James Patterson and John Taylor
Amongst all the petit and pusillanimous viewpoints expressed by the AntiFa terrorists and, sadly, most of mainstream media types, is that Robert E. Lee was a tyrant and horrible man. History disavows such silliness. It was Abraham Lincoln who subscribed to the theory that the Constitution isn’t a suicide pact and he wasn’t going to let it get in the way of winning; hence: the Alien and Sedition Acts, jailing everyone who loudly opposed what he was doing; and, the suspension of the right of Habeas Corpus. Lee, on the other hand, was a complex man living in an era where the States reigned supreme over the Federal Government, which then was really not very powerful. It was, among other things, the Civil War that helped create the Federal leviathan we now know. Should we start tearing down Lincoln memorials? No, of course not.
But all that is much too complex and nuanced for the Maoist mob leading our version of the Cultural Revolution. Lee was an honorable man who – at one time – was offered command of the Union Army. He lived his creed and the creed of our then-Federalist construct and chose Virginia over the monolithic construct of one Federal Government. I get it: the North won the Civil War. But, that in no means detracts from Lee’s standing in history as a great and virtuous leader.
Even Lee’s opponents during (and after) the Civil War had great respect for him. How dare we, so long after the fact, hold him to the standards of this generation. To do so is intellectually dishonest and fool’s errand … and members of the domestic terror group AntiFa are, at best, fools. At worst, they are a far greater threat to Liberty than Robert E. Lee ever was.
As the Great-Great Grandson of Captain Nicholas Charles Burke, 2D Maryland Cavalry, CSA, I am greatly disturbed by the actions of politicians in Baltimore (my hometown) and elsewhere in tearing down monuments to Civil War heroes and veterans. Such behavior is frighteningly similar to Stalinist Russia or ISIS in Syria: blowing up or removing historical artifacts solely because some in power subjectively find them “offensive.” This tyranny of the mob is very frightening and will lead to more violence as happened in Charlottesville, where violent Leftists threw bags of urine, chunks of concrete and acid at their political opponents and a White Supremacist drove his vehicle into that crowd.
Many of those that oppose such monuments or the flying the Confederate Battle Flag only see them as representative of “racism, slavery and division.” Ignoring the obvious 1st Amendment concerns, it is too bad they has not bothered to read and comprehend a wit of history. As so eloquently explained by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1960, responding to the concerns of a citizen criticizing the former five-star Commander of Supreme Headquarters Allied Forces Europe (SHAFE) in WWII for his oft-spoken praise of Robert E. Lee:
August 9, 1960
Dear Dr. Scott:
Respecting your August 1 inquiry calling attention to my often expressed admiration for General Robert E. Lee, I would say, first, that we need to understand that at the time of the War between the States the issue of secession had remained unresolved for more than 70 years. Men of probity, character, public standing and unquestioned loyalty, both North and South, had disagreed over this issue as a matter of principle from the day our Constitution was adopted.
General Robert E. Lee was, in my estimation, one of the supremely gifted men produced by our Nation. He believed unswervingly in the Constitutional validity of his cause which until 1865 was still an arguable question in America; he was a poised and inspiring leader, true to the high trust reposed in him by millions of his fellow citizens; he was thoughtful yet demanding of his officers and men, forbearing with captured enemies but ingenious, unrelenting and personally courageous in battle, and never disheartened by a reverse or obstacle. Through all his many trials, he remained selfless almost to a fault and unfailing in his faith in God. Taken altogether, he was noble as a leader and as a man, and unsullied as I read the pages of our history.
From deep conviction, I simply say this: a nation of men of Lee’s calibre would be unconquerable in spirit and soul. Indeed, to the degree that present-day American youth will strive to emulate his rare qualities, including his devotion to this land as revealed in his painstaking efforts to help heal the Nation’s wounds once the bitter struggle was over, we, in our own time of danger in a divided world, will be strengthened and our love of freedom sustained.
Such are the reasons that I proudly display the picture of this great American on my office wall.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Unfortunately, 57 years later, the body politic of 21st Century America appears to lack the civility and wisdom of General Eisenhower. As so pithily observed by a retired Marine Colonel friend of mine, “As many of you may know, there is a section of Confederate graves in Arlington National Cemetery. So what’s next — exhume them and toss them in a dump?”
