Three bits of information converged onto my consciousness last week — I’d say within a 12-hour time span. The info was all transmitted electronically from three different sources.
Was it coincidence? Or, was it something a little more preordained; something planned to get my attention? Because contemplating the mysterious is inherently more interesting, I am gonna’ go with the latter, and calling this convergence of information (get ready for it) . . . Kizbit.
It’s Kizbit which brought me to this point where I, your hero, connect all the dots.
I was in my office, diligently working and listening to the Joe Rogan Experience podcast. These are three hour long explorations into why Joe’s guests think the way they do. Joe’s guest here was old-time Punk rocker Henry Rollins. I have no idea what they were talking about, but when Rollins said to calm himself before taking the stage he quotes Abraham Lincoln speeches, my curiosity was piqued. Rollins then quoted something from Lincoln’s 1838 address before the Young Men’s Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois.
Quoted Rollins, “At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years.”
Hmm? I went online, looked up the speech (and I recommend all read it) and read the following next few lines, “At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide. I hope I am over wary; but if I am not, there is, even now, something of ill-omen, amongst us. I mean the increasing disregard for law which pervades the country; the growing disposition to substitute the wild and furious passions, in lieu of the sober judgment of Courts; and the worse than savage mobs, for the executive ministers of justice . . .”
Gosh, this sounds kinda’ familiar, thought I, and stuffed that into the vault of my mind.
Clarkston resident Tom S., emailed me an op-ed piece from The Week magazine, written by editor Mark Gimein earlier this month.
“When the U.S. gave my parents and me refuge from the USSR in 1976, the Soviet empire was at its zenith, and so were its efforts to export its repressive system. The USSR supplied plenty of evidence its arrangement was freer than that of the U.S. After all, in the 1974 Soviet elections the unopposed, Communist-approved candidates got 99.8 percent of the vote.
“ . . .What the Kremlin’s hackers (today) most want to break into isn’t voting machine software; it’s the democratic principles of tolerance and the peaceful transition of power . . if Putin can sow enough discord and hatred to undermine Americans’ faith in our own system, that could even become true.”
PING! Somehow this idea felt connected with the Lincoln idea.
Later that evening, Clarkston Mayor Steve Percival shared a video on his Facebook page. The vid was a clip from the old TV show, Dragnet starring Jack Webb as Joe Friday and Henry Morgan as Bill Gannon. I’ll set the scene, then you can go look up The Big Departure speech. Lawmen Friday and Gannon are talking to a bunch of young “hooligans” — beatniks about their protesting authority and busting up stuff.
Sergeant Joe Friday: Don’t think you have a corner on all the virtue vision in the country or that everyone else is fat and selfish and yours is the first generation to come along that’s felt dissatisfied. They all have, you know, about different things; and most of them didn’t have the opportunity and freedoms that you have. Let’s talk poverty. In most parts of the world, that’s not a problem, it’s a way of life. And rights? They’re liable to give you a blank stare because they may not know what you’re talking about. The fact is, more people are living better right here than anyone else ever before in history . . . It’s not perfect, but it’s a great deal better than when we grew up: a hundred men standing in the street hoping for one job, selling apples on the street corner. That’s one of the things we were dissatisfied about, and you don’t see that much anymore.
Officer Bill Gannon: You’re taller, stronger, healthier, and you live longer than the last generation; and we don’t think that’s altogether bad. You’ve probably never seen a “Quarantine” sign on a neighbor’s door. Diphtheria, scarlet fever, whooping cough; probably none of your classmates are crippled with polio . . . Don’t think we’re telling you to lose your ideals or your sense of outrage. They’re the only way things ever get done. And there’s a lot more that still needs doing. And we hope you’ll tackle it.
Sergeant Joe Friday: I don’t know, maybe part of it’s the fact that you’re in a hurry. You’ve grown up on instant orange juice. Flip a dial – instant entertainment. Dial seven digits – instant communication. Turn a key – push a pedal – instant transportation. Flash a card – instant money. Shove in a problem – push a few buttons – instant answers. But some problems you can’t get quick answers for, no matter how much you want them . . . Don’t try to build a new country. Make this one work. It has for over four hundred years; and by the world’s standards, that’s hardly more than yesterday.
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Okay, I’ve laid it out for you. Me? I’ve connected the dots, can you? Write me, let me know your conclusions, if any. Heck, maybe it was nothing but coincidence these ideas came to me. Let me know. Email, DontRushDon@gmail.com