Behold the Legacy of Your Beloved Sowell: Part IV

From the fountains in the mountains
Comes the water runnin’ cool and clear and blue
And it flows down from the hills
And it goes down to the towns and passes through

When it gets down to the cities
Then the water turns into a dirty gray
It’s poisoned and polluted
By the people as it goes along its way

Don’t go near the water children
See the fish all dead upon the shore
Don’t go near the water
Water isn’t water anymore

A passionate observer shares his way of preserving one of our most cherished freedoms — to pursue the truth, no matter how tough the issue, through honest, open, and unflinching discussion.”

— Parade

“Parade” — how fitting!

[The O’Reilly Factor is a] one-hour program that runs 5 days a week — and yet in its entire history, O’Reilly has never even uttered the words “aluminum tubes.”

It just doesn’t register with the likes of O’Reilly that what Clinton and Cohen thought is entirely irrelevant to the tubes — but smugly circulating invalid arguments is the way of the world now.

And how I do know that about O’Reilly?

This isn’t guesswork, shooting from the hip, or hyperbole: I know, for an absolute fact — that O’Reilly never even uttered the words “aluminum tubes” on his show.

In another lifetime, we could acknowledge those things and operate somewhere in the realm of sanity.

Or at least agree on math — and I know the numbers . . .

Matching Scarborough’s record, the only time Hannity ever uttered the words “aluminum tubes” was in defense of Condoleezza Rice over the cartoon of her nursing the tubes.

Clearly the image was racist, but I would think that her record of titanic deception would be of more concern. Hannity’s co-host Alan Colmes brought up the tubes 9 times between January 29th, 2003 and December 12th, 2005 (8 of which were in Hannity’s presence).

In each instance Hannity ignored the inquiry or deflected attention elsewhere. But what did Colmes expect with generic statements like: “We were misled about aluminum tubes.”?

Hardball — Give me a break!

And Chris Matthews wasn’t any better. While the tubes were casually mentioned on HARDBALL over 40 times, not once were the dimensions discussed in any detail.

Equally disturbing is how Matthews absolved Colin Powell because he liked him:

DAVID CORN: Blame Colin Powell for believing that and still giving that speech. And now he’s seen as a wise man and the president courts him, networks court him, and we pay a lot of attention. But he knew when he took the job that he was there to be a front for these guys — and he served dutifully as that front.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Do you think he knew that? . . . I still think he. . . I’m gonna defend him because I like him. He was a military guy thinking his job was to salute.

— Talking HUBRIS: March 22, 2013

The Good Soldier

Mr. Matthews, with that attitude you have no business hosting a show called HARDBALL. The Secretary is essential to the entire charade, and yet you give Powell a pass because of your — fondness for him?

Coddling Colin Powell is precisely the kind of thinking that got us into this mess in the first place.

— Richard W. Memmer: Act III

But Lawrence O’Donnell takes the cake in his 2011 interview of Condoleezza Rice — where he just fired off empty rhetoric that made for another pointless interview.

Mr. O’Donnell, you had NINE years of exhaustively-detailed material to work from — and the media’s history of failed interviews from which to recognize what doesn’t deliver answers.

And yet you didn’t ask a single question of substance.

Red Light District

Citing outdated and generic claims from Democrats is an emotional response to outright reject opposing arguments in a wholesale manner.

THAT . . . is the epitome of spin — to engineer an illusion — to make you believe that something meaningless has substance.

— Richard W. Memmer: Act IV

Just what would it take for “O’Reilly never even uttered the words ‘aluminum tubes‘” to register as something worthy of consideration?

If I ran across America and told everyone I was running because O’Reilly’s omission is of monumental importance:

What would it be then?

My “crazed and disjointed” running style? My unkempt appearance?

There was a time the air was clean
And you could see forever ‘cross the plains
The wind was sweet as honey
And no one had ever heard of acid rain

We’re torturin’ the earth
And pourin’ every kind of evil in the sea
We violated nature
And our children have to pay the penalty . . .

“But there was a time” . . .

There is no skimming over the surface of a subject with [Hamilton]. He must sink to the bottom to see what foundation it rests on.

— Major William Pierce

You can’t seem to comprehend that I don’t care what damage the truth inflicts upon politicians of any brand. I have this crazy idea that across-the-board accountability is always in the best interests of the nation.

As for my frustration — I have this thing about people who regurgitate nonsense in the face of overwhelming evidence that counters their baseless beliefs.

— Richard W. Memmer: Act II

In America, a celebrity who skimmed the surface on WMD — carries far more weight than the word of a nobody who wrote and produced the most exhaustive documentary ever done on the subject.

Nobody got to the bottom of Iraq WMD more than I did.

Don’t you wish we lived in a world where people said, “Prove it!” — and would actually care if you did?

But we created a culture that endlessly defends myth over merit.

And the incalculable costs are all around us

This “confirmation bias” image is especially fitting for the times — since it’s a myth popularized by Washington Irving and others.

According to The Flat Earth Myth: The real myth is the idea that anyone ever believed in a flat earth:

Essentially no one during the Middle Ages believed the world was flat. Of the many myths about the Middle Ages this one is perhaps the most widespread, and yet at the same time the most roundly and authoritatively debunked.

In fact, the evidence is so overwhelming that refuting this myth is like refuting the idea that the moon is made of cheese.

So how could it be that Columbus set sail against contemporaries who believed the Earth was flat — an idea that’s still in some textbooks today?

Woods explains this by quoting the good book above:

Uncritical acceptance of the myth was too tempting for many scholars, since it fit in so well with the caricature of Christianity they were already inclined to draw. “If Christians had for centuries insisted that the earth was flat against clear and available evidence,” explains Russell, “they must be not only enemies of scientific truth, but contemptible and pitiful enemies.”

Ulterior motives at work once again.

Opening line to my documentary:

The great enemy of clear language is insincerity

The rest of Orwell’s quote goes as follows:

When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink.

America has gone totally off the rails in its worship of the wildly undeserving.

I wrote those words in 2014 — in my doc that was prompted by the aftermath of the Zimmerman verdict. I had just returned from interviewing that world-renowned nuclear scientist as research for my book — when I saw this scene below.

Hannity perfectly framed his “profile” inquiry.

It was so good that it gave me the idea for how I was gonna nail him to the wall with it — applying that profile principle to Dr. Houston Wood (the gold-standard scientist I just mentioned):

HANNITY: Does this fit the profile of a person with racial animus — a guy that took a black woman to his prom? He mentored black children and after the program concluded he continued mentoring them, brought minority children into his home, and then stood up for a black homeless man against the Sanford police. Does that fit the profile of a man that’s racist?

TAMARA HOLDER: It may or may not. It may or may not.

Keep the Faith

The only logical answer to Hannity’s question is ‘”NO!”

Due to the confines of the question, the answer would still be “no” — even if he were a racist.

