TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — Let Me Collect My Thoughts …

This election cycle has so eroded my thought process — temporarily, I hope — that I can’t focus on any one story line today. So, I’m not even going to try. I’m just going to sit here and write whatever pops into my head.

Cass County Sheriff Paul Laney and the State Sheriffs Association would be well advised to remember that law enforcement has a special place in our communities. Maybe they didn’t notice that judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys, as well as women’s advocacy groups, all opposed the initiated measure called Marsy’s Law. That’s the measure that would supposedly provide more rights to victims of crimes. It doesn’t, and they know it. The man who sponsored and paid for that campaign has a criminal record himself … yet that’s who the sheriffs support! I can tell you one thing. I know a lot of deputies who don’t support it. You’ll also note that police departments across the state didn’t fall into that claptrap of nothingness.

If elected sheriffs can’t understand that amending the constitution when the matter can be taken care of by statutory enactment — if there’s a problem in the first place — perhaps they might take a course in legislative process. Whether the law passes (which I don’t know as I write this Monday), the sheriff of Cass County and other members of his group had no business getting involved, especially since their position is the exact opposite of the entire balance of the criminal justice system.

The Dakota Access Pipeline … now that the election is over, I predict there will be some serious focusing by the national media on North Dakota and the situation involving the Original Americans at Standing Rock and the surrounding area. No one, and I mean no one, supports violence, property damage and unlawful conduct. Peaceful protest is quite another thing. It appears that when Native Americans protest, it instills some god-awful fear in North Dakota’s fearless governor and his minions, inspiring them to call in law enforcement from across the state and give enforcers from other states access to the site.

When our Fargo officers are exposed to the violence that might (and occasionally does) occur, that’s just plain wrong. Some of the police who have migrated to Morton County — NOT the Fargo officers — are not only militant but have no hesitation in using rubber bullets, tear gas and mace and using their militarized vehicles. Shooting horses, women and reporters with those rubber bullets and other offensive weapons only spotlights the stupidity of how state leaders have failed to handle these issues.

When you see unarmed protesters violating the law by swimming in a river to gain access to what they believe to be their sacred grounds, does it really require some bone-headed jackass with a badge to empty canisters of mace or tear gas on them? I suppose that if some of the protesters drowned, they’d just be considered collateral damage.

It’s never too late for our leaders to meet with the Original Americans on reservation land. A little respect for their sovereignty would go a long way.

I would suggest all out-of-state lawmen go home and in-state lawmen return to their communities. If our state leaders, including the incoming governor, can’t start some serious negotiation, then get the hell out of the kitchen and let someone take over who can. It may be time to get the federal government and its troops get involved.

Now you’re probably wondering what the troops might be able to accomplish. I think if they were properly deployed, they could protect the equipment, the workers AND the Natives, all at the same time … without resorting to the war that has been waged. The Native Americans have been dumped on since the white man hit these shores, and that’s still going on right now. It should be our elected political leaders, not Sheriff Laney, doing the negotiating and seeking solutions.

Would the world really stop if the pipeline ceased all operations until the matter is resolved? Would it?

On another subject, I haven’t been able to sleep much through the nastiness of this campaign, so I decided to watch some late-night cable movies. If you haven’t seen the “Walking Dead” series … don’t bother. So many body parts and exploding heads that even my dog left the room and the cats ran for cover! How the hell that violence made it into a television series escapes me. How can so much bloodshed, murder and mayhem be accepted as entertainment?

If I see one more movie or Facebook post involving spiders, I may have to up my meds. I have always been totally afraid of spiders. They still creep me out. I see a spider on the tube, and I switch channels fast. Maybe it’s because when I was very small I was on an overnight camp-out with my brother and a friend. One of them woke me up early in the morning and just stared at me. When my own eyes focused, I saw one of those fat gray barn spiders on my nose. I flew out of that tent like the devil himself was after me, grabbed the camping shovel and whacked that spider to pieces … along, of course, with the tent it was sitting on (owned by my brother).

Speaking of whacking that spider (and the tent) reminds me of one of my more famous horse rides. When I obtained my first horse, Silver, I learned to ride in a lower pasture on North Broadway.

One day she was barn-sour — whenever she got the chance, she would head for the barn. I was in the lower pasture when Silver ran up the hill straight for the barn. I could see the barn door was mostly closed with only a 2-foot opening, and she was wider than that. I let her go, thinking she’d have to stop. Wrong.

That damned horse hit the door and parted it, and she went through. Without me. My knees hit that door and, as she went through, I stopped dead and shot backward like coming out of a slingshot. I thought I had died. How I never broke a kneecap is beyond me. You can bet if I ever again saw a door that wasn’t sealed, I stopped my trusty steed well before she could turn me into a cadaver.

When I got the aforementioned mare, I thought she was kind of chubby. I worked my tail off trying to get her to lose some weight; instead, she kept gaining. After all else failed, I called the vet. She came out and told me to hold the horses head. She then put on a long, up-to-her-shoulder glove, and I thought she was about to commit suicide. She stuck that long arm into my horse’s rear. I was waiting for that vet to get kicked into the next county, when my horse got what I can only describe as a horse’s grin on her face. I don’t know about the horse … but, watching that, I thought I was going to die. Then the vet pulled out her arm.

Well, that nice veterinarian told me I’d better stop trying to take weight off Silver because she was headed in the opposite direction. She was expecting another foal.

I immediately went after the barn manager and demanded to know whose boy horse was messing with my girl horse. The vet told me that she had been in foal long before I got her. Forty-five years later, I learned that the person who sold her to me knew all along. She went full term and had a healthy boy that we named Judge Watergate. Watergate was in the national news then; that little colt garnered some nice publicity in The Forum.

As I write this piece, I have no clue who will win the election. I do have my favorite. Either way, I hope our country can unify and support our president. I hope hate and bigotry will climb back into their cave and that the voices of common sense and decency will prevail.

The president-elect, whoever it may be and regardless of your and my personal hopes, will be the president of all these United States — all of our president, the president of all the people. Amen.

3 thoughts on “TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — Let Me Collect My Thoughts …”

  • Pam November 9, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    I think Trump won so you would have more to write about, he’s so-o-o-o-o-o entertaining and irrational. :):)

  • Thomas A. Davies November 9, 2016 at 10:36 pm

    That he is

  • Myra Hogness November 10, 2016 at 10:42 am

    I loved this..and giggling as I read of your horse incounters! Still smiling!


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