Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Organizing Communities

It was in the news this morning that “Organizing For Action” has a goal to train 10,000 community organizers. This group is Obama’s non-profit advocacy group. I am trying hard to be open minded about this, but unfortunately we have a history.

Ours is a country made up of immigrants. Most of the immigrants that came to this country before 1960 came here to make a better life for themselves and their families. Most were able to achieve this goal. One of the main reasons for this success is that after the United States government was organized, a process was put in place to limit immigrants into the country. By regulating the numbers coming in, they had the opportunity to learn from their neighbors what it took to be a successful United States citizen. People wanting citizenship trained themselves in areas of Constitutional law, free enterprise, and freedom from government control. Within 150 years we became the most prosperous and most powerful nation in the world. Our prosperity allowed us to send money overseas to help trading partners increase their wealth and prosperity. Our power has helped the free countries of the world root out evil villains that want to usurp other people’s rights.

This integration of immigrants into our society has been successful, primarily because the education was done at the neighborhood level. Immigrants normally settle in neighborhoods where they are enmeshed in people of their own ethnicity. Some of the people in the neighborhoods objected to the newcomers, but despite the few objectors, they became good citizens and accepted by their neighbors in a very short period of time.

Today we have inner city neighborhoods that have been controlled by the Democrat Party for many years and are filled with poor people that cannot find a way out of their poverty. The youth with little parental guidance and poor education from teachers whose union affiliation is more important to them than the children they teach. The kids resort to gangs for protection and support. They resent the police that expect them to behave like good citizens. The Democrats keep telling them the only way they can improve their situation is with government support and the more support they get the worse off they are.

Knowing all these things, I think the community organizer initiative could be a good thing. If the community organizers are trained to go in and help people learn to become better citizens, so they are accepted by their neighbors the project has a chance for success.

But again, we have a history. The most famous community organizer I have ever heard of does not believe in the Constitution. He is flooding the country with immigrants at such a rapid rate, that they have little chance of becoming productive citizens for many decades. As implied earlier, for immigrants to be successful, they have to be supported by their neighbors. But, if the new community organizers are divisive like Barack Obama we are going to have chaos and anarchy in the neighborhoods they organize and the problems will get worse instead of better.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

What's Next?

I saw reports from Texas City, Texas today that a young man was firing a gun into a crowd near or in a bar. Police arrived and the young man turned the gun on the police officers, one of which shot and killed him. It turned out he was Black. What happened next is the mystery to me. After the boy was shot, people in the crowd started throwing rocks and bottles at the police officer. This behavior is foreign to me, but similar to what is going on across the country in Black communities. I used to say poor communities, but it is apparent the Blacks are the ones that are supporting the felons and thugs in the stories, normally based on lies from biased observers. “Hands Up! Don’t Shoot!” was the lie from Ferguson Missouri. “I can’t Breathe” is the rallying cry for protesters in New York. This rallying cry is at least based on partial truths.

My question is what’s next? If people side with the thugs against the police officers, whose side do you think the public will be on? Do you suppose the other police officers are going to let you shoot them, just because they are now intimidated into not shooting back? Think again.

Crowds and protesters are disseminating misinformation and acting on it in support of lawbreakers. Barack Obama, Eric Holder and Al Sharpton blame all the deaths on the police departments and want them to be retrained. None of them ever mention making the thugs behave themselves.

I am beginning to think this is who our leadership is -- rabble rousers or instigators of protest to incite change in this country. My feeling is there are too many of us that support the Constitution and the police officers for this strategy to work. If these violent protests continue in support of thugs, I am a firm believer that the backlash is going to be overwhelming and none of us will appreciate the aftermath.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Police Officer's Revolt

What do Holder, Obama, Sharpton and De Blasio have in common? Well, they are all Democrats, but that is not the only thing they have in common. They all urged Blacks to get in the streets to protest the police. They say they want peaceful protests, but how often do peaceful protests turn to violence? I contend it happens very often. When cheered on by Sharpton, Obama and Holder the crowds of protesters know they can act with impunity. When De Blasio made it clear he was siding with lawbreakers in New Your City and condemning the police, what did you think was going to happen next?

The shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri was a tragedy that should not have happened, but it did happen. Could Michael Brown have acted differently? -- Of course he could have. As a matter of fact, Black people all over this country have been telling us that they have to train their children on how to avoid confrontations with the police. Michael Brown seemed to forget his training. Could the police officer acted differently? -- Probably not. He followed guidelines and procedures he had been trained to follow.

The death of Eric Garner is also a tragedy that should not have happened. Garner died as the result of a struggle while he was being arrested by New York City police. Could Garner have acted differently? The answer is, of course he could have, but he appeared to be protesting what he considered police harassment. Was he right? Possibly, he was. Could the police have acted differently? Most definitely -- at least one police officer did not follow his training. Should someone be punished for Garner’s demise? -- Probably. Should protesters decide the punishment? No way, Buddy.

Now, protesters are in the streets claiming police are targeting young Black men, based on the two Black men dying at the hands of the police in a short period of time. Do you think the New York City policemen were attacking a Black man on the streets because they were conspiring with the Ferguson Police Department? -- Of course not. They were at the scene in response to a store keeper’s complaint about a big Black man in front of his store selling products illegally. The store owner thought he was losing business by the man’s presence in front of his store.

Now we have two police offices in New York City slain by a police hater and another police officer slain in Tarpon Springs, Florida. These are hate crimes incited by public officials. In Oakland, California a roadside tribute display honoring four police officers slain in the line of duty has been vandalized. It appears to be open season on police officers.

What do you think is going to happen next? Now there are police officers all over this country feeling betrayed by their government and feeling animosity from people they are sworn to protect. Policemen are on edge and this is not a good situation. If the police continue to be pressured, they may resort to paranoia. If public officials and protesters drive the police to revolt the outcome will be an even bigger tragedy. I support the police and I think the majority of people in this country feel as I do. If the protesters continue on the route they are traveling, it is possible the people on the other side of the issue will rise in support of the police. I think there are a lot more law-abiding citizens than there are protesters and thugs. Who do you suppose will win the confrontation following the revolt?

Friday, December 19, 2014

Way Wait So Long

I saw an article the other day listing all the funds that give scholarships to Black people in the United States. I have to objection to this. I do think more focus needs to be placed on children at elementary and intermediate school age. I think this may be where we are losing the most potential in the Black neighborhoods. I specify Black, because it directly addresses the article I referred to in my opening sentence, but the same things are true for all inner city children living in poor families, regardless of color.

I have been fortunate in my life. I grew up in lower middle class neighborhoods and went to neighborhood schools in towns, some of which have grown to become cities. This is different from inner city children in Houston, Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Detroit and many other large cities. I was lucky. I managed to get a high school education, spend a tour in the Army, then attended junior college and managed to graduate from a major college. I had a two parent home for most of the time when I was growing up. I had a place to sleep and food to eat. Sometimes transportation was difficult, but we managed. With my GI Bill funds, I was able to work and get a college education at affordable prices.

Today the situation is much worse. All the education grants from the federal government and charitable organizations giving scholarships have caused the price of a college education to skyrocket. In the long term, less people will get a college education than would have been able to before all the “free money” was available for college education. You can count on it -- every time, and I do mean every time, the government gives stuff away it has the opposite effect than what was intended.

I have tried to imagine many times what my situation would be, if I was raised in a poor neighborhood with parents that had no transportation and could not get to work. There is always a way to success and many people rise out of poverty and thrive. You hear a lot of stories about mothers working two or three jobs to feed the kids and get them to school. You read stories about people that spend many hours and walk many miles to get to a job, trying to improve their situation. Everyone does not have this kind of drive or willingness to work.

Personally, I have a tendency toward laziness, so I always had to push myself to improve my situation. Fortunately, I married a lady that would not accept the status quo and pushed me even harder toward something better than I would have achieved on my own. Like I said, I have been lucky.

