When Kindness Kills

Black Widow

Female black widows attract prey by showing off their shiny, red hourglass markings. This lures their unfortunate victim directly in to her clutches, where it will soon be wrapped in mounds of silk before being injected with digestive enzymes that turn their insides to mush.  The spider then sucks the liquid out (gleefully, I like to imagine), leaving only a dead, hollowed out shell of what was once a living creation behind.

A person stamped with a victimhood mentality eventually becomes an empty shell too.  Except in this case it’s not the spider draining the life out of them, but Western society’s pathological need to be seen as compassionate and caring when tough love and common sense are required.  This in turn can cause them learned helplessness and  a continual reliance on other people and things in place of basic life skills.

The homeless crisis faced by many cities around the country is surely at the top of a long list of cultural issues effected by this dysfunction. This was brought to mind recently when I read this blog post by Chris Megison, President and CEO of Solutions For Change, a wonderful organization dedicated to ending family homelessness who I’ve blogged about before.

Chris uses the term symptom relief when discussing the Band-Aid approach federal and state governments have taken towards trying to solve homelessness.  In fact he doesn’t believe “solving” it is even part of the equation.  His words:

It is very important to understand that the increase in homelessness and property crimes is happening by design, due to State of California’s legislative overreach that is handcuffing local cities.”

Chris is referring to something called Housing First, which fixates on providing housing for the homeless with no requirements that they stop drinking and/or doing drugs. This philosophy is poisonous according to Chris and because it’s permeated throughout the public sector some really bad policies and incentives have come about as he explains here:

“California’s homeless response system has done something that we believe is enormously dangerous. The state has systematized and operationalized codependency through a new design that provides taxpayer funded no-strings-attached drug housing for the homeless addict. The intervention they are using is a housing intervention with the misguided logic that the addict will decide, at some point, to get sober. The addict can now continue to use drugs in “free” government housing, commit property crimes to support their habit and have a place for other addicts to congregate

Sadly, the same public sector architects of this design have also decriminalized possession of drugs, even hard drugs like heroin and meth.  A person caught with 3 grams of heroin (30 uses) is considered to have “personal use” and let go.  Police officers are going on record all over California, saying that we are in full blown crisis caused by the confluence of multiple government policies that focus on the wrong thing; they focus almost entirely on symptoms.”

 Is it compassionate to provide free housing with no expectations that tenants behave like responsible human beings?  To release people caught with hard drugs because hey, they’re only harming themselves and who are we to judge anyway?  Or is it really just another way for politicians to look like they’re doing somethingwhen in fact they’re just making things worse?

And what about the homeless themselves, doesn’t this convey the message that they are incapable of overcoming their addictions and becoming productive members of society? That they are “victims” of forces beyond their control so let’s just give them housing and let them alone about their drugs so we can get back to our paper shuffling and say “see, problem solved!”?

The lure of being seen as compassionate is powerful and not in itself a bad thing.  When it becomes politicized and purely symbolic though it leads to greater evils than the initial problems being confronted.  In this case the devaluing of human beings and treating them as animals with no ability to help themselves.

This only propagates whatever dysfunction an already damaged population is dealing with, leaving a broken trail of carcasses ravaged by poverty, drug addiction and spiritual emptiness in its wake.

We need to rethink what we are doing to the most vulnerable among us.

For more information about the good work Solutions for Change is doing to empower people up and out of being homeless go here.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 33 Comments

Intersectionality and Radical Grace

There was a  fascinating article in the Wall Street Journal recently written by Robert L. Woodson Sr.  The title, Even the Fiercest Social-Justice Warrior Should Learn Mercy, sums up well the goal of the author, which is to get today’s racial grievance mongers to stop focusing so much on righting wrongs from the past and instead employ the radical grace championed by Mr. Woodson and others during civil rights era struggles against real entrenched societal oppression and horrific acts of racial violence.

