Category Archives: commentary

Scandinavian Rape, Scandinavian Blinders

“Statistics now suggest that 1 out of every 4 Swedish women will be raped.”

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Remembering Jonathan Foster (and the racist media), and Joshua Chellew, and Ray Widstrand, and . . .

This started as a reblog.  Please see the blog post Mona Nelson Trial – She Kidnapped Him, She Tied Him Up With Twine, and Then Slowly Burned Him To Death With A Blowtorch -On Christmas Eve- The Trial Began This Week

Maybe the media think the black lady that very brutally and sadistically murdered an innocent 12 year old white kid think she was simply crazy and wasn’t acting out any racial hatred.  Well . . . then they should’ve never went through all the trouble they did with the non-racist Zimmerman.

They basically tried to start a race war – I don’t see how else to view it.   There are many lies out there about Zimmerman and people just eat it up!  Amazing.  If you look at my previous reblog,  “I am not Trayvon . . . .” you can find a link to Zimmerman’s parents’ page.  Zimmerman went way above and beyond in helping a homeless black man against police – what he did was rare.  His black neighbors really like him.  So WHY the witch hunt, lynching mob, officiated by the Obama white house, even?  And, of course, the racism (and homophobism) from Trayvon and his friend were ignored.  None of us are safe from the media or government of our own country anymore.

Anyway, I didn’t know about Jonathan Foster; it wasn’t reported on much when he died, and the trial is not being reported on by the general media.  We all should have been informed about him.  This poor kid deserved to be remembered, and his family deserves our prayers and sympathy.  But does the media care?  No.  They just care about smearing an innocent man and his family to death (Zimmerman’s family also has had many many death threats, can’t live at their home, his sister had to quit her government job [!], etc.).  It’s all not just beyond belief, but beyond all reason.

See also (and these are all very recent):

Why is Joshua Chellew less important than Trayvon Martin?  A different article on Joshua’s murder said it wasn’t racially motivated, but gang on gang, because Joshua – a completely white/pink guy in his 30s – flashed a rival gang symbol.  AND, this came from police investigators.  PLEASE, seriously, do you all think we’re THAT stupid?  Talk about blaming the victim!  We need to change our country (write the Cobb County police?.

Group of Black Youths Reportedly Beat Hispanic Man While Yelling, ‘This Is for Trayvon’  Racism, alive and well (and I’m not talking about from whites).

Allen West asks why the ‘usual race baiters’ are silent on bus beating

In near-fatal East Side beating, three more teens charged  This poor guy.  I DID read about it when it happened, but there wasn’t all that much news on it.  This guy would be dead if not for modern medicine, but even so, he will suffer permanent brain damage (according to one source).  At least the police didn’t have the audacity to claim that Ray flashed a gang symbol and therefore kind-of deserved to be attacked . . .

“I Am Not Trayvon. I Am An American.” by Raul Mas Canosa

Below are a great many excerpts from “I Am Not Trayvon.  I Am An American.” by Raul Mas Canosa (Fox News Latino July 23, 2013).   Please click on the link to read the whole article and to find out about the author.

I was deeply offended by Jesús Iñiguez’s opinion piece “Hispanic or Not, We Are All Trayvon Martin.” I was also shocked that Fox News Latino would publish such an incendiary piece of race baiting and hateful speech more worthy of Granma than a supposedly serious news organization. . . . .

Let’s talk about why Hispanics should not sympathize with Trayvon Martin or the rabble rousing charlatans that foolishly liken him to the great civil rights martyrs of the 20th century.

Let’s also talk about why Hispanics should not cast their lot with race baiting profiteers like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Tavis Smiley or the Congressional Black Caucus. We also shouldn’t side with President Obama and the rest of an administration hell-bent on using every organ of the state, and every bit of raw political power, to divide and undermine the wonderful melting pot that is America.

