Sunday, April 26, 2015

"Group Think," Ch. 28 of BUT...AT WHAT COST

I believe the consequences of the Progressive policies started in the early 1900s have been devastating to our American culture, in general, and to our black population, in particular. I believe the political tactics of the Left have created and maintained false perceptions which have, in turn, exacerbated racial tensions. I believe the Left’s programs to raise black success rates have failed because they were not designed to succeed. They seem to have had a different purpose from the beginning: to secure the black voting bloc. One need only look at the percentage of blacks who vote Democrat to see how well their tactics have worked. Such near unanimity can be achieved only through indoctrination.

The glory of America is having the freedom to disagree and having the opportunity to express those disagreements. We are slowly having those freedoms taken away by Progressive tactics and policies. Tea Partiers, for example, are “racists” to half the white population and probably ninety percent of the black population. This false perception was purposely created for political gain – and it worked.

We Tea Party members have been shut out from venues, harassed by elected officials, seldom allowed to state our rationales in a public forum without interruption, and singled out for attack by the IRS. There are few “in-depth” interviews or even a passing mention of a huge TP event in the main-stream media without a negative appraisal of it. Excepting a few media outlets, our freedom of speech has been effectively eliminated through slander and omission. The current battle cry against us and against Conservatives, in general, is “far-right extremists,” which essentially means anti-black, anti-gay and anti-woman, according to the rhetoric.

First, look at the groups to whom they are appealing: their base – blacks, women and gays. There are others (Hispanics, Muslims, the poor, unions, lawyers, etc.), but most attempts at vilification are aimed to influence uninformed women, blacks and gays. All political parties aim primarily at the uninformed because they are the most easily indoctrinated by sophomoric rhetoric, but the Left is particularly good at issuing it, and most of the Left-leaners I know seem particularly susceptible to it. In my experience (excepting the Religious Right whose beliefs often come from dogma or from a different rationale than I do on some issues), the uninterested (i.e., the uninformed) tend to be Democrats. Could be I’m using myself as an example too much, but I know I didn’t know anything about politics when I was a Dem. I also know the Democrats I talk to either can’t or won’t discuss rationales in depth; they seem to know absolutely nothing about Conservative or Tea Party principles beyond the anti-black, anti-gay, anti-women presumptions they’ve been taught. It’s very disheartening that so many only passively interested, but intelligent people succumb to the rhetoric. But that’s “group think.”

The Progressives have won the media wars. The vast majority of Tea Partiers and Republicans are decidedly NOT racist. Tea Partiers are among the rarest of individuals – those willing to risk the disdain of a nation in order to point out the real causes of not only our declining ghetto culture, but subsequently our entire culture.

What we have today is NOT Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s Democrat Party. That is long gone; the leaders having been replaced by Progressives. Even many Republicans are Progressives now because they too have been over-exposed to the same junk science and false data presented both in the media and our classrooms.

I know I’m starting to sound like a conspiracy theorist, and a nut. I’m not. The kind of conspiracy I’m alluding to is a conspiracy of belief… which is quite different from the off-the-wall theories about the 9/11 attacks or any other specific event. A certain percentage of any group of people might lean toward somewhat paranoid and ridiculous assumptions about the opposition. That kind of radical thinking can exist in any group – be it religious, political, or a group of animal-rights activists. The kind of conspiracy I’m talking about is more subtle, but just as dangerous. Perhaps more dangerous, because it’s never what it seems to be. It’s disguised and remains under the radar.

After much investigation of previous advocates of Progressive (read “Socialist”) policies (from 1900 on), I have concluded that few of the beliefs foisted on us by the advice industry was the outcome of valid scientific research. In my opinion, most of the rhetoric supplied by feminist “counselors,” in particular, was little more than political advocacy designed to weaken the family. I know this sounds way out there in crazy-land, but think of the results. Divorce rates doubled with the rise of feminist dogma. More women had to go on welfare and more families needed food stamps. I am not saying that all feminists have had a Socialist agenda, but many of those presented by the media have had. What they touted went far beyond their stated goal of equal pay; they all but crucified chauvinistic men and the women who enabled them. And they’re still doing it. Now Republicans are said to be waging a war against women. Socialist rhetoric is designed to incrementally achieve the end goal – a Socialist state, which can be achieved only if a majority feels victimized and dependent.

Personally, I don’t think socialism works as well as capitalism, but that remains the real question for each voter to answer for himself. I sort of went through a socialist phase, but eventually I concluded I didn’t want to be delivered from my personal freedoms in order to secure the fantasy of “social justice.” It ain’t gonna happen!

“From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs” may sound fair and equitable, but in practice can’t work. It never has worked because people, while gregarious and loyal to group members, are also driven by self-interest. Socialism ignores this competitive spirit most folks have. We want our good work to be acknowledged and rewarded… and some phony gold star handed out to just about everyone for dedicated service to the cause isn’t enough. Our teachers are now being trained to reward “trying” instead of results. My son, Randy, had to attend one of these seminars – in my view, pure, under-the radar, socialist indoctrination.

Progressivism demands a strong central authority, and no matter how attractive it might be for many to rely on Big Brother for everything, in the end, this free woman must reject that authority and the possibility that it will increasingly impinge on my freedoms. We cannot ever be sure that those in power, be it a school board, a publisher, or a governor won’t turn against us. Look at history: look at Stalin; look at Mao; look at Hitler, look at Lenin – controllers of socialist regimes all. The first thing they do is control the media and education and thereby distort the historical context of events to suit their agendas.

The dictates of these regimes didn’t end well for the people. If you think it can’t happen here, think again. It is happening here, slowly, but that is the current trend. Anyone who supports changes in the basic constructs of our Constitution with its strong limitations on the central government is enabling the Progressive agenda.

Margaret Sanger, a heroine of many feminists, was a declared Progressive. Let’s study what she advocated: eugenics. Eugenics was a hallmark of Progressive thinking in the twenties. Sanger is responsible for the creation of Planned Parenthood, which at the time was consumed with controlling the populations of those perceived as inferior. Ashley’s aunt, Dr. Mary Halton, was a contemporary and an advisor to Margaret Sanger. I don’t doubt their intentions were good, but you need more than good intentions – you need your premise to be correct and a reasonable assessment of the possible consequences, if your premise is wrong. Their premise was wrong.

While genetics plays a huge role in determining outcomes, there are other major influences, and I, for one, think Sanger’s basic premise of racial inferiority was wrong. Though there are some genetic differences among the races, there are far too many individual exceptions and purely cultural influences on outcomes to assume anything about anyone.

Although there are plenty of valid generalities to be made concerning group beliefs and behaviors, one should NEVER use such generalities to prejudge individual members of the group. All but the most ignorant among us know this, of course, but that knowledge will not stop our brains from automatically alerting us to possible danger.

