The Personal Website of Mark W. Dawson
Is an unborn child a human being or not a human being?
There are three possible answers to the question of whether an unborn child is human or not as follows:
- The unborn child is not human and not entitled to human rights until it has been born, and the umbilical cord is severed, and the baby is surviving on its own.
- The unborn child is not human until sometime during gestation, at which time it becomes human. Prior to this event occurring, the unborn are not entitled to human rights. After this event has occurred, the unborn is human and is entitled to human rights.
- At the time of conception, the unborn child has the DNA structure of a human being, and unique to within itself, and therefore is a unique human being deserving of human rights.
Argument number one is not to be believed but by all but the most extreme pro-abortion supporters. If you get into a conversation with a pregnant woman, you did not ask her how that growing mass of fetal tissue is doing; you ask how her baby is doing. The mother will often respond and talk about the unborn child growing within her. With the advances in medical science, we also have many cases where an emergency cesarean must be performed for many different reasons. Many children born under these circumstances do so several months before their due date, and they can grow up to be healthy and productive members of society. The other issue with this argument is the situation where if, by accident or deliberate action, one person harms or kills the mother and/or child. Under this answer, it is only the mother who has been harmed or killed. If the intent was to kill the unborn child before birth, then the perpetrator may go unpunished if they only harm or kill the child. A situation that I find totally unacceptable.
Argument number two requires that you have a scientific definition of what constitutes pre-human versus human. It also requires that a medical test must be developed to determine if the unborn is in a pre-human or human state. This test would be required because prior to being human, an abortion would be legally justified, but once the unborn child becomes human, the abortion would be legally unjustified as it would take the life of a human being. This medical test would have to be performed immediately before an abortion to determine the legality of ending the unborn child’s life. Without determining the human status of the unborn child before an abortion, you could be interfering with the rights of the mother or interfering with the rights of the unborn child. Many scientists, doctors, and other people believe that this is the correct answer to the question of whether and unborn is human or not. The problem with this argument is that there is no scientific or medical definition of what constitutes a human being, and therefore no medical test can determine if an unborn is human or not. They often resolved this conundrum by stating that this event occurs sometime between two dates in the gestation. But without a scientific definition of what constitutes a human being, this argument is based on belief, not scientific fact. It also does not resolve the question of whose rights are paramount during this period of time; the mother's right to abort the unborn child or the unborn child’s right to life.
Argument three has some basis in scientific fact. If you gave a cell of an unborn child and a cell of its mother to a geneticist, you could ask the question of the geneticist of what species are these cells? They would respond that they are human. If you asked that same geneticist if they were the same person, they would respond that they are not, as each genome structure is unique to each human. The geneticist could tell you which cell is from the mother and which cell was the child of the mother. The geneticist can do this because the genome structure of a cell determines the species of the cell, and having a genome structure of a human being makes you a member of the human species. Having a genome structure that is different from another human makes you a unique human.
Having pointed out the falsifiability of the first argument and the ambiguous nature of the second argument, I am left with nothing but the third argument to resolve the question of is the unborn child a human being or not. Therefore, I believe abortion is a violation of the human right to life of an unborn child.
At this point, it would be wise to examine some of the peripheral issues of abortion.
Some would say that as a man, I could not possibly understand what a woman is going through in making the decision of whether to have an abortion. While this may be true, it is not germane. This is because I am not looking at this issue as a man or a woman; I am looking at this issue as a human being and in relation to human rights. Because I believe that this is an issue of human rights, I also believe that this is a decision that must be made on a national level that is implemented on all members of society. Just as slavery was an issue of human rights that had to be decided on a national level, abortion needs to be decided on a national level, and not left up to the individual States or to individuals.
Another argument is we have no right to tell a woman what she can do with her body. Well, this is not quite true. In a free society, we extend a lot of latitude to a person (both male and female) to choose what they are doing with their bodies. We do, however, set limits, such as suicide is illegal, taking prescription drugs without a doctor's prescription is illegal, prostitution is illegal, taking regulated drugs is illegal, and in some cases, even some elective surgery is illegal. Therefore, we do have the right to set limits on what is permissible and not permissible for an individual to do with their body. However, in my argument, I am not telling a woman what she can do with their body; I am telling a woman what she can do with the body of another human being growing within her. Many would claim that this is not fair, as the woman has the burden of the pregnancy and child-rearing. To which I say, ‘Who said life is fair’? On this planet, the male of the species inseminates the female, and the female is the incubator of the unborn child. That is what life is on this planet, and it is neither fair nor unfair; life is just is what it is. I do believe that pregnancy is a shared responsibility between the father and the mother, and that our society should do whatever it can to make this a shared responsibility and to help relieve any undue burden on the woman because of pregnancy.
Then there is the case of having to perform the abortion to save the life of the mother. This is the most troubling and difficult issue for me. Thankfully, with the advances in medical science, this occurrence is rather rare today, but it does occur. In this case, and this case only, I believe the decision to abort the child should be made by the mother, in close consultation with her doctor (and father, family, therapist, perjury or other support personnel that can help the mother reach a justifiable decision), and with the concurrence of a family court judge that there is a physical reason for an abortion. In no case should the abortion be performed for mental health reasons, as there are so many mental health reasons as this exception would allow for abortion on demand. Abortion is only to be performed when the physical life of the mother is in jeopardy. Mental health issues need to be dealt with as all other mental health issues are dealt with, not by abortion.
Some people also bring up the argument of what about the case of rape or incest. They often wish to utilize this case to allow for abortion under these circumstances and to demonstrate that abortion is permissible within circumstances. To which I say to them, can you explain to me how an unborn child is any less human because of the manner in which it was conceived? Conceived in love, passion, hate, anger, rape, incest, or any other manner does not diminish the humanity of an unborn child in any manner whatsoever. And in this case, abortion is as unjustifiable as it is in every other case.
Finally, there is the question of back-alley abortions if abortion should become illegal. There are always back-alley activities for all things that are illegal. Just because there are back-alley activities does not mean that we should make these activities legal. To do so is to have a society that has no permissible limits, which invites chaos into our society. The solution to the problem of back-alley abortions is better education on the impacts of an unwanted pregnancy, contraceptives before you become pregnant, and adoption services after you become pregnant. This requires self-control before you engage in sexual activities, but self-control is necessary for all activities that you engage in. This also means accepting responsibility for your actions. It also requires that we prosecute those persons who engage in illegal abortions. The illegal act of taking of the life of an unborn child is a criminal act that violates the Human Rights and the Constitutional Rights of due process of the unborn child. Both the person that performs the abortion and the person who receives the abortion should be held accountable for this criminal act. The only question is the proper sentencing for those that have engaged in illegal abortions.
Murder is the unlawful taking of a human life. Killing is the lawful taking of a human life. Those that murder should be apprehended, tried, and if convicted should serve significant prison sentences. Those that kill can do so in a justified or unjustified manner. A justified killing is when you kill another to protect the lives and limbs of you and your family, stop the commission on a violent crime in progress, or when in the armed forces under fire by enemy combatants. Unjustified killing is when you end the life of another through accident or negligence. Unjustified killers should also be apprehended, tried, and if convicted should serve an appropriate sentence for their acts.
I do not believe that capital punishment is appropriate for those that commit an unjustified killing. The question to be answered is capital punishment the appropriate sentence for murders. I do believe that capital punishment may be an appropriate sentence for those that murder, but only in limited and extraordinary situations. These limited and extraordinary circumstances will be defined later in this observation. Until then my reasoning is as follows.
Those that utilize the Bible to argue against capital punishment
often do not have extensive knowledge about what the Bible says
about capital punishment, or only choose those parts of the Bible
that would disallow capital punishment. They also conveniently
ignore those parts of the Bible that support capital punishment.
Given that the Bible can be interpreted both ways in regard to
capital punishment I will not be utilizing the Bible for this
observation. However, "That shall not kill", the sixth of the Ten
Commandments would seem to rule out capital punishment. The best
explanation for this commandment is given by Dennis Prager in his
Do Not Murder
The argument against capital punishment is that you could possibly execute an innocent person. In the criminal justice system, it is always is possible that you can convict an innocent person. Nothing is certain in life (except death and taxes) and mistakes can be made. This is why in the criminal justice system has many protections for the accused, appeals upon conviction, and reviews by higher courts about the propriety of the criminal proceedings against the defendant. Hopefully, this significantly reduces the possibility of a false convection. But despite all these safeguards it is possible to convict and punish an innocent person. Those that would argue against capital punishment argue that the death penalty should never be utilized because you could possibly execute an innocent person. This is a good argument but is alleviated if you only impose capital punishment in the limited and extraordinary circumstances that I have defined later in this observation. Therefore, I find this argument insufficient in my utilization of capital punishment. I also find this argument unjust for the victims, their families, and society as a whole.
Justice requires that the punishment must fit the crime. Forgiveness can mitigate Justice if there are an extenuating circumstance to forgive. But murderers must be punished in some appropriate manner. I would suggest that capital punishment is appropriate under the following circumstances:
- A person or persons who murders three or more persons in a single criminal act (A Mass Murderer).
- A person or persons who murders one or more persons in multiple criminal acts (A Serial Murderer).
- A person or persons who murders one or more persons in a single criminal act, after committing acts of torture on their victim(s).
- A person or persons who murders one or more civil servants (police, firefighter, social worker, etc.) in the performance of their civil service duties.
- A person or person who cases the death of one or more persons during a civil riot, but not a civil disobedience protest.
I would also note that the society is not taking the life of a murderer, but that the murderer has forfeited their own life by committing the heinous acts that led to the imposition of capital punishment. Even if a capital punishment murderer has had an epiphany, and is fully repentant and reformed, they must be executed as they have to accept full responsibility for their previous actions that resulted in their capital punishment and to provide Justice to the victims, their families, and society as a whole.
No Law is perfect as it deals with imperfect human interactions. My goal is to make a law better, more consistent, and understandable by all, so it may be administered equally and justly. It is also easier to instruct our children and fellow citizens on which murders will not be forgiven, and for which you will pay the ultimate penalty if you commit them.
My Back Pages
By The Byrds
Crimson flames tied through my ears
Rollin' high and mighty traps
Countless with fire on flaming roads
Using ideas as my maps
We'll meet on edges, soon, said I
Proud 'neath heated brow
Ah, but I was so much older then
I'm younger than that now
Half-wracked prejudice leaped forth
Rip down all hate, I screamed
Lies that life is black and white
Spoke from my skull I dreamed
Romantic facts of musketeers
Foundationed deep, somehow
Ah, but I was so much older then
I'm younger than that now
In a soldier's stance, I aimed my hand
At the mongrel dogs who teach
Fearing not that I'd become my enemy
In the instant that I preach
Sisters fled by confusion boats
Mutiny from stern to bow
Ah, but I was so much older then
I'm younger than that now
Ah, but I was so much older then
I'm younger than that now
My guard stood hard when abstract threats
Too noble to neglect
Deceived me into thinking
I had something to protect
Good and bad, I define these terms
Quite clear, no doubt, somehow
Ah, but I was so much older then
I'm younger than that now
? DYLAN, BOB - For non-commercial use only.