If we should be supporting anybody it should be George Zimmerman. We should defend him and the legal system that found him NOT GUILTY. We should support him because the FBI could find no evidence that George Zimmerman ever engaged in any racist behavior. We should defend Zimmerman not because he is Hispanic but because it is the right thing to do: pure and simple.

America is a country based on the concept of equal protection under the law. The system is far from perfect and abuses have no doubt taken place in the past. It is however, the best system in the world. Millions flock here seeking the great opportunities and the level playing field offered by a robust and proven legal and economic system.

Unfortunately, we have our problems. One of them is a big crime problem. A lot of our crime is violent in nature. Statistics show that the majority of violent crime is committed by young black males. In places like New York City, almost 75 percent of violent crime comes at the hands of young black thugs. Most of the violent crime is blacks killing other blacks in gang and drug related vendettas. It is an ugly but undeniable reality.

In his hometown of Miami Gardens, Trayvon Martin was apparently a thug wannabe. He had been suspended from high school after a history of defacing school property, possessing stolen jewelry and burglary tools (a potential third degree felony in Florida) and most recently for smoking dope. The Miami Herald and other legitimate news sources have confirmed these facts. . . .

That is why Trayvon was in Orlando walking through the rain, at night, alone, in a neighborhood that had, unfortunately, been frequently vandalized by individuals he resembled, both physically and by disposition. He had been kicked out of school for criminal activity…not for bad grades or for talking smack to his teachers.

Let me pause and make something very clear. Trayvon didn’t deserve to die. No child should have his life cut short. No parent should bury their child prematurely. It is a tragedy of the highest order when children, even teenagers, die needlessly. The vast majority of Americans share this sentiment. But the truth requires that we speak plainly, even if it hurts or offends.

Trayvon Martin sowed the seeds of his own destruction. It started with his bad behavior. It was compounded with his hooded camouflage on a dark, rainy night in a frightened neighborhood. It was sealed when he viciously attacked George Zimmerman, an innocent man, legally armed, wanting to protect his neighborhood.

Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law had nothing to do with the Zimmerman case. That is a red herring to distract attention from Trayvon’s assault on Zimmerman. Nevertheless, in Florida law-abiding black gun owners have disproportionately benefited from the stand your ground defense when it has been relevant. . . .

What about the oft mentioned civil rights affinity that exists between African-Americans and Hispanics?

There is no such affinity.

Blacks see Hispanics as an economic threat, not as an ally. The whole civil rights synergy is an elaborate kabuki theatre promoted by black and Hispanic activists simply to keep affirmative action going for as long as possible.

The only civil right that really matters is money in your pocket to feed and clothe your family. When it comes to that, America’s black leaders have a consistent record of unbridled antipathy toward all immigrants.

Hispanics (and other immigrants) compete with African-Americans for jobs, especially at the lower end of the socioeconomic spectrum and in the inner cities. Immigrants have displaced many blacks in construction, manufacturing, hospitality and other industries. They have also made significant inroads into the government jobs that have historically been closed shops dominated by black workers…and their main pathway into the middle class.

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus have been meeting with the President to derail immigration reform. I can’t blame them. With black unemployment running almost twice the national average, blacks are already at a huge disadvantage in the workforce. Adding more legal workers anxious to achieve the “American Dream” will only make it that much harder for blacks to succeed or hold on to their economic gains.

Meantime, President Obama, our first mixed-race President, has decided to harass George Zimmerman, another mixed-race individual, for as long as possible. He has instructed his Department of Justice —whose name is quickly becoming a misnomer— to set up a tipster hotline to dig up any racist dirt, real or imagined, to crucify the exonerated Zimmerman. Those are the same hateful tactics used by white segregationists against black people. 

This is the promise of Hope and Change? This is what you call progress?

It is despicable. It sickens me. America’s first black President, the Nobel Prize winning Messiah who was going to bring us to the promised land of racial harmony and equality, has done more to divide this country than any President I have witnessed in my entire lifetime. He has alienated conservatives with his IRS Tea Party witch hunt. He has offended Jews by calling into question the territorial integrity of the State of Israel. He has antagonized hard working people of all ethnicities with his costly health care mandates and increased taxes. The list goes on and on.

