Thursday, July 14, 2016

The President's Speech in Dallas

President Obama at the interfaith memorial service for the fallen Dallas police officers. (Source)
In all honesty, I do not like the man, I think that he has been a terrible President, the worst of my lifetime, I did not vote for him either time. As I said, I do not like the man. There's my caveat, right up front, right out in the open. Regarding the current President of the United States, no, not a fan. Don't care for the fellow, not at all.

Now there has been a lot of commentary floating about the Web of World-Wideness regarding the speech the President gave at the interfaith memorial service for the five murdered Dallas police officers. On one side there is one opinion (it was great, it was wonderful, blah, blah, blah), on the other side is (of course) the opposite opinion (it was terrible, it was divisive, blah, blah, blah). As always, truth lies somewhere in the middle of the two extremes.


Given all the vitriol, rhetoric, and pontificating going on regarding this speech, I figured it might be incumbent upon me, as a dutiful citizen, to actually go read the speech and make my own judgement. So I did. You will find it reproduced at the bottom of this post, so that you too might read it for yourself, to make up your own mind.

I thought that the speech the President gave in Dallas was okay, perhaps even good in many respects. Certainly there was one line in the speech which I thought was a bit of windy, overblown rhetoric (guess which one), there were things he said which one could possibly argue were inappropriate given the venue. But overall I thought the speech was a good one. Many law enforcement folks thought so too. It made me think about what's going on in this country. Depending on who you are, and where you live, it ain't all skittles and beer.

Mind you, it wasn't a great speech and yes, the President refers to himself (I, me, etc.) far too often for my tastes but he is, after all, a politician. Most of the beings of that ilk are equally guilty of thinking the world revolves around them. I give him a pass on that. (If you've been reading the blog for any length of time you might note that I use "I" and "me" as well. Probably a lot. But it's my blog innit?)


So here it comes, feel free to express your opinions in the comments. I would be interested as to what you, the commentariat, thinks about this speech.

One final caveat before the text of the President's remarks, I didn't listen to this speech live nor on YouTube as I cannot stand the sound of the President's voice. There is something in his tone and his delivery I find off-putting. Reading the text of his speech let me focus on the content rather than the delivery.

So there, all caveats have been presented, read the speech and let me know what you think. Without further ado...
Remarks by the President at Memorial Service for Fallen Dallas Police Officers

Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center
Dallas, Texas

1:46 P.M. CDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Mr. President and Mrs. Bush; my friend, the Vice President, and Dr. Biden; Mayor Rawlings; Chief Spiller; clergy; members of Congress; Chief Brown -- I’m so glad I met Michelle first, because she loves Stevie Wonder -- (laughter and applause) -- but most of all, to the families and friends and colleagues and fellow officers:

Scripture tells us that in our sufferings there is glory, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  Sometimes the truths of these words are hard to see.  Right now, those words test us.  Because the people of Dallas, people across the country, are suffering.

We’re here to honor the memory, and mourn the loss, of five fellow Americans -- to grieve with their loved ones, to support this community, to pray for the wounded, and to try and find some meaning amidst our sorrow.

For the men and women who protect and serve the people of Dallas, last Thursday began like any other day.  Like most Americans each day, you get up, probably have too quick a breakfast, kiss your family goodbye, and you head to work.  But your work, and the work of police officers across the country, is like no other.  For the moment you put on that uniform, you have answered a call that at any moment, even in the briefest interaction, may put your life in harm’s way.

Lorne Ahrens, he answered that call.  So did his wife, Katrina -- not only because she was the spouse of a police officer, but because she’s a detective on the force.  They have two kids.  And Lorne took them fishing, and used to proudly go to their school in uniform.  And the night before he died, he bought dinner for a homeless man.  And the next night, Katrina had to tell their children that their dad was gone.  “They don’t get it yet,” their grandma said. “They don’t know what to do quite yet.”

Michael Krol answered that call.  His mother said, “He knew the dangers of the job, but he never shied away from his duty.”  He came a thousand miles from his home state of Michigan to be a cop in Dallas, telling his family, “This is something I wanted to do.”  Last year, he brought his girlfriend back to Detroit for Thanksgiving, and it was the last time he’d see his family.

Michael Smith answered that call -- in the Army, and over almost 30 years working for the Dallas Police Association, which gave him the appropriately named “Cops Cop” award.  A man of deep faith, when he was off duty, he could be found at church or playing softball with his two girls.  Today, his girls have lost their dad, for God has called Michael home.

