Racial Injustice?

The Myth of Racial Injustice

Two events occurred over 1,000 miles apart on May 25, Memorial Day, that attracted national attention because someone filmed them then posted them on social media. The first occurred in New York City in the morning when Amy Cooper, a young Canadian woman living in the city, took her dog for an outing in the city’s Central Park. After having been cooped up in her apartment for several weeks, she wanted to let her dog out for a run. However, the dog parks were closed so she decided to let the dog run free in a wooded area called The Ramble (erroneously referred to as “The Bramble” in news reports.) While the Cocker Spaniel was enjoying being off leash, she was accosted by a black man named Christian Cooper who admonished her that park rules called for dogs to be leashed. She replied that she wanted to let the dog have some exercise and the dog parks were closed. The man scolded her – without authority – and said that she could take the dog to another park, but it was some distance away and she responded that it was too dangerous. The man then commented that “I’m going to do something, but you won’t like it,” which is a threat if there ever was one. He pulled a bag of treats out of his pocket and began trying to catch the dog. At this point she advised Cooper that she was going to call the police. He told her to go ahead and began recording her on his cell phone. He recorded her during the call, in which she said she was being threatened by “an African American” man and she believed he intended to do harm to her and her dog. She leashed the dog and while it was on a short leash moved toward her assailant. Apparently, Christian Cooper left before the police arrived. Just what was said between Ms. Cooper and the police is unknown, other than that they reported that there had been a disagreement between the two individuals. That should have been the end of it, but it wasn’t.   

Mr. Cooper took it upon himself to embarrass the woman. He sent the recording to others, including his sister, who posted it on Facebook. The recording went viral, and Ms. Cooper was identified by her dogwalker, of all people. She was slammed on Twitter and Facebook and reported for alleged “animal cruelty.” Thanks to Christian Cooper, her life was ruined. The dog rescue group from whom she had adopted her dog two years before confiscated it and she was fired by her employer, Franklin Templeton, because of her “racism.” (The dog has since been returned.) She began receiving death threats and her name was drug through the mud, both in social media and the commercial media. She was accused of threatening Christian Cooper when the reverse was true. Mr. Cooper claimed she was trying to have the cops kill him. Such crap!

The other incident occurred later that day a thousand miles away in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The teenage clerk at a grocery store named Cup Foods called police, in accordance with store policy, and reported that a customer had paid for a purchase with a counterfeit $20.00 bill. The bill was obviously counterfeit – the ink was still wet! Furthermore, the person who passed the bill was in a vehicle near the store. Two officers responded and found the vehicle with three persons inside, all black. After first removing the passengers and sitting them on the sidewalk, they attempted to get the driver out of the vehicle, but he resisted. When they attempted to cuff him, he fought but was finally subdued at gun point and cuffed, then pulled from the vehicle. He was taken to the sidewalk and put with his companions. Meanwhile, the officers called dispatch. A few minutes later another cruiser arrived and the two officers went to the assistance of their fellow officers. The arresting officer took the man, whose name was George Floyd, across the street to his vehicle. The suspect refused to get inside. He claimed he was claustrophobic and said he couldn’t breathe. He stiffened and fell to the ground. They got him up and he fell down again. He repeatedly fell down and kept repeating that he could not breathe. They managed to get him in the vehicle, but some kind of struggle ensued, and they pulled him out. It took three officers to restrain the 6’6” 224 lb. man. One officer pressed down on his back and another held his legs. A third pressed his knee on Long’s neck, a controversial but authorized procedure used to restrain unruly suspects. Floyd continued to proclaim that he couldn’t breathe and at one point called out the word “Mama.” His mother had been dead for two years. He was restrained for over eight minutes until an ambulance arrived and took him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead an hour later.

A bystander, a 17-year old girl, recorded footage of Floyd on the ground with the officer’s knee on his neck. Another video shows him struggling with the police and falling to the ground. The girl posted the video on her Facebook page and commented “they murdered that man!” As with the footage of the Central Park confrontation, her video went viral. The Minneapolis mayor saw the footage and proclaimed, without evidence, that if Floyd had been white, the incident would not have occurred. He ordered the district attorney to arrest the officer who had his knee on Floyd’s neck for murder. The order was carried out – https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6933248-27-CR-20-12646-Complaint.html#document/p1.

As a result of the video activists began protesting Floyd’s death, claiming that it was due to “systemic racism” in America. Media reports proclaimed Floyd to be a saint. Reports of who he was quoted people who had known him in high school – thirty years ago. There was only passing mention of his having served time in a Texas prison for armed robbery and home invasion.  There was no mention of anything in his adult life prior to his move to Minneapolis sometime after he was released from prison. He moved to the Minnesota city at the urging of a friend and worked as a bouncer at a night club that caters to blacks and Latinos. He took a course to get a commercial driver’s license but dropped out before taking the test for the license. As it turns out, he had a history of violence himself. He seems to have been in and out of jail for a number of reasons, some involving violent crime. He led a group of thugs in an invasion of a home in Houston and pistol-whipped a woman then shoved a gun into her stomach, demanding money and drugs. He was arrested and the woman identified him, leading to his imprisonment. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8366533/George-Floyd-moved-Minneapolis-start-new-life-released-prison-Texas.html A video surfaced of him urging young blacks to stop the gun violence. (A pornographic video emerged with a character calling himself “Big Floyd” and stating that he is from Houston, Texas. The actor appears to be George Floyd.)

Although the assumption is that he died due to the pressure of the officer’s knee on his neck, the official autopsy told a different story. https://www.hennepin.us/-/media/hennepinus/residents/public-safety/documents/Autopsy_2020-3700_Floyd.pdf. The county medical examiner determined that he died of a heart attack due to a combination of existing medical conditions, stress and possible intoxicants. He was found to have amphetamines and fentanyl in his system as well as morphine. However, in the medical examiner’s preliminary report, the cause of death was shown as homicide. Floyd’s family hired black activist Benjamin Crump – who previously represented the families of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner and Michael Brown – to represent them. Crump brought in hired-gun pathologists Dr. Michael Bayden, who claimed Jefferey Epstein was strangled, and Dr. Allecia Wilson, a black pathologist from Michigan, who predictably determined that Floyd died of asphyxiation. (Baden is always referred to as the “former New York City medical examiner” but he only held that post for a year FORTY YEARS ago and was fired by then-Mayor Ed Koch after numerous complaints about his work.) In spite of the autopsy report, black activists, the media and politicians continue to refer to Floyd’s death as “murder” even though there have been no convictions. The rhetoric prompted protests and riots in cities all over America as people call for “justice” for George Floyd even though the officer who had his knee on his neck has been charged with murder and arrested and the other three charged with accessory to murder. Protestors seem to be attempting to influence the prosecution, something they have attempted in other officer-involved deaths and other incidents when blacks were killed or wounded by whites. Protestors, activists, the media and politicians claim there is “systemic racism in America.” In fact, there is no such thing and their beliefs are the results of a half century or more of lies.