He writes:

As a veteran of the civil-rights movement, I remember how our most effective weapon against bigotry, hatred and oppression was radical grace. If social activists want to mimic us, let them follow in this direction rather than demand the elevation of their particular tribal interests above all others. Activists’ focus on group identity and past wrongs fuels anger and resentment, deepening divisions instead of erasing them. The only antidote to the growing conflict is for black America to take back its historical victories against injustice from those repurposing them as ammunition for an anti-American agenda.”

At this point you might be asking what does a what does a middle aged white girl from the burbs know about black racism?  Nothing of course.  I would never pretend to understand what it’s like as a black person to be discriminated against, nor am I denying that racism exists today.

What I do know a lot about unfortunately is what Mr. Woodson alludes to in that last sentence about people perverting once noble causes and “repurposing them as ammunition for an anti-American agenda.”  Anyone paying attention to today’s culture wars can clearly see that is the norm for social justice groups claiming to be fighting for the oppressed, but who are in reality pushing political agendas that have nothing to do with helping anyone but the people in power that run these groups.

The Women’s March is a fine example of this.  It promotes itself as a champion of women’s interests and empowerment, yet it’s really about getting progressive candidates in to office to enact a far left agenda that I believe is harmful to women and squelches empowerment.  At their core, the Women’s March and other grievance movements run counter to our Founding Fathers insistence that all men area created equal and that individual rights take precedence over those of the collective.

How so?  By their adherence to intersectionality-the belief that societal oppression intersects among various tribes whose powerlessness is based on the the number of victim points they have.   A transgender, black woman under this system garners more sympathy than a white gay man who only has 1 grievance box checked to her 3. There’s no accounting for a person’s unique background and character traits and no individuality, just balkanized groups assigned different spots on the hierarchy ladder of oppression .

Intersectionality has become a religion to its followers.  It’s a cancer that encourages people to make assumptions about others based on race, sexual orientation and gender. It’s identity politics on steroids, which I’ve written about before here, here and here and it’s turning the progress we’ve made on racial discrimination and women’s empowerment on its head.

It’s a growing threat too because what was once contained to quirky liberal arts colleges, has spread like wildfire to the broader culture, as indoctrinated students graduated and moved on to positions of power in corporations and government. It’s a big reason why we live in a state of constant outrage, where people feel traumatized over the slightest of things and receive cultural validation for it if they belong to the “correct” tribe.

There is little grace in this and no mercy at all for the accused; no room for discussion, and absolutely no forgiveness for an honest mistake made.  Societal chaos and divisiveness continue to grow and individual freedom shrinks as the power of the state gets called upon to “right” so many “wrongs.”

This does nothing for the truly oppressed, the poor and those that have been dealt  crappy life cards.  Chaining them them to a victimhood mentality of course only makes things worse, but no matter because it increases the constituency of the modern day grievance industry.  The collateral damage of ruined, stunted lives is less important then the increased power and status gained by the movement.

It’s unclear where this will all lead.  I’m hoping the asininity of intersectionality becomes the achilles heal that eventually kills it.  As more and more groups claim victimhood status and the grievances become pettier and more absurd,  a chain reaction  of “eating their own” seems to be kicking in.  The favored group of today becomes the micro aggressor of tomorrow and gets booted from the club.  We can only hope the collapse comes soon.

In the meantime we could do worse than to study Robert Woodson’s ideas on forgiveness and self reflection as a path to empowerment and changed lives. As he says:

“This is a model for anyone seriously interested in erasing injustice and promoting equality. Nobody grows when activists are intolerant of others’ flaws or demand the end of careers because of past wrongs. Emphasizing past evil—let alone manufacturing racial attacks to satiate the media’s appetite—inflames anger on both sides. Let us wisely choose grace instead.”

Posted in entitlememt mentality, fear mongering, identity politics, Political, Uncategorized, Women's Empowerment | Tagged , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

Priceless

That moment when you realize you’ve just been made a complete fool of on national TV.

