We attended the 4th of July picnic with the local Second Amendment activists and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. There was a spot of dissension with the police, but everybody kept cool enough to prevent physical confrontation and the problem will be resolved later in City Council and, possibly, the courts.
It seems that there was a vendor in attendance, selling T-shirts with political slogans imprinted on them. One of the policeman brought it to the attention of the vendor that items can not be sold in city parks without a permit. Unfortunately, the individual policeman who decided to enforce this city ordinance also ordered the vendor to remove the T-shirts from the park. Instead of removing the shirts from the park, Jim Harnsberger took the shirts under consignment and began to give them away, asking for political contributions in the process.
When the policeman returned, he decided that his orders had not been followed to his satisfaction and proceeded to confiscate the T-shirts. Before the dust settled, we were surrounded by foot patrolmen, bicycle patrolmen, squad cars, mounted police, a Sergeant and a Lieutenant. The count by one observer was 27 cops and two horses on the scene. After about two hours of discussions, the Lieutenant finally agreed to write out a receipt for the confiscated items and stepped back to allow the picnic to continue.
The police couldn't have done us a better favor had they been coached. This example of arrogant bullying by an individual in uniform can be used as a lesson in facism for quite some time to come.
What is sad about the incident is the resulting negative rhetoric about the police throughout the day. This incident was precipitated by an individual policeman, who was then backed up by his superior officer. These individuals overstepped their authority and attempted to intimidate members of the public engaged in a political rally. They found out that Second Amendment supporters are well versed in the law and have little respect for bullies. However, there were speeches made that day in which the entire police force was brushed with the tar which only these two or three bullies earned.
The United States was formed because men in uniform stood up to the might of the British Army and Navy. The United States was kept safe from tyranny by men and women in uniform who fought and died in Europe and the Pacific. You are safer now because some people are willing to don a uniform and make targets of themselves for criminals. The police and military in this country are generally of high moral caliber and have nothing of which to be ashamed. The individual cops and individual members of the military who sully the standards their uniforms represent are the only ones who have earned and deserve condemnation.
There has been much disscussion of late over the decision to drop Atomic bombs on Japan, fifty years ago this August. In the harsh evaluation of hindsight, that decision appears flawed to some who decry the thought of killing so many with a single weapon. To those, it would have been better to have continued the strategy which leveled Tokoyo just days before the Hiroshima bomb was dropped, killing as many as, perhaps more than, were directly killed in the Hiroshima blast. That raid was part of a plan to successively napalm the major cities in Japan in the six weeks or so preceeding an invasion of the home islands. That plan would have killed many more persons than the combined total killed by the Atomic bombs. That plan would have still required many Allied soldiers to die during the invasion.
The main complaint of those who denigrate and decry the use of Atomic weapons to end the Second World War seems to be that the use of overwhelming force is somehow immoral in itself. The fact that many lives are saved, much destruction is averted and the cause of Right, Honor and Justice is served has no place in their reasoning. The use of any force by anyone other than the ones they authorize to use force is unacceptable. By re-writing history to include information which was either not available or was revised later, they are blaming the United States for the horrors of the Second World War. The reasoning of these people is as twisted as that of those who would blame "ugly guns" for the horrors of murder. (Sounds a bit like the reasoning of Sarah Brady and Charles Schumer, doesn't it. - ecr)
(We ran across this on Internet and did not have enough room to include
it in the last edition. Chris has graciously allowed us to publish it. -
ecr) Christopher C. Ferris
Dear Dad, The passage of almost two years since you lost your final battle with lung cancer and heart disease has done little to ease the pain of losing you, my ultimate hero. I miss you, Dad, each and every day.
I cried a few tears on Memorial Day as I remembered your accounts of landing at Omaha Beach in mid-1944, of your field artillery unit's participation in the infamous Battle of the Bulge, and of the final push to the German border. I recalled how you wept as you described the heroic sacrifice of your younger brother Geoffrey, who gave up his life in 1943 on a dusty North African hill in a successful attempt to protect the soldiers under his command from harm. Don't worry, Dad, Geoffrey's Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star and Purple Heart are stored safely in my desk, right next to your Bronze Star. My own Meritorious Service Medal and Army Commendation Medal, earned during honorable peacetime service, are stored in the shadow of the many wartime decorations earned by two bona fide men of valor who served their Country well.
