Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Hiroshima and Mitsuo Fuchida

 

I mentioned in another conversation that I’ve been reading the new Jeff Sharra book on Pearl Harbor. In the process of looking up some of the people in critical positions, I came across this quote from Mitsuo Fuchida, who actually led the attack. He was speaking to Enola Gay commander Paul Tibbets after the war.

“You did the right thing. You know the Japanese attitude at that time, how fanatic they were, they’d die for the Emperor … Every man, woman, and child would have resisted that invasion with sticks and stones if necessary … Can you imagine what a slaughter it would be to invade Japan? It would have been terrible. The Japanese people know more about that than the American public will ever know.”

I never knew what happened to Fuchida after Pearl Harbor. Badly wounded at Midway, he served as a staff officer in Japan after his recovery. He was in Hiroshima for a meeting the day before the bombing but was recalled to headquarters. After the war, he converted to Christianity.

He was surprised to find his former flight engineer, Kazuo Kanegasaki, whom all had believed had died in the Battle of Midway. When questioned, Kanegasaki told Fuchida that they were not tortured or abused, much to Fuchida’s surprise, and then went on to tell him of a young lady, Peggy Covell, who served them with the deepest love and respect, but whose parents, missionaries, had been killed by Japanese soldiers on the island of Panay in the Philippines.

For Fuchida, this was inexplicable, as in the Bushido code revenge was not only permitted, it was “a responsibility” for an offended party to carry out revenge to restore honor. The murderer of one’s parents would be a sworn enemy for life. He became almost obsessed trying to understand why anyone would treat their enemies with love and forgiveness.

Fuchida created the Captain Fuchida Evangelistical Association based in Seattle, Washington and spoke full-time of his conversion to the Christian faith in presentations titled “From Pearl Harbor To Calvary”.

What an amazing story.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. This Is a Communist Rebellion

 

I write articles on war. I have spent the last ten years studying revolution and rebellion cause I find it interesting and it pays. So imagine my surprise this weekend, when I saw a straight-up Communist Rebellion break out on the streets of the USA.

People in the media, on Ricochet, and my friends on Facebook just think this more of the same that we have seen in recent years. No, that was Stage 1. We are at the beginning of Stage 2. What Stages am I talking about?

First, let’s talk a little about Che Guevera. After the Cuban Revolution, he realized three things.

  1. Popular Forces can win against a regular army if properly led.
  2. The Revolution does not have to wait for favorable social and political conditions, the insurrection itself can create these conditions.
  3. The Countryside is the main battleground in underdeveloped Latin America.

All these Antifa guys wearing Che shirts; does it occur to anyone that they might be reading his books as well?

The US is not Latin America. The countryside is not the main battleground, it’s the cities.

Now we get to the three stages.

Stage 1. A defensive stage, where revolutionary cadres establish themselves in sanctuaries (universities) and begin popular resistance. I have no doubt there are hundreds of safe houses littered across American cities, not all of them known, where stockpiles of pre-positioned materials are set.

Stage 2. An equilibrium stage, where the guerrillas move amongst the people, increase their strength, and destroy government support and morale. This is where we are now.

Stage 3. A popular offensive stage, where the guerillas, acting as the vanguard, will lead the entire people in overthrowing the government and consolidating their power.

This is organized action by Antifa, an honest-to-goodness Communist front who has been preparing for something like this for years now. Berkeley, Oakland, Portland. Those were practice runs. They were testing police response in preparation for a large series of planned riots.

The Wuhan Flu has prepared the stage for this action in a way that Antifa could never dream. Tens of millions of people unemployed and cooped up for months. The perfect ingredients to encourage large scale rioting. I have no doubt that they dusted off operational plans and the leadership cadre set things in motion probably a few weeks into the virus.

Antifa is following the work of men such as Carlos Marighela, Douglas Bravo, and Abraham Guillen. They are Latin American revolutionaries from the 1960s and 1970s who took Che’s ideas and applied them to the then-new modern city environments.

It is in American cities where large groups of discontented people can be found. Workers, students, and the unemployed. Right now there are tens of millions for Antifa to go with.

They consider this a political-military struggle.

There are now Antifa cells that serve as revolutionary cadres.

They are out in the streets pre-planning and staging material for the riots at this very moment. Those pallets of bricks and water scattered about.

The actions they are to take will include assassination, kidnapping, sabotage, attacks on police stations (already happening), propaganda, and agitation through all media. They are currently working through some organizations for protest demonstrations, strikes (hard to do with everything shut down), civil disobedience, and what Antifa excels at, rioting.

