The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It

Archive for the ‘America’s problems’ Category

BLOWING SMOKE

If it weren’t for Grand Jury decisions, we might have to focus our attention on Reality TV and Attorney General Holder would have to find other matters which he could address as he heads for the exit.  Actually, if it weren’t for our citizens who break laws, we would have no need for Grand Juries in the first place.  Blessed are the lawless for they shall be called our diversion of the day.

Eric Garner died because he was being apprehended for committing a misdemeanor offense, selling individual untaxed cigarettes on the street without a vendor’s license and the appropriate permitting, and then resisting arrest.  Now the marches commence in New York, protesting his unfortunate death – or more precisely the failure of a Staten Island Grand Jury to return a “True Bill” indicting the NYPD officer who was instrumental in bringing this corpulent man to the ground after he refused to comply with police orders.  Had Garner not engaged in this business in violation of the law, he would be alive today.  But he is portrayed as a victim – and perhaps he is.

With the plethora or laws, rules and regulations that regularly spew from the pulpits of our legislative bodies intended to make sure that we are kept safe from inflicting harm upon ourselves and others (and which incidentally bring in scads of money so that those who make the laws have plenty of cash so that they can continually enact more laws which require more people to write more rules and even more people to turn those into regulations), each of us is probably in violation of some law, rule or regulation which we did not know even existed.  In Mr. Garner’s case, ignorance was not an issue as he had been arrested nine times previously for committing exactly the same offense and twenty-two times for other infractions.

But it is fair to ask, in the greater scheme of things, is selling a loose cigarette on the street a “crime” of the same magnitude as stealing a car, beating up an old woman and snatching her handbag, raping a fourteen year old or murdering someone?  I think we would all agree that Mr. Garner’s offense was pretty minor – and our police departments would better serve our communities focusing their attention on crimes that are a serious threat to the common good.  But there’s that nasty law on the books banning the activity in which Mr. Garner engaged and the police are required to enforce it.  Otherwise, they would certainly be accused of dereliction of duty.

Sen. Rand Paul (R – KY) may rightly point to the true cause of Mr. Garner’s death as being the politicians who micro-manage our lives, have raised the taxes levied on a pack of cigarettes in New York to the highest in the country and created the economic environment which makes engaging in selling “loosies” a modestly lucrative business.  Those in positions of public office who believe they know better for us than we ourselves, will undoubtedly miss the point of the senator’s comments.  Missing the point has become the platform for many of them.

This death, together with the death of Michael Brown have caused these same politicos (and their supporters who apparently have no jobs to which they can go and thus the time to demonstrate) to raise the question of the fairness of the justice system.  That is a reasonable question and one which we should re-examine periodically to insure that justice is indeed blind but fair.  According to those chanting their mantras in New York and elsewhere, the system is biased against black Americans – Mr. Garner being its latest victim.  The call was taken up by Mayor Bill de (Blah Blah) Blasio in citing centuries of racial prejudice – although it is as unclear in this case as in Brown’s that any racial element exists other than that both of the lawbreakers happened to be African-Americans.

Ironically, word is on the street that Mr. Garner’s widow is contemplating filing a “wrongful death” suit against the city to the tune of $75 Million – an amount that might realistically exceed the late Mr. Garner’s lifetime earnings potential by about $75 Million.  Of course, the lawyers in the sharkskin suits are all probably salivating at the potential of collecting their third of whatever amount will be awarded – and there is no doubt there will be a judgment in some amount in her favor.  This is the “zakat” that all Americans must pay for the injustices of two centuries past – or at least that seems to be the thematic basis for liberal thinking.  And it will ultimately be awarded by the same “unfair” justice system against which the protestors demonstrate.

Fortunately for the City of New York, when a judgment comes down in Mrs. Garner’s favor, the politicians can simply float yet another bond issue to cover the amount of the award.  Or they can just raise the excise tax on cigarettes a few cents a pack to take care of it.

HOW LOWERING THE MINIMUM WAGE COULD SAVE AMERICA

We’ve been inundated with the events of Ferguson, MO.  It’s gotten more attention than the earlier death of Trayvon Martin.  For whatever reason, apparently Michael Brown’s death evoked more emotion than Martin’s.  There were no riots that accompanied George Zimmerman’s “Not Guilty” verdict.  But we’re more than making up for that, not only in Missouri but nationwide.  There have been “riots” which in some cases have turned violent and in all cases disruptive.

