Vail Daily column: Random thoughts
February 7, 2016
America has long been a melting pot where people from diverse cultures have assimilated and worked to create better lives for themselves and their children. So instead of preaching diversity, our public schools would make much better use of taxpayer dollars if they focused on making better citizens. C'mon, do we really need school-sponsored activities based on differences such as language, religion, race, sexual orientation, etc.? Activities that stress our differences do not make America stronger — in fact, quite the contrary.
Perhaps our schools might better serve their students and the nation if they taught our children how to succeed in 21st century America, i.e., how to maintain a positive attitude, belief in one's individual importance, how to make wise choices, positive habit building, creative thinking and persistence.
• Accepting Syrian refugees is a vexing question so here's a possible solution to the matter. Give all military-aged male refugees a choice; join a special branch of the army wherein our government would pay these young men regular army salaries to go through basic training before sending them back to the Middle East to fight for their country, with U.S. support of course. If these refugees reject this option, they don't pass "go" nor do they collect $200, i.e., they are not allowed entry into the USA. Why should we accept able-bodied male refugees with the attendant drain on our resources if they're unwilling to care for themselves, which includes fighting for their own country?
To the bleeding hearts who feel it's our responsibility to take in these un-vetted refugees (65 percent of whom are military-aged males) I would remind them of the Muslim cleric in Cologne, Germany, who said, "Women wearing perfume and suggestive clothing deserve their fate," when questioned about the spike in the number of rapes and other sexual assaults perpetrated throughout Europe since the arrival of these Middle Eastern refugees.
• Did anyone else find the sight of 10 captive U.S. sailors on their knees with hands above their heads in custody of the Iranians appalling? And can anyone imagine John Kennedy or Ronald Reagan saying "thank you" to the Iranians after they flashed videos of that humiliating episode around the world? One would have to be incredibly naive to believe the Iranians aren't playing us for the fool or that the administration is giving us the whole story.
And speaking of the whole story, does anyone really believe the administration's yarn regarding the capture and subsequent humiliation of those 10 American sailors?
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One would have to "suspend disbelief" that experienced seamen aboard a riverine patrol boat, operating in broad daylight, in good weather, carrying reserve fuel, with operational radar and multiple GPS devices, including chart plotters that place a boat's icon right on the chart could "stray" 50 miles off course. The explanations from the administration simply do not stand the light of day. In fact they insult the intelligence of anyone with military experience. This entire episode is reminiscent of the fairy tale video story the administration tried to sell us after the attacks on our consulate in Benghazi.
• Alternative uses lies at the heart of economics. If each resource had only one use, economics would be so much simpler. For example, water can be used to make ice or steam or thousands of other compounds. Petroleum can be used for hundreds of products from gasoline to lipstick. And every economy must answer the questions of how to allocate its resources. It's how well a given economic system allocates its available resources that determine the degree of wealth or poverty in that society. If we're to learn anything from history, socialistic nations do a horrible job of allocating resources. If anyone disagrees with that statement, let him or her first cite specific examples of societies where socialism has improved the standard of living of the masses.
• Progressives lament that people born poor cannot rise in American society anymore. However, what they always fail to mentioned are the thousands of Asian immigrants arriving at our shores each year with little or no money; no family or network of friends and barely able to speak English, yet these immigrants rise up the ladder of success with remarkable alacrity to embrace the American dream.
In fact, Asian Americans are the highest-income, best-educated and fastest-growing racial group in the United States. They are also the most likely of any major racial or ethnic group to live in mixed neighborhoods and to marry across racial lines. Do you think the reason for their success might have something to do with their focus on education, hard work and family cohesion?
Butch Mazzuca, of Edwards, writes regularly for the Vail Daily. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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