These next paragraphs includes some assumptions I have about the plight of inner city children. This is not intended to disparage, but just an acknowledgement that I recognize there are some problems to overcome. One thing I know for sure, when you have nothing it is easy to fall into depression. Once you are there it is hard to get out of the depression on your own. Professional help has never really been an adequate answer. This is exactly the same scenario if there is no money. You cannot improve your situation without help. What is needed is a cadre of positive people around that display a positive attitude and a willingness to encourage a positive attitude in others.

If there is no money for food, certainly there is no money for transportation. Again, support is necessary -- not to solve their problem, but to give them hope and a hand up and encouragement to solve their own problems. When parents can get to work at a steady job, they cannot help but be proud of themselves and the children get to live with this example. I am in favor of a parent taking any job they can get and while they are working continue to look for a better job. After parents or just a parent gets steady employment, they should strive for better food, strive for better transportation and strive for a better outcome for their children.

I think what is being done to people in poverty is exacerbating the situation. Placing the blame on “whitey” will never solve anyone’s problem. Sending discouraging people in to tell them they do not have a chance for success is not the answer. A school where teacher loyalty is to the teacher’s union and not the students is not the answer. Pouring money into poor neighborhoods is not the answer. All funds should come with a mentor program that guides youth with clear expectations that the objective is to help themselves. College scholarships are a nice benefit, but getting younger children prepared for life, including college is probably a better solution.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Things That Are Wrong

We have protesters marching in the streets in some cities in this country urging people to kill policemen. Is there any sane person in this country that thinks killing policemen is a good idea? I am not surprised that this sentiment comes from Black neighborhoods. I have been hearing this from Oakland, California for thirty years. They seem to honor cop killers in Oakland.

My friend Darryl at work used to tell me about “Cowboys and Indians”. Indians massacre people in a wagon train and all the cowboys that hear the news form gangs to go out and kill every Indian they find, no consideration if they were the perpetrators of the massacre or not. Is this not insane?

This kind of hatred is stupid. If others in the country start thirsting for the blood of whole groups of people when only one out of the group harmed them, we would have another civil war, where nothing is civil. I do not want to live in that kind of country.

People ordinarily get killed by police officers because they do stupid things. This is true no matter what color you are. I was going north one night on Highway 59 in east Texas and driving the speed limit, when a car passed me and pulled over in front of me. I changed lanes, because I do not like riding on people’s bumper, especially at night. A few seconds later, I was stopped by a highway patrolman with a radar gun and the car in the right lane continued speeding down the road. I tried to explain to the patrolman that it was not me that was speeding. About the third time I tried to explain his error, his voice got gruff and he reached behind his back for something, and at that point I said, “Okay, I’ll take the ticket and take my chances in court.” Immediately, his voice went back to normal and we departed the scene amicably. He was wrong in the beginning and I was an idiot for arguing and I could have helped it escalate until I was dead. It probably would not result in my death, because I am easy to beat up -- I have had a soft midsection for many years.

If the grand jury system is flawed and my opinion is that it is a bad system, we need to fix the grand jury system. If a policeman uses unlawful tactics to subdue a person, that policeman should be punished, not his buddy at the police station. If protesters have legitimate grievances, they can attract followers. If protester go way overboard and jump past justice to vengeance, then they should expect a lot of opposition. The consequences could lead to catastrophe.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Our Political Parties

I read articles and stories all the time about how Republicans support the rich and “stick it to” the poor and middle class people in this country. When these statements are made, I think the writers are talking about Republican politicians. The truth is, Republican politicians think about the same things Democrat politicians think about. There are a few exceptions, but primarily politicians think about how to get money to get re-elected. I think this is their primary motivation for everything they do. Republicans and Democrats alike try to pass legislation that is designed to maximize the money they get from their base. I do not think any of the professional politicians are good for the American people.

Who makes up the base of the parties? I think I know, but I am not positive and I know there are exceptions within the broad groups. My best guess: Republicans: big business, small businesses, the Chamber of Commerce and an even split in the middle class. Democrats: the poor, Jewish people, labor unions, trial lawyers, socialists, Black people, Hollywood and the other half of the middle class. I think Hispanics are divided and support both parties with the balance shifting, based on current events. I think Wall Street and bankers hedge their bets by giving money to both parties, so they can illicit favors from both.

