Category Archives: Justice

Hello all! I’m still here! A thought for today, and something to ponder.

Hello, faithful readers! I am still here, though I have been more silent as of late because my EMT classes are rapidly coming to an end, and I am down to the wire as I approach the dates at which I will test out for my certification.

I trust and hope everyone is well and I appreciate the fact that not only do you still come to check the Takedown, but I see new people are coming as well! That is a great compliment to me, and I truly hope that things are found here to encourage, uplift and make people smile.

I want to leave you with this thought, today, that I am sure has shown up in other places on the Takedown, but that I ran across and it struck me just as it did the first time I saw it. The quote is from Yehuda Bauer, and is also the image that accompanies this post. It says, simply:

“Thou shalt not be a victim, Thou shalt not be a perpetrator, but above all, Thou shalt not be a bystander.” 

The quote speaks of not standing by and allowing injustice (TRUE injustice, not the manufactured “What can we be enraged about today” stuff we see on TV) and evil to be done while we do nothing. That same idea is referenced in a poem by Maurice Ogden called The Hangman. A remarkable video was done of the poem, and I include it below.

“…I did no more than you LET me do.”

Think about it, long and hard. God bless today, my friends.

 

Moral Equivalence just before Memorial Day. How “convenient.”

You know, it takes a lot for me to put a politically themed post on my blog. I tend to avoid them like the plague, namely because like many other subjects, politics can be a highly charged, highly emotional thing. However in this instance, I believe it is warranted.

Memorial Day in the United States is a day in which we remember those who have paid the highest price – the giving of their lives – to secure the freedoms that we enjoy in our country. To many, it’s just another day. To far more, it’s a day to remember, and appreciate what we have, and why we have it. For that reason, if no other, it makes the timing of our current President’s trip to Japan; his “apology tour,” as many are describing it, quite suspect. He made it a point to speak at length about the “horrors” experienced by the people of Hiroshima, and how terrible it was for the nuclear bombs to be used. In his remarks, although he may not have been foolish enough to have said it outright, he equated Allied forces with Axis forces in a statement of moral equivalence.

Strangely enough, he failed to remember a lot of other horrors; horrors done BY Imperial Japan during the course of the war and the unimaginable suffering it inflicted on the people to whom it was done. He also failed to mention the reason why the US ultimately used the bombs on the Japanese empire; the attack on Pearl Harbor, which drew us in, and their government’s refusal to surrender. He also forgot to mention the millions of lives, on BOTH sides, that were estimated to have been saved by their usage.

I guess when it doesn’t “fit the narrative,” it’s not important, but I digress. The article follows:

http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2016/05/27/war-crimes-imperial-japan-lesson-moral-equivalence-mr-obama/

Whatever you may think of the website in question, its veracity or anything else, please read the linked article and remember that these are not things you’ll hear a lot of, if anything, in our age of apology, revising history, and flat out ignoring what the realities of history. Remember it the next time you see a WW 2 movie in which the only bad guys are Nazis – because, well, the Nazis are safe and no one will be “offended” if you portray them as bad. Above all, remember that moral equivalency, a great many times, is a refuge for the lazy; for those who aren’t able or willing to stand and say, “No. What was done was right and just at the time, given what had gone before. You sowed the wind, and reaped the whirlwind.” It also is lazy in that it isn’t equally applied, all the time. Outage over the usage of atomic bombs, but zero over the 300,000 to 1,000,000 estimated killed in the sustained bombings of Japan prior to their usage. As mentioned before, zero outrage over the atrocities committed against others BY Japan.

See the pattern?

To our current President I’ll say this: must be nice to stand some, what, 70 years after the end of WW 2, in the comfort and security given to you by those who had the courage to do what you, in all probability would never have been able to do, and criticize them in order to make yourself look good, isn’t it?

This is one of the very few times you’ll probably ever “see” me be angry on this blog. I won’t apologize for it, but I do hope I haven’t driven anyone away. Please – feel free to not read the blog posting or article if you feel so inclined.

God bless today, my friends, and let’s all remember those who died so that we may be free.

 

A happy ending – and a reminder that protection starts with YOU

I saw this headline, today, and as God is my witness, burst right out laughing when I read the story. No, it is NOT because I delight in the death of others, nor that I’m some kind of bloodthirsty fiend who enjoys seeing people get killed. I am, however, (1) a firm believer that anyone, male OR female, who abuses another person takes whatever consequences come their way and (2) a firm believer that things like “restraining orders” are about as useful as nothing in most cases.

How you react to the story is up to you but let me leave you with this: if nothing else, this lady was prepared, and she took steps to protect herself when the man came to abuse her, in spite of the restraining order.