That seems counterintuitive, but the parameters of the probe were restricted to the domain of specific behavioral patterns.

Tamara Holder contaminated the discussion by refusing to separate her support for even a second — to simply answer a question with integrity . . .

— Richard W. Memmer: Prologue

The great enemy of clear language is insincerity

Trayvon apologists remain cemented in conclusions that begin and end with “armed only with Skittles and a can of iced tea.”

Ya know — like how defenders of the faith play the same game with “everybody believed Iraq had WMD.” Percentage of people peddling that fraud for the ages — who couldn’t write a sound argument on the subject to save their lives:

This is life — and things go wrong

Any fair-minded person is going to consider what transpired in the situation — not simply frame who’s guilty because of their role in creating the conditions.

In a post-9/11 world, any honest person would acknowledge that seeing suspicious behavior by a Middle Eastern Muslim on a plane will register differently than anyone else.

It’s not fair — but human nature dictates that reality in our time.

But if anyone acted on their suspicions and the Muslim took offense to what turned out to be nothing — would the misunderstood Muslim have the right to pummel the passenger for the perceived harassment?

— Richard W. Memmer: Epilogue

Back to the profile principle

In the way Hannity’s question was framed, “It may or may not” — is against the rules. You can say, “No, but . . .” — and that’s legitimate.

And by doing that alone, you’ve done your part by answering with some integrity. Then you can proceed to make your argument (without poisoning the debate in the process).

100% of Republicans would agree with every word I just wrote on that incident. Let’s see how long they stick to that principle when they have to apply it to themselves . . .

The Right ripped Bill Clinton to shreds and seemingly lives to assail democrats — and yet Sowell cites their word below as gospel.

That is a magician’s maneuver

Well, if they “said so” — it must be true.

So when the people you despise ostensibly agree with you — it’s gotta be true, because they’d never do such a thing if it weren’t. That’s it?

Who cares about mathematical certainties in centrifuges physics when you’ve got the word of people who lie for a living?

It couldn’t possibly be that your enemy has ulterior motives themselves?

Here we have a perfect expression of the most self-destructive Democratic disease which they seem unable to cure. More than anything — they fear looking weak. To avoid this, they cave, surrender, capitulate — and stand for nothing.

— Glenn Greenwald’s gold-standard summation of Democrats

Hide and Seek

The question comes down to whether or not you’re basing your belief on something in the realm of reason — not some fail-safe fantasy that allows you to believe whatever you want.

— Richard W. Memmer: Act III

RICHARD W. MEMMER: After they came up empty on finding any W.M.Ds, former U.N. Chief Weapons Inspector David Kay was brought in to take over in June 2003. Kay had a whole new approach in mind, but even the most perfected methods are no match for the futility of looking for something that isn’t there.

Six months later Kay resigned in January 2004 — concluding that there were no W.M.D. stockpiles. The Bush Administration had no intention of conceding that point in an election year.

MOTHER JONES MAGAZINE (January 15th, 2004): Six months after the end of major combat in Iraq, the United States had spent $300 million trying to find banned weapons in Iraq, and President Bush was seeking $600 million more to extend the search.

RICHARD W. MEMMER: I predicted that they would call off the search soon after the 2004 election, and I even wrote a poem about it. Two months after Bush was re-elected, the search was terminated.

I wrote Hide and Seek on October 29, 2003 — over 5 years before weapons inspector Charles Duelfer published a book of the same name (he replaced David Kay as leader of the Iraq Survey Group on  January 23, 2004).

Hide and Seek

So long the search continues
So long the illusion pre-veils
Weapons buried deep within
Foundation of lies
Cloaked mesh of black
Gleaming hollow eyes
Mirrors of no reflection

It’s not my best work, but it bears on my insight into the WMD debacle (and my precise prediction that President Bush would terminate the weapons search soon after the 2004 election). 

I thought it was a pretty cool book cover too — especially since it fits right in with “Cloaked mesh of black” and the three-pronged play on words with “pre-veils” (one of which alludes to preemptive war).

It was never just Bush’s war

Oh, you’re concerned about propaganda.

Me too . . .

Propaganda . . . must always be essentially simple and repetitious. In the long run, only he will achieve basic results in influencing public opinion who is able to reduce problems to the simplest terms and who has the courage to keep forever repeating them in this simplified form despite the objections of the intellectuals.

If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.

— Joseph Goebbels’ diary, 1/29/42 (Third Reich Minister of Propaganda)

The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.

It works the same way in any country.

— Hermann Goering. (Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe, President of the Reichstag, Prime Minister of Prussia and, as Hitler’s designated successor, the second man in the Third Reich)

All this was inspired by the principle — which is quite true in itself — that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods.

It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.

— Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf (James Murphy translation, page 134)

It works the same way in any country . . .

If people in the media cannot decide whether they are in the business of reporting news or manufacturing propaganda, it is all the more important that the public understand that difference, and choose their news sources accordingly.

— Thomas Sowell: News Versus Propaganda

It seems that’s what Thomas Sowell does best — maintaining the impression that he’s someone he is not: That simply by virtue of issuing concerns about propaganda, he’s magically not guilty of spreading it.

That’s all it takes when disciples will buy anything you’re selling if it suits them.

Sowell makes some sound points in that piece — but it’s targeting the Left, as usual.

But corrections never catch up with irresponsible news broadcasts.

You could fill volumes on that subject across the cable clans and broadcast to boot — but where’s Sowell’s scrutiny of his own camp when it comes to corrections?

And how about himself?

Someone shared Sowell’s quote in commentary on a Coleman Hughes video on propaganda, to which I responded in part:

You guys are good with copying and pasting quotes — it’s just the follow-through you have trouble with.

Proving my point, the guy replies with another quote. That someone without any knowledge on the subject matter or the slightest interest in understanding — could mindlessly fire back with something so meaningless:

Behold the Legacy of Your Beloved Sowell . . .

It’s impossible to overstate how dangerous and damaging it is to place blind faith in purveyors of poppycock. By refusing to hold your own accountable, you do them a grave disservice — as they do the same to you.

Never mind the harm to the unseen who suffer and die from your folly . . .

Got that about right?

First off

The smugness, certitude, and intellectual laziness in his empty assertions is sickening. On a matter of this magnitude, to slap down some talking points to excuse the previous ones is appalling.

I’m a bit old-school on the seriousness of war:

This is the “thank you for service” crowd

Who congratulate themselves by buying a Big Mac for someone in uniform — or go all out and give up their first-class seat or something.

Just don’t ask ’em to account for their conduct that caused more death and destruction than they could possibly imagine.

Don’t burden them with expectations of effort, thought, the demands of depth, or anything with a hint of courtesy.

Never Forget” — till next time, because you didn’t learn a damn thing from the last time . . .

Or the time before that


Does this sound like an arsenal of chemical weapons from an active WMD program to you?

