America Fails to Protect Our Children Again

Before picking up my sons from school yesterday, I went to the skatepark. I spotted three mothers sitting on the bench outside chatting while a half dozen kindergarteners were playing inside the skatepark with no skates. They must have enjoyed sliding down the high ramps more than the slides at the outside playgrounds. As I started to skate, I heard a voice saying something. When I turned around, I saw a little girl looking at me with disappointment on her face. I skated closer to her and said, “Hi. I am sorry. I didn’t mean to ignore you. I didn’t realize that you were talking to me. What were you saying?” She smiled again and said, “You look so cool. How do you do that?” I replied, “Thank you! I just practiced a lot.” As I skated up the ramp, she ran behind me and tried to climb up the ramp as well. As I dropped down, she slid down on her butt. She was smiling the entire time. Looking at the little girl, I just can’t imagine how someone would pull a trigger and murder innocent little kids. After the Sandy Hook massacre and the recent mass shooting took place in Uvalde, however, I no longer question the minds of the crazy motherfuckers.

What I don’t understand is that we simply watched our children getting murdered again, again, and again. All that we had to offer were fucking thoughts and prayers every single time. As one of the most powerful nations in the world, we can’t even protect our children in the environment where they learn. School is not a war zone. School is supposed to be the safest place for kids, and yet they get murdered repeatedly. Why haven’t we, as the United States of America, done anything to prevent this tragedy from happening again, again, and again? Shouldn’t we have some gun control or reform by now? No, because we are too damn divided. Republican lawmakers don’t give a fuck. They only cared about money and power. As long as gun lobbies send them financial support, they won’t make a change. Democrats have been talking about gun control every time a mass-shooting took place, and yet they have done a fucking thing about it. Talk is fucking cheap when they can’t turn it to action. We are all complicit because we haven’t done anything to prevent the preventable.

Will anything ever going to change or will we just continue to watch more kids getting murdered and continue to offer our bullshit thoughts and prayers. If we seriously give a thought or a damn, we have to do something about it. If we care about this country and our children, we just can’t let these massacres go on. Unfortunately, I doubt that anything will ever change because the truth is we are one nation under guns. We love our guns more than our children or else we would have laws in place to keep our guns from killing our children. I have lost my faith in America to solve this issue. There is no way to prevent this.

Another School Shooting in America

Nineteen children and two adults have been killed inside an elementary school. America, how do we keep letting these acts of gun violence repeating again, again, and again? When can we do something about this? How many more lives do we need to lose before we could for come together to solve this issue? Gun violence shouldn’t be a Democrats-vs-Republicans, gun-rights-vs-gun-controls issue. It should be a human-life issue. Please America, I am begging you to unite and to come up with a solution to prevent more Americans from get killed by guns.

Nghỉ chơi

Chiều nay nổi hứng nhắn tin bạn cũ:

Lâu rồi không thấy Thu post nữa. Tạm dừng Facebook rồi hả. Vậy cũng tốt. Khỏe không bạn già?

Xuân Thu trả lời:

K còn FB Friend v Danh thôi. Ngoài ra vẫn pose hàng ngày

K ai bắt ai phải cùng tư tưởng v ai nhưng,,,

Có những tư tưởng tuy k cùng chiến tuyến : không đồng hành nhưng vẫn có thể đồng tình. Tư tưởng của Danh về Democrats thật ngộ… vui nhất là vạch lá tìm sâu những cái của Republican để cố đưa cái thối nát của Biden thành cái tốt

Tôi đáp lại:

Oh thì ra là bị nghỉ chơi. Đáng tiếc vì chính trị mà mất đi tình bạn. Đã lâu rồi mình không còn bàn luận về chính trị nữa vì chỉ mất lòng nhau chứ không có bổ ích gì. Thôi thì chúc XT luôn khỏe mạnh để phấn đấu. Mình xin đầu hàng.

Thật ra thì tôi biết nàng đã xù tôi từ lúc Trump bị bại trận. Nàng hát bài “Từ lúc anh đi” để tiễn đưa chàng ra khỏi Nhà Trắng. Khi nghe bài hát nàng đăng lên Facebook, tôi sởn da gà vì quá sến. Không nhớ tôi đã nói gì mà nàng đã loại trừ tôi luôn.

