Tag Archives: Al Sharpton

It’s Freedom of Speech, Stupid! (Unless I Disagree.)

During my lifetime, I have been involved with business and selling.  One of the many business mantras was that: “Fifteen percent of the customers will occupy 85% of your time.”  For me, this pretty much proved to be true.

Now, after retirement, I believe this business mantra can be ever so slightly reconfigured to apply to today’s society.  I am convinced that “Fifteen percent of the population is doing 85% of the bitching, promoting and protesting in America.”

Do you remember who Dylann Roof is?  Dylann is the psychopath that walked into the Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, and shot and killed nine black members of the church in June.  A tragedy by any measure.

Fifty years ago, the American public would have branded Dylann a psychotic psychopath, and left it at that.  Today….the media and the reality show-based mindset of the American public will not allow such a simple distinction.  Today…we have to know why.  Did Dylann have a difficult childhood?  Did Dylann have an abusive father?  Was Dylann bullied as a child?    Do you get my drift?  It was so much easier to label him a ‘whack job’ and move to the business of dispensing justice for the crime.

But wait…just like in the informercials…there’s more!  Some enterprising member of the media found a picture of Dylann standing next to the Confederate flag.  And there you have it.  Dylann was not responsible for the tragic killing of those church members…the flag was responsible!  (I am sure you can find a picture of Bill and Hillary standing next to a Confederate flag, as Bill passed legislation during his term as Governor of Arkansas to fly it above the state capitol!)

The Confederate flag.  The Stars and Bars.  That banner that was once served by such evil people as Jefferson Davis, Robert. E. Lee, James Longstreet, Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson and a host of other devious Southerners.  And so…the typical American behavior of overreaction, fueled conveniently by the media, begins.

I need to digress for a paragraph to inform the misinformed that the reason the Civil War was fought was not primarily because of slavery.  The primary reason is because of states’ rights and the federal government imposing its will on the free-minded, independent Southern states.  It is well documented that Lincoln would have allowed the continuance of slavery to stop the horrible conflict, which was tearing the nation apart. This war took a toll of over one million people that were lost to battle or to disease.  It affected military and civilians alike.  Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863.  This document freed all slaves.  With the North ultimately  winning the war in 1865, slavery was truly abolished in the United States.

The four evil Confederates I referred to in a previous paragraph?  They were all noble gentlemen, fighting for a cause in which they believed.  Robert  E. Lee was offered overall command of the Union armies.  He declined because his home state, Virginia, joined the Confederacy and he felt compelled to support his home state.  His family plantation is now Arlington National Cemetery.   Rest assured, these people did not fight this war solely to keep a race in bondage.

But somehow, because of the media, the 15% that I referred to in paragraph one, and our American propensity to overreact for the sake of political correctness, that historical flag has been denigrated to represent all things evil.  This flag has undeservingly become the one and only symbol of slavery,  Slavery that has been abolished in America for over 150 years!  Will the media or black race ever give this issue a pass?  Must we erase history and heritage in order to move forward in peace?  Can we not learn from our past and grow from knowing it?

The reactions to the flag after the picture of Dylann Roof standing next to one?

TV Land has cancelled The Dukes of Hazzard reruns because the General Lee (an automobile) has a Confederate flag on the door.  Did you know that show ran for seven seasons and had 145 episodes?  It was a popular show.  It was popular when people would determine what was appropriate or not by voting with their TV remotes.  If you didn’t like the show, you had the choice of watching something else.  But that doesn’t satisfy the 15% protesters and bitchers.  They will not be satisfied until their will is imposed on the other 85%.  Thus, the cancellation by TV Land.

Next to football, NASCAR is my favorite sport.  I like NASCAR and golf for one very simple reason.  Unlike other sports, there are no walk-outs, lock-outs or hold-outs.  As one driver put it, “if you want to make more money, go faster.”