Don’t laugh, as that is exactly what some idiots in Memphis recently attempted to do to the remains of Nathan Bedford Forrest. Only a court’s injunction saved poor Forrest’s remains from being dug up again. Now, before the hew and cry sounds over Forrest’s being the founder of the KKK, a deeper understanding of history will show that he (1) started that organization to counter the brutality of Northern carpetbaggers during Reconstruction and (2) renounced his membership when it became a racially-focused organization. In fact, he was an oft-invited guest speaker at African-American churches later in life. Redemption anyone? But, that forgiveness would spoil that one song that the true Fascists like to sing: racist Whites are oppressing minorities.
Mohammedans are now angry because Israel has refused to remove magnetometers at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. First of all, I refuse to use the term “Palestinian” as it is a made-up word of progressive “newspeak” and does not accurately describe the Arabs plaguing this past of the Levant. Now, the leaders of this rabble are calling for a “Day of Rage” because Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insists upon screening them with metal detectors. How can a group of people that persistently conduct gross violations of the International Law by bombing, rocketing and beheading civilian targets be anymore fully of rage than is the norm?
The only thing that saved his ass was the stupefying performance by the senior senator of Arizona, the “Honorable” John S McCain. As my wife remarked, “Does he even know what planet he’s on?” McCain appeared to have drank his breakfast at the nearby “21st Amendment” – a Capitol Hill watering hole. Several times during his agonizing seven minutes of fame and glory, McCain referred to “President Comey” and actually asked Comey if Mr. Comey was aware of what “President Comey” had said. It was a sad, sad performance for a man who has served his country for so long. It was however a solid reason as to why these bozos on The Hill should be subjected to term limits. McCain needs to go. He proffered some half-assed excuse about watching a late night baseball game. Memo to the senator – “You no longer a hotshot pilot trying to bullshit a squadron commander over one of your numerous screw ups. McCain forgets that you’re only as good as your last performance.
On Wednesday April 26, 2017 at Noon, Delaware State Trooper Corporal Stephen J. Ballard was shot and killed by armed thugs robbing a WaWa convenience store in Bear, Delaware. Ballard was an eight and a half year veteran of the force and a fine young American whose life was cut short in its prime. By the way, he was of African American descent. Which raises the very poignant question: where is Black Lives (Lies?) Matter (BLM) in this case?
Does BLM care only if the victim is a thug thief, murderer or rapist? This is not the first time I have witnessed their insane double standards. A few years ago, I testified as an expert witness in an officer-involved shooting (OIS) case in Prince George’s County, Maryland. The officer was also of African-American descent. He personally told me that BLM, NAACP and Al Sharpton all raced down to “investigate” his OIS, but quietly packed their bags and left when they found out he was Black not White … “I used to think they did good for Black people,” the officer told me, “But, now, “#$%^ them!” Exactly.
I also know that I feel like all my fellow warriors: wishing we could have been a customer at WaWa yesterday to help take out these vermin before they killed this good man! In the meantime, all us good people of all races must keep Corporal Stephen Ballard, his family, and all men and women in the Thin Blue Line in our thoughts and prayers.
16 April 2017
This past week Dog Company: A True Story of American Soldiers Abandoned by Their High Command by Roger Hill & Lynn Vincent was published. It is a story that some in “Big Army” and DoD tried in vain to block. For over a year, these Marplots dithered in performing their duty to screen and redact truly Classified information from the book. Only after pressure from the authors’ attorneys did they finally “agree” to the version now published. The truth of the matter is that very little of the redacted material was actually classified or remotely unbeknownst to the public or our Republic’s enemies. Below, please find the key to the redactions. Anything truly “Classified” has been left redacted.
Line 6 Blue Force Tracker
Line 37 XXXX/XXXX (a source for names of suspected Taliban or accomplices)
Line 15 Signals Intelligence (AKA “SIGINT”)
Lines 19-20 Ok, we’ll check their cell records against numbers known to belong to bad guys.”