Progressives have gotten away from that rationale now, but at Margaret Sanger’s time, the explanation for black failure was genetic inferiority. Margaret Sanger was a prominent racist whose objective was to create a superior society by eliminating inferior people through birth control. No matter how she went about it (with kindness and with the individual’s welfare in mind), I find her underlying belief untrue… and her willingness to use that belief to engineer a social outcome quite despicable. It demonstrates an arrogance of belief I find intolerable – certainly not admirable. Yet, she is admired.

Sanger intended to achieve her goal by manipulating perceptions. Convince “inferior” people (primarily “Negroes”) they would have a better life if they had fewer children. True enough; they would, and society might benefit. However, her premise assumed it was not only okay, but desirable, to eliminate whole groups of genetically undesirable people. Bad (or incomplete) science and Progressive philosophy teamed up to advance proposals to achieve what they believed was a desirable outcome: fewer “Negroes.”

Very tricky business, this. Eugenics through birth control, as long as it is not forced, is probably morally okay – at least to me, though the Catholic Church surely disagrees. Through abortion? I’m not so sure – not when ten million of the almost sixty million abortions since Roe vs. Wade have been performed on black women. Granted, if a personal choice and not forced, it is probably acceptable, but when it’s a choice of personal convenience rather than necessity for anyone, it rather rankles my sensitivities – especially when it effectively results in the demise of so many lives that are decidedly NOT genetically inferior or damaged. We’ll never know whom we lost. It always gets back to my first-born Randy for me. I can’t imagine my world without him and his offspring. News of his impending arrival was decidedly inconvenient to deal with, but I sure am glad I couldn’t walk into a clinic in a moment of panic and just be rid of the “problem.” To let live or kill is not an easy choice – nor should it be.

When I was in high school, we had debates on the subject of sterilization of the mentally inferior, but now, unless your kid is lucky enough to have a very brave teacher, the morality of such a topic as that or abortion cannot be discussed in depth. Our kids are thoroughly indoctrinated into the Progressive point of view of free birth control and abortions for all. The rationale is: one mistake shouldn’t ruin your life. Believe me, I get it; one mistake shouldn’t ruin your whole life, but it won’t if you have the courage and fortitude to take responsibility for your actions. You may even feel good about yourself for having done so.

That is the part that is mostly absent from conversation these days – is it right to abandon your responsibilities and allow Big Brother to take care of everything for you? To me, this is the moral dilemma that should be discussed – not the abortion part so much as the abandonment of responsibility part. When an inherently selfish act like abortion is perceived as an okay way to eliminate an inconvenience, where are we headed? That’s the ol’ slippery-slope dilemma. Once one accepts a selfish solution to any of life’s problems, how far away are we from accepting selfish solutions for everything? If life is, indeed, of so little worth, why should a parent stick around to take care of that life – especially if the government will do it? Beliefs have consequences.

Reasonable people can disagree whether there are situations that justify the taking of an innocent life. I’m pragmatic and not at all religious, so I’m pro-choice… with a rather large BUT (with a single “t”). The consignee should understand her choice has nothing to do with women’s rights. That’s a politically initiated misconception. Abortion is a purely personal moral dilemma, not to be taken lightly. I can accept either choice, up to a point.

Progressive doctrine creates the false perception of victimhood and neediness… and results in unnecessary hand-wringing and, I think, unnecessary abortions. In my view, there are no real bad guys in the abortion debate. There is virtue on both sides: some folks believe very strongly in the right to life; others are pragmatists and value practical solutions over righteous ones. I deplore the politically generated animus between the two sides of this issue.

In a way (even though I’m pro-choice), I think the angels are on the side of the pro-lifers. Every time I think I might have aborted Randy merely to make my life easier, I cringe. I truly understand the “lifers” point of view. They are not attacking a woman’s right to choose; they are trying to save the innocents. There is virtue in that. I see slightly less virtue in making a purely pragmatic choice. When the pro –choice crowd tries to make it a political “rights” issue instead of the moral issue it is, they lose me. I mean, can anyone reasonably describe a life and death choice as anything other than a moral decision? It’s the very essence of morality, as is one’s moral responsibility to take care of a life one has created.

Pro-choice advocates should not ignore morality as a legitimate argument for life; nor should pro-life advocates ignore the realities of incompetent parents having children they are unable to support and who will become wards of the State. That’s a moral decision too. The “choice” truly is a personal one, based on which moral construct is more important or relevant to one’s situation. I think it would have been immoral for me to have chosen to abort Randy because our situation did not in any way demand it. We could afford to make the right choice for us. Others are not so lucky, so for them, abortion might be an acceptable moral choice – though there are still other alternatives such as adoption which should be considered first.

There will always be culturally imposed differences in beliefs among people. That’s why I would hope we have honest, unbiased politicians to make the necessarily arbitrary decisions that become our laws. For abortions, before twenty weeks seems a reasonable cut-off date… but probably, one that will stick in the craw of both sides, as arbitrary decisions rarely please opposing advocates. Oh, well.

Politically, I lean heavily toward the side of free choice, but I hope I (and everyone else) will always recognize abortion as a personal moral issue, not as a way to solve a societal problem. Just as it was unacceptable morally to use birth control as a means of ethnic cleansing (which was, at its inception, Planned Parenthood’s and the Progressives’ goal), it is also morally unacceptable for advocates to target the underclasses and young people for abortions. Such targeting (which does exist) seems wrong to me because it recommends a selfish solution and forgives irresponsible behavior.

Wilson was one of our most Progressive Presidents… and also one of our most racist Presidents. He too was a product of his time and believed as most then did that Negroes were genetically inferior. Progressives, in general, believe in social engineering, also – a very dangerous combination of beliefs in a President, I’d say.

We are all partly products of our time. That is why it is so crucial to question those in power – to understand their true beliefs and motivations, and to understand the strategies and tactics employed by them to achieve their political ends. From their beginnings, Progressive strategies have almost always employed racial politics to their advantage – and by saying one thing and doing another.

All politicians do this to some degree, but from Wilson on, Progressives stand as the unchallenged champions of double-speak. For example, Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, published in 1971, outlines their treacherous tactics for community organizing (one of the standard means by which Progressives plan to achieve social justice). It’s a textbook for the end-justify-the-means philosophy. In other words, it’s okay to create false perceptions (such as the rampant racism of Republicans) if such a belief will achieve parity in outcomes – the stated Progressive end-goal.

