Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Ruminations on Another Year Above Ground

Well, another year.  And so far, I'm still drawing breath.  Like the guy falling from the 110th floor said as he passed the 10th floor, "So far, so good."

I've finally passed the point where I'm not surprised to still be around... it dawned on me this morning that every day is a gift, especially since there have been so many times during the past 57 years that I could have cut this mortal journey short and taken the long dirt nap.  Now I find that I'm pleasantly surprised to have survived another orbit around El Sol and to be able to eat my salads from the top down, instead of the bottom up.

I was born during the Eisenhower Administration.  David O. McKay was the leader of my church.  The only "Beatles" anyone knew of were nothing more than insects.  The Cold War was hovering at sub-zero temperatures, and Baby Boomers were popping out like bunnies, basking in the affluent glow of post-war prosperity.

Times were simpler.  We had heroes.  We laughed at clean jokes.  People cared about each other.  You could leave your doors unlocked at night.  Your kids could go play around the neighborhood without fear.  And drive-by shootings only happened at the movies... by gangsters.  Movies were "G" rated and actually had plot lines and character development.  Our wives and daughters dressed modestly.  We trusted the news to tell us the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.  There was no sub-culture.  Profanity, "free sex" and drugs were almost unheard of.  Divorce and pre-marital pregnancies were scandalous.  Family time and sitting around the table playing board games was a thing.  We got spanked.  Even at school.  Our mothers cut our hair, and made our clothes.

We talked on party lines, and wrote on manual typewriters.  Neither computers nor the internet existed.  We took walks, and knew who our neighbors were.  We actually talked to each other.  Teenaged boys regularly babysat to earn extra money without raised eyebrows.  Teenaged girls didn't text... they sat by an old-fashioned phone on Friday nights, hoping that a boy would call.  We had sleepovers.  We made tent forts out of couch cushions and blankets.  We explored.  We didn't have McDonalds, Burger King, or Wendys.  We had cherry phosphates at the drugstore.  We had paper routes.  We ate lunch at the lunch counter at Woolworth's.  We shopped at "Five and Dimes."  We bought penny candy that really was penny candy.

We had to suffer through the complexity and smells of mimeograph machines or the smudges of carbon paper if we wanted to make a copy.  Photographers shot on actual film, actually had darkrooms, and had to get their images right... in the camera... the first time... not knowing until the film was developed if they "got the shot" or not.

We had mental hospitals and sanitariums.  And they were full.  There generally were no "ambulances."  If you were in an accident and badly hurt, you were probably going to die.  We had seat belts, but never used them.  Our cars had bench seats.  Neither CPR nor the Heimlich Maneuver existed.  Children had polio, and lived in "iron lungs."   Medicine had yet to enter the technological age, and lab tests were done by hand... with a microscope... in a doctor's office.  By doctors who really made house calls.  Fathers were not allowed in delivery rooms.  We sent messages by Western Union.

I could go on and on.  I miss those days.  My heart aches that my children will never know them.  I'm humbled and deeply grateful that I was blessed enough to experience them... to have THOSE days as my heritage... and the ones in which my character and values were molded and formed.

I'm grateful that I am still upright and able to watch the Final Act of this world unfold.  I have no idea how many more I have left.  But I will forever miss those innocent days.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Real Meaning of "Justice"

Apparently, we've all been misled.

Apparently, justice doesn't truly exist if it doesn't automatically line itself up along racial lines, regardless of the facts.  In fact, it is literally impossible, I'm told, for a black man to be guilty when a white man is involved in any way.  It simply is.  The black man is "entitled" to do anything he wants, without consequence.  The black man cannot be blamed.  That is racist.  The white man is keeping the black man down.  To demand responsibility for the black man's behavior is bigotry and injustice.  The black man must be free to do whatever he chooses, hurt whomever he chooses, and commit whatever crimes he chooses, without consequence, to be truly "free."  He's "entitled."  And he must not be required to face the consequences of his actions. 

Black parents who raised a lawless thug with no respect for authority, no self control, and no respect for others are not to be blamed, either.  That would be racist.  They must not be held accountable.  It's the white man's fault.  After all, they lost their precious son at the hands of a white man.  Their precious, innocent son was unarmed.  What their son actually did doesn't matter.  Nothing matters but "justice" for their sainted son.  And nothing other than complete exoneration and vindication is "justice."  Their son did nothing wrong in robbing that store and attacking that officer.  He couldn't.  It would be "racist" to imply that he did.  He was simply a disenfranchised black youth... misguided, but simply not accountable for his actions.  He was a product of his environment, after all... an environment completely engineered and controlled by the white man to keep him down.  His own personal choices haven't mattered for... well... ever.

It is literally impossible, I'm told, that a white officer could act appropriately in defending himself against a huge black thug who viciously attacked him, trying to get his gun, and who then charged at him to attack him again, taunting him that he was "too much a coward to shoot."  Because the black thug, high on dope, twice the size of the officer, was "unarmed."  Because the white officer has the "propensity to be racist" built into his DNA.  And, of course, that is indisputable and beyond argument.  It simply "is."  Therefore the white officer is guilty and must be forced to pay for this "injustice," regardless of the facts.  Any other view is "racist."