Whatever her relationship was like, one thing is certain – he will never again menace nor harm another person.

YOUR PROTECTION BEGINS WITH YOU. As the old saying goes – “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.”

God bless, my friends – and be safe out there!

Man violates protective order, dies from shotgun blast to chest

What the…?

Ok, as you know, I normally do not step into the realm of current events or politics on this blog. I think that, as a general rule, it’s not only a huge waste of time in that it accomplishes approximately Jack and Squat, but also because they are subjects that generally only start arguments. That being said, this is one I’ll comment on because I truly don’t “get” it.

Right now, a woman in Kentucky is sitting in jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. People are, predictably, calling for her blood/her head on a platter, calling her every imaginable name in the book and many times saying something like the following: “You can’t choose what laws you obey! YOU HAVE TO OBEY THE LAW! IF YOU DON’T, YOU BELONG IN jAIL, YOU BIGOT!”

This is where I’m scratching my head. If that’s the case, then what about:

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy – remember him? Part of the branch of our government that interprets laws but doesn’t MAKE them? He imposed his own will on the people, violating the highest law in the land – the Constitution – and got away with it. 
Our current President: According to a report here , some 76 violations of Constitutional and US law are listed, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Yet nothing is done. 

Lois Lerner – former IRS exec who deliberately targeted conservative groups and abused her power, breaking the law, but yet still is free. 

Sanctuary City mayors – people who proudly and openly defy immigration and deportation laws of the Federal government, yet do so with impunity

The list goes on, but you get the point. If we’re going to hold one person accountable by saying that they cannot selectively enforce or obey the law – then shouldn’t that be the case for everyone? Or does it, when all is said and done, come down to a very simple principle; she’s a low level clerk who stood for what she believed in and is now being made a pariah for her unpopular and non-PC view, whereas the rest of these people are powerful and on the inside track of power and position?

It’s sad, when you think of it. Confusing, too. I hate double standards, personally. It’s all the more disgusting when you see them played out in the guise of “fairness” and “equality.” Whatever you think of her decision, right or wrong -don’t miss the bigger picture. There’s a heinous double standard here, friends – and unless we all stand up, now, against it, it’s just going to get worse.

God bless today, my friends.

An interesting PoV (Point of View) on the movie “Maleficent,” and the themes of movies in general

Not too long ago, I ran across this review of the movie Maleficent. Now I will say right up front I have never seen the movie for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is that I have an inherent dislike of movies that take characters who are EE-VIL and try to make them “not really evil – just misunderstood.” I didn’t like the premise of Wicked for the same reason. I think it’s a very subtle way of downplaying the fact (or in a worst case scenario, putting on rose colored glasses to ignore the fact) that there ARE people in this world who have chosen – that’s right – chosen to live a life that is harmful and detrimental to others. You can see this same mindset in a lot of other areas of life as well, but I digress. I believe that the reviewer has some pretty valid points, and he makes them well. Before I go on, I’ll link to the review here. If nothing else, it’s highly entertaining to watch, I think:

http://www.avoiceformen.com/gynocentrism/the-truth-about-maleficent/

Hopefully you watched it, because if you didn’t, you may miss out on what I’m about to bring up here; namely that his closing statements are what really drove a point home to me, as a father, and one that is valid given that Father’s Day is right around the corner. He makes the following statement:

“It is not healthy to tell women that ‘men are bad.’ It is not healthy to tell daughters that ‘fathers are bad. It is not healthy to tell wives that ‘husbands are bad’ – because the absence of fathers is killing the world!” He then goes on to post a list of statistics regarding crime rates, etc. of children coming from fatherless homes. (Those statistics, incidentally, do not have sources listed, most likely for brevity. They CAN, however, be verified from other sources, by simply doing an internet search of fatherless homes crimes statistics.  Some links include:

http://www.fathers.com/statistics-and-research/the-consequences-of-fatherlessness/

https://thefatherlessgeneration.wordpress.com/statistics/

Now, is the author saying that there are NO bad men, bad fathers, bad husbands? Absolutely not. Is he saying that a single mom can’t raise her children? Again, no way. I’d venture that if that’s what you got out of this, then that’s what you were listening for and wanted to hear because it’s simply not there. What he IS bringing out is that this movie, like so many coming out today – especially from Disney – have ingrained into them messages that are not only anti-male, but anti-masculine, and that those messages are both subtle and blatant. Further, he’s bringing forth the idea that were these same ideas reversed – applied to women instead of men – the outrage would be deafening; but that somehow it’s ok so long as it’s men that are being made to appear inept, moronic, or downright horrible.

Is that really the kind of “fantasy” we want to feed our kids? Is that the kind of world we want to keep letting them believe exists? If so, is it any wonder that we have the societal issues we do? The broken homes, the ruined lives, the shattered relationships?