I grew up in the rural South, and while West Tennessee is not the Deep South, we had plenty of black people, or colored people as they were usually called, around. Most of the blacks in the community where my parents grew up and where we lived for the first five years of my life were descendants of local slaves who had been set free eighty years before I was born. Nearly all that I knew worked for the McNail family, who owned a large farm. Many of them lived in the old McNail plantation house, or they did until it suffered major damage from a tornado in the early fifties.

There were three categories of people in the region where I grew up – those who owned their own land, those who didn’t and merchants. Those who didn’t own land either rented or sharecropped. Sharecroppers and tenant farmers weren’t exactly the same – sharecroppers lived on land and worked it for a share of the crops while tenant farmers paid rent to the landowners. In rural areas, merchants usually ran small country stores. The more successful merchants usually lived in the towns around the region and operated a variety of stores that sold various things, from groceries to farm implements. Some people lived in the country but had non-farm jobs in town. Some owned property and some rented. World War II brought in a large Army ammunition plant that provided employment for many who otherwise would have been out of work. If a family owned land, they had the means of supporting themselves. They were able to grow their own food in a garden, raise livestock and grow crops that they sold for income. Without land, a family was dependent on landowners who let them live on their land as either sharecroppers or tenants. In most cases, sharecroppers and tenants were able to grow gardens and keep livestock. Unless the head of a family earned money in some kind of job, families were dependent on land for their sustenance.

It is commonly believed that sharecroppers were black. While some were, many were not. In fact, I only remember one black sharecropper around where I grew up at all. Other blacks I knew worked as farm hands for various farmers. So did a lot of landless whites. Most lived hand-to-mouth. Many, whites and blacks, left the South and went North or West where there was more industrialization. Black literature often refers to “The Great Migration” and implies that it was exclusively blacks who fled the South “because of lynchings.” In fact, for every black who left the South, there were at least three and possibly four whites. After the Civil War, the South was a largely impoverished area and unless a family owned land or could sharecrop, there was little employment. This was also true of young professionals who completed their education at a Southern university but were forced to move out of the South to be successful.

There was little crime or violence where I grew up. In fact, people didn’t even lock their doors! The only murder had occurred several years before I was born and involved colored people. A black man named Peg Robinson murdered somebody. He was finally captured by law enforcement in the bell tower of a black church. An old black man named Thorney testified against Peg, who went to prison for life. Thorney’s life was threatened, and he always carried a pistol in his back pocket. (I was alone with Thorney one time and had an opportunity to ask him about Peg but was too shy to bring it up.) Sadly, like the rest of America, the region changed after I left home and the drug culture spread, leading to an increase in crime.

There were no racial problems around our region when I was growing up. The only evidence of segregation was that white children went to one school while black children went to another. As for “white” and “colored” drinking fountains and restrooms, if there were any, they were in the towns. At the local country stores, any “drinking fountain” was a hydrant and “restrooms” were outhouses. There may have been separate areas in local restaurants, but my family never ate in restaurants. Any “prepared” food we bought was barbecue which we bought either by the pound or a shoulder and ate at home. About once a year, we’d go to Memphis to visit the zoo at Overton Park and have a picnic. There were probably segregated facilities in the park and zoo, but I honestly don’t recall. While there were only a handful of black families where I lived, once we passed Jackson and entered the Hatchie River bottomland, we were in an area with large numbers of blacks. Like the colored people I knew, they were descendants of slaves who had lived on the cotton plantations that had been established in the rich bottomland.

When I was thirteen years old, my family took a trip to Leesville, Louisiana. My uncle was in the Army at nearby Fort Polk. After we left Memphis and went south into Mississippi on US 61, we entered an entirely different world than the one I was use too. The land was flat and black, just like it was in the Hatchie Bottoms northeast of Memphis. The difference was the row after row of small shotgun houses along the road, with dozens of black children and teenagers sitting on the porches and hanging around in the yards. It was springtime and there were no crops in the ground yet so they had nothing to do. The house were no different than the ones I had seen in Tennessee – my family had lived in one when I was little – but there so many of them. It was like that all the way to Greenville, where we crossed the Mississippi into Louisiana and it continued all through that state to Monroe and on to the south. Whether the black families were sharecroppers or worked for the owners of the land, none of whom were in sight since they lived in either large plantation houses off of the main roads or, more likely, in the small towns, was unclear. I was an avid reader and read the Memphis Commercial Appeal, which came to our house by mail every day except Sunday, when it was delivered by someone who had the paper route. I had read about the “welfare mothers” in Mississippi who received Federal funds from the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program. A condition was that there could be no man around. It was believed that women were having children in order to get more money. There is one thing for sure, there were a lot of kids in those families! And there were Cadillacs parked at many of the houses.

I was ten years old when Rose Parks was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama. I don’t remember hearing much about it at the time, although the name of Martin Luther King began popping up. When I was in high school, college students in Tennessee began having “sit-ins” in an attempt to integrate the lunch counters at certain stores in Nashville and other cities. Students at Lane College, a black school in Jackson, decided to hold their own sit-ins in stores there in the city and to protest against segregated seating on city buses. I don’t remember anything about it. I now know that there were several sit-in attempts in Jackson, until the stores shut down the lunch counters and turned them into sales counters. The bus boycott never got off the ground. As soon as the city got wind of the plan, they removed the “whites only” placards from the buses.

There was another racial problem that I do remember, although my recollection is different than that later reported in the Jackson Sun, the regional newspaper. Problems arose in Haywood County, in particular, when landowners told the sharecroppers who had been cropping their land they were no longer needed. Farming had become mechanized and the mechanical cotton picker eliminated the need for large families to pick the white bolls in the fall. Mechanized farming only required a handful of workers in comparison to the large numbers who had been needed to hoe cotton in the late spring and pick it in the fall. Tents were erected in fields outside of Brownsville for the displaced sharecroppers. I remember passing through Brownsville with my dad on the way to visit my cousin in the hospital in Covington and seeing the Tent City. Articles written years later for the Jackson Sun claim that the tent cities came about as a result of politics rather than economics. They claim that black families were kicked off the land they had been living on because they had registered to vote. While it is entirely possible that landowners had been letting black families live on their land after they were no longer needed and became upset when they registered to vote and told them to move, that claim does not fit my recollection. The article dealt mostly with events in Fayette County, the county south of Haywood, which had been the site of several contraband camps during the Civil War, of which many of the former slaves had remained nearby. Eventually the tent cities disappeared as the residents began moving to Memphis, St. Louis, Chicago and Detroit.