First, I don’t think parity in outcomes is possible, because it is antithetical to human nature. Each person is inherently different and so will necessarily perform differently. Socialism itself is antithetical to human nature because it basically ignores or devalues those differences. Thus, we get the one-size-fits-all child rearing practices, the unconditional acceptance of culturally disparate groups, and equal rewards for unequal achievements. For decades the Progressives have tried, very diligently, to eliminate our competitive natures. It didn’t work, did it? We are as competitive as ever. The only way to squash our competitive natures is by regulation – by putting all the power in the hands of a political class that does not reward talent, effort, ethics, or even luck. Socialist policies, even in their mildest forms, fail. They produce perverse incentives.

Most people naturally favor a society that recognizes achievement and punishes sloth. Few of us can endure the lack of freedom and the authoritarianism long-term socialist policies demand. Social Democracy (European socialism as practiced in Sweden, Denmark, etc.) might be possible, but it is not economically feasible in large, diverse societies, because, in the long run, any country (even the U.S.), will run out of money and patience if the disparities remain obvious and tend to break down along racial or ethnic lines. Smaller, less diverse countries do not have these problems. Family groups and other relatively small, culturally discrete groups can function under socialist, to each according to his needs, policies. It is basically the policy of most family groups; we take care of each other. However, what is acceptable in family dynamics is rarely acceptable across culturally disparate groups if their behaviors and values do not align with the majority view of right and wrong. In other words, economic parity cannot be the goal without an expectation for moral parity too.

Trust me, (okay, don’t trust me; study history), economic parity is NOT the primary goal of Progressives – at least not a realistic goal, because it is antithetical to human nature. Most of us crave freedom and power over our own lives; Progressives crave power over all our lives.

Idealistic fools (i.e., Progressives) say they want an egalitarian state. So do I, but how they are going about it is dishonest – the stuff of children’s cartoon features such as Avatar – Indoctrination 101. Hate the capitalists. When at least six out of nine award-winning cartoon features have a capitalist as the villain (see Your Teacher Said What?), you can be sure we are steadfastly being indoctrinated into the socialist mythology.

Political conspiracies are primarily conspiracies of deception. Some proselytizers are true believers, but the means many Progressives use (because they follow a more radical ends-justify-the-means philosophy) are more deceptive, more hidden, and unfortunately, tend to create many more unwanted consequences, like perpetual racial animus, than their Conservative counterparts.

I am a truth-seeker and abhor purposeful deception, no matter what the end goal is. That’s me. And that’s why I am no longer a Democrat. I was and perhaps still would be a Moynihan Democrat, but the tactics and policies of today’s Progressives (President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid et al.) are way too dishonest and divisive for me.

We are serializing here Judith Axtell's memoir, BUT...AT WHAT COST, which tells of her gradual transition from liberal to conservative. Published by Outskirts Press, it is available from OP and from on-line booksellers like and I am proud to have coached her and edited her book.

My other site is

"Not Even a Pole from Dad..." from KIDNAPPED TWICE


Throughout my entire life I only asked my father for one thing, which was long after he and Ann were divorced. I was in the process of moving my mobile home to the piece of land that I had purchased, and I needed a pole for the electric line. My father worked for the utilities company, so I thought he would be able to get me a telephone pole, which I would pay for, of course. He said no! I had to get the pole through the help of someone else.


I remember only two times in my life that my father said anything kind to me. The first was in the telephone call where he stated that I had a lot of crosses to bear. The second ended with his being upset. I had been visiting Anita [his third wife] and my father. I was leaving and we were standing outside. For some reason, my father made the statement that I was the only one who would mow the lawn. (He meant when we were with Ann.) I made the statement that if I was mowing, I wasn't being beaten. He said, “Are you saying you were afraid of me?”

I answered, “Yes, I was afraid of you!” This was incredible to me! My father shook his head, showing that he was upset with me.

As I looked at his wife, Anita, I realized how hard it would be for him to tell her of his betrayal of me. Is it possible he had backed himself into a corner? How dare I speak the truth! Did he really keep all the horror hidden all those years, or did he truly believe that it was OK?

I never got over that day. I can see it in my memory as if it happened only yesterday. All I can think is that he had no shame for what he had done to me! He had no remorse, no justification, no standing up and taking responsibility for the abuse. For a very long time it made me very sad, then angry, and now accepting– accepting that no parents could both love their children and abuse them!


My fourth full-time job started the nightmare that a lot of women go through. By that time I was a single mom, supporting myself and my son. It was not easy to quit a job. My first job’s manager had been interested in having a romantic relationship with me. I was not interested, which made it very uncomfortable. My second job’s manager presented the same problem. Ditto for my third job’s manager, who was also making nasty comments that finally caused me to quit and find another job.

The fourth job developed a different problem. My boss, who was also the owner of the company, was engaged to be married. Although I never had a conversation with her, his fiancée did not want me working with her soon-to-be husband. I was very “nicely” let go! By the way, just for the record, that marriage did not make it.

My fifth job was with the Police Department. There were a few minor “romantic” problems, but nothing I couldn’t handle.

My job after this one was the absolute worst! The manager would not understand that “NO” means “NO!“ It was a daily battle that was terrible. This is the job my partner of that time, Bruce, asked me to get for his girlfriend, Lori, after I left. Of course, the fact that Lori was his girlfriend only came out later.

During all this time I was also taking care of my partner’s fuel oil business books.

The job following this one was with a scientific company owned by one man. Right from the beginning it became a challenge. I think it was during my second week there that he told me that there was a pool party for employees at his home that evening after work. He asked me to go. I went home to get myself ready for the pool party and went to what I thought was to be a party with many employees attending. It was just me!

At this pool party he had a strange conversation with me, telling me I should take him up on his offer to fool around because it would be a boost for my career. I did not, but I stayed at the job. He would “hit on me” every now and again, but I sometimes think that he enjoyed having me tell him off. I had hired Susie to work with me at this job. We both worked very hard on assisting a spin-off company he wanted to expand. I was still also working at the Police Department, but only part-time.

Susie got fed up one day, as he had pushed her to the edge. She came to my office and told me what happened and that she was walking out. We walked out together and never went back.


The company I worked for after the birth of my son and for some years thereafter was a well-known oil company. It was a place almost every farmer in the area patronized. I was the office manager, which involved the bookkeeping and all the record-keeping. There was a gas pump outside and a warehouse with different oils and greases. Most of the time, when a farmer would pull up to the gas pump, I would go out and pump his gas and talk to him. If he needed oil or grease, I would show him where they were. This, under normal circumstances, would not be important. One day it did.

Every Sunday, weather permitting, a group of us would get together to play softball and bring food to eat later on in the evening. It was a fun time for all. As I was sitting one evening, balancing my plate, a little girl walked up to me and asked me if my name was Mary Markonic. I said it was. She then said that I was a very bad lady. I asked her why she thought I was a bad person. She said because her mother said so! By this time, her mother and father were trying to hush her up and were pulling her away from me. The father was telling her to apologize to me. I told him that his wife and he owed me an apology, not their child. By now everyone was standing up trying to calm the situation.

