Parkland Florida School Shooting

A terrible tragedy recently occurred. One that has our whole country reeling. And worst of all, one that could have been easily avoided… If only people would have cared enough to try. To do their JOBS.

We have a system that failed every step of the way. A system that failed a mentally unstable adolescent, and in doing so failed everyone around him. A system that may as well not even exist for all the good it did us.

Nobody paid any attention to the increasingly volatile situation until it was far, far too late. After the fact, everyone thinks they are an expert – even though most of them know next to nothing about what actually transpired.

His name was Nikolas Cruz and he was 19 years old. He attended Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida – until he was expelled for his violent behavior. On February 14, 2018 he walked into his former high school with a bag containing a rifle, ammunition, smoke grenades, and a gas mask. No one tried to stopped him, even though he was no longer a student.

He proceeded to set off his smoke grenades so that the fire alarm would be triggered. Then when the students exited their classrooms, he began to fire his rifle. During the attack, he took the lives of 17 people and severely injured 14 more.

But it was not out of the blue. The warning signs were many and substantial. As was the number of times those warning signs were reported to various authorities. As was the number of times those authorities failed to do anything to help. If they had, this tragedy would have been avoided.

Most people have heard about his infamous YouTube comment – where on a page using his real name he said “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.” The comment was reported to the FBI in September of 2017… But they declined to investigate. (They were probably too busy with their witch hunts for Muslim terrorists and Russian collusions.)

But did you know this wasn’t the first time a government agency failed to adequately respond to a report about Nikolas Cruz?

In 2016 he was reported to the Florida Department of Children and Family after he made a Snapchat post of him cutting his arms. When they interviewed him, he confessed that he planned to go out and buy a gun… But they determined that he was stable and did not require hospitalization. Had they made a different call, he would not have passed the background check that allowed him to purchase the rifle used in the attack.

Then in January of 2018, the FBI received yet ANOTHER report about Nikolas Cruz. This time, by a girl who knew him in person. She warned them that “I know he’s going to explode” and she feared him “getting into a school and just shooting up the place.” But that information was never passed on to the Miami field office, so no investigation ever took place. Maybe if it had, he would have received the help he needed. The help the Department of Children and Family decided not to give him.

In addition to those reports to the FBI, 23 were made to the local sheriffs department regarding his violence and threats. I want to repeat that. TWENTY THREE reports were made to the local sheriffs department about Nikolas Cruz. Two of those reports specifically stated he was going to shoot up a school. But once again, nothing came of it. Apparently, no one took it seriously. (Meanwhile, people are having heart palpitations that a kid took bites out of a pop tart to make it resemble a gun.)

But wait, there’s more. Three months before the attack, Nikolas Cruz called 911 on HIMSELF – of course, to no avail.

Even when reaching out for help, no one was there for him.

He reportedly told the 911 operator “The thing is I lost my mother a couple days again, so like, I’m dealing with a bunch of things right now.”

His father had died several years prior, and now with his mother gone too he had very little support system. This young man is deeply troubled and emotionally unstable. He clearly has very severe mental health problems and coping issues that NO ONE was willing to help him with. Despite his horrible crimes, he deserves our pity. The system let him down. The system let all of us down.

And yet, the system still found more ways to let us down before the conclusion of this story.

The school actually had an armed resource officer on site at the time of the shooting. A person who was fully trained and equipped to deal with situations exactly like this one – Sheriff’s Deputy Scot Peterson. This should have been a saving grace… Except for one huge problem… He was too chickenshit to go inside the building. Instead, he waited outside for help to arrive… the help HE was supposed to be.

And when that help finally arrived, 3 additional deputies… they were just as worthless. These four police officers cowered in fear outside of the school, waiting for the shooter to run out of ammunition or for someone with a spine to arrive on scene and do their jobs.

Thankfully, there was one person with a spine willing to do whatever it took to keep the students safe. Aaron Feis, the unarmed securityguard and assistant football coach, who died using his body as a shield to protect the students. This brave man gave his life without hesitation, even though he had no weapons or protective gear.

Imagine how differently that day might have gone if only he would have been legally allowed to carry a gun on school property. Instead of sacrificing his life that day, maybe he could have subdued Nikolas before so many people were shot and killed. But of course, he wasn’t legally allowed to. Because our government thinks it’s safer when innocent people don’t have the means to defend themselves. That’s what the police are – oh, oops. Looks like that was just one more way our useless government let us down. (I’m not necessarily sold on teachers with guns; but what good is a security guard without them?)

So now, 17 innocent people are dead and the nation is in a tailspin. Everyone is looking for who to blame. And in the typical American way, we are blaming all the wrong things. Because most people don’t really care about what happened and how to avoid future tragedies… they are just looking for reasons to ban the things that they dislike.