  • Remnants from Iraq’s arms program in the 1980s during the Iran-Iraq war
  • All had been manufactured before 1991
  • Filthy, rusty or corroded, a large fraction of them could not be readily identified as chemical weapons at all
  • Some were empty, though many of them still contained potent mustard agent or residual sarin
  • Most could not have been used as designed, and when they ruptured dispersed the chemical agents over a limited area
  • Many chemical weapons incidents clustered around the ruins of the Muthanna State Establishment, the center of Iraqi chemical agent production in the 1980s

then there’s this

America obsessively concerns itself with symbols — fixating over a missing flag pin on a politician’s lapel, for instance.

So — these people can:

  • Incessantly lie
  • Manipulate the hell out of you
  • Start dumb wars and never finish them
  • Drag their feet forever
  • Obstruct as if not doing your job were a virtue
  • Take off all kinds of time after accomplishing nothing

  • Waste mountains of money while touting concerns about spending
  • Spend enormous amounts of time & energy assailing the opposition while absolving their own at every turn
  • Broadcast beliefs that have no bearing on their record or yours
  • Rile you up with red meat to savagely scorn the other side — as you sail Scot-Free on an ocean of bottomless lies and hypocrisy . . .

Never in doubt — while you fret over flair:

Nearly two decades into it

Countless hours of research & writing, a documentary, multiple sites — and one little La La La (Not Listening) is what this is all about.

It’s what it’s always about

Probably the most powerful of these group cohesive forces is narcissism. In its simplest and most benign form, this is manifested in group pride. As the members feel proud of their group, so the group feels proud of itself.

A less benign but practically universal form of group narcissism is what might be called “enemy creation,” or hatred of the “out-group.” We can see this naturally occurring in children as they first learn to develop groups.

It is almost common knowledge that the best way to cement group cohesiveness is to ferment the group’s hatred of an external enemy.

Deficiencies within the group can be easily and painlessly overlooked by focusing attention on the deficiencies or sins of the out-group.

If the current charge that President George W. Bush deliberately deceived Congress about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq were to be taken seriously, it would be grounds for impeachment, if only as a warning to future presidents.

— Thomas Sowell: Weapons of Political Destruction

Anybody can offer a token nod to accountability. It doesn’t count unless you follow through — as in following the facts and taking the trail no matter where it leads.

This guy is a master at engineering illusion . . .

[I]t would be grounds for impeachment, if only as a warning to future presidents.

In his lofty language, he’s floating the impression that he’s a serious and fair-minded person on the issue. And the icing on the cake is how he framed it within the reference to Vietnam.

Sowell didn’t budge one bit in the interest of truth and accountability on Iraq.

But hey, he’s The Godfather of Follow the Facts, a “great man because of his books,” he’s “brilliant,” he’s got some fancy quotes for slinging virtues — and loves to rip on the Left for failing to follow ’em:

That’ll do . . .

For the Nonconformist National Treasure fearlessly following facts in a white lab coat — lighting the way with sense in Maverick’s immaculate pursuit of truth.

Unlike his Weapons of Crass Obstruction piece from July 10, 2004 — only 2 of the sources below were available by his 2003 article above. So he could be forgiven for this fair statement at that time:

Intelligence gathering has seldom been an exact science. 

— Thomas Sowell

Just one problem

Centrifuge physics is an exact science.

And since all the information in this clip was available by the time of his 2004 article, how do you reconcile Sowell never uttering one word on the tubes?

All the sarin gas shells in the world would have no bearing on the aluminum tubes and other intel, but loyalists to logical fallacies are not burdened by the inconvenience of FACT.

They will nitpick over pebbles while refusing to even glance at the mountain of evidence that crushes their convictions.

— Richard W. Memmer: Act V

For the sake of argument

Let’s say Saddam had full-blown active WMD programs on chemical & biological weapons worthy of an invasion.

The tubes would still be a lie.

I’ll go one further: Let’s say he had an enrichment program in operation as well, but that the rotors were carbon fiber — not aluminum.

Getting lucky in finding something you didn’t know about — does not absolve you from a case that was woven out of whole cloth.

It’s literally impossible for any rational person to get around that reality.

But you wanna . . .

And this is how you get away with it:

You conflate justification with truth — that if somehow the war was justified in one aspect, it magically means that they told the truth in all aspects.

To conflate matters of this magnitude is colossally irresponsible and intellectually dishonest at best.

Not to mention that it’s against the rules.

Ya know, the ones you implicitly agreed to earlier.

When I wrote “literally” above — I’m talkin’ the old-fashioned standard, not this newfangled nonsense that has no meaning.

For instance: It would never enter my mind to say, “We’re building a house” — when “we’re having a house built.” In and of itself, the distortion is harmless.

But there was a time when “We’re building a house” meant something.

And now it doesn’t

What about the people who actually build their own house?

Should I just guess which category they fall into? Am I putting people on the spot by asking about it?

What if they really are building a house to fulfill a lifelong dream, and I show no interest — so I can play it on the safe side. I just think it would be respectful had we left “we’re building a house” to those who earn it.

That embodies the trend of casually misusing language by altering the meaning of time-honored convention — lending itself to behavior that doesn’t adhere to anything authentic.

So it stands to reason why I’ve never pulled that “agree to disagree” stunt on anyone. It would think unthinkable for me not to abide by the true spirit of that saying.

Rare thoughts, indeed

You know why most people don’t care for history? It’s because people like Dan Carlin aren’t teaching it.

His Hardcore History: Blueprint for Armageddon podcasts are riveting (as is everything else he does). He explains World War I in ways I had never even imagined.

The vividness of the imagery he paints — and how he brings historical figures to life while connecting past to present — is nothing short of spectacular.

Whoever wrote his bio knocked it out of the park . . .

You think taking that World History class, one on Hitler & 20th Century Germany, a book report on Kaiser Wilhelm II and watching Gallipoli — qualifies me to get in the ring and debate the War to End All Wars with someone of Carlin’s caliber?

Would I be justified in “agreeing to disagree” about the impact of the Treaty of Versailles — simply because I read Mein Kampf and wrote a couple of papers on Hitler?

Or how about hanging my hat on another old faithful in the arsenal of silly sayings: “You can’t believe everything you read!”

Who cares if his reading list dwarfs mine, that he’s done countless hours of research and preparation, and that my limited knowledge is hardly fresh after 30 years?

After all, it’s my opinion — and I’m entitled!

We look at everything in the moment with so little understanding of how our history brought us to where we are. Even our recent history of monumental importance is mired in manufactured myth.

Finding Falling Man that fateful day — instantly took me to a new dimension in my world of wonder.

But far more important was finding a fascination with history (and whad’ya know, it was due to a fantastic teacher).

In the first podcast of the Blueprint series, I remember thinking how cool it was that I knew a bit about Archduke Franz Ferdinand — and how his assassin Gavrilo Princip lit the fuse that inflamed so much of the 20th century and beyond.

