Sunday, October 30, 2011


He was starting the practice of criminal defense. The place was Arizona. It was 1962. Three years in Air Force Jag had provided a degree of trial experience, but now he had to earn a living. Scary for a rookie. He was a romantic, a dreamer, and this challenge was no exception. He had a goal. And that was to get to the top. This would be realized by ultimately representing the highest tier of potential clients: organized crime. But credentials were required. A rookie the Big Boys did not seek out. He got a break. The most illustrious, successful criminal defense attorney in Tucson had taken a liking to him and offered  a partnership. He was taken by the hand and introduced to the essential players: the cops, sheriffs, A.D.A's, with the powerful preface of "he's with me." An education far beyond the reach of any law school. Finally, he met the local members of La Cosa Nostra. His foot was in the door. His to validate or screw-up. His senior partner allowed him to sit in on meetings, whenever appropriate, and his mind edited every word before his mouth was allowed to pronounce. His acceptance gradually took root. His participation in office meetings increased and, eventually, he was dining or having drinks with them. It was all very exciting. The public fawning juiced him. Hero worship? Not precisely, but very close. He was young, ambitious and he dug it. Time passed and one night, he was to meet them for drinks, alone, without his mentor. He felt elevated from the ranks of freshmen. And he was still in awe of it all.

The best thing about the Tidelands was that, in the West, it was the closest thing to the East. A plush, dimly lit cocktail lounge with thick carpeting, a long bar, personnel who were surprisingly hip and a musical group providing cool sounds as a perfect backdrop for just about anything. The red brick walls were lined with red leather cushioned booths, serving as an enclosing perimeter of the tables which protruded from the many barstools. An atmosphere inviting you to forget and relax.

When he arrived, he spotted the client, John, sitting at the bar with another man whom he had not met.

"Hey, Gerry, right on time. Vodka and tonic, isn't it?"

"That'll be fine, John, and thank you."

The bartender, forever standing nearby, immediately mixed the drink as if John was his only customer which, for practical purposes, was true. This special attention preceded John in all public places.  The attorney always picked up on this and, yes, it provoked envy. They tapped glasses and he took a long swallow. Into the mouth and over the gums, watch out stomach, here it comes.

"I want you to meet a personal friend of mine," John said, referring to the man at his left, "say hello to Carl (redacted). Carl, this is one of my lawyers." The ensuing handshake threatened to fracture his knuckles.

Carl's looks were unique. He was dark skinned, with closely cropped grey hair, muscles which would bulge through a sheepskin coat, and an unlit cigar butt which would forever be clenched between his side teeth. He was a man of very few words, each one of which would speak volumes, who would ignore anyone he didn't know or trust. Until and unless that status was achieved, Carl would simply not acknowledge your existence. He wore a perpetual scowl as if angry was his mood of every day. A pleasant expression rivaled the sunrise and a smile was the equivalent of a Papal blessing.  He was, in short, a genuine tough guy and a man with whom you did not f-ck around. You missed this message at your peril.

The lounge was crowded to capacity, with the music from a quintet barely audible above the conversational commotion, like a party which had captured that elusive intangible of spontaneous excitement. John did not tolerate empty glasses and, before long, the young lawyer was enjoying the positive benefits of booze, that relaxing glow which delineates the boundary between pleasure and the toxic pain of overindulgence. He made a mental note of downshifting to the slower pace of sipping as a fresh drink was placed before him. Drinking too much would be disqualification from a world in which he was on probation.

He was aware of frequent glances at John and whispers of "do you know who he is?", a notoriety to which both John and Carl had long since been accustomed, but it was still exciting to him and he wanted this scene not to end. Even Carl was beginning to occasionally grunt his way, making the evening all the more magical.

From the time of the attorney's arrival, a large man wearing a ten gallon hat and cowboy boots, had been sitting at the bar to John's right. He now rose from his stool and began winding his way around the tables on the crowded floor and joined two other men similarly dressed in western garb. He was a dead ringer for the Marlboro Man: rugged, tanned, well over six feet tall, epitomizing the "western" look. His companions were of the same mold---buckeroos with buckles and muscles---but they were loud and boisterous, hell-bent on serious drinking. Rhinestone cowboys, refusing to be fenced in.

