(political notebook)

Congratulations…and a bit of a warning

I’d like to start this week’s column by giving great thanks to Hemet Police Chief Rob Webb, who is retiring at the end of this year. Chief Webb, 31 years as a servant in various police departments, leaves behind a stellar career, and the thoughts, prayers and well-wishes of all who know him.

We know the Department on which he has left his indelible mark, will rise to the occasion of his retirement by achieving even greater heights of service and excellence in Chief Webb’s honor.

Next, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the service given our city by outgoing Mayor Bonnie Wright who has served this city with grace, style and a commitment to service and excellence that is unparalleled. This city is better for her stewardship and her presence, and I’d like to thank her personally for her friendship, and her leadership of this city at a time where strength, tenacity and honesty were needed in abundance. Mayor Wright supplied all those, and more. I wish her nothing but success in her personal life.

I know that our new Mayor, Russ Brown, will pick up where outgoing Mayor Wright left off. Mayor Brown is a capable public servant with decades of leadership to his credit. With Linda Krupa as Mayor Pro Tem, I know that the city is in good hands. 

While there are many congratulations to be given, and many strains of glad tidings to be had this season, I must note with a cautious tone the many negative movements seen in modern society.

(political notebook)

While technology, with its lure of “easier and faster” may seem a siren song to our young, we, the adults in the room, must approach all this “ease” with a jaundiced eye: is “faster and easier” just a trap? Yes, we can send an email and connect much “easier” to loved ones around the world…but it’s also much “easier” to connect to pornography and those who have anything but our children’s welfare in mind. Yes, it’s faster to speak with our families…but it’s also easier for our children to be endangered. We, the adults, must stay vigilant.

I find a concomitance between the ease with which we buy into the lure of “easier and faster” and the ease with which we buy into the lure of “free.” There is not now, and will never be anything that is free: someone always pays.

The ease with which some use the word “free” reminds me of the odd-looking man at the park offering candy to unsuspecting children: what’s the catch? The social catch to all this “free” stuff is the ease with which we enslave those on the other end of “free” who have to work to pay for all this free stuff. No thought is ever given to the morality of forcing (however tacitly) someone to work to pay for another person’s children, food, housing, clothing, and now, even cell phones by god. Why? Just as the man in the park doesn’t want the kids to know the downside of accepting his offer of candy, so those who push “free” know that nothing is free…especially freedom.

The next time some politician pushes his or her service, their “giving things” to a certain constituency, or touts all the “freebies” they’ll give, realize that no one ever earned their angel’s wings on someone else’s dime: I say again: there never was, is not now and never will be anything “free.” Those who give their vote to someone touting such nonsense have just given away the only true, God-given “freebie” known to humanity: freedom itself.

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