Although I had some contact with adult blacks while growing up, I had only limited contact with those my own age. It was not by design but was due to distance. There were no black families living close to us. Occasionally, a black family would pick cotton for us in the fall. I remember one black boy my age who picked with us with whom I discovered I had much in common – we both liked airplanes – but I only remember being around him a time or two. As a rule, Daddy avoided hiring blacks to pick cotton because they had a tendency to stuff their cotton sacks with unopen cotton bolls, dirt clods, rocks or whatever else they could find to increase the weight. This decreased the value of the cotton at the gin and was potentially dangerous – rocks could cause sparks and set fires. There were times when whole cotton stalks came out of sacks when they were being emptied. He preferred to use local school kids who went around picking cotton to make money for school clothes. There was one time – probably after I left home – when Mother allowed a group of blacks from a nearby town who stopped by while Daddy was gone wanting to pick, and they were so profane that she was embarrassed to have them in the field with her daughters. Apparently, they were quite fond of the word for which “mother” is half.

I graduated from high school in 1963 and almost immediately joined the Air Force. The induction center was in Memphis. New recruits were subjected to thorough physicals and a battery of intelligence and aptitude tests before we were sworn in. The induction center served both the Air Force and the Army and tested recruits and inductees from West Tennessee, North Mississippi and eastern Arkansas. There was a large group of blacks present. One of the soldiers operating the facility told the group of us from the Air Force that they were mostly from Mississippi, and that nearly all of them were substandard and would be sent home. All draftees and recruits were required to achieve a minimum score on the Armed Forces Qualification Tests and very few of the young blacks were able to attain it. Many were illiterate and most were barely literate. Some had medical issues such as syphilis and parasites. When I saw them, I thought of the young blacks we had seen around the sharecropper shacks on our trip to visit my aunt and uncle.

When we got to Lackland Air Force Base and were assigned to flights, there were a number of black recruits in our flight. For some reason, our training instructors, commonly called TIs, chose a black recruit from Connecticut to be barracks chief. Some of the guys said they chose him to make a point with the white recruits. It seems to me he had had some ROTC training. As it turned out, everyone got along okay. However, the Southern black guys were a lot easier to get along with than those from places like Detroit, New York, Chicago and Philadelphia. Northern blacks seemed to have chips on their shoulders. After basic, I went to Amarillo, Texas for training as a jet aircraft mechanic. Jet mechanics was a popular field and several from my class asked for and got it. There were several colored guys in the school, although there weren’t any in my particular class. One of our instructors was a young black airman first class, which in those days was the grade just below staff sergeant. He was likeable and knowledgeable. From Amarillo, I went to Pope AFB, NC adjacent to the massive Fort Bragg. I didn’t have a car so I spent my off-duty time at the service club, a USO facility where we could drink coffee, eat doughnuts, watch TV, play cards, chess and other games or check out an instrument from the music room. A lot of black guys hung out there and I got along with them okay. After I’d been there a few months, I was fortunate to be selected to cross-train into the aircraft loadmaster field, which allowed me to go on flying status and aircrew duty. Fifteen of those of us who had arrived at Pope at the same time were selected. At least two were black.

This was the sixties and there were racial problems all over the country, and the military was not exempt. There were riots on a few bases and even ships at sea. However, I noticed that the guys I worked with tended to stay away from the troublemakers, who were mostly from the less-technical fields. I was involved in two racial incidents during my 12 years in the military, neither of which was known by other than a few people. The first one occurred while I was at Pope. I was riding in my friend Tom’s car with two of our friends and a new guy who had just reported to the base in back. I had been assigned as the new guy’s sponsor and it was my responsibility to help him get acclimated to the base. We had just left the squadron for the barracks and I was telling him about the base. I mentioned that there wasn’t a squadron of female airmen, or WAFs, but that there was one married enlisted WAF, a heavyset colored girl who worked in the dispensary. Jodie, who was from Indiana, blurted out, “Yeah, she’s a typical (N-word).” Mac, a colored guy from Georgia, was sitting next to him. He went ballistic. When we got to the barracks, he rushed to tell “the boys,” the other colored guys in the squadron, what Jodie had said. Now, this was 1965. That evening, there was a conflab on the landing at the end of the barracks. There was Jodie, me, Tom, Mac and several of the older colored guys in the squadron. The one who did the talking was a lanky North Carolinian named Ferguson. As the conflab went on, I got the impression he and the other colored guys thought it was funny. They all liked Jodie, perhaps more than they did Mac. I don’t think Mac was happy that they didn’t beat Jodie up. I considered Mac a friend then and still do. We would be stationed together again several years later and fly together. We never talked about the incident.

The second incident was more serious and could have been a real problem with major consequences, including injury and possible loss of life. I had gone overseas then came back to a new assignment at Robins AFB at Warner Robins, Georgia. Right outside the main gate of the base was Front Street, with a half dozen or so bars, beer joints actually, that were whites only. Actually, I don’t think blacks cared since they tended to want to socialize together but the fact that they were unwelcome at the Front Street bars was an affront. A day or so after Martin Luther King was shot in Memphis, I was at the squadron for commander’s call. Afterwards, my friend Gene Beck and I met at Cruickshank’s, the first bar outside the main gate and the unofficial squadron hangout. It was late afternoon when we went there, and we were both in uniform. Gene was a senior master sergeant and I was a recently promoted staff sergeant. There was racial unrest all over the country and even rioting in some cities, Detroit, Newark, NJ and Washington, DC in particular. Somehow, word had got out that young blacks on the base had decided to integrate Front Street. I don’t know how we knew, but their plan was to send a guy into each bar by himself and if he was thrown out, they’d rush in as a group and tear the place up. Cruickshank had a shotgun behind the bar and was threatening to use it if blacks came in. Gene, a big guy from South Carolina, said “Let me handle it.”

Soon after dark, a group of people came through the main gate and headed for Front Street. The bar was nearest the gate and was the first on their agenda. Sure enough, the door opened and a black airman came in. He was wearing the same tan uniform as Gene and I. He was a three-striper, a sergeant, one rank below me. Robins is a big base and we didn’t recognize him. We invited him to sit down at the bar and Gene and I got on either side of him. Gene bought him a beer. We – Gene did the talking – talked about King and how his death was such a tragedy. The black kid drank his beer and left – and the mob went back across the street and back onto the base. We had actually averted a race riot! The next day, I went to Fort Bragg and picked up a load of 82nd Airborne troops and their vehicles and took them to Andrews AFB, DC for riot duty.

