This article was written for the Berkshire Eagle on March 1, 2016. They were afraid to print it, I assume, and the excuse was there was not enough room. I think we nailed it and they missed out, a mellow article that was the political pulse of the month.
SOME REPUBLICANS ARE AFRAID OF TRUMP?
Mr. Trump is the new political phenomenon. He is brash, foul mouthed and non apologetic. He fights like a junkyard dog and it has brought him fame and success, maybe the presidency. You either like him or dislike him and even the people that like him have reservations about his vernacular. He is a product of NYC, for urban survival it is not healthy to lie down letting traffic roll over you.
Mr. Trump is not a politician, he is a political genius, he reads the public’s pulse. Taking the blood pressure of millions, he formed a plan enticing them to vote. In his winning, there are many lifeless“Conservatives” standing slack jawed and wondering, “What happened?” What happened our party was not giving our voters what they wanted. Apparently the same with many Democrats and Independents because they are on a Trump roll.
Somewhere between Eisenhower and Reagan an awakening of a non conventional voters to either party emerged that encouraged many to become independent. Americans of the era wanted to apologize for some perceived guilt of being prosperous. Charities flourished, church donations were bountiful and we sought to address every wrong ever suffered by our fellow citizens. Our academic community took on a liberal agenda. They postulated embracing evolution and therefore condemned Christianity. What was overlooked? Christianity was the compelling element for our national benevolence. The government’s benevolence assumed the position of caretaker, provider and spiritual director of the nation without any qualification and religion diminished
We can argue the pros and cons of conservatism and liberalism forever. We know there is a right, left and reasonable. The far reach of the right and left kept the prospect of “reasonableness” always out of reach for the average American. We are told by politicians what we want, then they are directed by fringe special interest groups controlling the vote with the loudest voice.
The last couple of decades are shameful. Corruptive and destructive factions suggested our likely republic’s demise. Some Americans do not want to accept this, but some not only accept it they want it to continue. Why? Because with all the whining to the contrary, they are comfortable. Remember the song “Rock the boat baby,” when it gets to “Don’t tip the boat over? That typifies the fear they are feeling. They do not approve of liberal control because it is threatening. It threatens to take what they have worked for, through wealth redistribution, giving it to others that have not. With controversy and disruption in our governmental process they can feel secure that for the time being their world is stable, “Rock the boat, but don’t tip it over.” The proof is the reluctance to vote Trump by people alleged to be conservative. Sometimes they rationalize with, “What difference does it make?”.
Some are self indulged. They know what they have, what they want and how to get it. The good old-fashioned patronage rewards from supporting elected leaders with votes. Bernie, exemplifies the taking from those that earned and giving it to those that do not. Governmental benevolence to make some guilt ridden individuals feel good and others to be on the receiving end.
Donald Trump is not only a boat rocker, he promises to tip the boat over. He promises a fair playing field for the millions of unheard voices for the last six decades. His promises are threatening to the established comfy lifestyles of many.
Voters are coming out in droves. Trump is a non-establishment phenomenon. He is self motivated and financed. He is not the cures for all ills but he promises he will procure the capable people that can. We only have sit back and watch, look at the motivation behind those that fear the consequences of an unstoppable Trump. I understand the feeling of their hopelessness as I experienced the same though the Clinton and Obama presidencies. Some Republicans are afraid.
Saturday, May 7, 2016
Thursday, July 9, 2015
"Time is like a river. You cannot touch the water twice, because the flow that has passed will never pass again."
