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Am I An Adult

Am I an adult? There was a vlog that I was watching where the young man was questioning whether or not he was an adult now that he had moved into a house with his girlfriend. Now, he is about 25, so to me, that is quite young. Technically, he is an adult but is he really? Some of his decisions indicate to me that he has some growing to do.

At eighteen we are generally called adults, but how accurate is that and what defines us as an adult, besides age. Puberty could be considered the point where one becomes an adult. Brain development may be another area where we can determine when a person has become an adult. What about education or the moment we no longer rely on our parents for assistance? What constitutes an adult?

Biology or physiology is one element of adulthood. Structurally, we are adults once we stop developing which is about 18 or so. There is another aspect of adulthood that cannot be pinned down to a specific or narrow range of time. This is the mental aspect of it from knowledge to wisdom. Even today at my age, I am not adult-like all of the time. I do silly and stupid things that are not ascribed to adults. I even make poor decisions, but compared to my adult son and soon to be a younger adult son, I am very much an adult.

Wisdom is a key component of adulthood, thus to be an adult you must have wisdom, and this wisdom is relative. As we gain wisdom, better decisions are made and the choices we make are less harmful or negative. Within this last statement, we find the problem with wisdom and why it is relative. Experience provides wisdom, so we are only as wise as the experience we have encountered which is usually proportional to our age. My oldest child will make poor decisions in comparison to me but will be on par with those in his age range.

Adulthood is primarily dictated by our culture and physiology or independence are attributes used to define adults. If you search the globe you’ll see societal differences concerning who is an adult. These range anywhere from 15 to 21. Society provides freedom upon reaching this arbitrary moment, but it does not necessarily mean you are an adult.

To answer my question, “Am I an adult?”, I recognize that it relative to those observing me. To some, my physique shows that I am an adult as well as the wisdom I have accumulated. To others, including my wife at times, I am still an immature kid who acts like an adult at times. To my sons, I am the adult when they are in a pickle and need my help, a compatriot when I am a partner in their game or “crime”. For some “adults”, I am still a young pup with much to learn. To me, I am still 25 in an older person’s body who has much to learn.

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Why Worry About Guns?

March 22, 2018 Leave a comment

I wrote an earlier snippet about how there is fearmongering about guns and showed statistics proving this. Briefly mentioned, I believe, were some statistics about bullying. What is really worse I ask?

We have this gun violence walkout disguised as school safety. Well, where is the safety with respect to this incident: School Walkout Violence? A student is violently beaten for not participating. What apparently attributed to this incident? News 6, local news of the areas, quoted this, ““You won’t catch me outside doing the walkout but at 10:00 I’ll watch all the clowns head to the sports arena for the circus”, as well as this “The people doing it to skip class, those people, they’re the clowns.” The young man was repeatedly threatened and finally brutally attacked. Now, shouldn’t this be considered as a hate crime? I think the term “hate crime” is silly, but if we are going to apply this law, then it should be applied across the board.

At what point should we reassess our priorities. It isn’t guns that threaten our lives. What threatens us are those who do not value others and their beliefs. This shows the sad fact that students are not aware of what they are “walking out” on. They follow the indoctrination of their teachers, peers, and parents. This is where fearmongering is at its most damaging as it creates irrational fear while we allow a student to be bullied and severely beaten. Guns have never been the true issue concerning gun control. We need to get our act together and quit drinking the proverbial kool-aid. Life is full of events, items, or activities that will kill us. We, willingly, take that chance every day.

Let quit focusing on guns and gun control and focus on correcting our society. This young man should not have had to spend one moment in a hospital, and the perpetrator should be arrested and charged. Allow me to end with a quote from F.D.R., “Only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

To Own Guns or Not to Own Guns

March 15, 2018 Leave a comment

The battle for gun control in the United States has been an ongoing issue for decades. My first recollection of it was the assassination attempt on President Reagan with John Lennon’s death being brought up. Of all of the types of death from other forms of violent crime ending in the death of a victim to car accidents and even disease, only car accidents and specific diseases leading the deaths of individuals were ever mentioned. Guns were never at the forefront of the arguments. Since 1981, little has changed in the way deaths occur. Are guns really an issue?

The only point about guns is the idea of the removal of guns to “protect” the people. Let us not play the game about gun control as the real intent is to eliminate guns and allow the American government keep the public safe. The counter-argument to this is the Second Amendment, and again, let’s be honest. The Second Amendment is less of the foundation for the pro-gun argument than the act of being free to own a gun. Using a gun for protection is another justification whether it is true or not. So we can say the first issue is NO GUNS versus one’s right to own guns.