Thú thật thì tôi với nàng cũng chẳng thân thiết gì. Ngày xưa lúc nàng mới bước chân đến Mỹ vào học chung trường và một trong những thằng bạn thân của tôi thời đó cua nàng. Sau này chia tay. Năm sáu năm gần đây tôi kết nối lại với nàng qua Facebook. Không ngờ nàng mê muội Trump đến mù quáng. Không trách nàng vì phần đông người Việt ở Mỹ đều sùng bái hắn đến mất hết lý lẽ.

Tôi đã bỏ chính trị và không viết gì về đề tài này nữa vì chẳng còn hy vọng được bàn luận dựa trên sự thật và lẽ phải. Niềm tin của họ đã quá sâu đậm. Họ xem ông như đấng chúa trời. Nàng đã tôn thờ ông đến thế và đã xem ông quan trọng hơn cả tình bạn của tôi và nàng thì tôi cũng đéo tiếc nuối gì cả. Tình bạn như thế thà không còn hơn có.

Bitch-Ass Ted

What the fuck was wrong with Will Smith? He bitch-slapped Chris Rock on live TV. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air lost his cool. While Will’s action was not acceptable in any shape or form and he should apologize to Chris, his rage was understandable. He didn’t want Chris to talk shit about his wife even it was just a joke. Unlike Ted Cruz who let Trump shit on his wife and father, Will stood up for his wife. Not only Ted didn’t stand up for his wife and father, he also attempted to fight for the guy who insulted his love ones to stay in power. It is hard to believe that a Senator of the United States is such a bitch-ass pussy.

Continue Masking

Calling it theatrical all you want, but I am continuing to mask up in public. I encourage my kids to do the same, but I don’t force them. Fortunately, they still want to mask up on their own. Đán wears his mask almost everywhere, indoor or outdoor. Đạo and Xuân only wear a mask in class and anywhere they feel necessary. In fact, Đạo has been the only ice hockey player who still wears a mask on ice. As long as he’s comfortable with it, I am fine with it. I wear one on the bench as well. Vương wears a mask when he sees all of us masking up, but he also takes it off whenever he feels like it. We’re cool with it.

It is such a damn shame that wearing a mask has been politicized and become such a divisive issue. Has masking worked? Maybe we’re lucky thus far, but our family has not contracted Covid and masking might have played a huge role in that. I spent weeks with Covid victims and stayed in the same room for hours with my mother when she had Covid. Masking had saved me from contracting the virus.

As masking has relaxed and most people have dropped their mask, we do not want to let my guard down. Covid is here to stay and we have to live with it. I don’t even know how long we can go before we get infected, but we do the best we can. We continue to mask up in public places.

I understand the hypocrisy of masking up and then taking it off when eating, but I am cool with it. Not everything has to be yin or yang all the time. On his show, Bill Maher keeps repeating his irritation about outdoor masking. People wear masks outdoors not just solely for Covid reasons. They may want to prevent dust and pollution. Nothing wrong with wearing a mask outside. He doesn’t want to wear it, that’s fucking fine. People want to wear it, let them be. Just fuck off.

Mandates

Last Friday, I had a conversation with another Scout father during our Vietnamese New Year party. He and his wife are dentists with their offices. They are a successful couple in their late 30s. I don’t think he is older than me. He was either born in the U.S. or migrating here at an early age.

Our conversation stemmed from the email exchanges we had on masking, vaccinations, and politics. From his scientific knowledge and personal perspective, he does not support vaccination mandates. I agreed with him. It’s an individual decision. There’s no shame in not getting vaccination. If you are unvaccinated and you contracted Covid, you should accept the fact that you put yourself at risk and you could take up an ICU unit, which could be used for other critical conditions. Your body, your choice. If you choose not to get vaccinated (the majority of Republicans) and you are against abortion (also the majority of Republicans) then you are a hypocrite. You can do whatever to your body, but you don’t give women that choice.