Grumpy Bernie

Here in the US we are alarmed by the new calls to adopt Socialism in our country.  America was founded on liberty and independence and not government coercion, domination and control.  We are born free and we will stay free.  Tonight we renew our resolve that America will never be a Socialist country.”

~Donald Trump-State of the Union Speech 2019

Well played Mr. President, well played.

 

 

Posted in Funny, Political, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 22 Comments

The Buzz on Howard Schultz

Coffee Cup

Howard Schultz grew up in the Brooklyn housing projects, was the first in his family to go to college, excelled in post grad jobs at Xerox and Swedish drip coffee maker Hammarplast, joined a fledgling, little known company called Starbucks and turned it in to one of the largest retail coffee shop empires in the world.

That ladies and gentlemen is a true American success story; poor boy from Brooklyn makes good by spinning coffee in to gold, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and a personal net worth estimated at $3.1 billion.  Naturally then, Democrats want to boil him alive in cooking oil while pulling his fingernails out.  His crime?  Threatening to disrupt the 2020 presidential election and their dreams of a Progressive, Trump free utopia

The traditional line of thought here is that an Independent run by Schultz scares the bejesus out of Democrats because they think he will peel voters away from the D nominee and propel Trump to victory. This just cannot happen and so watch for Schultz or anyone else who gets in the way of the anointing of Queen Kamala Harris or King Booker to get Kavanuaghed.  Soon stories about drunken teenage parties and bad behavior will emerge amidst whispers of white privilege and “the patriarchy”.

I believe much of this to be true, but it’s not the whole story.  Liberal Democrats are freaking out over Howard Schultz because he brings sanity back to the table.  He thinks wealth taxes are absurd, is not on board with single payer health care and believes in free market capitalism. There is also not a hint of identity politics in his words and he is refreshingly unapologetic about being a white, male, 1%er.

If Howard Schultz were actually to throw his hat in to the ring, it would force Democrats to reconcile the far left drift of their party, its cheerleading for Socialism, its class envy and the savagery of identity politics they rely so much upon.  Right now all the energy is with this group of D’s, but a Schultz run would require them to defend these practices and give normal Democrats a chance to take their party back from the crazies.  That is the crux of the matter and in my view is why the vitriol and hysteria surrounding him are so amplified.

Lest Republicans get tempted to grab popcorn and enjoy the show, they should understand that Schultz is appealing to Conservative voters too.  People like myself who, while appreciating many of Trump’s polices, have moved beyond being annoyed with his temperament to worried about the damage its doing and could do in the future. While not nearly enough is known about Howard Schultz for me to say I’d vote for him, his potential candidacy is intriguing.

At the very least it offers a chance for sanity to be injected back in to the election process. How refreshing it would be to have Trump or whoever the Republican nominee is debate a real person of substance on policy issues instead of having to answer to the screeching quasi Socialist banshees going on about eliminating rich people, wealth confiscation and the evils of capitalism.

It would be good for both the Democratic and Republican parties to have someone like Howard Schultz enter the race, not to mention the electorate.  I say bring it on!

 

Posted in capitalism, identity politics, income inequality, Political, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 45 Comments

A Few Quick Things….

Hello WordPress World, so sorry I’ve been gone so long. My poor time management skills combined with a wicked ability to procrastinate has unfortunately left me little availability for writing, or even just reading posts from my fellow bloggers who I’ve missed dearly.  To be honest, even just thinking straight at times has been a challenge.

A recent seven hour car ride  though turned out to be just the thing to clear my head a bit and allow some semi cohesive thoughts to form.  I’ll leave it to you whether or not they make sense.

  • Coffee makes any road trip much better.
  • Fake news is here to stay and collective outrage over this or that issue will continue to grow bigger and nastier, as we fight over things that never actually happened.  Since the media has dropped any sense of objectivity (and self respect), they now freely indulge in outright lying as long as the story fits a narrative they know their audience wants desperately to believe.  Thus Buzzfeed’s  false tale about Trump directing Cohen to lie to Congress.  And those MAGA hat wearing Christian boys harassing a Native American? Turns out it was the other way around!
  • Low caffeine makes me really itchy.  Whoops, better add a letter b to that.
  • Gillette execs virtue signaling their wokeness with its”toxic masculinity” ad was the most poorly thought out campaign since the New Coke fiasco of 1985.  Why they felt it was more important to cater to people that don’t use their products by insulting those that do is beyond baffling.  The best result was this rebuttal ad  from the Edgar Watch company.
  • People who clean their car wind shields knowing full well  the wiper fluid will get blasted on the one behind them are just mean.  Or careless, or clueless, or take your pick.  Not that I’m holding a grudge or anything…..
  • Social media is turning us in to dumb, petty animals.   Politicians and the media play a big role in this of course, but it’s up to us to demonstrate that God didn’t make a mistake putting us at the top of the food chain.  He gave us wisdom, compassion and logic for a reason, let’s use them all abundantly.
  • We really do need to be on guard against being manipulated by those who think nothing of pitting us against one another.   The best way to combat this is to stop thinking the worst of other people. Give them space to be human instead of putting them in pre-labeled boxes based on who they voted for or what their race/sex/religion is.  Give yourself permission to be wrong about things too.
  • If you you play island music while driving through farm country in California’s central coast while wishing real hard you were in Hawaii, it’s just like you were there.  Especially so if you’re also drinking good coffee and eating macadamia nuts.  Yup, just like Hawaii!

Posted in fear mongering, Funny, identity politics, Political, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 22 Comments

The Spirit of Light

Jesus Hate

This meme came from a Facebook post of an atheist friend of mine.

Apologies for the swearword, but it emphasizes so well the ugliness of a heart so compelled to post something like this that I left it in. The words used to accompany the meme made it all the more striking, as you could sense the neediness behind them, a desperate plea for relevance.

As stated:

“Please stop fooling yourselves, and honestly consider a more reasonable truth. Demand evidence over fairy tales, because the magic of today is the science of tomorrow.  If the answer is unknown, I beg you to not do yourself a disservice and attribute it to some unsubstantiated spiritual dictator.

 For most of you, I will be preaching to the choir, but If this message happens to offend you? Now we are getting somewhere. THINK.”

Well gosh, this just causes me to completely rethink my spiritual beliefs.  How silly I’ve been to have fallen for this whole God thing in the first place. Insert giant eye roll here.

Later that morning I was sitting in church letting the words of the song “Break Every Chain” wash over me. I was in awe over its powerful message and by the beautiful voices of the band singing it.

“There is power in the name of Jesus
There is power in the name of Jesus
There is power in the name of Jesus
To break every chain, break every chain, break every chain
To break every chain, break every chain, break every chain”

Love was everywhere; in the cheerful nature of those around me, in the husband and wife announcing their new ministry of helping those with mental illness born out of their own daughter’s struggles, in the preacher reminding us of God’s promises of comfort and healing during tough times, in the ½ dozen booths set up to recruit volunteers for various missions involving helping the homeless, the vets, the hungry, the sick and poor.

A spirit of hope, goodness and light just permeated the atmosphere and the overwhelming presence of God was unavoidable, something a former pastor of mine liked to call Heaven on Earth.

The dichotomy between that experience and my atheist friend’s rant was striking.  One was uplifting and empowering, motivating me to spread joy and love.  The other just sad and empty, inspiring nothing more than pity for someone, whose pride in his own intellect has limited him in ways he can never imagine.

I thought about this some more as I was walking home later.  The sun was bright and warm, the birds were chirping and an abundance of blooming flowers who had apparently forgotten that it’s December and not May lined my path.  God’s glory was on full display, yet another reminder of the beauty his presence brings forth.

None of us knows for sure the absolute truth about God, but I’ll take the light of this  “unsubstantiated spiritual dictator” any day over the darkness of nothingness.