Sometimes it’s music, sometimes it’s video games, and sometimes it’s inanimate objects. And if you dare to disagree with or question that narrative, you don’t care about children. So your opinion doesn’t matter and should be ignored.

This time, the blame falls squarely on the model of gun that Nikolas used.

Many major news networks are claiming he used a “high powered assault rifle”. That’s a blatant lie. The gun that he used (an AR15) is a very common, semi-automatic hunting rifle. It shoots low caliber bullets (0.223) and is primarily used to hunt small game and for home defense. The average pistol is more powerful.

But that doesn’t make for as interesting of a story. And it doesn’t help to push an anti-gun agenda.

And that’s what this tragedy has been reduced to. A gun control issue. Not a mental health issue. Not the many, many failures of multiple government agencies. Let’s pretend those things don’t even exist. Pay no attention to the man hiding behind the curtain, here’s something shiny to distract you!

And we’re letting it. I’m no exception. Everyone is so busy fighting about gun control (on both sides), that the government failures have safely limped away. But the system is still broken and there are thousands more Nikolas Cruz’s out there in need of help. Will we help them or sweep them under the rug until the next tragedy?

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Hatred.

Never in my lifetime have I witnessed such blind hatred.  Never in my lifetime have I seen hatred so freely and openly expressed.  Never in my lifetime have I witnessed hatred shared by SO MANY people.  Never in my lifetime have I seen hatred so widely considered socially acceptable.

My only experience with hatred of this magnitude comes from history books and news reports on countries that lack our freedoms and comforts.  I never thought I would personally experience it.  I never thought it would be in my own backyard.  I never thought I would feel so powerless to stand up to it.  I never thought I would feel so frightened for my future…  For OUR future.

Hatred disguised as tolerance.  Except I am not seeing or hearing any tolerance.  All I see and hear are people with differing viewpoints being verbally assaulted and labeled with the word “intolerant” before they have even had the opportunity to speak.  To explain their point of view.  To even HAVE their own point of view.

Because why should you be given that opportunity when merely knowing it slightly deviates from their own is enough to know that it is WRONG?  That YOU are wrong.  Because if you DARE to question or disagree it means that you are racist/sexist/homophobic/xenophobic, etc.  It’s just your “privilege” talking.  Apparently, this “privilege” makes it socially acceptable to degrade and oppress you.  Makes it ok to judge you before a word even leaves your mouth.

Whatever happened to the free exchange of ideas?  Whatever happened to trying to see things from someone else’s perspective?  Whatever happened to getting to know a person before judging them?  Whatever happened to agree to disagree?  Whatever happened to live and let live?  Whatever happened to LISTENING to each other?

I keep seeing the phrase “social justice warrior” thrown around… but as far as I can tell, it’s just a fancy new term for a bully.  A “politically correct” way of justifying intolerance.  A badge to render anyone they disagree with as “the enemy”.  A way to always be “right” even when they are completely in the wrong.

I wish I could fix the world, but it doesn’t work like that.  All I can do is live true to my ideals and morals and hope the idea catches on.

 

________________________

Tolerance – “The ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with.

Intolerance –
“Unwillingness to accept views, beliefs, or behavior that differ from one’s own.”

At Least She’s Not Trump

I don’t want either Trump or Hillary to be president.  This election season’s candidates are probably the worst since I have come of voting age.  I think most of you feel the same way.  But if forced to choose between the lesser of two evils, it’s a no-brainer…

Hillary is the embodiment of everything wrong with politicians and a beacon to the corruption of our government.  She is possibly the only person in this country, with any likelihood of getting elected, that could make Obama look good by comparison.  The fact that she is not in prison is an affront to everything our country stands for.  The fact that she’s actually a nominee for president is unimaginable.  The fact that there are people who genuinely think she is a good candidate… is a thing of nightmares.  It keeps me up at night.  I would sooner light myself on fire than even contemplate voting for her.

Yet, all I keep hearing about her is “at least she’s not Trump”.  That’s the ONLY redeeming quality anyone seems to be able to come up with.  And all of her negative qualities?  Why, they just get completely dismissed with those words again – at least she’s not Trump.

It seems as though NOTHING else about her matters to the general populous (at least within the progressive/liberal sect).  It doesn’t matter how many FELONIES she commits.  It doesn’t matter that she buys and threatens her way out of getting tried for any of these illegal and even TREASONOUS acts.  It doesn’t matter that there is PROOF.  Because, at least she’s not Trump.

It doesn’t matter that she mishandled CONFIDENTIAL information of NATIONAL SECURITY.  It doesn’t matter that she destroyed the evidence to hide her crimes and evade prosecution.  It doesn’t matter that she’s repeatedly been caught in lies about the content of those emails.  It doesn’t matter that more and more incriminating evidence about her private server/email is coming to light on almost a daily basis (with her story changing EVERY time).