As the lawyer slid onto the vacant bar stool, he noticed that the Lone Ranger had left four dollars and change on the bar. He moved the money a bit to the left and forward, nearer to the edge of the counter. It had either been forgotten or meant as a tip, but, in any event, it was neither his money nor his business and he had merely relocated it a few inches.

Suddenly, in the midst of conversing with John, four words exploded within inches of his ear.

"You took my seat!"

An apprehensive hush enveloped the bar area and beyond, as all heads turned in the direction of the shout. It was the Marlboro Man whose seat he had taken. He was standing directly behind John and his non-focusing eyes told his story. Thoroughly and belligerently plastered,  his tone unmistakably threatened violence.

John glanced at the man, one time, turned back to his glass, said nothing and made no move whatsoever. Carl's jaw muscles were pulsating furiously as his teeth clenched to a steady beat. His body lurched ever so slightly, as if coiled to attack, but John said,"Not now, Carl," and there was no movement.

"Maybe you didn't hear me, fella, so I'll tell you again. You took my seat!"

The cowboy's voice was even louder than before, menacingly demanding trouble. The cigar butt dropped from Carl's mouth onto the bar, bitten clean through. His teeth must have ground into powder. With stoic determination, he put down his drink in readiness to respond, but John, again, softly  said, "Not now, Carl," causing self-control to just barely prevail over animal instinct.

Since John's first backward glance, neither he nor Carl had looked at the cowboy. The tension in the lounge had mounted and become tangible. The jerk pressed it.

"You dirty son sonofabitch, you even stole my money!"

As he shouted this accusation, his right hand grasped firmly onto John's left shoulder. Big mistake. Bye-bye, point of no return. John, still outwardly calm and composed, very slowly shifted his gaze to the hand on his shoulder, negatively shook his head as if surrendering to fate, sighed deeply and whispered, "O.K., now, Carl."

For years to come, the lawyer would swear that Carl never left his seat as he made his move. Like a shot, his right fist smashed into the cowboy's nose with devastating impact, propelling him backward, summersaulting over two tables and hitting the floor with the thud heard 'round the world. He was out cold, with John and Carl seemingly oblivious to anything unusual having happened at all.

But the two other musketeers were not so inclined to ignore the incident. They rose from their table, in unison, and began to make their way to the bar, seeking to avenge their unconscious colleague. Because the floor tables were positioned so close to each other, for maximum seating capacity, they could approach in single file only, and accordingly, arrived one at a time.

John moved not at all, while Carl, consistent with his devotion to energy conservation, stood only when the whites of number one's eyes were in plain view. He greeted this first oncoming chin squarely on the button with a perfectly timed, ferocious right hand punch, endowed with every ounce of his strength. The sound was that of tearing flesh as number one fell as if yanked downward by a neck chain of iron. This demolition accomplished two things: it gave the Marlboro Man a companion in dreamland, and, to Carl, unimpaired access to charging buckeroo number two. Carl's expertise was truly magnificent. His feet shifted in synchronization with his bloodied right fist which was drawn back and again launched forward. The fracture of bone was heard as number two flew back and down with his head fortunately landing on the shoes of a retreating onlooker. A momentary silence was broken by Carl muttering "f-ck!" as he examined a split or broken knuckle. This commentary, on the way things were, served as a cue to the Maitre d' who directed security, with haughty finesse, to get rid of of the fallen three while he showered John with profuse apologies, ordered drinks on the house for everyone, and inquired if all was right with Carl, vowing that such an inconvenience would never happen again. Chairs and tables were rearranged, the quintet began another set, the patrons tried to remember what they had been doing so they could get back to it, and only the the constant crowd murmur attested to Carl's demonstration of Italian martial arts. The young lawyer, disregarding a prior pledge, consumed a fresh drink, completely bypassing the function of swallowing.

John and Carl conversed as if there had been no interruption, while the attorney vowed never to cause so much as a hint of a furrow on Carl's brow and mentally memorialized him at the top of a list called "Who Not to Piss Off In Order To Live."

Some memories not only never die, they never even begin to fade away.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


The Occupy movement has its genesis in the debt-ceiling budget debacle and the bank bailouts. It represents the drowning middle class, desperately screaming for a life preserver. It is the bastard child of the Tea Party.

