Monthly Archives: August 2014

This is what “politically correct” thinking gives us.

If I came on here and told you that more than 1400 children, generally between the ages of 11 and 15, mostly female, had been kidnapped or tricked into sex rings and prostitution, how would you react? Would you shrug your shoulders and pass it off as another third-world tragedy?

What if I added that authorities knew the locations of the perpetrators and case histories of roughly one-third of those children, yet didn’t interfere? Would you be horrified? Disgusted at the blatant police and political corruption?

On August 26, the Wall Street Journal ran a headline stating “U.K. Report Details Widespread Child Sex Abuse in Rotherham, England” and below the headline, “Independent Review Criticizes Public Authorities for Collective Failure in Tackling Abuse”.

England? Wait, I thought this was some third-world country we were talking about. Not jolly old England, with the Queen and King Arthur and Big Ben and polo matches. Nope, according to the map, Rotherham is definitely in England. Located in South Yorkshire (If you drew a line going West-East across the country at Liverpool, Rotherham would be pretty smack in the middle of that line.) it boasted a population of approximately 257,800 according to 2011 census data (Wikipedia). That same 2011 census showed how Rotherham’s ethnic and religious populations broke down:

According to the Rotherham Joint Strategic Needs Assessment, Ethnicity and Cultural Identity:

  • “Rotherham’s population is not homogenous and people with different cultural identities may have different needs or require different approaches to service provision.”
  • “The cultural composition of Rotherham has been changing at a fast pace with new communities emerging.”
  • The Equality Act of 2010 places a duty on public services to avoid discrimination on the basis of race and religion.” (emphasis mine)

From the same:

  • Rotherham had 91.9% of the population identify as “White British” on their census form. The remaining 8.1%i dentified as “Black and Minority Ethic (BME) “
  • Of the BME community, the largest of these identified as Pakistani or Kashmiri, making up 3.1% of the local population. The next largest BME group claimed Slovak or Czech Roma heritage.
  • Religiously, 66.5% of the city described themselves as Christian. Muslims made up 3.7% of the local citizenry while 22.5% said they had no religion. Only 0.7% chose “other”.
  • Though it is situated in the middle of England, only 72.8% of people classified themselves as “English only”.

Why is this important? Since 1997, a group of Pakistanis has been going after young, troubled white girls (“easy meat”, to use their term). The girls, described by the perpetrators as “out of control” and thus easy to target, were trafficked, beaten, and raped by large numbers of men.

An independent investigative report also discovered that “victims were doused in petrol and threatened with being set alight, terrorised [sic] with guns, made to witness brutally-violent [sic] rapes, and told they would be next if they spoke out;”. The torturous treatment went on for so long that one victim “described gang rape as ‘a way of life'”.  For some, it was so usual that it was considered a part of growing up.

The 1,400 victims is considered to be a low estimate.

Where were the police? In a gun-free England, where the police are usually armed only with a billy club, the girls who were known to be part of this ring were “treated with contempt” by local law enforcement. In at least two instances, fathers, discovering where their daughters were being kept, were arrested themselves instead of being given the opportunity (let alone the assistance) to save their daughters from being terrorized, when the pedophiles called the police on the parents.

Why? For the love of all that is holy, WHY? If the police and other government groups knew that this was going on, why did no one step in to save these girls? “Professor Alexis Jay, who wrote the report, condemned the ‘blatant’ collective failures by the council’s leadership, concluding: ‘It is hard to describe the appalling nature of the abuse that child victims suffered.

Children suffered because “Terrified of accusations of racism, desperate not to undermine the official creed of cultural diversity, they took no action against obvious abuse.”

Read that again. I’ll emphasize a few things to help:

“Terrified against accusations of racism, desperate not to undermine the official creed of cultural diversity, they took no action against obvious abuse.”

So we have Muslim men of Pakistani descent, kidnapping over a thousand white woman over the course of nearly fifteen years (the report further detailed that schools had alerted authorities to signs of abuse, to no avail), and no one in mostly God-fearing, lily-white England lifts a finger because they are afraid of offending their new Muslim neighbors and being targeted as racist?

