Check this page each week for new information on the swing dance scene in Boston, particularly new class schedules and dancing for the area, as well as the webmaster's weekly "editorial". Changes for the rest of New England will appear on those respective pages. Refer to the Boston dance calendar for updates on individual listings.

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February 18, 2018

This Week's News Older News

From the corner booth...

Elon Musk built a car company from scratch and all of a sudden other car companies are going gangbusters on their hybrid and electric cars.

Now his rocket company just launched the baddest-ass rocket into space and he did it in the ultimate nerd style: the payload was one of the awesome electric cars from his company, clearly the fastest car in the world as it achieved escape velocity to leave earth orbit (25,000 mph).

Oh, yeah, Elon Musk is an immigrant.

In any population demographic, there are certainly going to be a percentage who are "bad". But do you know to know how many of any demographic are good people and not criminals or terrorists? Most of them. (Paraphrased from Trevor Noah of "The Daily Show".) That even includes white Americans. The racists need to stop trying to demonize immigrants and the politicians need to stop encouraging them.

FYI: I'm an immigrant too. And an American citizen. I'm exercising my right as a citizen, as defined in the Constitution, to express my opinion just like anyone else. No one, absolutely no one, has a right to tell me otherwise.

19 mass shootings in 2018 and it's not even March. The politicians can't just throw up their hands anymore and say nothing can be done about it. They can't say that now isn't the time to talk about it because there is no time left to not talk about it. How many kids have to die needlessly before we do something about it? Of course something can be done about it: we can throw out ideas and start talking. And then we can make our lawmakers act instead of sitting around and wringing their hands. Or we can elect more honorable lawmakers who have the backbone to do what's right.

How much did it cost to kill each of those people in that Florida school? The bullets for that AR-15 cost about $9.00 for a pack of 20. That's about 50 cents to kill a human being. Why are we making it so cheap and so easy to kill other Americans? Are American lives that cheap?

Note that these ideas as written above are not perfect; I typed this all up in about an hour; the editing took 10 times longer. I don't have the space or time to go into much more detail. They probably need to be tweaked for specific situations and I left out a lot of other ideas because I ran out of time. However, at least it's a start, something that we're currently not getting from the politicians. At least get people talking about it. If these ideas are bad, provide your own explanation as to why these ideas are bad. Provide your own ideas. Do something actively. Don't just mimic someone else's excuses. You have a brain; use it and think for yourselves.

Like that student survivor from the Florida shooting said: they're the kids and we're the adults. It's up to us to make the hard decisions on what it takes to keep them safe. If we choose to not do anything, we're just saying that owning a gun is more important than the life of a child. What does that say about us?

A final consideration: If there's an active shooter and you pull out your own gun to go after them AND the police show up, what do you think is going to be the next likely event to take place?

Yes, these mass shooters are crazy; you'd have to be to value life so cheaply. Let's not make it any easier for them.

Oh, while I'm here, I'd like to say that I'm pretty offended by those who blame immigrants for this country's problems. Looking at all the recent mass shootings of Americans this country. How many of them were committed by Mexicans? By Blacks? Asians? (Heaven forbid). How many by (gasp!) Muslims? How many were White Americans who were born here? (hmmmm....)

This country is a melting pot; we are all Americans, regardless of where our ancestors came from. And in case of Native Americans, they were here first and they didn't have immigration agents checking for visas in 1607 and 1620. Everyone else is an immigrant or descended from immigrant stock.

Also, I'm pretty pissed that there are people (especially politicians) who try to avoid bad-mouthing white American Nazis. This country proved once and for all that Nazis are evil; they have no place in a civilized society and especially not in America. It cost us 418,500 American lives in World War 2 to drive that point home. 60,000,000 people died because of a white supremist during the last century. To justify, or even glorify, racists in America in this moment in history dishonors the sacrifice of all those truly patriotic Americans who gave their lives fighting this evil. Let me say, once and for all, "There's no such thing as a good Nazi". We, as a nation, need to let them know that they have no place in this proud nation of immigrants.

Lest you think I'm some fanatic anti-gun nut, I will have you know that I'm not opposed to gun ownership. I would love to take a class and learn how to shoot with a pistol. I want to learn how to be responsible around a gun because I know I don't have to be afraid of them. That said, I want others to not have to worry about getting shot because of crazy people. If you think your "right" to own a gun under any conditions is more important then everyone's else "right" to not be shot, especially those of children, then you don't belong among other human beings.

See you on the dance floor.

Benson Wong

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