Shootin' the Breeze

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Archive for the category “Political commentary”

Dr. King on the Futility of Rioting

“ The limitation of riots, moral questions aside, is that they cannot win and their participants know it. Hence, rioting is not revolutionary but reactionary because it invites defeat. It involves an emotional catharsis, but it must be followed by a sense of futility. ”
― Martin Luther King, Jr.

The leaderless mobs rioting in Baltimore and, previously, Ferguson, are not only destructive but also absurd.  It does not appear that the rioters are deep thinkers.  Dr. King would not approve.

Lincoln Portrait

President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated 150 years ago, on April 15, 1865.  Yesterday, Johnny L. Bone, an artist friend, sent my wife and me an original oil portrait of President Lincoln.  Apparently, Sugar had told Johnny about my interest and collection.

Lincoln

Many years ago, I had an internship in the Washington D.C. office of Senator Mark O. Hatfield.  Senator Hatfield, who had taught Political Science at a university before entering politics himself, was a Lincoln scholar.  He had a good collection of books about Abraham Lincoln.  While I lived in D.C., I read several biographies of Lincoln and started my own modest collection.  I visited the Lincoln Memorial and Ford’s Theater and the house across the street where the president died.  In the basement of Ford’s Theater is a gift shop.  I bought a poster of a photograph of President Lincoln.  I had it framed.  It has been in my law office for my entire career.  Somewhere along the way, I purchased a model of Lincoln’s head, said to be by the artist who sculpted the statue in the Lincoln Memorial.  The stone came from Colorado, I was told.  That story by the antique dealer could not be authenticated or the price would have been more.  Nevertheless, I like to think that I have a head of Lincoln done for practice on the monument.  Now I am proud to have the original oil portrait by Johnny L. Bone.

Thanks, Johnny!

Twisted Values

Aaron Hernandez and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are convicted murderers, each having killed due to twisted values.

Aaron Hernandez let his priority be to not tolerate disrespect.  He was a talented NFL tight end for the Patriots.  It is a shame he did not make his career and his family more important than his gangsta friends and the misplaced value of avenging disrespect, real or perceived.

He was convicted this week of killing his friend, Odin Lloyd, who was dating the sister of Aaron’s fiancee, who is also the mother of his child.  So, he knew the victim.  The evidence presented at trial convinced the jury that Hernandez killed Lloyd, not in the heat of anger, but, it seems, as revenge for some slight that occurred at a nightclub a day or two before.  It was not even a “showdown” because Lloyd apparently thought they were meeting to hang out.  It was a sneaky murder, as I understand the news reports of the trial.  Hernandez brought along a couple other buddies.  Ambush does not seem tough.  Three against one is not so tough either.  But they did “teach?” Lloyd that no insult to Hernandez goes unpunished.

There will be another trial for charges of shooting and killing two young men Hernandez ran into at another club.  He believed he was wronged by one of them over an accidentally spilled drink.  The alleged double murder was accomplished by shooting both from a car into their car.  Again, not exactly a brave showdown.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has now been convicted for the Boston Marathon bombing that killed, maimed and wounded many people.  His reasons to kill innocent people are even more far-fetched.  His terrorist acts were supposedly motivated by his hatred of America and influence of his brother.  He was, I guess, teaching America a lesson.  He was given opportunities in America which he accepted, such as a high school and college education.  But that was not enough.  I don’t understand what he expected.  Maybe America was not converting to Islam fast enough.  America did not fix the problems in his native country, Chechnya, in the Russian Federation.  His family sought asylum in the United States.  This is how he and his brother repaid the favor.

His values concerning loyalty to his homeland and his Muslim faith apparently led him to become a terrorist murderer.

Some say that the death penalty, while deserved, might be doing him a favor by making him a martyr.

I don’t know what to do with these two young men.  What they did was evil.  May God have mercy on their souls.  I am not God.  I am not entirely merciful.

Harmful Neutrality

Neutrality is an expensive option. When you see someone being wronged and fail to take the side of the one being wronged you reward the wrongdoer. Then the one who was wronged suffers more wrong by your lack of support.

If you care for two people and one of them wrongs the other, you must take the side of the one wronged. If you remain neutral you lose the affection and respect of the one who was wronged.  If you do not remain neutral you only lose the affection of the wrongdoer. But you uphold what is right when you condemn the wrongdoer. Better that you lose the wrongdoer than the one wronged.