Both of these cases are portrayed in the media as murders resulting from racism.  The facts are that both of the deceased were black males.  In the Zimmerman case, his ethnicity was mixed.  The police officer who killed Brown was white.  In both cases, the behavior and events which led the deceased to their demise has been mostly glossed over by the press.  The liberal media are exceptionally selective in what facts they choose to report – and then only after applying a fair amount of spin to their curve ball reporting.

In Martin’s case, as you may recall, the reason that he was out was that he was on his second or third suspension from school.  I’ve forgotten the exact number.  And he was out getting the ingredients for one of today’s more popular do-it-yourself drugs.  Had he not been suspended and was home cracking the books instead of looking forward to cracking the pipe, he would never have been shot and we would never have heard his name.

In Brown’s case there appears to be ample evidence that he had just strong armed a store clerk and stolen some cigarillos so that he could roll a nice tight joint.  He had a significant quantity of marijuana on him and his toxicology report indicated that he had the same substance in his system.  He also ignored the orders of Officer Wilson and then assaulted him while he was in his police car.  After that skirmish which Brown initiated, he subsequently again ignored the officer’s order to stop.  Though there is conflicting testimony as to what happened, at least three witnesses confirmed completely Wilson’s statement that Brown charged him and four additional witnesses confirmed the portions of Wilson’s testimony that they saw.  All of these witnesses were black – and if they were concerned about racist police officers and attitudes as has been alleged, it seems strange that they would be so supportive of the officer’s version of events – unless that is what they saw actually happen.

Facts can sometimes be inconvenient things.  Particularly if they don’t blend with a narrative that is woven for self-serving reasons.  No amount of evidence, testimony or anything else will convince those who in the Brown case decided long before the Grand Jury concluded its investigation that he was a victim of the ultimate in police brutality.  If somehow a video recording of the incident suddenly surfaced, confirming Wilson’s testimony it would do little or nothing to change those peoples’ minds.  We would suddenly start hearing that the video was manufactured or edited to exculpate the cop.

The liberal camp takes great pains to point out that only “deniers” reject the “facts” of “climate change.”  They regard people who inveigh against their position as being ignorant.  And, if the “facts” were seen by everyone as being that, I suggest that they would be correct.  While that same theory ought to apply to these two cases as well, they do not.  It is fair to wonder why that is.

Certainly a part of that can be attributed to emotion.  We are all held hostage to our feelings and if we make decisions based solely on them we often not only misinterpret the evidence but draw faulty conclusions based on those rather than empirical evidence.  The other part is ignorance.  An uneducated person is far more likely to rely on his or her emotions than facts because we all are born with emotions but we have to acquire facts whether through schooling, good parenting or personal observation.  And if everyone around is similarly poorly educated, it is likely that the reliance on emotion is further entrenched through the observations of how others around us act and conduct their lives.  This is the fundamental problem with living in a ghetto – of whatever description.

If you live in a community where a high percentage of your fellow residents don’t work and are receiving a monthly stipend and other government benefits, it becomes socially acceptable, perhaps even desirable, to fit in with what everyone else considers a normal way to go through life.  That is particularly true if you have limited skills and would at best be able to find a minimum wage job which offers little hope of advancement or upward social mobility.  And that is further underscored if you realize that the government benefits you are currently receiving are greater in value than that job and require no effort to receive.  The only American dream that you have to hold on to is that the benefits don’t go away and, in fact, increase.

There are fewer jobs that the undereducated can hope to hold.  Technology and automation have left little opportunity for work for residents of our inner cities.  Retail, fast food and cleaning are about the only venues that require unskilled labor.  The ditch diggers of old have been replaced by hydraulic equipment and the family farm with its labor intensive requirements have been replaced with corporate farming and robotics.  That there is little opportunity for those who do not attain at least a high school diploma can be seen in the extremely high unemployment rates among inner city black males – well more than twice the national average.

The riots in Ferguson are not about justice for Michael Brown or anyone else.  They are expressions of frustration over the realization that the participants’ future is bleak.  They are right in that perception.  In an economy in which college graduates are living at home in large numbers for lack of jobs, what hope does the high school dropout have?  Sadly, the answer is none.  Unfortunately, those they blame for their plight are not the responsible parties for it.