It went so far that reporters described the men as “Asian”, rather than associate them with Islam or Arabic culture.

If we are going to be very, very technical about things, yes, Pakistan is part of the Asian continent. Yet to describe them as “Asian” brings to mind the physical characteristics of the Koreans, the Vietnamese, the Chinese, the Japanese, the Philipinos, etc. Pakistan is in the same neighborhood geographically as Iran, Afghanistan, and the Indian subcontinent. It lies across the Arabian Sea from Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E., Yemen, and Oman. They are of Arabic culture, not Asian.

Winston Churchill must be rolling in his grave. This is what England has done to itself. It has given up its freedom for a socialistic experiment and produced a nation of such mice that Julius Caesar would have just looked over at the island and gone, “Meh,” before returning to the Gallic wars.

It is pointless to highlight the fact that Muslim men get this idea that women are second-class citizens and that white women in particular “deserve to be punished”. We have seen examples of this in Islamic culture time and time again.

Instead, look again at the case. A group of  men spend seven years terrorizing and sexually abusing 1400 or more underage girls. Then look at the details. The men were all of Arabic descent, and practiced a religion that we already know treats women very poorly and engages freely in pedophilia. Combine that with an open hatred for the West and the only other question remaining is how far does this ring really extend? If it is limited to Rotherham, I will eat my hat.

England, instead, I will direct this to you:

Three-quarters of a century ago you withstood conditions few countries could have possibly withstood. In the midst of a Blitz, you held back the bloodiest army modern times had seen and you did it without apology. The enemy you face now is far more dangerous and far more deadly. Worse, you have invited him in. Now, he lurks everywhere, and while you entertain him in your parlor, his comrades are raping your daughters and stealing away your sons. How long will you let this go on?

To America:

What makes you think you’re so immune?

 

 

For more information, online news publications including the U.K. Daily Mail, the Telegraph (UK), and the Wall Street Journal have been providing coverage of the events. Many of the shorter quotes used in this post were taken from various  articles from those three publications. A Google search of “Rotherham, England sex trafficking” will bring up more than enough reading material for anyone interested in further information.

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Hie thee hence… to a library.

With the start of a new school year, there will be the usual back to school sales, discussions about who needs more sleep, complaints about the way teachers teach (or don’t), standardized testing, the Common Core, literacy, and everyone’s favorite topic, bullying.

I will be the last to say that bullying doesn’t exist, or that it’s not as big a problem as people make it out to be in light of recent cases, especially two in Massachusetts alone that led two children to choose suicide. I will say that parents need to get their heads out of their behinds and realize that if they are being told that their child is causing a problem, they need to be willing to investigate and if the allegations prove to be true and that child is causing problems, lay down the law and not make excuses for their little brat.

That being said, I’m also a huge advocate of literacy. I absolutely positively Do. Not. Care. what a child is reading (within limits, obviously. A nine-year-old should not be reading Playboy, even for the articles.) as long as that child is reading. Annie picks up a Batman comic book and reads it while eating breakfast? Good for her! Tommy discovers an old Boxcar Children series in the school library? Awesome. I loved those books. Laura’s teacher talks about Laura Ingalls in class, and that inspires her to check out the Little House books only because she has the same name as the protagonist? Sweet. Steve reads the back of the cereal box? Don’t care, he’s reading. Joe, a high-school junior, takes a break from homework to read an article on Cracked.com? Brain candy AND he may be learning something – win/win situation.

Reading is awesome.