NASCAR was originally founded using drivers, mechanics and pit crews that were involved in the  moonshining business.  Yup.  These guys were good drivers because of their ability to outrun the revenuers.  Again, for the uninformed, this moonshining business was predominantly found in the Southeastern states.  Not much moonshining was taking place in Montana, Michigan or Maine.  It was mostly in Virginia, Georgia and both North and South Carolina.  All of these states were, at one time, part of the Confederacy.  The man credited with organizing and founding NASCAR was a gentleman named Bill France, Sr.  Old Bill passed on the scepter of responsibility to Bill France, Jr.  Little Bill has since passed it on to Brian France, making NASCAR a family affair for over 50 years.  So what has one of my favorite organizations decided to do?  Why, they have requested from their fans that they no longer bring or wear any confederate flags to the NASCAR racing events.  Is this a good business decision considering that your organization was founded in the states of the old Confederacy?  Aren’t your most supportive fans from the same area?  Isn’t that request a violation of the freedom of speech?

NASCAR did not stop with this request.  NASCAR has taken it upon themselves to move their awards banquets from Donald Trump-owned resorts because of some of his recent comments,  with which they disagree.  So now, NASCAR has thrown its hat into the political arena.  You may or may not agree with what Donald Trump has been saying, but I believe he has the constitutional right to say what he thinks as guaranteed by the First Amendment.  Apparently, NASCAR disagrees.

NASCAR made these two decisions within a week of each other, all for the appearance of ‘political correctness’ in the eyes of their sponsors.  I have a bit of advice for NASCAR.  Stay out of the political arena!  You will not have to worry about political correctness with your sponsors if you don’t have any viewers!

The state of South Carolina has decided to remove the Confederate flag from the capitol.  I have no problem with that, as it was determined by vote of the South Carolina legislature.  After all, this tragedy took place in their state.  At least it was not done by a federal mandate.

What truly amazes me is that since the tragic murders of the nine black people, there have been proposals to remove statues, rename parks and streets, and even remove bodies of Confederate war heroes from public cemeteries.  OMG!  Get a grip!  The overreaction rock is rolling at a dangerously fast pace.

So now I want to pose a question.  Do you really believe that over 15% of the population has that much concern over the Confederate flag?  If someone wants to display or wear the Confederate flag, isn’t that their privilege under the First Amendment?

Here are some of the things that we have endured over the years, all in the name of Freedom of Speech:

Burning of draft cards during the Viet Nam War years.

Burning the American flag during the Viet Nam War years.

Having Jeremiah Wright, the professed religious advisor to the POTUS giving a speech in which he says, ” God damn America.”

Anything that comes out of the mouth of Al Sharpton.

The American flag being used as a beach towel, swimsuit, and being imprinted on toilet paper.  (It disturbs me that Willie Robertson, of Duck Dynasty fame, wears a sweat band of the American flag.)

A myriad of  stupid comments spoken by politicians or celebrities, too numerous to mention.

The salient point of my blog is this, regardless of the issue, whether it be about the Confederate flag, same sex marriage, or whatever:  it appears that 15% of the population is doing 85% of the bitching and protesting.  The silent majority chooses to be just that: silent.  Unfortunately, with the assistance of the media, our politicians are passing legislation based on the voices of the loudest, most often heard minority.  This is done with the dangerously tacit silence of the majority.  A majority that appears to be too frightened to disagree, for fear of being labeled “a racist” or worse.  Being a realist, much like being a hard worker or a person of hard-earned wealth, is being the bad guy in America these days.

The Mauler just returned from a weekend visiting family in New Orleans, where she grew up.  New Orleans – a place rich with history, a city also grappling with its Confederate past, a city also giving in to the pressures of social media in the aftermath of the South Carolina tragedy, as they consider removing a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee, as well as other monuments that acknowledge the Confederate past.  By removing this history, the Mauler fears New Orleans is removing the very reason people visit The Big Easy – to  see a city that has endured and grown and flourished because of and despite its history.

