Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Apropos of Nothing: The Queen of Jarandilla

Still stuck on a piece about Reagan, and sitting around waiting on the New Hampshire results. So, of course, my mind turns to thoughts of nothing important to anybody else: my dogs, my cars, my falling stock market investments, and, above all, to long ago dusty memories of when life was a bit more fun.

Spain, early 1970s. More specifically, province of Caceres in the region of Extremadura. Even more specifically, I write of events in the small municipality of Jarandilla. Population back then? About 2,000. Not a big place, but like many small Spanish municipalities, a helluva lot fun when party time hits. These folks know how to party. Small-town Spaniards are among the nicest, funniest, most welcoming people on the planet. They are also extremely politically incorrect, and use language that would make a sailor blush or a modern college student pass out on the floor. There is no safe space. Microagressions are the core of the humor. No wimps need apply. Remember, the Conquistadores who humbled Islam and conquered half the world came from these sort of places. These are not pajama boys.

The town was having a big party for some reason or another: too many years have gone by to remember the details. There was a lot drinking, smoking, eating, dancing, puking. The big event was to be the election of the town's "Miss" who would go on to compete for "Miss Caceres," who would go on to compete for "Miss Spain," who would go on to compete for . . . well, you got it. Can't remember exactly where that big event took place, but recall a crowded, smoky venue, with a dance floor and a small stage. A table with, I think, four judges was on the floor facing the stage. The raucous crowd sat, stood, roamed, smoked, drank, sang, shouted all over the place. A group of us pushed to the front and stood just behind the judges.

The competing "Miss" candidates, all natives of the town and surrounding areas, paraded onto the stage, and proceeded to do "Miss" things. The hooting from the crowd made apparent the lack of popular satisfaction with the ten or twelve candidates on offer. These, mostly sturdy rural girls, clearly felt uncomfortable in make-up, heels and gowns, and the crowd cruelly mocked them. The judges were not happy, either. The main judge, puffing furiously on a Ducados black tobacco cigarette, started looking around. His glance fell upon the future Diplowife. Pointing a cigarette-stained finger at her, he roared, "That one!" Two other judges looked at her and agreed, "Yes! That one! Bring her up on the stage!" The future Diplowife looked mortified. The crowd began to shout "Yes! Yes! That one!" Kong had to have his tribute. The sacrifice had to take place.

Helped onto the stage, long brown hair cascading about her shoulders, wearing tight bell-bottom jeans, a half unbuttoned checkered blouse, and clunky clogs she stood there, meekly smiling and waving to the noisy crowd--I vowed to myself that this would be the lady I married. The official contestants, in their ill-fitting gowns and heels, fidgeting and confused, milled about behind her--one stomping away. Upon, however, hearing the future Diplowife say her impossibly Basque name, one judge yelled, "No! No! This is against the rules! She's not even from this town! She's Basque!" Nobody else seemed to care. Bam! A sash, a crown, and a trophy appeared, and were placed, respectively, on the shoulders, the head, and into the hands of the future Diplowife by a more than somewhat tipsy official. Loud music blared. She was asked to walk back and forth across the stage: blushing, lamely but gamely waving, trying not to drop her trophy, and holding the crown on her head, she shuffled around. The other "Miss" hopefuls? One began to cry, another to curse, and then all stormed off. Needless to say, we saw no fake tears of happiness or strained hugs of joy for the winner.

The crowd's blood lust had been satisfied: the local gals humiliated, their dreams crushed. The future Diplowife had a crown, a trophy, and a sash. We made it to our cars and out of town alive and whole--despite having heard that male relatives of some of the "defeated" contestants were looking for us. A good night's work.

All these decades later, the crown and the trophy still sit on a shelf at her parents' house. She, of course, days later was disqualified from running for "Miss Caceres" by higher-up party-poopers in the organization. Her father would never have permitted it, anyhow, so that did not matter. He, by the way, couldn't decide if he was furious with his daughter or proud of her. Given, in subsequent years, that he bragged about having a "Miss" for a daughter, I think he settled on the latter.

Although having not a drop of royal blood, I eventually married the queen. There could be a war of succession since the legitimacy of her title is disputed by some, but . . .  never mind. She has the trophy, the sash, and the crown, and the pretenders don't! Possession, as they say, is . . ..

