Regular Contributor Out Yonder
In an opening scene of a recent TV space show, a large square monstrosity of a ship is seen approaching the Enterprise. Like a perfectly square lump of compacted trash, it moves silently through space. All along the surface are parts and pieces, tubes and ducts, bolted together with no discernable pattern or order. It is huge, complicated, all grey or colorless, and resembles a gigantic industrial heat pump with the cover off.
Those who live on this ship are part organic, part machine, and all connected to each other via advanced communication technology. They know what the others are thinking, and behave like ants. They even have a queen. They spend their lives going along through the universe sucking up any civilizations they come in contact with, and assimilating them into the collective, which is continuously growing like a hive.
Everything inside the ship is for function only...dimly lit, no color. The Borg move aimlessly from place to place in the ship, performing their functions and duties completely devoid of humor. They don’t socialize or interact with each other unless the need arises in the interests of the collective. Utterly alone on a personal level, they are nevertheless continuously in tune with each other and recognize the importance of assimilation to their collective existence and survival.
In a way, America is like the Borg. Seemingly various parts all pressed and fused together to make a reasonably ordered whole. The difference is that inside our big ugly ship is the cacophony of lights, sounds, smells, and barely contained chaos of a varied cultural identity. A Spanish dance party here, an Irish street festival there, a county fair full of livestock,vegetables and blue ribbons over there, all are America, and all fly the American flag at their events. Some pray first, some play the National Anthem, some do both, but they all honor the country they belong to, and are more loyal than the Borg because they are free.
All this requires assimilation to work.
Almost every culture in the world is represented in America, and has assimilated in its own way. Each has made a life here to share with anyone who wants to see it. It is similar yet different from the one they came from. It is Americanized, and was done without sacrificing cultural identity or pride. Americans are able to both treasure their birth heritage and take pride in their American one. Both coexist in harmony.
This is what America haters miss. They can’t accept assimilation as a condition for being American, and simply think American is something written on a piece of paper. They miss the blessing of E Pluribus Unum.
To assimilate in America also means to study the history of the country. It means taking the time to learn and truly appreciate how America came to be, reliving the pain and suffering of a growing country. Cry with us, laugh with us, take pride with us, and feel shame with us. Assimilate and appreciate. To invest the small amount of time to even glimpse one part of our history is a treasure that lasts a lifetime, and we’re a huge country full of history.
That’s what assimilation does. It makes you a part of the whole.
Of course, there are those who disagree, but they can’t argue that a house divided against itself cannot stand. We as a country aren’t perfect, and never will be. But we share our burdens, and honor our fathers for this gift they died for. To be an American requires assimilation to the reason and purpose of America. To be American is to learn and understand that you are not the most important one here; we all are. To be otherwise is to be adrift among a crowd, disconnected from any roots.
Anyone living in America has the ability to take advantage of every right Americans allow them, but real Americans go a step further. They prefer harmony over discord, and try to keep the peace for the sake of good will, and won’t abuse a law just because they can.
They have assimilated.
They don’t have to be told, they don’t need advanced Borg communication, they just step up and do what’s right in whatever situation presents itself. True Americans clean up after themselves, look after their neighbors, even if just saying hello in the hallway, and step up in the interest of the community they live in. Civic duty means something to Americans who have assimilated.
Assimilated Americans have respect for the flag, for the vote, for the Law, and for the gift of freedom they’ve been given. They (mostly) hold their temper, and can allow insults to pass, but feel strongly in their hearts that America will be defended if needed, even if they are the only ones doing it. They are from all political backgrounds, march in any protest they believe in, and may go home to either a totally integrated or totally segregated neighborhood. It doesn’t matter. They are just as American anyone else who loves their country. If a stranger comes to their neighborhood, they are kind and helpful while watchful and protective of what they love.
They have assimilated.
They are the ones who help, and despite their aggravation for another person they think is wrong, they take the lesson from their parents and are civil first, doing good. They may mutter under their breath the whole time, but they do good anyway, helping where they can for the community’s sake. This is what makes the American experiment work, and good people know it. Assimilating means that whatever it takes, one learns to respect and love the place, cherish the differences of their fellow American brothers and sisters, and find their place to make it better for others, and not soak it dry.
As our ship drifts endlessly along, filled with the raging and conflict that comes with living in these times, I am confident that those of us who have assimilated will always subdue those who won’t, who think they can bring our country to ruin. From terrorists and foreign powers, to haters of all stripes and intelligence levels, America will prosper despite its woes, and continue to add to our cultural identity with each new generation. Our differences make us interesting. Our common love of our country makes us strong.
Resistance is futile.
Inside our ship
Guest Contributor Beaker
We can pretty much all agree that 2016 was an infected boil on the ass of time and 2017 has yet to see said lesion heal to the point that we can put on pants comfortably.
That aside, we on the non-left of the political spectrum just got through a Chicago socialist style proctology exam. An eight-year long proctology exam that started with only a half a tube of lube and fingers more along the size of bratwurst than actual human fingers…so it's not like we were going to be able to sit down with any degree of comfort any time soon anyway.
So, gentle reader, where does this leave you and your non-leftist posterior?
If social media is any indicator, your beleaguered gluteus is firmly ensconced in one of two camps:
(A) The house that #MAGA built. I'm not going to spend a lot of time here, simply because I lack the requisite capacity to care to do so. Life is short. Far too short to repeatedly point out abhorrent behavior and / or policy is not suddenly defensible / acceptable when it is your guy doing the forcible political sodomy. Nor is life robust enough in years to spend more than a fleeting moment explaining that arguments such as ‘get in line’ is generally a bad idea and rarely works out well for the poor bastards who are required to stand in said line. Then there’s the whole ‘'Trump Train” idiocy, which is the verbal equivalent of eating lead paint chips…Even if Billy Dee Williams himself did a snappy promo extolling the virtues and hitherto unparalleled levels of coolness one could obtain by merely being a member of #Cult45 - I would still need to pass, as I fear lobotomy scars would not be a good look for me.
(B) The uninspiring, hideously boring named #NeverTrump camp. A largely gloomy place, where the prevailing belief system is based on the insistence that indeed, the sky is in fact, falling. Beyond that bit of unfortunate happenstance lies the certitude the Republican Party (due to their unholy and visually unappealing coupling with our Orange Overlord has developed a rather nasty case of antibiotic resistant ‘Trump Taint’); with said malady rendering the GOP electorally leprous and heretofore relegate said party to begging for political influence on corners, until the infection finally dries up.
