Am I smart, sometimes yes and a lot of the time no. However, I really do want to find out what’s right and what’s the right thing to do. I think in making a decision it is smart to gather and carefully analyzing available data and information and then make an informed decision. I question the credibility of what many people say, what I read, and of course, the media. It just occurred to me that intelligent people don't necessarily go with "The Flow."
As I age, more rapidly than I’d like, I become more and more disappointed in many of the people I once thought were intelligent. Yes, most are quite good in specific areas, like making money, building things, sports, the arts, trivial knowledge, and a myriad of similar things. Yet, in life they appear to be out of touch with reality; they disregard common sense (logic), science, and other accepted reliable sources.
For the sake of this discussion, I’m going to create a new political party, that way I won’t have to offend anyone. My new party is The Afugg party. The Afugg party stand for Americans’ for unimaginable good government. Because it doesn’t matter what party that is in current existence there have been politicians accused, charged, and in many cases convicted of varying crimes. Yet, people still vote for them. And we wonder why we have bad government, oh, of course it can’t be an Afugg party believer, it’s the other parties fault.
The typical response, from a supporter of a party to a statement, in this case, that an Afugg party politician was indicted and convicted of kickbacks from a government project, they will say something to the effect, "Well so and so from another party did it or what’s so bad about it, all politicians are crooks." Sorry, it’s easy to show stupid people, but this discussion is about smart people.
Okay, back to smart people. First smart people aren’t always smart, but they are when it comes to important things. They belong to the Afugg political party. The Afugg political party stands for: Honesty, Integrity, and Ethics. The Afugg party supports protection for people (military, police, fire, and health), a well maintained infrastructure, excellence in public education (at all levels), accountability for government spending and eliminating waste, protecting the rights of individuals — while considering that some rights may be in opposition to other rights and that one persons rights may infringe on another’s, and working in a bipartisan manner to deliver what’s best for all citizens. The Afugg’s party theme song is, "The Impossible Dream." Their motto is, "You get the kind of government you vote for."
Oh, one last thing about the Afugg politian that committed a crime and the member that indicating it was okay; both would be expelled.
My plan was to give a whole bunch of examples of smart behavior, so instead of boring you, I will just say, I believe that Smart/Intelligent individuals will do the following:
- Make decisions that benefit them. According to a theory of economics, "People will do what they feel is in their own best interests." While making their decision, they also strongly consider the affect it will have on others and factor it in.
- When making an important decision, they will use logic, accepted scientific laws and theories, available data (from reliable sources — both pro and con), and they don’t accept something just because they like someone or the person that said it aligns with their general views, belongs to the same organization, political party, or religious group. Essentially they think for themselves. Lots of people think they think for themselves but in reality they don’t.
- They don’t blame others for what they do.
- They don’t expect others to have the same beliefs as they do, particularly when it comes to religion, politics, and other personal views; and even though they may disagree, they respect the other’s right to believe what they want.
- They don’t affix labels on others or call them derogatory names. My view regarding this is that they’re attempting to lower the person to their level.
- When they make a mistake, they own it and learn from it; they don’t blame someone else.
- They don’t attempt to reason with an unreasonable person. Another way of saying this is, "They don’t argue with a fool because if they do there are two fools arguing." The Donkey and The Tiger, on my page, "Food for Thought II" is a story that really illusrates this behavior.
Random Acts of Kindness
June 26, 2022
June 26, 2022: Today I was watching YouTube videos, specifically "Random Acts of Kindness." I had an epiphany of sorts. Two things happened to me: I felt good and my eyes teared, well maybe I cried a little. It occurred to me that watching these videos affirmed that I am a caring person. It makes me wonder how others respond. I guess I’m attempting to say that a person’s reaction to the events shown says a lot about them.
When I finished, I realized it was a good way to start my day; uplifting and hopeful.
Knowing it All
February 14, 2022: I was at one of my haunts relaxing and nursing my wine. One of the televisions had the Olympics hurling competition on. One of the patrons asked across the bar, "I wonder how much a hurling stone weighs." Another guy said, "Ask Art, he'll know." I ignored his snide inuendo that I'm a know it all and looked up the weight using Google. Turns out the stones weigh forty-four pounds for Olympic competition.
A day or two later, I began to reflect on his comment, i.e., I am a know it all. So, I set out to formulate my response the next time it happens, if it does. I will start with, "Hang on a minute. First off I resent your implication that I'm a know it all. If you took all the knowledge that exists, represented by the oceans, my knowledge would barely fill a small pail. If you really paid attention, you would have observed that most of the time I'm silent. The questions and comments I usually respond to are those that are related to my education and experience. All of the other questions I respond to can easily be found on Google, Bing, and Yahoo, like the weight of a hurling stone. Furthermore, in most conversations, I keep my mouth shut when I don't know and when I'm listening to pure bullshit, and from people that really think they know it all. Nearly all of the time I give an answer, I've just looked it up. Yes everything on the internet, in books, and on television may not be true, however, for the most part search sites and Wikipedia will provide accurate information on stuff like who won the 1989 Superbowl, how many world series have the Yankees won, what does the circle at the top of the penalty box mean, . . .. And the fake news is anything but fake, it's just that people can't accept that they may be wrong or it doesn’t support their disillusioned view. The freedom of the press is so important that it was put into the Constitution to protect our democracy. One of the first things dictators, or would be dictators, do is to suppress the free press or convince people it's Fake!"
I'd pause, then add, "One last comment. I've observed that people that insult and bully, do so to bring the person down to their level."
At this point I'd probably just give up. I found that it's nearly impossible to truly talk to myopic people. What they fail to see is that most of the things I respond to, simple knowledge data, are things that I've been involved in or received in education, however, that doesn’t necessarily make me right. Also, I suspect unlike most people, I look for answers and observe what's going on. Let me be clear, I do my best not to pay attention and eavesdrop to conversations around me. However, sometimes it’s nearly impossible not to hear, even when I’ve got my head set on and I’m listening to it. For the most part, I just keep what I think to myself. I think that most people just move through life with, "that’s the way it is" and never ask why; I do.
Yet, More On the Topic, "We Believe What We Want To Believe!"
May 6, 2022
In a discussion with a friend I stated, "People will believe what they want to believe." We discussed the topic and basically she concurred that despite proof you couldn’t change some peoples mind and she implied that given proof she would accept something different than what she thought it was. Somehow the discussion came around to zoo animals. I said something to the effect that zoos were doing so much to help wildlife and the exhibits were much more conducive to caring for the animals.
She said, "I know but I feel sorry for them and don’t like to visit."
I started to profess the value of zoos and the great work they’re doing.
Her response, "I understand but nothing anyone says will change my mind ‘that the only way these animals should live is free.’"
I shifted the conversation back to "People believe what they want." I said, "If I could show you valid scientific data that supported that captive animals were better off, could that change your view?"
She replied, "No. My feelings are emotional and not based on knowledge."
My response was, "All our emotions are based on knowledge. We can’t separate them." By knowledge, in this case, I’m referring to our beliefs or our value system. Her view was that animal are better off free, which may or may not be true, depending on the animal. However, her emotion of feeling sorry cannot be detached from her belief. I broached the subject of "Sweatshops" in other countries. Based on our standard of living the working environment would be poor at best, and more likely bad. However, if we consider the standard of living of the country, perhaps it’s not at all poor or bad but rather good. To condemn something without considering all other aspects and base it on what you think it should be, is pompous. It’s almost laughable, but she agreed that we should not impose our standards on others. When I pointed out that, that was exactly what she was doing with regard to the animal. She said it was different because her views were due to emotions that are not controllable.
Since the discussion, I’ve pondered, and re-pondered the conclusion I reach that emotions are attached to knowledge, knowledge which forms our beliefs. I do have to admit, there are some emotions that are intrinsic or instinctive, like love. However, in this case, I’m sure her feeling are based on her beliefs.
Another funny side aspect of this conversation was the unwillingness to pursue a discussion that was in conflict with her beliefs. I realized as I wrote this, that the trait of not wanting to find out what is true, or perhaps that you may be wrong, is very common, peopl just want to believe what they want. What I’m saying, when people are faced with having to provide facts or face facts they have extreme difficulty doing so. I know I’m not always right, in fact I may be wrong a lot of the time, nevertheless, I do want to know what’s right; as I’ve said many times, ‘I want to know what’s right, not who’s right.’
