Construction Note

I will be taking a bit of an informal break from this forum while I make preparations for it to go into it's own domain.   Hopefully we'll be back up soon.

Giving Advice




            Anyone who has friends will understand the situation I am writing about today.  The subject today is in regards to giving friends advice.  Anyone who has been in this situation (and I would guess most of my readers have been) has felt the indignant irritation when realizing that a friend, who has come to you in confidence, has completely ignored everything you have said to them.  Frankly, why shouldn't you be annoyed?  After all, you likely spent hours, maybe even days, going over the situation and hashing out a plan of action that will provide the best benefit to the friend in need only for that person to toss all that time away!  You have wasted every moment you spent in that situation; almost.

            Understand one thing, unless your friend is, in every way, an idiot, they will at least recognize your efforts and love all you the more for being there for them; even if your advice was never intended to be taken seriously.  However, this knowledge alone is not exactly productive.  It's not like the people we know are likely to change no matter how many times the same situation pops up.    This is especially true of situations regarding relationships.

            Well, as the topic indicates, I am going to give you, the trusted counselor of your friends, some advice.  Before you make any assumptions or conclusions on what the best course of action is for your friend, you must take a few things into account.
            First: Get as much information as you can about the situation.  You will need to    determine if this is a relationship problem, a professional problem, or a family issue.
            Second: You must get a feel for the emotional condition of your friend.  How are they     reacting to the situation and, based on your knowledge of them, what do they really want             out of it.
            Third: Don't make any assumptions as to what is really best for the person in question!

            Why are these things important?  Simple, if you can't establish the real issue for your friend, then you don't have a hope of helping.  In most cases, this is probably the easiest thing to do.  However, there are events such as relationships in a professional environment or relationships and family problems which can skew the information.  You must first establish if the real issue your friend is having is really what they want you to think.  This is especially true when  considering co-dependence.  If your friend is in a relationship with someone at work and there are problems that could get them fired, then the real issue isn't going to be the job, for instance.  Since most problems with skewed causes or intentions tend to be in relationships, let us frame the remainder of this blog on that.

            Your friend has come to you with a problem.  They are concerned that they could lose their job or that they can lose some family ties over a person they are dating or otherwise seeing in secret.  It would be a good idea at this point to get right to the heart of the matter.  In your own way, you will need to determine what the motivation is regarding your friend's attitude.  Are they defending the person they are seeing, are they defending the job and their place in it, or are they defending a family member?  It will likely be that they are defending the person they are with as most other concerns become secondary for someone who even allows their relationships to be a problem for work and family.

            At this juncture, you will need to find out what level of emotional intensity your friend is at.  If they are hysterical, crying, freaking out and so on, then your only purpose at that moment is to calm them down.  Also, you will need to accept that nothing you say is going to matter once they are calm.  Hysterical people typically work completely by impulse and thus, nothing that is said will matter as they themselves are not likely to know what they might do when the situation comes to a head.  Telling a hysterical person to let go of someone they care about in order to save their job or mend wounds with family is not the kind of advice that will ever be accepted.  Hysterical people are often emotionally unbalanced anyway and it would be best for you, as a counselor, to try and distance yourself some.  Calm them down, then simply advise them to think about what they want and act on it.  That way their actions (which is likely to be the same no matter what is said or done)  will remain entirely their own and you don't risk being blamed when their relationship fails... (which it likely will when hysteric's are a common mode)

            If, however, your friend is already calm, or simply upset, then you have a chance to do some good here.  Now remember, giving your friends orders will not likely amount to much.  If your friend is someone who defines themselves by the person they are dating -which is very common- then don't try to convince them they need to be single.  This is a concept so alien to them that they couldn't possibly understand it, even if they were willing to listen to such "nonsense"  Sadly, even battered women rarely, if ever, listen to the "break up with them" advice and will actually come to see you as an enemy if you persist in your efforts.  It is imperative that you keep calm and don't insert your own moral sense into the situation.  The only advice anyone with relationship problems will listen too is advice which either helps them to justify themselves or validates themselves.

            With this knowledge in mind it is best for you to form your advice within the framework of your friends real motive.  If you know them to be someone who always has to be in a relationship then don't advise them to be single.  They won't listen and will even resent you for considering it on option.  Instead, try framing your advice on positive aspects of their character and try to formulate idea's that will appeal to the relationship/co dependence motive.  Telling them they can easily find someone else and even give some options on who is a good start.  Get them talking about people that interest them, other individuals who have qualities they like.  Once they can break that barrier of fear (in being alone) they are much more likely to get out of a crappy situation and move on to hopefully greener pastures.

The Happy Life


(The Happy Life)


These things, I find, are what brings a man a happy life:
wealth left to you, or given by design;
rich land and soil, an even tempered hearth;
no law but self, light business, and a quiet mind;
great health in body, honorable power to do only right;
a wise simplicity, friends of equal term;
good company and counsel, a table strong, without art;
nights carefree, no grief, no awkward drunkenness;
a bed of soft comfort, modest, true, without cold;
sleep that dreams only sweet, hours of darkness brief;
the need to be yourself, and nothing more;
a man, a knight, a lord, discharged without concern;
never fearing your final day, never seeking it to come to term.


