Friday, July 8, 2016

NIGHTMARE IN DALLAS

“This is not just a black issue, not just a Hispanic issue. This is an American issue that we all should care about.”

President Obama spoke those words concerning the two shootings of black males in Minnesota and Louisiana Tuesday and Wednesday.  The President is right.  We have a problem in this country and it concerns all of us.  It needs to be fixed.

Deadly force by a police officer should be used as a last resort when an officer has exhausted all other means of enforcing the law and only then when his life is in imminent danger.  This should not happen very often, especially in this day and age when the police have access to tasers to bring a suspect under control.  I do not know how a black male feels when a police officer confronts him but I am pretty sure his thinking is not the as mine when an officer pulls me over.  I also don't know what goes through a policeman's mind when approaching a car with a young black male inside as opposed to approaching a car with a young white male.  It is much to easy to say that there shouldn't be any difference in the officer's thinking no matter the race of the suspect.

Numbers play a part in the thinking of both of these groups.  The majority of attacks on police officers are committed by young black males.   At the same time the majority of police shootings of suspects are suspects that are young black males.  That is no excuse for either group to continue the trend, just what the numbers tell us and helps explain, possibly, why each group has the mindset they have when the situation occurs.

Of course, it is important to have all the facts in all the situations before judging who did what and who was right or wrong.  Personally, after hearing all the evidence the public was given in the Micheal Brown case in Ferguson, Missouri I feel that the officer did fear for his life and deadly force was properly used.  That doesn't mean the shootings that occurred earlier this week were justified or not.  Facts need to be sorted out before we can declare if  deadly force in the shootings were proper.

Unlike the aftermath in Ferguson, there were not any riots or burning of neighborhoods this week.  No, the leaders of the groups who together organized protests in cities across the country.  They were peaceful demonstrations that allowed the citizenry to voice their frustration and anger and despair at the situation in a positive and legal way.  That is what was going on in Dallas last night.

The Dallas protest included people from all races who feel that the police need to be slower to react with deadly force then they do.  The Dallas police were at the protest to make sure that all of the protesters were able to carry on their demonstration in safety.  The police were escorting the protestors along their planned route when two to four people with semi-automatic weapons started shooting white police officers along the parade route.

Five officers dead as of this writing.  Civilians shot and wounded along with upwards to a dozen officers shot and injured.  The people of Dallas were voicing their concerns in the right way with the police protecting their right to do so when the shooting started.

We must take care not to paint all members of the police force with a broad brush because a few officers across the country react too quickly or recklessly with deadly force.  We must also take care not to paint the protestors with a broad brush of being cop killers because a few in Dallas felt the proper action to take was to shoot police officers.

We must also take time to gather all evidence of police using deadly force upon their citizens and if acting improperly. they need to be held accountable for their actions.  We must also take time to gather fact and evidence the people who murdered and shot the officers and citizens in Dallas, and when all is said and done, if warranted they need to be held accountable.

What I have hope for is that this terrible week that went from Louisiana to Minnesota ending in Dallas last night bring all parties, the protesting groups and the police closer together as they realize that violence is not the answer for anyone.  I am afraid though that the result will be still more mistrust between the police as they put themselves on a higher self alert when performing their duties and make the people they serve even more suspicious of the police.  I hope that isn't the case but I truly feel like it might be what comes out of all of this.

Bottom line is this.  We as a country, as a people, need to stand as one,  black,white and hispanic civilians next to the police forces, to bring this awful situation under control.  Last night in Dallas should be a new beginning for the people and the police to work together for a safer and more just way of life.

I know that my "bottom line" sounds utopian.  If you know me at all, you probably know that I see Utopia in much the same way as we see absolute zero.  You can't get there, you can't achieve it.   In my mind any philosophy or idea of an utopian society is flawed because of one thing.  Human nature.  No matter how hard we might try to come together to break this circle of violence, there will be people intent on keeping us from achieving it, and they will succeed.  They will be of all races and of all occupations.  There will be an officer here and there thinking in his mind that his intentions are good when using deadly force.  There will be civilians who feel the only way to protest is to riot, loot and burn.  Racism will never go completely away from any group of people.   All races will have their racists out there, intent on doing harm to those they hate for one reason or another no matter how ignorant it may be.  That shouldn't keep us from trying though.