All of these things are planned to have political effects. They are trying to undermine the faith in government by proving how inadequate and incompetent they are (lucky for them most of the places they are doing this to are run by Democrats). Urban guerilla warfare is designed to increase social disintegration.

They are trying to force the government to overreact and then crackdown, so they can get more recruits, more supporters, and more money.

That’s the goal of the riots. Antifa does not think this will work out in undermining the government; they think they can use this to recruit more people to their side. This is the start of a years-long struggle, one that has been going on since the Obama administration. They are the Vanguard for a true revolution that will strike down capitalism and lead to their new world vision for the USA.

I have no doubt their leadership cadre has been trained and is actively getting support from Russia and China. It’s not Twitter farms stirring up trouble. What do you think those Chinese Cultural Centres on University Campuses are just there to steal your secrets? They have been used to target people who would be interested in being Marxist guerillas, and many of them have flown to China on “cultural visits” where they have been given training in tradecraft and information operations in preparation for the rebellion.

I am not saying that the Chinese ordered this into active operation. That some sort of “Climb Mount Nitaka” order was given. But the idea that they and Russia are not training and supplying Antifa seems ridiculous.

So, this is the big one. I can’t believe it’s actually happening. That someone would actually try it in the continental US. But it’s happening and people need to be aware.

Certainly law enforcement seems to be getting the message. I don’t expect Antifa to succeed. I expect this to be crushed in a few months’ time. But we need to start changing the narrative because it’s the wrong one. Antifa is trying for a Communist Revolution in the streets of America.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

I went to the drug store on an errand and saw her: A very obvious member of a riot cadre. Well polished Doc Martens, all black clothes, a red rat tattoo on her arm, and she told the store clerk the rat tattoo signified that life is a rat race. When she left, the store […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Gee, What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

 

The Sun reports that China’s leaders are pondering breeding genetically modified soldiers who will be exceptionally strong and smart, will have superior vision and hearing, and won’t feel any pain.

Hmm. Not being able to feel pain is one of the terrible symptoms of Hansen’s Disease (aka leprosy). People can hurt themselves terribly when they put their hand on a hot stove and don’t know it until they smell their own flesh burning. It would be difficult for people who have lost the sense of touch to survive, much less be able to operate military equipment.

But even supposing that the Chinese were to succeed in creating an army of supermen, why would such people consent to take orders from their inferiors?

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Consequences

 

I have never posted before, but the ongoing insanity has begun to wear on me. There is a quote that has long been among my favorites since I first read it years ago. It is from Wallace Stegner’s Angle of Repose.

…I know no way of discounting the doctrine that when you take something you want, and damn the consequences, you had better be ready to accept whatever consequences ensue.

It is time to take serious and severe actions against rioters and looters. This period of lawless behavior needs to end. I heard yesterday about a group of thugs who drove up to the outside of a sports shoe store in a Seattle suburb, stepped out of their car, threw something through the display window of the store, and then proceeded to empty the store of thousands of dollars of merchandise. That is only one example of what is going on across the country.

It is time to unseat lily-livered politicians and to take deliberate, and, possibly, violent action against these criminals. There is nothing in their actions that has anything to do with the so-called precipitating cause being used as an excuse. Let them learn the consequences of their behavior.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Paying the Piper

 

We locked everyone down, each person in their own cell. And those of us who opposed the lockdown kept saying that it was not good for people or communities or society, that there would be a price to pay — not just in physical health, but also in mental wellbeing. We even denied them the opiate of the masses: spectator sports, civilization’s way to bleed off the extra competitive and destructive energies.

Now here we are. What we are seeing is nothing more or less than a prison riot: what happens when people who have been locked up see an opportunity to break out and rage.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Disputed Cause of Death in the George Floyd Case

 

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office released a one-page summary report Monday of its autopsy of George Floyd. It supports my speculation, which I first stated on Friday (comment five here) that Mr. Floyd died of a heart attack. This conclusion has been disputed by medical examiners hired by the lawyers representing Mr. Floyd’s family, which concludes that Mr. Floyd was asphyxiated due to compression of the neck and the back.

The findings of the Hennepin County ME (here), in full, are:

Cause of death: Cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression
Manner of death: Homicide
How injury occurred: Decedent experienced a cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained by law enforcement officer(s)
Other significant conditions: Arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease; fentanyl intoxication; recent methamphetamine use

It appears that “cardiopulmonary arrest” is synonymous with “cardiac arrest” (here).

