Saturday, September 25, 2021

The Passing of a Generation


When my dad, Richard Copeland, retired from teaching  in Logansport, Indiana 30 years ago, he and his retired colleagues started meeting for breakfast every Tuesday morning at a local diner. The group originally consisted of about 30 retired male teachers, many of them coaches. As of today, there are only two left to carry on the tradition. 

Just a few days ago, Coach Jim Turner, age 90, who lead the Logan Berries to state baseball championships, joined the angels. He was a good man, an honorable American history teacher, and a beloved baseball coach.

When I was a junior in high school, I talked him into allowing me to study independently since I was already a history buff. I focused on American Civil War naval battles. He gave me the ability to stretch my mind while still achieving the credits I needed to graduate. That is what separates the good teachers from the great. He gave me the opportunity to stretch my knowledge. 45 years later I am still grateful.

Now, the Tuesday morning gathering is reduced to two, my dad(Richard Copeland) and Rich Wild. They’ve been friends for decades. They do not always agree on the current political situation. But they have a collective history and the memories of their retired teacher friends  that they continue to honor. 

Keep the faith Daddy & Mr. Wild. Uphold the tradition. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

It Is Time To Revisit Tort Reform


It is time to revisit tort reform. For those unfamiliar with the concept, tort reform refers to establishing laws that place a monetary cap on non-economic and punitive damages in a civil law suit. Most legislators resist tort reform because a significant number of elected officials are attorneys who represent p,a tiffs in civil lawsuits on a contingency basis. That means the lawyers get paid approximately 40% of any settlement or verdict. In fact, many cases don’t settle because the lawyers are looking for a big payday. They vilify insurance companies and corporations to leverage negative publicity for a big payday. But the system ultimately costs all of us. 

Sorry, folks, but no individual’s life is worth $10 million for pain and suffering. Accidents happen. Unless somebody is under the influence of drugs/ alcohol or there is evidence of intentional wrongdoing, there should be no punitive damages. Juries make decisions based upon emotions rather than facts. Elected judges who are supposed to be impartial generally support law firms that contribute more money to their reelection campaigns. The system is corrupt. Many players are unethical. Apparently they sleep well on their mattresses stuffed with cash.

If this trend of ridiculous payouts to injured people doesn’t change, the system will collapse. There is a reason so few products are actually manufactured in the USA today... laws that hold a manufacturer legally responsible when an idiot misused a product and the manufacturer or the importer or the retail outlet failed to warn the end user not to use the toaster in the bathtub. 

In Nassau county Florida a jury recently awarded a verdict of One Billion Dollars for the death of a college student. So, the next time you wonder why your grocery store shelves are empty, Kohl’s has no merchandise, or your favorite restaurant has no meat, it is because the legal system is bankrupting the system. 

Just stop it!

Thursday, September 16, 2021

America’s Responsibility For Failed Nation Building


Interference in the business of a another sovereign nation creates a responsibility that the US government had abrogated. It is an embarrassment to those of us with a sense of fairness, scruples, dignity and duty to those we have harmed by hubris. For those who don’t understand the term, hubris is excessive pride combined with arrogance. This has been the failure of our most recent debacle in failed nation building.

After 9/11 the US government decided to send troops to Afghanistan with the goal of crippling Al Qaeda and killing Osama Bin Laden.  Has the powers-that-be stayed within the confines of that mission, we would not have seen the debacle of recent weeks at the Kabul Airport and news reports. However, the successive administrations in Washington decided, despite prior failures, to bring Afghanistan from the 9th Century into the 21st Century. Along the way, the Americans  and western allies  helped to establish elections, a free press, education for women, modern entertainment, western style freedoms, the ability to travel, exposure to the arts, liberty from oppression, and the basic freedoms we hold dear. 

But, in an attempt to appease a certain constituency, the Biden administration decided to withdraw all military support for the struggling Afghan government. Rather than use the strategy that has served the Korean Peninsula well for 69 plus years by maintaining a peacekeeping force, Biden and his cronies decide to repatriate all troops before ensuring the evacuation of American citizens, Afghans that served as guides, interpreters or support staff for the US military, the families of permanent US residents, and those most at risk of retribution by a terrorist organization that hates w omen and the modern world.

In my humble opinion it is tantamount to wars crimes to abandon those we promised to help. Had we just killed Bin Laden and cut off the head of the Al Qaeda snake and left, the original mission would have been a success. But instead we tried to change the lives of the people by exposing them to opportunity, education, the concept of freedom and hope. HOPE! 

