Based on an exclusive story published by Reuters, Yahoo complied with a demand by the U.S. government to scan all incoming email. The main crux of the issue is not what Yahoo did but what our federal government is doing.
The fact that the federal government can request or demand that entities with large caches of data turn over said data without impunity is very disturbing. The government operates under the guise of preventing terrorism, which might be true, but disturbing none the less. The problem is when the information is in other means.
For example, what if the Internal Revenue Service request access to data to track down tax evaders? Maybe the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms could use the data to track down gun owners. Some day, the Federal Bureau of Investigation could use the data to determine if a crime is about to be committed. You could local law enforcement show up at your door and arrest you on suspicion on intending to do a crime. Anybody remember the movie “Minority Report.” The Orwellian society is no myth; it is here and now.
It seems to me that things have become worse. The hate that so permeates the world has increased at a sharp tangent, and it looks like things will grow direr as time progresses. This would seem strange in a time when the world has become more connected globally, yet it is this connection that might be the cause of some of the problems.
As a child of the 70s, I was raised in time of change after the Civil Rights Movements had transformed the United States. For many of my generation know the truth, that is, that the prejudice and hate never went away. It just went underground. I remember the experiences of discrimination. I remember being called “boy” or “nigger”. I remember growing up and the white boys in school would wear white pillowcases over their heads on Halloween. I remember being pulled over by police numerous times, but never feared being shot back then. We might get hit over the head with the policeman’s nightstick, but at least they never shot us. I remember being attacked by dogs owned by my white supposed friends as they stood there and laughed.
In these current times, everyone is screaming for unity or diversity tolerance. Yet, the more people scream, the more anger they create. Maybe, their screaming is bringing the hate back out. Maybe, their screaming is making things worse. I am not saying it is a bad thing, for I am the first one to stand and fight. My demon is that even I still have some prejudices. We all have some type of prejudice. It is the notion of prejudice that leads me to Mr. Lawson.
The British Broadcasting Corporation, or better known as the BBC, has produced some of televisions best dramas. In the United States, many are broadcast on local public broadcasting channels. “Call the Midwife” is one such drama, and considered one of the best the BBC has ever produced. The show is entering its sixth season, and can be seen on PBS, along with all the episodes on Netflix.
In the show’s second episode of the first season, there is a gentleman by the name Ted Lawson. Mr. Lawson is a very happy overly doting expectant father. Mr. Lawson goes and gets all the books he can on childbirth and smothers his wife constantly with attention. Mrs. Lawson, or Winnie, is not so enthused about being pregnant. She is 41 years old and has already given birth twice from a previous marriage. During the show, Mrs. Lawson would reveal to one of the midwives that she did not love Mr. Lawson and only married him to support her and her two children. Mrs. Lawson would tell the midwife that she did not want to have the child.
Later in the episode, Mrs. Lawson would go into labor and Mr. Lawson would summon the midwives. After Mr. Lawson leaves the midwives to assist with the birth of the child, Mrs. Lawson informs the midwives that she was afraid to have the child because it might be a black child. Mrs. Lawson tells the midwives that she felt lonely in her marriage and went out one night for a drink and ended sleeping with a black man.
The midwives would deliver the baby and it was a black child. It was after the birth that the doctor arrives. The doctor decides that the child should be taken to the hospital where the baby can then be place in an orphanage. The doctor first elects to speaks with Mr. Lawson who has been waiting outside to hear good news. The doctor attempts to soften the situation, but Mr. Lawson request to see the child. Mr. Lawson goes in and everyone is in complete silence and scared to death. Mr. Lawson asked Mrs. Lawson if he could see the child. Mrs. Lawson gives the baby to him. Mr. Lawson holds the baby and calls it the most beautiful thing he ever saw.
Mr. Lawson never asked any questions. He raised the child as if it was his own. He changed from a doting husband to a doting father. It is people who are like Ted Lawson that this world needs more of. The unquestioned love such as given by Ted Lawson is what today’s human race starves for. Maybe, if people would switch from an idea of forced acceptance to the idea of love, we could all actually get along.
She haunts me.
The ghost of Edith.
I thought I had moved on. It has been over two years now, and I had never ventured even a single thought. I have no regrets about the past and am happy in my current place. I escaped the plantation and made it back home.
As I said, never any thought of anything of the plantation, as I do not miss the place or the people. Of course, I do have some friends who are still slaves there and I still keep in touch with them, but Edith is not one of them.
It started when I finally looked through some old photos. Shocking how there seemed to be one person who was photographed more than any other. Edith was not the number one, but she was a good second. Then, the memories started, and that is when the haunting began.
It started those years ago when I was a new slave and Edith arrived a couple weeks after I did. Only, the place wasn’t a plantation back then, but a great place to be. Everyone was happy and we all liked each other. Well, Edith appeared and I was stunned. I was Mr. Happy back then because I worked alongside Edith every day and all was good. Of course, there was one minor issue and that was that Edith was already spoken for. So, my lust was ill-placed and in the eyes of many, would be called unconscionable.
Then, things changed. The economy changed and our nice managers became slave masters. Even worse, the fellow workers changed. Many left and many accepted the slave policies. I stayed, but I refused to be a slave. The disheartening thing was we had more that accepted the slavery than those of us that chose to remain free.