I went to the wife and I asked her why she would tell her little girl such a thing. She said it was because she was sick of her husband‘s telling her she should wear her hair like mine, she should dress like me, and how pretty I was. I was infuriated to think that a grown married man would say these things, which his little girl would never forget, nor would I. I was upset about it then. I still am today.

I waited until that farmer came to get oil. I asked him why he would do such a thing. He laughed and said he was just trying to get his wife to be jealous. I do not remember what I said, but I‘m sure he does. Years later, I did the farm payroll for his brother, and we spoke about it. Not surprisingly, the farmer and his wife got divorced, but I still wonder if that little girl grew up thinking that I was a bad person.

We are serializing the memoir KIDNAPPED TWICE written by Mary E. Seaman and me, published by Outskirts Press and available from OP as well as from on-line booksellers like and Theme is slow recovery from tough childhood.

My other web site is

Saturday, April 18, 2015

"Ann's Scary Relatives..." from KIDNAPPED TWICE

Even my stepmother’s siblings were scary. I was always afraid of one of her brothers. He had a very nice wife, small in stature and quiet. They had three children, two boys and a girl. One of the boys was handicapped in some way, but I don’t remember in what way. I saw very little of him, as he was always in the attic.

Many years later, when I was a cop, I read in the paper that Ann’s brother and his wife had been in a hunting incident. The police found her sitting against the tree with a rifle between her legs, pointed at her head, which suggested suicide. I did not believe that she committed suicide, although I’m sure her life was not a life of love.

I contacted a friend in the Bureau of Criminal Investigation to see if he could look into the story, but he told me that with the evidence they had, it could not be proven her husband did it. So that was it. The children have to live the rest of their lives with this memory, which is very, very sad.


Life went on. I continued to date the man, Bruce, who worked at the same company as I did, and we were together for many years…for 13 years to be exact. I bought a piece of land and moved my little mobile home there and a couple of years later built two rooms onto it. It was comfortable. I loved my boyfriend’s father, so I cooked him supper every night, and he created a vegetable garden on the lot that I had purchased next to my home.

This garden was the father’s pride and joy. Previously, he had his garden up on the mountain, next to a relative’s house. The garden was too far from the house, and I was worried he would have a problem health-wise and no one would know; hence, we put the garden on my place. As fate would have it, he did have a heart attack in the garden. He was rushed to the hospital, but he did not make it alive. Very sad.

All during this time, I had one close female friend. We were as close as any friends could be. I had purchased a used, above-ground pool, which both of us spent much of our time at on weekends, floating on rafts. This friend had different men in her life over the years, but she eventually ended up with one who did not deserve her. Many things happened that she was not aware of and which I never told her about. Telling her then, or now, would only hurt her, as she is still with him. My only hope is that he has changed. During these years, we had many good times and helped each other when one of us was going through bad times. Her choice of men was as bad as mine, maybe even worse. I never really told her much of what had happened in my life, as I saw no reason to.

During those years, my boyfriend, Bruce, and I started an oil home delivery business. It became a decent business. I always worked other jobs to have my own income, because I did the work for the business without any pay.

My property and my mobile home were the collateral for his oil truck. That was paid off. The dream was to have a house on my property. My son, my partner, and I agreed to try to make that happen. I decided to obtain a modular home dealership, which led to our getting a nice home. To do this, I had to put my partner’s name on my property, which is one of the worst mistakes I ever made.

I gave my former mobile home with the extra rooms to a friend who dug the hole for the foundation. The mobile home is still standing with the extra rooms, and it is rented out on the friend’s property. A few years after my new home was put up on my property, my partner found what he thought was the “love of his life” and left. As his name was on the property and the house, all had to be sold. So much for having my own home and property!


When my son was in high school, he started dating a girl named Sue. She was a pretty girl with a lot going for her. She was very smart and had a great personality. When she went away to college, I think I missed her more than I missed my son. As happens in most first loves, for people so young, they grew apart. But Susie and I did not. For many years, wherever I worked, she would work. She was always an asset to whatever company we worked for. We spent a lot of time together as the years went by. We would play tennis almost every day after work. Our lives were always entwined in one way or another.

My son got married, and then Susie married, in a ceremony to which we all were invited. I was so happy for her, as I still am. She had twin boys and then another boy. All of this time she was working and doing quite well. She and her husband built a beautiful house and were happy with love and life. Then she got terrible news: she had breast cancer. Life was busy for her and me, so we were not in touch for awhile. When I heard the news about her cancer, I had to call her and hear her voice. She was fighting this terrible disease. We kept in touch at different stages of her treatments. I prayed every day for her, and I still do. She is doing well and invited me for this most recent Thanksgiving dinner, which was wonderful to see. Her parents were there, as were her sister and all the children. Susie has a special place in my heart and always will.


As I write about certain parts of my life, the following are a few of the most hurtful.

After I had purchased my land and put my mobile home there, I had rooms built on to it, which made my living room much bigger and gave me a nice bedroom,

The next purchase was a free-standing fireplace, which I loved. I purchased a decent car. These two purchases took place when my long-time boyfriend, Bruce, was out of town hunting. He somehow thought I would make changes only when he was out of town just to upset him. I certainly didn’t think I needed his permission for anything, as it was my money, my home, and it was my son and I. Bruce did not live with us at this time.

During my years of working at the oil company, two things happened that were important to me:

The first is the day a man with whom I worked, named “Dan,” who was one of the nicest people I knew, was making deliveries. He knocked on a customer’s door to ask her for help, as he was not feeling well. Quickly, Dan was taken to the hospital, but he died of a massive heart attack. Within a few hours, the hospital was calling my office, asking for his family to be notified, as the hospital needed to know what to do with the body. The hospital said they needed to be notified within one hour. I was the only one at the job. Dan’s wife worked at the local bank, and I knew I was going to have to tell her.

I called the town doctor and told him to meet me at the bank. I went to tell Dan’s wife that Dan had died. There is no good way to prepare yourself to tell someone a loved one has passed away. She was someone I knew quite well. It was heart-breaking to tell her.

The second incident was another one of those days a lot of people in our town would remember.

My desk was situated with a clear view of our oil company’s loading dock, where the fuel trucks would load up with oil or gasoline. On this day, it is important to note, all the district managers were visiting our facility; they had just left to take our manager out to lunch.