This can't go on.  It needs to end.  It needs to end now.   

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

TRUMP JUST GOT ANOTHER VOTE

This is a rant.  It is an ugly rant that is filled with disdain for former President Clinton, his wife Hillary, the Democratic Party and liberals ( not your average liberal but your rabid liberal) in general.  The outcome of my feelings bring me to a decision to vote for Mr. Trump.  I had posted on Facebook earlier this year that I was going to write in my vote for the Presidency theorizing that I did not feel that either Clinton, Trump or Sanders were worthy to hold what use to be the most powerful office in the world.  For once, I thought, I would vote for someone that I personally felt held the qualifications to be President.  That has changed over night.  I have returned to voting against a candidate instead of for one.

The problem with Donald Trump is that he actually tells you what he thinks, what he plans on doing, where he has come from and where he expects to go.  People and the press don't like that.  It is scary for someone to tell you the truth instead of what you want to hear.  Trump isn't the first candidate to have this problem.  Adlai Stevenson suffered from being too intelligent and too honest for the American people to feel comfortable throwing their support to and we ended up with two terms of an Eisenhower administration that was basically worthless and accomplished very little. (I don't mean to imply that Trump is "too intelligent" by that statement, just that he says what is on his mind.)

I guess the best place to start this rant is in 1971.  This was the year that Daniel Ellsberg, who worked for the think tank Rand Corporation, leaked top secret documents to the New York Times and the Washington Post concerning the country's involvement in Vietnam.  Rand was working with the Department of Defense at the time on the report giving Ellsberg access to the documents.  Ellsberg was tried and convicted but did not spend anytime in prison for his treasonous actions.  His case was dismissed because the Nixon administration tried, through some questionable means, to find out how the papers were leaked.  This led to the Watergate scandal which eventually forced President Nixon out of office.  It was the actions of the Nixon administration that was used as an excuse for letting Ellsberg go free.  Better to commit an act of treason than to try to find out how to prevent one in the future I guess.  The important thing concerning President Nixon is that he never committed perjury, it was never proven that he lied to the country, and he complied with all subpoenas that were handed to him.  The important thing here is that even though he had done all of this, there came a time when the Republican party could feel like they could no longer support or back him in his quest to clear his name.  On an August afternoon in 1974 led by Senator Barry Goldwater, a group of Republican congressmen walk to the White House to inform President Nixon that he must resign the office.  When you think of bi-partisanship, this should be one of the images that go through your mind.  President Nixon did resign two days later.  Meanwhile Ellsberg was free and the New York Times received the Pulitzer Prize for Journalism for publishing top secret documents.  Makes a persons head spin when you really stop to think about it.

After another honest but mostly inept administration under President Carter with absolutely zero scandals, we go through the Reagan and Bush administration which gave us the Iran/Contra affair.  It was totally investigated and, in one of the last acts of bi-partisanship was found to lead nowhere.  It would be the last time that the parties worked together on ethics issues.  The time of blatant partisanship was ushered in with the election of President Clinton.