Franklin Graham was speaking at the First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida a few weeks back when he said America will not come back. He wrote: The American Dream ended (on November 6th, 2012 ) in Ohio . The second term of Barack Obama will be the final nail in the coffin for the legacy of the white Christian males who discovered, explored, pioneered, settled and developed the greatest Republic in the history of mankind.A coalition of Blacks, Latinos, Feminists, Government Workers, Union Members, Environmental Extremists, The Media, Hollywood, uninformed young people, the "forever needy," the chronically unemployed, illegal aliens and other "fellow travelers" have ended Norman Rockwell 's America. The Cocker Spaniel is off the front porch... The Pit Bull is in the back yard. The American Constitution has been replaced with Saul Alinsky 's "Rules for Radicals" and Chicago shyster, David Axelrod, along with international Socialist George Soros will be pulling the strings on their beige puppet to bring us Act 2 of the New World Order. Our side ran two candidates who couldn't even win their own home states, and Chris Christie helped Obama over the top with a glowing "Post Sandy " tribute that elevated the "Commander-in-Chief" to Mother Teresa status. (Aside: with the way the polls were run, he didn't need any help!) People like me are completely politically irrelevant, and I will never again comment on or concern myself with the aforementioned coalition which has surrendered our culture, our heritage and our traditions without a shot being fired. You will never again out-vote these people. It will take individual acts of defiance and massive displays of civil disobedience to get back the rights we have allowed them to take away. It will take Zealots, not moderates & why not reach-across-the-aisle RINOs to right this ship and restore our
beloved country to its former status.Those who come after us will have to risk their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to bring back the Republic that this generation has timidly frittered away due to "white guilt" and political correctness... An American Veteran.........Semper-Fi.......an Unknown quote presumably by a Marine.
Saturday, June 27, 2015
Hostage Negotiation....News today regarding our country’s policy on ransoms for kidnapped citizens and for victim’s families negotiating directly with the kidnappers. We have gotten ourselves into a quagmire of poor leadership and we are dealing from a position of weakness.
There are several scenarios in a hostage situation. The kidnappers that are desperately cornered and seeking escape. The next, are kidnappers seeking a lucrative reward in exchange for the person or material held captive. The last, political ideologue kidnapper scenario is making a political statement hoping to diminish the political standing of the adversary. This can include a lucrative reward of riches. Some kidnappers have little or no intention of returning the hostage. Kidnapping can be the ultimate act of terror. Given the parameters indicated, there is little space to work within. Depending how close we are to the hostage emotionally creates another matter of how logically we can handle negotiations. There has to be logical negotiation to mediate the dilemma. Every event is usually different in some respect. In any case the negotiations have to be centralized and only one source negotiating. Victims families and a disorganized government agency
( more inclined to be political) negotiating independently is the ideal situation for a political kidnapper’s success. Resulting to the peril of the hostage.
History and experience have taught us several things. A terrorist act rewarded like kidnapping, with little risk of consequence will be repeated. As simple as this discipline is it takes great fortitude to adhere to the preventive principles. Russia set somewhat of an example years ago. In Somalia they not only did not pay the ransom but also killed everyone involved, pirates avoided their ships. Countries or families not taking a firm stance and taking the path of least resistance paying the ransoms had mixed results. In some cases the hostage was returned with limited injuries and in others the hostage(s) were murdered. An example of the perpetrators not fearing consequence, and of course the incidents increased substantially.
Our most recent kidnapping(s) has been disastrous. Special Force rescue attempts have been bungled; drone bombings have accidentally hit hostage locations killing them. In one instance we traded five high ranking enemy generals for a deserting traitor. We have not divulged the money exchanged. This is not good crisis management.
Given our alleged level of superior intelligence we should have more success? There is some level of procrastination within our administration that does not allow for timely, pragmatic decisions. They are usually based on political success and not practical application of problem solving.
If we are prominent citizens traveling abroad and our capture could result in a ransom or political statement we are prey to the hawks of terrorism. The best pound of cure results with the ounce of prevention don’t travel abroad. Citizens hiking around, or in, terrorist countries such as Iran or North Korea should, in my belief, be left to their own peril. Although situations differ, dealing from a position of strength is important as it insures the health and return of hostages. There must be dire consequences if agreements are not honored; it appears we are incapable at this time.
Given the past performances of this administration I think we can expect limited success in the future. I think the Benghazi incident could have been a hostage situation that would have embarrassed the administration. The defense resolve of the SEALS and the humiliation of the attackers changed all that. We insured their defeat without rescue attempts. We may hear in the future that the possible kidnapping would have been more politically devastating than their murders, (reason for the false narrative of an instigating video, and their desertion.) The tortuous murder of Ambassador Stevens served the purpose of humiliation.
