Politically Speaking – December 23, 2014

December 23, 2014

By Cathy Stuehmeier

The most talked about movie of the year is The Interview, a Hollywood comedy that won’t be released as scheduled to hit the big screen on Christmas Day, a satirical film about the assassination of Kim Jong-un, the nutcase leader of North Korea.

The movie release was delayed after the alleged North Korean sponsored threats on an American industry as well as physical threats on moviegoers.

This should be a real wake-up call to all that a country like North Korea could create censorship in a free country.
Personally, I’m not a moviegoer, but I realize this is cyber warfare and it leaves me to wonder what’s next: Our financial system? The electric grids? In my opinion, this is a bigger issue than Hollywood! So how vulnerable are we to similar future attacks that could limit our freedom and way of life?

A spokesman from Sony, the producer of The Interview, said, “We had no choice.” Many theaters refused to run it because of the threats to moviegoers and employees. Many question if Sony was right to delay the release, including Barack Obama.

In the end, I acknowledge it’s not up to Sony to fight North Korea. The big question: How should our government respond?

On to Cuba. A five-decade standoff came to an end — soon opening trade — after Barack Obama extended the olive branch to Castro! What did Castro offer? Nothing.

I have mixed emotions on this issue. I have had personal friends that were gracious enough to share their experiences living under Fidel Castro. They ended up fleeing their homeland with their lives and the clothes on their backs, losing everything else. Those conditions still exist in Cuba today, a communist country. But I also know we trade with other communist counties like China and Vietnam.
Only time will tell how this one plays out!

In closing, I’ll leave you this week by wishing each of you Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas, and sharing a poem that means a lot to me because I cherish freedom and appreciate those that have served and sacrificed so much.

‘Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,
in a one bedroom house made of plaster and stone.
I had come down the chimney with presents to give,
and to see just who in this home did live.

I looked all about, a strange sight I did see,
no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
No stocking by mantle, just boots filled with sand,
on the wall hung pictures of far distant lands.

With medals and badges, awards of all kinds,
a sober thought came through my mind.
For this house was different, it was dark and dreary,
I found the home of a soldier, once I could see clearly.

The soldier lay sleeping, silent, alone,
curled up on the floor in this one bedroom home.
The face was so gentle, the room in such disorder,
not how I pictured a United States soldier.

Was this the hero of whom I’d just read?
Curled up on a poncho, the floor for a bed?
I realized the families that I saw this night,
owed their lives to these soldiers who were willing to fight.

Soon round the world, the children would play,
and grownups would celebrate a bright Christmas day.
They all enjoyed freedom each month of the year,
because of the soldiers, like the one lying here.

I couldn’t help wonder how many lay alone,
on a cold Christmas Eve in a land far from home.
The very thought brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees and started to cry.

The soldier awakened and I heard a rough voice,
“Santa, don’t cry, this life is my choice;
I fight for freedom, I don’t ask for more,
my life is my God, my Country, my Corps.”

The soldier rolled over and drifted to sleep,
I couldn’t control it, I continued to weep.
I kept watch for hours, so silent and still
and we both shivered from the cold night’s chill.

I didn’t want to leave on that cold, dark night,
this guardian of honor so willing to fight.
Then the soldier rolled over, with a voice soft and pure,
whispered, “Carry on, Santa, it’s Christmas Day, all is secure.”

One look at my watch, and I knew he was right.
“Merry Christmas my friend, and to all a good night.


Until next week.