Category Archives: Abuse of Power

Who is Nancy Green & Why are We Banishing Her?

Published / by Lee Kessler / 1 Comment on Who is Nancy Green & Why are We Banishing Her?

Nancy Green was born a slave in Kentucky. Once freed, she became an activist, and one of the organizers of the Olivet Baptist Church. She also was a great cook, with a great personality.

She became a model, becoming the first black woman to secure a contract to represent a company’s product and become its spokesperson. She was offered a lifetime contract for her image, and her appearances.

With the considerable money she made, and utilizing her fame and stature in Chicago, she was able to become one of the first African-American missionary workers and devoted time to anti-poverty programs to benefit black and white alike, and to work for equal rights.

And this week, the “woke children” of America decided to banish Nancy Green. It seems as if everyone has piled on. Even corporate America. Why, you ask? Because Nancy Green was Aunt Jemima.

Now you can look on this as an opportunity to be insulted by images of a mammy from the South, and justify hatred due to her image calling up dark times from the past. You can be so repulsed by her face looking at you from your kitchen table, and be so self-righteously disgusted that she represents exploitation, that you banish her forever. You could do that.

I see something different. I see a hero. She came from unfortunate beginnings, and when freed to pursue life on her terms, she turned that negative into a huge positive in her anti-poverty programs, the example she set, the success she achieved, and the legacy she left. Personally, I would want little children at my table to look at her, and for me to tell her story to them. I doubt they would see a former slave. I believe–if I told the story to the young–that they would see a woman who rose above the worst of it, who dreamed, and who succeeded, and who carried her success forward into posterity.

You see, Nancy Green was a living embodiment of Emerson’s “in every adversity lies the seed of equal or greater benefit.”

Quaker Oats, you got it right in 1890. You got it wrong in 2020.

And, I ask all of the “woke” in this country, “just what have you created? Hatred, divisiveness, and less than shallow analysis?”

When I look at Aunt Jemima, I do not see a face that reinforces my so-called “white privilege.” I see a woman who made good. I plan to buy a bottle of pancake syrup, even though the current face is not the face of the woman who inspired the brand. I will photograph it, and put it in my folder of heroes.

Wake up, America!

“Seven Hours to Dawn”

Published / by Lee Kessler / 1 Comment on “Seven Hours to Dawn”

While in lockdown over the last few months, I engaged avidly in my online business, but I entertained myself by watching reruns of “Gunsmoke.” That, my friends, is something I highly recommend to you during these perilous times.

It’s not just that the show which started airing in 1955–with no slick production values–gained its 20-year following for stellar, provocative, adult writing, and for its stunning acting by not only the series regulars, but also for a list of guest stars that reads like the Who’s Who of Great Hollywood Stars in the ensuing decades. It seems almost as if everyone who ever became a star started on Gunsmoke. If you want TV, real TV, it doesn’t get any realer than “Gunsmoke.”

It was my father’s favorite show. Though I rarely watched it, I see now why it was. And, I see my father, in his own way, was Matt Dillon. That’s what drew me to watch the series now.

But I did not expect to find what I found. The messages of nearly every show I have watched echo to this very moment in time, relevant to nearly every crisis America is facing today–including the crisis of honor, common sense, and emotional maturity.

So, if you have been tearing your hair out as anarchists created “Chaz” in a section of Seattle that they seized, listen to me now. ABC calls it a “festival.” I call it something altogether different when a police station is abandoned and 6 city blocks are cordoned off–not by police–but by the demonstrators. I call it something altogether different when they erected barricades and fences and declared themselves to be a separate, autonomous zone. Armed demonstrators who are self-proclaimed civilian law enforcement guard the entrances to those blocks, and decide who gets in and who does not. Reports of threats of violence against business owners who want to get to their already Corona-Virus, and riot-embattled businesses are surfacing. Reports of extortion, whereby a citizen or business owner has to pay money to be allowed to return to their own property, are surfacing.

I am not there. I have not checked this out in person, as I was prone to do when I was young. Today, however, the group released its “demands,” which must be met, or they will not return the Capital Hill District to Seattle.

And that is why I want you all to YouTube search, or Google Search, and find a way to watch the “Gunsmoke” episode entitled “Seven Hours to Dawn.” I mean it. You will see for yourself in a drama from long ago what it’s like when a gang suddenly arrives in town, closes off the town, shuts down law enforcement, and extorts everything from the now-helpless citizens and businesses.