                                                               


                                                                     
                                                                        A modern translation of " The good life", by Marcus Valerius Martialis  Book X: 47 

Arrogance and the Proven


                There exists in this society a strong prepotency for those who are untested in life to be arrogant.  The ideology of a personified state of being is typically the form such people play out.  What I mean by this is that many people who have never actually done a thing, will personify themselves as being an expert or nearly so in that thing in the hopes that no one will ever question there conditioning in this.  Perhaps the two most ardent offenders to this lie, from what I have experienced, are untested men and promiscuous women.

                Lets begin with the 'untested man.'  He is someone who has rarely, if ever, done anything beneficial to the species.  He is a man who seeks a static, safe, and unchanging life in his actions but in his mind, feels very strongly that he is important and has a superior destiny.  This ideology typically begins at a young age which is where they will first distinguish what they feel is the model by which men should be judged.  This can be a persona of the 'militant', the 'cowboy', the 'industrial worker', the 'professional fighter', or anything which comes with it the connotation of 'manliness.'  From a young age, this individual will dress to fit this persona, will attempt to speak to fit this persona, will engage themselves in certain activities which are typically felt to be a study session such as watching certain movies starring their heroic persona's and/or listening to the music about this hero type.  More often than not however, they will not actually engage in the actual exercise of emulating the actions or lifestyle of the personified hero. 

                Lets use the 'militant' as the model.  The militant persona is someone who learns about guns, watches all the military movies, checks out a few shows on "The History Channel" regarding military campaigns and other such nonsense.  I call this nonsense because these people never enlist in the military.  These people never get jobs in law enforcement.  At the very best, these people might have a family member they were close too who was in the military, thus, how they got exposure to guns.  Maybe they go of a few police ride-a-long's.  But at no point would they ever seriously conceive of ever actually becoming there personified hero.  Instead, they content themselves with spending so many years acting out as such a person that the people they meet in adulthood are never any the wiser.   And why should they be?  After all, the militant dresses accordingly, probably cuts their hair accordingly, might go camping occasionally, might even own a gun of their own, which often goes unused.  In every way, they look the part and speak the part.  They will be able to spew out a one or two truths about this or that war and then give off whole lines of bullshit about those same wars which have no basis in truth, or, if they do, are only known because of the people or person they know who told them the story was in the military.  No one ever suspects until a real military man comes along and asks for the DD214 discharge form!  Asked what rank they were in what military and what campaigns they were in.  Hell, even getting an actual chain of command will be a seemingly insurmountable task!

                Sadly, even when this untested man has been proven a fraud to everyone they know, they remain undaunted.  They simply move on, get new friends and watch their backs for anyone that could expose them again.  If, however, you suspect you know a man like this there is a simple way to test it.  See if this man has ever been in a fight.  Not even a military fight.  Untested men won't fight.   In their hearts, they are pacifists.  The very thought of a real confrontation with danger will sicken them.  It is this weakness of heart that never allowed them to traverse the terrain to the other side, into actually becoming the militant defender of hearth, home and nation.

                Regarding women, this is a much more simple task.  It is no stretch that everyone sugar coats their experiences to a small degree; women included.  However, there is one type of women who seems to always have this quality and holds to the extreme.  It is likely that just about every American over the age of 20 knows at least one women like this.  Some call her "The Town Bicycle" because everyone gets a ride.  Now, I am not entirely sure how this comes about except out of pure stupidity, but promiscuous women, in nearly every case, seems to hold themselves as being both highly important and highly evolved.  They will adapt their entire mode of thought around some philosophy which justifies their opinions.  Typically the philosophy adopted is either the Modern Feminist ideology or the Drug Addict philosophy. 

                Some how these women believe that they gain in intellect, wisdom, and influence through Seminal infusion.  As if the act of getting a guy off actually transfers all of his knowledge, success, and importance into her.  The only thing I can think of in this regard is that the "hoe" believes in some kind of slut 'highlander' quickening process; only instead of cutting off the heads of immortals, they just need to get a guy to ejaculate.  I can see the draw here though.  If something like that actually worked, it would be much cleaner and faster than taking heads and scrubbing up pools of blood.   

                In closing, never expect these people to do what they say or act in a way that actually reflects the reality of being what they want you to believe.  Typically, the women who has a promiscuous lifestyle is the lesser of other women around her and verily lacks the simple understanding of health issues regarding chronic promiscuous sex.  The untested male may be capable of many things, but protecting you or fighting with you is not one of them.  If you are friends with such a person you must be careful.  If at any point you get yourself into a mess that may expose the secret of the untested, they will turn on you without hesitation.  The one universal factor which makes up the core of both the male and female side of this issue is this, loyalty of any kind is a burden!  They will only act loyal for as long as it benefits them or in the least, causes no harm to who they pretend to be.

The Fallacy of Choice


It is likely that anyone reading this has often encountered others who will act out upon any event with the justification of having no other choice.  I am willing to bet, also, that many who may read this are the very type of person to say and even think this about any number of events.  As a society, the notion of choice is an important one.  Women use choice as the loudest cry for killing their children.  Men use choice as the a compelling factor in deciding the fate of those around them.  Children use choice in a futile attempt to justify ridiculous behavior.  Though, when someone makes a choice which they regret, often that same person will claim "I had no other choice." 

                The fallacy here is obvious to an outside observer.  For any event there are typically a great many choices to made.  The real issue is in what consequences the participant is willing to accept.  More often than not, a woman getting an abortion is doing so because she does not wish to accept the consequences of her decision to commit to unprotected sexual activity, promiscuity, and other natural sexual endeavors.  Instead, she chooses the path which has what she perceives to be lesser consequences, often based on a lacking in understanding of all the possible outcomes.  So too will a man  who is, let's say, a soldier might commit a war crime such as killing civilians while claiming he is "just following orders."  It is easier to be reminded that he can be court marshaled for disobeying orders rather than see the consequences for denying his superior the option to murder civilians.  With regard to children, it is a common view to see them as primarily "insane" because they so often act without understanding or concern for consequences or with any real idea of an attainable goal.