Any form of gun control is truly one step towards the removal of guns in a society. There is no argument about this. If you are for any type of gun control, then you support the removal of guns even if you believe you do not. Gun control through laws to limit the idea of guns is an element of Rules for Radicals in the form of “Keep the pressure on.” As you pressure society to enact more restrictive laws on guns, you are maintaining pressure. Another element of Rules for Radicals is “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.”

Fearmongering with the intent of instilling irrational fear is a very successful way of winning people over to the gun control people. We now see this with the student marches. “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself” and “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” These two rules work together to tear down the reasoned thoughts of a person and replace it with irrational fear. We see this in all areas of ideological battles, but the gun issue is even worse. Ignored are worse issues such as youth suicides through bullying. Somehow gun violence in schools if far worse than the 4,400 deaths. There is an average of 3,470 suicide attempts made daily (http://prp.jasonfoundation.com/facts/youth-suicide-statistics/). In 2014 alone, 1,668 deaths of 13 to 18-year-olds was recorded. We clearly can see that one issue exceeds the gun fear and yet we only pay lip service to it. So, why are we concerned about gun violence with our youths or even the adult population in general?

When we look at other causes of deaths heart disease, cancer, and chronic lower respiratory diseases are the top three and far outnumber gun deaths. If you are a woman who is pregnant, I would think that possibly you should be more concerned about dying from childbirth more than gun violence. Homicide for ages 1-9 is 8% and 10-24 is 14.6%. This is only homicide. What these two numbers do not explain are the method and circumstance. We can break down based on known methods of homicide.

From 2010 to 2014, firearms were the leading cause of homicide with a decreasing number: 8,874 (2010), 8,653 (2011), 8,897 (2012), 8,454 (2013), and 8,124 (2014). Knives were second at 13% and our own body weapons of hands, feet, fist, and whatever else is 6%. These aren’t the most current numbers, but they are sufficient to show the statistics. The facts are that guns are involved in more homicides than any other weapons, cutting weapons are second, and our own bodies are third. Now the next issue is the circumstance that these weapons were used in a homicide. Gang-related is far different than a school shooting or even random shooting. Domestic homicides are very different than a gang or school violence. I haven’t even touched upon the use of guns by those not allowed to own or possess guns. This is no different than those people driving a vehicle without a license or violating restraining orders or doing other illegal activities. Our law enforcement agencies cannot actively prevent these from happening.

Is there a legitimate reason to eliminate guns from a society based on the mythical safety ideal? If you are irrational about numbers and state that one is too many, then the answer is yes. We can use that answer for any number events even stating that one life saved because of a gun is worth keeping guns. Another element of this singular idea is that we should ban knives as it would definitely save one life. Maybe we should remove our own appendages? If you believe that 8,600 gun homicides are enough of a reason to ban guns then compare this to the American population. The numbers are nowhere near 1%. In 2014, there were 8,124 gun homicides and this amounts to 0.0026% of the population. This isn’t so bad especially when you look at the statistics of 1.3 million people dying in road crashes a year and 1,600 of those people are children! If we apply auto accidents to the 2014 population that means 0.41% of the population is dying because of automobiles.

We can’t ignore that there is indeed gun death through homicide, but we need to put it into perspective. We need to look at the event where a gun was used to commit a homicide and the environment. There are plenty of instances where a gun was convenient and the lack of one would not have prevented a homicide. Can the removal of guns eliminate school deaths? Absolutely NOT. The 1927 Bath School bombing or the Oklahoma City bombing prove otherwise. Poisons are easily made and can be distributed with great effect.

When you consider banning guns, you will need to really look at the situation. Does the removal of guns really do anything, and if so, is it enough? Are you willing to sacrifice one’s perception of freedom for your sense of security? If so, are you willing to sacrifice some of your freedom should these other people feel the need to repress your rights? At what point are you suffering from irrational fear? I live in an area with more guns than people, yet there has not been a homicide in recent memory. Countries that have banned guns have not noticed a reduction in crime and homicides regularly happen in those nations. In fact, the United States is considered the safest location in the world. When you want to eliminate a right or freedom, you must look at the cost. Is the cost worth it? Am I willing to be 0.0026% less safe so that I and my fellow Americans can legally own a gun? In what way will I truly be safe if guns are removed? Will I be actually safer without guns?