The Clintons were a lot like the Reagans as the First Lady in each of these terms took on a larger role than the country was use to.  Nancy Reagan made no bones about the fact the she had some input on issues with her husband and Hillary Clinton was the same.  Both women were extremely intelligent and had a grasp on what the issues of the day were.  During the initial campaign of Mr. Clinton, the country had no idea what kind of ethics the Clintons had, or rather didn't have.  It became clear however as the years passed and scandal after scandal implicated President and Mrs Clinton constantly.  After Whitewater and the Rose Firm scandals, after the "lost FBI files" that were suddenly found in the living quarters of the President just before he left office and after lie upon lie being told to the American people, the President was caught in a sexual scandal.  Many liberals and Democrats don't see why this was such a huge thing.  A person's personal life shouldn't be paraded in public and so forth.  The way I see it, is that when President Clinton had this situation going on in the Oval Office, he was opening himself up to blackmail and putting the country in danger.  I believe it was extremely important.  I think that Linda Tripp may have had blackmail on her mind as she steered the young Lewinsky through the liaisons with the President.  It gets worse though.  President Clinton on numerous times concerning the Lewinsky affair lied to the American people.  Stared straight into the camera and lied.  Told us to trust him.  He talked to us like we were six year olds.  "Listen to me..." he said implying that we should believe him without question.

Then came the part that should have put him out of office as Nixon before him had left.  He was called before a Federal Grand Jury and committed perjury.  He also coached Monica Lewinsky on how to commit perjury during her testimony.  Both are Federal felonies.  Both actions are well past the justification to impeach and to be found guilty.  He was impeached but when it came time to vote at the end of the Senate trial, the Democrats ignored the evidence and voted straight down party lines a not guilty verdict.  Then, as if to shove it in the peoples face, the President, along with all of the democratic members of congress walked out onto the south lawn in a show of solidarity.  In my mind, this was the beginning of deadlock in Washington.  This was the moment in time when a party did what was "good" for the party as opposed to what was good for the country.  It was on that day when a President stood proudly with his fellow Democrats and said "Yes, I am above the law".  It was on that Day when Hillary Clinton saw that power could accomplish anything if wielded in the proper threatening mode and that with power, you could do anything you wanted.  The days of Richard Nixon resigning because his party felt his ethics were not good enough to be President were over.  Bill Clinton along with his wife and the rest of the Democratic party told the American people how stupid they thought we were and we were to accept the fact that power brings a lot of fringe benefits.

Since that sad day in our history, Presidents have had motives questioned but none brought to task.

Now to the present, more or less.  Hillary Clinton has lied to the American people constantly.  She has been caught in her lies and still has enough power to look the American people in the face and tell us it doesn't matter.  She has been running for president for ten years now and the lies continue to come out and continue to be found out.  She landed in Bosnia under sniper fire and had to make a life threatening dash from her plane to the safety of the terminal.  Well, not exactly true.  Film footage of her arrival in Bosnia show her calmly walking off the plane, shaking hands with dignitaries and standing on the tarmac talking before they proceeded indoors.

Could take you back to the Whitewater affair, which has never been cleared up, or the FBI files on a table in the living quarters of the White House but we have already been there.  She has claimed that ALL of her grandparents were immigrants to the United States.  Well, that isn't exactly true either.  Just one of her grandparents immigrated.  The other three were born here.

Her and the former President were dead broke, even in debt, when they left the White House after his second term.  Well, not exactly truthful.  They had assets well into the millions when his term was over.

The lies go on and on and are proven as lies over and over again.  This is without even going into the Benghazi situation or the current email situation where she made available top secret document to an un-secure server that could put the country in danger.  If it is not a big deal to make these top secret emails available to anyone ... by all means release them to the public.  It was okay to release the Pentagon Papers to the public even though they were classified.  If these emails do not warrant a special prosecutor, then release them to the whole world.  I believe that putting those emails on an insecure server could possibly rise to the level of treason ... possibly, not probably.

I mean, this whole email situation.  It just does not make any sense.  Not only did she lie about it several times, but it was basically against protocol or not legal to do so and yet, no charges being brought, even the the FBI acknowledges that it was wrong for her to do so.  After an impromptu meeting between the former President and the head of the DOJ, Secretary Lynch came out and said she would follow the suggestions of the FBI after they had talked to Mrs Clinton.  The FBI director comes out and says that although what she did was careless and wrong, he didn't see any reason to bring charges because he didn't think a prosecutor would take on the case.  So Secretary Lynch says ok... no charges.  Why not give it to a prosecutor and see if they think charges are warranted?   Better yet, why not a Special Prosecutor to look into the affair?  Sure they know that if they gave it to a Special Prosecutor it would drag out well past the November elections and then just fizzle out and go away.  Of all the lies she has told.  Of all the laws she has put herself above. This is one that needs to be looked into.  This is the biggest nose thumbing to the American people since Roosevelt tried to pack the Supreme Court.  I mean, couldn't they at least TRY to make it look like an investigation???

