how zero tolerance regarding the law and a nation’s lack of humanity is somehow “Amerikan” – whatever that hell that would ever mean.

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Jim Martin is with Jared S Polis and Phil Weiser.July 2 at 7:13 PM
This is a memorial to the truth that real facts matter:
Over a third of Americans now don’t believe in the Holocaust of the Jews, but on 2 July 1942, 82 children from Lidice — a small village in Czechoslovakia — were transferred to the Łódź Gestapo office. Those 82 boys and girls were then transported to an extermination camp at Chełmno 34 miles away. They were gassed shortly after their arrival. This remarkable sculpture by Marie Uchytilová commemorates them. What you ignore you empower. 
Never Again.

There’s a comparative here. I would ask the President, the administration, ICE, childish Fox News Pundits and those who offer nothing but foolish rationalizations about how zero tolerance regarding the law and a nation’s lack of humanity is somehow “Amerikan” – whatever that hell that would ever mean.
Thank you to Jim Martin, Jared S. Polis and Phil Weiser for these images.

Hmmm … more comparative from Business Insider journal

Immigrant children detained in Virginia facility say they were beaten while handcuffed and left nude in concrete cells

Now I KNOW that this has got to be fake news!!! I mean if there was Honest Abe what about Honest Donald?

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Poll: 13 percent of Americans consider Trump honest and trustworthy

I mean … come on … there ought to be a law against polls or somethin … I mean even in the mid-terms if 87% of the country consider the man a snake-oil shyster supported by snake-oil makers in Congress … he better put on his MAGA track shoes and think about running scared.

Gosh, the cowardly silence is deafening.

Public embarrassment in Montana. Tell me again, what part of our President’s character and behavior makes America great again in the eyes of its citizens and the globe? ….. Gosh, the cowardly silence is deafening.

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Yep … and I see where some senators of the make-America-great-again party went over there and set them dang Rooskies straight.

Any constituency that supports an administration which separates children from their parents – in effect damages families – is an evil constituency. 

Families are forever.
My own Mormon culture taught me that long ago. It’s a beautiful concept that applies to everybody everywhere regardless of who they are or where they come from.

Are we going to let partisan political pretend-patriotism speed us further on our way to global villainy?


We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men … We proclaim ourselves, as indeed we are, the defenders of freedom, wherever it continues to exist in the world, but we cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home. – Edward R. Murrow

It becomes impossible to remain silent.

There comes a time when those observers before whom the President performs – as if they were the actual majority of the electorate in this country – need to be called to account. They, not liberals and progressives, are those who have sway over what is falsely inflicted on the innocent in the name of American values. They and their constituencies seem to believe that Americans should approve of cruelty in the name of law.

We are NOT citizens of a nation founded by Konservative Intellectuals whose  generational grandchildren prance and posture on our national stage nowadays.

To  wit …

They were on wrong side of the American Revolution.

Approximately one third of the colonial population supported the English King George the Third. These Konservatives wanted no disruption. Afraid or trying to hang on to what they felt England had granted them, they did not want national independence. These Kindergarten Konservatives were not our original patriots.

Original American Konservatives supported protection of slavery in our Constitutional Convention. They wanted to count slaves in determining which states would be “slave states” but did not desire that they be citizens with voting rights.  These Kindergarten Konservatives in no way acted as Founding Fathers, rather as enforcers of their own power and influence at the expense of all others.

Our original Konservatives opposed tariffs to protect American manufacturing. In their Kindergarten-ness they were not able to understand any need to develop our own industrial base. They wanted no changes to a system based on cheap slave labor. They were not industrialists, but cash croppers – planters whose profits required no economic equality.

Our historical Kindergarten Konservatives supported “nullification”, which said that states didn’t have to enforce federal laws they didn’t like.

Our original Kindergarten Konservatives supported repeal of the Missouri Compromise so as to allow slavery in other states where votes and political clout was more vital than common good.

The ancestors of today’s Kindergarten Konservatives opposed the transcontinental  railroad, primarily because railroads carried people who might want to work on their own land and who wouldn’t want or need slaves in the western territories because it might encourage small farmers who owned no slaves in future non-slave states.

Which is why the Grandpas and Grandmas of today’s Kindergarten Konservatives were against the Homestead Act. They didn’t want more land-owners turning the American West into a collection of non-slave states.

Those old Kindergarten Konservatives opposed freedom of speech for Southern opponents of slavery. Perish the thought that southern adults and children might hear something other than the Konservative gospel.

