Friday, July 5, 2013

We The People vs Snowden

You know… I don’t know if Snowden made the Oath or some variant of it. He wasn’t actually military IIRC so it’s possible his oath was different or that he didn’t have to take it at all.

However, I keep hearing over and over about how he’s a traitor for failing to follow orders or the responsibilities of his post/position. I’d like to post something from Senator Inouye of Hawaii, Chairman of the Iran Contra hearings, July 14th, 1987. Senator Daniel Inouye, by the way is a Democrat, Congressional Medal of Honor winner, and served with the Nisei 442 RCT in WW2.

Anyway… food for thought.

“The uniform code makes it abundantly clear that it must be the lawful orders of a superior officer.

In fact, it says, “Members of the military have an obligation to disobey unlawful orders.”

This principle was considered so important that we, we the Government of the United States, proposed that it be internationally applied in the Nuremberg trials… “

… does he need to come to trial and prove that his orders were indeed unlawful? Maybe… not for me to decide… freedom is precious, I will never fault a man for wanting to preserve it. Especially since he’d probably sit in a jail cell for 3-5 years before he gets a trial. “Right to Speedy Trial” is apparently a relative term these days.

Did he have to “out” the government in such a public fashion… considering it’s OUR government? Yes. Without a 1st Amendment press/media shield nothing would have ever been done… or… to be blunt, he might have just lost his job/been discredited/crushed financially (if you’re of a conspiracy mind… killed).

Sometimes I wonder if we forget, in our crazy national gyrations about protecting our First Amendment rights to burn flags, watch porn, or pray (or not pray) in X/Y/Z location…. that the reason we have Freedom of the Press and Freedom of Speech in the same Amendment is exactly for things like what Snowden did.

"We the People" are the watchdogs on our government, and the Press is how we bark.

… or at least, once upon a time, that’s how it was supposed to work. Lord knows we often fail to live up to our National Potential. Snowden is an interesting case/flashpoint in the history of our country. I wonder what future events will bear out regarding the 4th & 1st Amendments, the NSA, and our government. We live in interesting times.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Singapore - Stay Club

Locally here in DFW a Malaysian coworker told me about a good Singaporean restaurant. That led me down memory lane and after a foray on Google I learned that The Satay Club was demolished back in the mid-90s.

A piece of my childhood has died today... or rather it died 15+ years ago and I didn't know it until today.

The Old Satay Club on the Queen Elizabeth Walk

Satay Club photo from the 60s?

For those of you that didn't get to visit or grow up in Singapore back before the current century... The Satay Club was awesome. My memories are fuzzy, but this is what I remember.

It was a collection of stalls where guys would cook Satay... skewers upon skewers of it. Every few stalls would be somebody making the peanut sauce. You would show up and eat... and eat... and eat... and at the end somebody would come by, count up how many sticks your table consumed, and you'd pay at that time.

It was carnivore heaven... savory... peanut sauce drenched heaven.

So if I ever get to go back to Singapore again after so many years away... where's a good replacement place?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Your Name

When I was a boy, I often would read a poem painted onto a wooden plaque "wall hanger" on the counter near our phone. I was a trinket sold through one of those mail-order catalogs.

I read it so often that I never, ever forgot it. When I think of the generations that will come after me I try to remember its words. It's an edited version of the original.

Your Name
Edgar Guest

You got it from your father,
t'was the best he had to give,
And right gladly he bestowed it
It's yours, the while you live.

You may lose the watch he gave you
and another you may claim,
But remember, when you're tempted,
to be careful of his name.

It was fair the day you got it,
and a worthy name to bear,
When he took it from his father
there was no dishonor there.

Through the years he proudly wore it,
to his father he was true,
And that name was clean and spotless
when he passed it on to you.

It is yours to wear forever,
yours to wear the while you live,
Yours, perhaps some distant morn,
another boy to give.

I did too, December 19, 2010 - in a chapel in Lewisville, Texas ... I passed it on to my own little boy (just like I did two years previous when I did the same for my daughter... but the poem mentions a boy).