                What is sad about these situations is that children are often the most innocent of their actions because they are not always aware of conscious of the consequences.  Everything they do is a test; a means to act out a hypothesis in order to find results.  Adult however, are not usually given such license.  As adults, we are expected to act a certain way and live by certain ideals regardless of whether or not we were given adequate time or allowance to test for the best outcomes to our actions. 

                In the end the fact that law, social expectations, personal goals or professional needs, exist should never be taken into account when an individual is weighing the options.  The reason for this is that people make the choices they feel will benefit something in their lives and thus, deny themselves the ability to even look at other options; this successfully creating the belief that "I have no other choice!" 
               
                Regardless of what anyone wants to believe, there are always a plethora of choices.  The best option may not necessarily come with a desired result, but that does not take away from anyone personal responsibility to act in a manner which is, in the very least, consistent with their own known moral or ethical outlook.  Though many religious leaders would choose to argue this ideal, it is far worse to be a hypocrite then it is to be a failure.  Failure is something which can most often be mended or molded into a different success; hypocrisy  will instill in everyone a complete lack of trust in you, making any choice you make a choice with consequences which you will always be alone in facing.  Perhaps the only sin in the human condition that outranks betrayal is the total lack of impeccability most of us hold.

Racism


                When ever the subject of racism comes up, I find myself always being slightly annoyed with how people respond.  The first thing that springs to mind is to associate racism with some stereotype from any side of the argument.  Those who are racist claim their hatred stems from the annoyances of a group's activities or cultures while those who claim to be the victims of racism so often cite the same stereotypical modes the explain their displeasure.  Both sides in this are altogether ridiculous to my thinking.  Of course people can be easily lumped into categories!  If there weren't enough social evidence to back up a claim, then no stereotype could last longer than a few months!

                The most significant aspect of this is the fact that stereotypes exist because separate groups of people developed certain traits during a time in which they were more solitary.  It stands to reason that these aspects would be converted into something more widely recognizable when humanity as a whole became more aware of other people.  What I find interesting is how one group of people will immediately recognize a cultural idiom about another race, then choose to deplore that trait and associate it with the entirety of a race while completely forgetting the fact that the trait was quickly recognized because both groups possess it!

                What I find amazing is that most people will feel they are unjustly thought of in a stereotypical light, whether or not the situation stems from actual racism.  There is a reason groups of people get "lumped" into certain categories; the history of their people often speak for them.  This understanding can be applied to all categories in the human condition.  When a White man calls a Black man lazy, it isn't a false statement necessarily.  All humans are naturally lazy!  Not because of a moral issue, but because of an evolutionary issue.  It is essential to realize that the greater portion of human society does not exist in the harshness of our paleo ancestry.  Our evolution as a species allows us to work very hard, but our bodies and nature is to rest whenever possible in order to conserve vital nutrition.  That most people can simply go grab something to eat is not a situation that has existed long enough to be coded into our DNA.  So yes, a black man may be lazy, but the white man accusing him of this is also lazy.  It is simply a matter of providing the correct situation. 

                Being of a less then Christian background I would certainly hesitate to allow a Christian leader to become a dictator in my country.  I know the history of Christian leadership and I can recognize the likeliness of the tyranny which would ensue.  Not solely based upon Christian history, but because I recognize in my own history and from my own race and belief structure the danger in allowing religious rule.  I am aware that I can see this because I could very easily possess the same flaw if given the correct situation.  For this reason, Christians would hesitate to allow Islam or Judaism to take power in this nation.  They know exactly what would happen because they know exactly what they would do if given such power.  It is simply a matter of recognizing the potential for conduct in ourselves.  That anyone would choose to hate others based entirely on this is a foolish thing.

                Racism is often propelled by all sides.  This is sad because in the western U.S. racism is a very taboo.  For certain there are likely some that are not opposed to open practice of racist activity, but by and large, such people are deemed ignorant or in the very least, strange.  Racism however, is alive and well within the people who claim to be the victims.  By keeping societies eyes on the issues of racism and by constantly justifying themselves with the roots of racist oppression, it is the victims themselves that often keep racism alive and well instead of letting it simply die.  Members of my own family are guilty of this trait.

                I find it sad that this is so.  It would be very pleasant if we could finally live in a world where people only hated another person based only upon that individuals actions.  I for one find the idea of hating an entire group of people exhausting!   If I am going to hold hatred in me, I would much rather it be focused on those whom have personally earned it.

My Valentine

So today is Valentine’s day.  Traditionally this is a holiday in which couples affirm or re-affirm affections for one another while those who are single either work towards building a relationship with someone they feel is significant or otherwise reflect on being single with the reminder that solitude is not something which most Americans consider acceptable.  I am not entirely aware of how rare or common it is that individuals such as myself choose not to be concerned with the lacking or abundance of relationship opportunities.  Instead, I almost forgot about this holiday altogether.  In going about my day, going to class, doing some homework, working out some daily finances, I found myself no more or less content.  It wasn’t until I recalled a posting on another social network by a friend of mine that I realized today was a little more important than I had woken up believing.