To tie this in with the anti-bullying stance everyone from kindergarten to 12th grade is going to be hearing about, I’d like to suggest the “Tortall Universe” books by Tamora Pierce. These are YA novels (I’d say good for a PG-13 audience due to violence and some sexual themes) featuring strong female protagonists in a fantasy world in the country of Tortall. These quartets (plus one duo and one trio) can be read in any order, but chronologically:

Beka Cooper Series (set 200 or so years before Song of the Lioness) tells the story about young Beka Cooper and her rise through the ranks of Provost Guard. In order: Terrier, Bloodhound, and Mastiff

Song of the Lioness Quartet Alanna of Trebond disguises herself as a boy in order to become a knight for the realm of Tortall. In order: Alanna: The First Adventure, In the Hand of the Goddess, The Woman Who Rides Like a Man, Lioness Rampant

The Immortals Quartet: After losing her family, Daine is hired by the horsemistress of the Queen’s Riders, where she meets many strange people who think her knack with animals is more than just a knack. In order: Wild Magic, Wolf Speaker, Emperor Mage, In the Realms of the Gods

Protector of the Small Quartet: The first openly female page in over a century, Kel must prove her worth to all those who think women are not equal to men on the combat field, including the training master. In order: First Test, Page, Squire, Lady Knight

Trickster Series: Ali, daughter of Alanna the Lioness, is kidnapped by pirates and enslaved. She must use all her wit and the dubious help of a very tricky god to get out of the Copper Islands – which are teetering on the edge of a rebellion. In order: Trickster’s Choice, Trickster’s Queen

It is the Alanna books and the Protector books that really have the anti-bullying undertones. I highly recommend them to boys and girls 13+. Most of these are available on Nook and at your local library.

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Matthew 5:11-12

“When another blames you or hates you, or people voice similar criticisms, go to their souls, penetrate inside and see what sort of people they are. You will realize that there is no need to be racked with anxiety that they should hold any particular opinion about you.” -Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

In the blazing Age of Information, when our children can manipulate tablets and smart phones as soon as they can hold their heads up, allow me to offer one piece of advice:

Never let social media, text, or email stand in the way of actual conversation, because nothing will convolute thoughts, meanings, intents, and interpretations faster than words on a screen. 

You will never regret doing so.

 

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The Real War on Women: Female Genital Mutilation

Caution: the topic discussed in this post is extremely disturbing. Some of the images below should be viewed by those ages 17+ and are not reccomended for children.

Yet it is children who are subjected to this barbarity.

I mentioned this briefly in a previous post, but I think it’s too important a topic to just brush to the side.

When it comes to men, it’s just accepted, one way or the other. After all:

“9 And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations. 10 This is my covenant which ye shall keep between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man-child among you shall be circumcised. 11 And ye shall circumcise the flesh of thy foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.”

Not being male, nor having sons, this has never been an issue for me, even as a conversational topic. Some guys were circumcised as infants, some weren’t. Period, end of discussion that never happened*.

Then, when I was in high school, I read an article in Reader’s Digest about a woman named Waris Dirie, a model. I sat on the couch in my grandmother’s living room, absolutely riveted. The pictures that attended the article were beautiful. The content** made me want to vomit.

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In 29 countries throughout the Middle East in Africa, there live 125 million girls and women who have survived the practice of female circumcision, also called female genital mutilation (FGM). Many others have died from shock, infection, and blood loss. According to the World Health Organization, the procedure has zero health benefits, and is usually carried out on girls between the ages of infancy and fifteen years. FGM can lead to problems including urinary difficulties, infections, cysts, and high newborn mortality. It is recognized internationally as a human rights violation. Practiced in areas far from centers of modern medicine, these are the types of intruments used to carry out the procedure:
FGM-instruments

FGM varies from the clitoridectomy (Type I, removal of the clitoris), to the excision (Type II, removal of the clitoris and labia minora, with or without removal of the labia majora). Waris’ story contains a vivid description of the most “complete” type of FGM – infibulation. Infibulation (Type III) is the means through which the clitoris, labia minora, and labia majora are removed or rearranged in order to create a seal that narrows the vaginal opening. The opening left is tiny, allowing urine and menstrual blood to be expelled a drop or so at a time.

3 types of FGM

Think about that for a moment, ladies. Think about the last time you’d downed that coffee on the way to work, and how badly you really had to go by the time you go there. Think about the sigh of relief when you sat down and let the floodwaters go.