Line 20 – PCASS
Lines 21-22 (Preliminary Credibility Assessment Screening System – pronounced “Pee-Cass) *NOTE: To claim that PCASS is “classified” in 2017 is laughable in light of the fact that NBC News ran an open source news story on our Soldiers’ use of it as early as 2008.
Line 4 PCASS, the field-version lie detector
Lines 20-24 As with the coffeehouse manager, Dalmar, and dozens of others, Dave explained to Sammy the reason for the PCASS.
“No problem, Sir,” Sammy said cheerfully. Dave hooked the Terp to the machine and began .
“Is your name Sammy?”
Lines 1-8 Dave watched the PCASS. Okay.
“Are the lights on in this room?”
“Have you ever directly supported a terrorist group?”
“No” Not okay.
Failed that one, buddy, Dave thought. But, he kept his face passive and moved on.
Lines 22-23 HUMINT. Human Intelligence Sources
Line 29 military deception ops
Lines 3-5 The operation would include a controlled Intel leak. If the false Intel pooped up in enemy HUMINT or signals traffic, Dave’s Intel team might be able to pinpoint Hill’s insider threat.
Line 16 PCASS
Line 14 PCASS
Line 21 PCASS
Line 22 PCASS
Line 33 PCASS
Lines 1-2 ITAS and the TOW *NOTE: Again, laughable that DoD would redact this, as Raytheon publicly advertises it on its website.
Line 28 PCASS
Lines23 In addition, the CI Team employed a series of classified intel methods
Line 1 to screen every worker’s cell phone.
Line 5 PCASS
Line 25 CI
Line 33 HUMINT
Line 8 PCASS Retests
Line 20 PCASS cell phone scans and other intel collection methods
Line 37 PCASS
Lines 33-37 Dave’s team had conducted what was known to the CI community as a “time event” analysis. Shir Dalmar’s cell phone records revealed that he had made calls to possible insurgents three times on days for which enemy SIGACTS had occurred near or on FOB Airborne.
Line 18 the cell phone screening
Lines 31-32 Tactical Questioning or TQ was all he was allowed to do
Lines 2-4 Open-handed slapping was authorized for certain interrogators. Hill was not one of them. *NOTE. This was disclosed as early as 2006, when Congress (and the world) was told about this in open source materials
Line 5 XXXX/XXXX, the biometric database
Line 19 PCASS
Line 38 HUMINT
Line 26 ITAS
Lines 11-15 Dog Company teamed with CPT B’s Special Forces ODA and collected cell phone numbers of local Afghan nationals. CPT B. shot the humbers up his chain of command in Bagram. Hours later, the word came down: One of the terps, Abdul Sabur, had been in contact with the Norwegians top-tier target,
Line 3 then received intelligence
Lines 6-9 He was slotted in for CAS in the form of battalion’s Apache helicopters. But, when the mission time came, Battalion shifted the CAS elsewhere and Hill scrubbed the mission. No harm, no foul.
Lines 15-16 Securing the Highway became not only a 1/506th priority, but also Coalition priority.
Lines 28-29 ACOG – Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight
Lines 22-25 Barker shook his head. We did get him to Brigade headquarters in Salerno, but they released him already.
Are you kidding me” Allred, said. We were well within the 96-hour window.
Line 33 Still, Brigade let him go.
Lines 2-5 Their convoy included a Buffalo (the armored vehicle with a 16-foot robotic arm, a couple of mine detection vehicles, some heavy equipment recovery assets, and a couple of MRAPs (Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected Vehicles)
Lines 19-21 Now he glanced at the Blue Force Tracker. One of the blue icons Smith had shown earlier had gone stale. That meant that the signal had not been refreshed for at least thirty minutes.
Lines 15-16 a sister team to CPT B’s ODA
Line 29 Local source and ELINT streamed in
Lines 2-6 Chosen had thought it would rely on overhead drone surveillance for alerts of any amassing attack – but the only drone in the area was re-tasked and flew away, leaving Brostrom and his men completely exposed.
Line 7 the drone was removed.
