Remember Sidney Catts? Probably not. He was a Baptist minister who in 1917 became governor of Florida. He claimed Catholics were storing arms in a Tampa Cathedral. He was worried about a papal invasion and a new Vatican in Palm Beach. Convents were searched and anti-Catholic fraternities grew. One erected a giant cross outside Atlanta which marked the re-birth of the Klu Klux Klan which had been dormant since reconstruction. Sound familiar?

I recently read with interest what the various Republican candidates for President thought about allowing 10,000 Syrian refugees legally into America. For some perspective, Germany, with a quarter of the US population, is currently housing over 700,000 refugees. I was interested in what they had to say because I thought I was a Republican. I used to be, but the ones I liked are all gone. Jeb and Ted want to selectively allow “Christian” Syrians into the country. Ben compared them to rabid dogs and thinks no Muslim should ever be elected President. I wonder if the illegal Mexicans are grateful that the legal Syrians are temporarily the recipient of the political fear mongering.

Inmates can’t vote. If they could, Donald Trump would win in a landslide here at Bastrop FSC, clearly winning across all age and racial lines. I guess it’s REALLY A GOOD IDEA THAT INMATES CAN’T VOTE.

In 1903, Emma Lazarus’ sonnet on the Statute of Liberty, “The New Colossus” was inscribed on a plaque at the base of the statute. It’s timely.

"Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

with conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

a mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

is the experiment of lightening, and her name

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand

glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

the air bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she

with silent lips. “Give us your tired, your poor,

your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

the wretched refuses of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

I’ve read no better description of what we should aspire to be or what we are about to lose.