OK, back to the NH primary.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

The GOP New Hampshire Debate

I wasn't going to write about the February 6 GOP debate in New Hampshire as I am running out of things to say about these events, but . . . since I am experiencing writer's block on a piece I started on Ronald Reagan, might as well throw out some random thoughts.

The winner?

I will agree partially with the conventional wisdom: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie "won" the debate portion of the debate. He is smart, tough, quick, plain-spoken, experienced, and articulate; he knows how to throw a verbal punch. It was the Christie we previously have seen in his successful battles with the public sector unions in New Jersey. His main target, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, seemed caught off guard by the ferocity of the Christie assault.

The normally smooth and imperturable Rubio looked at a loss as Christie attacked the one-term senator on having a thin legislative record, his shifting stance on immigration, on never having held an executive office, and on his repeating well-scripted lines. Rubio tried to defend himself by repeating well-scripted lines, and Christie caught him out on it. Was it "fair"? Who said you have to be "fair"? That aside, maybe some of Christie's stuff wasn't fair, but Rubio should have pointed out which and why; he didn't do it. Rubio showed himself still a little green. Christie, himself, of course, also is guilty of repeating lines, "When I was a prosecutor after 9/11 . . .." I say "of course" because after this many debates, all the candidates are repeating themselves. OK, so Christie "won" the debate portion of the debate, but did it do him any good? I don't know. I don't believe the polls and I am not in New Hampshire, so I don't know. Perhaps he has kept his candidacy alive, and, perhaps, he derailed the Rubio "locomotive" which the press had been busy fueling.

I think, however, that the winner overall of the night was Donald Trump. Texas Senator Ted Cruz continued flat and not very interesting. Bush came alive a bit, but it might be too late for him; the others did not, in my view, register much. Trump the apparent front-runner might not have hit any home runs, but he also made no big errors. Nobody really nailed him, even when he said some amateurish things on dealing with China and North Korea, and gave a fragmented exposition on health care. Nobody managed to kill the king or even wound him.

I am not going to discuss the pathetic Democratic party debate between Crooked Clinton and Soviet Socialist Sanders. Beyond the pale . . .

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Iowa Vote: Everybody Gets a Medal!

Went into the early morning hours watching the results and discussions of the results of the Iowa caucuses (IC). For a political junkie it was fascinating. American politics are truly the Greatest Show on Earth. No other country devotes anywhere near as much to politics in terms of resources, effort, and commentary than does the USA. We love to hate our obsession with politics which we love to hate because we love them and . . . never mind. We are bonkers for national politics. Period.

And that, my friends, is about as deep as I can go in my analysis of the IC.  What's it all mean in the long run? I don't know, nor does anybody else. If you win the IC, do you win the nomination? Not necessarily or even usually--at least on the Republican side. Given the uniqueness of the IC and the odd demographics of Iowa--a very nice place, btw--what does a victory there mean for a candidate's prospects? I don't know, and nobody else does either, although that doesn't stop any of us from talking as though we do.  

So, that said, let's talk as if we know what we are about. First, the Dems. As I write, it seems that the Dem IC has produced a tie between Clinton and Sanders. Hillary Clinton did not look happy at her "victory/concession/it's great it's a tie speech." Is it me or is she getting really Crazy Woman eyes? Standing there with her nearly mummified spouse and her dopey "I wanna be a Kennedy" daughter, Hillary Clinton gave off an air of madness: the disjointed word salad, the out-of-sync fist pumping, and that unblinking STARE. This lady is not well and she looked like somebody was going to get the thrashing of his or her life in the bus afterwards, "You told me I was going to win!" Has the Rightful Heir to the Throne been thwarted yet again? Calling King Zog! Calling King Zog! I don't know about that, but I do know I would not want to be around Hillary Clinton today.

Bernie Sanders. Yes. What can we say about Bernie Sanders? He is a life-long lay-about and Communist with an older British brother, Larry--also a politically active leftist crank--who has emerged on the political scene to challenge the Clinton Machine. He has attracted a legion of low-information, economically illiterate followers who "Feel The Bern" given by a 74-year-old mountebank. He is a loon with followers who rely on their no-content education to guide them to his tent. Is he the big winner in Iowa? I don't know. He did deny Hillary Clinton the IC prize, so I guess that's a victory of some sort. It seems, however, that Iowa Dem politics is tailor-made for Sanders and his goofy Marxist mumbo-jumbo: lots of young liberal foolish white students with not much else to do but play at Revolution. Given the odd make-up of the Dem electorate in Iowa, he probably could have done better, I guess, I think, I don't know. You decide.