Now imagine that you could only go one drop -literally- at a time. Imagine the pain.  Imagine the pain you suffer every time you get your period, when each drop of blood, each clot of tissue, must squeeze through that tiny opening. You may never find pleasure in sex – you would have to have surgery before you could have intercourse! Even if you managed to immigrate to a more enlightened country and escape that culture, you still have to go through surgery to reverse the damage. Chances are your clitoris was removed.

Why? Why was this done to you? It in no way helps your body. Nothing was accomplished. Nothing was broken and needed to be fixed. You only drew an unlucky ticket that placed you into a culture that sees women as dangerous creatures whose sexuality is dirty and must be controlled. Your virginity is key, and so sewing your vagina shut is the only way to keep your libido at bay. You are told that you are “clean” and “beautiful” after undergoing this barbaric practice, and what woman doesn’t want to be called beautiful? And so it continues, generation after generation.

Ladies, get your heads on straight. Your employer not paying for your birth control does not constitute a “war on women”. Stop listening to those morons like Nancy Pelosi and Wendy Davis and open your eyes to what a true atrocity really looks like.

*If any male wishes to comment on the subject, please do.

**The text of the Reader’s Digest article can be found here: http://www.fgmnetwork.org/articles/Waris.html
A
 simple Google search of her name will bring up other FGM links, including her foundation.

WHO fact sheet on female genital mutilation: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs241/en/

Images found courtesy of Google Images.

 

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Wacky Wednesday

A bit of musical humor to lighten your evening:

C, E-flat and G go into a bar. The bartender says, “Sorry, we don’t serve minors,” and E-flat leaves. C and G have an open fifth between them. After a few drinks, the fifth is diminished and G is out flat. F comes in and tries to augment the situation, but is not sharp enough. D comes into the bar and heads straight for the bathroom saying, “Excuse me, I’ll just be a second.”
A comes into the bar, but the bartender is not convinced that this relative of C is not a minor and sends him out. Then the bartender notices a B-flat hiding at the end of the bar and shouts, “Get out now. You’re the seventh minor I’ve found in this bar tonight.”
Next night, E-flat, not easily deflated, comes into the bar in a 3-piece suit with nicely shined shoes. The bartender says: “You’re looking pretty sharp tonight. Come on in. This could be a major development.” Sure enough, E-flat takes off his suit and everything else and stands there au naturel.
Eventually, C, who had passed out under the bar the night before, begins to sober up and realizes in horror that he’s under a rest. So, C goes to trial, is convicted of contributing to the diminution of a minor and sentenced to 10 years of DS without Coda at an up scale correctional facility. The conviction is overturned on appeal, however, and C is found innocent of any wrongdoing, even accidental, and that all accusations to the contrary are bassless.
The bartender decides, however, that since he’s only had tenor so patrons, the soprano out in the bathroom and everything has become alto much treble, he needs a rest and closes the bar.

music meeting

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Is racism really the issue here?

A brief look at race relations in America. Please answer the following questions to yourself:

  1. Should reparations be made to African-Americans by the American federal government or the state governments of any Confederate or border state to make up in some way for the crime of slavery?
  2. In your opinion, is it fair that African-American musicians, sports figures, and the community in general have a sort of stranglehold on the term “nigger”, which has long been accepted as derogatory? Why or why not?
  3. In light of high-profile cases like those of Rodney King, George Zimmerman, and Michael Brown, is it understandable for African-Americans living in the United States today to fear or hate white people?
  4.  In terms of race relations and crime, which is a bigger problem today – white-on-black crime, black-on-white crime, white-on-white crime, or black-on-black crime?
  5. Should a person’s age, sex, sexual orientation, race, color, or creed have any weight or bearing when it comes to being admitted to college or hired for a job?
  6. Is racism in any way, shape, or form ever okay?
  7. Do you feel that any of these questions were “leading”, that is, suggesting that you give a certain opinion, thought, or idea?

In the days since I last visited the events going on in Ferguson, MO, I would like to say that things have improved. Since I can’t, and since I’ve been accused of being too out of touch because of my “white privilege” to know “what it’s like”, I decided to take a step back and poke the bear again because, why not? As if being a lilly-white blonde and writing the word “nigger” without all sorts of asterisks or “- word” type quotes wasn’t enough.