Carlin quickly made me realize how little I knew (just on that alone — never mind the 23-hours that followed).

Why are you so satisfied to “agree to disagree” without the slightest understanding of an issue? “We’re having a house built” sounds plenty impressive to me — why wasn’t that enough?

I just don’t get the appeal of elevating yourselves on fluff and believing things to be true that are flagrantly false.

If we’re so willing to rig the obvious with language that has no meaning — fashioning a world where even mathematical certainty is a matter of opinion:

What about all the issues genuinely open to interpretation and sincere disagreement?

How can we possibly solve anything if it’s a free-for-all even on the irrefutable?

If you refuse to recognize what could not be more crystal clear on the silver platter I provided — on what basis do you believe your perception to be accurate in areas far from definitive?

What makes you think you’re an authority on everything you believe?

Outside of Iraq, I’m not qualified to speak with any authority on these other issues below . . .

I just love the box

See the source image

I happily belong to an infinitesimal minority that feels we’re not informed enough to have all the answers to every controversial issue in America. We don’t have a monopoly on virtue — and don’t want one.

We’re not only willing to change our minds, we welcome it — and appreciate those who correct us.

The doubt-free have no such notion.

Everything they think is held with the same calcified conviction. Even in the face of overwhelming and indisputable evidence — they peddle poppycock without an atom of courage, concept of conscience, or inclination of courtesy.

You can’t fix that with formulaic podcasts — endlessly pounding away at the same problems in the same old ways.

And since that poisons the pursuit of your precious policies — eroding what little is left of our humanity:

I suggest you rethink your approach to problem solving.

It’s not a miracle — we just decided to go . . .

Well, I suggest you gentleman invent a way to put a square peg in a round hole — rapidly!

From the first blog entry on this site — “She means we’re bouncing into Graceland” came to mind to embody what I have to say.

She comes back to tell me she’s gone
As if I didn’t know that
As if I didn’t know my own bed
As if I’d never noticed
The way she brushed her hair from her forehead . . .

There is a girl in New York City
Who calls herself the human trampoline
And sometimes when I’m falling, flying
Or tumbling in turmoil I say
Whoa, so this is what she means
She means we’re bouncing into Graceland

If I could write like that

And put this story in song — would you listen then?

I did a double take on Paul Simon’s site — almost missing the subtlety of handwritten lyrics in the background. In the faint I found beauty.

When you open your eyes to what’s underneath — it intrinsically trains your mind to see with increasing clarity.

Birds of a Feather

By late summer of 1756 Adams had made up his mind about the future. . . . Beholding the night sky, “the amazing concave of Heaven sprinkled and glittering with stars,” he was “thrown into a kind of transport” and knew such wonders to be the gifts of God, expressions of God’s love. But greatest of all, he wrote, was the gift of an inquiring mind.

“But all the provisions that He has [made] for the gratification of our senses . . . are much inferior to the provision, the wonderful provision that He has made for the gratification of our nobler powers of intelligence and reason. He has given us reason to find out the truth, and the real design and true end of our existence.”

To a friend Adams wrote, “It will be hard work, but the more difficult and dangerous the enterprise, a higher crown of laurel is bestowed on the conqueror. . . . But the point is now determined, and I shall have the liberty to think for myself.”

— John Adams

Not even Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama has accused Bush of “lying.” But Bush haters do?!?

— Larry Elder

Anyone who understands politics — knows that these empty assertions do not factor for how politicians operate.

they all know that

And the idea that “bi-partisan” means it’s aboveboard — is equally asinine.

For one thing, Democrats can’t expose the lie without exposing themselves.

Secondly, D.C. should stand for Deception Central — as Eric Alterman beautifully brought to light when he referred to our nation’s capital as:

A town where it’s worse to call someone a liar than it is to be one

I’m only providing this clip as an example of how rare it is that a president is explicitly accused of lying (especially in this setting).

So without even getting into the evidence — the notion that you can conclude that “nobody lied” — simply by virtue of politicians not saying so, is so preposterous that we need a new word for it.

Compare Silberman’s words below to mine. Which ones strike you as sincere and compelling?

As with investigations — if the headlines tell you what you wanna hear, it’s solid gold. If not, it’s all made up. Either way, you don’t burden yourselves by looking into it on your own.

And deride anyone who did

That they managed to acknowledge that atmosphere and still assert that no politicization took place is a stupefying feat of psychological gymnastics.

— Richard W. Memmer: Act III

No to mention — this . . .

Co-chairman Chuck Robb and his colleagues have a trick that allows them to deny the obvious with a straight face. They rely heavily on the C.I.A’s definition of politicization: “Alteration of analytical judgments under pressure to reach a particular conclusion.” . . .

In sum, there was no politicization of the intelligence product on Iraq.

— Robb-Silberman Report

That line alone — is incredibly telling.

From my first job in high school to the long line of places ever since — I’ve yet to see a single shop without some degree of politics in the air.

Most was just run-of-the-mill foolishness that ya gotta role with, some seriously impeded progress, and others involved crippling stupidity.

All that combined amounts to a molecule in comparison to D.C. — on a decision involving war in the aftermath of 9/11, no less.

And you’re gonna sit there and tell me that “no politicization of the intelligence” took place?

Give me a break!

Then there’s the overwhelming evidence of massive politicization that even Helen Keller could see — so there’s that.

My suspicions were partly based on the totality of the times, and that we seemed to be in a big rush to war without evidence in proportion to the pace to get there.

— Richard W. Memmer: Act III

When trying to ascertain the truth, how information is framed can be far more telling than what they’re telling you. And the characteristics of the source can be immensely illuminating.

In speaking of Scotter Libby, Tucker Carlson’s astute observation offers one of the best examples I’ve ever seen:

RICHARD W. MEMMER: Scooter Libby was convicted of one count of obstruction of justice, two counts of perjury, and one of the two counts of making false statements.

THE SITUATION WITH TUCKER CARLSON (October 31st, 2005): It’s understandable forgetting a conversation or two or three — but SEVEN? Scooter Libby — this guy with this famously steel-trap mind? I don’t buy it for a second.

— Richard W. Memmer: Act V

Whatever virtue is in this book — is nowhere to be found in this article. That’s valuable information — all by itself.

Scooter Libby — this guy with this famously steel-trap mind?

Cheney — a meticulous and aggressive investigator . . .

I saw the post-9/11 blitzkrieg of nationalism in another light — that by virtue of volume you can identify patterns of questionable integrity more easily.

— Richard W. Memmer: Epilogue

Recall what I wrote in Part III:

It’s just that the conflict is concealed in subtleties that disguise mounting frustration and waste. While you put out your PR and pretend this undercurrent of crap doesn’t exist.

This — is PR . . .