Another statistic to review is a 1982 survey where 40% felons decided to not commit a crime because of the knowledge that the victim may or was carrying a gun. 34% were scared off, captured, or wounded by someone carrying a gun. Finally, 69% know of other criminals that were deterred from committing a crime. How does this apply to the argument? Does this alter the argument? I do not believe so, as it is not the crux of the issue. It is a supporting element just like the statement of facts or statistics about cities with strict gun control but high gun homicide.

What side are you on? Do you support the removal of guns or do you support the free ownership of guns? If so, why do you support that position and is it truly valid? Fear is never a valid reason and at what number does the point of freely owning guns become too expensive? For me, the statistics do not support the banning of guns even though it pains me to see the useless death of just one person. I am willing to accept the ever so slight increase in my mythical safety to own and use guns. It is the price of the freedom that I define.

White Supremacists and Medievalism

February 7, 2018 Leave a comment

Though this is not a recent argument, it is one that I ran into while I pondered the rigid feminist ideology Cathy Newman adhered to in her debate with Jordan Peterson. In fact, Cathy exemplifies the type of ideological blindness found with many types of ideas and ideologies. This led me to Dorothy Kim’s idea that professors who teach about the medieval period should explicitly condemn white supremacists in their classrooms. Why should that be done? I am stuck with the question of what will that accomplish?

If I take the premise that it will make white supremacists re-think their medieval use or racism as a whole, then this fails as many if not most supremacists are not college educated. How does condemning help if those people are not taking the class? In this element of Kim’s idea, it fails. Condemning in class is no solution for this situation.

The impressionable students can be indoctrinated by the incessant pounding of the professors if these professors follow Kim’s idea. Afterall, college isn’t about critical thinking or having as student think. It is about indoctrinating the student with the current societal approved ideology. We have filled the minds of students with doctrine and nothing else. Success, except it, isn’t. We now have students crying about their feelings and wanting to suppress other thoughts that were extrapolated based on the indoctrination. This doesn’t do much. In fact, if a student doesn’t have the white supremacist idea, then it was a huge waste of the student’s tuition and university promise of educating them. However, I have at tendency to believe that universities jumped the shark years ago.

One idea could be that if ALL of the medieval professors were to band together and ignore their medieval courses to condemn white supremacy, then everyone will have to believe them and white supremacy will go away. Sorry, that won’t work. As soon as a professor or two takes to belittling white supremacist ideas, their effect dies, and white supremacists do not care what these professors think anyway.

White supremacists, in general, have no clue about the medieval period. Their knowledge consists of what they have learned in the movies such as medieval soldiers wore studded gambesons, Vikings (raiding Norsemen) has horns on their helmets, an onager could knock down walls with huge stones, and the Knights Templar found some secret treasure. There are plenty of people that believe that swords go “shwing” when pulled out of a scabbard not to mention the idea one man can defeat twenty with ease. This makes me question Professor Kim’s intelligence.

Preaching to the choir solves nothing. In fact, it can very well create the opposite effect she desires. Does wearing an umbrella inside the house in order to keep from being rained do anything? If the roof is keeping you try, then the redundancy is useless. Even if there are some gains to her idea, are they even worth the cost?

Any form of hatred comes from the home where it was ingrained or a traumatic experience where the individual associates an entity with negativity, thus hatred. All of this is due to the lack of familiarity with that entity. Without familiarity, there is no empathy or compassion towards the entity and hatred persists. All of this needs to be addressed and a silly idea of “say no to white supremacy” in a classroom accomplishes nothing more than a false sense of accomplishment. You achieve the same accomplishment by silently wishing there were no white supremacists.

We Have Come So Far And Learned Very Little

August 18, 2017 Leave a comment

I have had the opportunity to watch the United States and the world for that matter evolve socially and culturally for over thirty years. It always seems as we take a step forward we take not two, not three but ten steps backward. There has been so much movement forward that is always retarded by ideology and some form of greed whether it is financial, ethnic, or cultural greed.

The Charlottesville, Virginia incident was an event that represented a minority for both sides. There are really few KKK and neo-Nazis when we look at the numbers. The Southern Poverty Law Center estimates there are at most 8,000 members. Even if there are ten times that number, it would be small. I have had the hilarity of seeing a few of these marches, and they were very uncomfortable for the few members that were there. The absurdity of it all almost made you feel sorry for them except for what they represent. Fortunately, the counter protesters were few in number and did not agitate the KKK members. This further diluted the KKK’s desired effect as they became laughable in their uncomfortable movements. They are the comedy of hate groups.

Neo-Nazis, on the other hand, are a bit more frightening as they are more international than the sad KKK and their name has a more fear instilling ability than Klu Klux Klan, which sounds like some Looney Tunes cartoon or Dumb and Dumber movie. I often associate Neo-Nazis to the next group, white supremacists. These groups tend to be more violent than the KKK.