The GOP? Much more interesting. It would seem that Trump took a Cruz missile hit. Enough to sink his ship? Doubt it, but, what do I know? Trump looked genuinely surprised by his second-place finish, but gave a gracious concession speech. The polling, of course, was way off, and Ted Cruz pulled off a significant victory--if, that is, you consider winning in Iowa significant. He, apparently, had a well-organized ground game that delivered his supporters to the IC sites and kept them loyal. I never got the impression that Trump bothered much with organization, and relied on his name and the enthusiasm shown by his fans to translate into votes. He did come in second, which is nothing to sneeze at, but still, when you brag about never losing, always winning, it must be a shock. Rubio kept himself alive with a strong third-place showing and, apparently, gained some benefits from Trump's failure to appear at the last Fox debate. A dynamic, articulate, and attractive candidate, he would eat Hillary or Bernie for lunch in debate. Is Rubio a PURE conservative? Who is? We all have changed our minds over time. The interesting thing for me is that about 85% of the Republican vote went to four non-establishment or, at least, out of the norm candidates: two hispanic, one black, and one not even a Republican. So, then, which is the party of diversity?

Back to Cruz. He won Iowa, which showed that he can take on Trump. Will that translate into further victories? You know the answer, and it is, I don't know. I thought his victory speech not his best--way too long--and am not sure he won doubters with it. Cruz, however, is very smart, a good debater, and certainly would make a better president than Sanders, Clinton or Obama. At this stage of the game, that's good enough for me.

That's it. I am out of ammo.

Going to walk the dogs who are doing much better, and are eager to spread joy and cheer in the 'hood.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Political Stuff

Dealing with two sick dogs. When my dogs get sick, that's it. All other activities get suspended. I am wracked with guilt whenever these guys get sick or hurt in any way: I feel that I have violated a key tenet of the ancient pact between dog and man, to wit, man shall protect dog from harm. The Diplowife (ret) and I took them to our very good South African vet who determined that they had picked up a nasty intestinal infection at the dog park; he has put them on antibiotics, probiotics, and a special high fiber diet. The boys, of course, refuse to cooperate; they will not allow me to stuff the meds down their throats.

Ssshhh! They're finally napping after eating a bit of the new diet, but without much enthusiasm.  That leaves me a few minutes to comment on stuff, just stuff . . .

OK, the GOP debate.

Meh . . . it was bland. I don't say that because The Donald did not attend, but because by now we all can do the Great Kreskin routine of predicting what each candidate will say in response to the predictable queries. The Fox moderators did not play at the top of their game; their questions seemed a rehash of stuff we've heard before. I have to wonder if we do not have too many of these debates. As with even the best blogger--ahem--a politician in a long campaign finds that he or she repeats lines. That was probably OK back in the day when we did not have millions of different mass media outlets picking up and apart anything said anywhere at any time. In these days of info-overload, frankly, it's hard to remain fresh.

That said, I thought Rubio did best; he came off as articulate, passionate, and as somebody who has thought things through. Cruz, normally quite good, was flat, and his jokes did not go over well. The others? We've heard it before.

Did Trump make a mistake by skipping the debate because of his feud with Megyn Kelly? I have no idea and don't think anybody else does. Nearly every prediction or observation made about Trump--including by this humble blogger--has been wrong. He does and says things no other candidate dares, and that does not hurt him and often, in fact, helps him. Really quite remarkable. Would he make a good President? I don't know. Would he be better for America than Obama, Clinton, Sanders, Biden? I would have to answer in the affirmative--but that's a low bar. Is he the best candidate? I don't know. I, personally, fluctuate among Walker, Cruz, Rubio, even Fiorina. By the way, I thought Carly Fiorina had the best line: "Hillary Clinton has escaped prosecution more times than El Chapo." Brilliant! Heads all across the progressive universe exploded in outrage. Quite funny. Progressives have such a hard time with truth-telling.