The infusion of cash into the banking system had a string attached. Lend it out to the public on reasonable terms. This implicit promise was betrayed. Credit interest rates skyrocketed. Foreclosures became the name of the game. Homelessness became a national fabric. Something began to stir. In the usually dormant middle class.

The Tea Party, through its robotic, congressional surrogates, refused to consider any remedy other than the cutting of entitlements, as a means of solving the deficit problem. The middle class rustlings began to ferment. People, comprising the citizenry majority, had no prevailing leader.  Their elected officials, burdened with the weight of reasonableness, had been overrun by zealots who were targeting their lifelines of existence. They needed a voice. They became their own.

When people are desperate, struggling to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table, with reasonably paying jobs nowhere to be found, governed by a stymied political system, watching rich corporations getting richer, reading about outlandish bonuses to already-fat-cat CEO's, feeling the pain of rising credit card interest rates, with no help in sight and nowhere to turn, history teaches that strange things can happen. The atmosphere is set for a strong leader to emerge.

It can even be the incumbent with a more aggressive attitude. He has the ammunition: the defeat of the jobs bill at the hands of an arrogant, extremist legislature. The cure for the majority destroyed by a minority. We are witnessing the embryo of social revolution (see my post of 4/9/2011).

This is global in nature. Do not turn the dial.


I was in the third grade when it began in the schoolyard, during a recess. Nicky, my age, same grade, approached me and demanded a candy bar that had been packed with my lunch. My reaction to the beginning of this ordeal has never been clear to me. There had been no prior contact with him.  He was bigger, meaner and tougher than me. That was the basis for the beginning. The suddenness of his approach and his sadistic manner frightened the hell outta me. His face, especially his eyes, reflected a bad seed. I gave him what he wanted and he slapped me. A few kids noticed but said nothing.
"I'll see you tomorrow."
That night, I slept very little.

It picked right up the next day. Half a sandwich extorted. Then it became my entire lunch. I was living in two worlds. In class, I almost forgot and was almost happy, but with recess, the nightmare returned. The demands intensified. He wanted my belongings. First, my lucky-charm rabbit's foot. Then, my wallet. Then, whatever change my mother had given me. It got worse. I began secreting things out of my bedroom in the hope that it would please him. Sometimes, it didn't and I was pushed, tripped and threatened. One night, while supposedly falling asleep, I tried to analyze the sordid mess. Bottom line; I was terrified. Fear had become my way of life. I was afraid to stand up to him. And I hated myself for being a coward. My burden of being bullied was compounded by self-loathing. I had no idea where the end was and found it hard to believe that an end was possible. A classmate, who knew everything, implored me to, at long last, tell my parents, but I demurred. That was unthinkable. To reveal my lack of courage to my Dad would shame me forever. Being an only child obviated the intervening help of an older brother. It seemed I had no lifelines. Then, fate stepped in.

One early evening, my parents had a sit-down with me. Aside from noticing my change of mood and behavior, they had discovered the disappearance of my many personal items. I was confronted and finally fessed up. My Mom's reaction was shock, sympathy and forgiveness. My Dad's was that as well but with the governing emotion of anger. He was really pissed. At me, but more so, at Nicky. He wanted to know where Nicky lived and realized that it was just a mile away. It was summer, daylight 'till 8p.m. or later. "Let's go!"

He was not "Father", he was "Dad". That just about says it all. Blue collar and a graduate of Street Smarts University. Looking back, he was a downtown guy, a savvy, wonderfully loving and super dad. He held my hand as we walked, encouraging me with every step. I was glad that he was taking charge, but still mortified and more than a little afraid as we approached Nicky's house. A middle-aged woman was sitting on the steps. Nicky's mother. My Dad told her the story, in detail, making no effort to mask his hostility. At first, she refused to believe any of it, vehemently shaking her head from side to side. But my Dad would not be put off. He kept repeating the accusations and challenged her to bring her son forward. And, then, he saw, on the steps, one of my games which rightly belonged in my room. The woman instantly recognized it as something not belonging to her son. She began screaming for him to come out of the house. When he took in the scene, especially the look on his mother's face, he showed his capacity for fright. She took off one of her shoes and began hitting him on his head, demanding that he bring out all that was mine. My Dad handed my stuff to me, as he was assured that due punishment would be meted out and the reign of terror was over. Nicky never looked at me. Even once. Not a glance.