Unlike the inane Mr. Iñiguez, I do not stand in solidarity with Trayvon Martin. I have no desire to align myself with his apologists or the race baiting profiteers in the media, in the black community, in Congress and in the White House who are intent on using his death to tear this country apart. They are putting us on a path to race riots in America.

I am proud of my Cuban roots but I am first and foremost an American. I sympathize with but have little in common ideologically with other Hispanics, including our celebrity starlets and harlots, who fawn over a President whose cronies and supporters now denigrate an innocent Latino and the very principles that are the bedrock of our sacred democracy. Countless white, black, Hispanic, Asian and other-Americans have fought and died for those principles. They were only Americans when it mattered.

So I am an American.  Nothing more and nothing less.

Don’t confuse me with other hyphenated quasi-Americans who love their country only when their selfish interests are met and their pocketbooks lined with thirty pieces of silver.

I am not one of them…and never will be.

Thank God.

Maybe the president should be impeached.  If this kind-of thing is what the rich and powerful of this country want, I doubt that will happen, however.
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Did anyone notice that the media posted articles about Zimmerman helping rescue a family out of an overturned van four days after it actually happened?  The event occurred last Wednesday evening, then the planned protests happened over the weekend, and then the media writes about Zimmerman’s good Samaritan actions on Monday?  Maybe the did just find out on Monday, but I’d like to see proof of that.
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Also of note is the ACLU’s stance on the Zimmerman case.  It supports leaving the guy alone and it wrote to the white house to say so.  One article about it is here.  Zimmerman’s mom comes from the most disadvantaged in her home country, Peru, yet the media insists that GZ is “white” here, fueling the racist agenda.  Interesting article about the Peruvian side of the family here; the informative family website is here.
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Impeachment: The Unthinkable Process

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Fallout New Vegas: Comments from a Christian

Update:  If you’re interested in the newest Fallout game, I have a detailed (two-part) review here, Fallout 4. Sometimes Bigger Isn’t Better (Overview) and Fallout 4. Sometimes Bigger Isn’t Better (Story)Note:  Here’s another FNV related article, a detailed look at the Honest Hearts DLC and its By the Waters of Babylon theme.  Thanks for checking them out!

Having played Skyrim so much, and liking it (for the most part), I finally ventured to play some other Bethesda games.  I played Fallout 3 for a while, then started Fallout New Vegas.  I was initially not going to get the game at all, simply because of its name.  I have no desire to go to Las Vegas, and deplore the “please sin in our city and enjoy committing adultery” TV ads put out from that place.  I was concerned that the game might glorify sin, although I was a bit confident that Bethesda as a company – while trying to appeal to the widest possible audience for its games – was still not into the glorification of bad behavior.

I like role playing games (RPGs), which Skyrim and the Fallout series are (my son plays Borderlands and tells me it’s an RPG, but it seems to have less freedom about it and simply more shooting – I just don’t think of it as an RPG).  Skyrim is more free however (and beautiful), it seems to me, with more rewards for exploration, than the Fallout games I’ve played so far.  These games let you fulfill your desires for adventure, for completing difficult tasks, and for mystery-solving.  So while these games are gory, crude (some sections of the games, and some game add-ons, have very crude language), and even sexual to a more or less degree, their verbal and moral choices contents are not much different than the real world.  The gore in the Fallout series is pretty nasty though, and there’s no way to turn it down.

And if you didn’t know, the Fallout series takes place in the somewhat distant future, after a major nuclear war.  The look is not futuristic, but more like retro 1950s (apparently evoking the falsehood of post-WWII optimism).

