Monday, April 02, 2018

Truest statement of the week

Think about that: People who were born after the war are going to start learning how to drive a car. Even those who have just become eligible to vote probably can’t remember a time before American and allied forces toppled the Saddam Hussein regime.
There seems to be no sign of the war ending in the near future. The Department of Defense’s budget was recently raised to $700 billion, more than what the Trump administration initially requested.
It’s a sad state when citizens are demanding Medicare for everyone and free tuition at public colleges and universities and are ignored in favor of more military spending. Along with the Afghanistan War, the longest in the nation’s history, which began in 2001, the Iraq War has triggered an unfortunate steady flow of forgotten human and financial costs.

-- Eric Bradach, "15 years in Iraq takes a costly toll" (COLUMBIA CHRONICLE).

Truest statement of the week II

Given all the issues that are off the table, Democratic strategists probably view the public uproar over the Las Vegas massacre and the continued persistence of school shootings as a gift from heaven or hell. They offer a small area where there are discernible differences between the two capitalist parties. But Democrats and their media mouthpieces have to be careful. They have to contain and limit the discussion to legal remedies, banning bump stocks and assault weapons, taking more guns from domestic abusers (except cops and the military of course) and the kind of no-fly-no-buy crap for which several members of the Congressional Black Caucus staged a brief demonstration on the House floor staged a sit-in last year. That kind of thing just might sustain a high enough level of outrage against Republicans to flip a few seats in Congress or a handful of state legislatures this fall.
The trick for Democrats will be to keep the public anger high, but the discussion shallow, limited, and ahistorical. You won’t hear Rachel Maddow or anybody on CNN or TedTalks explain what Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz and Gerald Horne will tell you, that the “well regulated militia” the Second Amendment referred to was the universally armed white male population, deployed to murder and steal land from Native Americans and police the enslaved Africans. Democrats have to prevent anyone from asking, let alone answering why 70% of the guns are in the hands of white men, many of whom imagine themselves arming for a race war. Democrats can’t talk about how the Texas Rangers massacred Mexicans and Indians, when they bothered to tell the difference at all, or how the nation’s first gun control laws were prohibitions against black people and natives possessing firearms. The gun control debate will have to avoid examining how the carceral state enforces existing gun laws with the same thick layer of racist bias used for ostensibly race-blind drug laws. Democrats will have to avoid talking up the link between mass incarceration and ubiquitous stop and frisk policies, universally justified with the excuse that they’re about taking guns away from black and brown men. Democrats will have to blame mental illness or some other made-up cause for mass shooters. Their media and academics will have to keep discussion away from what the steps might look like to disarming the police, away from reducing the level of violence in society as a whole, and shutting down the nation’s world-leading arms industry.

The left’s job is precisely the opposite. We have to raise all the other issues Democrats won't, the issues that discredit both parties from gentrificatin and housing to health care, We have to open the books and popularize the history neither Democrats nor Republicans and the bipartisan capitalist media want to bury. We have to ask and begin to answer what it would take to make the US like many other countries where most of the cops are unarmed, and how to disarm the US military as well. The current outrage over school shootings is an opportunity for us too, and it’s here, whether we’re ready or not.

-- Bruce A. Dixon, "Gun Debate A Narrow Opportunity For Democrats, A Wide One For the Left" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

A note to our readers

Hey --

Sunday here on the West Coast.  Monday on the East.

Let's thank all who participated this edition which includes Dallas and the following:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess and Ava,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
Trina of Trina's Kitchen, Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ,
Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends,
Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts,
and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.

And what did we come up with?

A new source for a truest.
Bruce A. Dixon gets another truest.
That should be the question we all ask.
Ava and C.I. take on dishonesty.
Oh, we don't think they're leaders.
Margaret Kimberley Tweets it.
We sample another product.
More of a nightmare, but we shared it.
Continuing to note book coverage in the community.
What we listened to while writing.
Press release from Senator Patty Murray's office.
A look back at the week's best.

See you next week.


-- Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and C.I.

Editorial: When does the dying end

As the Iraq War continues, the question remains: When does the dying end?

For Iraqis?  If Vietnam is any indication, the deaths will continue long after the war.

What about for US troops on Iraqi soil?