Lines 1-6 CPT B. and his ODA had requested and received “eyes on” Razak’s Jalrez compounds in the form of a video feed from a UAV, as well as a couple of static cameras placed atop homes where Razak’s crew had been known to operate. The ODA had been monitoring the still shots and ISR video for a week.
Lines 20-21 HUMINT sources confirmed it.
Line 24 The UAV asset had helped immensely establishing
Line 1 “patterns of life.”
Line 8 HUMINT indicates
Lines 12-13 Improved Target Acquisition and TOW
Lines 21-23 Worst of all, with battalion releasing every prisoner they captured, Dog Company felt like they were back at JRTC, where the OPFOR gets shot but never dies.
Line 10 HUMINT
Lines 1-3 Roger Hill landed at Bagram Airfield and walked a couple of blocks to the offices of the Trial Defense Service. Heather Masten’s CONEX headquarters sat across a gravel lot from the Afghanistan offices of CID.
Lines 20-21 While stationed in Germany as a Command Judge Advocate, part of her job had been hosting foreign dignitaries.
Line 6 of any soldiers who would conduct mock executions to gather Intel
Lines 26-29 Bagram had the only military courtroom in Afghanistan. What sense did it make to coordinate all the helo flights that would be necessary to ferry witnesses back and forth to a remote forward operating base that was practically in Pakistan?
Lines 18-19 During his research, Hill learned how operations at Airborne fit into the broader intel and operational picture.
Lines 21-22 As he dug through official reports, intel documents, email traffic from higher headquarters, and FRAGOs, Hill’s consternation grew.
Lines 28-31 Hill also felt that Taz, D Co’s intel sergeant, would provide pivotal information about the dozen or more HUMINT sources who had warned of suicide attacks against Airborne and outlying COPs, as well as at least one potential 80-man attack.
Lines 22-23 Battalion sent a Scout Platoon deep into Jalrez, the team air assaulting in via Blackhawks.
Lines 24-25 The pilots declared they would not fly back into the valley without ground support.
Lines 29-30 The Shockers PL, LT Brett Erickson, would be the senior officer in the ten-truck convoy.
Lines 35-36 Mk-19s, mortars, and a .50 cal for the Scouts, and as much extra for themselves as would fit.
Lines 38-39 The patrol snaked into the valley, past Kowte Ashrow and Esh-Ma-Keyl, every ditch and orchard pregnant with threat. SPC Graydon Kamp, riding
Lines 1-5 gunner in Davis’s truck, wondered why they were driving twenty-six clicks into the hottest valley in the AO. But as per Taliban protocol, Dog Company penetrated deep into Jalrez unmolested. When they reached the Scouts, it turned out the mission was a bust. The Scouts would be airlifted out after all.
Line 12 aimed his Mk-19, fired a 40mm grenade
Lines 19-21 First, they discussed an EXFIL plan and ways to signal future meetings.
Lines 2-3 the EXFIL birds for the Scouts
Lines 18-19 Movement began with the Dirty First in the lead, followed by the Schockers. For a couple of clicks, the convoyed growled east toward Airborne.
Lines 7-9 Blackhawk trail bird. Ahead, the C2 helo flew nap-of-the-earth into Jalrez, hugging the contours of the valley wall until an RPG seared skyward, forcing the pilots to a higher altitude.
Lines 32-32 A section of two F-15 Eagles then arrived on station.
Lines 33-35 The convoy below began to roll east, like a line of camouflage boxcars confined to a single track. Kay watched as the convoy temporarily halted. Word from the C2 bird was they were blowing an IED in place.
Lines 36 The Blackhawk pilots took up a wary holding pattern.
Lines 1-2 “Fly ahead by about three clicks!” Kay yelled to the pilot. I’m looking for an ambush!”
Line 22 the Apaches
Lines 17-19 The Blackhawk passed through the smoke of battle, banked and picked up speed, close in trail of two Apaches that were painting the roadsides with their cannons.
Lines 21-22 The Apaches peels up and away, leaving the Blackhawk exposed long enough for the pilot to enter a near-ground hover.
