By now, the brainwashed partisans are criticizing and carping—blaming someone for the policies that led to his death, or shirking the responsibility for his death by saying it was a matter for the military in that state. In other words, no responsibility for anything, just carping and criticizing, and point scoring. And the incessant and desperate determination of partisans to make themselves right, and everyone else wrong.
Lost in all the vitriolic swamp is the simple fact that Bishop Evans, when he jumped into the river to save two struggling illegal immigrants from drowning, represented the true America. I don’t know the man. I know nothing of his religion, his personal beliefs, or his opinions about absent borders and lawlessness. I do not even know his race..
Bishop Evans lost his life in that river. The two he was trying to save survived. As it turns out, both are suspected drug smugglers, and are now in Federal custody I believe. So, this young man lost his life trying to rescue two already-criminals who were crossing illegally, and who turned out to potentially be drug smugglers and likely part of the crisis that cost 100,000 Americans their lives last year.
Here is what I do know about Bishop Evans, however. In the moment he chose to dive in, I doubt he was reprimanding them in his mind for being illegals. I doubt he was considering whether or not they were Al Qaeda, or drug traffickers, or human traffickers. I doubt he was concerned about their race, their nationality, or their political opinions. I doubt if he even thought of his own mortality.
In that moment, they were two people who needed help. That is all. They needed help. And he chose to take full responsibility. He died in the process. But, in that single act, he showed us once again our own humanity. He showed us what America truly is, and what it has produced.
Shut out all the “noise” and simply know that he was a human being helping other human beings. That is what America—however flawed you may think it is—has always been, is still, and, if we are willing, will always be.
Bishop Evans represented humanity that day. And, in so doing, represented America.
In 1989, before the fall of the Soviet Union, my late husband surprised me with an all-day, spa-day at the famous Aida Thibiant Med Spa in Beverly Hills.
Having spent so many years of my life in front of a camera in television work, I was not particularly interested in the hair and make-up, manicures and pedicures. But, there was a one-hour facial booked with their esthetician which I looked forward to. The room was private and quiet and a lovely woman in her 30’s was my technician.
Most at that salon did not speak English–they clearly spoke Russian–and it was my guess that somehow Russians were leaving the Soviet Union, and finding their way as refugees perhaps to the United States. But, this woman spoke English quite well, albeit with an accent that forced me to really listen in order to understand.
I don’t believe personally that you should have conversations with people unless you are interested enough to listen and understand them. To me, to do otherwise is disrespectful. Since we had time together, we began to talk.
At first it was obvious that most of the wealthy clients who patronize that salon apparently did not engage in talking with the people who were providing services to them. But, I was neither wealthy, nor elitist, and I decided to talk with her. She warmed up to that, and began to tell me some of her story. We later became friends, and I got to know her family well.
But, that day, she shared a story that I believe is very relevant to ideologies being promoted today. Ism’s like Marxism, Communism, Socialism sound fascinating when one is in the safety of their college classroom, or sitting in a Starbucks waxing poetic. However, Socialism has always had consequences. In the end, it turns into the equal sharing of poverty.
Here is the tender story she shared unabashedly. Her husband had gotten out first, made his way to the United States, and gotten settled in a Russian-filled area of Woodland Hills. He was a mechanic, and was able to get a job with one of his former countrymen. The point is, he had begun.
A while later, he was able successfully to bring his wife and son to America. Keep in mind he had been here long enough to get acclimated to the American way of life, and to an abundance that we take for granted.
When they were joyfully reunited, he began to introduce her to the neighborhood, and made the first stop the local Ralph’s grocery store. We all have some local grocery store chain. It is just a part of the American way of life.
As they entered the store, he secured a cart and headed to the produce section which was straight in front of them. She stopped, frozen, afraid to proceed. When he inquired into her reluctance to go and pick up fruits and vegetables for their dinners, she could not speak.
Almost pushing her closer to a table that was stacked top to bottom with bananas, oranges and apples, she refused to even touch the fruit–let alone take any. She blurted out, “Someone has made a mistake and left all of this fruit out. We must not touch it or we will be arrested.”
Remember, he had been here long enough to have forgotten some of the day-to-day deprivations of life in Moscow. Suddenly he realized what was wrong, and he assured her the fruit was there to be purchased–in whatever quantity she desired. She began to weep, as she gingerly touched the fine fruit.
For, in her life, under the communist regime and the socialist economic system, deprivation was the norm. The citizens of Moscow were obliged to stand in lines blocks long for hours every day, just for the privilege of buying even one banana or orange. All quantities were rationed by the State. And the State did not care if it took half a day just to get into enough lines to acquire sufficient food to feed your family that night.
Her husband was kind. He let her cry, then explained again that this was life in America. There was an abundance of food, a variety of selection, and that although Americans complained about the long lines at the check out counter, her wait would in fact be short. Finally, she understood that everything she saw displayed was available for her. When it got depleted, men and women with carts would come and refill the tables.
