Archive for September, 2015

Trump  Usually, I’m debunking Facebook memes but this time, I’ve found one with which I can agree.

Before I launch into my diatribe, I feel the need to disclose this: I am not a huge fan of “The Donald.” In fact, I’m not a small fan or even any kind of fan at all. At his most harmless, I consider him a carnival barker; at his worst, I believe he’s a Democrat plant to further discredit the Republican party. Furthermore, I think there are many on the G.O.P. roster who would make a better POTUS than the Trumpster, Dr. Ben Carson and Sen. Rand Paul, to name a few.

With that out of the way, I’ll address the meme, starting with its statement. Since at least the 1990s, liberals/progressives/social justice warriors have long relied on a tried-and-true tactic when they feel threatened in a political argument. It’s a tactic that combines both a strawman and ad hominem attack, and is rather effective at shutting down any opposition.

Quite simply, it works like this: if someone disagrees with the latest liberal policy, those who support it can simply call the detractor a racist, sexist, misogynist and/or homophobe in order to silence the opposition. While intellectually lazy, this tactic is amazingly effective since no one wants to be labelled any of these terms. We live in the social media age, and word of one’s perceived transgressions travels fast and far. Today, people labelled racist, for example, risk public ridicule, violence, and possibly even losing one’s job.

This is exactly what makes Trump so appealing.

“The Donald’s” angry diatribes against illegal immigration and other hot-button topics has become the voice of a specific American demographic long denied the opportunity to express theirs without fear of retribution. Being self-employed and independently wealthy, Trump doesn’t isn’t beholden to the purveyors of the current narrative, thus he shows no fear of the backlash of angry ISJWs screaming for his head on a platter. In short, this forms the basis of Donald’s appeal.

I’m not the first person to criticize the Left for its knee-jerk labeling and inability to withstand scrutiny. Yet even with so much criticism, the majority of those that make up this group continue to rely upon these tactics to silence their opposition. No surprise there… People will continue to engage in bad, immoral, and unruly behavior as long as said behavior continues to reward them. But in doing so, the American Left is completely ignore Newton’s Third Law: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

As the meme states, if they keep this up, they might want to get used to the phrase “President Trump.”

autismmagnet   There’s something about being the parent of Autistic children that makes one more aware of possible dangers that all children face.

This lesson was brought to our front door quite literally on Thursday (September 3, 2015) when my wife, son, stepson and I were leaving to go to the grocery store. Walking out of the house, we found two tiny children standing in our patio. Upon seeing us, they started to run… straight into the street! We more or less chased them down and kept them penned in the yard across the street.

While all of that took place in the matter of seconds, I can look back upon it now and understand exactly why we did what we did. The short answer is that everything about the situation triggered our protective parental instincts and we acted upon them, with the logical parts of our brains eventually catching up to what we knew in our “guts:”

  1. Both of the children were very young and tiny. We estimated both of them to be under the age of five.

2. We did not recognize the children. Since we know most of our neighbors, we knew that these children were not from any of the homes in our immediate vicinity.

3. They appeared to be lost and simply wandering around, drawn to anything and everything that appeared interesting to them.

4. There appeared to be no parent/guardian anywhere around.

5. Something needed to be done to help these children, NOW!

Once we had the children more or less secured, we asked them where their mother/father was and where they lived, but received no answer. Initially, this didn’t surprise us because the children appeared to be of Indian descent, so we assumed the possibility of a language barrier.

The more we observed them, however, the more we began to suspect that the children – at least the boy – possibly was Autistic. It was in the way he walked – unable to stand still, curiously dashing from one thing to another – and the way in which he kept repetitively muttering to himself. Let’s just say that being parents of Autistic children ourselves, we recognized the signs. That’s when our instincts kicked in once again.

“I wonder if they got out of their house and ran away,” I said.

“I think so,” my wife replied.

As nearly any parent of an Autistic child knows, my wife and I believed we were dealing with a case of “elopement.” A common symptom of Autism, it’s defined as, “the act of leaving an area without permission or notification which usually leads to placing that individual in a potentially dangerous situation.”

Since no parent or guardian came forward, I called 911 and reported the incident of two lost children. While waiting for the officers to arrive, my wife asked the boy how old he was and he held up four fingers, and he also held up two fingers when asked his sister’s age. This completely confirmed our suspicions that these children were way too young to simply be running around our condo community unsupervised.

A few minutes before the police arrived, the a very frantic Indian woman came running down the street. Assuming her to be the parent/guardian, I shouted to her and waved, telling her that we had her children. The little girl ran to this woman and embraced her, convincing me that it was likely her mother. (In contrast, the little girl screamed, cried, and dropped to her knees whenever my wife tried to hold her hand.) Needless to say, the woman and was quite relieved and thankful for our intervention.

As we sat there talking, the mother confirmed much of what our instincts had told us. S said she while she was in the bathroom, her son unlocked the front door and he and his sister made a bolt for it. She came out of the bathroom to find her front door open and her children gone. She also told us that her son is, in fact, Autistic, which did not surprise us.

Minutes later, two good officers from our city’s police department arrived to take our statements. The mother profusely thanked us again, and we were finally on our way to the grocery store.What was supposed to be a quick run to Busch’s for some cheddar brats turned into so much more, as I do believe my wife and I quite likely saved those children from serious injury… or worse.

I share this story with anyone reading my blog not because I want to be a hero – whatever that is – but rather, to bring some attention to the needs and issues of Autistic children. More than once, I’ve been accused of being a “helicopter parent” for my constant hovering around my youngest son. What no one who’s used that label knows is that we had a similar experience with our son when he was about three years old.

Two things about my son: he’s extremely strong and he’s extremely fast. Long story short, in a manner of a few seconds, he pulled himself loose from a family member’s hand and bolted straight for a very busy road. Unable to catch up to him, the family member began screaming for help. Fortunately, my stepson and I heard the screams and were able to catch up to my fleeing son, tackling him and bringing him to a stop roughly 30 feet from the road.

We were lucky that day, extremely lucky, and it’s an experience I’ll never forget.

For those of you whose lives are not touched by Autism, please try to keep this story in mind. And try to understand that elopement is a serious issue, one that should not be taken lightly or dismissed in a casual or offhand manner. Most importantly, if you see a young child(ren) running around, seemingly lost or out of place and without a parent or guardian, step and up and do something to help! You might very well be saving the life of someone’s precious child.

On the day my wife and I helped these two children, at least three other adults – our neighbors – walked past these children and us, seemingly not wanting to get involved.

About J.P. Ribner
J.P. Ribner is the author of Viking fantasy adventure series “The Berserker’s Saga.” Currently, the saga features two novels – “Legacy of the Bear” and “Prophecy of the Bear.” For more about his written work, check out his website.