My terminology was not technically accurate. I use the term “heart attack” as a synonym for “cardiac arrest,” which is not correct. A “heart attack” (called a “myocardial infarction”) is the death of heart tissue resulting from a blockage of blood flow, which can then cause “cardiac arrest.” “Cardiac arrest” is the term meaning, essentially, that the heart stops beating. It can have multiple causes other than a “heart attack,” including arrhythmia, congestive heart failure, hypovolemic shock, overdose, and drowning (among others).

The report of fentanyl intoxication is new (I think). Previous reports, principally based on the 911 call, indicated that Mr. Floyd was drunk. The degree of fentanyl intoxication is not given, and it does not say that Mr. Floyd either was, or was not, intoxicated with alcohol. Based on the Hennepin County ME report, he was either not drunk, or if he was, the ME did not find it to be a significant condition.

I have not seen a written report by the MEs hired by the Floyd family lawyers, and I would appreciate a link if anyone has it. They apparently released their results in a news conference and a memo by the lawyers. Here is a CBS News article describing their findings. Here are a couple of key excerpts:

  • “He couldn’t breathe — asphyxia due to compression of the neck and the back,” Dr. Michael Baden, the former chief medical examiner of New York City, told reporters in a videoconference. “And that’s homicidal.”
  • “The autopsy shows that Mr. Floyd had no underlying medical problems that caused or contributed to his death,” Baden said. “He was in good health.”

If you want to reach a conclusion, you will have to make your own decision regarding the credibility of these experts. I am troubled by Dr. Baden’s statement that Mr. Floyd “was in good health,” which does not seem consistent with the Hennepin County ME’s report of arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease; fentanyl intoxication; recent methamphetamine use. However, in the absence of a written report, it remains possible that Dr. Baden might agree about the presence of these conditions, but have concluded that they did not cause or contribute to Mr. Floyd’s death.

My initial assessment is that this will make it quite difficult for the prosecutors to prove their homicide case against Ofc. Chauvin. The Hennepin County ME’s brief summary report did conclude that the cause of death was homicide, but this is without details. It does seem quite plausible to me that the interaction between the officers and Mr. Floyd was the thing that triggered his cardiac arrest. I think it will be more difficult to tie that death to any allegedly wrongful actions by the officers, as they were justified in arresting and restraining him. They may have used excessive and unjustified force, but if so, I think that the homicide case would require proof that it was the allegedly wrongful, incremental force that caused the death. I suspect that such proof will be quite difficult in the circumstances, especially using the standard of proof — beyond a reasonable doubt — that applies in a criminal prosecution.

I expect that the Floyd family, and its lawyers, will have a significantly better chance of persuading a jury of the cause of death in a civil suit, in which the standard of proof will be a preponderance of the evidence (probably — I haven’t checked Minnesota law on this point, but this is the usual standard of proof in such cases).

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We have all heard the aphorism of “hitting a fly with a baseball bat.” The idea is simple. The baseball bat is overkill, ineffective, and liable to produce unintended collateral damage. A fly swatter is less impressive but much more effective against the fly and without the side effects. We understand the overkill aphorism but […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Who Gets to Define and Impose the “Common Good”?

 

George Will’s column, When American Conservatism Becomes Un-American, talks about Senator Marco Rubio’s offer of “common-good capitalism,” which is capitalism minus respect for individuals’ right to freely express their preferences and values in the marketplace, and about Harvard Law Professor Adrian Vermeule’s offer of “common-good constitutionalism,” which is the Constitution minus respect for “individuals’ diverse notions of the life worth living.”

Both the Senator and the professor want the power to define and impose a “common good” that doesn’t respect the common man’s freedom. Neither specifies how they will identify the common good, nor do they provide a plan for preventing the power they demand from being abused.

Both see very real problems in the American economy, and they place the blame on “unfettered capitalism,” ignoring Washington’s countless fetter factories, including:

  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF)
  • Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
  • Consumer Product Safety Commission
  • Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
  • Employment and Training Administration (ETA)
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
  • Farm Credit Administration (FCA)
  • Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
  • Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
  • Federal Deposit Insurance Commission (FDIC)
  • Federal Election Commission (FEC)
  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
  • Federal Highway Administration (FHA)
  • Federal Maritime Commission (FMC)
  • Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)
  • Federal Reserve Bank
  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)
  • Office of Energy & Renewable Energy
  • United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)
  • United States Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC)

Their solution? More fetters.

They see the inequities caused by crony capitalism, codified by government-created cartels in industries such as banking, consumer products, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, and shipping. Their solution? More cartels – more special privileges for favored companies and organizations and even, in the case of Vermeule, favored religious institutions.