Lines 27-29 The Apaches and D Company gunners scattered the attackers, and the rest of the convoy crept forward, moving away from the potshots of the fleeing remnant. Kamp’s driver pulled next to 4-4, putting Kamp level with Colon.
Lines 4-6 Hill was sitting in the Bagram terminal waiting to catch a hop back to FOB Salerno … Bagram to Salerno.
Lines 23-24 the CI agents whose team had dismantled Airborne’s spy network.
Lines 31-32 Dave was enroute to get eyes on the situation there and set in motion his team’s CONOP for busting insider threats.
Lines 20-24 The spy-busting operation was changing the way CI operatives targeted insider threats, he explained. The op showed that outstanding results might be possible if CI managed the entire process – from threat identification to questioning to Intel exploitation and ultimately detentions.
Lines 12-15 informing improvements as to how Army CI and other National level members of the IC targeted insider threat networks.
Lines 15-16 CI Agent Dave and his team
Line 20 CI agents
A close family member telephoned me from Baltimore County in this last week of January. He was rightly distressed over the politicization of Sunday Mass by a Jesuit priest at his family’s Roman Catholic parish. Apparently, by any fair understanding of his Homily, the Jesuit was more upset by the first two weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency than he ever was concerning the apostasies and heresies of the Democratic Party (to include the millions of deaths occurring since Roe v. Wade was handed down by a progressive SCOTUS in 1973). This priest’s invectives are disturbing for a number of reasons.
First, “the great weaknesses of the progressive, as distinct from the religious, mind, is that it has no awareness of truth as such; only of truth in terms of enlightened expediency.” Preaching a socialist diatribe from the pulpit against Trump’s immigration policy turns this truism on its head.
Secondly, what occurs in the political arena is rarely the milieu of religious dogma. “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar and unto God that which is God’s” (Cf. Matthew 22:15-22). There is so much at stake for a priest concerned with his flock’s eternal salvation to speak about than ranting over a partisan political matter. To do so appears cheap and uncaring. Moreover, one ought to care about as much of a priest’s political views as one does of Bruce Springsteen’s. In short, a priest’s Sunday Homily ought to teach men and women about the Cardinal Virtues or the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Faith, not progressive political dogma.
Lastly, from a Roman Catholic perspective, if one were to mix politics and religion where were the priests of St. Ignatius for the eight years of the Obama administration’s wanton support of abortion and homosexuality? In contrast, a nation without borders ceases to be a nation. It needs strong immigration policies. For a priest to become overwrought over the latter while silent about the former is cowardly and petty. This Jesuit ought to read more of St. Augustine and the Patron Saint of his order, Ignatius Loyola, and less of liberation theologians and others confusing Christ for a Communist.
Another Catholic writer points out the following:
Immigration is a modern problem and so some might think that the medieval Saint Thomas Aquinas would have no opinion about the problem. And yet, he does. One has only to look in his masterpiece, the Summa Theologica (I-II, Q. 105, Art. 3). There one finds his analysis based on biblical insights that can add to the national debate. They are entirely applicable to the present.
Saint Thomas: “Man’s relations with foreigners are twofold: peaceful, and hostile: and in directing both kinds of relation the Law contained suitable precepts.”
Commentary: In making this affirmation, Saint Thomas affirms that not all immigrants are equal. Every nation has the right to decide which immigrants are beneficial, that is, “peaceful,” to the common good. As a matter of self-defense, the State can reject those criminal elements, traitors, enemies and others who it deems harmful or “hostile” to its citizens.
The second thing he affirms is that immigration is to be determined by law in the cases of both beneficial and “hostile” immigration. The State has the right and duty to apply its law.
Saint Thomas: “For the Jews were offered three opportunities of peaceful relations with foreigners. First, when foreigners passed through their land as travelers. Secondly, when they came to dwell in their land as newcomers. And in both these respects the Law made kind provision in its precepts: for it is written (Exodus 22:21): ’Thou shalt not molest a stranger [advenam]’; and again (Exodus 22:9): ’Thou shalt not molest a stranger [peregrino].’”
Commentary: Here Saint Thomas acknowledges the fact that others will want to come to visit or even stay in the land for some time. Such foreigners deserved to be treated with charity, respect and courtesy, which is due to any human of good will. In these cases, the law can and should protect foreigners from being badly treated or molested.
