Put Down The Gun

My brother and I never heard our parents say the phrase “I’m not going to tell you again” when we were growing up. It was understood there would be no second warning. In fact, if we had not stopped whatever we were doing wrong by the time the words had finished leaving their mouth, we knew the consequences would be immediate. That’s how I was raised.

Lately, some tragic events have filled the news almost daily of police officers encountering young men who were either armed or believed to be holding a weapon. After repeated warnings, the police fired, and unfortunately, young men lost their lives. These terrible occurrences have incited violent protests, injuring many people and doing immeasurable property damage. This hatred of police and authority has led to murdering officers, and a racial division in this nation perhaps worse than the civil rights protest era in the ’60’s. Certain individuals in the African-American (or black, whichever is appropriate right now) community thrive on making any such occasions a racial issue.

This post will either be unread or controversial, but I want to speak the truth as I see it on this matter. I would hope that this truth would help heal. I use “you” not in any accusatory way, but in a conversational tone because I am not just rattling off opinion. I hope I’m speaking to someone.

If you are holding a weapon, or anything that police may perceive as a weapon, expect the officers to approach you with their sidearms drawn and pointing at you. This not a race issue. This is called they are trying to stay alive. It does not matter what color your skin is, you are apparently holding a weapon.

Now, regardless of what you have in your hand, before the officers say anything at all, you should be putting it down. But, let’s say it’s not a weapon in your hand and you don’t understand why they are pointing their guns at you. Then they order you to “Drop the gun!” This is not a suggestion. For whatever reason, they believe you have a gun. You have a few seconds to keep this situation from escalating. Your action is simple. Do not make them tell you twice. Whatever you have in your hand… PUT IT DOWN! If it’s not a weapon, they will see that when they get close enough; but in  the meantime, you have shown them you are not a threat.

If for some reason, they must repeat the order, and you have not obeyed, now you have shown yourself to be dangerous, to them or anyone in  the vicinity. They have to make a split-second decision. If they hesitate, you are likely to shoot someone. It’s past the point of wrestling you to the ground. If you have a gun (as they believe), and your actions suggest you do, you apparently intend to use it. Otherwise you would have surrendered it.

Trust me when I say, at that point, it makes no difference what color your skin may be. You will be shot.

Now there are those who say that a young black man is statistically more likely to be involved in these incidents than any other race or ethnicity. That is probably true. This is where I’m going to get really controversial.

A woman wearing a nun’s habit sends a message. You know something about her just by looking at her. Right? If you see someone with calloused hands, dirty work cloths, work boots, toolbelt, and a hardhat, that sends a message about them. Wouldn’t you agree? I could go on with other examples, but I think you get the idea.

When a young man (regardless of race) dresses and behaves the part of a THUG, that sends a message. That message is a very negative one. One of violence, lawlessness, lack of respect for anyone (especially authority), weapons, and drugs (there’s more to that message, but I think you get the idea). This is not racism. This is reality. When someone reacts to the message sent, don’t blame them. The THUG image and behavior makes people feel threatened. If that’s not the message you want to send, do not present yourself as a THUG.

Of course not all of the victims of these shootings presented themselves as THUGS. But the rule of put it down still holds true.

But if you dress and act the THUG part and you are holding something in your hand that police officers think is a weapon, and they’re approaching you with guns pulled, you have just a few seconds to change their minds about you. Putting down whatever is in your hand is a really good start.

PLEASE STAY ALIVE. AND PLEASE STOP THE VIOLENCE AND HATRED

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The Hillary Clinton Show

Now that Bernie Sanders, in the best interest of the Democratic party, has decided to withdraw from the race and endorse her, the already-inevitable nomination is even more unavoidable. Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic presidential candidate this November.

Unlike her Republican counterpart, Mrs. Clinton is a known quantity. We have seen her in political leadership for many years. As first lady to her impeached husband Bill, she was an intricate part of his administration, overstepping the bounds of former first ladies.

She has been a successful businesswoman who has escaped conviction repeatedly for questionable and possibly felonious actions. Perhaps she was not guilty. Perhaps her husband, the governor at that time, stood faithfully at her side to fight the criminal charges.

She went straight from the White House to being a Senator of a state in which she did not live.  Honestly, I never did figure that one out.

President Obama appointed her Secretary of State, where her primary duties were to handle America’s relations with other countries. Everybody’s human. We all make mistakes. If I’m not mistaken, those criminal charges have been dropped.

Also while SoS, Hillary used her personal email to communicate highly sensitive and top secret information. The problem with that is normal email is easily accessible to public. This oversight may have been just a lapse in judgment. We all have those sometimes. However, when a person in a position such as Secretary of State risks a breach such as this, it warrants criminal charges, possibly even treason allegations. The normal procedure is immediate cut-off of access to information. That’s logical, since the person has mishandled it, wouldn’t you think?

However, the Democratic presidential candidate has apparently learned about TEFLON from her husband. After preliminary investigation, there are no information restraints on Hillary Clinton, nor are there any impending criminal charges.

Now, with that background information, let’s speculate what it would be like if Hillary (whatever happened to her hyphenated name?) Clinton is elected POTUS.