I tell you all of that to tell you all of this. Starting in the 1960s, black activists and white academics have lied to America and to blacks in particular. After the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Congress passed the Higher Education Act of 1965, which established a Federal student loan program, making it possible for millions of Americans to finance a college education. The act was a gigantic windfall for American colleges and universities and also for trade schools. Combined with the Vietnam Era GI Bill, which provided educational assistance to veterans, schools reaped a cash bonanza. In order to attract students, schools began offering new courses of studies; studies that were basically worthless but appealed to many – African history, African studies, women’s studies and studies aimed at attracting adherents of the Chicano movement, a movement among Mexicans who believe that the center of the Aztec nation was in what is now the American Southwest. Much of what was taught in these new courses was myth or exaggeration, if not pure fiction. African studies students were led to believe that some of the greatest inventions of all time were actually created by blacks, often slaves, such as the invention of the cotton gin. Another myth was that the steam engine was invented by a black (actually, a black inventor came up with some components later used on steam engines, but he did not invent the engines themselves.)

The accomplishments of blacks – and women – were exaggerated. Two examples are the exploits of the colored aviation units of World War II, the now-famed Tuskegee Airmen, and the female pilots commonly known as the WASP. Formed prior to the American entry into World War II, the all-black 99th Pursuit Squadron had a mediocre record in the Mediterranean Theater. At one point, the Army Air Forces considered disbanding the unit, but the decision was delayed. Meanwhile, three other squadrons had been activated and integrated into the 332nd Fighter Group – www.sammcgowan.com/332nd.html. The group performed adequately but not spectacularly in combat. However, a book came out in the mid-1960s that elevated the young Negro airmen to supermen status, claiming that they were “some of the best” pilots in the Army Air Forces. In reality, their commanders rated them as the least effective group in the theater. The Air Force allowed the myth to exist as a morale-booster for young black airmen. Not to be outdone, feminist authors began touting the role of women in World War II, including the civilian pilots of the Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Service and the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots or WASPs. www.sammcgowan.com/wasps.html. The accomplishments of both organizations have been greatly exaggerated, but what the hell, the exaggeration served a purpose!

(Immediately after the war, the Army did a study of its all-black units. The study determined that blacks performed better when they worked alongside white soldiers and airmen. The officers recommended that the all-black units be done away with and the black soldiers and airmen be integrated into other units. However, the Army didn’t immediately accept the recommendation. As it turned out, the Air Force was first to integrate. Segregation in the Air Force ended soon after the former Army Air Corps was replaced by the Air Force, a new military service, in 1947.)

The civil rights movement of the 50s and 60s gave rise to the “activist,” a person who in many respects is like a prostitute in that they have no visible means of support, yet somehow manage to achieve power and, in many cases, wealth. Activists survive by advocating some kind of wrong that must be corrected. So called “racism” is one of their hobby horses. The term, racism, came into use in the 1930s when applied to Germany’s new racial policies, which were directed at various groups, nearly all white, that Adolph Hitler’s new “master race” considered inferior. In the true sense of the word, racism is a philosophy or belief based solely on race, meaning that those who ride the race hobby horse are racists themselves. The modern definition is a corruption of the true meaning of the word but, that’s what journalists and academics do. They invent new meanings to create confusion. A veritable army of black activists came out of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Most of them claimed some kind of religious credentials; they were ministers of black churches. Initially, black activists pushed for social equality for blacks. Their actions stood in stark contrast to the philosophies of Booker T. Washington, the founder of Tuskegee Institute, who advocated that the children of freed slaves should integrate themselves into society through education. Black activism follows the teachings of Washington’s adversary, W.E.B. Dubois, who preached equality through political action, i.e. legislation. Unlike Washington, who was born into slavery in Virginia, Dubois came from free blacks in Massachusetts and never knew slavery. He wasn’t born until 1868, three years after slavery ended.

The most prominent black activist in relation to the claim of systemic racism is pseudo-preacher Al Sharpton, who started out as a Pentecostal preacher while still a boy in New York City. Sharpton got on the racism bandwagon when he advocated that the reason Bernard Goetz, known as “the subway shooter,” shot four young black men when they tried to mug him was because he was a racial bigot. In reality, Goetz had been mugged and beaten previously and determined that it wasn’t going to happen again. He began carrying a gun even though it was illegal in New York. One day, four black men began harassing Goetz. Believing they were going to assault him, he pulled out the pistol and shot all four of them. After the shooting, he fled on foot and probably would have never been caught had he not turned himself in. He was acquitted of all charges except illegal possession of a firearm, for which he served eight months. Sharpton organized protests and managed to force a Federal investigation, which determined that Goetz was defending himself and race was not a factor. Undeterred, Sharpton has continued to protest and brand various violent encounters between blacks and whites as racially motivated. In one instance, Sharpton claimed a young black teenager had been raped and mutilated by white cops, but the incident turned out to be fake. Nevertheless, Sharpton has continued to insert himself into various incidents, with the most recent being the death of George Floyd. In fact, Sharpton preached Floyd’s funeral at a church barely ten miles from me. Sharpton has played a large role in convincing the nation that Floyd’s unfortunate death was due to an act of racism – even though one of the officers who was involved is himself African-American.

Why did Sharpton preach George Floyd’s funeral? He never knew the man and most likely never knew any of his family, although one of George’s brothers lives in New York. The brother may have called him, but it was most likely Benjamin Crump, the black attorney who has become the go-to lawyer for families of blacks who are perceived victims of “racism.” Like Sharpton, Crump is an activist who has made a name for himself as a racist (someone who focuses on race.) https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2020/06/03/ben-crump-civil-rights-lawyer-also-man-beside-mourners/5274494002/ Crump makes his money by suing and collecting his third of the payments made by municipalities or, in the case of Trayvon Martin, homeowners’ associations. By inserting themselves in the George Floyd case, Crump and Sharpton changed the narrative of what is most likely a case of a suspect with severe medical problems expiring while he was being restrained to an incident motivated by race. There are several videos of the arrest, including one that shows Floyd plainly struggling with the officers while they were trying to get him into the cruiser. It was only after something occurred inside the cruiser that he was restrained. By the way, while there has been much talk of “choke holds,” Officer Derek Chauvin was not using a “choke hold” on Floyd. A choke hold is when someone holds another from the back with an arm around their neck. Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s neck.