Edith was part of that group that chose to be slaves. In fact, everyone of Edith’s race chose to be slaves. The unaccepting thing was that Edith was the worse slave of them all.
That is when the hate started. I began to hate Edith and her people. All of us of the Freedom Movement hated Edith’s people. I became the main voice of the Freedom Movement, and had more run-ins with the slave masters than I care to count. My lust had become love and yet, the more loved, the more I hated.
I was never shy in expressing my love and I was never shy in expressing my hate. There were many days where I enjoyed every moment of being with Edith and then there were many moments I couldn’t stand the sight of her.
As the Slave Laws became worse, I became more hardened and weak slaves became weaker. Many a day, I stood alone with no hope of a comrade to hold me up. Of the weak slaves, Edith remained the weakest.
I finally had to shut myself off from her; I had to separate myself from her very existence. I decided to never speak to Edith ever again. What would be the use anyway?
Edith was the most loving and caring person I had ever met. I had begun to treat her rudely in addition to not speaking to her. She still remained happy and affable to me. That made me even more angry, yet I loved her more.
And then it happened. That day had finally came. Edith acknowledged she cared for me too. I was so bitter. How dare she do that. She had the nerve to say that after all those years of me pining for her. I did not even want to be around her anymore and now she finally wants to say something. I did not want to hear that. It was not like she was going to leave her current status and go run off with me.
I had to go. I need to escape from the plantation but more importantly, I had to get away from Edith. The day I left the plantation was one of the best days of my life. My life as a free man has been great ever since. I had not thought about the plantation at all, nor anyone on it, including Edith.
Then that day I finally went through my old plantation photos, and there she was. She looked as beautiful as I remembered her. I am haunted daily by her memory, like a ghost.
The ghost of Edith.
It was just a matter of time before we would experience news of a mass killing from an active stabber. The unfortunate happening appeared July 26, of this year, in Sagamihara, Japan, which is west of Tokyo, at an assisted-care facility. A 26-year old man, who is named Satoshi Uematsu, and who was a former employee of the facility, stabbed to death 19 people and injured 20 more. Uematsu then turned himself in to the local police.
I do not wish to make light of the event, but this gives us impetus to correct, improve and prepare for prevention for things like this in the future. It is time for the U.S. to review all the previous wrongs as it relates to firearms and not let the same things happen as it relates to knives. So, I would offer some suggestions as to keep an event such as what happened in Japan away from American soil.
First, the President of the United States should declare martial law. Immediately after declaration, with the assistance of the military and law enforcement, there should be a sweep of every American home and person to remove all knives, even butter knives.
The U.S. Department of Education should design a program in the proper use of knives and make it mandatory training at all United States elementary and high schools. Any state that does not participate will have its federal funding withheld.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation should set up a background check for all inhabitants of United States, both citizens and illegals. Anyone visiting the United States must pass a certification program and background check before being allowed to enter the country. All knife dealers must be federally approved and will be the only establishments allowed to sell knives. Patrons who have passed the background check will only be allowed to purchase from these dealers. Potential patrons must file a request to purchase with the FBI prior to each purchase. Anyone found with possession of an unlicensed knife would be arrested and given life imprisonment.
The Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms should be renamed the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Knives, or ATFK , for short. This will allow for enforcement of knife laws at the Federal level. The ATFK would then work with local law enforcement entities in the capture and prosecution of illegal knife owners. Congress should act immediately to fund the federal budget the ensure the proper moneys are available. The President should add a Cabinet position, entitled the Knife Czar, to ensure proper implementation and enforcement of all knife laws.
For the citizens, I recommend beginning a new organization, the National Knife Association, or NKA. This is to ensure that law-abiding citizens are treated fairly by the government entities. The NKA should work with law enforcement to develop active stabber training for all citizens.
If we would all work together, we can stop knife violence before it even happens.
I have accepted that I will be alone many eons ago. I am satisfied that I will never experience that great reward called “true love”. I am resolute with the fact that I will never have the gift of a child. Many will say that there is someone out there for you. The thing is that those that say that have found their equal. The truth is they have no concept of the dire feelings of those of us that will never share in that joyous bounty.
But, what is “true love”? Is it the love of that special someone or for some, the love of child or even the love of God? Is it unconditional as that of a pet to its owner? Some have passion for a talent as an athlete loves his sport.
Many stand by the love of family. Yet, many times the love that stems from blood can be a burden. It is the love of expectation from the family that has destroyed many a one. The love of family is never with malice, but many a son or daughter has felt the weight of parental ideas of a good life. Parents always “want the best” for them yet, is it the best for mom, or dad, or is it the best for the child.
Then, there is the love from finding a special someone. Some people find that special someone many times over. Then, there are those of us that will never find that person. We will never awake each day with the knowledge that there is someone that has given up their freedom to love us. We will never enjoy a date of ecstasy and contentment. We will never say,” I love you” and mean forever.
There will be many flings and unbridled moments of passion in our lives. We will not be constantly saddened by rejection. Yet, those moments become hollow in a quick time. For, like all, we desire love, that is, “true love”.
I feel so alone.