The people's voice of reason

Bits and Pieces #9

After a trying weekend of watching Alabama Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa getting his hip dislocated, I am following up with yet another edition of “Bits and Pieces.” Here we go.

1. MIDWAY: In the past, I have at times rendered several movie reviews but I definitely do not want to make it a habit. But the wife and I went to see “Midway” the other day and I felt compelled to write something about it. Overall, I do recommend seeing it. It was enjoyable and yes, the CGI effects were pretty good. Not giving anything away, I liked the fact that each of the major characters were actually based on real people and most of the events portrayed actually happened.

The downside? The movie is about the Battle of Midway which took place in June 1942; just six months after Pearl Harbor. The significance of this battle cannot be underestimated. With that being said, in my not-so-humble World War II OCD-ness, I felt like too much time was spent on leading up to the battle including Pearl Harbor and the Doolittle Raid. Given there is only a finite amount of time for a movie, say 2 ½ hours or so, you have to be judicious in what is shown on the screen. Without giving anything away, some very significant aspects of the battle were left out as a result of the long build up. In this aspect alone, I feel the 1976 version was superior. Most unfortunate.

As for the acting, I will let you decide. I often find military dialogue as being goofy in movies. We really don’t talk like that when flying. I did find it interesting that a friend of mine made light of the fact that Woody Harrelson played Admiral Chester Nimitz. He thought they could have found a more age appropriate actor. As for me, I liked Harrelson’s performance, as I do in all of his movies, and immediately looked up some numbers. Believe it or not, Harrelson is actually one year older than Nimitz was at the time of the battle. Regardless, decent movie. Go and see it.

2. JOKER: Another good movie in my opinion. Definitely not a “super hero” movie in any way but rather a masterful look at mental illness and how we tend to look at it in our country although Gotham City is clearly a fictional place. Not what I was quite expecting but more than happy with the results when I left the theater.

3. JOE MORRISSEY: Where do I start? Back on 7 November, Democrat Joe Morrissey won the 16th district election to become a member of the Virginia Senate. His victory gives the Democrats a leg up in Virginia politics. The issue here is the guy himself. At a time when impeachment hearings abound surrounding President Trump for alleged malfeasance, an effort that has started from virtually the day of after his inauguration, here we have a politician who has violated the law on multiple occasions and yet was still allowed to run for office, win and will serve in that capacity. Before I go to much further, I recommend each of you do some research on your own to distill as much information as you can. There are many more sites than those listed below.

But in a nutshell, here it is: Law license suspended twice (1993, 1999) and was disbarred in 200. In 2003, Morrissey had his license to practice law revoked by the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board. In 2002, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the fourth Circuit wrote, “Frequent episodes of unethical, contumacious, or otherwise inappropriate conduct mar Joseph D. Morrissey's career as prosecutor and private defense attorney. . . Evidence … demonstrates Morrissey's 15-year history of contempt citations, reprimands, fines, suspensions, and even incarcerations arising from unprofessional conduct mostly involving an uncontrollable temper, inappropriate responses to stress, and dishonesty.” Ouch!!

Perhaps most disturbing is the relationship he had with his current wife which started when she was just 17 and he was 56. Although both denied sex occurred before she turned 18, text messages imply otherwise. All of this and other misconduct led to his second law license revocation in 2018. It is way too much to write here but please look it up yourself.

The point here is how incredible double standards clearly exist. I saw a meme the other day that basically said we all know that many politicians (I will say on both sides of the isle) are crooked and dishonest, the real problem is that their supporters just don’t care. Sad. With all the legal trouble this guy has been through, how in the heck could he even be allowed to run for any kind of office? Am I advocating he go to jail, not even close. But I do believe those who hold public office should be held to a higher standard since they are the ones who eventually try to impose their values on us.

4. RED FLAG LAWS: (Oy, yet again or better yet, not again!). If you guys can, watch the 17 November episode of “60 Minutes.” The first segment they did was about Red Flag Laws with their focus being on Colorado and their implementation. I was hoping to see a well-balanced, well-articulated effort on their part but realized I was just kidding myself. “Silly Rabbit.” As if that would ever happen. Sheesh, what was I thinking? Although they did interview two sheriffs who said they would not follow the laws and declared their counties “Red Flag Sanctuaries,” half of Colorado’s counties are following their lead, the entire segment was clearly geared for one thing, to show how fair and just these laws are.

They focused on two stories where one young man committed suicide and another killed a sheriff’s deputy and shot several others. Of course, the gun was the culprit and not the two people who clearly displayed mental issues that should have been addressed long before their actions. A once hard-hitting, fact searching 60 Minutes has clearly been reduced to producing bubble gum stories. The two questions the reporter clearly avoided were:

1. Is there a chance for rabid abuse of these laws for law abiding citizens?

2. Have there been any incidents in the U.S. where abuses have been recorded?

Of course, the answer to these questions is, “YES.” That is the point and 60 Minutes was not about to address those realities. In the segment, they mentioned that the police can keep a person’s weapons no longer than a year. That is of course a judge places another year limit which can be extended forever. In other words, once your weapons are in the hands of the Gestapo, good luck getting them back. And like I mentioned in a Robservation two months back, all they need to order an extreme risk order is hearsay. No proof, no due process, just Nazis knocking on your door and you are done.

Writing for the Gazette these past nine years, I really enjoy getting feedback; both good and bad; positive or negative. Both can be very humbling. I like when I get something that makes me rethink a position or sheds light in a way I did not see before. I will be the first to admit that I am not always right and am open to new ideas. After my Red Flag Law column, I got an interesting letter from someone. In this person’s letter, he/she said, “I believe most Americans are pro 2nd Amendment. Tate sees the world in a twisted and complicated way. The 2nd Amendment simply gives Americans the right to protect themselves by the use of weapons. . .”

I really don’t mind people saying I see the world in a twisted way. The world is indeed a twisted place but I believe I see the world as a realist not as some Fantasy Island Castaway. Where this letter shut my brain down was the ridiculous notion that the 2nd Amendment “simply gives Americans the right to protect themselves. . .” When I read that, I immediately thought of the Ostrich with its head in the ground and butt in the air. Then it occurred to me that sadly, there are a lot of people out there, in their own clearly twisted world view, actually believe this is all the 2nd Amendment guarantees and is its the sole purpose.

In the past, I have written extensively on the 2nd Amendment in trying to educate people. I believe it is imperative for Americans to understand it in full. Why it is important and exactly why the framers felt it necessary to include. Remember, nothing in history just happens and these men had good and valid reasons (plural) to ensure it was written and included as it is. Back in February 2013 and then again in June 2016 I wrote a Robservation titled, “School is in Session” on the history behind the 2nd Amendment and the struggles James Madison had in crafting it. Unfortunately, there is no space right now to go into this. But this I will boldly say. If all someone thinks the 2nd Amendment says or implies, is that we have the right to protect ourselves, I say go to a local college or university, take a night class and educate the heck out of yourself because you have absolutely no idea, zero, of what you are espousing. Simple. This writer was correct in one aspect. The 2nd Amendment is simple for those who want to see and can appreciate the beauty and forethought in how it was crafted. It is not complicated but current law makers are deliberately making it so. Until I am proven otherwise, I will continue to see the world as it is and will continue to see the evil these Red Flag laws constitute to the promises guaranteed in our Constitution.


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