Monday, November 13, 2017

No one aware of abuse would say nothing about high-profile politician for years; I know this

    I have a big problem with the Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore's accusers: I simply don’t believe them. A big part of this is because I don’t trust at all allegations made at the end of party primaries, when it is too late for a party’s candidate to drop out. These women could have made these allegations five months ago, but of course then it wouldn’t have thrown the election to a Democrat.
    There are serious problems with a number of the stories that these women have related. In some cases they clearly have lied; in others they have lied or have had very faulty memories. I'm not going to address the details of these lies other than to say they are legion; I just have a huge problem that these charges have been brought up at the very last minute.
    I will say that I can believe these women wouldn’t report a sexual impropriety from their teen or young adult years. As a pre-teen I was aware of a situation in which a number of people were homosexually abused. I never said anything. None of the victims ever said anything. At least a dozen of us knew what had happened, and no one ever said anything (I found out years later that one kid's parents did find out but did nothing. Prosecution could have ruined their kid's life). My recollection is some of us kind of talked about it and agreed that parents weren’t really capable of hearing this type of news. Through the years I’ve only told a few people about the whole mess; I’ve told my wife. So it is true that people don't report abuse.
    It’s very difficult to explain the dynamic. But what I can say is that if I were ever aware that this sorry, piece-of-shit abuser – wherever he may be – was a candidate for public office, I wouldn’t wait for him to get his party’s nomination to come forward with reports of his abuse. I wouldn’t wait for him to be repeatedly elected to office for years and years. I wouldn't rush out and hire Gloria Allred to represent me. The notion that these women would allow Roy Moore to be repeatedly elected to various offices while saying absolutely nothing is preposterous. If these charges were true, they would have been made long ago. And if they were afraid to go public, they would have told their friends; not one or two, but dozens or hundreds, anyone who would listen. It's simply not possible that these women would be abused and do nothing until Moore had secured his party's nomination. It's not possible; there's not a chance in a thousand that what they are saying is true.
    People lie, sometimes for money, sometimes for attention, and sometimes for what they believe is justice. In the case of Roy Moore, someone who helps stop him By Any Means Necessary is viewed as a hero. When this story first came out the Washington Post said none of the women had any tie to any political campaign. Of course it turned out that one of the primary sources was a Hillary Clinton employee and rabid Doug Jones supporter. In fact, the Alabama Democratic Party is all wrapped up in all of these charges. The stories have been filled with lie after lie after lie, but everyone seems to just ignore these. These are people with every incentive to lie and they are clearly taking advantage of it.
    In the previous election campaign, global elitists spent $1.6 billion in an effort to put Hillary Clinton in office. Donald Trump's enemies -- both Republican and Democrat -- financed the compilation of a "Russian Dossier" filled with lies that justified illegal wiretapping by the Obama administration. Does anyone doubt that the same people willing to spend $1.6 billion in an effort to destroy America might be willing to spare say a few hundred thousand for some women to make some incendiary claims against Roy Moore?
    Is it possible that these stories are true? Everything is possible. Were Roy Moore’s admitted -- and very legal -- dating patterns a bit creepy or at least outside the ordinary? Perhaps. That's why these outlandish stories have traction. Do these stories pass the smell test? Not in the slightest.

Friday, November 10, 2017

French society 'Les Fleurs de la Memoire' adopts graves of fallen American servicemen

French heritage group members honor John Paul Hurdle's grave
    A couple of years ago I got a call from a lady up in Missouri who had visited Normandy on or around the D-Day anniversary. She saw some people in uniform paying honor to one of the graves so she took some photographs. She then returned home and tried to find some relatives of the deceased soldier.
    The soldier’s grave being honored was that of my uncle, John Paul Hurdle, who died when his plane was shot down in the run-up to D-Day. The lady who took the photos found me I think through my postings on In any event, she called me and shared the story and the photos with me.
    It seems the men in uniform honoring the memory of various fallen soldiers were members of an organization called Les Fleurs de la Memoire, or Flowers of Memory, which encourages individuals or families to adopt the grave of an American solider and honor it with the placement of flowers, since this can’t be done by their own families. NPR has a story on this organization back in 2008.
    I found a website called “Together We Served” that had all of the details of Uncle Paul’s military service. It’s pretty interesting. They have done a lot of work to put this information together for so many soldiers.
    Three or four years after the war, one or more of the crew members from Uncle Paul's plane made a courtesy call on my grandparents and told of the events on the day Paul died. They said their plane's engines were knocked out and that everyone bailed out of the plane, with Paul being one of the last to leave. He was shot while in the air parachuting to the ground.
    Russell Gray Houston told me an interesting story about the day the news arrived of Paul's death. He said he was good friends with the son of the manager of the telegraph office and was in the office the day the telegram arrived. The manager called my grandfather and told him he was delivering a telegram about Paul and that it was bad news. The kids rode with him to my grandparent's house and my grandfather was on the front porch crying when the telegram was delivered.
    As we remember our veterans, living and dead, let us share some gratitude to these kind and patriotic French citizens who are honoring our dead servicemen who never came home.

This photo was always in my grandparent's living room
John Paul Hurdle is fourth from left