At this juncture (for some in this crowd) Trump could part the Red Sea and some on the right would be incensed that he failed to obtain an environmental study prior to doing so, while others forget one of Ben Shapiro’s axioms: “never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by incompetence or stupidity.” Except that perhaps they believe he is acting with malicious stupidity. Such musings aside, the constant syncopated rhythm pounded out on the drums of woe and outrage becomes tiresome.
In the interests of full disclosure, I once found myself amongst the periphery of this group and would most likely still be….except that 2016 has left me physiologically incapable of producing any f*cks to give (FsTG) – a strangely liberating condition, not unlike switching from briefs to boxers.
Despite the aforementioned physiological impairment, I can still empathize with this crowd. They (by and large) are an intelligent and principled lot who have been serially molested by the GOP for so long that they've (rather understandably) lost the ability to see the silver (or orange, as the case may be) lining on the current political storm clouds.
Want to gouge my eyes out at even suggesting such heresy? Consider the following:
1) It could be worse, it could be Hillary.
Think of it this way. The Trump presidency may be the executive equivalent of standing in a room full of feces up to your navel and a Hillary presidency, a room filled only to the knees. The only difference is that in the latter scenario, we’d be forced to stand on our heads. The smell may not be demonstrably better but it's a net win on taste alone.
2) Yes Virginia, there is a SCOTUSclause.
It is a sad but unavoidable truth that SCOTUS grows in power and influence like an entitlement program dressed in black robes. Perhaps congress will go about the task of doing their jobs after they repeal Obamacare, audit the Fed and pass significant tax reform… or not. Given all indications point to the fact we are well and truly buggered, we will need as many Judges on the bench that don't consider the Constitution to be a legal etch-a-sketch.
3) Oh Lord, it’s hard to be humble
Congress can't get anything done. As the GOP is undergoing a Jenneresque-level identity crisis, the null set of bills is being passed. This is a wonderful thing. No bills being passed coupled with a POTUS who has done more to roll back regulations than to advance them and you suddenly have businesses willing to create jobs without fear of becoming the latest victim of a shiny new law. Is this an oversimplification? Sure, but neither is it inaccurate
Side note, regardless of Trump’s paroxysms of inconsistency regarding Obamacare, congress was never going to repeal it. Trump may be a ham fisted oaf, who possesses a diet startlingly deficient in moral fiber, but this is not his fault (the whole Obamacare thing, not the unfortunate dietary choices).
Meet the depressed. So mad has Trump driven the American News Establishment that they've shed all pretense of objectivity and devolved into a mass of gif-fearing, Russia obsessed, feces flinging monkeys. Those on the political right have been whining incessantly for…ever that the media is skewed. Pre-Trump, this was somehow played off as a great right wing delusion. Now, such an insistence takes a degree of mental acrobatics as to make a Cirque de Soleil performer weep with envy. Trump is a magnet for unhinged & asinine vitriol. I could say it is because opposites attract but I would be lying.
A couple more points for good measure:
1) I'm Ronrey, so Ronrey. I have not sustained the requisite number of blows to the head to suggest Trump is a net positive on foreign policy, however; given we have emerged from eight years of The trifecta of incompetence that was Obama / Clinton / Kerry, it can be argued that the velocity of our descent into the pit of despair has at least been slowed to some degree. Specifically, I give you North Korea. This particular pimple may finally pop under the Trump administration, but it would be disingenuous at best to put the blame in his tiny little hands. We’ve always known that the Korea situation would end in blood and pus. I, for one, am not displeased that Mattis might be the one in the dermatologist’s seat. If anyone can make sure this blemish doesn't lead to permanent scarring, it's him. Perhaps Ares will smile upon us and force a cage match between Un and Trump…and a cadre of midgets and avoid all of this unpleasantly altogether, which would clearly be preferable. Sadly, Bill Clinton cast this die decades ago and in the intervening years, nobody has done anything but up the ante. Yes, I am mixing metaphors. No, I don't care.
2) Any way the wind blows: Political winds shift and the collective voter memory is as limited as Chris Christie’s naughty bits in a pair of baseball pants. We’ve had horrendous administrations in the past and somehow the party in question always makes a comeback. It's not settled science but it has been a steady trend throughout the history of the republic. Will Trump have a short term negative impact on Republican seats? As logical as that presumption seems, special elections to date suggest this is not the case. Will the Republicans lose seats in 2018? My magic 8-ball says yes, but again, if trends continue as they have a habit of doing, this was going to happen anyway. The pendulum swings. Will it swing so hard that it snaps off and lodges itself up the president’s southern sphincter? It’s entirely possible. After all, it happened to our previous POTUS - although given that the left is currently located on the corner of socialism and intersectionality, I believe the potential Trump-induced political damage will be somewhat muted.
If you are sitting there reading this saying to yourself, “self, this Beaker guy is a jerk, an idiot, and a Trump apologizer,” I would be deeply offended in your lack of creativity in regards to your choice of insults.
Beyond that, I would not argue with you.
Not because I would agree with your assessment but because (as I previously mentioned) I can no longer bring myself to care. You may wail, gnash your teeth, rend your clothing, etc., but it changes nothing.
What we have before us is a sh*tshow heretofore unparalleled in modern politics. The kabuki theatre of past administrations has given way to reality TV and it is both terrible and glorious.
From a banal perspective, if you cannot look at all of this - POTUS, his revolving band of emotionally stunted sycophants; a congress devoid of any desire to do their job; a political left that has become so shrill in their constant shrieking that dogs across the globe are sincerely considering suicide, and a press so completely absurd that people look back on the days of Brian Williams and think “I miss serious journalists” - then I suggest you take a rather lengthy inhale off of the nearest source of nitrous oxide and repeat until the desired state of relaxation has been achieved.
ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?
Pre-primary 2016, I would not have thought so. To the point that I would've considered punching present me right in the junk. For obvious reasons, I am pleased such feats of temporal bi-location are impossible.
Were said bit of time manipulation possible, however; I would ask angry me (and all those empathizing with angry me - you bastards) to consider the following: people are stupid.