With fifty years of trying to socially engineer poverty out of existence under our belt, we are in worse shape as a nation than when we initiated the “War on Poverty.”  There is significantly more evidence to support that statement than there is to support the theory of global “Climate Change.”  Yet those who enthusiastically support the idea that our planet is in grave environmental danger are exactly the people who ignore a half century’s evidence and double down on failed policies by further escalating them.  Among those policies is increasing the minimum wage.

Adding further pressure to this equation is Obama’s recent granting five million illegal aliens the right to stay here, and more importantly, the right to work in the country legally.  These are people who come from countries where there are no social welfare programs and where the residents will take any job, no matter how difficult or physically dangerous at whatever wage is offered.  They have a work ethic which is lacking among those in our inner cities and find no job “beneath them.”

If there is any possibility of breaking the cycle of welfare dependency which is now generational in nature it is by getting those who are trapped in that system the opportunity to find work.  It is far more important to encourage the unemployed in Ferguson and throughout the country to find that first job than it is what that job will pay.  Sadly, the way our “welfare programs” are structured, finding employment translates into losing benefits.  This obviously discourages recipients from seeking any form of legal employment.  We perhaps could partially solve this by lowering the minimum wage for people who are in the marketplace for five years or less, during which time their welfare benefits would be unaffected by their earnings.

I remember receiving my first paycheck for a summer job.  When I came home with it and opened the envelope with my family at dinner I clearly recall the sense of pride I had looking at that nearly fifty dollar check (after a deduction for Social Security) which covered one week’s worth of work.  (The minimum wage was $1.25 per hour).  And I took a great deal of satisfaction in the fact  that the company had chosen me over the fifteen other kids who had applied for the job.  Perhaps it was the naiveté of adolescence but it helped me feel as though I had some worth as a person – and that was acknowledged both by my employer in hiring me and then further validated by their paying me for my effort.  That paycheck did great things for my self-esteem and it was with some sadness that I let go of it and deposited it in my savings account.

That is an experience that sadly I fear many kids in our inner cities will never share.  And the higher we generically increase the minimum wage, however well intentioned, the more likely we are  permanently to deny them the dignity of working for a living and perpetuate the cycle of hopelessness into which far too many in this country now have fallen  – and is the root cause of why Ferguson happened in the first place – and why the reaction to Michael Brown’s death was completely predictable.

Ferguson is a symptom of a disease – one which has been decades in the making.  Sadly, following our present path of providing “benefits” rather than real opportunity will only worsen the problem.  And one day the right mixture of ingredients will combine to spark an explosion that will make what happened in Missouri look like a Sunday School picnic.

That day may not be far off in coming.

WHITHER GOEST THOU, AMERICA?

As I write this we are within moments of learning the decision by a Grand Jury in Missouri.  It is as though this one verdict is the most important declaration ever to be pronounced.  To those poised to protest this panel’s expected decision it has significance far more sweeping than Lincoln’s “Emancipation Proclamation” and it has rewritten the Beatitudes.  “Blessed are the troublemakers.”  Most likely there will be violence.  It is expected.  It is planned.  It is an American tragedy.

The Founders recognized that only if the law were applied equally to everyone  would there be the possibility of achieving the Declaration’s proclamation that each of us is entitled to enjoy “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”  That was as true at the founding of the nation as it is today.  And it is probably also true that while that goal is admirable, it has never been fully achieved.  That is not a condemnation of this lofty objective but rather a statement about us and how we allow our self-interest to corrupt the ideal.

The judicial system is an integral part of the political system.  Whether the voters directly elect those who are responsible for trying us if we are alleged to have committed an offence or are appointed by those whom we have elected to serve the municipality, state or the nation as a whole, judges are as much political by nature of their office as are our mayors and congressmen.  The Founders recognized that in describing the judiciary as one of three co-equal branches of government.

Of course, before a person is brought to trial there are others who are involved in the process which resulted in a hearing before the bar of justice.  Those are, at the first level, the law enforcement officers who apprehended the accused.  While there are undoubtedly some who discharge that office inappropriately, we rely on our police forces to help maintain some reasonable semblance of safety in society.  By and large, the occasional “rogue” officer who abuses his or her authority and sworn duty are the exception rather than the rule.  To attribute regular unlawful behavior to them is to do them a great disservice – and if that attitude is commonplace, then all of society will suffer as a consequence.  Even those with the greatest distrust of police forces, I suspect, if caught in a crossfire by two rival gangs as an innocent bystander, would hope that a squad car would show up on the scene.