Another group, while I am covering hate groups, are the black separatists and the BLM. Yes, BLM should be considered a hate group if we go by the definition set up for hate groups. A hate group is a social organization or group that advocates or even practice violence towards others. The violence can be as simple as hostility and the hatred can be directed at law enforcement personnel. We cannot give them a pass even if they have valid points or even perceived valid points. Are they truly so different than the KKK other than silly acronyms such as KKK and BLM – bacon lettuce ‘n mutton. Will the BLM become as impotent as the KKK has become? I only hope so and continue to hope the KKK members just go away and find something constructive to do such as donate their sheets to the needy.

Hate groups have always existed and will continue to exist no matter how we try to legislate, humiliate, or even bully them away. We tend to drive them underground and like a pressure vessel without a relief valve, they’ll explode at some point. We are not seeing anything new with hate groups as I recall the fear of white supremacists in the 90s and even earlier. Suffice to say that these groups have us taking steps backward, but they’re not the only ones doing this.

The social justice ideology is another factor that is pushing us downwards. We are removing old, historical monuments to alleviate psychological issues that are not there or eliminate hatred or what? What is this accomplishing other than to hide the realities of history? History, after all, does not care about good or evil. It is like air, it’s just there for us to use. To tear down a monument of Robert E. Lee accomplishes nothing. His monument represents several things. The first is it represents him as a man during a time where society had different norms. He was neither good nor evil. Lee was a human who made good decisions and bad decisions. Should we banish Martin Luther King Jr. from his place in D.C.? He was in many terms a sexists and misogynist as he had multiple affairs and truly does not represent my beliefs. We should remove all monuments to all people for the negative actions they have done. Were Lee’s transgressions that much worse than his positives? Who is to judge, a society that makes the rules to make themselves feel better? Genghis Khan is a hero in Mongolia but hated in China. He was both good and bad.

How does removing Civil War monuments help people mentally? It doesn’t. If one derives their present and future based on their past, then the issue is with them and not society. In fact bowing to these beliefs forces us back even further as we live in the past and miss the future. Why can we not view these monuments as memories of triumph when we began to conquer injustice, hatred, and bigotry with a major victory? I don’t hate the men that fought for the Confederacy just as I do not hate elderly people than continuing to maintain a racial ideology based on the 60s and 70s. It is difficult to remove an indoctrinated idea after living with it for decades. What I cannot forgive is our willingness to cow tail to an ideology that censors freedom of speech and the past for a feel good feeling. Shall we save federal money and shut down all National parks related to all wars and sell the land? While we are at it, raze the National Mall as it represents hatred. There are plenty of places the government can get rid of and save a ton of money in the process. Acadia, gone! Dry Tortugas, no here anymore. There is a long list of places we can be rid of. Think of all the monuments we have. Remove all of them as the person or persons it represents did something unsavory at some point in their life.

Instead of looking to punish the present for the actions of the past, we should be embracing our societal and cultural advancement. Turn away from the mantra of the left and right extremes as they only deceive by giving you only a sliver of the truth and little of it. Their journalistic design, humour, academic knowledge or even ignorance is designed to create hatred within you. Think and analyze for yourself whether it is from the media, website, or even a politician. Hatred will always exist and capturing it is like trying to hold water in a sieve. Embrace our differences in not only the outward features but in our beliefs, too, and this will bring us together as we combat hatred through the unity of acceptance. We can make it known our disproval of someone’s actions, but we should not harshly punish because their beliefs do not model our own ideologies. People have the right to hate other people, but they do not have the right to incite or harm those they hate.

Hatred Breeds Hatred

February 23, 2016 Leave a comment

I was brought up to treat other people as I would like to be treated and as an equal. It was taught to me that a black person was no different than me except for melanin and a few other characteristics that are no different than eye color, hair color or any other such variation of a human. As a son to a mother, brother to a sister, and husband to a wife there was no reason why I would not think of a female as being my equal. This type of vision carries on throughout other people.

For all of the people I have met, I have yet to come in a agreement with 100% of the people. We disagree on many issue such as sports, sports teams, politics, religion, weather, seasons, guns, homosexuality, and so on. Some actions or beliefs I say are very wrong while some friends would disagree. I openly admit I think homosexuality is wrong in many ways and even believe it is a neurological disorder. This belief has never allowed me to discriminate or hate such a person. They’re different than me just as the guy who has cerebral palsy or the friend that likes only red headed women or the one that prefers another type of female. There have been many gay people that I have met in the world, and they knew my belief. It has never stopped us from interacting, because it was not a issue to keep a friendship or working relationship from communicating and interacting peacefully. This isn’t just about gay or color but differences as a whole.