I can remember when I was young. How full of life, how exuberant, how carefree, how careless and reckless, and how impulsive I was. I had so many opinions and so many solutions to the cures for the ills of society. I was so sure I was right and understood all that I was espousing. Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now.
We now know scientifically why the young are like this. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) of the Human Brain is located in the very front just behind the forehead. The PFC oversees abstract thinking and thoughtful analysis, it is also responsible for regulating behavior. This includes mediating conflicting thoughts, making choices between right and wrong, and predicting the probable outcomes of actions or events. This brain area also governs social control, such as suppressing emotional, sexual, or addictive urges. Since the PFC is the brain center responsible for taking in data through the body's senses and deciding on actions, it is most strongly implicated in human qualities like consciousness, general intelligence, and personality. Medical studies have shown that the PFC is the last section of the brain to mature. In other words, while all other brain regions are fully developed earlier in life, the PFC development is not complete until around age 25. (For more information on this subject visit the What is the Prefrontal Cortex? website of the wiseGeek).
This is why it is so difficult to reason with the young, to get them to consider the future consequences of their decisions, and to check their impulses. And the people who would take advantage of the young know this, and they know how to utilize this to take advantage of the young. Advertisers, business people, artists, entertainers, filmmakers, music makers, tobacconist and alcohol and drug dealers, activists, and politicians are aware of this. That is why they target youth for what they are pitching. They want them to consume their product and services, or to support their agenda. They also know that if you get the young to fall for this that it will stay with them for many more years, and perhaps a lifetime. It takes a lot of knowledge, intelligence, thought, and experience to change the habits and predilections of your youth. This is why we see such a cult of youth in today's society and the glorification of youth. The exploiters want to hook them and lead them to where they want them to go.
And perhaps the most dangerous to the welfare of society are the politicians and activists who would exploit of the youth of America. The ability to sway the youth to elect a candidate, or support a policy position or law, could be the deciding factor in an election or the implementation of a social policy or law. Abstract thinking and thoughtful analysis, mediating conflicting thoughts, making choices between right and wrong, and predicting the probable outcomes of actions or events are critical to assure that the most helpful and least harmful social policy or law is enacted. I believe our Founding Fathers intuitively knew this about youth, and that was why the put an age requirement in the Constitution for holding public office.
Given above I would seriously suggest that we raise the age of adult consent closer to 25, rather than the current 16 to 18 years that it currently is. And we should also tell the politicians, activists, political and social commentators, and journalist to knock it off in regard to glorifying the cult of youth.
Most Americans have good intentions when they think about how to help their fellow Americans. Most Americans, however, often judge their results on the basis of how they feel good about what they're doing, and rarely look at all the results of what they are doing (see my observation on "The Law of Unintended Consequences"). The difference between feeling good and doing good is often profound. This is best illustrated by a true story from my own life.
Several years ago I was at a client site when the owner mentioned that her son, who had just started college, was considering leaving college to seek employment and make money. She was distressed, as she knew that this was not a wise decision in the long run. As he was working there that day, on a part-time basis, she asked if I could say something to him. I thought about how to best approach her son, as I am a person without a college degree, and understood the possible negative effects of him dropping out of college.
I could have just spoken to him for a few moments and told him I think he was making a wrong decision. This would have made me feel good about the situation. However, I decided I wanted to do good about the situation. Therefore, I took him aside and had a 20-minute discussion about what life would be like without a college degree in today's world. I explained to him it would be difficult to find a job, keep a job, advance his career on the job, he would receive lower pay then others that were doing his job, and he would constantly have to perform at 110% to be somewhat equal with his other college-educated co-workers, in the eyes of his management.
I further explained I understood his desire for employment and to earn money a start enjoying life. I also agreed with him that his efforts to earn a college degree may not be appropriate for the employment that he secured. I told him that he should instead think of a college degree as a ticket to success. If you had that ticket you could board the train to success, and utilize that ticket in continuing his success. Even though the college degree he earned may not be appropriate to his employment, it would open doors for him that would be closed without a college degree.
I encouraged him to stay in college, get his ticket, and find employment in something that he would be interested in doing. In addition, the time he spent in college could be the most enjoyable period of his life, and he would make many friends and associations that could last throughout his life.
In taking the time to do this I not only felt good about what I had done, but I had hoped that I would do good, and he would remain in college. I am happy to report that he did indeed decide to remain in college, get his degree, and find employment in something that he wanted to do. I am unhappy to report that several months after he found employment he was involved in a fatal car accident. This was a great loss for his family, friends, coworkers, and all those that knew him. He was a fine young man, well-liked by all, who would have been a positive influence on all those around him. It is in his memory that I dedicate this observation.
I have noticed that when you categorize people into various groupings they can be often divided into five types. Usually they can be separated into types by percentile (0-10%, 11-30%, 31-60%, 61-90%, and 91-100%). Some of these groups and their types are as follows:
- Attractiveness - Beautiful, Good-looking, Attractive, Plain, Homely
- Smarts - Genius, Intelligent, Smart, Normal, Dumb
- Competency - Excellent, Good, Average, Bad, Incompetent
- Talent - Brilliant, Great, Good, Middling, Bad
- Personality - Extroverted, Outgoing, Pleasant, Shy, Introverted
- Humor - Great, Good, Fair, Bad, None
This is mostly determined by genetics, but people can move up or down a group by education, experience, or effort. You should keep this in mind in your dealings with people, and not expect too much of them based on their type. You should also be concerned about how others and the person type themselves, as they are usually not typing themselves or others on objective criteria, but on subjective, flattering, or egotistical criteria.
Equal pay for equal work, the opportunity for advancement based on your skills and abilities, and personal choice in the balance of your personal and professional life are not feminist values; they are human values. And everybody should support them for all people regardless of gender, race, national origin, religion, age, marital status, or disability.
Unfortunately, modern feminism has taken a turn from these values in that they wish to create special privileges based on the female gender. Many of these items I have touched on in other observations and will not be repeated here. But I must state that modern-day feminist has little interest in men or the needs of men. They seem to be only concerned with the professional, emotional, and physical needs of women and seem to be only interested in motherhood if it is single motherhood. Men play little part in their worldview, and the small part they play is considered unimportant. The Feminine Mystique is to be elevated, and the Male Psyche is to be devalued and, in many cases, belittled or mocked.
But this attitude is very dangerous to society. It pits women against men, creates a wall of separation between men and women, and is harmful to the healthy relationship between a man and a woman. It leads to unhappiness in a man and a woman, which can often lead to the anti-social behavior of addiction and/or pornography/prostitution in the male.
And it must stop!
Resist it wherever you
kill it in its tracks,
and stomp it out of existence.
Men and Women, and boys and girls are different from each other as a result of the evolutionary hardwiring of our brains. Sometimes nurture has an effect on an individual psyche, but nature has much more of an effect on all individuals' psyche. If you don't believe this, just observe modern advertising and comedy. When an advertiser is pitching to a male demographic, the content of the ad is significantly different from when they are pitching to a female demographic. Stand Up Comedy, Sit-Com Television, Comedic Movies, and it doesn't matter what type of comedy, often deals with the differences between the sexes, and the comedic result of their interactions. And everybody laughs because they know the difficulties and confusion that can result because of the differences between the sexes. So those they spread the falsehood of there is little difference between men and women, and boys and girls, are denying human nature. And to deny human nature is foolhardy and wasteful.
Treating boys and girls like the same, in education and child-rearing, is harmful to both the boy and the girl. Boys and girls learn differently, at different rates, and at different times in their lives. Boys' and girls' brains mature at different times in their lives. You must understand these differences and utilize them, to provide the best education for a child, and to mold a child to be of good character.
The devaluation of the male is significantly responsible for the low marriage rates, and the high divorce rates, in today's society. When one side of a relationship does not honor or respect the other side when one side of the relationship does not feel it needs to meet the others sides needs when one side of the relationship thinks they are more important than the other side when one side of the relationship places its needs above the other side, the relationship will not become a marriage, or if it becomes a marriage, the marriage will soon dissolve. And when one side of the relationship has a feminist attitude, and the other side believes they are devalued, unhappiness will be the result, and the relationship cannot exist for any length of time. And unfortunately, modern feminism and the devaluation of the male has created sides.
Women need men and men need women. Both men and women are incomplete creatures due to the evolutionary hardwiring of our brains. The male psyche is different from the female psyche. Those areas of where the male psyche is stronger are those areas of where the female psyche is weaker, and those areas of where the female psyche is stronger are those areas of where the male psyche is weaker. When a man and a woman join together, they often complement each other psyches' strengths and weaknesses. Going through life with a partner who complements your psyche strengthens you, helps you meet the challenges of life, and improves your chances of happiness and success in life. This can even be seen in homosexual relationships. How often have you observed a homosexual couple and remarked to yourself that one of the partners has a more "masculine" orientation, and the other partner has a more "feminine" orientation in their mannerisms People innately recognize the need to find a partner that complements their psyche.
How often have we all heard the lament of a single woman of there are no good men left, or all the good men are taken? There is a very good reason why this statement is true. Good men don't just happen, as they are molded by good women, who they then marry, and therefore are then taken. Whenever you meet a good man, you can be assured that this is because a good woman has molded a faulty man into a good man and taken him. A single woman should not be looking for a single good man, as good single men are rare. They should be looking for a single man who can be good, then mold them into a good man, then take him. And this molding process should be done with honor and respect, caring attention, and loving affections. You will never be able to mold a man by negative techniques of constant criticisms and complaints, nagging, hen-pecking, or the withdrawal of emotional affections or physical contact and sexual activity. Indeed, the opposite approach of these negative techniques is the best, fastest, and much more likely to succeed technique in molding a man into a good man. Not to mention that if you continue to utilize these positive techniques on your man, throughout your relationship with your man, you will often have a relationship that will be very happy and last a lifetime.
So how can a single woman find a single man who can be good My Ruth Ann story provides the best insight as to how to find this man, as well as the error of lamenting there are no good men left, or that all the good men are taken. Ruth Ann was an attractive, single woman in her mid-twenties who was very concerned that she could not find a good man to marry and raise a family with. She often said that there are no good men left, or that all the good men were taken. During one of these lamentations, I was waiting at her desk for a meeting with her boss and had the time to listen to her and discuss her lamentation. I asked her what she was looking for in a man. She responded that he had to be a good Catholic boy as she was a good Catholic girl, that he couldn't be divorced or separated as she wanted to be the only love of his life, that he had no children as that bespoke of a moral flaw, that he had to be a white-collar worker with the prospect of moving into management as that would provide economic security, a college degree would be nice or that he was working on obtaining a college degree, that they met in a respectable manner and not at a bar or party, and several other inconsequential criteria.
I suggest to Ruth Ann that if she wanted to find a good man to marry and raise a family that she should throw out that list and replace it with another. A new list that simply stated that she wanted a man who would love her for the person she is, who wanted to support and care for her, and wanted to create a life and family with her. Ruth Ann responded that a girl has to have standards for a mate and that these were her standards. Thankfully my meeting began, and I was therefore spared the possibility of an argument with Ruth Ann.