As noted before, it does not appear Hillary's email troubles will go away. In fact, they look to be getting worse. We learn today that at least 22 emails on her private server cannot be released--even in heavily redacted form--because of the very high classification of the material they contain. The Clinton response? Stuff is over classified. Kinda missing the point, no? That's not Hillary's call. I might think it ridiculous to have a 70 mph speed limit on the freeway, and that I alone should be allowed to do 90 mph, but . . .

The American public, therefore, will not see emails already seen by foreign intelligence officers and rulers in Russia, China, and Iran, along with several hundred teenaged hackers from Brazil to Singapore to Nigeria. Maybe Kerry can ask his friends in Tehran to free the Clinton emails. Bottom line, and in all seriousness, Clinton belongs in jail. Joe Biden put on your spurs! You have to save the Dems from themselves . . .

The boys are awake. The little guy, if you can call a 100-lb dog little, has run to the back fence to argue with the obnoxious neighbor. Now, the big guy has joined him on stage. I have to go break up that debate . . .

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Giving Hillary Clinton a Pass on Fast & Furious?

I know, I know. You don't need to tell me.

There are so many big scandals featuring Hillary Clinton and husband that it is hard to keep track of them all. She and the spouse have been caught up in mess after mess of their own creation, but, somehow, have managed to find enough well-connected loyalists to pull them out and let them move on and prosper. It is really quite amazing how scandals that would have sunk any other politician--pace Kennedy--bounce like canon balls off ol' Ironsides, leaving nary a mark. Not only are the scandals numerous, it is very difficult to rank them. That would make a good TV game show: Rank the Clinton Scandals!

In my humble opinion, one of the scandals for contender in the top two or three, is one that barely gets mentioned anymore. I refer to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's actions during and after the "Fast and Furious" gun-walking scandal. I have written quite a bit about F&F and you'll find the posts in the archives.

I want to highlight one posting in particular. On June 22, 2012 (here), I noted that,
Under Attorney General Eric Holder, the Department of Justice declared war on the people of Mexico. 
Using the ATF, the Justice Department carried out a covert operation that violated the laws of the United States, supplied thousands of weapons to the enemies of the government and people Mexico, and killed hundreds of Mexican citizens. The operation also produced the collateral damage of one or possibly two murdered US federal agents, and put at risk the lives of other US citizens on this side of the border. In other words, Obama and Holder have lied, and hundreds have died in a war against our southern neighbor.

Never mind Teapot Dome, Checkers, Chappaquiddick, Watergate, or Iran-Contra: "Fast and Furious" is arguably the greatest scandal in American political history. It most certainly is the greatest scandal never reported by the main media outlets. Obama's misadministration sought to launch an attack on the second amendment by "proving" that lax US gun laws led to Mexico's drug-fueled violence. It decided to "prove" that by providing the guns. It was the ultimate in cop weapon throw-down or evidence planting.

I went on to state that,
So, then, what did Hillary Clinton know and when did she know it? She herself went about saying that 60-90% of the weapons in the hands of Mexican drug gangs came from the US, which, of course, meant we needed stronger gun laws in the US. All of us worker bees in the State Department got "mea culpa" talking points to use that said the same thing. 
So was Secretary Clinton in on the DOJ/ATF fraud or was she a victim of it? What is her position? If she was bamboozled by Holder, has she taken the matter up with the President? Does she have a position on the fact that our government was waging a covert war against Mexico? Shouldn't the Secretary of State have a position on this matter? Shouldn't she be demanding the AG's resignation or offering up her own in disgust? 
Why no questions for the Secretary of State? 
None of those questions has been answered or even asked. The issue has gained some renewed urgency in light of reports that,
A .50-caliber rifle found at Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman’s hideout in Mexico was funneled through the gun-smuggling investigation known as Fast and Furious, sources confirmed Tuesday to Fox News. 
A .50-caliber is a massive rifle that can stop a car or, as it was intended, take down a helicopter.
We, therefore, have evidence, yet again, that Obama's deranged war against the Second Amendment led him and his bonkers Attorney General to send thousands of weapons, including .50-cal Barretts, to a mass murderer such as El Chapo. All of this was done as a "false flag" operation to blame law-abiding gun dealers for the guns in Mexican drug dealers' hands. It formed part of the progressive meme of "the drugs flow north, the guns flow south." Secretary Clinton, of course, acted as a major promoter of that false narrative.