It doesn’t matter that the FBI is willing to ADMIT to the public that: “From the group of 30,000 e-mails returned to the State Department, 110 e-mails in 52 e-mail chains have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received. Eight of those chains contained information that was Top Secret at the time they were sent; 36 chains contained Secret information at the time; and eight contained Confidential information,  which is the lowest level of classification. Separate from those, about 2,000 additional e-mails were “up-classified” to make them Confidential; the information in those had not been classified at the time the e-mails were sent.”  (From the Statement by FBI Director James B. Comey)

It doesn’t matter that EVERY other person who has ever mishandled classified information has, AT THE VERY LEAST, lost their security clearance (which would disqualify her from running for president).  It doesn’t matter that the majority of people who have mishandled classified information, even accidentally, not only lost their security clearance – they went to PRISON.  It doesn’t matter that the ONLY reason she is not one of those people, is she has the money and power to get away with it.

It doesn’t matter that this “best case scenario” that she was able to buy or threaten out of the FBI (where she got to keep her security clearance and avoid prosecution), STILL said to the American people that: “…  there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”   (From the Statement by FBI Director James B. Comey) Because (even if you are gullible enough to believe that conclusion) being “extremely careless with very sensitive, highly classified information” is JUST what you want in a president… At least as long as they’re not Trump.

It doesn’t matter that it was proven she has culpability in the deaths of our troops at Benghazi.  It doesn’t matter that she never apologized for it; to us or the families of the victims.  It doesn’t matter that she said the reason for this tragedy doesn’t make a difference.  It doesn’t matter that she was involved in the massive cover-up about the incident in order to help Obama get re-elected.  It doesn’t matter that she repeated lied to Congress, the American people, and to the parents of those who lost their lives.  It doesn’t matter that she couldn’t even keep her lies consistent hour by hour and day by day to at least come across as semi-believable… Because at least she’s not Trump.

It doesn’t matter that she’s repeatedly lied under oath; the very same crime that got her husband impeached when he was the president.  It doesn’t matter that in his case, he was only 12 Congressional votes shy of being REMOVED from office for his crime – it’s no reason that in Hillary’s case her crime should keep her from TAKING office… Because at least she’s not Trump.

It doesn’t matter that even though Hillary claims to be a champion of women, her track history has shown the exact opposite.  It doesn’t matter that while Hillary has repeatedly said “Every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed, and supported” – she clearly didn’t mean when her husband was the abuser.

It doesn’t matter that 10 different women have come forward to accuse Bill of rape, sexual assault, or sexual harassment.  It doesn’t matter that Hillary referred to these allegations as “bimbo eruptions” or that in interviews she said these women “would have a lot to answer for”.  It doesn’t matter that she did intensive background checks into these women to find ways to try to discredit their claims.  It doesn’t matter that several of these women even accused her of blackmail to get them to recant.  It doesn’t matter that her actions make her complicit in the sexual abuse of women… Because at least she’s not Trump.

It doesn’t matter that she’s bought and paid for.  It doesn’t matter that her political influence, decisions, and favors are for sale to ANYONE in ANY country for ANY reason – no matter HOW harmful or nefarious.   It doesn’t matter that all it takes is a generous donation to the Clinton Foundation or triple the normal rate for a speech from herself or her husband.

It doesn’t matter that simply the act of someone in her position accepting money from foreign governments is unconstitutional and disqualifies her from running for president.  Or at least it WOULD disqualify her, were she not able to buy and threaten her way out of that too.

It doesn’t matter that some of the countries that she accepts exorbitant amounts of money from, violate her every supposed ideal and platform.  Countries that destroy the environment, oppress women, enslave black people, murder homosexuals, and are even connected to terrorist organizations.  It doesn’t matter that many of the favors themselves also violate her supposed ideals and platforms.  It doesn’t matter that many of those favors have negatively affected BILLIONS of people all over the world.  It doesn’t matter that she has even put WEAPONS and NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY into the hands of our ENEMIES… for the right price.  It’s ok.  We can overlook that…  Because at least she’s not Trump.

It doesn’t matter that she is under investigation for FRAUD and funneling money through her charitable organization.  It doesn’t matter that it’s been proven that only 10% of donations to the Clinton Foundation has actually gone towards their intended purpose.  It doesn’t matter that she has basically been taking money out of the hands of people who DESPERATELY need it – all the while begging and swindling the American people into donating MORE to help those poor people… Money that really just goes into her pocket.  But seriously now, why should that matter?  Because at least she’s not Trump.

It doesn’t matter that an absurdly high number of people with incriminating evidence against her, the ones who couldn’t be bought off, died under mysterious circumstances soon after blowing the whistle.  While it hasn’t been proven she was involved, the sheer number of times it’s happened should give some credence to the possibility that she was.  But it’s not worth looking into… Because at least she’s not Trump.

