Going home… Part 1

I hadn’t been back to Chicago in close to three years until last weekend. The last time I went back to the Chicago area was when my mother-in-law died. I was there with Husband helping to tie up loose ends, discard old, out of date, no longer needed items to be prepare for selling the house, and to attend the funeral. I was there two weeks, and I didn’t want to be there. The little free time I had was spent watching my parents argue and, when my schedule finally allowed for visiting friends, we couldn’t make it happen. It sucked!

Both Husband and I have complicated families, and we  have felt the effects even miles away. I almost cancelled this trip  a day or two after I decided to book the flights because of the drama attached to going home. Ultimately, I chose to go because my Dad needed an angiogram to further assess blockages in his heart. Knowing that Brother and Sister-in-law had just visited,and the possible severity of the situation, I went but did so on my terms.

One of the greatest and most surprising parts of the trip was on the first day when I spent eight hours with my parents and they both made an effort to get along. First, we ate lunch at Wojo’s, a neighborhood hamburger joint. Later on,  my Dad gave me a lesson in how to hold, load, and fire a semi-automatic weapon with a laser target and dummy ammo. This was lots of fun and gave him great joy the day before he ended up getting a stent to clear  two heart blockages. I was also able to spend a lot of time with my Mom at the throughout  the weekend,  and  we were able to eat Beggar’s pizza while watching the White Sox on Saturday. I wish my parents could be those well-meaning people toward each other more often, and live a happy life together… However, I am grateful to have had that time with them.

I found time to walk around Downtown Chicago for a few hours on Saturday afternoon looking at stores,  visiting a few new places (Maggie Daley Park and Dylan’s Candy Bar to name a few), and to visit the Chicago Cultural Center. My Grandfather took my Brother and I to many events there, and sometimes we would just stop to rest in the café sitting area after lots of walking. This was a tough but good stop for me to make but it was great to see some art while remembering Grandpa.

All photos taken by Chrellie

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Creating more gun free zones is not the answer…

I write this as I am listening to part of the listening session with President Trump and the students from Florida who survived the school shooting. I feel for the families. I feel for the parents. I feel for the teachers and other staff  who lived through that school shooting.  I cannot imagine their pain and sadness.

I am not a parent, but I am a Case Manager in Austin, TX who visits schools in Austin regularly. The security at these schools varies and is even inconsistent from visit to visit. Some schools buzz you in after asking the reason for your visit via intercom, others leave the main door open and you sign in at a desk if someone if sitting at the desk.  In the past two years, I have visited 15 different schools, Middle Schools and High Schools, in the greater Austin area and none of them have metal detectors. Some of the schools  have school district police officers on campus full-time,  but  the campuses are large and have several buildings, which might be hard for one or two officers to monitor or intervene in a crisis.

I am fully aware of the number of school shootings that have happened in the U.S. in the past 20 years. The best assessment of what would begin to fix the problems of youth, school violence, and society at large was written by a teacher. If you have not seen this posting, I would encourage you to read it. I would 100% agree with this teacher. Many active shooter situations happen in gun-free zones, obviously restricting guns doesn’t help or keep people safe. Look at the restrictive gun laws that Chicago has had for years, and continues to have, even after the city and the state of Illinois’ restrictive hand gun/concealed carry laws were deemed unconstitutional and were forcibly updated. BAD PEOPLE WILL DO BAD THINGS!!!

If we look at the violent means by which people are murdered throughout the world and in the U.S., should we ban box trucks? Because terrorists killed people with box trucks.  Should we ban knives? Because knives are used to massacre people in places where guns are banned. Should we ban cars because people kill other people by driving recklessly or while intoxicated? YOU CAN”T BAN EVIL. I understand that we all get desperate when something awful beyond all comprehension happens, but somethings are beyond our control. They are beyond law enforcement’s control. They are beyond politicians control.

I pray for the healing of those families in Florida, and I pray that rash decisions are not made by politicians or by President Trump to further restrict the rights and freedoms of good, decent, law abiding people because of sick and evil people who will do harm by any means they can find.

Image courtesy of pexels.com / gratisography

Was he just kidding with the make America great again slogan?

So, I read the news over the weekend and I came across this article on Breitbart.com, among others.

I have supported Donald Trump on many things he has done so far, though I can acknowledge that he has not been perfect on everything. However, I can tell you that I am one of his supporters that voted based on wanting Trump to do three things:

  1. Lock her up! Yes, that means Hillary in prison
  2. Secure the border! Stop letting illegal aliens of all nationalities flow across the U.S. border and keep criminals/terrorists out.
  3. No amnesty! Rewarding people for breaking the laws of the United States solves none of our problems and, i believe, will kill any economic progress this country has made in the past year.

President Trump, Please don’t forget about the people who supported for you and put you into office. You promised family members of people killed by criminal illegals that they would see just. AMNESTY IS NOT JUSTICE FOR THESE FAMILIES. Some of the illegals (DACA kids or those who didn’t even file for it) may have been brought here by their parents, but they are responsible for their lives now, especially if they are adults.  Don’t turn your back on the American people!

 

If all these other places are so great…

why are people leaving certain countries in droves to come to the United States?

There is much ado about President Trump’s comments, though most of us were not there to hear the comments in the proper context, which smacks of propaganda and bias for the open borders, anti-American crowd of reporters and politicians.

As a former Chicagoan who worked in the inner city for seven years with mostly low-income, disenfranchised, and struggling minority families, many of them would tell you that their neighborhoods were shitholes. On more than one occasion, families told me that they lived in terrible conditions, that it was unsafe, that gang members made it hard for them to leave their homes and apartments to shop or to play, and that they would move if/as soon they were able.

These same feelings and concerns are why people are moving to the Unites States by overstaying visas or crossing the border(s) illegally. Everyone can figure that out, as it’s common sense. The problem is that when people come from places like this, likely they have limited education, limited skills, and they have trouble reading and writing in their own language much less in English. Other countries have much higher standards and more requirements for immigrants to move to their countries, including Canada, Mexico, Iceland, and Costa Rica, just to name a few that I have looked into the past.   The common thread is that al of these countries want immigrants to have money to support themselves, have skills that will help the immigrant contribute to their new country, and that there is a limit on how long you can stay legally in their countries. In fact, Mexico has a very harsh policy on illegal immigration, which is rarely mentioned.

Maybe the choice of words could have been better, but to acknowledge that people are leaving their home countries for poor living conditions, violence, and limited opportunities to come to a country with little or no skills, no way to support themselves, and with demands of what the new country owes them  needed to be said out loud. The other thing that needs to said is that people are leaving conditions because of these conditions and are then living again with these conditions. Just look at the MS-13 problems in many places around the United States, such as New York and Ohio.

Telling the truth is the only way to solve a problem, and sometimes telling the truth is ugly.