Fortunately, like most Americans, I have had very little interaction with the police in my lifetime.  The first time was as a victim of an assault by three perpetrators wielding switchblades.  The second time was after some workmen stole some personal property while making repairs in my apartment.  The third and fourth times were to report the theft of my vehicle.  The fifth through sixteenth times were to report the theft of my car’s radio.  That’s been it.  I’ve never heard a knock on the door asking me my whereabouts at such and such time because I was a suspect in a robbery, an assault or a murder.  My total interaction was as a victim – not as a perpetrator.

In reference to these various episodes, I suppose that I might choose to be bitter because none of those who either assaulted me or stole my property was ever tried for their abuse of the law – at least not as it pertained to my particular interactions with them.  Perhaps they went on to further crimes and were apprehended for those.  I have no way of knowing that.  Should I therefore conclude that my experience demonstrates that the police are worthless?

Sadly, while it is a commonplace way of viewing life, extrapolating from one individual’s personal experience and drawing broad conclusions from it can be a dangerous and biased path to follow.  I know that police forces do indeed apprehend people who have committed more serious crimes than the ones in which I was involved.  I, for one, am glad that they are there – and I’m glad that they’re armed.  There are sociopathic people in this country who break the law and who constitute a threat to those of us who are law abiding.

While we should certainly remove those in our law enforcement offices who abuse their power and responsibilities, whether that is a local law enforcement officer, an attorney, a judge, the Attorney General or President who are ultimately responsible for seeing that the laws generally are enforced, the best advice on how to avoid confrontations with law enforcement might come from comedian, Chris Rock.

 

 

Perhaps Rock’s advice, had it been followed, might have made it so those of us who before August had never heard of Ferguson,MO, would still be living lives of blissful ignrance about its existence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This principle, although probably lost on the majority of those who might protest the Grand Jury’s verdict, is at the heart of the matter.  They are not so much interested in justice as they are in the confirmation that the only justice that is acceptable is the one they dictate.  They look to mete out the vengeance handed out by vigilantes and the KKK to which some of their forefathers were subject.  They view that as proper retribution for the past misdeeds of others – now long gone to the grave.

GOOBERS AND GRUBERS

It finally arrived – the long awaited envelope.  It had been well over a week since I had sent away for it – but my letter had to make it from New York to Arizona and then the response had to come all the way back.

I had found an ad in one of my “Fantasy and Science Fiction” magazines and had responded.  Who wouldn’t answer this ad?  It promised to send the person who clipped the ad a “secret” way to accumulate wealth without really having to do much of anything.  It didn’t matter if you were young or old, a PhD or a high school drop out, the system would bring riches to whoever used it.   It was the American dream – and the information would be sent absolutely free of charge.

Some people are motivated by theory and others by practical concerns.  In my case, I wanted to become a fourteen year old success because I was tired of sleeping on the Castro convertible sofa and sharing my “bedroom” with the “dining room.”  If I made a lot of money we could move from our small apartment into one of the new high rises that were being built throughout Manhattan.  My parents had looked at several apartments in these new edifices, but decided that quadrupling the rent for just a small amount of additional space just didn’t make sense or fit our budget.

When Grandma handed me the envelope containing the “secret system” I took it and held it with the reverence due a holy relic.  I went to my desk, placed my school books on the side and laid it gently in the middle of the blotter.  I took the seldom-used letter opener and carefully opened it, making sure that my cut was even and neat.  After I completed that I waited a minute or two before daring to pull out and read its contents.  But I finally summoned up the courage.

Before me I had a pamphlet that explained how a person could make a huge amount of money by getting into mail order.  I read every word of this brochure, replete with “testimonials” from people who were identified only by their first names and an initial for their surnames and the city in which they lived – stories about how they had made a small fortune in mail order thanks to the secret system.

And what was it that they were selling?  They were selling copies of a booklet that explained how to get into mail order – a copy of which was reserved for me – if I merely completed the enclosed order form and returned it with my five dollar remittance.  Once I had received my copy, I would have the opportunity to purchase additional copies which I could sell at a “huge profit” and the booklet would explain the step by step way of doing that.  To say I was disappointed would be an understatement.