And so Kindergarten Konservatives full of pretend patriotism and self-promoting civic piety disagreed with our sacred declaration that “all men are created equal.”  Their Kindergarten civic ideology was that “the black man has no rights the white man is bound to respect.” (Dred Scott v. Sandford), quite possibly the most foolish Kindergarten Konservative legal decision in our national history.

which led to a  Kindergarten Konservative support of destruction of the union rather than allow any restriction of slavery.

Konservatives were opposed the earliest civil rights legislation to enforce the 14th and 15th amendments. They obstructed, intimidated and harassed newly freed slaves who attempted to exercise their Federal civil rights, including the right to vote … and considered themselves god-fearing, civic-minded moral patriots.

Konservatives were against preserving the union. Back then they wanted secession and they got it.

Konservatives were also aggressively and brutally opposed to industrial workers forming unions. Sound familiar?

The ancestors of today’s Kindergarten Konservatives supported the acquisition of foreign colonies

… armed suppression of Filipino independence.

… opposed anti-trust legislation.

… opposed child labor laws.

… opposed universal free public education.

… opposed literacy for African-American citizens, in particular.

…  supported the legal theory of “separate but equal”, a sham that led to the  establishment of “Jim Crow” in the south.

… opposed state laws guaranteeing minimum wages and restricting working hours for  industrial workers.

… opposed the right to vote for women.

These are the real Moochers among us

These are the Kindergarten worshipers of that false American Exceptionalism that has cause more global and national grief than any noble achievement in the past 60 years.

These are the believers that uncompromising anger is civic wisdom, that blind and unblinking opposition is always better than compromise.

Look where it got them.
Look where it got us.


Note: When you look stuff up in the technological age, the sources you find are almost numberless. I have been looking stuff up for years and trying to share what I learn. In the case of this article, my principle inspiration and source is Joe Lyles, who authored, among other things, The Conceptual Guerilla articles a few years ago.


What would be cool would be if in any given NFL stadium on any given Sunday to see

What would be cool would be if in any given NFL stadium on any given Sunday to see more than half the fans in the stands take a knee during the national anthem as an expression of love of country and what the country ought to stand for.

BuzzFeed News : The NFL is forcing players to “stand and show respect for the flag” during the national anthem. As it turns out, “disrespecting” the flag is probably more common than you think.

Where is the disrespect?

Veteran’s Day Ponderings

US Air Force Veteran Patched Mesh Cap - Black OSFM


We’ve been out and about all day today beginning with a Veteran-discounted steak dinner at Black Angus in Spokane Valley.

I bought a new cap a couple of weeks ago because I thought it was about time I publicly acknowledged part of who I am. It is the current cap I wear, replacing the long-time Alaska Air Lines cap my daughter gifted me a few years back.

What has been interesting is the reactions to that cap as I tend to forget what the cap says … until someone walks up to me and thanks me for my service.

You see, I tend to be very self-conscious about that expression of gratitude to me given the numbers of wars that followed the Vietnam Era during which most men and women my age served. Thanking soldiers for their service beginning with the Gulf War and extending to the conflicts of today, seems to have become something Americans do not hesitate to express. I also tend to think that collectively there is an American conscience and regret about the way Vietnam Veterans were treated when they returned to the United States.

That conscience and regret is part and parcel of the more evident respect for those who give military service.

In recent years, I seemed to have let the tragedy of a soldier’s current sacrifice and in the  recent past override the tragedy of a soldier’s sacrifice during the years of  service of my generation; not to mention the sacrifices in the terrible times of war that preceded my own life.

For me there’s an uneasy feeling that those of us who survived thankfully were not asked to make the ultimate sacrifice. For me there’s an uneasy sense of not being worthy of the thanks … and I know that such a feeling is almost silly in its narcissism.

I think of those who did make the ultimate sacrifice every time someone thanks me for my service. I also think of those whose lives have been permanently scarred through injury connected to serving in war time – physical, psychological and emotional. So I get self-conscious.

Life circumstances have left me with not truly knowing how my own children and grandchildren might perceive me as a Veteran who served. I often wonder how I might talk about how I felt during those years living closer to harm’s way than I did before or since.

I do know that something is kindled every time I am thanked for my service. At the VA hospital during my annual physical check up my doctor formally but with tenderness thanks me for my service.

As a Veteran, I salute my brothers and sisters with whom there exists a sense of belonging and camaraderie that never fails to surprise me when I am reminded by someone else that I too am a Veteran.

I re-publish the article that follows every year and for a reason that never changes.

I invite you to read it and understand why.


Arthur Dad and Mom

My parents: Cora and Arthur Ruger – a formal portrait taken during War Time.

Atop one of the bookshelves in another room in my home sits the triangularly-folded American Flag given me at the gravesite of my father back in 1993.