If you’re wondering if your teens should be allowed to play Fallout 3 or New Vegas, I think I would be criticized by many for saying “it depends.”  Fallout 3 does not have the sexual content that New Vegas does, that I’m aware of (Fallout New Vegas has at least two females that you can “sleep” with, and they aren’t spouses), though it does have some pretty crude language in parts.  The reason why I may seem wishy-washy about this is that, while I homeschool my son now, he had been to a small Baptist private school for two years, and what he heard and learned while there was nothing at all different than what is in the Fallout games.  What kids are exposed to these days is horrible, not just that they learn bad words or sexual things, but that so many kids are very selfish and promote actions that hurt others a great deal (and these often involve sex).  Truly, we live in a fallen world.

But to be more specific, Fallout New Vegas is not a game for older teens unless they’re very mature and have experienced the crudities of real life already (or read books with similar content).  One can play Fallout New Vegas for the adventure and play a good character.  Since it is an RPG, one can make all the best choices and do a lot of good in this fallen and war-torn part of the world, and basically ignore people and quests that are unethical.  That’s part of what a role playing game is, after all.  Whether you choose to let your older teen play it may depend, too, on your weighing of the game choices available for older teens.  Do you choose games that are simply all shooting constantly, like Black Ops II, or Borderlands II–which is inbetween an RPG and first person shooter, in my view–, or games that are non-violent . . . well, you might be wishing for too much there . . . though there is Minecraft (which both my husband and son like to play) and sports games (which they don’t).  And, of course, it would depend on your teen’s attitude – does s/he simply want to play a challenging game that is basically realistic, or are they out to experience a sinful fantasy?  If the latter, then no matter the person’s age, there’s a problem there if one calls themselves a Christian.

Basically, these games are like living in a fantasy book, where you make the moral choices while battling for your life.  And while dealing with gore.  If the gore takes too much effort to deal with, don’t play the Fallout series.  Skyrim has very little gore compared to these.

Some other comments.  If you buy the Ultimate Edition of Fallout New Vegas, it comes with all the additional content.  “Old World Blues” is good to play as early as possible since it has your own home in it with all the work stations, and talking appliances.  It has quirky juvenile humor.  “Dead Money” is very unpleasant and there isn’t much reason to play it, except for additional game play time (it is very gory and my husband even thought it was just stupid and low of Bethesda).

"Old World Blues" image drifting around the internet.
“Old World Blues” image drifting around the internet.

“Honest Hearts” is pretty, well, the scenery is quite a bit prettier than the main game’s map; it is in Mormon territory and this added content astonishingly quotes the Bible.  This is pretty cool, actually, but the buzz I got from that dissipated upon hearing the outcome of the quest’s story.  Main quests in the games have a visual story that plays when you complete them, showing different outcomes based on the decisions you made in the game.   Because I helped the tribes defend themselves against the violent, slave-taking invaders, Bethesda chose to say that the tribes became militarized instead of just going back to their way of life.  Wow, Bethesda, no on can defend themselves without becoming militarized . . . (pretty bizarre attitude for a violent video developer).

Another religious aspect of the game, though subtle and apparently confusing, is the inclusion of the Followers of the Apocalypse.  This group has a very nice cross as its symbol and this is not hidden.  They reside outside of the Vegas Strip in an old Mormon fort, while giving medical and educational aid to the area residents.  If you visit the wiki site and read up on The Followers, you will read that they are a “secular humanist” organization.  I’d like to know what secular humanist organization will use a cross as their symbol?  Part of their reasoning comes from something the founder of the group said in an earlier game, about not worshiping so much as helping people.  So, at least to a degree, one can’t blame atheists or anyone else for being confused about them.

What I don’t like about this aspect of the game is that while these people appear to be Christians, with their traditional cross flag and their type of aid that is traditionally Christian, they are in a Mormon fort.  An uninformed player could easily get the impression that “Christian” and “Mormon” are the same, though they are not at all the same.  Of course, Mormons have been pushing the Christian claim hard for some time now, but any real look into their main doctrines will show that many are diametrically opposed to basic Christian belief.

