Twitter and email info

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Who Is "Mukhabarat, Baby!", And Should It Matter?

Surprisingly, I've had a few inquiries through email that include polite and non-intrusive questions about my upbringing and my opinions on both politics and social issues.  I'm flattered beyond measure that people would care enough to send an email, so I will try and craft an adequate response.

My father was in the U.S. Army and he met my mother in France while stationed in Europe.  I was born in North Carolina, but spent most of my infant years in France, with my mother, brother and sister, while my father completed a tour in Vietnam.  Fortunately, my parents chose to spend the majority of their children's formative years in Europe, so my father continued to request assignments in Germany (The French government France and the United States agreed to end the policy of a U.S. military presence in France, so Germany was as close to France as we could get).  Attending military schools in Europe was a unique and truly educational experience.  I even learned to speak a bit of German while still in Elementary School.  We lived on a small military post, which obliged the American families to form close bonds with each other.  In the winter, the small American Elementary School sponsored a ski trip in the Bavarian Alps for its students.  The parents had to pay, but the cost wasn't prohibitive, and for the few larger families that had tighter budgets, the money was always found.  I recall at the ages of seven, eight and nine, living in a truly supportive community that consisted of a variety of ethnicities.  I paid as much attention to the color of someone's skin as I did the color of their eyes.  We needed each other, and didn't have the luxury of getting distracted by such nonsense as racial conflict.  I was a white kid with an African-American kid as my best friend, and a French mother.  My mother's best friends were the Korean wife of another soldier and the German wife of a soldier whose family lives downstairs from us, and my father's best buddy was African-American.  If someone wanted to be so self-destructive as to engage in race baiting of any sort, they would have had no friends during the duration of their tour.  Until the day that I moved out of my parent's house and into my college apartment, my mother tolerated NO racial comments (or even jokes) in her house.  She hasn't changed.

During our years in Europe, we would inevitably head to France for the summer.  My parents had purchased the perfect little egg-like camper (actually, it was larger than most of the other egg-campers I saw), and we would hook it up to our Gremlin and drive to my grandparents house in Angouleme, France.  We would spend a few days getting everyone organized, and we were off again, for the four-hour trip to Ile De Re, a stunning, Mediterranean-like island just off the historic port city of La Rochelle.  It took no time at all to get the camper situated and for all the various family members (aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, everybody) to put up their tents and get into their bathing suits.  For is kids, we would be spending almost all of the next month in those same bathing suits (my mother made us bring other suits, but lazy is lazy, and we were in the ocean everyday, anyhow).  During the week we practically lived in the beach, but on the weekends we would get cleaned up, put on proper clothes, and drive into the lovely little towns that dotted the island.  We would get a delicious Ice Cream Cone and watch the boats come into the fourteenth-century harbor.  The buildings were ancient, and most of the streets in the town were cobble-stone.  My memories of those summers are filled with the golden rays of the sun and the infectious laughter of my grandmother, as we tried to get her to wade into the ocean a little deeper each time.

Because my father had a medical issue that needed immediate care, we left Germany and Europe a bit sooner that planned.  Everyday I thank God that we landed in Texas, which has become home.  My father retired, my mother and sister became High School teachers, and my brother is a musician.  After college, I worked in Africa in the private sector for a while, then, a stint in Federal Law Enforcement.  I eventually ended up with a career in the Intelligence Community.  After retiring at a relatively early age (read the book), I started the blog in order to share excerpts from my memoir; but  the exercise exploded on me, and now I'm addicted to this blogging-thing.  I am especially fascinated by the symbiotic relationship that has developed between twitter and the blogosphere.

As for topics for the blog, I rarely write directly political posts because my politics don't fit into any traditional mold.  I'm a practicing Roman Catholic and I'm pro-life.  Its vitally important for me to be consistent; therefore, I'm opposed to the death penalty.  I can't support any legal killings by the U.S. Government of its own citizens, regardless of the fetus' in-vitro medical condition or the adult's rap sheet.  I have a visceral dislike for true racists and misogynists.  In many parts of our nation we continue to raise young men to value women by the size of their waists and boobs; taken your 11-year old son to Hooters lately, have you?  (Forgive my frankness.)  I do not consider the Constitution to be a living document; it can't be interpreted generationally.  If you need to adjust something, then follow the procedure and create an Amendment.  I believe that the founding fathers intended for the Second Amendment to be a guarantor of a lawful citizen's right to bear arms.  At the time, "arms" were basically muskets and pistols.  Only the Continental Army had anything heavier (cannons).  Therefore, as I continue my effort at consistency, I do not think that the right to own assault weapons, bazookas, flame throwers, or machine guns is covered by the Second Amendment (unless someone can find me an old painting of George Washington target-practicing with an Uzi).  Rifles and pistols were sufficient for a well-armed militia in 1781 and the same goes for 2015.  I do not hunt, nor am I supporter of "hunting".  When I see men taking their 8-yr. old sons hunting, I can't help but think that the kid should be watching Bambi on TV, not shooting him.  Its a difficult issue for me, and I usually chose to keep my opinion to myself.  I have too many relatives and dear friends who strongly disagree with my opinion.

I support efforts to make the United States self-supporting when it comes to energy.  I think when it comes to drilling approvals, we have lost all sense of balance in the last few years.  Fragging (another tremendous U.S. discovery) has made it clear that we can achieve self-sufficiency as long as we don't cripple ourselves with legislation and denials.  We can't live on fossil fuels forever, but until the market demands a full-on Sea Change in the industry, we must stick to research in alternative energies (wind, solar, electric) but make use of the gifts under our own soil.  I believe in a strong military, an unburdened, discreet and independent CIA, and a regular, aggressive international posture with regards to terrorism.  I recognize as Israel as our greatest ally in the Middle East, if not the world.  Vladimir Putin is a very dangerous demagogue, who doesn't have the balls (oops!) to face the U.S. Army directly.  Because he will avoid that type of confrontation, we must ramp-up our covert intelligence collection.

I realize I have given way more than was requested, but we all enjoying talking about ourselves, don't we?   

No comments:

Post a Comment