Growing up, I was taught that if possible I should talk my way out of a fight or, short of running away, try to avoid it altogether. If either failed, I was taught to be as ruthless as possible and not to stop until the other party had no fight left in him.

That, however, was a long time ago and society—especially as it applies to politicians—has changed. We have been told so often that violence is not the answer to everything that many have come to believe it is not a solution to anything. I hear all too frequently how we must always negotiate with our enemies—whatever the cost. Neville Chamberlain, after meeting with Adolf Hitler, proclaimed that we would have “peace in our time” 70 years ago. Hitler perceived Chamberlain’s negotiations as weakness, and proceeded to conquer most of Europe, resulting in World War II.

Here’s the truth: when an aggressor has you down and is kicking the gray matter out of your brain housing group, and your life’s blood is flowing down a dirty gutter, he does not give a whit what you may offer him at that point. He has won and will now take whatever he wants.

The following may be disquieting for some gentle souls among us, but it needs to be said. There are people out there who hate you.

They hate you because you’re wealthy; they hate you because you’re poor; they hate you because of the color of your skin; they hate you because their religion is not the same as yours, etc., etc., ad infinitum. The bottom line is that they hate you and they will take your life without a second thought. In some cultures, in fact, killing you is considered a duty.

Become situationally aware. Be nice when it’s time to be nice, be polite when it’s time to be polite—and be prepared to defend yourself with all means necessary when the time comes.

There may be peace in time, but it will probably not be in our time.

Speaking of time, by the time you read this—depending on whether you’re a subscriber or prefer to buy off the newsstand—the 2008 General Elections are either rapidly approaching or have just occurred.

If you did your duty and voted—regardless of for whom—thank you. If you did not vote, please spare us any whining for the next four years—you gave up that “right” when you were too lazy to get off the couch and go to the polls.

Until next time, stay low and watch your back.

Denny Hansen

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