Is the Chaos and Destruction a Preview of Biden… or More Trump?

Over the past several weeks, I’ve read and listened to a lot of political commentary  suggesting that the violence we’ve seen in major cities is merely a preview of chaos and destruction that will befall America if Joe Biden wins the presidency. It’s an interesting claim.

The argument rests on the looting, vandalism, and assaults in places like Portland, Seattle, Chicago, and New York City sharing a common theme: the fact that they’re happening in cities run by progressive leaders — Democrats who’ve been unwilling to effectively deal with the violence, and bring peace and calm to the streets.

The idea is that if President Biden turns out to be the “far-left puppet” many on the right (and perhaps even some on the left) believe he’d be, he too would be paralyzed by considerations of political correctness and other progressive sensibilities. The result being that the violence would continue and escalate to other parts of the country.

In an abstract sense, I suppose it’s not a bad argument. And it’s no wonder that President Trump and his surrogates are campaigning on the theme, and trying their best to marry Biden to calls from the far-lefties in the Democratic base to “defund the police.”

To Biden’s credit (and political benefit), he has rejected those calls to defund the police. He has also put out some firm statements against the rioting, including this one back in June: “There’s no place for violence or destruction of property. Peaceful protesters should be protected, and arsonists and anarchists should be prosecuted.”

That said, talk is cheap. Once in power, maybe the line between protesters and anarchists will appear a little blurrier to Biden, as it has to others on the left. Maybe he’ll become more tolerant of, and even empathetic toward, violence in the name of “social justice.” Thus, persuadable voters should vote for Trump, right?

There’s just one problem — a significant flaw with that reasoning. The Dispatch’s David French recently pointed it on Twitter:

The fact of the matter is that the aforementioned violence has occurred on Trump’s watch, going down during the fourth year of his presidency. While violent protests are a hypothetical under Biden, they’re a reality under Trump.

Saying that we need Trump in office to stop something that’s actually happening while he’s in office doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense.

To be clear, this doesn’t mean that Trump’s to blame for the violence. He absolutely isn’t. It just means that his efforts to supposedly address the issue (like deploying federal officers to protect federal property, and repeatedly tweeting “Law & Order!”) haven’t done a whole lot to curb the violence. Again, that’s not his fault. There’s only so much a sitting president can directly do without overstepping his bounds.

For the most part, these are local matters. And when local leaders fail to protect innocent people in their cities, they should be held accountable by their constituents — not just when it comes time to vote, but also through ongoing public pressure.

Does a president have any part to play in reducing the street violence and vandalism going on in American cities? There are certainly resources he could offer, and though Trump has threatened in the past to send in the National Guard, that type of thing would far more likely come from a state governor. I would argue that the most significant role of a president on this matter would come from how he talks about the issue, both in tone and substance.

No, I don’t mean through appeasement and groveling, like the kind we’ve seen from some of these Democratic mayors. I’m talking about an appeal to people’s better senses and common decency. I’m talking about calling on (and perhaps even meeting with) respected community leaders and other people of local influence, to publicly denounce the violence. I’m talking about drawing sympathetic — not combative — attention to victims of the violence, and the horrors they’ve gone through. I’m talking about working to lower the temperature, and sounding more like a dignified leader calling for betterment… than a professional wrestler cutting a promo.

It might not do any good at all. But it’s worth a try. All the tough-guy talk from the White House certainly hasn’t done the trick, nor should we have ever expected it to. It’s largely performative. Again, real change would have to come at the local level.

So, this begs a couple questions… How would re-electing Trump bring peace to these cities, when his tenure thus far hasn’t (and he doesn’t even seem to know how to talk about it)? And how would electing Joe Biden make the situation worse, when the only real difference in approaches would likely be rhetorical.

Maybe what we’re seeing in these cities isn’t a preview of anything related to the presidency, but rather a reflection of society under chaotic circumstances, cultural unrest, and weak local leadership.

There are a number of differences between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, and therefore the decision voters are faced with in November will be a consequential one. But I have yet to hear a compelling argument for how either candidate would be consequential on the issue of protest violence.

Maybe one will eventually come.

Order John A. Daly’s novel “Safeguard” today!

