Tagged: family

Response to Castro’s “Americans Don’t Know Who Latinos Are” New Yorker Podcast

Mr. Castro was interviewed on the “New Yorker” podcast the other day. This title was very provocative to me, so I gave it a listen as I exercised. It’s only 20min long.

The main charge he makes to prove his thesis is, “Can you name three latinos who had had a significant impact in American history?” He explains that he asked this to a very high placed school administrator.

The problem with the exchange, as described in the interview, is that Castro doesn’t account for the current political climate as he reveals that the administrator sheepishly admitted that he couldn’t.

Conversation 101: Whoever is asking the question has the power. Read your Bible if you don’t believe me. If you are in an important conversation and asked a question, answer with a question. If it’s a good question, the momentum will shift in your favor.

The administrator, by answering the question, already loses. Instead, he need have—and this can be done charismatically if need be—only flipped the question on Castro and asked, “Can you?” And then when Mr. Castro posits the name, the administrator (or you or me) interrupts as he takes notes slowly, to say, “Excuse me, but could you go slower. What did he do? Uh-huh. Got it. Yeah. Funny how I never heard of him. Must’ve been some genius.”

On this specific topic, the truth is—and all Americans know this deep down—Latinos don’t know who Americans are. And most Latinos probably never will.

Americans do not care about skin color. Americans do not care about ancestry. Americans do not care about how much hardship you overcame. Americans do not care about your current struggles. Americans do not care about your hopes and dreams. Americans do not care about Hollywood representation. Americans do not care about Latinos. Americans do not care about Blacks. Americans do not care about Whites.

Americans are not superficial. Americans are not trendy, and they are not trending. Americans cannot be cancelled. Americans cannot give up. Americans do not have DNA. Americans do not have an accent, they do not have a dialect.

Americans do not have mothers. Americans do not have fathers. Humans cannot create an American anymore than we can create purple mountain majesty.

Americans don’t know who Latinos are? Wrong, Sir. Wrong.

You want me to name three Latinos who had a significant impact on America? While I’m thinking, can you name three Americans who you don’t consider as your personal heroes?

The only people who have a significant impact on America are Americans. Next question.

A Baptist, a Charismatic, and a Baby Walk Into a Bar…

…actually it was just a walk around the neighborhood. But picture it with me, because the setting is important. It’s a small town, about an hour from the major metropolitan city center. It could be any number of these type of towns. Mostly rural, but that doesn’t mean folks don’t have all the markings of city life, from fancy cars to fancy ideas.

My wife likes the local charismatic church, as does my step-son. (I choose the word “like” over others intentionally, as any Baptist should. So mark that.) It’s hard not to like the church. On Wednesday nights the foyer is lit like a nightclub, and the parking is full like a bowling alley’s on league play.

I had just arrived after ducking out of the Baptist church’s Wednesday night programming early, that is, when the games started. Baptists have recently switched from AWANA to “Kid’s For Truth” and this particular Baptist church was on its first effort with the new program. Suffice it to say, the night did not go well. Lots of scrambling, lots of evidence of lack of preparation. Lots of scapegoating that it was the “new programs” fault that things were not running smoothly.

This morning then—starting last night really—my wife and I chatted about the different experiences I had as we continue to seek out a church home. I love these types of conversations and discussions, and my wife enjoys them enough to indulge me.

Without walking you through the hour long chat moment-by-moment, though that was an eye-opening experience itself, I want to give you an analogy which captures the result, or where we landed.

The mystery of the modern protestant church is best likened to two engineering schools that teach from one specific written curriculum how to build one specific item—boats.

Now imagine that one of the schools is packed with students and that the professors all believe they are teaching how to build boats. Moreover, all the students really feel like they are learning how to build boats—the professor’s all agree—and they talk all the time about boats and their design and construction.

But they never build boats.