The Mace Gore gang made its demands. Confident that no law enforcement could rise up against them, they created their own “festival.” But it was not a festival to the citizens of Dodge City whose town, freedom, and civil rights had been stolen.

I would encourage you to watch this. And then see that the news rooms at ABC–and any other fool places who think that this is a “festival,” just a “harmless group of people with grievances”– get to watch it too.

If you are part of the gang that is lawless, and fostering anarchy, it’s a “festival,” a fun evening out where you can tweet out for vegan food. But, for those whose rights have been taken, and who have no police protection now, I am sure it feels very different.

A TV series from 65 years ago is not only powerfully entertaining, but it holds insight for us today. “Seven Hours to Dawn–” if you care!

So, watch it, and decide if you stand with Mace Gore, or you stand with the people of Dodge City. Who knows, “Gunsmoke” might just solve most of our country’s problems, if we will learn today the lessons that show was trying to teach us in 1955.

I will eagerly await your feedback.

Justice and the “Right Target”

Published / by Lee Kessler / 1 Comment on Justice and the “Right Target”

We, as a people, are inherently good and just. Yet injustice has been the lot of man for all time. The more advanced all of us become, however, the more acutely aware we become of injustice, and we seek to make it right somehow.

So, why then, is America on fire over the death of George Floyd? There are platitudes and clichés enough for a lifetime out there. What I want to address is how do we go forward from blind mistrust, and even blind hatred into a future that can be better?

When an injustice occurs, such as the one in this case, but in all cases actually–and when the injustice is so obvious and loathsome as to turn everyone’s stomach–Americans exercise their 1st Amendment right to peaceably assemble, and we march in protest The operative phrase there is “peaceably assemble.” Not riot, burn, beat, and terrorize.

The Constitution is a simple and beautiful document. It allows for us to recognize a wrong, and come in great numbers to draw attention to the issue. But, for justice to occur, one has to insist on hitting the right target–not just any target that one bears a grudge against for whatever reason.

It appears that between 1 and 5 officers were responsible for the death of this man. It was a needless death, and a shameful one. Someone should be punished. Who? Though we might want to ball all injustice up into one tidy package and right everything at once, that is not life, my friends. You, as good people, address each situation as you meet it–insisting on justice for the harmed in that situation, and against the transgressor in that situation. It is the foundation of the Rule of Law.

Slow, as it might be, it is the only fair thing to do. Find the right target, and hit it with the right force, to change the behavior of that target. Then, if need be, move to another target.

What the anarchist does, however, is to prey upon emotion, fear, and past injustices to incite one to do things they otherwise would not do–to commit crimes themselves. And, in every case, they usually miss the right target in their rage to hit any target. They, in fact, create a worse crime because instead of attacking one innocent person as happened with Floyd, they attack thousands of innocent people.

Throughout this country, as I write this, innocent business owners serving the very neighborhoods that are on fire, have lost their businesses, their faith, their safety, and some, their lives. Certainly they are examples of hitting the “wrong target.” Why? To avenge the death of one man?

No, if you want justice for George Floyd, see to it that peaceful protests occur until the right charges are brought against the right man or men, and that an honest trial occurs. Whatever punishment may ensue then follows the rule of law.

Antifa, however, is an anarchist group. They do not have politics like you my Democrat friends and my Republican friends. That is a delusion. I met this group under a different name 50 years ago. Frankly, they could care less. Their game is hatred and destruction, and they take joy in getting you to hate along with them in the name of “justice.” Mass wrongs to avenge one wrong–in the name of all wrongs from all of our past history. That, my friends, is insanity, and criminality at a very high level.

It removes you automatically from present time rationality and use of your Constitution legally, and deposits you in the cesspool of mob irrationality and criminality.

We all despise lynch mobs. We also all despise men cloaked in white or black sheets, or masks, to hide their identity, and malevolence.

The anarchist wants you hating your neighbor, even though you had no quarrel before. The anarchist wants you to resort mindlessly to bats, rocks, torches, knives, guns, and bombs for one purpose–that you in your mindless fear will bring about fear in others. And, the society deteriorates into chaos.