The Menninger brothers were famous psychiatrists who ran a wonderful world renowned clinic in Topeka, Kansas. I read remarks by one of them once when I was young about what he called the sin of apathy, which he described as the failure to take the right side when evil is done. He described the tendency to try to remain neutral and avoid taking sides as a very serious evil because it rewards evil. He was right. Neutrality is a wonderful reward to wrongdoers and only adds to the harm of the one who is wronged.

My good friend, Walter J. Hopp, wrote this a few years ago, as notes to his children from their father.  They have a wise father.  What should seem obvious is difficult for many well-intentioned people to follow.  They believe that they are being “nice” by not taking sides.  Instead, like the nations which did not stand up to Hitler initially, they enabled evil.

Beau Learns to Share

Another Beau story, but one involving one of the cats as well. Ask yourselves: Which is the pussy?

Shootin' the Breeze

I have written many blogs about Beau, one of our Yellow Labs.  In most of the posts, Beau is shown to be a trouble-maker.  This one is different.

Everyone knows that dogs and cats fight like, well, like cats and dogs.

We have a cat named Simba.  Simba is an outside cat.  We feed it in the barn.  It has a cat bed in the barn.  It has a job.  The job is to hunt mice and keep our country home free of rodents.

It is actually a pretty good hunter.  We know that because it brings us trophies.  The trophies show that the cat has made a kill and started, but not finished, a meal.  Sugar would rather just take the cat’s word for it about hunting success.  She is disgusted by Simba’s efforts to document successful hunts.

Simba is supposed to be a barn cat, not a porch…

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Irrelevance of President Obama’s Comments on the Peacefulness of Islam

I did not write the commentary below, but I share it because it makes a good point, which is that whether the majority of Muslims are not terrorists is irrelevant. The terrorists who claim to be Islamic need to be stopped, just as the world came together to stop Hitler. Not all Germans were Nazis, but the Nazis were in control and doing evil. Some Germans opposed Hitler and even plotted against him. The majority of Muslims who say they do not support terrorism ought to actively oppose those who claim to act in the name of Islam as they are responsible for evil atrocities.

This German’s View on Islam is worth reading. This is a clear explanation of the Muslim terrorist situation. His references to past history are accurate and clear. Not long, easy to understand, and well worth the read. The author of this commentary is Dr. Emanuel Tanya, a well-known and well-respected psychiatrist, a man whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II, owned a number of large industries and estates. When asked how many German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude toward fanaticism.

“Very few people were true Nazis,” he said, “but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, we had lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed
my factories.

“We are told again and again by ‘experts’ and ‘talking heads’ that Islam is the religion of peace and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the spectre of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam.

“The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honour-kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. It is the fanatics who teach their young to kill and to become suicide bombers. It is these fanatics who have as a goal the extermination of Jews throughout the world.

” The hard, quantifiable fact is that the peaceful majority, the ‘silent majority,’ is cowed and extraneous. Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. China’s huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million
people.

The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a warmongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across South East Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel, and bayonet. And who can forget Rwanda, which collapsed into butchery. Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were ‘peace loving’?

” History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our powers of reason, we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points:
peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence. Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don’t speak up, because like my friends from Germany, they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun.

“Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late.

” Now Islamic prayers have been introduced into Toronto and other public schools in Ontario, and, yes, in Ottawa too while the Lord’s Prayer was removed (due to being so offensive?) The Islamic way may be peaceful for the time being in our country until the fanatics have got us where they
want us…

“In the U.K, the Muslim communities refuse to integrate and there are now dozens of no-go zones within major cities across the country that the police force dare not intrude upon. Sharia law prevails there, because the Muslim community in those areas refuse to acknowledge British law.As for us who watch it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts — the fanatics who threaten our way of life.”

Governor Lamm’s Speech on Destruction of America

How To Destroy America

By: Dick Lamm | Sat, Mar 25, 2006

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(Editor’s note: A 2004 speech on the dangers of multiculturalism in the United Stated titled “I Have a Plan to Destroy America”, became famous after being frequently forwarded as an email. With the immigration debate again heating up, it is time to revisit the speech. Reprinted with permission.)

We know Dick Lamm as the former Governor of Colorado. In that context his thoughts are particularly poignant. Recently there was an immigration overpopulation conference in Washington, DC, filled to capacity by many of American’s finest minds and leaders. A brilliant college professor by the name of Victor Davis Hansen talked about his latest book, Mexifornia, explaining how immigration – both legal and illegal was destroying the entire state of California. He said it would march across the country until it destroyed all vestiges of The American Dream.

