The absurdity of bashing all Millennials

I saw an article recently describing how Millennials view something or the other, but what caught my eye was where the author said the age range for Millennials is those born between 1980 and 1999. My immediate thought is that this is why lumping all Millennials into one category on any particular issue is absurd.

You simply cannot lump a 37 year old with an 18 year old. They are totally different stages of life. My life at 37 was completely different from my life at 18. Even if you cut off “Gen Y” at 1995, it is still absurd to include people who are 37 years old with people who are 22 years old. Again, these ages represent totally different stages of life for most people.

This does not even address the reality that Millennials (and all previous generations) come from widely different backgrounds. Other important factors include race, economic status, family structure, culture, religion, political beliefs, and so forth. If you were to take a randomly selected group of one thousand people born in 1986, you would have a huge range of life experiences.

We need to stop dismissing an entire generation just because it is trendy to do so. The World War II generation dismissed the Baby Boomers, and both of them dismissed Generation X in the early 1990’s. Now everyone is bashing Millennials, and it is utterly ridiculous. People are people, and this nonsense is the cousin of racism. There are good and bad in every group, so to assume everyone over a twenty year age range is the same is utterly ridiculous. Stop it.

What did you think was going to happen?

Salon is hyperventilating over the “pro-Trump rioters” who brawled with Leftist “antifa” radicals in Berkeley, completely ignoring the reality of human nature in the process. Are some Leftists really this stupid, or are they simply entitled children?

Earlier this year, Leftist radicals rioted in Berkeley because Milo Yiannopoulos was to speak on campus – smashing windows, setting fires and generally acting like thugs and hoodlums who ought to be behind bars. The “alt right” pro-Trump protests were ready for a fight when they held their rally, especially given the history of “antifa” thuggery. There is ample evidence that at least some of the “alt right” protesters wanted to provoke a physical confrontation.

Here are a few questions for Leftist thugs, whether they consider themselves part of “antifa,” the “resistance” or other various factions. What did you think was going to happen? Did you think you would just be able to break windows, set cars on fire, assault people so severely they have to be hospitalized, and engage in various other acts of thuggery that at least border on terrorism with no response? Did you think you would be able to act with impunity forever without provoking a response? Because if that is what you think, you are an idiot.

I do not excuse thuggery by anyone. I do not excuse violence by anyone. Those “alt right” thugs who wanted a street brawl cannot be justified. To the extent “alt right” protesters wanted to provoke a violent confrontation, they were wrong. Conservatives must not excuse bad behavior (and especially violent crime) simply because “they started it.” But that is my point. Violence begets violence. When one side resorts to thuggery, it brings out the worst in the other side.

What worries me is that this is going to get a lot worse. Instead of bruises, cuts and maybe some broken bones, we are going to see a massacre as thugs on both Right and Left ramp up the violence. This is why Leftists need to aggressively police their own side and make it clear that not only is violence not acceptable, it will not be tolerated and will be reported to the police. It is time for Leftists to stop making excuses for why violence is “understandable” and how they are only standing up for “oppressed people groups.” Ramping up the violence helps no one, and will make things much worse as “alt right” thugs respond in kind.

City council tramples on property rights again

Printed in the Bloomington Herald-Times April 25, 2017

To the Editor:

We have reached the point in nanny-state laws that we are legislating manners instead of public safety. This was a theme when the city council voted to ban the use of electronic cigarettes in “public places.” These “public places” are actually private property. The city is deciding for property owners whether they will allow customers to use a legal product on their property.

One councilor suggested businesses are not currently prohibiting e-cigarettes. That is simply not true. Some places in Bloomington do that already. They did not need permission or a mandate from city government to do that. There is no real confusion about what is allowed.

E-cigarettes are not tobacco products and are far less harmful than smoked tobacco. The “harmful chemicals” are detected in trace amounts. Some on the council do not care about that, saying this law is about “common courtesy.” So now we’re legislating manners?

Does the sparse crowd, especially compared to 2003, indicate people do not trust the council to listen to them?

Will the council vote to ban someone with a bad cold from public places?

The county commissioners defeated a similar ban earlier this year. The city council should have followed that example.