Yesterday, Verena Dobnik (AP) noted the Saturday morning funeral of Christopher Raguso, "On Saturday morning, his flag-draped casket arrived atop a fire engine at St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church in the Suffolk County hamlet of Kings Park, with bagpipes intoning 'Amazing Grace' and hundreds of white-gloved, uniformed firefighters lining the street. Some became pallbearers who carried him to the altar of the church where Raguso was married in 2009."

Today we lay to rest Lt. and Master Sgt Christopher Raguso, who made the Supreme Sacrifice on March 15 in an Air Force helicopter crash in Iraq. Join us live at 11 am EST at

Jennifer Bain and Melkorka Licea (NEW YORK POST) note:

Hundreds of uniformed firefighters stood in reverence as they lined Church Street, watching six of their own carry their brother to a church altar, covered in white lilies and pink and purple hyacinths. 
Raguso’s widow, Camilla, placed her hand softly on her husband’s casket, and then joined the couple’s two daughters, ages 5 and 6, seated in a front pew of the church, where the girls were baptized.

Roshan Abraham and Larry McShane (NEW YORK DAILY NEWS) add, "The Rev. Sean Gann, in his homily, noted that Raguso was never in his dangerous work for the glory.  'Celebrities show off, heroes show up,' said Gann.  'Chris showed up'.''

Chris Raguso was one of seven US service members killed in a recent helicopter crash in Iraq.

How many more Americans have to die on Iraqi soil?  When does the Iraq War finally end?

Eric Bradach (COLUMBIA CHRONICLE) points out:

We’re always told to “support the troops,” but what does that mean? 
 In the case of the Iraq War, it should mean demanding elected officials justify staying in a war that has lasted for more than 15 years. It’s incumbent upon every citizen to ask what their tax dollars are used for and why it’s justified. The Iraq War has inflicted irreparable physical and psychological damage to veterans, their family and friends, both in this country and abroad. In the case of the Iraq War, it should mean demanding elected officials justify staying in a war that has lasted for more than 15 years. It’s incumbent upon every citizen to ask what their tax dollars are used for and why it’s justified. The Iraq War has inflicted irreparable physical and psychological damage to veterans, their family and friends, both in this country and abroad.

No one in Congress should get away without answering what justifies "staying in a war that has lasted for more than 15 years"?

A real democracy would not only demand that the question be asked but also that it be answered satisfactorily.

TV: Reality and fakery

ROSEANNE was a ratings success last week -- a huge audience turned out to watch a family torn by politics because, as usual, Roseanne Barr was interested in reflecting what goes on in real life.

It was a very rare honest moment for TV -- a medium that doesn't normally traffic in honesty.

a new illst

Take NBC which decided to air RISE for some reason.

Why decide to option Michael Sokolove's DRAMA HIGH -- a true life story -- only to turn the Lou Volpe character -- a real person, by the way -- into a straight man?  And if you were trying to convince America the character was straight, why cast Josh Radnor?  Radnor last turned up on TV as the when-will-I-get-married character on HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER -- not since Sally Rogers lamented in Rob and Laura's living room has a character been so obsessed with getting married.

The real question RISE begs is are we in the 21st century or back in the 20th?

It was in the 20th, for examples, that films so frequently felt they had to disappear gay storylines (while still using stereotypes to ridicule the disappeared).  1947's film noir classic, CROSSFIRE, took a book about the killing of a gay man and created a movie about a the killing of a Jewish man.  1956's TEA AND SYMPATHY was based on the Broadway success of 1953 -- only the movie erased gay right out of the storyline.  Now, in the 21st century, we get RISE.

In a long rambling statement back in January, Jason Katims (executive producer) attempted to address the straight washing of Lou, insisting, "But in terms of the adaptation itself and why we made that decision, it’s like as you said, it’s very much we took that as an inspiration, and then I really felt like I needed to make it, you know, kind of my own story. And I definitely didn’t want to shy away from issues of sexuality and gender, but was inspired to tell the story of Michael, this transgender character, and Simon, who’s dealing with his emerging sexuality and growing up in a very sort of conservative religious family. And those stories felt like they were sort of resonant with resonated with me kind of as a storyteller, and I wanted to kind of lean into that."  Unlike the conservative HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, not everyone was impressed with the statement.  Lucien WD (MEDIUM) offered:

When I first read Katims’s quote today, I began to recall whether there has been good LGBT representation in his previous work, and the answer is quite a surprising “No”. For a storyteller who revels in the nuances of modern American society, there is a strange lack of gay people in his projects. Parenthood waited until its final few episodes for Haddie (Sarah Ramos) — previously seen in countless straight relationships — come home from college with a girl; yet the nature of their relationship was only (quite strongly) hinted at, and a more naive (ie. child) viewer could have exited Parenthoodwithout any sense that any character had ever been gay, in 6 long seasons. I haven’t seen all of Friday Night Lights, but a friend assures me it’s also a little light on diverse sexuality.

