Adam-12’s Finest v. Bedlam’s Worst

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Preface: Yeah… long sigh… I fully realize that TV Land and the Real World are two different creatures; that yearning for the merger of idealism and realism rarely, if ever, winds up as a wish come true. Still, we can hope for better days, can’t we?

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From September 21, 1968 until May 20, 1975, veteran policeman, Officer Pete Malloy (actor Martin Milner), and his rookie partner, Officer Jim Reed (actor Kent McCord), availed themselves of their professional training (backed up by their community building spirit and general street smarts), to conscientiously, honorably and courageously protect and serve the Los Angeles community. Typically, they were dispatched to respond to distressed citizens’ reports of violent crimes and frantic requests for help; arrived in a timely manner courtesy of their assigned patrol car, a.k.a. Adam-12; a.k.a. this TV cop drama series’ name.

Season 2 Episode 14 (titled Log 14 — S.W.A.T.) originally aired via the NBC TV network on January 24, 1970 / early evening; encored via the MeTV network on May 26, 2021 / late afternoon (just yesterday); where / when the following incident went down…

A sniper named Johnny Kursko (actor Thomas Bellin) is terrorizing a neighborhood in an urban section of the city. He is on top of a building that once housed a movie theater that the sniper worked at. It is later found out that he is an escaped fugitive from New York and he is shooting up the neighborhood as a way to get back at the people in the neighborhood who he holds responsible for the theater’s closing. Reed, Malloy and Detective Sgt. Gus Brown get into their SWAT gear and go after Kursko and try to get him without any further bloodshed. [read more here] [here too]

Brian Washington

And I’d add that Kursko is certifiably hardcore unglued; even wounding an elderly woman and attempting to kill an innocent child and his adorable pet dog. Additionally, my unsung hero award goes to Ron Thompson (actor Adam Wade) who not only risks his own life to rescue the wounded by Kursko motorcycle cop, Benson (actor Richard Geary), but also winds up providing the cops invaluable biographical info about a casual acquaintance of his, none other than sniper Kursko. Honorable mention award goes to Malloy who, to help defuse this tense altercation, pulls double duty in the role of the laid-back, layman shrink.

It’s during this episode’s closing scene that this viewer experienced his “Oh Wow” moment: mainly due to the fact that, few, if any of today’s militant cops (a.k.a. bedlam’s worst) would ever respond to the questions of the unnamed reporter (actor Morgan Jones) in this same manner. Check out the dialogue transcript, courtesy of MeTV, my aged VCR and taped over VHS cassette.

• Pardon me Officer, may I have your name please?
• Reed, Jim Reed.
• You’re the policeman who made the capture, aren’t you?
• Yes sir, I was one of them.
• Did he resist?
• Yeah, he resisted.
• He’s injured a number of people and killed at least one.
Personally, I think I’d have shot him.
• That’s not what I get paid for.
• You figure he’s sick? Is that why you let him live?
• No sir.
• You should’ve shot him and got it over with.
Why didn’t you? Give me one good reason.
• Because it wasn’t necessary.

Screenplay writers Robert A. Cinader / Jack Webb / Stephen Downing

BECAUSE IT WASN’T NECESSARY!

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Pandemic Elegy

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Oh, the high hopes I had had for humanity
That Corona-V’s “lessons”, could usher in sanity

Yet, the chronic infirmities; confirmed grim fatalities
Failed to touch every heart; teach all righteous realities

The food insecure; the ailing uncured folks, rife
Cannot claim birthright to the long and good life

So, society still stagnates; suffers abundance of denseness
The trigger happy oft spawn, sheer sorrow’s immenseness

Be breaking news gun nuts, civilian or cop
There’s no way in Hell, they ever can stop

When warlords gleefully slay, each new conflict’s white dove
Ditto couplet’s conclusion; mentioned above

Greed for green and green envy; both too frequently meet
At the crash prone intersection; namely Main and Wall Street

Then there’s the myopic, moronic throne sitter asses
Who flat-out refuse to reduce greenhouse gasses

The rightwing’s science deniers pooh-pooh Covid infection
And their spin doctors downplay their Jan. 6th insurrection

In our world, infamy glutted / gutted by inanity
Corona V’s lessons could not lessen insanity

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Shaving Face

The following “transcript” represents yesterday’s, late afternoon, barbering-before-the-bathroom-mirror-musings; just prior to my unavoidably setting foot into our Covid-19 ravaged world…

When taken at face value, for most coming of age males, facial hair management is little more than a “Hey everybody’s doin’ it.” societal custom. Believe me, from the very moment that ol’ razor makes first contact, a boy really starts to feel manly.