The Democrats get away with branding Republicans as the “party of the rich”, because the media primarily consists of Democrat leaning executives and editors that act as the communications wing of the Democrat party. Fox News and talk radio are the primary exceptions to this bias. The truth is the Democrat party always gets more donation money than the Republicans.   

I think the Democrat party makes a concerted effort to generate as many poor people as possible to keep them dependent on the government for support, thus increasing the Democrat base. Personally, I think this is evil.

I am a conservative and prefer the Republican party, although I do not like most Republican politicians. My feeling is that neither party has our interest at heart, because of professional politicians. I think what is best for the people is a balance between what the Republicans want and what the Democrats want.

I am a conservative because I believe individuals should have control of their own destiny. I think people that work hard to get themselves educated and work hard putting their education to work should gather more wealth than people who do not want to put out the effort. I believe businesses create more good jobs in a free trade and a free market capitalistic system with moderate government control to protect the people.  The government should take care of people that cannot take care of themselves. The rest of us should go to work.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Perspective

There are a lot of situations I have been in when I was afraid. I will discuss a few of them here.

When I was in the First Cav Division in South Korea I was in the 9th Cav Brigade and we were assigned outposts in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) looking into North Korea. The DMZ is 2,000 meters wide and is a buffer zone between the two Koreas. We were well aware that we were and are still in a state of war with North Korea and both adversaries mostly honored the Armistice of 1950 that ceased the fighting. North and South Korea are still wary of each other and I was there as part of the United Nations force. I saw a helicopter get shot down that got too close to North Korea and we had several people killed in an ambush, we assume by North Koreans, so we took our jobs seriously.

We usually worked 12 hour shifts at outposts on mountain tops monitoring activity in North Korea and reporting what we saw.  The outposts consisted of a shack surrounded by concertina wire about 100-150 feet away from the shack. Of course the North Koreans had outpost looking back at us, but mostly we saw rice farmers tending their crops. We had binoculars and telescopes we used to watch them in the daytime, but after dark these tools became useless. One night when I was on one of the outposts, it was really dark. I was a sergeant in charge of the outpost and I had three people with me. I was inside our shack on the hill and one of the outside sentries reported someone in the concertina wire. I was scared immediately. I got everyone to move back where they could monitor the area, but could use the shack for cover. I could see movement, so I told them I was moving down the hill and when I got to a prearranged position someone would send up a flare so I could see what was moving and shoot if necessary. Did I mention I was scared? The flare went off and something scurried into the brush and I realized I was exposed and an easy target if someone wanted to kill me. My training kind of went out the window and my instincts took me into danger instead of away from danger. A lesson most people only have to learn once, if they survive.
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I remember driving down a secondary highway (not an interstate) and saw a group of motorcycles coming up behind me. There were probably fifty of them and very little other traffic on the road. I am not sure I went to full scared when they surrounded my car, but I can say for sure I was apprehensive. It took them about ten minutes for all of them to get past me. I tried to keep the same speed and pretty much kept my mind on the road, but it was not a pleasant feeling. To my knowledge, none of them showed any interest in me and why would they? This did not ease my apprehension.
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My company sent me and two other employees to a training class in West Virginia. After class, we drove around to see the sites. We ended up in Washington, DC one night on each street corner was a congregation of Black people. I was apprehensive again and hoped we would not get caught by any red lights. We did not discuss the issue, so I am not sure if my fellow travelers felt the same apprehension I did. Maybe it was irrational fear -- I really do not know. No one ever took any action or said anything to make me fearful, but I was certainly uncomfortable.

Do you remember the movie “The Blind Side”? Michael Oher was a great big Black man in an all white school. S.J. was the young white boy in the family that took Michael into their home. The two of them were walking through the schoolyard together and the other children were moving out of their way and S.J. said, “Smile, it lets them know you’re their friend.” A smile is good advice in any circumstance.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

I Protest

Barack Obama is asking for over $350 million for retraining police and putting body cameras on all the police in the United States. I protest for multiple reasons. I do not want the federal government any more involved in state and local affairs than they already are. Second, every time the federal government gives you something it comes with strings attached. The complaints about militarization of the police forces across the country are because Barack Obama does not see terrorists as the enemy. He thinks white people that are citizens of this country are the enemy. He and Eric Holder have done more damage to race relations in this country than any other pair of individuals in history.

