Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

September 3, 2013

Death to Nidal Hasan and the better food in schools movement?

By JAMES H. "SMOKEY" SHOTT
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

— On Nov. 5, 2009, U.S. Army Major Nidal Hasan, a Muslim and psychiatrist at the Soldier Readiness Processing Center at Fort Hood, Texas, opened fire on his fellow soldiers inside the center, screaming “Allahu Akbar,” and killing 13 soldiers and an unborn child in her mother’s womb, and wounding 30 others.

While the victims were military personnel trained in the use of weapons, they were unarmed, forbidden from carrying on base the weapons many would use when deployed. Fortunately, Sgt. Kimberley Munley, a civilian police officer, arrived and wounded the jihadist doctor, interrupting his murderous rampage, but he shot Sgt. Munley three times, and just as the terrorist was about to finish her off, another civilian officer, Sgt. Mark Todd, shot him, and ended the killing spree.

This murderous attack left 13 dead, eight widows, one widower, 12 minor children without a father, 18 parents who lost children, 30 soldiers and one civilian police officer wounded.

There’s little positive from that event, other than that Nidal Hasan is now paralyzed from the waist down, and will likely never walk again.

Despite concerns about Hasan’s radical Islamist leanings, revealed when he was an intern at Walter Reed Medical Center, later as a physician in a PowerPoint presentation to other Army doctors, and Islamic abbreviations and phrases on his business card, the Army did not see fit to remove him from duty, or give him the punishment he so rightly deserved. In fact, an email from an Army investigator reveals the ugly politically correct nature of military service today: “Had we launched an investigation of Hasan we’d have been crucified.”

Inexplicably, the charges the Department of Defense filed against Maj. Hasan ignored his Islam-based terrorist attack, but was instead labeled “workplace violence,” as if he had merely started a fight with a co-worker or thrown a chair at his boss. Such a designation deprives those soldiers killed and injured in this terrorist attack the benefits they are entitled to and would receive had accurate charges been filed.

During his opening statement at trial, in which he was convicted on all charges, Maj. Hasan apologized, not to the victims and their families, the nation or the Army, but to his fellow jihadists for not destroying more innocent lifes, and admitted shooting the 13 soldiers, and said he wanted the death penalty. Last week the jury sentenced him to death.

As one who believes in the death penalty for certain vicious crimes when guilt is not in question, in this case I hope that the death penalty for Nidal Hasan, a painless lethal injection, is set aside, as it has been for those in the military since 1961.

He deserves to live out his miserable life in abject misery, not in the glory of Islamic jihadist martyrdom for which he so badly hungers. Too bad that murderers, rapists, and others among the worst scum of humanity are treated so well when they are condemned to an American prison for their vicious crimes.

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America’s First Ladies have always been advocates for important issues in our country. Rosalyn Carter championed mental health, Nancy Reagan fought against drug abuse, Barbara Bush worked to increase literacy, Hillary Clinton pushed for health reform, Laura Bush advocated for improvements in education, and Michelle Obama has worked to have a positive effect on childhood obesity.

Given the overweight nature of the U.S. population generally, and that of the younger generation specifically, who can logically argue that a better menu in the nation’s public schools is a bad thing?

However, this particular effort has been met with resistance, and even outright rebellion, with school kids refusing to eat the better food being served in cafeterias, and school systems losing money on the deal as a result, and bailing out of the program.

One example of the growing national rebellion against the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which set new nutrition standards for school cafeterias and changed the way children are qualified for school meal programs, occurred recently at a contentious meeting of the Harlan County, Kentucky school board.

Board members were treated to a raft of complaints about school meals, which were called crappy and served in portions that critics say are too small. Someone said the meals tasted like “vomit,” and one parent said, “kids can’t learn when they’re hungry.”

Parents criticized the brown wheat bread, the skim or one-percent-fat milk, and the non-fat chocolate- and strawberry-flavored milk.

Where this effort has gone wrong is that it attempts to mandate through law the way kids eat, and even though the standards set by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act are nutritionally superior to previous standards, school kids liked the old food and they don’t like the new food, and therefore don’t eat it.

In its own way this is a citizen rebellion against an over-reaching state: the people are against the government trying to tell them how to eat, among other things.

Our government has no business doing this. Perhaps this mild revolution will get the point across. But probably not.

James H. “Smokey” Shott, a resident of Bluefield, Va., is a Daily Telegraph columnist.