Exceptionally so and we can make a lot of excuses.
The American voting public is that guy who refused to admit he had a drinking problem when his wife (yes, yes, gender stereotypes abound here. I am a savage. Moving on.) left him for being drunk. Nor would he admit he has a problem when he lost his job or when he could only start his car by using a balloon filled by some random kid to defeat his breathalyzer nor when he parked his car in his neighbor’s pool nor even when he woke up next to a Guatemalan hooker, a donkey and his own buttocks shaved.
No, it wasn't until he, in a drunken stupor, allowed himself to be tattooed with ‘Trump Train’ above his previously shorn buttocks. Only then did he realize he had a problem and only then could he move forward with fixing his life.
Admittedly, I've lost myself in my own metaphor and I don't know if we are the tattoo or the pruned posterior…but that's not important. What is important is that Trump, despite being Trump, is a net win at the moment (yes, yes, we could've had better but we don't. Just please suck it up and move on).
But wait, THERE’S MORE. Beyond the immediate tangible advantages to the Trump Presidency lies an existential bonus. In his current incarnation, Trump is doing a bang up job of presenting the GOP with a political version of the Ghost of Christmas Future.
Collectively, if the GOP proves to be too stupid to avoid a future where Republicans devolve into a horde of inarticulate, p*ssy grabbing statists, then perhaps they deserve their fate. That being said, I am bullish on a future where Republicans are neither that drunk (as the requisite amount of alcohol needed to induce said state would lead to instantaneous liver failure and death) nor totally bereft of mental faculties to allow the party to devolve into the bureaucratic equivalent of Trump University.
Indeed, it is incumbent to all rational conservatives to embrace the Zen of being, as described by the philosophical giant Sergeant First Class Hulka. Collectively, we must only decouple from the intellectual inflammatory bowel disease that is the news cycle and “Lighten up, Francis” (unless of course your name happens to be Francis, in which case your duty is a singular one).
The Republic has survived far worse than a Trump presidency. The GOP itself has endured binders full of bad press, bad politicians, and bad policy. Even if the Trump presidency were to derail in a spectacular fashion, the comb-over too it would overcome.
In the meantime, enjoy the victories where they can be had, and by all means, enjoy the show.
Word from Out Yonder
I was reminded this week that I’m being classified in a new and uncomfortable way: as a Boomer Who Screwed Everything Up.
Until recently, boomers were considered the backbone of society behind the heroic Golden Generation, having been born after WWII through the death of JFK. They were imbued with the strength of victorious fathers and wisdom of nurturing mothers, and had dinner at the table promptly at 6 every night because that was important for the family unit. We were the Promise of the Future, ushering in the Space Age, Rock and Roll, and Everything All The Time.
Instead, we sat back and spent our children’s inheritance while leaving them to fend for themselves as latchkey kids or day care orphans. We created timeshares and fast food and mass market advertising, turning our children into mindless blobs with overexposure to useless content. But worst of all, according to some bitter Gen Xers and younger, we didn’t leave enough for them.
Because of us, their future is grim, uncertain, and bleak as we blew through all the good stuff.
My first impulse was to take offense and say, "Fine, blame us. Get in line, you snot-nosed kids." We were told it was good to max out our credit and remain cash poor for years for you, having things but worrying about how to pay for them. I even tweeted a snarky comment along those lines.
But then I thought, No. I’d just be doing what they are, blaming my father for my problems.
The truth is, every generation shares some blame or credit for the way things are once they hit adulthood and mix in with the Adults. They all share the burden of what to leave for later generations or what to expect from earlier ones. I didn’t expect to get anything from my dad, and like he taught me, try to leave things better off than when I found them. That takes good people who aren’t too selfish though.
In my opinion, Gen X are sharper than my generation, simply because they embrace change more willingly. Computers, technology, and the content they bring are like a firehose that many in my generation still barely grasp. To Gen X and younger, it’s the water they swim in. I figure that’s both a blessing and a curse, as many can’t handle the things they see, and despair kills many who never get a chance to live. Things that would otherwise remain in a small pocket in some obscure place become viral and affect people who don’t understand the context. Shock value is what kids want, I did too, but today that means so much more than when I was young.
My grandson’s generation is even more ingrained with the Information Age, and is also both blessed and cursed. It both scares me and thrills me when I think of what they’ll see in their lifetimes.
At the same time the world spins culturally faster, things that were important to my generation, like having children, are less so now in many places with a faster way of life and fewer reasons to have them. Of course there are many reasons that contribute to the population decline, but it’s easy to see the population is no longer growing where there are better things to do than raise kids. The danger is that this truth remains; if you stop having children and teaching them your ways, your culture will be replaced. I figure this is how many of the lessons of the past are forgotten and have to be re-learned by future generations.
We all live with the choices we collectively make, and all share the blame if it goes off the rails. The good people of all generations learn and live by that, and are the ones who keep making the good better even as the bad get worse.
Regular Contributor Raymond
CBS News' Charlie D'Agata did an extraordinary piece for CBSN: On Assignment titled "Children of ISIS." D'Agata investigated how children from a very young age are being indoctrinated into radical Islam from war torn countries like Iraq and Syria. A look into a child's textbook reveals illustrations of assault rifles and ticking bombs for math and telling time. ISIS training and recruitment videos show kids as young as five or six firing guns and murdering people in cold blood.
In another part of this piece, D'Agata interviews a mother with three young sons who was captured by ISIS and held as a sex slave for three years. While she was held captive, her three young sons were raised by those in ISIS and wrapped in the culture of violence and aggression. The boys were virtually unfazed by the cameras as they continued escalating the rough hitting and aggression, barely smiling or conveying any emotions beyond vacancy and contempt.
"Children of ISIS" also highlights a teenage boy who escaped ISIS, describing and showing ISIS kills by people he knew. When D'Agata suggests he may need a lot of help to overcome this, the teenager says that he doesn't need any help and that he can control his mind.
I'm not sure of D'Agata's intent with the story. Was it to simply tell a story as good journalists do, to drum up sympathy for pending refugees and immigrants (in an effort to convince Americans that our Western values will save them), or was it to show the harsh and hopeless reality that nothing that we do to rescue them from systemic brainwashing may ever be enough for them to assimilate to American morals and laws?