The MSM (main-stream media), Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and Eric Holder would have us believing that incidents like this happen All. The Time. That young black men are routinely getting gunned down by gun-happy, racist white cops simply because they’re black. I doubt it. If that were the case, Ferguson would not be limited to Ferguson. People from other towns and cities would not be flocking to this suburb of St. Louis to cause mischief and mayhem – they would be busy causing it in their own backyard. No, the Brown case is rare, which is precisely why it is national news.

Think about it. What’s a typical story in your local paper? I’ll pick a happy one from mine. Local Senior Commits to Play Division I Baseball at State University. You’re not going to see this kid’s name in the New York Times, or HuffPo. Rush Limbaugh, The Daily Show, and Rachel Maddow won’t be discussing him for a week and a half, analyzing his batting average, his RBIs, ERAs, or his pitching speeds. He won’t be a hot topic on ESPN, and he won’t be showing up in a RE2PECT commercial. Why?

It’s not rare. It’s not unusual. It’s not significant. Outside our little local sphere, no one cares.

Outside our little local sphere…

If black people were getting gunned down by white cops daily, there’d be a national outcry.

Black people are gunned down by other black people by the dozen on a weekly basis in Chicago and even Chicago barely blinks.

There aren’t. And there isn’t. That’s why the likes of those race-baiters listed above are all free to converge on Ferguson.

So here’s what I would suggest: If they (meaning the MSM and the Powers that Be) are so certain that black people and white people can’t get along, why don’t we take each individual town, draw a line down the middle of it, and we’ll have the blacks live on one side and the whites live on the other. There can be “blacks-only” and “whites-only” schools, restaurants, libraries, stores, you name it. Each side can elect a white mayor and a black mayor, a white city council and a black city council, we’ll have white churches and black churches and everything will be —

What? We can’t have that, you say? Segregation is illegal? But I’ve heard that very thing suggested! Hire black cops, because apparently black people only understand black people! (I was pretty sure that we all spoke English, but maybe I was wrong.) Elect a black president! A black attorney general! White people just don’t get it. They have their white privilege, after all.

Yet… we have a black president, a black attorney general. A Congressional Black Caucus. Al Sharpton himself has descended upon Ferguson. Black people from all over have come to celebrate the life of Michael Brown… by looting, destroying, and burning.

racism: a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race
2
:  racial prejudice or discrimination

Still, the leaders of the black community blame white people. We have become so poisoned by the liberals’ historical narrative that we only recognize racism when couched in terms of whites vs. blacks. We completely miss, or make attempts to justify, “reverse” racism, which is the same. A rose by any other name may still smell sweet… or like tear gas, as the case may be of late.

I may make myself a marked woman for this, but the truth must be said. Look around. We’ve elected a liberal black president (twice) and the country is in the gutters. We are surrounded by liberal black leaders, who are in turn surrounded by liberal white leaders.

Racism is their means of staying in power. Racism is not the problem.

Liberalism is.

Vote conservative.

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality…. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

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Stop! Don’t open. That door!

There’s a lot of lousy things going on in the world today. A laundry list of them. (Note to self, do laundry.) As I am very, very sick of turning on the TV and the radio and the interwebs and hearing about suicides, looting, race-baiting, rape, and the crucifixion of children, I’m going to my happy place.

Now is a good time to warn all of you that my happy place involves killing zombies. Lots and lots of zombies.

I discovered Resident Evil 2 when I was a sophomore in high school through a boyfriend, and in turn, I introduced it to my brothers. There isn’t a lot that a 16-year-old girl and two boys ages 13 and 10 can agree upon, but for the three of us, it was Resident Evil and the extremely unusual  and rather bloody crime fighting adventures of Chris, Jill, Claire, Leon, Ada, and the rest of the gang as they battled the evil Umbrella Corporation. Alright, maybe “crime fighting” is stretching things a bit, but Chris and Jill were RPD special ops, Leon was a cop, and the second game took place in a police station. Close enough.