Several months later, the project ended, and Ruth Ann and I went on to other projects, in different buildings, and we didn't see each other for more than a year. When I had to go to a building that I normally didn't frequent, I ran into Ruth Ann in the cafeteria, where she was eating alone. I sat down with her to catch up on each other's lives and noticed that she was wearing an engagement ring. I commented on this and asked her to tell me about her fiance. She laughed, then told me of the story of her fiance. Several weeks after she started her new project, her girlfriend and she decided to go to a local bar for a few drinks and unwind. At the bar, she noticed this cute guy, who also noticed her. They sat down together and began talking to each other, and she realized she was highly attracted to him as he was to her. They then began dating. When I inquired further about what kind of person he was, she laughed even harder. It turns out that he was Jewish, divorced, a Mr. Mom to his son, and was a plumber apprentice trying to become a master plumber, and that he had no college or future college in his plans. In fact, he was pretty much the opposite of Ruth Ann's standards. I mentioned this to Ruth Ann, and she agreed with my assessment but stated that he met all of the criteria on my list. With that, I wished her well and happiness in her future life with her man, and I never saw Ruth Ann again.
So, my advice to a good woman looking for a good man is to look for a single man who can be good, then mold them into a good man, then take him. The criteria you should utilize to find a man who can be good is to look for a man who would love you for the person you are, who wants to support and care for you, and wants to create a life and family with you. Forget the feminism and the devaluation of men, and strive for the happiness and joy that comes from having a loving, honorable, and respectful relationship with another person.
I would also suggest that you take to heart the advice of Ash Pariseau from the website Thought Catalog (you should also check out her other advice as it is usually spot-on): Ladies, What Do You Have To Offer In Your Relationships
As young women in America, we are brought up with one major objective: finding the best possible guy for us so we can eventually settle down. We are raised with a variety of ideas about what men can offer in order to keep us happy. We will create mental checklists about what all a man needs to be and what all he needs to do in order to qualify for our attention, but how often do we ask ourselves, What am I bringing to the table in the relationship
In this day and age, women have this idea that they can be their best selves for a man by being the total package, which mainly includes brains, beauty, and accomplishments. They sometimes seem to think that because they look good, have a college degree and a high paying career, that should be enough to satisfy the man of their dreams. As a woman, you can be smart, good-looking, talented, accomplished, and make good money, but how much do those things matter to the one you are with
Some men like to play it off like they don't need a relationship. They will put down modern women and pretend as if all they need in life is a call-girl for sexual gratification, a dog for companionship, and a maid to cook for them. Don't let this fool you. Most grown men would really like to have a real love and connection with a woman who is special to him. He just doesn't know of many women that possess the qualities he is looking for.
The problem might be in the possibility that many women are clueless as to what things a man is seeking in a woman when thinking about the long term. They are so focused on what they are getting and don't seem to take much time to think about what they are giving. These women might think they know what men want because of what they have been told makes them a total package, but they are not really paying attention when a man is communicating what he prefers.
While beauty, intelligence, and success are all things that men find attractive in a woman, she must stop and ask herself what else she has to offer that is unique and valuable to him. What is he getting out of the relationship, and what is going to make him stick around? Of course, its good for women to evaluate the man she is seeing and how happy she is in the relationship, but its also necessary to think about his happiness too. Her good looks and income will likely only take her so far.
Believe it or not, men actually appreciate many of the same things we do while in a partner. Think about everything that you would like to have in your relationship, and think about whether or not you are offering that yourself. How are you showing your love and respect for him Are you being supportive and comforting when necessary Are you making an effort to dedicate your time, energy, and companionship to him If you live together, are you being an equal or appropriate contributor financially and doing household work Are his romantic and sexual needs being met as well as yours
He wants to have a real partner, someone who is loyal and committed, someone to share experiences with, and to have intellectual conversations with. He also wants a woman that challenges him, which inspires him to be the best man he can be, someone that gives him a reason to wake up and smile every day. Sometimes it seems as though women don't realize how important this is for maintaining and healthy and lasting relationship with a man. Specifically, what your significant other wants from you might be a little different than what another man wants from his girlfriend, so the best thing you can do is open the lines of communication and take action.
Remember that the goal is figuring out what you can do that adds enhancement, value, and completion of your relationship. If equality is what you are after, keep in mind the bottom line: Don't expect anything of your man that you aren't willing to offer him yourself.
The relationship between a man and a woman is a very complicated thing and has many problems and difficulties. The following is a brief comment on many things I have observed about relationships between a man and a woman. I approach the topic of sexuality from the perspective of the male, as I am a male. This is one subject where it is extremely difficult to not separate the subject based on male and female perspectives. Both male and female have different perspectives on this topic. There is no right or wrong about these perspectives, and both the male and female viewpoint needs to be discussed among the people who have a relationship. The following thoughts have been reached by years of self-examination and reading. I do not profess to be an expert on the subject, but I do know how I feel about it. And the following are my thoughts and feelings on the subject.
I have often observed that when a man and a woman get together they go through what I call the kabuki dance. This is where each often pretends to be the person they think the other one wants them to be, rather than the person they are. This is done in the hopes that the relationship will advance and become more involved. As the relationship evolves they start to drop the pretenses and become the person they really are, in hopes that the other person will be accepting of what they perceive as their shortcomings. This is true of the very young when they get involved in relationships. The more mature person has fewer pretenses, as they have more confidence in themselves. The very mature usually have no pretenses, as they are confident of themselves and want to establish a sound relationship from the beginning.
I have also observed that when a woman looks at herself, or another woman, she often notices the imperfections in her body or the other woman's body. Whereas when a man looks at his woman or another woman he often just notices the good things or will ignore the imperfections. So, if you're a woman involved in a relationship with the man, you can be assured he is paying attention to the good things and doesn't even notice your imperfections. It does no good for your relationship to point out your imperfections to your man, and you should just proceed with the knowledge that if your man is desirous of you then you have enough of what it takes to keep them interested in your body.
When a man is interested in a woman he wants to have a sexual relationship with her - PERIOD. Any man who does not admit this is either lying to himself or lying to others (including the woman). Such a man should be dealt with very cautiously, as he is not being truthful in a most important aspect of the relationship, and he may not be truthful in the other aspects of the relationship. For two people to just have sex simply to enjoy the sex occurs most frequently when they are young and inexperienced. This is often the difference between being a boy and a girl, and a man and a woman. A boy/girl is generally only concerned about the physicality, where a man/woman is concerned about the real reason for a physical relationship. A true sexual relationship involves more than the physical joy and passion of the sexual act. When two people are engaged in a sexual relationship they are creating ties that bind. These ties can bring much happiness, but also can bring much pain if the relationship does not work out. A mature person engages in a sexual relationship not only for the joy and passion, but for the love and satisfaction of the sexual act, and as a means of bringing both parties closer together in an emotional sense. They should also understand that the beginning of the sexual relationship is the beginning of a truer emotional relationship. After the sexual relationship begins both parties should be willing to care for, honor, and respect each other. To not care for, honor, or respect the other party after sexual relationships is to disrespect both yourself and the other party. In general, the woman is the party that starts a true sexual relationship, as the man usually wants to just enjoy the physical pleasure of the woman. When a woman starts a sexual relationship with a man she has decided that this is a special man worthy of engaging in a sexual relationship. Both parties of the sexual relationship should want to have sex with each other in order to experience a true sexual relationship, and a sexual relationship should begin only when both parties are desirous of engaging in sex with the other party. Remember that nice gals do have sex with a nice guys and vice versa, a nice guy or gal being someone who will respect you, care for you, and treat you honorably after having sex with you.
In my opinion, there are three types of relationships a man and woman can have. They are; dating, exclusivity, and committed.
A dating relationship is where a man and woman are going out to enjoy each other's company. Each reserves the right to go out with another man or woman to enjoy their company. In a dating relationship if you are dating multiple people it is not advisable to engage in sexual activity with one or the other parties with whom you are dating, or perhaps all parties with whom you are dating. This type of sexual activity during a dating relationship can result in insecurities and jealousies amongst all the parties involved, and will often end your relationships, as well as emotionally hurting one another. It is also a sign of your immaturity, which does not bode well for any relationship.
An exclusive relationship is where both parties have decided they will not be seeing or looking for anyone else. The intent of this relationship is for both parties to open up emotionally, intellectually, and physically with each other to determine if there is something special between them, with the goal of becoming a committed relationship.
A committed relationship is one in which both parties have decided to be completely open to each other in an emotional, intellectual, and physical manner. The end goal of a committed relationship is to determine if both parties wish to spend the rest of their lives together in a committed fashion.
When I speak of the emotional aspect I am not only speaking of friendship and love, but also of your hopes, dreams, desires, insecurities, sadness, anger, joys, worries, sorrows, despairs, and fears being expressed to each other.
The intellectual aspect is common interest and pursuits that you share together. It also involves being able to discuss what you think (not feel - as that is the emotional aspect) about various issues and subjects. It could be as simple as what kind of furniture you like, what kind of music or movies you like, etc. or even political and social issues. This should be done in a non-emotional manner, as to bring emotions into an intellectual discussion is too often bring discord and anger into the discussion.
The physical aspect is not exclusively sexual. It involves the sexual component to ensure that there is compatibility between each other. But it also involves things such as holding hands, shoulders. waist, arms, hugging, kissing, and cuddling in both public and private.
As to a sexual relationship both the man and the woman involved should want each other and want to please the other, to have a happy sexual life together. But sex between a man and woman is much more than that. It is these issues that I wish to discuss as follows.
Marked by deliberate deceptiveness especially by pretending one set of feelings and acting under the influence of another, is especially disruptive to a serious relationship. We are all somewhat Janus-faced in that we have two personas; a public persona, and a private persona. Hopefully, we are not truly Janus-faced, in that these two personas are completely different. Most often the public persona is what we perceive to be the good side, and the private persona is both the good and the bad side of ourselves. In a dating relationship, we often exhibit just our public persona, until we determine that the other person is truly interested in us. Then we slowly reveal the personal persona, in the hope that the other person can deal with the not so good side of us. However, in an exclusive or committed relationship, you should only be dealing with each other based on your personal persona. To do so otherwise is to not truly be in an exclusive or committed relationship. Both parties must be free to show all facets of themselves in order to establish a firm relationship.
I believe you should think of sex as the glue that holds the relationship together. The more sex you have, the more glue is applied to your relationship. The better sexual relationship you have, the stronger the glue is in your relationship. Having more and stronger glue in your relationship will hold you through the problems that you encounter throughout your life together. And there will be problems. Problems such as emotional, physical, financial, legal, child-rearing, etc. are all common in a normal relationship. If you have built up a lot of strong glue in your relationship when you encounter these problems you will be able to work your way through them, and come out of these problems as a couple, and often a stronger couple.