On the way home, being the type of guy that he was, he neither lectured nor scolded. He simply said,"I bet, if you ever see that kid again, you'll knock the crap out of him." He was able to appreciate the hell I had been through, and the shame, right up to the finale. Boy, did I love him. Even when he was taken, just prior to my thirteenth birthday, I never let dwindle, and continued to bask in, the comforting memories of our relationship.

I did meet Nicky, again, two months later. I was playing ball in the schoolyard when he appeared with some friends. He looked at me with a smart-ass smile but said nothing. I said nothing and did nothing. I did not live up to my Dad's expectations. I didn't have the guts. I never shared this epilogue with anyone.  I was too ashamed. I repressed my feelings and this effectuated a character flaw which stayed with me for several years, extending into my young adult life, until I was able to face it, grab it, and throw it away.

It took its toll in a self-destructive way, a desire to punish and take myself to task.

Whenever someone would do or say anything to me, which I took to be insulting in nature (and I was wrong in this regard about 99.9% of the time), I would not immediately react. But, beginning that very night, I would indulge in the guilt, shame and vengeance game, and when an indefinable point had been reached, I would argumentatively meet the person, who hadn't the foggiest notion of what I was talking about, and offer (just short of a challenge) to fight him. This never materialized because my perceived foe would innocently say something to diffuse the situation and make me feel silly. The confrontation,nevertheless, in and of itself, would pacify my inner turmoil, and I would, that night, sleep soundly. Even if I would have gotten the worst of it, in an actual fight, I would have felt better.

As I grew older, I was able to realize that the "confrontation" was really with myself, and that this proclivity was completely inconsistent with, and had no place in, a normal adult life.

Emotional experiences, during formative years, often leave their mark. for better or worse. In the latter case, the cop, inside us, hopefully puts up his hand and stops a red light from being run.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


The viagra commercial proudly proclaims, "In case of an erection lasting 4 hours or more, seek immediate medical help." EXACTLY WRONG. DO NO SUCH THING. Instead, call the classifieds and publish an AD under "Services rendered. Exhaustion guaranteed." Just before the medication wears off, (bummer!) call a taxidermist.

"Don't blame Wall Street. Don't blame the banks. If you don't have a job, blame yourself." Such was the ranting of Republican Presidential candidate Herman Cain against the Wall Street protesters. The arrogance of the man! Heaven forbid, he should have any sympathy for those fired from their jobs by wealthy and powerful corporations under the misnomer of "cost-cutting" as opposed to "profit-increasing."
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) referred to the activists as a "mob which has pitted Americans against Americans.", a description much more accurately referencing the Tea Party, whose cause Cantor embraces. Stop the world. I wanna get off.

 The "bailout" of 2008 was, in fact, an infusion of billions of dollars into the country's leading banks. The plan's expectations called for lending to the public so as to ease credit and restore confidence. The Treasury was on its knees, desperate to avoid a total collapse of the financial system which would trigger another Great Depression, or worse. The banks, realizing and taking advantage of their bargaining power, refused any attached strings which would regulate what they did with the dough, such as reducing yearly bonuses to CEO's. Today, they continue to impose usage costs on customers. Bank of America plans to charge a $5 monthly fee for use of its debit cards in making purchases. Having to pay for access to your own money! A fee too far.

In the original movie "Rollerball", starring James Caan, the world was governed by international corporations. No governments. The population was compulsorily fed mood relaxers. There were no wars, no outbreaks of rage. The venting apparatus for all citizens was the ultra-violent world game of Rollerball where teams from each country played each other in contests to the death. The howling spectators were refrained by steel fences. Extremely futuristic, wouldn't you say? But then again, who would have thought that the old "Buck Rogers" movies, replete with men traveling into space, were actually portending things?

Figure this one out: Three traveling salesmen enter a motel, seeking to bed-down for the night. The clerk informs them that there is only one room available for thirty dollars. Each man pays ten. Subsequently, the clerk realizes that the room only costs twenty-five. He gives the bellhop five singles to refund the men. On the way to the room, the bellhop decides to keep two dollars for himself, and delivers three dollars to the men, one dollar to each guy. Now--originally--each man paid ten bucks, but he is now receiving one back. That means that each man wound up paying nine bucks. Three times nine is twenty-seven. Two taken by the bellhop is twenty-nine. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE EXTRA BUCK?