Patrick Zamarripa, he answered that call.  Just 32, a former altar boy who served in the Navy and dreamed of being a cop.  He liked to post videos of himself and his kids on social media.  And on Thursday night, while Patrick went to work, his partner Kristy posted a photo of her and their daughter at a Texas Rangers game, and tagged her partner so that he could see it while on duty.

Brent Thompson answered that call.  He served his country as a Marine.  And years later, as a contractor, he spent time in some of the most dangerous parts of Iraq and Afghanistan.  And then a few years ago, he settled down here in Dallas for a new life of service as a transit cop.  And just about two weeks ago, he married a fellow officer, their whole life together waiting before them. 

Like police officers across the country, these men and their families shared a commitment to something larger than themselves.  They weren’t looking for their names to be up in lights.  They’d tell you the pay was decent but wouldn’t make you rich.  They could have told you about the stress and long shifts, and they’d probably agree with Chief Brown when he said that cops don’t expect to hear the words "thank you" very often, especially from those who need them the most.

No, the reward comes in knowing that our entire way of life in America depends on the rule of law; that the maintenance of that law is a hard and daily labor; that in this country, we don’t have soldiers in the streets or militias setting the rules.  Instead, we have public servants -- police officers -- like the men who were taken away from us.

And that’s what these five were doing last Thursday when they were assigned to protect and keep orderly a peaceful protest in response to the killing of Alton Sterling of Baton Rouge and Philando Castile of Minnesota.  They were upholding the constitutional rights of this country.

For a while, the protest went on without incident.  And despite the fact that police conduct was the subject of the protest, despite the fact that there must have been signs or slogans or chants with which they profoundly disagreed, these men and this department did their jobs like the professionals that they were.  In fact, the police had been part of the protest’s planning.  Dallas PD even posted photos on their Twitter feeds of their own officers standing among the protesters.  Two officers, black and white, smiled next to a man with a sign that read, “No Justice, No Peace.”

And then, around nine o’clock, the gunfire came.  Another community torn apart.  More hearts broken.  More questions about what caused, and what might prevent, another such tragedy.

I know that Americans are struggling right now with what we’ve witnessed over the past week.  First, the shootings in Minnesota and Baton Rouge, and the protests, then the targeting of police by the shooter here -- an act not just of demented violence but of racial hatred.  All of it has left us wounded, and angry, and hurt.  It’s as if the deepest fault lines of our democracy have suddenly been exposed, perhaps even widened.  And although we know that such divisions are not new -- though they have surely been worse in even the recent past -- that offers us little comfort.

Faced with this violence, we wonder if the divides of race in America can ever be bridged.  We wonder if an African-American community that feels unfairly targeted by police, and police departments that feel unfairly maligned for doing their jobs, can ever understand each other’s experience.  We turn on the TV or surf the Internet, and we can watch positions harden and lines drawn, and people retreat to their respective corners, and politicians calculate how to grab attention or avoid the fallout.  We see all this, and it’s hard not to think sometimes that the center won't hold and that things might get worse.

I understand.  I understand how Americans are feeling.  But, Dallas, I’m here to say we must reject such despair.  I’m here to insist that we are not as divided as we seem.  And I know that because I know America.  I know how far we’ve come against impossible odds.  (Applause.)  I know we’ll make it because of what I’ve experienced in my own life, what I’ve seen of this country and its people -- their goodness and decency --as President of the United States.  And I know it because of what we’ve seen here in Dallas -- how all of you, out of great suffering, have shown us the meaning of perseverance and character, and hope.

When the bullets started flying, the men and women of the Dallas police, they did not flinch and they did not react recklessly.  They showed incredible restraint.  Helped in some cases by protesters, they evacuated the injured, isolated the shooter, and saved more lives than we will ever know.  (Applause.)  We mourn fewer people today because of your brave actions.  (Applause.)  “Everyone was helping each other,” one witness said.  “It wasn’t about black or white.  Everyone was picking each other up and moving them away.”  See, that’s the America I know.

The police helped Shetamia Taylor as she was shot trying to shield her four sons.  She said she wanted her boys to join her to protest the incidents of black men being killed.  She also said to the Dallas PD, “Thank you for being heroes.”  And today, her 12-year old son wants to be a cop when he grows up.  That’s the America I know.  (Applause.)