Dad’s death came upon us quite suddenly. We had long anticipated his passing as the years wore on – our unspoken suspicion that it would be liver failure that would get him.

We were right.

When our fears were realized things happened quickly. From the time of diagnosis to the grave site was six or seven weeks in February and March, 1993 when I drove the 800 miles to Idaho so we four adult children could meet with his Doctor. Then a drive back to Idaho a few weeks later in March for his funeral.

As the oldest son I was allowed to speak at Dad’s service in the church in the small town where I grew up – a village from which Dad rarely strayed over most of his life. The longest time away was his service in the war.

I remember standing at the podium in that funeral service and looking into faces of folks old and young whom I’d seen in that church practically every week for the first 19 years of my life.

I recall assuring all the devout and not-so-devout who had come to the service that although my Dad had not been a church-goer, was not temple-endowed (an LDS thing) nor temple-married, none of that mattered to God. There was joy in heaven when Dad showed up.

I grew up in a house Dad paid $47 a month to purchase in a town four blocks wide and four blocks long that sheltered less than 500 souls.

My earliest memories of Dad working are at the gas station he ran in the late 40’s and early 50’s. Then he became a John Deere farm-implement salesman all over the Southeastern corner of Idaho.

Dad did alright selling tractors cause lots of farmers knew him as the singer and sax player in a three-man combo that played every Friday and Saturday night for 20 years from the Wyoming line to Pocatello.

That was my Dad as I grew up knowing him.

I didn’t know what he did in the war until one night when I was playing on a kids’ Morse code toy connected by a long wire to the neighbor kid next door. Dad got a big grin, went into a closet and pulled out a large chrome or silver electronic Morse-code device that was much more than push down on a cheap plastic tab.

After plugging it in he laid his arm on the table so that the end piece fit between his thumb and first finger and began moving his wrist back and forth causing the metal key to touch connectors on each side at the other end. They emitted a beeping sound. Dih-dih-dih, dah-dah-dah and all that.

He folded up the newspaper and although he hadn’t touched the device to my knowledge since the late 40’s he proceeded immediately to “send.”

He tapped out an entire Salt Lake Tribune newspaper article at an incredible speed that sounded like it might be as fast or faster than I could have read it aloud.

That was his duty – among other things – that he did in the war while stationed on the Aleutian Islands . He sent, received and monitored radio transmissions out over the Pacific.

He didn’t talk about it.

So far as we knew he had no apparent combat scars and never had to fire a weapon in anger at anybody. There were a couple of photo albums of Dad in training in Missouri and Wisconsin followed by pages of Aleutian shots – mostly quonset-hut barracks.

But Lietta and I watched a show in the past year about how back then Japan took one of those Aleutian Islands and the Americans had to fight like hell to throw them back out.

Those were the years Dad was there but I never heard him talk about those events and to this day none of us know whether he participated in battle.

When I was growing up Dad belonged to the American Legion – which meant very little to me until the day I was called to the High School office and was told that I had been selected to go to the Idaho Boys State (a summertime mini-legislature at the State Capitol.)

My mother said it was because among boys my age eligible to go, it was my Dad’s active membership in the American Legion that gave me an edge.

No, he didn’t talk much about what he did in the war.

My younger brother and I are also Veterans who in the 1960’s enlisted within six weeks of each other. We both held Security Clearances and neither of us talked at all about what we did back then.

We were Cold Warriors, but Dad’s was Hot.

None of us talked about it casually … ever.

You served, you paid attention to your duties and kept most of it to yourself.

We learned to be just like Dad.

In his later years we all had become somewhat estranged from Dad because of his drinking and deliberate quest to be alone all the time.

My mother divorced Dad when I was in my early thirties and living in Texas.

Dad didn’t move far away from that $47-a-month house. I remember visiting him when I was in my late 30’s and he was living in an apartment 16 miles from where he had raised me.

The room was mostly dark, the curtains drawn and the television was always on. I knew he had the TV schedule for all three network channels memorized. He once told me he was ready for us to leave cause one of “his shows” was about to come on.

There was no bookshelf in his living room – just a night stand next to his lazy-boy. There were a couple of photograph albums full of pictures taken in the late 30’s, 40’s and early 50’s. There was also a thick and heavy remembrance book about World War II.

I have that book and those albums on the same bookshelf where the tri-corner Flag sits atop it on the highest shelf.

After the funeral we drove less than a mile to the town cemetery. It was cold and the wind was blowing but there was a fine group of family and friends who watched as his flag-draped casket was off-loaded from the mortuary limousine and in short order lowered into the ground.

I don’t remember who retrieved the flag from that casket but when he gave that Flag to an American Veteran’s son, the son finally cried.