Before giving up more of our freedom and imposing the new government controls that Rubio and Vermeule want, let’s try eliminating existing government programs that coercively create and sustain poverty and inequality. For example, let’s stop:

  • Penalizing companies for hiring low-skilled workers. Minimum wage laws make it more expensive to hire such workers and make it that much harder for the least employable (i.e., the least educated, the least experienced, and the most discriminated against) to get and retain jobs.
  • Proliferating job licensing.
  • Creating new regulatory hoops for would-be business owners to jump through.
  • Restricting school choice. Parents should be able to get their children out of failing schools and into schools in which they can actually learn to read and write.
  • Imposing rent controls, which create shortages of low-cost housing.
  • Imposing zoning restrictions, which also create low-cost housing shortages.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

We live in Polk County, Florida. No one messes with Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd. He’s been following the rioting that’s occurring across the country, and he’s taken a stand in Polk County: Judd said there were rumblings on social media that rioters planned to bring violence into the neighborhoods of Polk County. ‘I would […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Dispatches from Facebook: Or, Very Bad News

 

I’m 24. I didn’t create a Facebook account until my last year of college. When I did finally give in, I curated my feed carefully to avoid politics, and I stayed away from the most politically active people. All this (mostly) worked… until about four days ago.

Over the last few days, I’ve unfriended almost every person I knew in high school since all of them were posting either explicit justifications for the current riots or intersectional propaganda. (You know the kind.) The once staunchly Republican daughter of a family friend has now taken to calling out “privilege.” Just now, I logged into Facebook and found myself staring at the “pyramid of oppression” charts being non-ironically shared by Hillsdale students. Yes, you read that correctly: Critical race theory has arrived at Hillsdale. Some fraction of the school’s literary elite has gone woke.

What the bleepity-bleep is happening? I’ve witnessed a gradual radicalization of my peers since high school, but this… this is just bizarre. And when classically educated Catholics start sounding like Ta-Nehisi Coates, we’ve really fallen through the looking glass.

I submit that we’re doomed. Doomed, doomed, doomed, doomed.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. COVID Symposium: My Unexciting COVID Experience

 

Since everyone else is telling their Covid experiences, I guess it is time to tell mine. Some of it I discussed in my Quote of the Day post “Problems.”

I worked for a major airline as a technical writer as a contract employee. I like being a contractor; it allows me to avoid most of the politically correct training foisted on direct-hire employees. It pays well enough and my health insurance comes through my primary employer: me. I do not have to worry about losing my health insurance or paying COBRA if I lose my job. The downside is when the company you are contracting with hits financial trouble contract employees are the first ones let go.

I saw layoff coming in the first week of March. Air travel had dropped faster than a flamed-out SST the last week of February. COVID killed air travel quicker than it killed Wuhan citizens. The company I worked for went from record profits to bleeding cash in three weeks. Arterial bleeding.

I updated my resume the weekend of March 7-8. On Tuesday, I got together for lunch with some other contractors to plan potential exit strategies. By Thursday, my bosses let all contractors know we released the following Tuesday. On Monday, they asked us to check out when we left. We were allowed to bill for Tuesday, even if we did not come in.

Full COVID craziness had not set in; panic was beginning but had not settled in. I went to church on March 15; the last time until May 24. By St. Patrick’s Day the country and world were in full panic mode. Lockdowns began and I realized any job hunt would be futile.

That was okay. On 9/11 the economic music stopped playing without a job chair under me. I exhausted unemployment and savings and went into debt before I found a new job. After that I focused on developing additional cash flows besides the day job. By March 2020, I had three including freelance writing. Finally, I had a big tax refund coming.

Additionally, I spent March 2019 to March 2020 paying off debt and saving cash. Except for the mortgage, I was debt-free by January. My bank balance was healthy. For the first time in my life, losing the day job was not a disaster. I could live off savings until I was eligible for full Social Security retirement.

Since I knew there was no chance of finding new work, I hunkered down writing books.

I had four books under contract in March. The first of the four was due in June; the last in March 2021. Normally it takes three to four months writing weekends and evenings to finish a book. I was behind schedule on the one due in June; so far behind I planned to take a few weeks off the day job in late March. Suddenly I had time. I spent the next six weeks finishing it. Delivered it and billed it the first week of May. The only reason it was not delivered a week earlier was my editor went on vacation.

Meanwhile, as I am beavering away on that book, the world goes crazy. Everything shuts down: restaurants, book stores, worst of all (for me) libraries. Everyone is shrieking “WE’RE GONNA DI-I-IEEE!!! from COVID.”