Thanks to Sharpton and other activists, millions of Americans are convinced that there is racial injustice in America even though blacks have become the most pampered race to ever exist. Yes, millions of blacks live in poverty, but most receive some kind of public assistance. Thanks to affirmative action, they have priority in hiring and are protected from firing for lack of performance. Still, crime is rampant in black communities with young black males being responsible for some 50% of the violent crime in the country. In most cases, the victims of black crime are other blacks. While black activists rant about the deaths of black men at the hands of cops, blacks are killing other blacks at high rates, with over 2,000 blacks shot each year and nearly 500 murders in Chicago alone. Overall upwards of 7,000 blacks are killed by other blacks each year. Yet Black Lives Matter advocates blame police for killing a handful of “unarmed” black men each year.   

No, the problem in America is not racial injustice, the problem is an extremely violent race whose members prey on each other. Yes, change is needed in America, but that needed change is for Americans to wake up and see where the real problem lies.

Freedom of “the Press” – Or, Don’t Believe the Media

 Members of the modern media have a highly exalted opinion of themselves, a completely unjustified opinion, an opinion based on misrepresentation of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, an opinion that is completely false. It has been a long time coming because it hasn’t been so obvious, but the result is an emerging war between television news networks, newspapers and the administration of President Donald Trump, a war fought with words rather than the kind of bullets that kill and maim. To hear them tell it, the media is on a mission from God to “tell the truth” about the United States government. However, the real truth is that media is and always has been highly partisan and editors, journalists and TV newsmen and women rarely ever relate anything resembling truth. Instead, newspapers and TV news publish opinions and represent it as truth when it is anything but. “Fake news” is a new term but it accurately describes the media as it exists in the United States (and the world) and how it has existed since the printing press first came into being, for much of what has claimed to be “news” has always been politically motivated and has been slanted to represent a particular political point of view.

When the First Amendment was adopted, its meaning was far different than it is represented as today. It reads as follows – Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” The amendment begins with the words “CONGRESS shall make no law…” which is a clear indication that it was intended to apply to only one body of government, the United States Congress. Left-wing legal scholars have reapplied it to every level of government by disregarding the Founders’ original intent and substituting their own but original intent is still there. It was not intended to apply to state, county, or local government nor was it intended that the duly elected officials of government at any level were not free to challenge those exercising either of the three “freedoms” spelled out in the amendment, the first being religion, followed by speech and then by “the press” as represented by only three words. (Challenging and making laws are not the same.) Those words do not establish the press as “the watchdog of the people” in any form. In fact, the words “the press” doesn’t refer to what we consider today to be “the media” but actually refers to the printing press, regardless of how it is used, whether to print books, political pamphlets or, both last and least, “newspapers.” In fact, the phrase refers to exactly the same thing “speech” refers to, which is the expression of individual opinion although through the published, rather than the spoken, word. The problem is that the media has developed practices of expressing opinion and passing it off as “news”. They also misrepresent their opinions as being the corporate opinion of the nation as a whole.

When it comes to members of the media, it is important to understand that while they represent themselves as vast repositories of knowledge, they really have no knowledge of, well – anything, especially not the inner workings of government – nor do they have “facts”. The only “news” agencies that actually might have real knowledge are those that are part of government, regardless of level. They put out the official statement of whatever government body they represent, whether it is the White House itself, a government agency or a branch of the military. Only official press releases are based on any knowledge of the actions of government; any other “news” is mere speculation and depends on information provided by “sources” who may or may not be reliable and who, as often as not, have some kind of political ax to grind. A classic example is the “Watergate” scandal – the scandal, as it developed, didn’t become public knowledge because Bernstein and Woodward “uncovered” it by “investigative reporting”, but rather because the assistant director of the FBI, William M. “Mark” Felt, a Democrat, fed them information about the ongoing investigation into the break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate Hotel. (Although he had become an FBI agent in 1941, Felt had been a staffer for two Democratic senators from Idaho. He was at odds with President Nixon, although whether it was for political reasons or because he wanted to somehow protect the FBI is unclear. Woodward, who knew him from when he had served in the White House as a naval officer, referred to him as “a terrible gossip”.)Without that source, they would have had nothing.

Speaking of nothing, there is nothing in the Constitution or its amendments even implying a “public right to know.” This is an invention of (Who else?) the media themselves! Now, granted, official information services may not tell everything that the public thinks they want to know and sometimes they may not be completely truthful but the media is even worse, far worse, because members of the media quite often make up stories and represent it as truth. In fact, this is quite common. Journalists are employees, whether fulltime or freelance, and in order to earn a living, they must produce copy that editors want to publish. Newspapers, news magazines and TV “news” put out whatever their editors want to put out, as often as not in an attempt to sway public opinion and with little regard for the veracity of the content. Their stories are often false, although they represent them to be “truth” and may actually believe them to be. Much of “news” is the publishing of the opinions of members of the party not in power, and of so-called “activists” group, which are actually political action groups, nearly all of which are far left-wing. The media also publishes fake news fed to them by political campaigns and by the political parties themselves – and they publish fake news distributed by Federal agencies. For example, the Central Intelligence Agency feeds fake news to foreign news outlets in an attempt to influence elections and promote or discredit the party in power. The CIA is barred by law from domestic activities but they doesn’t mean they aren’t involved, as evidenced by the current “revelation” of information damaging to President Donald Trump by the previous CIA director. The CIA has a long history of illegal activities.

I first came to realize that journalism cannot be depended on in the spring of 1966 when I was a twenty-year old airman in the United States Air Force assigned to duty in Thailand flying nightly missions (actually every other night) over southern North Vietnam and Laos looking for truck and river traffic on the complex of roads, trails and rivers leading out of North Vietnam through Laos into South Vietnam that had come to be collectively known as “the Ho Chi Minh Trail.” Once we spotted something that looked like it might be traffic, our pilot initiated a complex series of communications to obtain clearance to direct air strikes against the targets. He radioed an airborne command post that orbited high overhead with a team of battlefield controllers on board. The airborne controller then contacted higher headquarters, who then went even further to obtain permission for air strikes against the targets. Over Laos, the contact went to the American embassy in Vientiane and from there to the local province chief. On missions over North Vietnam, permission had to come from the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam through a joint command center in Saigon. The purpose of this complex procedure was to minimize civilian casualties. By the time we received clearance to send fighters in to attack the targets, the trucks would have pulled into one of the fake villages the North Vietnamese had constructed along their infiltration routes and thus be impervious to air attack. That, however, was not what newspapers in the United States were reporting – we saw the articles – they were reporting that US airmen were conducting “unrestricted warfare” even though that was nowhere even close to the truth; it was, rather, an outright lie. Reporters, who lived and worked primarily in Saigon, and who attended daily news briefings, had no idea what American airmen were actually doing so they made up a story to tell, a story designed to embarrass the Johnson Administration and the military. Reporters knew that air attacks were only on specified targets but they wanted to tell a different story. In short, newspapers, particularly the New York Times, were lying to the American people about what was really taking place in Southeast Asia. They continued to lie until the United States withdrew from the war in Vietnam and continue to lie about it to this day. Very much of what has appeared in print about the Vietnam War over the past five decades came from journalists who made up their stories in the bar of the Caravelle Hotel in Saigon and never actually saw a military operation firsthand.