I don’t know what it was about those games. We watched each other play like we might watch a movie – offering advice, shouting out warnings, and always ready with a clever insult when someone did something stupid, whether that be the character or the one controlling him. And oh, did we screw up. Or, better, tried to make each other screw up. Like the time I neglected to mention that licker that was going to burst through the two-way mirror, and I’m pretty sure the story about how I missed Birkin during the final battle with one of my precious rocket-launcher shots (you only get two) when I had the game set to “auto-aim” will be told at my funeral.

Then again, so too will we recall my brother frantically pointing at the gate and stammering “Use the bent-pin-door-opener-thingie!”

“The lock pick?”

“Yeah, the lock pick.”

Ah, the good old days. Today, it’s rare to get my brothers and me in the same room for more than five minutes at a time; our lives pull us in so many different directions. I’ll always look back with fondness though at the appreciation for a perfect headshot, the achievement of shaving a few seconds off a record time, the beating of the extra game with ‘Hunk” or “Tofu” (yes, that’s exactly what it sounds like. You race through the game as a giant block of tofu.)

Or when someone is in desperate need of a smile, you just look at them and say, “You were almost a Jill sandwich.”

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Don’t Bring a Knife to a Gunfight

“I was watching the Weather Channel because I was going to fly down south when Hurricane Floyd was out in the Caribbean and so this is what they said, the information: Hurricane Floyd would be hitting the coast of the United States in five days and that it would hit somewhere, somewhere between Miami and New England. Why did they bother… why the f*** open your mouth? Why not just say Hurricane Floyd is coming… we’re going to go to a commercial.” -Lewis Black

If you have a statement to make, what’s the best way to go about it? Do you throw a temper tantrum, complete with curing, kicking, and shrieking like a ban-sidhe to get your point across? Or do you calmly present your points, provide examples and counter examples, to win your opponents over to your way of thinking? In an argument, which type or person would you rather deal with?

Last Saturday, 9 August 2014, two young men in Ferguson, Missouri were stopped by police. A scuffle ensued, during which eighteen-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer. At the time of the incident, those were the only facts that anyone -media, family and friends of the deceased knew for certain. As such, those should have been the only facts reported on.

However, the media chose to seize on the fact that the deceased was black and the officer who shot him was white. Despite living in a post-racial utopian society brought forth by the election of B. H. Obama, a candlelight vigil for the deceased rapidly turned into a violent free-for-all in which many citizens felt free to riot in the streets and loot and destroy local businesses in the name of “justice”.

Ferguson-riots-USA

 

Riots-in-Ferguson-mikebrown3

In case anyone had forgotten, rioting and looting are crimes. Yes, we have a Constitutional right to protest, but it must be done peacefully. I’m failing to see anything peaceful about arson, robbery, destruction of private property, et cetera. The gentleman pictured above must have an inkling of that as well, as he has covered his face from the security camera. The police responded in kind, using smoke canisters and tear gas to push back the crowds.

Here is the very, very simple reason why this post is entitled “You Don’t Bring a Knife to a Gunfight”. Ferguson is burning. These people, and for the ones doing the rioting and looting, I am using that term very, very loosely, are out for blood. We saw this in 1992 with the Los Angeles/Rodney King riots, and we saw it again in California in the 1990s when a group of bank robbers out-gunned local police departments. The robbers had Kevlar vests, AK-47s, grenades, mortars, you name it. The PDs had their regular side-arms and… that was it. They were hopelessly out-gunned by these bank-robbers. They were screwed. It took hours to get them properly armed. They needed that riot-gear, those heavier weapons, the armored vehicles. Those cops, because the local populace was afraid of their cops carrying an unnecessary show of force, were in serious danger when the bad guys (who don’t give a damn about unnecessary shows of force) showed up with a rather impressive show of force.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

I started this with a quote from comedian Lewis Black. It illustrates the absurdity of the news these days. Even when there is nothing to report on, they will report on it, often whipping the populace up into a frenzy. That is exactly what happened in Ferguson. Various news sources took what little information they had, added every rumor they’d heard and a few they just made up, and spit it out for public consumption. A week later, we have everyone from the POTUS to Al Sharpton playing the race card (again), two police units that are having a very hard time getting their job done, and a city aflame.