Sexual compatibility between the two people in a relationship is extremely important to the health of the relationship, and not just the sexual health of the relationship. Issues such as frequency, duration, location, positions, fantasies, role-playing etc. need to be worked out between both parties. The give-and-take between both parties on these issues is very important. But one party cannot be the giver and the other party is the taker. Both parties should give a little and take a little, but it needs to be mutually agreeable. If one or both parties are unhappy about one or more of these issues it leads to a great strain on both parties, and can often lead to the end of the relationship. Without sexual compatibility, you cannot have a strong exclusive or committed relationship. This is especially important for the woman to understand, as in a co-equal sexual relationship (and all sexual relations between a man and woman should be co-equal) she is often the person that has the major voice about the type and frequency of sexual activity. Sexual incompatibility, after a sexual relationship is ongoing, most often occurs when a woman lessens her sexual activity for emotional reasons, or the man has become timid of expressing his sexual desires in the fear that it could cause the woman to lessen her sexual activity. If this is occurring for either one of you, you must have a frank and truthful discussion about this to ensure that your emotional and sexual relationship remains strong. Otherwise, it could lead to the end of your exclusive or committed relationship.
From a man's perspective, there are three types of sex he can have with his woman. They are physical sex, romantic sex, and reproductive sex. Physical sex is for the pure joy and pleasure of two people pleasing each other. It is also called fun sex. For a man, this is the most common type of sex he experiences. It often is two thirds or three-quarters of the sexual activities he has with his woman. Romantic sex is when the feelings that a man has for his woman comes to the forefront. It is often one quarter to one-third of the sexual activities he has with his woman. This is often called love sex. Reproductive sex is when a couple is attempting to become pregnant, and generally only occurs when they are having problems conceiving, and under a specialist care to help them conceive. For this reason, I don't feel it is necessary to comment on reproductive sex.
A man is by nature often reserved about his feelings and does not freely open up emotionally to others, and sometimes this also occurs with his woman. This is not because he doesn't love her, but rather because he is unsure how to express his love for her. A man often expresses his love for his woman by what he does, not what he says. This extends into the sexual relationship with his woman. When he lets down his reserve during sexual activity he then passes over into love sex. Both parties are aware when this occurs, in those times are to be treasured.
A man often expresses his love for his woman by trying to take care of her and to protect her. By providing a safe and comfortable home in which they can have a life together. But the greatest way a man shows the love for his woman is by forsaking all others. A man's natural desire is to have as many sexual encounters with as many women as he can achieve. So, when a man commits himself to a woman and represses his natural desires for another, he is showing his love for his woman. This is the greatest compliment he can give her. So, when a woman comments that her man only wants her for his body if he is being faithful to her, it is not only her body wants but he is showing the respect and love he has for her. If you are a woman you should remember this, and that when your man is having sex exclusively with you, he is telling you how much that he loves and respects you even if he doesn't say it.
So how can a woman sexually satisfy her man? It is very simple, but only if you take my advice to heart. Let your man know that you sexually desire him. This can be done all on your own, by approaching him sexually. Find out what he likes to do sexually, and do it on your own volition. A man also likes to hear his woman tell him these things and her sexual desires that she has for him. Do this as often and as best you can, and you will sexually satisfy your man.
There is no doubt that most men like to have sex more often than most woman (but this is not always the case), and a man is often pawing at his woman to have sex with him. Many times the woman is not in the mood; she's tired after a long day at work, her muscles are aching, she has a headache, it's that time in a month, she stressed out and doesn't want to do anything, etc. etc. etc... As Allison Armstrong. a nationally recognized expert on couples has said most of the time the woman should just have sex with her man. When you are finished you will often feel better about yourself, you will feel better about your man, and your relationship will be stronger for it. I would also add that if you don't do it you should give your men a very good reason why it's not advisable to have sex at that moment. In this way, he will not feel like he is being rejected, and he should feel more sympathetic for whatever is ailing you.
It should also be remembered that for a real relationship you need to concentrate on both the emotional and intellectual aspects of the relationship, as well as the physical aspect. When you start having a physical relationship the emotion and intellectual aspect can often recede, as you are experiencing the joy and passion of the physical. Both parties should recognize this and make an extra effort to be sure that the emotional and intellectual aspect come back into parity with the physical aspect. Doing this will assure that you have a complete and real relationship with the other partner.
When a man and a woman decide to have an exclusive or committed relationship with each other it is just that, exclusive or committed. There is nothing wrong with a man or woman admiring the attractiveness of a member of the opposite sex. Indeed, this could be helpful to your relationship. I once had a girlfriend who would point out all the other attractive woman who would show up wherever we were (and I reciprocated as well). She and I had the confidence to know that we would not cheat on each other and that we enjoyed admiring the physical beauty of the opposite sex. It also made our sexual relationship much better, as we both appreciated our understanding which made us desire each other even more because of that understanding. But in an exclusive or committed relationship admiring the opposite sex should only be a visual activity. To do anything else, and be unfaithful to your partner, is disrespectful your partner, and disrespectful to yourself. It will also destroy the basis of your relationship. No good can come of being unfaithful, and much harm is the usual result. If you are being unfaithful to your partner or considering being unfaithful, your relationship has deeper problems then the sexual component of your relationship. If you wish to remain in an exclusive or committed relationship with your partner you should try to resolve these problems. If it is not possible to resolve your problems then you need to discuss ending your relationship with your partner. This should not be done lightly after entering into an exclusive or committed relationship, as it will bring hurt, pain, and suffering to your partner. You should try to end your relationship in a manner in which the hurt, pain, and suffering is minimized and not maximized. In ending your relationship you should try to not do or not say anything that causes more harm, hurt, and pain for both yourself and your partner. This is not good for your future emotional health, or you're soon to be ex-partners future emotional health. There is no reason to inflict any additional harm, hurt, and pain, as the dissolution of your relationship, will inflict enough harm, hurt, and pain.
Knowing how to argue with each other is extremely important. In any relationship through the areas of disagreement and argument. If you argue the proper way at the end of the argument you will often feel closer to the other person. If you argue improperly at the end of the argument you will often feel more distant from the other person.
The first thing you must learn to do when you're about to enter an argument is to bite your tongue. While biting your tongue you should ask yourself did the other person do this deliberately or out of stupidity? Often the other person does something or says something simply because they did not think about it, or its impact when you. If the other person did something deliberately to cause you hurt or suffering your relationship has more problems than just what the other person said or did. In this case, you may wish to reconsider your relationship with the other person, for at least have an intense discussion and possibly professional assistance with your relationship.
Another thing you should never do is say, ?fuck you" to your partner. Fucking between two people who love and care for each other should be an expression of love and caring. To say, ?fuck you" during an argument is a derogatory and demeaning statement. Never be derogatory or demeaning when arguing with the one you love. This will cause so much hurt it will probably impair your relationship. No matter how upset and hurt you maybe it is not worthwhile to impair your relationship. When one person in the relationship says "fuck you" it should be meant as an invitation to joy, passion, and love.
If one person has emotionally hurt the other, either accidentally or out of stupidity (most common in men ? as they are clueless about women), you must be careful how you approach the other person. If you approach the other person in anger then another person often get defensive and/or angry at you. This will not help resolve the situation. If you approach the other person in sorrow, and explain what they said or did causes you to feel hurt, the other person will often be more responsive to what you are saying. If the other person has deep feelings for you they will often feel terrible that they caused such hurt. A wise person will listen to what you have to say, try to explain why they said or did what they did, and if they thought they were wrong they will apologize and try to make it up to you. A truly wise person will not only apologize, but try to remember what they said or did to cause the hurt, and never do it again.
A man shows his love for his woman by all the little things that he does for her. When your man does these little things you should show him your appreciation by hugs, kisses, kisses and sincere a thank you. When a man does a very big thing or goes out of his way, to do something for you should show your appreciation and a much more meaningful way. The most meaningful way you can show your appreciation is by engaging in great sex. This has the added advantage of your man wanting to do more big things, or going out of his way, on many more occasions. The honeydew list tends to get done sooner, and more completely when your man knows how much you appreciate him doing these things for you.
Relationships end. Not all relationships are meant to be, and some relationships that you thought were meant to be, come to an end. This is rarely one person or the others fault. One person or the other often bears a greater responsibility for the end of our relationship, but both parties contribute to this sad end. When the relationship ends do to not get caught up in coulda, woulda, shoulda. If you begin the coulda, woulda, shoulda, you will bring up all the bad memories, and you need to get past that to heal. When the relationship ends it usually comes with a great deal of Hurt, Pain, and Suffering. Hurt, Pain, and Suffering are normal, and it often takes a while for you to get over it. A normal human reaction to this Hurt, Pain, and Suffering is to vow he'll never allow anyone to get that close to you again so that you needn't feel the Hurt, Pain, and Suffering. This is a normal reaction that you must allow to pass.
Crying about a lost love is very normal and to be expected. Both men and woman should feel free to cry to excise the pain and suffering of losing a love. Excessive crying, however, can lead to serious repercussions. Most often these repercussions our depression and despair. Depression over the loss of the love, and despair over ever able being able to find another love. Crying alone often intensifies the depression and despair. You should find a family member or friend with who you trust to open your feelings of depression and despair. If they are a true friend or caring family member they will help ease your path and lessen your depression or despair.
The emotional part of your brain is what is speaking to you, but you must also listen to the intellectual part of your brain. The intellectual part of your brain should be telling you that if you start a new relationship you open yourself up to the hurt, pain, and suffering if the relationship should not work out. However, if it does work out the joy and happiness of finding someone who you love, and loves you, is well worth the risk of the hurt, pain, and suffering you may encounter while you are searching for that special someone. Do not give up on finding that special someone, even though you may not find that special someone the first time, and experience more hurt, pain, and suffering while you are searching. Just remember that the joy and happiness of being loved, and loving someone, is worth it and that when you find that other person the hurt, pain, and suffering will be washed away and be replaced with love, joy, and passion.
When you do find someone else it is very important that you do not bring your baggage from the previous relationship forward to the new relationship. Any time we have a relationship with someone we create a bag. This bag is all the history, the things that were said and done, and the feelings associated with all of this. A new relationship deserves a new bag. If you bring your old baggage forward you are probably going to poison your current relationship. No one person should be judged against the experiences that you had with another person. We are all different and deserve to be judged against our own words and deeds. What you can do with the old baggage is examine its contents and find the good things that you did and said, and remember to do those in your current relationship. You should also find the things that you did and said that were not good, and try not to do or say those things in your new relationship
In today's world, people live longer, divorce more often, and have relationships with other generations on a more frequent basis. It is no wonder that those relationships between generations result in May ? September romances. There is nothing wrong with a May ? September romance if it is based upon the love and affection the two people have for each other. If it is based on other things such as money, social position, trophies, etc. it is not a true May ? September romance, but simply a compact between the two people. It matters not if the May is male or female, or the September is male or female in this romance. If two people truly love and care for each other they should pursue their romance. It should be remembered that a generation gap is a gap and not a chasm. If both parties wish to bridge this gap then they can use their maturity and intelligence to do so. It may require a constant effort to accomplish this, but if you truly love and care for each other the effort will be worthwhile. There are, however, issues regarding May- September romances that both parties must face and resolve during the course of their romance.
