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The #Chattanooga Gunman – NOT a “Typical American Kid” – a blog post

Another terrible shooting occurred yesterday. A 24 year old man riddled a military recruiting station with bullets and then killed four marines and wounded many others at a Chattanooga, Tennessee naval base. Once again we are mourning lives lost and trying to make sense of a murderer’s actions. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those killed or injured.

This blog post is directed at the mainstream media. I’ve diverted from my usual, fun blog post because I am genuinely upset over their descriptions of this person as a supposedly decent human being who had a sudden, mental break. The MSM needs to stop trying to convince me Mr. Abdulazeez was a “typical American kid.” Obviously he was not. It’s making me sick to hear and read it, over and over again. I’m pretty familiar with what makes someone a typical American kid. You see,  I was one. And I’ve raised two of them as well. I grew up with, and am related to, many of them. My personal experience makes me pretty near an expert. But, in case you don’t think growing up in New York City as one of them gives me the street cred to make this call, I’ll make my case.

I have a son of my own, and I consider him a typical American kid. He was born here, raised here, and neither of his parents are from parts of the world that hold daily “I Hate America” rallies. He’s never blogged about jihad nor has he spent any time in Jordan or any other parts of the world where terrorism is the national pass time. He’s a volunteer firefighter, he loves his family, respects others and was raised to respect people of all races, makes, models and creeds. He, too, was a wrestler in high school. But that is the only thing he has in common with the miscreant who killed these innocent folks in Tennessee. This summer, he’s working a town job that leaves him covered with poison ivy, but he appreciates the experience and the physical exertion makes him appreciate the paycheck he receives. He hopes for a bright future in a world where those who work hard can earn a decent life. And he does not believe anyone needs to die because they don’t share his beliefs.

I had a cousin, and he was a typical American kid. He loved his family and respected his parents. He went to school, married his sweetheart, had two beautiful children, and worked for the FDNY. He grew into a typical American man and made us all proud. Then he went down with the south tower on September 11, 2001 and not a trace of him remains. Never in his life did he believe that anyone should die because they did not share his beliefs.

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And now we have the Chattanooga shooter, a Kuwaiti born killer that the talking heads are trying to convince us was just like me and you, just another kid from Tennessee. A typical American kid, like my son or my cousin. I submit that he was not and describing him as such is an insult to every true American, child or adult. The news reports say Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez became a naturalized American citizen, but none are saying how old he was when this took place. He wrestled in high school, he attended college, and he wrote a blog in which he extolled the virtues of submission to his God in the form of sacrifice. His father was investigated for donating money to a terrorist organization and Mr. Abdulazeez himself spent months in Jordan last year. These are not the “typical” ins and outs of an average life.

Yes, we have home-grown sociopaths who commit terrible crimes. We have our McVeigh’s and our Dylan Klebold’s and Eric Harris’. Read their stories. None of them were typical in their behavior either. I’m not a xenophobe. I have good friends who are naturalized citizens of the US and they are beyond proud of that distinction. I’m not disputing this simply from a semantic point of view either. Trying to ban language is ridiculous. But the feigned wonderment of the news mimes is insulting. They hope that those of us on the other side of the tube are nodding our bobble heads, all the while remaining spellbound as we continue to increase their market share. This is beyond offensive to me.

Even now, I am watching the news and listening as the-powers-that-be refuse to call this what it is: terrorism. We are under attack by a specific group of people and we refuse to name them. At what point do we call the spade a spade? Do we have to wait until we are pounded on the head with said spade? Because their goal is that we do not survive the pounding.

I hate that I have begun to assign blame to an entire population for anything. I don’t want to live that way.  But those were not Episcopalian extremists that flew the planes into the towers in New York City. If they were rogue bishops from the Vatican, do you think Catholicism would have survived intact? This is Islam, again, just like 9/11, just like Fort Hood, just like the Oklahoma Vaughn Foods beheading, The Boston Marathon bombings, Little Rock, Arkansas in 2009, the attack on NYPD officers in 2014 by a knife-wielding man, the murder of two NYPD officers in their cruiser in 2014,  and the 2015 shooting outside the cartoon drawing event in Texas. None of these perpetrators were “typical” young men. They were not victims, but of their own making and we owe them and their like nothing, least of all the lives of our citizens.

I can’t tell anyone what to say, or do. That’s not who I am. I’m just a typical American woman with a blog, for what that’s worth. If I’ve become an Islamophobe, only Islam has itself to blame. But I’ve never been one to walk around wearing rose colored glasses. Some days, I wish I could.