It doesn’t matter to that she schemed, plotted, and broke laws in order to ruin Bernie Sanders’ chances at being the Democrat nominee.  It doesn’t matter that if it weren’t for the roll she played in this conspiracy, Bernie had a very real chance of winning the nomination… possibly by a landslide.  It doesn’t matter that Hillary had a great deal of responsibility in ruining his chances for become president.  The first candidate that millennials have EVER gotten excited over and in many cases was the very first person they ever voted for in their life.  It doesn’t matter that she dashed their dreams and destroyed their faith in the system.  It doesn’t matter that despite being a man of great integrity, Bernie Sanders flip-flopped on his stance to endorse Hillary (an act that is highly suspicious and suggests he may have been threatened or coerced) …  Because at least she’s not Trump.

It doesn’t even matter that she’s RACIST.  It doesn’t matter that she has supported and enacted legislature that marginalizes black people and perpetuates the poverty cycle in urban areas.  It doesn’t matter that when Bernie Sanders accused her of being racist during one of their debates, she didn’t even deny it or show any signs the comment upset or offended her.

It doesn’t matter that she referred to young black men as “super-predators” and said “we need to bring them all to heel” (a command used to get dogs to fall in line with their masters).

It doesn’t matter that she said “All Lives Matter” (a phrase widely considered racist and demeaning by the left) in a primarily black church.

It doesn’t matter that she took part in an on stage, scripted joke where the punchline was that Mayor Bill de Blasio was late with his endorsement because he “was running on colored peoples’ time” (the obvious racist connotation being that black people are lazy and slow).

It doesn’t matter that she has casually used the phrase “off the reservation” (a wildly offensive term that references the prison camps, created by the US government in the 19th century, known as “reservations” that Native American’s were not permitted to step foot off of without the permission of their white captors) to describe both Donald Trump and other difficult and controlling men she has had to deal with.

It doesn’t matter that she called Paul Fray a “fucking Jew bastard”.

It doesn’t matter that she has publicly made many other racist statements that are significantly WORSE than anything Trump has EVER said…  Because at least she’s not Trump.  (Go Figure.)

But no one wants to hear about all that.  And when forced to hear it, people are very quick to write it off as “conspiracy theory nonsense”, even though a quick internet search PROVES every single thing I’ve mentioned.  No one wants to know the TRUTH about her.  Because once you know the truth, it makes it REALLY hard to keep parroting “at least she’s not Trump”.

Keep in mind, everything I have mentioned is just SOME of the ILLEGAL and TREASONOUS acts that *I* know she has been involved in.  Who knows how many things have yet to come to light or how much worse those things might be.  I’m not going to bother arguing all the reasons I hate her over her policies, platforms, “achievements”, and beliefs – because they are matters of opinion and not FACTS.

I’m sure a lot of you want to fire back with a whole host of reasons why I should hate Trump and he shouldn’t be president.  Blah blah blah.  And blah blah blah.  Some of it may be completely true, some of it may be inaccurate, some of it may be matters of opinion.  But I’m not going to agree with nor try to refute anything you have to say about him – because, as I stated in my opening sentence: I DON’T WANT TRUMP TO BE PRESIDENT!  So, I don’t need to debate his merits.  There’s really only one thing I need to say in Trump’s defense: none of his negative qualities involve an act of treason or something that would disqualify him from running for president.  So if Trump does get elected as our next president, I will scream from the rooftops: AT LEAST HE’S NOT HILLARY!

Racial Discrimination in the Criminal Justice System?

It gets talked about a lot these days, how there is a major problem with racial discrimination in the criminal justice system. A very hot button subject that itself is used as an example in even larger civil liberties debates.

Generally, it’s not even a debate whether or not this discrimination exists (or it’s level of severity) within our criminal justice system, it’s simply considered FACT that is proven by the flat statistics. Percentages listed of how many more Black and Latino/Hispanic people are in prison than White people (or get arrested, or remain in prison awaiting trial, or get assigned a public defender for their lawyer, etc., etc.).

I see a lot of MAJOR flaws in this logic. I do not understand how flat statistics could ever possibly be expected to prove MOTIVATION. Why is the conclusion that is jumped to by these statistics that it must be RACIALLY motivated? Why is it not even considered that the reason more Black and Latino/Hispanic people are in prison than White people, is simply because more of them happened to have actually committed crimes?  Why is merely ASKING that question considered racist by many people?  Why aren’t more people asking those questions?

Honestly though, stop a minute. Put any judgements you rushed to aside for the moment and open your mind. Forget race and consider the fact that the majority of crimes are committed by people from LOW INCOME URBAN COMMUNITIES.  And that IS a fact.  Why do you suppose that is?