Members of the media claim they are impartial but in reality, American newspapers – and newspapers around the world for that matter – have NEVER been impartial. In fact, American newspapers were originally organized to represent a particular political viewpoint, whatever it might be. They can be traced back in the United States to the conflict between Thomas Jefferson and his Republican Democrats and Alexander Hamilton’s Federalists in the earliest days of our nation. Both sides used the press to produce pamphlets advocating their viewpoint. The pamphlets were then distributed by various means. Pamphleteering led to newspapers, which published under a name that often indicated their particular political viewpoint. Of course, modern news media’s main purpose is to make money for their owners but they also have a particular political agenda and are often associated with a political party – and always have been. For example, at one time there were newspapers all over the United States that had either “Democrat” or “Republican” in their names. Papers had – and still have – political agendas as do broadcast networks, both radio and television. This is also true of national news magazines, with some representing a more conservative viewpoint while others have adopted the “progressive” viewpoint. Since the 1930s and the complete control of government by the Roosevelt White House, the slant has been increasingly toward the “progressive” viewpoint, a viewpoint based on a decidedly European view of socialism and Marxism. This should come as no surprise since Marxism began spreading throughout the world in the mid-nineteenth century and had become firmly entrenched in political thought by the turn of the Twentieth Century. In order to give themselves legitimacy, such outlets began claiming a nonexistent status for themselves as “guardians of the public trust.” In fact, however, they are no such thing. They fancy themselves to be public opinion makers and, until the advent of electronic means of communication, they were.

The current conflict between the national media and President Donald Trump is due to his not being a politician, and not willing to play the political game. President Trump couldn’t care less what the media thinks of him. He knows that the so-called “mainstream” media was opposed to him as a candidate and that most journalists, editors and publishers were caught by surprise when he won the election. He knows that they based their opinions on polling methods that have become unreliable now that Americans have Caller ID and simply don’t answer calls when they don’t know who he is calling. He furthermore knows that certain media outlets, particularly the New York Times, the Washington Post and CNN are working hard to delegitimize his presidency. This should come as no surprise since the editor of the New York Times declared open war on Mr. Trump when he was a candidate and even went to the extent of offering payment for information obtained by illegal means. Nearly every large city newspaper in the country endorsed Hillary Clinton, often  claiming that Donald Trump was “unfit to be president” but without offering any solid reasoning for such a claim. (The Constitution establishes the qualifications for the presidency and they are very liberal, being only that the president must be 35 years of age or older and must be a “natural born citizen” of the United States. (The media and academics have caused considerable confusion regarding the meaning of the “natural born” phrase, which simply means that they are citizens by birth and require no action on the part of government to make them citizens.)

Cable news is as political as newspapers. CNN founder/owner Ted Turner is a lifelong Democrat who makes no secret of his political views. Turner supports Democrats and, like newspaper editors and owners of the past, has long been using his “cable news” network as a means of advancing the progressive political agenda. Australian-born media magnate Rupert Murdock, who is generally conservative, owns Fox. MSNBC is Far Left in its political viewpoint, representing the socialist view. All claim to be broadcast “news” but they mostly broadcast political opinion. Since Donald Trump was inaugurated, instead of letting media publish “news” that is not really news but is actually political opinion, the White House is pushing back and calling them out for what they put out. As President Trump recently stated, journalists don’t know what is actually happening in the White House or any branch of the government. They rely on unidentified sources who may or may not be telling the truth and who usually are grinding an ax. Good examples are the stories about Trump campaign officials “ties with Russia.”

There is an effort to equate the Federal Government of Russia with the former Soviet Union, which disbanded and ceased to exist almost thirty years ago. Media accounts frequently refer to the KGB, the Soviet Union’s counterpart to the American Central Intelligence Agency even though the KGB ceased to exist along with the Soviet Union. This is being done in an effort to cause Americans, who grew up in fear of a Soviet Union that was often equated with Russia since it was the largest member state, to believe that the Cold War has resumed or, more accurately, that it never ended. Media accounts refer to “ties” between Trump campaign officials and Russia, without acknowledging that Americans, particularly businessmen, have been involved with Russian nationals since the early 1990s when the collapse of the Soviet Union and the establishment of a new Russia opened up both dialogue and business opportunities between Americans and Russians. Large numbers of Russians immigrated to the United States and became involved in various businesses, including financial and communications. American oil companies – most of them – became involved in oil exploration in Russia, which, after all, is not only the largest nation in the world, is the richest in natural resources. Doing business with Russia has been quite common for three decades but you’d never know in to hear the media tell it – they represent having “ties” to Russia as some kind of Federal crime.

Ever since documents from the Democratic National Committee were leaked to the world by Julian Assange’s Wikileaks, Hillary Clinton supporters have been claiming they were leaked by “the Russians.” As soon as the leaks came out, the Clinton campaign claimed the DNC computer server had been “hacked” although no proof of such a claim has even been offered. They put out claims that there was “evidence” of hacks by actors “associated with Russian intelligence” which is actually a play on words because (1) evidence of hacks can only be assumed and (2) the word “associated” has multiple meanings. In fact, when the “intelligence community” put out a statement that the DNC was hacked by “the Russians”, the statement merely contained the same allegations put out by the Clinton campaign and offered no solid proof. They also stated that such evidence as they had came from “third party” sources. In short, the statement has the appearance of political propaganda, which is no surprise since the primary advocate was former CIA head John Brennan, an Obama political appointee and a critic of Donald Trump. (Brennan is also known to have strong ties to left-wing politics, and has admitted to voting for the Communist Party, USA candidate for president in an election in the 1970s.) As I write this, a major “news story” is that that are calls for a special prosecutor to “investigate ties to Russia by Trump campaign officials,” calls made by Democratic Party politicians and activists.

Regardless of the stories appearing in the various forms of media, just remember one thing – you can’t trust media, whether it’s newspapers, news magazines, cable “news” or major television “news” networks. They are all accomplished liars.

