Washington Evening Journal
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Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 25, 2014

We the People

By Curt Swarm | Jan 03, 2013

With the slaughter of innocent school children at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and the almost daily acts of gun violence in the United States, I would like to offer up some thoughts, not that they will do any good, but here they are anyway. Fault is always looked for. It is not the fault of an overabundance of weaponry in the United States, it is not the fault of the NRA, it is not the fault of gun manufacturers, it is not the fault of the government, it is not the fault of violence in our entertainment industry, it is not the fault of our news-hungry media, and it is not the fault of our mental health system. We the people are to blame.

Knowing the vulnerability of an unarmed citizenry, it was we the people who wrote the Constitution allowing for the bearing of arms, and it is we the people who insist upon a loose definition of that Second Amendment right. Thus we have an overabundance of guns in the United States.

It is we the people who support the National Rifle Association (NRA). The NRA is one of the most powerful lobbies in Washington, D.C. and is responsible for almost paralyzing politicians with fear of voting against gun rights—once again reflecting the will of the people.

It is we the people who support gun manufacturers. If it were not for the crazed obsession of the people wanting every kind of conceivable weapon, the gun manufacturers would be out of business. It’s a simple principle of supply and demand.

It is we the people who elect politicians who support the will of the people. Gun rights was hardly an issue in the last election. The topic was considered too divisive. It was the economy and jobs that were the hot buttons, followed by health care, foreign relations, immigration, environmental issues, gay rights, etc.

It is we the people who crave violence from the media. Violence sells movie tickets, books, and video games. If the demand for touchy-feely love fluff was higher than for violence, then that’s what the media would put out. Once again, supply and demand. By the way, it was the will of the people who forced the movie industry to curtail the display of cigarette smoking on the big screen. The same could occur with scenes of violence.

It is we the people who demand sensational news stories from the news media, thus the 24-hour news outlets were born, creating an even greater need for hyped-up reporting. The news piranhas would not be there if it weren’t for us bottom feeders.

It is we the people who underfund a mental health system that is in shambles. Every state does their own thing, with very little centralized coordination. Hint: it’s probably not a good time to cut funding for mental health.

So what’s the solution? When it comes to protecting our children, the will of the people is changing pretty fast. When we the people cry, “Enough is enough! There are too many guns on the street. There is too much violence in the media. Our mental health system is in shambles,” then that’s when the politicians and courts will respond. But it all takes time. At least we have a political system that responds to the will of the people.

In the meantime, it is the responsibility of the President of the United States to protect the people. I hate to say it, but to ensure the safety of our children in schools, the NRA is probably right. We need armed guards in the schools. Stop the act of violence first, then work on the solution.

 

Have a good story? Call or text Curt Swarm in Mt. Pleasant at 319-217-0526, email him at curtswarm@yahoo.com, or visit his website at www.empty-nest-words-photos-and-frames.com.

Comments (6)
Posted by: Glen Peiffer | Jan 23, 2013 07:46

Obama once pronounced, “Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation.”

 

And in his Cairo University speech, the President declared: “That experience guides my conviction that partnership between America and Islam must be based on what Islam is, not what it isn’t. And I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.”

Hello, Mr. President! Did you miss the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s remarks in 2005? He said that if Germany and Austria feel responsible for the massacre of Jews during World War II, they should host a state of Israel on their own soil.

Ahmadinejad declared most Jews in Israel “have no roots in Palestine, but they are holding the destiny of Palestine in their hands and allow themselves to kill the Palestinian people.”

You would think these words from Ahmadinejad would have given the then-junior Senator from Illinois pause because Iran’s president added: “Some European countries insist on saying that during World War II, Hitler burned millions of Jews and put them in concentration camps. Any historian, commentator or scientist who doubts that is taken to prison or gets condemned.”

The president of Iran and the President of the United States seem like kindred spirits. One year after Ahmadinejad’s rant, Obama wrote in his best-seller, The Audacity of Hope: “I will stand with (Muslims) should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.”

The winds certainly have shifted, as political tornadoes are part and parcel of the Arab Spring.

Could it be that Obama’s most strategic goals are compromise, compassion and a coupling with Islam?

If true, it borders on treason against the Judeo-Christian values that shaped Western civilization and the United States. Yet the President’s goal becomes more achievable as we waste our time defending something that not even he can yet take away from us: our 2nd Amendment rights.

The Nation senses that something is wrong. The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll — taken days before Obama’s second inauguration — showed 57 percent believe America is “on the wrong track.”

Soon, far more Americans will think the Nation and the world are headed in the wrong direction.

John Myers

America Alone

 

 



Posted by: Glen Peiffer | Jan 18, 2013 08:02
Posted by: Glen Peiffer | Jan 12, 2013 04:01

The Gods of the Copybook Headings

 


 

Rudyard Kipling

1919

 

AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,
I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "Stick to the Devil you know."

On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "The Wages of Sin is Death."

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!


A copybook (or copy book) is a book used in education that contains examples and blank space for writing down copies of the examples by imitation. Typical uses include teaching penmanship and arithmetic to students. A page of a copy book typically starts with a copybook heading: a printed example of what should be copied, such as a single letter or a short proverb. The rest of the page is empty, except for horizontal rulings. The student is expected to copy the example down the page. By copying, the student is supposed to practise penmanship, spelling, reading comprehension, punctuation, and vocabulary.



Posted by: Glen Peiffer | Jan 11, 2013 04:15

Any discussion should be with the purpose of finding constructive solutions and not an indictment of anyone. As with most things, there is plenty of blame to go around. Perhaps the most that we can hope for is that people work together on a common course of improvement.