            Today, though not momentous by most accounts, has still been the bearer of a solemn reminder.  That reminder has come from an unlikely source; Starbucks Coffee.  Now let it be known here and now that I utterly hate coffee.  The smell of that vile nectar entices in me an undefinable will to vomit!  However, I have chosen to write this particular blog entry at Starbuck’s because this company has made the conscious effort to support the rights of the people.  Today is supposed to be the official start of the “yuppie/hipster” boycott of this, their favored little coffee shop.  Why would these idiots boycott their own coffee shop one might ask; simple, Starbucks all over the nation supports the rights of citizens as applicable by law.  Meaning, citizens who hold a concealed carry permit for their handgun are allowed in the premises of Starbucks so long as there are no ordinances on the local level which prevent this. 

            From here, I would like to give my perspective from the philosophical view, naturally.  The type of people who seem the most concerned with ‘gun control’ are not typically those who have ever actually encountered a gun.  Neither by violence or personal will do these yuppie affluents encounter guns or any other weapons.  Their opinions on the matter rarely hold any substance in facts and are actually derived from a natural fear of the things which they are ignorant of.  More important to note here is that these people are predominately in the affluent or higher class.  Thus, they spend their lives in the false belief that their government is concerned with their welfare as proved by their income.  In that respect, it is not too great of a stretch to understand that these people have ideals which are much more in sync with the governing body then those who more often suffer under it.

            The general belief of the United States Government has long held that armed citizens represent a threat to the sovereignty of that government.  This is reflected also in the various manifesto’s and memorandum’s uncovered by citizen watch groups which state in general, that many government agencies consider war veterans to be a substantial threat to the goals and desires of the ruling body.  That those who are so well served by this government are also afraid of citizens practicing their rights to bear arms (or really any other right, such as speech, expression, religion) is really of no surprise.  That responsible, patriotic, and trained citizens were to ever hold an uprising with the goal of ending the advancing oppression of the middle and lower class in this nation, then what defense can be expected?  The Government and those it serves depend entirely upon the soldiers and veterans, they consider a threat, to defend them. 

            Sadly, all of this is pure conjecture as there hasn’t been a righteous uprising in this nation for some time.  People can protest all day, but at the end of the day, it rarely matters and almost never changes anything.  The man next to you in line whom you are not aware even has a gun, which he is entitled to carry, isn’t in least bit likely to pull the gun on you no matter how annoying you are to the entirety of your species.  Fact is, it is far more likely that he will draw his gun and defend your life against the robber who doesn’t give a shit about the law and always carries a gun, not because it’s his right, but because his job in life is to hurt you and take your yuppie money to buy drugs from one of your ‘special’ friends.

Evolve through Adaptability


From the physicist point of view the laws which govern our Universe are not immutable.  The creation of this Universe is apparently successful because the laws of order established themselves throughout our creation process.  Other universes may exist with a completely conflicting set of laws from our own while others may have only existed for a brief moment before suddenly ceasing to be.  These processes are believed to be dictated by an over abundance of physical laws, an under abundance of physical laws or the complete absence of law.

                The philosophical view on this would state that it simply doesn't matter if the multi-universe hypothesis is correct.  That the possibility exists that universal law is only specific to our Universe and not as an inherent aspect of any probable nature/existence is an effective symbol that the laws and cultures of separate peoples must remain separate in order to properly deduce the most effective means for evolution.  The reason for this is that nature, on every level ,both hypothetical and proven, must be in a continuous state of dynamics if we are to advance.

                As part of the laws which govern this Universe is mandatory progression.  In consequence to this, that which progresses through the continuum of dynamic existence (nature) will continue to exist in a continually adapting state.  Those that remain static, given a long enough time line, will perish.  The greatest evidence of this is seen in the 'Devonian' period in which up to eight (8) distinctive humanoid species lived -at roughly the same time.  As we know, only one (1) of these humanoid species has survived to the present.  Though this seems counter intuitive to some, the fact remains that the strongest and best suited to the environment actually died out first.  The physically weak ultimately won out by the process of adaptability.  The weakness in body motivated a strength in wisdom (sapien) and a requirement for adaptive diets.  Counter to most pseudo-survivalist idea's, there is no evidence of considerable hostilities between humanoid species that can account for extinctions.  Very simply, the scions of the first imaginative humans were more successful, more often, then other species.  It would also be justified to note that the successes of the original eight (8) Devonian humanoids remain alive, for every human known to earth has the successful processes of each species locked within their DNA.

                Within this DNA is also the now inherent understanding that a static or overly specialized existence leads to destruction.  This is easily shown in human social interactions regarding government (economics) and religion (morality)  The professional is an individual who is always under threat because the very definition of a professional is specialization in a field.  How many times just in the last 100 years has the dynamic advancement of technology or the fluctuation in economics forced a specialist out of work or made a specialist career path go extinct?  The spiritual ideals of any faith are always under attack because they are often so specialized in who can practice the faith or in guidelines for understanding the faith.  How many conflicts have arisen between religions and between religion and other ideals such as culture or science?  What might be more important is this; why does it occur so often that the professional who is being forced into extinction attempt to "find God" when faced with adversity?  It is not that God has ever solved any person's problems, it is that, in most cases, God  is usually seen as being successfully stagnant (in stasis).  For individuals who have made a career out of being in a steady state, the prospect of adapting to a dynamic environment seems, and probably is, too insurmountable a prospect and, thus, choose to resign themselves to another static ideology.