  • She is an experienced politician with the full support of her party. This increases her chances of accomplishing her agenda; especially since she will likely be appointing one or two Supreme Court Justices. She knows how to play the political game.
  • Hillary has a concrete agenda. She is not vague about anything. She has been clear where she stands and what she wants to do on everything. She would enter the White House next January with a to-do list on day one.
  • Some of the changes she could probably successfully make:
  1. LGBT would essentially become a legally protected group. Any public speech or action deemed unsupportive will be hate-speech, possibly punishable by law.
  2. Individual states will lose sovereignty (their ability to approve or reject certain laws).
  3. Minimum wage will increase by 25%, causing inflation to rise by at least 30%, and unemployment to rise by at least 30%.
  4. If during the Clinton administration, there is a Democratic majority in Congress, an equitable income tax system will be re-instituted, based on income. This may help with the greater need for government assistance programs.
  5. If possible, federally-funded programs to educate and assist people on public assistance to find gainful employment will grow. Even though this has traditionally been a Republican idea, president Clinton will see the need to fund these programs as numbers of recipients explodes.
  6. Another idea originally from the Republicans, but Hillary is smart enough to see the need, is some sort of initiative program(s) to encourage American businesses to stay in the US, and to assist new business ventures. It is essential to the economic survival of the United States.
  7. As POTUS, she will strive to eliminate any social stigma from experiences such as abortion, gay marriage, trans-sexuality, mental illness, and many other ways that sometimes single people out.

As I wrote about the Trump administration, it’s a fact that whoever our next president is will step into a big bowl of… well, I think you know. Our country is torn over racial issues, maybe even worse than we were in the ’60’s. There are all kinds of prejudice against people of certain religions, sexual orientations, and any other ignorant excuse people can find to hate others.

Our economy is weak and unsteadily trying to recover, while trying to pretend like we are strong in a weak world economy.

We are fifteen years in a war against terrorism, a war that most Americans have forgotten why we’re fighting, and just want it to stop.

We have a generation entering adulthood who (generally-speaking) lack social interaction skills, work ethic, respect for any authority, and worst of all… they have no inventive/ creative spirit; without that, America can become a third world country within one generation.

So, to Hillary Clinton, as I did to Donald Trump, I say two things:

  1. GOOD LUCK!
  2. ARE YOU SURE THIS IS REALLY WHAT YOU WANT TO DO?

 

The Trump Administration

****** I seem to be very politically and socially-conscious today. *******

In spite of resistance from Republican party leadership, the primary process and the threat of violence has left no choice for the convention but to nominate Donald Trump as the Republican presidential candidate.

Although he has never campaigned for any political office, if he adheres to the counsel of his party leaders, he may have a chance of being elected to the highest office in the nation.

If Donald Trump is elected president, what will it be like? Since our nation has never been led by an egocentric, openly-offensive non-politician before, this is all speculation. The thing about speculation is that it’s seldom objective and not necessarily based on fact. Now, with that disclaimer out of the way, here goes…

  • First of all, Donald Trump is accustomed to heading boards of businesses, where these board members were his employees, whose job security was based on agreeing and obeying the boss. His wise choice for cabinet members would be advisors who challenge him; however, he’s not used to that.
  • POTUS requires majority cooperation and collaboration of congress to accomplish anything.Democrats will always oppose Trump. Most Republicans don’t approve of him either. Who does that leave to approve president Trump’s plans?
  • Donald Trump is not, nor has he ever been a politician. Some believe that’s a primary reason for his public appeal.However, in the political world, there are rules to the game (as clandestine as they may be) to get things done. President Trump may have trouble learning about these rules and the true power limitations of the position of president.
  • Thus far in the primary process, he has polarized and offended most Americans (which makes his popularity a mystery to many). As president, will he be able to repair the bridges he has demolished and unite Americans?
  • The United States and the world are in a tenuous and fragile state now. Would president Trump be sensitive to our situations in foreign affairs? Let’s hope so.

POTUS Donald Trump will make mistakes, like every other president who has held the office. He will be loved, and hated. There will be cries for impeachment, and cries for re-election. He will be inheriting an economy that is unsteadily attempting recovery (not that the POTUS has any control over the economy. They don’t), and stepping into a war against terrorism that Americans have forgotten the reason and just want it to stop. He will be stepping into office when the country is in racial turmoil comparable to the ’60’s. He will be the president to a generation of young adults who have no concept of respect for authority (in general), work ethic, or inventive/ creative ambitions.

To President Donald Trump, I say two things:

  1. GOOD LUCK!
  2. ARE YOU SURE THIS IS WHAT YOU WANT TO DO?

******** Tomorrow I will address the Hillary Clinton Administration. Stay Tuned! ******

The Solution To Racism

My heart is heavy (pardon the cliche) as I see the news about all the protests against the tragic events with a few police officers and civilians. If you want to know how I feel about the police, see my last post, “Cry For The Fallen Brave”; but this post is something that bothers me about the protests.

Mostly, from what I have seen on the news, these protests have been somewhat peaceful, and that’s a good thing. The events that triggered them are undoubtedly tragic, regardless of how they actually happened.

