Mighty Quiet In Those Streets Today.

I live in Minnesota. The Twin Cities. Over the weekend, a black cop shot a white woman. Both of them born outside the United States. If we really were the racist, horrible society that some have accused us of being, a lot of things should be happening right now that aren’t. But as of 11:24 this morning there have been no freeways blocked, no march on the Governor’s mansion, no press conferences by aggrieved white power groups, no calls for disbanding the police force, nor any retaliation against black people in general.

Mind you, this hasn’t stopped the lunatic left from trying to whip up a frenzy about the brutal police murder of a beautiful yoga instructor who rescued butterflies in her spare time. Nor has it stopped the racist morons from doing the whole “black man shoots blonde white woman” thing – equally despicable in my opinion.

Why, you might ask, is the general public responding with peace and quiet? There are a lot of reasons, some of which I’ll touch on, some of which I’ll ignore – that’s the joy of owning this site: it’s my call.

1. Most people are willing to wait a while to see what actually happened. In the aftermath of a shooting incident, it takes a few days to go over the forensic evidence, gather witness statements, put together a complete timeline, search for video recordings, and generally sort out what led to the loss of a human life.

2. People don’t hate the cops, in general. Most citizens realize that the most police are there to protect them. So going nuts over every incident is not a productive activity. See number 1.

3. There’s always another side to the story. If you honestly look back on incidents like this over the last 10 years, you’ll find most are very different from what appeared in the first 100 hours in the media. The media wants to sell advertising. Truth is often secondary. So, “If it bleeds, it leads” is the rule. Truth be damned. People are tiring of the bait-and-switch, and waiting longer to form their opinions.

4. The left is so conflicted by this story that their heads are about to explode. When you base your program on identity politics, it’s mighty hard to pick the bad guy when both of the actors are protected classes. White, pretty female yoga instructor versus brave immigrant black male. Whoo, doggies! Don’t worry, they’ll sort it out. Someone will be the bad actor here. But for the moment, they just can’t decide. It’s rather delicious to me.

5. Terrible things happen sometimes. This might be one of them. Christians are often willing to give a break until it’s all known. This just might be an awful event that was a product of timing, bad lighting, and fear. I hope not – but when it does roll that way, and it often does, what can we do? Should people go to prison for everything that happens? Or should there be an element of intent. I’m in favor of the latter. Let’s wait and see what happens when the investigation is over.

6. The media machine isn’t spending a lot of time interviewing white-power types in this case, putting them on radio and television to gain a complete frenzy. Why? Well, Nazi types are pretty vile, and it doesn’t help the media with their agenda. So you won’t see much of that happening. Sadly, racists from the minority communities are often featured speakers in these cases, and selective editing gets rid of the offensive parts before it airs.

“Oh, Joe, you’re making that up.”

Nah. The raw video of many of these press conferences is out there if you look. In one recent case, the relative of a person shot by a police officer was shown on television saying, essentially “Don’t bring the violence here, and the ignorance here.” People applauded that sentiment. What didn’t make the air was the rest of the clip, where she told the crowd to go to the suburbs and rampage there instead. Now, that would have balanced out the clip, eh?

My point? If you want to hold an opinion, and never let the facts intrude, you’re the problem. Either way. Bad cops who act with malice should go to prison. Any person who commits a crime with malice should go to prison. But innocents who act in self-defense should not. Sometimes that means that a cop gets shot by a homeowner during the raid on a wrong address. Sometimes a cop shoots someone that isn’t actually a threat to them. But in the instant of the crime, which is all that matters, there was no criminal intent. Needless to say, if you’re a felon, a drug dealer with a weapon, a burglar, etc., you’ve forfeited your right to shoot anyone in self-defense as you’re engaged in criminal activity.

Open minds, not freeway blocking, and a pursuit of the truth are the best courses.

I hope, and pray, that the truth comes out in this case. That’s all I ask: the truth comes out.

In the meantime, be safe out there people in blue. And citizens, when you interact with the blue, be safe as well. Let’s all go home to our own beds tonight.

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Assault on Saint Agnes is available here. Just click this link!