Helicopter parenting ruins children

Do you ever wonder why many college students today are pathetic snowflakes who are totally incapable of dealing with opposing ideas? Do you wonder why many college students today must run to a “safe space” to literally cuddle with stuffed animals and play with coloring books when someone is on campus with an idea they disagree with? Most of all, do you wonder why many college students feel “unsafe” when opposing ideas are present? Here is a perfect example of how this mentality is created.

Is it strange for a grown man to be handing business cards to children to direct them to a website to help them learn to reduce their tax burden? Sure. It would be smarter to hand the cards to their parents. None of these kids will remember this in a decade or so when they are in the workforce.

But to involve the police as if this man is some sort of threat is absurd. The proper response, if any, is to roll your eyes and move on, not calling the cops. This creates unnecessary paranoia and divides our society. It creates a fear of the “other” that feeds the mentality that we have to empower government to run our lives for us, severely restricting due process and trampling on our civil liberties.

Worse yet, this is how you instill a “safe space” mentality into a child, so they become hypersensitive crybabies as adults. We fabricate danger everywhere, making children terrified all the time. Eventually, they will learn from our fears. When they are rioting and burning down buildings because they are so outraged that someone would dare disagree with them, we can trace it back to helicopter parenting. These sheltered children were never given the coping skills to deal with life as it comes, to deal with unexpected changes that mess up their plans, or the problem-solving skills to deal with things that Mommy and Daddy always handled for them.

Stop ruining your children. Stop hovering. Stop doing everything for them. Stop being overprotective. Stop seeing danger everywhere. Teach your children the skills they need to cope with life, solve problems and handle things they find offensive. When they are adults, they will thank you for it.

Charles Murray, hysterical Leftists and the police response

The protest against “Bell Curve” author Charles Murray was mostly encouraging, though that was due almost entirely to the wisdom of the Indiana University Police Department and other allied law enforcement agencies. I have been consistently impressed with the professionalism and commitment of the IUPD. The IU police did a great job maintaining order and preventing the kind of violence, rioting and terrorist actions we have seen from Leftist extremists at other campuses.

Before I move on, a personal note: “The Bell Curve” was released in 1994 when I was a sophomore in college. This means that very few people at the protest were even born when the book was released. So, yes, I am once again reminded that I am an old man. Now get off my lawn.

Now, we need to be clear about something. Charles Murray is not a “white supremacist.” He has argued that Asians are smarter than whites and that Jews are smarter than everyone else. This is not something that a white supremacist would say or an argument that a white supremacist would make. One could argue about whether or not he is racist, but he is not a white supremacist. People making that argument discredit themselves.

Leftists knew they would not be permitted to prevent Murray from speaking at all, so they adopted a new tactic: Since only people with tickets could get in, they tried to monopolize the tickets and then destroyed them in an effort to keep other people from attending. This is incredibly childish, and prevents others from the opportunity to hear the researcher’s views. They are therefore infringing on the free speech and academic freedom of other students who are not allowed to attend. If Murray’s views are as abhorrent as Leftists claim, then more people should hear them and realize why he is wrong.

Leftists claimed that they wanted to make Murray irrelevant, but with their fraudulent ticket hoarding scheme and loud, angry protests outside of the speech they actually made him much more relevant than he would have actually been otherwise. It was a counterproductive move, especially when you have people acting like idiots and blocking traffic.

Overall, though, Indiana University managed to avoid the humiliation that Leftists have heaped on other universities with their hysterical antics. This is not due to civility or restraint from the Left, but due to smart, prudent and wise planning by university administrators and a show of force by law enforcement making it clear that while free speech will be protected, rioting and terrorist acts will not be tolerated. I have a great deal of respect for the way the university handled this.

If it pleases the crown…

So a while back, my son was playing with his Duplo blocks and he asks me: “Can I build a house?”

My response: “Do you have the proper permissions from the Planning Department, and will your house meet the appropriate setback requirements? Is your house in a development that meets the guidelines established in the Growth Policies Plan? Will your house contribute to Urban Sprawl?”

I have to wonder what it says about me that those are the first things that pop into my mind when my son wants to build a pretend house from plastic blocks.

If it pleases the crown, may my son have permission to play with his toys?