Moments later, former Colorado Governor Richard D. Lamm stood up and gave a stunning speech on how to destroy America. The audience sat spellbound as he described eight methods for the destruction of the United States. He said, “If you believe that America is too smug, too self-satisfied, too rich, then let’s destroy America. It is not that hard to do. No nation in history has survived the ravages of time. Arnold Toynbee observed that all great civilizations rise and fall and that ‘An autopsy of history would show that all great nations commit suicide.'”

“Here is how they do it,” Lamm said:

“First, to destroy America, turn America into a bilingual or multi-lingual and bicultural country.” History shows that no nation can survive the tension, conflict, and antagonism of two or more competing languages and cultures. It is a blessing for an individual to be bilingual; however, it is a curse for a society to be bilingual. The historical scholar, Seymour Lipset, put it this way: ‘The histories of bilingual and bi-cultural societies that do not assimilate are histories of turmoil, tension, and tragedy.’ Canada, Belgium, Malaysia, and Lebanon all face crises of national existence in which minorities press for autonomy, if not independence. Pakistan and Cyprus have divided. Nigeria suppressed an ethnic rebellion. France faces difficulties with Basques, Bretons, and Corsicans.”

Lamm went on: Second, to destroy America, “Invent ‘multiculturalism’ and encourage immigrants to maintain their culture. I would make it an article of belief that all cultures are equal. That there are no cultural differences. I would make it an article of faith that the Black and Hispanic dropout rates are due solely to prejudice and discrimination by the majority. Every other explanation is out of bounds.

Third, “We could make the United States an ‘Hispanic Quebec’ without much effort. The key is to celebrate diversity rather than unity. As Benjamin Schwarz said in the Atlantic Monthly recently: ‘The apparent success of our own multiethnic and multicultural experiment might have been achieved not by tolerance but by hegemony. Without the dominance that once dictated ethnocentricity and what it meant to be an American, we are left with only tolerance and pluralism to hold us together.’ Lamm said, “I would encourage all immigrants to keep their own language and culture. I would replace the melting pot metaphor with the salad bowl metaphor. It is important to ensure that we have various cultural subgroups living in America enforcing their differences rather than as Americans, emphasizing their similarities.”

“Fourth, I would make our fastest growing demographic group the least educated. I would add a second underclass, unassimilated, undereducated, and antagonistic to our population. I would have this second underclass have a 50% dropout rate from high. school.”

“My fifth point for destroying America would be to get big foundations and business to give these efforts lots of money. I would invest in ethnic identity, and I would establish the cult of ‘Victimology.’ I would get all minorities to think that their lack of success was the fault of the majority. I would start a grievance industry blaming all minority failure on the majority population.”

“My sixth plan for America’s downfall would include dual citizenship, and promote divided loyalties. I would celebrate diversity over unity. I would stress differences rather than similarities. Diverse people worldwide are mostly engaged in hating each other – that is, when they are not killing each other. A diverse, peaceful, or stable society is against most historical precedent. People undervalue the unity it takes to keep a nation together. Look at the ancient Greeks. The Greeks believed that they belonged to the same race; they possessed a common language and literature; and they worshipped the same gods. All Greece took part in the Olympic games. A common enemy, Persia, threatened their liberty. Yet all these bonds were not strong enough to overcome two factors: local patriotism and geographical conditions that nurtured political divisions. Greece fell. E. Pluribus Unum — From many, one. In that historical reality, if we put the emphasis on the ‘pluribus’. Instead of the ‘Unum,’ we will balkanize America as surely as Kosovo.”

“Next to last, I would place all subjects off limits; make it taboo to talk about anything against the cult of ‘diversity.’ I would find a word similar to ‘heretic’ in the 16th century – that stopped discussion and paralyzed thinking. Words like ‘racist’ or ‘xenophobe’ halt discussion and debate. Having made America a bilingual/bicultural country, having established multi-culturism, having the large foundations fund the doctrine of ‘Victimology,’ I would next make it impossible to enforce our immigration laws. I would develop a mantra: That because immigration has been good for America, it must always be good. I would make every individual immigrant symmetric and ignore the cumulative impact of millions of them.”

