A Time For War—And A Time For Peace

Ed Raymond

   The recent clashes between white supremacists and American ideals actually started hundreds of years ago in the Jewish progroms of Europe and Russia and when the first black slaves were brought to New England in 1619. The most uncivil Civil War was fought 240 years--after slavery ruled the Southern states. About 12.5 million blacks were brought to the U.S., many of them adding billions to slaver’s profits and the Southern economy. The bloodiest war in American history to end slavery lasted just four years, but we lost about 750,000 people based on recent statistical analyses. Over 360,000 Union soldiers died, with about 52,000 coming from the state of New York alone. But we were not done with civil rights. Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party planned and attempted to institute the founding of the Third Reich which would last a thousand years. We entered that war in 1941 and at the end of four years we had lost 407,000 Americans in battle, with over 300,000 soldiers giving their lives. We have never been able to find 70,000 troops still missing from World War II. We have another 10,000 still missing from other wars. But the Nazis, the white master race, tried to cleanse the world of lesser beings by murdering over six million Jews and hundreds of thousands of homosexuals and physically and mentally handicapped people. In the end, Hitler and the Nazis were responsible for the deaths of 60 million people.    Our family contributed my two older brothers to the world-wide conflict, with the oldest serving throughout the war in the Pacific, ending in General Douglas MacArthur’s Tokyo headquarters. They were among the 16 million Americans who fought Nazis during WW II. Now 362 of them die every day.  

My Question Is….When Will These Wars End?     

The Civil War has now lasted 156 years without a lasting result--and World War II has lasted 76 years with the same fate. We have white-robed Ku Klux Klanners despoiling our streets with Confederate flags while goose-stepping white supremacists yelling “JEWS WILL NOT REPLACE US!” and “BLOOD AND SOIL!” while carrying Nazi swastika flags and display paraphernalia once proudly worn by SS troopers. We had 100 years of Jim Crow that Corky and I experienced while living for three years in the 1950’s in North Carolina. The week’s events in Charlottesville, Virginia, sent me a message. These wars have to end. I didn’t spend four years in the Marine Corps Reserve and three years on active duty as a Marine infantry officer becoming a pacifist. I would like to see us veterans and families and descendents surround the White House, that “dump” in D.C., and not let anybody in or out until Stephen Miller and Sebastian Gorka, the representatives of white supremacists and Nazis in the King Donald administration, are fired. King Donald has already been forced to dump Steve Bannon, the chief resident Joseph Goebbels. If a white supremacist or Grand Dragon wears a white sheet and pointy cap or carries a Confederate or Nazi flag on the streets of our cities, they should have happen what happened to an American in Germany who yelled “Heil Hitler” at a couple of Germans on the street. They beat the crap out of him, and it was well-deserved. That’s when these wars will end. That’s when we will begin to have some moral clarity instead of a bigotocracy.   

So the Alt-Right put out the word: Please come to the “free speech” First Amendment- covered “rally” in such-and-such city. Don’t forget to wear your cammies while carrying your Bushmaster and AR-15 semi-automatic rifles as you stroll around the city. Wear your Kevlar helmets, body armor, drive your car down the streets, and carry your shields. Don’t forget knives, conceal-and-carry pistols, brass knuckles, baseball bats, clubs, chains and other assorted “defensive” gear. Don’t forget your Nazi and Confederate flags and other white supremacist symbols. Certified Klu Klux Klanners should bring their caps and white sheets to intimidate the blacks and Jews at the appropriate moment.  

After Listening To King Donald For A Year, You Didn’t Recognize He Was Nuts?     

North Dakota publisher Tony Bender’s article “The Politics of Division” should be read by every thinking person in the United States. He nails King Donald to the wall and keeps him squirming there with these rhetorical gems about the leader of the American Taliban:

(1) “We’ve come a long way from ‘I cannot tell a lie’ to rapt amazement when this president even gets close to the truth,” (

2) “If Trump were Catholic, he’d set records for shortest confession,”

(3) “Yet, Trump, who has managed to break 11 of the 10 Commandments, is supported by the apocalypse-embracing Christian Right, who are so deluded, he could pass gas and they’d call it perfume,”

(4) “While Steve Bannon-endorsed ‘Alt-Right’ ugliness in Charlottesville, most Republicans played ostrich. Or chicken. Choose any bird with a small brain that can’t fly,” and this classic

(5) “And from Trump enablers across the country? Silence. Or excuses. Some said he was a ‘street fighter.’ Good, because judging from his five deferments during the Vietnam War, when he was heroically avoiding Sexually Transmitted Diseases while grabbing crotches with his incredibly small hands, we know he isn’t a jungle fighter.” Give Tony a Pulitzer. His article is a classic.   

