Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Still Want to Quit?

Somewhere a True Believer is training to kill you. 

He is training with minimal food or water, in austere conditions, training day and night. The only thing clean on him is his weapon, and he made his web gear himself. He doesn't worry about what workout to do - his ruck weighs what it weighs, his runs end when the enemy stops chasing him. This True Believer is not concerned about 'how hard it is'; he knows either he wins, or he dies. He doesn't go home at 17:00; he is home.

He knows only: The Cause."

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Follow-up on the State of Men in America

In one of my local papers, a gentlemen wrote a letter of thanks to two young women.  The author had been hiking in some nearby woods and noted the two youths carrying out bags of trash that they had collected.  He thought at first that they were part of some "community effort" or other volunteer or work crew


he refrained from asking their names, nay, from speaking to them at all; why?

Out of fear.

Fear that "such a question might be inappropriate."

So instead, he wrote a letter to the paper, praising these young people in a way that might never reach them.  He went on to praise them for enhancing his day, for exemplifying values eschewed by many young folks, and for being good leaders.  His noted fear was mentioned, most sadly, only in passing.

This is where we stand in America: that a man fears unnamed retribution for praise or a compliment (or simply for speaking) is not even worth reflection or deliberation is a sad, sad state (or State, as it were) .  Thanks, Brownshirts; great job!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Curmudgeon: When I Was a Windy Boy

I was reading this here article, waiting to say "yeah, yeah" (yes, sometimes I tire, or get nervous when the first topic is "racial discrimination"), but instead the hairs on my arms began rising...

What follows are excerpts:

"When I was a boy, America was a freer society than it is today.

"When I was a 7-year-old boy, I flew alone from New York to my aunt and uncle in Miami and did the same thing coming back to New York. I boarded the plane on my own and got off the plane on my own. No papers for my parents to fill out... Had I run away or been kidnapped, no one would have sued the airline.

"When I was a boy, I ran after girls during recess, played dodgeball, climbed monkey bars and sat on seesaws. Today, more and more schools have no recess; have canceled dodgeball lest someone feel bad about being removed from the game; and call the police in to interrogate, even sometimes arrest, elementary school boys who playfully touch a girl. And monkey bars and seesaws are largely gone, for fear of lawsuits should a child be injured.

[Ed. note: it was at this point that I began to get really... scared?]

"When I was boy, I was surrounded by adult men. Today, most American boys (and girls, of course) come into contact with no adult man all day every school day. Their teachers and school principals are all likely to be women. And if, as is often the case, there is no father at home (not solely because of divorce but because "family" courts have allowed many divorced mothers to remove fathers from their children's lives), boys almost never come into contact with the most important group of people in a boy's life -- adult men. The contemporary absence of men in boys' lives is not only unprecedented in American history; it is probably unprecedented in recorded history.

[Ed. note: True dat.  More and more men are simply...suspect, not to be trusted, nay, to be feared and avoided.  Weird, weird world, and dangerous precedent.]

"When I was a boy, we had in our lives adults who took pride in being adults. [Ed. note: I have been thinking about this a lot lately...] To distinguish them from our peers, we called these adults "Mr.," "Mrs." and "Miss," or by their titles, "Doctor," "Pastor," "Rabbi," "Father." It was good for us, and we liked it. Having adults proud of their adulthood, and not acting like they were still kids, gave us security (as well as something to look forward to in growing up). Today, kids are surrounded by peers twice, three, four times their age.

"When I was a boy, the purpose of American history textbooks was to teach American history... [W]e were not raised by educators or parents who believed that "teenagers will have sex no matter what." 

And, to sum it all up:

"We were, in short, allowed to be relatively innocent." 

I am, quite literally, fighting back the tears.  

True enough, true enough, true enough that.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Thoughts on Obama's Presumptive Nomination

"Some may mistake me as implying that it would be okay to stop talking about racism. But that interpretation is incorrect: I am stating that it would be okay to stop talking about racism. We need to be talking about serious activism focused on results. Those who suppose that the main meal in the aforementioned is to decry racism are not helping people."

 John McWhorter in a thoughtful article.