This, folks, is the ridiculousness and absurdity that passes for "logic" in the Left.  This is the stupidity that has infected the brains of many in our society... the stupidity which tears apart the fabric of their own community, their own citizens, their own businesses and economy, their own world. 

This administration wants a race war.  Desperately.  It can't be seen instigating it itself so it works feverishly behind the scenes to make it happen... pitting blacks against whites.  Criminalizing and demonizing any whites who dare defend themselves as "racists."  Exonerating and releasing blacks from any accountability for their crimes.  Drawing battle lines.  Pouring gas on the flames of hatred and entitlement.  "Kill Whitey.  Kill the 1%," it whispers, "Here's a gun.... go get justice... we'll look the other way..."

Why?  Because a nation in violence and turmoil is a critical pretext to establishing absolute power and control over the populace at large.  It conveniently justifies blunt force trauma to the Constitution, to the last remaining tattered freedoms of our society.  It justifies a "heavy hand to restore order."  It justifies overreach.  It justifies brutality.  It justifies tyranny.  "Restoring order from civil unrest" is the Guy Fawkes mask the government wears to conceal it's real intentions and agenda. 

Of course, none of the violence is spontaneous.  Every step has been carefully and meticulously choreographed in hushed tones in back rooms and back alleys all over America.  The "response" must achieve the desired results if all is to move forward as planned.  The end justifies the means, after all. 

Of course the black man is nothing more than a pawn in a much larger game with much higher stakes than the fate of a 2-bit thug... and those that move him around the chess board of Ground Zero count on him being too stupid, too ignorant, and too self-absorbed and clueless to realize that he's being used and manipulated.  He's "oppressed," after all.  He's "entitled" to be angry.  He deserves to rage.  He's been "held back by Whitey."  He deserves to "get his."  The race baiters and back-room puppet masters smile.  "Who needs an actual army when you can mobilize an entire race to do your bidding with the right incendiary nudge?"

This is not a "slippery slope" we're going down.  We're already here.  It's happening right now.  And yet, all of us who are watching this play out, sitting impotently in the safety and comfort of our cozy little homes and the warmth of our local Starbucks, blink incredulously through the mental fog of passivity like dumb sheep in a paralyzing stupor, unable to comprehend the blaring klaxon and billboard-sized warnings being flashed across our communities in bright red neon.  We've been intoxicated and seduced by complacency and apathy.  Instead of alarm, we just shrug, try to ascertain which way the herd is moving, and then dutifully wander around looking for directions to the slaughterhouse.

Behold the new definition of "justice."  It is racist to challenge it.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

The One-Sided Leftist Agenda

My, but it's tragic how ignorant the red-headed faux erudites who walk the not-so-hallowed halls of Utah's borderline institutions of higher education have become. 

Let's set the record straight, shall we?  It's not this simple.  I know, I know... the fact that reality is slightly (tremendously) different from the lockstep liberal leftist marching dirge may come as a shock, but them's the facts... and anyone who has any marginal knowledge of history should be hiding their ginger locks in abject shame at their ignorance of it.

During the Revolutionary War, the British derided the Americans for their "gorilla" tactics...hiding behind trees and all... instead of marching in straight lines in brightly colored uniforms.  They were out to fight like "gentlemen."  We were out to fight to win.

Enter the Vietnam War.  Too early for the faux erudite red-headed arrogant Socialists to remember... long before their time... but not before mine. 

The outcry from lefist Socialists in the 60's was tremendous, as the "armchair generals," groped for anything... everything... to advance their anti-American Socialist agenda.  Our troops returning home from Vietnam were vilified, spit on, attacked, and scorned as "baby killers."


Because the North Vietnamese changed the rules of the game.  Instead of having any sense of morality or decency, they strapped bombs to the tiny bodies of children, and sent them into crowds of innocent civilians and American and South Vietnamese military personnel.  It got so bad that our troops never knew who they could trust.. the Vietcong had succeeded in so blurring the line between civilian and enemy combatant that it became impossible to tell.  The danger was so real, and so consistent, that skittish troops because paranoid whenever a child ran towards them... and in some cases, took the child's life over concern that they may be carrying a bomb.

Now... anyone with even a high school education who has kept moderately up to date on current events should know that not only has extremist Islam done the same thing, they have turned it into an art form.  Instead of fairly considering the mountain of eye-witness reports from journalists who have no dog in this fight, live video feeds whose veracity and accuracy are indisputable, and admissions from present and former operatives in Hamas, and arriving at what most would consider a common-sense conclusion, the faux erudite leftists simply refuse to deal with those realities, or they do their usual... simply laughingly scoff at them and brush them aside with an arrogant sneer.  Truth simply doesn't fit into their Socialist narrative.   Therefore, it must be marginalized at all costs, and denied whereever possible.

Hamas uses children as human shields, while continuing to bomb Israel.  Hamas WANTS their civilians to be killed in the conflict, as 1) extremist Islamic ideology insists that all citizens are combatants... even children, 2) that all citizens are "expendable" in order to further the cause of Islamic conquest, and 3) civilian casualties are useful as PR tools to use against their enemies.   None of these facts are in question.  All are verified by mountains of incontrovertible evidence.  And yet... Leftist Anti-American Socialists ignore them... because they don't "fit" into their anti-Israel narrative.