Life's Turning Points and Values
February 19, 2022
If there is really one good thing about getting older, it is the ability to reflect on life and the past. Each year about this time, near my birthday, I look back to see what has changed and where we are going. What has struck me, is what I now value. Things -- such as, cars, money, furniture, stereos, etc., -- seem to have lost their driving force. They have the power to motivate the young and ambitious. I've found, for me, that love, family, friendship, health, and contributing, no matter how little, to making the world a better place is what matters most.
Material things come and go, they get old and wear out (so do we), they lose their importance and we get bored with them. The events of the heart, not necessarily amour, but of creation, watching a child grow, or a puppy play, smelling a rose, looking at a glorious sunset, or meeting a friend. These memories last forever and give us identity. As we move through life, there are many events that change our direction or give us a new purpose. Some are drastic, others take time. They all change us somewhat. These events can be as fast as a heart attack, or slow as making a new friend, or as big as an earthquake or as small as a smile.
When I reflect on the past and examine what has changed me (hopefully for the better), I think of one special friend. For me, he's that one in a million that always comes to mind. In a letter to him on his ninetieth birthday I wrote, "Although brief, your encouragement, caring and positive outlook has contributed to my personal values, as outlined earlier, and what I believe is really important in life. I hope you have a wonderful birthday, a spectacular holiday season, and the best of all possible life." The entire letter is available on my Gifts From The Heart.
I guess my objective is to get you, the reader, to think about what is really important and valuable. Like me, you've probably heard that people on their death bed rarely, if ever, say, "I wish I worked longer and harder, I wish I made more money," or other such material things. The truth is that they are more likely to say, "I wish I spent more time with my family, paid attention to my health, contributed more to make the world a better place," and other things money can't buy.
"Tyranny of the Majority"
February 17, 2022
A little research revealed that John Adams is credited with the statement, "Tyranny of the Majority." Although it is likely based on Socrates hatred of a pure democracy, that is, the majority rules. He and many others were concerned about a unicameral government, i.e., a government where all rested in one group. In the end, the founding fathers of America settled on three branches: legislative, judicial, and executive. To further strive for the protection of the minority, the legislative was spilt into two: House of Representatives and Senate. The Senate is not based on population, it's based on states.
In 1831, an ambitious and unusually perceptive twenty-five-year-old French aristocrat, Alexis de Tocqueville, visited the United States. In his book Democracy in America, is his statement of "Tyranny of The Majority."
In his book, "On Liberty," written 1859, John Stuart Mill argued, the "Tyranny of the Majority" (or Tyranny of the Masses) is an inherent weakness to majority rule in which the majority of an electorate pursues exclusively its own objectives at the expense of those of the minority factions. This results in oppression of minority groups comparable to that of a tyrant or despot.
Google definition: Democracy a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives. I've been given to understand that a pure democracy the entire population would vote. In a democratic republic, like America, representatives are elected to represent the people.
Do we base rule on education, wealth, perhaps, physical strength—which would eliminate women in most, if not all cases—or some other factor.
"Why Socrates Hated Democracy" is an awesome YouTube. It shows how a person that promises to make your life better can be elected despite it being untrue. His view was that voters should be skilled in what they're voting for and not just because someone is appealing. Voters that actually knew what they were voting for; what an interesting concept. The problem is how does one determine if the voter knows?
The one thing I'm absolutely sure about is that there is no conceivable system that will make everyone happy. By everyone, I'm not speaking of one or two, but rather groups of varying sizes and in some cases the group maybe the majority.
So, what's the answer? I don't know, but I wish I did. It would appear that there is no perfect solution.
In every organization I belong to and all that I'm familiar with they are governed by "Majority Rules." In America we have The Constitution, Bill of Rights and in organizations they have by-law to protect the rights of all.
Values: Truthful/Lies, Ethical/Cheater, Caring/Selfish, ...
November 23, 2021
Originally, I had Honesty/Lies but I realized that honesty has several meanings. I know lots of people that would not steal, however, when it comes to telling the truth, I wouldn't trust them, as the saying goes, as far as I could throw them. In the clubs I go to, I have no problem leaving money on the bar, but many of those same people say things I discover later are not true.
I want to start this piece by referring to something I wrote previously which in this discussion is so, so, apropos.
People that use bad examples done by others, usually by a person they dislike but not always, to justify something they've done or a person they support did:
It's the kid's argument, e.g., "Timmy's mom lets him stay up later and doesn't rag on him for getting grades, 'D's or 'F's, so why can't I stay up later and get grades like Timmy?" I would hope that this appears to you as very childish and you would think, perhaps hope, by the time a person were in their twenties, they would stop using this type of rationalizing. A crime is a crime is a crime. It doesn't matter how many people did it before, and maybe got away with it, it's still a crime. Don't try to convince me that it's okay to have been a draft dodger because others were draft dodgers. I don't care if you want to consider the individual some sort of hero, just don't tell me what he or she did was okay, because someone else did it, regardless of who that someone else is. Fortunately for society, there are more people that do the right thing.
November 2021, around the fourth, it was revealed that Aaron Rogers wasn't vaccinated. In a news conference, I think prior to the NFL regular season starting he was asked, "Have you been vaccinated?" He answered, "Yeah, I'm immunized." What most reporters are focusing on is the 'I'm immunized' as being misleading. What they fail to focus on is the 'YEAH' which by dictionary definition is equal to 'YES.' Bottom line is he lied. It doesn't matter what he said after the YEAH, it's all Bull and intended to be misleading.
What makes me even angrier, is Tim Tebow's (ESPN First Take, November 5, 2021) rationalizations about the acceptability of lying. To me, his remarks are unbelievably childish, and they imply 'if others lie it's okay for Aaron to lie' and therefore he shouldn't be punished. The fact is there is no punishment for lying to the media, except for the media calling the liar out. For a religious man his remarks are quite inconsistent with the doctrine of righteousness; if I remember he's the one that used to kneel in the endzone and thank god.
Like crimes, lies vary, some crimes are more serious than others. Shooting someone is a hell of a lot worse than letting air out of their car tire; both are crimes. Aaron Rogers' lie could have cause serious illness to his family, friends, and teammates. It's not the same as a coach lying about an injured player's status to the media. Then he uses the stupid argument, well if he's punished, they should punish everyone, implying because they didn't, Aaron shouldn't be punished. Again, there are lies and there are lies. Different lies, like different crimes, should be treated differently.
Make no mistake, I think lying is wrong. Have I ever lied, yes. I'm not proud of the fact. I do my best not to lie; I want to be an honest man. So, if a coach or anyone else lies and it has ramification, yes, they should be punished. Nevertheless, if they aren't, it doesn't excuse what Aaron did. Incidentally, all the people that knew his status that allowed him to avoid the rules, should also be punished.
Furthermore, this isn't only about lying, it's about privilege. The rich and stars being given free get out of jail cards, so to speak. If I and most, if not, all common people like me got caught lying on the job, we'd be fired in a heartbeat; oh, he wasn't on the job, he was speaking to the press.
On a YouTube piece I watched, for a few seconds which I turned off after the commentator said whether or not Roger's was vaccinated is nobody's business but his. He is absolutely correct if it's something like diabetes, skin or other cancer, allergies. The list is endless of the diseases and medical conditions that one cannot pass to another. In those cases, it's nobody's business but their own. I think he is one hundred percent wrong when it comes to Covid-19 and other communicable diseases. Maybe ninety-nine percent, if you live on an island by yourself, then I could agree, however, when your part of a group or team you owe it to the others to let them know your status. Imagine someone having HIV-Aids, Ebola, Hepatitis A or B, tuberculosis, . . ., while participating in a contact sport where bleeding occurs or in an environment where there is close proximity and air transmission is likely; others in these situations have an absolute right to know.
In a discussion one proponent of Roger's stated that immunization isn't the same as vaccination so he wasn't lying, just misleading. I checked out the definition of lying: to present false information with the intention of deceiving; a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive;. . .. There were several more that fit the situation and anyway you cut it, he lied.