One can’t help but wonder if all this couldn’t have been avoided if the news media hadn’t just reported on the basic facts and let the police departments do their job?

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“Genie, You’re Free”

Usually when I hear about a celebrity’s passing, I just hear of a celebrity’s passing. If it was something stupid, like an overdose or drinking and driving, my “miserere nobis” might be accompanied by a slight eye-roll. Today though, I truly am deeply saddened, and find myself mourning the death by suicide of Robin Williams.

Williams brought some of my favorite characters to life on the screen in the forms of the Genie, Mrs. Doubtfire, Teddy Roosevelt, Alan Parrish, Peter, and of course, Mork. I can quote most of his “golf” standup routine as it’s one of my top three favorites.  More than his acting talents, I admired how he did not let his battles with bipolar disorder and depression stand in the way of his life’s work.

He fought silently, and it was not enough. Yesterday he gave into those demons and lost the battle to mental illness.

My deepest fear is that people will look at this great and talented man and forget about his Oscars, how he made them laugh, how he could spin a joke out of anything, and they will only remember that he committed suicide and therefore he was weak. That he couldn’t hack it. That there was something inherently wrong with him.

When someone has a disease of anything below the neck and he dies, we will grieve and say that he struggled, fought the good fight, but succumbed to his illness anyway. There was nothing modern medicine could do for him. Why should that be any different for someone struggling with bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, PTSD, etc.? Why must there be such a “can’t touch dis” associated with disorders of the brain only because we can’t take an X-Ray or an MRI of them? They are just as real as that tumor, or that plaque build up. Only harder to treat.

But oh, to be free. Not to have to go “Poof! What do you need, “Poof! What do you need, Poof! What do you need?”. To be my own master. Such a thing would be greater than all the magic and all the treasures in all the world. But what am I talking about? Let’s get real here, that’s never gonna happen. Genie, wake up and smell the hummus.

Genie, we wish it could have gotten better for you here. We wish we could have helped. We’ll miss you terribly.

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“Hey sonny, how about a little ice?”

This deleted scene from James Cameron’s 1997 epic Titanic illustrates the well-known concept of “irony” – the Unsinkable Molly Brown requesting a bit of ice for her nightcap as the ship passes the massive iceberg that proves to be its undoing. My apologies for the blasphemy from the crow’s nest there – I didn’t write the script.

A trend has been sweeping social media the last few days to raise both awareness and money for ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. This terrifically debilitating disease causes the body to slowly waste away, trapping the mind and soul, leaving the person helpless and prisoner behind his eyes – unable to move, to speak, and eventually, breathe. There is no cure. Videos and challenges to either donate money to the ALS foundation and/or dump a bucket of ice water over your head have been popping up on Facebook left and right. What is interesting though is the number of counter-videos and essays I have seen saying “Why should I dump a bucket of water over my head? It’s not going to do anything for ALS research.”

No kidding. Yet how many people have puzzle-piece ribbons on the back of their car supporting those with autism? Or sport something pink during the month of October for breast cancer awareness? Or tie a yellow ribbon to their car antennae to remember troops overseas? Pick a ribbon color – there is a cause it represents. (Dystonia ribbons are blue, in case you were curious.) ALS affects even fewer people than does dystonia – about 30,000. If it weren’t for Lou Gehrig and Stephen Hawking, there’s a chance that no one would know what it is.

So if you get “tagged”, go ahead and dump that water over your head. Tag a few more of your friends. If you can and if it’s a cause you feel is important, donate to the ALS foundation or other charity of your choice. There’s nothing wrong with raising awareness for a good cause and having fun with it along the way. If you don’t want to give yourself hypothermia, that’s totally ok too. Get yourself some white and blue pinstriped ribbon. (Lou Gehrig was a Yankee.) Say a prayer for the sufferers and their families and their caretakers. Say one for the scientists and researchers too. Support doesn’t need to cost a cent.

Sometimes, the best kind of support is just knowing people care.

 

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