I've always found it interesting how "selective" the outrage of the anti-Israel crowd is.  They seem to have no problem at all with Hamas putting their citizens in harms' way.  None at all.  We hear not a peep of righteous indignation for it, not one iota of outrage because of it, and not even one whisper of acknowledgement that that is really what is happening... regardless of how credible and overwhelming the evidence.  For some mysterious reason, their vitriol and condemnation is reserved ONLY for Israel... who did not start this conflict, and only seeks to defend itself. 

One must seriously wonder "Why?"  What is it about placing your children in harms way that is "noble" or "commendable"?  What is it about that brand of cowardice that Leftists find "righteous"?  Why the reluctance to apply the same standard equally to all sides?   It's very simple.  That doesn't advance their anti-American agenda.  Therefore, it must be marginalized, denied, and ignored.

Perhaps Leftists will be taken seriously one day when they actually learn how to pick up a history book, or read a newspaper, or actually study the events in motion around the world... instead of keeping their noses glued to exclusively leftist propaganda.  Perhaps, and I know this is crazy talk, the leftists would be taken more seriously if they actually used some intellectual honesty for once.  Just sayin'.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Of Hatred, Delusion and Fantasy

Someone very close to me, and whom I love very much, recently challenged my patience and my good nature by not only proclaiming that he was a rabid anti-Zionist, but that he had bitten the holocaust denial fantasy hook, line, and sinker.

As all Holocaust deniers tend to be, he was influenced by someone he admired that advanced such views, and rather than being interested in the facts and in doing actual research, being exceptionally gullible, he simply bought it.  And then, of course, arrogantly demanded that unless someone could "prove" to him that the denial fantasy narrative was wrong, that it was, in fact, true... in short, a raging case of confirmation bias intermixed with a healthy dose of observational selection.

Holocaust denial is certainly not new.  Neo-Nazis still cling to it with religious zeal to justify their hatred and anti-Semitism.  Anti-Zionists and anti-Semites also cling to the holocaust denial narrative to justify their hatred of Israel.

This person, who ordinarily is a researching machine, somehow failed to find the resources that I was able to find in about a 15 second search on Google.  Such is not surprising, however, because regardless of their faux sincerity in claiming that if evidence is provided, they will "believe," the reality is that when documented evidence *IS* provided, they simply ignore it and move the goalposts to more favorable territory, or "flip-flop" to another argument.  They simply aren't interested in the truth, no matter how strenuously they claim otherwise.  And this is the very definition of "delusional..." a malady that many such individuals appear to suffer from.  According to the dictionary, a delusion is a "belief held with strong conviction despite superior evidence to the contrary."
Denial of the holocaust is one such delusion.

I'm sure that there is a whole list of arguments against the holocaust, many of which were spawned by works by wingnuts such as Fred A. Leuchter and David Erving, both of whose claims were found to be flatly spurious in a court of law.  Many of their chestnuts have been completely debunked by the Nizkor Project, a group opposed to Holocaust denial claims, who analyzes these claims for instances where the evidence used by Holocaust deniers has been altered or manufactured.

For the sake of brevity, I'm going to address the main point that this person brought up as the de facto proof that the holocaust never happened... "There is no proof that the Jews were ever gassed."  I was assured that if I could provide such proof, that he would be convinced.  Of course, I know that to be untrue.  He will simply move the goalposts, reject the data, and stubbornly cling to his predetermined belief.

One of the main accusations brought forward in the argument denying the gas chambers was that there had been no autopsies conducted that showed that the Jews were gassed.  Jean-Marie Le Minor, a noted pathologist and anatomist in his work "Morphological Sciences Medicales Strasbourg", pg 332 states, 

"The voluminous reports of forensic examination of Prof. C. Simonin, Prof. Dr R. Piedelievre and Dr J. Fourcade meticulously described the autopsy of 17 whole and complete subjects and 166 body segments belonging to at least 64 people, all showing signs of death by inhalation of hydrogen cyanide."
The actual accusation that Jews were not gassed based on technical criticisms that were originally advanced by Leuchter in particular, is soundly destroyed in the paper "TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF THE HOLOCAUST: Cyanide, Zyklon-B, and Mass Murder" by Brian Harmon, Ph.D. in molecular biology and microchemistry.

Professor Harmon states:

"Because many holocaust deniers find themselves unable to dismiss 
the many volumes of historical information documenting the Holocaust, 
they often turn to other methods.  A very common tactic is to 
claim that the Holocaust was "technically impossible", improperly 
citing chemical and physical data as "proof".  The most well 
known example is the "Leuchter Report" where Fred Leuchter, a 
self-proclaimed engineer, claimed that "no one was gassed at 
Auschwitz", using a combination of poor chemical analysis and 
technical difficulties as "proof".  

"Another example, "The Luftl Report", written by the Austrian 
Walter Luftl, erroneously claims that not enough people could 
be crammed into the chambers, and that Zyklon was too 
dangerous to use for extermination.  

