people. We fear things we don’t know or understand, and it’s even worse if those things are people.
i did not try and change the woman with the pony tail. i never talked to either her or the veiled lady. i realized it would be fruitless.
Today, the differences are even more pronounced. Evil has reared its head in an even worse form than before when this piece was originally written seven years ago. And we have taken sides, and our sides are blind to the humanity of the majority of those we label as enemies.
i have friends who actually take a stronger stance against Muslims than the Republican presidential candidate. Nearly all are military men, like me, and the art of killing in defense of our constitution is part and partial of the mission we served. That is what we were trained to do.
But i cannot go along with even Trump’s proposed draconian position on Muslims. Didn’t we learn from WWII, the Civil War, and the history of settling this country? People are people. There are good ones; there are bad ones; there are those in between; and there are evil ones. And that goes for those in all religions, all races, all countries.
i don’t claim to have an answer, but surely, some men and women in positions of power can come up with a better answer than hate.
July 18, 2016