If you want an overall rating of the game, I’d say it’s OK.  There are problems with it, like the multiple quest-arrow system that you can’t adjust or turn off, it not having a compelling enough main quest storyline, and – this is a biggy – when the main quest is completed the game is over.  That is, you can’t play anymore unless you go back to a previous save.  It’s very odd.  Originally, I had finished the main quest before doing all the added content.  I was shocked to find that the whole thing ended, so went back (the game does give you this choice before it shuts down).  Frankly, I have no desire to play the game again, though the thought came to mind because of the additional “Old World Blues” content.  It’s upsetting that it wasn’t a part of the original game; it doesn’t do anyone any good to get a fantastic and helpful home when the game is just about over . . .

Unemployment rate is not 7.5%. Tired of the news feeding you misleading information? (II)

The unemployment rate is about double that figure, with various experts providing a range between 13% and 16%.  Read on.

The report below is based on the ADP reports for job growth, or not . . .  Make sure to see the red and green graphic down the page a bit, “ADP Employment Change” (the recent change is negative).  While there is job growth in areas, look at the bottom of the info-graphic at the bottom of the article.  The average number of jobs in April was less than the previous five months.  Good jobs in manufacturing went DOWN, not up.

LINK:  ADP Private Jobs Plunge, Miss; Fall For Fifth Month In A Row

And get this:

LINK:  Dark side to jobs report: Big drop in hours worked; Commentary: Shorter work week equivalent to 500,000 jobs lost

Are you tired yet of the media providing a false and rosy picture of employment in this country?  What reason do they have to do so?  How can providing only part of the employment/unemployment picture help anyone – the government policy makers, business people, the unemployed?  While the author the article in the above link cautions that the data is only for one month and may not represent a long-term trend (still, that’s an awful lot of “jobs lost” not being reported), coupled with the ADP information in the first link, it isn’t encouraging.  It also confirms what so many employees are saying – they are given too few hours to work.

The video and transcript linked below gives actual, real-world evidence of the ridiculous time older people are having getting jobs (how they’re spending all their retirement, living off of aid, being forced into signing unlawful lay-off agreements, etc.).  Many were laid-off when the depression started.  I’m tired at this point of business people blaming others out there for out-sourcing jobs and therefore making it not competitive to pay Americans decent wages, or even hiring Americans at all, and things of this nature.  It’s business people that did all this – out-sourcing, laying off older workers because they have a higher pay rate and may cost more in health care, etc.  Not all business people have done these things, but it doesn’t matter much after our country and so many of its people are run into the ground.

Ethical business people should know about the applicable laws and regulations more than the average person, so they would be the best advocates for changes in the laws, tax structures, etc.  Many business people used to realize that employing people full-time and with decent pay made the whole community, and country, better.  Now it seems like only few do.  It’s like money is all that matters and that somehow they can take it to the grave with them – the future for everyone else is of no consequence.

As stated in the interview, the unemployment rate is closer to 16%.  This corresponds to Keith Hall’s testimony to the (US) Joint Economic Committee:  “Their data shows that American households now have an unprecedented dependence on these government programs. A remarkable 17.2% of total household income now comes from government social benefits, and such spending tracks pretty closely to the jobless rate (the share of the working age population without employment) . . .”

LINK:  Brutal Job Search Reality for Older Americans Out of Work for Six Months or More

For continually updated information on lay-offs and business closings, and links to pertinent articles (including where and how to get jobs), see DailyJobCuts.com.

Who are terrorists? Hint: Not American “conservatives”

Great article, and one that shouldn’t have to be written and published.  But get this:

CNN and MSNBC immediately speculated about “right-wing nutcases” and tea partyers. As of 2013, the number of terrorist attacks involving members of the tea party is precisely zero. The last major terrorist attack that had even the slightest link to anything on the political right was Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh in 1995. Described as a devout Christian and Republican, he was neither.

