Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A New Definition

Our house is nearly flubug-free (knock wood) and I finally felt like blogging again. I've been following the horrific Fort Hood massacre and it really brought home to me how much I've evolved in my beliefs about national defense and terrorism.

First, let me say my prayers are with all the victims' loved ones and I'm thankful for their service. Second, as we've learned more about the alleged shooter, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, I keep remembering how I felt when it was discovered that some of the 9/11 hijackers had taken flying lessons in Florida and had operated right under the radar of the FAA and all their instructors. Remember that? You should, for the parallels are numerous. Third, my mind then goes to a what-if -- what if the next incident of domestic terrorism comes in over the border with Mexico. Will we just oh-well that, too? So, that's my mindset. A decade ago, I would have been dissing someone who thought like that, in favor of the more European *oh, well, c'est la vie.*.

The big point of controversy surrounding Hasan seems to center around what made him do it, and if he should be given any sympathy for it. Many on the Left say that he had an illness, a form of secondary Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD, and intimate that it wasn't his fault. Those on the Right say, Balderdash.

I say, agreed that he had PTSD, but mine is a new definition of an alternate acronym: I say he may well have suffered from secondary (traditional) PTSD, but it turned into Pre Terrorist Stress Disorder, or PTSD. You can take your pick, and I do believe that traditional PTSD is a very real disorder and one that can strike a civilian as well.

But the bottom line was that he became a terrorist on our dime on our soil. He massacred American soldiers. And, he's still alive, so it is even more complicated because he will be tried and punished if found guilty. So this is why we have to get this right: is there ever any circumstance that makes it okay or excuseable to massacre American soldiers on American soil? I say no on first blush, but I will be listening carefully to his trial defense. For now, though, I side with the Right, who says that excusing Hasan's behavior is political correctness gone mad.

I have only one thorn in my rosebush, and it's that I don't believe he acted alone. By that, I mean that the US Army is guilty, too. Not the soldiers, the System. A system and its administrators that would ignore alerts, complaints, warnings from its members for fear they'd be labelled politically incorrect -- I say they are just dangerous to Americans as the CIA that was asleep at the wheel on 9/10/2001.

There are approximately 1,000 Muslims serving in the U.S. Military while we are fighting their religious brothers. None of them should be fighting over there. They can do their duty on our shores as long as they agree to be monitored if they choose to stay in the military. I'm tired of this bullshit. Because, what the hell are we fighting overseas to protect our land from if we allow on-soil terrorism to be a civil right? There's a whole lotta messed-up happening, and it ain't in my head.


Now, for a channel change. Check this out:

My God - that's what I live! And, hey, just as an aside, I'm totally agreed on Austin-Roundrock being the top spot. That's the only other place I'd rather live in Texas. Well, not Austin anymore, the traffic has become such a bummer dragging down an otherwise idyllic oasis, but Roundrock, a few miles up the road from Austin, is like where I live adjacent to Houston, all the benefits and none of the consequences of big city congestion.

Anyway, this proves to me why, when the rest of the world is up to their chins in recession and misery, we seem to be able to save more money than ever before and my husband #1 job wish is to work less hours. I'm going to cease and desist feeling guilty about it, because when they report on areas of the country that are hurting, I pay close attention and fire up Google to read more. I'm constantly amazed at all the local taxes people pay in these places, all the rules they have to follow, all the luxurious their local gov'ts enjoy. I'll take my state's and countty's more bare bones approach to governance, and apparently it's a good strategy in bad times. You don't believe or agree with me? Then tell me why the top 5 Forbes cities are all of the major metropolises of Texas? No other explanation. Use us as a model of state government, before it's too late.

Yes, Texas is a right-to-work state, as are the majority of Forbes' list with 7 to 5 union states, and 23 RTW cities to 7 union cities. Hmm, mere coinkydink? I think not. Too much to cover and not enough time to get into a debate on that at this time, but the end results applied to the economy favor RTW states. Taking a macro-look, union states may offer better wages, but in many of those places, you want it, you have to sit on a list and risk dying before landing a union job. Plus, there is a direct geographical correlation between strong union labor and inflationary standards of living that bust and destroy if times get rough. Meanwhile, we're like the Energizer Bunny, we keep going right along. And, Hubs and I do live frugally, but I can assure you I never miss a meal and could have whatever I wanted if I wasn't so cheap that I won't buy it. My 3-bedroom brick home was devalued by about 10% for about six weeks earlier this year and now it's about 15% more valuable than a year ago. My husband is a union member of probably one of the biggest unions in the state, an AFL-CIO subsidiary, but it operates mainly as a defensive protection for due process. It knows its place, as we say down here. Moderation being the key is still a good axiom.

But unionization is not the only factor by far as to why we are doing so well down here.  Some other reasons aren't so brag-worthy. We spend less on education than most states. A larger than normal percentage of Texans don't have health insurance. And our utility bills and insurance premiums are the largest in the nation. Nothing's perfect. But, we don't create public troughs to right these injustices. We just suffer them. Not cool, right? But, in the end, bottom lining it, where's the beef, what's the diff? Not much, people.

People without insurance go to our emergency rooms, those of us who do have it pay more when we go. Those of us who go a lot get screwed, but frequent emergency room visits are not the average patient norm. Sure, we all griped about it, before we saw the Pelosi/Reid/Obama Solution. Now, we will suffer what we have now just fine, thank you very much.

In a way, this convoluted health care legislation is to me a federalized version of life in all of those unionized and taxed American cities and states that aren't doing so hot right now. And ditto on steroids for the Crap and Tax legislation. I don't want any of it because the medicine will make us sicker than the chronic condition.

It's like black-white race relations. What if this -- right now, today -- is as good as it's gonna get? Ever? No matter what else we do or try to manipulate it toward perfect? What if the health care system we have now is the best that a democratic republic can produce? And what if continuing to EPA our environment instead of destroying our present economy and consumer structure to try to create another one that looks real good on paper, what if what we have right now is the best in the long run?

Which brings me right back here to where I live, in the #2 best job spot in America. I also live in the epicenter for petro-chemical production, and the big breath of air I just took is not that much worse, not that different than the one you just took, no matter where you are. Hey, remember bio-fuels? It's supposed to be part of the cornerstone of Obama's new green economy, right? Well, back that polluting truck up. Yeah, turns out it has quietly disappeared from the spotlight. Wanna know why? Turns out its promoters kinda forgot to factor in the pollution the animals and the deforestations cause in the process of producing the fuel. The Amazon rain forest is being destroyed by it. That's a lot worse than any pollution being done by fossil fuel refining here where I live.