Letters to the editor

Dear editor,

What God provided

A total 50 high-profile individuals were recently arrested for bribing admissions officers to enroll their children into top-tier universities, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/college-admissions-scandalbribery-cheating-today-felicity-huffman-arrested-fbi-2019-03-12/.Compare the conduct of “well-meaning” parents – so the spin goes – to other scandals. After risking his life to protect corrupt international power brokers, did Gen. Flynn, Trump’s convicted National Security Advisor, wonder “What about me?” Regardless of an apple’s seductive allure or our rationalizations, corruption is the absence of integrity, https://search.aol.com/aol/search?q=list%20of%20disasters%20caused%20by%20corruption&s_it=loki-tb-sb.Every action creates a ripple in the Force. The magnitude of the harm isn’t the issue. A lack of integrity is still a lack of integrity whether Paul Manafort’s modus operendi or bribing one’s child into college. The admissions scandal is a stark reminder of the powerful influencing results most people cannot. The “Everyone else is doing it” mentality forms resentment which leads to more discord. What of all the daily scandals? A disconcerting statement about the present state of affairs is “Zero Tolerance”. The attitude of Administration officials was they didn’t believe anyone would object to separating children from parents! OMG!! When Evil governs does God sweep the board clear unless finding 10 good people, https://biblehub.com/genesis/18-32.htm?No, it isn’t about an angry Deity delivering a stern lesson; rather the accumulated weight of our decisions which creates our world. God isn’t polluting the environment risking the Earth’s ability to sustain life. What God provided is the gift of free-will. The world we desire is before the Council of Our Jurisdiction.

Rev. Barry Abraham Zavah Alpine

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Dear editor,

The Great Tourist Wall of China

The part of today’s Great Wall of China that is visited by tourists was built by the Ming dynasty, mostly in the mid-16th century and afterward. The wall kept the Mongols at bay so long as trade and diplomatic relations were kept up at the same time. When political rivalry within the Ming court at Peking crippled trade and diplomacy, the Mongols attacked. When the rivalry for power through coercion, by the party that lost the White House by election, overwhelms national security, bad things can happen on the border—the topic of the March 7th Sentinel article by kb Thomason. (Any parallel between the Great Wall of China and Trump’s proposed border wall is purely intentional.) Mongols fought as mounted archers. The steppes provided grazing for their horses. Chinese fought on foot. The intensive agriculture that nourished their large population did not accommodate much grazing. The Mongols were thought of by the Chinese courts in the interior as barbarians. Their trade items were horses, cattle and pelts of wild animals. They needed small amounts of iron for their arrowheads, tools and weapons, grain to feed their horses in winter and vegetables to add to their diet. The walls constructed during the last stage of wall building were well-designed compared to the first walls built at the end of the 3rd century BC by the Ch’in and Han dynasties. Specifications included smoke-by-day and fire-by-night signal towers that could relay messages up to 2000 li (666 miles) in a 24-hour period. The usefulness of a wall was to delay an invading army of rapidly moving horse-archers long enough for an infantry to march to meet them. (Chasing migrants from behind is the current no-wall modus operandi practiced by border patrol and is greatly appreciated by drug runners and human sex traffickers.) Even so, in 1549 a note attached to an arrow shot into the Ming general’s camp indicated that if trade were not allowed, the Mongols would attack Peking. After 150 days of drought, in 1550 the Mongol khan’s army was able to ride through several unrepaired breaks in the wall, come together as 100,000 horsemen and fight their way to a town close to Peking which they raided. 700 horse-archers fought their way to the An-ting gate of the capital city where they ravaged the surrounding countryside. At that point the Ming court resorted to economic compromise—trade. How much better off were the grazing, agricultural, urban and industrial centers of the Niger delta region of Africa that I wrote about in an earlier letter who traded and respected each other’s boundaries in a peace that lasted 1600 years?! In “The state of the border with Mexico,” kb Thomason reported a 433% increase in apprehensions in the El Paso sector. Politics aside, a border wall is part of an overall solution that must include diplomacy, and economic and trade solutions with Latin countries, in order to defuse the current emergency spelled out in the article. Since April 2018, “border agents had detected nearly 2,400 cases in which migrants had falsely claimed to be related when they were not.” In some of those instances, shouldn’t the often-parroted political statement be amended to “ripping babies from” someone-other-than-their-own “mother’s arms?” It is a mistake to inject morality into purely political areas. Congress has sat on its hands forever rather than tackle immigration reform. The psychological need for a nation to feel morally right in world affairs—something that has been turned upside down by revisionist histories—has turned politicians away from fixing human-caused events that can be made right. We have a newly elected breed of schizophrenic politicians who want to spend 90 trillion dollars on their Green New Deal—an idea as productive as excavating the moon to harvest green cheese. In Turkey, there is an eternal truth about walls that can be learned at the grave of Nazreddin Hoja, a Muslim philosopher and humorist not unlike our Will Rogers. His grave appears to be protected by a massive, padlocked gate. Upon examination, the gate stands alone; there is no wall attached. Respect for the Hoja has protected his grave these last seven centuries. Until both parties respect our own borders, no one else will either.

Rex Redden South Brewster County