The Edmond Sun

Opinion

July 11, 2014

HEY HINK: Border crisis shows nation’s unforgivable unwillingness to act

EDMOND — After years of unforgiveable neglect, the festering illness on America’s southern border has erupted into a full-blown crisis. Thousands of vulnerable children are being used as pawns in a cynical, multifaceted game where unscrupulous powers maneuver behind the scenes to exploit them for money, political advantage and soulless ideology. Our government is responding with the precision, speed and effectiveness of the victim of a stun grenade.

We may have our doubts, but for the moment, let’s credit the rehearsed explanation we’re getting: These children are fleeing violence of their home countries in Central and South America. Let’s assume Mexico is either powerless to stop the flood, or has a credible explanation for why it won’t.

At this point, there’s no advantage in becoming embroiled in the finger-pointing and cover your hide rhetoric about who’s responsible for this mess. We’re dealing with an out-of-control prairie fire and we can get down to fixing blame once we get the flames under control.

At this moment, the airwaves are crowded with images of thousands of innocent children pouring across the border and being collected in poorly outfitted enclosures. We’re being told these thousands of children are being transported to multiple federal centers across the country were they are temporarily housed. They are given dates to appear before a judge and then released into our communities. We are informed that the overwhelming majority of these kids simply disappear to become part of a shadowy world where they are completely off our radar screen. We were told there are inadequate screenings to control for disease and violent gang connections.

The president is demanding a check for several billion dollars, which he doesn’t even pretend will solve the problem. When he’s questioned about why he isn’t personally inspecting the out-of-control situation and why he’s not receiving face-to-face reports from those on the business end of the crisis, he says he’s not interested in “photo ops.” He urges us to be content with the multiple visits made by one of his trusted bureaucrats. This apparent unwillingness to be seen demonstrating a bona fide, active, personal interest in the situation is drawing criticism even from some of his strong supporters.

If this was the only crisis; if this was the only puzzling misstep; if this was the only demonstration of his failure to grasp the fundamentals of leadership, it might be overlooked. Unfortunately, this is merely another component of a presidential administration that seems to be collapsing on multiple important fronts.

In 1935, Sir Winston Churchill, in a speech before the House of Commons, made the following remark: “Want of foresight, unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, lack of clear thinking, confusion of counsel until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong — these are the features which constitute the endless repetition of history.” Churchill made this observation as he witnessed the growing shadow of a foreign threat to British security at the same time British policymakers were demonstrating a dangerous lack of resolve.

Reviewing Churchill’s statements from our perspective we can say two things: First, his characterization of the repetition of historical folly is true. Next, if his countrymen had listened to him, millions of lives might have been saved.

At this point in our history, we are blindly stumbling down the same foolish path Churchill warned about. This country — and when I speak of this country, I mean the voters and the irresponsible politicians they keep returning to Washington — is demonstrating a gross lack of foresight. The crisis on our southern border manifests an unforgivable unwillingness to act when we know and have known for years there must be more stringent controls. Our thinking has become so fuzzy that we seem totally incapable of distinguishing between competence and cosmetics. The risks to our self-preservation are rooted and growing on foreign soil and we, ourselves, have sown the seeds and encouraged them to thrive.

The only hope for our nation’s survival rests were it always has. It depends on the determination and heart of the citizens of this country. Unless the voters avail themselves of their First Amendment rights to speak out to encourage, admonish and inspire each other, and unless they forcefully and unequivocally express their disapproval of federal incompetence, and unless they turn out in unprecedented numbers and cast their votes to reconstitute the nature of our federal government, they have surrendered to defeat as surely as if they signed a document yielding their government into the totalitarian hands of a foreign invader. Let’s fix the southern border, then, let’s clean house in Washington. I’m Hink and I’ll see ya.

MIKE HINKLE is a retired attorney and Edmond resident.

 

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • RedBlueAmerica: Is parenting being criminalized in America?

