The Sunday Edition: Facebook, Entrenchment, and Kids

j_annoyedj_annoyed Ulfast won’t do Facebook. He has a twitter account, but the last time he used that was in May. Trying to build the channel I felt it was important that all members be plugged into social media and be plugging our stuff. In this era of the internet, social media is mandatory for getting your stuff seen. There’s just too much stuff to hope someone will accidentally stumble across it. So I pestered him about this practically non-stop… but still he wouldn’t budge. And I’m not gunna lie there was some resentment there. But over the past few weeks that resentment has turned to envy and then acceptance. I’m leaving Facebook behind.

I recognize I’ll need to keep my account going for Big and Tall Gaming, I’m not going to sink the whole channel because of this tectonic shift in my life (it’s weird. That comparison is pretty accurate in this day and age) but it’s time for me to go. It’s become this bitter cesspool and it’s having an alarming affect on my life. Watching people I know are miserable pretending to be happy, watching people lie about how well their life is going, watching people talk about how shitty things are, and nobody seems to care. Historically I’ve always been a realist. I’m less concerned about “feelings” or “luck” or “destiny” and more concerned with “data”. What is the data telling me about where we’ve been, where we’re going, and how we’re going to get there. And largely throughout my life I’ve been pretty good at reading the “data” of what’s going on around me. To my wife’s eternal joy and simultaneous chagrin, using the data of life I know what she’s thinking before she tells me. I knew one of her oldest friends was being cheated on before she found out. I know when the kids I work with are lying to me, and I know when a friendly “would you mind” is more of a “we don’t like you.” And lately the data is all negative.

It started a few weeks ago, but I’ll start with the most recent thing for the set-up if that’s ok. If you don’t know who Omar Khadr is, well you’re either American or you’ve had your head buried in the sand. The crux of his national attention is the fact that he’s (presumably as it’s not finalized yet) getting a $10 Million settlement from the Canadian Government and he’s a convicted terrorist who killed a medic — who was trying to save him — with a grenade. The problem is, there is much, much more to this story. Omar Khadr was kidnapped by his father as a child from Canada and taken to Iraq/Afghanistan to join Al-Qaeda as a child soldier with his father. A few years later they were ambushed by US Forces and Omar was mortally wounded. Army Sergeant Christopher Sheer was killed in the raid along with all of the enemy combatants. Khadr was taken as a prisoner of war to be charged with war crimes. There are a few problems with this, not the least of which was Khadr was 15 at the time and there were no witnesses to Khadr doing anything. The biggest problem legally is he should not have been charged with a war crime. The law states that a soldier who kills another soldier has not committed murder. They are immune from prosecution. So to get around this a special category was created “unlawful alien enemy combatant” and given that Afghanistan didn’t really have a standing army, this meant anyone who resisted. But this title was created especially for Omar. After the incident. So he was charged retroactively for a crime that no one witnessed that wasn’t a crime at the time.

Omar Khadr, as a minor, was held in Guantanamo Bay Cuba. Now there’s a chance you don’t know why that’s significant; dozens of people have died while being tortured there, they’ve undergone sleep deprivation, threats of rape, actual rape, repeated assaults, water boarding (essentially drowning on dry land), the removal of finger nails, being hung from the ceiling by the hands, choking, and being stripped naked for days are just a taste of several things that have been confirmed. The unconfirmed list is longer, but has testimony from several former inmates and soldiers. Now you might be thinking to yourself, “Well how else can you get information from a terrorist?” You can’t. At all. Even the CIA says you can’t. Torture just simply doesn’t work. But he was tortured. As a child he was tortured and Canada knew. Canada knew that a child was in the antithesis of Disney Land. And we left him there to rot. Until after a while he signed a confession on the agreement he would be repatriated to Canada. And he was… And for the first time since his capture and trip to Torture Land, he got to talk to a lawyer.

Of course the confession was made under duress.

Of course the government knew, Ottawa sent CSIS (Canadian version of the CIA) down to interview him. His human rights and Canadian Charter rights were violated. The whole thing was taken to the Supreme Court of Canada and they ruled that wrong was done to him. He sued the government for $20 Million, and Canada’s lawyers very wisely agreed to offer him a settlement of 10. Of course, we don’t know if he’s accepted yet, but the money is on the table.

Now I’m not the only one to talk about this. I know a dozen or so people who are all trying to disseminate the false information… the problem is that false information is being reported by actual government officials who know that this is garbage. But also know if they word it very very carefully, people will donate to their campaign pages. But let’s ignore that. The real facts of this are readily available but the thing is? When I presented this I was told that the only reason I was supporting it, was because I’m a liberal idiot who likes that the Prime Minister and I share the same name. People are so entrenched over this it doesn’t seem to matter that a child was tortured illegally. And you might think to yourself “Oh OSTBear, people aren’t THAT entrenched” but you’re wrong.

You’re so wrong.

Healthcare is a big issue in the United States right now and there’s not a small contingent of Americans calling for the complete overturn of the Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare). There’s an interesting stat associate with this of course. In 2009, before the Affordable Care Act became law, 16,000 children had died because they lacked health insurance.

16,000 kids died because they didn’t have access to adequate health care due to a lack of health insurance

So when I saw someone proclaiming that they wanted to see the complete overturn of the ACA, I let them know that this is a real stat reported on by the CDC, and I wanted to know what he would like to say to the families. The most decent thing he did was avoid answering the question, but after some time he finally answered: “It would be better for the kids to die than to allow socialism”

There are people in this world who would gladly sacrifice kids because they don’t like a healthcare service that every other major developed country in the world has. And to be as clear as I can, this isn’t some country bumpkin living in a shack. This is an “average” american who has people that regularly back him up when he says these things. That’s how entrenched we are.

Just can’t handle it,

– OSTBear