In an attempt to justify his remarks, they told me that immunize meant you were immune, that is, protected against a disease; usually by inoculation, i.e., vaccinated. All of this is irrelevant, he lied. He answered "Yeah," to the question and added to be misleading, "I'm immunized," which is also a lie. He didn't receive the vaccine nor did he receive any approved treatment that would be considered immunization for Covid-19. He knew and everyone knew, the question was about Covid-19 vaccination, not any other past vaccination/immunizations. He obviously wasn't immune to Covid-19 because he got the disease. For me personally, I couldn't care less about whether he got the vaccine or not, that's his choice. What bothers me is he lied and believed he was above the rules that all other non-vaccinated players have to abide by. Some people say he was just being misleading; wrong, bottom line he lied and he is a liar. You might check the definition of lie, "https://www.thefreedictionary.com/lie" with respect to telling the truth and not a position one can get into.
Something that needs to be said about "Fake News," is that's it, the "Fake News," which in most cases isn't fake. We should be thankful; it helps keep this country free. Yes, sometimes it's skewed, but in most cases, it's rooted in truth. I'm not talking about commentary but rather when an item is stated as having happened.
I ask one of the people in a discussion if he had children. He said yes. I asked him how he would feel if his child was taken away from him, like it was done to illegal aliens at our border. Before he answered one of the others stated, Trump was just continuing the program Obama started and it was Obama that built the cages. I couldn't dispute that because I just didn't know. However, I think I said it didn't matter who started it, it was, in my opinion, inhumane. Both presidents were wrong. And I further said that because someone else does something it doesn't justify another person doing it. I equate this form of argument to a twelve year old's defense. The point is that they're using this to justify a wrong deed.
Well, when I got home, I checked it out, that is, did the Obama administration start separating children from their parents and did his administration build the cages. Turns out that the Obama administration did in fact build the cages, however, they built them because "Unaccompanied" children, under the age of eighteen were crossing the border in large waves. It appears they were told that they wouldn't be sent back. I'm in no way attempting to justify the cages; I don't know what else they could have done, maybe built a tent city or brought in mobile home units. In any case the Obama administration did not separate kids from their parents. The separation of kids from their parents started in 2018 under the order of the president. Personally, it's appalling to me that anyone can accept that taking a child from a parent, even babies, as being all right. Not only did they separate them, but they also failed to collect the information needed to reunite them. At this writing, November 11, 2021, only a small percentage of those separated have been reunited. According to an NBC (fake news) report stated that the white house said over 2100 children still remain separated. Pretty tragic!
Somehow the conversation came around to Afghanistan and Biden's efforts. His administration probably could have done a better job. What those opposed to Biden, fail to accept is that the Trump administration essentially surrendered to the Taliban and promised to have our troops out by May. The deal - secured by Donald Trump and signed in Doha, Qatar, in February 2020 - committed to the withdrawal of US and allied (including British) troops from Afghanistan by May 2021. Why didn't he set the date prior to the election or his leaving office? I just wonder? It's a moot issue for me now. One of the discussion participant said Trump would have attack because of what happen during the withdrawal. Yeah right. When the US took out an Iranian general plotting with terrorist to likely attack the US and the Iranians retaliated by attacking a US base with high powered rockets which injured over one hundred service men. Trump said no one was hurt, it was all superficial, he didn't use the word superficial, just implied it. You can listen to what he said, it's available in living color on the internet.
Oh yeah, I've got to say, when I was asked a question by one of the people, I didn't have the answer to, so I took out my phone and asked Google the question, he gave me the look, that's your source. I stopped. He did ask me earlier what my sources were, implying I'm likely going to the wrong places. I know that conservative think CNN, USA Today, BBC, the NY Times, Washington Post, and a myriad of others source are fake. So, I reasoned why waste my time telling him when he believes these sources are totally fake. I wasn't quick enough to say there are numerous reputable sources, the internet is like a library, you choose the book or article. I should have said, yes, the internet has lots of trash as does TV, however there are many reliable sources.
In an anti-Biden campaign advertisement, they used the following statement made by Biden. "I'm going to tax everyone." Yes, Biden said that but it was taken out of context and intended to mislead, that's a lie. What Biden actually said was, "I'm going to tax everyone that makes over four-hundred-thousand." Big difference.
- One of my fellow 'female' Fleet Reserve members told me that Kamala Harris confessed to being a prostitute. I asked, "Did you actually hear her say that?" She said yes, it was on a video. She further went on to explain that Kamala did it to get it out in the open. My thoughts were WOW. So, I ask if she could show me the video. To which she said the Democrats have buried it. I drop the subject at that point. Again, when I got home, I checked it out. Nowhere, including the most conservative sources, had any information or claims that it was true. The only item I found was that someone, wrote an article that Kamala had dated the ex-mayor of San Francisco and called her a whore because she was much younger than him. One more note, no matter how dumb you may think Biden is he would not have allowed Kamala to be his Vice President had she said that. And furthermore, the Trump campaign would have plastered it all over the place. I can just imagine their advertisements: "Do you really want an ex-hooker to be your Vice President." Followed by the video of her confessing. Really!
- Although I wasn't a part of this conversation, further, neither was the recipient, I couldn't possibly avoid hearing it. I was sitting next to another club member and this other guy, standing in the doorway, maybe ten to fifteen feet away, on the way out, said, "I got the vaccine and then I got Covid. I took ivermectin and got better." Then he went on to say that the drug industry is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to keep the drug off the market. Not finish yet, he told the guy that there was a region in India where people were dying by the thousands daily. They started to give the people ivermectin and the death rate was now zero. At home, I checked and low and behold there was no such region in India and from what I could gather, you could probably get ivermectin at a local feed store. It's a medicine for deworming livestock and when prescribe for people it serves the same purpose, that is, anti-parasitic. The sorry part of this is the guy believed what he was saying.
- In more places than one, people claimed a person dying, say in a motorcycle accident would be attributed to Covid-19 to raise the number. The statements were made during the Trump administration when he was saying it's a hoax and that it would go away after the election; his words (both are lies and are all available) and he didn't want the numbers to be high. The point is, was the government, Trump's government going against him. Further they would say that doctors got paid, i.e., by the government to put the cause of death on the certificate as Covid-19 for which they were paid. A few said that doctors were threatened with loss of license if they didn't. First off nobody gets paid to fill out a death certificate. Secondly, lying on a death certificate is a felony and a doctor is subject to fine, imprisonment, and possible loss of license. Then they would go on to say that hospitals made around thirty-three thousand for Covid-19 patients. That's true. However, let's put things in prospective. The amount varied. Covid patients that had to be put on ventilators cost more than those just occupying a bed. The government pays for Medicare patients and the process is handle through a civilian company. All Medicare billing must be substantiated by tests and other proof of service, regardless of the patients illness. If a hospital or doctor really wanted to cheat, they'd fake a heart transplant which runs around a million and a half. That's about forty Covid-19 cases. The rest of the people are covered by insurance, which sure as hell would come down on a hospital and doctors if they were falsifying information.
- Another one: More people have died, since Biden took office than during Trump's time, with respect to Covid. Not true the "As of November 3, 2021, a total of 747,970 COVID-19 deaths. When Biden took office the death toll had reach 400,000. The main difference is, that Biden is attempting to do something, while Trump's approach was to ignore it. At least Biden is making the vaccine as available as possible and although not fully supported has taken measures to reduce risk. One more point on this subject. The death rate was climbing at the end of Trump's term and it started to decline when Biden got into office. Addendum: As of February 1, 2022 the death toll is now at 886,000 and still climbing. So the statement that more people have died since Biden took office is now true. However, let's put things in prospective. Neither Trump nor Biden can directly
- The vaccine was developed too quickly, less than a year. Check the facts, these companies had been working on them for close to or more than ten years when the middle-east SARs epidemic happen. It wasn't warp speed that led to the quick development of it, it was the companies that knew there was a lot of money to be made and each wanted to be the first, so they could get the biggest cut of the pie.
- I won't even go into the election claims.
