Monday, March 3, 2008

It's not raindrops falling on their heads

I hope all had a wonderful, restful weekend, despite the snow.

A message to Kerekes: Thanks for your note. I will be calling you in a few days and would love to sit down with you and pick your brain about what's going on in New Haven.

Page 1

Imagine you lived in a small country. Starting at the sea coast, you could walk across this country in a few hours. You could drive from north to south in four hours, except for the traffic. The country is as far from north to south as New Jersey, and the traffic situation would make a New Jersey commuter shake a head in sympathy.

The people in this country had neighbor problems - the neighbors didn't want them there. The people in this country took a land that had been fertile thousands of years ago, but no more. The people, who had had to leave their old neighborhood because they weren't wanted there, had fixed up their new home: They drained the swamps and made the desert bloom.

Their neighbors had come from others parts of the region a few score years ago, had rented homes and farms from absentee landlords hundreds and thousands of miles away. The people who returned to their ancient homeland bought that land and had allowed many of the renters, but had evicted many as well because they needed room for their friends and relatives.

These neighbors saw what the people had done with the place and wanted to take it over. The neighbors had lived under the rule of people who looked and thought a lot more like them and were happy to do so. But when the people took over, they decided they wanted to be independent.

The people were sick of fighting against neighbors who wanted them dead or gone or both. They were willing to give up parts of their small homeland, but the neighbors wanted it all. The people had finally had it. When the neighbors started lobbing rockets into their towns and now into their cities, that was the last straw. As Popeye used to say: "That's all I can stands, I can't stands no more."

The people were stronger than their neighbors and had tried not to hurt the neighbors too much. But the neighbors didn't value life as the people did. Their pride was stronger than their love for their children and they used their children as human shields.

When the children started suffering, the whole world said the people weren't fighting fair. The neighbors were fighting as hard as they could, lobbing rockets from the land they had foolishly been given. The world told the people they weren't fighting fair because they were stronger than the neighbors and could hurt them more.

That's what the neighbors were counting on. A few kids killed in exchange for a favorable headline in The New York Times was a good trade, it seemed. In the pages of that newspaper and hundreds of others, these neighbors are militants, not killers or terrorists. The United Nations said the people weren't fighting fair because many people were being punished for the actions of their rulers and that's not good in this neighborhood, although it seems to be just fine in other neighborhoods.

The fact that these neighbors had elected their leaders and were perfectly capable of telling the leaders to stop lobbing rockets at the people seemed irrelevant. The fact that these neighbors were being armed and led by Iran seemed irrelevant to the Europeans.

The people went in and cleaned up some of the neighbors' rocket sites and then left, while the neighbors called them cowardly for not killing more people.

The Israelis have been living like this since their nation was voted into existence by the world 60 years ago. Their Arab neighbors don't want them there. I ask you: How do you deal with people who want you dead or gone or, preferably, both, and take every opportunity to bring that about?

Israel is strong enough to wipe out these neighbors, to kill everybody found with a gun or a knife or a rocket-propelled grenade or a rocket and sweep their weeping survivors to the borders, where Egypt and Jordan and Lebanon and Syria would be invited to care for them, to take them into their nations as they should have done 60 years ago, or watch them die of neglect. That was Rabbi Meyer Kahane's solution, one declared officially anathema by the Israeli government and its proponents declared as terrorists.

I used to think this scenario was horrible, Nazi-like and unthinkable. I still say it's horrible and unthinkable, but maybe not quite as much as I used to.

Give me an alternative.

Page 2

This is about the state trooper lawsuit, as seen on television news last week. It is also reported here:

A couple of comments, if you will.

First, there was no lawsuit when these reports were aired and written, only somebody saying they were going to file one.

That's called the media being used to run an idea up the flagpole and see who would salute it - a trial balloon as it were.

Under the rules of good journalism, you don't write about a lawsuit until it is filed. You didn't have to wait until the defendant is served with papers, as long as the suit is filed with the clerk of whatever court is to have jurisdiction.

Secondly, in my opinion, these people are suing the wrong group.

Look, the Connecticut State Police is an organization with a wonderful reputation. This is the cadre that comes in when the locals can't cut it. These are the cops who patrol our superhighways and serve as the local police force if a town is too small to afford one. These are supposed to be the best and the brightest.

That's the way I want it if I need to call a state trooper or a trooper needs to call me.

I want the cop who sees me to be bright enough to pull me over if I'm weaving at 2 in the morning because I'm falling asleep. I want him or her to be bright enough to pull me over in a way that won't cause me to have an accident. I want him or her to be bright enough to figure out that I wasn't drunk or stoned, and had just suffered a temporary bout of road hypnotism, that my exit was only a few hundred yards up the road and no further action was needed. That happened to me a few years ago and I'll be forever grateful to that trooper for what he did and didn't do. I didn't need a ticket, or a lecture on what could have happened, I just needed a friendly wake-up call - literally.

If anyone needs to be sued, it's the school system that allows people who want to be state troopers to only score 65 on a test. That's a D. There were enough people who scored 85 or better to fill up the recruit class, I applaud those who got a B on the test. If only two blacks were able to score a B on the test, I congratulate them and invite those who want to sue someone to sue the educators, the parents, the system, not the cops.

To those African-Americans who scored 65, I invite them to join local police forces, or go to John Jay College or similar programs. Study for the test. Get tutoring. Get the 85 on the test and then I'd be proud to say to you: Welcome to one of the best state police forces in the nation.

Until next time...

1 comment:

New Haven said...

Did you loose my number? 203-676-0880 :-)

I have been away from your blog for a little while. I saw your note and would love to get together to discuss New Haven. Give me a call.

Jeffrey Kerekes