Saint Thomas: “Thirdly, when any foreigners wished to be admitted entirely to their fellowship and mode of worship. With regard to these a certain order was observed. For they were not at once admitted to citizenship: just as it was law with some nations that no one was deemed a citizen except after two or three generations, as the Philosopher says (Polit. iii, 1).”
Commentary: Saint Thomas recognizes that there will be those who will want to stay and become citizens of the lands they visit. However, he sets as the first condition for acceptance a desire to integrate fully into what would today be considered the culture and life of the nation.
A second condition is that the granting of citizenship would not be immediate. The integration process takes time. People need to adapt themselves to the nation. He quotes the philosopher Aristotle as saying this process was once deemed to take two or three generations. Saint Thomas himself does not give a time frame for this integration, but he does admit that it can take a long time.
Saint Thomas: “The reason for this was that if foreigners were allowed to meddle with the affairs of a nation as soon as they settled down in its midst, many dangers might occur, since the foreigners not yet having the common good firmly at heart might attempt something hurtful to the people.”
Commentary: The common sense of Saint Thomas is certainly not politically correct but it is logical. The theologian notes that living in a nation is a complex thing. It takes time to know the issues affecting the nation. Those familiar with the long history of their nation are in the best position to make the long-term decisions about its future. It is harmful and unjust to put the future of a place in the hands of those recently arrived, who, although through no fault of their own, have little idea of what is happening or has happened in the nation. Such a policy could lead to the destruction of the nation.
As an illustration of this point, Saint Thomas later notes that the Jewish people did not treat all nations equally since those nations closer to them were more quickly integrated into the population than those who were not as close. Some hostile peoples were not to be admitted at all into full fellowship due to their enmity toward the Jewish people.
Saint Thomas: “Nevertheless it was possible by dispensation for a man to be admitted to citizenship on account of some act of virtue: thus it is related (Judith 14:6) that Achior, the captain of the children of Ammon, ‘was joined to the people of Israel, with all the succession of his kindred.’”
Commentary: That is to say, the rules were not rigid. There were exceptions that were granted based on the circumstances. However, such exceptions were not arbitrary but always had in mind the common good. The example of Achior describes the citizenship bestowed upon the captain and his children for the good services rendered to the nation.
Finally, a dear Protestant friend of mine added the following prescient comments:
Because God is Lord of all things and the Bible speaks to every area of life, I have no problem with political and cultural issues of the day being addressed from the pulpit, provided that they are addressed in light of Scripture and not from the perspective of the pastor/priest’s own personal pet peeves. Remember the political sermons and fearless speech of the preachers of the American Revolution. All political leaders – Republican, Democrat, conservative, liberal, you name it – should be held to the same standards, and you are surely right to condemn the hypocrisy of clergy who cravenly ignore their particular party’s support for blatantly unbiblical and ungodly practices such as abortion and homosexuality. Clerical compromise, both Protestant and Roman Catholic, became increasingly common, perhaps inevitable, once the authority and inerrancy of Scripture was negotiated away in the name of (liberal) academic respectability beginning in the 19th century.
 “A Knight of the Woeful Countenance” in The World of George Orwell (1972) edited by Miriam Gross, p. 167
 Horvat II, John, Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society – Where We’ve Been, How We Got There, and Where We Need to Go, American TFP.
As a former Patrol Officer and, later, an Instructor at the Army War College, I have the perspective of time and as one not “in the blender” of the immediate politics and passions in my hometown. What the Baltimore Police Department is in most dire need of is what its politicians are least likely to deliver: Virtuous Leadership. For those not lucky enough as the author to receive an elementary school education from the School Sisters of Notre Dame, let me first expound on what exactly are the Cardinal Virtues (Courage, Prudence or Competency, Self-Control and Justice) that form the foundation of being such a leader.