Myself, I suppose that is because people who live in these areas have the cards stacked against them.  Because people in these communities have a horrendous public education system leading to low paying jobs and an endless repeat cycle where every generation is worse off than the last.  Children in these areas are often raised by parents who have a poor education and low paying jobs (giving the parents little opportunity to help their children do better), are surrounded by crime (making it seem normal, acceptable, and easily attainable), and have very little chance of breaking the pattern because their public education often doesn’t even teach them such basic skills as how to read – let alone prepare them for college or a better adult life and the means to move OUT of that area.

Communities comprised of uneducated people with a low income subsequently tend to have the HIGHEST crime rates.  And it just so happens that the people who live in these communities are primarily Black and Latino/Hispanic, with White people as the minority.  And it stays that way, because like I said, few people are able to break the cycle and move someplace better.

That’s not racism, that’s geography.  If the tables were turned and the people who lived in these areas were mostly White – then more White people would be in prison and all those other things.  And I suspect few people would be crying racism if that were the case.

I read quite the interesting article on this subject on Huffington post.  The author was adamant that this discrimination against Black people exists and, immediately after listing all the statistics that prove it, said the following:

“Poor whites and people of other ethnicity are also subjected to this system of social control. Because if poor whites or others get out of line, they will be given the worst possible treatment, they will be treated just like poor blacks.” [FULL ARTICLE]

I found this statement priceless.  Everything you need to know is right there.  Two sentences that discredit the entire article, in the author’s own words, embedded in the center of it.  Poor people, no matter what their ethnicity are treated equally to each other by our criminal justice system – bad.

Does that mean that racial discrimination DOESN’T exist in our criminal justice system?  Of course not.  Myself, I definitely believe that it does – primarily when it comes to who is targeted for committing crimes (e.g. the “stop and frisk”). But I do NOT believe that unfairly targeting a person based on race automatically equates to unfairly convicting a person based on race. There is a lot of ground between those two events. Some of the people unfairly targeted will undoubtedly be unfairly convicted… but how many? No such statistics exist or could exist. And without knowing those numbers, none of the other statistics prove ANYTHING. They are just statistics. And all we’re left with are suspicions that can neither be proved nor disproved.

That doesn’t mean we should stop talking about this subject. I think it’s important for everyone to think about it and ask questions and take actions that could improve our society as a whole. But we won’t be able to take the RIGHT actions if we haven’t correctly identified the problem. And we can’t correctly identify the problem if we just make assumptions and stop asking any more questions.

Illegal Immigrants v. Undocumented Immigrants

Ever curious as I am behind the motives of PC terminology, I have been google searching the reasons why “illegal immigrants should now be called undocumented immigrants”. The basic premise of every article I have read is the same: because a person can’t be illegal – only an act can be illegal (well no shit, I never thought that was in question).

One prominent article specifically said the following:

“Illegal” is uselessly vague. (“You’re under arrest.” “What’s the charge?” “You did something illegal.”) [FULL ARTICLE]

And that made me stop dead in my tracks. The charge, sir, is ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION. That would be why I used the word “immigrant” immediately following the word “illegal” when I used the phrase “illegal immigrant”. That term isn’t calling the PERSON illegal, it is calling their IMMIGRATION STATUS illegal. How base does an individual need to be not grasp the difference? I understood the concept when I was a child, I wouldn’t expect it to trip up the average adult. (BTW – according to the website: immigration.laws.com “illegal immigration” is the official term for the crime, therefore calling a perpetrator of that crime an “illegal immigrant” is not only logical, it is technically correct.)

This same article then went on to state the following as another reason:

“Illegal immigrant” is dehumanizing. Murderers, rapists, and child molesters are all legal persons who have committed illegal acts; but an otherwise law-abiding resident who doesn’t have immigration paperwork is defined as an illegal person. This disparity should offend everyone on its own merits, but there’s also a legal, constitutional problem with defining someone as an illegal person.

Am I on Candid Camera? Murder, rape, and child molestation are ALL illegal ALL OF THE TIME. Therefore, it would be redundant, offensive, and inappropriately silly to call them an illegal murderer, an illegal rapist, or an illegal child molester. But you still just referred to them as a murderer, a rapist, and a child molester, didn’t you? Because by committing the act, they are that thing. (Just as an illegal immigrant is just that, an immigrant who did so illegally.) And once you’ve been stigmatized as a criminal, ANY kind of criminal, your title follows you.

Immigration, however, is NOT illegal. Most of the time it’s a GOOD thing that opens a country up to diversity and understanding of other cultures. The United States was FOUNDED on immigration and the VAST majority of people here either immigrated or are a descendant of someone who did. And that’s pretty inspiring! Something to reflect upon and be proud of as a country.

But immigrating without following the legal protocols and being granted the necessary paperwork to enter and/or stay in the country IS illegal – calling them “undocumented” makes it sound as though it was some kind of an oversight and not a deliberate criminal act. If your issue is that you don’t feel their crime SHOULD be illegal, then focus your energies on CHANGING the immigration laws, not excusing the law-breakers with word-play.

