Friday, November 20, 2015

My Take: We Have Lost our Way

The tumultuous events of recent days have highlighted the continuing struggle between the peace-loving peoples of the world and those who would seek to enslave them. 

It is the classic struggle of the world, the free seeking peoples arrayed against an insidious abusers of power. It becomes more real when the fighting hits close to home, as it has in Paris and across Europe.

The discussions in Congress regarding suspending some basic civil liberties always follow dramatic events. One of the current discussions is about cell phone encryption. The arguments for reducing encryption ore fundamentally flawed and represent another potential intrusion into the lives of common people by not only the government, but the unscrupulous characters who could also use whatever backdoor is allowed to exist. Just look at how much money we pay for security software and updates on our personal computers to gain an understanding of the magnitude of the problem.

Syrian Refugees Coming Ashore on a Greek Island
Another discussion is about allowing refugees into the country. Both sides have taken the extreme view. One side says the refugees are only widows and children (wrong--look at the picture), the other side says that terrorists (possibly) may find a way into the country. But terrorists will always find a way into the country. Building a wall is not the answer and neither is not allowing refugees a place to settle outside of a war zone where both sides are trying to kill them.

With respect to refugees--I am reminded of the words on the Statue of Liberty: Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

Maybe we need to dismantle the statue and send it back to France because we have lost our way in the world. Our attitude is wrong.

Benjamin Franklin wrote something about taxes and security once which seems applicable now:

Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

My take is that we need a long-term strategy and work harder to solve the crisis in Syria and the Levant. Then guess what? Neither breaking into cell phones or worrying about refugees will be necessary.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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