                This isn't to say that religion and government are inherently bad, it is simply an understanding that if our species cannot devise an ethically dynamic governing system and spirituality, then those cultural things will constantly destroy themselves over time.  Because we as a species really do understand this process, it is becoming a more widely accepted belief that in many ways, religion is dying and governments are falling apart.  The consequence of this may be that the next stage in our evolution will be the ability to continue in an advancing direction without the need for specialized religions and political governance. 

Noble Idea and Prophecy


                Being over 30 years in age, I am just old enough and just seasoned enough to understand that a revolution does not begin with blood being shed or with Arms taken against tyranny.  I am young enough still to have the fire inside me to take up arms against a corrupt and tyrannical system when ever such a time comes.  However, it is the goal of those like me to utilize any available resource to educate ourselves and others with regards to science, engineering, medicine as well as trade's and crafts such as building, weaving and creating the very things we all use for our collective survival; that ultimately we may have the ability to educate our community as to what the problems we face are and provide logical and righteous methods to resolve those problems.
                It is not for us to concern ourselves with the plight and greed of authorities which so often prove their sole concern to be the acquisition of personal resources by any means available.  It is for us, the knowledgeable and educated class of citizen, to have the confidence to face such tyrants with reason and resolve.  It is for us to offer solutions which may benefit every person without blatant and deficient destruction of the very world we live upon.
                The challenges which have always been presented to those in our past has always been to know by both faith and reason, the better time to speak and discuss, and the ethical time to act.  Moreover, this challenge continues as these selfsame leaders must find the resolve to continue on well after the fires of patriotism have waned from the hearts of themselves and their peers.  It is required that all of us involved understand that it is us, the people whom have always and will always care for our elderly and infirm, cloth our children, protect our wives - our sisters and mothers - our daughters and granddaughters.  It is us who must train our boys and arm our men, feed our hungry and learn from our wise.
                That we come to understand that our struggle is not unique, but lived and shared amongst all our community and those of us who have long since gone in lives and era's previous to this becomes axiomatic that we are entitled to a life without the corruption of tyranny, without subjugation by the greedy.  All at once we find ourselves able to see beyond the veil of simple fury and patriotic ideals, when lifetimes come and go in the space of a year or two or three, and though we sometimes fail to see it at the time, we never-the-less feel something greater than the individual.  Suddenly, when we have crossed that mortal threshold  where our fires have burnt out, our bodies have been emaciated, we have been dishonored, disrespected, intruded upon, trespassed against, pressed into servitude and betrayed by the tyrants we called leaders.  At this point we have endured all our mortal coil can muster and yet we press on, as other great people have done, and for that moment of our fleeting lives that moment which can be a day or a year in duration, we find ourselves to be gods upon this world; gods which fight on in spite of the turmoil and weakness of body and heart.  All at once, the end comes and we lay claim to that beautiful liberty which was ours by right.  Many return to their mortal lives and concerns with the hope and faith that we, the gentry who saw the problem and worked every moment to fix it will create for us all, a newer world, both righteous and impeccable for every soul which remains.

Personal Opinion vs. Philosophy


Personal Opinion vs. Philosophy

            I have noticed over the years a flaw in the human condition which sadly seems to be gaining more momentum.  Now, I can of course say this about any number of subjects, however, this particular point has had some rather devastating effects on the awareness and morality of individuals.  More and more am I seeing the personal implementation of a 'philosophy' which is designed to justify an opinion.  Regarding this, there has been a great deal of impact in our society by way of laws, codes of conduct, and honesty. 

            On a large scale, we can see this occurrence in government, business, and religion.  Government -on all levels- will commit to an action based on the personal opinions of a few that, when scrutinized, forces the designers or supporters of a law to establish a philosophical viewpoint to justify implementation.  Looking at the whole issue with gay marriage, the United States has been submerged into a deep conflict over the rights of the gay community.  Because of religious ideals, gay marriage was not acceptable to even speak about, much less debate until only recently.  Because the philosophy of "Gods Will" can no longer be used to justify the oppression of the gay community at large, a new 'philosophy' has been engineered.  This new idea of "protect marriage" has been adapted for the sole purpose of justifying an out-dated and immoral belief.  As a person with nothing to lose or gain from gay marriage, I can say without emotional compromise that gay marriage doesn't threaten marriage or American family; divorce, abuse, greed, abandonment, adultery, deceit, and other similar activities do.  It is morally incorrect to say or even feel that one groups ability to do what other groups are allowed to do is a threat to American values or "family values."

            Similarly, business -especially big business- long ago adapted this method of opinion first, build a philosophy around it later.  This can be seen with a critical analysis of business history in the United States.  Business owners of today are little different in mentality then the big business owner's of yester year.  Production and Manufacturing businesses easily glow the brightest in this for their deplorable actions against the American worker caused the death of untold innocence throughout this nation's history.  The consequence of this was the formation of worker unions.  The primary difference in these two organizational platforms is this; big business forms from the opinion that the owner should have wealth, regardless of who gets hurt or what must be done.  Unions on the other hand formed from a growing philosophy, literally tempered in blood and sweat, that every man was created equal, with the right to live safely, be compensated reasonably for their work,  and be treated fairly as an equal, not a slave.  From this, did the American worker unions ultimately survive against nearly insurmountable odds.  Whatever the Unions of today may be like, one should still respect a philosophy that survived continual attacks by the wealthiest elite and the military for the first decades of its inception.