In the aftermath of the shooting, we’ve seen Mayor Rawlings and Chief Brown, a white man and a black man with different backgrounds, working not just to restore order and support a shaken city, a shaken department, but working together to unify a city with strength and grace and wisdom.  (Applause.)  And in the process, we've been reminded that the Dallas Police Department has been at the forefront of improving relations between police and the community.  (Applause.)  The murder rate here has fallen.  Complaints of excessive force have been cut by 64 percent.  The Dallas Police Department has been doing it the right way.  (Applause.)  And so, Mayor Rawlings and Chief Brown, on behalf of the American people, thank you for your steady leadership, thank you for your powerful example.  We could not be prouder of you.  (Applause.)    

These men, this department -- this is the America I know.  And today, in this audience, I see people who have protested on behalf of criminal justice reform grieving alongside police officers.  I see people who mourn for the five officers we lost but also weep for the families of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.  In this audience, I see what’s possible -- (applause) -- I see what's possible when we recognize that we are one American family, all deserving of equal treatment, all deserving of equal respect, all children of God.  That’s the America that I know.

Now, I'm not naïve.  I have spoken at too many memorials during the course of this presidency.  I’ve hugged too many families who have lost a loved one to senseless violence.  And I've seen how a spirit of unity, born of tragedy, can gradually dissipate, overtaken by the return to business as usual, by inertia and old habits and expediency.  I see how easily we slip back into our old notions, because they’re comfortable, we’re used to them.  I’ve seen how inadequate words can be in bringing about lasting change.  I’ve seen how inadequate my own words have been.  And so I’m reminded of a passage in *John’s Gospel [First John]:  Let us love not with words or speech, but with actions and in truth.  If we’re to sustain the unity we need to get through these difficult times, if we are to honor these five outstanding officers who we’ve lost, then we will need to act on the truths that we know.  And that’s not easy.  It makes us uncomfortable.  But we’re going to have to be honest with each other and ourselves.

We know that the overwhelming majority of police officers do an incredibly hard and dangerous job fairly and professionally.  They are deserving of our respect and not our scorn.  (Applause.)  And when anyone, no matter how good their intentions may be, paints all police as biased or bigoted, we undermine those officers we depend on for our safety.  And as for those who use rhetoric suggesting harm to police, even if they don’t act on it themselves -- well, they not only make the jobs of police officers even more dangerous, but they do a disservice to the very cause of justice that they claim to promote.  (Applause.) 

We also know that centuries of racial discrimination -- of slavery, and subjugation, and Jim Crow -- they didn’t simply vanish with the end of lawful segregation.  They didn’t just stop when Dr. King made a speech, or the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act were signed.  Race relations have improved dramatically in my lifetime.  Those who deny it are dishonoring the struggles that helped us achieve that progress.  (Applause.)

But we know -- but, America, we know that bias remains.  We know it.  Whether you are black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or of Middle Eastern descent, we have all seen this bigotry in our own lives at some point.  We’ve heard it at times in our own homes.  If we’re honest, perhaps we’ve heard prejudice in our own heads and felt it in our own hearts.  We know that.  And while some suffer far more under racism’s burden, some feel to a far greater extent discrimination’s sting.  Although most of us do our best to guard against it and teach our children better, none of us is entirely innocent.  No institution is entirely immune.  And that includes our police departments.  We know this.

And so when African Americans from all walks of life, from different communities across the country, voice a growing despair over what they perceive to be unequal treatment; when study after study shows that whites and people of color experience the criminal justice system differently, so that if you’re black you’re more likely to be pulled over or searched or arrested, more likely to get longer sentences, more likely to get the death penalty for the same crime; when mothers and fathers raise their kids right and have “the talk” about how to respond if stopped by a police officer -- “yes, sir,” “no, sir” -- but still fear that something terrible may happen when their child walks out the door, still fear that kids being stupid and not quite doing things right might end in tragedy -- when all this takes place more than 50 years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, we cannot simply turn away and dismiss those in peaceful protest as troublemakers or paranoid.  (Applause.)  We can’t simply dismiss it as a symptom of political correctness or reverse racism.  To have your experience denied like that, dismissed by those in authority, dismissed perhaps even by your white friends and coworkers and fellow church members again and again and again -- it hurts.  Surely we can see that, all of us.

