Thursday, June 25, 2020

My Opinion: Leftists, BLM, Protests, Police

Warning: This is a long opinionated rant. It’s been building up and I must let it out. I do not intend to offend but if I do… suck it up cupcake! Ranger on.

When I was in High School I was a photographer for the school newspaper. The newspaper put out an article that was a little controversial and the Principal decided we needed to rescind this article. He said it was not “appropriate”. As students we pushed back! This was censorship in our eyes. I’m not a big activist or fighter for “social” change. But I didn’t like this as a teenager. I went to the teacher who was our advisor and she empathized with my position but the principal was also her boss! I appealed to everyone I could appeal to including the school district superintendent. I ran into walls at every turn. So I took the problem into my own hands. This was the 70’s and not everyone had a printer or a copier or even a computer. So I did the next best thing. My Dad was a teacher in a different school and had access to a mimeograph machine. I started an underground newspaper called “Another View”. I counted the lockers in all the locker areas and that’s how I came up with a circulation number. I printed my newspaper talking about not only the censorship but other problems I found in the editorial of our school newspaper and problems in our school. I printed off the paper and went to school early. I then slipped a copy of my newspaper into every locker on campus. It worked like a charm. The Principal backed down and I only published 2 issues of “Another View”. So I think I’m well versed in giving my opinion. This blog is yet another outlet for me to share what I think. I only mention this because I want you to know that I try to stand up for what I think is right or to point out what is wrong. It’s in my DNA. Maybe that makes me a whiner…

I find some hypocrisy in the protests of today. Why this particular injustice when ignoring other incidents? I also find that me as a white guy can’t really understand the difficulty that a black man has in this country. I try to understand and I try to equate their experience with times I’ve felt discriminated against. I don’t think it’s the same. I know black people and I think that I treat them like any other of my friends. I’m not sure it’s enough. Bad police officers need to get out of police forces. Departments need some weeding out protocols and I’m not sure what that would look like. We don’t need defunding, but more funding! I know that the violence and destruction has nothing to do with the protests, but it does. If you get 50 people together and they are arm-in-arm and they are chanting in front of a line of police trying to do their job, all it takes is a bottle thrown from the back for everything to fall apart. This is the nature of protests and protestors know it. There has to be a better way to protest. And if you’re protesting and someone is walking or driving by, leave them alone! I don’t think that protesting does much but polarize and divide. It may bring attention to what your beef is but I don’t see much real change coming from protests. That’s just my opinion, I could be wrong.

I also don’t like what I see from rational, educated people concerning racism. First and foremost, I believe EVERYONE is racist. Perhaps that may offend some who think they are “woke” or enlightened. To be human is to be discriminating. It’s not always a gross injustice. If anyone thinks that all people understand all races and cultures, or doesn’t get annoyed by someone of another race doing things differently, then they are not in touch with reality. It’s happened to every one of all races. Does that mean we’re all racist? I think it means we’re all human but it probably is somewhat racist. What I’m trying to say is humans have a hard time with other humans and if they are a different race it isn’t always what I would call racism. Good grief, are we all that frail? Are we all that easily offended? I’m getting pretty fed up with any race falling back on their history to bring attention to their current plight. If that’s true then where are my reparations? I’m a white Mormon and my ancestors were run out of Missouri and killed and treated pretty bad. Does that mean that every time something happens to me I must be oppressed? The governor of the state of Missouri issued an “extermination order” on my religion and some of my relatives. They weren’t slaves but they were targeted to be killed! I’m also Irish. What about the Irish slaves?