Mind you, no one needs any boats. It’s not like there are customers calling to ask, “Where’s my boat?” That’s just not happening. What is happening, to repeat, is there is a school which uses one specific written curriculum to teach how to build boats, there are professors teaching how to build boats, and there are paying students believing that they know how to build boats. All this, but no actual boats.

This is the first school.

The second school, using the exact same curriculum, has trouble finding professors—often resorting to retired professors and temporary professors—but they teach the curriculum to the letter. A person could build a very good boat based on their teaching. Regarding students, there are only non-traditional (25+ year olds) who actually are just auditing the course. Every once in a while, a real student shows up and pays to learn, but they often quit attending and ultimately (and quietly) stop submitting assignments. The older auditing students happily provide the materials for the boats—often one-upping each other in quality of supplies—but the students just seem to need other students around and so they keep quitting when they realize that they are the only one in the school.

So again, like the first school, there are no boats being built.

And like the other school, the written curriculum is there. There are capable, if not likeable and consistent, professors. Different than the first school, at this school there are even all the necessary supplies and tools, to build the boats, but the trouble is there are no students—and so no boats.

Now enters the problem. In what everyone sees retrospectively as a “should’ve known” moment, a bizarrely miraculous but terrible event occurs. Everybody, all people—not just students of those two aforementioned schools—fall into their own personal sink hole of varying sizes that contains themself and everything they have ever built. If one man built a lego set, it’s in their sink hole. If another built a paper airplane, it’s there. Many individuals have many items. Some have none. If someone built their house, the house is in the sink-hole. If a person built a boat, they have their boat. If a baby built nothing, there is a rather small hole with just a baby (probably crying). You get the picture.

There is no way out of these sink holes. No ladder can reach the top. No one is above who can throw down a rope. No flying machine has fuel. Everyone is stuck by themselves with whatever they built.

Then it starts to rain with no sign of stopping.

As this rather precarious and new, if not oddly predictable, situation continues to unfold, suddenly, the entire planet, and all its occupants, all its plants, everything instantly burns up. Nothing is left.

Finally, everyone gains awareness that they are still alive. Some are amongst a trash fire, unaware, and never becoming aware, that any change to their misery is possible. Others find themselves in what words cannot quite describe, but when pressed maybe something like blissful communion with what feels like an old friend and mentor, communion that has an odd mixture of familiarity and constant newness and overall is simply awe-inspiring.

That’s it. That’s the analogy.

****

In short, for my dad and readers like him who feel they want to understand but aren’t there yet, I’m saying the problem with church-shopping is that the church doesn’t direct where we end up after the fire.

My Second Anniversary

Nearly two years ago I posted, while on my honeymoon, an update to the classic children’s tale “Henny Penny”. You know the one. It’s where the chicken gets a whole line of animals to follow it as it claims the sky is falling—that is, until Foxy Woxy comes along and takes over as leader and slaughters them one by one. Remember?

It’s on my mind tonight again for two reasons. Firstly, because I chatted with a policemen at the HyVee where I was picking flowers and a card (and candle) for the occasion. This then reminded me that, secondly, last week Peggy Noonan wrote a Henny Penny-esque column that I had meant to respond to here.

Mrs. Noonan is a force, that’s for sure. She won’t stand the test of time, but she is compelling for today. It’s not that she writes poorly that’s the problem. It’s that she writes in a way that seems to indicate she really understands the word on the street. Her “M.O.” seems to be pinpointing the word on “main street” and then giving it context. But like most folks, since Trump, she’s lost the pulse.

The specific point of hers that I’m referring to, in her “Lost Thread” column, is the part about how police used to be respected and how now there is no respect. Instead, she points out, there are actual calls to defund them etc.

Before joining the Air Force, I had entertained the notion of being a policeman. And this, despite having seen “Wayne’s World” and laughing with the jokes, “[sniff sniff] Definitely a pork product.” Can you believe it?

You see, Peggy Noonan is no different than the other hype-sters. How could she be? The sky is not falling. And yet she says it is. She says the very men who have sworn to protect and serve are today under a newer and stronger attack than ever before.