We also know what Chief Brown has said is true:  That so much of the tensions between police departments and minority communities that they serve is because we ask the police to do too much and we ask too little of ourselves.  (Applause.)  As a society, we choose to underinvest in decent schools.  We allow poverty to fester so that entire neighborhoods offer no prospect for gainful employment.  (Applause.)  We refuse to fund drug treatment and mental health programs.  (Applause.)  We flood communities with so many guns that it is easier for a teenager to buy a Glock than get his hands on a computer or even a book -- (applause) -- and then we tell the police “you’re a social worker, you’re the parent, you’re the teacher, you’re the drug counselor.”  We tell them to keep those neighborhoods in check at all costs, and do so without causing any political blowback or inconvenience.  Don’t make a mistake that might disturb our own peace of mind.  And then we feign surprise when, periodically, the tensions boil over.

We know these things to be true.  They’ve been true for a long time.  We know it.  Police, you know it.  Protestors, you know it.  You know how dangerous some of the communities where these police officers serve are, and you pretend as if there’s no context.  These things we know to be true.  And if we cannot even talk about these things -- if we cannot talk honestly and openly not just in the comfort of our own circles, but with those who look different than us or bring a different perspective, then we will never break this dangerous cycle.

In the end, it's not about finding policies that work; it’s about forging consensus, and fighting cynicism, and finding the will to make change.

Can we do this?  Can we find the character, as Americans, to open our hearts to each other?  Can we see in each other a common humanity and a shared dignity, and recognize how our different experiences have shaped us?  And it doesn’t make anybody perfectly good or perfectly bad, it just makes us human.  I don’t know.  I confess that sometimes I, too, experience doubt.  I've been to too many of these things.  I've seen too many families go through this.  But then I am reminded of what the Lord tells Ezekiel:  I will give you a new heart, the Lord says, and put a new spirit in you.  I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

That’s what we must pray for, each of us:  a new heart.  Not a heart of stone, but a heart open to the fears and hopes and challenges of our fellow citizens.  That’s what we’ve seen in Dallas these past few days.  That’s what we must sustain.

Because with an open heart, we can learn to stand in each other’s shoes and look at the world through each other’s eyes, so that maybe the police officer sees his own son in that teenager with a hoodie who's kind of goofing off but not dangerous -- (applause) -- and the teenager -- maybe the teenager will see in the police officer the same words and values and authority of his parents.  (Applause.)

With an open heart, we can abandon the overheated rhetoric and the oversimplification that reduces whole categories of our fellow Americans not just to opponents, but to enemies.

With an open heart, those protesting for change will guard against reckless language going forward, look at the model set by the five officers we mourn today, acknowledge the progress brought about by the sincere efforts of police departments like this one in Dallas, and embark on the hard but necessary work of negotiation, the pursuit of reconciliation.

With an open heart, police departments will acknowledge that, just like the rest of us, they are not perfect; that insisting we do better to root out racial bias is not an attack on cops, but an effort to live up to our highest ideals.  (Applause.)  And I understand these protests -- I see them, they can be messy.  Sometimes they can be hijacked by an irresponsible few.  Police can get hurt.  Protestors can get hurt.  They can be frustrating.

But even those who dislike the phrase “Black Lives Matter,” surely we should be able to hear the pain of Alton Sterling’s family.  (Applause.)  We should -- when we hear a friend describe him by saying that “Whatever he cooked, he cooked enough for everybody,” that should sound familiar to us, that maybe he wasn’t so different than us, so that we can, yes, insist that his life matters.  Just as we should hear the students and coworkers describe their affection for Philando Castile as a gentle soul -- “Mr. Rogers with dreadlocks,” they called him -- and know that his life mattered to a whole lot of people of all races, of all ages, and that we have to do what we can, without putting officers' lives at risk, but do better to prevent another life like his from being lost.

With an open heart, we can worry less about which side has been wronged, and worry more about joining sides to do right.  (Applause.)  Because the vicious killer of these police officers, they won’t be the last person who tries to make us turn on one other.  The killer in Orlando wasn’t, nor was the killer in Charleston.  We know there is evil in this world.  That's why we need police departments.  (Applause.)  But as Americans, we can decide that people like this killer will ultimately fail.  They will not drive us apart.  We can decide to come together and make our country reflect the good inside us, the hopes and simple dreams we share.