Even though I knew that something just didn’t add up, I was reluctant to give up so quickly on this opportunity to get my own bedroom.  So at dinner that evening I asked my parents to read the brochure and give me their opinion.  Needless to say, it did not survive their imprimatur.  Nevertheless, having explained why this was a scam  they still permitted me to purchase the book if I chose to spend my five dollars on it.  My parents allowed me to make my own mistakes – as long as they weren’t likely to be dangerous to my health or well being.  Their theory was that rather than hearing them preach, a little personal experience would be far more enlightening to me.

Even before I had given my folks the brochure I knew that something just didn’t sound right.  But I was hoping that I was wrong and that my parents would agree with my original opinion that I had latched on the key to riches.  After several days of soul searching, I concurred with my parents and tossed the brochure in the wastebasket.  My father summed up the experience with the statement, “When something seems too good to be true – it probably isn’t.”

In 2010 the Congress passed and President Obama signed the PPACA into law.  Now more commonly referred to as Obamacare, the law was touted by Obama and lawmakers who supported it as the best thing that had happened since the invention of sliced bread.  It offered every American the opportunity to get “affordable health insurance”; we would be able either to keep our existing insurance or get a better policy through the healthcare exchanges that were going to be established; despite the fact that these new policies would be better they would be less expensive; every American household would save $2500 per year for this insurance; and on top of all of that, this three thousand page bill would reduce the national debt.  It almost seemed too good to be true – and it wasn’t.

Nobody who took the trouble to read through the law believed that the promises could be delivered for a simple reason.  The numbers just didn’t add up – and they still don’t.  But without going into a detailed analysis of the math, if you think about the law’s purported primary goal – insuring all Americans with affordable, quality medical care – it should be clear that goal is inconsistent with providing quality healthcare.

Let’s assume that magically everyone suddenly signed up and there were no longer Americans who couldn’t see a doctor for lack of insurance.  How would this impact the quality of delivering medical services?  It would cause a lower quality of health care if, for no other reason, than that we have now added forty million potential patients to a system to which no new medical practitioners or hospital facilities have been added.  The overall effect would necessarily be longer wait times to get an appointment which in and of itself constitutes a decrease in the quality of healthcare.

We know that few if any legislators actually read the bill before voting to approve it – per then Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  That in itself is disturbing as that is the reason that we pay these people quite handsomely.  But if they had read the bill I sincerely wonder if they would have been much more elucidated on its contents than before they began that exercise.  Besides its length, the law is convoluted and the language goes beyond what we have come to expect from Washington speak.  For that reason perhaps, we employed an MIT professor, one Jonathan Gruber to advise those who wrote the law on how to craft it.  The Federal government and various state governments apparently paid Professor Gruber the sum of nearly $6 Million over several years for his insight.

Over the last ten days a series of videos have surfaced in which said professor has been recorded delivering a number of talks to various groups, mostly within the hallowed halls of academia, and explained that in order to secure the law’s passage, basically its contents had to be both disguised and lied about because it would never have passed if the public new what it actually contained.  In the course of his explanation he pointed out that, “The American public is stupid.”

While this academic apologized for the statement from the first of these videos which was released as an unfortunate malapropism, on several other occasions he made essentially the same comment.  This is not a faux pas but a reflection of the professor’s world view – and more generally – an example of the world view of most on the liberal left.  People are simply too stupid to do what is in their best interest – so it is up to enlightened do-gooders to enforce what is good for them on them.

These comments brought me back to the time I was able to attend “The Howdy Doody Show.”  It was much earlier than my experience with the magic mail order system.  I think I was about eight – and like all the ther kids who attended, I sat in “The Peanut Gallery.”  Like all the other “peanut attendees” I was wowed by Buffalo Bob, Princess Summerfallwinterspring and Mr. Bluster.  It was a half hour of pure fantasy and delight.  But I graduated from The Peanut Gallery.

I wonder if Professor Gruber ever had that same experience.

“Goober – a peanut.”  {Colloquially – A person of limited intelligence}.

“Gruber – a pompous, cynical ass paid nearly $6 Million by various government agencies to deceive the American goober to buy into Obamacare.”

DOUBLE DOWN OBAMA

Although it is unlikely that this post contains enough controversial information to make its way through the dark halls of the NSA and to the White House, it would be of value to the president should he have the opportunity to read it.  It would require him to put on his “Big Boy” pants and evaluate a view that is radical – in its divergence from the one which forms his ideology.  That, in itself, is probably too much to ask.

