Author Archives: barryking3@gmail.com

by Reid Fitzsimons

Several years back there was a mediocre/better than most crime drama called Cold Case, i.e. the crack detectives solved murders committed in the past but shelved away at the time. One episode involved the murder of a young woman/mother who had been the victim of domestic abuse. In one flashback scene the scummy abusive husband, who didn’t prove to be the killer, was sitting at the kitchen table angrily contemplating the bowl of cereal his wife placed in front of him. She was busy trying to get herself off to work and their child off to school when he erupted, “I don’t want my breakfast to come from no g*ddamn box!!” As she meekly tried to apologize and quickly fix him a more substantial meal, he reached his limit of tolerance and began smacking her around. This guy had it all: poor hygiene, no job, wearing one of those sleeveless T-shirts sometimes referred to as a “wife beater,” etc, seamlessly fitting our stereotype of domestic abuser.

As Americans rarely are we more content than when holding on to our narratives. It makes us comfortable in our confusing and meaningless world of excessive wealth and materialism, and substantiates our sense of righteousness. Our stereotypes are frequently confirmed via popular entertainment, the news media, and the like, and the circle is unbroken. Indeed law and policy are often based on popular stereotypes of the moment, and large sums of money and resources expended in our quest for feelings to trump thoughtfulness. Of course there is a downside to embracing stereotypes, as evidenced by Ku Klux Klanners and their cousins the Black Lives Matter activists. This is not to say that stereotypes are innately incorrect- many likely have some basis in reality. Recollecting the movie White Men Can’t Jump and observing that 23% of NBA players are white, the stereotype suggested by the title has a statistical rationale.

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by Reid Fitzsimons

You Might Be A Diversity Redneck If…

If intellectually you really can’t handle much beyond simple slogans such as “We’re a nation of immigrants” and “Diversity is our strength,” but they give you a comforting feeling. Besides, you’d never put yourself in a position where you’d have to further explain them

If you feel ashamed to be an American because we generally aren’t multilingual, even though you speak only English

If you know you really don’t speak Spanish but try to pronounce the few words you do know with your best Spanish accent when you are with your hip friends at the upscale Mexican restaurante

You are deeply offended that Spanish and other romance languages largely designate nouns as masculine or feminine but are ashamed of yourself for feeling critical of a language other than your own

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by Reid Fitzsimons

If you get confused over what you’re supposed to believe because the people who make the rules about diversity keep changing them

If you are offended by any non-Mexican wearing a sombrero because of cultural appropriation, though you’re not sure if other Hispanics also wear sombreros and how to differentiate them from Mexicans

If everyday you curse your fate for not having homosexual, or at least bisexual, tendencies

If you prominently display the photo of you and that black bartender at the resort in Jamaica from last year and tell people you and him became good friends

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by Reid Fitzsimons  (The following letter was set to the Editor-in-Chief of Highlights For Children but a response was never received)

Editor-in-Chief, Highlights for Children, 803 Church St., Honesdale, PA 18431, January 26, 2017

Dear Christine French Cully:

(Thank you in advance for reading through this rather long-winded but hopefully pertinent letter from a Highlights subscriber and almost neighbor- over in Thompson, PA)

I was driving through Honesdale recently half-listening to the Wayne/Pike (county) local news when I heard a mention of Children’s Highlights Magazine. Knowing the connection of the Magazine to Honesdale and having just ordered three gift subscriptions I paid attention, assuming there would be an anniversary celebration or some such announcement. Rather it proved to be a “say it isn’t so” moment in which I learned Highlights is putting the interests of adults above the welfare of children in the form of political and social activism. For the first time in my 50-plus year recollection the magazine it was entering the realm of indoctrination, specifically by attempting to normalize the progressive and trendy narrative of homosexual families.