Of course, be we meticulous shavers or low-maintenance follicle sculptors, many of us can relate at least one hair- related (hair-raising?) anecdote.

For instance, my bygone public school system’s totalitarian administrators totally nailed their mandatory shaving manifesto to our schoolhouse front door; that grooming code not stopping at students. Yep, one conservative curmudgeon / bible thumper / school board member (who also just happened to run our town’s barbershop), actually wanted to fire our bearded, affable art instructor, T.J. (who had refused to comply).

I swear to God this IS true! That holy roller / capitalist’s contention had been (words to the effect)…

His amorous female students will fantasize about his facial hair tickling them.

Let’s refer to Mr. Conflict of Interest by his initials J.C.
(far, Far, FAR from the bearded one; i.e., Jesus Christ)

Setting aside that above aside, let’s scrutinize the motivation behind shaving, in general. Methinks something far more telling is afoot. But, is this (forgive the wordplay) an outgrowth of Practicality? Inadequacy? Denial? Hygiene? Opportunism? Or, some permutation, thereof?

Fleshing that out…

  • Practicality: Hey, few fellas enjoy “filtering” food (especially soup) thru a mustache.
  • Inadequacy: Let’s face it, guys feel bummed out when beards look uneven/scraggly.
  • Denial: Re this Psych 101 issue, some guys OBSESSIVELY cling to bygone boyhood.
  • Hygiene: Pandemic / pubic health concerns oft unearth beard / mask incompatibility.
  • Opportunism: Capitalism has manufactured an entire industry around facial follicles.

Personally, I’ve always found my own beard to be a force to be reckoned with. Based upon the late, great stand-up comedian, actor, social critic and author George Carlin’s Hair Poem / Beard Poem, I’m sure he’d concur with this man’s Follicle Manifesto when I proclaim, “Live and let live!”, “Let yer Freak Flag fly!” and “Let the damned thing do its own thing!”

Of course, such philosophizing, of late, has not been tenable.

The pandemic (rife with its own end of the world implications) has changed everything. To properly mask up, I’ve had to lose 99% of my end of the world beard, which, way back in February 2020, had dipped far below my sternum. Oh, the irony!

The hair-raising Corona-V disaster, notwithstanding, throughout my entire adult life, I’ve drawn the line at what my mustache does. My being a soup connoisseur demands it!

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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To Don or Doff; that is the Question?

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Of late, as the vaccine “have” nations have just begun to protect their populaces, an impatience has been (shall we say?) germinating / incubating. Yep, immature folks have been demanding the relaxation of pandemic mitigating protocols; chomping at the bit to eschew (chew off?) their pandemic masks.

While modest gains have been cause for celebration, pragmatists (I among them) regard such a course of action to be too much, too soon.

More to the point, for reasons I shall never understand at all, throughout the pandemic, mask wearing has been so hyper politicized / ostracized, its as if facial coverings brand wearers as what? Some sort of wusses?

Far be it from me to rain on anybody’s way too early VCV-Day (Victory over Corona-V) parade, but…

Even as I type / you read these words, it is still conceivable that epidemiologists have yet to discover the full range of dirty tricks, which that filthy pathogen still has well hidden up its figurative sleeve. My gawd, the experts did not brand Corona-V “novel” just for the “fun” of it. And, lest we forget, until late 2020 / early 2021, Covid-19 variants had been unheard of.

Little doubt, these same experts (and critical thinking laypersons, too), at present, are all wondering:

  • Just how long will present day vaccines continue to protect the public?
  • Might anti vaxxer movements / vaccine hesitancy thwart herd immunity?
  • What impact will vaccine “have not” nations have on the “have” nations?
  • What if there are yet to be born microbial cousins; e.g., Covid-21? 22? 23?