"Many of these documents are shrouded in pseudo-scholarly 
terminology and methodology, and use confusing statements to 
make their lies seem more tenable.  The deniers hope to play 
on the common individual's lack of knowledge in chemistry and 
physiology to confuse and obfuscate the issue."  (ibid.)

For a detailed technical analysis that proves that Leuchter and Luftl were completely wrong, please refer to the complete article here.

Wiki reports that "Another thoroughly debunked claim by Holocaust deniers is that the "gas chambers which mainstream historians believe were for the massacre of civilians never existed, but rather that the structures identified as gas chambers actually served other purposes. These other purposes include delousing and disinfection. A similar argument is sometimes used that claims gas was not used to murder Jews and other victims, and that many gas chambers were also built after the war just for show.

"A document advancing this theory is the Leuchter report by Fred A. Leuchter, a paper stating that only traces of cyanide were found when he examined samples taken from one of the Auschwitz gas chambers in 1988. This is often cited as evidence that gas was not used in the chambers, as no trace amounts remain."
There is only one small problem with that.  It turns out that not only was Leuchter lacking the education and technical skill to conduct such tests, but that the tests themselves were exceedingly sloppy and inconclusive.

Unfortunately for those delusional enough to buy into Leuchter's denial fantasy, in Feb of 1990, Professor Jan Markiewicz, Director of the Institute of Forensic Research in Kraków, redid the analysis. (
"A Study of the Cyanide Compounds Content in the Walls of the Gas Chambers in the Former Auschwitz & Birkenau Concentration Camps". Nizkor.org. Retrieved 2014-03-22.)
Note: I'm going to be quoting quite a bit from the paper I referenced above, as it addresses some of these precise claims, so bear with me.

"Markiewicz and his team used microdiffusion techniques to test for cyanide in samples from the suspected gas chambers, from delousing chambers, and from control areas elsewhere within Auschwitz. The control samples tested negative, while cyanide residue was found in high concentrations in the delousing chambers, and lower concentrations in the homicidal gas chambers. This is consistent with the amounts required to kill lice and humans. (ibid.)

"The search for cyanide in the bricks of buildings said to be gas chambers was important, because the pesticide Zyklon B would generate such a residue. This was the gas most often cited as the instrument of death for prisoners in the gas chambers, supported by both testimony and evidence collected of Nazi policy.
This study concluded that:

"The present study shows that in spite of the passage of a considerable period of time (over 45 years) in the walls of the facilities which once were in contact with hydrogen cyanide the vestigial amounts of the combinations of this constituent of Zyklon B have been preserved. This is also true of the ruins of the former gas chambers. The cyanide compounds occur in the building materials only locally, in the places where the conditions arose for their formation and persistence for such a long time.
"In his reasoning Leuchter claims that the vestigial amounts of cyanide combinations detected by him in the materials from the chamber ruins are residues left after fumigations carried out in the Camp "once, long ago"(Item 14.004 of the Report). This is refuted by the negative results of the examination of the control samples from living quarters, which are said to have been subjected to a single gassing, and the fact that in the period of fumigation of the Camp in connection with a typhoid epidemic in mid-1942 there were still no crematoria in the Birkenau Camp. The first crematorium (Crematorium II) was put to use as late as 15 March 1943 and the others several months later.   ("A Study of the Cyanide Compounds Content in the Walls of the Gas Chambers in the Former Auschwitz & Birkenau Concentration Camps",JAN MARKIEWICZ, WOJCIECH GUBALA, JERZY LABEDZ Institute of Forensic Research, Cracow, Z Zagadnien Sqdowych, z. XXX, 1994, 17-27
Received 8 March 1994; accepted 30 May 1994 )

Testimony of Eye-Witnesses

Those who deny that gas chambers were used also disregard HUGE volumes of data and testimony... which they like to downplay as ONLY coming from "one person" who was "tortured for three days before testifying."  Such accusations are, however, either outright lies, or are born in sheer ignorance of fact.

There are voluminous amounts of testimony from thousands of survivors of the Holocaust, as well as the testimony of captured Nazi officers at the Nuremberg Trials and other times.

"Holocaust deniers discount the testimony of officers claiming that these witnesses were tortured, or that Rudolf Höess allegedly signed a confession written in a language he did not understand (English) or that the Nuremberg Trial did not follow proper judicial procedures.

"However, Höess's testimony did not consist of merely a signed confession; he also wrote two volumes of memoirs... ("Death Dealer: The Memoirs of the SS Kommandant at Auschwitz", by Rudolf Höess, Steven Paskuly, Foreword Primo Levi, Translated from German by Andrew Pollinger and "Commandant of Auschwitz : The Autobiography of Rudolf Höess" by Rudolf Höess, Constantine Fitzgibbon, Joachim Neugroschel, Introduction by Primo Levi) and gave extensive testimony outside of the Nuremberg proceedings.  See, for instance, "How many People Died at Auschwitz", by Franciszek Piper, Article Review, Memorial and Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau, Note 24: Hoess testimony, March 11, 1947, The proceedings of the Supreme National Tribunal in Warsaw;  also see "Law Reports of Trials of War Criminals", Volume VII, p. 11 Case 38. Trial of Obersturmbannführer Rudolf Franz Ferdinand Hoess. Supreme National Tribunal of Poland (11th-29th March, 1947).

