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  • dannyboystories 4:39 AM on December 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    The disturbing interpretation of ‘justice’. 

    In the past few months, you have heard protesters clamber for ‘justice’. But, just what is justice?

    “jus·tice noun 1. just behavior or treatment. “a concern for justice, peace, and genuine respect for people”. Synonyms: fairness, justness, fair play, fair-mindedness, equity, even-handedness, impartiality, objectivity, neutrality, disinterestedness, honesty, righteousness, morals, morality.”

    I have served on a grand jury, so I have more than a modicum of knowledge regarding the workings of a grand jury. In fact, the grand jury on which I sat refused to return an indictment in a murder case, infuriating the local district attorney at the time. The circumstances are not at all unusual. All grand jurors are sworn to secrecy lest their individual lives be endangered. Why is that important. It’s simple, grand jurors sit for a specific calendar term and may hear many cases. Additionally, they return indictments regarding the presence of “probable cause”, not on guilt or innocence. Therein are the two principal differences between a criminal jury and the grand jury.

    In the Michael Brown case, grand jury testimony was released by the judge overseeing the grand jury. We know much more about that case, and there was an abundance of cause to not return an indictment of the officer involved. However, in the case of the New York Garner incident, we know nothing of what the grand jury heard. The video that has played multiple times on television, appears to show Mr. Garner was taken down in a “choke hold”. Still, we don’t know what was the testimony in that case.

    Mr. Brown attempted to take the officer’s pistol, struck the officer, and charged the policeman when Brown was ordered to stop. I can understand why the grand jury refused to indict the policeman in that case. Brown never raised his hands and never said “don’t shoot”. Video from a convenience store clearly demonstrates Mr. Brown was a local thug and thief. Not so in the New York case. You and I do not know what was said or testified in the grand jury room in New York.

    In the Missouri case, marchers cried out for ‘justice’. But, what justice did they seek. Clearly, sworn testimony indicates the officer was justified in firing at the charging Michael Brown. Would justice be served if an indictment were returned? Do marchers really want vigilante justice based on supposition? Justice is blind. Justice is upholding laws, not indiscriminately changing them to suit individual purposes.

    Here is what Al Sharpton’s marchers say they are marching for in a planned January 2nd demonstration:

    Immediate Demands

    • The firing of Officer Daniel Panteleo
    • Reparations to Garner family
    • Outside(Independent) review of all cases involving police brutality and murder of civilians
    • Firing of prosecutor Daniel Donavon in this and recall elections involving prosecutor
    • Independent Prosecutor (with no ties to the police department) in this and all future cases
    • Firing of Police Commissioner Bill Bratton
    • Immediate end of the Lowest level priority prosecutions (marijuana)

    Intermediate/Institutional Demand Include:

    • Community Control of Police.
    • Elimination of test Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory /Publish curriculum of training of NYPD
    • End of drug war and funding involving the militarization of the police

    (See more at: http://www.teaparty.org/fox-news-targeted-shutdown-campaign-74294/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=fox-news-targeted-shutdown-campaign#sthash.NEUok8nz.dpuf)

    Did you notice the last three demands. Do we really want the police controlled by neighborhood radicals? And, do we really want to abandon enforcement of illegal drugs? Is this really “justice”? Do we want to abandon the most widely used psychological test that may determine fitness of an officer to serve?

    “The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) was developed in the late 1930’s by psychologist Starke R. Hathaway and psychiatrist J.C. McKinley at the University of Minnesota. Today, it is the frequently used clinical testing instrument and is one of the most researched psychological tests in existence. While the MMPI is not a perfect test, but it remains a valuable tool in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness.”  (http://psychology.about.com/od/psychologicaltesting/a/mmpi.htm)

    In both of these tragic cases, Sharpton, and others, have participated in race-bating. In my view, Sharpton has single-handedly done more to roll back the gains made by the followers of Rev. Martin Luther King than any other person in recent time.

    Sure, there are a multitude of problems in the black community, but marching for the kinds of demands that will produce a lawless anarchy is not the way to achieve solutions to those problems. But, that’s just me. –D. C. ‘Dan’ Lee


  • dannyboystories 8:33 PM on December 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Think about all those moments, good and sad, that have ticked by… 

    There is no guarantee in this life just when it will end. From the very instant of our birth, each one of us is dying. It is only a matter of time. What we do with that time is critical.