As far as masking, we didn’t dwell much into this issue because it had been debated to death in our email exchanges. What I found intriguing is that the young dentist is more conservative than liberal. He doesn’t support universal healthcare because he believes that would lower the quality of his service as well as the whole health industry. He explained that suddenly people show up to his office for the first time in 20 years with all kinds of issues. To me that’s a good thing. At least they showed up to check up rather than waiting until they got serious issues. That would cost even more. I know someone who had a heart problem, but didn’t get checked up. When he almost died, he showed up at the hospital and stayed for two weeks. His bill was $80,000, but he didn’t have a job and didn’t have any money. We, the taxpayers, had to cover his expenses.

Since he is a dentist, I wanted to get some inside perspective from a medical profession. I asked him if Medicare paid less than insurance. He said yes, but the bigger issue is that it takes time and effort to get reimbursement from the government. He takes his time with his patients to provide quality care. If he has to take on more Medicare patients, his quality would suffer. If he doesn’t then his business would suffer.

I totally understand his situation and it also comes down to money. I have tremendous respect for the medical professionals, which include dentists, doctors, and nurses. They have to have compassion and empathy in order to be in the industry of helping people. They make decent money as well but that shouldn’t be their priority. But then the more I see medical professionals turning into businesses, the more I lose my faith in them.

As I said before, I no longer identify myself as a Democrat. The Republicans are all about looking out for themselves and I am not down with that. The Democrats have more social inclusions. They are morally right, but they simply can’t get things done. They also need to get more young people like the dentist on their side. Then again, we’re still living in a white man’s world.

Independent

Last Saturday, I went over to a Scout’s parent house to drink for the first time in more than two years. We touched on the controversial topic that had been shaking and dividing our pack. I was told not to waste my time responding to a parent who just wanted to draw attention to himself. At first, I intended to stay quiet like most parents in our pack, but I could not let that man spread right-wing misinformation to other parents. He was making false claims about masking and vaccinations; therefore, I had to speak up. I enjoyed writing and poking fun anyway; therefore, I didn’t think it was a waste of my time.

As much as I hate political discussion, I find it entertaining for drinking and bullshitting. I have figured out that as long as I don’t identify myself as a Democrat or a Republican, I can say whatever I want and I can flip flop my positions just to rouse up the people. I want free healthcare as well as free tax. Why not? When I didn’t have any kid, I supported abortion. In addition, girls who aborted liked to have sex. Now that I have kids, I don’t support abortion so that parents can go through the misery of raising kids too. When I was single, I didn’t support prostitution. Now that I am happily married, I supported prostitution just in case my wife pulls the plug on me and I would need somewhere to plug it in. These are my drunken talking points so that I can still have fun without having to defend my positions.

In reality, I had always voted for Democrats because they seemed to care about society whereas the Republicans seemed to care about themselves and their own party. No matter how hippocratic or ridiculous they would come across in public, Republicans always put their own party first. Trump berated Ted Cruz’s father and called his wife ugly. What did Lil’ Ted do? Not a goddamn thing. What a bitch-ass pussy. Democrats, on the other hand, are so divided that they can’t get shit done. I am so frustrated with the Democrats, but I can’t see myself casting my vote for the self-serving Republicans. For now, I just stay independent and view politics as a form of entertainment, nothing more.

More Masking Controversy

My respond to the group discussion:

N, some of your sources are very telling. I would be quite skeptical of anything that comes out of the Daily Mail, which has been widely known to publish false clickbait stories. I wouldn’t trust a tabloid newspaper like the NY Post, which is one of Murdoch’s propaganda machines, to provide me with medical-related information. These are dangerous sources for Covid materials.

For now, the mask mandate is settled. FCPS continues to require universal masking. It also challenges the executive order. Then again, as the leaders pointed out, LDHV has its own policies and regulations. I hope that LDHV stays its course and continues its mask mandate to protect everyone, particularly for those who are immunocompromised. LDHV also needs to figure out how to accommodate those with medical exemptions while still keeping everyone else safe. Please let us know what to expect before tonight’s party.