Further, his testimony agrees with that of other contemporary written accounts by Auschwitz officials, such as Pery Broad, "KZ Auschwitz: Reminiscences of Pery Broad, SS man in the Auschwitz concentration camp", by Pery Broad]. See also "The Case for Auschwitz: evidence from the Irving trial" By Robert Jan Pelt, p. 224. and "People in Auschwitz" by Hermann Langbein, Henry Friedlander p. 59, 112," an SS man stationed at Auschwitz while Höess was the commandant and the diary kept by SS physician at Auschwitz Johann Kremer, as well as the testimony of hundreds of camp guards and victims.  See "How Reliable are the Hoss Memoirs?" by John C. Zimmerman. Associate Professor, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. 11 February 1999.

In addition, former SS personnel have criticised Holocaust denial. SS-Oberscharführer Josef Klehr has said that anyone who maintains that nobody was gassed at Auschwitz must be "crazy or on the wrong".  See Demant, Ebbo (Hg.): Auschwitz — "Direkt von der Rampe weg..." Kaduk, Erber, Klehr: Drei Täter geben zu Protokoll, p. 114. Hamburg: Rowohlt, 1979 ISBN 3-499-14438-7.
SS-Unterscharführer Oswald Kaduk has stated that he "does not consider those who maintain such a thing as normal people."  See "Three German murderers. Records of the banality of evil, Germany 1998" (filmed in 1978). Directed by Ebbo Demant, produced by Southwest Broadcasting.

Hearing about Holocaust denial compelled former SS-Rottenführer Oskar Gröning to publicly speak about what he witnessed at Auschwitz, and denounce Holocaust deniers, (see Rees, Laurence. Auschwitz: The Nazis & The 'Final Solution, p. 300. London: BBC Books, 2005. ISBN 0-563-52117-1) stating:
"I would like you to believe me. I saw the gas chambers. I saw the crematoria. I saw the open fires. I was on the ramp when the selections took place. I would like you to believe that these atrocities happened because I was there."  (ibid., pg 301)
Sonderkommandos provide another key piece of testimony. There were Jewish prisoners who helped march Jews to the gas chambers, and later dragged the bodies to the crematoria. Since they witnessed the entire process, their testimony is vital in confirming that the gas chambers were used for murderous purposes and the scale to which they were used.  (See "The Nizkor Project - Command staff". Nizkor.org. Retrieved 2014-03-22.)

In Summary

  • Holocaust denial is nothing but either a particularly vicious and disgusting attempt to intentionally lie and deceive, or an example of textbook delusional behavior and ignorance.  Either way, it is an extension of garden variety hate and anti-Semitism.
  • Those who deny the Holocaust are rejecting literally warehouses full of physical evidence, millions of pages of testimony presented at the Nuremberg Trials and the eye-witness accounts of those who were not only there (Jews) who were directly involved in the operation of the gas chambers, but of the actual SS officers who not only directed the camp, but participated in these acts.
  • Denial of the gas chambers specifically shows complete ignorance of the facts and the science at play, and suggests scenarios that have either been proven to be factually false, of which are literally impossible on a technological/scientific basis.
  • The Nizkor Project as well as other scholarly projects, have completely decimated the false claims by holocaust denial theorists, to no valid rebuttal (to date) of their data.
Hopefully, this wonderful, bright, otherwise intelligent young person will realize that one cannot simply glom onto whatever he hears from someone he admires and looks up to as gospel truth... that REAL research involves looking that data that might, and often does, destroy those pet theories that we love to embrace sometimes.

There are plenty of things in history to wonder about, speculate about, and research... but the Holocaust is an event which has been so extensively researched as to be undeniable by any normal, intelligent, sane person.

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Racist With The Cliven Hoof

OK, calm down.

Yes, he said it wrong.  He's a cattle rancher, not a statesman, politician, activist or orator.  Could he have said it better? Yes.  Is he a racist?  In my humble opinion, no.  Now.  Before you go all "pitch-forks and torches" on me, step back and take a deep breath and think about what he actually said.

I don't believe for a second that Cliven Bundy was advocating a return to slavery, nor do I believe he inferred such.  Here's what I *DO* believe he meant:

When under slavery;
  • Negroes had a very tight, very cohesive family life and culture. 
  • Negro children were raised by a mother AND a father, and were taught strict moral values.
  • Negroes were very religious, very humble, very dependent on God... the singing of the Negro Spirituals was a central part of that culture. 
  • Negro fathers did not abandon their babies.
  • Negro mothers did not sleep with anyone off the street to get more welfare money.
  • Negroes were held to a very strict work ethic.  Sloth and laziness were met with severe punishment.  And that work ethic is probably the only thing that saved them when they were freed...  they knew how to sacrifice and work hard... and knowing that they were working for their own sustenance and success gave them the motivation to sacrifice whatever it took to achieve that. 
Contrast these things with today's Black Culture.  And in case you think *I'm* being racist, just ask a Black Conservative (yes, they do exist) if this isn't the case.  From Bill Cosby to Allen Keyes to Dr. Ben Carson, the same message is being communicated as Cliven Bundy clumsily attempted to... albeit much more eloquently and with more "racial sensitivity."