Anarchy ends in totalitarianism. I wrote to you about this two years ago. (See The Rule of Law blog) The remedy you ask? Not just to anarchistic and other domestic terror groups, but to Injustice itself? Know your Constitution, and insist legally that justice–even though blind–can “see” well enough to hit the right target. Beautifully, once the right individual or group has been identified and handled, not with a torch or hanging rope, but by the rule of law, a calm comes over us. Even though there may be more work to do and more injustice to fight, hatred is dying and its toxicity is washing away from us–one “just” action at a time.

The injustice was created in a society one unjust action at a time, and the route out is to reverse it, one just action at a time, from here forward.

The anarchist is gambling that you will not have the wit, the strength, the patience, or the character to stay the course. The anarchist is gambling that they can inflame you into mass destruction and the setback of all. They wait for a true injustice to occur, and then attach to it and move to overwhelm your logic with generalities that the one bad actor represents all of his kind.

It can be about race. It can be about religion. It can be about anything. Look around the world, and you will see ample evidence of “injustice.” The question is, are we hitting the “right target” or just “any target”?

And, once they have you dripping with blood–innocent blood–that is so repulsive, the “totalitarian” steps in to control us all. Slow down, friends. See that the police in this case who caused the death of this man receive the justice they deserve.

And then, move on to the next true injustice and hit the right target there. Eventually behavior changes, and honest men and women everywhere have rights.

Words that Haunt

Published / by Lee Kessler / Leave a Comment

Sir John Dalberg-Acton was a 19th Century English-Catholic historian. He is perhaps best known for the remark, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely…”

That is one of the greatest arguments for limited government, and governmental powers. Throughout time, Dalberg-Acton’s observations have proven true. No matter how well-intentioned men may be when they seek power, and especially political power, when that power has been given to them, it corrupts them in some way.

There must be something so insidiously delicious and seductive about power that men and women will forfeit honor and integrity once power has been vested in them. They will deny all manner of previous viewpoints they held and statements they have made. And, in the last four years, I have watched the DC Swamp jump through hoops to try to justify their apparent forfeiture of the beliefs that got them elected or appointed.

Therein lies the greatest danger to our Republic. The power in this country–by design, and after great sacrifice–was vested in the people of the United States. We are the source of power, and those who serve us are intended to answer to us.

At times we the people have vested greater power in the hands of Washington politicians and civil servants because of some catastrophe globally where we felt we needed to give them more authority, and to do it quickly.

That, in and of itself, is not an issue. Certainly, we would likely agree that after Pearl Harbor, the powers given to Congress and the President etc. were a necessary evil. 9/11 is another case where we empowered our President to wage war. That attack and threat was apparent to all of us.

What we did not really think through, however, was the fact we also gave our government the power to set up secret courts in order to obtain warrants to electronically spy on our countrymen. If each of those warrants had been properly sought, and no one’s rights had been violated, we the people would not be in turmoil over the last four years about what is now emerging factually as an abuse of power by the outgoing administration against the incoming administration.

Cover-ups and abuses abound. People will yell, they will shrilly deny, they will justify in the coming weeks in the Senate Hearings, and in the actions forthcoming related to the Durham criminal investigation. That’s natural. After all, we gave some very brazen and arrogant men and women power over us. They corrupted it, became corrupt–and now refuse to give the power back. The nectar of power and control over their fellow countrymen seems to have addicted them.

Sadly, something far more ominous is hanging over us relevant to Dalberg-Acton’s observation. During this pandemic, we–in order to save ourselves and others–gave almost complete authority to our state and federal governments. We felt we needed them to take control, and order us into actions that would be good for all. Hopefully history will record that our cessation of almost all of our First Amendment rights was warranted–that we did the right thing. We harmed the many to save the few.

What history will not record kindly is if our governments never give that power back. Even when the crisis abates, or disappears altogether, we are discovering that some state leaders and federal leaders are loath to relinquish the control they have over our entire future and security. Frankly, we are going to have to pry that power out of their tightly clenched fists. (Electorally)

You may be in a quandary about how this beneficent leader of your city or your state could turn into a dictatorial tyrant, hell-bent on forcing you to bend to their agenda and will–even if it destroys your life and livelihood. You may agree with them. I am aware of that.

Regrettably though, someone like me is going to eventually have to come to rescue you and our countrymen from the clutches of the new tyrant. You thought Covid-19 was a menace?! You thought it threatened your life?! It did.