There's a story making the rounds about an an alleged failed attempt, several years ago, by Mitt Romney to swim the English Channel. In explaining why he was unsuccessful, he claimed he had so much grease on his body that he kept slipping out of the water.

Two stoned jazz musicians were strolling at midnight. One, looking up at the sky and pointing at the full moon, asked, "Hey, man, what's that?"
The other replied,"Don't ask me, dude, I don't live around here."

Not so long ago, I suggested that the stagnation stand of the Tea Party, and its House Republican zombie-followers, in the debt ceiling debate, was an attempt to establish a minority-rules-the-majority way of political life which would be rejected by the American people. The Wall Street protesters, championing the rights of the middle class, are a reflection of that rejection. When you see them on T.V.,study them. It's like looking in a mirror.

Today's big news was the foiling of an Iranian plot to terrorize the U.S. with bullets and bombs. The intricate details of our military- intelligence network, to which we are not privy, are staggering in their effectiveness. The Obama administration is continuing and augmenting the Bush anti-terror policy. We know only what it is possible to disclose, and that's the way it should be. All intelligence agencies and  the military should be permanently saluted. And, don't look now, the credit begins at the White House.

I believe that our political times can best be compared to a pendulum. Slowly but surely, left to right and back again. Its timing is of the essence. Remember, it always makes its way over the center. Come the 2012 elections, that's where it shall be. The man whose course of conduct has been steady, consistent and reasonable, shall be at center stage at the right time. That's why President Obama shall be re-elected.

Things have a way of working out, in their own time.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


In July of 2011, John Demjanjuk, former U.S. autoworker who was deported to Germany to stand trial, was convicted of 28,060 counts of accessory to murder for serving as a guard at the Sobibor death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland. Munich prosecutors argued that if they could prove that he was a guard at a camp like Sobibor --established for the sole purpose of extermination--it was enough to convict him of accessory to murder as a part of the Nazi's machinery of destruction. It was the first time someone was convicted in a Nazi-era case without direct evidence that the suspect participated in a specific killing.

It has not yet been tested in court whether the Demjanjuk precedent could be extended to guards of Nazi camps where thousands died but whose sole purpose was not necessarily murder. Murder and related offenses are the only charges in Germany that are not subject to a statute of limitations.

Immediately after the war, top Nazis were convicted at war crimes tribunals run by the Allied powers while investigations of the lower ranks eventually fell to German courts. But there was little political will to aggressively pursue the prosecutions, and many of the trials ended with short sentences or the acquittal of suspects in greater positions of responsibility than Demjanjuk had. However, the current generation of prosecutors and judges in Germany has shown a new willingness to pursue even the lower ranks.

The enemy is time. The number of victims and Nazi criminals still alive is lessening daily. The test for the German judicial system is to see if prosecutions can be expedited in an appropriate manner to enable these cases to go forward. The sights have been reset and progress is being made.

And, yet, on the other hand.....................

Acquaintances, of the Jewish faith, recently vacationed in Germany. On their list of things to do was a visit to Dachau, the site of a World War II death camp. When they advised the hotel of their plan, they were offered the services of a guide with vast experience in this sort of thing. During the drive, he began theorizing on the Holocaust and told them the following: Hitler was completely misunderstood. The actual culprits were Joseph Goebbels, minister of propaganda who committed suicide rather than surrender to the Allies, and Herman Goering, Nazi leader and politician, who, having been sentenced to death at the Nuremberg war trials, committed suicide in his cell. They acted without Hitler's knowledge, who, in his own way, was not a dedicated anti-Semite. Further, he explained, gas chambers and crematoriums never existed. To be sure, he acknowledged, people died at Dachau, but this was from over-work and not as a result of premeditated murder. When they were shown structures clearly having served as gas chambers and ovens, he steadfastly denied their existence.

Upon their return to the U.S., the couple wrote a detailed letter of complaint to the hotel, which reflected its "sadness" for the experience and wished the senders a happy Jewish new year.

In a contest of evil, between perpetrators of the Holocaust and the denying revisionists, the difference is not distinguishable. Anti-Semitism was ingrained into the population of the Nazi years. This was not without exception. There were German citizens who risked their own lives to save others during this black chapter of history. The new generation, and its leaders, seeks to dissipate the taint of its forebears.