In life we all make choices.  Some of those we make have good consequences – others not so much.  It is only the stubborn and arrogant who, having made a poor choice, continue to insist that theirs was the correct one, the evidence notwithstanding.  Sadly, Obama has, to this point, followed that path – not only to the detriment of his approval rating but, far more importantly, to the detriment of the country.

Let’s take a lesson from the real world of stock trading – a galaxy away from the not so real world of Washington, D. C.

There are a number of rules of trading which have become rules because those  who are engaged in the activity realize that they are correct and work far more often than they fail.  Successful traders observe those rules because they realize that doing so helps them achieve their goal – which is to earn a living.  Failure to observe these rules has its consequences – usually involving finding a new line of endeavor.

The first rule of trading is quite simple.  “Never add to a losing trade.”   Here’s a simple example.

A trader buys XYZ stock at $50 a share.  Within minutes the stock declines to $49.50.  At this point that trader has only three options.  He may do nothing and maintain the position hoping the stock will recover; he may sell it and accept the loss; or he may add to the position and double down on his position.  Although most non-professionals would adopt either options one or three, the professional would most likely take the second option, accept the loss and move on, looking for a better trade.  Here’s the rationale behind all three choices.

Doing nothing is essentially a denial of having entered into a bad trade.  Clearly, when the trader bought XYZ stock at $50 he did so for one reason.  He thought the stock price would increase from his purchase price – otherwise there would be no reason to initiate the trade.  Doing nothing is simply ignoring the reality that he was wrong in his assessment.

Selling the stock at a loss, while painful, is the correct choice because it recognizes some very basic facts.  The trader bought the stock with the expectation of a rise in its price – but he was wrong.  Admitting that you’re wrong – and limiting the amount of that mistake is the correct response.  We all make mistakes.  It is acknowledging that we have made a mistake and learning from that so we don’t repeat it, that makes the trader successful.

The third option, purchasing additional stock is the worst of the three because it not only ignores the reality that the trader was wrong in his initial decision but that pure hubris causes him to deny that fact.  Unfortunately, ego has caused the demise of more traders than bad decisions.

Now this simple example from the real world will undoubtedly be lost on the president for the simple reason that he has never held a job in the real world.  Despite the repudiation of Obama’s policies which was a message by those of us who took the trouble to voice our opinion on November 4th delivered, the president prefers to focus on those non-voters who didn’t bother to show up as a “silent” endorsement of his six years in office.  That’s like saying that because no one mentions anything to the person with a dreadful case of bad breath because they don’t want to offend him, that halitosis is a condition to which we all should aspire.

This president has seldom shown an interest in how the American people feel about any issue.  Obamacare has never enjoyed a majority positive view and is now at its lowest level of support since the law was passed; Americans in a vast majority view the country as moving in the wrong direction;  the president’s own approval rating hovers at the lowest levels of his presidency.  To these fact the president, like the six year old who is determined to have his own way despite his parents’ admonishment, turns a deaf ear to these facts.  Hubris reigns supreme in the White House.

If it were simply a small man’s refusal to see the light it would be one thing.  Sadly, this president, by virtue of his office, is the most powerful man on earth.  And while he doubles down on his own failed policies and refusal to find common ground with those whose responsibility is to provide an alternate view, it is not only those in America but people and nations around the world who will be his victims.

I guess if I really wanted the president to read this I should just print it out, pack my bags and plan a trip to Washington to deliver it in person.  I understand that getting into the White House isn’t all that difficult.

IGUALA, MX AND FERGUSON, MO

Forty-three Mexican college students, studying to be teachers, were out fund raising for their college – soliciting money to buy supplies for the school.  They were stopped in Iguala by the police and three of them were shot by these same police.  Apparently, the Mayor of Iguala was concerned that the students were planning to disrupt a speech that his wife was scheduled to give.  The surviving students were turned over to a local drug cartel “to be disposed of.”  And the cartel did its job well.

They executed these kids at a trash dump and then the cartel had a “student roast,” burning the bodies in a fire that lasted for sixteen hours – as the cartel members stood by and watched.  Except in the case of Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi who was finally released after six months in Mexican prison for inadvertently entering the country while in possession of legally owned weapons, Mexican “justice” can be inexorably efficient, swift – and terminal.

The mayor and his wife were arrested in Mexico City a week after the students disappeared.  He has had several charges leveled against him and  is currently in jail awaiting further processing.  As of this writing, no charges have been brought against his wife.  Although it is only an allegation, there appears that there may be a tie between these two and the local drug cartel.