- One of the guys said that fifty percent of people were against Obamacare. According to KFF org polling; as of Dec 2020, 53 percent are in favor, 34 percent are against, and 13 percent are not sure. Roughly 79 percent do not want the pre-existing condition to be overturned. The 79 percent included 66 percent of republicans polled. Like so many other, he just pulled a number out of the air. While it's not germane to the lie, basically he was saying that his fifty percent was more important than the other fifty percent. In other words, they were right the others were wrong. Pretty egotistical! Funny, I don't know enough about Obamacare to defend or disapprove of it. I just don't know, but I'm for healthcare. I need to ask, exactly what they have against it. My guess it will be some bogus things like it cost too much.
It's important to me that I reiterate that people in general do not want to know when they're wrong. I'm not speaking of opinions; I'm speaking of reasonable facts. I think that the biggest difference between me and others, I seek out the correct answer, not who's right. I found the nearly all people, subjective observation of the people I've dealt with, just didn't care if they might be wrong.
From all the conversations I have had, and some in which I was a listening participant, not to be confused with eavesdropping, I believe that the big difference between me and others, is not our position or political stance, but rather our willingness to seek the truth. When I'm face with information that I don't know if it is correct, yet I suspect it might be or with information I have no knowledge of, I check it out. Sometimes I'm right and sometimes I learn; actually, I learn in all cases. I believe that not a single person, I've discussed things with has ever checks it out. I've concluded that people just don't want to know they're wrong, about anything. I do. I want to know what's right, more than I want to know who's right. Check out 'You Can't Handle the Truth!',
where I give one example. I've tested this over and over and over . . . and have yet to meet someone that actually wanted to know what's right. Oh, this is not just about me presenting something, I've seen it in three, four, and more way conversations. In areas I'm not knowledgeable, which is many, I just listen, ask questions, and learn. In these conversations there are disagreements. I've never been privy to someone later on telling the other person they were correct. I don't remember when anyone has ever come up to me later and told me my information was correct, or for that matter, I told you so. The point is they just don't check anything out to determine what is correct.
One more point that separates people in general, that is their value system. For me, good values are: honesty, of which truthfulness is a part, integrity, being ethical, being kind, respecting others, courage, and most importantly, a sense of humor. There are others similar values. So, it shouldn't surprise anyone that I value people based on the aforementioned qualities, not on their notoriety, athletic ability, acting skill, artistical skill, popularity, how friendly they are, political association, or other similar things they are admired for. Before proceeding let me say, people make mistakes. I have seen too often one of these personalities do something like being unethical, which includes lying, stealing, cheating and so on. Now you're getting bored and wondering where the hell is he going with this. Okay, you deserve an answer if you've gotten this far.
At the start of World War II, a majority of movie stars and professional athletes chose to enlist. One particular actor decided not to enlist because his career was more important and he would enhance his chances to become a star, because his competition was away fighting the war. In a bio it was indicated that he was also able to avoid the draft, it was not a physical issue. As a serviceman of twenty-two years, I like to think I served for more than just the retirement. Regardless, I reenlisted during the Vietnam War. I don't think it was noble, I was just doing my duty. At the time, I'd likely not see combat because their was little action at sea, although I could have been ordered to in-country duty. I would also like to think that if I were of age at the beginning of WW2 I would have enlisted. I did enlist toward the end of the Korean War. So, I have no respect for the actor and I will not watch any of his movies, particularly those where he plays a war time hero. Other than starting a cancer foundation, because he became a cancer survivor, he has never acknowledged or apologized for his action, i.e., avoiding the military. It disappoints me that people look at him as some kind of hero, when in reality he's hasn't done anything heroic. Don't miss understand me, people make mistakes, admit them, sometimes they are punished, and become good citizens. For example, Tim Allen was arrested, convicted, and imprisoned. He said it was a mistake and changed his life. I have respect for him. He served his sentence and became a productive citizen. He, to the best of my knowledge, never tried to excuse it.
Today, Nov 21, 2021, I read the title of a book, "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck." My initial thought was, wow, if I could only do that, that is, not care. Then I realized if I didn't, I'd just be a hollow shell. Caring gives us purpose. I considered suggesting change the title to The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck About What Others Think or Do," but others do effect our lives, not always directly.
When arguing with a fool,
first make sure
the other person isn't
doing the same thing.
Over the past several months, now that socializing is happening once again, I have come to a personal conclusion: people believe what they want to believe. In the vast majority of cases, it just doesn't matter. I've ask people, "When is the Sun closest to the Earth?" Nearly all said during our summer, of course I'm speaking of people that live in America. The fact is we're nearer the Sun sometime in January. The astronomical and science communities aside, it really doesn't matter. Knowing when the Sun is closer doesn't affect my life and I'll probably never have a need for knowing it; it's just trivia.
Before getting into my discussion, I want to state, I won't be debating or using religion. You can believe what you want, only don't tell me what to believe. FYI: there are roughly 4,200 known religions worldwide.
Also, I consider myself a true political independent. In fact, it pisses me off that people have created an Independent Party. If there is more than one person, it's no longer independent, i.e., to be an independent there is no affiliation with or loyalty to an organization or political party. I may not do the greatest job; however, I do attempt to find out all I can about candidates and issues before I vote. Generally, I look for a candidate that most aligns with my values. In truth, I'm really a novice when it comes to politics. It's only in the last few years that I took a real interest.
From the movie "A Few Good Men," Jack Nicholson's statement, "You can't handle the truth," is so apropos in today's world. The real question is, "What is the truth?" A movie that impressed me many, many years ago was, "Rashomon." It was about the death of a samurai from the perspective of the three people involved. Each one gave their own version, which made them the hero, sort of. The movie ends with a forth witness not involved telling what really happened. I have recently watched a YouTube on the subject of the Rashomon Effect. It's quite interesting: How do you know what's true? by Sheila Marie Orfano - YouTube
Months before the 2020 presidential election, proponents of Covid 19 being a hoax professed that a person that died in a vehicle accident would be classed as dying of Covid 19. They would say that the doctor and hospital would be paid a substantial sum by the government. Question: Would Trump and his regime allow this; I think not? I did some investigating and found that falsifying a death certificate was a felony and may include imprisonment. Furthermore, no one gets paid to fill out a death certificate. Yes, hospitals get paid, as do doctors, for treating Covid 19: the amount varies with the extent of care. If hospitals wanted to fake treatment to make money there are some treatments that cost up to one and a half million dollars. Fake one or two and it would likely be worth maybe fifty to a hundred Covid 19 cases. One more point, the people that pay are the insurance companies and Medicare, and both require validation, which includes testing. These payers are reluctant to pay in general and demand substantial proof-of-treatment and it's need.
Whether or not you agree with it, during the Trump administration, children were separated from the parents of illegal aliens. When this topic came up one individual said they were only taken from parents that couldn't prove the children were theirs; they didn't have birth certificates with them. I said it's a good thing I wasn't stopped because I couldn't prove my kids were my kids when I traveled. And furthermore, a birth certificate isn't really proof of who you or your children are. To which he said they have footprints—not true. I've never seen a birth certificate with foot or fingerprints on them. The real point is he fabricated this view to justify what was done. In everything I heard, read, or seen, regarding this subject, the mention of birth certificate or other means of proof was never raised or reported.
While I was nursing my evening wine at my local hangout, someone said that Kamala Harris had admitted to being a prostitute because she wanted it to get out before it would hurt hers and Biden's chances at winning the election. I ask her, "Did you actually hear her say that?" She told me yes. I asked could you show me the video. She said it was buried deep because "The Democrats" didn't want everyone to know, which contradicts her statement that "Kamala did it to get it out." I sighed and let it go. To begin, Kamala is not a stupid woman, whether or not you like her. She would never make a confession of being a prostitute. And Biden would have dropped her, so to speak, like a hot potato, if she made such a statement. Lastly, Trump and all his staff would have jumped on it like the proverbial bandwagon. If true, it would certainly have won Trump the election. In her early years she dated the ex-mayor of San Francisco, an older man, for which she was called a whore. There is no record of her ever being an escort, which it was also expressed and of course if you're an escort, you have to be a whore or gigolo.
Let me give you a less volatile topic, although some people would go hyper. Some time back, I read a small piece, on my Facebook page, that some research had shown that bras caused breast cancer. First off, I don't believe most of the stuff on Facebook. Nevertheless, I was intrigued and decided to research it for possible inclusion in a book I was writing. I found that the theory was not well substantiated and that there were many factors that could also be contributors. However, while I was doing the research, there was a large contingent that supported going braless for various reasons, like the breast became less droopy and didn't sweat as much. Anyway, when I mention that there were many advocates that women should go braless, one woman said, "If I went braless my boobs would hang down to my belly." Maybe she's right; I really don't know. My point is simple, she believed what she wanted to believe. Personally, when it comes to one's health, I think you should do research. Oh, I didn't say more. If this item intrigues you, check out To Bra or Not To Bra
; you may or may not agree but one never knows?
Another excellent example of this behavior occurred a short time before the 2020 presidential election. I don't remember how the conversation arose about Clinton and Monica. My friend, a female, said, "Clinton was abusive and took advantage of the girl. I asked, "What you are saying is that Clinton was responsible and the blame." She agreed and said it wasn't the woman's fault. I asked, "Who's responsible when Trump stated that he grab, women's genitalia?" Without losing a beat she stated it was the women's fault because they asked for it." She was serious. The point is she would likely have reversed her view had her political alignment been the other way.
Over the years, too many to count, I have found that this form of behavior is ubiquitous. While I was writing this piece, I have found that psychologist call this form of behavior "Cognitive Dissonance." Essentially, it states that a person when faced with information that contradicts their beliefs, will usually disregard it, or if they believe it, will rationalize it away or will use another's similar bad behavior to justify it, the 'others' will usually be someone they are opposed to; in politics is the other party. Some people, a rare few, will sometimes ask "what if it's true?" and then research it. If you're interested in learning more about "Cognitive Dissonance," just YouTube the topic.
Addendum January 29, 2022: As I stated in the section "Values: Truthful/Lies, Ethical/Cheater, Caring/Selfish, ..." and wish to reiterate here. To the best of my recollection, "No one has ever came back to me to tell me, "I told you so or you were right." I've said somewhere on this page, "Neither have I heard someone telling another they were correct or wrong, after doing some research." I'm convinced people believe only what they want to believe and don't care what's true. Except in extremely rare cases will they accept information that is contradictory to there beliefs, regardless of where it comes from.
We believe what we want to believe!
Before I get into this discussion, I know and hope you know, "That everything on the internet, in books, on TV, and media in general is not always accurate or truthful." As I was developing this topic I came accross research on Cognitive Dissonance and Stupidity. I felt the subject was a stand alone and have put it on it's own page: Stupidity
I was discussing politics, in a truly friendly way, with a man I respect for his ability to talk about controversial topics without getting upset, like so many people do, and at the same time keeping other calm. The more I talked with him, I could detect that his biases overcame his objectivity. That is, he apparently accepted information, I have no idea where he gets it, that fit his beliefs. Let me give you examples of what he told me and when I checked I found it not to be accurate and how he viewed the situation.
To start with my colleague doesn't like Joe Biden. He stated that Joe Biden was a racist because he was against bussing, and a crook. I'm not a racist, yet I was against bussing. I didn't believe it was the solution. I felt that more resources had to be put into schools in poverty areas and more family assistance provided. Furthermore, he said Joe Biden got a Ukraine prosecutor fired because the prosecutor was investigating Biden's son. My research indicates that, Biden and a coalition of at least three other countries push for the prosecutor to be fired because he wasn't doing anything to end government corruption. In essence, if the US was going to give the Ukraine government one billion dollars, we wanted it to go into helping the country and not the politician's pockets. At the time Hunter Biden was not under any investigation and has never been under Ukraine investigation. The company he was with, as well as other companies, were under investigation. What I've read, various papers, indicated that investigation of Joe Biden, stated there is no evidence of wrongdoing. I know, that doesn't mean he's innocent.
In addition, he told me that Biden had gained his money dishonestly, although he didn't specify how. My research indicates that he had a lucrative book deal, worth over eight million and at an average of one-hundred-thousand dollars per speaking engagement since leaving the white house are the sources of his wealth. All his tax papers are available and have been released.
Staying with Biden, he also accused him of nepotism because of the job Hunter Biden got with a Ukraine oil company. While I believe that the primary reason Hunter was hired was due to his father being Vice President. However, there is no indication that Joe Biden solicited in any way to get his son hired. What I read so far is that the CEO offered Hunter the job; no doubt in my mind that it was because his father was Vice President. I don't know much about Hunter and his qualifications. In general, most people would say nepotism is always wrong; I wonder, is it? For example, if your car needs repairs and someone in your family is a mechanic, who do you take the car to? I could give you hundreds, perhaps thousands of similar examples that people would have no problem with. So, under certain situation, nepotism is acceptable. For me, nepotism is wrong when a person is employed by a company, they don't own, or in a government position and they use there influence to get someone hired when other more qualified people are available. Nevertheless, to accuse someone of nepotism is to label them negatively. What I have observed, subjectively, is that people that don't like someone, affix a negative label on them, whether it true or not.
Again, with Biden. He said he doesn't think Biden is cognitive. Biden is, I think, is seventy-seven and I'm eighty-three. While Biden isn't quite the orator that Clinton, Obama, Reagan, and JFK were, he manages to say what needs to be said. Yes, he stumbles occasionally, I do the same thing; does that make me less cognitive? Good, bad, or otherwise, since I turned seventy-seven, I've written six complete books and have eight more in various stages. I've been paid a small amount, and I do mean small or rather minuscule, royalties and have not receive positive or negative responses. I maintain this website and solve math problems. My point is I believe I'm cognitive, although I may forget a word or two occasionally.
When we talked about Hillary Clinton's emails, he said she had destroyed, literally destroyed, her equipment to cover up evidence. When I check this out, the FBI reported that when Mrs. Clinton changed equipment, she had the old unit destroyed. When I upgrade my phone, I didn't quite go to that extreme, but I do my best to wipe it clean of personal information and my data; after transferring what I want. I suspect most people do the same. The report didn't indicate whether she transferred, which I expect she did, data stored on the old device. The point is she didn't have the equipment destroyed to hide evidence. And the equipment they're talking about occurred before the email investigation started. In addition, a good technician can recover data we think was erased, so if you have secret and top-secret material, destroying equipment when no longer needed isn't such a bad idea.
And yet another. I don't remember how we mentioned Dr. Fauci but he said he didn't trust him because he once said masks are not needed. I checked and it was true. Dr. Fauci did say that but when you take things out of context it's false by omission. An example: one of the republican advertisement show Joe Biden stating the following, "I'm going to raise taxes." The advertisement implied taxes would go up for everyone. Biden did say that but what was missing was, "for everyone making over four-hundred-thousand dollars." The same is true for Fauci's mask statement. At the time it was believed not necessary for various factors, like the rate of spread was low at the time and masks were needed for first responders that were dealing with Covid patients. I don't know all the details and analysis that went into recommendation. I believe in science and as data is accumulated things change. Things constantly change. The covid vaccine appears to be having a profound positive effect.
For the record, it is not my intention to promote Biden, Fauci, or Clinton, they were simply a topic of discussion that fostered this item, but rather to show how easy it is to accept what we want to be, that which supports our view. My point is that we, you and I, have a choice, that is, to believe what supports us or to seek the truth, which may in fact support what we believe.
Let me end this rambling with, I believe that every president since I started voting, except for two, were good men and wanted what was best for our country. That does not mean they were right; it means that they did what they believed was best for the country. Whether they were good or bad remains to be seen.
Socialism versus Capitalism versus Social Programs
September 20, 2020
Again, for the sake of understanding, let's start by establishing a common point of view. This is how I'm using the following:
Socialism: so·cial·ism, noun, a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole. Per Google.
Capitalism: cap·i·tal·ism, noun, an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state. Per Google.
Social Program: A program provided by the government, such as public grade and high schools, police and fire, military, and other programs deemed for the common good. My definition.
To start: I believe NOBODY, that is, American citizens, wants socialism as a form of government and EVERYONE wants capitalism within a democracy form of government.
What many people want are social programs like higher education, which includes, specialty schools, such as, medical or dental tech, building trades, cosmetology, . . ., and healthcare. None of the aforementioned programs would be a direct benefit to me, I'm past the age where advanced training would be useful for me and I have healthcare, which I paid for and earned. However, I'm for these programs. I see them as an investment in our society and future, albeit not long for me.
First lets discuss higher education. Studies have shown that college and specialty school graduates earn more and they pay more taxes. Furthermore, people that make more spend more, which means more work for others. I think it's a win-win. Another benefit is if people are working they don't need to commit crimes to survive. Wouldn't it be better to train people rather than having to put them in jail, which cost more than it would to educate them; think about that. Recently a university study revealed that there is a correlation between education and violent crime, the better educated are markedly less likely to commit a violent crime.
How about healthcare. I think I can safely say that healthy people can work, and sick people can't and shouldn't work; they frequently present a hazard to others. In addition, sick people are a burden to society if they don't have insurance. I'm sorry, but a society that says, so what, is truly lacking in humanity. Whether one likes it or not, these people cost the taxpayer money. Again, the money invested, and I do mean invested, in keeping our society healthy has payback, the same as advanced education does. Healthy people work, pay taxes, spend more, which benefits all of us.
Just a few of the benefits from the above programs:
They pay more taxes.
They spend more, which requires more service and work. And it leads to more jobs and more taxes.
Less likely to commit crimes.
They're not a burden on society.
Addendum: Recently, I was watching a news program where a reporter asked a group of farmers about what Trump had done for them; they were diehard republicans and they were strongly anti-socialists. It struck me as funny when they said that Trump supported their subsidies. What strikes me funny is how if a social program that benefit someone, like farmer subsidies, is okay; good socialism. However, if the government helps people from dying, it's bad socialism. Makes me wonder? Oh, and the subsidies indirectly pay for the farmers' healthcare.
A while back a topic of discussion was pro-life. A Jesuit Catholic priest stated, "Pro-life is more than just about anti-abortion. View Father James Martin's YouTube video.
It's about keeping people alive and supporting healthcare." I personally would add, "You can't claim you're pro-life if you don't care about the quality of the air people breathe or the water they drink, which by the way includes all of us."
Another Perspective On Colin Kaepernick Taking A Knee.
September 15, 2020
First, I want to state that I believe I'm a good person, that is I've worked hard, obey the law, care about people, care about the environment, and support various organizations that want to improve life. I believe that everyone should have equal opportunity in all areas and get equal treatment under the law. I also believe there is considerable police (and political) brutality, coercion, and bullying. For the most part, police are good, we just need to get rid of the so called, bad apples. I would also agree that there is substantial race, religion, and sexual bias. It is not my intention to defend any form of bias.
I spent 22 years in the service. I was one of the lucky ones that came home. My risk was small because my duty was aboard ships. The wars being fought during my service were on land.
I'm going to make two statements I think most would agree with.
- One: "Lawful" peaceful protesting is the right of the people and is a good thing.
- Two: Violent and destructive protesting is wrong and against the law.
If you don't agree you should stop here and exit this page.
Some protesting actually fits between the two. For example, peaceful protestors blocking traffic on a highway, while not violent, it is disruptive to others and may in fact cause anger and/or harm, not to say it's also against the law. They may stop a pregnant woman on the way to a hospital, an ambulance with a heart attack patient, someone on their way to a job interview, the list is endless. And as stated, it is against the law. I know it can be argued that we need to make people aware. Inconsiderate protesting isn't effective, for what I think are obvious reasons and likely leads to division rather than unity. Enough said.
I would ask you, "If a person slaps or insults you and then shouts at you that you should do something in support of their cause." How would you really respond. Even if it were right, would you want to do it. Like blocking the highway, I'm attempting to make a point there are many ways to do things, some better than others. If you want people to support you, don't start by offending them and then expect them to. My point is that there are good ways and bad ways, even if no laws are being broken.
On several shows there was a clear support for Colin Kaepernick's taking a knee to protest the racism and police brutality which is so prevalent throughout our country. I agree it needs to be stopped.
What the supporters fail to recognize is our "Flag" represents the values of what this country was founded on, not the way it is. Values that all men and women are created equal, except biologically between men and women, which is a good thing. I'm sorry to admit I was a chauvinistic pig, until my daughter was born and then my view changed. My values over the years, many years, have changed and I want to believe for the better.
Like Michael Douglas states in the movie "The American President," "Show me the man that would defend the rights of a person, that which he would spend a lifetime opposing. That's what America is about." Or words to that effect. I would defend Kaepernick's right to take a knee in protest during the national anthem. Yet, I find it abhorrent because I served to protect, "Our Country's Values," namely those in the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, not the injustices that abound throughout our land. Many a person has died to protect what our country stands for. The flag is a symbol of those values. What all the supporters of Kaepernick taking a knee, fail to understand, is that he slapped those that sacrificed their lives, their families, and those of us that served our country and the values we believe in, in the face.
Furthermore and unfortunately, what he did had an overall negative effect; we're still talking about taking a knee and his right to do so, not what he was protesting. Everyone in the military fraternal organization I belong to resented it. None disagree that it was his right to do it or what he was protesting. They just felt, he slapped us in the face. I don't know if this is true but I've been informed the NFL ratings went down. What he did was something, right or wrong, that divided people rather than unifying us.
If he wanted to do something, he should have met with teammates, formed an organization, and put his money where his mouth is. Recently NBA players, and other sports figures, walked out, no one was offended and they made their point. Again, these wealthy athletes should put up or shut up. Just protesting is not enough, they need to get out there and do something. I honor those athletes and celebrities that take a stand and get involve. To quote the old cliché, "Action speaks louder than words."
You Can't Handle the Truth!
June 29, 2020
Over the years, I have found that people don't want to know they're wrong—regardless if it's important or it just doesn't matter. A quick example: I told a friend I had read, in a naval engineering text, about a principle related to steam turbine blades. He told me I must have read it wrong and that it was impossible. When I got home, I looked it up again, found I read it correctly. I'm not saying everything we read is correct; in fact, it scares me just how much is wrong, inaccurate, and pure BS. Anyway, it's not about the correctness of what was written but rather that it was written in a well-respected naval text. I told my friend that I rechecked and if he wanted to read it for himself, I would show it to him, the next time he came; I added, all he had to do was ask. He said, 'I'd like that. Okay.' He never asked. I have repeated this many times since, of course with different subject matter, and no one has ever taken me up on it.
With today's technology, many opposing views can be resolved quickly with smart phones. Now, when I have an opposing view and it can't be resolved on the spot, I will research it. If I'm wrong, I will go back, apologize, and tell the person they're right. If I'm right, I just keep it to myself. What I'm saying is, I want to know what's right, not who's right. One small note, I'm referring to things that are not opinions or faith based, like politics and religion; I'm referring to things that have a definitive answer.
Leo Tolstoy said it best:
I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious if it be such that as it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they had proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into their lives.
Things that make me want to, "&GB#&*!@+&%$#."
June 29, 2020
Parents know what's best for their children:
First, I want to distinguish between "Want and Know." Wanting is desiring that your child achieves everything they are capable of and have a successful and happy life. Knowing is the idea that you know what will make them happy, successful, and healthy; of course, I'm assuming one wants their child to be happy, successful, and healthy. I've always wanted what was best for my children, and what that was I haven't a clue. That's not the same as knowing. I made plenty of mistakes thinking I knew what was best. It may not seem like I was wrong, when I pressured my kids to strive for college acceptance. I've learned that not all kids a college bound, nor do they want to go. Yes, a parent should encourage their child to do their absolute best and give the support they need. I'm saying, had I realized one of my kids had no desire to go to college, which to me was unfortunate, I would have supported what he wanted. I didn't know what he wanted at the time and that was my failing; I should have talk to him.
People that use bad examples done by others to justify something they've done or another person they support did:
It's the kid's argument, e.g., "Timmy's mom lets him stay up later and doesn't rag on him for getting grades, 'D's or 'F's, so why can't I stay up later and get grades like Timmy?" I would hope that this appears to you as very childish and you would think, perhaps hope, by the time a person were in their twenties, they would stop using this type of rationalizing. A crime is a crime is a crime. It doesn't matter how many people did it before, and maybe got away with it, it's still a crime.