N has been vocal about bullying and that needs to be addressed. While I disagree with him on masking and politicking, I don’t want him to be silenced, blocked, or singled out. We should have open dialogues. If this is not the right platform to discuss politics, let the members know. We should also respect the leaders for their time. They have very limited resources and I am sure they rather focus their energy on running Scout activities and teaching our kids leadership and practical skills than dealing with bureaucracies.

Chin Diaper

As the mask debate continued at our Scout pack, one of the parents who is a dentist chimed in:

Lastly I’ll add, that I also am not a big fan of the political show of non effective masks mandates. As a man of science (I got a bachelor of science in biology, and went on to become a doctor taking plenty more science classes like virology, immunology, pathology, and tons of microbiology) I think it’s a joke that half the time people wear masks like a chin diaper, I’ve yet to meet a kid or adult, who has correctly don and doff his/her mask, it’s funny to me that putting on a cloth mask makes people feel safe against covid (especially omincron) when what really needs to be worn for protection is a fitted and sealed 95 level mask…

My response:

Thanks for the scientific information. I must confess. I got a kick out of the “chin diaper” analogy. If nothing else, we should continue to wear masks for that reason. It is not a bad idea for some of us, myself included, to cover up our shit. LOL! Sorry, I couldn’t help it.

On a serious note, we are indeed living in deeply divided times. As I dropped off my kids this morning, I was checking around to see if I should let them into the building or drive them back home. I was worried for their safety not from Covid but from some mom who threatened to “bring every single gun loaded” to school.

I know we’re not to delve into this topic anymore, but I appreciate the open discussion N has put forward. Even if we don’t see eye to eye on these issues, I hope that we can agree to disagree.

OK I will shut up now. Have a great Tuesday!

In Respond to Masking Controversy

A parent as our kids’ Scout uses Youngkin’s executive order ending mask mandates in public schools to attract attention. I am not posting his email because I don’t have permission. I am just going to post my responses. Here’s my first reply:

According to the state law, FCPS must adhere to the CDC guidelines; therefore, universal masking is still in place—at least until August 1, 2022.

From what I had observed, the kids didn’t seem to mind wearing masks at Scout meetings. The Cubs seemed to enjoy the activities the leaders had created.

Masking is not a political issue. Masking is a safety issue. We all have family members who had been infected with Covid or had died of Covid. I am sure some of us had been infected ourselves. If you think masking is a communist tactic then you must not have lived under the communist regime. You need to check your privilege.

In his reply, the president of our pack wrote:

If you and your kids follow the rule to wear mask then you and your kids are more than welcome to join us at our scouting events. If you refuse to do so then this lien doan will not be the right place for you.

Knowing his calm personality, it must be very difficult for him to write those words, but I support and respect his firmness and leadership. He puts our Liên Đoàn’s safety first. Since we started Scouting again, we hadn’t had a single case of Covid in our Liên Đoàn. Masking must have worked; therefore, I strongly encourage everyone to continue to make it a safe environment for all of us.

Sincerely yours,

Donny Truong

Here’s my follow-up respond:

As I said, Covid touched all of us one way or another. The members of this Liên Đoàn weren’t Covid-proof, but we did our part to keep this community safe. If we got sick, we stayed home. If we gathered indoors, we masked up. The members didn’t have to report their case and I didn’t need to know about their private health information. All I knew was that there was zero case in which Liên Đoàn had to cancel an in-person meeting due to Covid. There was zero case in which we spread the virus to each other during meetings. This is one of the reasons I have chosen to stay with this Liên Đoàn and dropped other activities where masks were recommended and not required.

As anyone who had fled Vietnam, which is all of us here, knew a thing or two about the communist. Accusing Liên Đoàn of using the communist tactics is low blow. We understand the difference between common sense and communism. Don’t let your hatred cloud your judgment.

I am not here to discuss your political agenda. I frankly don’t care. I am deeply concerned about the health and the safety of our Liên Đoàn, particularly our kids. Call it “fear-mongering” all you want, but I feel safe that the leaders have reaffirmed the mask mandate is still in place. When this policy changes, however, I would appreciate it if Liên Đoàn would let us know ahead of time before any future meeting.

Thanks for your time.

Regards,

Donny Truong