One of our drivers came in to the loading dock, started loading his truck with fuel, and came into our office to tell me that he had to use the bathroom and for me to watch his truck! I told him to go turn off the fueling and return to the office to use the bathroom. He refused. Any woman who has dealt with certain men in the workplace knows what I am saying. Within a very short period of time, the truck was not only filled with fuel, the fuel was running down the sides of the truck all over the parking lot and out into the street.

I had to call the Fire Department, which came to the scene and engulfed the entire area and the buildings with foam. As this foam reached the point that you could not see anything but the foam, the car with all the district managers came through the foam to view the scene. It was dramatic!

During this time, my son and I and Bruce, the man I was dating, spent a lot of time together. One evening as we were watching TV, my son said to Bruce and me, “Why don’t we try this as a family?” I never responded to that, as I really didn’t know how I felt about it. As time went by, my boyfriend slowly moved in. Oddly enough, we also had a mutual friend who would visit us almost every night.

At that time, almost all farmers would have Jamaican workers pick their crops. The requirements for the Jamaican payroll were very involved, and I would also help a few farmers with their Jamaican payrolls. Our mutual friend was a farmer, and I assisted his mother with their payroll. As time went by, I changed jobs and helped my partner get into the fuel oil delivery business, by putting my place up as collateral to purchase a truck etc. You know that story.

And so it began, the beginning of the end!

Within a few years I was working at a large spray materials company and at the Police Department and doing all the paperwork and billing for my partner’s business. I did this for a few years until I had to give up something, as I was burned out! I never took a paycheck from my partner’s business, but it was taking a lot more time, plus he had a business phone installed in my place.

I put my notice into the spray material company. They offered me quite a lot more money to stay, but there were other reasons why I would not stay working there, and so I did not stay.

By now my partner and I had decided to get a modular home. We went to Pennsylvania to see a dealership and ordered the house. As I have noted above, I had to put my partner’s name on my property and put both of our names on the house. Little did I know what a mistake I was making.

Now I’ll explain just how stupid I was.

Our mutual friend supposedly had a girlfriend named “Lori.” I had never met this girl, but Bruce asked me, when I had left the spray materials company, to put in a good word for this girl. I had a very good relationship with the district manager at the company, so I did, and Lori got the job.

This Lori was not our mutual friend’s girlfriend; she turned out to be my partner’s girlfriend. By now we had been together for 12 years.

The only way I found out Bruce was running around was by finding his note to a friend that said he was going away with his girlfriend for the weekend. When I do the laundry, I always check pockets before I put clothes in the wash, and the note was in his pocket. When I confronted him, he told me there must be something wrong with him, and he would get help.

Within a year he told me he was leaving me. I ask myself, since he already had this “love of his life” back when I had my land and my mobile home, why did he suggest we get the house jointly? Why go to such lengths to hurt me? Were those 13 years just wasted?

A few years later, when my ex-partner and his new wife had a son, he named him “Danny.” I know why he chose that name! Since she had never met Danny, I wonder if she does?

We are serializing here the memoir KIDNAPPED TWICE: Then Betrayed and Abused, by Mary E. Seaman and myself, recently published by Outskirts Press and available in paperback and ebook formats from OP and,, and other on-line booksellers. Abuse in her childhood led to losses through many decades.

My writing-editing-coaching site is

"Picking at Scabs to Achieve Parity," Ch. 27, BUT...AT WHAT COST

Since our nation’s inception, the underlying political values prescribing our American culture have been guaranteed individual freedoms and equality of opportunity. Our Constitution strictly limits the powers of the central government in order to protect personal and states’ rights. Under those guidelines, the United States rose to the top of the economic ladder and stayed there – largely, I think, because of our freedoms to speak our minds, chase our dreams, and experiment independently without excessive government intervention. There were obvious disparities in opportunity for some groups (slaves and women), but they were world-wide and representative of the times. 

Until the Emancipation Proclamation and, later, the 19th Amendment giving women voting rights, we, as a nation, fell short of our equal-rights goal, but eventually the good guys won, and parity in opportunities was almost achieved for blacks in the North. Bigotry was alive and well, but had declined drastically by 1960 before any further government regulations or entitlement programs were instituted. Most white people were “getting it,” merely by being exposed to the similarities between blacks and whites.

Martin Luther King’s influence was instrumental in persuading a dying breed of racists “to judge a man by the content of his character, not the color of his skin.” How could any rational person deny such advice? It’s how we judge everyone within our groups – and how we should judge everyone outside our groups, too. Assimilation of disparate groups follows naturally when all do that. It takes time, but it happens -and it was happening until the mid-sixties.

Then, the rules changed. Gone was MLK’s (and nature’s) recipe for acceptance and equality, and in came all the PC dictates contrived, I guess, to eliminate all disparities in outcomes. It was a worthy mission, but ill-conceived… and, in my opinion, sure to have predictably disastrous results.

As crazy as it seems to anyone with a modicum of common sense, blacks were advised to be black and be proud. For some unknown reason, the advisors took a page from the white racists’ handbook and promoted racial identity. There was a concerted effort, especially in colleges, to make blacks proud of being black; they did it primarily by castigating whites. Black Studies Programs, black dorms, and black clubs multiplied.

Public service announcements (PSAs) warning everyone “not to teach your children to hate,” television shows on slavery and political diatribes about racism filled the airwaves. I will allow that much of the latter was a natural response to the news from the South in the sixties. However, the clearly separatist initiatives in schools are not as easy to explain – especially those diversity mantras that remain alive and well in academia today. I can only ask: In whose world does it make sense to assert differences to achieve parity?

“For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” This principle applies almost as well to inference and cognition as it does to Newton’s Laws of Motion. A member of a minority group in America can hear a PSA for diversity and will likely infer a message quite different from that inferred by his white neighbor. Having different sensitivities and experiences will create different interpretations.

One day when I was waiting for the bus with my grandchildren Sam and Molly, they told me about a “make nice” seminar they’d attended the day before. Molly, seven at the time, said, “Boy, they must think we’re really stupid.” Sam agreed. I would say Sam and Molly learned nothing they hadn’t already figured out for themselves by being the naturally empathetic kids they are, and by a little reinforcement delivered by their parents and me, if they happened to stray. They seemed somewhat resentful of being subjected to unnecessary lessons.

I would suppose the minority kids perceived something else – that the message was intended for all those “bad” white kids who didn’t like them. At the same time, they were very probably hurt and/or embarrassed by the “you’re different” characterization. What kid wants to feel singled out as “different”? Not the fat kid. Not the kid with two Mommies. And not the Mexican kid or the black kid either.

These are automatic inferences. The message, itself, creates the perception of prejudice whether anyone has had a personal experience with it or not. It is logical for anyone to conclude the message wouldn’t be offered if there were no need for it, so the very creation of a “diversity” game or a “diversity” poster or a “diversity” seminar makes most of us infer there is a serious need for them -even though most of us don’t give a damn about what we see as minor differences.