Should any of these concerns prove problematic, that’d mean our current pandemic woes are far from over; that that next “once every 100 years” pandemic could arrive significantly sooner.

Granted, such worries tend to sound rather iffy. Nevertheless, what does anyone have to lose by continuing to, bare minimum, social distance and mask up? Are not those who balk at doing something so simple to comply with the actual wusses here?

In other words, why piss away what little progress we have made, so far?

Look, as of my posting time, 3,385,901 (known) souls have already perished, worldwide (and still counting). Seeing how even one of those deaths has already been one too many, is it really too much to ask for everyone to continue playing it safe? After all, this pandemic can never truly be over until IT IS over.

On a more positive note, there is no denying that our masking up, this past fall/winter. did kick conventional influenza and rhinovirus ass; not to mention prevent aerial allergens and pollutants from entering (even damaging) our lungs / bodies.

Even in pre-pandemic times, many civilized, compassionate peoples throughout our world already respected one another sufficiently to mask up.

I headlined this post, To Don or Doff; that is the question? So, what is the answer?

Well… long sigh… the grown-ups “in the room” would not only automatically consider the former D-word the easiest, wisest, smartest possible, no-brainer solution to our pandemic woes, they’d also be sufficiently patient to allow the eventual arrival of actual, favorable conditions to settle the matter / answer the damned Q for us.

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
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Front Page Poem

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Fascists blur the facts / blither; alter and natter
Their backers sure slither; don’t falter to flatter

Fat cats squirrel obscene wealth; grow fatter and fatter
Peddlers ply shoddy wares; tricked out by shady patter

Hacks spew the news / views; akin to spin, din and chatter
Naysayers nix science canon; mix in clutter and clatter

Misogynists fiscally, physically batter
Gun nuts, oft reared “off target”, wind up mad as a hatter

Triggered psychos paint towns red; blood of victims they’ll splatter
Targeted scholars / chuchgoers; bite the dust; or must scatter

Police racists oft profile; don’t believe Black LIves Matter
Minorities flatlne; their freedom / justice doth shatter

Insurgents detest Constitution; their intent to tatter
MAGA morons on rampage; serve up upheaval on platter

Will we persist or perish? Corona cares not a smatter
From that microbe’s killer perspective, it’d opt for the latter

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
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What Would the Wise (Wo)Man Do?

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Alt-Headline: Covid-21? 22? 23? 24 etc.?

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In some respects, this liberal man has opted to live his life conservatively; i.e., cautiously. That stems from my determination not to depart the Land of the Living prior to the arrival of the Best By / Expiration Date, which my bygone manufacturer(s) had invisibly, indelibly stamped on my butt. How adamant am I? Glad you asked!

I am fully prepared to adopt an interminable coronavirus common sense stance. The Covid-19 vaccines notwithstanding, I fully intend to continue hunkering down at home as much as possible and keep on publicly social distancing and masking-up; as in long, Long, LONG after the medical experts, eventually, silence the Star Trekian RED ALERT klaxons. Why?

For starters, our donning our masks during late 2020 and early 2021 did dramatically reduce transmission of the regular flu virus (and rhinoviruses, too).

Beyond that? There’s insufficient certainty re the duration of the existing vaccines’ protection and whether or not the virologists will be able to keep up with the arrival of the insanely dangerous, coronavirus variants.

Beyond beyond that? What if, as I type and you read these words, there’s another global pandemic looming; oh, say a Covid-21? And if not a 21, what about a Covid-22? 23? 24 etc.?

Year numbers are no different that regular numbers. Just as you and I can easily pick a number, just as easily, virus hunters can always tack on one integer WHEN they discover a new microbe. And note that word choice BOILS DOWN to WHEN and not IF.

Even the idiomatic phrase BOILS DOWN is likely apt. To e.g. that…

What if climate change, in other words, our far, Far, FAR warmer planet, is already providing a more hospitable environment for microbes? In other words, what if human shortsightedness has resulted in our unwittingly constructing something akin to a global lab; its petri dishes incubating / cooking up / churning out difficult to contain, ferociously communicable, deadly to humankind pestilence?

