So in addition to walls:  (, I've been thinking about security a lot recently. Making sure our borders are safe and secure is definitely important.  I'm still wondering about the wall though...not convinced that it would make that much difference or impact the security of our nation while costing us all a great deal of money.  (Someone please explain to me WHY it's costing US money when we were very boldly told that Mexico was paying for this wall.  Have we not yet sent Mexico an estimate and offered them a payment plan?)

But that's not the security that has been on my mind.

I'm thinking about food.  (Aren't I always?)  Food and security don't go hand in hand usually (at least in my mind.)  But with the government shutdown, the FDA has suspended food inspections.  I think of all the E.coli outbreaks that we've had recently.  Should I stop buying produce and meat and live on "safe" foods like Doritos and Diet Mountain Dew?  Can I even trust my vitamin?

What if I were ill?  What if I needed a drug, how safe would that be?  Or even worse, what if I were WAITING for a new drug to be approved for use by the FDA?  I know you're thinking that's not likely Bfth, but for some people out there this is a real issue.  Medication safety and shortage COULD become an issue as this shutdown continues onward.

What about traveling?  How safe is it to fly right now?  Yes, TSA agents and air traffic control ARE still working and without pay.  That HAS to have an impact.  I'm NOT saying they are NOT doing their jobs, but it does add to their stress and when you're extremely stressed you can lose your focus and...

Well, maybe I'm stretching it a bit.  After all, I'm NOT traveling.  I had been hoping for a nice summer vacation this year.  I wanted to do something special as a family before my son heads off to high school next year.  (And that's a blog post that's just waiting to be written.)  I was thinking an Alaskan cruise.  Or maybe a trip down the California coast.  However, I did a realistic look at our financial situation and such an extravagance is NOT in the cards.

I am a little sad and depressed over that, but if you think I'm asking for sympathy, I'm not.  Because while it is a big bummer that we're not taking a wonderful vacation, I'm NOT worrying about how I am going to pay the rent or for food or other life staples.  Sure, financially my life is not great, but I AM getting paid.  (Or at least I will be next Friday!) What kind of security do those furloughed employees have?  Working or not, to survive we all need a regular source of income.  Where are they getting the money for the mortgage, groceries, utilities, etc.?  I cannot (and do not want to) imagine the stress each and every one of them must be under.  And I think we all know that stress CAN lead to illness.  Illness isn't cheap.  Which just brings on more stress and then...I think we all get the big picture.

I am NOT a furloughed employee.  What I AM is an empathetic human being.  I think of friends who have been furloughed.  I think of strangers who work without knowing when they might be paid.  I don't want to imagine myself in their shoes, but I do. And when I do, let me tell you, I get a sick feeling in my core.  I'm just IMAGINING.  I'm just THINKING.  I'm not experiencing.  While I can pray for these people (and that's a good thing), what they really need is the form of a paycheck.

The United States IS experiencing a security risk right this very moment.  But it is not coming from the outside, it is coming from within.  With each day, it is getting worse.  Each day we ALL are being exposed to more and more risks.

Do we need border security?  YES!  But we also need personal security.  We need a government that is WORKING for ALL of us.  We need money to pay people for the work they do, not for a wall.  (Again, I ask has Mexico been sent a formal quote/proposal/estimate for the wall they are paying for?)  We need to take care of the people WITHIN before we spend money on keeping people out.   

Or at least that's how I see always, your mileage may vary.


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