Thursday, 27 April 2023

What's in a Gender?

America is behind the 8 ball, AGAIN!

This post is about gender - at least I think it is but I fully expect that somebody will tell me I just don't GET gender. I think I do. On the other hand, gender "preference" - that is new to me.

So let me just lay down my cards. I am, always have been, and always will be a male heterosexual. I like, love, and make love to females - full stop. As I grew up there were only 3 sexual preference terms: hetero for male/female (and female/male - don't want to upset anyone), and homo meaning male/male or female/female relationships. At some point the term "gay" became an alternative. 

When I was a teen, the term "homosexual" was commonly used. It is unacceptable today because the short form "homo" became a slur or slander. I think it was long overdue that people were able to "come out" and be, associate with, love, and marry a person of their choice. Great - why should it matter? The negative attitudes came from parental stereotyping and conditioning.

My generation, those before, and one or two after found these to be profound and difficult changes but acceptance and transparency are becoming the norm. Good on that.

History reveals that people with feelings which were different than mine have always existed. Tragically being something other than traditional male/female could have gotten you tortured and/or killed in the past. We hope that will disappear but it still exists in some societies.

Now "preference". I believe the practice of deciding who or what you want to be in terms of gender and openly discussing this is relatively new. Again - this was long overdue. During my lifetime it took years to get society to accept  that whatever your feelings of gender you were BORN that way. With that recognition came the acceptance that this is NORMAL. Thus red hair, no hair, tallness, shortness, different gender feelings etc. might be statistically less common but have always been normal - one more progressive milestone.
It might be later in a person's life that they recognize their feelings are different but possessing and experiencing them is not a choice.

So the rationale behind the heading is that many American politicians still don't get any of this. They are still trying to stereotype, condition, and "fix".

Now let me hypothesize. If I were to choose to become a transgender woman, there is no way that the public should foot the bill whether in prison, in the military, or anywhere else. However this is because I happen to know as stated above that I was born without ambivalent feelings about myself. I was male and happy being so. Changing gender would be MY choice and I should foot the bill.

So that leaves preference. If you were born with ambivalent feelings or clear feelings but inappropriate body parts, should society and its medical programs pay for a change? 
 Anyone can experience an involuntary broken arm or defective heart and medical plans (maybe not all of them - again wake up America) pay for them. Can we expect them to cover a person who decides to change their gender?

Many will argue yes, others no.

Feel free to comment below - you can do so anonymously if you wish.



Wednesday, 12 April 2023

Military Assault Rifles

Justify Civilian Assault Rifles

I am beating my head against a wall but what the hell - I have lots of walls - only one head however. Same with Americans. So why can't they use theirs? I believe I am using mine while writing this post. I believe every other country in the world have citizens like me. That's billions of walls and sore heads - good for the medical industry! Are American walls all padded?

During the many times I have written about this; thought about this; and discussed this at coffee with others, I have never heard an honest or even logical answer to this question:

Why do American private citizens need military style assault rifles - the kind that have been used so long now to butcher real live people including young children?

I know the answer exists - so do all Americans. They are just not honest enough to give the true answer.

Any time this question is asked the immediate response is some reference to the #2ndAmendment. That's not an answer and the speaker knows it. Some try to squirm around the answer by saying they use them for target practice or hunting! You always get the "Guns don't kill people - people kill people". All of it is bullshit and again we all know it.

All citizens of age (AND who are mentally sound) have the right to own a car or even a tractor trailer. Dos that mean they all own one somewhere when a buss or bicycle will do? No!

In the past I have pointed out that the loose interpretation of the 2nd Amendment most gun lovers prefer would allow bazookas; rocket launchers; flame throwers; and some day shoulder launched mini-nukes to be carried by private citizens. The Constitution never envisaged this. The "arms" were intended to be for militias to defend the country from attack. Full stop.

Why then are AR15 style rifles in such great demand? The owners don't really anticipate being called to arms to fight off Britain again, Canada to the north or Mexico to the south. They want them to some day topple a government or any organization that they don't like. This means that if police, military, and National or State Guards have assault weapons, so should individuals. They simply don't want to be out-gunned.

And what are the things that might incite such rebellion? Rich white establishment citizens losing their iron grip on everyone else. The second elephant in the room or the country is the "everyone else" - NON WHITES and NON CHRISTIANS. These gun lovers want to go back to the '50s and '60's. They have a Dodge city showdown with the town Marshall mentality where the fastest draw wins. Look at me the wrong way and you are dead - self protection.

Today it is the fastest firing automatic gun. that wins

That's it in a nutshell or should I say an AR15 shell? Full, body-piercing, stop.


Tuesday, 11 April 2023

How to make Lots of Money

Snake Oil Sales on Social Media

The notion of somebody selling a bottle of snake oil to remedy all of your ailments has been around for many decades. There are stories of men (usually) who travelled the country making a fortune selling potions to unwary suckers. When found out many were then chased out of town or hung from the nearest tree.