It is difficult to muster hope in future kidnapping incidents from my prospective. Going forward, only time will tell, I pray that my assessment is incorrect.
Thursday, April 23, 2015
The Berkshire Veteran’s Coalition meeting on March 26, 2015. It was about House Bill HD-1590, being submitted by Rep. Bouvier of Pittsfield. It calls for the regionalization of the Massachusetts Veterans Service Officers (VSOs). Municipalities are required per Massachusetts General Law, chapter 115, to have a VSO, or are required to furnish funds for a regional VSO. If a community is part of a regional service they may designate a liaison to represent the community in name only, they do not have a necessary function. The salaries for the VSO offices are negotiated by the municipalities requiring the service. The professionalism of the VSO is left to the appointing authority. Many of the benefits Massachusetts allows for their disabled veterans are initially paid for by the municipality where the veteran resides and reimbursed by the state, approximately seventy-five percent. The reimbursement from the state can take up to a year.
The bill, HD-1590 is alleged to promote professional attention to veteran claims for aid or benefits. At first glance it is acceptable because it appears to organize a service that is not always efficient. It would divide the state into 25 precincts, managed by state employees and they would manage additional subordinates as they are needed in communities. It is intended to eliminate the community share of all veteran’s benefits and services that would then be assumed by the state, completely under their control without local involvement.
We are told veterans moving to Massachusetts from other states are eligible for benefits the day after they arrive. Massachusetts has some of the most progressive veteran benefits in the nation. It behooves a veteran living in another state under deplorable conditions to move to Massachusetts where many benefits are furnished. With an establishment, such as Soldier-On, a prison or veteran’s hospital would establish residency for needy veterans from another community or state. This can be a substantial burden to the responsible community. Massachusetts does not solicit or attempt to recover funds from the veteran’s initial home state for whatever reason. I can imagine what the reader is thinking, I did also, unbelievable. The subject of eligibility by residence needs legislative scrutiny.
VSOs are members of the communities they serve. Several months ago the Berkshire Veteran’s Coalition submitted a letter to the Department of Veteran’s Services, Coleman Nee. We requested requirements be established for training VSO’s, including necessary training for crisis intervention or suicide. This was the result of a tragedy that occurred in Berkshire County. It was submitted under the last governor, so, I can imagine it is gracing some waste basket?
Disabled Veteran’s, really want answers. We want to talk to other veterans about military matters that we encountered or experienced. This is all but impossible to a non-military person. We believe that it is imperative that a VSO be former military. The comradery is essential. When we ask a question we want a clear unequivocal answer. Especially when we are inquiring as to deserved benefits. The majority of the benefits we receive are compensation for something lost to, or inherited from the military. This requires expertise with personal communication, an attribute for a VSO. The benefit is not a gift, we are not seeking sympathy, usually just answers.
Across the Commonwealth Veteran’s organizations are condemning bill HD-1590 saying it will add another dimension of bureaucracy. Controlled by the state and requiring a budget for many millions of dollars that could have been used to help veterans. The bill does not address this or how it will be funded. It does not stress the requirements for the regional managers, how they are hired or dismissed if the need arises.
From what I have learned, HD-1590 is well intentioned but very lacking in what it will accomplish for veterans. It does not solve any problems we now have and will create a host of many more. It does increase the state government veteran’s budget by millions of dollars. Tax dollars.
Friday, December 12, 2014
A take on interrogation. There is much news about enhanced interrogation and the Senate committee investigation has taken five years. I am not familiar with torture but I have conducted a few interrogations. Interrogation is the strong word for an interview. Police officers do this all the time and during an interview it can rapidly change to a custodial interrogation. When it becomes accusatory we are obligated to remind the person of their right to an attorney before they divulge information.
This has little to do with terrorist interrogation except for the fact of the psychology behind the questioning and what makes a terrorist submit to the truth. In criminal work it is very simple the culprit is an opportunist or has low intelligence. They calculate the benefit of cooperation with what the police already know versus the consequences. They have either been caught “red handed” or are escaping the inevitable. Often because of their intelligence the police manipulate them into confession or collusion giving up information.