I don’t see that happening. I live in Texas and no one I know is dying from it. Those that die of it seem to mostly be in nursing homes (I think 47% of Texas deaths occurred in nursing homes.). The fatality rate seems inflated to me. I worked with heavy-duty statistics and data analysis during my years as a Space Shuttle navigator. The ability to identify and isolate bad data was a big part of the job. It seems to be derived from the fatality rates of those hospitalized with COVID, not those who get the disease.

Those I know who get it go through an experience that could be described as worse than a bad case of influenza but not as bad as an episode of norovirus (that stomach bug that is so bad your biggest fear is that you will not die). The local fire chief who got it and the city and local papers trotted him out as a poster child COVID victim, but it did not describe a near-death experience. It sounds like a bad case of influenza.

Even in New York, ground zero for the COVID medical disaster, hospitals did not get overwhelmed. There were sufficient ventilators and personal protective equipment. Most deaths there seem associated with government incompetence. Who in their right mind sends COVID patients to long-term care facilities? Not sanitizing the buses and subway cars daily? Madness.

Nor does the disease appear as contagious or as fatal as everyone thought in March. The CDC now reports contagion and fatality rates on par with a really bad flu season. The WHO is also stating that masks are unnecessary (this is not an aerosol disease), and the CDC reports it dies on surfaces pretty quickly; something I began suspecting when supermarkets failed to become a vector for the disease.

Anyhow it is now the start of June. My bank balance is the same as it was when I got let go in mid-March. I have yet to receive my tax refund (which should have come, but I suspect all the IRS types are hiding in their bunkers and not doing taxes) or payment for the book I delivered in early May (I expect that in June – they have until June 30, and will probably pay sooner). That means the bank balance should stay higher than when I was let go until September or so, assuming no other income and no emergencies requiring cash.

Meanwhile, I am about one-third of the way through writing the next book – which is due in late September. At that rate, I will get it done in June (assuming I do not pick up another day job before then). The biggest hit is the loss of interlibrary loan.

I may be the only person in the country who lost a job due to COVID that is doing very little differently than I would have been otherwise. I still would have stayed home a few weeks in late March to work on the book I delivered. Since then, I have largely holed-up in my office, not because of lockdowns, but because I am a writer and that is where I write. Without a day job, and needing income, I stay there. Yes, I am now looking for work, but tech writing jobs are still thin on the ground, and I do not need to grab the first one that comes along. (One advantage of not being on unemployment this time around.)

Mostly I feel cheated and lied to, especially by the media. They exaggerated the dangers and are still exaggerating. (Well, until riot season began and they found a new squirrel to chase.) They are providing cover for local and state officials who are continuing lockdowns, even when it is apparent they are worse than useless. Mask wearing and social distancing are proving to be just theater.

It is said history repeats itself, first as tragedy, and then as farce. The first two weeks of the shutdown was tragedy. A lockdown made sense then due to the lack of information. It may have been merited for another two weeks. After the first month? The reaction to COVID has been a farce.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. “Shoot ‘Em In The Leg”

 

Joe Biden offered up some training advice for our nation’s police officers. Around the one minute mark in the video above, the Democrat’s likely nominee gave an example of what they can do better. For instance, if an “unarmed person” is coming at you “with a knife,” police should shoot him in the leg, not the chest.

In the past, Biden suggested that you could defend your home by firing a shotgun in the air, which I guess is supposed to scare the intruder away. Now he is suggesting that you could neutralize a criminal by shooting their leg. Perhaps that could work in some cases, but legs are hard to hit. They move in a way a torso doesn’t and there are two of them, so if you aim for the middle you just might miss. And if that guy with a knife also has a gun on him? Well, he can still shoot you after you wound his leg.

I am certainly no gun expert, but shooting accurately while under pressure is a little more difficult than what you see in old cowboy movies. Rather than aiming for the leg, why not train the police to aim for the knife itself, and hit it in a way that it will fly out of the perpetrator’s hand and spin around until it cuts the rope that is holding up the chandelier. Then the chandelier will fall on the criminal’s head, knocking him out cold. Sounds like a workable plan.

PS. Looking at the background I wonder if Liberals are still looking to remove tax-exempt status from churches that mention politics?

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Black Community and Our Culture Has Lost Its First Love

 

I grew up in Pittsburgh. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream”, and other speeches were part of my high school curriculum. I married a Southerner in 1987. I was shocked to hear that Martin Luther King, Jr. was not a part of his high school curriculum. I entered a different world, a world where in his growing up years, hired help was mainly black, maids, landscapers, and hardscape contractors. I began to see and hear of a South that was not part of my upbringing, but only depicted in movies like “Gone With the Wind.” However, I experienced more racism in the North than I ever did in the South.