The first issue is one of the social concerns. Each party grew up in a different environment, with a different historical background, different music, different movies, different television, and different literature. This could be a positive or negative depending on how you approach it. If you approach it positively as a means of enriching your life by experiencing the differences with the other person this may make your life together better. If, however, it causes communication problems it could have a negative effect on your relationship. Agreeing to work together to resolve any of these difficulties should be possible and desirable.
The next issue is regarding the September half of the relationship. The September half will grow older, and possibly more infirmed, perhaps sick and diseased, and will pass away before the May half. This places an increased burden on the May half of the relationship to care for the September half of the relationship. The May half must seriously consider the impact on their life from this burden, and be willing to accept this impact. The September half needs also to consider the burden that they may place on the May half, and determine if this is something they are willing to impose upon the May half. If the May half of the relationship sincerely wishes to accept this burden, and the September half is willing to work to ease the burden on the May half as much as possible then the relationship should proceed. Any doubts between the different halves should be resolved before the relationship continues, or the relationship should be ended for the betterment of both halves. Of course, this is also determined by the ages of the half's, and the years between the halves.
Of course, if you engage in a May-September romance the success of the romance is also determined by the maturity and intelligence of both halves. If you do go into a May ? September romance with your eyes wide open and cognizant of all the difficulties that may be encountered, and still determine that the love and happiness to be gained is worthwhile, I wish you all the best luck and hope that it works out for both of you.
Note - The September half can ease the burden on the May half if they commit to getting themselves into good physical shape. This means losing that extra weight, exercising regularly, eating properly, getting physical therapy for those aches and pains, and taking your medications (not bad advice for the May half as well). After all, you want to make sure that your romance can last as long as possible, and that you will be healthy so you may enjoy life together.
It depends, but generally not. The best answer to this question is for you to obtain and view the movie ?When Harry Met Sally?. Not only will you be thoroughly entertained and amused by this movie, but you will discover the answer to this question, as well as many other answers to the questions on male and female relationships.
I recently came across to an article on the website the Good Man Project that is apropos to this observation.
10 Things Men Don't Really Care About
October 24, 2014 by James Michael Sama
James Michael Sama lets women in on 10 things they can stop worrying about, because frankly, men don't give a damn.
Sometimes men get a bad rap for not noticing things, not paying attention to small details, and even just not listening in general. While I do often disagree with many of these generalizations, it is true that there are some things that we just don't care about.
But, they might not be the kinds of things that you would think. Here is a quick rundown.
We don't care that your hair or makeup isn't perfect today.
Trust me, we appreciate the effort you put into looking great?whether it is just for yourself or for a nice event or for your first date with us. But don't be so hard on yourself?if we are spending time with you, we are doing it because we want to, regardless of how you look.
We don't care about those few extra pounds that you want to lose.
We all have insecurities?men included. Unless we look like Marky Mark's Calvin Klein underwear ad, we have plenty of things we want to change about our own bodies, too. We just don't talk about it as much. Odds are, the small things you are uncomfortable with are never anything a good man would complain about when being intimate with you. We just want to enjoy you.
We don't care if you make more money than us.
Or less. Or the same. Or whatever. Men who are secure in themselves pay much more attention to who you are as a person and how you make us feel when we are around you, rather than what you choose to do for a profession. I would much rather a woman with a beautiful heart and a beautiful mind than the CEO of a major company who is cold and callous.
The happiness that comes along with loving what you do is more important than a paycheck that comes along with something you don't.
We don't care that you have a few drinks on a date.
As mature adults who know our limits when it comes to alcohol, we genuinely don't mind if you loosen up a little bit or get a little giggly after too much wine. Feeling that you are comfortable around us will make us more comfortable around you. Two things that should be obvious with this point, though:
? Don't overdo it.
? A good man will never take advantage of you because of this. Just two adults enjoying each other's company.
We don't care when you sleep with us.
That's right. Whether it's the first date or the fifth date?one thing remains constant: We probably already know whether we want to see you again before we know if/when you are going to sleep with us. We won't judge you if you want to do it on the first date and we won't stop calling you if you want to wait until the fifth. If we want to see you again, we will.
We don't care if you text us first.
Many women don't think they should text a man first because it shows desperation'this is not true. If he is not texting you and he is interested, he is likely thinking about it constantly but just doesn't want to come across too strong. He will more than welcome seeing your name pop up on his phone and it will take the pressure off of him moving forward.
We don't care what you look like when you wake up.
I have heard of some women who either won't let men stay over until a certain amount of time has passed in the dating process, or that will go to bed with makeup on?because they don't want him to see how they look when they wake up in the morning. The truth is, we don't really care. I don't mean this in an apathetic way, I mean it in a ?If we are waking up next to you, we think you are beautiful no matter what? way.
We don't care what you order for dinner.
Hopefully the stigma is not still around that women should eat like rabbits, especially while on a date. If you want a steak, order a damn steak. Don't change what you eat when you are around us because of some nonexistent reason. Indulge!
We don't care if you swear around us.
I have mentioned in other articles about how it's not ?ladylike? to swear, and it's not ?gentlemanly? either. But let's be honest?we are all mature adults here and can handle the language. Needless to say, when we are in public or around family it's best to keep the reins pulled in a little bit, but no guy is going to complain about a few F-bombs dropped here and there. It's natural.
We don't care if you are not perfect.
Nobody is perfect. Nobody. The word itself is essentially meaningless anyway because with 7 billion people in the world, no two will have the same image of perfection in their mind. So, stop worrying that you don't look like the airbrushed model in the Victoria's Secret advertisement. Stop worrying that you think your hair is too short to be sexy. Stop worrying about those couple of extra pounds. Stop worrying about your awkward birthmark. Stop worrying that you don't have a stupid thigh gap.
We don't care?because when you love someone for who they truly are, everything about them becomes beautiful.
Note - I would add a few comments to the statements. The first is on we don't care if you swear around us. I personally am not in favor of swearing, by a woman or by men. For more on this, I would direct you to my observation on 'swearing?.
The other comment is on we don't care when you sleep with us. We, as men, may not care when you sleep with us, but you should care when you sleep with us. If you are going to engage in sexual relationships with a man you should do so only because that is what you wish to do. To do otherwise is to be disrespectful to yourself. Remember that a nice gal will have sex with a nice guy, a nice guy being someone who will respect you, care for you, and treat you honorably after having sex with you. Choose wisely!
Much has been said and written about the duties and responsibilities of parenthood. Many books, seminars, and educational television have been created to assist you in these obligations. Many of these things seem contradictory amongst their different proponents. But the basics of parenthood are very simple. There are only five things you need to keep in mind when meeting your parental obligations. They are:
The most basic is for you to assure they have the proper food clothing and shelter. The food you provide must be nutritious and healthy, and of sufficient quantity that they do not go hungry. The clothing they wear should be proper to protect them from the vicissitudes of the weather. The shelter must be provided of such quality as to protect them from the elements.
Providing for the health and safety means that you care for them in sickness, and obtain medical assistance when they are sick or injured. This also means that you provide them with the proper inoculations to prevent any diseases that they may encounter. Providing for their safety means that you protect them from harm or injury that could be the result of other's actions or their own. Assuring proper policing and supervision when they are not in your control is of utmost importance. Teaching them the rules of safety when they are in your home, or outside it, is to help prevent injury or death.
The means to assure that your children grow up to have a better and productive life is to ensure they are getting a proper education. Get involved in your children's education by helping them learn at home and at school. Be proactive in assuring that your school is providing the proper environment, safety, and education for your children.
Let your children know that you love them, care for them, and respect them. Complement them when they deserve it, and take corrective action when they do something wrong. When you take corrective actions let them know it is because you love them, and want them to become a better person. Never be emotionally or physically abusive, but do not be afraid to be firm and disciplined when you are correcting them. Hug them often, and tell them what you think is good about them. Remember that children who are raised in this manner, and know of their parents love and respect them, grow up to be better adults, and are less likely to suffer emotionally and physically as adults.
We all make mistakes. We all do stupid things. We all regret things that we may have said or done. Hopefully, we have learned throughout our life not to do these things again. It is the responsibility of the parent to pass on the wisdom of our experience to help our children not do these things. This often takes the form of your teenage children whining that "but dad, or mom, you did it why can't I do it". This is most important in the utilization of drugs, alcohol, or sexual relationships. Your response to such whining would be to say that just because I screwed up doesn't mean I want you to screw up". You should want to help your children learn from your mistakes so they do not repeat them. You should remember that you are not your children's friend, but their parent and mentor.
Keeping these five things in mind, whenever you are dealing with your children, will assure that they grow up to be happier and productive in their life and community. The best way to accomplish this is to have a stable and loving two-parent household with a mother and father as role models. Given today's society, this does not always occur. Even if you are not in a loving two-parent household (such as separation or divorce) you still have an obligation as the mother and father of the children to provide these five things to your children. Both the mother and father of the children, no matter what the relationship is between them, have the obligation to provide these five things to their children.
A child has only one obligation to his parents, as discussed in
Dennis Prager's video on the fifth commandment: Honor Your Father and Mother
A child should always be respectful and courteous to their parent (the only exception being if a parent is being abusive to the child). When the child is a preadolescence they need to carefully listen to their parents and follow their instructions, as their parent is trying to protect them and instruct them on how to protect themselves. When a child becomes an adolescent they begin to develop their own thinking and reasoning, and questioning of what their parents say and do. This is normal and to be expected of all children. An adolescent child should do this in a respectful and courteous manner, and a parent should be respectable and courteous in responding to the child's thinking and reasoning. The parent should take the time and effort to respond to the child in a reasonable and intelligent manner, to help the child gain the wisdom of the parent's knowledge and experience. A parent should remember the wisdom of Mark Twain when he said, "When I was 16 I thought my father was the dumbest most ignorant man on the face of the earth, and when I turned 21 I was amazed how much my father had learned in four short years". A parent should be cognizant of Mark Twain's wisdom and realized that in today's society this questioning starts at the age of 12 and usually does not end until the age of 24. The parent should be patient and give the child time to mature, and for them to realize the wisdom and experience of the parent. When a child grows up and becomes an adult they need to remain respectful and courteous to their parents. They are under no obligation to their parents to do anything otherwise.
The adult child, however, should be cognizant of what is happening in their parents? life. Sharing your family life with your parents? life when you are an adult is a symbol of the love and caring you have for your parents. When your parents become aged and infirmed you need to consider how and what is the best way to assist them. Being there when they become ill or diseased or are approaching death, is the greatest sign of love for your parents. Not only will this be of great assistance to your parents, but it will help you deal with these issues and make you feel better about yourself and the situation. Try to be patient with an ill or diseased parent, or a parent approaching death, as they are often not in full control of their mental state. Your parents may say or do things that are harmful to you, but you must be forgiving, as you are aware that they have decreased mental capabilities and may not be in full control of themselves.
