Monday, September 26, 2016

“Government does not solve problems. It subsidizes them.” ― Ronald Reagan

Happy Monday and welcome to September 26, 2016. Before I broach a particular subject, let me give you some insight into my dated but still relevant experience. I understand a little about how our national government works. I have worked as a civil service employee for the United States Air Force, the Veterans Administration, and the United States Army. During my four-year tenure, I saw plenty of costly bureaucratic mishaps and mishandles. An Inspector General's report led to this most recent confession by Homeland Security. Some 858 immigrants scheduled for deportation proceedings were mistakenly granted US citizenship. These individuals had been flagged because of them being deemed a security risk, or some had previously been involved in immigration fraud. Homeland Security gets something north of $40 billion a year to accomplish its mission. The Secretary issued this new mission statement this past May: "With honor and integrity, we will safeguard the American people, our homeland, and our values." I think we all know this is a difficult task, however, there are a few things worth pointing out. This department along with the President wants the American people to stay calm and to have confidence in these agencies who are charged with protecting our homeland. I consider this report to reflect a colossal failure, but, just like when I worked for the government, no one really ever is held accountable. Homeland Security did not pursue a remedy in these cases because the Justice Department had not agreed to prosecute. What could happen? We do not have to guess. The Inspector General actually revealed this failure from an audit and added this fact as a cautionary note: "At least three of the immigrants-turned-citizens were able to acquire aviation or transportation worker credentials, granting them access to secure areas in airports or maritime facilities and vessels. Their credentials were revoked after they were identified as having been granted citizenship improperly." Let me ask the pregnant question here: How in the world could anyone look at this as an example of how this department functions and end up concluding we are safe?

I feel for those die hard fans who wanted so much to believe in this year's Houston Texans football team. I am not a naysayer. I do want all local teams to do well. However, I always find it somewhat amusing how people jump from two early but less than impressive wins to start the season and as a result, they think they should go ahead and get in line for a Superbowl ticket. I get it. That's part of being a fan. I suppose I've reached that age where I am more reserved and to some degree, more objective about it all. The first two wins did give everyone a good feeling. The third game was played in New England against the Patriots, well, that was like a bucket of ice cold water thrown directly into an unsuspecting face. They lost that third game last Thursday evening, 27 to zero. New England was playing with a third string quarterback. It doesn't get too much more humiliating than that. Don't get me wrong. I hope they win their division. I hope they make it into the playoffs. But, I look at their play and see a decent team, certainly not a great team, and we all know that going deep into the playoffs requires them to be able to beat New England. That, obviously, will take more work. Just a smidgen of reality for us local gridiron fans to help get our Monday up and going. On a positive note, the Texans players themselves were very forthcoming in their assessments, essentially agreeing they had played terribly and the other team played well. That's a good place to start.

I've been known to have a blind spot or two when emotional attachment is involved. Take my recently retired NASCAR driver, Jeff Gordon, as an example. Even my wife would tell me that I mostly always made excuses when Jeff didn't do well. That's how most of us roll. I most likely can see obvious flaws better in others than in my own neighborhood. You know. We, you, all of us, can testify. "Wow! Looks like they could do something with the rest of the marching band, our kid is the only one marching in step." Jesus gave an outrageously funny illustration concerning this out of proportion examination of others. "Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye." (Matthew 7:3-5) I suppose I have some logging work to see to, therefore, have yourself a good rest of the day, and may God add His blessings to it. Amen. ....More later.

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