Entering high school a naive 13-year-old, it was a landscape ripe with violent protests, riots, marches, Vietnam, Women’s Rights, Black Power. I was a kid growing up in a raucous world, but raised by a generation who grew up under a different tyranny. Being Polish and Ukrainian descent, my family came to the U.S. with nothing and created a home for me. They fled the Communists, Nazism, and Russian repression. They lived through the Great Depression. The women in my family suffered abuse as I learned, going back generations, as men from that era were angry, harsh, and even depressed. That led to drinking and fighting. Fortunately, my dad and my aunt who raised me were nothing like that. I was raised with a respect for law enforcement, the Church, and my elders. Step out of line and I got whooped, which I did quite a few times.

When I married into the South, bits, and pieces of my husband’s history gradually emerged. We moved to North Georgia, and I was stunned to see slave cabins preserved. My father-in-law told me they were preserved for future generations to understand and contemplate. While my in-laws were part of a generation that built railroads, served in the military, and farmed, I never heard an ill word about those from the black communities that helped build the South in those capacities.

My aunt, (growing up in Pittsburgh) who raised me, once told me a story. This was during the race riots in the 1960s and 1970s and she was fearful, because my uncle was a cop in a volatile area, and my other uncle, her husband, who was like my second dad, was a conductor on the railroad. Cities were on fire, and violence erupted, just like today. That’s when she shared that her first marriage was to a very abusive and philandering man, where she found him in a bar with a woman on his lap. They had been married for less than a year. She confronted him and he threw a knife at her. She fled, and he chased her down the Hazelwood/Glenwood District of Pittsburgh, where many immigrants settled. She said that a couple of black men surrounded her, and accompanied her to safety, and confronted her abusive husband. She told me she had nothing against anybody of a different race, and she divorced him soon after. I remembered that because in my tender years, it told me that anyone could be a good person or a bad person – it was a choice.

I say the Black Community and our American culture, in general, has lost its first love, because all of the above, the flight from communism and Nazism by my family, racism and the upheaval of the 1960s, a “United” States in the midst of great change, once was led by faith. This faith was rooted in a foundation that couldn’t be shaken. It sustained the Founders as they journeyed to a new land and established our founding documents. The old Spirituals of the black community, sung in solidarity amidst persecution, strengthened them against their oppressors.

Pope John Paul II stood up against the oppressors of freedom, in the same manner that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did. With a pastor leading the charge, without firing a bullet or setting fire to a church or trashing a business, King preached a message that changed our country and the world, through non-violence and strong faith. Pope John Paul II brought down communism in his homeland of Poland and pushed back a Russian invasion brewing on its borders without firing a shot, through non-violence and strong faith. The speech that President Trump gave in Poland echoed this message.

We can’t save ourselves. Snapping a picture of the tragedy that took George Floyd’s life and sending it viral, unraveled, like a loose thread on a precious tapestry, all the good that came out of the struggle against this insidious virus. Businesses were set to open, the economy poised to resume and spirits were hopeful. No one seems to be around to snap a picture of the countless officers responding to community unrest, or domestic violence, or gang and drug infestation, that never seem to improve in the inner cities, despite eight years of a “seasoned” community organizer at the helm. President Trump’s inner-city investment program was on the way to changing that. Inviting black leadership and clergy to the White House for dialogue, along with others from countries under persecution, opened a door to new communication and finding solutions. Yet we have forgotten the good that has been accomplished.

If we learned anything through the COVID-19 virus, it is that the deepest recesses of the human spirit are good, and will rise to the challenge of any crisis, if we hold to the messages that brought down communism and racism, and we can do it again.

 

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Music that Makes Me…Happy

 

We have a lot of things to stress out about right now. To initiate the new topic Clifford Brown has for June Group Writing, I thought it might be good to start with things that make me happy. We can set aside our cares for a few minutes and listen to bouncy, silly, or inane music. So, here’s to you, Ricochet. Does it make you smile?

If my choices have not made you smile, what music does?

 

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

And not to laugh. Oops pic.twitter.com/cUAYD5BIYj — Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) May 31, 2020   In case the link has problems, here’s a screen shot: And this, just because. I think I got that from Wirecutter.  