Nowhere else can you find the sheer volume of exacting specificity that I go into on WMD — and you snipe with concern over sources . . .

But instantly accept the likes of these sources as solid gold — never mind their uncanny knack for always sounding the same in their specificity-free certitude.

The only way someone can maintain with a straight face that George W. Bush lied into the Iraq war is to immerse himself in ignorance, refuse to listen to clear, obvious facts and/or retain a pathological hatred of George W. Bush because it provides psychological satisfaction.

— Larry Elder


They could immerse themselves in evidence and cite “clear, obvious facts” that these professional know-it-alls flagrantly ignore.

And since my documentary nails Democrats to the wall for their role in the war as well — how do you square that with a “pathological hatred of George W. Bush”?

Mount Everest of the Obvious

There’s a lot of “Obama haters” who told the truth at times. Whether you actually hate him or not — that doesn’t change irrefutable facts.

How did you feel about being summarily dismissed because of your hatred — and people playing the race card to rig their own reality?

But if you’re gonna play that game — why shouldn’t they?

An honorable leader would have withheld commentary until after the trial. And in the event of unrest, the President would educate the nation instead of pandering to it.

How I would love to look upon a leader who has the guts to inspire intellectual inquiry when it comes at a price.

THAT– would be some change to believe in.

— Richard W. Memmer: Epilogue

For most GitHub users, this is probably old news — but it was news to me. I came across an article that mentioned it and at first I thought it was a joke.

I should have known better, but really . . .

this nation should know better

In our culture of instant offense, we ban before we think. However, banning isn’t a sign of strength or resolve, but an admission of defeat, of showing how little we have engaged with whatever the bigger issue that belies the ban.

Instead of asking or addressing the roots of violent racism in the South in 2015 — far too difficult, far too intimidating — we focus on symbols. If we take a flag down, if we remove a TV show from the schedules, it shows we are doing something. It shows our hearts are in the right places.

Elaine’s exasperation x 10 =

How impossibly stupid it is that they banned The Dukes of Hazzard

But the high five is just so stupid!

From as far back as I can remember, I loved the Land O Lakes Indian. And then they butchered the spirit of it for the sake of sensitivity.

If such measures had any chance of actually making an impact that matters — I’d gladly sacrifice my precious brand of beauty.

For those who would try to educate me by saying I don’t understand the feelings involved in the removal of monuments and wiping Indians off boxes of butter:

No, you don’t understand . . .

That’s the great conflict of my position: How to keep Montana growing — without losing that thing that makes it Montana

— Governor Perry: Yellowstone

This nation needs to be asking the same question about the soul of America — and all she’s lost in perennial pursuit of shortsighted gain.

My God — what a show!

There’s a lot to be said for the spirit of something’s true intention:

And things that were just baked into society because they were historically male-oriented.

When I took Business Law in the early 90s, it was the Reasonable Man standard. By itself, replacing “man” with “person” is not a big deal — and there are others I’m open to as well.

But like everything else along these lines, where does it end? What problems does it solve?

And at what cost?

[C]onduct is measured against a community-wide standard of reasonableness rather than turn on the subjective mental state of the defendant.

That is what matters. Just as the right to vote and who can go into a manhole is what really counts — not what you call it. Sensitivity is a good thing, but hypersensitivity — is not.

When you water things down to be politically correct, our nation’s ability to discern decreases right along with it.

Ironically creating a culture that’s increasingly more easily offended and radically irrational . . .

Across the board

The hypersensitivity illustrated throughout this site is a microcosm of how America’s gone totally out of its mind. You see your concerns through the prism of politics — while I’m looking at brands of behavior that all share similar traits.

Before I was fired to taking Rollo Tomassi to task — in response to the actual email in Elara Email of Itemized Issues, he replied:

The last thing that’s gonna be is “conversation.” And sure enough, inside of 60 seconds on my death-knell call, Rollo was rigging the “conversation” in his favor.

Job or no job — the gloves were off.

These comfort-seeking types confine their convictions to the narrowest scope possible — as victory lies in the vacuum of how they see themselves.

They fabricate reasons to outright reject what’s really being said — warping reality to manufacture their own.

I originally wrote that about Rollo and good ol’ Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah (a Rollo Tomassi with a twist). But it’s the same everywhere you look — mirrors of no reflection.

Einstein borrowed from the one below:

The worth of man lies not in the truth which he possesses, or believes that he possesses, but in the honest endeavor which he puts forth to secure that truth; for not by the possession of, but by the search after, truth, are his powers enlarged, wherein, alone, consists his ever-increasing perfection. Possession fosters content, indolence, and pride.

Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

This just in

I saw the writing on the wall with renaming “reasonable man” and “mankind” long ago — but I never imagined it becoming so silly.

Equality is a noble pursuit — but this over-the-top engineering of sensitivity has gotten way out of hand. And it confounds me to no end that you can’t see how colossally counterproductive it is.

Some efforts in sensitivity are certainly called for — but taking it to extremes has been disastrous . . .

And even deadly

The evidence is all around you — and has been building for decades.

And yet over and over again, you play right into the opposition’s hands. For the party that prides itself on intellectualism — it astounds me how little you learn.

You are utterly oblivious to the fact that you are weakening the very people you’re trying to strengthen.

Branding weakness to boot.

And right on cue, the Right pummels that piñata for all the candy that you and others unwittingly provide.

Is it any wonder why conservatives control the narrative? Never mind that Republicans play the same games with their own rules:

As in — there are none

And they sail Scot-Free — because you built them the boat.

  • Conservatives act like they’re being attacked when correcting them even on matters that could not be more patently obvious — but light into liberals as “snowflakes” for any form of complaint.
  • They rightly rail on the race card, but shamelessly play the Christian card, Patriot card, or any kind of card with reckless abandon.
  • You can spend your life in unwavering commitment to truth and fair-mindedness, but you’re instantly assailed as a “Bush hater” for asking questions even on matters of mathematical certainty.

  • They assault your character for telling the truth — and call you a “character assassin” out of blind loyalty to liars.
  • They’re gutless in the face of facts they don’t like — disguised by their goose-stepping glory in the Facts Over Feelings Parade.
  • They whined about being called “Obama haters” and “racists” — then turned right around and cried “TDS” against anyone who had the nerve to criticize Trump.

Some of us consider it our duty to demand better — no matter who’s in office.

The people who consider themselves to be the saviors of black people — are hurting black people, because what they’re committed to is more virtue signaling than actually doing something in the world.

— John McWhorter

“Enslaved People”

I don’t know why I’m ever surprised to find a new contorted twist in terminology on this front. But I was stunned when I noticed the new lingo for “slaves.”

It’s not the change in terms that bothers me so much:

It’s the complete absence of intellectually honest discussion by people preoccupied with victories in vocabulary.

When I am making my edits, “John’s slave” becomes “a person enslaved by John.” “John owned Sally” becomes “John enslaved Sally.” . . .

