We face hard choices now. Later, those same hard choices will be harder. How many of us are paying attention? We just held a primary election and only 23-25% voted…. Too busy?
Here in the USA, we’ve got some truly serious challenges from our southern border under assault and the cry “They’re children, we must do something!” to bringing home two Americans with Ebola. What do these two have in common? Diseases never seen before in our country or eradicated. You only hear hints about the health of these children coming in – and let’s be clear, not just children, mothers, criminals, good guys, bad guys – all of whom receive scant screening, if any, before being transferred all over the country. How about that?
I did some research last night, just noodling around. I wanted to see if I could get a global map of hot spots – war, disease, genocide. Sadly, why yes, yes you can. This report surfaced when I googled “global hot spots of conflict 2014.” This was a report on ranking of possible global conflicts to watch as of December 2013 – eight months ago – and this paragraph seems right on the money:
But other potential crises in this category have received less attention and were deemed less threatening in last year’s survey, including the “strengthening of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula resulting from continued political instability in Yemen and/or backlash from U.S. counterterrorism operations” (in the latest example of those operations, a drone strike hit a Yemeni wedding); “civil war in Iraq due to rising Sunni-Shia sectarian violence” (the civilian death toll in the country more than doubled this year); and “growing political instability and civil violence in Jordan triggered by spillover from the Syrian civil war” (according to the experts polled, there is less of a risk of a similar phenomenon occurring in Lebanon, where a bombing near the Iranian embassy in Beirut recently killed 23 people).
How about that ISIS/ISIL group that has swept and kept parts of Syria into Iraq and now chomping off parts of Kurdistan? By their own videos, they are killing hundreds, perhaps thousands by now, village by village, town by town, sometimes pausing just to line people up and shoot ’em, or behead them, or crucify them. Their ambition? To create and hold an Islamist State – check that one off the list – they then plan to keep on moving and have into Lebanon and onward until, as they say, they reach the White House. On their way, they order Christians to flee, convert or die and Christians are fleeing and dying, perhaps hunkering down and converting. Who knows? Talking heads are yelling for the U.S. to do something to stop them. In fairness to the Obama Administration, initially, I don’t blame them for holding back as it appeared to be a Sunni v. Shite problem and taking sides in that debacle is a never-ending death trap. Cough. And now they’ve announced they have seized a very large poorly maintained dam that if it breaks or is broken could unleash a 65 foot wall of water.
On the other hand, all the world screams about the situation between the war between Palestinians in Gaza and Israel – currently in a 72 hour ceasefire that Hamas, a terrorist group that insists their people, especially women and children, stay put in buildings after being warned those buildings were being targeted by the Israelis for destruction. Hamas has announced they will resume their war on Israel at the end of the ceasefire unless their demands en toto are met.
But wait, there’s more! Look at this report.
This is a report on NTDs – Neglected Tropical Diseases – and where those diseases are located. The kids flooding our border are from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. It does not take much imagination to imagine outbreaks across the country as these people are disbursed.
Poll after poll is showing a huge percentage of U.S. citizens think our government is doing a very poor job. Do you know how to start an uprising – convince the population they cannot trust their government. A new AP/GFK poll finds that “Three-quarters of Americans doubt the federal government will address the important problems facing the country this year, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll.”
And yet, less than 25% of my fellow citizens took the time to vote Tuesday. And that brings us to a 1958 song by The Kingston Trio. I wanted to insert the song right here. I went to grab it from YouTube, but the version is bastardized… and yet, surely I’ve used it before? Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote “Irreconcilable Philosophical Differences” Sure enough, the video no longer exists. So, kids, here are the lyrics:
The Merry Minuet
They’re rioting in Africa, they’re starving in Spain.
There’s hurricanes in Florida, and Texas needs rain.
The whole world is festering with unhappy souls.
The French hate the Germans, the Germans hate the Poles.
Italians hate Yugoslavs, South Africans hate the Dutch.
And I don’t like anybody very much!
But we can be tranquil, and thankful, and proud,
For mans’ been endowed with a mushroom-shaped cloud.
And we know for certain that some lovely day
Someone will set the spark off, and we will all be blown away.
They’re rioting in Africa, there’s strife in Iran.
What nature doesn’t do to us, will be done by our fellow man.