Guest contributors run the gamut, but they all pretty much rock.
Today was SO EPIC!
I mean, there were so many cool things going on I could barely hold myself together.
BLAM! Those racists & climate deniers got what was coming to them. These are the same Neanderthals that got Trump elected!
The same Orange 'god' King that says Climate Change is a hoax & went all unconstitutional when he pulled us out of the Paris Accords & pretty much doomed the world!
They 'claim' to love the Constitution when it suits their cis-white male slaveholding purposes but when it comes to the WORLD they don't care.
Do you know what's even better about this?
Trump is IGNORING them!
It's like they think they can survive this storm without the Federal Government supplying all the people rafts & stuff. Stupid Texans.
AND LOOK AT HOUSTON.
If Barack *sigh* were still the president (or even Hillary, I suppose) & were like, the commander in...whatever, they would've MADE SURE Houston was ok.
HE was doing the right thing (Democrat in Texas. Score!)
HE was waiting for the FEDERAL government to tell him what to do.
It's not the mayor's fault they have a stupid Republican governor.
How was the mayor supposed to trust him?
Though...he probably should've known better than to trust Trumpf...
Oh well, it's just Texas anyway.
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE NOW, BITCHES!!!
Harvey is racist.
Just like Katrina.
(Ugh, Bush was president - but now it's 'his' state. KARMA, you stupid oil man!)
OMG! Did you see Berkeley?
They curb stomped that Nazi!
Well, maybe he wasn't exactly a Nazi, but don't try to tell me he was innocent.
ANTIFA! HELL YEAH!
The ONLY way to keep those Nazis in check is through violence.
Fascists are just evil.
They can't be allowed to speak in public & spread their hate.
Hell no! Punch those bastards in the face!
At least the news gets it. It's not hate when you are fighting hate.
LOVE TRUMPS HATE.
Besides we've been the victim of microaggressions for so long! AND THAT'S HOW YOU DEAL WITH AGGRESSION - BY KICKING ITS TEETH IN!
Damn fascist Nazi a-holes & damn their hate! We will curb stomp all of them!
Oh Diary... It was a glorious day! I'm so proud to be a Democrat!
Guest Contributor Brick
On August 12, 2017 a group of white supremacists and KKK affiliated hooligans decided to march in downtown Charlottesville to protest the removal of Confederate monuments. They were issued a permit and, pursuant to their First Amendment rights, were allowed to protest. The First Amendment protects speech no matter how offensive. We all support the First Amendment, but we do not support the hateful message brought by the white supremacist. Let’s all agree on this.
I want to make something perfectly clear: the black community has every right to be offended, angry, and repulsed by the presence of white supremacists protesting or marching in their community. Our history is littered with examples of white racists carrying torches and parading into a black community demanding punishment for made up crimes. The Greenwood District, Tulsa, OK in 1921 comes to mind. This was a community of black merchants, black families, black teachers, and one of the most successful communities in Oklahoma at that time. A black man accused of raping a white woman was arrested. Black and white mobs showed up to the court house and soon a riot began. 300 people died. Greenwood was destroyed. The most affluent African American community in the country was destroyed by a white mob seeking racial justice. This is our history. This is our reality. When white supremacists, legal or not, parade their hatred, black Americans have a visceral and understandable reaction. A reaction other races cannot truly understand. That is the reality we must own.
In Charlottesville we had several people injured and one person killed by a torch bearing, white supremacist who felt righteous in his hatred. This is sickening and disgraceful.
Unfortunately mob rule was common in early America, but we are better than that now. At least I thought we were. The past few years we’ve had riots in Missouri, Baltimore, Boston, Berkeley, Oakland, etc. These are perpetrated by a group of individuals with the same basic mindset that caused the Greenwood District tragedy.
A group of radicals whose perception of reality overrides all, who are willing to use violence and threats to obtain submission. The Group will not debate, they will not seek common ground, they seek only a reckoning based on hatred. A hatred of the United States. The Group shuts down anyone and anything that doesn’t fully grasp their righteousness. The Group is comprised of sick and twisted individuals that demand a new America. An America with their form of equality, fairness, and liberty.
These groups wish to change the Constitution and amend freedom of speech to protect only speech The Group deems appropriate.
The Group will demand open borders so that they can import more like-minded Group members. Those individuals that don’t know about our true founding and ideals...those that are blank canvases.
The Group will demand Group participation in corporate boardrooms and filter speech and behavior under the disguise of fairness and equality. They will demand total submission from both small and large businesses. The Group will not allow for freedom of ideas and will financially destroy any business or group that thinks otherwise.
The Group will infiltrate our schools, demanding we teach their version of history. The Group will demand all children learn about the illegitimate founding of the United States. They will teach children that our founders were racist hate-mongers and therefore everything they did or said should be excised from our history and ideals…including our Constitution.
