Idiocy In Politics: Denial of Syrian Refugees Into America

After the horrific terrorist attacks in Paris last week, the world was once again stunned at what type of destruction and death zealots are capable of leveling on a free and open society. They believe that anyone that holds different beliefs should be destroyed by any means possible, by bombs or guns. They believe that inducing fear into others is a valid way to get what they want. Their acts bring out both the best, and the worst, in people.

This statement applies not just to radical extremist Muslims, but also to radical extremist anything. Yes, Christianity too. It seems the GOP is tripping over itself to claim that the US should not allow any Syrian refugees from entering the country. Actually, they have limited it to Muslim Syrian refugees. Christian refugees are ok. As Slate so elegantly puts it, they straight up say that Christians are not capable of terrorism, only Muslims. Ted Cruz, ever the open and honest guy that he is, said that there is no risk of Christians committing acts of terror. Well, Teddy boy, allow me to enlighten you a bit.

Christians are perfectly capable of doing just that. Need I remind you of Dylan Roof, who murdered 9 people at a church in Charleston, SC, whose crimes were considered domestic terrorism before ultimately being ruled a hate crime. Need I remind you of Eric Rudolph, the Atlanta Olympic Park bomber, who used a bomb to kill 2 people and wound over 100 others, to further his anti-gay, anti-abortion agenda. He sought to strike fear and intimidation against those who held different beliefs from his own, Christian beliefs.

We could go on: the multiple instances of bombing abortion facilities and murders of doctors that performed them; Timothy McVeigh and the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City, which led to the deaths of over 160 people. All of these were perpetrated by Christian terrorists.

What the GOP fails to understand is that there are extremists in all facets of the world; whatever one group of people believe in, you can bet your bottom dollar that there is at least one person in that group who has extremist beliefs. The point of this is to not write off an entire population of people, especially when that population is filled with women and children who are desperate to escape the very people that are sponsoring terrorism around the world. It makes them sound foolish to be ignorant of history and assume that an entire civilization is unable to perform terrible acts, when we know the opposite is true.

Syrian refugees should be helped as much as we can help them. We should not be fearful; giving up the very values that make us Americans would mean the terrorists are getting what they want.

My First GoPro video

For my birthday, the fiancee got me a GoPro Hero 4 Silver, something I’ve wanted for quite awhile. I haven’t gotten to play with it too much, but so far I love it! I took it for a little three mile run around our new neighborhood using the head strap. I built this little timelapse, hope you like it!

My Random Thoughts on the GOP Debate

Minimum Wage: Trump, Carson and Rubio all got a version of this question, and all answered directly that they do not support raising the minimum wage. Their reasons ranged from it destroying job growth to the need to invest in vocational training. Kasich mentioned that Ohio raised their minimum wage, as several other states have, and the state of Ohio did not cease to function. The minimum wage was last raised in 2009 to the current $7.25/hour. Prior to Congress raising it over three steps in 2007, it stood at $5.15/hour for ten years. A full-time minimum wage worker would earn $14,790 a year under the current rate. Not exactly enough to live on…

Immigration Reform: Very happy to hear John Kasich and Jeb Bush stand up to Donald Trump and his ridiculous notion that we, as a nation, can deport 11 million undocumented immigrants from their home and communities and ship them off to Mexico. (Speaking of, has anyone ever told Trump that immigrants come from more than just Mexico?) The plan is disgusting and outrageous and a non-starter. It will tear families apart, it will tear communities apart, and it will tear the economy apart.

Tax Plans: Rather than rehash, I’m gonna let Slate.com handle that for me. If you do any research on any of proposed tax plans, they all share common themes: the greatest benefits go to the wealthiest people, and no one can figure out how to pay for it.

Overall: This is hard to watch. It’s hard to believe that some candidates are so out of touch with reality that they believe they can deport 11 million people and have no effect. It’s hard to believe that the best Republican minds all feel that tax plans that benefit the wealthy over the poor are the best we can do. It’s hard to believe that THIS is the choice we are being presented with.

Homeownership Fail #1

We have been in our since basically for a full week at this point. We signed the papers two weeks ago, got our keys that Saturday, moved our stuff that Sunday, unpacked for a few days then went to Ohio for my family reunion and my mom’s 60th birthday. We’ve been unpacking, uncluttering and shopping since then. And it’s been a bear.

First, we realized that moving from downtown to midtown comes with some adjustments. For example, there is a lot of ambient noises in any city. We are used to the people talking (or screaming “What day is it?!”), music, car alarms, trolleys (when they run). Here in midtown? Nada. It is almost eerily silent sometimes. Sure, we’ll hear bugs and stuff like that, but you can hear everything. Including the house creek and groan, as they are known to do. And let me tell you, it is frightening. Because not only do you hear everything, but it is very dark too. Downtown, you’ve got lights all the time. Pitch black + no ambient noise = scary nights. Seriously, neither of us slept the first few nights. It’ll take some getting used to.

We have bought some furniture which will come tomorrow. We bought some random gardening stuff to take care of the plants the sellers left behind for us. We bought some hand towels and trash cans to cover the extra two bathrooms we now get to deal with. And we bought new door locks/deadbolts. And there’s where fail #1 happened.

We bought the wrong ones! We wanted to match what exists now, but with a different color and shape. So we got the front door stuff we wanted, but the other two exterior doors are where we goofed. We meant to buy a locking knob and keyed deadbolt set for each, but instead bought dual-sided keyed knobs. Nope, that won’t work. Now I get to go back to Lowes and exchange them.

Other than that, we are still deciding what to do in the short term. For me, I’ve got what I want: we bought a grill. It’s a nice, small Weber. We went quality over size, and I can’t wait to put it together and cook out this weekend! And the furniture will be welcome; we are both tired of sitting on the floor to watch TV.