Sam and Molly don’t care about differences in ethnicity, and the minority kids who grew up in America probably don’t either – unless or until some outside source makes it seem like an important issue… for other people!

There has been some very telling statistical research done in this area. You can look it up for yourselves, but the gist is: “I don’t care, but most other people do.” If you are a minority kid in a “make nice” class, the inference is: most white kids don’t like me. A minority kid can’t live in twenty-first-century America without figuring there’s a bigot behind every bush. Neither can a white kid. He’ll know he isn’t a bigot, but he’ll think most everyone else is.

Yes, bigots exist and always will, but most of us are reasonable people and form our biases rationally in response to circumstances. We don’t hold on to old biases without new cause. We don’t still hate the Japanese, do we? When circumstances change, our biases change.

So, doesn’t it make more sense to look at today’s prejudices through the lens of today’s influences? Our history matters as a point of reference, but it does not prescribe or describe today’s motivations. Each era has its own set of motivations.

Not long ago, I wrote a letter to the editor in response to an article written by a staff writer for The Times Herald-Record in Middletown, N.Y. He was questioning his own racial bias. My response follows:

The Genesis of a Bias

“I read Steve Israel’s opinion piece on ‘examining our prejudices’ and agree. We should examine our biases. However, I would have added some relevant facts that explain the genesis of a bias.

“Most biases any of us develop are dictated by our exposures. They arise naturally and are responsive to circumstances. Right now, in this society, young people of color (many of whom wear baggy pants and have tattoos), commit a much higher percentage of crime than their relatively small numbers should… so why shouldn’t Steve have been a bit wary?

“His was a rational prejudice. It may not have been correct, but it was entirely rational, and so was his reaction. We are programmed to protect ourselves and our property, so he locked his car – and had a friendly chat with the kid, later.

“It’s very curious to me that Israel (or anyone) would pre-suppose some underlying racial prejudice on his part. I can almost guarantee a middle-aged black man in a suit would not have elicited the same response. I’m equally sure Steve and most people today fine-tune their stereotypes way beyond skin color, because it’s stupid not to. Don’t let the race merchants (and their phony presumptions) redefine what is a perfectly normal biological imperative (that is, stereotyping) as racist. It is not. It’s simply what all brains do to make quick and rational decisions.

“When the black youth crime rates go down, so will our naturally derived fear of black kids wearing baggy pants.”

I have changed a few words for clarification, but the meaning is the same as it was when I first wrote it. I believe most of what is perceived by many to be racial prejudice today, is not. We have been trained to believe it is.

Ashley and I had an experience similar to the one Steve Israel described. I know just how Steve felt and why he examined his motivations. A young black couple knocked on our door and asked to borrow a spare tire. (Our barn area looks like a good place to find anything one might need for a car, and people stop fairly frequently looking for help.) My very first reaction was suspicion – partly because they were young and black and partly because they were disheveled and looked nervous – which they probably were, but I had no way of knowing why. I called Ash and he found them a donut that would fit their wheel. As we talked I became less concerned; they were polite. After they Left, I asked myself why my initial response was fear and if I would have felt the same way had they been white.

My answer was revealing. I’m absolutely positive I would not have been afraid in 1960… for two reasons. They likely wouldn’t have been distrustful of us, so wouldn’t have acted in a way that to us appeared suspicious. Neither would I have been at all afraid of them, because the black youth crime rates then were not nearly as bad as they are now. My fear and distrust came later, much later when the crime rates in young blacks and Hispanics rose so drastically, particularly around Newburgh. Newburgh is currently the eighth most dangerous city in America, and has a population of only 20.4% white. The white population has fled in fear. Most folks know who is committing the majority of the violent crime in Orange County now, and they aren’t white. That’s just the way it is. So no, I probably wouldn’t have been afraid if they had been a young white couple… unless they were acting suspiciously. My response was logical under the circumstances, and while race was a component of my assessment of the situation, it was not a racist response any more than theirs was. They were hesitant to ask our help because we were white, and because they probably knew most white people are afraid of young black people. Anyone who claims not to be more suspicious of black youths than white youths is lying or in denial. Even Jesse Jackson admitted he is. We responded, to their appearance and hesitant demeanor. This is how strangers of all ethnicities and colors figure out who they can trust, and people shouldn’t be surprised or upset about it. It’s normal and necessary; and we’d all be much better off accepting it as such.

Picking scabs off old wounds in Black Studies Programs, PSAs, diversity posters, and political correctness mantras were (and are) in no way part of a normal acceptance process. They promote alienation, not acceptance. That young couple has been trained to expect racial animus where none exists -mostly by a media obsessed with race. Suspicion is not animus unless or until a meeting becomes overtly confrontational. I see more discomfort between the races and more taboo topics of discussion now (when I visit my daughter, for example), than I saw in 1959 when I was singing with my black friends in the auditorium, or when I met Andrew, my son-in-law, for the first time in 1989.

From my perspective, all that the “make nice” dictates seem to have accomplished is to make minorities more suspicious and young black people, in particular, develop huge chips on their shoulders. I was there; I watched it happen, and I think I know how and why it happened: the groups mentioned in the previous chapter (the charlatans, the media, academia, entertainers and the Democrat Party) have unwittingly or purposefully sponsored the growth of therapeutic alienation in blacks. (Thank you, John McWhorter for supplying the correct term.)

I was for affirmative action before I was against it. It seemed necessary to me, because statistically, there weren’t as many blacks in college as there would be if all things were equal. I and most people back then thought discrimination was the reason, but that’s sort of like saying there aren’t enough short men on basketball teams because they’re discriminated against. There is a good reason more tall people than short people make the team – and there was a good reason more whites than blacks made it to college. More whites were academically qualified. It hardly matters “why” this was true; it only matters that it was true. The problem was NOT discrimination; it was poor performance.

Imagine if we had done to unqualified short people what we did to unqualified black people. Do you think they’d play or sit the bench or quit? Many would quit – and that’s just what has happened with many of the black kids who couldn’t compete in college. Either that or they failed or they were at the bottom. Do you think that made them feel good?

No, and worse, some colleges, primary schools, government jobs, and even private companies lowered the standards for everyone, in order to make black people feel better about themselves. But, it doesn’t make them feel better, does it? It wouldn’t make me feel better.