When you finish reading any book (especially mine) please review it at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, and www.goodreads.com. Your review increases the chances of someone looking for a new book greatly. Authors appreciate your review, even if it is just “I thought this was a good read and will give it to my dog to chew. I especially liked the ending, because it made me feel better when he killed all of the main characters. (no spoilers, please)” Those few words (more than 20, fewer than 1,000 is ideal), and a 1-5 rating, make or break how the search engines find us. Thanks in advance.

Posted in law enforcement, popular culture, television, Uncategorized, video, violence | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Not A Political Rant

I had a lovely rant about fake news to share with you. Then I realized that the hyper-partisan individuals for whom I had written the blog over the past few days wouldn’t care what I said.

Consequently, a movie review – kind of….

Pride of the Marines is an absolutely wonderful story of love, dedication, bravery, sacrifice, and American values. Sound too much like nonsense? Well, take a bit of time to watch it and then get back to me.

I like war movies. Cut my teeth on the things. This is one of the very best. Not much combat in the movie, lots of human interest. As a writer, I can only marvel at the dialogue. Spectacular stuff. Speeches that leave you with tears running down your face. Beautiful women, beautiful souls, and a slice of America that my generation probably never understood.

The trials of wounded Marines speak not just to their generation, but in this movie reflect the angst that came from the vets of the first world war having been treated so poorly. Just like our own Vietnam vets. Today’s returning service members have it better, but it’s still a rough road for those with disabling injuries.

Here’s the theatrical trailer:

Now, go and watch the whole thing – it’s well worth it.

Please follow me on Twitter, and “Like” the Facebook author page. Don’t forget to subscribe (the box is on the right side of the page) to be eligible for free e-books and other benefits! Oh yeah – grab a copy of Assault on Saint Agnes if you’re of a mind.

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Assault on Saint Agnes is available here. Just click this link!

When you finish reading any book (especially mine) please review it at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, and www.goodreads.com. Your review increases the chances of someone looking for a new book greatly. Authors appreciate your review, even if it is just “I thought this was a good read and will give it to my dog to chew. I especially liked the ending, because it made me feel better when he killed all of the main characters. (no spoilers, please)” Those few words (more than 20, fewer than 1,000 is ideal), and a 1-5 rating, make or break how the search engines find us. Thanks in advance.

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The Original Stuff Was The Best: Happy Independence Day.

We celebrate our independence from Great Britain on July 4th. Big deal, right? I mean, the Brits are pretty cool. They have better bands, better medical for the poor, etc. So what.

To put this in historical perspective, Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, Franklin, and the others all stood up and said, “Get out. Go back to England and take your tyranny with you.” Each knew they might be dead at the end of a rope for saying this, and that all their property would be forfeit to the King. They would leave their families nothing and die as traitors.

But these men, all of whom shared a vision, banded together and threw out the most powerful nation on Earth. How? Well, a lot of them had guns. The kind of guns that the opponents of the Second Amendment won’t acknowledge: privately owned guns. You see, a “well organized militia” at that time just meant that you couldn’t claim the protection of the Constitution if you were a lone jerk with a rifle shooting tax collectors for fun. Nope. But when you, and your fellow subjects, decided to become citizens and not subjects, that’s what the guns were for. Not hunting. Not even home protection. But your right to keep an oppressive government off of your back.

Recently, a very liberal friend of mine said, “I wanted to ask your opinion on this because you’re pretty anti-government.” I laughed. Then I thought about it some more. I am pretty anti-government. I like not having some jerk in city hall, or the state capital, or Washington, decide how many eggs I can eat for breakfast. Laugh if you will, but the Nanny State is already deciding how many ounces of soda you can buy in one serving. More than being anti-government, I’m anti-stupid. It’s just that the Venn Diagram of Stupid and Government overlaps almost perfectly.

Government should be far smaller than what it is now. The founders figured it would be good for collecting tariffs and organizing our defense. Not much else. Too many things are overly regulated by, and subsidized by government. The feds are the worst: they think that if it happens inside of the borders, they ought to have a piece of the action. Shall we explain federalism?