“We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”

For all of us, life presents challenges and suffering -- accidents, illnesses, the loss of loved ones.  There are times when we are overwhelmed by sudden calamity, natural or manmade.  All of us, we make mistakes.  And at times we are lost.  And as we get older, we learn we don’t always have control of things -- not even a President does.  But we do have control over how we respond to the world.  We do have control over how we treat one another.

America does not ask us to be perfect.  Precisely because of our individual imperfections, our founders gave us institutions to guard against tyranny and ensure no one is above the law; a democracy that gives us the space to work through our differences and debate them peacefully, to make things better, even if it doesn’t always happen as fast as we’d like.  America gives us the capacity to change.

But as the men we mourn today -- these five heroes -- knew better than most, we cannot take the blessings of this nation for granted.  Only by working together can we preserve those institutions of family and community, rights and responsibilities, law and self-government that is the hallmark of this nation.  For, it turns out, we do not persevere alone.  Our character is not found in isolation.  Hope does not arise by putting our fellow man down; it is found by lifting others up.  (Applause.) 

And that’s what I take away from the lives of these outstanding men.  The pain we feel may not soon pass, but my faith tells me that they did not die in vain.  I believe our sorrow can make us a better country.  I believe our righteous anger can be transformed into more justice and more peace.  Weeping may endure for a night, but I’m convinced joy comes in the morning.  (Applause.)  We cannot match the sacrifices made by Officers Zamarripa and Ahrens, Krol, Smith, and Thompson, but surely we can try to match their sense of service.  We cannot match their courage, but we can strive to match their devotion.

May God bless their memory.  May God bless this country that we love.  (Applause.)

END
2:26 P.M. CDT
(Source)


26 comments:

  1. His words really don't mean feces at this point. His main thrust for seven years has been "it's us against them and they're evil," and now he pretends to be shocked and outraged and conciliatory. It's also worth remembering that they're not his words.

    I don't condemn the man, he's just a human being like everyone else. He chose his path, just as we all do. He's not lost, but if he wants to unfiretruck himself it's gonna take actions, not words.

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    1. And I won't argue with that, not any of it. Well put Shaun.

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  2. I have alays admired speakers who used less than the time allotted for their speech.
    'Nuff said.

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  3. This President has not tried to promote racial harmony in first 7 1/2 years why would he start now?

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    1. It does make one wonder.

      Now he's worried about his legacy?

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    2. Although his effort was more political than heartfelt...of course.

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    3. Isn't that the truth.

      I think Presidents should be required, by law, to write their own speeches. Might make a difference in who gets elected.

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  4. I could only stomach a small portion of his speech. I ended up watching the split screen version cutting back and forth between President Bush and Barry Mom Jeans. Respect the office, but despise the man and how he communicates 'his' message.

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    1. Which is why I read it, can't stomach the on camera "presence."

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  5. Debbie Reynolds (doorkeeper)July 14, 2016 at 9:06 AM

    why does it sound like there are no black police officers? and why is black the only color which matters? On a very loosely related note, when is my personal group going to get recognized for the suffering we feel? When is the rural vs. urban divide going to become noticed? Oh, yeah, that's right...those of us fortunate enough to live truly rural, are keeping our heads down and our mouths shut so we don't get "invaded" on a far larger scale, by those with NO CLUE how to live rural. Who would just spoil what we have.

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    1. Definitely keep the wonders and joys of rural living under your hat Debbie. The progs would just flood the area and ruin it. (They did that to my home state and I'm still mad about it.)

      As to your first point, as long as we keep that "race" nonsense going nothing will change. I'm still waiting for Anglo-Scots-Franco-American History Month.

      Not gonna happen, I know.

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    2. We've got that twelve months a year, Sarge. Open up a textbook or required reading from when we went to school and what did you see? English presidents Washington, Adams (twice), Jefferson, Madison, Lincoln, Roosevelt (twice), Wilson, and Truman, plus Ben Franklin, Ethan Allen, Betsy Ross, James Fenimore Cooper, U. S. Grant, George Custer, and Samuel Morse.

      Scots? Presidents Jackson, Buchanan (OK, let's leave him out of this, along with Chester Arthur, Jefferson Davis, and Millard Fillmore--not that I have anything against the Scots, being of that blood in part myself), Lyndon Johnson, and Ronald Reagan, Mark Twain, Alexander Graham Bell.

      French? JFK (mostly Irish, of course) and FDR (again), Lafayette, Hamilton, Stephen Decatur, Thoreau, Louis L'Amour, Audubon, Claire Chennault...