I don’t want to make a team if the team has to lower its standards for me to qualify. I want to earn my place, and to succeed on my own merits, not because of some arbitrary allowances made for old people. Something like that happened to me once. Amidst the catcalls of the opposing team, the referee explained he hadn’t called an infraction on me because, “Give her a break. She’s old enough to be your mother!” I was livid – not because he said I was old, but because he was making allowances for me. It’s inherently unfair to have different rules for different people in a competitive situation. A friendly game? Okay, but not when a game means something. The integrity of the game should never be compromised – especially when the “game” determines who goes to college or who gets the job. Besides being wholly dishonest, it can cause much more alienation between the taken and the takers than would have occurred without it.

Personally, I don’t know how people receiving special treatment live with themselves. I would be guilt-ridden. To me, cheating to get ahead isn’t winning, but I guess I’m in the minority on that now. More than half the people in this country seem to think institutionalized cheating, via affirmative action is okay. It is not only an accepted practice; it’s believed to be a necessary practice. But, is it? And what are the psychological and sociological consequences of minority groups’ believing it is necessary?

When the referee felt he had to take pity on this old woman, I knew it was time to quit. It wasn’t fair to lower the standards just for me. Likewise, as a woman, I know having to carry less weight than a man in a firefighter’s test isn’t fair. Most women are not as qualified in that area as most men are. If a woman can make it under the same guidelines as men, great; if not, oh well. Setting artificial, arbitrary standards intended to solve a problem irrelevant to firefighting seems wholly perverse to me – even more perverse if it’s my house that’s burning down.

So, we know. Women know, old people know, and black people know whether they measure up or not, but accepting special treatment tends to make people feel bad; it creates cognitive dissonance. No one can believe he is both deserving and undeserving at the same time. Therefore, many will invent an excuse for accepting what is known to be undeserved. This is a perfectly normal, but undesirable aspect of human nature. We make excuses to preserve our self-esteem. It’s called “therapeutic alienation.” If we can blame the boss, or the umpire, or the teacher, or society in general, for our not measuring up, then we don’t feel bad when we fail or receive special treatment.

Affirmative action, no matter how necessary it might have seemed, is inherently unfair… and necessarily creates more alienation between the races. It can make the white people who don’t get hired or accepted in college angry. It endorses the false perception in black people that racism is still rampant enough in America for them to require special treatment – which, in turn, heightens their suspicions and anger. Oh, and yes, it also causes white people to believe they need to lie and cheat in order to level the playing field for themselves. What a tangled web we’ve woven.

Just yesterday Eric Holder (yes, the head of Obama’s Department of Justice) announced a new program to ensure parity in outcomes – essentially by falsely manipulating the numbers. Rather than addressing the causes of disparity between racial groups in educational achievements, he demands teachers punish the trouble-makers according to the color of their skin. Whites should get punished and/or suspended in the same percentages as blacks, Hispanics, Asians. That way (I guess) parity in suspension rates will be achieved. In other words – to hell with the reality as long as it appears black kids don’t misbehave disproportionately to white kids (which he admits is the case).

Besides education’s being a local issue in which the Feds should not interfere, this program is inherently racist and detrimental to classroom management and has virtually no chance of changing anything for the better. Ostensibly, Mr. Holder’s advisement is meant to keep more black kids in school by not suspending them… which is a lot like keeping more criminals on the streets by not arresting them. What are we doing? This would only be a somewhat valid program if the uneven suspension rates were caused by discriminatory practices – which he admits they are not. It is the reality of the poor performance in blacks that needs addressing – not an unwanted (but accurate) perception of the reality.

The results of all programs to achieve parity I outcomes have failed… at least partly for the reasons I have outlined above. This latest attempt will be no different because it has accidentally, but effectively, been in place for decades with no positive results. Many white teachers have been hesitant to discipline black kids for years. Some are just plain afraid for their lives and others are afraid to be called “racists.” Those brave enough to treat the races equally are called on the carpet (or warned) all the time to be careful (lest they be sued).

Manipulating and posting false statistics may change the political perceptions in the uninformed (and create more alienation), but false perceptions won’t change the realities in the classroom. What’s next…ignoring passing and failing and just handing out diplomas?


We continue to serialize Judy Axtell's BUT...AT WHAT COST: A Skeptic's Memoir, published recently by Outskirts Press and available from OP and on-line booksellers like and It tells of her transformation over the decades from liberal to conservative. I am proud to have coached her and edited her book.

My writing-coaching-editing site is

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Subjunctive Mood


sub·junc·tive [səb júngktiv]

n (plural sub·junc·tives)

1. grammatical mood: a grammatical mood that expresses doubts, wishes, and possibilities

2. subjunctive verb: a verb or form in the subjunctive



relating to subjunctive: in or relating to the subjunctive


[Mid-16th century. < late Latin subjunctivus < past participle of Latin subjungere "subordinate" < jungere "to join"]


-sub·junc·tive·ly, , adv

The subjunctive mood in English is distinguishable from the regular form of verbs (called the indicative mood) only in the third person present singular, which omits the final -s (as in make rather than makes), and in the forms be and were of the verb to be.

A typical use of the subjunctive is in clauses introduced by that expressing a wish or suggestion: I suggested that she drop by for a drink before the concert. They demanded that he answer their questions.

The form were is used in clauses introduced by if, as if, as though, or supposing, as in: If you were to go, you might regret it. It's not as though he were an expert. Suppose I were to meet you outside the theater.

The subjunctive also occurs in fixed expressions such as: as it were, be that as it may, come what may, and far be it from me.

Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

"Police Work" from KIDNAPPED TWICE

My years in police work had their ups and downs. The work was interesting, never boring, often challenging, sometimes rewarding, sometimes not! Sometimes I would be on duty with a partner who I knew “had my back”…and sometimes not.

One incident that became a real challenge for me was when a young woman was brought into the station for a reason that escapes me now. I think she was trying to get away from her family and her boyfriend, as they were abusing her. After we did paperwork and it was very late, there was what I call a “what now?” moment! Everyone involved was looking at me, including the Police Chief. Since I was the only female cop, I got the job of putting her up for what I thought would be one night.

I was living in my small mobile home with two rooms built on. There were only two bedrooms, one for my son and one for me. The girl ended up sleeping on my bed with me for many months. No one “had my back” in that situation. I ended up getting her a job, taking her there every day, and either picking her up after work or making the arrangements to get her back to my place.

The whole set-up was making me crazy. I was being told that when I was working nights she would be having men coming to visit her. So my next quest was to find her an apartment that she could afford and furnish it as best I could.

It didn’t take long before I was contacted by the landlord and told that she was entertaining undesirable people and he wanted her out! Under no circumstances was she coming back to my place. She quit her job and took off with her boyfriend. That taught me a very good lesson: my home was mine, and I would never take another stranger in again.