When your parents pass away the greatest thing that you can do is to remember them with honor and respect for all they tried to do for you. Try to focus on all the good things, and try to forgive all the bad things that may have happened between you and your parents. This will help you in leading a happier life.
Life and especially Parenthood and Childhood is full of Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda (see my observation ?Life is Messy?). Many parents look back at how they raised their children and have had regrets. Some children look back at their parents and have regrets for their actions, but usually, the child does not fully understand their parents? actions regarding their upbringing, that is until they themselves become parents. In discussing this with my own daughter (via e-mail as she lives on the other side of the county from me), I wrote the following to her:
?Looking back over our history I have many regrets that I did not react in the best manner. But I believe that you should have many regrets about your behavior or words, but you should not be troubled by them as they are the normal process of growing into adulthood. Too not being a perfect dad I must plead guilty, too being a bad dad I must plead not-guilty. Like most dads I did many good things, and some bad things. To the good, you always had a nice and comfortable house over your head, were well fed, provided you with nice clothing and shoes, gave you the finest education possible, traveled as we could afford it, provided you with books, music, art supplies, toys, pets, and computers, etc... I also tried to provide you with the best advice I possessed, but you most often rejected this as you thought you were smarter and wiser than me. To the bad, I wish I could have better handled our confrontations in a more reasonable and wiser manner, for which I will always regret. But you should keep in mind that I tried the best I could to assure that you grew up being the best person you were capable of being.?
The only regrets that you should be concerned about is if you were physical, emotionally, or sexually abusive to your children, for which you should repent and make amends to them. If you can say the same thing as I e-mailed to my daughter, to your own children, then you should not be too regretful by your parenthood.
It is appalling how violence in our schools has increased in the last several decades. Assaults on teachers and administrator by students, students upon students, and even parents or family members upon students, teachers, and administrators are on the rise. And all of this must stop forthwith. Anybody who commits an assault within a school should be immediately arrested, and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Any aggravated felony committed in a school should result in the perpetrator being expelled, without re-admittance to the school, and not transferred to another school where they could commit another aggravated felony. This may mean the construction of special schools for those who have committed these offenses, but so be it. The health, welfare, and safety of those within a school are paramount.
Verbal abuse is also significantly on the rise within schools. Any student who verbally abuses another student, teacher, or administrator should be immediately suspended, and not re-admitted to the school, or re-assigned to another school until a corrective course of action is implemented for the abuser. Special classrooms within a school may need to be established to handle verbally abusive students. The special classrooms that are staffed by the best disciplinary teachers, and non-teaching aids that can handle the verbally abusive student. Of course, those teachers and non-teaching aids should receive additional combat pay for their efforts.
Without classroom discipline, there cannot be education. Classroom discipline must be implemented and enforced for the teacher to teach, and the student to learn. Rules of conduct need to be established and enforced within a classroom. And it should be made clear to the student that this is to their benefit. But it should also be made clear to the student that this classroom discipline also allows for education to be more fun and enriching. I believe that the teacher should inform the student that their class is a form of a voyage, a voyage of discovery, and an exciting voyage. And as in all voyages if they all work together and cooperate with each other so that it will be a more pleasant voyage for all.
But some voyages have malcontents and mutineers. My wife, a school teacher, has often remarked to me that in a classroom of thirty or so students that it is often the case that a handful of students (usually four to six) are malcontents and mutineers (my words). She has stated that if only something could be done with those malcontents and mutineers it would be so much easier to teach, and the other students would receive a better education. But something can be done with these malcontents and mutineers. As in the solution to verbally abusive students (and sometimes the verbally abusive and the malcontents and mutineer are one in the same student), special classrooms within a school may need to be established to handle these malcontents and mutineer students. The special classrooms that are staffed by good disciplinary teachers, and non-teaching aids that can handle the malcontents and mutineer students. And it should be made clear to the students and parents of these malcontents and mutineers that they will remain in this classroom until they can learn to control themselves, but they can be reassigned to a regular classroom if they learn to control themselves. Of course, those teachers and non-teaching aids should receive additional combat pay for their efforts.
I propose this because I believe that no student, or group of students, should be allowed to interfere with the education of another student. I know that there will be a hue and cry from Parents, Students, Teachers, Administrators, Bureaucrats, Lawyers and Judges, Politicians, and Unions on my solution to resolve the problem of verbally abusive and malcontents and mutineer students. Nobody wants some children treated differently from other children, but children are different from each other. And a problem child must be treated differently from a non-problem child. But in all cases all children should be treated politely and respectfully, but firmly. But keep in mind that the purpose of public schools is to provide a quality education for its students. And those students that interfere with this purpose should be dealt with.
If a teacher suffers a physical or verbal assault that is of a felonious nature, and the administrators or bureaucrats do not take prompt action to protect the teacher and arrest the perpetrator, the teacher has a human right to defend themselves, as all people have a human right to defend themselves against felonious assaults. I would hope that the teacher does not need to be physical with the student, but if they need to be physical to protect themselves or other students and personnel so be it, and they should have the support of the school system, the legal system, and all civic-minded people. If need be I would also allow a teacher to make a civilian arrest of an aggravated felony in progress, and if I were a teacher I would keep in my desk a few Zip-Tie Handcuffs to assist me in this arrest. Of course, a teacher needs to do this in a proper and legal manner, and they should be so educated in the proper and legal manner of doing this, as part of their college education in teaching.
Everybody knows that our current public-school systems in the urban districts of the United States are a total failure. They fail to educate the students, they fail to prepare them for the 21st-century world they will live in, and they just fail.
There are many explanations for the reason of this failure's, some of them true, some of them false, and most of them have grains of truth. However, in my opinion, the problem is a systemic one. There are many pieces that go into creating a school system. Each one of these pieces has their problems, and possible solutions, but in reality, all the pieces working together have failed. These are the pieces, and why I believe they are failing.
Most parents of students in public schools don't know how to be good mentors for their children in regard to education. They do not have the skill set to do this properly. They often ignore their children's educational needs or demand that their children be respectful, pay attention, and get good grades through threats and intimidation to their children. But threats and intimidation don't work, but encouragement, guidance, support, and assistance do work. Parents of school-age children often need instructions on the best way to meet their children's educational needs. Instructional classes for parents in public schools should be developed and given so that the parents can obtain the skill sets they need. If necessary you should require and pay them to attend this instruction. The cost of doing this is far less than the cost of providing an inadequate education of the student, and the disciplinary cost to the school. And parents need to be informed of what is expected of their children in regard to classroom discipline and decorum, study habits, homework, and basic hygiene. They also need to be informed that if their child becomes a problem child or a physically or verbally abusive child, they will be dealt with accordingly.
In many of our schools, the animals are now running the zoo. This needs to stop immediately, and the zookeepers are put back in charge of the zoo (and to those politically correct readers who object to my description I say stop the nonsense and focus on the problem). Classroom discipline will be enforced, and they will behave, they will learn, and they can have fun. The students need to be informed from the beginning of what is expected of them, and what the consequences are for not meeting expectations, and that the consequences will be implemented when they don't meet expectations. No quarter is to be given or taken when it comes to these expectations. We also have the problem of "Cognitive Abilities and the Value of a Human Being" as outlined in another article of mine.
I say, ?Let Teachers Teach!? Teachers spend years in college learning how to teach, the best methods of teaching, and how to manage a classroom, all to obtain their teaching degree. And then they get a teaching position we often burden them with rules, regulations, and procedures, excessive paperwork, demands for detailed lesson plans, and often specific directions in the minutia of their efforts. No wonder may teachers give up, burn out, and simply don't care anymore. They went into teaching to teach, and not to have their teaching lives controlled by Parents, Students, other Teachers, Administrators, Bureaucrats, Lawyers and Judges, Politicians, and Unions. Free the teacher to teach, but once free make them responsible for the outcomes. Judge them by how well their students achieved the proficiencies requires at the end of the school year. Accept no excuses for failure, but keep in mind and allow the external influences that may have interfered with their ability to teach an individual student.
And how are we to judge the success or failure of a teacher? Many would say that you test the students at the end of the year to determine if they have met their proficiencies. And I agree with this testing, and would also suggest testing in the middle of the school year as an aid to the teacher to determine those students who may require additional assistance to meet the proficiencies. But testing is not the only answer or the final answer. Testing cannot be formulated at a national or state level, as each school district needs different measures based on local factors and variables. Local school districts need to develop the testing criteria, applicable to their surroundings, with State oversight to assure some minimum standards. You need to keep in mind the local factors and variables and allow for the external influences that may have interfered with the teacher's ability to teach an individual student. For these factors and variables, you need the input of other teachers who have taught the student, the non-teacher aids who know the student, the grade or department chairpersons, guidance counselors or school psychologists, and the Vice-Principals and Principles of the school. A council of the appropriate personnel should be convened at the end of the school year and review the record of each student who didn't meet their proficiencies. This council would determine the responsibility of the teacher, and if the student should be advanced to the next grade, or the teacher needs remedial actions or dismissal. Of course, a teacher should have the ability to appeal a negative decision, but this appeal should not be tangled up in bureaucratic or legal webs, and it needs to be done expeditiously as to ensure that an incompetent or unworthy teacher cannot negatively impact other students.
Administrators should administer, and support the teachers in their efforts, and assure that the proficiencies required of the students are being met. They should not be involved in the minutia of teaching, but only assure that the teacher has the proper environment for teaching and the proper material for teaching. They should act as a buffer between the teacher and student against the other forces within the educational system. And so it is in all other working environments. I have learned through my own experience that one of the major tasks of a supervisor, manager, or officer of a company is to protect those below them from the vagrancies of those above them, to provide the environment and materials need for the worker to accomplish their goals, and to have the workers get the job done and done properly, within budget, and on time. So it should be with school administrators in the educational system.
Bureaucrats being bureaucrats they are more often concerned with following rules, regulations, and procedures rather than achieving results. To expect otherwise is to end up being disappointed. It is rare, and to be treasured when it happens, that a bureaucrat will bend the rules, regulations, and procedures in order to achieve the desired results. They often have this attitude to assure that they retain their jobs (although it is highly unlikely that they could lose their jobs as they are protected civil servants), or advance in their jobs, as they know that following the rules, regulations, and procedures is the only way to assure this. The only thing that can be done to change this situation is to change the rules, regulations, and procedures. But civil service laws and regulations, as well as bureaucratic inertia, makes this a very difficult thing to do.
- Lawyers and Judges
Lawyers and Judges have too often intervened in the education system, to the detriment of the educational system. In today's lawsuit happy society anybody who is offended, or believes that an offense has occurred (no matter how trivial), will file a lawsuit. And when lawyers and the legal system gets involved you can be assured that you will probably end up with a total mess. The time, effort, and monies expended to sort the situation out can be exorbitant. The final solution could be so convoluted as to make it extremely difficult and expensive to implement, and the fear of a lawsuit makes people alter their actions which are usually detrimental to the ultimate goal of the educational system; providing a quality education for all students. To those who would threaten to file a lawsuit, or file a lawsuit, I would say, ?Get the hell out of the way?. Remember that the purpose of the educational system is to provide the best education for an individual student, and for all the students in the educational system.