      I could, of course, go on until you were stupefied into obliviousness, but I think I've made my point. What did we hear about non-Anglo-Scots-Franco-Americans, AKA non-whites when we were in school? Let's see.

      We have George Washington Carver, who most of us will remember invented peanut butter (he did not). He did, however, invent hundreds of uses for previously-useless fruits and vegetables. We have Jim Thorpe, who won the pentathlon in the Olympics, but was stripped of his medals because he had been paid for playing baseball at the exorbitant salary of $35 a week. Thorpe's real crime was that he didn't play under an assumed name, as many white athletes in similar situations did (and who got away with it).

      But what about Dr. James E. West, a black man who invented the electret microphone, the basis for about 90% of the microphones in use today? Heard of him? Otis Boykin patented 28 electronic devices, including a control unit for the artificial heart pacemaker. Granville Woods, a black man who received 45 patents in his life, invented a way to send both voice and telegraph signals over a single wire in the 1880s. Woods also invented a system that allowed telegraphy between moving trains and railroad stations. (Thomas Edison twice unsuccessfully disputed Woods' patent on this system. After the second failure, Edison reportedly offered Woods a job, but Woods refused.) Clarence "Skip" Ellis invented OfficeTalk, closely tied to PARC's graphical user interface (GUI), the computer concept Apple "appropriated" to make the Macintosh. We remember Jobs and Wozniak. Ellis? Not so much.

      We read in school that Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin, but he didn't: cotton gins have existed for nearly a thousand years in one form or another, most notably in India (which shouldn't surprise us). Lewis Latimer, a black man, patented an improved method of manufacturing carbon filaments for light bulbs, and Edison hired him to help with this process, as Edison's bulbs didn't last very long, and Latimer's process was a vast improvement over Edison's. Ever heard of Latimer? I bet you remember Edison's carbon bulbs, though.

      Did you ever hear of An Wang, who developed one of the first magnetic computer memory cores, a huge increase in early computer science? Have you ever eaten a Bing cherry, reportedly developed by Chinese immigrant Ah Bing (not Bing Crosby)?

      Black/Asian/Hispanic/Women's History Months aren't established to tear white men down. They're just here to remind us that we're not the only people out there who make contributions to society. It's not a zero-sum game, where promoting Asian or Black heritage somehow diminishes what we have done. It's just a reminder that we're not the ONLY ones who've done things for this country, and I don't see how celebrating this or that group tears down the rest of us.

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    3. Sigh, lectured on my own blog.

      I see your point, you obviously didn't see mine.

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  6. In the spirit of Skip's anti-negativity campaign, let me just say this .....

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    1. Heh.

      Go ahead, rant, you know you want to.

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  7. Sorry OAFS, I dislike that person ( when he starts behaving like a man I'll call him one ) to such a degree that I cannot even bring myself to read his words.

    Paul L. Quandt

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    1. I get that, oh man I get that.

      Tune in tomorrow.

      Airplanes. WWII airplanes. In the air!

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    2. Thanks for posting this, can't stand that individual at all since my blood pressure goes up. Looking forward to the planes. My dad wad stationed in Iceland for 16 months, "42-"43 so I heard lots of stories about the planes arriving from the States & departing for the ETO.

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    3. The mere sound of his voice makes me want to hurl.

      And I don't mean that Canadian winter sport.

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  8. He lectures. Often wrong on facts. Angered if anyone disagrees with him. I tune him out.

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    1. He lectures.

      Bingo! That's it, right there. That's what bugs me about listening to him. Being lectured by a know-it-all, always annoying.

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  9. He wants consensus. That means conservatives give up on their ideas of rule of law and agree with him that he is king and sovereign in his dictum.
    I cannot look at him, listen to his speech. Now, in my old age, I wonder how did we come so far to the left of rational thought about the nature of man.
    Now here's a tin-hat thought for you all - why come has all of this happened just when Mrs. Clinton gets a pass and the news is all about her treachery? No news of her as of late. False flags, anyone, anyone? The PTBs are happy, I'm sure. (old age, too much reading and connecting of dots settling in) Alas, no one will listen.

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    1. The occurrence of tragedies and the continuing kabuki dance of Shrillary's crime spree does make one wonder.

      To a progressive, consensus always means "just shut up and go along with what we want."

      It does make you wonder about the causality of the fall of the West. (Because really, that's what it is.)

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Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)