But for the Fourth, let’s go back to where it all started: individual freedom granted by God. Last time I looked, Nancy Pelosi and Orrin Hatch had about as much right to tell me where my moral compass is out of skew as Charles Manson and Ted Bundy. The second pair are better, only one is still alive. We, the American people need to vote these fossilized remnants of another age out of office. Term limits on every office. Once again, citizen legislators to represent the people, not their retirement check. Right now, the ensemble in most legislative bodies, as well as city councils, does not have the average citizen in mind when they rule.

I love this country. I have served this country. I will defend it if called upon again. I advocate no violence against any politician, but I do advocate a damned good thrashing at the ballot box in every election for every incumbent.

I leave you with a song that never fails to move me. I can still tell you where I was the very first time I heard it: University Avenue in Saint Paul, Minnesota outside a car dealership where I was helping my mom shop for a car. Enjoy it today, along with the freedoms so many have given their all to provide.

God Bless America.

Please follow me on Twitter, and “Like” the Facebook author page. Don’t forget to subscribe (the box is on the right side of the page) to be eligible for free e-books and other benefits! Oh yeah – grab a copy of Assault on Saint Agnes if you’re of a mind.

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Assault on Saint Agnes is available here. Just click this link!

When you finish reading any book (especially mine) please review it at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, and www.goodreads.com. Your review increases the chances of someone looking for a new book greatly. Authors appreciate your review, even if it is just “I thought this was a good read and will give it to my dog to chew. I especially liked the ending, because it made me feel better when he killed all of the main characters. (no spoilers, please)” Those few words (more than 20, fewer than 1,000 is ideal), and a 1-5 rating, make or break how the search engines find us. Thanks in advance.

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Good Churches Are Good Neighbors

Many of you know that I participate in The Good Neighbor Meal program at the Good Neighbor Center in Saint Paul. It’s a building that houses a couple of churches, but the owners use it for the benefit of the city. There’s a kids tutoring program in addition to the meal program. I’ve been involved for about 10 years, and it’s truly been a blessing.

I started out washing pots and pans, moved up to dishes (it is a promotion, trust me) and now I’ve gone on to plan, purchase, and serve meals by my self (with the help of a regular crew of dedicated volunteers.) Individual’s come in and sponsor a meal (or a group, up to you) and relieve the burden from the host. During all that time, our biggest need has been for other groups to come in and take over doing some of the meals. The founders, really great people, fund the place with the proceeds from a car lot they own. So if you’re going to buy a used car, head on down to Bob’s Auto Ranch. Not just a well-run business, but great prices and true integrity. It also helps educate and feed people.

Please follow me on Twitter, and “Like” the Facebook author page. Don’t forget to subscribe (the box is on the right side of the page) to be eligible for free e-books and other benefits! Oh yeah – grab a copy of Assault on Saint Agnes if you’re of a mind.

My church, Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, has come in to help me several times over the last few years. A spectacular group of volunteers, all of them with a smile. This year, for the first time, Shiloh has started to host some of the meals. Hallelujah! For their maiden voyage, Deacon Johnson ran the show and served Shepherd’s pie, salad, corn bread, bread and butter, assorted beverages, cupcakes, and pastries.

As you can see from the pictures, we put the whole crew to work, even the little ones. The pretty pastries are all donated by Panera. Yes, we get all the leftover product from the day before. Superior quality treats for our guests, and almost always the bread served with our meal.

If you’re a church-goer, you will understand just why this is a big deal. If not, let me tell you: some churches are selfish. Mine is not. Some churches will only work on events that take place in their building. Mine cares about all the community and the building doesn’t matter. Some churches will only do things if it’s “branded” with their name. Mine works for Jesus. My church, a great church, took a huge leap of faith and came in with a member on a project – because it was the right thing to do.

Now, after the event, the church ladies want to know when the next meal is, so they can come and help. God, bless them. They are so full of love.

The answer is: the second and last Saturday of every month.

So, here’s my offer, Twin Cities people: if you’d like to do this with your church/group/friends, send me an email or put a comment in with your contact information. I won’t publish it, but I will contact you privately. If you wind up joining the crew and taking on one of the 24 meals this year, I’ll come and help you get organized that first time. I’ll cook if you like. But I’d be just as glad to do the pots and pans. See, I know that job pretty well.
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Assault on Saint Agnes is available here. Just click this link!