            Sadly, the greater portion of today's citizen seem to have lost that fundamental understanding of what constitutes true sovereignty.  A man who has an opinion which is based solely on his emotional state at the time of any event will never manage to become a strong or self sovereign individual.  It is incorrect to think about something, form an opinion about it, then attempt to incorporate a belief system of any kind around it.  For a person to be truly strong, truly self sovereign, truly worth anything, that person must first build a philosophical belief based either on previously conceived notions or core ideals which have been established as a tested and proven system of moral conditions.  Then, when one observes a situation, that person can judge the validity of either side based upon that moral core. 

            As a man who believes in Liberty for all human life, it should come as no surprise to anyone who understands this concept that I believe in the things I do, that my opinions are what they are.  I don't believe the gay community should be given the ability to marry, I believe they are innately created with the 'right' to marry as they choose.  I do not believe that any government, law, religious faction, politician, or other individual of any sort have the moral justification to remove the rights of any person who is not impeding upon the rights of another.  From this core moral condition do I lean towards the right to life on the subject of abortion, the right to life on the subject of execution, the right to expression, the right to bear arms and so on.

            Have you ever noticed that the people who are full of opinions often have very little in the realm of rationality to justify those opinions?  Would it come as a shock to you that opinionated people are often, if not always presumptuous and condescending?  Do you notice that when placed in situations where you are forced to observe such people, they often fall below the curve in the workplace, academia, and experience?  I know I have noticed these things and I am sadly confronted with these people every day I leave my home.  

Academic Economics and Reform


               All across the United States there has been a surge in reform.  Though the propaganda involved is designed to give the people a sense of ease (even the word reform is often seen as beneficial) the reality of these changes is far from beneficial, especially to students.  This alteration in the process of economics within Academia exist on every stage; elementary school, junior high, high school, and college.  Though some schools have always had this corrupted sense of entitlement, it seems as though nearly every other institution  within Academia is following suit.

                Look at the public education system in the western U.S. for example.  California public schools are placing greater and greater demand on students to be present in class, yet, attendance does not always correlate with an increase in academic performance.  We might ask ourselves why this is and sadly, there are several pieces.  First of all, between 4th and 9th grade, there is very little deviation in curriculum; meaning that the books which students are exposed to at the high school freshmen level contain the same information that they were encountering in the 4th grade.  Typically, the only difference in these books will be the cover art and the names of chapters.  The initial idea behind this being a belief in repetition. 

                It is a provable fact that repetition does assist in the learning process.  However, the one major factor that fails to be taken into account is this, often a student will learn an incorrect way to find a solution or memorize a passage and that same process will continue throughout those 5 years.  In this way do students get left behind academically.  The only thing repetition has taught them was an incorrect or ineffective method.  Attendance at this point is fruitless for the fallible method is the only thing being learned regardless of whether or not the student shows up for class.

                Another issue which is deeply related to the above statement is, again, rooted in attendance.   If, under the best circumstances, a student can chronically attend class as recommended, what difference can it truly make?  The average human only needs to repeat a method 2 or 3 times for that method to be instilled into long term memory.  This means, even if a person doesn't use a certain piece of information over a long period of time, that person can recall that information with far less effort then it originally took them to learn.  So why is every student subject to  five years of minimum repetition?  Additionally, how can any society expect any academic advancement if their youth is constantly doing the same thing over and over again without reasonable change?

                What we are left with is a systemic decline in overall performance and intellectual capability which is integrated into a mind that was originally designed for much more.  By not altering the curriculum to advance as the student matures, we are effectively teaching a complete lack in ability to adapt.  This also inhibits the ability to imagine and deprives the student of the motivation to expand.  In doing so, the public education system effectively removes three of the primary methods for human survival and evolution; Adaptability,  Imagination, and Motivation.

                Why would the various boards of education do such a thing, one might be tempted to ask?  Simple, money.  Though teachers may be put under scrutiny based on student test scores, administration remains immune to such things.  All that matters to school administration is that students are in their seats.  If the students learn nothing while in those seats, administers still gets paid.  If the teachers are unable to teach because they are forced to use out-dated materials, the teacher can lose their job.  Administration on the other hand gets paid just for students showing up.

                This problem also follows the student well into college.  Most of a student's college experience is paid by other means.  These means can be either or a combination of, Family support, financial aid, scholarships, work, etc.  Simply put, the money doesn't just automatically come in based on seats filled.  However, this new method of payment doesn't stop administration from being corrupted.  At this level, administration will often force teachers to work at several locations or in several different positions in order to keep the bulk of teachers on part time status.  Though in states like California such methods are illegal, they non-the-less occur more often than not.  How can this be one might ask?  Simple, the punishment for breaking this law is a fine that is often far less than what would be paid out for more full time teachers.

                Another method is the abuse of financial aid.  Many administrators, especially in our current economic climate, will keep federally granted financial aid (such as Pell Grants) for up to 2 months after a reasonable disbursement time.  By the time students get their financial aid, they are already half way through a semester , 2/3 of the way through a quarter, before they have the money to purchase books.  In this way can Administration receive an injection of extra interest on the accounts which these funds go into.  It makes no difference to them if a student fails a class the first time around because they couldn't get their books because that student already gets three try's before the must find a different district to retake the class.  Of course they already have the book for their second attempt because, if they are good students, they will try again because they have already spent to money on the materials.  It makes no difference to Administration of a students have a poor academic record.  All that matters is that administrators keep their pay check and can have enough left over to continue unnecessary aesthetic projects such as office remodeling, administration parking cover, break area's and other superficial projects which are of little benefit to students.

