I call Bull Shit

A church opens its doors to a young man and he massacres 9 members of this church. He is a hate filled murderer but the excuses have already started.  Even before the  bodies are cold, blame has been shifted to everyone except the killer and the culture that nurtured his hate.  So before you scream lone wolf and insanity, remember that this man like Tim McVeigh and many others before him is a product of his culture. A product of hateful generations of privilege. A product of a society that has more severe penalties for kicking stray animals than killing certain types of people. The fact remains that privilege allows you not to see injustice because it does not affect you.

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Online shaming by parents is child abuse

There is a disturbing trend by some adults to post videos of them “discipling” kids online. They narrate the child’s infraction and then proceed to “punish” the child by verbally or physically abusing the child or humiliating or embarrassing the child. All of these parents claim they are doing it for their child, but I seriously doubt it. They come across as exhibitionists competing for hits off the shame of a child that did not consent to the public humiliation. In what universe is it OK to seek public adulation off the transgressions of your minor child? Even the government recognizes that youthful offenders need protection and typically do not publish their names and crimes, perhaps it is time to protect these children from these adults. If you want to punish your child do it within the confines of the law. Once you post videos that expose your kids to future ridicule, and can limit their career judgment is questionable.

The revolution is being televised?

The past few years has seen revolutions and uprisings all over the globe. From Cairo to Baltimore people are rising and rioting, in reaction to a trigger of some kind, police brutality, oppression by leaders. People are reacting! The 99% marched in reaction to the status quo. But then what? What has changed? What has improved? Revolutions cannot be sustained if they are reactionary, they have to be nurtured and purposeful. They have to be driven by goals and these specific objectives must be focused and deliberate otherwise after the fires stop burning, if they do, the resulting anarchy is often worse than what was displaced.  Sadly all over the globe folks are relearning this.  But then should people just sit and do nothing? Of course not, because if they do nothing the rage just simmers and grows and the riots are simply postponed. Ideally we would address the root causes of the problems and find solutions. Solutions that recognize that human lives are more important than property and $$$. But getting there will be difficult if we wait for elected leaders. Many of these elected leaders are too privileged to relate to the poor or even the middle class. They are clueless about the needs of the people they should serve and cannot comprehend the effect of their words. So in addition to marching, shouting and praying, register to vote. Field your own candidates that will change the status quo. Think before you act.  Remember if all you do is burn your own neighborhood, 20 years from now it may still stay burned. And no one will give a damn until the burning starts again.

Paranoid Helicopter Parents.

It’s funny watching helicopter parents with their kids, you know the mom or dad that always holds on so tight to their children they never figure out how to explore for themselves. It stops being funny when they want to impose their irrational fears on others. The nosey helicopter parents call the cops when a neighbor’s 5ft 3 twelve year old is walking home from school by himself and trigger a child neglect investigation. The annoying neighbor who calls 911 when a 6 year old is riding her bike by herself in the driveway of her house, while her mom is watching from the kitchen not sitting next to the kid. Just because a helicopter does not allow her kids to ride the bus or cross the road does not mean that she has the right to use the police to harass her neighbors. OK helicopters claim to have good intentions but let’s remind them that “the road to hell is paved in good intentions.” Of course bad things may happen but living in constant fear and crippling kids with unfounded paranoia does not help them.  Life is too short to spend living in fear and kids should be allowed to learn how to assess risks in age appropriate ways.  So if you’re a helicopter parent and you are getting outraged by your neighbor who is so relaxed and letting his kids run free, take a deep breath, enjoy the scenery and go over and say hi.  Be neighborly before judging out of context. Use your brain and don’t be ruled by irrational fears. Also remember the police have real emergencies to deal with, a healthy kid walking home from school on a beautiful day is not an emergency. If you think it is please examine yourself seriously as you may need some help.

What I did on my spring break vacation

So I am doing an ancestry search on mini-me’s African American family. So far I’ve found FreedMen of the Chickasaw tribe of Oklahoma and a relative who was mulatto one decade and showed up as white? the next. I discovered black ancestors that were landowners in 1900 and domestic servants by 1920. I followed one branch of the family to a Stephen Miles who was born about 1856 but then I hit the wall of slavery. I think the European line may be easier to follow but it’s important to confirm which slave holder is the right one. Reading slave schedules and seeing ~ 6 year old slaves born in Africa is quite painful when I realize this may be my baby girl’s ancestor. So now you know what I did on my vacation.

Along party lines

If you are deathly sick and need major surgery do you ask your doctor for his or her political affiliation? Common sense dictates that you chose the most qualified surgeon that you can afford. What if your car or house needs extensive repairs, do you choose an incompetent contractor because he or she shares your religious or political beliefs? So why do we continue to elect idiots by voting  along party lines? Why are we electing incompetent sheriffs, school board members, land commissioners, tax assessors, etc based on their political parties? A treasurer should have the ability to do the job and at the primaries does it matter how many guns he or she owns? How dare we empower illiterate  people who have demonstrated clearly through their utterances that they have no clue about history, education or even basic mathematics with the power to determine educational curriculum? Folks we need to stop electing idiots. People complain about problems but do not take the time to vote at the local level. Some of these elections are determined by less than 100 votes. Apathy is not the answer nor is voting along party lines, do your homework and prevent the continued erosion of the collective intelligence of the next generation. Let’s stop electing idiots and choose the best candidates for each task.

Know your rights, get out to vote:

http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/vot/intro/intro_b.php