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by Reid Fitzsimons

Back in perhaps 1966 or 1967 the eternally progressive Montgomery County (Maryland) school system introduced “New Math.” Presumably the education elite at the time determined that Old Math was passé and a more hip method of teaching was required. This was just at the time my math education was beginning in elementary school, and I recall three specific New Math tenets: properties imbued with the names associative, distributive, and communicative. I suspect beyond these words I learned math in pretty much the same manner as prior generations, and the New Math and its proponents long ago went the way of King Ozymandias. I wonder how many times since the educational theorists, or perhaps the textbook publishers, have decreed, “We’ve been doing it wrong all this time, and now we finally we have the ultimate and correct teaching methodology!”

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by Reid Fitzsimons

George Michael, a British pop star who first achieved fame in the 1980s, died on Christmas Day at the age of 53. His death was likely caused by the scourge of wealthy music celebrities- his body/heart simply gave out after decades of abuse, mostly drugs. He was still a teenager when he first encountered star status, initially as part of a duo called Wham! After five years he transformed into a popular solo performer and continued active until recently. Some of his memorable songs were Wake Me Up Before You Go Go and Faith. In my opinion his songs were generally good in an era of some of the finest post-rock music (99 luftballons, If You Leave, most songs by the Cars) and some of the absolute worst, especially the precursors to Hip-Hop.
In his younger days of fame he was vibrant and handsome and the phrase “teen idol” could well have been applied to him. Much later after his fame and fortune were well established, in 1998, he publicly declared himself a homosexual following an arrest for public lewd behavior. At the time of his death his wealth was in the $130 million range.

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by Reid Fitzsimons

In less than six months the rainbow flags will unfurl and people dressed in their statement-making finest will be marching: June and another Gay Pride month will be upon us.  Though certainly aware of events occurring under the moniker of Gay Pride, somehow until recently I was unaware that an entire month is devoted to this concept, despite former President, Bill Clinton, declaring such back in the year 2000. I’m not sure where I’ve been, though admittedly it wasn’t until 2015 that someone explained to me the intrigues of America’s premier family, the Kardashians, even though they’ve had a culturally vital TV show going back to 2007.  Furthermore, I learned there was a relationship between Bruce Jenner and the Kardashian clan.  You might recall that Bruce Jenner, now in his mid-60s, garnered fame and fortune many years ago through his athleticism, and more recently found additional fortune and fame through the less strenuous enterprise of declaring himself a female.  I’ve been thinking that photos of this recent incarnation of Bruce Jenner remind me of something and it finally struck me- the poor guy looks a little like Norman Bates when he dressed up as his long-dead mother.

In the not-to distant past Barack Obama decreed that homosexuality and the military were fully compatible. This was not the eminently sensible policy in which one was welcome to be in the military as long as they did not feel compelled to share their personal sexual inclinations and the military had no particular interest in learning them, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Barack Obama’s vision revealed itself to be a descendant of the 1960s creed of Let It All Hang Out: it became almost an expectation that one’s private sexual preferences were to be revealed, the more “in your face” the better, as long as they were homosexual or otherwise non-heterosexual. Hence we quickly were treated to homosexuals in full military uniform enthusiastically marching about in events called Gay Pride parades, with the full blessing of the progressive military hierarchy.

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rep-danny-davis

by Reid Fitzsimons

On Nov. 18, 2016 a black youth, 15 year-old Javon Wilson, was shot to death in his home in Chicago. The suspects/culprits were inside the house when apparently an argument over a pair of shoes ensued, and 17 year-old Dijae T. Banks (a female) handed a pistol to 16 year-old Tariq M. Harris (a male) who then shot Wilson. News accounts summed up his short life with a depressing “he liked basketball and rap music.”

His death was not particularly out of the ordinary, sadly. In the progressive world we’ve created, life, per se, is not of inherent or specific value, lest we sound like Pro-Life nut jobs talking about the “sanctity of life.” This especially holds true with black people, where there exists no innate value, but rather the meaning and matter of life is largely determined by the manner of death, with a few exceptions such as black sports and music figures, celebrities in general, and inaptly described civil rights leaders. Had young Javon Wilson been shot by the police his life would had found great significance and been marked by ecstatic outrage, marches, riots, and perhaps other murders.   Typically, however, a black person murdered by another black person rates at best a candle light vigil, a makeshift monument of teddy bears, and a few pro-forma words from a local politician of how we have to stop the violence.