                What is the solution?  There could many ways to solve these problems in academia.  However, all of them would require us to continue at least one tradition; reform.  However, instead of reforming the system to be even more mechanical in teaching methods and testing, we will to reform the problem from the top going down.  We need to establish a general pay cap on all administration positions with a civil vote by the state population regarding what that cap should be.  We need to establish a mandatory maximum in number of administrators per full time teachers (perhaps 1 administer per 50 or 100 teachers) and actually enforce the laws regarding numbers of part time teacher per full time teacher (which in most area's is a 1 to 1 ratio) while putting more severe caps on the amount of money which can be used for projects which do not directly benefit the student body.  Finally, if we can find a way to correlate the number of classes offered scaled by the amount of teachers there are and administrators to handle this work load, then these school officials may be more inclined to offer the classes necessary for their students instead of simply skimming off the top of accounts to give themselves pay raises and other benefits. 

The Corruption of Courtesy


                 I have been putting a good deal of thought into what to write.  Not just here, but in other aspects of my creative life.  I have, unfortunately, started a great many different types of stories, but none of them seem to get finished.  One problem with spending so much time observing and contemplating is the almost incessant amount of information which comes to me.  I can be 20 pages into something and suddenly find new information that seems to demand I write something new regarding it. 
               
                There is one thing which I have begun that I do have some hope for.  I have begun work on a new book which will be the first of its kind for me.  A self help book of sorts, but the information will be for a much different audience then what most self help books are for.  Currently I have it titled "Indestructible"  which is the most I am willing to venture about the contents at this time. 

                The reason I mention it here is that the contents that I am planning to inject into the core has a great deal to do with my observations about the human condition.  In particular, the condition which is brought to the forefront of my life every time I am in the urban collective.  This idea of 'courtesy' is something to which has become very corrupted as the centuries pass.  How many of you (my readers) have encountered a situation which someone else is discourteously bothering you?  I can give a few examples that are likely to strike a chord with nearly anyone.

The inattentive mother who sits idle while her child or children are screaming, running around, or in any other means, disturbing everyone and anyone that enters their sphere of annoyance.

The smoke filled car racing in front of you down a highway at a shocking 35 miles per hour; scared to go any faster because they have been "hot boxing" the car since they left their parents parking space and honestly believe that no one else on earth could ever imagine that they are driving while completely stoned.

The abusively loud teen who is screaming at their prospective mates on the cell phone, arguing over issue's that everyone else around them not only know to be irrelevant to anything serious in life, but also know that the relationship has little chance of success because such trivial trifles point less to a real problem and more to a waning lack of interest by one or both parties.  Yet, everyone around this teen is forced to endure the conversation.

                For all of us who face these and other situations on a daily basis, or even a weekly one, I find it necessary to say one thing, 'Shame on us!"  Now you might be asking why I say shame.  This is a very simple thing.  It is we who are at fault.  These situations exist because our sense of courtesy is just as corrupted as those who are so blatantly offensive to courtesy.  Why?  Simple; we continue to allow it.  We even justify it with a full subject of psychology dedicated to condemning any action which provokes us to speak up against these situations. 

                As a civilization, we have been molded to endure.  As a people, we are expected to keep our cool when others fail to adapt their emotions to an open and collective situation.  We simply want the mother to know that it is her responsibility to shut her child up.  We expect the driver to know they are acting stupid.  We believe the teen can feel our stares of discontent and so, we bitterly shut our mouths and wait for them to act accordingly.  But ask yourself, how often does this happen?  I venture to say that it is a rare event indeed.  In fact, it is usually a change in the environment which stops the annoyance, not the people committing the actions.  Sadly, each time these offensive people enter a new environment, they continue acting out as if nothing else in this world matters but themselves and the irrelevant situations which bring them to the event.  The mother never shuts her child up and when the child grows up, they simply become loud, annoying, self entitled adults who not only continue the tradition, but evolve it into something worse.  The same style of consequences will also follow in any other situation.  However, it is not the fault of the offenders for they will always do what they are allowed to do.  It is by not standing up and shaming these people that the whole of our civilization is forced to endure such people every day, every week, every generation.

                I am a proponent of liberty.  However, I also believe in simple courtesy.  Allowing someone to steal your time, your comfort, your rest; your break from the office, your peace while eating with a friend, your time with your family, I say there is no difference if they were taking your television right from your home.  This kind of theft may be legal, but it isn't by any means moral.  Though they may have the right to do such things, we also have the right to voice our disgust with such actions.  Sadly, most humans do not learn from punishment and reward when they become adults.  Adults learn from shame and deprivation.  The law will not allow us to remove anything from them but their time, as they do to us, but there is no laws which state we cannot and must not shame them for being so base and entitled.

                Perhaps it is time for those of us who are so accustomed to biting out tongue to cease this activity.  Otherwise, how are others to know what the boundaries are?  How can we possibly expect another to understand that they do not have the right to steal our calm for their own sad intentions?

Written in Oct. of 2011 (Marijuana)


The Moral implications of Marijuana use by Americans

            In the United States there exists a rather long winded and long lived conflict on the subject of drugs.  The two opposed camps have long been tied in a battle of wills with the anti-drug community maintaining primary legal control and the pro-drug community trudging along gaining small increments of ground every few years.  Standing in the middle of this issue is the everyday libertarian (note the lack of a capital L)  I say that the everyday libertarian stands in the middle for one very simple reason; the vast majority of libertarians are against drug use, but for the expansion of civil rights by limiting governmental control. 