Don't try to convince me that it's okay to have been a draft dodger because others were draft dodgers. I don't care if you want to consider the individual some sort of hero, just don't tell me what he or she did was okay because someone else did it, regardless of who that someone else is. Fortunately for society, there are more people that do the right thing.
Discussing something rational with an irrational person:
Let me explain, while I was writing my book, I came across a Facebook post that said, "Bras cause cancer." It intrigued me, so I did some research. Without getting into all the details, some studies indicated it was possible. In addition, there were several medical groups and organizations that professed that not wearing a bra was generally good for health in several ways. I would encourage anyone that wears a bra to do the research and speak to a doctor about the possible benefits. Most agreed that if you need to wear a bra, a good support sports bra was the thing to wear. Yes, I would agree, it's up to the individual. Whether or not to wear a bra is not the issue I'm talking about. When I happen to say, "I had read that not wearing a bra would prevent sagging." A woman stated, "If I hadn't worn a bra, my breasts would be down to my waist." I dropped the subject, no use starting a discussion, that would likely turn into an argument, that no one would win. When an individual is rooted in a belief, I have found it is impossible to discuss anything with them; they ignore provable facts, reasonable assertions, logic, and they will use fabricated rationale, "like they'd be hanging down to my belly." I guess I'm attempting to say it's like talking to a brick wall, only the wall doesn't call you names.
For more about the subject of wearing a bra, read, "To Bra or Not to Bra?" Page.
To Thine Own Self Be True*
*William Shakespeare quote.
The following taken from Life's Rules
I have two personal axioms, "Never lie to yourself," and "Take responsibility for your actions."
Axiom One—Never lie to yourself.
I think, in one of William Shakespeare's plays he wrote, "To thy own self be true." Regardless of who said it, it is profoundly true. I know that there are many people that lie and cheat; and they appear to become successful. These people are usually extremely egotistical or sociopathic. They are the only ones that matter—to themselves. But for most of us that really care about others, and believe that lying and cheating is wrong, then this rule should be the number one to follow.
Axiom Two—Take responsibility for your actions.
Note: It's been pointed out that to do this, one needs to do axiom one..
While I was working for a school district, I co-facilitated a seminar: "The Seven Habits of Effective People." "Be Proactive" was the first habit. I have come to the conclusion that being Proactive is the basic foundation of who we are. The stronger the foundation, the stronger the structure. When faced with a situation requiring action, there are three responses: Reactive, Proactive, and In-active.
Scenario 1: You are in a small boat and you notice that it is beginning to leak.
Reactive: You jump overboard and start swimming to shore. You also forgot your life jacket.
Proactive: You evaluate the leak and put your hand or something else, like a rag, over it to stop or minimize it while you see if there is anything available to make a temporary fix. You're already wearing your life jacket.
In-active: You just sit there, while the boat is sinking, and wait to see what's going to happen.
Scenario 2: Someone begins to yell at you.
Reactive: You yell back as loud as you can and threaten to punch them.
Proactive: You remain calm. Determine what the person is saying. After you have determined what the problem is you respond calmly and do what you can to abate the problem.
In-active: You just remain how you are and look off into space, while hoping they will go away.
In summary -- reactive people act without thinking, proactive people take time to evaluate and respond, and in-active people do nothing.
If there were only two rules to follow, they would be, "Never lie to yourself" and "Take responsibility for your actions."
Along time ago I concluded that a person's perception is their reality. With that in mind, I'll start. I was at my evening watering hole, enjoying my whine, I mean wine, when I got into a friendly discussion with another patron. I was asked if I were upset with them from the last time we talked; they had gotten the impression that I was. I said, "No. I don't have any idea why you would think I was." The impression was based on my sitting on the furthest side of the horseshoe bar and it appeared I was avoiding them. We talked a while longer and I was also informed that I gave the impression that I didn't want to talk to others. I asked why they thought that. It was pointed out that I often sat on the other side of the bar and I have my earphones in; I sit away from others because I often write, and they didn't know I wasn't listening to anything and that I just kept them on in case I got a call. We talked. I explained my typical behavior and some of my quirks.
When I first started visiting the club, I would sit away from everyone and write. About a month after I started my daily sojourn, one of the regulars came over and asked, "Are you writing a book?"
I didn't take it as him being sarcastic, but rather to be funny. It's typical when someone is writing and you don't know what they're writing about. Courteously, I replied, "Yes, I am."
Not sure I was being truthful he stated, "Really?"
I said, "Seriously, I am. It's a love story about a guy that meets a very wealthy and powerful woman. The title is Victoria." Nodding that he believed me, he then struck up a conversation about basic personal things, like how long have you lived here and other typical, get to know you things.
While I was the Chief Engineer of a hospital, I was accused of being a snob. I asked the person why they thought I was; I don't consider myself a snob. I was told that when I walked past them and they said hello, I ignored them. Fortunately, it was at a group meeting; fortunate because I could explain to everyone at once, instead of one by one. I explained that, I often concentrate so deeply that I'm not aware of the world around me. I told them I'm lucky I don't walk into a wall. Then I apologized and said if I don't say hello, it's because I'm in another world, so to speak. I told them, even if I dislike someone and they say hello, I will respond. In addition, I told them, that on occasion, I'd be a long way off when I realized what was said. When I stopped, the person would be gone and that I wasn't sure it happened. So, now when I meet new people, I explain up front.
We were discussing the topic of relationships. My belief is, "If you make the people you care about happy, then you'll be happy." One of the participants said, "You need to look out for 'Uno Numero' first." His view is that if you're happy, then you can make others happy. To some measure I agree. If you're depressed and want to commit suicide, it's hard to make others around you happy. In many of these situations, if the person started thinking about how they were affecting others and what they meant to them, they might just realize their importance. Kirk Douglas is a prime example. Years ago, on the Today Show, he said after he had his stroke, he wanted to die. Then he said, "I began to think of how my dying would affect the people that loved me. I was important to them and that thought lifted me up. So, I stopped thinking about myself and focused on my family. A family I knew loved me. It changed my outlook and I started to deal with my recovery." It was a long time ago that I saw the show, so please excuse me if Kirk's wording wasn't exactly like mine; I'm paraphrasing, as best I can remember.
I know there are times when you attempt to make someone happy and they end up screwing you. For me, and I believe for most people, that have a loving relationship, it doesn't happen often, in fact it's rare. I really cannot think of a single time, when I did something for a loved one that later on treated me in a way that made me regret caring about them. My sister, whom I'm estranged from; that has treated me badly over the years, has not caused me to regret the things I did for her. I sincerely believe, "If you make the people you care about happy, you will be happy." Albeit, in my sister's cases, the moments were short lived. However, I'd like to reiterate, I don't regret them for a moment.
I'm going to start with choice. When I was noticeably young – many, many years ago, I heard this saying, "Life makes the soft heart grow hard; and it makes the hard heart grow soft." I think it has to do with what we expect and what we get.
I'm motivated to start with choice because I've been dealing with so many people that choose to dwell on the negative, instead of being positive. We all have had bad things happen to us. And we've also had a lot of good things. I've certainly had my share, both good and bad. My worst was losing my love—after 53 plus years. I'm dealing with it in my own way, a very personal way. I won't say it doesn't still hurt, some of life is learning to live with pain. I can't change it. Nobody else needs to know. I choose to focus on things I can do, things that make my life fulfilling—for me it's writing, jogging, and a bit of
whining wine in the evening.
The fact is, life isn't fair; if it were, I'd be handsome, younger, rich, smart, and have the ability to please a woman, as would every other male. All females would be beautiful, well built, independently wealthy, and, like they are, smarter than men. But in reality, life isn't unfair either, it's what it is. So, it's our choice on how we choose to live it, and whether or not to be positive or negative.
I'm not going to say I don't ever talk about these things; that is my losses, disappointments, and problems. Sometimes in conversations, I refer to them when I think they're apropos. Normally, I just keep them to myself. In some cases, they were things I couldn't do anything about them. Other times I was the one that was totally responsible for the outcome and they were a mixed bag. What I can say, is that I learned something from each of them. Unfortunately, many people repeat some of the things, because they expect the world to change for them; it usually doesn't.