Everyone supports the freedom of speech, unless they disagree.  Then the 15% rears its ugly head.

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.

Midterm Election Results – Who are the Real Winners and Losers?

I, Grandpa T, am taking full credit for the Republican victories in the November 4th midterm elections!

OK, I did not have anything to do with it.  But if Al Gore can claim inventing the internet, Barrack Obama can claim you could keep your old health insurance policies and George H.W. Bush can claim “no new taxes,”  I should be able to get at least a little credit for this election.

There are no shortage of articles being published or ‘talking heads’ on TV giving their assessments of what went right and what went wrong for both parties.

This article is about an outsider’s opinion as to who are the winners and losers.

Winner – Republicans

If you are going by sheer numbers alone, the Republicans had a great election.  There were 51 new Republican candidate winners and 17 new Democratic candidate winners.  This would be considered a rout if it were a football score:  51-17.

I view this impressive victory as being similar to an oreo cookie.  The top layer represents the existing 113th Congress.  This Congress, the Congress with the lowest approval rating since ratings were initiated in 1974, still has until January 3, 2015 to reign mayhem upon the public.   There are already rumors about ‘ramrodding’ some Democratic nominations while the opportunity still presents itself.  The POTUS, with the prospect of a Republican-controlled Congress after the first of the year, has publicly stated he will initiate immigration reform using the Executive Action excuse.  No doubt this will be done to make that new Congress look mean and evil for not wanting to grant amnesty to about two million illegal aliens.   As of this writing, the Washington ‘three ring circus’ will still be functioning for about another eight weeks.

The middle layer of the oreo cookie is the impressive number of Republican victories.  The Republicans gained thirteen seats in the House of Representatives and won enough senatorial seats to take control of the Senate.  The greatest achievement from gaining control of the senate?  Getting rid of Harry Reid as the House Majority leader!  Harry Reid – the person who has single handedly stonewalled democracy by using his status as the ‘gatekeeper to hell.’  Nothing was presented to our US Senate for either debate or vote, unless Harry allowed it.  (A reported 382 bills, passed by the House of Representatives, are allegedly sitting on his desk!  He will not bring them to the Senate floor for consideration!)  He said in 2008 that while he was Senate Majority leader, no US budget would be discussed, approved, or voted on.  He is a man of his word.  Not one budget has been approved for the largest economy in the world for all of Obama’s term of presidency because of Harry.  I was hoping he would lose his position as senate minority leader.  But Harry, ever diligent, always thirsting power, has decided he wants to continue as Senate Minority Leader, no doubt hoping for a comeback in 2016.  If you want a person to point a finger at for the fact that the 113th Congress has been ineffective, Harry would be a damn good target.

The bottom layer of my oreo cookie is that we are now an ‘instantaneous’ society.  Everything has to be quick (ie texting, email, microwave ovens, Instagram) and the results have to be quick.  By the way, Grandpa T has no idea what Instagram is, but the very name implies instant!  We have become a society that does not allow any grass to grow under our feet.  We won’t wait that long.  So, we will now expect the new Congress, that Congress we just voted into Washington, to provide us with instantaneous results in exchange for our votes.  There is only one major flaw with these expectations for the new 114th Congress.  They all get sworn in, find their offices, get their pens and pencils in the right slots in the right drawers, hire their staffs, find housing, get their kids in school, meet their peers, and then get to work.  How long do you think it takes to get acclimated as a newbie in Washington, D.C.?  Lets say, for the purposes of argument, that it will take six months to become fully acclimated.  Reasonable?  So now that they are all bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and ready to legislate everything that is good and honorable for the good of the old United States of America, what happens next?  WE BEGIN ANOTHER ELECTION CYCLE!  Unlike Great Britain, which allows only 6 weeks for election campaigning (how heavenly would that be?!), our 2016 election year will begin early – especially since it is a presidential election year.  This campaigning will be long, expensive and distracting.  My point to all of this?  How much can we really expect these people to accomplish in the midst of the upcoming election campaigns?  The onus will be on the Republicans to perform regardless.  Thus the bottom layer of the oreo cookie.

