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The Knockout Games

For those of you who haven’t yet heard of this horrible phenomenon, packs of young boys have taken to coming up alongside or behind unsuspecting victims and punching them with all their might in a game where they try to land a knockout blow.  This trend, which seems to have begun in NY recently, and has victimized an increasing number including elderly women and young children, has now according to news reports spread to other locales around the U.S. and has already taken the lives of three victims.

It would not surprise me at all to see this proliferate and spread even beyond our borders, as I believe that the root cause has mostly to do with the hopelessness of youth today.  Governments have failed miserably in preparing their societies for the natural and completely predictable dislocations that are being created by technological advancements and the effects of a globalized economy.  As a result, too many young people lack the skills required to land a job that adds any value and a lifetime goal of managing a McDonald’s or working at the post office isn’t enough to inspire buy-in to the system.  We are also plagued with a backwards education system that continues to churn out many millions of new “students” annually who’s limited skills provide for little hope for gainful employment and the fulfillment that brings.

Too many of my own conversations with friends these days lead to the inevitable question of “Is it too late?”  I hope that it is not and believe deeply that the U.S. can and should lead the world in a movement that involves enlightenment, knowledge, honesty, and freedom.  We are nowhere near that today but may yet be better positioned than any other large nation.  In the meantime, we cannot take this “Knockout Game” lightly and law enforcement must be called upon to properly punish the cruel and cowardly perpetrators.  It would have been ideal if these youth had been given a better chance in their lives to find meaning, but, sadly, that hope can now be filed alongside the hope that the tooth fairy and Santa are real.  Society must deal severely to punish these unfathomable acts of violence and in doing so send a proper message of deterrence.

Freedom is always worth fighting for. Ideally this fight involves one of adhering to the best philosophical principals, many of which our founding fathers understood and laid out for our benefit in the Constitution.  When a society misplaces its values there is always a price to be paid and sadly the fight for freedom becomes more complicated and often more harsh.  The pioneers who settled our country had to deal with a very challenging situation.  Many did not comport themselves ideally, and I’m certain that others did.  During this Thanksgiving holiday I will thank the many people who came before me, both in this country and outside, who helped to pave the way for my life.  I will encourage my kids to do the same.  I will also reflect upon the harsh challenges that the Pilgrim’s and the native Americans faced and relate it to what challenges seem to face us today.  I will pray that we prevail as they did.

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