 

 

 

 

 

“Intelligence” or Supposition?

I’ve not posted anything in awhile because so much has been going on I’ve not decided which to talk about. Now that the so-called “intelligence community” is making waves about “The Russians” and Julian Assange is saying essentially that they’re full of shit, I’ve decided to talk about government intelligence. I’ll preface this by stating that in 12 years in the Air Force I had a few intelligence briefings and did some things that weren’t talked about.

Let me start this off by saying that the term “seventeen intelligence agencies” used by Hillary Clinton in her claim that these agencies had determined the information published on WikiLeaks came from “the Russians” is a misnomer. There are actually only two intelligence agencies, the CIA and the DIA, but there are fifteen organizations that have intelligence-collecting arms that report to the Director of Intelligence in some form or fashion. These organizations use the term “intelligence” but their role is actually the gathering of information from other countries by spying. In short, the “intelligence community” is a euphemism for America’s spies. Take a look at the list at the link above to see who they are and, to some extent, what they do.

Intelligence is collected in a number of ways. Some are sophisticated electronic intelligence gathering methods using airborne, seaborne and ground stations to record radio communications and other means of electronics communications of foreign governments. Others are as simple as eavesdropping on conversations in hotel bars or reading newspapers. The CIA uses foreign intelligence sources including paid informants who may be anything from a janitor in a foreign government building to high-placed government officials who are passing on their government’s secrets to US agents, for an often sizeable fee. Such information may or may not be accurate.

The problem is that the “intelligence community,” meaning Director of Intelligence James Clapper, a retired USAF general and Barack Obama, claim that the Emails published several months ago by Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks were hacked and leaked by “the Russians.” Assange says the information did not come from the Russians, which has caused a big uproar in Washington. Craig Murray, a British politician and former diplomat, has said he picked up the document in Washington, DC and turned them over to Assange. (Assange, who has promised never to reveal sources, has said Murray doesn’t speak for WikiLeaks.) Clapper’s claim seems to be based on information provided by CrowdStrike, a private cybersecurity firm employed by the Democratic National Committee.

Now, “intelligence” is one thing, but drawing the correct conclusion is another. Each of the intelligence organizations employs large number of “analysts” whose job is to look at the information that has been gleaned from various sources and come up with some kind of report. Sometimes they get it right, but more often they don’t. One of the biggest intelligence failures in history was the Allied forces in Europe’s failure to detect the massive German attacks in Belgium that led to the “Battle of the Bulge.” General George Patton’s G-2 correctly reported that the Germans were building up their forces in the Ardennes but Eisenhower’s own G-2 ignored the report. Intelligence failed to predict the North Korean attacks on South Korea in 1950, intelligence failed to predict North Vietnamese attacks on South Vietnam in 1972, intelligence failed to predict the fall of the Soviet Union and intelligence claimed Iraq had “weapons of mass destruction” when, in fact, all such weapons had been destroyed. In short, the intelligence community has been wrong about some of the most important events in recent history. If they’ve been wrong about so much, why believe them now?

What bothers me most about the current claims is that “the Russians” were blamed for the alleged hacks on the Democratic National Committee Email system as soon as they were released by WikiLeaks by the Clinton Campaign, then the White House backed her up. Those Emails contain devastating information that showed that certain DNC officials were manipulating the Democratic primaries to give Clinton an advantage over Bernie Sanders. The information was so devastating that DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz was immediately fired. “The Russians” claim timing is very suspicious. A few days after the WikiLeaks revelation, a DNC employee named Seth Rich was mysteriously murdered. The murder has never been solved and some believe his death is connected to the leaks. Julian Assange hinted that Rich was one of his informants, and took the unprecedented step of offering a sizeable reward for information leading to the conviction of Rich’s killer.

There is something else that needs to be realized. Right after the CIA was established, the Agency initiated Project MOCKINGBIRD, a campaign to influence American public opinion. When the project was originally established, the goal was to promote opinion against communism. However, since then the CIA and other intelligence agencies have become more leftist in outlook. For example, current CIA director John Brennan is known to have voted for a Communist Party USA presidential candidate and to have voiced far left opinions.  Can he be trusted?

So, regardless of what the “intelligence community” claims about Russia and the election, just remember that no intelligence is conclusive and the US intelligence community, once called The Cult of Intelligence, can’t be trusted.

 

The Dawn of a Bright New Day

2016

I woke up this morning to a new day; a new day in terms of it being a new one in terms of the sun but also because it is a new day for this country. For the first time in recent memory, a non-politician has been elected president of the United States even though he was opposed by everyone from the political elites to the coyotes who charge desperate Latinos big bucks to smuggle them through Mexico and across the border into the United States – including all of the broadcast networks and apparently all of the cable channels, including FOX News, the New York Times, the Washington Post and most large newspapers. But all of those opposing him lost and Trump won.

The media pronounced Hillary queen several months ago, as soon as she declared her candidacy, actually, and “the polls” confirmed it – with three exceptions. Way out on the Left Coast there is a company known as the Rand Corporation, a little known company founded right after World War II by Douglas Aircraft to provide research information to what was then the Army Air Forces. Rand is essentially a high-powered think tank which, over the years, has been involved in numerous projects for the military, industry and health care. Prior to the 2012 election, Rand developed a new polling method. After conducting the poll themselves in 2012, Rand turned the project over to the University of Southern California’s Dornsife Understanding America Study. The Dornsife school conducted the poll this year for the Los Angeles Time. The Dornisfe poll consistently showed that the presidential race was much closer than other polls were showing it. So did the TIPP tracking poll, which only kicked in a couple of weeks before the election. Rasmussen was also showing a closer race. All three polls were discounted by the big name pollsters and the national media.

On the day before the election, I noticed two things that caused me to think that Trump had a chance. The first was that the Dornsife poll showed Trump with a 5-point lead while the TIPP poll showed him a 2 point lead. Rasmussen also showed Trump with a lead. On election day, the Dornsife had Trump favored by 3 points, TIPP remained at 2 while Rasmussen had dropped to -2 – most other polls showed Clinton leading by 3-5 points. I also noted that the Real Clear Politics web page was showing most of the “battleground states” as undecided, with their “no tossup” electoral college map showing Clinton with a less than 5-vote advantage over Trump. I knew that Trump had a good chance of winning the election. History now shows that I was right.