Bundy's remarks were those of a sincere man, passionate about what he believes, and completely unequipped to navigate the mine-field of political correctness that has been imposed on us by those desperate to be "offenders for a word."

So... about his actual question.. ."Were blacks better off under slavery?"  The HONEST answer, at least to me, would have to be "yes and no." 

No, they are not better off under slavery as a principle, because no man should be a slave to another.  There was unspeakable, terrible abuse inflicted on slaves that untold thousands will be answering for when standing before the judgment bar of God.  It was a despicable and dehumanizing practice.  It was and is a blemish and stain on the very fabric of this great country.

But yes, Mr. Bundy does have a point of sorts.  Adversity has a way of encouraging humility, a sincere "down-to-the-bone" faith and dependence on God, and a tendency to cling together... as a people, as a culture, and as families.  This pattern has been repeated among almost all peoples who have ever been in captivity to others.  When free, pride, arrogance, and narcissism reign supreme, and the people often become lazy, unproductive, evil and haughty.

Look honestly at a significant segment of today's Black Culture.  Welfare.  Sloth.  Godlessness.  Unproductiveness.  Arrogance.  Evil.  Irresponsibility.  Dependence.

In those narrow terms, were Blacks better off culturally, spiritually, and morally under slavery?  I believe that this was Bundy's real message.

Think about it.  Your mileage, of course, may vary.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Zero Tolerance for "Zero Tolerance"

The stories aren't new.  They're repeated all across our great nation almost every day.  "Zero Tolerance."  It's become the screeching battle-cry of the mentally-impaired and intellectually lazy.

Need an excuse for making a REALLY BAD CALL as a manager or leader?  Zero Tolerance.  There ya go.  Need a convenient cover for your complete and total inability to make a thoughtful, wise decision based on the facts of an individual case?  Zero Tolerance.  Case closed.  No more annoying requirements to actually use the gray matter that sparsely inhabits your brain case.  Just claim "Zero Tolerance" and no one is the wiser.  It even sounds noble, doesn't it?  Zero Tolerance.  Kind of makes you look like a little bit of a hard-ass, too.  Score!

While reporting the story of yet another brain-dead school administrator hiding behind "Zero Tolerance," the AP reporter who was reporting on yet ANOTHER ridiculous 3-day suspension of a 10 year old simply because he PRETENDED to shoot another student... with his finger... stated:
"Since zero-tolerance policies were adopted following school shootings around the country, Columbus schools have disciplined students for violations including firing a Nerf foam-dart gun at school. A similar policy was cited last year when a Maryland school suspended a 7-year-old boy who had chewed a Pop-Tart into a gun shape."
Now.  I realize that I'm older than dirt, but at what point in this country's history did we abrogate our wisdom, intelligence, dignity and self-respect in favor of catchy bumper-sticker slogans?  "Zero Tolerance."  But what does that REALLY mean? 

Perhaps we should look to the Source Of All Wisdom, Google:
"Zero Tolerance: refusal to accept antisocial behavior, typically by strict and uncompromising application of the law."
Let's break this down and see if we can get our collective arms around this philosophy, shall we?  Let's start with the first phrase:
"Refusal to accept anti-social behavior..."
The last time I checked, elementary students playing has traditionally been seen as extremely SOCIAL behavior for as long as I can remember.  Cops and robbers.  Cowboys and indians.  Both of these have been a staple of playground fun for literally centuries.  It's not "anti-social behavior."  It's SOCIAL behavior that involves imagination and role-play.  And it's perfectly healthy.

Anti-Social?  Seriously?  Let's review THAT definition, again from our venerable Google:
"Anti-Social: contrary to the laws and customs of society; devoid of or antagonistic to sociable instincts or practices; not sociable; not wanting the company of others."
How can role-playing games such as cops and robbers be construed by any thinking person as being "contrary to the laws and customs of society"?  Policemen are role models for young children.  We constantly teach them principles of morality and ethics, and drill into their impressionable little heads that there are consequences to bad behavior... and being the good little parrots they are, these children underscore the fact that they get the message by... waaaaaait for it... mimicking that behavior on the playground in role-playing games.  It's the epitome of socialization for elementary-school children.

"Cowboys and Indians"?  Such stories used to constitute the foundation of early reading programs.. and was a staple on commercial radio, then television, as well as the big-screen for decades.  It is true-blue American custom.  Again, students participating in role-playing games that challenge and inspire the imagination are... "anti-social"?

No.  A more correct statement is that they are "not politically correct."  In other words, this behavior is being quashed by those who wish to force a "progressive" agenda in education, at the expense of childhood socialization, role-playing, and imagination.  And they do so by insisting that any variation from the leftist "party line" be met with severe punishments.  The Left, it seems, has "Zero Tolerance" for.... tolerance.