I know that there are real problems with racism against the black race and others. I know that it happens every day. That is completely wrong! It needs to change. I don’t think the tragedy of the past means the present must pay up! The present needs to change and attempt to equalize things. There is always a problem with the word “equal.” My children used to think that inequality=unfairness. They would say “That’s not fair!” I would correct them and say “You mean it’s not equal. Life is not equal.” No amount of laws and changes in society will make all humans equal. If anyone believes that then they are socialist or communist, two ideologies that fail. Even our Heavenly Father does not make us equal. Each of us is weak in different areas, is that fair? Shouldn’t I be a concert pianist instead of the plinker that I am? Shouldn’t I look like Brad Pitt? Shouldn’t I make the same money as a pro baseball player? Equal opportunity does not really exist. But we should do our best to help everyone. So I don’t really have the answers but I do want to point out that if someone is hired over me because of their race is that not reverse discrimination? Trying to force a business to hire more people of color is not wrong? I do acknowledge that when I get pulled over by a policeman I’m not afraid for my life. A black man may be. Law enforcement needs to change. I’m not sure they will. If you are a law enforcement officer (LEO), regardless of your race, and you work in an area that has a high black or Asian or whatever minority population, you will deal with that race in a negative light of crime. After working that for several years you might think the race you work with is involved in lots of crime. Would that effect how you treat all of that race? Even if you are aware of the problem and are trying, it would still effect you because you are human. Is that an excuse to be physically or verbally abusive or violent? Of course not! But not everything that effects a race negatively is racist.

Another thing that’s been on my mind. This country is the most free of any country on earth. Regardless of our problems we enjoy more liberty than any other people. That has been paid for with blood, sweat, and tears. Not the 60’s band, but the real thing. I was shot at and watched my friends die so that we could enjoy these freedoms. So I take it a little personal when people talk about how rotten this country is or how it needs to be more like a different country. I agree that the Constitution is a living document. We should try to make changes where they are needed. But certain terms or words bug me. Colonial, or nationalist are not bad things. If not for colonists we would not be here. Putting our country first is not a bad thing. Especially when we as a country spend billions to help and trade with other countries. I agree that certain wars were probably not needed. But some things are worth defending. So to quote a character in a movie “We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something.” If you feel that this country is just not good enough then I would suggest you travel the world to see contrasting governments and rights. After that trip if you still see things that need to change here, shut up and “pick up a weapon and stand a post” or help make those changes. But please don’t bad mouth what has gone on before. Slavery was and is horrible. But so is a dictatorship.

Our time in civil war is not something we should ever forget. It was a war of economics, not slavery. But with it came change in this country. Why would we want to forget that? Why does history offend people? It should move us to never let these things happen again. The leaders of the South wanted to secede. The North did not want to happen. Why are the attitudes and actions of the past forgotten? If they are forgotten we may not see the signs of their return! The scriptures are full of history that is not comfortable, should we forget them and make them disappear?

I’ve whined about this before but I feel it needs re-whining. I am a different guy than most. I’m pretty rough around the edges and don’t like a lot of playing around. Sometimes my wife is pretty blunt and direct. I think I helped make her that way. When we were first married she would try and communicate by not being very direct. She wanted to be nice and all I did was get frustrated. She is now direct, but still nice. I don’t like political correctness. Sometimes diplomacy may be implemented to save feelings, but only to a certain point. We all need to have thicker skins. There’s nothing wrong with emotions but I believe one of the reasons we are in this life is to learn to control emotions. That is control them, not turn them off. So stop letting words hurt you or in other words, stop letting your emotions control you. Remember the old rhyme: “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”? We seem to not believe this rhyming wisdom. I’ve been called a war monger, an idiot, a dangerous person, a nut, an extremist, a neo-Nazi, a white supremist, and more. I’ll only agree to the idiot… People get fired for saying words. Intent should always be considered. Ever hear someone use the word “cotton picking?” This actually is a racist phrase. Blacks in the south picked cotton. So if someone is out of their cotton pickin’ mind, then that reference is to black slaves. Do people who use this intend to be racist? Usually not. Should we try and take that out of our vocabulary? Probably. I remember hearing George HW Bush use the term “pick-a-ninny” in reference to black children. This is a word used in the 40’s and 50’s so if you grew up in that time you may have been taught this word. If you choose to be offended by it then you will be. Years ago being gay did not mean a sexual orientation. That is not true today. I don’t think it’s a big problem but we do need to police our words a little. I do not want to offend anyone but I won’t mince words. If someone calls me whitey or cracker, it doesn’t really phase me. Names don’t really phase me very much. Just because someone uses it doesn’t make it so. There have been times I’ve used words to try and offend or shock another person. I don’t swear, but it’s not hard to offend if you try. I should not do this but sometimes offended people make a career out of being offended. That doesn’t set well with me and so I make the wrong choice of offending them on purpose because they are a soft target. I need to not do this but it bugs me their pansy, snowflake feelings get hurt so easily. It’s my way of telling them to get a life and it’s not all about them! We have a saying in my family, “Suck it up, cupcake!” I try to resist and sometimes I control myself, sometimes not.