While, for now, that may all sound like some scary, nightmarish plot to a bizarre Sci-Fi flick, do keep in mind that it’s also insanely easy for you and I to twice press our keyboards’ delete key to eliminate that above “Fi”.

Ergo… I’ll copy and paste this post’s above headline:

What Would the Wise (Wo)Man Do?

Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
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A Bad Cop sez, “Stop AND I’ll shoot!”

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Eric Stillman, has been identified as the Chicago cop who, on 03/29/21, shot and killed 13-year-old Adam Toledo; i.e. in spite of the teen fully complying with the cop’s laced with F-bombs orders to stop and show his hands. Early accounts of the incident make it unclear as to whether or not Toledo actually had been armed with a deadly weapon at that time. However, his obeying police orders does render that point, moot / up in the air.

Be forewarned, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, is not being hyperbolic in describing the available surveillance / body cam compilation vid as both “excruciating” and “difficult to watch”. You can view it over at CNN’s website.

Several bullet point Q’s to Stillman, whose M.O. appears to be “Stop AND I’ll shoot!” NOT “Stop OR I’ll shoot!”:

• Would not ordering Toledo to hit the ground, instead, have better deescalated this tense situation?

• Would not such a command have also better ensured your own personal safety?

• How can a suspect with empty hands, held up in the air, have posed any threat to you / anyone else?

• In your book, what more could Toledo have done to avoid getting gunned down by you?

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
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Stay Healthy!

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When Staying Alive Itself is a Gamble

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Under normal circumstances, games of chance, when played in moderation, can provide a fleeting moment or two of fun; e.g., playing penny ante poker, where it’s more about the between hands, friendly banter, while the cards are getting shuffled / dealt; or, when wagering a couple of smackers to try winning the occasional, astronomically huge lottery jackpot.

However, on the flip side of that coin, one could hardly call our present-day, pandemic circumstances normal.

Not when staying alive, itself, is our daily gamble.

It’s at that juncture where / when hopeless, stressed people, who are facing down joblessness, homelessness and hunger, can easily get suckered into get-rich-quick sales pitches; get misled DOWN, Down, down the highway to Hell.

The devil IS in the details: So, let’s start digging downward; and I mean deeply.

Just prior to Corona-V’s worldwide invasion, Michigan’s Republican dominated, bicameral legislature, in a rare moment of bipartisanship, suckered in Democrats / Dumbocrats. Together, they authored a bill to legalize, statewide online gambling. Alas, Governor Gretchen Whitmer (also a Democrat), in a rare moment of injudiciousness, opted to sign this lousy legislation into law.

Yep, they all opted to throw, WIDE OPEN, the virtual casino doors; to entangle the masses in gambling’s sticky web / www.

As if what? The oodles of our preexisting Lottery games are not enough, already?

Sure, exploiting vice to make nice will generate new revenue; fill up our state’s cash strapped, devoid of tax dollars coffers. However, what, in essence, is the “sin tax”, simply takes the (too) easy (Republican) way out. Beyond that, this was precious time that could’ve been much better spent; which begs the $64 Million Question:

Why are our elected state representatives, the majority of them Republicans, not conscientiously doing the Real People’s Work, which We the Voters expect of them; e.g. [1] safeguarding public health and safety, [2] maintaining and strengthening liberty and justice (regardless of a person’s melanin content), [3] promoting the education of our young people in a factual and ethical manner, [4] attracting living wage, full-time job creators, [5] upgrading our infrastructure, [6] securing a clean green planet for us; for posterity, etc.

It’s a forgone conclusion that today’s anti-American, anti-science, anti-education (hell, anti-everything respectable) Republican Party would ever want to be a PARTY TO ANY OF THAT! Why, they’d go apoplectic at the mere notion of ever attempting anything that’d (even accidentally) advance humankind.

Deleterious Side Effects: Each greedy bastard owner, of these online gambling hellholes (proliferating like metastatic cancer cells), has been saturation buying media-wide ad time (these ads also proliferating like metastatic cancer cells).

As if what? One commercial per hellhole per hour would never be enough to convince the gullible masses to take the plunge into their virtual sewers; as a (w)hole?

