With a bang: A gun salute is fired from a cannon at Fort St. Catherine as the 'Freedom Schooner Amistad' sails past on the North Shore yesterday afternoon. The schooner is a rebuild of the original 'La Amistad' which in 1839 was overthrown by 53 captives that had been kidnapped from Africa despite a 30-year-old treaty that outlawed the importation of Africans for the purpose of slavery. Today the vessel serves as a symbol of hope and monument to the pursuit of universal human freedom.Photo by Mark Tatem

Photo by Mark Tatem

Written September 3, 2015


There are many millions of Americans like me who are watching the craziness around us in disbelief. I know I keep saying it, which means I’m probably hung up on it, but regardless of how you feel about Obama Care, when the Speaker of the House of Representatives says that “you have to sign it to see what’s in it” with a straight face and expects the populace to believe it is a rational statement, we are sinking in the quicksand of craziness. And from there we’ve done nothing but sink deeper and deeper in craziness such that the many millions of people like me wonder if we will ever pull ourselves out. This is mostly non-political, but since the Donkeys are in the White House right now… Well it doesn’t much pay to go into the past to things that are no longer relevant for examples, but the first recent glaring one came from that 750 K/speech ex-president regarding the definition of the word is. And there are many, many more examples in the past and right before us today.

That said, and having passed up the opportunity to comment upon the appropriateness of the donkey as guiding symbol, let’s get to the point at hand.

The killing of nine people in the church in South Carolina is surely one of the most heinous crimes that can be. The act itself contains all the elements of that which we deem abhorrent: killing in a House of Worship, senseless mass murder, unprovoked terrorism, and racism as a motivation, here, of course, a white killing blacks in a black church. It’s that last element, however, that changes the dynamics of the heinousness of the act, and it’s that last element’s doing this which is precisely the problem. If a Muslim blows up a synagogue and kills a lot of Jews while they are praying just because they are Jews, that’s pretty bad but not so heinous. But a white killing nine blacks in a church, whoa! Stop everything. And that’s the real problem.

The killing in South Carolina will dominate the news for several weeks. So what really comes from this? It becomes a media circus, a feeding frenzy for the likes of Al Sharpton and all the cable news stations. It provides an opportunity for our tremendously stupendous presidential hopeful candidates, and it makes a good subterfuge for Obama to find respite from being held accountable for the failures of his presidency. In other words, as we’ve heard repeatedly since this administration came to power, never let a good crisis go to waste, or something like that because in all honesty I’d never heard that before this presidency. I always thought that kind of sentiment was rooted in expressions like “if you get eggs, make egg salad” or, “always do the best with what you have where you are at.” So many people from Al Sharpton up to Obama will capitalize on this tragedy when really everyone should be circling the wagons and taking a good look at how we got where we are and what should be done once we begin to understand where we are. Me, I don’t believe, once again, we are asking the correct questions, making the right assumptions or have the internal wherewithal to really examine who we are and why these types of things are going on.

So now a couple of common sense things. One is a rule of physics. I never much understood physics, but this one’s pretty straightforward. For every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction. The second is a particular definition of insanity, the one that says to keep doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results is insanity. Would Nancy Pelosi sign a new mortgage for her house without reading it? That, she would say, would be insane. For Newt Gingrich to have led Clinton’s impeachment (for lying about infidelity) while he was doing the exact same thing, was not only insanity but a great hypocrisy, and for we the people to have followed along is insane and shameful.

Alas we come to the South Carolina shooting. Did anyone honestly think that the president who so early on in his tenure as president interfered in police matters because of race would not be perceived to be president of only some of the people? Did he really think that when in-the-pocket Eric Holder didn’t prosecute the caught-on-camera Black Panthers for tampering with elections and then strongly discouraged his Lack-Of-Justice Department, as it should be called under him and Obama, from prosecuting blacks, that there wouldn’t somehow, somewhere, some way be an equal and opposite reaction? What did Obama think? Did he not think that many, many millions of people, like me, would sympathize with the fight against racial injustice yet not agree with a Justice Department that only went after non-blacks? A Justice Department that circulated a memo to that effect thus letting a whole lot of things slide from prosecution simply due to skin color? Did he really think we wouldn’t wonder why he has sat with a known tax-evader more than God-knows-how-many-times without thinking how come we have to pay our taxes and he doesn’t?

The vocalization by the South Carolina shooter that he hoped to start a race war is the statement of a reaction to where this president and his Lack-Of-Justice Department have led this country in seven  short years, a place where any realities of where we are at as a society will not be looked at, and worse, a place where instead of honestly looking at things we will once again be led by a feckless group of career politicians deeper and deeper into the insanity-quicksand. Those career politicians, Donkeys or Elephants, interested only in reelection, are not leading us by sensibility and common good. They are controlled by special interest groups and driven by personal ambition.

You hear the talk now: gun control, Confederate flag, racism. My high school freshman debate team could debunk the ridiculousness of such talk. In fact, and this administration is notorious for such tactics, it is the all-or-nothing argument, which unless you’re all-in in a poker game, is a fallacy.

Time to take a deep breath. Time for the president to quit hanging out with tax evaders and crying about Fox News. Time for Ferguson and Baltimore leaders to prosecute all wrongdoers and move out of hiding behind the white-devil scapegoat. Time to put personal interests aside. Time for Democrats to quit blaming Republicans and vice versa. Time to understand we must honestly look at where we are at in this country and address the realities. While the South Carolina shooting was perpetrated by a crazed extremist, it expresses yet another aspect of our reality, that there are many millions of Americans out there who wonder about fairness and what’s right and why this administration, at least by appearance, seems to be concerned with fairness to only one group of people. So even shot by a crazed extremist, it is a shot across the bow and a shot heard round the world.

Why is this administration so timid toward Muslim militants? So reluctant to protect the rights and lives of Christians? So antagonistic toward Israel and our other allies? So appeasing toward Iran (and Putin and China)? So supportive of illegal aliens and thus unfair to those immigrants waiting years and years trying to enter America legally?

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. If we view the South Carolina shooting as a reaction, we might possibly examine our actions that have brought us here. That might be a beginning step to pulling ourselves out of the quicksand of insanity in which we are so rapidly sinking.

Are we a nation of cowards? Certainly not for the ridiculous reason Eric Holder said we were. We will only know whether we are or aren’t if we are gutsy enough to ask the real questions and face the indisputable facts which have brought us here and if we are gutsy enough to shed the stock arguments we use to keep us here.