When you finish reading any book (especially mine) please review it at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, and www.goodreads.com. Your review increases the chances of someone looking for a new book greatly. Authors appreciate your review, even if it is just “I thought this was a good read and will give it to my dog to chew. I especially liked the ending, because it made me feel better when he killed all of the main characters. (no spoilers, please)” Those few words (more than 20, fewer than 1,000 is ideal), and a 1-5 rating, make or break how the search engines find us. Thanks in advance.

Posted in food, good neighbor meal, Love, Uncategorized, volunteers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Good Churches Are Good Neighbors

Marie Osmond Needs To See A Pulmonologist.

I don’t often dream about Marie Osmond, but after a late night at the church on Wednesday, and a bit of television to try and kill the migraine (along with the drugs that sometimes help, and a head-rub from my spouse) I went to bed a little later than normal.

0100 rolled around and there she was, on the television screen, and she was having a hard time breathing. It was loud, very loud, and she was obviously in distress. Leaning in closer to see what was wrong, I felt her breath on my face – bad breath. Televisions don’t have bad breath.

But Shelties do. I awoke from my slumber to see Stormy with her paws on the edge of the bed, and her snout six inches from my face. The flash of lightening and roll of thunder confirmed my fear: there was an unmedicated Shetland Sheepdog in my room during a thunderstorm. No Marie Osmond. Sorry, Marie, I wish it had been you.

Please follow me on Twitter, and “Like” the Facebook author page. Don’t forget to subscribe (the box is on the right side of the page) to be eligible for free e-books and other benefits! Oh yeah – grab a copy of Assault on Saint Agnes if you’re of a mind.

Stormy, as some of you know, is badly named. She hates storms. Any storms. Even a really windy day will send her into anxiety fits. The big thunderstorm was enough to seriously unhinge her.

Normally, as in if we have a clue, we give her a couple of Benadryl before the storm hits, and put on her Thundershirt (WARNING: Autoplay sound!). It works. (Don’t bother sending me hate mail about drugging the dog: my vet approves. I approve. I’d have to strangle her without it.)

Up. Shuffle down to kitchen to find pills and pill hiders. Drug dog. Watch television for 20 minutes so dog starts to digest. Go back upstairs with dog.

Look down stairs. No sign of dog. Dog peering around the corner. Dog afraid to come up stairs, rain loudly pelting window behind me. Cripes.

Down the stairs, and at 0130 pick up a chubby Sheltie and lug her upstairs, shaking (her) as the storm rages.

Set dog on bed. Close door. Anxious dog leaps off bed, flops to floor next to door.

Experience tells me that even if the noise of the ceiling fan drowns out the rain and thunder, she’s still going to freak out every time the flash of light hits her under the door. Trust me, been there a few times.

My ceiling fan has a setting where a few small bulbs light, but not the main lights. I click it to that dim setting, and pull the covers up. Thankfully, as a long-time night-shifter I can sleep with the light on. That’s good, because she won’t be able to sleep without it.

Every hour for the next 5 hours I wake up to check the time and the dog. Not overly restful, but when 0700 rolls around, she’s well recovered.

There are things we do for our dogs/spouses/kids/neighbors that go above and beyond. I’m okay with helping the girl out, as she’s my friend.

But why, God, couldn’t she be afraid of the noise of crashing surf. I’m pretty sure she couldn’t hear it from Saint Paul.

Be blessed, and may the thunder that frightens you in your life be silent this night.
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Assault on Saint Agnes is available here. Just click this link!

When you finish reading any book (especially mine) please review it at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, and www.goodreads.com. Your review increases the chances of someone looking for a new book greatly. Authors appreciate your review, even if it is just “I thought this was a good read and will give it to my dog to chew. I especially liked the ending, because it made me feel better when he killed all of the main characters. (no spoilers, please)” Those few words (more than 20, fewer than 1,000 is ideal), and a 1-5 rating, make or break how the search engines find us. Thanks in advance.

Posted in dogs, Stormy, Uncategorized, Weather Whining | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment