What’s the word I’m looking for? What word adequately describes the emotion one feels when viewing the image of the crumpled, poisoned body of an infant in another part of the word? The word needs to capture all the feelings, from the first breath-catching reaction to the overwhelming urge to “respond” or “react” in some manner. Is it revulsion? Would that lead to retribution? Helen supposedly had the face that launched a thousand ships; love was deemed to be the culprit. Which emotion launched a few dozen tomahawks? I don’t know; really, I’m not asking to be provocative, although this will end up that way. No, just looking for whatever word can explain why some feel the need to react to the slaying of children in another part of the globe; and apparently, a word for an emotion that’s obviously not universal. For if it was, would we, the United Sates, really have been the first and apparently the only country to react?

There, now he’ll finally stop…

What price did Bashar al-Assad pay for this crime? Is this a crime? It’s painful and argumentative to mention the reality of the situation, but there are people who would explain away the death of innocents as “collateral damage,” inadvertent casualties produced by the fog of war. You can like it or not; you can piss, moan and disagree. But it’s there. It’s true. Not everyone in the world feels that Trump had any reason or authority to strike another sovereign nation. Why? What does the list of those opposed to his response say about the value that those countries place on the lives of their children? What can we infer from their stance?

Is it the method only? Is gassing the children of your own people more horrific than strafing them with automatic weapons fire? Why? Is the method employed more important or repulsive than the ultimate outcome? Is the child any more or less limp in the arms of their grief-stricken parents? It must be. Why else would we laud our attempts, lead ourselves to believe either our own hype or wishful thinking when we declared that Syria had turned over 100% of it’s chemical weapons stockpile. What were we and the world actually saying to each other and to ourselves back in 2013? That as evil as this man is, that no matter how horrible it is for him to slaughter his own innocents to remain in power, that we’re comfortable knowing (or blissfully assuming) that he’ll no longer do it with gas? Our job here is done. Kill your children; just use any of the more acceptable methods.

No; I’m not making light of this situation at all. This bastard needs to go; he needed to go a long time ago. But again, here and now, today, what price did he pay? We knocked the shit out of some concrete bunkers, scarred a few runways; and the man ultimately responsible for intentionally killing civilians is not now, was not in the past, and probably will not in the foreseeable future, be held to account for these actions. The UN will condemn him; I’ll bet that leaves a bruise. He’ll get some crappy press in parts of the world. But rest assured, there is still a large part of the globe where he’ll be seen as a victim of the west, with the US in particular as the villain; flexing our oppressive military to enforce our will upon the less fortunate parts of the world. You know, those parts of the world we usually send endless streams of money and humanitarian supplies to so they can spit on our flag and chant “death to the US!” It’s all good as long as they don’t use gas.

When is the United States population at large finally going to realize that the minute we become so emotional about the faces of dead children in other parts of the world, it’s not long before we’re sending our own children there to die in the same place? Where are the other countries that are so horrified about Assad’s guilt? Do none of them have missile technology? More likely, none of them have any strength of their convictions. Or maybe, it’s more common sense; it all depends upon your view. As long as they can cheer us kicking someone else’s ass, they don’t have to accept any of the consequence that we do. You know; you break it, you bought it? What if we had inadvertently destroyed a children’s hospital? Would any of these brave western leaders applauding us now cover our asses in that scenario? Hardly. They’re too busy making sure they can continue to trade with countries that still support this monster, instead of the world at large and the UN in particular, ostracizing this bastard and all those who do business with him. To continue to make it possible for him to prop up his economy, to accept his currency, to supply him with food or other goods is for you to re-affirm that it’s alright to kill children in the acceptable fashions. But boy, once you cross that line we’re gonna say mean things about you in the security chamber in New York and cheer the good ol’ “US of A” when they ram an ordinance in your posterior. But until then, hey, what’s your price for a barrel of crude?

To be sure, I’m not making light of dead children. I just don’t feel that it’s a universal concern in various cultures around the world. So yes, I can hear your grumblings that “we’re more moral,” or “that makes us just as bad as them” or such. I always like the “well, we’re the only ones who can do it” line, as if the countries that we propped up and armed over the decades are really as helpless as they are feckless. As long as we’re willing to offer ourselves up as the world’s moral authority, to be the cop, judge, jury and executioner, the other Pontius Pilates will continue to wash their hands of our iniquities. We get to tweak all the bullies of the world and get jeered at by the victims of those very same bullies. That’s a neat trick right there. If, as many are concerned, this inflates and ends up igniting something bigger, they ‘ll turn their wretched little fingers towards us and tell us that we’re ultimately responsible; If only we didn’t have such an inflated view of ourselves, if we weren’t so racist and bigoted towards other people, other cultures; what makes us think we have the moral authority over the rest of the world.

Do these questions make me seem heartless and indifferent? Really, I only want someone to look me in the eye and tell me “why these babies?” He’s been killing babies for years. And we need to admit to ourselves that this is a part of the world where the dominant culture does not value life above all else, even a child’s, the way we do here; where it’s all too common for them to use women and children as shields for their soldiers, where their dominant religion tells them that it’s acceptable to do so. Maybe I need to rephrase that; for we too kill our babies and we’re sure it’s a god given right to do so, set down right there in the constitution. Horror of horrors, I went and peed on the third rail. How dare I equate a woman’s right to chose with a dictator’s right to choose? Because the greater point is that we are willing to start a war, alone, against a criminal who chose to kill his innocent victims in a way of which we don’t approve. Yet, we’ll take our own children and dissect them in the womb, then go about our day smug in the belief that we’re morally right to do so. The escape clause here is, of course, that they’re not babies. Not at least until they can emerge from the breech, preferably on their own and fully functional, both physically and financially.

How dare I equate the two; I’m not. But to assume that people of other cultures in other parts of the world don’t see this as problematic to our claim of righteousness is folly and quite naïve. Throw the hate all you want, but that viewpoint is out there too. How can we as a culture dictate morals onto other cultures? And, we don’t seem to be too alarmed when we see their children in videos training to kill those who don’t follow their beliefs; In fact, just to point it out brings howls from the left; you know, hate speech codes and all. It is the left after all that takes great pains to point out that other cultures are no less moral than ours. So we scream, hyperventilate, and make grand speeches about the way they slaughter their innocents but never wish to point out that it’s in their culture to de-value life the way they do; we just have to accept it, even as we have to accept them into our midst’s lest we be called racist, bigoted or xenophobic.

No, as distracting as that part of the conversation may be, as insulted you may be for me conflating the two issues, the bigger point is clear. If you are willing to be the moral authority in the world, if you wish to impose those morals on other cultures, a little consistency goes a long way. And trust me, we will go this alone. We should make sure that we’re comfortable with the moral foundation we are building this position on; not only in the way we deal with the countries that commit these atrocities and the countries who openly support them; but also with those Janus countries who are willing to let us take the risks, blame and quite possibly future casualties so that they too can feel morally superior.

Ultimately, yes we should have done this. But if we are going to punish a dictator for crimes he commits against his people, we’d better make it stick; trashing a few runways doesn’t cut it. It should have been severe and decisive. And afterwards, we don’t need to rebuild; we don’t need to “change” regimes. We don’t need to apologize. We need to shake the dust from our boots, walk away and flip off the U.N. on the way by. Any other action with any other outcome just continues the charade. They commit an atrocity; we become indignant. The world makes heartfelt condemnations in august bodies that do nothing more than feed their own egos with the sounds of their own voices. And years later, it occurs again, maybe in the same region, maybe in some other part of the world. Another bunker, another runway and yet another tyrant who has been gassing, executing and starving his own women and children, pays the ultimate price of a few weeks of bad press. Our sense of moral righteousness is perverted at best.

I’m not a pacifist; I’m surely not a war hawk. There are shrill warnings about the possibility of World War Three, all because parts of the world see no need for swift and certain punishment for the murderer of children. Sorry, but we already have a world war. We’re just tallying the casualties at a slower pace; and sadly, the victims are not necessarily dying in greater numbers at the hands of adversarial forces as much as at the hands of their own leaders.

The destruction of a few bunkers and several yards of concrete will not stop this. Unfortunately, there is no universal “negative” emotion to the killing of the innocent. Therefore, the best we can do is ignore whatever fear or negative emotion we might feel for inflicting ultimate punishment upon those who do. If we feel we are right; if we feel we are truly, morally justified; can we do anything less?

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Barbie’s dream house. Yup, it used to annoy my brothers and me that Barbie had the dream house while GI Joe had to make due with a flimsy little camouflage pup tent which was so short that his army-issued plastic black boots protruded from the tent opening. One would think that the defender of Ms. Barbie might have had somewhat better accommodations but hey, at least he had the jeep and that wicked awesome “Kung Fu Grip,” which would probably be a micro-aggression of “cultural appropriation” by today’s standards. But Barbie was a trailblazer, able to do or be anything she wanted; Joe on the other hand, was a primitive, a Neanderthal fueled by nothing more than the rape-filled fantasies of young boys who couldn’t focus in class and had to be drugged out of any semblance of “snips and snails, and puppy dog tails,” lest they show any impulse for behavior that wasn’t quite “Sugar and Spice.”

For Sale; hardly used. Owner can no longer drive. Ask for Ken.

Yes, but in today’s world, Barbie is super progressive; She’s even willing to show her culturally acceptable submissiveness by wearing her fashion-forward Hijab. Yay Barbie! She gets to celebrate her independence by donning the symbol of women who are oppressed the world over. Oh my, but how racist of me. After all, the creator of the “Barjab” just wants little girls to be more accepting of Muslims; getting them acclimated to the concept that they too can choose to be both chattel and a surgeon; talk about having it all. Just Like Barbie! But, let’s not tell these malleable young ladies that in many parts of the world, Barbie would have her ass stoned if she left the dream house without her “Barjab,” let alone venturing outside without the permission and escort of good ‘ole Ken. Never mind taking a spin in Barbie’s iconic pink corvette; Muslim Barbie can’t drive. Does the “Barjab” come with plastic stones in case Barbie should remove her progressive, culturally approved headwear outside the dream house? Maybe make it a little more realist and include removable female genitalia; let’s get these young girls ready for the type of culture they are being taught to emulate and support over the horrific culture of the west. After all, wouldn’t the “Barjab” clash with the Pink Pussy hat of feminism? One would think so. What would Ken think of such a culture? It’d be hard to tell. Quite possibly, he’s too busy trying to decide which bathroom in the dream house he identifies with. Careful Ken, in many places around the world, you’d get tossed off the top of the dream house for that.

The dichotomy is astounding; alarming really. Women running around the freest nations of the world wearing pink, knit pussy hats, decrying the fact that someone doesn’t wish to pay for their abortions. One would think, given the lectures of how all-powerful their vagina’s are, that owners of the super, all-powerful western vaginas would be somewhat sympathetic to women trapped in cultures where wearing the very dashing pink pussy hats of sisterdom would lead to disciplines and punishments not seen here. You know, those places where the very last complaint a woman has is that some mean, old white guy refuses to pay for her abortion. In any case, one would think that the magical vagina would be able to spring for it’s own maintenance. One would be wrong.

Interesting really, how liberalism is succeeding to destroy the very culture that allows it to flourish. And it’s not just here. It’s seen in the rape capitals of Europe where women are strongly encouraged to dress modestly so as not to offend the sensibilities of those they invited into their midst. And beyond modesty, they’re touting the wonderful Hijab as a way to thwart the evils of Islamophobia, that state that exists in one’s mind when examples of Muslim atrocities makes one question the outcomes of liberal orthodoxy. Of course, if they can’t convince you with wonderful images and videos or Barbie sized Hijabs, they’ll always fall back on the “racist-bigot” shout down they’re so fond of. Fond of because for some strange reason, people are willing to be submissive and even victimized, as long as you don’t call them names. Go figure.

Liberalism seeks to define every culture as unique and “just fine and dandy” in it’s own way. Except Western culture. Western culture on the other hand, has much to answer for. And, Liberalism seeks to destroy it and replace it with romantic visions of third world-ers, coming to the west to bring wonderful attributes, experiences and enlightenment. Never mind asking why these people would leave their utopias to come to the hated west in the first place; that question is in itself racist and could get you banned from twitter and Facebook. Heck, it may even be a hate crime in many countries (looking at you Canada…) Of course, once they get here, they enter illegally, demand we acculturate to them, burn our flags, ask for handouts and call us racist.

Are all cultures really equal? Are some superior, some inferior? Oh my, there goes my twitter account. No, they are not equal. And no matter what you call me, no matter how loudly you yell and scream in my face, retreat to your safe zone or threaten me with hate speech laws, the fact remains that they are not equal. Hence, the influx to the west. And is western culture perfect? Of course not. But here, you can put a baker out of business because he didn’t want to put two grooms on your friggin’ cake; can sue the school system because you felt like showering with the girls today or; kill someone, then go to prison and get three squares, cable and a sex change operation. Yup, we really suck. Yet, they’re still dying to get here. And we’re dying once they make it.

And it’s not the least bit disturbing to the left that the safety of the citizens of the west is in jeopardy; on the contrary, those crimes are mere inconveniences and to mention them or highlight them makes one suspect. How dare you victimize your aggressors? Often the stories will be downplayed or outright hidden if possible. I stumbled across the rape of a fourteen year-old in Maryland while perusing the London papers for crying out loud; it wasn’t until days later that it finally broke nationally. Well, you know, you have to break a few eggs… The shame here is that the eggs are usually defenseless citizens, standing in the crowd at a marathon, guarding the parliament building or walking the hallway of a high school in Maryland.

What can one expect from the left in this country anyway? They scream about rape culture, put on their pussy hats and disparage every man who crosses their path. But wait; the victim in Maryland may be no more believable than the stripper in the Duke Lacrosse case, according to the lawyer for the accused. No, this rape doesn’t quite work to their advantage. Of course, they’re now claiming it was consensual sex; a minor girl under the age of consent; with two boys; in the boys’ bathroom; and her screaming the whole time. I was quite sure that the ladies in the pink hats would have come out and said that it was rape pure and simple. I was mistaken; but you can understand my confusion. The left still supports a man who drugged a fourteen year-old girl so he could penetrate her anally. But that was okay, because that wasn’t rape-rape. Whatever transpired in that bathroom in a Maryland High School between two young men and a screaming fourteen year-old girl can’t be rape because it involved two people who occupy a cultural position more valuable to the left than “young western female.” They are of the vaunted “dreamer-undocumented-future-liberal-voting-demographic-victims of the west” culture. Of course, now that the story is out, the best weapon the left has is to threaten anyone who dares talk about the effect that this uncontrolled third world flood is having on the west. Maryland is still moving ahead with legislation to become a sanctuary state, while the superintendent of the high school where the rape occurred is calling anyone who may question the status of children in their schools “racist” and “xenophobic”; he is promising legal action. Someone will probably spend more time in jail for threatening to kick the asses of these two dreamers than the dreamers will spend for illegally crossing our borders and violently raping someone’s daughter against the sink in the bathroom stall of her own high school.

No country survives without its culture; no culture can survive without laws. When States and cities are willing to violate federal law, how can one expect individuals, especially from other countries and cultures, to obey them? Worse yet, when the left is willing to offer up the women and children of society at large to gain new voting blocks to support their failing ideology, the cultural collapse will come from within. The coming storm will be brutal and quite protracted. Not everyone is willing to be a stooge for the creeping Marxism the left is trying to impose; others on the left will come to realize that it’s hard to reconcile the concept of sanctuary cities and their own safety, especially given that some of their own leaders have exposed the “new normal” of the culturally diverse western city as terror enabled. Be prepared to die for your devotion to cultural diversity because those you are inviting in are certainly willing to kill for it; whether you’re wearing your “Barjab” or the super progressive pink pussy hat.

Boy, that Kung Fu grip is gonna come in handy….


I couldn’t watch the video all the way through.  Didn’t even bother to click.  Call me uninformed.  I did however, get to hear the audio of it on my commute home; couldn’t make out much with all the “bleeps,” but you get the picture. A work of art, certainly not created by the greatest minds of our generation, for consumption by minds of even lessor capacities. But though I decided I have no need to view the fecal droppings of the dregs of society, I could still understand what was transpiring given the expletive-laden snippets percolating from my local AM commute companion.  Maybe it was the “F*** Donald Trump” or “F*** White people” that clued me in but I kind of figured this was a race based hate crime. Yup, managed to make that determination even through the horrific static buzzing from the cheesy dashboard speakers of the Volkswagen.

Oozing privilege... even  with the duct tape.

Oozing privilege… even with the duct tape.

Interesting to note that the conversation on the drive-time show quickly came to center on only one key point; that even though the four perpetrators were of one race with the lone victim of another, the authorities were struggling to come up with any information or evidence that would lead them to charge the wayward urban “yutes” with a hate crime. Apparently, the video was confusing the brain trust that runs Chicago. Why else would Police Commander Kevin Duffin try to downplay the racial implications by saying “kids make mistakes…” Superintendent Eddie Johnson offered no better, conceding that “if you looked at the video, it was just stupidity.” Others commenting on the video fared no better. Symone Sanders cautioned us to tread lightly here, saying “We cannot callously go about classifying things as a hate crime.” Okay I admit, that one made me giggle and I almost had to pee. Is this a thought we’ll ever hear her utter again? Doubtful, unless there is another video with exactly the same victim-perpetrator roles. Because everything else is an automatic qualifier. And of course, ol’ “tequila shots” Don Lemon pulled his head from his ass just long enough to embarrass himself, discounting how evil the act actually was and claiming “I don’t think it’s evil. I think these are young people and I think they have bad home training.” What the hell does that mean? Is that like blaming their actions on a video or maybe workplace violence? Pretty much sums up all you need to know about the left in this country. They can see it on video, they can protest and march on the streets when they feel it’s a “real” hate crime but if it doesn’t fit their world view, they’ll do their dammed best to back pedal away from it.  It’s racist, pure and simple. The left has always been, and will continue to be racist. They just get to hate those who don’t occupy the special protected groups; you know, the special protected groups that they defined themselves. Things like this video, so open, so obvious, so hard to explain away, threaten their status of perpetual victimhood and the accompanying race-baiting tactics they use to silence anyone who doesn’t quite see things their way. Even against those who may occupy one of the preferred protected groups.

So let’s take these points one at a time. Let’s start with a “hate crime.”  Sorry, I always thought of any crime as hateful; hateful to society, hateful to the victims. Not quite sure why we have to decide that the death of a black kid at the hands of a white gang banger is any worse than the death of a black kid at the hands of a black gang banger; well it is if you want to continue to inflame relations between black and white kids. In one instance, Jesse and Al will stop by the funeral and the local hood goes out for six or seven nights on a free anarchist shopping spree.  Let a black kid shoot another black kid and the victim’s mother weeps alone.  Black kids are a hell of a lot more likely to kill other black kids, but that crime isn’t considered as hateful as pointing out the statistic. “Hate crime” is just another ploy of the left to empower one group over another. Revenge. Same crime should be viewed the same way. Every time. Otherwise, aren’t you, truly, just hating those of one group who you deem to be so inferior?  That any crime against them is not startling, shameful, hateful even, and only crimes against the preferred group merit “elevated” or “special status?”  Seems divisive to me, almost, I don’t know… a little racist.

Maybe Don has a point.  Maybe it’s the home training. Odd, doesn’t it take a village? I don’t know Don; do you really want to attack parents from a protected group? Others have tried that route, you know, talking about the lack of fathers in the home, women having multiple children with multiple men, liberal policies that destroy the value of family bonds. Those who have touched this third rail are racists, Don. Just ask anyone of the folks who sit beside you on a nightly basis; let’s get their take if you can even get them to talk about it. Usually, they’re still too engrossed in the fiction of “hands up, don’t shoot” to engage in a conversation about any victim in Chicago who wasn’t shot by a cop. Anything else is just not hateful enough.

No Don, I think that these “kids of legal age” who decided to torture a white man with disabilities are showing great skills in the type of home training proscribed by liberal policies. Think about it; they have been brought up in an environment where they have been told repeatedly that they are entitled. They should get want they want because someone owes it to them; because someone else is the reason they don’t have it. That they should be violent, protest, burn and loot if they don’t get it. This applies to iphones, jobs, legal decisions, voting outcomes. Whatever. You want it? Go get it. You might have to take it, but hey, they owe it to you. And don’t worry; blacks can’t possibly be racist. Go ahead, hate others who aren’t black, all you like.  And never, ever accept any responsibility for your actions or their outcomes. Remember; it’s always someone else’s fault.

This is what they have been exposed to, what they have been brought up in; indoctrinated all their lives by people like you and Symone, who would have no power, no authority and quite possibly no means of support were it nor for the divisive hateful tactics and rhetoric that the left uses to gain and remain in power at the expense of the lives of those very same urban “yutes” who die daily at the hands of other members of the same protected group. No Don, they have learned their lessons well; from you and all the other parents in the “liberal village.”

Think I’m wrong here? Well let’s just consider one more point; not only did they show little or no remorse when they were picked up for this, they live streamed it for at least a half an hour.  So they picked him up, possibly held him for days, tortured him for six hours and put it out in a video stream for the whole world to see.  And we’re going to debate if they’re evil? Or we’re going to debate if they’re kids? Or whether or not what they did was hateful? Let it sink in for a moment that they weren’t concerned about repercussions, about getting caught; none of it. They were invincible, bulletproof, part of a protected group that has been told that they can’t be held responsible for their actions, be it lunging for an officer’s gun or carving the head of a mentally challenged white man on Facebook.

Better check your privilege.  Because soon, the liberal left will need another group more populous, more motivated, to march for them, vote for them, die for them.  How soon will it be before yet another generation of some other preferred group has been taught that’s it’s acceptable to hate you?


I struggled choosing the gift. He’s quite mechanically inclined, as he aptly demonstrated the night he removed his own ankle bracelet, so it had to be something he could do with his hands, something that he would find engaging, but not too challenging. Hopefully, I’d find one that didn’t have a bazillion little parts, beyond his limited finger dexterity. A simple wood-working project, that would do. I got him the pirate ship and a birdhouse, small balsa wood models that would fit together simply with the tap of the harmless wooden mallet included in the package.

The dust of one's existence is easily wiped away..

The dust of one’s existence is easily wiped away..

On the way there, we discussed the gifts; too many small nails we decided. Tiny brads no longer then half an inch each, gave us pause. I could envision them scattered on the floor, spilled into his bedclothes or worse, finding their way into his mouth. We pulled over at a Toys “R” Us on the way to find something more suitable if we could. Not really sure of what mental age we would find him in, we settled on a beautiful stuffed German Shepard, warm and soft. Someone to keep him company.

Walking down the corridor was disheartening. Broken minds and withered bodies littered the hall, many staring blankly at empty walls no more than a foot from their faces. A few were aware enough to wave to us, either mistaking us for someone they knew or begging for someone, anyone, to spend a few precious moments with them; one woman kept pointing to me and motioning to a bouquet of flowers in the middle of the barren institutional table she leaned on, as if she was proud of the gift or possibly thanking us for it.

The door to his room was partially opened and I rapped loudly, knowing there was a possibility that his hearing aids were on low. As it turns out, we woke him from a late morning nap. He stirred slowly on the bed, half startled and disoriented but smiling nonetheless. As he greeted us and slowly struggled to a sitting position, Di sat across from his uninviting hospital bed on the only chair in the room; a small folding office chair, the kind you would pull from the basement only if you ran out of decent lawn chairs. The drapes on the window behind her were tattered and worn, threadbare and barely hanging off the curtain rod that looked as if it was mere seconds shy of dropping from the wall. There was nothing in the room to describe its inhabitant; the tan and gray walls were completely barren; no paintings, pictures, frames, decorations or signs of life what so ever. Fitting décor for a place to warehouse those with broken minds.

I asked him if he knew who we were and he said of course, but he never mentioned our names. He asked us how far we had traveled, a question meant to hide the fact that he truly had no idea who we were but which masked his embarrassment that he didn’t. I told him who we were anyway and he admired my sweatshirt emblazoned with the “UNH Wildcat” logo. It pleased him greatly as he touched the raised letters on my shirt and repeated “Wildcat, that’s fantastic,” repeating the growl of a wildcat for us several times. We told him we had a gift for him and he struggled to open the gift bag; I held it on his lap and pulled the stuffed dog from it. He was positively delighted; he asked us if it had a name and we told him no, that he could name it whatever he wanted. I specifically picked the Shepard from the shelf, remembering the story of the Shepard he once had as a boy. There was no connection. He was proud to put it on the small under-sized nightstand near the other small stuffed dog already there. He kept repeating that he wished it could bark, showing us what sound he wished it would make to keep the other residents, who had a tendency to wander into his room uninvited, at bay. He turned and asked us how far we had travelled. And again, we told him.

He said he wouldn’t be there long; he couldn’t wait to go home. He assured us he was going home soon, he just didn’t know when. He never said, but it was clear from his eyes that he not only didn’t know when; he didn’t know where. Where was home? He asked us where his car was? I assured him that it was in his garage, right where he left it. He admired my shirt and asked me where we had traveled from.

The conversation went just that way; seconds of him smiling, us making him laugh, him asking where his car was and how far away we lived. He spoke of boredom (not once while we were there did any staff interact with him at all), how at times it was too loud to sleep but today was quiet because many of the residents had gone for the day, other things to do. I’m quite sure he didn’t have the capacity to realize that none of them were able to go anywhere. I asked him if he remembered our tradition of decorating my house for Christmas, as he stood on the lawn in front of the porch and directed the work. His face lit and he assured me that he remembered, and how much he enjoyed it as well. For a moment, I wasn’t sure if he was trying to fool me or himself, but I decided that I wasn’t going to let go of this memory and told him that we loved it too.

The visit was short, barely an hour. He smiled often, we made him laugh. He asked us where his car was and how long was our drive. He asked us if the dog had a name. He said he was bored; there was nothing for him to do. I wondered if he would have been more connected to others, to himself, if he had some stimulation, a least a picture on the dammed walls or possibly someone to speak to. The smell of the institutional meal was wafting down the corridor and we knew his lunch would soon be coming. We decided we needed to let him have his lunch, to keep him at least on this small schedule. We told him we had to leave and he stood and hugged us. He wanted to walk us up the corridor to the nurse’s station but no further; anything more tires him out he told us. He asked us how long we had to travel and we told him. We said goodbye and exchanged kisses on the cheek, though his hug reminded me of the cordial embrace one gives and receives from someone who was once a passing, fleeting acquaintance.

On the way home, I realized I had been sitting in hell’s waiting room. I saw the shell of a man I admire; empty, void of identity. He wakes in a strange room in a location he can’t identify. All he was, all he knew, shattered images in time, lost forever in a cloud of nothingness; no attachment, no past, nothing to remind him of who he was or who he is. I wondered if he was in emotional pain; can one long for those you never knew? Is all that’s left a daily void? Every minute of every day, surrounded by strangers, some you just met thirty minutes ago; many who tell you they’ve know you all their lives. Is it frightening to be forever surrounded by people you don’t recognize, including the one who stares back from the bathroom mirror?

So many things I wanted to tell him; so many things I wanted to say; things that would be quite startling, confusing, possibly unnerving coming from a complete stranger. I would tell you that I miss you; that we love you. That you mean so much to us, the couple you just met and will probably forget before we even reach the highway on that drive that we told you about so many times.

We are fragile. We make memories to hold, to comfort us as we get older. We reminisce fondly of those who have shaped our lives, many molding us into the person we have become. It is nothing short of utter desolation to lose all we were, all we are, and to forever be in a world where we are strangers to ourselves too.

After all; who are we if we are not the collection of moments we gather to ourselves over the span of our lives: that collection of experiences, faces and events that apparently can be easily wiped away like some useless writing on a forgotten chalkboard.


I took a little breather from the Messy Desk over the past few months. Lots of changes in my life; new job(s), kids off to school, working on books three and four, trying to get my second through editing. Just a lot converging and frankly, I missed it quite a bit.

It's been fun.....

It’s been fun…..