Friends, it is not – NOT – NOT all ONE gender or the other. It’s both. Promoting anything that pushes the idea that men are bad/inept/stupid/evil is no better than the reverse. There is nothing inherently vile and evil in males any more than there is anything inherently beautiful, magical, and wonderful in little girls. Both of them share the same good and bad traits that all humans do. The influences they have, good and bad, as they grow make all the difference.

Friends, please – make a stand. Don’t endorse and promote misandry any more than you would endorse and promote misogyny. They’re two sides of the same coin, and both are as dark, as black, and as deadly as the other. Unless we stand up and say something, the hate will just continue, and will never fix itself, because it feeds on itself.

God bless today, my friends.

And, we’re back again! A post on Moral Courage

First off, my apologies for the shortage of posts lately. I determined when I began the blog that I would rather post when I had something worth posting about than to post endlessly just so I would have something here. I hope that I haven’t lost any readers with that decision, and also hope I may gain some new ones!

As of late I have re-read To Kill a Mockingbird and the story never fails to make me pause and consider my own views on issues in life, and where I stand on them. I don’t hold myself, as a father, to the “gold standard” of Atticus Finch; he was a literary character, and as such, is an example but not real. I do, however, see in him many of the standards of moral courage that I am trying to teach to my sons, and also to model in my own life. The image attached to this blog, a quote from General George S. Patton, Jr., says that “Moral courage is the most valuable and usually the most absent characteristic in men.” In our age, especially, that seems to be so. It has become much easier to “go with the flow,” “not make waves,” “just get along,” or the ever popular “show tolerance,” instead of taking a stand, when appropriate, and realizing that that stand does not make you evil, hateful, bigoted, or any of the other buzzwords thrown at people who go against the societal norms. I believe that moral courage transcends those things – those constructs of society – and as such is not only a very freeing thing, but an encouraging one. Ultimately, I believe it to be a more fulfilling one.

Few of us, to be sure, will be called upon to demonstrate moral courage in a situation as dire as the one in which Atticus Finch found himself. He was a lawyer, called upon to defend a black man accused of raping a white woman in the segregation era South of the 1930’s. He did so to the absolute best of his abilities, despite the disapproval of his neighbors, abuse and in some cases, potential for bodily and familial injury that came his way. He did so because he, as a character, possessed moral courage; he did what he knew to be right rather than what was popular or acceptable. (Let’s remember – at this time, racism was institutionalized. It was, for the most part, an accepted way of life.) Few of us will be called upon to demonstrate the kind of moral courage of those who hid people during World War II when the Nazis came to haul them off to the death camps. Despite this, I contend that there are everyday chances to demonstrate and show this type of courage, even without such dramatic and dire circumstances. Here are some examples, taken from a webpage/blog that I ran across at www.lionswhiskers.com:

Moral courage looks like:

  • helping someone push a car out of a snowbank, even if it means being late
  • standing up to a bully on the playground
  • picking up litter
  • doing homework or chores without being reminded
  • refusing to listen to or repeat gossip
  • practicing what you preach, even when no-one is looking or knows
  • turning in a toy or a wallet to the Lost and Found
  • a teen who calls home for a ride from a party where alcohol is being served
  • a teacher who gives all students an equal voice regardless of race, socioeconomic status, religion, gender or sexual orientation
  • a company whistle blower risking job loss, financial cost, and or legal repercussion
  • reporting a crime
  • participating in a peaceful protest

Lack of moral courage looks like:

  • walking away from someone in need
  • taking more than your fair share
  • laughing at someone’s misfortune or accident
  • grabbing the spotlight from someone who has earned it
  • placing too much reliance on the letter rather than the spirit of the law
  • remaining silent in the face of wrong-doing or injustice
  • rationalizations or justifications for action/lack of action
  • being inconsistent or capricious with rules and standards for our children
  • choosing sides after seeing which way the wind is blowing
  • breaking a promise
  • lying or cheating

A lack of moral courage, although not mentioned on the above page, also can be refusing to “judge,” either as a way of shirking expressing a personal belief or opinion, or avoiding personal responsibility. It can be demonstrated by those who justify violence, destruction and/or violent protests under the banner of “We’ve been wronged” or “This is justice.” It can also show itself as being an apologist for those who do it, too, as opposed to calling it what it is. That’s something to consider, eh?