One might assume that a person who dons a police uniform has physical courage. However, what is being discussed here is an overarching moral courage. A person may be physically courageous enough to arrest an armed robber, but still be a moral coward in other important leadership capacities. Moral courage, or fortitude, is that rock-steady virtue that seeks to elevate others above self. For day-to-day life, it is the constant practice of seeking and speaking the truth in the face of adversity or peer pressure to do otherwise. It is what gives a subordinate the strength to disagree with a politically expedient, but morally wrong or unjust, course of action.
Courage may also require one to speak the truth even if doing so may be personally painful. It is one thing to be unaware of the truth; it is altogether different when people know what is true, yet ignore it out of cowardice or political expediency. By a casual reading of todays’ headlines it appears to all but the naïve or complicit that many of Baltimore’s leaders, including the Police Department’s Command Staff, have failed to stand up for what they must, in their hearts, know to be right and just.
Self-control or temperance demands control of one’s animal desire for pleasure. Self-control is that virtue which attempts to overcome the human condition that best stated as “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
In the realm of virtuous leadership, Self-control might mean that: choleric personalities restrain their tempers; impatient persons exercise listening skills; tardiness is replaced by timeliness; or, phlegmatic persons make an effort to be more outgoing. As so beautifully said by St. Mark the hermit, “Everything that grows begins small. It is by constant and progressive feeding that it gradually grows big” This notion applies to seeding and growing virtue in organizations and individual lives. Taking such seemingly small steps can gradually build a command imbued with a sense of unit humility. It can truly help transform an organization from a dour, miserable workplace to a magnanimous command where people are excited and proud to serve.
Magnanimity is an underutilized and not frequently understood word. It is the loftiness of spirit enabling one to bear trouble calmly, to disdain meanness and pettiness, and to display a noble generosity. It is the essence of chivalry. A magnanimous person is the opposite of a pusillanimous or small-minded person. Every leader should strive to foster an environment where magnanimity flourishes. This begins in assessment and selection, is taught in the Academy, then initially fostered by Patrol Sergeants that practice and demand service to others: ultimately the community.
Leaders of a magnanimous police department must be more concerned with respecting the rights of others and giving them proper credit where credit is due. Author and British Infantryman George MacDonald Fraser in his classic Quartered Safe Out Here said of Field Marshal William Slim, Commander of the China-Burma-India Theater of Operations in World War II, that he never said “I” rarely said, “We,” and always said “You.”
Sam Damon, the protagonist in Anton Myer’s brilliant novel Once an Eagle, also exemplifies such a person. Damon is a leader who puts duty, honor, and the men he commands above self-interest. He justly earns his promotions. The book’s antagonist, Courtney Massengale, is a self-absorbed bully who advances by political scheming and trampling upon subordinates and contemporaries. Once an Eagle should be mandatory reading for all persons daring to call themselves a leader. Its lessons should be obvious for anyone daring to call himself a Peace Officer. Sadly, unjust Commissioners have plagued Baltimore’s Police Department ever since Ed Norris brought his NYPD bully tactics to weekly COMSTAT meetings.
As Francis Bacon noted, one rarely finds a wise head on a young body. Hence, this virtue, like all the others, must be taught and learned. Aristotle defined prudence as σωστό λόγο σε δράση, meaning “right reason applied to practice.” In a Police Department, this is reflected in a commander who has mastered fundamental tasks so well that in the fog of war, such as the riots of last year, these are enabling rather than distracting concerns.
When a leader consistently makes wrong decisions – or makes rash decisions, right or wrong – then that individual is imprudent. Due to the complexity of human circumstances found in America’s urban areas, it is easy to err in this fashion. Accordingly, competent leaders seek the counsel of others and quickly learn to delegate responsibilities and authorities to trusted subordinates. This is not happening in Baltimore, where authority and discretion are yanked from subordinates. Baltimore does not need “Professional Law Enforcement Officers” that lock-up every offender. Rather, it needs “Peace Officers” who get out of their cars and intimately know their communities.
Such prudence or competency is not only the result of practice, but it also requires personal humility. Disregarding the advice or warnings of others whose judgment does not coincide with one’s own may be a sign of imprudence. Absent a moral barometer, either derived from Natural Law, Scripture and our Constitution, there is no measure of right reason. Accordingly, bad commanders will simply bully others to get their way. That is seemingly what has happened to the Baltimore Police Department since I was sworn in as a Rookie with Commissioner Donald Pomerleau’s signature on my first credentials in 1981.
