Monthly Archives: March 2015

Racial Baiting – An Ugly Situation Promoted by the Media

What came first?  The chicken or the egg?  That has always been a question that has intrigued us for generations.  If you know the definite answer, I would really like to hear it.

Here is an easier question.  What came first?  The crime or the arrest?  Ahhhh, this one should be an easy answer, but that darn answer just seems to get in the way of our media when it comes to reporting.

Let me ask another, more delicate question.  Do you feel more or less racially biased since Barack Obama became POTUS?

I need to explain a little of my background before I go further.  I was raised in a household that was somewhat bigoted.  Not to the point of being zealots about the matter, but certainly there were some non-flattering things said about people of other racial extractions.  In many respects we were an equal opportunity household….we didn’t target one race or nationality, we pretty much targeted them all!  For example, my uncle fought in the Pacific during WWII.  His opponents were therefore Japs.  My grandfather fought in WWI.  Germans were Krauts.  We called native Americans, Indians.  (Why can Florida State be the Seminoles, but North Dakota could not be the Fighting Sioux?)  As you can imagine, we had more non-flattering names for people of other extractions.  Our family was not unique in this regard.  I believe it was pretty darn common.

While I was in late grade school, we had two or three black families that moved into our school district.  One of these black students was in my class.  One day, an incident occurred at the school.  There was a fight, and the fight got out of hand.  I became a witness to that fight after three black males were surrounded by about 50 older, bigger, white boys.  I didn’t see the start, but one of the black males had a folded knife hidden in his hand.  Not a switch blade or anything that exotic, but a work knife like many of us carried on the farm.  (Yes – many of us carried knives in our pockets to school.  No one thought a thing about it.  Especially when the teacher would ask, “does anyone have a knife I can borrow?”  There would be 8-10 available to choose from.)  It got very, very tense.  But luckily, the buses were leaving to take students home, and no one wanted to miss their bus, as many students lived 20 miles away.  The fight dissolved like a lump of sugar in coffee.  No hits, no runs, and luckily no errors.  That occurred in late spring right before summer vacation.  The next fall, all of the black families had moved out of our school area.  This did not happen in the deep south, this happened in the shallow Midwest.

I went to college and earned a commission as a lieutenant upon graduation in the Army.  The Army was the first organization to fully integrate in 1948.  The one thing that the Army did for me was to make me colorblind.  I knew that to reach a particular rank, regardless of race or sex, everyone had to obtain the same milestones.  One of the best sergeants I ever knew was a Hispanic by the name of CSM Mendoza.  He had the distinction of having fought in WWII, Korea and Viet Nam.  How many people can say that?  I had the opportunity of meeting fantastic, dedicated soldiers of many different ethnic backgrounds.  I also had the privilege of working with outstanding female officers and NCOs (non-commissioned officers).

Now I am retired.  What concerns me is the events that occurred in New York surrounding the death of Eric Garner (I can’t breathe), and the riots in Ferguson, Missouri following the grand jury decision not to prosecute Darren Wilson for the shooting death of Michael Brown.  I find the subsequent shooting of police officers in New York and elsewhere, and the destruction done by supposed ‘protesters’ in Ferguson to be appalling.

This gets back to one of my earlier questions, ‘what came first, the arrest or the crime?’

Did you know that Eric Garner had 34 arrests in the previous 30 years?  Some of these arrests were for assault and larceny.  He was on probation at the time of his ordered arrest.  Who ordered the arrest?  Why, it was ordered by the captain of the police precinct—the black captain of the police precinct!  Who supervised the arrest?  That would be the black female sergeant ordered to oversee the arrest.  Did you not hear those details during all that media coverage?  All that was seen and reported was the white guys wrestling with and strangling this innocent black guy.  An innocent black guy very much resisting arrest as he was already on probation!

Michael Brown is another enigma.  There is much discussion and debate about what type of person the 6’4″ Brown actually was, other than he was big.  But here it is.  Previous to his death, he just robbed a convenience store with his friend.  Once confronted, he pushed the clerk into a display case.  The clerk calls the police, and Darren Wilson responds to the call.  Brown is killed.  After deliberating for months, meticulously examining evidence and interviewing witnesses,  the grand jury decided not to pursue a court trial for Officer Wilson.  Then the fun begins.