It’s all hype. They are not. Police have never been popular.

Hear me clearly. When I say, “Police have never been popular,” I am not wrong. Nor am I able to be persuaded away from my position. This is because I am not basing my position on facts, I am basing it on belief.

The police are only now under attack? Give me a break. Never in human history have people wanted to submit their actions to judgement or consequence. This law of nature is behind how police barely exist in history. Who would even want to get in a criminals way? It’s a nearly unreasonable profession.

Mrs. Noonan has it all wrong. The police have never been popular. And there isn’t enough data in the universe for her or anyone to use which would prove otherwise. Sorry, Ms. Penny. The sky isn’t falling.

The right perspective is that life is hard—if you’re hellbent on living as a man and not an animal.

Imitation Is The Sincerest Form of Flattery Part 2

Whatever the malady that drove Mayor Pete and Chasten to the hospital (Get Well Soon!), I had quite the adorable little experience with my 13 month old daughter the other day. It definitely was a sign of the times.

Like most fathers, in the true sense of the word, I found myself feeling weary from spending several hours in all manner of mind-numbing activities with my daughter. And like most fathers, again, fathers, not homosexual men who visit hospitals for photo ops, being tired, I began to consider poor decisions as viable options and thought, “I can just lay down on the floor, right here, smack dab in the middle of the family room. Nothing unsafe can happen without me hearing it. I just need to rest my eyes.”

Here I must confess that there is also a certain thrill when your own flesh-and-blood, your very seed—as they used to say in Bible times—believes they have free reign to climb around, on, and over you.

As most of you know, this daughter is not the only continuation of my bloodline which I have helped deliver unto the world, which I only mention here to relate that I have experienced this climbing scene before.

So, little “A-” (let’s call her) starts to crawl on top of me until she gets right up onto my chest.

Oh, sorry to interrupt, but you should know that for whatever reason A- has developed a habit of leaning her head forward when she wants a kiss. (Or at least that’s how we interpret and respond to the signal.)

So, as I can tell that her head is near my head, I next feel her head, face really, lower down to my head. This was not, to my thinking, very well aimed, if affection was her goal; her face landed nowhere in particular, it seemed. All I’m trying to describe is that her face was now awkwardly touching mine.

As you’re probably thinking, I thought, “Oh! How sweet!”

Then (my eyes are closed all the while) I feel a slightly uncomfortable, open-infant-palm go: “Smack!” And right on the button, too!

As you know, I’m tough as nails, being a hero pilot and all, so don’t read into this recounting anything more than that it startled me.

And then it hit me! No, not her hand, but what she was doing.

While laying there I remembered that we have on the shelf these old 1950s era children’s encyclopedias and that back in the 50s and before, the physicians used to have a less precise approach to CPR. Taken together (context drives meaning, folks) with the fact that, these days, especially with the pandemic going on for her entire life, everyone knows that first responders are the priestly class, if not gods themselves, and she was communicating to me—the little savant—that she, too, like her maker, wants to be a first responder.

Do you see it? In that face-to-face move, she wasn’t giving me affection. She thought I was dead, or unconscious at the least, and she was at the “look, listen, and feel” step of assessing her patient.

As far as the whack on the nose, it was a forgivable targeting error—she is only 1 after all. She had merely—incorrectly I might add (some performance improvement is upcoming)—assessed that I was in cardiac arrest and had begun old-style compressions.

My daughter! Following in the footsteps of her ol’ man. Can you believe it? It was a beautiful sight to behold, even if there was no professional cameraman nearby.

Imitation Is The Sincerest Form Of Flattery

Did Mayor Pete and Chasten both contract COVID-19? Does anyone know?

I’m only asking because I just saw a pic of them in the hospital. They didn’t look sick, but it’s possible they only have it mildly.

Then again, they were holding babies and I think it is illegal for people with COVID-19 to hold babies.

Hmm. Must be some other reason for their visit. Anyone know?