Just because the individual in question is “an otherwise law-abiding resident” does not make their illegal act any less illegal – implying otherwise “should offend everyone”. It’s very important to designate the difference, because not only is it illegal, it’s NOT FAIR to all of the people who did it the LEGAL way who don’t deserve to be lumped into the same category as CRIMINALS. (Did you forget about the legal immigrants? If you’re so concerned with hurting everyone’s feelings, don’t their feelings deserve your concern? Isn’t it a travesty that in this day and age it even be necessary to add the word “legal” in front of the word “immigrant”? Why aren’t you on your soapbox about that?!)

Is illegally immigrating even close to the same level of crime as murder, rape, or child molestation? FUCK NO! But who ever said it was? Why would you try to compare a violent crime to a regulatory infraction?! Not only does one NOT negate the other, it’s completely ludicrous!

Example: “Hey man, It’s offensive to call that guy a jaywalker! He illegally crossed the street; he didn’t beat a guy to death with a pipe! Calling someone a jaywalker is racist because it is generally perceived as an urban traffic safety problem.”

Is jaywalking on the same level as murder, rape, or child molestation? NO! It’s generally considered one of the least significant crimes a person can commit. BUT IT’S STILL ILLEGAL, AND SOMEONE WHO BREAKS THAT LAW IS STILL A JAYWALKER!! Is there no common sense left in the world?!

This article then wrapped up its list of reasons with the following:

It’s contrary to the Fourteenth Amendment, which affirms that neither the federal government nor state governments may “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” An undocumented immigrant has violated immigration requirements, but is still a legal person under the law, as is anyone under the jurisdiction of the law. The equal protection clause was written to prevent state governments from defining any human being as anything less than a legal person.

….. WHAT?!

How does referring to a person as a perpetrator of a crime take away their equal protection under the law?! How does referring to a person as ANYTHING take away their equal protection under the law?! WORDS ARE NOT ILLEGAL! Equal protection of the laws means that you have a right to emergency medical care, that you have a right to enter and utilize public establishments if you follow all rules of use, and that if another person causes you harm by breaking a law, that the police investigate the crime and that if sufficient evidence of that crime is found – the person who broke the law is prosecuted for it. None of these things are stripped from a human being by referring to them as a phrase. I can call them “inhuman goat-raping piles of crap who don’t deserve the right to breathe” and tell them “I hope you get AIDS and die a miserable painful death” and I haven’t taken away their equal protection of the law… but somehow you think I have by calling them an “illegal immigrant”? Really??

In short, if I didn’t think this particular PC term was pointless and intelligence lowering before doing my research… I sure do now.

 

To feed, or not to feed the starving children in Africa….

There has been an epidemic in this country… of naïve and ignorant do-gooders whose actions cause more harm than good.  Their hearts are in the right place, but they just don’t grasp the repercussions of their methods.

There are so many examples of this – each one could have a book written about them.  Well, I don’t have the time or energy to write a book and I don’t have the time or energy to write about all of them but I am sick of sitting on my hands – so I am going to let my voice be heard and write a little bit about some of them.

I am not going in order of importance, simply in order of what is on my mind at the moment I can find the time to write.  And I am going to start, RIGHT NOW.

It baffles me that people somehow think they are doing good by offering our nation’s resources to the poor, underprivileged, and starving people in other countries while completely ignoring the needs of the poor, underprivileged, and starving people right here in our own country.

It’s not that the people in those countries don’t matter or don’t deserve help – it’s just that you need to take care of yourself and your own before you can take care of others.

Despite all we have as a country, we are not equipped to offer that kind of aid when there are so many U.S. citizens in need of help.  It’s irresponsible and actually cruel and uncaring to do so.

You can equate it to a family that barely makes ends meet.  They certainly have it better than some families out there and are thankful for the roof over their heads.  But their dept is so high they live in fear of losing everything they have and some nights the children go without dinner because there is not enough money to buy food.

Now imagine this – after getting paid, the parents go to the grocery store and buy enough to feed the whole family for the next week.  But rather than put that food in the cupboards and refrigerator, they donate it to a homeless shelter.  It’s only enough to feed one meal to a small handful of the swarms of people lined up to eat there… and now their own children must go without food until the next time the parents get paid.

What would you think about these people?  Would you consider their actions pious or cruel?  And what would you think about their children?  Would you think they were lucky to have such caring parents or would you feel sorry for them over the neglect?

I like to think that most of you would feel sorry for them… and I imagine the authorities would consider them unfit to care for their own children and they would most likely be taken away by the state and put into foster care.  Because while it’s a good thing to donate food to a homeless shelter… it becomes a horrible thing when your own children must go without food to do so.