    Now, after sitting on this planet for more than 76 years, I know full well the party may end at any moment. It is up to me to do the most with what I have left, however long that will be. As one comes to the end, “the days grow short, when you reach September… And, you haven’t got time, for the waiting game. The days dwindle down to a precious few…”

    Unfortunately, there are days when I can only see the bad, the drab, the dreary–rudeness, discourtesy, loss of our liberties at the hands of our very government. I have to tell you, it is heartwrenching for this Old Man. When you hear someone say, “Now, in the good old days…”, believe it. While I recognize it is only a matter of one’s perspective (and age), the “good old days” really were the good old days–simpler, more comfortable.

    Years ago it was not necessary to erect a fence around your home, install double-lock doors and windows, or keep a firearm in the house. Now, all of these are necessities. Alarm companies do a brisk business in a new subdivision. There are more of us crammed into smaller spaces of this land. Every first year psychology student knows what that means to the rats in a box becoming increasingly smaller.

    It’s the simple things that point to the degradation of our American society: Men wear their hats indoors, women dress like men, or show nearly everything they have. If chivilry isn’t dead, it’s unconscious. Men, in general, no longer have much respect for women, and fewer women deserve that respect. So many in our society do their thinking below the waist; promiscuity is rampant.

    As one grows older–at least in my case–the mind still believes I’m 35, but the body disagrees, often violently.

    Now, make no mistake, I’ve been fortunate and am grateful to God for my 76 years. It is what will follow my time that is my greatest worry. What lies ahead for my grandchildren and their children?

    A joy in my life, among many, is that a Jewish carpenter died to wash away my sins. — D C ‘Dan’ Lee


  • dannyboystories 3:41 AM on December 21, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Have our morals deteriorated such that we are nothing but cattle? 

    As I look around in my daily life observing folks going about their business, driving, shopping, and interacting with others, I wonder about our society’s moral standards–the way we treat one another, seek our pleasures. Much has changed.

    It is the simple things that we humans first allow to deteriorate: Smiling at those we do not know, allowing ourselves to present a cheery, friendly image toward others. Doing simple courtesies, kindnesses seems to attract suspicion from a growing majority. Have we all forgotten the Golden Rule? Matthew 7:12 (NIV) 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. This is commonly referred to as the “Ethics of Reciprocity”.

    Anger behind the wheel of a motor vehicle appears to be a manifestation of what has come to be a stressful, hurried, life style. One may point to the fewer fatalities on the highway as improved defensive driving habits. I doubt that is the case. On the contrary, lower highway deaths may be simply the result of improved automobile safety standards and manufacturing. Our hurried lives generates added stress, and that is transferred to actions behind the  wheel, “road rage”, sometimes with deadly consequences.

    Moral standards, in my mind, come from fundamental teachings by parents to their children beginning at a very young age. The difference between right and wrong is not easily taught, particularly by those with limited education, and perhaps by those with no religious underpinnings, in my view.

    Romans 13:8-10 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

    It seems to me sexual promiscuity has become rampant in today’s society. Cattle in the field demonstrate no love one to another in mating habits practiced entirely for the pleasure it brings, or to perpetuate the species. Erotic gratification, I believe, encouraged by profiteer advertising, has given rise to loveless relationships and unwanted child births. Far too many people do their thinking below the waist!

    “It is what comes out of a person that defiles. For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” (NRSV, Mark 7:20-23)

    Perhaps, at this Holy time of year for Christians and Jews, a larger number of people will come to the realization that degradation of morality and simple courtesies, one to another, is ruinous, and may ultimately aid in the destruction of America. — D. C. ‘Dan’ Lee


  • dannyboystories 6:36 PM on December 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Are the demonstrations really helping? 

    Consider this, first:

    co·nun·drum [kəˈnəndrəm] noun  1. a confusing and difficult problem or question. “One of the most difficult conundrums for the experts”. Synonyms: problem, difficult question, difficulty, quandary, dilemma; informalposer, “the conundrums facing policy-makers”.