For me, the piece highlights a growing problem: in our quest to promote The United States of America as a land of immigrants, a land where anyone can be free to practice religion, love who they love, and be themselves, we've slowly morphed into a country willing to sacrifice our own values and safety and our children's safety to avoid being labeled as racist or xenophobic.
I don't share all of President Trump's views on immigration, but I don't think it's wrong to want to bring the absolute best to this country and to avoid integrating bad apples into this country, even if that includes a trained five-year -old ISIS killer. The problems with rape, violence, and terrorism in other countries are partly due to those elected believing (like many do here) that access to Western culture and a blind eye to suspicious behavior will change those indoctrinated from birth.
Take for instance Germany's Prime Minister Angela Merkel. She was quoted as saying the following in February 2017:
-"As far as an upper limit is concerned, my position is clear: I will not accept it." (Additional reading: Chancellor Angela Merkel rejects refugee limit for Germany)
-“We as non-Muslims cannot [clarify Islamic Extremism], it should be done by Islamic clergy and authorities.” (Additional reading: Angela Merkel says Islam is ‘not the source of terrorism’)
Five months after this, the city of Hamburg saw a young man carry out a knife attack. He was surveilled and not deemed a threat. Friends then noticed he became radicalized while staying at a refugee shelter in Hamburg, notorious for violence and riots. He was arrested and placed on suicide watch. The government's response? Condolences to victims and families, entertaining an insanity defense for the radicalized killer, and Merkel continuing to stand her ground on unpopular immigration policies and refusing to consider a cap on those entering, even as she runs the risk of losing her upcoming election.(Additional reading: Hamburg knife attacker had 'Islamist motive)
What the above demonstrates is that those in favor of open borders and barely vetted refugees and their children do not want to discuss how having those who do not assimilate to our laws and culture pose a danger; be they a kindergartner who shoots people at point blank range, young boys who exhibit excessively aggressive behavior, or a former member of ISIS who believes he can heal his own mind after watching and participating in brutal executions.
Far-right pundits have drawn ire from liberal news outlets and media bloggers for their hardline stances on refugees and immigrants. I disagree with the way those folks convey their rhetoric as I don't think all Muslims are radicalized. But I do think we need to ask questions after seeing footage of young children indoctrinated in violence and ask ourselves if it's worth the risk. I also think we should continue enacting and developing stringent policy that curbs crime, violence, and terrorism that seeks to harm us.
Regular Contributor Chad Felix Greene
I have a few questions about transgenderism. Or is it ‘transgender’? Sometimes they just call it ‘trans.’ As I discussed in an article titled: Transgender Suicides: What to Do About Them:
“The various liberal resources are shockingly equivocal as to what gender identity actually is. Gender identity is an “innermost knowing,” an issue of hormone imbalance, the result of a male brain in a female body, or a ‘transsexual’ brain, maybe an inherited characteristic, and many other possibilities, depending on whom you ask. According to some, gender is an inborn and permanent state; for others, a fluid awareness that might change by the day. How is it possible that a condition so insusceptible of consistent definition could be universally declared fatal without medical treatment?”
It is difficult to even define what ‘transgender’ means in any given context.
But of the multiple forms this experience can take, it is the internal and external conflicts that interest me most. The liberal world seems to grasp onto an idea and only after the conservative world expresses concern or objection do they stubbornly hold onto it regardless of reason or logic. Years can pass with an ever-growing conundrum surrounding the topic, and they will continue smugly dismissing all of it, waving self-serving studies around and declaring whatever it is they currently believe to be ‘science.’ But the rational among us can see through this perception filter.
For example, Janet Mock, a well-known trans and sex worker advocate, titled an article in 2011 to Marie Claire, I Was Born a Boy. By 2014 she was lecturing Piers Morgan on his transphobic assertion she had ever been male at all: MOCK: “Before commercial break, we had a lovely conversation, and then all of a sudden you said, “…who was formerly a man.” I was a baby. I was assigned male gender because of the appearance of my genitals. As I grew up, I discovered my girlhood, I discovered my womanhood, and I proclaimed and defined myself for myself.” Are we really supposed to believe that this individual was unaware of her original gender until 2014?
The answer is, of course not. In 2011 it had not yet become politically advantageous to assert trans were always their preferred gender. We, as a society, were perfectly content with the understanding that sometimes a man felt like a woman inside and had a little operation. It wasn’t until around 2014 that we began to see trans demand bathroom access based solely on their identified gender and then soon after it became popular to equally demand said identity was scientifically accurate. But it brings up an important question: if Miss Mock were in fact born a woman in a ‘male assigned’ body, why did she go through hormone and cosmetic surgery to prove it?
It has become common very recently as well to see LGBT declare, with alarming self-righteousness, that men can have periods and women can have penises. If this underlying understanding of human biology is correct, then why would trans go through so much effort to force their bodies to resemble, superficially, the other sex? Notice I said sex and not gender. Gender Queer theorists will tell you that sex and gender are separate things. Sex is your physical body and gender is your identity. However, every physical and chemical component to transgender treatment involves secondary sexual characteristics.
Women cut their hair short, remove their breasts and grow a beard. They take testosterone to deepen their voices. If testosterone makes you look like a man, sound like a man, feel like a man and think like a man, how did an individual without testosterone know she was, in fact, a man beforehand? Why the need for testosterone to enhance or validate this knowing? Do injections of testosterone make you male? If so, how were you male before you started taking them? They in effect, mimic the physical sex of a male. Janet Mock has undergone great effort to resemble what everyone knows is a woman. If sex and gender are separate things and men can have periods, why on Earth would any trans feel compelled to change their physical body in the first place? Shouldn’t they simply declare that being a man is not constrained by physical characteristics such as menstruation?
Obviously, the goal of a transgender person is to resemble and be treated as the opposite sex, not merely to express a gender identity. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be interested in surgery or hormones. But this begs another question. If Miss Mock, for example, believes her real self is female and has taken every conceivable physical effort to portray this to the world, is that admitting she was not female originally? Again, if she were simply a woman with male genitals, it goes to reason she would have appreciated her natural form and insisted it be viewed on its own as proof of her womanhood. Instead, she grew breasts, inverted her penis, had plastic surgery to appear more feminine and behaves, speaks, dresses and presents as a stereotypical Western woman.
