Roy Moore

I think there is probably something to the accusations against Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore. It’s not clear to me how much of a criminal act it was.  One of the Sunday talk shows made a big point of the fact that the victim was 14, which would make this a lesser offense than if she were younger.  It was probably not a felony, and the statute of limitations has probably run out, although I’m not sure.  In any case, it’s messy unless it’s an outright lie.  

Assuming it’s not a complete lie, one thing concerns me.  Did the Washington Post delay publishing this story until after the primary election?  If it had come out before the election, it would have improved the chances of Moore’s Republican opponent, Luther Strange.  If Strange had been elected, he almost certainly would have beaten his Democratic opponent, Doug Jones.  Now, the story greatly benefits Jones.  It remains to be seen whether it will swing the election in Jones’ favor.  

If Moore is elected despite the story, I suspect that he will be seated in the Senate.  It does not look like he is a criminal, whatever his morals.  Other Senators may treat him as an outcast, but he will be there and will be able to vote.  Under those circumstances he may be even more obstreperous than he would have been before the story.  

Another effect of this story may be to keep many basically good people out of politics.  Almost everyone has some blot on their record, something they did in a weak moment and wish they had not done.  In the old days, some indiscretions were overlooked or hushed up, but that is almost impossible today.  The fact that so many basically good people eliminate themselves from politics is at least partly responsible for the horrible political scene we have now.  We get people who run who don’t care about moral failings, people consumed by a lust for power or publicity, or on the other hand, people who are completely colorless, who have never done anything interesting in their lives.  Neither type produces the best politicians or leaders.  



Niger Ambush

I am tired of hearing the press complain about the White House insulting La David Johnson.  I’m also tired of hearing the press talk about what bad soldiers he and his colleagues were because they got caught in an ambush.  I was turned off by the contempt of the White House press for Gen. Kelly when he spoke about his son being killed.  The press’ attitude was that the press corps consists of much better people who had made much greater contributions to the country than Kelly.  They think they are God’s gift to the world.  I don’t agree. They are conceited, egotistical, unpatriotic blowhards.  It’s fine to mourn La David Johnson,  but it’s terrible to revile General Kelly for talking about the death of his son.   Chip Reid (CBS) believes Gen. Kelly is scum for allowing his son to die in service to America as a Marine.  Chip Reid has no heart; he is consumed by hatred of Trump, Republicans, and the American military.  

Both Trump and Kelly made mistakes while talking about Sgt. Johnson’s death, but I would think that everyone involved would make the best of it and move on to respect his memory.  Instead his death has been made into a circus sideshow, mainly by his dysfunctional family, an eavesdropping congresswoman, and the invasive press.  Apparently the American press spits on the three dead white soldiers; only the dead black soldier is worth memorializing.  

Since all the media coverage has been critical of the White House, I think someone should question the party line being screamed in unison by the press.  How did Sgt. La David Johnson end up so far from the rest of his unit that his body was not found for two days?  It sounds like the four killed soldiers were in a convoy that was separated from the main body of troops, according to CNN.  It’s possible that he was cut off from the rest of his small group, or that he was trying to go for help, or that he was just trying to escape from the ambush.  But there is a question why he did not stay and fight with his three colleagues who were killed fighting together.  The New York Times raised further questions about discipline and unity among elite troops by reporting suspicions that two members of a Navy seal team in Mali had killed an Army special forces soldier.  I have not seen anything about whether all three were the same race or not.  Because of the press’ ignoring all the dead white soldiers and its focus on the one dead black soldier, La David Johnson, we need clarification of what really happened in darkest Africa.  

The press has made the military deaths in Niger a matter of racial discrimination where only black lives matter.  Chip Reid and his colleagues believe that any white man who is stupid enough to enlist in the military deserves to die like Gen. Kelly’s son.  But they should read Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness or watch the war movie Apocalypse Now, which is based on it, to get some realistic concept of race and war.  Perhaps then Chip Reid and his colleagues would not rejoice in the death of Gen. Kelly’s son.  

“The horror!  The horror!”



John Oliver on the Confederacy

John Oliver’s in-depth issue this week was the Confederacy on “Last Week Tonight.”  Oliver condemned the Confederacy and everything connected to it because one of the things it fought for was the maintenance of slavery.  According to him, this justified getting rid of all public monuments to, and statues of, anything or anybody connected to the Confederacy.  

If slavery is what condemns a civilization, then clearly the ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians must be condemned, and all artifacts, statues, buildings, and other monuments must be removed from public view.  That would mean that the Roman forum, the Acropolis, the Parthenon and the Egyptian pyramids would have to be destroyed, along with the many other Roman ruins spread across Europe and North Africa. By the same reasoning, Oliver, the Democratic Party and other anti-Confederate hate groups must applaud the destruction by ISIS of the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria and the destruction of the Bamiyan cliff buddhas by the Taliban in Afghanistan.  Can you imagine the horror that would ensue if the mayor of Charlottesville were the mayor of Rome, destroying thousands of monuments?  

Of course the Confederates got their moral guidance on slavery from the books of Moses in the Bible.  Abraham, Moses, David and Solomon all had slaves and lived in a society where slavery was an ordinary fact of life.  Abraham had a son, Ishmael, by his family’s female slave Hagar.  Moses freed the Jews from slavery in Egypt, but he wrote the Jewish law authorizing slavery and describing how Jews should treat their own slaves, particularly in Leviticus.  It describes different treatment for Jews enslaved to other Jews, and for non-Jewish slaves.  It seems likely that Solomon’s temple was built with slave labor.  If they were going to be consistent, Oliver and the Democrats should call for the destruction of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.   And because Moses and King David had slaves, they should call for the destruction of Michelangelo’s statues of Moses and David.  

Of course any statues or monuments to any famous people of these countries would have to be destroyed — statues of Plato, Aristotle, all Roman emperors, and statues of all Egyptian Pharaohs.  History is unimportant.  Only morality as defined by Oliver is important.  People who lived in societies that condoned slavery were evil, and any image of them must be destroyed according to Oliver and the Democrats.  

They really do have much in common with ISIS and the Taliban, believing that a tangible representation of anything they think is morally repugnant must be destroyed.  They believe that their morals are supreme and unimpeachable and that no other ideas can be allowed to be expressed.  They are not chopping off heads yet, but that may be coming.  HBO is preaching the ideology of ISIS and the Taliban in the US while American troops are fighting against it in Afghanistan and Iraq.  It is sad to see such fundamentalist religious intolerance being preached in the US.