Modern day versions of this include Ponzi schemes, #TrumpUniversity, and Elizabeth Holmes' Theranos company to name a few.

In my youth which was long before personal smart devices or even PCs and their ancestral monster computers, there were only a few forms of media and little of it was "social". For personal entertainment you listened to radio programs, watched basic TV with limited channels and programming choice, and read real newspapers, magazines, comics, and books. Failing that you played board games and cards.

But here is the thing: even then the snake oil salespeople were alive and well!
In the back of nearly all newspapers and magazines were "want" adds - similar to today's Kijiji, Amazon, and Craig's list. There were countless ads which told you that this or that person had made a fortune. Just send $19.99 to receive the secret. Then you too would become a millionaire - a LOT of money back then.

Although I never subscribed, the "secret" was usually along the lines of this: place an ad in a magazine or paper promising to tell your secret for only "X" dollars to be sent (snail mail) in a self-addressed, stamped envelope - just like I did! It was not a lie since thousands of suckers complied and the advertiser did make money. There was no product or service. That's what made it similar to the snake oil scheme.

Today there are blogs and videos by the thousands all doing something similar. In the last week I must have been interrupted five times by ads for 5 different people all claiming to tell me a secret (some secret!) They had made $3,000 in the first week or $10,000 in a month. It was now a full time job from home and one pulled in $4 million the first year. Every one claimed to have found a loop hole or exposure in YouTube that allowed you to make this money using videos produced by others! My fist thought was that things never change. Only the medium.

One common element - these were all younger people apparently too lazy to get a real job.

It doesn't stop there. Thousands of others are going to reveal the secrets of Search Engine Optimization and how to be a "content" creator in demand by all the big companies. I guess there are still enough snakes to perpetuate this market - and suckers to fall for it.

Again these are young people who apparently appointed themselves as experts in their fields. They often look like they are still in high school. If there are some who can prove that they have big name companies as clients - more power to them. However most of their websites are constructed to keep you clicking. "Subscribe to my channel." "Sign up for my newsletter". "Buy my book or merchandise." If they are rich it is probably from all the Google ads and others constantly interrupting you if you DO click further.

At least it is not illegal; they are not pushing drugs or stealing cars; and nobody is forcing you to fork out the cash. To get a feel for what I am talking about just try to find out what "content provider" means. Be prepared to do a lot of surfing. I was going to finish by saying "Just don't get caught by the tide".

There is a good example. How long has Tide been running essentially the same commercial? How many new improved versions can they invent? Despite all the changes and pushback about the stereotyped role for females in society - there she is. The amazed and smiling home maker showing off her clean laundry.

At least Tide has real products. Now excuse me. My washer just completed the last rinse cycle using - you guessed it!


Monday, 3 April 2023

Job Description: President of the U.S.A.

So you think your job is tough?

Be honest. Do you think you have a tough job? Does it deserve more compensation? Most people would probably say "yes." All of us often go home feeling drained and wondering if another calling would be a solution.

Consider this: You are the leader of a country - the bigger and more powerful the country, the tougher the job. You could be Prime Minister, President, Premier, King, Queen, or even dictator anywhere. Do your typical days involve any of these events?
  • Disasters: Some 50 tornadoes destroyed vast swaths of land, property, and lives in many states. Every community wants you to visit, sympathize, and promise federal aid. Some were bad mouthing you politically yesterday.
  • Two days later an entire town is destroyed in a fire or completely submerged in several feet of water. More funds and labour are required.
  • A Chinese balloon is slowly tracking across the country. Should you give the order to shoot it down?
  • Every reporter you can name wants you to comment on Trump's indictment. You want to but resist.
  • Similarly the same reporters want to know if you are concerned about your own health holding out for another term.
  • Putin has just committed more atrocities in Ukraine and you need more funding approved to give Ukraine weapons.
  • The Senate is threatening to get your son and prove you did him favors while you were V.P.
  • You wake up to discover that secure documents have been found in your remote offices and residences. You know nothing about it. Please comment.
  • China is threatening to invade Taiwan. What are you going to do Mr. President? What is your plan?
  • North Korea is launching more rockets capable of carrying nuclear weapons to America. Should you strike first Sir?
  • The Republicans are threatening to shut down the country over debt limit increases. You swear you won't let them.
  • The military is planning a top secret mission like the one to take out Bin Laden. You have to be on top of it in case the order to GO is required.
  • The State of the Nation speech is coming up fast.
  • Your grandkids are having birthdays, graduations etc. or just want you to visit.
  • Your wife and First Lady wants to talk to you one on one about something serious going on in her life.
  • One wrong decision in your four or eight years could destroy the entire world. It could come in the middle of the night.
Think you could handle it and a lot more? I know I couldn't. If you have a job smile and be grateful for it!