The Group will infiltrate our media demanding approval of stories or opinions, and will only display their approved version of reality. Objectivity and real freedom of the press will be dismantled and expelled, all in the name of political correctness determined by the Group's ideology.
The Group will become mixed with our entertainment and movies. They will drive their message through 3 hour infomercials made in Hollywood, directed by Group members, and only allow for the advancement of their ideology. The Group will make certain that all movies and music obey the bylaws of the Group. Any variance means expulsion and public political flogging.
The Group can be made up of communists, fascists, racists, supremacists--it doesn’t matter the makeup of the group. It’s the ideology and the methods used to enforce the ideology that matter. Totalitarianism mixed with Authoritarianism to fit the 21st century's version of total population control.
This isn’t new to the world. The fact that the United States has successfully prohibited the Group from infiltrating our republic for the past 300 years is amazing in and of itself. But they are here now. And they are seeking our submission.
We must understand, as a free nation, that a very powerful group seeks to totally dismantle the only thing that keeps us free, the U.S. Constitution. Once this is gone, whether through the judiciary, executive, or legislative branch, it will never come back. And we will all be subjects to the Group.
We must overcome this threat, not by violence, but by exposure. The Group has a tragic flaw...Sunlight. They don’t want to be exposed until they have amassed enough power to not give a damn. Keep debating, keep telling the truth, keep exposing them. That’s how the United States wins. We lose if we become like the Group, if we use violence.
This Group is ancient, it’s been on earth for centuries. The United States is the newbie. And once we are gone, they will again rule the world.
Regular Contributor Out Yonder
With all the ruckus about statues being offensive now that people have a reason to pay attention to them, I was reminded this week that in the North it is taught that, as a Southerner, my ancestors were traitors and deserve no honor or respect. Needless to say, it wasn’t exactly the characterization I traditionally use to remember my kin who fought in the War Between the States, and it struck me as an overly simplistic way of seeing the past.
Many of those who fought that war didn’t own slaves, and contrary to popular belief, slavery is not why many of them left their homes to defend the land they were born on. My ancestors never owned (or even probably saw) a slave, being up in the backcountry of Virginia and all. Like more than 90 percent of Southerners at the time, they were poor and had no slaves. They spent their lives scratching a living out of the ground God’s Providence gave them, and politics was something that only old men or hotheads sat around talking about. The rest were too busy to bother with it.
When the time came, the men of the South took up arms for many reasons, defending slavery being one for some, but not for all. Whether they felt a threat to their way of life, were deceived by the propaganda of the day, or even dared to believe they were making a new country, they were still wrong. The truth is that they were on a fool’s errand, and deserved to lose. From the highest general to the lowest private. The lesson learned for the South was a hard one, and a bitter pill to swallow, but slavery had to be destroyed despite what they believed, and they paid a great price for taking the position they did.
That doesn’t make them irredeemable, though. It took many good men to raise the South from the destruction it had suffered. Many men and women, both black and white, had to look each other in the eye, pull themselves up from the misery they found themselves in, and work to get along and build it all back. Amid grinding poverty, prejudice, and bitter feelings, they slowly moved beyond the shock of war. It took decades of pain, suffering, blood and sweat before the South was once again strong, and went on to become the powerhouse it is today.
Go to any Southern state, pick any one. You’ll see both good and bad there, both remnants of hate and glimpses of hope, and also evidence of people who came back together over generations to restore the goodness of Southern charm. Having felt the wrath of God’s judgment, they tapped into the power that forgiveness and perseverance can bring, and worked within their communities to heal the scars of war. They still weren’t perfect, and made mistakes over the years, but they rebuilt the towns and lives and moved on, remembering the events with respect and mourning for the suffering they had caused.
I learned that those statues were to remind us of the fight the nation had with itself, brother against brother against brother, the shame it brought to all of us, and the power of forgiveness it took to heal those wounds. I can’t say every Southern kid was taught this, but I was, and I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one. These days, it appears those wounds are only slightly healed, and are still tender to the touch. Those statues are there to remind us of our inhumanity to each other, if not anything else, a way to tell the story about each community’s place in that conflict.
If all of that is forgotten now, and the kids can’t see past their Judgment of the Day, then it’s better to put the statues away. I figure I’d rather have them put into the hands of those who will respect them and care for them. This way, people who want to do so can pay their respects in peace. I’d rather not see them being spat on in the streets anyway.
I just hope the actual remains of Robert E. Lee, currently buried under a church at a liberal university in Virginia, won’t be dug up and desecrated by those who hate him now. By their logic, he’s a traitor and doesn’t deserve to be buried in a chapel on public property.
I mourn for this country. More treasure lost.
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.