I didn’t miss, however, the negativity that comes with putting yourself out there. Not everyone will share your opinion in the world and it takes skin much thicker than mine I guess. And frankly, I’m not into confrontation. So be it.

But the trend during this political season had me startled. And I’m going to take a serious pounding here and place the blame squarely on you of the liberal persuasion. Sorry, I know you get all pissy with the “broad brush” examples and all. And yes, there are fringe douche-nozzles on each side of the spectrum that make us all look bad. That kind of crap I expect. But I never, ever, expected the unbridled hate that was directed to me from people who I truly assumed were, and indeed, I called my friends. Some of you may recognize yourself here. I trust given your recent behaviors, quite a few of you will never admit to it. Again, so be it.

You can be one of those people who have thousands of followers on twitter; hundreds of friends on Facebook. I’m not quite sure how that works, not sure of the value other than that you have found some measure of validation, some way to massage a flagging ego. I look at friends differently. Emotionally. As a personal investment. If I call you my friend, you have had some measure of impact upon my life, brought some value to it in some way. I may not have impacted you one iota. That’s fine. But since I considered you my friend, you always had my respect, your opinion was valuable and sharing your experiences with me gave me a broader horizon than I would have ever been able to attain on my own.

In fairness, it really started well before this political season. Maybe it was just awareness on my part, an awakening perhaps. Or maybe, I was just finally getting fed up with your bullshit. I started to go over conversations we had had, over and over, trying to discover what inopportune thing I might have said, some thought poorly expressed that would cause you to go into personal-attack warrior mode. I never ascribed it to your political ideology. I always assumed some flaw on my part, even though I never attacked you the way you attacked me. And as always, I was the one who wanted to breach the impasse, allowing your insult to go by un-challenged, putting it off to a “bad day”, or maybe I caught you at the wrong time or some other rationale to cover for your boorish behavior. As a friend, you were more important to me than my ego. I must have said something that pissed you off. What was it?

Turns out, it wasn’t anything I said at all. It is, after all, my unwillingness to bow to your whims, to see it your way. If I wasn’t going to agree with you on every issue, you had absolutely no desire to have me as your friend. Sometimes I’m a little slow on the uptake. But thanks to your constant reminders and reinforcements of late, it has finally dawned on me that I’m not the kind of person you would ever wish to be associated with again. Clarity.

The first inkling was when Obama was running for the first time. I just couldn’t get you to understand that I didn’t think I was greedy for wanting the government to stop taking a larger and larger share of what I earned. Simple. I think I called it “government approved theft.” You on the other hand, felt that not only was I greedy, I hated people who were less fortunate than I was. First implication: I want to keep more of what I earn, ergo; I hate poor people. Yay for you, point scored.

It wasn’t long before I was discussing Obamacare, probably around the same time frame. I was warning about the dangers of a single-payer system, having friends and family who live under it in other parts of the world. No matter; again, I was informed that I hate poor people. I just can’t stand to see them get something I have. I was still trying to digest that statement when you told me what my real problem was; I just want to see Obama fail because it really drives me nuts to see a black man in the White House. You caught yourself when I sent daggers. Well, maybe not me specifically you relented, but a lot of people who think the way I do. Yeah, that really cleared it up for me. And you said it with no hesitation, no remorse and no apology.

And so on it went. When I would disagree over issues with friends who actually shared my values, we’d get heated and say something like, “man you just don’t get it! Somebody hit you with a stupid-stick?” Then we’d chuckle a little, agree to disagree, open a bottle of something cheap and talk about kids, our jobs or the Patriots. Not so with my friends on the opposite side of the political spectrum. With them, it was never about a common understanding, it was always about my penchant to hate, well, apparently everyone.

I had a chance to talk to another old liberal friend about abortion. It was just as disheartening. Coincidentally, I’m on the outs with my conservative readers over my stance on abortion. That’s okay, I’m not doing any better with those on the left. “Sorry,” I told my friend, “I just don’t see in the constitution where it says “A woman’s right to scrape her unborn child from her womb shall not be infringed.”” I believe its a states’ right, not a federal issue and at the end of the day, I have no desire to pay for a woman to do what I fundamentally believe is murdering her own child. Take me out of the equation, pay for your own abortions and you and I will be just fine.

Well, maybe not just fine. Her defense of her position had to do with how misogynistic my positon was, and something about how the need to control all women makes me feel superior while strong, independent women threaten my maleness. I think I drove her apoplectic when I told her that strong, independent women could find the money to kill their own children without involving me, thank you very much. I am heartless. I am dangerous to all women and all they have worked to achieve over the last thirty years. It’s men like me who want to push women back into the kitchens and then out into the back alleys. Really. That’s how she defended her position on abortion, how she was going to persuade me to see her view; by telling me how much I hate my wife, sisters, mother and daughters.