Many people in the media or who have voices that the media likes to chime, are those who promote lies and hypocrisy against those they simply disagree with.  When you’re young, well, at least when I was young, I assumed people told the truth and did things that were in the best interest of others and the community.  People that weren’t criminals just didn’t do the things that are basically a common part of our media and leadership today.   In any case, the article that is linked below is great, and apparently a good portion of our population needs to read it, stop ignoring reality, and stop pointing fingers and spreading hate against regular people (who are often more informed than they are).

Link:  Boston Marathon terrorism: The toxic brew of Islam and politics

A murderous, cancerous ideology known as radical Islam has metastasized globally. It needs to be stopped, and admitting the problem exists is the first step to recovery for deniaholics.

Fiscal Crisis, Fiscal Responsibility, and Fair Taxes

Link:  If Companies are People . . .

Op-ed in the New York Times by James Livingston, Rutgers professor. 

HERE’S an idea: why not tax corporations as if they were natural persons, in accordance with their newly discovered rights of free speech? That move would solve any impending fiscal crisis. . . .

In 2010 G.E. employed more than 130,000 people in the United States, and earned $14.2 billion, $5.1 billion of which was generated in the United States. And yet its American tax bill for that year, according to a report by The New York Times, was zero. . . .

So, by slashing corporate income taxes and forcing a new reliance on payroll taxes to finance government spending, we have redistributed income to the already wealthy and powerful. Our tax system has actually fostered inequality.  The fiscal problem we face is not, then, a lack of revenue sources. . . .

All the good things that were supposed to happen by cutting corporate profits have not materialized, and

corporate profits soar and full-time job creation languishes. American corporations are now sitting on $4.75 trillion in cash, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

In view of these facts, there’s no downside to replacing payroll taxes with increased taxes on corporate profits, wherever they’re made or held. By doing so, we make the tax code more progressive, and mobilize capital that is otherwise inert. In other words, we can lay solid foundations for economic growth simply by going back to the tax principles we used to have. What could be more conservative than that?

Not to mention that large corporations more and more employ people part-time only, basically, and those people qualify for food stamps and other programs.  These corporations pay fewer taxes and we pay more, and we pay for all their employees to simply live.  Besides simply being inhuman, this corporate philosophy is anti-community and anti-economic growth.  Poor people can’t buy luxury goods or save money for investment in stocks, bonds, etc.

Madonna, Don’t Bully the Boy Scouts

I’m very tired of people in the media, or anyone else for that matter, telling people that they can’t have a private organization based on certain beliefs.  As Madonna did recently.  Madonna dresses as Boy Scout, rips organization’s gay ban  The Boy Scouts is a private organization – let them be.  If ANYONE else wants to start a new organization similar to the Boy Scouts but with different values – guess what, they can!  This is nothing more than trying to take control of a large, influential, and traditional organization.  It’s appalling. Our country is a free one.  That organization can have it’s own values, based on the Bible, and anyone else is free to start their own organization based on secularism or humanism or whatever.  It’s amazing they don’t see their own hypocrisy.

Is Madonna for worker’s rights?  Hey Madonna, why don’t you join underpaid and underworked Walmart workers?  What’s on YOUR mind?  Only the rich would be concerned so much about sex, when so many people can’t even make enough money to pay rent or buy food . . . so many cannot afford to have families.  But the rich can, like Madonnna, and then go around trying to control others’ convictions about what God says.   People, we need to loudly defend our freedoms in these kinds of matters here or we will go the way of European countries, where in places it is against the law to publicly convey the word of God or homeschool your children.

“Humanism for Children”: Wm Lane Craig via The Washington Post.

Humanism for children – Guest Voices – The Washington Post.