I also recalled that Uncle Cap served as a sub-chaser commander in the Aleutians, Uncle Wing on a destroyer in the Pacific, your older brother Charlton on a LST in the Pacific, and that Mom's cousin Curtis was killed in action in the Philippines during the Japanese invasion of that country.
You're right, Dad, "The War Hero" in residence at the White House doesn't need to explain to our family the meaning of service and sacrifice.
The sad truth, Dad, is that "The War Hero", sensing that his lack of military service is a political liability, is now "going to war" verbally against Americans who reject his political agenda and who reject his political posturing. Dad, he probably plans to have his Chief of Staff pin a Congressional Medal of Honor on his chest if he triumphs in his ongoing battle to dismantle freedom, piece by piece.
You always told me, Dad, that you and your fellow GIs feared the enemy during combat operations and that feeling such apprehension marked you as humans. While you and your comrades feared Nazis with good reason, "The War Hero" fears Americans who fear him and his relentless effort to control every aspect of their lives. I realize, Dad, that you must find it hard to believe that an American President is working to demonize his fellow Americans who truly believe in protecting the integrity of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights against self-serving, ladder-climbing politicians, but it is happening right now. I hear you, Dad, I hear you.
Trust me. We are working hard to insure that all Americans come to understand how the President's policies threaten the very fabric of freedom. Trust me. Our voices will be heard. Our votes will make a critical difference.
I realize that my Uncle Geoffrey, Mom's cousin Curtis and you, having gone on to a better place far, far away, must rely on those of us who remain behind to carry your message to Washington, to remind "The War Hero" that remembrance of sacrifice doesn't mean delivering a nicely polished, word-processed speech at Arlington Cemetery's gardens of stone and then racing back home to high five with Boy George Steffie while concocting plans to dismantle liberty, piece by piece.
Dad, I realize that you and the millions of Americans who served with honor, especially those who gave up their lives in defense of freedom, are depending on us. We know you are watching. We know how much you still care. Yes, freedom still matters. We will not allow "The War Hero" or any of his pals to redefine the concept of freedom to meet their own selfish needs. The thunder of our unified voices and the lightning of our millions upon millions of votes will force the President and his cast of characters out of elected office in 1996. Count on it.
Hang in there, Dad. You didn't whip the Germans in a day after you landed in France. In the same way, our struggle will be a long, difficult one. But worry not. We will endure. We will be strong. We will prevail. Be patient. Watch over us. Ask your brother Geoffrey to watch over us, too. Shower us with the powerful memories of the great men you were, and, in my mind, you always will be.
Freedom will remain ours forever, unmarked and unaltered by "The War Hero's" hammer and chisel. Stand at ease, Dad, stand at ease, and watch us work. As instructed in the US. Army Field Artillery's favorite song, the words and melody to which you taught me when I was a boy of eight, we will surely keep the "... caissons rollin'...", in this case, caissons chock full of copies of letters written, copies of faxes sent, records of phone calls made and records of votes cast by all Americans who still value freedom. We will not let you down. Pass the word.
With my deepest love and admiration,
Your Youngest Son and Fellow US. Army Veteran,
President Clinton issued Executive Order 12919, which authorizes confiscation of transportation, food, water, medical supplies and other material to respond to all "threats to national security." This is the same President who issued an Executive Order declaring terrorist acts in Israel were an "unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security." This is the same President who declared the imbalance of trade with Japan was "an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security." This is the same President who declared that the expiration of the Export Administration Act of 1979 constituted "an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security." This is the same President who said on television "The Constitution is a radical document. It is up to the Government to reign in people's rights." As these Executive Orders declaring a state of national emergency are still in effect, this Executive order has granted the government immediate authority to confiscate your "resources." (They wouldn't do that. Would they? - ecr)