    Debra Harrell was arrested recently after the McDonald’s employee let her daughter spend the day playing in a nearby park while she worked her shift. The South Carolina woman says her daughter had a cell phone in case of danger, and critics say that children once were given the independence to spend a few unsupervised hours in a park.
    Is it a crime to parent “free-range” kids? Does Harrell deserve her problems? Joel Mathis and Ben Boychuk, the RedBlueAmerica columnists, debate the issue.

    July 24, 2014

  • Technology that will stimulate journalism’s future is now here

    To say technology has changed the newspaper media industry is understating the obvious. While much discussion focuses on how we read the news, technology is changing the way we report the news. The image of a reporter showing up to a scene with a pen and a pad is iconic but lost to the vestiges of time.
    I am asked frequently about the future of newspapers and, in particular, what does a successful future look like. For journalists, to be successful is to command multiple technologies and share news with readers in new and exciting ways.

    July 23, 2014

  • New Orleans features its own “Running of the Bulls”

    On July12, the streets of the Warehouse District of New Orleans were filled with thousands of young men who were seeking to avoid being hit with plastic bats wielded by women on roller skates as part of the annual “Running of the Bulls” that takes place in New Orleans.
    The event is based on the “Running of the Bulls” that occurs in Pamplona, Spain, that is  part of an annual occurrence in which a group of bulls rampage through the streets of Pamplona while men run from them to avoid being gored by their sharp horns. That event was introduced to the English-speaking world by Ernest Hemingway, who included scenes from it in his critically acclaimed 1926 novel “The Sun also Rises.”

    July 22, 2014

  • OTHER VIEW: Newsday: Lapses on deadly diseases demand explanation

    When we heard that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had created a potentially lethal safety risk by improperly sending deadly pathogens — like anthrax — to other laboratories around the country, our first reaction was disbelief.

    July 22, 2014

  • Holding government accountable for open meeting violations

    A few weeks ago I wrote about the recent success of three important government transparency proposals which will go into law this year.

    July 21, 2014

  • GUEST OPINION — Oklahoma GOP voters want educational choices

    A Braun Research survey released in January showed that Oklahoma voters — Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike — favor parental choice in education.

    July 21, 2014

  • HEY HINK: IRS interferes with citizens’ rights of free speech

    The patient is gravely ill. We have detected traces of a deadly venom in the bloodstream. We don’t know how widespread the poison is, but we know, if not counteracted, toxins of this kind can rot the patient’s vital organs and could ultimately prove fatal.

    July 19, 2014

  • 130408_NT_BEA_good kids We're raising a generation of timid kids

    A week ago, a woman was charged with leaving her child in the car while she went into a store. Her 11-year-old child. This week, a woman was arrested for allowing her 9-year-old daughter to go to the park alone. Which raises just one question: America, what the heck is wrong with you?

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • RedBlueAmerica: What should the U.S. do about illegal immigrant children?

    The crisis along the southern U.S. border has politicians and immigration officials scrambling. More than 52,000 children, mostly from Central American nations, have arrived so far this year. The Department of Homeland Security is running out of space to hold them all.
    President Barack Obama is asking Congress for $3.7 billion in borrowed money from taxpayers to cover the growing “care, feeding and transportation costs of unaccompanied children and family groups” when our own veterans are not taken care of. Texas Gov. Rick Perry criticized the president’s plan, saying more money should go toward securing the border.

    July 17, 2014

  • VA scandal highlights the need to change Pentagon spending priorities

    The ongoing Department of Veterans Affairs scandal raises an important question: When our veterans are being denied access to basic health care, why is the Pentagon squandering billions of dollars on programs that do not benefit our military forces? Is there a link in organization attitudes?

    July 16, 2014

Poll

If the Republican runoff for the 5th District congressional seat were today, which candidate would you vote for?

Patrice Douglas
Steve Russell
Undecided
     View Results