Progressivism

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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clinton-money

by Reid Fitzsimons (note: this is to be published under the heading No Excuse For Political Sign Defacement in the Forest City (Pennsylvania) News

Many people view Hillary Clinton unfavorably and even despicably, and not without justification. Were it not for a biological characteristic, her sex, she would have no significant political standing: her resume’ is as empty of gravitas as her policy ideas are vacuous, unoriginal, and exhausted. She comes across as shallow and insincere- not Presidential but much more like the director of some low-level government bureaucracy who achieved her position through sycophancy and scheming rather than competence. Still, I wonder if some degree of pathos can be felt for this shrill and unappealing person.

Consider her habitual lying. There is no doubt it reflects some degree of sociopathic drive for money and power, but I can’t help but think it protects her against her own unaccomplished self: an ardent feminist not self-made but husband made; a (faux) champion of the poor who amassed a tremendous fortune without earning it. This must be difficult if she has any degree of conscience. Perhaps by fabricating, for example, her story of dodging sniper fire in Bosnia, she becomes a courageous figure of some sort, if only in her own mind. It is possible she is the type of person for whom her own lies become truth; essentially a fantasy life that assuages her inadequacies.

During this campaign she has come to rely on the guise of experience as a shield of sorts. I spent most of my working years as a medical practitioner (PA) and knew too many practitioners who simply were not very good, and especially seemed incapable of learning from their mistakes. Given enough years of misdiagnosis and prescribing ineffective and even harmful therapies, even the worst could claim, “25 years of experience!” I’m sure most people who have spent time in the real world have known similar people.

The reason I am writing, however, is not simply to disparage Hillary Clinton. Her rival, while I will vote for him, sadly shares most of her failings, just not to the same degree. The other day driving through Wayne County I observed that several Hillary for President yard signs had been defaced. This behavior is unacceptable for people supporting Trump. While it can now to be expected from the Obama (punish your enemies) and Clinton (basket of deplorables) progressive left, who are intimidated and frightened by free speech and opposing ideas, it has no place for those who value Constitutional ideals. While it is inconceivable to me that anybody could support Hillary Clinton (perhaps with the exception of being in opposition to Trump), those who opt to lobby for her via signs or other means should be allowed to do so unimpeded. Trump supporters should not want to be viewed as cowards and thugs- leave that to the Clintonites.

blood-clean-up-cropped

by Reid Fitzsimons

From 1982 to 1986 I worked as a Physician Assistant (PA) at a Federal Prison (FCI Ray Brook in New York). This, of course, was in the early days of AIDS and there was heightened concern of exposure to blood. One day, along with one or two other PAs, I was in the little pharmacy and one of us knocked over a bottle of Betadyne, a common surgical antiseptic with a rusty brown color. The pharmacist, who was not with us at the time of the spill, returned and was quite vocal that we had been “throwing blood around the pharmacy.” We assured him everything was okay, it wasn’t blood but Betadyne. His response to this was emblematic of certain human reactions in the face of the unexpected: “It might as well be blood!” he declared. To be fair, the pharmacist was a decent guy who had a little problem with his temper, but in many ways his denial of facts in favor of his angst of the moment has proven to be prescient of a behavior that is now largely ruling our society.

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