In the 1980’s there was a comic strip that was my favorite. It was Bloom County by Berkley Breathead. I love his humor with a political edge.

The star of the comic is Opus, a penguin. He is sitting at a bus stop with several people. One of them says to him, “Ya know…you penguin types offend me.” Then another guy reading a newspaper says, “Hey…I’ll tell ya what offends me…dirty words, that’s what.” The next panels have others telling each other what offends them. Then they all say at once, “My gosh…LIFE is offensive!!” and all run off screaming. The last panel has Opus looking at you and saying, “Offensensitivity.” This is a humorous way of saying all of us can be overly sensitive and offended. One of my favorite quotes applies to offensensitivity. It’s from Eleanor Roosevelt and she said, “No one can offend you without your permission.” So stop giving your permission!

Being politically correct is usually quite offensive. To think that sticks and stones will break my bones but words WILL hurt me is a sign of immaturity. We should be civil and kind to each other that is true. But to go out of your way and to change your speech and to worry all the time about peoples “feelings” is childish and stupid. Being civil and kind is what adults do. Worrying about a “safe space” is not civil or kind, it’s idiotic. It’s not reality. There are people who have not matured and learned to be civil and kind or they just don’t care. They will always be there and to act like you can be shielded from that is pretty foolish. Learn to live with it and try to teach differently. Meanwhile, don’t subject the rest of us to your entitled baby ways.

Anthony Federico was fired from ESPN in 2012 for writing a headline about the New York Knicks basketball team losing a game. The team had a Chinese-American (he was born in California so I guess it means his parents were not from the U.S.) who played for them. The headline said the phrase “chink in their armor” though no one thought the phrase was racial or derogatory on purpose. So ESPN thinks the American people are total idiots. We can’t, or won’t, accept that this writer used a phrase that has been used many times in sports writing inappropriately? We’re that stupid and unforgiving? Give me a stinking break!

I once used the phrase “he’s on the war path” with a coworker who is Native American. It was not malicious and he was bright enough, and adult enough, to laugh it off though I apologized. Should I have been more aware of what I was saying? Sure! But had I meant to say something potentially racist? No! Of course not! So we walk around on egg shells afraid we’ll lose our job or offend half the world if we innocently speak or write! Pure hogwash! (No offense pig community) Does this seem normal or right to you? I’ve had enough!

I feel like the character Edgar Friendly in the 1993 movie Demolition Man who has left the politically correct upper world for the free world of down below.

“You see, according to Cocteau's plan I'm the enemy, 'cause I like to think; I like to read. I'm into freedom of speech and freedom of choice. I'm the kind of guy who likes to sit in a greasy spoon and wonder - "Gee, should I have the T-bone steak or the jumbo rack of barbecued ribs with the side order of gravy fries?" I WANT high cholesterol. I wanna eat bacon and butter and BUCKETS of cheese, okay? I want to smoke a Cuban cigar the size of Cincinnati in the non-smoking section. I want to run through the streets naked with green Jell-O all over my body reading Playboy magazine. Why? Because I suddenly might feel the need to, okay, pal?”

Freedom of speech will be offensive. I don’t like R rated movies, do you know why? I don’t like the language and the sex in them. Do I have a freedom of choice of what entertainment I see? Yes! Should R rated movies be banned? Probably not. That’s how it works. If you don’t like something don’t buy-participate-watch-read-listen to it! We’re trying to regulate and change the very foundation of freedom. In the above movie Demolition Man you would get fined automatically if you swore in public. Wouldn’t that be crazy if it were true? Someone somewhere would decide what words are good and what words are bad.

Absolute freedom does not work. We need laws or anarchy will try to dominate and will fail.