There is no excuse for this heinous abrogation of responsibility that we accepted by this most recent failed attempt at nation building. The Chinese proverb that makes one responsible for a life one has saved resonates in uncountable ways. For every woman child, interpreter, driver, agent that we ‘saved’ by giving them hope, we owe them accountability. For every US supporter, artist, woman,  member of the press, child or educator that has been beaten, beheaded, abused, bombed, shoved back into the 9th Century, we are responsible. 

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Patriotism in the Heartland | Logansport, IN Honors Marine Cpl. Humberto Sanchez


I did not plan to spend an hour watching WRTV stream on my IPAD this afternoon. The last four weeks at work had been stressful. And, the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 caused me to reflect on the state of the world.  So, I planned to leisurely read the New York Times while enjoying the relaxing sounds of our outdoor fountain, assemble a charcuterie tray for a mid-afternoon snack, and then turn to my latest thriller from Book of the Month Club. 

As I was trolling through Facebook I noticed a link to the live stream of the procession of Corporal Humberto Sanchez, one of the 13 members of our military killed by a terrorist bomb at Kabul Airport during the criminally negligent withdrawal from Afghanistan orchestrated by Biden and his sycophants. I’d read that Marine Corporal Sanchez had been born and raised in Logansport, Indiana- the town in north central Indiana where I’d grown up- a place surrounded by farmland in the heart of what certain coastal elites refers to a ‘fly-over’ country. Although I haven’t lived there in more than 40 years, my dad still lives in the house where I grew up. Whenever I visit, I feel grounded and reminded of the people, land, and atmosphere who helped cultivate the person I am today. 

It brought tears to my eyes watching the people of Logansport stand along the 20 mile route from Grissom Air Force Base to Gundrum Funeral Home in downtown Logansport to honor a young man who joined the Marines out of high school, served as a embassy guard in Jordon, and was then deployed to Afghanistan. The people along the procession route waved American flags. Some held their hands over their hearts. An estimated 8000 motorcycles rode in the procession to honor this fallen soldier. 

There are politicians, members of the media, ivory tower academics, and ‘woke’ activists that spout derisive rhetoric about the people of America’s heartland. It is my guess that many of those individuals have spent no time in flyover country nor do they actually know anyone who has actually lived in the center part of the country.

Most of the  people who gathered along the route likely had never met Corporal Sanchez. Neither did the thousands of motorcyclists  that acted as honor guard. They came out and stood or road for hours to honor a fallen son of America. I don’t know about you, but I would rather spend time with the folks that believe in the American 🇺🇸 way of life, who honor the fallen, who believe in opportunity afforded to all, who still hold the American spirit in their hearts, who don’t judge others based upon political ideology, who still feel pride when hearing our national anthem and seeing the Stars & Stripes wave over the land of the free and the home of the brave.

I am proud of the welcome home that Logansport, Indiana extended to one of its own. 

Rest In Peace Corporal Humberto Sanchez. The few. The Proud. An American Marine. 

Friday, September 10, 2021

Reflect on the Resilience of America

 20 years ago tomorrow the concept of the invincibility of America changed. For the first time since Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, we were attacked on our soil. People who hated America just because of who we are flew planes into our iconic landmarks in an attempt to cripple our way of life. They did not succeed. 

In the midst of the horror we watched on our TV screens or in person, we found heroic deeds, actions, and people who gave us the temerity to move forward, do the next right thing, consider our collective resilience and humanity, and embrace life. Thinking back on that time when we came together as members of the human race, it mystifies me that forces have torn asunder that unity we experienced in a national tragedy.

Twenty tears ago we hailed the heroism, sacrifice, bravery and commitment of our first responders who ran into the valley of the shadow of death to save others. There were no stories of fire fighters or police officers making decisions on who to help based upon sex, color, race, creed, national origin or physical capabilities. Those first responders who climbed the smoke filled steps towards the fire while carrying 70 pounds of equipment saw only humankind. 

The passengers on Flight 93 rushed the flight deck to preserve symbols of our independence, liberty, freedom and way of life. 

Those who surged into the Pentagon to rescue those who serve each of us exhibited the best of who we are. 

Those of us who watched those planes fly into the twin towers, drove by the gaping hole in the Pentagon, who called friends or family hoping somebody answered, who listened to the recordings of the voices of the brave citizens on flight 93, cannot fathom how our media, political class, activists or colleagues could bury these memories to the extent that we have become so polarized and judgmental of our fellow man.

Stop. Reflect. Remember. Celebrate a time when the forces of evil united us. Remember when our friend in France shouted Je Suis  Americain! 🇺🇸