And Judges and Lawyers should keep this in mind if a lawsuit or potential lawsuit interferes with either of these goals. They should reconsider the lawsuit if it does so, and remember that one student, or a small group of students, should not be able to interfere with the other students getting a quality education. Suits and judgments should be based on these criteria, and that they should rule based on these criteria.
Lawyers and Judges should also keep in mind that they are not experts in educating children and that they often lack the knowledge and experience that is in the best interests an individual student, or all of the students, in the educational system. For them to get involved in the minutia of the educational system usually leads to unwise decisions and a negative impact on the educational system.
Politicians often have one of the worst impacts on the educational system. They often propose solutions to the problems of the educational system based on wishful thinking, political correctness, appeals to special interests? groups, as a wedge issue to garner votes for themselves or against their opponents, and economic concerns not based on economics. They are often short-sighted and do not consider the non-tangible impacts of their proposed solutions. They can also be very parochial and do not wish to support other educational systems needs if there is no benefit to their local educational system. Not to mention that they often propose solutions that sound good but have no substance behind them.
But politics is politics, and this has always been so and will continue to be so. The question is what can we do about this situation? Unfortunately, the answer is almost nothing. For a politician to take a strong firm stance on educational reform, based on reality, is often a death knell to their career, and politicians will often only take positive actions when disaster strikes.
The only solution to the political problem of education reform is for the educational reform grassroots to unite upon a common set of goals for educational reform, and specific actions they want to be implemented. The naysaying factions, the divisive factions, the parochial interests, and the special interest factions, need to be marginalized. And the best way to marginalize them is to make clear to the politicians that their career is in jeopardy if they don't support and implement the common goals and specific actions the grassroots are demanding. The educational reform grassroots need to politically organize, not based on party labels or factions or interests, but on their recommend goals and specific actions. They should work to elect politicians who will support their goals and specific actions and to oppose a politician who will not support their goals and specific actions. If this is done the politicians will fall in line.
An individual teacher is often noble, but when they join a union they seem to lose some of their nobility, and become a little nutsy and lose some common sense. They become more concerned with following rules, regulations, and procedures of the contract, rather than achieving the desired result of proving a quality education for their students. And Unions being Unions they often lose sight of the big picture and focus on just the needs of their union members (see my observation on ?Unions?). As far a public education is concerned the big picture is the only important picture, and that is providing a quality education for an individual student and all students. The educational union needs to keep this in mind when negotiating a contract and adjust their demands appropriately to meet the goal of providing a quality education for an individual student and all students.
And I believe that these problems are inherent in today's Public Schools. This makes it a systemic problem, and systemic problems are not easily correctable if they are correctable at all. So, I believe that the current system should be discarded, and replaced with one that has one and only one focus. All the laws, rules, regulations and procedures, and all the Parents, Students, Teachers, Administrators, Bureaucrats, Lawyers and Judges, Politicians, and Unions should focus on what is best an individual student and for all students to obtain a quality education and to meet the proficiencies required of them. You need to be careful that in doing what's best for an individual student you don't negatively impact the other students. Not an easy task, but worthwhile tasks are not easy tasks, but they need to be done.
Besides the systemic failure of School Districts, you have a failure of the educational approach of these school districts. Instead of emphasizing basic skills and classroom discipline, they are concerned with building self-esteem, social awareness, and peaceful interactions between all. While these goals may be laudable, they are not the purpose of public schools! The purpose of public schools is to provide an education that will help the student succeed when they become an adult and enter the workplace. The other purpose is to teach students how to think ? not what to think. Too often today public schools are indoctrination centers for liberal-progressive ideologies and policies. This needs to stop, and teachers should be concerned with critical thinking skills. Teach students how to question, how to analyze, and how to reason. Informal and formal logic, as well as logical fallacies and cognitive biases education, is critically important in today's society. All other concerns should be secondary to this, and until you provide for the core proficiencies (more on this later) the other concerns need not be addressed. These other concerns are and should be the primary concern of parents, with assistance from family, friends, neighbors, and religious institutions, and not from the public schools.
Some would ask why can't we do both? My answer is that we have been trying to both for decades, without any improvement in the educational achievements of the students. As this approach has not achieved the primary goal of public schools, it should be abandoned for the goal of obtaining core proficiencies and improving educational achievement that will assist the student when they become adults and enter the workplace.
If you examine carefully those School Districts who are failing educationally you will discover one common tie that binds them. While there may be other factors that contribute to poor educational achievement, the School Districts that have had decades of one-party rule, with one educational approach, have failed the most. And this one-party rule has been the Liberal/Progressive Democrats.
The school buildings and the materials within them are often, and especially in urban school districts, a disaster. They are often a converted building that started their life for another purpose, or they are so old that they cannot meet the needs of modern education. Some schools are so decrepit that they can be a danger to the students, teachers, and administrators who inhabit them. Indeed, some are unfit for human habitation. The materials within them are out-of-date and are inadequate to the needs of modern education. The physical classroom sizes vary, but the number of students in a classroom usually doesn't vary to fit the classroom size. And this situation needs to be rectified.
Infrastructure is one area of public education in which I believe that there can and should be federal as state government intervention. Low-cost loans, or grants, should be supplied to replace school buildings and materials to meet the needs of 21st-century education. And this needs to be done immediately. If we can send a man to the moon in less than 10 years we can replace our school buildings and materials in less than 10 years.
My wife being a teacher, and me being a computer consultant, I believe I am uniquely qualified to comment upon the current state of technology in education. In short, ?It Sucks?. Our current public-school system was created in the 20th century and reflects that in the way that they use 21st-century technology. The shame of it is that it would not take a significant effort to make major improvements. A little time and money would be well spent to bring educational technology into the 21st century. Three things could be done in short order that could make a significant difference.
The first of these are textbooks. How many of us have seen a child going to or coming from school, and marveled at this size and weight of the backpacks (resulting in physiological stress on the student's body) that the students utilize? This is ridiculous in the 21st century. A modern tablet or laptop computer weighs less, and takes up less space, and would contain everything that is in a backpack in an easily transported form factor. Textbooks would be distributed via a microchip inserted into the tablet or laptop. These textbooks could contain much more information, in a better presentable format, that is currently available in the printed text box. Such things as pictures, animations, videos, and hyperlinks to websites for further information could be easily inserted into an electronic textbook. The students could also use these tablets or laptops for the purposes of note-taking. It has the additional benefit of getting them acclimated to the use of modern technology in everyday life, which they will be doing once they graduate from the public-school system.
The next of these is record-keeping and testing. There is absolutely no need, in the 21st century, for paper record-keeping that is all too commonplace in the public-school system. All forms could easily be accessed via the teacher's tablet or laptop filled out more readily and stored at the school district headquarters computer system. This also avoids the possibility of lost or misfiled records, as well as assuring that all records are completed properly and on time. The teachers should be able to create tests electronically, that would automatically be available on the student's tablet or laptop, and that could automatically grade the test. All of this would significantly reduce the administrative burden on a teacher, and allow them to spend more time teaching.
Finally, I have seen how much time and effort is put into creating lesson plans. In my opinion, this is totally unnecessary and burdensome to the teacher. A central database of lesson plans could be accessed by the teacher and modified appropriately by the teacher to be apropos for their students. This database of approved lesson plans could be contributed to, and review by, highly qualified teachers and lesson planning. This database of lesson plans could be done on a local, regional, or state level to assure its breadth and depth.
Much has been said about ?Core Curriculum?, a Federal Government program to establish K-12 educational standards and curriculum. Although the program is ?voluntary?, states and local school districts could lose federal funding if they do not ?volunteer? (when a criminal enterprise utilizes this method to obtain compliance to its demands we call it ?Extortion?). However noble the goals of the Core-Curriculum may be like every other Federal program it will come with rules, regulations, procedures, and bureaucrats to implement. And as teaching is one of the most individual one-on-one activities of government direction from on-high is doomed to failure. Waste, fraud, and abuse will also follow, as waste fraud, and abuse is a normal part of any governmental activity. And most of this waste will be in the effort, time, and monies (and by now you should realize how much I hate to waste effort, time, and monies in any human endeavor or government activity).
I say that all Parents, Students, Teachers, Administrators, Bureaucrats, Lawyers and Judges, Politicians, and Unions should have but one goal, and that all effort, time, and monies should be utilized to meet that goal. And that goal is to assure that a student has obtained a core proficiency at the end of the school year. If the student has not obtained the core proficiency at the end of the year they cannot advance to the next year, as that would be useless, as the next year's proficiencies builds upon the previous year's proficiency. The Teachers, Administrators, and Bureaucrats should be judged on how well they have achieved this goal. The Lawyers and Judges, Politicians, and Unions should only be involved in assuring the proper funding and support is available to achieve this goal, and they should not be involved in the minutia of how the Teachers, Administrators, and Bureaucrats achieve this goal.
And what are these core proficiencies? Below is my list of what I think should be the core proficiency to be achieved at the end of each grade level, and how often they should be taught in the classroom. The unanswered question is what constitutes the achievement of a core proficiency? For the answer to this question, I would defer to the experts? opinions on this subject. My goal is to simply state what needs to be learned at the end of a school year, to assure that the student has the core proficiency that is required to be able to advance and learn at the next level. If the student does not have the core proficiency at the end of the year they are probably doomed to fail at the next year's core proficiencies.
- Alphabet, Words, and Writing
- Sentences, Paragraphs & Composition
- Spelling, Grammar, and Syntax
- Literature (Fiction & Non-Fiction)
- Poetry, Verse, & Plays
- American Literature
- English Literature
- World Literature
- Addition & Subtraction
- Multiplication & Division
- Fractions & Decimals
- Weights & Measures
- Basic Algebra
- Basic Geometry and Trigonometry
- Basic Algebra Word Problems
- Basic Formal Logic
Social Studies (daily)
- Neighborhoods & Municipalities
- Counties & States
- Federal Government & Federalism
- US History I (1600 through 1820)
- US History II (1821 through 1899)
- US History III (1900 through present)
- World History I (Ancient 9,000 BC ? 1699 AD)
- World History II (Modern 1700 AD ? Today)
- Geology & Meteorology
- Taxonomy & Zoology
- Botany & Entomology
- Oceanography & Ornithology
- Paleontology & Climatology
- Classical Physics
- Modern Physics
Health & Home Economics (1 period per week)
- Hygiene & Grooming
- Nutrition & Eating Properly
- Medical & Dental Health
- Alcohol and Drugs
- Mental Health (feelings & disorders)
- Emotional & Physical Control
- Personal Relationships
- Manners & Politeness
- Public Mores & Ethics (social behavior)
Music (2 periods per week)
- Listening & Hearing Instruments
- Listening & Hearing Groups of Instruments
- Musical Notation and Playing an Instrument I
- Musical Notation and Playing an Instrument II
- American Music - Folk, Ragtime, Jazz, Big Band, Vocalists, Pop & Rock, Jive, Rap, and Hip-Hop
- World Music ? African, Asian, Central-South American
- Classical Music - Ancient through Classic Period
- Classical Music ? Romantic, Impressionism, & Modern Period
Art (2 periods per week)
- Basic drawing and painting
- Intermediate drawing and painting
- Advanced drawing and painting
- Clay sculpturing and modeling
- Fine Art History ? European Ancient, Middle Ages, Renaissance and the Baroque
- Fine Art History ? European Modern Neoclassicism, Romantic, and Realism
- Fine Art History ? European Impressionism and Modern Post Impressionism
- Fine Art History ? North American, African, Asian, Central-South American
Physical education is not grade dependent, but it is very important in the development of a child. It provides exercise and fitness, release from the tensions of the classroom, and the learning of how to play within the rules and with others, as well as how to work as a team. As such physical education should be available at all grade levels and as often as possible within public schools.