It's straight-washing and it's something else: the margins.

Katims is not willing to have a lead character be gay.  To be gay and fine with being gay.  He'll go with supporting characters who are grappling but the notion that an adult could be gay and not in the midst of a drama about who he is?  That was too much for Katims to deal with.  Teresa Jusino (THE MARY SUE) got that point:

So…he can “lean into” and identify enough with being LGBTQIA to create secondary characters who identify as such. Just not when it comes to his protagonist. Got it.
I could talk about how incredibly homophobic and unfair attitudes like this are—and they are. I could talk about the importance not only for quality but for central character LGBTQIA representation on television. Gay men have been sidekicks or secondary/recurring characters for a while now. We need LGBTQIA heroes on television. Villains, too. But major protagonists and antagonists, not just fodder for B and C storylines. I could say something like, This is why it’s important for more LGBTQIA creators to be sought to tell their community’s stories on television.
I could talk about all that, but I won’t. (Well, I kinda did) Instead, I want to talk about this decision from a writing perspective. Katims is saying that he strayed from his real-life inspiration by making the character straight so he could make the story “his own.” So that he could relate to it better.

She's so right.  But the problem goes beyond Jason Katims.

Josh Radnor -- a so-so actor -- is coming off a successful CBS sitcom and does have pull.  Why didn't he want the character to be gay?  He's so very good at virtue signaling.  But while receiving praise for his so-called 'social justice' efforts, he's apparently not willing to play a gay character.  Which brings up other issues: Those two bad films he wrote, directed and starred in.  Are we the only ones who noticed there were no significant characters who weren't straight and White?  One was set in a college, the other in NYC.  How do you avoid people of color in NYC?  Certainly, Josh, not by accident.

Josh is a dull actor and has always been one.  Maybe his homophobia is a good thing for gays -- they wouldn't want to come off like prigs, now would they?

Katims most recent problem hasn't been an all White cast.  No, on CBS' PURE GENIUS, the show he created right before RISE, the problem was that his multi-racial cast was handed offensive stereotypical roles.

This go round, he's cast the Rosie Perez stereotype with . . . Rosie Perez.  26 years after UNTAMED HEART and she's never varied her hair style or her acting one bit.

The storylines are trite and predictable.  You'll need to floss and rinse after each watching.

Staying on the topic of straight washing, we're confused about Jennifer Garner and Jesse Tyler Ferguson sponsoring showings of LOVE, SIMON.  This tactic worked to make BLACK PANTHER a hit but BLACK PANTHER had Black performers playing Black characters.  What does LOVE, SIMON have?

As Marcia has pointed out, there's something deeply troubling in 2018 that a film wants it's message to be that it's okay to be gay . . . as long as you're played by a straight actor.  We're bothered by how the gay NBC exec is trotted out to defend the straight washing of RISE and we're bothered that criticism of the film LOVE, SIMON is met with 'director Greg Berlanti is gay.'  So what?  It doesn't change the fact that if you're film is supposed to present a positive message about being gay, why do you cast a straight actor in that role?

There's so much fakeness and fakery.

Take the pretense that the US media gives a damn about the Iraq War.  It doesn't.  Where are the guests calling for the end of the Iraq War?  Where are the reports from Basra and Baghdad?

As we noted last week in "TV: 60 MINUTES of gossip," the media couldn't even be bothered with covering the 15th anniversary of the Iraq War.

If you didn't get how bad it was, Saturday saw the funeral for one of the seven service members killed in Iraq in a helicopter crash in March.  The British press could carry stories -- and did -- about the funeral of Christopher Raguso and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio could attend the funeral but the NYC press was largely unable to cover it?