Seattle and Political Correctness

When my husband and I bought, what was to be, our retirement home on Bainbridge Island, Seattle was a pretty nice city.  For many years before we actually made the permanent move from Los Angeles, we’d visit a few times a year and always ferried over to Seattle to spend the day walking around and doing all the touristy things people do when visiting a new city.

Even after we made the final move in 1996, we visited Seattle frequently, regularly attended theatre and opera matinees and evening performances, my husband commuted daily to work on public transportation, I’d meet him and friends for lunch, traveled alone for doctors’ appointments and felt very comfortable.

In a matter of 20 years, all that has changed.  I feel very sorry for tourists who visit the “Emerald City” which was a lovely place but which is now run by Progressives which, in turn, means that Seattle is now spiraling downward as has New York City and San Francisco because of political correctness and a tolerance for behavior never before engaged in by a civil society.

Although I love when friends and family visit, I cringe at the thought because it means I may have to take our visitors into Seattle for sightseeing.  Fortunately, most who do visit are comfortable on their own or have been to Seattle more than once and are content with spending time on this side of the water.

Where I used to walk to doctors’ visits or shopping, or used to use the Metro rail or buses, I now take a car service. You will not find me walking around Seattle unless I have absolutely no other choice.  And, unfortunately, my husband I never venture over to Seattle in the evenings on our own.

If anyone is interested in how Seattle is transforming into the other west coast toilet (and I mean that literally) — San Francisco — take the time to watch local newsman, Eric Johnson’s “Seattle is Dying” documentary which explores the impact of drug addiction and so-called homelessness on Seattle here. It is a sad and eye-opening commentary on what the Progressives on the City Council have allowed to happen.

I was prompted to write this article when I saw a news item captioned “Seattle-Area Councilman:  Hosing Poop-Covered Sidewalks Might be Racially Insensitive.”  Larry Gossett, councilman in Seattle “said he didn’t like the idea of power-washing the sidewalks because it brought back images of the use of hoses against civil-rights activists.”

The Superior Court area on Third Avenue has become an “unsanitary and potentially frightening” scene that “reeks of urine and excrement” which prompted two judges to ask the city to power-wash the sidewalks, to which Mr. Gossett expressed his concern.

First of all, this all presupposes that the drug addicts and mentally ill people who are defecating on the sidewalks are even aware of “the use of hoses against civil-rights activists.”  I don’t think they are and I don’t think they care.

More importantly, how exactly does Mr. Gossett propose to get rid of this filth?  What about the pedestrians, many who are staring at their phones anyway, stepping in bodily waste?  I guess he’s more concerned about the people who are actually doing the damage, than the citizens of Seattle and visitors who have to deal with it.  Perhaps he’d like our fire fighters to stop using hoses and use water-filled paper cups (no plastic!) instead to douse out fires.

Progressive policies have destroyed this once beautiful and welcoming city.  I get it.  What I don’t get is why the citizenry keep voting for this insanity when they have to walk on these sidewalks every day.

I don’t get it, but if you do, God bless you.

Seattle Homeless Memorial OK – Police Memorial On Hold

seattle-state-police-uniformI love living in the Pacific Northwest, but I have to say that nearby Seattle is a really screwy place.  I’m very happy not to live in King County.

In 2011, the city approved the “Leaves of Remembrance project” which allowed for bronze leaves to be installed on the sidewalks with the names of homeless people who died on the streets.  This project cost about $280,000, $75,000 of which was paid by the taxpayers.

Seattle Police Officer Michael Severance has tried to get approval for a memorial that would honor Seattle police officers and firefighters who died in the line of duty.  His project, which would honor 81 brave men and women, would cost approximately $40,500 and would be covered by private donations.

So why does Seattle approve a project to “honor” the homeless while it won’t approve a project to honor our fallen heroes?  Hell if I know.

According to Council member, Sally Clark, who says she supports the Historical Sign Project proposed by Officer Severance, but also says he needs to get more documented support from community groups and still needs to clear the hurdle of getting approval from the Design Review Commission.

Putting aside the approval from the DRC, why does Officer Severance have to get “more documented support from community groups”?  His project would honor the men and women who took an oath to protect all the citizens ofSeattle and, as a result, gave their lives doing just that.  Fallen police officers and firefights are not special interest groups who should need support from a particular community group.  The City Council, representing the citizenry ofSeattle, should approve the project itself.  Police and firefighters are on the streets of Seattle protecting all of us and should not be considered a group of people who actually need community advocates to fight for them like the homeless.

