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.
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.
by Reid Fitzsimons (note: other names used in letter replaced with XXX)
Greetings Pastor XXX:
This is Reid Fitzsimons writing. I am the husband of XXX, who was to an extent raised at St. John’s Church in the 1950s and 1960s. We attended your service on July 10, 2016 while visiting the area. You kindly invited me to partake in Communion but I mentioned I am not a Christian and felt it disrespectful of the Communion tradition and intent for a non-Christian to participate.
I am writing to offer some observations and thoughts of your service and sermon, but please bear with me for a moment to describe my relation with Christianity. I was not raised in any religion and was quite atheistic when I was younger. In my early 40’s I quit gainful employment to do volunteer work in Guatemala, Kenya, and later Honduras. In doing so I encountered many Christians and came to believe that the basic tenets of Christianity, especially Do Unto Others and Love Thy Neighbor, are the best prescription for any society regardless of religiosity, but at the time I was quite ignorant of the most elementary theology.
In July 2008 (a month after XXX’s mother died) we moved to Southern Alabama and divided our time between Alabama and running our charity in Honduras. While in Alabama XXX asked if I would help her find then attend church with her. We decided on a Presbyterian church (PCA, not PCUSA) and soon became fairly close to the pastor, a very gracious and learned person who actually went to seminary in France, in French. He invited me to attend a multi-denominational men’s Bible Study despite knowing unequivocally I was not a Christian. This stimulated an interest in theology, which continues to the present. As an aside, this study group, located in what is derisively called the Bible Belt, not only tolerated an agnostic Yankee who was not reluctant to bring controversy into the study, but kindly accepted me into their fellowship. I continue to attend church with regularity, mostly a small Regular Baptist Church since we moved to Pennsylvania, and continue to study theology on my own.
by Reid Fitzsimons (note that this is written the day following the terrorist attack in Nice, France)
Reasonable people, not just provincial redneck hicks, can divine a correlation between Islam and these rather persistent terrorist attacks, the toll of which is not insignificant. The perpetrators are running pretty much at 100% in the yelling Allahu Akbar thing, and they aren’t, to the chagrin of progressives, declaring themselves to be conservative Christians slaughtering in the name of Jesus. The Ivy League educated powers that lead us are quite vehement in instructing the ignorant masses there is no association between terrorism and Islam, with the caveat that there would be no benefit in stating such if it was true, which makes us conclude they suffer from the Islamic Culpability Denial Syndrome, or ICDS.
Characteristics of ICDS include ignoring that the perpetrators of terror unequivocally state they are Muslim and are acting on behalf of Islam, that they have historically received material and philosophical support from “legitimate” Islamic oriented governments (including our new BFF Iran), and the brutal and perpetual Islam on Islam violence. Combined with the paltry denunciations of violence done in the name of Islam by people who might reasonably be considered Islamic leaders both internationally and in the US, in both political and religious realms, ICDS is baffling. ...continue reading →
Today, in reaction to the horrific and tragic events in Orlando, FL, President Obama made an emphatic statement to the American people, as follows:
My fellow citizens, I am outraged and terribly saddened by the slaughter of innocent people by a terrorist, and am prepared to act boldly using all the power and authority invested in me by a pen and smart phone. First I will review the known facts so there will be no misperceptions and that the steps I am declaring today will engender no significant opposition.
In the early morning hours of June 12th, a 29-year-old man named Omar Mateen entered the Pulse Nightclub and murdered 49 people. Mateen was a US citizen born in NYC of Afghani parents and has been described as a devout Muslim. He apparently became radicalized and pledged allegiance to ISIS, or what I prefer to call ISIL because the L stands for Levant and it makes me sound smart and sophisticated, as most people don’t know what it means. We know without question that Islam is a religion of peace so that any violence committed in the name of Islam cannot be violence committed in the name of Islam. Hence, after consultation with a myriad of experts, professionals, and lawyers, including people working for the US Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division and the Southern Poverty Law Center, we have determined the following to be true:
The Target Corporation, which describes itself as “an upscale discount retailer” and operates almost 1,800 stores, has recently emphasized its commitment to transgender activism, specifically where it pertains the to use of its bathrooms. Brian Cornell has been at the helm as the CEO since August 2014 (total compensation since his affiliation $28,164,024) and recently made a statement, largely in Q&A format, to address any concerns his bathroom policy has engendered.