You would think a Secretary of State would have an interest in a secret war against our neighbor, a war which killed hundreds of innocent Mexican citizens. When did she learn about it? Did she ask about it? Did she say anything to Obama or Holder about it? What did she say to the Mexican government? What has the Mexican government said to us about it? None of this is asked.

Giving the Clintons yet another pass . . .

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Hillary's Emails: This Ain't Going Away (I Think, Maybe, Possibly)

I am not good at calling US elections. During my long career in the Foreign Service, I was great (modest, eh?) at calling foreign elections and spotting new political actors and movements. Not so good in my own country. We've gotten kinda strange, and there are just so many unknown factors in the equation, that I can't do the political algebra too well.

With that disclaimer, I am with trepidation going to make a tepid prediction, always conscious that words live forever on the internet.

Here goes.

Hillary Clinton's email problems are not going away. She does a very good job of putting on a poker face and dishing out a loud and aggressive "word salad" whenever some journalist has the rare temerity to raise the matter, but the issue is a serious one, much more serious than she lets on.

I have written before (August 13, 2015) on the Clinton email scandal but the issue is getting worse for her. Press reports show that my old friend and then Executive Secretary of the Department Steve Mull (and here) warned Clinton's personal aide, Huma Abedeen, of problems with  Clinton's use of a personal email system. He offered to get the Secretary of State a government email address and Blackberry, but was shot down by Abedin. Mull's emails clearly show that people at the top of the State Department, including Undersecretary Kennedy, were aware of Clinton's use of a private email server.

This batch of revelations and that the FBI is now investigating Clinton's relationship with the Clinton Foundation SHOULD put the brakes on the Hillary bus. Is that going to happen? I don't know. I have written before  (and here) of how Hillary and Bill manage to dodge the consequences of their corruption, will they be able to do it again?

My crystal ball just lost reception . .  .

Monday, January 18, 2016

Martin Luther King

I was going to write about the pathetic Democratic debate, but decided, instead, to re-post a little something I wrote a couple of years ago on the legacy of Martin Luther King. I think it still holds up as we mark another MLK Day here in the US. I will try to deal with that "debate" a bit later on . . . maybe.

The Legacy of Martin Luther King (January 21, 2014) 

Yesterday was Martin Luther King Day in the US; TV and other media were full of stories about King and his times, and what it all means today. He has been compared to Gandhi and Mandela, become an icon for American "progressives," and, of course, a historical symbol of the nonviolent civil rights struggle of the 1950s and 1960s. He won the Nobel Peace Prize, almost every major American city has a thoroughfare named for him, and, as noted, we have a national holiday in his honor--making him and Columbus the only ones to have such holidays. Gunned down in 1968, at the age of thirty-nine, he left the civil rights movement to less capable and less visionary successors who undermined his legacy and his goal of a color-blind nation.

Was he a great man? He certainly showed great courage, commitment to his cause, insistence on nonviolence, strong political and leadership skills, patriotism, and became a highly eloquent spokesman for civil rights. "I Have a Dream" is one of the great speeches in the English language. King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" more than equals any Thoreau or Gandhi writings, and is not something that today's civil rights leaders, such as they are, could match, nor could the typical graduate of almost any university in the world today. (The letter's pacing, erudition, and, above all, the surgical preciseness with which it takes down opposing arguments bring to mind General Sherman's letter to the Mayor of Atlanta.) King's life made a difference to millions of people. The answer, therefore, to this paragraph's question is yes, he was a great man.

That said, serious problems exist with some of the narrative spun about King, in particular, and the civil rights struggle, in general. Part of the problem, of course, is that King died young, enabling others, as happened with the two Kennedy brothers, to fill in the rest of the story, and use it to further certain political agendas. King died short of his fortieth birthday; had he lived longer, presumably, he would have evolved and, possibly, become a very different man than he was when he died--we will never know. What we do know is that the Democratic Party and their "progressive" media and education machines have rewritten the history of the civil rights struggle. This was driven home to me some years ago while visiting a college campus. The students assumed King was a Democrat, and the segregationists confronting the peaceful marchers, and using fire hoses, snarling police dogs, and truncheons, and wearing white hoods were Republicans. They assume a Republican killed King--today's college kids probably believe the Tea Party had him killed. That the exact opposite is true, shocks many. King came from a staunchly Republican family--his father, a prominent leader in his own right--openly endorsed Richard Nixon against JFK in the 1960 presidential election.