It’s absolutely ridiculous that getting approval for a project proposed by Officer Severance should take even more than five minutes during a City Council meeting.  And here he is going through all the bureaucratic red tape for something so simple that could be approved by the City.

When I read comments like “police memorial? LOL they kill are hurt more people than they help” (re-posted here verbatim) from some anonymous jerk who calls himself or herself “DR710” and who doesn’t have the guts to use his or her own name or location, I just have to shake my head.  Really??? Police “kill [and] hurt more people than they help”?  What planet does this idiot live on?

As another commenter stated, Seattle can’t figure out how to get the homeless off the streets, but has $75,000 for a memorial.  Once again, as with so many liberal ideas, form over substance.  Plant a few bronze leaves in the sidewalk and we’ll feel oh so good about ourselves while the real problem doesn’t go away.  Typical.

Officer Severance doesn’t get and I don’t get it, but if you do, God bless you.

Spring Sphere Roll, Anyone?

Not content with attacking Christmas and changing the name of our decorated trees to “holiday trees” along with a whole lot of other stuff associated with Christmas, the PC loons are at it again – but this time they’re after – hold on to your seats – Easter eggs!  I’m not joking.

While Easter is a major Christian holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the holiday is also secular.  Springtime is the time when we see lots of chocolate Easter bunnies, jelly beans, and, of course, children decorating Easter eggs.

Manufacturers such as Peeps, Dove, Cadbury and Hershey’s sell Easter favorites of their candies.  Coloring kits, grass  and baskets are marketed as items used to decorate and display Easter eggs.

While researching this article, I discovered that the egg was a pagan symbol and later adopted by Christians to symbolize the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Growing up as a Roman Catholic, I’d never heard about such a connection and after asking several adults, they hadn’t either.  All thought the Easter egg was secular, not religious.  But that won’t stop the PC loons here in Seattle….

When a 16-year old from a private high school decided to volunteer in a third grade class at a public school as part of her community service project during Spring break, she suggested to the teacher that she’d like to fill little plastic eggs with treats and jelly beans and other candies and give them out to the children.  She got the teacher’s approval but only if she called the treats “Spring spheres.”

Well, the high school volunteer went along with it, but when she took the little eggs out of her bag to distribute them to the third graders, the teacher said, “Oh, look, Spring spheres” and all the kids replied, “Wow, Easter eggs!”

First of all, the children are obviously way smarter than their teacher.  Not only did the children recognize the eggs for what they were, the teacher wasn’t smart enough to realize that eggs are not spheres but naturally occurring ovoids.  But what’s next?  Will the food police join with the PC twits and require the volunteer to put quinoa into the eggs instead of candy?

Apparently, the Seattle elementary school isn’t the only government agency eliminating “Easter.”  The city’s parks department has removed “Easter” from all of its advertised egg hunts.

What exactly are the PC zealots afraid of?  What’s so offensive about an Easter egg?  Are they concerned about cholesterol or are they trying to make something really non-religious into something religious so they can do away with the holiday altogether?  What amazes me is that someone actually comes up with this nonsense.  I don’t have the time or energy; heck, I barely have time to read about it and type a few words.

It wouldn’t surprise me if the school district had multiple meetings and staffings in order to come up with this policy to save the children from the dangers of perceived religious indoctrination in the guise of Easter eggs.  What’s next, the extermination of the dreaded Easter bunny?  Why focus on education when there are far more important issues like eliminating the Easter egg?

Neighboring Seattle might be the PC capital of the U.S. this week, but the Easter bunny better watch out if next year the annual celebration is changed to the “2012 White House Spring Sphere Roll.”  It’s only a matter of time when his time is up.

In the meantime, I’ll just sit here quietly, eating my Dove dark chocolate Easter egg while contemplating the fate of Easter Island….

I don’t get it, but if you do, God bless you.

Giving Thanks

I have lots to be thankful for and consider myself a very lucky lady.  I’m married to the “bestest husband in the entire universe” and have a fantastic sister-in-law who’s more like a sister to me, her three children and their spouses, and my four grandnephews and two grandnieces.  In addition, I have other family members and a wonderful circle of friends for whom I am very grateful.