We find it interesting and telling that NYC's NBC and CBS stations elected to 'cover' the funeral by running AP stories.   We get it, we do.  It's 51 miles to travel from NYC to Long Island, you gotta go clear down I-495, it's just too much trouble and expense for the purveyors of nothingness.  They chatter, they babble, they just don't reflect the world around us.

ROSEANNE returned to ABC with two new episodes last week.  Some on the left sounded like George H.W. Bush as they tried to rip her apart.  Her show did not preach Donald Trump.  Her show reflected the country.  It's a sharp return and a funny one.  But it's also an honest return.

They bullied, they ostracized and now they want to lead

The always laughable SNOPES.COM insists that Emma Gonzale did not confess to bullying the Florida shooter in her February 2017 speech if you read the following in full:

So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled for bad and erratic behavior. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities again and again. We did, time and time again. Since he was in middle school, it was no surprise to anyone who knew him to hear that he was the shooter. Those talking about how we should have not ostracized him, you didn’t know this kid. OK, we did. We know that they are claiming mental health issues, and I am not a psychologist, but we need to pay attention to the fact that this was not just a mental health issue. He would not have harmed that many students with a knife.

Sorry, SNOPES, it still sounds like she bullied. 

"Those talking about how we should have not ostraized him, you didn't know this kid.  OK, we did."

Sounds like you bullied him.

It's classic CIPHER IN THE SNOW -- both the short story and the short film.  WIKIPEDIA summarzies it as follows:

The story is about an ostracized teenager, Cliff Evans, who following his parents' divorce has no friends and becomes a completely withdrawn "cipher". Then on a school bus, he asks to be let off, and collapses and dies in the snow near the roadside. His school's math teacher is asked to notify his parents and write the obituary. Though listed as Cliff's favorite teacher, he recalls that he hardly knew him. After getting a delegation to go to the funeral - it's impossible to find ten people who knew him well enough to go - the teacher resolves never to let this happen to another child in his charge. It is implied that his death was because no one loved him.

At DESERT BOOK COMPANY in 2015, the following comment was left by Barbara:

Many years ago, when I was a high school psychology teacher, I "accidentally" ran across this incredible film (at that time it was a 16 mm. film) that has changed the lives for the better of many, many high school students who were prone to bullying/ignoring those students who were "different" from them. Told caringly but honestly, this life-altering little movie depicts the extreme consequence of people not caring for other people's feelings. I still get "goosebumps" when I think about this wonderful lesson-teaching movie and the effect it has had not only on MY own life (as a psychotherapist I've seen what bullying can do to kids)but on the hundreds of 15, 16, 17 and 18 year olds who enrolled voluntarily into my "experimental" psychology class. There were no chairs or desks in my classroom...a portable...and the students sat on the floor for 50 minutes, five days a week (grudgingly at first because whoever heard of affluent kids not having the comforts of a desk!),learned to share their feelings and respect the feelings of others, explored values and how our adult lives would be shaped on learning about good values as teens, and studied life and death as subjects to be investigated rather than things that just "happened" to us. Even the football players were brought to tears as this little film uncovers and explores a situation that no one would ever want to think they were took part. There is no particularly religious bent to this film. The scenario simply investigates a premise that we all KNOW we should exercise: be good and caring to everyone you meet because you affect everyone whose path you cross. If your child is being bullied (ignored or otherwise), purchase this dvd and show it to your child's school principal.

Let's go back to Emma's statement:

So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled for bad and erratic behavior. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities again and again. We did, time and time again. Since he was in middle school, it was no surprise to anyone who knew him to hear that he was the shooter. Those talking about how we should have not ostracized him, you didn’t know this kid. OK, we did. We know that they are claiming mental health issues, and I am not a psychologist, but we need to pay attention to the fact that this was not just a mental health issue. He would not have harmed that many students with a knife.

"Those talking about how we should have no ostracized him, you didn't know this kid.  OK, we did."

And, from Emma's comment, it sounds like you treated him horribly.  That doesn't excuse him from shooting up a school.  It does note that kids like Emma didn't practice compassion, didn't think that someone among their own ranks who was in need was worthy of help or compassion.

You bully someone and they're going to take it as long as they can and then they're going to snap.

It's funny how Emma insists "we need to pay attention to the fact that this was not just a mental health issue."  It was very much a mental health issue.  He was lost at home, he was lost at school.

Self-righteous Emma gets one thing right, "I am not a psychologist."

In fact, she's not much of anything.

She's not an adult.  She's not educated -- not by a university, not by real life.

She lives off others like a sponge and has never lived alone.  But suddenly, she and the porcine 'beauty' are presented as voices to learn from?

David Hogg.  Oh, that nose.  His parents have paid for so much but they couldn't afford a nose job?  It's only going to get worse as he grows.  The minute he gains even five pounds, it's going to make him butt ugly.  No wonder he's so desperate to grab all 15 minutes of fame now.

Hogg turns 18 this month.

He  is a divisive personality.  He’s got a foul mouth and an angry attitude.

At the right-wing BREITBART, John Notle writes:

Keep in mind that Hogg is not just any 17-year-old. He is a foul-mouthed hurler of extremist, partisan venom and a shield for a media eager to disarm and silence their enemies on the right. And in order to enjoy that shield, the media have handed Hogg unlimited power.
To begin with, the media, most especially CNN, knowingly allow Hogg to spread conspiracy theories, to accuse the NRA of being “child murderers,” to describe anyone who disagrees with him as “pathetic fuckers that want to keep killing our children,” to accuse Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)  of taking money in exchange for the lives of students, and to claim NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch “doesn’t care about these children’s lives.”
In other words, Hogg is not some wide-eyed innocent. He is old enough to own a firearm, to join the military, to drive, to get married, and to step into the political arena to hurl spittle-flecked nuclear bombs at his political enemies on the right…
…but Laura Ingraham accused him of “whining.”

He’s a kid suffering from White entitlement.  Hopefully, he will grow out of it.  In the meantime, he’s on the national stage and insulting the elderly (his comments about people of a certain age not knowing how to text or whatever on a cell phone).  So he’s fair game.

David Hogg Rejected By Four Colleges To Which He Applied and whines about it. (Dinged by UCLA with a 4.1 GPA...totally predictable given acceptance rates.)

Oh, what a little titty baby.  He really needs to grow the hell up.

She was mocking him for being turned down by four colleges.
Guess what, she’s allowed to.  It’s not hate speech.
Of course, the idiot Alyssa Milano had to get involved.

Hey, Laura! I’m not sure why you have such animosity for David, but maybe just scream into a pillow instead of publicly attacking a mass shooting survivor. is actually shifting a narrative that was fossilized by out of touch people like you. What did you do today?

Alyssa, a failed actress whose career ended some time ago without her ever having leading lady status, likes to play that "What did you do today?" card a lot because she's married money and power (she married into CAA -- the agency that forced women to play nice with predator Harvey Weinstein).

Presumably, Laura spent that day raising her three children and paying bills -- things many adults do.

Alyssa loves to take credit for being a producer on CHARMED -- except when it turns out that there was an assault issue on CHARMED.  She also doesn't note that, as producer, she didn't find roles for African-Americans.  Every episode of CHARMED contained at least three new roles and it was startling just how White Alyssa could go with the casting.

But now Alyssa, having no career left and unable to lose enough pounds to please Atkins (who's paying her to lose weight), has decided she needs to comment on everything.  

So she whines about Laura picking on a shooting survivor.

Derek Weida
RANT: Accurate portrayal of me listening to David Hogg speak. Look, I’m sorry dude, sincerely. It is horrible... School shootings. That said, you have to watch what you say. I’m Derek, I got shot on a house raid in Iraq. My getting shot didn’t make me a professional on war, international relations, house raids (obviously🤷🏻‍♀️), or guns. This horrible thing happened to me but I didn’t come home and protest the war... Even though I do kinda have these feelings that Iraq was errr...   
 Questionable. 😂 But it ain’t my place. I did my part. So, I empathize with you and your peers because whereas I signed up to be shot at, none of you did. (Not exactly sure you actually got shot AT but that’s not the point here). Now... Guns. Here’s my two cents: It’s not a gun problem, not a people problem, it’s a culture thing. Thing... Not problem. America loves guns. Accept that just like I had to accept that America loves God. Don’t ever be so quick to tell a whoooole lot of people how to live. F**king NOBODY wants school shootings, mass shootings, shootings of any kind where somebody ends up injured or dead. Nobody. But people want their guns. I’m actually kinda with the anti-gun folk. There’s no need BUT! I’ve learned that the way I live and the things I believe have nothing to do with how others want to live or what they want to believe. I’m a well regulated idealist. 🤗 The people you’re arguing against... It’s not even about the gun. It’s about the freedom and the right... And you can’t win an argument against that, nor should you (In most cases). The reality is humans gonna human and when humans human bad things happen sometimes but on the grand scale of things... Like 99.999% of people are good. Yes, let’s find ways to deter those .001% of people as best we can but they’re gonna accomplish their task regardless... Most likely. I guess I just want to say don’t be so quick to talk. Don’t be so quick to think YOU are somehow the ONE person who has things figured out. You want to make a change? Cool!! But... Try to be less of a c**t about it.
Love and respect,

Oh, look, Alyssa, it's a wounded veteran.  Guess that trumps your Baby Hogg.

Poor Alyssa, she needs flash cards to handle politics -- this despite her being a knee-jerk apologist for the Democratic Party -- yeah, she's really that stupid.

But you'd have to be if you were an actress as limited as she is and, year after year, you'd refused to study acting.  Alyssa thinks an adult woman has the same tiny range of emotions she exhibited before the cameras at 11.

Reality, when you become a public face, you are open to criticism.  We didn’t run around screaming, “How dare you say that about Cindy Sheehan!  Her son was killed!”  We knew people were going to make fun of her and be mean to her and that was fine because she became a public face.  Cindy had to deal with a lot -- we don't remember Alyssa supporting her but then Alyssa's always about starting wars.

David?  He's divisive, vulgar and, yes, hateful.  He thinks he knows about democracy and he does not know a damn thing.  No surprise, he’s only 17.  

He knows about masturbation.  He knows about jizzing on the sheets.  He hasn't had to keep a job or pay any bills or raise a child of his own -- or choose not to raise a child of his own -- or any of things that adults do.

But he's an expert and the problem, you see, it was the selling of guns.

Not, please note, the ostracizing of a child already struggling.

Replying to 
Laura Ingraham is a repulsive human being and I don’t feel sorry for her. David Hogg is an obnoxious teenager who is close to overplaying his hand. These are not mutually exclusive ideas.

That's probably true, what Brian Gosling Tweeted.

But David Porcine Hogg launched a campaign against her -- one endorsed by aging hag Alyssa Milano -- that attempts to silence her.

We don't believe in censorship.

Unlike Alyssa The Hag, we believe in the First Amendment -- and, yes, we value it much more than the Second Amendment.

And we think people can say "whining" about others without being treated as though it was a rape.

When fools like Alyssa The Hag start equating it on that level, you're really trivializing rape.

But students should not be expected to cure the ills of our genuinely troubled classmates, or even our friends, because we first and foremost go to school to learn. The implication that Mr. Cruz’s mental health problems could have been solved if only he had been loved more by his fellow students is both a gross misunderstanding of how these diseases work and a dangerous suggestion that puts children on the front line. 
It is not the obligation of children to befriend classmates who have demonstrated aggressive, unpredictable or violent tendencies. It is the responsibility of the school administration and guidance department to seek out those students and get them the help that they need, even if it is extremely specialized attention that cannot be provided at the same institution. 
 No amount of kindness or compassion alone would have changed the person that Nikolas Cruz is and was, or the horrendous actions he perpetrated. That is a weak excuse for the failures of our school system, our government and our gun laws.

No one expected you to cure the ills of anyone, dear.  They did expect that you and your classmates could do something more than hop a high horse.  You condemned Nikolas Cruz -- you did it in real time and you do today.  It must have been nice for you, such a good education, so smart, so above Nikolas Cruz.

You're too close to the situation to have the required distance to analyze it.

Let's hope, in twenty years, it's not your child being isolated at school.

And let's hope that by then, you've grasped that finger-pointing still leaves three fingers pointing back at you.

The survivors should have celebrated their survival.  Instead, they went on a media cruise thinking that, at their tender age, they knew everything.  They clearly know nothing and have yet to learn compassion for those less fortunate.

As Ross Greene (TIME) observed:

The bottom line is that, as a society, we aren’t very good at understanding and helping kids with behavioral problems like his. And we aren’t very good at supporting the people who are charged with helping them. Our schools are symptomatic of these truths.

Here's hoping we can get honest about that reality and start addressing it.

Here's also hoping that the High Horse riders gallop off into obscurity real soon.

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