Alas (long sigh), no commercial break slot ever goes unsullied by the slews of inveterate veteran gambler junkies. Be these hucksters real or just role players, they’re all offering up their so-called testimonials to the “virtues” of everyone compulsively pissing away their, likely, already dwindling assets.

What is now going DOWN, Down, down in Michigan is destined to eat away at what remains of decent society. IF we could, somehow, get this all too real, destructive virtual force to virtually go cannibalistic, THEN, it would eat away at online gambling profits, instead.

Soooooo, here’s where we (barely) stand on this new / old pandemic day.

In the end, we’ll become witness to folks recklessly wagering their loot and frittering their lives away, when staying alive, itself, is a gamble.

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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Enter This Road At Your Own Risk!

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Welcome to my / my homeland’s nightmare. And do heed my headline’s warning!

Alas, we’re about to discuss the post Trumpian Epoch; the bare bones existence currently suffered by millions of us commoners, all across the Ununited States of America; a nation gone utterly mad. Granted, I do blog obsessively / excessively on this topic, but, especially considering the January 6th Insurrection, this is not without good reason.

For starters, while President Joe Biden has been doing whatever he can to right Trump’s wrongs, mostly by signing Executive Orders (EO), considering the U.S. Senate’s 50-50 bitter, partisan divide and how multiple state’s xenophobic Governors have been approving recently authored, seething with racism, voter suppression laws, Joe may wield neither the required political clout nor possess sufficient time to take on such a Herculean task; let alone, permanently fix our Donald-diseased, devastated homeland / world.

And even if he does, the bitter truth is that Joe’s EOs can just as easily be undone by any future, radical Republican who manages to mismanage (take out) the Oval Office; maybe as early as 2024; be that Donny, himself, or one of his scramble-brained spawn.

Now, I cannot attest to whether or not what follows illustrates a bona fide nightmare; i.e., seeing how, like most of us, I rarely recall all that transpires during my REM sleep. Nonetheless, here we go…

I find myself cruising along a two lane, rural highway at the posted 90 KPH (55 MPH) limit; one so steep I’m practically heading skyward. Just as I’ve reached the apex of this Wild West mesa, at breakneck speed, an oncoming, painted retina burning red, SUV veers over the center line.

Perhaps, its delirious driver has been driven to this off course, feverish pace by ague? Or, he is some inveterate, nonconformist who, by his very hot headed nature, is hellbent on disobeying all the rules of the road? Perhaps, he’s a hardcore science denier and, as such, actually believes that two objects can occupy the same spot at the same time; sans any damage?

Just when this impending, fatal head-on crash seems carved in stone / tombstone, I spot a side road. Even tho I know not where that dirt and graveled passage will take me, it’s down to do or die. With nothing left to lose, I swerve sharply leftward; barely accommodating the laws of inertia; i.e., narrowly averting vehicular rollover.

Just as I exhale my “whew” and nervous chuckle, I catch a fleeting glimpse of that kamikaze vehicle, reduced to momentary, mere red blur, in my rearview mirror. Another “whew”, for indeed, I’ve totally cheated certain death?

Maybe not! Now materializing out from a dense, billowing dust devil, I spot an impromptu, caravan parking lot; multiple dozens of pick-up trucks, all hued blood red; all veritable roadblocks to all forward motion and notions; to humankind’s journey thru life. This rabble flaunts and taunts; honks horns, hoots and hollers.

Worst of all, these guerrillas, teamed up with big city and small town rogue cops, brandish their assault rifles; aim them all in my direction. What totally innocent moi could’ve possibly done to face down such vigilante justice escapes me; but I am driven to escape and escape I will.

With my untimely demise, once more, imminent, yet another unpaved side road presents itself. Somehow, I manage to reprise my moments earlier, maneuvering miracle only to discover the road, unexpectedly morphing into two mere parallel tire ruts within a tall, tinder dry weed field; the median strip’s knee high foliage noisily scraping at my vehicle’s undercarriage; that clunk of a boulder cannot be good.

My gas tank ruptured, spilling petrol and friction spark flames; one certainty, there can be no turning back.

Momentarily my eyes gaze skyward; perhaps to see the light? The gate to the promised land? I dunno. But, one thing that fleeting glance doth provide is the forewarning of a looming storm front. Angry storm clouds hurl freakish, sky to ground lightning bolts, which set ablaze the drought browned vegetation, ahead.