Speaking of the Supreme Court, let's look at a litle more Partisanship that the Democrats are always saying the Republicans are guilty of.  Three names ... Bork... Thomas ... and Sotomayor.  Bork clearly qualified to sit on the bench but was deemed too conservative, so the democrats in congress besmirched his name and forced him to withdraw.  Justice Thomas barely got by when the Democrats did their high tech lynching on the man and he has proved to be more than capable of sitting on the bench.  Sotomayor .... well, listen to her in oral arguments (oyez.org) and what you will hear is a justice who seldom comes to court properly prepared and, in my mind, makes a fool of herself on the bench.  Often times she cites New York law in relation to Federal law and the constitution because that is the only law she is familiar with.  She has said so.  Before her appointment she made racists and sexist remarks in talks that she gave.  Yet the Republicans, my perspective, gave her a pass and saying that it is the Presidents duty to appoint, put her on the court.  When I listen to oral arguments, it stuns me sometimes at her inadequacies.  Bork and Thomas went through a partisan confirmation, Sotomayor got on with a bipartisan confirmation.  That is how I see it anyway.

For me, this is just too much.  It is a slap in the face to every American.  I don't care if you are Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, she and the democratic led department of justice are thumbing their noses at us, letting us know how stupid they think we are.

I think she is a habitual liar.  She has certainly proven to me over the years that she is in no way competent to lead this country.

What do I think or what do I want to help prove that this was all above board (which it wasn't)?  I want to have access to the 3-1/2 hour .. umm what do you call it .. interrogation? .. no.. not even close .... interview? .. closer ... okay the 3-1/2 hour with the FBI that made them determine that she had done nothing worth bringing charges up on her.  I would also like to have full access to all the emails that she didn't delete to see if they could pose a danger to our country or not ... even though they are classified as top secret.  Hey, if they are safe enough to hang out there on a personal server, should be good enough for the American people to read.

I have been told that if I vote write in or not at all, than in reality it is a vote for Mrs Clinton.  I believe that to be true.  This latest affair though, where she doesn't even get a slap on the wrist, makes me feel like as an American, it is my duty to do what I can to keep this unethical person out of the White House and so I will be voting for Mr Trump.  Do I think Trump will make a good president?  No.  Do I agree with most of his philosophy?  No.  But I can say one thing.  I would much rather have a person in that Oval Office that I can trust to tell the truth more times than not than to have Hillary Clinton sitting in there.

It is a shame our country has come to this.  I firmly believe we have hit a new low point in our history.  It is a shame that, with so many worthy people out there to be President, it has come down to Mr Trump or Mrs Clinton.

Now .... keeping in mind that this is a rant, meaning these thoughts are going from my mind to my fingers to the keyboard without really sorting the thinking out and trying to construct good sentences and thoughts that follow along a line of thinking ... take this as you may.  Am I upset?  You bet I am and I think I have a right to be.  I think every American should see through these shenanigans and power plays and be offended by them.

This shows how much power the Clintons have.  This shows how they don't think twice about using and abusing that power.  This shows, to me, how stupid they think the American voter is.

This is criminal.  I will say one other thing.  In the lying department, Richard Nixon doesn't even come close to Hillary Clinton (or her husband for that matter).

She has convinced me how to vote.  No doubt she has convinced you how to vote as well, one way or the other.

Congratulations Mrs Clinton.  You just won another vote for Mr Trump and, in my mind,  the whole country owes President Nixon a HUGE apology.