This really has little to do with a zealot ideologue willing to give their life for their cause. This is why terrorist interrogators need to be specially trained and given latitude if information is to be gained. I understand that in water-boarding the method is to ask a series of three questions, two of which the interrogator already knows the answer. If the interrogatee does not answer the two correctly he is deprived of oxygen with a towel over their face being soaked with water. Terrorists are declined on a board and have the sensation of drowning. The terrorist is prepared by several days of sleep deprivation, changes in diet and their usual atmosphere of stability. The effects are dramatic and regardless of what anyone says it could be very effective. The human body wards off further threats and adapts to what prevents the harm. In this case the truth, and there is great fear of lies rooted in survival. It can be associated with the “Stockholm Syndrome” collaboration through hopelessness. Long after water-boarding the interrogatee will tell the truth knowing it can be gained anyway. This is deemed by some to be tortuous and most Marines would call it boot camp. A system of disorientation.
This procedure is applied to many aspects of military training to prepare people for the possibility of capture by the enemy. It does not have any lasting physical effects if applied correctly. The mental aspects probably are lifelong, I really don’t care about a terrorist and a lifetime of therapy if it saves American lives.
To exacerbate the subject is to throw American lives under the bus, apparently the politicians do not care? Nor are they interested in preventing further terrorism. They will tout that the information gained is incorrect, my response would be the system was not applied correctly. They will say the information can be gained in another manner, lots of luck. Police can lie and deceive, playing good cop and bad cop and still usually it is not enough. We have to offer an incentive or disparity to gain confession. If we are dealing with someone willing to give their life for the cause it is silly to believe we can convert them to our ideology. It is very unintelligent to think otherwise and I would not stake the fate of thousands of Americans on a whim or theory.
This has even gone further and it is not discussed. Under this administration terrorism has been criminalized. We take terrorists into custody and advise them of their right to an attorney. This is true of foreign nationals taken into custody on foreign soil as I understand it. Yet, we kill Americans on foreign soil using drone strikes without a trial verdict. That is another opinion in the future, our media gives us many convoluted theories that are expressed without the benefit of knowledge or experience.
The Garner incident. I’m weighing in and really have a hard time fathoming the bad luck everyone concerned had. Garner a thirty time loser with police seemed to work every angle he could to get arrested. It is unfortunate that our society has people like this.
The cops, including the cop behind Garner, Pantelleo, were acting upon store owner complaints of Garner harassing customers and selling cigarettes illegally. Excuse me if I simplify the incident. Police answer the call and evaluate that Garner is not going to be arrested easily, for whatever reason they are reluctant to Taser. They decide on a back-up of officers and what I saw on the video looks to be four competent police officers confronting a giant of a man. Garner was not submitting to the arrest. This is a fairly common scenario. The exception is a suspect that weighs 350 pounds and is very capable of injuring anyone trying to apprehend him.
The only thing in common with the Ferguson event is a very large man, angry and capable of maiming any police officer within reach. Garner does not appear to be aggressive, however he is not compliant. This passiveness is not something taken as permanent and the situation can change in a fraction of a second. The arrest is inevitable. Police don’t just arbitrarily call for back-up. Officers that respond are not happy with officers calling for an assistance without just cause. In this case Garner’s size is enough to speculate the damage he could physically do. I believe they were trying to apprehend him with as little physical harm as possible. That is why they chose the multiple officer arrest procedure.
Police, really desire to go home to their loved ones after a tour of duty. A very rough physical confrontation with an adversary can change that. It is nothing anyone looks forward to. It is evident that Garner was surrounded and would be overcome and handcuffed. I did not see any blows struck and it was mostly all about restraint. I think any cop watching knew Garner was going to be grabbed by the neck by the officer behind him. One officer approached from the front drawing Garner’s attention, the officer behind grabs him for control. Two other officers await until the struggle ensues, it is all about restraint. At this point everything is very professional, taking him down, incapacitating, hand-cuffing, and neutralizing the situation.