There were many different stakeouts that I was involved in. One took place at night in the weeds, waiting for a drop-off of drugs. It was cold and damp, which made it uncomfortable. As one other cop and I were hiding in the tall weeds, a man came walking up the road with his Doberman Pinscher on a leash. That man and his dog walked within 10 feet of us. To this day I do not understand why that dog did not smell us there, but I’m thankful he did not.

Of course, every cop has to qualify on the shooting range. I was issued a .38-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver. It did not matter if I shot it 100 times: I could not hit the target. Everyone was having a good time watching me struggle. I finally gave the gun to the Chief and asked him to shoot the gun. He shot and shot with no success either. The gun was tagged as “faulty.” I then asked the Police Chief for his gun, which he handed to me. I shot a perfect score. No more laughs. I shot a perfect score every time we qualified from then on. I was proud of that then. I still am now.

I have never been good with death. I swear that the Chief knew that. We were having a snowstorm. A call came in that there was a man found dead in his house, located on top of a mountain. How we got up there with the police car is still a mystery to me. So, sure enough, a man had passed away and was lying on his kitchen floor. He was covered with a blanket. The Chief told me to stay with the body until the Coroner got there. They left me there. I sat in the chair, feeling a little shaky.

Suddenly, the blanket started to move, which damn near gave me a stroke. I went out the back door and then started calling the Chief to get me some help or I was going to start walking down the mountain, as I was not going back in that house alone. Well, when they came back, everyone who went into the kitchen found that the blanket would move and each one rushed out, too.

What had happened was that the man had a house full of cats, and some of them were under the blanket with him. When everyone had calmed down, we had to search the house to find all the cats. One by one, everyone got spooked again as we would open doors and the cats would jump out, scaring us to death.

There were times when we would get a call for “shots fired.” On one call we arrived to find a man at the top of the staircase with his victim at the bottom of the stairs. The victim was shot and bleeding. We had to talk the shooter into giving up his gun, as we had to get the victim out to a hospital. That was my first experience with having the victim, either shot or stabbed, losing control and urinating or defecating in his pants from pure fear! I felt very embarrassed for the victim when I had to interview him later in the hospital.

All of us had to learn the special codes used over the police radio and learn to dispatch these codes to the officers on duty. On my first night on dispatch duty I had a man enter the police office. The man was bleeding, and the woman with him said he had made her mad, so she stabbed him.

I radioed the police officer on duty in the patrol car. The officer on duty that night thought I said that I had been stabbed. The Police Department had windows that looked out onto our parking lot. The police patrol car came in the parking lot very fast and skidded to a stop right in front of our windows. From that point on, I carefully chose my words, both in the car and on the police official radio.

All police officers are issued a gun after qualifying. As long as you are a police officer, you can and should carry a weapon. I decided to take the course provided by the county to obtain an “all carry” permit. After passing this course, I bought a .357 Magnum, which I carried for the rest of my years of police work, and I still have that gun and that permit today.

One night while I was on duty, we received a call over the police dispatch network to assist an ambulance that was on call. We were given instructions to go with no flashing lights and no siren. A few moments later those instructions were changed, and we were given the code indicating we should come with all lights and siren on.

We arrived at the location and saw a very large man in cardiac arrest. We assisted with moving the man into the ambulance as CPR was being administered. We transferred his wife and her sister to the hospital, and we stayed there for a period of time to assist in whatever way possible.

The medical team worked on the man until they knew that nothing more could be done to save him, at which time the doctor came to my partner and me to tell us that no more could be done.

My partner and I said that we would tell his wife, as we had done in similar cases many times in the past. The doctor said, “Oh no, that’s my job. Let’s go to the waiting room together, and I’ll tell the wife.”

We entered the waiting room, and the doctor announced, “Which one of you ladies was married to Mr. -----?”

The wife jumped up and started screaming, “What do you mean ‘was married,’ did he die?”

My partner and I looked at each other in disbelief. It was a very bad situation for a long time in that room. Other people waiting for news about their loved ones went out into the hall to escape the turmoil.

We received many different calls. A fast way to find out how your partner would handle a dangerous situation would be the call, “Shots fired.”

One particular partner that I had, when we received that call, started driving slower and slower. I asked him what he was doing. I said we needed to speed up, and get to the location quickly. His response was, “Do you want to get shot?”

I replied that I didn’t want to get shot, but that it was our job to get there before someone else got shot

While on our way, we received another radio dispatch call, asking where we were and how long it would be before we got there. He gave a location that was much farther away than where we really were. From that night on, I did everything I could not to work with him again.

Another incident goes back to the defective gun I was first issued and that was sent back to Smith & Wesson to be fixed. While waiting for the repairs, I was using the Police Chief’s gun, as he had other guns. When my gun was finally sent back to the Police Department, the officer on duty that night brought the fixed gun to my house. At this time, I had the Chief’s gun in a cabinet in my dining room.

My son was watching television, but he could also see me and the officer on duty. As I stood and turned around to open the cabinet to get the Chief’s gun to hand over to the officer on duty– a man who was my friend both then and now– he raised the repaired gun and fired it!

When a gun is shot inside a dwelling, it makes such a loud noise! I think both my feet left the floor. The look on my son’s face was pure fear. To this day I cannot understand what my friend was thinking when he fired that pistol.

My officer friend was frozen in position. I asked him to hand me the gun and to sit down. He kept saying that he did not know the gun was loaded. Every cop reading this is jumping up and saying that this is one of the first things we are taught: never point and shoot a gun, unless you are at a shooting range or your life or somebody else’s life is in danger. The bullet went through my kitchen wall and through my garage wall. Fortunately, no one was hurt.

I had to call someone to come and repair the wall in the kitchen with artificial brick to cover the hole and to blend in with the kitchen décor. To his credit, my officer friend went to the Police Chief and reported what had happened. I had told him that night that I would never tell anyone about it if he wanted to keep it a secret. He said that he would report it, so I can tell the story.

As the years went by, there were many different arrests, often drug-related: burglaries and robberies, shootings, assaults, etc. The friends I made during these years were then and still are very important to me.

The night that I decided that enough was enough was when I had worked quite late. I got into my car, pulled onto the highway, and my leg and foot started shaking so badly that I could not keep my foot on the gas pedal. I pulled over to the side of the road and waited until I thought I would be able to drive home. I never told the Chief or anyone else about that night, nor can I remember just what it was that set me off, but that was the end of my police work.

On reflection, these years were the best years of my life. I knew I was good at it, and it taught me to trust my instincts.


We are serializing here the memoir Mary E. Seaman wrote with me, KIDNAPPED TWICE: Then Betrayed and Abused, published in paperback and ebook formats by Outskirts Press and available from OP and from and other on-line booksellers. This is a story of her decades of partial recovery from child abuse by her stepmother, primarily. April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

My writing-coaching editing site is