Posted by: Glen Peiffer | Jan 09, 2013 23:33

The War Against Boys

by Thomas Sowell

THE OLD SAYING, "Boys will be boys" has long since become obsolete in schools across the length and breadth of this country. Unknown to most parents, there are federally-financed programs to prevent boys from acting the way boys have always acted before.

The things done by those who have taken on the role of changing boys range from forbidding them from running and jumping during recess to having them wear dresses and pretend to be girls or women in the classroom. Whatever the particular mix of things done at a particular school, it is accompanied by a barrage of propaganda prepared by radical feminists for nationwide distribution with the blessing -- and the money -- of the U. S. Department of Education.

The people who are doing this see their role as changing your children into the kinds of people they want them to be -- not the kind of people you want them to be. Parents who somehow learn what is going on in school and object are told that "studies prove" that this is the right thing to do, that "specialists" and "experts" know more about this than parents can possibly know.

A newly published book titled "The War Against Boys" by Christina Hoff Sommers not only reveals what these brainwashing programs are doing, it shows that the so-called "studies" on which these programs are based are either hopelessly inadequate or just plain non-existent. Christina Hoff Sommers is a scholar at the Manhattan Institute and she not only sees through the fraudulent claims of the radical feminists, she is familiar with real studies -- both here and overseas -- which show the direct opposite of what the brainwashers claim.

The people who are promoting the anti-male agenda are experts at nothing except manipulating the media and snowing gullible educators, who are more interested in puffing themselves up as "agents of social change" than in teaching children. Boys in elementary school, or even kindergarten, have been punished for being politically incorrect toward girls.

One nine-year-old boy who reached for a piece of fruit in a school lunch line and accidentally brushed against a girl was arrested, hand-cuffed and fingerprinted for sexual harassment, even though the charges later had to be dropped. A boy of three was punished in school for hugging another child.

The feminist dogma is that such things are precursors of wife-beating, rape and other crimes of men against women -- and so must be nipped in the bud. According to these propagandists, 4 million American women are beaten to death by men every year. That is four times as many American women as die from all causes put together. The actual number of women killed by men is less than one percent of what was claimed.  

However inaccurate and irresponsible the propaganda, it is very effective in creating the kind of paranoia that gets brainwashing programs and draconian punishment of boys into the schools. Staggering as it is to realize that schools are using materials and creating rules based on sheer dogma and outright lies, the tragic fact is that such tactics have been common in totalitarian countries throughout this century. What is uncommon is their pervasiveness in America over the past generation.

Radical feminists apply the old Hitler-Goebbels doctrine that the people will believe any lie, if it is big enough and told often enough and loud enough. Intimidation and retribution against all who dare to disagree is likewise as much a part of the new agenda as it was in the old totalitarian regimes.

"The War Against Boys" shows where the propagandists have gotten their facts wrong -- where they have any facts at all. But the brainwashers' goals are not accuracy but power. In those terms, they have been an incredible success. They are no more interested in facts than any other power-seekers. Did Hitler study genetics?

Christina Hoff Sommers writes not only as a scholar but as the mother of two boys. Her book is must-reading, not only for parents of boys in school, but for all parents, and should inform any responsible citizen and voter who is concerned about American education.

Tragically, radical feminists are just one of many reckless zealots who have turned our schools into ideological indoctrination centers, instead of places for children to get an education in basic skills. One of the reasons American children do so badly in international tests of academic skills is that our schools are preoccupied with politically correct social crusades.



Posted by: Glen Peiffer | Jan 09, 2013 22:50

I agree that we live in a violent world that glorifies violence. H. Rap Brown of the Black Panther Party in the 1960s was most famous for his proclamation that "violence is as American as cherry pie". We have a culture of violence. My guess is that a high percentage of present crime and violence is drug related. The root cause of both of these problems can probably be traced to the break-down of the family. The disintegration of the family has always preceded the decline of a culture. In 1969, California permitted divorce when "irreconcilable differences" arose, thus becoming the first state with a "no fault" divorce law. Nearly all the other states soon added no fault divorce options to their existing laws . "No fault divorce, which swept the United States and Canada in the early 1970's has made it easier to modify a marriage contract than to escape from an agreement to purchase a refrigerator." It could be that as we become a more secular society the more we will see the dissolution of the family and the increase in violence.
 

The following are stats that prove that there is something seriously wrong with young men in America today...

#1 Males account for approximately 70 percent of all Ds and Fs in U.S. public schools.

#2 About two-thirds of all students in "special education programs" are boys.

#3 The average American girl spends 5 hours a week playing video games. The average American boy spends 13 hours a week playing video games.

#4 The average young American will spend 10,000 hours playing video games before the age of 21.

#5 One study discovered that 88 percent of all Americans between the ages of 8 and 18 play video games, and that video game addiction is approximately four times as common among boys as it is among girls.

#6 At this point, 15-year-olds that attend U.S. public schools do not even rank in the top half of all industrialized nations when it comes to math or science literacy.

#7 In 2011, SAT scores for young men were the worst that they had been in 40 years.

#8 According to a survey conducted by the National Geographic Society, only 37 percent of all Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 can find the nation of Iraq on a map.

#9 According to the New York Times, approximately 57 percent of all young people enrolled at U.S. colleges are women.

#10 It is being projected that women will earn 60 percent of all Bachelor's degrees from U.S. universities by the year 2016.

#11 Even if they do graduate from college, most of our young men still can't find a decent job. An astounding 53 percent of all Americans with a bachelor's degree under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed during 2011.

#12 In the United States today, 47 percent of all high school students have had sex.

#13 The United States has the highest teen pregnancy rate on the entire planet.

#14 In the United States today, one out of every four teen girls has at least one sexually transmitted disease.

#15 Back in 1950, 78 percent of all households in the United States contained a married couple. Today, that number has declined to 48 percent.

#16 Young men are about four times more likely to commit suicide as young women are.



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