There were no good guys in Charlottesville

“Two sides” didn’t produce the horrifying violence at Charlottesville.  There were many sides.  All were bad in varying degrees.

The worst of the bad guys, of course, was the homicidal loser who drove a van into a crowd of people to kill as many as he could.  This is the guy who once assaulted his mother and was drummed out of the army after four months.

The next-worst were the Neo-Nazi’s.  Yes, other groups are equally violent, equally racist, equally hateful and equally stupid.  But Neo-Nazi’s are in a special category because their predecessors – the ones that were just as violent, racist and hateful but not as stupid – nearly succeeded in plots of worldwide genocide and totalitarianism.

Neo-Nazi’s are even worse than the originals in some ways.  The originals mistakenly believed they were in the right, while the new ones know they’re not.  Nazism is not the political philosophy of the Neo’s – what do these morons know about politics or philosophy? – but is just an excuse for being ugly.

The next worst at Charleston were the groups that have coalesced like sticky grime under the pseudo-mysterious name “Antifa.”  That’s supposed to be a contraction of “anti-fascism.”

The Orwellian irony to Antifa and their bombastic name is that they’re not anti-fascist at all.  They’re fascists.  Like other fascists, they censor, shout down, intimidate, threaten and sometimes assault anyone they don’t like.

And like other fascists, Antifa’s rationale for their violence is that they’re right and their victims are wrong, and so shut up.

Some of the Antifa fascists and some of the Neo-Nazi fascists were at Charlottesville for the express purpose of picking fights in front of TV cameras.  That’s what fascists do.  These two fascist groups succeeded in their common objective.

The next-worst were the politicians.  The mayor of Charlottesville and the governor of Virginia apparently gave advance orders for the cops not to intervene in the anticipated violence.

This misguided order originates in the myth propagated in the political quarters occupied by these particular politicians that, as between a guy with a baseball bat who wants to beat the daylights out of a bystander, and a guy with a badge who wants to stop him, the latter is the bad guy. And if only the latter will stay clear of the former, the former will put away the bat.

It’s time to reaffirm what we all used to take for granted – that the thin blue line of men and women with badges who want to  defend us even though they are sometimes killed in doing so are good guys.  At Charlottesville, the politicians ordered these good guys not to do their job.

Next is the media.  CNN, for example, has gone from a respected news source to a partisan propaganda machine staffed by weaponized info-entertainers waging an endless war of rhetoric against President Trump.

The media didn’t exactly cause Charlottesville, nor did they exactly cause the earlier mass-shooting of GOP Congressmen by a Bernie Sanders supporter.  But they have legitimized violence in the name of “Resistance” to the president duly chosen by the people in the last election.

The supposedly unbiased media rationalize that the election was invalid because the people were too stupid to elect the media’s chosen candidate – even as that same media fear that those same people were not too stupid to see that the media chose one.

The media is not only biased, arrogant and deceitful, but cheap.  Before the murdered woman at Charlottesville was even buried, the media had already shifted away from news and onto their anti-Trump propagandizing.  News reporting is difficult and expensive, but propagandizing is easy and cheap – it requires no more than a free talking head talking out of his fat lazy butt.

The media should be ashamed.

Next I blame Trump.  I don’t think he produced Charlottesville either, but his garbled post-Charlottesville statements made things worse.  It is true, as Trump said then and as I write here, that lots of people were bad actors.  But the day after mayhem a president should console and unite us in mourning.  There is always time later to consider policy questions and causes.

In this regard, Trump is singularly lacking in political competence, and seems unable to learn from his mistakes.

Like many other people, I don’t respect politicians much.  I initially believed that an incompetent politician like Trump is less bad than a competent one, just as an incompetent criminal is less bad than a competent one.  But I’ve reconsidered that view.

I now think a politician needs to be competent in his craft.  Lyndon Johnson, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton were, and got things done.  Jimmy Carter, and now Donald Trump, were not and didn’t.

Mr. President, you’re no longer an apprentice.  Grow into the office.

(Published Aug. 27, 2017 in the Aspen Times at

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Go all the way, Juice

“He … could … go … all … the … way!” — Catchphrase for a touchdown run in-progress made famous by sportscaster Chris Berman

Orenthal James Simpson was born in 1947 in a San Francisco housing project. He was soon dubbed “O.J.”

His father was a drag queen, literally. His parents divorced and he was raised by his mother. His father later died of AIDS.

O.J. developed rickets as a child, which is typically caused by a vitamin deficiency. He wore braces on his legs and had the weak-boned bow-leggedness that is a characteristic of rickets survivors.

He joined a gang at age 13. He was arrested three times by age 15 and was briefly incarcerated in a juvenile facility. He married at 18. He was a father at 21.

About that time, he became a superstar college football player and was the runaway winner of the Heisman Trophy. Coming out of college, he was the No. 1 choice in the pro draft.

O.J. was named an All Pro six times, the Most Valuable Player in the league once and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was one of the greatest.

But not in all ways. Continue reading

Meet Walther Ramos, American

As we celebrated the birthday of our nation last month, I thought about a Brazilian friend named Walther Ramos.

Walther grew up in an ordinary middle-class family in Brazil. As a teenager he became a terrific swimmer.

Walther has always been headstrong and didn’t get along with the Brazilian swimming establishment. But a Jewish swim team in Brazil noticed his talent and invited him to join. He thrived, and later came to America on a college swimming scholarship.

Walther stayed in contact with his Jewish friends back home and they introduced him to Israel. He got to know the Israelis and their admirable culture, religion and cause.

It culminated with his conversion to Judaism. His official position is that he converted only to qualify for a spot on the Brazilian swim team competing in the Maccabiah Games (which are something like Jewish Olympics) and that he isn’t religious.

I don’t believe him.

After injuries and open heart surgery Continue reading