Bless those who perished in all of these attacks.

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P.S: Try googling “typical American kid” and hit images. See how many photos of the Chattanooga shooter come up.

P.S.S.: Why on earth are our military personnel not armed? Why are they trained to protect our country yet not allowed to protect themselves?

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Charity – Just Do That One Little Thing

Most days, he sits on the wall outside my local Walmart, far enough away from the front door so the manager won’t roust him . His clothes are disheveled and he always looks in need of a bath as he holds up his sign. “Homeless. Please help.”

The shoppers walk by, most trying to avoid eye contact. I understand the tactic. It’s something a native New Yorker learns early. And, after a very scary experience many years ago with someone on the street who felt the coins I gave him were not enough of a donation, I too honed my ability to keep walking.

It took me a long time, many years in fact, to get over that incident and I’m not sure exactly when it happened. But I’m now of the mind that this is the one and only way to ensure every dollar gets into the hands of someone who may really need it. To say I’ve lost my faith in organized “charities” is an understatement.

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I started seeing this grid circulated via email and Facebook posts recently. As with most memes I receive, I questioned its veracity.  My concern had to do, not with the charities that we are being warned off of but, with the list of those we should trust. Trust is the key word here. It’s what we, as a society (and very possibly as a species), are losing by the boatload on a daily basis. The more the human animal is convinced that they do not owe their fellow humans even the commonest of courtesies, that we are all entitled to whatever we want or want to say or do without having to take responsibility for our actions, the more we also learn that trusting each other simply amounts to folly. It becomes an old fashioned concept worthy of ridicule and scorn, with those expecting to be able to trust any of their fellows ending up labeled as idiots, fools, and simpletons.

So I did some research of my own. I wanted to know the facts about the charities mentioned above.There’s a lot of information out there and it’s a bit of a slog trying to cull out the meaningful stats. The info also may vary from site to site, and finding current figures can be difficult. Here’s what I found: Continue reading

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Yahoo News, Now Serving the KoolAid

I thought I could let this pass. It’s not as though I should be surprised. I think the wham-bam is what got me. So I just have one simple question.

Yahoo, have you lost your mind completely?

Here’s the wham: Story number one:

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An attorney from Kenya, a Mr. Felix Kiprono, age unkown (I’m afraid to ask, actually) has offered our President Obama fifty cows, seventy sheep and thirty goats for the hand in marriage of his sixteen year old daughter Malia: a young lady he admits “falling for”, from afar, when she was ten years old.

Holy freeholies, Yahoo. This is not a feel-good story! On the creepiness scale, this one not only rings the bell, it blows it clean off and clear across the carnival. He wants to BUY our President’s child! Not only does he want to buy her, it doesn’t sound like he thinks she should have any say in the whole transaction. And he decided he wanted to be her husband when she was still playing with dolls. Disgusting. My favorite line in the story? Continue reading

Saul Alinsky, Communism & The Things We Hold Onto

A relative sent us an email today. It’s one of those well-traveled internet memes of unconfirmed origin seeking to engage us, albeit briefly, and illicit enough emotional response to prompt forwarding. Compelling at first, the newspaper clipping is supposed to have been saved “in a bible” by someone’s mother for many years. Mom, it said, was a teacher and “believed in prophesy” (sic) so “she always kept up on issues”, evidently by tucking them away in the good book.

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Merry Christmas! ( hope that doesn’t offend) – A Blog Post

A Facebook friend posted a brief treatise on the holiday season which began with the line “Jesus is not the reason for the season for everyone” and described her dissatisfaction at feeling that the Christian holidays were being forced upon folks. This is my reply to both her and a few of her other friends who decided to respond vigorously to my simple question, “Why the anger toward Christians?”

Why can’t Christians enjoy their holidays freely, like every other religion? Why is “Christian bashing” the new national pass time? People go on about tolerance and acceptance, and yet, in the same breath, they disparage one particular religious following. It makes no sense to me. I know Christians seem like an easy target these days, considering how many folks have climbed onto the bandwagon. But it’s getting old. The display of a Christmas tree in an office setting is not a call to convert nor is it meant to insult. A decorated pine or blue spruce at this time of year has been used since the 16th century to celebrate Christmas. I have many Jewish friends and they don’t put up Chanukah Trees. It’s the holiday season for everyone and that includes Christians.