Well, the government is kind of like the parents and the citizens a lot like the children.  And it is just a cruel for the government to ignore the needs of its starving citizens while offering help to starving foreigners.

This same principle applies within our own country too – to every layer of human connections.  If you are fortunate enough to be in a position to offer help past your front door – help locally first!  Don’t donate your spare resources to help hurricane victims 2 states over if your next door neighbor’s house was destroyed in a flood and he is crying out for help.  Don’t donate money to Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital if your co-worker’s child is dying and the mounting medical bills are about to force him to file for bankruptcy.  It’s cruel to offer help to faceless strangers and ignore the needs of the person standing in front of you.

And that is what you are doing when you send money to the starving children in Africa and look away from then homeless man standing on the street corner.

In the past when I have raised this point in discussion with those in support of foreign aid, it is often countered with the idea that starving people in other countries have it worse than the starving people in the U.S, and are therefore in greater need.

This idea is that even the poorest person in the U.S. still has it better than the average person living in a third world country because at least here they have access to things like medical treatment and homeless shelters and at least here they have a chance of turning their lives around.

But… while those points may be true, does that really mean they have it “better”?

What that line of thinking fails to account for is the roll that perspective plays in how good or bad something is.

Perhaps a good way to illustrate that is with food.  More specifically, canned dog food.  To a dog that is used to eating dry dog food everyday, it is a delicious treat that they would trip over themselves to get to.  But to the average human that is used to choosing their favorites amongst the thousands of foods available in the grocery store, having to eat canned dog food would seem like a punishment.

But perhaps that example is too extreme since it involves 2 different species and the physical differences between them could be a factor.  So let’s take it closer to home.  How about we talk about the teenager in the lower middle class family, who is so excited to get that rundown used car for his 16th birthday, instead.  Finally – freedom to go wherever he wants to go without relying on someone else for a ride.  He loves that car and washes it everyday.  He spends his weekends fixing it up with his dad while they talk about sports.  Later in his life, he looks back at those times as some of his fondest memories.

But what about that spoiled rich kid who wanted a Porche for his 16th birthday?  Give him that same rundown used car instead and he may just accuse you of trying to ruin his life and tell you he hates you.

The car is the same, their ages the same… so what is the difference?  Perspective.

So let’s bring it back to that starving child in Africa and that homeless American, only this time, let’s add some perspective.

That starving child in Africa has next to nothing, this is true.  By our standards, the conditions are unlivable.  But note the key phrase “by our standards”.  Because those conditions, horrific as they are, are all that child has EVER known.  Every single person around them lives under these same conditions.  They have an entirely different set of standards and to them that is normal.  They don’t even know what it means to have the kind of comforts that we consider essential, so it is impossible for them to know what they are missing.

Whereas, that homeless American used to know a completely different life before he lost his job, followed by everything else he ever held dear.  He had a warm bed, clean clothes, and a full belly.  He had a cell phone, a nice car, and he played golf on weekends.  He was well respected in the community and thought he had a lot of friends.  Those friends disappeared pretty quickly though, after he got evicted and started living in his car.  And by the time his car got repossessed, his former friends stopped remembering his name.

Now he sleeps in a cardboard box and eats out of the trash.  He can’t even remember the last time he bathed.  And when he holds his hands out to the nicely dressed strangers on the street, they avert their eyes, call him names, sometimes even spit on him.  And over and over he hears the same words uttered with disgust: “Get a job”.  As if someone who looked and smelled like him could even obtain an interview.  He was lucky if the manager didn’t call the police just for being on the premises when he tried.

All around him they sip their coffee and stuff donuts in their faces.  No one ever offers him a bite or offers to buy him a cup.  On the rare occasion he encounters someone willing to spare some change, they further insult his dignity by telling him not to spend that fifty cents on alcohol.

Then he watches them go inside their nice house where he knows they will kick off their shoes in front of the television, eat a nice hot meal, take a warm shower, and crawl into bed.  He is forced to watch all the people around him enjoying all the things he used to have… while he just wallows in the gutter.

Technically, he may have more than that starving child in Africa, but from his perspective he has it far worse… because he knows exactly what he is missing.

But of course, it doesn’t really matter who has it “worse”.  This is not some sick contest to determine who is the most deserving.  Such a determination is far too subjective to ever be defined in such black and white terms.  I only draw this comparison to reveal some of the flaws with the previously mentioned line of thinking.

So let’s back it up to the main point I am trying to make.  Which is really far less about who deserves help as it is about who is equipped to help.  And as a country, in order to be equipped to help other countries, we must first pull together like a family and make it our duty to ensure every member (i.e. citizen) can stand on their own before offering to lift up someone else’s family (i.e. foreign country).

Of course, there are a lot of potential negative consequences that can arise from too much charity or government aid, no matter who is on the receiving end.  But that is an entirely different topic for another day.

The Batman Shooter Conspiracy

Ok… I am a bit confused by the whole “Batman Shooter Conspiracy” theory.  Correction – I am a bit confused about the reasons some people are citing as proof of a conspiracy.

I certainly don’t doubt the possibility of a conspiracy existing here.  Nor do I doubt our government’s willingness to create such a conspiracy in an attempt to use fear to convince the general public to hand over their Constitutional rights (it certainly wouldn’t be the first time).

The thing that I am hung up on… is questioning the mental faculties of whoever put together this cute little meme:

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So… let’s just start by discussing the question raised in frame one.

First of all, before even getting into specifics about the ACTUAL photos – I just want to answer the surface question “How many people have one ear stick out that much more than the other ear?”  Frankly, A LOT of people do.  NO human being is symmetrical and it is actually very common to have one ear noticeably stick out more than the other.  That’s pretty much common knowledge.  I personally know several people whose ears don’t match.  I also know people whose feet are each a different shoe size.  I even know full grown adults who are less than 4 feet tall.  Shit, while we’re discussing human physical imperfections, I’ve even seen the skeletons of conjoined twins.

Why would you ask such an ignorant question in a meme where you are trying to convince people of a conspiracy?!  If YOU don’t know what you are talking about, what reason do other people have to even consider your ideas?  You just lost the majority of reasonable, educated people before you really even started; simply by asking that question.

Now, as far as the specifics about the ACTUAL photos… The photo on the left is taken at a straight on angle and for this reason the left and right ear look pretty close to a mirror image of each other.  However, in the photo on the right, the subject has their head turned slightly.  For this reason, the ears are NOT mirror images of each other.  That being the case, why would you expect the two different photos to match each other in a way the photo on the right doesn’t even match itself?

Ironically, the ear in the photo on the right is closer to being a mirror image to the ear from the photo on the left than it is to itself.  Oops!

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As for the noses… the claim that they are “totally different” is a very bold one.  And the claim that the nose is “much longer and narrow on imposter” is totally untrue.  If we compare the BRIDGE of the noses, we will see they are identical.  If we compare the LENGTH of the noses, we will see they are a perfect match.  If we compare the TIPS of the noses, they are again spot on.  In fact, the ONLY difference we see between the noses is the amount of nostril flair.  And if you change the crop job on the nose comparison to exclude the nostrils… we suddenly have a totally different impression ENTIRELY.  They may as well be the same picture.  Oops, again!

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Why then, you may ask, is the amount of nostril flair so different if these are really both pictures of the same person?

It’s a little thing called “facial expression”, and it plays an extremely strong roll in how we all look (that’s the reason why we sometimes hate certain pictures of ourselves yet love others).

In the first picture the subject has a VERY wide smile and in the second about as little facial expression as possible.  Since I don’t feel like using pictures of myself as an example on this blog, I am going to ask you to use yourself as the example.  Look at yourself in the mirror and, keeping your lips closed; smile wide (like in the photo on the left).  You will notice that your nostrils flair, your cheeks lift up, and your eyes squint.  Now drop ALL expression from your face (like in the photo on the right).  Shocking, isn’t it?  Oops, there goes your last point!

Are you still unconvinced?  Do you still need more examples?  How about this – how about we add a third picture to the equation.  One where James Holmes is posed somewhere in between the first two.  As it just so happens, his yearbook photo is just such a pose.  (And also happens to be a very easy picture to validate as the “real” James Holmes.)

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Take note that he is smiling, but not as widely as in the first picture, and the amount of nostril flair falls in between the other two photos.  Also, his head is turned slightly in the picture and if you compare THIS ear to the ear in the picture on the right, they are now a perfect match.

It would be hard to find a photo more ideal to bridge the gaps, so to speak, between the picture on the left and the picture on the right.  If you cover the picture on the right with your hand, the picture on the left and the picture in the middle are OBVIOUSLY the same person.  And if you cover the picture on the left with your hand, you have the same result comparing the picture on the right and the picture in the middle.

And now, just for fun, try these on for size!

If we go back to the original two pictures and clip out the inner tips of the eyes and the bridge of the nose from the picture on the left and drop in on top of the picture on the right… OH SHIT, they line up perfectly!  And if we stack the chins on top of each other…WHOA, it looks like the same picture!!

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Honesty, I am surprised whoever put that meme together didn’t question the fact that his hair was longer and dyed a different color.  I guess when it comes to that difference, whoever put this meme together was actually smart enough, *gasp*, to realize the picture on the left is NOT his mug shot and significant time elapsed in between when they were taken.

My point is… there may very well be a conspiracy going on here – who the hell knows?   I’m not going to even try to get into that one.  But if there IS a conspiracy, it has NOTHING to do with an “imposter” James Holmes.  And anyone who thinks otherwise is a JACKASS.