I am not against policemen wearing cameras. I am not against policemen getting sensitivity training. I am not against policemen meeting with community leaders to create better rapport with the public. I am not against reviewing the grand jury system to see if some improvements can be made to make it appear fairer to the public. I am firmly against the federal government assuming responsibility for local policing. I do not want their money and I do not want their help to solve local problems.

As soon as someone mentions retraining thugs and criminals to treat policemen with respect, their demands for police retraining will have a more reasonable chance of success.

Barack Obama, Janet Napolitano and Jeh Johnson have already created a national police force. They use the Department of Homeland Security like a military organization to enforce environmental laws forced on the country by this administration. They send squads of armed men to confiscate cars that they deem emit too much carbon dioxide. I suspect children’s lemonade stands are in their focus to satisfy Michelle’s anti-obesity issue.

If it is not clear, I do not trust these people. In the Democrat party, lying to the public is approved and appreciated. Of course they deny it. Why wouldn’t they, they lie about everything else.

I loudly protest any more federal government involvement in local matters.


Friday, December 5, 2014

Sidewalks

A new sidewalk is under construction along South Shore Boulevard south of the League City Parkway. They are constructing the sidewalk to follow the contours of the ground and curves in the road. Following curves in the road makes sense to me, but I think following contours of the ground is dangerous. The sidewalk looks like a roller coaster. It may be fun for teens on bikes or skateboards, but my opinion is that it is dangerous for everyone else. You cannot walk naturally on an unlevel sidewalk. I could visualize throwing my back out walking by this neighborhood.

Maybe the sidewalk is decoration and not meant for walking. Right now the fields are empty south of the housing addition, but I suspect houses will be erected in the fields in the next few years. I have a feeling the sidewalk will be redone when there is an actual need for it.


I am in favor of sidewalks to keep pedestrians and young ones on bicycles, tricycles and skate boards off the street. I also think the city should keep these sidewalks in good repair. We get a lot of uneven sidewalks in Texas due to the shifting earth, cause by alternating cold and hot and dry spells followed by flooding. Our concrete structures require routine observation and upgrading. Erecting a sidewalk that already needs help makes no sense to me.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Neighborhood Policing

Most law abiding citizens do not want a police presence in their neighborhood. That means there is not much crime in the neighborhood. If no one ever calls the police, most neighborhoods would not see a police car. A funny thing happened on the way to the neighborhood -- a crime occurred and the police showed up. Most of the people in the neighborhood want the police there to drive out the criminals. The more crimes you get in the neighborhood the more police you get. The people that do not want the police in the neighborhood are the criminals. Is this not just common sense?

If you live in a neighborhood with a lot of crime, you have several choices. You can live with the criminals, you can move, you can get rid of the criminals yourself, or you can allow the police to get rid of the criminals for you. There may be other solutions, but not many others.

We are at a point in this country where some neighborhoods populated with people of color will glorify criminals and disparage the police. Does this make any sense to anyone with good sense?  We are told there are neighborhoods that do not trust the police. Where do people that make these claims get their evidence? Do they poll the neighborhood? No! They get there information from a very few people and allow them to speak for a much larger group that has no voice.

Let us suppose there is a neighborhood that does not trust the police. How can you solve this problem? Eric Holder, Barack Obama, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson want to put the blame on the police and retrain them. This is guaranteed not to work -- guaranteed not to work, should I repeat, guaranteed not to work. Why not?

If a husband and wife have disagreements they cannot resolve, should the husband be sent to a marriage counselor? Good luck with that. If the NFL has a beef with the Players’ Union, do you send the NFL Commissioner to arbitration? Hell no.

Assumption that one side of any dispute bears all the blame is stupid beyond belief.

If there is a problem with police and any neighborhood, the problem will only be resolved when both groups get together with an unbiased arbitrator. Right now, there are no unbiased arbitrators to be found, inside or outside of the government.