If as trans activist Zinnia Jones insists, a woman with a penis has a female penis, wouldn’t it stand to reason that her hair, face, chest and overall image also be female regardless of how it looks? Why then wear makeup? Why wear women’s clothing or acquire breasts? This issue becomes even more confusing when you enter the world of ‘gender fluid’ where the spectrum of trans extends beyond physical transformation. Here we have individuals who believe they have no gender, are both genders, are multiple genders, sometimes one or the other gender at any given time and often entirely new genders no one except themselves has ever heard of.
Interestingly, regardless of the identity, the behavior is always the same. A male will put on female clothing, grow out his hair and wear makeup and a female will cut her hair short, wear boy’s clothing and behave in a masculine way. They take opposite-sex names and appropriate the other pronoun. In nearly all cases you simply have an individual cross-dressing while proclaiming new and profound expression of unique gender.
This too begs the question, if one is nonbinary, fluid or some other version of ‘trans’ then why adopt culturally-dependent stereotypical gendered dress and behaviors? You just don’t see average-looking individuals saying ‘Oh, yes I’m male but I love my female body and I don’t need to conform to society’s standards of what a man is.’ The need to change who they are physically in order to reflect who they believe themselves to be mentally or emotionally is universal across trans identity.
Another question I have is in regards to the obsession with gender-neutral child raising. It has become popular in liberal circles to declare, as new parents, that they do not intend to ‘impose’ gender onto their baby. Feminism has always fought against the notion of female-gendered toys, clothing or interests and strove for decades to incorporate male versions into girls’ daily lives. Today, liberals praise stores for, as the Disney store adopted, refusing to identify clothing or Halloween costumes by gender. They shriek with joy at a little boy choosing a princess dress.
At the same time liberals lecture us on the inappropriateness of ‘Gender Reveal’ parties as burdening innocent children with potentially unwanted gender obligations, LGBT are celebrating trans children coming out as young as age 2. In a Parents.com article titled, My Child Is Transgender: This Is How I Know, the writer states, “By age 2, Isabel refused to wear dresses…” On the highly controversial cover of The National Geographic’s transgender child issue featured an 8-year-old boy dressed entirely in pink with long hair and pink highlights.
Children who identify as the other gender do so in an obvious way – they adopt the other gender’s dress and behaviors. If we eliminate gendered toys and clothing, how exactly will trans children know they are, in fact, the wrong gender? How will they express or prove this to others? The 8-year-old boy in the National Geographic article stated: “The best thing about being a girl is I don’t have to pretend to be a boy.” Obviously, in his mind, this means dressing and behaving like a girl. That requires gender stereotypes and models in order to be effective. Otherwise being a girl would be as easy as just saying you are one. How can a movement that believes children can determine their own gender also advocate for removing gendered expression at the same time? It is almost as if they haven’t thought this through.
My suspicion is they are attempting to prove transgender theory by raising a generation of children without gender and seeing how many defy their biological sex. The irony, of course, is without a concept of firm gender roles there is nothing for a child to hold onto in terms of a different identity. Trans are said to have an ‘innermost feeling’ of being the other gender. But logic tells us they can only understand what being the other gender is like from witnessing expression from that gender and copying it internally. The fantasy has to involve established gender roles distinct from their own.
Make our society gender-neutral, and you eliminate transgender altogether.
Another interesting conflict in the ‘innermost feeling’ of gender is the fact that neither version of trans actually mimics anything beyond shallow and socially stereotypical gender norms. Transmen, women who identify as men, have a tendency to keep their reproductive organs and become pregnant. Transwomen, men who identify as women, do not argue for artificial wombs or express any desire for pregnancy themselves. It would require reason to understand that if you are physically male but you are actually female, biologically or otherwise, you would contain all that there is to be female. So why don’t transwomen seem to have a maternal drive or instinct? Why do transmen seem content with having their periods, to the absurd point of demanding that ‘men have periods.’
In practice, transgender is fairly transparent. A segment of our population, for whatever reason, has a strong desire to adopt the culturally stereotypical gender norms of the opposite sex. If we accepted gender queer theory as it is presented, it would be offensive to trans to suggest they alter their bodies to conform to some ‘cishet’ idea of what a man or woman is. Yet they claim, as my article above on transgender suicides demonstrates, that without this body-altering treatment they suffer so profoundly they are susceptible to suicide.
We seem to be in a period of confusion and uncertainty disguised as revolutionary science and social awakening. The Left has taken its notion of gender to such an extreme it has splintered into multiple, incompatible fragments and it is all colliding together. None of it makes sense. Even the simplest of questions results in mind-numbingly incoherent ranting about various theories and ideas that unravel at the slightest touch of inquiry.
One last question, although it begs a much larger series of questions. If a straight man identifies as a woman, transitions and becomes a lesbian, was he born gay? I suppose, like everything else related to this topic, we will never know for sure.
For more from Chad, visit chadfelixgreene.com and follow him on Twitter @chadfelixg.
Guest Contributor Allen Ray
I still remember the look in their eyes.
They were overwhelmed by the turnout as they shook hands, hugged, smiled and laughed with each guest as they entered the building. They were truly grateful for the support, and continued to bravely engage in the festivities held solely for their family. Yet, the smiles and laughter could not hide the pain and desperation the last few years had permanently etched into their eyes.
The eyes are the windows to the soul, and their souls were temporarily trapped in a hell-on-earth that only a parent mourning the loss of one child, and the eminent demise of another could possibly endure.
The rare disorder had taken the first twin a year prior, and the young lady in the wheelchair needed massive doses of medication to keep her alive every single day. Alive could barely be the correct word used to describe her condition. The poor child was trapped in a hell of her own; unable to walk, talk, sit up straight, or basically do anything but make a few meager facial expressions and gargle in a feeble attempt to communicate. But, alive she was. And, as long as the young parents could detect the faintest of breath from her lips, there was hope for her survival.
We were there as the evening’s entertainment. “She really loves you guys, and gets so excited when we play your CDs,” the parents explained. I sat next to the girl, feeling awkward as I often do in many social situations. I reached out and touched the child’s hand, careful not to squeeze in case I break a bone in her fragile body. Much to my surprise, she grabbed my hand and rocked back and forth in excitement.
“She’s excited to see you guys tonight,” her mother beamed. “We’ve been telling her all week!”