Subsequent to the students’ disappearance a search began for them.  The announcement by the Mexican Attorney General, Jesús Murillo Karam that the students’ remains had been found resulted in protests throughout the country with tens of thousand marching in peaceful protest against a government that has corruption at its most basic foundation.  Additionally, other protesters with a less pacifistic view of the events, burned government buildings, cars and blocked highways in Guerrero state where these murders occurred.  In the course of the search, several mass graves were discovered – apparently additional victims of the local drug cartels.

It is probably difficult for most Americans to conceive living in a country where the police, rather than occupying a position of “serving and protecting” people actually function as the judiciary and dispatch summary “justice” with impunity.  Difficult unless you believe that is the same system we have in the United States.  And if you turn your attention to Ferguson, MO and the protests that have been ongoing for the last three months you might believe that is the case.

On August 9, 2014, a shooting occurred in Ferguson, MO resulting in the death of Michael Brown.  The deceased was a young black man; the person who shot him was a white police officer, Darren Wilson.  Those are the facts that no one disputes.  The specific circumstances of causality have now been before a Grand Jury for several months and we are awaiting their determination.

I believe it is fair to say that if, under the same set of circumstances a white police officer shot a white teenager; if a black police officer shot a black teenager; and perhaps if a black police officer shot a white teenager, there would have been no lootings in Ferguson, MO; no businesses would have been burned there; neither President Obama nor Attorney General Eric Holder would have expressed an opinion on the event; and the media would have not covered it.

The only reason for interest and the tension that it has evoked has, unfortunately, nothing to do with the late Mr. Brown.  It has to do with race and, more specifically, the allegation that the black community has no reason to have confidence that the police are there to protect them but rather, Mexican style, are self-serving racists whose ultimate goal is their annihilation.  If that theory were in fact true, there would be legitimate reason for concern by the citizens of Ferguson, MO.  There would then be validation for their peaceful protests – although it is hard to understand how committing additional crimes such as lootings and burnings can be justified, efforts to the contrary notwithstanding.

Neither my readers nor I have all the facts and details of what happened between Michael Brown and Officer Wilson.  Hopefully, the Grand Jury will have those presented to them and will make an informed and fair judgment based on what they review.  And, whatever their decision, it is incumbent on those who truly want to live in a country where the rule of law is respected to accept that verdict.  Otherwise we invite upon ourselves a system of “justice” like that which we just saw in Mexico.  And that is something that no intelligent person would bring down on his own head.

We know how that system played out in Mexico.  We’ll soon see how things work out in Ferguson, MO.

GET A ROOM

What do football and wealthy liberal donors have in common?  Apparently, not very much.

You may remember the controversy that was roiled up over the name of the NFL’s Washington Redskins team.  Outcries of racism surfaced faster than videos of MIT professor Jonathan Gruber calling the American people “stupid” for buying into the lies that were used to pass Obamacare.

The outrage extended to the highest levels of our elected government with soon-to-be-former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid spearheading the effort in writing a letter (co-signed by many colleagues with a similar limited mental capacity) demanding that the team’s name be changed.  Fortunately, because the good senator had altered the Senate’s rules, no filibuster on the content of the letter was permitted.

This issue, of course, superseded the need to vote on any of the 340 bills that the House had sent to the Senate and which are presently accumulating dust somewhere in that upper chamber (possibly in violation of an EPA regulation regarding the permissible amount of dust that may be accumulated before it constitutes a health hazard).  It is likely that OSHA may soon weigh in on this matter as well.

So what does this manufactured “controversy” have to do with liberal donors?  We know that liberals, being liberals, have etched into their DNA an inherent abhorrence of racism in any form and are dedicated to stomping it out wherever it rears its ugly head.

This week the Democracy Alliance, a coalition of well-heeled liberal donors dedicated to electing leftists in state and national office got together to discuss strategy going forward to the 2016 elections.  The meeting took place in Washington, D. C. – at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, an extremely attractive property and one of the city’s finest.

Stop.  Did no one tell these self-styled do-gooders that “Oriental” is a pejorative term and is denigrating to Asians?  It has been officially deleted from the PC Handbook and no longer exists as a word.  And there they are, patronizing what obviously is a racist hotel.

Hopefully the reality of the situation may have dawned on some of these contributors and, if they decided to hook up for a little afternoon delight, they booked themselves into a Motel 6.

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