I Enjoy the Topic, That’s Why

I didn’t write anything at length yet about Afghanistan etc. I never went there. My helicopter was there for a bit before I was officially qualified on it, but it kept crashing or having expensive mechanical issues due to the combination of its gross weight and mountain operations. Therefore, it was relegated to Iraq. That said, I was an officer in the United States Air Force, during the main time that we were in Afghanistan and I joined for the main reason that we were in Afghanistan—revenge.

I want to talk about today’s Kabul attack more than Afghanistan in general, but I want to get this out there before the moment has passed. Daily I am more convinced than ever that the minute 9/11 happened, if not sooner, the United States should’ve declared war on Islam.

I don’t think this war would be blood-free, but it doesn’t have to have any killing. My aim is not killing people, but killing lies, killing Allah, and killing the Koran. All the other false gods of human history, at least in the West, went the way of the dodo, for very complicated reasons. Allah still holds his own because of lies.

Islam is a totalitarian system, not a religion.

By way of example, I wore sweat pants and a sweat shirt every day in college. It was my burka, of sorts. Additionally, I went to the weight room every Monday-Friday, like it was a mosque. That behavior, while religious, didn’t qualify me for sainthood. Anyone who knows anything knows this.

Don’t give me that “most muslims are peaceful”. The supposed “peaceful muslims” are owed an end to Islam as much as everyone else.

No one in human history has ever eradicated Islam, despite many other world-views being trounced, so it must be difficult. Enter the United States.

Now. To today’s attack. Here’s my initial gut reaction. This is said in the same vein as the one during the heated rhetoric of last election, where many of my veteran pals and I had some sort of instinct telling us to make sure our weapons were in working order. This was, of course, to no avail, and ultimately brought a healthy feeling of foolishness. But right now today, my gut is telling me the place to avoid is DC. And that’s my negative way of saying my gut is telling me the place that is going to suffer is DC.

Remember my post on “alignment”? The one where I said we need alignment, not “justice”? Well, the bad guys are being bad guys. The bad guys are aligned. It’s the United States that isn’t aligned. We’re the good guys. And we all know it. We feel it in our bones, no matter how many lies are trending right now.

I am a fairly normal, if at times recluse and eccentric, citizen. Heck, my wife just became a citizen today. Imagine that! I almost forgot about it already. This morning I stood among a lobby full of newly sworn-in Americans who were holding new American flags, who were asking each other to take pictures, and who were genuinely smiling. But there are other Americans making the news daily who seem to me to have my vision, but, unlike me, they seem to have nothing to lose.

If these other citizens get the itch to take action, I don’t think Kabul is accepting inbound flights right now. But I’m pretty sure American roads are wide open.

Again, this is just a feeling. My meaning is figurative and my aim is posterity. Except the war on Islam, bit. That needs to be declared immediately. (Consider your own loathing of the idea. I didn’t know you were an Islamic apologist, did you? It’s not a religion in any meaningful sense of the word. That’s its first lie. There is no constitutional protection for totalitarianism. After clearing that hurdle, the path to victory is clear.)

Another Way I Know I’m Right

The company I work for is waiting to mandate the vaccine until FDA approval. Good for them.

Universal masking is back as the order of the day at work. Again, good for them.

But now I see something I hadn’t before, as I read their recommendation to get tested if you have symptoms.

Why?

Seriously. Why get tested? There’s no treatment. And we’re not contact tracing. By finding out that you have COVID, what have you discovered? Does it make you feel better to pinpoint the issue? Are there scores of people feeling crummy that are still inserting themselves into others’ 6ft bubbles, just for fun?

Of course not.

But if you get tested, the data empowers the morons known as “humans” who are literally having orgasms as they read the Indo-Arabic numerals. So don’t do it, I say.