That was her interpretation of the movement, and who was I to argue? I couldn’t say one way or another, but I did realize one thing; that child was very much alive, even if she was trapped in a frail shell of a body.
At that very moment, I was changed for life. I began to understand the battle this young couple was fighting, and the extremes they would go through to keep their child alive at any cost, being a young father myself. The rest of the night was a blur. I suppose we had a good show, but my mind was miles away. My kids were there with us, running around on the dance floor, yelling and laughing, dancing and singing along. The young girl in the wheelchair moved to the music as much as her tiny body would allow, until she was simply too exhausted to move. The person who won the 50/50 drawing donated his part back to the family, to the cheers of the audience. I asked my wife to write a check for as much as we could afford at the time, to which she gladly agreed. Apparently, several people in the crowd were moved to do the same. Beyond that, I don’t recall much more than my thoughts and feelings that night, because I carry them with me to this very day.
After that night, I found myself being more patient with my kids. Hugging them a little tighter, laughing with them more, and listening to their wild stories with interest. You see, a thought had occurred to me that night; that couple would have gladly given their lives just to watch that little girl rise up out of that wheel chair, run across the room, and clumsily tip over a lamp. They would have given every earthly possession just to hear her say, “I love you, mommy,” or ask “Daddy, can I get a toy?” They would have sold their souls just to watch her perform in a school play, or sing in a Christmas Pageant. But they knew that was never to be. The young lady never made it to her next birthday. We got a simple card thanking us for our contributions that kept her alive for a small amount of time, and a handwritten note to ensure us that they cherished every single moment with her. My heart was torn apart.
This is why the Charlie Gard case disturbs me to the core. It is a parent’s basic instinct to fight for their child….until the child literally draws his or her final breath. To hand over this battle to a state, no matter how well-intentioned said state claims to be, defiles a basic right of a parent that dates back to the arrival of the very first infant. This is why I decried the arrival of government-run healthcare in the United States. It discourages me even more that I simply do not hear the question being asked, “Does this give the Government too much power over the individual?”
The answer is a resounding “Yes, it does!” The Charlie Gard tragedy is all the proof one needs to reach that conclusion, and now that power is being stripped from us. The parents who tend daily to a child with special needs will attest to this. These are the ones who fight this battle, and need the freedom to keep their child alive when everyone else has given up. It is their prerogative, not the decision of a cold, heartless bureaucrat in an office several miles away, to fight or surrender in the best interest of the child. To deny them this is to deny them a basic freedom that our forefathers warned us would be taken away if we allowed it to be.
“Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel…” - Patrick Henry
Guest Contributor Jeff
With today’s announcement by the parents of Charlie Gard, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, that they were ending their fight with the Government of Britain and its state-run hospital, the outcome of the 11-month-old is a certain one: Death. While many will claim that this was going to be the end result, and it may have been, the right to do whatever one can do to save one’s child should always be the first choice. The problem comes with the mentality that children are throwaway ‘things,’ whether in utero or, as this case demonstrates, unable to survive without support. The debate over the healthcare system in the United States is still at a fevered pitch, sides defending ACA or rallying against it, bickering over a replacement bill offered by the ‘other’ side, or whether to repeal it and let it go to a purer free market. While, for me, it is easy to decide which way to go with Healthcare, the small arguments that crop up often touch on the larger prevailing issue: What is the value of a Human?
We see this debate more and more: is it a baby? Is it a fetus? Is it just a clump of cells? Then later in life, it becomes: Do they contribute to society? Is it worth the money to save them? All as if life has been devalued to the small pieces of copper you have hidden behind your couch cushions. Payment becomes more important than figuring out if a clump of cells is worth living. “You can always just have another child” is a phrase that gets bantered about frequently. Not just in European societies, but in our own. From the mouths of individuals marching in Washington wearing little pink hats, to those in the medical profession, yes even those that are OB/GYN. Sadly, this is not something new, just something being bantered about more and more as social media has given a larger voice to these individuals.
Before this increase in volume, it was shocking to hear in most corners. When I heard those words coming from an OB/GYN about my twins, I was shocked and horrified. While I was largely on the side of a ‘clump of cells’ was a human being and nothing else, I was not public with it and sometimes would defend the other side. Eleven years ago changed that. When, in America, you hear a doctor state “You should abort these twins due to their condition and try again,” you want to scream, fight, and just get angry in general. For the record, the twins had TTTS, or Twin-to-Twin Syndrome, where the two babies share in utero blood vessels. One baby was being drained of blood while the other was getting his normal amount and his brother’s blood as well. In our case, the odds of one of the twins surviving was about 50-50. This doctor figured why go through the trouble of multiple amniocentesis procedures, possible surgery, and tons of ‘inconvenience’ because we lived in a rural area and would have to travel to seek help.
To us, it was a no-brainer, our sons deserved everything we could do for them. Thankfully we lived in a still free society where we were able to find ways to help. Five doctors in the United States specialized in TTTS cases. We, unlike Mr. Gard and Ms. Yates, were able to travel to another state and seek options. In our case, a procedure was done to sever the shared blood vessels between the two babies at week 20. The surgery was a success, though we would go on to lose the twins, Julian and Tristian, five weeks later after contractions started that could not be stopped.
Though the twins passed, eight and 43 hours after their birth at week 25, we were able to seek treatment and attempt to save their lives, an option Charlie’s parents never got. For those saying this will not happen in America, they may be right, institutionally it may not, but there are already enough individuals that have devalued a baby’s life because it is not outside of the mother, and it is not a new thing.
So the case of Charlie vs. the Hospital, as it should have been stated, is something that will be seen more and more as the spread of government intervention takes hold. Cases of infants being allowed to die due to financial issues, or “The parents are healthy, just have another one” will increase. Slowly, though I fear not so, this will envelop older patients, or patients that are in a coma with no foreseeable escape from it. The devaluing of life has hit a feverish pitch, and frankly, it scares me.
Guest Contributor Mike Out Yonder
My political position these days is simple: I’m None Of The Above, and learning to really enjoy it.
