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.

A Tribute to Barry Farber

Published / by Lee Kessler / Leave a Comment

Barry Farber died this week, one day after his 90th birthday. His daughter’s tweet says he was live on the air the day before he passed, and that he viewed death as a place he hadn’t gone to yet, like Finland or Estonia.

Many things will be said about this brilliant man by men and women who knew him better than I. Even the New York Times will acknowledge the life and work of one of the earliest pioneers of talk radio. Much will be made of a man who broadcasted live almost every day for 60 years, taking time out only to run for Mayor of New York City for example.

Or they will praise the obvious genius of a man who spoke over 20 languages, who wrote books, and advised the mighty–in business, politics, and broadcast journalism.

His close friends and family will have the most intimate and touching stories to tell to memorialize him. As for me, I have my own personal perspective.

In 1986, I was introduced to Barry Farber over lunch by one of the investors in a show I had brought into New York about the legendary diarist Anais Nin. And without any hesitation whatsoever he tried to help a young actress/writer on her journey and promote her.

He encouraged me to sit in with him on his show at ABC studios, and encouraged me to weigh in on his famous nightly talk show. He, I, and his co-host at the time would then walk late at night to an ice cream place they loved. And they talked about the world. I listened.

Through the years, I would see Barry perhaps once every few years, talk to him briefly on the phone in between, occasionally email to fill him in on my latest novel. Always, he was an encourager.

Yes, Barry Farber was brilliant, articulate, a precision-thinker with uncanny wit. But, he was also a gentleman. No matter the argument, there was a grace about him on his show, and in person. There was a profound respect for his fellow man.

He personally guided me into an understanding of Israel, the Israeli people, and that remarkable country–whose leaders he knew very well, for a very long time. I gained a world-view and appreciation from my exposure to him, both in person and on the air.

I learned to extend my hand out to others, to help them accomplish their goals. He unselfishly helped me, when he did not even know me, and I learned to help others in like kind.

Mostly, since I admired him, and his grace under fire, I gained the ability in my writing to face some of the toughest issues and people in the world today. If you know me, or my work at all, you have an inkling.

So, how do I say thank you to someone I barely knew? To someone who touched my life by chance a long time ago, but whose influence was profound and enduring?

As I said in the previous Blog, you live, ’til you die. I am quite confident Barry Farber did just that–if his daughter’s tweet is any indication. He was a country boy who “died with his boots on.”

LIVE ’til You Die

Published / by Lee Kessler / 2 Comments on LIVE ’til You Die

Some few decades ago, I realized something. For me, it was profound. Who knows what it will be for you. But, this is the truth, my friends. None of us gets out of this gig called life alive. We have bodies that are mortal, and they will die. All of us are in the process of dying, just some are doing it faster than others.

During this pandemic, so many in America today are suffering from a paralyzing fear that they are going to die. And they, and some in our governments, seem obsessed with living in such a way as to avoid dying. Talk about setting yourself up for a loss. Your body will die, and to make all choices in one’s life in the hope of not dying sets one up for failure. It is a game you can not win.

My personal belief is that you are an immortal being, but that our bodies are not. And from the time I embarked upon my careers in entertainment and business, it was somehow a given that I would—as they say in the West-“die with my boots on.”

My late husband “died with his boots on” very unexpectedly and quickly, and young. He was sitting at his computer in the middle of an email to his most troublesome client when he was stricken. There was nothing that could have saved him. His body was shot. But, until that last minute, he was living.

So my advice to all who have been frightened by this hidden, mysterious viral enemy, or who have been scared witless by the Armageddon worshipers known as the Media, or who are terrified of the helpless feeling they are experiencing right now, is: LIVE, ’til you die.

Before you get your underwear in a twist, I did not say live criminally. I did not say live recklessly. I did not say live selfishly. I simply said, LIVE!

Give thanks for the life you have, and even more for the opportunity you have to create the life of your dreams. Embrace your work. Strive towards higher goals every day that you are here–goals which uplift, inspire, encourage, and empower others–strive with an optimistic, expectant outlook.

I learned along the way that my vision will give a vision to someone else. Yours will too. My challenge to myself was to make sure that my vision was not a nightmare, however. Then charge, my friends! Embrace the challenge. In short: LIVE ’til you die.