Never forget the massacre in Waco

Yes, it can happen here. That should be the lesson of the massacre in Waco, Texas, 24 years ago today. It seems unreal that we are almost at a quarter century since the Clinton Administration sent tanks and other military equipment to attack American citizens on American soil. Waco reminds us to never forget that we are only a couple steps away from an authoritarian, oppressive totalitarian government.

The Waco story actually started a couple months earlier, with a paramilitary raid on the Branch Davidian cultists’ compound. It was a classic example of excessive force, and was incredibly foolish given that the raid was on a doomsday cult that expected the federal government would eventually come for them. The Clinton administration only managed to confirm this paranoia and make it into a reality. As was pointed out many times over the last quarter century, federal law enforcement could have picked up David Koresh without the need for a paramilitary raid.

The worst, though, would come 24 years ago today. I cannot emphasize enough how shocking it should have been for the federal government to send tanks after our own citizens. If this was a one-off event, that would be disturbing enough, but law enforcement has become increasingly militarized over the last few decades, to the point that even regulatory agencies have SWAT teams. Even the Bloomington Police Department tried to get a mine resistant ambush protected military vehicle more suited for Iraq or Afghanistan than Kirkwood Avenue – something I protested when I was running for city council in 2015.

It is highly unlikely that we will become a dictatorship in one fell swoop from a military coup. However, we have been sliding more and more into a police state mentality through the combination of the War on Drugs and the War on Terror. Too many people are willing to make little compromises here and there in the name of “safety.” But when the government becomes all-powerful, how much safety will we really have? Remember, the worst human rights abuses in history have not come from terrorists or criminals, but from governments.

I am proudly ignorant

It blows my mind that anyone would think that it is ever appropriate to stop in the middle of the street to let someone out, blocking traffic behind you. It is a reckless and dangerous thing to do, because no one is expecting you to stop in the middle of the street to allow someone to exit your vehicle. It is also incredibly selfish, because you are putting your personal convenience above ever other person on the road.

This is not difficult, people. If you need to drop someone off, then find a driveway, parking lot, or parking space to safely pull into and allow your passenger to exit the vehicle. If your passenger has to walk an extra few yards, then so be it. The public street is just that, not your personal parking lot. You are not to block the flow of traffic because you are too lazy or stupid to find a safe space to park. People who do this need to get a ticket and a hefty fine.

There is some knowledge I do not want. I do not want to understand why people would think this sort of reckless and selfish behavior is OK, because if I ever acquired this knowledge I would lose 95% of my intelligence. Therefore, I will remain proudly ignorant. I do not need to understand why anyone would think this is OK. I just need people to have just a little bit of common courtesy and realize that a public street is not your personal driveway. Get out of the way, or get off the road.

Why is United Airlines beating up their passengers?

Is United Airlines trying to go out of business? From their actions and the brutal physical abuse of passengers, one would think that is their goal. I am not sure what they were thinking or how they think thuggery helps their public image.

To be fair, United Airlines does not bear all of the blame. Nonetheless, I am astonished at some of the criticism directed at the passenger who refused to leave his seat. Pundit Matt Walsh said the victim “behaved like an absolute maniac” and referred to him as “a grown man behaving like a hysterical child” and “a grown man kicking and screaming like a toddler.”

All of this makes me wonder if Walsh actually watched the video he was Tweeting about. The passenger only started screaming when United Airlines’ thugs grabbed him and forcibly dragged him off the plane. To say that he was acting like a toddler, because he screamed while being assaulted, is either incredibly myopic or shamefully dishonest.

I agree that, as much as the situation is unfair, the man should have got up and left the plane willingly and peacefully. Sometimes these things happen, and it stinks. I would be furious if I was told I had to leave a flight after I had paid for my plane ticket. And even if I initially refused to leave, my reaction upon seeing the police arrive would be “yes, sir.”

However, it is a perfectly normal reaction to scream in panic when United Airlines sends thugs attack you and physically drag you away. And let’s be brutally honest here: The police behaved like thugs. There was no reason to forcibly drag him from the seat, and drag the bloodied man off the airplane. That was ridiculous excessive force.

This situation could have been handled better by both sides. The customer could have been more cooperative. The bulk of the blame, though, is with United Airlines, who sent thugs to bloody and then physically drag a paying customer from a seat he had paid for and was peacefully refusing to leave. There needs to be criminal prosecution for this excessive force.