Consider this sentence: “George Washington owned slaves at Mount Vernon.” It doesn’t agitate our sense of morality as much as the sentence “George Washington enslaved people at Mount Vernon,” does it? To most people, it seems much worse to say, read, or hear that someone “enslaved” other people than that they “owned” other people.

That’s partially because ownership is one of the primary rights and most cherished ideas in the American system — and most Western systems — of government.

I’m not among the “most”

And on what basis is she making the claim that “most people” see it that way?

“Owned” has an ugliness that “enslaved” does not — precisely because we know it’s not a “primary right” to own people. Such efforts are really reaching to re-engineer what cannot be undone.

On that note . . .

At the core of our country’s decline — is the unrelenting refusal to get to the bottom of anything.

Like this 1619 business: You wanna draw correlations from the past — while flagrantly ignoring crystal-clear connections in the present.

Black Lives Matter, monuments, kneeling, and now this:

You’re all over the place

And you’ve got company:

As with Kaepernick’s kneeling, Black Lives Matter, and the removal of monuments — what are you really gonna gain out of 1619? Even if you could miraculously get what you want . . .

And you have a better chance of walking on water:

What’s it gonna take for you to see the unintended consequences that come with it?

Therein lies the folly of it all. This consortium of causes has no chance of achieving anything remotely in the realm of your loosely defined aims — and you’re doing catastrophic damage to the very thing you’re trying to remedy.

Has it ever occurred to anyone in BLM — that simply calling it something else would have served their interests far better?

All Lives Matter . . .

How could you not see that tit for tat in taglines coming?

You predictably damaged the debate on the name alone. And Black Lives Matter — while you’ve got the first black president sitting in the White House: Shows no understanding of the nature of change.

When you make one big move, you make smaller ones within that framework for a while. And when warranted, stun your opposition by agreeing with them.

Whatever you do, don’t pour fuel on the fire that warms them.

It’s hard enough making change even with fairly reasonable people in any environment — let alone politics.

And if the indiscriminate approach of Black Lives Matter irks me to no end — and that’s putting it politely:

What do you think it was gonna do for people gunning to bring Obama down?

You overplayed your hand

He had golden opportunities to take the country forward, but instead of leading the way — he followed his base and went backwards.

The following would be world-altering words had Obama said them instead of Kobe:

I won’t react to something just because I’m supposed to, because I’m an African-American. That argument doesn’t make any sense to me. So we want to advance as a society and a culture, but, say, if something happens to an African-American, we immediately come to his defense? Yet you want to talk about how far we’ve progressed as a society? Well, then don’t jump to somebody’s defense just because they’re African-American.

How they pounced on Kobe for that response to Trayvon would be a picnic compared to the beating that Obama would get.

But any loss on the Left would be vastly outweighed by the gains on the Right:

Wait a minute, the black guy agrees with us? He’s gonna go against his own people and white-guilt liberals?

Republicans would still find plenty of other things to complain about, but showing some guts goes a long way.

We’d be living in a very world right now had he delivered on his promise.

We’re not talkin’ policy here — we’re talkin’ attitude. That kind of Audacity of Hope changes the game.

Speaking of miracles

It boggles the mind that people who put their faith as paramount — would permit politicians to exploit their beliefs and betray their trust time after time.

The following excerpts from David Kuo perfectly illustrate that problem. As a Special Assistant to President Bush and Deputy Director of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, Kuo was connected to the top.

What we’ve done is turn a mission field into a battlefield

For two years I had bitten my tongue and toed the line. We in the faith-based office didn’t speak too loudly or thunder too much. We were nice. I wasn’t angry now, but I was no longer willing to lie.

Before your knee jerks to impugn his motives in coming clean:

Hearing the words “brain tumor” in proximity to the words “you have a” clarifies things. . . . My wife, my daughters, how I treat others, and how I live before God concern me greatly. That’s why I decided to write this book.

Kuo lost his fight to brain cancer 10 years later.

He was the genuine article: A tried-and-true believer with a willingness to reflect.

He was committed to the compassionate-conservative cause, and in so doing he struggled between his loyalty to Bush and honoring his Administration’s claims.

Try to keep that in mind as you read the following:

National Christian leaders received hugs and smiles in person and then were dismissed behind their backs and described as “ridiculous,” “out of control,” and just plain “goofy.”

The leaders spent much time lauding the president, but they were never shrewd enough to do what Billy Graham had done three decades before, to wonder whether they were just being used.

As Kuo wrote in his Afterword — in 2004 he was asked to speak at the St. Louis Family Church (his “spiritual home” he called it). He relayed how after the service someone came up to him and said:

“You tell President Bush to get that Supreme Court right!”

He had heard it all many times before and always responded in a “pat” and polite manner to put the person’s mind at ease, but not this time:

That night . . . I threw out the old script. Instead, I said, “Maybe the problem isn’t the courts, maybe the problem is us. Maybe things are so screwy because we’ve spent more time thinking about how to advance politically than we have about just changing our own lives.”

On top of being incredibly informative, his book is an enjoyable read.

Everything he advocates comes back to the concern he quoted from a “prominent pastor”:

What we’ve done is turn a mission field into a battlefield

But now we got weapons
Of chemical dust
If fire them we’re forced to
Then fire them we must
One push of the button
And a shot the world wide
And you never ask questions
When God’s on your side

— Bob Dylan

And I speak from experience

I have thrown golf clubs with Ralph Reed and speared fish with John Ashcroft. I have eaten epic meals with Bill Bennett. George W. Bush whipped me silly in a private running race.

From 1989 until I joined the Bush White House in 2001, I longed for the day the right political leaders would arrive, govern morally, eloquently profess their Christian faith, and return America to greatness.

Most of our problems could be solved politically, I believed. Now I know better.

I have seen what happens when well-meaning Christians are seduced into thinking deliverance can come from the Oval Office, a Supreme Court chamber, or the floor of the United States Congress.

They are easily manipulated by politicians who use them for their votes, seduced by trinkets of power, and tempted to turn a mission field (politics) into a battlefield, leaving the impression Jesus’ main goal was advancing a particular policy agenda.

I know: I’ve seen it, I’ve done it, I’ve lived it, and I’ve learned from it.

Now I know better . . . I’ve learned“: Imagine!

This nation has no such notion

Ah, you may leave here, for four days in space
But when you return, it’s the same old place
The poundin’ of the drums, the pride and disgrace
You can bury your dead, but don’t leave a trace
Hate your next-door neighbor, but don’t forget to say grace

For all I know, our Navy was shooting at whales out there

We must be clear-sighted in beginnings, for, as in their budding we discern not the danger, so in their full growth we perceive not the remedy . . .

