Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas


December 3, 2012

Down to the Basics

When the calendar gets closer to Dec. 7, I feel uneasy in my bones. That “day of infamy” marks a very dark spot in our history. All of us who came on the scene early enough to catch the spirit of World War II felt by the “greatest generation” described so well by Tom Brokaw in his book of that name, probably feel the same way I do. And our feeling is even more pronounced since the 11st of September, 2001.

If we thought the destruction of our ships and naval and other military support people back there on Pearl Harbor Day was a disaster, when we add to that the thousand of innocent civilians and military slaughtered in the attacks by terrorists in more recent times, we can hardly rest easy. How could such things happen here?

One thing that strikes us squarely between the eyes is that both events caught us by surprise. Someone sneaked up on our blind side and leveled a telling blow when we thought life was moving along at a rather ho-hum pace. What makes me feel shaky is the realization that it could have been a lot worse.

At present we are involved in the process of shutting the barn door after the horse has been stolen. Yet I guess that is better than just sitting around and letting the same thing happen again without even trying to put up a road block.

I don’t think I will ever feel really safe again. Even the heretofore fun of receiving mail has become a somewhat dubious experience when the most innocent-looking notes and parcels can bring forth a cloud of apprehension simply because they lack a return address.

Another thing that has been on my mind lately is the way that women are treated in many places in the world. I think back to the articles and books I have read about the long struggle that American women have had in past years to claim a place for themselves in the thick of things. Pearl Harbor ushered in an era in which women were needed to assist in the war effort. I have heard women in Dawson talk about jobs they had during the Second World War.

I have always admired reading about a retired colonel named Bettie Morden “who served throughout the 36-year history of the Women’s Army Corps.” Along with other WAC veterans, She maintained a museum for mementos of this group. One of the attractions of this new museum is “a colorful gallery portraying the scenes from all major U.S. conflicts from the Revolutionary War to the Kosovo conflict.” A visitor will see everything from uniforms to “a Soviet-made machine gun belt that female MPs brought back from the 1983 U.S. invasion of Granada.”

Since I’m on the subject of conflicts at home and abroad, I need to say something about the Bill of Rights. All this problem with terrorists and conflicts spilling over onto U.S. soil from hot-beds overseas has put strain on our adherence to the Constitution and has also somewhat frayed our Bill of Rights around the edges. Terrorists seem to hit us right square in the middle of our pride. Just as we gloried in our economic success exemplified by the twin towers, we felt comfortable and secure in our rights as citizens. In fact, many of our citizens had, in their own minds, added to the actual list of rights things like having many of the luxuries pictured on television. Credit cards seemed to support this attitude.

The question arises as to whether we can maintain our rights at the level they were before the terrorist attacks. We can recall that many people in early times didn’t think we needed a Bill of Rights in the first place. They believed that the Constitution proper covered in general all our freedoms. Nevertheless, enough people insisted that the rights be spelled out and numbered. This list is something concrete to hold on to. From time to time, the courts throw in a new twist through interpretation, but we really don’t want to stray too far from the basics, do we?


Gelene Simpson is a Daily Sun columnist. Her column appears on Tuesdays. Want to “Soundoff” on this column? Email: soundoff@corsicanadailysun

Text Only
  • Bill Tinsley Resurrection

    I was 29-years-old when my father died of multiple myeloma, cancer of the bone marrow.  He was 53 years of age. Only hours before his death, I spoke with him. Our eyes met during that final visit, the same eye contact we had shared from my birth.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dr Don Newbury 2014.jpg It’s about time

    Some aspect of time steals quietly into our psyche in all conscious moments, and our use or abuse of it is central to much poetry, lyrics, scripts, conversations — you name it.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dick Platt 2014.jpg The Wonderlic Test

    Did you hear the one about Texas A&M’s “Johnny Football” Manziel testing better than all the other quarterbacks in this year’s NFL Scouting Combine? No, this is not the start of an Aggie joke.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • deannakirk.jpg Work Out? Bite your tongue!

    I've shared this before, but it bears repeating. I'm a lot like my late, dear Daddy … whose idea of “working out” was a good, brisk sit.
    Amen, Daddy. Me too.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Letters to the Editor for Saturday, April 12, 2014

    Thanks for service
    To the Editor: The Blooming Grove Elementary School would like to express appreciation to several individuals and businesses that for three years have provided a “free” vision exam and eyeglasses for many of our students.

    April 11, 2014

  • Dr Don Newbury 2014.jpg Uncle Mort: For the Birds

    Personal experiences racked up across three-quarters of a century — including yips and yaps at lecterns spanning five decades — offer positive proof that many times, utter silence is preferable to spoken words.

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dick Platt 2014.jpg One-liners

    For many years, in a previous life, I had somewhat of a reputation as a master-of-ceremonies and I stayed relatively busy at that avocation. I never met a microphone I didn’t like

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • Deanna Kirk mug Gotta love a small town

    There's so many things to love about living in a small town. Why just last week I got to hang out with my ex-husband, his folks, his wife and baby at the Youth Expo. Then just a day later, I got to see my other ex-husband and his wife at the hospital, when one of our daughters got sick and landed there.

    April 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jacobs, Janet.jpg Weird foods on our shelves

    The Atlantic magazine reported recently that sales of frozen pre-packaged dinners are falling and Nestle is considering selling off its Lean Cuisine food line.

    April 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bill Tinsley Nightfall

    Under the glaring light of day we may fool ourselves into thinking that we are center stage, that everything revolves around us. But the night gently reminds us that we are, in fact, a small speck in the galaxies of creation.

    April 3, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
Featured Ads
Twitter Updates