And how do those that embrace this philosophy seek to impose their will?  "by strict and uncompromising application of the law."   In other words, we're going to force you to bend to our will, "or else."  Regardless of circumstances.  Regardless of the severity of the "crime."

What is interesting here is this very philosophy stands in stark contrast to the "laws and customs of society" that this ridiculous philosophy seeks to "protect." 

The reality is that the "application of the law" in our society is neither universally "strict" nor "uncompromising" in real life.  That's why we have trials.  That's why we have judges.  And witnesses.  And evidence.  That's why we have a VARIETY of possible outcomes in punishing someone for a crime, based on the details of that crime.  Nothing in our legal system is "strict and uncompromising."

If our society functioned under a "Zero Tolerance" policy, any jaywalker would be sent to prison, even if they were crossing the street to save their sick or injured child.  Zero Tolerance, remember.

This pathetic, morally bankrupt, ethically diseased excuse for a policy is one of the foundational problems in our education system today.  It eliminates the requirement (or even opportunity) for administrators to actually think, employ wisdom, exercise patience and compassion, and the most important part, actually teach and mentor, letting the punishment fit the crime, instead of simply relying on blunt force trauma... for everyone.

The bottom line is simply this... we certainly wouldn't tolerate this in our justice system.  Why do we tolerate it in our schools?


Monday, March 3, 2014

"Non-Stop" into the Great Abyss of Ridiculousness

First of all, a vital and very important disclaimer.  I'm a conservative.  I'm not a "progressive," and I'm certainly not a "leftist."  In fact, I'm just the opposite.  I'm conservative, intelligent, articulate, and well-informed.  Every Progressive's nightmare.

That being said, there has been a lot of ridiculousness lately about the recent action-thriller "Non-Stop," starring Liam Neeson.  If I'm not mistaken, Glenn Beck was particularly butt-hurt over it, (which is unfortunately, because I have a tremendous amount of respect for Glenn), as well as "Chicks on the Right," who I also respect quite a bit.

And I gotta tell ya... I just don't get it.  I really don't.

NOTE:  The following is a spoiler, so don't read it if you want to see the movie.

The movie centers around a burned-out booze-hound of an U.S. Air Marshall who finds himself caught in the middle of a nefarious scheme to bring down a passenger jet with 150 souls on board.  The villian is a family member of a 9/11 victim, who wants to lash out and punish everyone for the lack of security and false assurances of safety by the government.  Along with a side-kick who is former military, who's just in it for the money.  Oh, and it has a "token Muslim," complete with Muslim traditional garb, who turns out to be <insert audible gasp here> a good guy... a gentle and conscientious physician.

</end of spoiler>

Oh, my.  I'm sure you can hear the conspiracy theories thundering down the tracks from 3 miles away.

The fact is, though, that those who are advancing those theories are exercising an embarrassing degree of ignorance combined with a heaping helping of selective amnesia... not to mention just a teensy bit of over-dramatic paranoia and a dump-truck load of hypocrisy.

Here's the truth, boys and girls:  It's just a movie.  It's fiction.  It didn't pretend to be an accurate portrayal of events real or imagined. 

What this film DID manage to do is turn the stereotypes that we gleefully throw around with abandon on their collective ears... which, quite frankly, was part of what keeps you guessing in this movie.  We are so used to seeing the "token Muslim" turn out to be the bad guy that it literally renders us speechless when the "token Muslim" turns out to be the "good guy," even though that's an accurate representation of the vast majority of the Muslim population in this country.  Those who are dropping in their respective tracks from apoplectic seizures of righteous indignation are forgetting one teensy, tiny detail... the roles and characterizations in this movie are completely believable and are painfully realistic.

Anyone remember Timothy McVeigh?  Not a Muslim.  All-American, home-grown terrorist nutcase.  Ex-Military Gulf War veteran.  Considered himself a true "patriot."  And stop me when any of this sounds familiar... McVeigh's stated reason for the worst act of domestic terrorism in the U.S. EVER... and the worst act of terrorism on U.S. soil before 9/11... was "revenge" for the actions of the U.S. government at Waco, TX and Ruby Ridge, ID.  McVeigh killed 168 people, and wounded 700... eerily similar to the 150 people on the unfortunate flight in this film.

The truth (that some wing-nut ultra-right-wing conspiracy-theory-under-every-rock extremists refuse to acknowledge) is that not every act of terrorism is perpetrated by Islam, and not every bad guy is a Muslim.  Sometimes it's just a true-blue, all-American nutcase on some misguided "revenge quest," and sometimes the Muslim really IS the good guy, which is PRECISELY what this movie is about... regardless of extremist right-wing conservative fundamentalist nutjob claims.  Seriously?

Yes, there are bad guys even here in the U.S. who are Muslim.  But there are exponentially more who are peaceful, quiet, respectful citizens who are humble and grateful for all this country has to offer... who serve in soup kitchens and who lay down their lives defending this country against those terrible stereotypical spittle-spewing Jihadists.   There are even (quite a few) doctors in that mix, who look on violence with abhorrence and disgust, and who are intensely loyal to the good 'ole U.S. of A.

