Updated: Feb 18, 2022
...while celebrating the memory of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
A HAPPY (BUT STILL CHALLENGING) NEW YEAR TO ALL!
As we begin a new year, filled with promise and the optimism we all want, we also know that this coming year is destined to have its own challenges. The Covid-19 Pandemic rages although the “experts” might hint at the chance that the end is in sight. The United States has been a world leader in almost everything, but no nation should want to be the leader because it has the most Covid cases, deaths and hospitalizations. The U.S. far exceeds the rest of the world (developed or developing) in numbers of victims of this devastating disease. Also, Americans don’t like or respond well to mixed messages from our own federal; state or local government. In this numbers game, we’d like to be a distant follower, not the leader.
America has had its first incursion into the Capitol since the War of 1812 – now more than one year has passed – What Happens Next?
As we go to press on the Martin Luther King, Jr. long weekend, we have seen over 700 arrests for participants of the events of January 6, 2021, but so far relatively light sentences have been meted out from sentencing judges. The Department of Justice, a powerful federal law enforcement agency, has been criticized for not seeking harsh penalties for what happened over a year ago. We know that America also holds the title (or maybe I should say the distinction ) for imprisoning the greatest number of people in the so-called Western world. Yet, there are many people who feel there has been a minimal price to pay for those who violated the most important physical symbol of American democracy – the U.S. Capitol. Where is the punishment or retribution for the violation of this precious place – and how it was done?
As I write, the attitude of DOJ, which has so far seemed insufficient for the crimes committed, may have changed. A federal indictment has been reported in the press about major crimes including attempts to over-throw the U.S. Government by force and/or seditious behavior. According to press reports, increasing numbers of people have been indicted and arrested.
These include the Founder (Commander) of the Oath Keepers: Stewart Rhodes has been caught on video and audio (radio) talking about his members (and others) arming themselves to be able, if necessary, to engage in civil war against the duly elected national government.
As a former officer in the United States Army, I resent the fact that the patch for the Oath Keepers resembles the patch given to duly qualified members of the Army Rangers.
U. S. Attorney General Merritt Garland has said he intends to bring cases, against rioters and planners when the DOJ is ready. The delay in charging folks has upset many people including certain people of color who feel that if the kind of behavior displayed by the group on January 6, 2021 had involved them, there would have been a more dramatic reaction – including the use of deadly force.
What will come of the latest charges – and other pending cases is unknown, but no one can say that certain people have not been charged with major crimes as a result of their role a year ago. Other people who may not have been charged yet must be (should be) quacking in their shoes (or boots).
Contrast the horrible event of January 6, among the worst in American history, with the many deaths and outrageous, racist behavior over the years in American history and the accomplishments of Reverend Martin Luther, King, Jr. (and many others of all races and religions) in pushing forward toward an America representing diverse cultures from all over the world – no longer just Europe.
We celebrate Dr. King and others who proceeded him, who were and are inspired by what he said – and more importantly, what he did, to help make us a free, democratic society - perhaps, still, the envy of the world . Although we may no longer reign as the policeman of the free world, we still believe in freedom along with other righteous people who want to retain our special democracy. Although, we may not necessarily call it “American Exceptionalism”, we continue to stand against the forces of evil and autocracy.
The January, 2022 Murphy-ism:
“Two people are better than one, unless the two are trying to change the form of Government. Then two may be too many.”
New Book from LALO
All of us at LPI are so proud to announce that Amy Donaho Howell will join the author team with the updated version of her well regarded 2016 book, HEALING IN HIGH GEAR. While the update is not yet fully titled, the new book coming from LPI will describe what she and her family went through when first her husband fell ill with sepsis and the role she and her family played in his recovery. It will also provide an updated guide of useful information for patients and their family and support system in dealing with healthcare providers.