            The anti-drug camp has always lumped marijuana in the same category as illegal drugs for a variety of reasons.  Sadly, those reasons have little to nothing to do with what the supposed intellectual drug supporters claim.  The main reason the anti-drug camp views marijuana the way it does has little to do with the origin of the plant and a great deal to do with the effect.  Let's just put it out there, people who are high on marijuana are just plain annoying.  Substances like Cigarettes and Alcohol would also be seen as an illegal drug if  citizens hadn't fought to keep them grandfathered in; marijuana simply drew the short stick when its use was just starting to become mainstream.

            There are three distinct categories of people who use marijuana in the United States; those that use it for truly medicinal purposes, those that use purely for recreation, and those known as stoners (the ones who actually believe marijuana cures everything from insomnia to cancer)  The only people who appear to have actually gained anything from the movements rather slow progression for acceptance is this third group while simultaneously being  comprised primarily of the very sort that keep the anti-drug group so fervent against them.  By law however, there is no distinction between these categories as anyone who uses the drug is guilty of a federal crime. 

            Let us take into consideration the type of person who has a voice with regards to any and all anti-drug policy, or rather, the stereotypical individual.  This person would be a wizened politician or lawmaker from a staunchly christian household and a conservative background.  Now this certainly isn't the case in all respects, I assure you, however, for the sake of argument let me continue.  The opposite of this person is the pro-drug supporter whose voice seems to glare the loudest.  This person spends the bulk of their time in a near catatonic state, unable to hold down a job, maintain any useful skill, and by and large lives off of some form or multiple forms of welfare.  So when childlike stoner starts yelling at W.A.S.P  politician, politician can do nothing less than plug their nose and shoo the child away for throwing a tantrum.  Thus explaining, in a stereotypical fashion, why the acceptance of marijuana has been so slow.

            The pro-drug camp has attempted to spearhead there campaign with a strategy worthy of any District Attorney's office.  Very simply, throw as much shit at the wall as possible and by simple statistics, at least one turd will finally stick.  This group has attempted to prove major, life saving, life bettering benefits to marijuana.  This group has attempted to cite highly debatable historical facts to explain why it should be legal or has been made illegal.  In the end, the only argument that has ever held even the slightest weight is the one argument that marijuana simply doesn't have any real social implications at all; that marijuana has been the drug of choice for certain celebrities, politicians, and other famous figures with little or no negative impact.

            The most significant problem with this issue is ignorance.  There is almost no information today that gives anything close to an accurate account of the benefits or deficits caused by marijuana.  The anti-drug camp has reported thousands of pages of documents proving the government's stance on marijuana as a dangerous drug while the pro-drug camp consistently cite 'independent research' performed by pro-drug organizations.  This has lead to a mass infusion of disinformation that has completely clouded the drug issue for decades.  It ultimately boils down to this; do you trust the experience of the hundreds of leading scientific and law enforcement officials who may well be simply trying to either keep their job and friends or justify their own moral opinion?  Or do we trust the research lead by unknown, under qualified organizations who's staff of researchers have spent the greater portion of their lives 'stoned' into a semi functional coma?

            From this libertarians stance, I would advise any citizen, regardless of moral condition, to listen to neither camp.  Go ahead and make marijuana legal.  Tax it with the same scale as cigarettes and alcohol.  This way, everyone in the community can have some benefit.  However, along with taxation naturally will come some regulation.  To expand on the rights of citizens by allowing them to use this drug is a moral positive.  However, the regulation doesn't require more government.  Simply state that any drug that cannot reasonably be used as a tool to commit a violent crime (such as the case with LSD, Heroin, and so on) will be legalized, but that no assistance will ever be granted with regard to welfare, unemployment, community medical, or any other form of government assistance to anyone who has these drugs in their system or has a known, recent history with drugs of any kind (other than prescribed pharmaceuticals) With regards to business and industry, leave it to the business owner or corporate leadership to determine whether marijuana use will be acceptable for their employee's.  In the end, it really won't matter.  A vast percentage of welfare recipients are also moderate to heavy drug abusers (stoners) and will find themselves as even less significant than they already are to their communities. Without the hand-out, such individuals will finally have to make the moral choice to either clean up or stay in the filth.  The community as a whole will simply be freed of the tyranny of supporting those who consistently refuse to do anything useful at all.

Written on Sept. 11th of 2011

On this day, September 11th, 2001; men and women, mostly civilians who had never known war, were forced to face the consequences for foreign ideologies they were ignorant of. Though we have put to rest many of those responsible for so dark a day we as a people must never forget OUR victims nor OUR intrepid men and women who now fight; some giving of themselves everything to keep our enemies at bay. Many of them still pay the ultimate price with the hope and faith that their sacrifice will save us, their people, from tyranny. I will never forget.  I will honor those who have past before me.  I will lend my voice, my fragile words for those who are now forever silent.  To my enemies; ask me where my home is? My home is where thousands of my friends and heroes are buried.  Ask me what that means to me?  It means everything!

Introduction

Welcome to my blog, Mind the Fire.  I will be doing my best to keep this blog updated on a weekly basis.  Please, if you have any questions or comments, you may respond to my blog or e-mail me at sanguine_vitae@comcast.net

My name is Michael and it is my sincere hope that you enjoy the contents herein.  Thank You.