I'm not really on Xanga much anymore. However, occasionally I want to opine on stuff, and facebook isn't always the best place for that, esp since a lot of my thoughts are reactionary toward stuff I read on there.
I thought about not saying anything about this whole Connecticut/gun thing, esp since I've read so much stuff in the past few days touching on diff aspects. However, I wanted to make a few remarks that don't come up much, then I'll move into the "you've read this stuff before" type of stuff where I ignore everything I just said.
I think what bothers me the most about all of these people's posts about this sort of thing is the smug self-righteousness that accompanies it all. That goes for whichever "side" you fall on. The unspoken assumptions that seem to emanate from every post are along these lines:
-I care more about the kids who died than the people who disagree with me.
-People who disagree with me are illogical.
-I can't believe others would try to score political points at a time like this (but here's my take on it).
-I'm always right, and I generally don't tell everyone why they are wrong all the time, but since this is such an important issue, I have no choice but to correct all the morons around me.
Now, this is pretty common stuff on the Internet anyway, and we saw a lot of it leading up to the elections and whatnot, but it reaches climaxes with stuff like this that is so emotionally charged and jarring.
So, I think it's good in times like this to find common ground:
-With rare exception, most people find the behavior like that exhibited in Connecticut Friday to be despicable to the highest degree. (Even those who are deeply concerned about what led the guy to this agree that the end result was about as ugly as human behavior gets.) It's highly regrettable and reasonable means of deterring it should be in place.
-Guns are one of the most efficient, direct means of killing people (save things like bombs).
-The idea of being confronted by someone with a gun isn't appealing.
-No amount of laws can stop violent crimes from occurring. If it's not guns, it's knives or pipes or shanks or haymakers or whatever.
My solution is simple: privatize education. Then people can send their kids to whichever school's security policies and protocols they are most comfortable with.
You think schools should be gun-free? Send your kid to the gun-free school.
You think each teacher should be issued a Glock and perform well at mandatory monthly firing range sessions? Send them to the school that requires that.
The thing is, when it comes to various issues, we disagree so sharply. But public schools (and public lots of stuff) have to try to make everybody (well, the majority anyway) happy. They do this by taking choice away from people and offering up piteous, one-size-fits-all solutions.
And this solves so many other issues as well. Liberty is such a panacea.
Anyway, just something to keep in mind when you hear people arguing about all this stuff: check your emotions at the door. It's hard to keep a level head and weigh things objectively if you're just focused on the magnitude of the tragedy. There is a place for grieving, even as a remote observer. However, that raw emotion does not contribute to a proper assessment. If you're driven by that, you will not see past the rhetoric.
Personally, I'd think people planning on carrying out a school shooting would be more inclined to target weapon-free zones, but I also understand that gun control people would figure the schools with the teachers who are packing heat would be more prone to issues (student getting a weapon from a teacher, teachers firing without proper justification, etc.). Again, though, with privatized education, you could make that decision for your child instead of being forced to comply to someone else's values and beliefs.
If someone is wanting to be more well-researched on stuff like this, I'd hate for them to overlook some instances that haven't gotten as much airtime in past years as a lot of the other school massacres: Pearl High School in Mississippi (1997), Appalachian School of Law (2002), Mercaz HaRav yeshiva (2008), etc.
By the way, something you can always comfort yourself with if you are the anxious type: cops gun down unarmed citizens much more often per capita than fellow citizens do.
I originally saw this a few months ago, but I came across it again and felt like sharing. It's annoying enough to begin with, but the fact that all of the comments were laudatory really got on my nerves.
I don't have a problem with hungry people eating. However, I do have problems with this scenario.
1) It's fraud.
2a) It feigns to be philanthropic, though it involves harming someone else.
2b) It costs the "giver" nothing, except making a deceitful phone call.
3) It doesn't do anything to resolve the homeless men's long-term problems.
Sounds like socialism in action to me.
If you have a soft spot in your heart for bums, then feel free to help them, but don't steal or lie to do it. Save your money and spend it on them yourself. There's nothing virtuous about this act.
Also, forgive me, but I'm more sympathetic to the business owner than the dudes sitting on the sidewalk. I'm more appreciative of someone who does all the work and assumes the risk that comes with running a restaurant. If they run a profitable business, then that generally means that they provide a benefit to society because people freely choose to patronize them. As a bonus, they employ numerous workers. They get my seal of approval.