I need to “get out” more on the internet, as I hadn’t seen this until today.  Nice little article.  It’s funny how some defenders of humanism, in the comments, complain that he didn’t mention the guys on their side.  Why should he, specifically?  He did mention them in passing, as having weak arguments.  It can be viewed as being more polite and academic to not attack everyone, but to primarily present one’s argument instead.  And the high rhetoric of some of humanism’s defenders is very funny too – it’s exactly the point.  Without a basis for claiming their moral authority, they end up looking like self-promoters of humanity, which often leads to despotism.  And around the web, there are no shortage of little bully despots running around daily, blindly insulting anyone who doesn’t agree with him.  What a wonderful, happy, and moral world the humanists are creating!

Here is an example from the academic realm of how humanists or naturalists (I can’t say for sure based on the info provided) equate belief in God with stupidity, and that somehow their views are superior.  They can’t even see how their opinions show that they think their views are obviously superior, instead of letting people have faith, and, actually talking about their differing views as equals.  They said that the man in question, Ben Carson,  claimed that evolutionists could not have the same level of ethics as theists (basically).  This is a philosophical argument, if it’s true what they said, and they need to address it seriously instead of whining about it. 

Dr. Ben Carson’s Beliefs On Evolution Stir Controversy At Emory University

As it turns out, Dr. Carson delivered the Presidential Prayer Breakfast speech shortly after I had made this post:

See the Prayer Breakfast Speech That’s Grabbing Headlines: Doctor Attacks Political Correctness, National Debt in Front of Obama

On Skyrim: A Vent from a Christian Parent (a mom who plays)

Fighting a dragon in Skyrim.  From http://www.industrygamers.com/news/ps3-skyrim-its-not-nearly-as-bad-as-it-seems/
Fighting a dragon in Skyrim. From http://www.industrygamers.com/news/ps3-skyrim-its-not-nearly-as-bad-as-it-seems/

Maybe you’ve come here before and read one or more of my posts on Skyrim.  If you haven’t, and you’re a parent interested in knowing more about the game, please also read my earlier review for parents.  It would probably be better if you read that one first, actually, since it presents the positive aspects of the game.  And just by way of warning, there are all kinds of spoilers in both posts.

I decided to write this not because I didn’t know about some unpleasant things about Skyrim before (though I know more now) – from a Christian perspective – but out of frustration over the questions presented on a major website.  A great percentage of these questions show that a lot of young people like to play all of the bad aspects of the game, and miss the complexities.  If you are a Christian and let your teen play without watching and knowing what they’re doing, maybe you’ll want to.  My son hasn’t played lately, but when he did, he liked to play bad characters once to see what they were about.  I didn’t like that he played some of the roles he had, but I talked with him about it.  It gave me an opportunity to find out what he thought of things presented in the game, and if he did something bad in the game, how that might or might not reflect on his real-life actions and attitudes.

There are certain things that I really didn’t want him doing, and he didn’t – like selecting the perk where your character will be able to cut people’s heads off.  This is bad enough in quick game play, but in Skyrim slow-motion, close-up cut-scenes happen randomly and they would include the slicing off of heads.  If a parent is concerned about what their child can select as perks, they can easily see all available perks from the perk trees, viewable after selecting the Skills menu.

The problem with Skyrim is that it is made by a corporation seeking the largest possible market (the Elder Scrolls series did not start out this way, and previous games were more specifically moral).  While the Dovahkiin – your character, the Dragonborn – is SUPPOSED to be a good SAVIOR type of figure, the player can choose to do all kinds of evil things.  Not only that, but there is quite a bit more to do in the game if the player decides to do these bad things.  Please watch the video below to hear the theme song, which is awesome, and read the words of the song.  They talk of the character of the Dovahkiin and of the main quest of the game (though there is a secondary main quest too).

As a parent, you may want to know more specifically about what I’m talking of in order to decide if you want to limit your kid’s game play in these areas.