The necessary element of passage of time is in no way inconsistent with "never forget."

Learning from confronting effectuates cognitive therapy.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


I'm sure there are some, but I've never encountered an indigent doctor. They enjoy God-like status and act like it. And dentists have it made. They are so specialized, they refuse to think beyond their own field. It's a referral network. The influx of loot in both professions is never-ending. And it's steady. By the time students have graduated from med school and gone through internship, their futures are just about guaranteed. More power to them, reaping the benefits of hard work.

A switch of gears is required when contemplating the plight of law students. During their senior year, they are gripped by anxiety. Will they pass the bar exam? And then, what? How will they earn a living? Top-notch law schools pour out highly qualified graduates each year, flooding the market with job seekers. The top percentile score with the prestigious law firms. The majority ponder in the face of uncertainty. Letters of recommendation, interviews, a consideration of military JAG---anything to prevent joblessness. They refuse, in any way, to acknowledge the  misconception of trial attorneys.

Litigious, slick, manipulative and exploitative. That's the misguided stereotype which is pervasively advertised to the public. Nothing could be farther from the truth. A litigator is, by definition, an extrovert, a type A personality and neurotic. Anyone who's not settles for mediocrity. "Tort lawyers cause insurance rates to rise. Criminal defense attorneys represent the guilty." Baloney. When an individual is injured by the  negligence of others, the first scream heard is, "Get me the best lawyer and tell him to get me maximum money." Someone charged with a crime instructs his lawyer to "do whatever it takes to get me off." And heavy responsibilities are assumed by men and women dedicated to uphold the solemnity and integrity of the trial system of justice.

These are noble professionals who shall receive our respect the old fashioned way.

They shall have earned it.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


"Traveling from secret bases on opposite sides of Yemen, armed drones from the CIA and the military's Joint Special Operations Command converged above Anwar al-Aulaqi's position in northern Yemen early Friday, 9/30/2011, and unleashed a fury of missiles." (Greg Miller-Washington Post-9/30)
Aulaqi was killed.

He was an imminent threat to the security interests of the United States and was deliberately hiding in a place where neither the U.S. nor Yemen could realistically capture him. He had played a direct role in the plot to blow up a jet over Detroit and had become an operational figure within al-Quaeda's affiliate in Yemen. Having been born in New Mexico, he was a U.S. citizen. That fact has prompted criticism from prominent liberal organizations, such as the ACLU.

Their complaints are predicated upon an alleged failure to afford an American citizen the constitutionally mandated right to Due Process of law. The plain language definition of Due Process is "fairness." The goal, they advocate, should have been to capture and bring him to trial, whereby he would have enjoyed such benefits as the presumption of innocence and the right to confront witnesses called to testify against him, etc. They claim that a dangerous precedent has been set for the targeted killing of  U.S. citizens without judicial process, based upon evidence kept secret from the public and the courts.

The belief that such objections are made in the utmost good faith legitimizes motive but not common sense. We are at war. With terrorism. We were attacked by this enemy on 9/11 in a manner arguably reminiscent of the 1941 Pearl Harbor tragedy. Both events rallied the nation. Both events called for vengeance. Complete and unqualified. The axiom of World War II was "unconditional surrender." So it is now.

War is never a gentleman's sport. An approach to our military heroes, returning from combat, must be gingerly made. Their wounds are not confined to the surface. Memories are indelible. Whatever happened to the Due Process rights of the World Trade Center victims, the vast majority of whom were American citizens?

In the matter at hand, an opinion was initially sought from the Justice Department which promulgated a green-light memorandum, without which the CIA would not have acted. Detailed evidence, validating the classification of Aulaqi as a genuine threat to national security, was presented and is available to the public, surely in lesser detail, in daily press reports. This intelligence/military operation should be applauded and grounds for high confidence in the Obama administration. The buck stops with the President. He should be saluted.

Our terrorist enemies are fanatics who gladly commit suicide at every opportunity to murder us. Any of their members who are technically American citizens should be deemed to have waived all rights attending that status. Those thinking otherwise, motives notwithstanding, should reexamine their opinions through the the filter of war's realities.

Mainstream sentiments of our two political parties should be respected. Extremism, in either, is bad for the brew and should be rejected.

Being a U.S. citizen did have implications for Aulaqi. He was not only a terrorist, but a traitor, as well.