The homeless are doing what? Sitting on the sidewalk? Sounds productive to me.
This is a classic case of demonizing the contributor and praising the slacker. What would we do if the business owner and his employees just chose to sit on the sidewalk too?
And let's not forget that the bums will be bumming it up tomorrow as well. Their problem isn't an empty stomach. But so long as you feel good because they had a meal, who cares what becomes of them later on? Or what you did to get it for them.
Btw, I realize this is a rehash of my last post sort of. Oh well, idc.
I remembered that people like pictures. You're welcome.
I commented on a facebook post. Who cares about the context? It's beside the point in this instance.
One of the things I said was this: "Not everyone who is starving should be fed."
Which elicited this response: "Not everyone deserves to be fed? Really?"
Why is it a forgone conclusion that everyone "deserves" food? So, just by virtue of being alive, someone merits being fed?
It reminds me of the commercials that throw in, "You deserve it." [For starters, does that apply to everyone who can read or happens to read the sign? You may be a pedophile serial killer, but you deserve to indulge in this dessert from McDonald's.] Here's the thing: If I deserve it, then you wouldn't expect me to pay for it. I should be able to walk into the store and say, "Hey, I deserve this thing you advertised. Hand it over."
Some may respond, "Yeah, but you know what they mean. It's advertising. Blah blah blah." I agree, advertisers are more concerned with selling something than passing some amateur logician's validity test. However, it underscores the fact imo that we concede points without warrant.
If you pay for something, then and only then do you deserve it.
If someone is capable of working toward getting something and yet they don't exert any effort, they don't deserve to have it, even if it's something as basic and necessary as food.
Furthermore, I think we're a bit too sensitive. We feel bad for someone if they skipped a meal. "I haven't eaten since breakfast!" Whoa, champ, do we need to rush you to the hospital? You realize like a billion or 4 billion or how many ever people on this planet (not even considering historically) have gone a day or more without food, right? You know there are people who don't know where their next meal is coming from, right? You know that, in almost all cases, going hungry for a day won't kill you, right?
In fact, it may do this thing called motivate.
People who feed those who are of age and should be taking care of themselves but just aren't willing, those feeders are enablers. And that is not a good sense of the word enable. You're feeding the troll. You're making a problem worse. It may relieve an immediate sense of hunger in someone's belly, but you're disincentivizing (that should be in the dictionary) them doing what they ought to. You're encouraging them to continue to be lazy. You're rewarding undesired behavior.
But hey, it makes you feel better, right (and if the government does it for you, it doesn't even require you to do much of anything)? So it's probably worth doing. Who cares about long-term results? You can look down your nose at all of those people who aren't so compassionate as you are. Those greedy bastards don't have a heart.
Never mind that you're making things worse.
God forbid people have to face the consequences of their actions and, perhaps, learn from their mistakes.
And if you think I'm a jerk and heartless and whatever else, then tell yourself how much better you are than I am. And go feed those lazy, hungry people yourself.
[Btw, for the record, I am a huge fan of helping people who cannot help themselves. Who exactly fits that bill is another discussion in and of its own (and probably one the federal government is best able to decide, amirite?!).]
As in metrosexual, not metropolitan (altho I'm sure the former is a derivative of the latter).
I went to a convention thing the other day. The band that led music for the teens had a front man who looked like he got dressed in his girlfriend's closet: skinny jeans, v-neck, tight-fitting cardigan (btw, I had to look up a pic of a cardigan to make sure I had that right; look at me exuding manliness). The hair was decidedly un-masculine. The voice was as brute as a fawn.
I'm not specifying who/where, though some who know me might have it figured out. But the point is the same regardless, this would have likely been the case at almost any venue. The manly man up at the front is getting harder to find. Thankfully most of my heavy metal bands have vikings and stuff for singers.
And it's not strictly a church issue either; it's completely resonant with our society at large.
For starters, I proffer this discussion from a theological point of view. I am not REALLY concerned with what an outsider (outside the church, that is) thinks in this regard. If anyone wants to lambaste me for being chauvinistic and antiquated and insensitive and whatever else, save your breath. Or don't. Just know I am about as interested in what you think as I am some random scrub off the street. Or a box of hair. Take your pick.