You gotta be cruel to be kind, in the right measure

A commenter perfectly captured the essence of the idea:

The term was invented by Shakespeare in his tragedy Hamlet. To be ‘cruel to be kind’ is to cause someone pain for his or her own good. Telling someone something that will hurt them because it’s better for them in the long run.

It appears like you’re trying to hurt them when in fact, you’re looking out for their best interest.

In Cruel To Be Kind, I float an idea to solve the homeless problem. It would work — but you know why we’ll never do it?

Because it’s ugly

Party-line conditioning is designed to cherry-pick whatever allows your beliefs to persist within your solidified perception.

How the Left handles the homeless is exactly in line with their kid-gloves approach to race relations. And if anyone challenges you:

A few years ago, a founder of a tech startup posted a letter about the homeless in San Francisco — and the guy got hammered on social media for his “whiny lack of sensitivity.”

Over-the-top sensitivity is part of the problem.

It’s not cold and heartless to think that places of business should not have to put up with people running down the value of their investment.

If that doesn’t register, why don’t you invite the homeless to make camp at the end of your driveway? As stalwarts of sensitivity, I’m sure your plummeting property value won’t affect your outlook in the least.

The homeless and their advocates say they need more services and homes for the unhoused.

More money + more services = more homeless

That formula doesn’t make sense to me.

Perhaps another approach is in order?

What? This is America . . . We don’t change course when our convictions don’t come true, we double down!

And all the while

You miserably fail to understand how your misguided methods fuel a narrative that poisons everything you pursue.

Even the simplest example of modern-day talk shows illustrates how people completely miss the boat on correlating events with the times.

Whenever you see a clip of an interview reflecting a time long gone, out comes the commentary about the “good ol’ days.”

And right on cue, the complaining about the “mainstream media” (racking up Likes in unison of your insightful observations on how far we have fallen)

Never mind that you’re part of the same circus you’re bitching about:

You act like these things exist in a vacuum — just as the Left does on race-related matters. It’s undeniable that the Democratic Party manipulates racially charged incidents for political gain.

Once you acknowledge that — you have to be willing to ask, “How much of what I see was manufactured for my benefit?”

A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on

To conform to fact . . .

We must agree that it was watermelon and consider what it means: Maybe nothing, maybe everything. But you pollute the debate when you won’t even acknowledge the irrefutable.

Worse than that — you poison your purpose.

Calm, comradely discussion — allowing nuanced ideas the time/space to really be expounded and developed.

Sounds great

Lemme know when you’re ready to do that. Biggest and most costly lie in modern history sounds like a good place to start.

But no, you wanna play these cockamamie games instead — marching in full-battle regalia in the Facts Over Feelings Parade.

Speaking of fantasy-filled fallacy . . .

So typical of the times: People endlessly advertising their insight into excellence in leadership — without any sense of holding themselves and their leaders to the principles they praise.

The idea of valuing virtue is to apply it — not go around congratulating yourselves in your claims.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Speaking of courage and leadership:

For the woke with your endless bending over backwards so as not to offend:

Wake up — and get some guts

I must be cruel only to be kind; Thus bad begins, and worse remains behind.

In their summary of the opinion, the judges wrote, “As long as there is no option of sleeping indoors, the government cannot criminalize indigent, homeless people for sleeping outdoors, on public property, on the false premise they had a choice in the matter.”

That last line is what this fundamental divide is all about.

Criminalizing the homeless solves nothing, but the notion that they don’t have a choice is preposterous. When you provide avenues of hopelessness, you have taken away that fundamental responsibility that we all have in making hard choices.

That “false premise” philosophy is miserably failing.

But rather than take hard look at the situation in a serious-minded manner, the same people who helped create the problem — would rather be delicate and perpetuate it.

As a camper said on a sidewalk in San Francisco:

I’m not going to let somebody run me out of somewhere where I’ve made my home

I feel for anyone in her shoes, but there’s a line between empathy and enabling — and that ship sailed long ago. During the Great Depression, people went to wherever the work was.

The modern-day down-and-out of are incapable of doing what others did 90 years ago?

I fail to understand why it’s the responsibility of the state to accommodate people who can’t afford to live there.

To whatever degree I’ve simplified the issues to capture the fundamentals — it’s nowhere near what America does to overcomplicate them.

The Right wallows in absurdity more often than not — but they’re the ones making sense on this front. And when people consistently fail to make sense on an issue, ulterior motives are invariably involved.

It’s the same fallacy on race relations — as those most invested in improving them, are not honest about the realities that plague the problems.

Loury was right on the money on this . . .

As you are trying to solve old problems in old ways (like virtually all of America — including the likes of Loury):

I claimed that the problems of the lower classes of African American society plagued by poverty and joblessness were, at the end of the day, not remediable by the means which had been so effective in the 1960s of protest and petitioning for fair treatment.

Back in the day at Purdue, you’d see sweatshirts everywhere with “Go Ugly Early” on them (I didn’t have one — what a shocker). The catchphrase came to mind as a concept for going to the guts of a problem from the get-go.

1619 is about as far away from that as imaginable.

Simply going back to the beginning of a problem — does not necessarily mean it’s the root of it now.

But you’d rather dance around problems for decades than offend anyone in the process of trying to help them.

Cruel to be Kind and Montaigne’s message are more eloquent than Go Ugly Early — and I was just having fun with the memory anyway . . .

But they both embody the same principle of being clear-sighted in how you seek to solve a problem:

Speaking of the early years

It seems like only yesterday
I didn’t have a clue
I stood alone not knowing where to turn
Now suddenly I look around
And everything looks new . . .

They call it understanding
A willingness to grow
I’m finally understanding
There’s so much I could know

Until the day you came along
I used to just get lost
I only heard the things I wanted to hear
It always seemed like no cared
Then you took the time
And now I look and everything seems clear . . .

Every fiber of my being is on fire in these photos — and no words could convey the priceless lesson that came from what happened here.

America has been conditioned to live by constraints.

I never got on board

You’ve gotta be out of your mind on a mission to pull off what I did below in the time that I did it.

Almost everyone thought I was crazy for even thinking it was possible — and central to that belief was that they weren’t thinking about how you would go about it.

This table & chairs wasn’t a woodworking project — it was more like manufacturing.

There’s a lot of smart & sincere people out there working hard to solve the nation’s problems — and nothing I have ever done compares to the complexity and frustration they face.

But you are massively overcomplicating these problems on fundamentals alone. If you don’t get that right — the rest is an exercise in futility.

Race relations do not exist in a vacuum any more than mass shootings or anything else. The mental health of America is central to the story of all that surrounds us.

What I have illustrated throughout this site and my documentary — is not the mark of a healthy nation:

It’s the mentality of a mob

If an entire nation of “normal” people refuse to work together to solve problems — and delight in rapid-fire ridicule against any challenge to their beliefs (baseless or otherwise):

How do you think that impacts those who are already inclined to mow people down?

Speaking of shootings — you wanna put trigger-happy cops in prison (and rightly so when warranted).