I believe there are many out there who are maybe democrat, and maybe liberal, and maybe other labels I could come up with, that do not like authority. They scoff at anyone trying to tell them what they are doing is wrong. They don’t even consider that their “social warrior” ways could be wrong. They are not interested in anyone else’s view or opinion. They do not want civil discourse. Just to be clear, if you are one of these closed minded “progressives” and you want to get in my face, know that I’m coming for you. I will work with anyone who has different opinions and points of view until the cows come home. I can compromise if you can do the same. But it’s not wise to push those who are not afraid of dealing with violence, very hard. You’re libel to push them into a corner and then wonder why you got bit. There are those Antifa types out there who think they are tough. Yet the left is always whining about how mean the right is. We’re war mongers and violent. If that’s so how do you think a fight with us is going to go? Will you all of a sudden become what you accuse us of? I’m not worried about some skinny, masked white guy with a bat and a spray can. I’m not making any threats to anyone but I think the war monger, violent one can defend themselves.

I want to say something that many will have a fit about and will start in trying to hurt me with words. It’s not a real popular thing to do but I support law enforcement. Mr Floyd did not deserve to treated that way. There’s no excuse. Mr. Floyd was a human being and innocent until proven guilty. But we also know he did commit criminal acts before. He was an addict criminal. Had he not been a criminal he would be alive. He made choices too. I’m not saying that there doesn’t need to be change and that some officers need to go, but what I am saying is they are important and necessary. Those who think they are not needed have never been to a third world country. They have never seen what “military policing” looks like. Because I don’t care how “woke” you are, no police means no force of law, that is anarchy. You can’t live and function in anarchy. I’ve been in countries that live this way. Antifa would not survive. “Just getting along” would be fine until you get a criminal element in the mix. Living without any authority might work on a small tent filled street in Seattle, but not for long. Criminals will rule. Strong will prey upon the weak. Your little Utopia will turn into a battle zone. I understand the frustration of the police. They are trying to do their job. It’s not easy to tell people they are doing something wrong and then act upon it. It’s no fun to try and judge who is wrong and who is lying. It’s hard to get lied to all the time. Some police turn around and lie themselves to try and get their job done. Some try to get their job done by abusing people and still others actually break the law trying to uphold the law. It’s not easy. It takes a special kind of person who has control and integrity to enforce the law and not get caught up in the lawlessness. There are those who do it and do it well. Then we meet that cop who pulls us over for speeding and he or she wants us to be afraid and bow down to their authority. They have a chip on their shoulder and they take it out on the public. You’ve met them. They are jerks and everyone, including their fellow officers, know it. So there is the challenge. The higher-ups in law enforcement need to find ways of catching these jerks and help them to change or show them the door. They also must have something in place that will weed out the bad cops that do more than just pass out bad tickets. It must happen. And us the citizens of this Republic need to have some trust and give them the time, money to be successful. If not we have Chaz, which is really nothing. I have trained, been trained by, and have known and do know many good and decent LEO’s. They are not perfect but they are striving to be good. But for now, I will support those good men and women in law enforcement who are doing their best and giving their all to take care of us and our country.

I don’t trust Black Lives Matter. Look on their website under the “We believe” tab. I feel that “We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.”

This seems to go contrary to this from “The Family: A Proclamation to the World”

“The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.”

Do those two ideas mesh? I can’t support an organization I don’t trust, and who has beliefs I believe go against the Lords direction. I know there are many Progmos (progressive Mormons) and Exmos (ex-Mormons) who would not agree with me. It’s OK. I can summon the will to live. I’m not sure they can, but to quote the poets Jagger and Richards, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”

This country is in turmoil and some elected officials have broken their oath of office. They are supporting lawlessness. They should no longer be in office. I believe the Mayor of Seattle, Washington and the Governor of Washington State have both decided crime is ok in their respective city and state. I would hope that they would be thrown out office. There are others too. The Seattle Mayor said it was like a “block party” in the autonomous zone a few weeks ago. Now there’s been two shootings. Now she wants to dismantle Chaz. What a joke. Who could have guessed a place where police could not go would have a shooting? What a great surprise. Couldn’t even last a month without law and order. Not that the elected officials cared. They forget their oath. If you look at their oath of office it is similar to the military oath that I took many years ago. They don’t quite understand that oath. They also have a casual relationship with the truth and integrity.

So this is my rant. I hope you were able to make it through it. If not, I understand. This is all my own personal opinion. If anyone wants to civilly debate any of this that’s fine. But if I get crap from some Progmo or some leftist snowflake know that I will try to control myself, and I’ll blame it on my PTSD, but I’ll probably close and engage. Thank you for your time.

Semper Paratus

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