Friday, October 22, 2010

Thank God It's Friday, October 22nd

The firing of Juan Williams over remarks he made on The O’Reilly Factor is an outrageous example of a public figure losing their job for, to quote Allen Funt, “getting caught in the act of being themselves.” There is an important principle at stake. I recently exchanged some blog comments in which I heard a phrase that fits this situation perfectly – the tyranny of political correctness. If this “firing” is left unchallenged (and fortunately it has generated a huge amount of indignation) the bar will have been lowered to a level that can only serve to end our most valuable conversations. The full video of Williams’ remarks clearly shows him advocating for tolerance. He asks for a distinction between moderate and extremist Muslims, while admitting it is a distinction that he has trouble making. That is am important and honest statement. If we can not admit these feelings and discuss them openly, how can we expect any change or improvement? A generation ago, Archie Bunker might have asked how he could tell whether the black man approaching him on the street was one of the “good ones,” or one of the “bad ones.” This was a remarkably honest confession about fearing Muslims on a plane and had to do with an instinctive response and can be overcome with reason –through this kind of open discussion. If he is punished for t, it becomes a political correctness-threatened reality. It doesn’t take courage to sing “Kum Ba Yah.” It takes courage to admit that you feel a knot in your stomach when you see someone who’s different from you, and to have that discussion. We won’t always like the way these conversations turn out, as with Williams, but firing people for being honest ensures that we never will. 

 A Buffalo, N.Y., restaurateur will be feeding pizza to the poor as punishment for cheating the state out of sales tax. Casa-Di-Pizza owner Joseph Jacobbi could have been sent to prison after pleading guilty to third-degree grand larceny. But The Buffalo News reports a state Supreme Court judge thought the city would be better served if Jacobbi fed its neediest. He sentenced Jacobbi to deliver 12 sheet pizzas from his popular restaurant to the City Mission once a week for a year.
The 57-year-old Jacobbi has repaid about half of the $104,000 in sales tax authorities say he withheld from New York over the course of four years. He must make monthly payments to cover the rest.

On this day in history in 1836 Sam Houston was inaugurated as 1st elected pres of Republic of Texas and in 1962 JFK imposes naval blockade on Cuba, beginning missile crisis
Tiffany Hartley, left, and family members, lay a wreath near the site where her husband, David Hartley, was shot last month on Falcon Lake in Zapata, Texas

Gary says: It is unacceptable for large swaths of a country that shares a 2,000-mile border with the United States to be ruled by narco-psychos. It is unacceptable for border waters to be controlled by drug pirates. Americans are dying at the hands of Mexican drug gangs. We keep hearing the stories. David Hartley and his wife, Tiffany, who both grew up in Colorado, were riding Jet Skis Sept. 30 on Falcon Reservoir, which straddles the U.S.-Mexico border. David Hartley was gunned down by apparent pirates connected to a Mexican drug cartel. His body has not been found. This is not just a Mexican problem. It is also an American one, as Hartley’s murder and others demonstrate. Mexican drug violence is so horrific, and the authorities sometimes appear so compromised, that the situation seems almost hopeless, but some success stories have emerged. 
Tijuana several years ago was racked by drug violence on an unspeakable scale, and the city’s corrupt police force was central to the problem. Then a new police chief was installed. With the help of Mexican federal authorities, he boldly went after drug cartels and his own outlaw officers. He’s been accused of using brutal tactics, but violence in Tijuana is way down. American intelligence was vital to this success and the improvements in Tijuana could serve as a model for other parts of Mexico. The violence will continue to claim American lives unless the drug gangs are countered with a force commensurate to their threat. “The border is more secure now than ever before” is the refrain from our Administration. My answer is “So what? “Better” is irrelevant! We do not care! Unsafe and Unsecured is Unacceptable!”

Live Long and Prosper....

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