I, being a person of common sense, am having the most difficult time of my life equating how the tragic death of a robber of a convenience store justifies pillaging, looting and vandalism.

I am also equally appalled that the unfortunate death of a habitual law-breaker justifies opening a hunting season on law enforcement officers.

In a prior blog, I discussed our available news sources while Grandma P and I were cruising.  I pointed out that our only two news sources, while on ship, were FOX and the BBC.  We were sailing around the Caribbean when the Ferguson, Missouri riots erupted.  I witnessed something on one of those news sources that I had assumed to be common knowledge.  It was funny and appalling at the same time, if that is possible.  Someone had made a video of one of the ‘protesters’ lighting a Molotov cocktail.  I assumed everyone in the US had seen this, but apparently not.  A Molotov cocktail is a bottle filled with gasoline, that once lighted, was going to be thrown at the police line that was seen in the distance.  This is a simple weapon designed to kill, in this case, the police.  The funny part is that this video showed this moron lighting his arm on fire!  Yup, Mr. Smart ‘protester’ apparently got some gasoline on the sleeve of his jacket.  When he lit the wick on the bomb, he lit his arm as well.  Unfortunately, the video did not show how this ended.  It did show Mr. Smart ‘protester’ attempting to stamp out his flaming sleeve while he was still holding the lit Molotov cocktail.  This brings up another question.  What comes first, extinguishing the sleeve or the ‘boom?’

How many of you saw this video?  When does a ‘protester’ become a terrorist?  This ‘protester’ was deliberately trying to kill the police!

I blame the media and selected individuals that would do anything to be in the forefront of the media,for all of the violence.

The media will deliberately leave out information to sell their services or papers.  They do not need to lie, they just don’t need to tell all the facts.  I have given examples in the paragraphs preceding.  Riots cause a media frenzy – which results in media dollars.

The Reverend Al Sharpton comes to mind as one who craves media attention.  He is the self-proclaimed advisor to our POTUS on racial affairs.  Really?  You have a black President and a black Attorney General and you need the guy that said, ” Who defines terrorists?  Today’s terrorist is tomorrow’s friend,” as your advisor?  What does that say about the quality of the advisor?  What does it say about the quality of the people that selected the advisor?

The Reverend Al Sharpton is a Baptist minister.  Aren’t ministers purportedly men of peace and men of God?  Then why is this racial baiter getting all this media attention while practically sanctioning violence caused by the black community.  This guy does nothing but stirs the black community into doing stupid, destructive behavior.  He comes into a town, ie Ferguson, Missouri; Sanford, Florida (Trayvon Martin), Wappinger Falls, NY (Tawana Brawley), and NY, NY (Eric Garner), throws a racial grenade into an already racially charged crowd, and then sets himself up as the black savior.  He has done more harm for the black race than good.  He never stays in one place long enough to see the full effect of his racial baiting.  He appears to be on the brink of being a bigoted racial terrorist with all the dissention he has created, but is yet welcomed into the White House.

I blame the White House for racial baiting, also.  The POTUS, or his Attorney General have either injected themselves or their opinions in most of the same situations as the Reverend Sharpton.  They were in Sanford, Ferguson and New York.  Rather than defending the court system, or praising our law enforcement for the dangerous jobs they are required to perform, they, through indecisiveness and lack of clarity and direction have unwittingly sanctioned the illegal activity of the black community.  Never mind the fact that laws were broken.

So back to my original question.  Do you feel more or less rationally biased since Barack Obama, the ‘unification president,’ took office?  Its a tough question.  I know my racial tachometer is wavering.  My tachometer for intolerance of law breakers and terrorists has not wavered.  It is still pegged out!

Afterthought:  All of the families of the slain black men were contacted by the White House expressing condolences for their deaths.  The widow of Chris Kyle, Taya Kyle, was never contacted by the White House.  He was a Navy Seal that served four tours of duty in Iraq in the defense of his country.  He was the author and inspiration for the book and movie titled, American Sniper.  He was shot by a Marine he was attempting to help.  He was a true hero.

Dirty Harry and Superman versus Michael Moore and Seth Rogen. An Even Match?

I remember a military axiom that went something like this, ‘Always put your brain in gear, before engaging your mouth.’  That is an excellent piece of advice in any life situation, and I make every effort to follow it.  I especially engage my brain before writing this blog.  More often than not, at least. However, with today’s numerous outlets for people to instantly share their thoughts, ideas, opinions, etc. (i.e. Twitter), it is unfortunately a difficult axiom to adhere to, especially for narcissistic celebrities.

Apparently, we need to put that axiom on a bumper sticker and sell it in California, specifically Hollywood, California.

Have you heard the comments by Michael Moore and Seth Rogen about the latest Clint Eastwood movie, American Sniper?  These two men made some comments about the movie and have since been ‘caught in a defecation storm without an umbrella.’  (Admittedly, I would have stated that last sentence differently if I thought my grandkids might never read my blog.)

Ah, yes.  Hollywood, California – the place where some people will do or say anything just to stay in, or get into, the spotlight.  Paris Hilton and the Kardashian family immediately come to mind.  Have you noticed how revealing the ladies’ clothes are for celebrity events?  They certainly don’t dress that way to shun attention.

But some people don’t just draw attention with their dress, they draw attention with their comments.  In some cases, very stupid comments.

Some background information.

American Sniper was a book written about Navy Seal sniper, Chris Kyle.  I read the book and it  provides a fair and detailed assessment of what the war in Iraq was like, as it was based upon his four tours in Iraq.  Chris Kyle was hailed by the Navy as being the most successful sniper in American history, being credited with over 160 confirmed kills.  Thus the title, thus the book, thus the movie.  Grandma P and I saw the movie and were greatly moved by the brutal reality of war life.  Chis Kyle is an American hero in every sense of the word.  He was trained to protect other soldiers and marines, as each of them had put their lives on the line to protect this country.  After suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, he regained normalcy by throwing himself into helping other combat veterans that needed help facing their PTSD problems.  He was shot and killed by one of these people in early 2013, leaving a widow with two children.

This was the first of three books written by former Navy Seals.  The second was Lone Survivor.  This was also made into a movie. It was about the experiences of a Seal by the name of Marcus Luttrell.   The third book was The Red Circle.   The Red Circle refers to the color of the sight pattern while looking through a sniper scope.  It was written about the experiences of Brandon Webb, a former trainer of Seal snipers.  Brandon Webb was the sniper trainer for Chris Kyle.

I have read all three of these books.  They discuss their Navy Seal training in depth.  They discuss their combat deployments in depth.  I never, ever felt these accounts glamorized war.  Quite the contrary, they tell of their successes and their failures.  They talk about their fears of being in a combat zone and discuss their brushes with death.

American Sniper, the movie, was directed by Clint (Dirty Harry) Eastwood.  It stars Bradley Cooper.  Both of these men were producers of this movie, as Steven Speilberg dropped out of the project.  The movie was released just prior to the Martin Luther King four-day weekend.

Whether because of stupidity or because of the lack of the limelight, Michael Moore took it upon himself to make the following comment on twitter, “My uncle killed by sniper in WW2.  We were taught snipers were cowards.  Will shoot u in the back.  Snipers aren’t heroes.  And invaders r worse.” Mr. Moore tweeted this comment two days after the opening of the movie.  Unfortunately for Mr. Moore, American Sniper is breaking box offices records for a movie previewing in January.  In the four-day MLK weekend, it has grossed over $105 million.  His comment about ‘snipers aren’t heroes’ has not resonated well with the public, especially the public that has served in the military or has sacrificed a family member while in the military.

Seth Rogen, that Canadian comedian who has made his living in the US, decided, for stupidity purposes, to throw his can of gas on the expanding fire.  His comment?  “American Sniper kind of reminds me of the movie that’s showing in the third act of Inglorious Basterds.”  That movie he is referring to is about Nazis.  I have a bit of advice to Mr. Rogen:  There is no American soldier, sailor, airman or marine, past or present, that wants to be compared to a Nazi.

Not only did these two make some decidedly ‘off the wall’ comments, but there has been much criticism from both performers and critics that American Sniper glorifies war.  Really?  I must have missed that message in the movie and in all three books about snipers.  After seeing the number of civilians killed and the number of American military people either killed or maimed, the words ‘glory in war’ did not enter my mind.

So I propose that this whole issue be decided with a no-holds-barred tag team grudge match between Michael (I went to college for one year) Moore and Seth (Don’t hurt me, I’m Canadian) Rogen on one team and Clint (Dirty Harry) Eastwood and Dean (Superman) Cain on the other team.  Dean Cain became close friends with Chris Kyle during a TV show on NBC called, Stars Earn Stripes.  So here we go……………….

Ladies and Gentlemen…………Are you ready to R-R-R-U-U-U-M-M-M-B-B-B-L-L-L-E-E-E?

In this corner, 61 years old, 5’9″ and weighing too much, a man who has written, produced and directed some of the crappiest liberal movies ever known to man, the Mouth from Michigan……….Michael Moore!

And his partner weighing in at 185, 5’11”, 31 years old and a mediocre actor and comedian in some forgettable movies, hailing from Vancouver, Canada, the Canuck that’s a Snook……………..Seth Rogen!

And their opponents.

First, weighing in at a slim 220 pounds, 6’4″, an 84-year old hailing from San Francisco, California, that noted actor, producer and director who has directed over 30 movies including Unforgiven, Million Dollar Baby, Mystic River, Jersey Boys, Letters from Iwo Jima, American Sniper, Space Cowboys, Invictus, and Flags of our Fathers, that two-time Oscar winner………..Clint (Dirty Harry Callahan) Eastwood!

And his partner weighing in at a sculpted 195 pounds, 6′ tall, a 48-year old hailing from Mt. Clement, Michigan, a close, personal friend of the late Chris Kyle who has recently said, “Seth Rogen, I wanna kick your ass,” everyone’s favorite modern day Superman……………………..Dean (Superman) Cain!

They meet at the center of the ring with the referee….

“Gentlemen, I want a clean fight…at least for the first 30 seconds.  Michael, because you started this whole ‘defecation storm’ with your stupid comments about  snipers, you will be in the ring first for your team.  Clint, because you have won two Oscars for directing, and Michael hasn’t even gotten the sniff of an Oscar’s butt, you get to use your .44 magnum from the Dirty Harry movies.  You may choose to enter the ring, or….if you prefer, you can do your Dirty Harry bit from outside the ropes.  Seth, you will then take Michael’s place in the ring.  As you are a Canadian, and Canadians are always making half-assed comments about the United States while making their living here, Dean will be given, for his use only, a Canadian hockey stick to use as he chooses.  He probably won’t need it.  Now shake hands and come out fighting!”

Now how much would you pay to see that match?  I think we could make a dent in the national debt with the gate receipts and the TV rights.

So there you have it.  Another Hollywood example of actors and critics shooting off their mouths about something of which they know very little.  But this movie is stunning them.  It appears to be a blockbuster!  It is great to see the American public vote with their pocketbooks, and take in this really enlightening movie.  And the whiplash to these stupid, senseless comments is gaining momentum.  It is not only gaining momentum, but it is getting louder.

Much to their credit, both Moore and Rogen are attempting to do ‘the damage control shuffle.’  If I were them, I would hire an ‘image consultant’ because their attempts at damage control are missing the mark.  I would also quit tweeting!

America is waking up.  Unlike the way the Viet Nam veterans were treated upon their return to the states, the citizenry of our country are much more appreciative of the sacrifices that are being made each day by our armed forces in defending this country.

God Bless America, and God Bless all of those that put on a uniform every day to defend her.

Footnote:  I have seen all but one of those movies that I have listed for Clint Eastwood as director.  I did not realize he had directed over 30.  I did not go to the movies because he directed them.  In many instances, I did not know he was the director until after the movie was done.  Without  a doubt, I have found all of his movies entertaining and enjoyable.  Unbeknownst to many, Clint is also a US Army veteran.  He was not selected for the ‘best director’ category for this year’s Oscars for American SniperAmerican Sniper has, however, earned six nominations, including one for Bradley Cooper for best actor.  He should win it.   Clint takes up 30 pages on Wikipedia.  Michael Moore takes up seven.  That really sums up their prominence in the entertainment industry.