I live on an island in the Pacific Northwest and when the skies are blue and the air is fresh and clean, I think that a blind person need only take in a deep breath to “see” the color green.

Above all things precious to me is the blessing of having been born in America – a country whose Founding Fathers recognized that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights and incorporated those rights into the Declaration of Independence – the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

But, I would not have been so fortunate had my father not emigrated from Buchen, Germany.  My father was the youngest of several siblings in a family of farmers.  Because it was difficult for my grandparents to feed their entire family, it was decided it would be best for my father to go to America.  So, in 1924, according to the family history, my grandfather sold a pig for $50 and sent my father off to America.  He left Hamburg on the Deutschland, and arrived at Ellis Island on September 7, 1924.  Had he not left Germany, he’d never have met my mother in Brooklyn, NY, and I would never have been born.

It would not be for many years after his death in 1972 that I would truly recognize the invaluable gift he gave me.  One of the few regrets I have is my failure to let him know just that.

I’ve traveled on five continents and, while it’s always fascinating to visit other countries, there isn’t another place on earth I would rather live than in the United States.

When I hear people complain about how bad things are in America, I often think of what I saw in Dakar, Senegal.  I often think about the enclosed market in Dakar which housed rows and rows of fish, with no refrigeration other than ice, and not so fresh looking fruits and vegetables, which produced an almost unbearable stench as I almost skidded on the wet floors or tripped over the dozens of cats roaming through the aisles.  It’s a very big difference from the comfort and convenience of shopping at my local Safeway or Walmart.

No where in Dakar had I seen rows and rows of air fresheners or the myriad of deodorants, toothpastes, candies, bottles waters, or the variety of cereals we take for granted here at home.  I saw one store on a main shopping avenue with an enormous table which had probably a hundred shoes to be picked through to find a matching pair in the correct size.  It was a far cry from stores like Foot Locker which has dozens of athletic shoes neatly displayed in every size and color imaginable.

While riding on the bus around Dakar, the streets were in such disrepair that the sidewalks were cracked wide open as if an earthquake had just hit the city.  Buildings were gutted and rebar was removed to be used in other buildings.  Some stores were actually old cargo containers now sitting upright.

A very specific memory I have getting off the bus in Dakar was the dozens and dozens of goats in the streets preparing to be bought and slaughtered for the celebration of Tabaski.

Alongside those goats, I saw a young man literally crawling on a dirt sidewalk begging for money.  I didn’t want to stare at this pitiful human being, but I’m convinced that his limbs were so deformed that he moved insect-like along the sidewalk.  So, when I see “homeless” people in Seattle leaving St. Francis House with loaves of bread and then throwing the slices on the street to feed pigeons it makes my head spin.

It also infuriates me when I hear bleeding-heart liberals lamenting the plight of those same homeless types when, in fact, Seattle has more free services than probably the whole of Senegal.  There are places in Seattle that will feed anyone three meals a day for free and no one needs to sleep on the streets.  There is one proviso – you can’t use drugs or alcohol.

One of my husband’s clients, who left Vietnam when she was 13 years old, made a few comparisons.  She told him, “you people live in Heaven, and you don’t know it.  In my country, if you don’t have food, you starve; if you don’t have clothes, there’s no where to get them; there’s no help at all.”

While riding the bus one day, my husband sat next to a young man who was looking out the window at the Seattle Courthouse Park also known here as Muscatel Meadows.  My husband said to him, “a lot of people in the park today” to which the young man responded, “Yeah, there’s a lot of bums out today, I used to be one of them.  But I have my own apartment, I have a job and I’m off alcohol.  No reason to be homeless in Seattle.”

It’s sometimes hard to appreciate what you have unless you know what the alternatives can be.  Some people value what they have, others don’t.  If I hadn’t traveled and experienced life in other countries, I might not appreciate how wonderful my life is here in America.  Unfortunately, too many people don’t get to see how the rest of the world lives and can only feel sorry for themselves.  To them, I say, “go and live in Dakar for six months and come back and tell me how horrible life is here in the U.S.”

So, while we celebrate Thanksgiving, I am grateful for my wonderful husband, family and friends and to my father who gave me life in America, I’d like to say, “thanks, Daddy.”