All Americans should be united in horror over the events of the past week.
The sight of a dozen police officers being gunned down in the streets of Dallas by a sniper during a protest march brings back thoughts of the legendary Wild West. In reality, that sort of event was rare even then, and generally far less deadly. Weapons and training weren't as good as they are now, and far more civilians were armed and ready to shoot back at the bad guys with equal skill.
What is more, it is equally appalling to be seeing transparently innocent people gunned down by the police. Now, this isn't by any means to say that police are all murderers: Michael Brown of Ferguson, for instance, clearly was a dangerous and violently aggressive felon whose shooting was reasonable and appropriate.
That seems not to be the case with Philando Castile, who was pulled over with his family for a broken taillight which, witnesses say, didn't even exist. Mr. Castile was armed, yes, he had a legally permitted handgun for which it is reported he had a valid concealed-carry permit. He told the officer that he was armed, which is what you're supposed to do, and reached for his ID as the officer requested, and then was shot.
Now, there is some dispute about the facts of this case. There are reports that Mr. Castile and his car were implicated in an armed robbery, and questions as to whether he truly held a concealed-carry permit as opposed to merely owning a legal handgun with the obligation not to conceal it. There are claims that the officer told him to put his hands up instead of reaching for his ID. This is why we have investigators and a court system: the facts will be established and placed before a judge. Meanwhile, the policemen involved are quite properly on administrative leave.
Yet we can all agree that, even in the worst alleged situation of Mr. Castile truly being a robber and not having a concealed carry permit, he did not deserve death, nor did the victims in a great many other recent slayings.
If Mr. Castile had his hand on his gun, that would be a valid argument, but nobody has made that claim. This doesn't mean the cop was a racist murderer: he has no record of discipline, allegations of abuse, or previous shootings, so let's let the justice system decide his fate.
As this summer wears on, though, we have increasing sympathy with the fear that justice will not be done against bad cops in all but the most extreme and clear-cut cases. Have we not just seen an example of a powerful person let off the hook in the face of clearly felonious evidence?
Obviously no mere cop has anything like the clout of Hillary Clinton and most police shootings don't garner the level of national attention her emails have received. It's perfectly clear, however, that "the establishment," which includes both Hillary and police officers, protects its own to an unacceptable extent.
We could blame these problems on Democrat policies of public-sector unionization which makes it impossible to fire bad cops until they murder someone and makes it hard even then, but Mr. Castile's uniformed shooter apparently hadn't ever done anything wrong before.
Others, like Mr. Obama, blame the Second Amendment, but even without the Second Amendment, our police would still have the authority to carry guns.
We certainly do blame this administration for fanning the flames of - let's call it what it manifestly may become - civil strife if not race war. Even more, we blame the media for misreporting, well, just about everything.
Even so, if we were a decent, sane, healthy society, people would at least know to sit down and take a deep breath while waiting for the facts to come in, and only then taking measured, determined action. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. didn't go for explosive instant-response marches. His events were meticulously planned and obsessively organized, precisely for the reason of preventing violence on the part of the protestors and maintaining the all-important moral high ground.
As a result, we honor Dr. King as a moral leader who fought for justice. Where are today's equivalents?
Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.
- Auric Goldfinger, Goldfinger, by Ian Fleming
Real life is rarely as straightforward as fiction, but the coincidences just keep piling up. We don't believe that Mr. Obama is a Muslim, despite various circumstantial evidence, but if he really were a secret Muslim sworn to destroy American, is there much that he would be doing differently to achieve that goal more effectively than he already has?
We aren't convinced that Mr. Obama wants to "d**n America" the way his pastor does, but isn't that what both he and Hillary are implicitly calling for when they blame white people in general and guns in particular for racial violence instead of blaming the actual criminals? Mr. Obama even characterised his own recently-deceased white grandmother as "typically racist." Who does that?
Nobody has presented any evidence of any sort of corruption on the part of President Obama personally, but somehow, it seems like all his friends are criminals, liars, or worse.
Indeed, there's so much smoke we probably couldn't see the fire if there is one.
Our conspiracy-minded friends continually pepper us with accusations against hidden cabals - the Bilderbergs, Illuminati, Zionists, Wall Street, and the Council on Foreign Relations being merely the most notorious. We tend instead to agree with Ben Franklin that "Three can keep a secret if two of them are dead."
And yet... history does show genuine documented high-level conspiracies the world around, for which the evidence is so readily accessible that a comedy magazine was able to put together an article on the topic. Furthermore, there are any number of well-known alleged conspiracies to substitute some other candidate for Donald Trump who, like it or not, did win the Republican primary vote.
One can wonder whether the publicity given the "never Trump" movement makes it too public to be a "conspiracy." In any case, we'll soon see whether that particular conspiracy, insurgency, scheme, or whatever you call it comes off, fizzles, or doesn't seriously exist.
So - is there truly an active conspiracy to bring this country down in an orgy of racial violence and counter-violence? Or are all these troubles simply the natural consequences of our current leaders' perfidy, favoritism, bigotry, and inflammatory talk?
We probably won't ever know for sure, but we'll leave you with a quote from one person who's close enough to power to have a pretty good idea what's going on:
You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.
- Chicago Mayor and former Obama advisor Rahm Emanuel
If there's one thing America, Europe, and the Middle least are full of today, it's serious crises. How are Mr. Emanuel's establishment friends going to use them?
Over the past five years, the editors have been secretly working on a book that summarizes the fundamental viewpoints of Scragged.