Rob Port in his Forum column wrote: “Hate speech really is free speech.” When delivered in a political debate on the floor of Congress or in the city or town hall it probably is. But delivered in the street while wearing an AR-15 on the shoulder, with knives and pistols secreted on your person, while wearing Kevlar helmets and body armor, while carrying baseball bats, brass knuckles, clubs, long sticks, and carrying miniature flame throwers, that is not free speech. It’s war.   

It brings up the question: Can the party of Lincoln that believed in the free speech of the Lincoln-Douglas debates be the party of King Donald who believes only in winning while armed to the teeth? Every legal jurisdiction in this country, whether town, township, city, county, or state should pass laws that any rally or protest march must follow the same laws passed that control access to an airplane seat before a permit to rally is approved. Only very breakable sticks to carry signs should be allowed. Sentences for carrying weapons should bring automatic jail time and fines. That would bring back “free speech” that the Supreme Court made so expensive. I see the Alt-Right and the Nazis are planning several rallies around the country, with two already planned for San Francisco and Berkeley. Get those laws passed quick. If you need the National Guard, call it in. That’s what it’s there for. Sometimes a bayonet in the posterior is necessary to maintain order. Remember Little Rock?  

It Seems To Be A Very Slow Dirge Walk To A True Democracy  

   Sometimes we take two steps forward and two steps back in this country, but in rare moments we take a giant leap toward equality. Twenty-year-old Simone Askew made the leap for us by becoming the first African-American woman to hold the highest student position at the United States Military Academy as the West Point corps of cadets first captain. The Virginian will lead the cadets in every academy event, will establish the class agenda, and will command 4,400 students. She knows what leadership is. She spent summers volunteering in Dominican Republic orphanages, was president of her class at Fairfax High School, was captain of the school’s volleyball team, and started the first Black Student Union at the school. She missed being crowned Homecoming Queen because she had to report to West Point. She wants to go into military intelligence. Perhaps she will prove at last that it is not an oxymoron.   

But speaking of morons, two North Dakota Republican representatives have slipped us back two steps on our slippery path to democracy by criticizing the West Fargo Public Library for displaying 24 books and materials on LGBTQ topics in the library and on Facebook. My God, what planet are Ben Koppelman and Christopher Olson representing? (They also belong to a political party that wants to make it legal to run over protesters with vehicles.)   

As a former resident of West Fargo back in the 1960’s I have ended up with respect for a city that has gained about 30,000 people since we lived there. How did the modern West Fargo keep 3,500 homosexuals out? Maybe you two should sponsor an Alt-Right rally there. About 10% of the residents and students in West Fargo are homosexuals, or it is like Afghanistan and Iraq where there are none--according to religious authorities. You object to “these types of materials regarding human sexuality?” I’m somewhat surprised you are both virgin born. Wake up. Sex is in the brain, not between your legs. We presently have identified about 60 levels of human sexuality from intersex to transgender to---well, it’s a long list. For the sake of the country and its people—get educated. When babies in the past were born with both male and female genitalia we got the knives out and made a selection. Now it has been determined that children who are intersex can live healthy, ordinary lives without going through the complications and terrors of surgery. It’s the human thing to do. Get with it. Michelangelo, Florence NIghtingale, and Leonardo DaVinci were not under Satan’s power while doing God’s work. To Library Director Sandra Hannahs: You provided a marvelous source for the many LGBTQ people and students in West Fargo. Don’t apologize. If those two pick on you again, let me know, and I’ll burn their butts good.  

To Those Who Carry Nazi And Confederate Flags And Salute Adolf Hitler…..     

Before you take to the streets again, read William L. Shirer’s monumental historical epic “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.” It may open your eyes and hearts—or even your brain. It’s the real history of what you are following now. In Ecclesiastes “there is a time to kill, a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up.” You have a choice. Meanwhile the humor of writers like Tony Bender will help destroy the Alt-Right movement. I have to use one more example from his column to bring up the role humor plays in political campaigns: “Wee fingers make it easier to tweet out nonsensical orders on your phone’s miniscule keyboard, like banning transgender soldiers, because when sexuality gets ambiguous, how do you know which crotch to grab?”   

My favorite Russian poet Evgeny Evtushenko wrote one about the importance of humor in life (which I have edited for length):       

“Tsars, Kings, Emperors, sovereigns of all the earth, have commanded many a parade, But they could not command humor. They tried to commission humor but humor is not to be bought! They tried to murder humor, but humor thumbed his nose at them ! It’s hard to fight humor. They executed him time and again. His hacked-off head was stuck on the point of a pike. But as soon as the mummer’s pipes (of the funeral) began their quipping tale, humor defiantly cried ‘I’m back, I’m here,’ and started to foot a dance in an overcoat, shabby and short.”