But, my friends, we all had better wake up. Because in order to handle that biological menace, we created a new one: politicians with more power than they have EVER had over you. I am by nature an eternal optimist. In this matter though, I know history, and I know men. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Put every single one of those 5 freedoms I wrote about a few weeks ago back in place, before you no longer can. Ask the people of Venezuela if they expected what they got when Chavez died and the new elected fool took office. Ask the people of Hong Kong if they expected what happened to them yesterday.

The power rests with “we the people” and spread out through our whole society no one man or group can gain the monopoly on it. Hard to corrupt 350 million Americans of diverse background, races, ethnicities, education, careers, religions etc.

An unwieldy bunch, we Americans. Perhaps that is key as to why this nation has prospered for so long, and helped so many other nations to prosper.

Pry their little fingers loose–one control at a time, one day at a time, one week at a time until your freedoms are fully restored. You can do it. I may not have faith in bureaucrats, but I have always had faith in the American people.

The Judge who Skipped Civics Class

Published / by Lee Kessler / 2 Comments on The Judge who Skipped Civics Class

If you have been scratching your head–no matter your politics, and assuming that not every decision you make is based upon personal bias–you may still be aghast at Judge Emmett Sullivan’s refusal to grant the prosecution’s motion to drop the case against Gen. Michael Flynn.

The motion was unopposed, since his defense also had a motion to withdraw his guilty plea. That motion too was obviously unopposed since the prosecutors wanted to drop the whole case. You don’t plead to a charge that doesn’t exist.

But, instead, Judge Sullivan appears to have decided to “leap across the bench” and become a prosecutor himself. He intends to see if there are charges he can file against Flynn, and is bringing prosecutors in from a time gone by, and a retired judge to show him how to still prosecute the man for something.

For all Americans, we have a right to a fair and impartial trial, whether criminal or civil. Under the Constitution, there are three branches of government–separate but equal. And there is a separation of powers between the branches. Each is to wear their own “hat” if you will. They are to do what their branch of government has jurisdiction over, and not breach that separation of the branches of government.

Prosecutors (of all titles) are in the Executive Branch, and are part of the Justice Department. (state and federal) Judges are part of the Judicial Branch, and their purview is to mediate, and make rulings that insure a fair and impartial trial. That presupposes there is an actual case at hand, and not one that has been withdrawn.

It is so fundamentally unfair, you almost can’t get your wits around it. A man is sentenced for a crime he is not charged with. That sounds like an old “Gunsmoke” plot, a story from the Wild West. Certainly it does not represent Rule of Law and Due Process.

Not only does Sullivan appear to have skipped his Civics Class when he was young, where he would have learned about the separation of powers and the role of the three branches, but it appears he also skipped his Constitutional Law Class. That, I believe, is the first class in first year law school.

Either way, Due Process is granted to all of us, under the Constitution, as it is written. If any of you even consider right now inserting “politics” into this, and attempt to avert your eyes because you hold opinions about the defendant, the prosecutors, the Justice Department or anyone else, I want you to stop. If our Judicial Branch turns into a prosecutorial arm, God helps us all.

Take a deep breath, and know that I am grateful you would never be sitting on a jury deciding my fate. The issue would be guilt or innocence on the charges, based on the facts at hand. It would not be on whether or not you like me, my husband, my boss, or my voting habits.

The issues are only: Was there a crime? Did I commit it? Beyond a reasonable doubt? If so, what should my penalty be? And if I were charged with something–and later evidence showed that not only did I not do it, but that in fact no crime occurred, but prosecutorial misconduct may have occurred–and the prosecutors drop the case to avoid turning into “persecutors,” I would expect you to grant their request, no matter your fermenting biases.

I was just funnin’ with you a few paragraphs back. I don’t think Judge Emmett Sullivan did skip his Civics Class. I don’t think he skipped his Constitutional Law class. I think he knows exactly what he is doing. And that, my friends, should scare the living daylights out of you.

Every single American should protest this outrageous behavior. And know that the next time you are in trouble, or on trial, and the Judge gets mad at you and says to the Prosecutors, “do you want to also charge this person with Treason?” and no one does anything about it, I won’t be there to defend you.

Not true. Funning with you again. I WOULD BE THERE TO DEFEND YOU, because I believe in civil liberties and I do not believe they extend only to members of one political party, or one race, or one religion.

I owe a dream debt–as I have written about before–to my ancestor who fought with George Washington, to make it possible for this nation to be free, and for our Constitution to be written and followed. I might not believe in you; I might not even like you. But I believe in the Rule of Law. Without it, we sink back into the age of the Spanish Inquisition.