Our personal sensibilities are not irrelevant. I imagine they drive the discussion more than anyone (including me) cares to admit. But my issue is what would things look like ideally in a biblical world. (By the way, I'm not trying to limit this to the guy (or girl) leading the music. My bigger concern is with what males are encouraged to embrace in the church as well as the "audience" of the church (and I'm not saying, "It shud bee Gawd, guyse!").
Let me explain my view males and females in hopes that it'll shed light on this whole discussion:
If you want to orient yourself with me, you can start by putting me in the complementarian camp, more or less. Everyone, regardless of sex, skin color, IQ, place on the autism spectrum, etc., is of inherent equal worth in God's eyes, "created equal" if you will. That is in a certain sense, mind you. I just noted various differences prior to the equal worth because people are different. We are not equal in every respect. We are not equal in our ability to lift weight (my twin bro exceeds me by a firm margin there, and we were created about as equal as it gets), we are not equal in our natural giftedness, etc. That's fine. God didn't want a bunch of replicas of Adam.
And God created Eve. And boy was she different. People can watch G. I. Jane and swoon over Marie Curie and whatever else all they want, but the only reason people want to point to these women (or any like them) as "proof" that women can do whatever a man can do is because the idea is counter intuitive. Female outliers prove a point, but not one that a lot of people pointing them out want to make. It's like saying women are just as tall as men because you know a girl who is 6'6".
My point is that men and women are different. I'd say by design. Brace yourself for my generalizing: men are to provide for and protect their women counterparts (and family as well). They are the stronger of the two. (In before, "I know a woman who is stronger than her husband!" Go back and reread the word that started with "generaliz-.") They are emotionally more stoic. They are wired to problem solve. Etc. Women are nurturers. Breastfeeding isn't a coincidence (nor is having a womb). They are the softer side [speaking of which, those Sears commercials are somewhat odd to me; I wonder if some feminazis got their panties in a wad because Sears implied women like housewares and men like Craftsmen tools]. They are "weaker vessels." They express their care in a more emotional way. They tend to be more sociable.
This reconstruction of mine lends itself to the idea of the man going out and working to bring home the bacon, taking care of the cars and the lawn and the mechanical snafus, being the go-to for inspecting that crash in the living room at 2 in the morning, etc. And would you look at that? It also fits the stay-at-home mom cleaning house and looking after kids. She may even be pregnant and barefoot at the stove!
That said, I don't argue that women shouldn't work (mine does, although it's more out of necessity). I don't think that a stay-at-home dad is a failure. I don't believe that having kids should be mandatory for every couple. It's fine with me if women smash spiders on their own and men cook a lovely casserole.
However, again, ideally, I think men would be masculine and women would be feminine. I think our society tries to erase the distinctions. I think that men in our culture are sissified (to put it politely). It irks me when I see men doing the hyphenated last name because I see it as a capitulation. Many men today dress like women say they should, they act like they say they should, they shut up like they say they should, etc. And I think it's sad. I don't think men should be being bossed around. (Note, I don't think that women should be being "bossed around" either.) I think men should be leaders, first and foremost in their own households. I think they should lovingly cherish their wives, being men that their women want to follow. [If you are in a relationship or know one where neither person leads (lawl) or where the woman leads and they're happy as can be, good for you. I'd guess they could be happier, but then again I enjoy deer jerky and have no qualms with shopping at Walmart (even if they get their stuff from sweat shops), what do I know?]
I think women, for the most part, should embrace the idea of motherhood. I think it is one of the most noble callings for all of mankind. I think all women have the potential for doing more for their kids than Hallmark gushes about in May. And I think some women think it's a blight, and they'd rather be wearing the pants, so to speak. [Btw, I think men have an invaluable role in raising kids as well, but I don't believe the level of intimacy and involvement is the same, especially when they are younger.]
I'm not arguing that women shouldn't be educated or employed or respected, mind you. And as I alluded to earlier, getting by on only one income is less of an option for many.
So, back to my original discussion. I think our society at large (and church as a segment of that) pushes men away from embracing their manliness. We want boys to turn bullies in to the teacher instead of stand up for themselves. We push girls to take charge and remind them that they can do whatever a boy can. Polite people don't mention the glaring chasm that exists between male and female competition in various sports (this is where someone explains to me how guys couldn't hang in fast pitch softball and I roll my eyes like a teenage girl). Housewives are looked down upon. Boys try to look pretty (while the alpha males act like honey badger and get all the girls regardless). They dress and accessorize like girls. Women are given disproportionate incentives to go into STEM fields to make up for nature's favoring of males for the job (nature is so sexist).