Tearing down one group’s set of beliefs does not make yours any more valid nor does one group enjoying their own lessen the value of yours. If someone wishes me Good Christmas, Happy Chanukah, or Happy Holidays, I do not take it as an affront. It’s not proselytizing to wish a person well. It’s someone simply wishing you well and enjoying their own beliefs. Think for a moment why that visitor to your office who questioned the “Holiday Tree” was incensed. There is no excuse for rudeness, I agree. But if he is a Christian, he knows that one of the symbols used by his religion has been altered because of political correctness and co-opted by those who may wish to negate his beliefs.

What if I took the Menorah and, in order to display it publicly, decided it should to be called the “Holiday Candelabra”, so as not to offend Christians or those who celebrate Kwanzaa or EID? What would the outcry look like in that case, do you think? And why would I ever do such a thing? It’s a beautiful symbol of light and divine inspiration. It’s a positive thing. Just because it is religion based, should it be hidden from public view? I’m a Christian, and when I see a lit Menorah, it touches me. I am not offended.

What is the answer then? No public displays of any kind that refer to anything remotely religious? Fine. Turn the world into a scene from “1984”. Happy, Merry nothing anymore.

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Because that’s what you’ll end up with. If it’s wrong to display one, it’ll be wrong to display any. You won’t get rid of just the one. It doesn’t work that way. Is it realistic to think that just one religion’s trappings can be made to disappear? Think about what that looks like.

Religion is the opiate of the masses. That’s not the question. It’s a given. The question is, is that such a bad thing? Don’t knee jerk and say “Damn right!” right away. Really think about it. In the grand scheme of things, in this oh-so-brief time we have on this planet, is it so awful that folks find solace and a reason to be a better person in the form of a religion? Sure, plenty of atrocities have been committed in the name of religion, but many more have been carried out with no basis in it whatsoever. I would hasten to guess more in the latter category than the former, by far.

I agree with the poster’s statement. Jesus is not everyone’s reason for the holiday season. But he is for many, and he actually is what Christmas is all about. The reason we have a “holiday” season at all is because so many religious holidays fall within the time period. What I am is offended by how easily so many folks beat up on Christians. It’s not because I was raised as one but because I was raised to believe that we can all live together, maintain our distinct differences and still share joy with one another without having to default to some banal, generic seasonal greeting. I don’t want a flat, gray world. I like all the colors and beliefs and revel in the joy of those who celebrate, peacefully, whatever it is they celebrate, deity or no deity.

I hope you all enjoy this special time of year, no matter what form your celebrations take on. I wish you all a merry, blessed Christmas from the bottom of my heart. May you find peace, joy, balance, warmth, love, laughter, kindness and understanding and may you give, in direct measure, the same to everyone you meet.

 

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On Election Day, What Would Ayn Rand Do?

Did you really think we want those laws observed? said Dr. Ferris. We want them to be broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against… We’re after power and we mean it… There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Reardon, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”

(Ayn Rand, from ‘Atlas Shrugged’ 1957) Continue reading

Hang On – Taylor Swift’s Video is Offensive??

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I make a point of not getting too involved in the lives of those I don’t know personally, in general. In other words, the lives and loves of “celebrities” don’t matter too much on a day-to-day basis to me. But this one I have to mention. Just briefly. Because someone just asked me if I’d seen Nicki Minaj’s new video. My answer, of course, was no. I was entreated to check it out and I did.

Now, I like Nicki and I enjoy some of her music. But a chord was struck. Just last week I remembered seeing an article. Some rap person named Sweatshirt, whom I’ve never heard of, got himself a sliver of attention by stating that Taylor Swift’s new video perpetuated “black stereotypes to the same demographic of white girls who hide their prejudice by proclaiming their love of the culture.” He went on to say “For instance, those of you who are afraid of black people but love that in 2014 it’s ok for you to be trill or twerk or say n—a.”

This, of course, forced me to actually watch Ms. Swift’s video. I lean more toward Metallica and Halestorm, but I thought it was cute and perky. Ms. Minaj’s video is also pretty perky. My question to Mr. Shirt is this: How do you feel about Nicki’s video? If she’s not “perpetuating black stereotypes”, then tell me what she is doing. Or is it only us white folk who can manage to offend in such a way? Anaconda? I’m old enough to know the rest of the words to that song. Evidently, baby still got back. And when did twerking, as ridiculous as it is, become property of one portion of the population?

I just ask that you watch both videos. Then tell me if I’m off track here. Here’s the offensive Taylor Swift ditty.

And here’s Nicki. She’s looking good, actually

So? Am I nuts?