She roamed the store that day in wonder at the “fruit on the tree” of the Free Enterprise system. She touched and withdrew. Touched and withdrew. Until she realized something that she had never realized in her 30 plus years in the Soviet Union–she could HAVE.
Her whole life had been lived through scarcity, but here, she could HAVE the American Dream she had heard about. One fruit table in an ordinary food chain had proven to her that what she had heard about on the radio, and had read about surreptitiously, was real.
And so, she found a way to earn a living, and to begin to create a nice life for herself in the United States. She knew she would have to work, and work hard. But, here, at least, she could accomplish and rise according to her own efforts. And, she could eat!
I have never forgotten her. For the simple reality is that the inevitable outcome of those “ism’s” is poverty and deprivation, no matter how hard one works. There are no guarantees here. Our constitutionally protected rights can portend great things however: the right to life, liberty, and the PURSUIT of happiness.
Many of my countrymen today would be wise I think to give some thought to this before they, out of ignorance, throw away the freedom to enterprise. Don’t be bamboozled, my friends. Anyone peddling socialism is conning you, and they will turn on you once you have surrendered power to them. It has always been so.
The alarming rise in suicide/homicide mass murders is something I will discuss in depth in a later Blog. Meanwhile, if you read “White King Rising” you will get a glimpse of the real and underlying cause.
This should concern us all, so I am in no way diminishing the hurt and the pain of last week, as more innocent lives were senselessly taken.
Today, as the Media hysteria, and Political hysteria swirls–threatening to engulf all reason, I want to point out that there was another mass killing last week. This one, however, got no real coverage. No one wanted to rally around it. No one seemed to care–or even ask–about the victims and their grieving families.
On Aug. 8 in Orange, Ca. and I believe in Santa Ana, Ca. a single killer took knives and I believe a machete and randomly targeted and killed 4 people, and injured another 2 before he was taken down. He too survived, so I am sure they can learn something from him. He did not use a gun, yet he was equally deadly. He was Latino according to the flash of a news snippet I saw, and his victims were all Latino. Although he was a member of a gang, this was apparently not a gang thing. These appear to be random victims.
Why was this senseless act of violence not brought front and center as an example of the third killing in less than a week? You know the answer. It did not fit any talking points of any Media, or any politician. Apparently lives only matter when they suit a certain narrative.
And, it is that negligence and disinterest, which I call journalistic mal-practice, that has allowed the real underlying cause of these killings–whether by gun, knife, truck, Anthrax or bomb–to go undiscovered and unhandled. One thing you can be sure of: It is all about the money.
After 9/11, I believe most aware Americans realized that the world as we knew it had ended. We would have to choose the new world we would live in.
(The word “crisis” in Chinese translates, I believe, as “opportunity riding a dangerous wind.” That’s a good way to look at the peril we faced then, and the peril we face now.)
For a brief time our country came together. No matter our skin color, religion, age, gender, nationality–we were all AMERICANS. And WE had been egregiously attacked.
But, by 2004, I observed that we were being divided and had become angry with one another. The creation of hostility from brother to brother, and friend to friend did not begin with Trump. It began long before. This disturbed me, and I began to look. What I saw changed the direction of my life, and it may change yours. I concluded our division was a result of a military strategy, “divide and conquer.” AND that it was being done from within–meaning what the military would call a 5th Column inside the United States whose goal was sabotage, and to break the solidarity of the American people.
Oddly enough, I have an interesting and unique background: I have been a student of the mind and human behavior for 3 decades; I own a marketing company; and I am a TV actress who has had the opportunity to play real people on numerous occasions.
This caused me to hypothesize that the attack against us would be psychological and covert. Asking myself WHO would likely do that, the New Yorker Magazine provided a clue. I remembered it had an article during the Clinton Administration naming the two most dangerous men on the planet according to the Mossad. They had tried to warn us that these men would kill a lot of people, and that they were smarter than the Mossad–always seeming to be out in front of them. I took that as a challenge, and decided to see what I could “see.”
Surprisingly, the names were Ayman Al-Zawahiri and Mohammed Atef. NOTE: not Bin Laden. At the moment I spotted that out-point, I was on a divergent path from the Media, our Government, and possibly even Intelligence/Counterintelligence.
Looking up Ayman Al-Zawahiri on the FBI site, I observed something that was missing. How? It’s a talent I have developed. When you are logical, some things that are missing just jump off the page. I made a separate note to myself and under a “Strategy” column I was keeping I jotted down “Hide in Plain Sight.”
He and Bin Laden carried the same $25 Million bounty, yet all eyes were on Bin Laden. Despite the fact that Zawahiri is considered the Mastermind of Al Qaeda, all attention was directed toward Bin Laden. I hate to break the news to our Media and Government, but the “Mastermind” is the one creating the goals and strategies. Yet, we were chasing Bin Laden.