Things have changed. The next event will be Donald Trump picking his cabinet. Of course, the media is going to spin and speculate just as they’ve been doing ever since there was a hint that he might run. Consequently, we really don’t know that much about him because damn near everything published about him came straight from the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign. They fed information to the so-called journalists and they rushed it into print. According to them, Trump is a rich opportunist who likes to “abuse” women and never pays any taxes. Maybe he’s all of that but there’s a lot more to him. Now, I want to say that I have never been a Trump fan. I never watched his television shows and when some of my friends started pushing him to be the GOP nominee, I thought they were nuts. I early voted for Jeb Bush in the Texas primary but he withdrew from the race before the election so my vote didn’t matter. There’s no way I’m ever going to support Ted Cruz for anything. Once it became apparent that Trump was going to be the nominee, I started paying more attention and realized he was the best candidate of the field. If Trump had not been the nominee, I’m afraid Hillary would be crowing today instead of drowning her sorrows.

Criticism of Trump centers mostly around his views on ILLEGAL immigration. ILLEGAL is the key word here. Estimates of the numbers of illegal immigrants in the US vary, but regardless of how many are here, they are here ILLEGALLY, which means they are breaking the law, which calls for deportation. Since the vast majority of illegals in the US are Mexican, the law naturally comes down hard on Mexicans. Trump – correctly – stated that many of the Mexican immigrants are criminals, particularly rapists, and this is true. I live near Houston, Texas, which has the largest concentration of immigrants in the country, and there is definitely a fairly high crime rate among Mexicans, whether they’re legal or illegal. There’re shootings almost every day and there have been several incidents where Mexican immigrants have raped young girls, most of whom are also of Mexican origin. Are all Mexican immigrants criminals? The answer is obviously no but some are, and there’s no way to screen those who come here illegally.

Then there is the issue of Muslims. Contrary to what many seem to think, Trump has not called for deportation of Muslims. What he’s called for is a – temporary – moratorium on immigration of Muslims from areas where so-called “radical Islam” prevails. Such an action is, incidentally, a right of the Executive Branch. Contrary to the insinuations of the Khan man, immigrants who are not citizens have no rights and the Constitution does not address immigration at all. Immigrants are actually guests of the United States until they complete the citizenship process and become citizens and thus entitled to the rights of citizens as expressed in the Bill of Rights and other Constitutional amendments. Until that time, they are still citizens of whatever country they came from and have no Constitutional rights.

A lot of criticism has been directed at Trump over his announcement that he  will build a wall along the Mexican border. Now, the Mexican border runs from a few miles from Brownsville, Texas some 1,500 miles to just south of San Diego, California. The border with Texas is the Rio Grande River, which is so shallow in places a person can wade it – I’ve done so myself.  Just west of El Paso, the border becomes an imaginary line across the most desolate land on the North American continent. Those who wish to cross are required to do so at checkpoints run by both governments. However, the border is porous. Part of it is fenced but illegal immigrants cross practically at will. Some are caught, some die in the desert and some get through. Many are trucked to cities like Dallas and Houston.

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Rio Grande in Big Bend National Park – Mexico on the other side

Trump’s wall is not only doable, having a wall along the border would not only provide security against illegal crossings, it would serve to channel those who have the documentation to come here legally to an authorized crossing.

Trump critics like to accuse him of “racism,” but their logic is faulty. “Mexican” is a nationality, not a race, and Hispanic is both a language or a national origin. “Latino” is an invented term for people with a connection to “Latin America,” meaning anything south of the Mexican border with the United States. In reality, Mexicans are of European origin just like Americans. If not, they are Amerindian or mestizo, a Spanish term for people of mixed European and Amerindian ancestry. The ancestors of some Mexicans even came from the United States. Trump is also called a misogynist, which is a gross misuse of a term that means “hater of women.” Trump is anything but.

Some claim that Trump won’t be able to accomplish his goals because of opposition from Congress. Well, I’ve got news for you folks.  Every single member of the House of Representatives was just elected or reelected. Trump critics might want to take a look and see where those representatives came from. That’s right, the same people who voted for those Republican representatives voted for Trump. Members of Congress answer to those who sent them there, not to their political party or their financial supporters.  Trump won’t have any problem getting Congressional support for his programs. So what that he’s lacking in foreign policy experience? What president ever goes into office with such experience? That’s why presidents have cabinets and advisors, both civilian and military. It’s a new day. Hide and watch what happens!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Waste of Time

Tonight is the first of what will undoubtedly be dozens of political debates between now and the November 2016 presidential elections. I will not be watching; debates are a major waste of time.

The role of the President of the United States is not to debate, it is to govern. Yes, there is debating in the Congress but that’s where it belongs, not on TV screens where people who don’t have a clue about the real qualifications of the candidates to govern can watch and think they are seeing how capable the person is to perform the Constitutional duties of the chief executive officer of the US government. Debating was not a part of the presidential election process until the 1970s when the television networks saw them as an avenue to attract viewers. The first presidential debate was between Richard Nixon and John Kennedy in 1960 but there were no more debates until 1976 when Jimmy Carter debated President Gerald Ford. There had been debates before, but they were not presidential debates with the exception of the 1958 Democratic candidate debate between Adlai Stephenson and Senator Estes Kefauver.

It is commonly known that Thomas Jefferson, who authored the Declaration of Independence and is considered one of the Founding Fathers, was no debater. In fact, he was so bad at debating that he gave up the practice of law and became a politician. Even after he was elected to the Continental Congress, he generally kept his mouth shut. His opinions became well known, but only because he was gifted at expressing himself in writing. Jefferson was elected as the third president of the United States and founded the Democratic-Republican Party, which was known as the Republican Party, but he expressed his opinions through pamphlets and in the newspapers of the day. Even after he was elected president, Jefferson made very few public speeches.

The problem with debating is that it gives a false picture of a candidate’s true abilities. Debating is arguing, which may be appropriate in a court room and in a state house, but it has little to do with actual governing and executing, which is what the chief executive is actually supposed to do once he or she takes office. Remember that debating is considered to be essentially a sport, and high schools and colleges have debating teams who participate in contests with other schools. The debater doesn’t even have to know his or her subject; they just have to be able argue their point in such a manner as to “defeat” their opponent. The observer may not even be aware of their knowledge or lack of it; all they see is the candidate’s ability to present themselves, not their position. A more effective means of determining a candidate’s abilities is by scrutinizing their record in government, and I’m not referring to how a member of Congress voted because legislating is not governing. There’s a good reason the US government is divided into three separate but equal branches, one to make laws, one to interpret them and one to execute them. The Executive Branch neither makes or interprets legislation (other than determining how to follow it) but to carry it out. One of the reasons the Obama Administration is ineffective is because the White House basically ignores legislation and writes its own laws through presidential decree.

No doubt a lot of people will tune in to watch the Republican candidates argue but I won’t be one of them. I’m interested in ability to govern, not argue.