Recently, my former colleague from Baltimore Police Department’s Southeastern District, Lieutenant Vic Gearhart, was suspended for calling members of the George Soros-funded Black Lives Matter group “thugs.” In all honesty, that is one of the more polite monikers that pack of animals deserves. The words “domestic terrorists” or “anarchists” are more accurate but no less offensive. How is it that speaking the truth would get a thirty-four year veteran of Baltimore’s thin blue line in hot water? Well, because Baltimore’s political and senior police leadership has consistently proven itself incapable of self-governance. By trying to deal with the Devil, they have ended up selling their souls to him.
While I recognize that the use of gratuitously foul language is the sign of a weak mind and intemperate spirit, I concurrently recognize that most Americans, to include my beloved Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines and Peace Officers, do not speak like my literary heroes Hilaire Belloc or William F Buckley, Jr. They understand the ground truth. And, as witnessed by the horrors they have caused to the communities in Ferguson, Baton Rouge, Philadelphia, Dallas, Milwaukee and Baltimore, the ground truth is that Black Lives Matter is a domestic terror group that is predicated on lies, to wit: Mike Brown was shot for no reason; law enforcement are killing a disproportionate number of blacks; and the Black Urban communities in America are somehow victims.
Unfettered by the thought of losing an appointed police “leadership” position in Baltimore, I will not bend to Fascism in the guise of political correctness. Hence, let’s examine the facts:
1. That so-called “Gentle Giant” Mike Brown was a 6’4” 300 pound bully who was caught red-handed committing a strong-arm robbery. When officer Darryl Wilson approached him and his accomplice, Brown charged Wilson’s patrol vehicle, leaned into the driver’s window and proceeded to savagely beat Wilson. When Brown reached for Wilson’s service weapon, Wilson quickly drew it and fired two shots at Brown, striking him in the arm. Brown’s colleague cowardly sprinted home to the projects, where he promptly started Tweeting the lie heard around the Nation, “The police shot Mike when he had his hands up and saying don’t shoot.” He was not there and that never happened! Mike Brown – like so many street hoodlums who willfully disobey lawful orders to surrender – was the author of his own misfortune.
2. Armed, uniformed police officers are assaulted over 66,000 times per year according to the FBI, and that is only those cases that are reported to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). Many times, officers do not report the instances where they are assaulted in the line of duty because that charge would be an afterthought in comparison with the seriousness of the other charges: murder, rape, armed robbery, etc. I know that Vic Gearhart and I routinely did not report assaults upon our person committed during such arrests. As an expert in the use of force, I can make a colorable argument that if one assaults an armed, uniform police officer, deadly force may be authorized. Police are not punching bags and there is always a weapon present (accounting for the fact that 17% of the officers killed in the line-of-duty are killed with their own weapons). Of the 66,000 assaults, 15,500 of them are committed with a dangerous and deadly weapon. As a matter of law, if one assaults a cop with a dangerous and deadly weapon, deadly force if authorized. Guess what? Cops only shoot and kill 500-800 suspects annually nationwide! So, this notion that we are killing people indiscriminately is balderdash.
3. Black urban communities, where out-of-wedlock pregnancy is out-of-control and children are allowed to run amok on the streets absent any meaningful supervision, is the root cause of such hooliganism. Shamefully, when a Jesuit sponsored high school – one of the few institutions that tries to make a dent in this dire situation – it too is pilloried in the media and “Black” community for holding one of its students to standard. Moreover, the overwhelming numbers of black murder victims are killed not by law enforcement but by their own kin. So, “Black Lives Matter” would be well served to hold a mirror up and take a hard look into it. The likelihood of that happening in 21st Century Baltimore is nil.
So, in light of all of these unerring facts, when one white police lieutenant dares to call Black Lives Matter thugs “thugs,” the Newspeak Press pillories him and the cowardly Baltimore Police Department Command Staff and Commissioner jump to that discordant tune. Sad indeed.