I am sure that everyone has seen some rendition of “A Christmas Carol”. I have seen many versions over many years. So when I speak of Ghosts from Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Future you will have a notion of what I am talking about. My Ghosts of Christmas Present are no ghosts at all as they are events of current times and the event is commanded by people and circumstances over which I have little or no control. The Ghosts of Christmas Future may be illuminated in a future article but today I am going to concentrate on the Ghosts from Christmas Past, or at least my view of who they are.
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Recently I started a Facebook group which was supposedly going to focus on things political. The original intent was to offer a place where people could honestly and legitimately discuss matters of current political importance facing our nation and our own cities and towns. This was the intent, but the intent was nowhere near how it actually turned out. In fact, based on this experience, as well as other Facebook discussions I have read, I believe we need to redefine the name of Facebook to Faceless Book and we need to put it into a new category which I will dub “unsocial media.
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Today marks 52 years since the day John Fitzgerald Kennedy was shot and killed. I do not like to use the term 52nd Anniversary. In the truest context it is an anniversary but for most of us, anniversary is a day of celebration such as a wedding anniversary or a birthday anniversary. The assassination of John F Kennedy is certainly not something to celebrate but is something that should always be remembered. In my own circles of family and friends it occurs to me that many (most) of them were not alive when this horrific event occurred. I pray that they never have to live through an event such as this. I do believe that the tragedy of 911 was just as horrific, if not more so. Considering that, I guess all the adults I know have experienced one, if not both, of the tragedies.
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How is it possible that the word homeless can be used to describe a Veteran’s state of existence. How can we, as a nation, allow our veterans to come home and then abandon them. Don’t they deserve a little extra attention. After all, these are the men and women who not so long ago, or maybe long ago, were “over there” protecting our freedom. They are the ones who faced enemy gunfire, IEDs, death and disease. They are the ones who left body parts on the battle fields in wars and police actions including world wars, Korea, Viet Nam, the Gulf War, Iraq, Afghanistan, and more. And how do we welcome them back and show our gratitude? Sorry kid, there is no job for you. Why are so many veterans jobless and eventually homeless? Consider the following.
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The American Society is growing weak and ineffectual. It is not because we are not working out. It is not because the children play video games more than active sports. It is not even because we feed our children food laden with trans fats. We are becoming a weak nation because the youth, our future, are no longer being taught to respect authority. In fact, it seems as if they are being taught just the opposite, if they are being taught anything at all. When did it become okay to sass talk ones own mother. Who said one could defy the lawful order of ones teacher. When did it become okay to resist a lawful arrest? This is what is going on today, and this is why we, as a nation, are in big trouble. Respect for authority does not come naturally. No one likes being told what to do. I know this, because I am one of those people who resent authority. Respect for authority must be taught. If it is not taught and it is not learned, it just won’t happen for most. I was taught to respect authority and I feel I have taught my children the same, although I guess they will have to weigh in on that.
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The Cincinnati Recreation Commission has signed off on plans to rename East Hyde Park Commons to Officer Sonny Kim Memorial Park. Officer Sonny Kim was shot and killed in the line of duty in Madisonville on June 19th of this year. I was very happy to see this happen as I truly believe that Officer Sonny Kim is deserving of the praise and recognition. He not only died a heroes death, he lived a heroes life. However, he is not the only one.
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Why is it that anytime an incident occurs in the country that involves firearms someone or many someones will take advantage of the event to politicize the time-worn topic of gun control. It does not matter if it is a mass shooting or a tragic accident involving a child. Personally I think that most of the politicizing is not so much a persons concern for the tragedy as it is an opportunity to create a sound bite and name recognition. The problem is, gun control is an important topic and we as a people need to talk about it and we need to work it out. We need to find a way to decrease the tragedies caused by the proliferation of guns in the country while at the same time not trample on the rights of people to own a gun. The real question is, are we talking about gun control or controlling the guns.? That is a fine distinction between the two, but a distinction none the less.
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Once again the country is reeling from the horror of yet another school shooting. This time on a university in Oregon where ten were killed and seven more wounded in a killing spree by Chris Harper-Mercer at the Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. This despicable and cowardly act took place in a class room at the college. The classroom was on a college campus that had deemed itself to be a gun free zone. So, one may ask, how was it possible that at least three guns were brought into the class room by Mercer? Simple answer, gun free zones do not work. In this case, the gun-free zone was a policy of the College.
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Several weeks have now passed since the firing of Jeffrey Blackwell from his position of Police Chief of the Cincinnati Police Department. The dust seems to have settled and those who were vocal over the validity of the firing have calmed their rhetoric. Certain Council members have accepted the fact that they were not included in the decision to let Blackwell go, community members who saw the good side of Blackwell have probably read the reports and decided that there were two sides of Jeffrey Blackwell that could not and should not be ignored. Now the focus has turned to the process of finding a new permanent police chief.
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As I am sure everyone knows, there is a movement in the United States known as “Black Lives Matter”. This movement came to life after the death of Travon Martin, who was a 17-year-old African-American who was fatally shot by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer. Zimmerman was lawfully acquitted in court by a jury of his peers, but some people were not satisfied with this lawful verdict. The movement gained momentum as it protested the 2014 deaths of two African-Americans, Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in New York City; in both cases the grand jury did not indict the officers and no charges were brought. Several other African-Americans who died at the hands of law enforcement have had their deaths protested by the movement, including Tamir Rice, Eric Harris, Walter Scott, and Freddie Gray.
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