His preamble reiterated Target’s diversity philosophy: "individuality may include a wide spectrum of attributes such as personal style, age, race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, language, physical ability, religion, family, citizenship status, socio-economic circumstances, education, and life experiences." He added the following: “We live in exciting times, from not only a corporate/business perspective but from a cultural one. We at Target believe the greatest human endeavor is to facilitate people in finding personal fulfillment and satisfaction in life. We are proud to be at the forefront in advocating for people too long marginalized by society simply because of the manner in which they gender identify. We believe the greatest gift we can give our valued customers is a shopping experience where all feel welcome, accepted, and embraced regardless of such factors as sexual orientation or gender identity.” He then answered questions asked by customers about Target’s bathroom policy:
There are those who don’t always accept the premise that the impoverished in America, as compared to the realm of the truly poor in non-developed countries, are hapless victims of extrinsic factors. Within this perspective is a belief that bad personal choices are made in the continuum of life that either keep people impoverished or disallow them to rise above it. In other words, individual poverty in America can’t always be traced back to Big Corporations and societal oppression in general, but that opportunities for education, to obtain marketable skills, and to establish a secure financial foundation are lost out to greed and pleasures of the here and now. People with this view are referred to as conservatives, often with pejorative adjectives attached. If we were actually honest we would admit that state lottery tickets aren’t routinely purchased by the economically self-actualized, but by people who can least afford them. One cannot smoke dope, shoot heroin or methamphetamine, or drink to excess with regularity as a means to success. Money used for tattoos and body piercings could probably be spent more wisely. Conservatives are more of the Morning in America mindset, whereas progressives tend to find themselves stuck in a narrative based in some cruddy New England textile mill from the early 20th century, allowing them to deflect blame for individual and societal failings.
There is an undeniable temptation, when considering Melissa Click, to compose a juvenile limerick in regards to her surname. Having admitted this and successfully resisted it we can move on.
Melissa Click, in her mid-40s, first entered our consciousness in November 2015 during commotions for social justice at the University of Missouri, Columbia. These were largely the progeny of Michael Brown and all that he entailed, and spearheaded by student government President and U of M 2015 Homecoming King Peyton Head, who is worthy of a brief detour. President Head is a child of actual privilege in that (his bio suggests) his father has been present throughout his life, and the pseudo-privilege that so distresses the social justice activists in that his father obtained the level of school principal in the Chicago school system, indicating a certain financial comfort. His privilege is fully mitigated, however, by his being a young black man and apparent homosexual.
The neighbor up the road, a guy also born in 1958, stopped by while walking his dog the other week. We stood outside for quite a while discussing things big and small, personal and global. When the subject became ISIS, the San Bernardino shootings, etc he related a disquieting anecdote from the late 1970s. He was working at a gas station and engaged a customer in conversation, this being a time when intelligent young people were curious about the world and didn’t just accept the ramblings of their sociology professor as incontrovertible truth. Our neighbor recounted saying something such as humans cause so much conflict and war, shouldn’t religion serve as a way to counteract violent instincts. This customer turned out to be a Muslim of South-Eastern European origin, I think he said Albanian, and agreed that religion should be a means to achieve peace. He then added, in a conversational tone, once all non-believers were eradicated and only Muslims populated the earth, there would finally be peace. Not unexpectedly, this sentiment impressed our neighbor.
Note: the following article began as a brief e-mail to my brother (explaining some of the syntax), which somehow grew into 5 pages. Despite being too long and somewhat rambling, it makes points and arguments rarely, if ever, seen elsewhere.
I was going to add a few comments in regards to our discussion/argument about what you called immigration reform, though I think you were being a bit disingenuous and really meant support of an open border type policy (in theory Donald Trump rounding up anyone with a Hispanic sounding name and placing them in Mexico-bound boxcars could be deemed immigration reform). However this touches on a related topic of interest to me- the significant similarities between progressive liberals and Evangelical Christians, so I’m going to go ahead and write an excruciatingly long article for posting on an internet blog. I hope you are inclined to read what follows, which includes some outside the lines ideas in regards to immigration reform.