Recently, I have seen people purposely discriminate against those that may share my ideas. There is the unfairness of banning Chick-Fil-A at the University Nebraska or the person who, holding a different opinion than me, has a racist view of blacks or whites for that matter. They express their First Amendment rights and are attacked. When these people or businesses are quashed, these groups attacking become worse than what they have attacked. Their insatiable hatred towards these groups does what they apparently do not understand. They create hatred through their own irrational hatred.

We can’t legislate hate away and we can’t shame or push hate away. Legislation to eliminate hate has always made the issues worse and it creates more hatred of the type of hatred or discrimination the law tried to remove. The same goes with these groups that attack anti-gay businesses or people. Attacking people for what appears to be a racists statement or attitude does not make for a tolerant world.

Sadly, those that believe is banning what seems to be offensive or hurtful words only makes the issues worse. We will always have people hating gays, blacks, whites, hispanics, asians, redheads, short people and what not. When we try to actively stop these people, we only make it worse. When we enact laws that discriminate one group in order to help another, we are creating future hate that is worse than the present.

The solution is a lengthy process called time. Tolerance develops over time and understanding comes after. When we try to circumnavigate time we only make the issues worse. Think of these actions as going to war without diplomacy. Would you doom millions of lives if you could have been more patient and diplomatic? The solution for the University of Nebraska is to allow Chick-Fil-A in. Show the tolerance. It may be difficult, but there are other ways to get someone to change.

In the end, the groups forcing the discrimination of Chick-Fil-A are worse than what they are trying to prevent. In effect these people are the true evil. We should be defending the right for everyone to have their freedom of speech and beliefs even if we strongly disagree. Until those of us who will discriminate based on a righteous cause cease this attitude, hatred will continue to breed hatred, and those of us that actively seek to prevent the rights of others from being expressed in the false belief of freedom are guilty of what we preach against.

The hardest part

January 15, 2016 Leave a comment

My oldest has been in college for a few years, now. This means that in several years he will have to disconnect from our household and start a new life. The base of his living won’t be at our house or  the chances of it are slim. It is during these thoughts I realize how much I will miss him.

For most of our life together, we have done little together. We have sleep, work, and other activities to suction away our time. The moments where we could spend time together are further stolen with activities he wants to do and activities I want or have to do. This leaves the two of us with little time together. The best I can hope for is usually his presence. I get a satisfaction of knowing he is around.

As a parent, we seldom realize the noise a human makes. It is not necessarily the vocal part of noise for there is physical noise and a residual noise. The physical noise is the person being in the house. I know when my son is around because I see him pass by or using some item within the house. This is the physical noise. The residual noise is what the person leaves behind. For my son, these are dishes, laundry, whatever he was playing with, and the open garage door. It drives us up a wall, but when you are without your son, you actually miss it. Wait! Did I say that?

I never understood my parents reaction to my being away, especially when I moved out. They were always encouraging me to come home. My life was full of, well, life. I couldn’t find the effort to always travel the two hours or more to go home. My parents home became a source of boredom, because there was nothing of interest there. My parents were happy to have me in the house, but I didn’t understand. They could continue with life while I struggled to find something to do at the house. It was no longer my home. They were reclaiming what I am now seeing – a loss.

To spend so many years dedicating your life to your offspring is very hard but satisfying. The most difficult part is the separation, more so than the birth of our children. Now throw in homeschooling and it is compounded. We have homeschooled our children for so many years that our lives are happily more intertwined than ever. I was a part of my son’s education. I would trade the frustrations for anything. I just wish I understood them better.

It is hard for me, a person with a cold and emotionless demeanor, to cope with this. Much of what bothers me is kept inside while a rigid human presents a rock of stability. At the death of my father, I never cried but only appeared to be the stable person with the ability to continue one, after all I understand death is normal and will happen to all of us. Still, all of it is difficult.

As I look into the future, I see a change that brings a bittersweet emotion. I will happy for my son’s new life but be saddened for the loss I will encounter. My memories will fade until reminded by his visit. My consolation of understanding what my parents desired and understood does not bring the comfort I seek. Instead, I must soldier on and adjust to life just as my son will do. The best I can have is the comfort of my wife. In the end, half of my life will go away and grow elsewhere. Will I finally weep and such a wonderful but sad loss?