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hillary-clinton-concession-speech

by Reid Fitzsimons

Nobody knows how the Trump presidency will unfold. Perhaps he’ll enjoy the celebrity aspects of the office and leave the actual governing to (hopefully capable) advisors and administrators. Certainly there are conservatives who worry he’s in reality an in-the-closet progressive. He might prove to be erratic in word and action and need to be constrained by constitutional check and balances that all but disappeared during the Obama years, facilitated by feckless Republicans. Or perhaps he’ll prove to be a principled conservative, holding a gentle but steady hand on the rudder of state. Nobody knows at this moment, perhaps not even Trump himself.

What we do know is that on January 20, 2017 we will not have to be subjected to a shrill voice proclaiming, “We are women, and from shore to shore the entire world heard us roar,” or some such inanity that flows so readily from the mouth of Hillary Clinton. We can take pleasure in the knowledge that any number of despots and obscure manipulators of money and power will not be receiving the return on their investment: “for a ‘donation’ of xx million dollars to the Clinton Foundation, I can assure you when I’m in the White House I will…” Hillary and Bill will always have enormous amounts of money and with it will maintain a cadre of people to tell them they are wonderful, but absent power no one will have to listen to them.

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hillary-clinton-yelling  donald-trump-mocks-disabled-reporter

by Reid Fitzsimons

From late 1982 to early 1986 I worked at a medium security Federal Prison. We ran the gamut from Mafioso to urban gang convicts to white-collar criminals, and lots of drug related convicts. Overall an interesting assortment of people with a fairly common thread: despite their crimes, and many were horrendous, the convicts could often present themselves as the nicest guys in the world. Seemingly a paradox until one realizes the nature of sociopathy, or antisocial personality disorder, in that the afflicted are driven to obtain whatever they desire, and to achieve their goal their behaviors can range from violent and murderous to affable and charming, whatever the situation may require. The object of their desire can vary widely and include material things and favors, money and sex, and all the way to domination over others. These are people without a conscience; they may know the concept of right and wrong exists but it doesn’t apply to them. Needless to say, to a sociopath lying is as natural as breathing.

Unfortunately for our country, considering the seemingly limitless amount money in the government coffers and increasing laws, rules, and regulations that allow government to wield unprecedented authority over the citizenry, opportunities abound for sociopaths in the world of politics. In Hillary Clinton we find we find the embodiment of a sociopath. She truly will do and say anything to realize her goal, which is inexhaustible self-aggrandizement. With the exception of abortion, in which she consistently revels, there is no position or belief she holds at a given moment that she won’t cavalierly contradict the next. I recall learning that in the same day she took a pro-Palestinian position while talking to a Palestinian group and a pro-Israeli position while talking to an Israeli organization. The continuing e-mail leaks confirm everything we know of her, her penchant for differing public and private policy positions, her lust for Wall Street money while publicly denouncing it, her (forced) amiability in appearances while angrily demeaning people she sees as beneath her when behind closed doors. And man does she lie.

Her opponent, in a convoluted manner, is almost refreshingly honest in a “what you see is what you get” kind of way. He is boorish, crude, loutish, and coarse. He says vile, stupid, and outlandish things and offends even people who don’t take great pleasure in being offended. Like his opponent’s husband, he thrives in the porcine world, though apparently limiting himself to words as compared to Bill Clinton’s actions. No one really knows if he can be taken seriously, and in a bizarre way this is to his advantage: if everyone knows he’s buffoon he can be reasonably accommodated. The real danger in this election is that a soulless person, one who defines what is right exclusively by what benefits her, might well become President. Trump is clearly a blowhard, but I’ll take the blowhard over the sociopath without too much trepidation.