    Marching in the streets to demonstrate a wholesale anger, distrust, and more, against law enforcement officers does not seem to me to be the answer to a deeper problem for the African-American community. One can statistically discount the cop vs. black deaths, as significantly more blacks are killed by blacks than by cops. Police officer shootings are simply more visible and emphasized by a media thirsty for a juicy headline. Don’t take my word for it, look up the statistics.

    “A young black man is nearly five times more likely to be killed by a gun than a young white man and 13 times more than an Asian American man. These numbers, dramatic as they are, actually understate the problem. If a black person is killed by a gun, it is judged a homicide 82 percent of the time. For the broad population, most gun deaths are ruled accidental or the result of suicide; only 34 percent of gun deaths are attributed to murder.” (Business Week, August 20, 2014, quoting from statistics provided by the Center for Disease Control)

    Tthe FBI says: “According to statistics collected by the FBI, 76 law enforcement officers were killed in line-of-duty incidents in 2013. Of these, 27 law enforcement officers died as a result of felonious acts, and 49 officers died in accidents. In addition, 49,851 officers were victims of line-of-duty assaults.” [ http://www.fbi.gov/news%5D Further, the incidents of officer death or injury due to gun violence is on the upswing.

    It seems to me, race-bating by the likes of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton has driven race relations in the United States back decades in only half-dozen months in 2014. Sharpton, in particular, is especially good at whipping up the anger in the black community. Apparently, he has single-handedly undone a mountain of advancement from the discrimination and segregation of the past.

    “Conundrum” is the precise word to describe the difficulties the black community experiences nationwide, but more particularly in concentrated big city neighborhoods. It occurs to me quality of education and lack of nearby jobs (education, jobs) top the list of real grievances by the black community. Poorly educated black men, in particular, likely have great difficulty finding meaningful work, even if it were available within easy reach. If you have no job, no money, you have little food, few avenues to break the monotony of a dreary life. Lack of quality education also breeds low information parenting, further cementing the chain reaction in the black community. If one is not brought up honoring high moral standards and values, the entire community suffers.

    Too, the Federal Government, in my view has exacerbated the situation with high density “projects” to house folks. The first year psychology student knows if you put too many living things in a small space, disaster can be the result. Looking at the facts, Democrats are far more prone to be elected to “serve” the folks in such neighborhoods by promising change that does not come. Talk is cheap. People become more dependent on public welfare to survive. In my view, many black communities have become slaves to their own governmental representatives, and trapped in the circumstances promoted by politicians. The apparent result is nothing of real consequence has occurred to solve the difficulties caused by lack of education and jobs. So, where have these politicians been all this time. Perhaps their only goal was personal wealth and power at the expense of the black community.

    I believe there is a need for a national discussion about the difficulties faced by the black community, but law enforcement tactics and behavior is only a very small part of that discussion. Marching in the streets failing to call attention to the real difficulties of the minority community may not be as productive as this country needs today. Yes, black lives DO matter. — D. C. ‘Dan’ Lee


  • dannyboystories 5:46 AM on December 16, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    What did you miss today? 

    In just 86,400 seconds from this instant it will be tomorrow at this same time. What did you miss?

    Time, it has been said, is fleeting, never to return. One cannot take it back, re-use it, or change it. Once a second is gone, it is gone forever, never to return. What did you miss?

    Did you witness your child’s first step, for once it is taken, every step thereafter is secondary. Oh,…I missed it.

    When did I last tell a loved one I loved them? Did I do it today, yesterday? Oh,…I…missed it.

    Do you remember little Susie’s first piano recital? The first is always the most thrilling, if not always imperfect. Were you there? Oh,…I…missed it.

    I see by the local newspaper the city council has a new ordinance regarding the appearance of residential properties. Well, if they come to my house they’d better have a warrant! I’ll go to their next meeting and tell them a thing or three. What’s that…they already passed it? It’s too late? I… guess… I missed it.

    Oh, and the Congress…I’ll write my representative a letter to better know my position on that important matter. It’s already passed, you say? Oh,…I…guess I missed it.

    More often than not we all miss the importance every minute of our lives brings. You have 86,400 seconds given you each and every day. Will you squander or make use of each. There is a finality to every second of every hour, of every day, of every year. It will not return. You have no second chances regarding time. Once here, it is gone forever.

    Do you take advantage of every moment in every day? Or, will you miss it! — D. C. ‘Dan’ Lee


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