Thursday, February 19, 2015

Gangs & radicalization

    It continues to amaze me how out of touch our government is with the people. Bureaucrats seem completely freaked out that US teens are "becoming radicalized" and attempting to join ISIS. Why are they surprised? So many young adults are disenfranchised, certainly racism and discrimination are not dead.  Although it seems significant that immigrant children like Hamza Naj Ahmed are attempting to join ISIS, aren't they the most disenfranchised of all? Many young immigrants struggle, straddling the line of trying to fit in and be "American" at school, then splitting their reality by living a foreign culture at home with their parents.Wouldn't it be easier for them to adopt one reality? And that is what ISIS offers... the only requirement is Islam, and a desire to fight for a cause.

    For the non-immigrant youth, what is their motivation? Perhaps, because there are NO JOBS they have a lot of empty time... everyone desires meaningful experiences in their lives. I think instead of creating a new crisis perspective, our bureaucrats and those who have influential positions working with youth should think of ISIS as the newest inner city gang trying to recruit members... it's no different. These kids are just richer; they can afford a passport and plane ticket. This trend among our youth is about finding purpose; not continuing to feel like a failure living at home with their parents or unemployed. Kids who have gone to school, followed the social dictum and then, end up with nothing are not content citizens. ISIS recruits because they reach out online to youth who are searching for themselves, for a chance, an adventure... the opportunity to be someone who is needed, not the nameless kid who is forced to wait for their turn in life.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Quiet times

Well, it has been a bit... School, work and other busyness has kept me from posting. The "outhouse" bathroom now has walls, so it is an actual room again! No fixtures currently, but the plumbing has been corrected and new electric lines are installed. Progress however slow...

I've been hanging out mostly in my bedroom/office, attached to the laptop doing homework. I have created a contemplative ambiance with some flickering votive candles. Two were my Mom's, but the rest are thrift store and estate sale finds for only pocket change. The reflected colors on the wall remind me of the Northern Lights I saw on a trip to Iceland. Add in a nature sounds or piano concerto CD and I have created a writer's sanctuary.

School-wise, I am finding the PR class on effective crisis communication very interesting. Corporate as well as natural disasters evolve differently, but many of the same principles apply across the board making a critical impact upon public perception and resolution of the event. Fascinating stuff!

Right now, there is only a tiny knitting project on the needles, an Easy Cabled Headband. It is a free Ravelry download here . As I mentioned before, it is for my sister in the same Mochi Plus yarn, color #560 using #8 circulars, that I had  previously made her gifted hat. The pattern is easy peasy and although I am not a seed stitch fan, I can handle the three seed stitches on either side of the cable. It should be done soon.