I’m interested in how they became trigger-happy.

That behavior often factors into it does not necessarily mean that race wasn’t involved as well. But you don’t allow for anything outside of what you instantly perceive.

If race is part of the story — you make it the entire story.

Keyboard commandos are on edge across the country.

So what makes you think that people who live their lives in danger every day — aren’t overreacting partly as a reflection of a country that overreacts on everything?

My aim is not to absolve the police, it’s to paint the possibility that race may not be as much of a factor as you think it is.

The gentleman who inspired me to read that MLK book — took issue with my suggestion on “shared responsibility” in Part 3. He objected with clear-cut incidents like Philando Castile.

That example is not in dispute.

That behavior was not a problem in that instance — is not a valid argument for the times when it was. Once again, to argue in good faith, you must answer within the confines of the question.

“Good faith” is a gray area — but only for a grace period.

You may have honest intentions in an intellectually dishonest argument. But you can’t forever ignore facts and still be operating in good faith.

And it’s an irrefutable fact that the behavior that Chris Rock hilariously highlights below — is part of the problem.

You don’t wanna acknowledge it for the same reason Tamara Holder disingenuously replied, “It may or may not” to the profile question.

She didn’t want to give any ground — and neither do you. You think you’re serving your cause that way.

You’re not — it’s the opposite

Look around!

The Right seemingly has no concept of conscience, buys more bullshit than I thought was humanly possible, and is the Mariana Trench of Mendacity . . .

But . . .

When it comes the homeless, race relations, woke and whatnot — they make a helluva lot more sense than you do.

An intellectual is not closed-minded by any means on any subject

A highly intelligent guy in technology blocked me on Twitter for a single Tweet that politely suggested that BLM is a counterproductive cause.

Stirring Defense

It’s pure fantasy to think that you can ignore key dimensions of a problem and solve it with slogans, monuments, and movements.

If you don’t want to get shot . . . just do what I tell you. . . . Most field stops are complete in minutes. How difficult is it to cooperate for that long?

But no, you wanna debate that too

Even a multi-millionaire like Don Lemon’s got a chip on his shoulder.

I am one who always says that should comply with police officers — especially as a man of color. When I’m stopped by a police officer: “Officer, why are you stopping me?” Yes, officer or whatever. Now, I’m an American — I shouldn’t have to do that. I shouldn’t have to be “Yes, sir” to anybody. I’m a grown, ‘you know what’ man.” But I do it because I want to stay alive. That’s why I do it. I shouldn’t have to.

How about just doing it out of courtesy and respect?

How hard is it to just put yourself in their shoes — and consider the crap that cops deal with day in and day out?

Yeah, they signed up for it — but you can do your part to make the situation go as smoothly as possible.

And Don — your audience blew right by that bit about complying and seized on “I shouldn’t have to.”

Nice work

All that aside, I’m glad that guy brought up Castile, as it reminded me of what I wrote in 2017:

My view of police officers these days: They’re overly protective of their own safety — in a job that by definition, comes with a certain degree of danger.

If you’re unwilling to take that extra split-second to ascertain the threat, then you have no business being in that job.

That aside, we all have a responsibility when dealing with the police. If you cop an attitude (especially in today’s climate) — you are radically increasing your chances of getting gunned down).

Yes, you can find examples where blacks did everything right and got killed anyway. But that number pales in comparison to the times where they didn’t follow instructions.

In many cases, they didn’t deserve to be shot, but they played a role in what happened. Properly following instructions would have most likely produced a different outcome.

This officer in Castile’s case was clearly out of control. Even if Philando didn’t do something exactly as the officer expected — the slightest misunderstanding is not grounds for shooting someone (not to mention the absurd number of shots).

By that standard, you could justify anything — like invading a Middle Eastern country because you feel like it.

Imagining a threat is not enough.

And it’s all the more outrageous given that the guy acknowledged he had a weapon. This person’s comment nailed it:

If someone is trying to get the drop on you, I don’t think they would calmly say “I just want to let you know that I have a gun”

Yanez stated that his justification for the shooting was based on fear for his own life because he believed that Castile’s behavior was abusive toward a young girl passenger (Reynolds’ daughter) in the car.[43] 

Yanez said: “I thought, I was gonna die, and I thought if he’s, if he has the, the guts and the audacity to smoke marijuana in front of the five-year-old girl and risk her lungs and risk her life by giving her secondhand smoke and the front seat passenger doing the same thing, then what, what care does he give about me?”[43]

That’s an awful lot of analysis for something that happened so fast. His argument is absolutely ridiculous — and has legalese written all over it.

I don’t buy it for a second.

You cannot make sweeping assumptions like that in ascertaining a threat. And it’s absurd that an officer would fear for his life over the perception of a person’s character regarding secondhand smoke.

I’d rather go to prison than come up with such a stupid excuse.

Speaking of excuses

This notion that compliance and respectability can save someone’s life in an encounter with police is not the reality for black men in this country

— Charles Coleman, Jr.

Worked out well for this guy:

To be sure, “compliance and respectability” doesn’t always pan out — but it’s the smart move, the right thing to do, and it gives you the best shot of walking away unharmed.

When you act like the one on the right below, you’re not only endangering yourself — you’re helping to create the atmosphere of confrontation for others by putting the police on edge.

The attitude on the left would do no such thing. Charles Coleman, Jr. is flat-out wrong, as the importance of attitude cannot be overstated.

Man is at least as much a problem-creating as a problem-solving animal. Better a crisis than the permanent boredom of meaninglessness.

— Life at the Bottom

I don’t do slogans, so to me, “Black Lives Matter” is just as empty as its comeback cousin.

Blunt instruments for change are just too ham-handed for my taste.

Rather than endlessly debate catch phrases, monuments, and movements — I’m far more interested in considering the underlying merit in a point of view.

While everyone else spins their wheels on who’s right, I define what I see by factoring for what’s true (isolating and correlating along the way).

When it comes to ascertaining the truth, I don’t care what your cause is, who’s in the White House, who controls Congress or the courts.

I learned early on in life that what you want gets in the way of what you see.

Blunt instruments

He had the greater hand in his own demise

— Robert Zimmerman

That’s an assertion — not an argument.

I can make the argument on the “greater hand,” but I’m far more interested in the certitude that swiftly cements your perception —on this topic or any other.

Trayvon apologists are dead certain about what happened that night . . .

I’m not

Most of America seemingly lives to fume over one topic to the next. We have no chance of ever solving problems that way.

My quest for clarity in a nation that’s having none of it.

All day I’ve faced a barren waste
Without the taste of water, cool water
Old Dan and I with throats burned dry
And souls that cry for water
Cool, clear, water

The nights are cool and I’m a fool
Each star’s a pool of water
Cool water
And with the dawn I’ll wake and yawn
And carry on to water
Cool, clear, water

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