Loser – Democrats

We are all familiar with the numbers and the results.  What we don’t take into consideration is that a promising younger generation of democrats got defeated and may never run for office again.  The downside to all of this?  We are stuck with the old democrats:  Hilary Clinton, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi…..the list can go on and on.  I can remember when the accusations were that the Republicans were a bunch of fat-cat, cigar smoking, greedy rich guys.  Now that mantra is more befitting for the reigning democrats than for the republicans.

Winner – United States of America

Here are some of the demographics concerning the 68 new members of Congress.  Twelve have had prior military experience, nine Republicans and three Democrats.  (This is a far cry from the 70s when 80% of all Congressmen had prior military service!)  Thirteen of the newly elected Congress members are women, representing 20% of those elected.  Four of the newly elected are black women, three of whom are Democrats and one is a Republican.  Forty-one percent of all those new Congressmen are under the age of 50.

But here is what impresses me.  I am totally impressed by the character and demeanor of some of these incoming Congressmen.  I have heard the following three winners speak on TV, without teleprompter, and I have to say I am very enthusiastic about each of them.

The first person is Joni Ernst who was elected as the first female federal representative from Iowa.  What a woman!  She is a combat veteran having served 14 months in Kuwait.  She is currently a LTC in the Iowa National Guard.  What people do not know, as the media did not cover this, is that LTC Ernst was in uniform two days after winning the election, as she had to make up drill days lost during the campaign.  She believes in and supports a balanced budget amendment, free-market health care, gun rights, partial privatization of Social Security accounts and protection of accounts for seniors.  She opposes both cap and trade and a federal minimum wage.  It’s almost like she reads my blog!  She is educated, personable and very articulate.  If she sold stock in herself, I would be an investor!  I predict she will be a political ‘bright star’ in the future.

Another person that I have been extremely impressed by is Mia Love, the representative elect from Utah’s 4th congressional district.  She is a black woman of Haitian descent.  Interestingly, she was raised a Catholic but converted to the Mormon religion.  Her political beliefs are for fiscal discipline, limited government, personal responsibility, domestic energy exploration, gun rights, and is pro-life.  My infatuation with Ms. Love began when some ignorant reporter asked her if she got elected because ‘she was black.’  Her response?   “I did not get elected because I was black.  I got elected because I represent the values of the people of the State of Utah.”  Kapow!  Another ignorant reporter that got cut off at the knees.  Ms. Love is also educated and articulate.  I predict a ‘bright star’ in her future as well.

Tim Scott won his first term as the Republican senator for the State of South Carolina after being appointed in 2013 by the Governor to fill the vacated seat of Jim DeMint.  Did I mention that Tim Scott is a black man?  Mr. Scott previously served as US Representative for the first congressional district.  This made him the first black representative from South Carolina since 1897!  Senator Scott supports a balanced budget amendment, repeal of the Affordable Health Care Act, and an immigration policy similar to that of the State of Arizona.  He, like the two others that impressed me, is both educated and articulate.  If you hear him speak, you can’t help but be dazzled.

I believe that both Love and Scott are going to be political nightmares for the Democratic party.  Why?  Because they, as well as some of the other newly elected black Congressmen, present a far better, more promising role model for black society than the old gang of Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Maxine Waters.  With the Democrats continually using ‘class warfare,’ ‘rich versus poor’,  and other discriminating rhetoric to pander their ‘us versus them’ mantra, the last thing the Democrats want to see is successful, articulate, conservative minorities!

I am optimistic, that with the elections of Love and Scott, America may have grown up and decided that they will not vote for someone just because of the color of their skin.

Martin Luther King said it best: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

Senator Scott and Ms. Love have both aced the character test.  America Wins!