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I hate to tell you this, but I am the smartest and funniest man on Ricochet. Don’t believe me? Just ask Mollie:  

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Orders went out to drugstores across Southern California around 4 pm today to close up and lockdown. I received an automated text from my pharmacy that one of my son’s medications was ready, but no message that the pharmacy was closed, so I happily ventured out only to find the parking lot completely empty, the […]

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You might want to do a quick perusal of Joint Publication 3-24, Counterinsurgency. Look through the elements of the insurgency. I especially commend figure II-1, Insurgent Actions, Political and Military, on page II-18. First look at the descriptions of an insurgency, how it operates, and how it hopes to achieve its goals. Much of that […]

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The Brown-Eyed Beauty just read Judge Sullivan’s response to his superiors’ writ of mandamus.  Background The Judge apparently felt that personally responding to the writ (which would require him to file a formal written defense of his extraordinary actions in the Gen. Flynn case) exceeded his competence, so he hired a lawyer to write it […]

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Cliff notes: two attorneys fire bomb an NYPD vehicle and it turns out they were offering Molotov cocktails to rioters. https://nypost.com/2020/06/01/molotov-cocktail-tossing-lawyers-tried-to-pass-out-explosives-cops/ “Brooklyn community board member Colinford Mattis, 32, and his alleged accomplice, 31-year-old Urooj Rahman, were driving around in a tan minivannear a clash between police and demonstrators at the 88th Precinct stationhouse in Fort […]

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It’s been a lousy few months for everyone, especially for the black community. You’ve experienced more illness from COVID-19 than almost any other group. You lost your jobs right after the economy expanded and gave you work. Then you were stuck at home for weeks on end. And then George Floyd was killed. And your world exploded.

Your initial reaction is no surprise to many of us—for years you’ve listened to the litany of anger against law enforcement, so it only seemed right to join a protest. So you did. Except that in these protests, you can’t see the truth: you’re being used, so used.

What do I mean? For those of you who are sincere about protesting, I respect your right to do it. The problem is that, possibly without intending to, you are providing cover for criminals and terrorists. Those people who are burning down buildings in your town, who are attacking the police who want to protect your parents, who are destroying the businesses where you shop—they are using you. As you mingle with your friends, holding up signs, calling out for justice, the criminals are right there with you, hiding among you, destroying everything that you cherish—those monuments to your lives. And they don’t care that they are hurting you—they only want devastation and chaos.

We can argue about whether these terrorists are local or from out of town. It doesn’t really matter. What matters is that they don’t care a fig about social justice, and they don’t care about you. They are wiping out any chance for justice to rule, because they are using you as shields so they can meet their agenda which has nothing to do with justice, but only with annihilating any semblance of law.

That’s the truth of what’s happening. If you care about any of these outcomes, what can you do? One option is to stop the protests. Give law enforcement an opportunity to round up the real anarchists; once they are shut down, you can continue your protests, if you are so motivated.

Or if you don’t want to stop, go home before dark. You have several hours to make your point during daylight; let those who want to destroy your homes be arrested. Watch the action on TV. This is an opportunity to ensure that law enforcement actually works for you! Let the police and National Guard know that you want these monsters thrown in jail, and you won’t support them.

Protest anarchy. That’s demonstrating true power.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Washington on China

 

Yesterday’s Quote of the Day was Solzhenitsyn on China shared by @richardeaston. In the conversation that followed, @hangon replied:

If you follow Solzhenitsyn’s logic, no alliances would ever be formed since all countries and governments at some level have diverging interests. To defeat the Soviet Union, we tacitly allied with not only China but with fundamental Islam. (Remember them?) Solzhenitsyn’s idea is extremely naive.

That reminded me of another quotation, specifically this bit:

Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and morality enjoin this conduct; and can it be, that good policy does not equally enjoin it – It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and at no distant period, a great nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence. Who can doubt that, in the course of time and things, the fruits of such a plan would richly repay any temporary advantages which might be lost by a steady adherence to it ? Can it be that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a nation with its virtue ? The experiment, at least, is recommended by every sentiment which ennobles human nature. Alas! is it rendered impossible by its vices?

In the execution of such a plan, nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. Antipathy in one nation against another disposes each more readily to offer insult and injury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable, when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur. Hence, frequent collisions, obstinate, envenomed, and bloody contests. The nation, prompted by ill-will and resentment, sometimes impels to war the government, contrary to the best calculations of policy. The government sometimes participates in the national propensity, and adopts through passion what reason would reject; at other times it makes the animosity of the nation subservient to projects of hostility instigated by pride, ambition, and other sinister and pernicious motives. The peace often, sometimes perhaps the liberty, of nations, has been the victim.

So likewise, a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of privileges denied to others which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld. And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favorite nation), facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding, with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.

As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent patriot. How many opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, to practice the arts of seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the public councils. Such an attachment of a small or weak towards a great and powerful nation dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter.

Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government. But that jealousy to be useful must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defense against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.

The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop. Europe has a set of primary interests which to us have none; or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves by artificial ties in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities.

Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course. If we remain one people under an efficient government. the period is not far off when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality we may at any time resolve upon to be scrupulously respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard the giving us provocation; when we may choose peace or war, as our interest, guided by justice, shall counsel.

Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor or caprice?

It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world; so far, I mean, as we are now at liberty to do it; for let me not be understood as capable of patronizing infidelity to existing engagements. I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the best policy. I repeat it, therefore, let those engagements be observed in their genuine sense. But, in my opinion, it is unnecessary and would be unwise to extend them.

Taking care always to keep ourselves by suitable establishments on a respectable defensive posture, we may safely trust to temporary alliances for extraordinary emergencies.

Harmony, liberal intercourse with all nations, are recommended by policy, humanity, and interest. But even our commercial policy should hold an equal and impartial hand; neither seeking nor granting exclusive favors or preferences; consulting the natural course of things; diffusing and diversifying by gentle means the streams of commerce, but forcing nothing; establishing (with powers so disposed, in order to give trade a stable course, to define the rights of our merchants, and to enable the government to support them) conventional rules of intercourse, the best that present circumstances and mutual opinion will permit, but temporary, and liable to be from time to time abandoned or varied, as experience and circumstances shall dictate; constantly keeping in view that it is folly in one nation to look for disinterested favors from another; that it must pay with a portion of its independence for whatever it may accept under that character; that, by such acceptance, it may place itself in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favors, and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater error than to expect or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation. It is an illusion, which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard.

That is from George Washington’s Farewell Address of 1796. Washington does speak of “temporary alliances for extraordinary emergencies,” and I don’t think Solzhenitsyn would have disagreed. After all, Solzhenitsyn was speaking of “Western democracy,” which would have included the US, Britain, and other countries in WWII. But we cannot trust that even the “best of our friends” among nations will always be by our side. Britain has fallen to a dictator before, for instance. Yes, it was before the United States existed, but it proves they are not immune. Germany was on the other side in WWII, but has been part of Western democracy these last few decades. That does not mean that they are on our side for various issues even now.

Solzhenitsyn was neither wrong nor naïve. George Washington urged us along the same path nearly two hundred years before, and his advice remains the course of wisdom today and will be the same in a hundred or thousand years.

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I used to catch my school bus in front of a corner market at 28th & P Streets NW, DC every morning. My mother would often send me there for groceries. The proprietor was the first person I ever met who had those distinctive blue numbers tattooed on his forearm. Mr. Stark and his wife […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Of Course This is Because We Rejected Kaepernick.

 

On Facebook, I would reckon that most of my friends are conservative of one stripe or another. Most of them are old school friends, and we’re from a conservative county in the Smoky Mountains. Several others are college friends, and Rhodes was a moderately conservative campus, overall. But with both environments, we have our exceptions. And they have opinions this week and decided to share them with the rest of us.

You see, the riots that started in Minneapolis and spread around the country, complete with vandalism, arson, battery, and now the killing of a couple of law enforcement officers… those are understandable and shouldn’t be criticized. Those who object to this say that the rioters should be expressing themselves peacefully? Oh, like Colin Kaepernick, right? Well, if you criticized Kaepernick for his peaceful protest, then you’re a hypocrite for criticizing the violent riots now.

I’ve seen so many friends and acquaintances making this argument that I wanted to work out my objection to it. There are a couple of directions to tackle it from: The first is that I have seen nobody arguing that the man killed by Minneapolis police was treated justly. There has been tremendous sympathy for him and his family, and desire for justice to be done. When peaceful protests began, I heard no criticism at all. The only criticism has been of the violence and destruction of property, especially that directed against people, places, and businesses that had nothing to do with the killing. There cannot be any defense of this mob violence in a civilized society.

The second argument is that the criticism of Kaepernick was that he was dragging politics into sports, where people didn’t want to see it. His action, as he explained to us, was intended as a sign of disrespect of the American flag and the country for which it stands. It was unpatriotic in its motivation, and that offended a lot of us, even those who don’t watch football. His stunt was directed, not against any specific police who were guilty of brutality, but against police in general. Think of the “pigs” socks he showed off. Moreover, he was probably doing this all because he was expecting to get cut by his team for not being up to par. A race-oriented political stunt was a last-ditch attempt to make himself unfireable.

I went out running through our city park today, and I saw a crowd assembling with signs against police brutality. There’s been none of that here, from anything I know, but I don’t object to the protest in principle. As long as they’re peaceful, as they seem to be, that’s all fine. But if there’s any vandalism or violence, I’m going to be really angry with them, and it won’t be a matter of hypocrisy.