What this movie ISN'T is some kind of ham-fisted attempt to paint rosy flowers on the ugly painting of Extremist Islam, nor is it a film intended to convince anyone that our own people (particularly one that one could argue has "conservative" values and attitudes) are the "real" enemy.  It is a rather entertaining action-thriller.  Period.

This feigned outrage over a movie (and I thought a particularly good one at that) is embarrassing.  Seriously?  Redirect your righteous indignation and outrage where it really belongs... laser-focused on our Clown-Central Dictator-In-Chief, and not on a movie that has the audacity to create an intense, entertaining romp that gleefully stomps all over your sacred cow stereotypes.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Good Ship Lollipop Has Sailed

Normally, I don't blog about specific people, and certainly not about celebrities, but in noting the passing of one of the greatest, if not THE greatest child actor this nation has ever seen, I would be remiss if I didn't record some thoughts.

The current generation will most likely have never heard of her. Those that have might only recognize the name.  I highly doubt if more than a tiny fraction of 1% of today's youth have ever even seen a clip of one of her movies.  And yet, to those of us who were familiar with her, she was an icon.

Her bouncy golden curls were so desperately important to a nation wallowing in the Great Depression that President Franklin D. Roosevelt called Temple "Little Miss Miracle," declaring, "As long as our country has Shirley Temple, we will be all right."  She was the #1 box office draw for 4 years in a row, a record that still stands.  I remember as a small boy, watching re-runs of her movies on television, a medium that didn't exist during the height of her career.

What Shirley Temple represents to me, and why I find her passing so bittersweet, is the stark contrast she offers to what we, as a comparatively sick and depraved society, now accept as "normal."  And more importantly, how today's child stars respond to adversity.

After Shirley Temple's box office success, she became less and less popular.  Her audience refused to accept the fact that she had "grown up."  Her popularity waned.  It became harder and harder for her to obtain roles.

And this is where it gets interesting. 

Instead of selfishly imploding into a narcissistic, self-pitying disaster of immeasurable proportions a la Macauley Culkin et al, she never missed a beat... instead, she placed her attention where it should have been... on getting on with her life.  She became a wife and mother,  raised a family, and then quietly refocused her attention on giving back to the nation that had given her so much attention and adulation... and helping people less fortunate than herself in the process.

In 1962, she became a diplomat.  She served as the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., U.S. Ambassador to Ghana, and U.S. Ambassador to Czechoslovakia.  She served as the Chief of Protocol for the U.S., and was the only person ever given the distinction and honor of being an Honorary Foreign Service Officer.  She would faithfully... and diligently... serve in public service until 1993... a span of 31 years.

Shirley Temple Black, as she would later be known, was truly a class act.  When her career faded, she didn't allow herself to descend into the vapid pits of despair and wallow in self-pity, nor did she sacrifice her morals for the sake of shock value in a vain attempt to inject life into her career.  Nor did she retreat into the dark comfort of drugs or alcohol. 

Shirley Temple held her head high, looked around, and found a dignified place where she could leverage her considerable fame into an extraordinarily effective new career that actually helped millions of people... one that wasn't even in the same universe as show business... and one that didn't focus the spotlight on herself at all.

This, America, is what dignity looks like.  Please make a note of it.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

For Whom the Blog Tolls

How much privacy can we expect when writing a personal blog?  And how much "blow-back" is appropriate when someone gets butt-hurt over a blog entry?

Personally, I find it more convenient than writing a journal.  It allows me to put my thoughts down in the blogosphere, and there is even a remote possibility that someone else might find some value in it.  Or give me valuable feedback that I hadn't thought about.  Or they might hate it, and tell me that I'm ugly and my mommy dresses me funny... but at least it might start a conversation.

I'm not writing it to a particular group of people.  I'm not trying to submit it to Time Magazine as a feature.  I very seldom even post a link to it from my FaceBook page.  To me, it is a "safe place" where I can vent about my feelings, my opinions, my thoughts... MY thoughts... without being judged or "weighed in the balance."  I'm very careful as I craft my blog entries, and I do not name names or get very specific.

So... when is it objectionable to the point of backlash when a blog post vents, but does not explicitly mention individuals by name?  One might venture, "Well, WE know because we're familiar with the situation you're describing."  But that may or may not be true.  I think the question probably should be "Would the average reader really know who this is?" followed very closely by "Why does it matter?" and finally by "What business is it of yours?  Really."

I'm feeling pretty violated right now.  To me, blogs ARE the equivalent of online journals, and are very personal.  Now I'm worried that everything that I write will be scrutinized by someone who has authority over me, and can punish me if they so choose simply because they disagree with my feelings or opinions... which I express in my own, private blog.

What's even more ironic?  The "feelings" I had been writing about had to do with feeling judged, rejected, socially isolated, and left out.


An Apology...

Even though I didn't mention him by name in my blog post, and in reality I was writing of a composite "Bishop," I owe our now-former Bishop an apology for implying that he had condoned sexual misconduct of his youth.  Since I didn't name him in my post, I won't name him now, other than to ensure that everyone understands that I was referring to an attitude more than a real person.  He is a good man. 

Thank you.  Now back to our regularly-scheduled programming.