Fortuitously, albeit a mere car width wide, yet another path presents itself; my last ditch, leftward sharp turn, momentarily, affording me a new lease on life? Or not?

OH NO! OMG! It’s now abundantly clear I’ll be running out of rutted road before I can lead foot my speedometer down to zero. Not unlike the dive of the fictional flick’s Thelma and Louise, I careen over a sky high cliff; plunge into a Grand Canyon magnitude abyss; FALLING, Falling, falling; the gravity.of the situation all but assuring an early meeting with my maker?

The End?

Epilogue: Be the above account based upon an actual nightmare, the composite of untold night terrors (accrued over a lifetime), or merely the musings of this sleep-starved blogger on this new / old pandemic day, it’s all, obviously, reality rooted; the current events unmistakably torn from today’s front page news; e.g., the pitiless pandemic, Democracy demolishing insurrectionists, reckless recalcitrant Trumpers, police brutality, hate crimes, mass murdering incidents, climate change’s freakish weather; uh, need I say more? Sure, why not?

Perhaps REM sleep affords us the best opportunity to make sense of our hometowns, homelands and home world? Of course, it’s not as if anything any of us could muster, solution-wise, would ever be taken seriously, let alone, get implemented.

However, there is one inescapable truth.

First and foremost, everything good we hope for is inexorably linked to humanity emerging from this godforsaken pandemic in full possession of sound mental, physical, fiscal health.

At best, our path ahead will prove a tough road to hoe. At worst, it’ll get roadblocked by horrific people and their horrendous policy; so much so that our forward momentum could easily come down to a brake squealing, tire screeching, crashing halt; perhaps, even drive us over a cliff; i.e., if we let it.

Let’s not let it!

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
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Stay Healthy!

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Checking Mercy at the Front Door?

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Here, on the www, my a.k.a.s, past and present, have, more or less, relied on wordplay; e.g., Cussin’ Itt, Wholly Moses, TrueBlueBloggerTom and CommonSenseTom.

Back in the real world, matters have proven more utilitarian e.g., Tommy, Tomaso and Thomas; or if I somehow managed to PO somebody, Tom-Ass.

Yet, at no point during my stint on Earth has human biology ever required any of the generic monikers: dada, daddy, dad, pop, pa, papa and my old man.

Briefly stated, opting out of parenthood stems from my lifelong contention that, from an ideological, environmental and financial standpoint, our world has rarely, if ever, been family friendly. And current events have only served to intensify such sentiments.

Do stay with me, there really is a point to this post.

During today’s airing of the public radio discussion program, 1A, (an abbreviated nod to the First Amendment which, in part, grants us free speech and press rights) the first hour’s topic was titled:

What’s Happening To Migrant Children At The Southern Border

As host Jenn White and her guests Dulce Garcia, Leah Chavla and Caitlin Dickerson delved deeply into the major issues, an incidental point surfaced, namely, that the staffs of Border Protection Facilities are not sufficiently trained to deal with the influx of migrant children; i.e., meet their basic needs.

Whoa!

You mean to tell me that these government hired hands find it utterly impossible to draw on what one would expect to be DNA hardwired into us; namely, compassion, humaneness, kindness, consideration, understanding, sympathy, tolerance; leniency, mercy, pity, tenderness; benevolence, charity, goodness, magnanimity?

Or worse yet, these dudes and dudettes check such human / humane attributes upon front door ingress to the workplace? Or worse yet, once they “punch in”, these kids become their punching bags?

My God, even during my limited experiences with temporary fatherhood (e.g. once becoming the designated babysitteer during an impromptu family reunion and once yelling out, “WATCH OUT” to attract the attention of a distant, distracted mother, whose youngster was about to dart into traffic), I found parenting to be second nature.

What might that say about the Border Facility workers, who cannot tap into what is (or should be) instinctive behavior? All of this does beg the follow up question: How do they treat their own children?

Jenn White must explore this story much further (and likely will). Perhaps the working title should be:

Are Border Protection Facilities Still Checking Mercy at the Front Door?

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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