1)  The Thieves Guild.  In past Elder Scrolls games, the Thieves Guild was more like a Robin Hood sort of organization.  In Skyrim it is not, and it is controlled by Mavin Blackbriar, a super evil, powerful, business woman who has a whole heck of a lot people fooled.  The most disturbing thing about Skyrim, when I first started playing, was finding out that you cannot get rid of Mavin and stop her murders and mafia-like activities in Riften – even though it seems like the game-makers intended to let you do something.  By the way the characters in Riften talk, and by the notes you find, it seems as though bringing Mavin to justice will be a quest . . . but in the end you can’t do anything about her.  In any case, there are lots of quests to do with the Thieves Guild and lots of items unique to the guild to be had, so it would be tempting to a lot of people to be in this guild.

2)  The Dark Brotherhood.  These are assassins for hire.  Mavin is in with them too.  You get the picture.  Again, quests and loot . . . so it’s tempting to play as a bad guy.

3)  Vampires.  The Dawnguard expansion allows the player to be a vampire, but the main idea is to be a part of the Dawnguard – vampire slayers.  The castle with the vampires is pretty disgusting and I think the game makers did an OK job of making vampires a negative thing, while still providing a mass-market expansion.  Vampires of course feed on humans.

4)  Werewolves and the Companions.  Being a werewolf in Skyrim can be only a matter of being stronger once a day, but there is the option to feed off of a human (cannibalism) in order to maintain the form a bit longer. With the Dawngaurd expansion, however,  it can get nastier.  Dawnguar adds a werewolf perk tree, and unlike the other perk trees, perks can only be ge gained by eating human hearts.  Yeah, gross.   There is a non-Companions quest in Skyrim that conveys the evilness of lycanthropy.  I not only included the Companions here because it is the group where you acquire lycanthropy, but I wanted to mention the less than charitable intentions of the Companions.   They only do good works if they’re paid, and one gets the impression that the more they are paid, the more likely they will be to go out and actually do the job.   A good thing about the Companions is that you get the opportunity to cure the leader of his werewolfism, which he very much desires.

As discussed in my original review, Skyrim is a complex game if played the way it was meant to be played.  One quest that I found to be bad, that seems like a good thing to do at first, is the Gildergreen quest.  In this quest, you are to recover an evil blade (hey, a clue there), which is needed in order to collect the sap of a certain tree.  The reason you need this sap is to revive the Gildergreen tree in Whiterun.  Before you revive it, it looks dead; afterwards it looks alive and vibrant, with purple flowers.  So WHY would that be a bad thing?  Well, you wouldn’t really know at first.

The first hint is the evil blade, but then, a lot of things in Skyrim are just things and don’t necessarily live up to their names.  But there is another hint.  When you go to where the mother tree is, which is in a very large, beautiful, and tranquil lit cavern, you encounter some people there enjoying the sanctuary.  When you talk with the lady there, you can ask her about the tree and the blade, and she responds very negatively to you.  Ok.  So . . . what do you do?  It doesn’t seem that bad or anything – you just want to revive the tree in Whiterun.  But what happens, no matter how hard you try to control the situation, is that the persons in the sanctuary get killed by the guardian Spriggons when you cut the mother tree for its sap.  Is reviving an old tree in Whiterun worth the lives of those people?  Not in my book.  The Whiterun folks can get a new tree!

I think the Gildergreen quest is actually a good lesson in deciphering information and choosing to do the better thing.  Skyrim is full of mental and moral exercises such as the Gildergreen quest.  A problem with this, however, as with the evil groups and quests in Skyrim generally, is that the player must choose not to do a lot of available game play.  As an adult I’m not very tempted to join the evil groups and do evil things, but for a lot of young people these might be tempting (especially in the presence of peer pressure).  I do think Skyrim has A LOT going for it compared to other games: visual and musical beauty, complexity (good luck trying to decipher all the purposefully conflicting books and dialogue regarding the history and religion of not only Skyrim, but that of the continent it’s on, Tamriel), historical and mythological aspects, etc.  As a Christian parent, I think it’s OK for older kids to play as long as the parent(s) knows about the game and is at least somewhat involved with their kid’s gameplay.

[Section on lycanthropy updated on Jan. 23, 2013]