Posted in Random Thoughts, Spiritual, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 30 Comments

Baby It’s Nuts Out There!

My oh my does Western society spend an awful lot of time being upset about things.  Something happening somewhere at sometime, is always offending someone who will then bellyache about it with lighting speed via social media, in turn recruiting a whole bunch more people to moan about it to the rest of us. Our culture it seems is stuck on permanent outrage.

Citizen Tom discusses this in his brilliant post, How Do We Recognize a Bad Idea?, which points out how fighting over such nonsense can be traced directly back to that head honcho of deadly sins, pride.  He links to several other blogs too which touch on the same theme and are very much worth reading.

It seems there’s a lot of offending going on.  Just this past week I’ve learned that the Charlie Brown Christmas special is racist, that the old holiday favorite Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is steeped in misogyny and racial insensitivity and that telling a joke about lingerie on an elevator can derail your career.  And that’s just one week’s worth of grievances!

The nonsense here is almost too much to bear, but now I hear one of my favorite Christmas songs, Baby It’s Cold Outside, has been banned by some radio stations after listeners complained that the lyrics are too date rapey.

I suppose in the era of #MeToo this was inevitable, but pulling it off the air?  Sheesh people get a life.  It’s just a friggin’ song about a playful back and forth that men and women have been doing since Adam first invited Eve over for drinks.  Demanding that it be taken off  the radio is just the type of thing that’s turning #MeToo in to a parody of itself, more like #JumpShark at this point.

I guess I should be happy about all this kerfuffling over dumb things as it must mean life is pretty good otherwise for those doing the complaining.  You know, first world problems and all.  I guess you could also say that I’m contributing to it by being outraged over all this outrage.  Oh well, my blog, my rules.

In closing I’ll leave you with the original Baby It’s Cold outside by Margaret Whiting and Johnny Mercer.

Trigger Warning: Listening to this song may cause extreme dismay and grumpiness when reflecting on how upside down our world has become in the 70+ years since it was released.

Michael Buble and Idina Menzel also have a great video of it done here with children no less in the starring roles!

Posted in entitlememt mentality, fear mongering, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized, Women's Empowerment | Tagged , , , , | 48 Comments

Men Matter Too

 

                                                      Anguished ManPhoto Credit: Shutterstock.com

I couldn’t pull my eyes away from the computer screen of the passenger in front of me.  I was flying back from an exhausting conference in Las Vegas and looking forward to an hour of blissful nothingness the glass of wine in my hand and music from my headphones were promising. That was not meant to be.

A man was writing an email to his wife, who it was obvious things were not going well with.  I knew I should look away, but didn’t.

“I’m sorry for the way things were when I left”, he wrote. “I’ve not been the husband you signed up for and you deserve so much more than I’ve been giving. I’m so very sorry if I’ve ever made you feel threatened or unsafe, thinking of that even being a possibility just kills me.  I promise to do what I can to fix things and all I ask in return is that you don’t become indifferent.  Please fight for us.  Get mad at me, punch me, pull my hair, do whatever it takes to show me that you care enough about our relationship to risk doing something outrageous.” Continue reading

Posted in identity politics, Political, Uncategorized, Women's Empowerment | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 46 Comments

Get Out the Vote

flag

I think it matters not so much who you vote for today but why.  If your higher motivation is hate and fear of the other side as opposed to what yours has to offer, than I’d argue you are missing the boat on the spirit of American small r republicanism. Continue reading

Posted in fear mongering, Political, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 36 Comments

Social Media Stupidity

I saw this on Facebook the other day and was relieved to know that I could now give up my quest to find the most asinine post ever made and get back to normal life.Hate Speech

There is so much wrong here it’s hard to know where to start, but what stands out most to me is the purposefully divisive nature.  And not merely divisive either, but the childish, in your face, finger wagging type; like an obnoxious drunk arguing their point. Continue reading

Posted in fear mongering, Political, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 24 Comments