See, you or I read a numeral, say, 2,349, and nothing happens. No “initiative” as my wife’s broken English would say. Not even a twitch, as I might say, if I were to be vulgar. But for these power-hungry vessels which are completely void of God, full on climax occurs. Even this post and my inclusion of 2,349 above is being seen as a tease—like a personal ad of the 90s which had “WSM” would cause a teenage boy to think, “Really?”

The difference, of course, comes from how numerals do their thing. Unlike letter acronyms, which already have quite a range of meaning depending on context, numerals can mean anything. 2,349. I’m getting a bit hot just thinking about the possibilities. Maybe that’s how many sexual positions fake blondes can be bent into? Then again, it could be how many people were murdered in South Africa over the weekend. Hmm.

In any case, if we want to make a dent, maybe we assess that the problem is we (the public) are talking out of both sides of our mouths. We want the data-driven pandemic to be over but we keep creating the data. As stated in an earlier post, even watching a baby eat proves that you can’t have your cake and eat it, too.

If I wouldn’t have got tested, the only difference in my life is I would have 8 hrs more pay because the stupid policies surrounding workman’s comp and COVID jacked my shtuff up and I’m too lazy to keep trying to get my money. Oh well.

Just About Halfway There

To a fearless hero like me, the funny part is that neither of the two patients we flew the other day made me think of my own mortality, despite their obviously traumatic injuries. One ol’ timer had a head wound that contributed more blood to the atmosphere than I can say I thought was possible while still outputting normal numbers on bp, heart rate, sats etc. The other was a person who had made an ill-timed pass and was subsequently thrown from the vehicle. (Who doesn’t wear their seatbelt in 2021? Seriously? Put it on!) A hundred yards away, at the helicopter, I could hear their cries of pain.

But I didn’t think of death.

However, upon returning home last night and laving up yours truly with some Aveeno body wash that my wife picked up for me (it just pours easier, so what?—the Suave charcoal flavored manly stuff takes the strength of Superman to be squeezed out of the bottle and this gets annoying), well upon laving up and in the midst of repositioning myself in the shower, I almost fell, slipping on the self-same lady-parts-soap that has rinsed off and coated the tub floor.

The “almost fell” really means, that while shadow-boxing the water, the next thing I know I feel the wall with my back. I can’t say for sure why I stayed upright, but my right foot dug in and the help from the wall was enough to offset whatever other project the devil had set in motion.

I immediately started laughing. “Only old people fall in the shower! I’m not old,” I chuckled. “And what would I have done if I did fall? I have no rope!” I thought. You know, those ropes on the wall to pull if you need help. “I have no rope!”

It’s true, my 40th birthday is a couple weeks away. What does that have to anything? It just means I’m halfway there. Halfway to 80. Halfway to natural death, unless I get some of them bonus years.

I’m not old. It was the soap.

Two Things I Learned Today By Watching a Ten Year Old and a Seven Month Old Eat

If you want to get a ten year old to eat his cold cereal to the point the bowl is dry, then have his day begin with him having to rewrite his previous three days’ mistake-ridden writing assignments.

If you’re still unclear the meaning or origin of the popular, “You can’t have your cake and eat it too,” then you haven’t watched a seven month old eat with her hands. She grabs the wafer just fine. Her mouth opens. Her hand goes into her mouth. Her tongue touches the wafer. Then her hand and the wafer come back out. Boom. Unlikely as it seems, we now know that a baby’s hunger gave birth to the adult’s sad truth.

I Don’t Know Why It Evokes Such Emotion

Yesterday as I listened, I kept thinking, “If you’re not careful, you may end up highlighting who really incited the demonstration…yourselves,” as the Left made its case.

Today, when I watched the opening statement and the barrage of montage highlighting the utter hypocrisy of the Left, I cried.

Apparently I can take the dose from the Left when offered daily.

Apparently I am overwhelmed by the administration of many of the Left’s daily doses into one five minute period.

Oh. And the rest of the “very fine people” response now seems like the most sensible sentiment he ever uttered. Anyone else find that to be true? Separation makes the heart grow fonder, I guess.