I leave you with this – from that same page – the definition listed there of what moral courage is. It is defined as:
doing the right thing even at the risk of inconvenience, ridicule, punishment, loss of job or security or social status, etc.  Moral courage requires that we rise above the apathy, complacency, hatred, cynicism, and fear-mongering in our political systems, socioeconomic divisions, and cultural/religious differences.  For parents, it frequently requires us to put aside compelling but momentary pleasures or comforts in order to set a good example for our children and  be the parents we aspire to be.  Doing the right thing means listening to our conscience, that quiet voice within.  Ignoring that voice can lead to feelings of inadequacy, guilt and diminished personal integrity.  Moral courage requires us to make judgments about what actions or behaviors are supportive of our highest ideals, and which ones are destructive.  It asks us to recognize our responsibilities and see the consequences of our own actions.

Now, friends – armed with this, and knowing it – what will you do, the next time you have the opportunity? Will you show that moral courage or will you take the easy way, go with the flow, not make waves, and walk away? Remember – these are questions that I first ask MYSELF – so I’m right there with you!

I know my answer. What’s yours?

God bless today, my friends!

“Fight the real enemy” – and it’s not who you think it is

I don’t know how many readers/followers I have from outside the US, so if I may, a little background on today’s post: not too long ago, one of the owners of a small pizzeria in Indiana was approached and asked their opinion on a piece of legislation that had recently been passed in Indiana, called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The person, being honest (as well as a professing Christian, which was obvious since their pizzeria has items in it that profess their faith) said that they agreed with it, as they felt that people should be able to refuse to participate in something they feel was morally against their beliefs. They then went on to give an example, saying that were they asked to cater a gay wedding, they’d refuse.

As you may imagine, the firestorm was immediate and devastating. The “we just want tolerance and respect” crowd immediately filled their Facebook page with hate, threats, denigration and they have been slammed in just about every form of media imaginable as intolerant, bigoted, and “refusing to serve gays.” There’s just one SMALL problem with that story.

By all accounts, it is being shown that that story, as told, ISN’T TRUE.

Yes, you read it right. There is more and more evidence that the story was made up out of nothing. The people never once said they wouldn’t serve gay people, and in fact had served them in their store. They never said they’d turn away a gay or lesbian couple who came and ordered food. They said that, morally, they wouldn’t feel it right to take part in an action they felt was morally wrong. (Good thing I never got eviscerated for not sleeping around or doing drugs when I was younger. Wow!)

That is, however, how it was portrayed in the media. Now, the story is coming out that this story was made up, blown out of proportion, and generally used to hang these people out to dry – but it’s too little, FAR too late. There’s no way on God’s green Earth that this will get the press coverage that the “story” did, simply because it’s not nearly as good a story, to them, as the initial one was. It certainly won’t undo the damage that has been done.

Sources:

http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2015/04/01/story-about-1st-business-to-publicly-vow-to-reject-gay-weddings-was-fabricated-out-of-nothing/

http://reason.com/blog/2015/04/02/was-memories-pizza-a-victim-of-irrespons#.ghzndo:87Kc

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tom-blumer/2015/04/01/local-indiana-station-ambushes-memories-pizza-gin-rfra-story4

Whatever anyone may think about the issue, or wherever they may fall on the issue of gay rights, marriage, or anything else to do with that situation, how can this possibly be a fair and just response to that person’s answer? Is that really Justice? Is that true Tolerance?

So what does this have to do with my post? Just this. Many years ago, I remember Sinead O’Connor doing herself and her career some serious hurts by ripping up a picture of Pope John Paul II during a performance on Saturday Night Live while saying “Fight the real enemy.” She has been forever remembered for that. For myself, I would alter her actions and instead hold up a picture of all of the logos of all the major networks, as well as names of newspapers and magazines and tear IT up, while saying the same words. The REAL enemy, to me, is the media, and the people who believe everything they see and hear in the news broadcasts, without taking the time to check out the facts for themselves.

Friends – look at what’s happening. Lives are being destroyed. People are being hunted, and in extreme examples, killed, because they don’t fall in line with what society or the PC Police say is the “proper” way to think. People are being eviscerated simply for holding an opinion, and it’s being done by the same people who claim that THEY are the ones who just want tolerance for all. It reminds me of the old Twilight Zone episode The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street. Remember that one? It ends with the town in chaos and the two aliens standing on the hill overlooking it. During their ending monologue, one says to the other, They pick the most dangerous enemy they can find – and it is themselves. Only WE can put an end to this. Demand accountability from those who report the “news,” stand up and be counted.

That’s the encouragement for today – that’s the Boot of Truth. It’s NOT TOO LATE. If nothing else, friends – think, engage your minds and wait before you jump into the fray when something comes across your phones, Facebook, or the TV screen. Wait until all the tallies are counted before you stand up. All too often, we’re finding out that what we are being told is NOT what’s going on.

It’s just what keeps the ratings up.

God bless today, my friends.