Fast forward. Having spent many years following the exploits of the Clintons, I wasn’t surprised by any of the email or Clinton foundation scandals. I wasn’t going to support her come hell or high-water anyway. And it made absolutely no difference who I would have named as my candidate, you had no desire to win me over; no, you were vested only in silencing me. Once you defined me as racist, bigoted, misogynist, a Nazi, homophobic, Islamophobic, transphobic, e-i-e-i-o, you never needed to defend your positon at all. And yet, I never even told you who I was supporting, only who I wasn’t.

Maybe I was going to vote for the republican candidate of color. Except, we know he’s really not a black man because, according to you and your party, color is subjective and one must subscribe to a certain orthodoxy to be legitimately considered black; you know, that specific set of beliefs that all black people must believe in. All blacks. Every. Single. One.

I may very well have been thinking about the republican Latino candidate. Maybe not authentic Latino enough for your taste? Too legal, too documented?

I really considered the female republican candidate. Of course, she’s not really female. I doubt she even has a vagina. She’s not down with the whole abortion thing so we know she’s not a real female. No, the left wouldn’t let her into the “strong, independent female club,” even if she stood in the middle of a ladies’ restroom at the local Target and said she identified as one. No; strong, independent women only come from the Liberal side of the aisle, where they complain about being given the same chance as the boys, but fall back to helpless damsels in distress to demand that the requirements be lowered for the sake of equality.

You based your hate filled diatribes only on the fact that I wasn’t going to support your candidate. No, not the old white male candidate your party offered up in its great diversity of choices; the old white female one. You know, the one who destroyed evidence that was under subpoena; who giggled about setting free the rapist of a 12-year old girl; who destroyed the lives and reputations of some strong, independent women, tramps and sluts one and all, who just happened to have been sexually assaulted by her husband; who worked with the DNC to make sure she would have no real challengers in her primary, selected not elected; and who lied to you, to your face, about every bit of it.

So here we are. The 45th president of this great experiment in self-governance is Mr. Trump. And you’ve made it abundantly clear that anyone who supported him, willingly or as the lessor of two evils, is racist, homophobic, Islamophobic, yaddi-yaddi-yadda. I went to bed early on election eve resigned to the fact that we would wake up with our first female president, a victory for vaginas everywhere. Apparently, Madonna didn’t have quite the appeal she imagined she had and lo and behold, I woke to the gnashing of teeth and claims of “whitelash.” And being the masochist I truly am, I fired up Facebook just to take a peek.

One acquaintance of mine posted that he was absolutely not going to continue a friendship with anyone who may have pulled the lever for the wishing troll. The responses he got were mixed; some were very supportive of his decision. Some were not. One individual, who apparently had been his friend for decades, was astounded that they would no longer be friends because he didn’t vote the way his tolerant friend had wished. He asked him, “are you seriously going to give up decade long friendships over this?” Sadly, the answer was yes. Well, a wishy-washy yes. It was okay if you didn’t pull the lever for the secretary of corruption, but if you voted for Donald Dump, well sorry; you’re not the kind of person with the kind of morals I can associate with. I stayed silent. You see, I’m fucking deplorable.

There are quite a few others posting similar things, people I know well and have for years; some I have known for shorter periods of time but are still people I find interesting. The common meme is if you voted for “him,” you’re a horrible person and they produce the same list of accusations defining just who you actually hate in case you may have forgotten.

So one would assume that I’m going to lose friends over this election. A shame really. In any event, I wish you and your loved ones a long, healthy, happy and prosperous life. I’ll miss what you brought to my life, the jokes, the difference of opinions and the other worldviews. But no, I won’t apologize; I won’t defend myself, for I have no reason to. And as you peel away the years of friendships and acquaintances you have gained over the years, you can settle back smugly into that safe little echo chamber where your definition of tolerance is everyone agreeing with you. Where you get to define freedom of speech as only speech you agree with, that doesn’t challenge you, force you to defend or rethink your positions. Where diversity means everyone is just like you and you get to dictate what it means to be black, female or moral. Where compromise means everyone gives into your beliefs and abandons their own.

One wonders; is discarding friends really that simple? Does it ever give you pause for introspection? After all, if you can disparage people without remorse, insult them that deeply and personally, what kind of friend have you really been to others? And when you’ve cleaned house, you do realize don’t you, that you’ll be left with people just like you; people who are willing to toss you from their lives if your opinion should deviate from theirs?

And so, I wish you the best. I’ll still be here, checking into Facebook every once in a while to see what your dog is doing, what flavor latte you had this morning, maybe chuckle at one of your jokes. I have no intention of un-friending anyone over this for two reasons; one, life is far too short and too random for me to assume I have all the answers. I rely on the viewpoints of my friends and acquaintances to help keep me grounded, educated and humble.

And secondly, I’m not quite sure how to un-friend anyone anyway and If I ask my daughter one more question about Facebook, she’ll un-friend me too.

 

 

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