Here's the choice we have: To be miserable or to live contently, if not happy. I ask myself, literally, ask, "Art, what are you going to do to be happy, or at least, positive?" I've chosen to be positive; and hopefully, be happy at times. I guess I have an advantage over some of the people I've dealt with. My children appear to be concerned about my wellbeing. I can't remember when we had a serious argument. This doesn't mean we agree on everything we just didn't fight over things that really matter. This helps me. I guess we have a mutual respect. I'm proud of my kids. I have two personal things in my life that undoubtably help—running, albeit slow, very slow and writing. I write about almost anything. It's like talking to someone that's totally listening, understands, and doesn't argue or disagree.
I've just started this topic, so I need to think some more on it.
From Deleted Currents Page
It's A Matter of Perspective
October 31, 2013
In 2013 San Diego had the dubious honor of its mayor, Bob Filner, resigning because of sexual harassment allegations, to which he later pleaded guilty to on a couple of them. My little tirade here is not about Filner, his behavior is reprehensible, but rather, about the attitude related to the behavior, expressed by a major official when interviewed.
During the interview, the official gave, on either August 21 or 22, 2013, he stated, words to the effect, that Filner's behavior were of product of his generation—my generation.
For the record Filner's form of behavior was never considered acceptable. Because of the "Good Old Boy Club" mentality, people with money or power were able to get away with this and other reprehensible behaviors. My generation considered Mr. Filner's arrogant and bulling behavior deplorable. It is unfortunate the people in power -- political or private sector -- still get away with much of it. And sadly, in most cases the victims often pay the price.
The point is that these forms of behavior were not considered acceptable by my generation, as well as subsequent generations. I suspect the mistreatment, sexual or bully, has not been considered as acceptable by most civilized societies.
Only in the Mind of the Beholder
September 20, 2010
Click here for Kelly Perry on Sesame Street - You Tube
As I age, I find it more-and-more difficult to understand people. I don't know whether they're prudes, ignorant, small minded, stupid or zealots. Parents complained to the Sesame Street producers that Katy Perry's Outfit was to risqué for the program. The dress she was wearing was about the same as a typical figure skater's outfit, except it was perhaps a bit longer. They, the parents, complained that it was inappropriate for children of Sesame Street age.
I'm reminded of the story I heard about an artist that painted nudes. He and his wife were worried what their three year old daughter would think if she saw him painting. The inevitable day came. The young girl burst into his studio while he was working, followed closely behind was his wife. The girl looked at the model from head-to-foot, place her hands on her hips, defiantly, and then turned to her parents. With a scowl on her face she angrily said, "If she can go without shoes, why can't I?"
The point being that young children and toddlers don't see the world as adults do. The fact is they have no concept of sex and what risqué is all about. By the time a child would view the outfit Perry wore as risqué they wouldn't be watching Sesame Street.
It makes one wonder if their child (parents that complained) go to the beach or community swimming pools or their own pool for that matter. Do these parents prevent the children from watching figure skating, gymnastics, the circus, .... I could go on-and-on naming typical events where the participants are minimally dressed and not considered risqué. Maybe we should forbid cheerleading! I think that risqué is in the mind of the observer. I guess what really bothers me is that it seems like even the most innocuous things or words offend someone. I worked at a place where the boss's secretary didn't like the word "gal," so it was forbidden to be used. If parents really are so concerned about what their children see on TV then they should complain about the commercials where kids are behaving badly and the parent is smiling.
I've said enough here but add related comments in my "Parenting" page.
What's the Real Cause?
In the Dear Abby column (February 2010) a woman wrote that she was at a restaurant and observed that parents at one table were, figuratively speaking, force feeding their child. The child was already overweight. She further when on to say, Isn't it the parents' fault that today's children have weight problems.
Abby responded by telling the women not to judge the parents. It is the types of food eaten and lack of exercise. In essence, she blamed it on the environment.
Well, that's partly true. How and what we eat, coupled with lack of exercise can lead to being overweight. Let me spell it out. Where do you think that children learn and develop their eating and exercise habits?
Over the years I've kind of observed that the weight of children is proportional to their parent(s) -- heavy parents, heavy children. It is not universal as there are exceptions, albeit not too many. I should write "Dear Abby" but I'm just too lazy and really don't care what she says. It's the issue that bothers me. I would put the blame squarely on parents; that's where children learn their eating and exercise habits. I won't say that I was a great example. I guess I was lucky my kids, as was my wife and I, in the recommended weight range for our height. We did a lot of things right by accident. One of them was we were active in sports—tennis and soccer. Our kids were also active in sports, all kinds.
If I were raising children today, I would do the following:
I'm back, February 24, 2010. Reference: San Diego Union Tribune, Saturday, January 16, 2010. In the "Smart Living" section was an article. "It's Hard To Lose Weight When Your Spouse Keeps Buying Pizza." The gist of the article was how can I eat right if my spouse doesn't. If the writer wasn't married, then it would have been her mother, father, siblings, friends, roommate, the environment ....
The devil made me do it. It's not my fault, (you fill in the blank) made me do it. The point is, if I fail, it's not my fault. The article goes on to tell you how you can manipulate those you would blame for your failure into making them make you do it.
I get so pissed off and frustrated when people want to blame their actions on others.
While I was growing up, (some might say I never grew up) in the 1940s and 1950s, I seem to remember adults stressing, over and over again, that you need to take responsibility for your actions. Along came the 1960s and 1970s when psychiatry and sociology espoused that you are the way you are because the people you grew up with and your environment made you that way. It didn't matter that thousands of people in similar situations grew up differently; most of which became relatively normal.
If I were to respond to the article writer, I would say, "Sure it helps when you are supported or you can partner with someone when you strive to accomplish a goal. However, in the end you must take responsibility and, if necessary, do it on your own. The only person you can really blame for your failure is yourself.
Wow. it's been a long time. September 3, 2008 -- The major headline in today's paper read, "Feds Fine Pfizer $2.3 billion." Is that supposed to make us happy. Just who are they punishing. For certain it's not the high rollers of the company or the stockholders. It's you and me. It's the customer that will pay the bill. I regret that this little outburst is like a grain of sand that no one will see. I do vote against all incumbents, unless the challenger appears to be a bigger crook or moron.
What is really needed are laws that punish the people making the decisions. I'm not talking about bad decisions; I'm talking about the illegal ones. When they, The Feds or other government entities, fine a company, it's because of wrongdoing by company personnel; usually upper management. I also wonder why nobody in the media circus does anything. I guess it's easier to go along with the way things are. After all who owns the media? Large corporations and they surely don't want to make themselves libel.
November 22, 2008 -- On last night's TV news, a story was reported (it was also in the local newspaper this morning) that the Nebraska Legislator enacted a Safe Haven law. The Safe Haven law is intended to permit a parent to drop off a newborn at locations, like hospitals, fire stations, police stations, with no questions asked. Almost immediately they had to amend the law to stipulate a maximum babies age of 30 days. Because they initially failed to stipulate the age of the child that could be drop off, some 35 children, most in the age group, 10 through 17 were dropped off.
November 3, 2008 -- In California there is a proposition related to marriage. This topic is related to "truth" and not the subject of the proposition. So, don't look at the issue. One side says that the subject of gay marriage is not taught in school. It was made by the Superintendent of California Schools. The other side says it has been and will be taught in school and that parents have no say. They state that a first grade class was taken to a gay marriage and that parents had no say. I thought that all field trips, regardless of what they were for, had to have parental approval. In some ways they are like husband and wife, in divorce court, each saying the other is lying.
Based on what I've just stated (if you've seen or view the ads, you can confirm) one of the sides is lying. My thoughts are that this is appalling. We have laws that require truth in advertising, yet nothing is done when it comes to political ads. Even if the truthful side were to sue the lying side, with the current court system, the election would be long past before anything were done.
I guess what disappoints me most is that, it seems, that most people really don't care that they are being lied to and we've come to accept it.
While I'm speaking about the truth. PETA sued the state over false advertising that "California cows were happy." The court ruled that the state was "NOT" subject to the truth in advertising law. What bothers me it that the government is sanctioned to lie to us. We should be up-in-arms. If I were half the person I'd like to be and had the resources, I would do more than just write this. I guess I'm satisfied to live the remainder of my existence, acquiescent to the current status. It's the younger generation that needs to get involved.