The physical contact begins and Garner is saying that he cannot breath, as a doctor said to me, “If he could not breath he would not be talking.” Someone choking in a restaurant gurgles or gasps they do not recite two sentences. Garner falls victim to other physical heart problems, asthma and overweight restrained breathing, compounded by physical exertion, anxiety of the event and chest pressure of being held down. The autopsy revealed that Garner’s tracheal airway did not suffer damage, apparently indicating he was not strangled. Pantalleo is the alleged cause of the death. But, I have not heard anyone say that he was ordered by the police officer supervisor at the scene to not act in the manner that he did in effecting the arrest. That would indicate to me that the supervisor approved of the conduct or would have testified at the Grand Jury that the police officers were acting contrary to instructions.
It is an unfortunate event, we need to be careful what we take away from it. It is only racial in the eyes of a racist. Angered physical contact between human beings, even in a sporting event like football has some traumatic consequences. This is not a sporting event, but foreseeable with the medical problems and not submitting to arrest. Unless there is information I am not privy to, I would agree with the grand jury. There was not any specific intent or negligence just a very unfortunate event.
Immigration, in the news and being used to intimidate the unsuspecting. This subject has been beaten to a pulp but still requires defining. Recently there have been several articles in the Eagle expressing how we should welcome immigration. We do, if it is through the selection process like so many of our ancestors accomplished. Many, blow off the harm that illegal immigration creates. It destabilizes our economy, the employment opportunity, our medical, educational and welfare programs. Illegal is not just against the law it is erratic and cannot be controlled toward stabilization. It is erratic because it cannot be rationed on the needs of the country. Again, it is expressed that the country can absorb it. The “Boomers” are moving into retirement at the rate of ten-thousand per day. Living longer than ever before and will require resources that there is not an adequate supply of. Social Security, Medicare, Senior Housing, etc. are under-funded now and unsustainable in the future. The Boomers are on a direct collision course with amnesty and are destined to lose. Our poor compete every day for low income housing with the illegal guests.
I have mentioned several times, the number of undocumented citizens that we have is greatly underestimated. Not by a simple amount, when the true figures come in we will realize the dilemma before us. We are missing the count by millions. The closest evidence is the amount of Non English speaking residents versus the alleged amount of illegal residents. If they are not able to speak English they are not citizens. We hear of the harm caused by amnesty and still it is sought by many. Amnesty is a very forgiving word. It was granted under the Reagan Administration in the 80’s and has formed the night-mare we are living now.
This opinion will get the usual disagreement from people that will boast how immigration built this country. They are not accounting for the shortcoming of every government program that includes our illegal guests. They will exclaim they are needed for menial jobs that nobody else wants to do. Well, I see many menial jobs in the Want Adds and still there are many illegal guests on our welfare rolls, this presents a conundrum. Some of the people condemning illegal occupancy are the first to hire them, saving money. Much of the money the guests make is sent Western Union back to their home country. Observe the Price Chopper service desk on a Thursday or Friday night. There thousands of dollars are being sent to foreign countries, a fact of life. The part that nauseates me is the fact that so much of the money sent is taxpayer subsidized. They are here for opportunity, earning a wage or having it given to them. Their allegiance is to their family in their former country. The baloney we hear about escaping political abuse is hogwash it is like most crime and tied to monetary opportunity. Of course, there are some that are escaping persecution. If the situation was reversed, we were the ones living in the foreign country we would want family members to go where it is the most lucrative and share whatever bounty they achieve.
Amnesty, is the slap in the face we give legal immigrants that have played by the book. We are a nation of laws that protect the citizenry although this is not recognized by politicians seeking the immigrant vote. The silent majority remains intact and I wonder how much harm they will endure before they get off their duff and stand accountable?
Before chirping how bigoted this opinion is, walk a mile in a senior citizen’s shoes and the prospects for their future. Many have paid into a system they can only hope to benefit from. The Obama Burger, get the large, the guy behind you pays for it, in this case the guy behind us is our grand children.