The Democrats had a one-party lock on the South. The party of slave owners and secessionists, had become the party of Jim Crow, school segregation, anti-miscegenation laws, poll taxes, and on and on. Many Americans, not to mention foreigners, do not realize not only that the Republican party was formed in opposition to slavery, and that Lincoln was a Republican, but that the famous Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, whose rulings dismantled the legal basis for segregation and put serious limitations on the power of police, was a former Republican Governor of California. It was, furthermore, war hero and Republican President Dwight Eisenhower who sent troops to Arkansas to enforce court-ordered desegregation at Little Rock Central High School. Congressional Republicans were the main supporters of civil rights legislation; their votes ensured passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, over the opposition of a significant bloc of Democrats--let us also not forget that Congressional Democrats for years blocked Republican efforts to pass federal anti-lynching legislation. All this, of course, is history, but an important chunk of American history that is being lost, distorted, or otherwise flushed down the memory sewer--along with the fact that anti-leftist J. Edgar Hoover proved the most formidable foe of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), an organization founded and staffed by Democrats, such as long-time Democratic Senator Robert Byrd.

Before getting back to King, let's address another issue that has been badly distorted and become something of a meme among the quasi-literate left, to wit, the idea that the parties have "switched places." This is something I have heard from some lefties who, knowing the true history of the Democratic and Republican Parties when it comes to race and civil rights, try to argue that that was then, and this is now. Since FDR or so, they argue, the Democratic and the Republican Parties "switched" places on the race issue, with Republicans taking the role of protecting white privilege and keeping minorities, especially blacks, down.

The truth is quite different. What happened was that the old party of slavers, segregationists, lynch mobs, and secessionists figured out that government programs and intervention were the means to deprive Republicans of a significant voter bloc. The aim was to keep black Americans dependent on the largesse of government and Democrat-run urban political machines. Anyone who doubts that should read the crude comment in which President Johnson revealed the real purpose underlying his massive social program expansion, i.e., to keep black Americans voting Democratic. The Democrats have succeeded admirably in this objective.

Back to King and the civil rights movement. By the time of his death, King was losing control over the movement. It was fragmenting. King's vision of a nonviolent effort was under assault by increasingly violent and radical elements. The message of non-violence and concentration on individual liberty was losing attraction. The thirty-nine-year-old King seemed old, thundering out a message from another time. A new generation of black activists, inspired by the increasingly confrontational and violent atmosphere in the country were challenging King for the spotlight. They found allies in violence in the largely white anti-Vietnam War movement. 

The civil rights struggle was becoming increasingly part of the noise of the very bad closing years of the 1960s, which saw violent race riots shake nearly every American city, and numerous incidents of domestic terrorism. In addition, what had been a largely grass-roots, private sector movement was being sabotaged by growing government involvement. Many black leaders were being syphoned off by government programs to "fight poverty." Black activists increasingly focused on getting handouts to their followers rather than, as noted above, on King's more lofty, ancient-sounding focus on liberty, and the goal of having people judged not by their color but by the "content of their character." This new generation of government-oriented and dependent leaders did not fit in with King's conservative Southern and church-based movement. They needed racial turmoil, not racial harmony. We need also remember that Attorney General Robert Kennedy had put King under FBI surveillance, including the making of compromising tapes of King having liaisons with women not his wife, providing the government excellent blackmail material against him.

All these factors had taken a toll on King; he aged dramatically in appearance, and had begun talking about issues not directly related to the civil rights struggle, e.g., the Middle East, Vietnam. Had he lived longer, I suspect we would have seen King becoming increasingly radicalized, pushed leftward as he sought to retain control of his movement--but, as noted before, we will never know.

In sum, he was a great man with a great vision. His successors, many of them frauds of the first rank, largely have not been faithful to that vision of liberty and color-blindness, and we all have suffered for it.