I think all sides have revealed themselves to be a mix of Idiot, Criminal, and Clown, and their attitude toward Trump, who as far as I can tell has only ever been either a Democrat or Republican in name only, betrays their ideological biases. He’s made enemies of both the Left and the Right, and the factions within each, and continues to splinter the two major parties into tribes with his every utterance or faux pas. He’s diplomatically crude, can’t help promoting himself at every turn, and unfamiliar with the Sacred Ways of Government. This causes both pain and pleasure as each side mocks or condemns the other over him and his antics. His evolving positions also make them all cringe and bemoan the loss of the Republic As We Know It.
On the other hand, he’s given another group of voters, both ideologically Left and Right, a reason to get involved, even if just watching more closely the train wreck called U.S. politics today. The beating of the elites of both sides of the political spectrum by this political cretin has been a joy to behold for many. I figure not since Andrew Jackson has there been a larger group of populist voters pulling for Trump, and they watch the outrage from the punditry and the elite political class with glee.
Trump stumbles through the political china shop like a bovine Rodney Dangerfield, and they all squeal in outrage at his unfitness and affront to their way of life. It is rather fun to see.
His detractors condemn his every step, the more rabid ones call for his downfall, and point to every new incident of ineptitude as proof of this lack of fitness for the Presidency. Never mind that cruder men than he held that office before him, and did more than being caught on a mic bragging about sexual prowess years before. The more insidious detractors keep the smoke of Russian influence thick in the air, hoping to wear out the weaker hearted by the sheer volume of smoke, or play up the seemingly endless dripping of mistakes and misguided decisions of the Trump White House. This is common in any new administration, but this time is exacerbated by entire groups of powerful people who have vowed to bring the man down one way or another, and continue to this day to plan and connive.
On the other hand, his devotees bask in the beam of his every smile, and consider him the pinnacle of political achievement; an Everyman finally put in power to show the bluebloods how a true American does it. His mistakes are small, his aims are high, and he’ll lead the parade back to the Good Old Days of American Values, 76 trombones and all. They are just as dangerous and amusing to watch as their counterparts, but thankfully are more amusing than dangerous, unless you get labeled as one of them just for giving Trump the benefit of the doubt. That really is dangerous, because it leads to closed minds and more polarization.
Political factions will always demonize the other, pointing to the most extreme views of their opponents as being normal for the entire group. They’ll always strive to convince the politically lazy and clueless that their side is always right and the other side is always wrong, and further the very polarization they all condemn in public. With Trump, they all have something different, a shared enemy to bring down, and they’ve spent the last nine months doing all they can to minimize, undercut, and otherwise usurp his every move and achievement, clumsy or not.
Then there’s me, and people like me. I have no idea how many there are, but am pretty sure my views are shared by more than my betters are willing to admit.
Trump to me is a tool, a cudgel to be used and discarded when the time presents itself. He’s a means to an end, a political Null to be used to drive out what I considered was wrong with American politics in general. With Trump, many of us could forego any allegiance to some party or other and just get the guy in office on his word, such as it was, Make America Great Again. Call it the anti-Party if you like, or the Protest vote, but either way, it achieved the desired result, and I figure will reap more rewards than just the SCOTUS for many years to come. I voted Republican because I lean more conservative, but am ashamed to be lumped with GOP, True Cons, Cons, Inc, Libertarians or any of the rest who still haven’t learned the lessons of Trump. That lesson is that the truth still matters and if you’ve spent a career spinning, whether in government or out, we’d rather do without you. I’d rather put an untrained clown car salesman in office than listen to any more of what the established parties and their paymasters want to do for me.
To me, Trump was and may still be a cad, but I don’t care. He may change his positions and views like the wind, but I won’t change mine, which are a mix of both liberal and conservative. He’ll be gone in four or eight years, but I still have to live with the mistakes and achievements he will have in office. I judge what is right for me and mine based not on purely ideological lines, but on my beliefs and experience, as most politically literate people do, but am not willing to compromise for the sake of getting along any longer. The party line is dying, and I’m glad to see it. They’re just two sides of the same coin now, and are all after my money to feed their pet victims or projects.
Trump has his charms, and seems to be a good-natured man who is good for some things, but not for others. He’ll never be all that good at chess, I bet, but he cares genuinely for the country, and I share that with him. He often says the wrong thing, has a famously thin skin, and comes off as a clown, even to those of us who strain to give him the benefit of the doubt. Still, I’d rather have him and his mistakes than the veneer of civility I’ve had to stomach up to now from the rest.
I’m enjoying his presidency, and until I actually see the wheels come off, he’s the best ride in town.
Guest Contributor @TCC_Grouchy
If you are one of the people who think that President Trump’s Executive Order to restrict travel from six Muslim-majority countries is the right thing to do, I have some bad news for you. This E.O. falls short of what is needed regarding our immigration system and national security. While it should be noted that I do not have all the answers, and am no immigration or policy expert, I am confident that the following would help the United States and its citizenry.
Before we begin, however, it is incumbent upon all of us to understand that there is no right to immigrate to the United States. There are a lot of people in other countries that are in a bad situation. And while it is human nature to feel for them, and to even be charitable toward them, they still do not have a right to immigrate here. It is a privilege that is allowed at the discretion of our government. If you have a problem understanding this simple concept, I can only offer you a trip to Mexico without proper documentation as an example of just how kind our government is to immigrants (both legal and especially illegal).
As the political left contended throughout the election season, our immigration system does need to be “fixed.” But it needs to be fixed in a very different manner than they have been trying to dictate to us. All immigration should be temporarily halted, stay three exceptions. Those three exceptions are as follows:
During this temporary stoppage of immigration, we need our legislators to design a new immigration system that allows the U.S. to be more selective about who enters our country and for what purpose. As this new system is devised, there are some points that should not be negotiable. For example, every person admitted to the U.S. needs to be completely self-sufficient. No immigrant should be allowed to use government entitlement programs (Food Stamps, Welfare, Medicaid, etc.) for a period of no less than a certain number of years (I suggest five years as a minimum, but am not opposed to an even longer period). It goes without saying that illegal immigrants should not be allowed access to any government programs. This will act as a disincentive to encourage them to return to their country of origin or to remain there to begin with. We also need to effort to identify overstayed visas, work permits, etc. and send these individuals back to their originating country. If they wish to return to the U.S. legally, they can apply like every other immigrant applying for admission.