And I'm sure women's affinity for clerical jobs, nursing, and daycare and men's draw toward mechanics, truck driving, and construction are completely socially conditioned. Biology and design probably have nothing to do with that.
Like I say, the church is no different. The majority of attendees are feminine, and they are the ones the music and style and everything else appeal to.
And I get tired of the church silently saying, "Young men, there is no room for manliness in the church. We are all God's children, and your aggressiveness, your assertiveness, your strength, your leadership, your male prowess are not appropriate. Tune it down." I think one of the biggest reasons women's roles is such a controversy is because for so long we have encouraged men to be feminine and women to be masculine.
I'm sure some will see me as the problem. That's fine. If you do though, here's an insensitive pro-tip: Fast forward WNBA games and they're not quite as unentertaining. [I know. Completely uncalled for. Waah.]
Xanga wouldn't let me post this comment on another thread for whatever reason (I kept submitting and it'd just sit there like it was loading but never did), so I'll share here.
On Healthkicker there is a post with a headline something like, "1 in 3 Americans cannot afford to go to the dentist."
Guess what? Over 80% (some sources say over 90%) of Americans have cell phones. [<<<Btw, that line to the left after the question is all I wanted to comment. Lucky for you, Xanga had an error, so I'll expand even further.]
So, being conservative with the numbers, at least 1/7 Americans who supposedly can't afford to go to the dentist do have cell phones. Possibly in the ballpark of 1/4. Maybe we should just do away with cell phones so they can afford the dentist again? I doubt they'll find some other nonessential to blow money on. (In before, "Actually, cell phones are necessary because...")
The thing is, a lot of people can afford a lot of things, but it means giving up other things. It's their choice to make. But pardon me if I don't care for the people who make short-sighted decisions. Maybe if we weren't so quick to try and diminish the repercussions of stupid behavior, people would learn from their mistakes.
It's funny how we (minus the more progressive types) like to think we are entitled to the fruits of our own labors, yet we seem to back off that when the fruit is rotten, or non-existent, because the labor was lacking in some respect.
If you want insurance against when things go wrong, then join a group of people who voluntarily want to pool against uncertainty with you. Don't argue for the government to force others into it. Some people see you as a liability and don't want to take on unnecessary risk by obligating themselves to cover you. They should be free to make that decision.
And something else to chew on: what about 300 years ago? No one went to the dentist then (or maybe they did; I didn't pay much attention in my colonial American dental history class). Yeah, it sucked, I'm sure. But the thing is, you know that bit about life not being fair? Well, it's pretty accurate. Life doesn't owe you a visit to the dentist [no one got them before dentistry developed; and yes, I'm sure that for thousands of years, people have pulled teeth; I'm referring to modern dentistry]. The only people who owe you that are those who offer you that in exchange for something that you give them (e.g., money).
[Look at TVs also. I don't know any people who don't have a TV unless it is a personal choice about how they want to spend their time (as opposed to them being too expensive). [Btw, I don't personally know any homeless people.] Years ago they were for the rich. Now everyone has multiples. How? Because the government didn't start a program to make sure everyone got a TV. They, relative to health care, stayed out of the way and let the free market innovate and compete, resulting in better products and cheaper prices. Maybe if you want better dentistry for all, you should quit asking the government to intervene?]
If you are moved to tears by the plight of the non-dentisted, then pull out your wallet and show the love to 1 in 3 Americans. A meth fiend is probably your best bet since they'll have bad teeth and not enough money to go to the dentist. But to argue that the government should take money from innocent people by force to alleviate others' suffering doesn't win you any righteous points (self-righteous points notwithstanding); it actually makes you an immoral bully [ooooh, I just used their buzzword against them; and here you were led to believe that word is reserved for those who pick on homosexuals]. But hey, you didn't get your hands dirty, amirite?
Btw, I totally heard that being insulting, dismissive, and condescending totally makes you more persuasive. (<<That's sarcasm. I don't care to change anyone's mind. I write these as rants, not as appeals.)