In the last minute of his speech, Governor Lamm wiped his brow. Profound silence followed. Finally he said, “Lastly, I would censor Victor Davis Hanson’s book, Mexifornia. His book is dangerous. It exposes the plan to destroy America. If you feel America deserves to be destroyed, don’t read that book.”

There was no applause. A chilling fear quietly rose like an ominous cloud above every attendee at the conference. Every American in that room knew that everything Lamm enumerated was proceeding methodically, quietly, darkly, yet pervasively across the United States today. Discussion is being suppressed. Over 100 languages are ripping the foundation of our educational system and national cohesiveness. Even barbaric cultures that practice female genital mutilation are growing as we celebrate ‘diversity.’ American jobs are vanishing into the Third World as corporations create a Third World in America – take note of California and other states – to date, ten million illegal aliens and growing fast. It is reminiscent of George Orwell’s book, 1984. In that story, three slogans are engraved in the Ministry of Truth building: “War is peace,” “Freedom is slavery,” and “Ignorance is strength.”

Governor Lamm walked back to his seat. It dawned on everyone at the conference that the future of our great nation is deeply in trouble and worsening fast. If we don’t get this immigration monster stopped quickly, it will rage like a California wildfire and destroy everything in its path, especially The American Dream.

Institutional Racism in Denver

The chief of police in Denver is a black man.  The mayor of Denver is a black man.  He is not the first black mayor of Denver.   The president of our country is black.  So is the attorney general.  It should be encouraging to black youths that there are opportunities for high office regardless of race.  What is so unfair about these examples of successful black leaders is that it has become much more difficult to make race an excuse for lack of achievement.

Ferguson Aftermath

The rioting and destruction of property by those “disappointed” by the Grand Jury’s decision to not indict Officer Wilson, who shot and killed Michael Brown during a confrontation that included a struggle over the officer’s gun, do not seem aimed at anyone responsible for the incident itself, nor at those who made the decision the rioters find so disappointing. As far as I know, the buildings burned did not belong to Officer Brown, nor members of the Grand Jury, nor the police department, nor the prosecution. (I do not believe violence directed at those folks would be appropriate, but the businesses being attacked were not involved).

It is analogous to me burning down my neighbor’s garage because my wife got a speeding ticket and I really love my wife and am upset that a stinkin’ cop gave her a ticket. My innocent neighbor would be punished for my “disappointment” about the cop giving a ticket to my wife. It would be unlikely that the neighbor would get the connection and respond by somehow fixing the world so that my wife gets no more tickets because, after all, I am sick of tickets being issued to people I care about. While we are on the subject, my cousin Bob has gotten tickets too. I wonder if my family is being targeted. No garage is safe as long as members of my family are being ticketed. And, don’t try to persuade me by telling me that eye witnesses saw my wife and cousin speeding. I don’t want the evidence. I just want to be angry and my neighbor’s garage is in the world that has disappointed me so.

I hope this teaching moment has clarified the lesson which rioting teaches as a method of making the world a better place. The logical connection between rioting and justice is very subtle. Some of us don’t see it at all. I am in that group.

Ferguson Irony

I am pretty unbiased on the issue of the grand jury deciding whether to indict the police officer who shot Michael Brown.

Here is why:  I don’t live in Ferguson, Missouri; I don’t know Officer Darren Wilson; I did not know Michael Brown; and I am not serving on the Grand Jury for this case.

Further, the Grand Jury process has not been concluded.  I have confidence in the legal system.  Some folks do not.

I would like to say something about the expectation of rioting by people who will be disappointed if the Officer is not indicted.  They are not on the Grand Jury either.  Consequently, they are not hearing the evidence.  Therefore, a decision to riot would be based on something other than the evidence.  It would be based on a judgment that such persons have already made about the only result acceptable to them.  That is, by definition, “pre-judging.”

That is the essence of prejudice.

So, the irony is that the officer is accused of killing Michael Brown for racially prejudiced reasons and the people threatening to riot are prejudiced about what the outcome of legal proceedings should be — based on race.  Officer Wilson is white.  Michael Brown is black.  Would race be an issue if they were both the same race?  This is about racists accusing others of being racists.

On the playground this is addressed by the old mindless comeback, “I know you are but what am I?”  Remember, whatever the other person calls you, just say that back.  It creates a standoff.

On the playground that is very immature.

When adults engage in this same behavior, it is different.  It is dangerous as well as immature.

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