I can’t stress enough how important it is for the sovereignty and safety of our nation that our borders be secured and our immigration laws be enforced. It is also important to our unique American culture. While not applicable to all present-day immigrants, I miss the desire of past generations of immigrants to assimilate into our culture instead of trying to change the United States into the country from which they came. I’m not sure when, or even how, the gratitude of immigrants of generations past became the government benefit-gouging of ungrateful immigrants present, but attitudes are certainly not the same as when my grandparents came through Ellis Island.
My grandmother, born in Barcelona, Spain, was told by her mother while approaching the dock in New York, “we are in America now, no more Spanish. Only English from now on.” I can’t imagine how hard that must have been to follow through on. But it was their dedication to total immersion into American culture that made them successful immigrants. They wanted to be Americans. It meant something more to them. Maybe it was the fact that there was no government check for them to collect. They knew that they had the opportunity to either make it on their own or not. Exactly what the Founders had in mind, equal opportunity, not equal outcome.
I was a teenager before I knew that my grandparents weren’t born in the United States. It just wasn’t spoken of in our family. My grandparents had long been naturalized citizens. My grandfather (born in Germany) had even enlisted in the Army and earned a Bronze Star during World War II, another fact that I didn’t know as a boy. Following his time in the Army, he was stricken with polio. He lost most of the use of his right arm and left leg. He still managed to become a successful businessman and a scratch golfer. I remember him performing maintenance on their cars. He had to improvise just to use hand tools, but he always found a way.
As a child, I grew up in the Dade and Broward County communities of South Florida during the 70s. There was a lot happening in the world of immigration during this time in South Florida. Cubans were still fleeing the Castro regime and making their way to Florida in droves. If it could float, they tried to ride it to the U.S. But these, and subsequent Cubans were not of the same mindset as the first wave of Cubans who escaped the communist dictatorship in the 50s and early 60s. This new wave, from the mid-60s to present day, didn’t try to assimilate into our culture. They are the ones responsible for the Little Havana community that has sprawled from downtown Miami westward. It is a “neighborhood” that has five zip codes, two area codes, and a population over 76,000. People who want to recreate Cuba instead of assimilating into American culture. People who expect government benefits instead of an opportunity to work, like the previous generation of Cuban immigrants.
Don’t get me wrong, we all have a heritage to be proud of, but first and foremost, we are Americans, or should be aspiring to be Americans. I represent only the second generation born in the U.S. on my mother’s side of the family. I had to learn Spanish in high school even though I had a grandmother and great grandmother who were fluent. But you would never have known by listening to them talk. Both sported more of a New York accent (that still comes out in me when with my mother’s family) than a Spanish accent. This is the kind of effort and pride in country I want to see from the people granted the privilege of coming to our great nation. Our country may not be perfect, but I can’t think of another country in which I’d prefer living.
In closing, I want to stress that my thinking doesn’t stem from hatred or bigotry, but from the standpoint of preserving this great nation, both culturally and financially. We can, and should, have immigration in the United States. It needs to be done with purpose and compassion, for immigrants, and even more importantly, American citizens. Having a stable, defined immigration system, with borders that are secured and laws that are enforced, and immigrants that want to be a part of our culture instead of a part of our entitlement system, is imperative to a healthy nation.
Guest Contributor Mike Out Yonder
I am a White American Man.
These days, that sentence alone stops many people from reading any further.
For some, the fact that I capitalized the W is a signal to my racist brethren that we are superior. Others see the capital A as an offense to global neighbors, and still others see the capital M as respecting the oppressive male patriarchy in a deviously subtle way.
They could all be right, or they could all be wrong.
The fact is, they are all offended by something that caused them to draw a conclusion based only on what they think they already know. They draw a premature conclusion which colors anything else after that point. The truth is, they are all so closed-minded, they never allow themselves the chance to objectively learn something new. They never learned or accepted the TRUE concept of an open mind, and trust their false concept of one, which teaches them to tolerate only those who agree with them, and to listen for key phrases, or ‘dog whistles’ as they call them today, to more efficiently dismiss a person or an idea as Not One Of Them.
I try not to be one of them.
That doesn’t mean I don’t have my own biases, and experiences based on much personal pain and suffering that cause me to consider some ideas with heavy skepticism, but to be triggered by those six words alone is why people are having trouble living in harmony today, all over the world.
In music, there are only a certain number of notes, and a melody consists of these in a line, heard one after the other. There are also chords, which are more than one note being played simultaneously, and the harmony of the three individual notes makes a pleasant new sound that the three can’t make alone.
I think people are like that too, and harmonious interactions can come from the oddest combinations. Of course, there are good people and bad people, and liars and honest people all mixed together, but these days people seem to be offended by people who are simply different.
My roots are in the Southwest Virginia mountains and the Southeast Georgia low country, but I was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and only lived there a year before moving on. I never grew up in any of those places. My dad was a coal miner’s son who joined the military to get out of the mines, and met a 16-year-old girl from a broken home while he was stationed in Savannah, Georgia. That doesn’t make me better or worse than anyone else, and has no bearing on how I should treat other people, but it does help me appreciate people from those cultures, and the suffering and joys they share.
I was taught to have an open mind until I learn more about things because to do otherwise makes you narrow-minded. That concept came in handy as I traveled the world from one bubble to the next, and I learned that I wanted to be from everywhere. Each culture is different, but like notes on the piano, can make some beautiful harmonies. Each has something I can’t get in my own culture, and each has a treasure I’ll never have but will always want. Of course, I never wanted them to be like me, and I never wanted to be like them, but I enjoyed being with them and appreciating them tremendously.
America is like a tapestry of people who assimilated, and began weaving their own cultural threads into the one already here. Their wisdom allowed them to consider the harmony, and each found a place to blend, and make the entire experiment better. I love the fact that when I go to Los Angeles, I am from Los Angeles and enjoy the things like a local there. When I go to Statesboro, I’m from Statesboro, and love the people and places I know. No matter where I go, I am welcomed, if I want to be.
Americans love America and their culture’s contribution to it. They are proud, and love it despite the suffering their people had here, without looking for blame or compensation. They make me proud to be an American alongside them.
I’ve eaten in palaces and hovels, and been teased by Inner-City Blacks and Texas Latinos, and I’ve teased them back and laughed with them doing it. I’m a better man because of them.
I feel sorry for those too narrow-minded to see that I’m more than just a White American Man.