So, I chased Zawahiri. A simple Google search revealed something very interesting to me. He is an Egyptian doctor, who formed his own terror cell at age 15, and he was implicated in the assassination of Egypt’s President Anwar Sadat. Never convicted, he became the head of the famed Egyptian Islamic Jihad. He became a medical doctor. And one side of his family has a long background in pharmacology.
So, first paradigm: We think all young, small boys are good. It is an American paradigm that children are good, and our media panders, and becomes offended if someone challenges the idea that not all young men crossing our border are good young boys simply coming for a better life. My theory is that this small, young man was in fact a “bad seed.” And that he had sent others. (More on that later.) A little bit of extra research yielded the fact that he himself crossed into our country and was fund-raising in California. Why?
Two or three days ago the Speaker of the House was pressed by a journalist about those who had lost loved ones to crimes committed by people who had come here illegally. She responded, (and this is very nearly an exact quote) “The Plural of Anecdote is not Data.” And with that short sentence she not only misstated a fact, she dismissed thousands of true, painful stories of her countrymen.
Now before you get your underwear in a twist, this is not a Blog about Ms. Pelosi. Like Hillary Clinton’s “deplorable” comment, which I believe cost her the election, Nancy Pelosi will have to live with the consequences of that one simple statement. That is between her and the people of the United States.
But it caused me to examine it, since it seemed preposterous to me. Sometimes we all spout off about something, without stopping to really make sure we understand the words that make up the idea we are espousing. And, if we don’t understand a word properly, we can make a HUGE mistake in calculation or evaluation. So, I was inspired to look up a few words here.
Using my trusty American Heritage Dictionary, let’s examine the dismissive comment: “The Plural of Anecdote is not Data.”
The definition of anecdote is: a short account of an interesting or humorous incident. The Speaker was in trouble right there, as I doubt any of us would consider the death by murder of a family member, and the description of the event, to be humorous. But, all of us make mistakes. I am reminding myself right now to remember that, the next time I might be tempted to hurl out the word bigot, racist, xenophobe, sexist, misogynist, etc. So, let’s press on. The second definition is: hitherto undiscovered particulars of history or biography.
Let’s just say an anecdote is an account of an incident. It is a story.
So, what is a datum. According to the dictionary, it is: a fact or proposition used to draw a conclusion or make a decision. That certainly sounds like something we would always want to have as we are drawing conclusions–a factual datum, or its plural, data. The dictionary further defines data as: factual information, especially information used for analysis.
So, what is a fact? The dictionary defines it as: a real occurrence or event, something having real demonstrable existence.
Putting it all together now: Data are real occurrences or events that are analyzed and used for reaching conclusions, and making decisions. The real occurrences are the “anecdotes” or stories. They are actual, and the truth of the story allows one to reach a conclusion.
Statistically, we eventually take multiple stories of the same type and distil them into a numerical measurement. The story and the people in the story now are reduced to a number, and we look at the number to make our decision. 70,000 drug overdose deaths per year in the US is a datum. 300 per week dying in the US of heroin overdoes is a datum. Whatever the quantity is of rapes committed in this country or on route to this country are datums. Whatever the number is of Al Qaeda terrorists who make their way from Brazil up a corridor and into the US is a datum.
We can look at these numbers and hear talking heads evaluating and arguing about the significance and relevance of the data, arguing about the solutions, or even if there is a need for a solution. But, one inescapable fact remains: The numbers were derived from actual human stories, and the humanity was removed because to tell 70,000 stories would be too bulky and take too much time. So, instead we distil it. We can look at it. But, if we are not careful, we can also “dodge” it. Someone lived that death. You know exactly what I am talking about if you are one of the ones who has lived that story.
Take for example the “plural anecdotes” which were not considered “data” worthy of evaluation this past week. Take the 300 deaths per week of our countrymen to heroin overdoses that they were stupid enough to take. Stupidity is one thing, but I think we all agree that death is a pretty severe penalty for it. I personally have an “anecdote” for the Speaker about a young friend of mine who died a little over a year ago. His mother is a close friend, and I know the devastation and loss that the family experienced. But, I also lost a young friend whom I liked very much and enjoyed talking with about the world. I think of him often. This is true. It is actual. It was a real event, and he is now in the statistical data which was derived from the other stories like his. His anecdote is now in a category with others who died the same way.
The Speaker was wrong. The plural of anecdote IS data. She can be forgiven her poor choice of the word anecdote. Let’s see if she and others, and we ourselves, will be willing to look at the data–which is factual–and render a conclusion and decision that honors and respects those who have suffered through their own “anecdote.” If we lose sight of the fact that the numbers we read represent actual countrymen and their stories, then we do not deserve to be forgiven.
I tried to call the Speaker, but she is not taking calls. I believe she is in Puerto Rico–“strategizing.” I tried to call my newly elected representative in California. She is not taking calls either. I tried to call Senator Kamala Harris, and the same is true for her. I will try again. Or, perhaps one of you will forward this to your representatives, and maybe they can reach one of these folks. Or perhaps your favorite journalist you follow on Twitter…