Not since the civil rights conflicts in the ’60’s has our country been so torn on what seems to be a racial issue. I suggest that it’s not really a race issue. There are certain influential people who thrive on every opportunity to make a problem into a racial problem. I have an idea who some of these people may be, but I won’t name them. But if a white police officer shoots or uses forceful restraint on a black person, regardless of the reason, it stirs trouble. Oddly (or maybe not so), if a black officer takes the same action toward a white (or any race, for that matter) person, it gets no attention.

There is a powerful movement to nurture racism in America today.

If the tragic events that triggered these protests really are flagrant racism by white police officers, who selectively profile and harass black citizens more than other races, then that is a serious problem that needs to be addressed by the judicial system. I’m stumped to think of any time in history when protests influenced the US judicial system.

But, here’s my main point: these protests are racist. They hold up their fists, which was the symbol for “Black Power” in the ’60’s, or could just simply represent fighting (either way, representing violence directed at white people). And they carry signs saying: “Black Lives Matter”.

Of course black lives matter. But isn’t it racist to single out one race and declare that? If there were a protest where they carried signs saying “White Lives Matter”, what do you think would be the reaction? Really, don’t ALL LIVES MATTER?

So, the title to this post may have been misleading. Other than the changing of the hearts of all people, I don’t believe there is a real solution to racism; however, I firmly believe that responding to racism (or perceived racism) with racism only creates more hatred.

I heard someone say once about black people hating whites being “reverse racism“. That’s ridiculous. Racism, hatred, prejudice, discrimination, all the same no matter who points at who.

Cry For The Fallen Brave

Since Vietnam, including the war on terrorism the US is currently fighting, there have been children who were given weapons and taught to kill. Our soldiers have the unfortunate duty of killing these children, or be killed by them. It’s a terrible thing. The children are not the enemy; nor are the soldiers bad. The evil ones are those who give the guns and bombs to the children and teach them to kill.

My heart is broken as I watch the news lately. It seems nearly every day there are violent acts targeting and killing police officers. The alleged motive is revenge for some terrible actions (or mistakes) of a few.

Let’s talk briefly about what it means to be a law enforcement officer. They are part of a small minority group, along with soldiers and firefighters, who daily put their lives on the line to protect everyone else’s lives. Does that sound stressful? Every time they put on their uniform, especially recently, they are wearing a target. They are trying to maintain peace and order in a culture given to anarchy. They are authority in a society that hates authority. Does it sound stressful now? Each day, when they leave home, they don’t know if they will ever see their family again, or if some angry thug will shoot them on the street because they’re wearing a uniform. How about now? When they are called to the scene of a crime in progress, for example domestic violence, the officers are frequently injured trying to control the situation. If they have to restrain someone, or use any kind of force, the officer has to undergo an internal investigation to prove it was necessary. They carry guns and other weapons to protect themselves and others, but every time they use them, there has to be an investigation. Okay, I think you might understand that a police officer’s job is one of the most stressful jobs in existence.

Now unfortunately, police officers are humans, just like the rest of us. And maybe some of us with less stressful jobs and lives have at times gotten stressed-out and perhaps over-reacted to a situation. If I were stressed and carrying a gun, and someone approached me pointing a gun at me, (first of all, I’m not going to take the time to find out if it’s a real gun) I’m going to point my gun at them. If I tell the person to drop the weapon, and they don’t immediately do it, I have to assume they’re going to shoot me, so I shoot them.

Sadly, our police are soldiers in a war that recruits children. Kids carry weapons. They know how to kill. And cops are their targets. The children are not the enemy. The cops are not the bad guys. The real evil are those who put the guns in the hands of these babies and fills their young minds with poisonous hate.

It’s not a race issue. It’s not an economic or political issue. The issue is the perpetuation of hatred.

A Goal Per Post – Blogging

It’s not always the “formula” trendy content that people want to read. It’s honesty. And it’s activity. I’m inconsistent. It’s important also to actively follow other blogs.

HarsH ReaLiTy

I do not seek to go “viral” off a post. Viral blogs, much like blogs that get unexpectedly Freshly Pressed, tend to fizzle out after the fuss dies down. Whether that is organic interest or generated, there is nothing wrong with going viral. It is an awesome experience for many bloggers, people, and users of social media. I simply have no need or want for that kind of attention.

CaptureI will often have new readers comment and tell me “congratulations on your blog popularity!” I always respond with something polite, but the amusing part is… my blog isn’t popular. Sure I have some people that regularly visit and I also read a lot of blogs so new people visit back, but that doesn’t make it popular. My blog isn’t what I would call one of the “cool kids” on the block and that is why I now run two blogs…

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Novel Writing Competitions 2016

Let’s face it. Contests can make us some money, maybe get us published, be the start of our writing career

Jessica Davidson

Novel Writing Competition listing for 2016. Updated: 4 April 2016  Selection of international writing competitions for unpublished or self-published novels, plus a couple for UK residents only.  I haven’t entered them all so can’t vouch for them personally, but if you have experience of any of these comps I’d love to hear from you. Good luck!

Please be sure to check the websites for more information, submission requirements and deadlines. 

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