High school for many is where they choose to concentrate their studies. Whether it be academic, commercial, artistic, or a trade, all High School students should be exposed to the following subjects as they are needed to function in today's society.
- Informal and Formal Logic, Logical Fallacies, and Cognitive Biases
- Introduction to Statistics & Probability
- Scientific Inquiry and Methods plus Engineering
- Historical Documents
- Declaration of Independence
- Constitution of the United States
- The Constitution of the State they reside in
- The ?Letters and Speeches? from my observation of this title.
- Basic Economics (including Macro and Micro Economics)
- Basic Business Economics & Planning (Business 101)
- Personal Financial Planning
- Money Management
- Planning & Budgeting
- Saving & Investing
- Morality & Ethics, Comparative Religion
I would suggest that each topic would be a half school year study, spread over four years, with two periods per week for each subject.
My Own Public-School Education illuminates some other issues and concerns about public schools. It is mainly a story of do-gooders and bureaucratic inflexibility. When I was of pre-school age I had four very good friends with whom I chummed around with. We did everything together, from the time we woke up and left our houses, until the time we had to go back to our houses. We were the best of friends.
When it came time to enter school we were admitted base on unusual admittance criteria. Our school district had an admittance based on your age and time period of birth. This meant that if you were born in a six-month time period you were admitted to your school starting in September, the other six-month time period were admitted to your school starting in January (known as the ?A? and ?B? subdivision). Three of my friends were in the ?B? subdivisions (as they were several months older), and my other friend and I were in the ?A? subdivision (as we were born two days apart). My ?B? friends were to start school in January, while my ?A? friend and I were to start the next September. This meant that we would be separated in our education. A local person who was familiar with our situation, and who had an influence in the school district, thought that it would be a shame for such good friends to be separated. She, therefore, arranged for my ?A? friend and me to be admitted in January with our ?B? friends, nine months before were should have been admitted, in order to keep the friends together. While this was very nice of her, it had unforeseen consequences several years later.
Several years later the school district decided to eliminate the ?A? and ?B? system. In their infinite wisdom, they decided to promote all ?B? students to the ?A? classes. This meant that my ?A? friend and I were promoted, which effectively meant that we were a year ahead of where we would normally be. This is why my ?A? friend and I graduated from High School two weeks after we turned seventeen. For both my ?A? friend and I this turn of events had negative repercussions. Both my ?A? friend and I were poor students, and we barely graduated as we had mostly D grades and a few C grades throughout our Public-School education. I cannot comment, as I don't know, the reasons for my ?A? friends problems in school, but I have examined the reasons for my problems as a student.
It is a well-known fact in the Dawson family that the Dawson men mature later in their adolescence. They remain, little boys until they hit fifteen or sixteen years of age. And so it was true of me. I had no interest in learning while attending public school. I had no study or homework habits to speak of and did not apply myself in the classroom. My brain and emotional responses simply hadn't developed sufficiently for me to be a good student. I spent most of my time in the classroom looking out the window and waiting for school to end so that I could explore my neighborhood or play with my friends. And I mostly explored my neighborhood, as there were a woods about a block away from my house, and I loved going there at all times to observe nature. My other interests were Boy Scouts (again because of the Nature interaction) and Church activities.
I didn't mature until I was sixteen, my senior year of high school, but it was too late. By that time I didn't have the grades, proficiencies, and skills I needed to attend college. Fortunately, in my senior year of high school, I discovered computers, a somewhat new arena, and fell in love with them. I attended a trade school for computer programming and started my lifelong career in the Information Technology field.
What my life would have been like if I had not been advanced one year in my public-school education, or had been delayed by one year because of my immaturity, I can only conjecture. I suspect that I would have been a much better student, and maybe have obtained the grades, proficiencies, and skills I needed to attend college. Many people who know me are very surprised about my lack of a college degree, given the knowledge I possess. After falling in love with computers, and meeting many interesting and knowledgeable people in the computer field, I fell in love with knowledge. So I became Autodidact, which is the reason for my current knowledge. A few of those people I know and are familiar with my knowledge have commented that I should have obtained an advanced college degree, and should have been a Professor so that I could impart my knowledge and wisdom to others. But Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be), and instead I hope to impart my knowledge and wisdom through these observations.
The point of this story is not about me, but about how schools should deal with their students. Instead of superficial emotional reasons, or inflexible bureaucrat rules and regulations, School Administrators and Teachers need to focus on the individual student needs and abilities and do what is best for the student.
Finally, I am reminded of the words of Ronald Reagan that are a corollary to our current educational system:
General Secretary Gorbachev, if
you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union
and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to
this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear
down this wall!
- Ronald Reagan Remarks at the Brandenburg Gate and the Berlin Wall
And so, I would say to all of us that if we wish to provide a quality education for all our students, it is time to tear down the current educational system and open the gates to a new and better educational system. And as far as education reform is concerned we must adopt the motto:
If you are not part of
the solution to educational system reform,
you are part of the problem of a failed educational system.
Multiculturalism describes the existence, acceptance, or promotion of multiple cultural traditions within a single jurisdiction, usually considered in terms of the culture associated with an ethnic group. This can happen when a jurisdiction is created or expanded by amalgamating areas with two or more different cultures (e.g. French Canada and English Canada) or through immigration from different jurisdictions around the world (e.g. Australia, Canada, United States, United Kingdom, and many other countries).
Multicultural ideologies and policies vary widely, ranging from the advocacy of equal respect to the various cultures in a society to a policy of promoting the maintenance of cultural diversity, to policies in which people of various ethnic and religious groups are addressed by the authorities as defined by the group to which they belong.
Multiculturalism that promotes maintaining the distinctiveness of multiple cultures is often contrasted to other settlement policies such as social integration, cultural assimilation, and racial segregation. Multiculturalism has been described as a "salad bowl" and "cultural mosaic".
In the past American has been a pluralistic society that expected its immigrants to adopt American ideals and values. We also expected that the ideals and values of the immigrant culture that coincided with American ideals and values would be incorporated into American society. We didn't expect that the immigrant would lose their culture, only that it would celebrate their culture as a remembrance. After all that is the meaning of ?E Pluribus Unum? the national motto of the United States of America, meaning "From many, one", or "out of many, one".
However, in today's society, many promote Multiculturalism as a means to allow for the creation of separate cultures within the United States. I believe that this is harmful to America, as it creates division within its peoples. Divisions that flare up and pit one group against another.
Others said that ?Diversity is our Strength? in the United States (see my discussion of this in my ?political Pet Peeves? observation). And others have said that one culture is not better than another, and we should accept all cultures as equals in America. To this I say nonsense. Not all cultures are equal. Some cultures have contributed more to the advancement of mankind in Human Rights, Government, Law, Economics, Theology, Arts, Sciences, and Technology than others. All cultures have contributed some things to the advancement of mankind, but they have not all contributed equally. And calls for the treatment of different cultures as equal is Politically Correct Nonsense.
I have put together the following chart on what I believe are the cultural impacts on mankind, based on the regions of the world. Please note that these scores are based on generalities and aggregates, and as such is open to debate.
Positive Cultural Impacts on Mankind based on Regions of the World
European / North American
Central / South American
- Minimal Impact
- Marginal Impact
- Moderate Impact
- Important Impact
- Maximal Impact
1: The Middle East gets a higher
score on Human Rights based on Judaism, but a lower score based on
2: Law originated from the Middle East in ancient times, therefore this score increased.
3: The Middle East gets a higher score on Theology due to the monotheism of Judaism and Islamism.
4: Islamic contributions to Literature and the Fine Arts have raised this score.
5: The preservation of ancient sciences and mathematics, as well as the additional contributions by Islamic scholars, has increased this score.
As can be seen from this chart the most positive impacts to mankind have been from the European / North American and the Middle East regions, followed by the India and Asian regions, and trailed by the African and Central / South American regions. But the European / North American has had at least twice the positive impacts as any other region.
Even after a debate on my scores, and possible minor adjustment to the scores, the European / North American will continue to have at least twice the positive impacts as any other region, and the other regions could rise or fall a few points but not in any significant manner. But overall, we can reasonably conclude that not all cultures are equal.
I have one word for Racism, Discrimination, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Christianism, and Anti-Islamism ? Despicable!!! Anyone who participates in Racism, Discrimination, Anti-Semitism Anti-Christianism and Anti-Islamism deserves neither our attention nor respect. Both overt and covert Racism, Discrimination, Anti-Semitism Anti-Christianism, and Anti-Islamism is to be rejected by all decent, moral and responsible persons. Unfortunately, in today's society, we have seen an increase in Anti-Semitism Anti-Christianism and Anti-Islamism activities. Fortunately, in today's society, we have seen a decrease in racism and discrimination. All decent, moral, and respectful people should do whatever is in their power to oppose Racism, Discrimination, Anti-Semitism Anti-Christianism, and Anti-Islamism, whether it be overt or covert. It is evil and should be removed from your hearts and minds. All evil should be removed from your hearts and minds, but Racism, Discrimination, Anti-Semitism Anti-Christianism, and Anti-Islamism are especially important to be removed. As Martin Luther King Jr. said:
?I hope for a future in which all people are judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin.?
Not only on the color of their skin but in all external aspects of their person, and as such, I have conducted myself with polite and respectful speech and behavior to all I met. I am no saint, as occasionally I have faltered in this attempt, but I have realized my errors and corrected myself and vowed to not do it again. All people deserve to be judged by their merits and by no other factors. No race, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, age, veteran status, disability, military service, political affiliation, or other protected status, etc. etc. etc. should be utilized in judging an individual. It should also be remembered that the 'sins of the Father? are not vested upon the son, and no one should be the judged by the character of their family members, but only upon their own character, deeds, and words. Let us strive for a future when all individuals are judged upon their own merits and character. To do so would result in a more peaceful and just society.
The United States is the most racist country in the world, except
for all the others. Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Irish, Italians,
Jews, and other ethnic and religious groups have all experienced
racism within the United States. The history of the United States
regarding these groups has always been one of an initial racism,
bigotry, prejudice, and then inclusiveness. Racism still exists in
the United States, but it existed in all other nations. Indeed, I
believe that racism is inherent in human nature. The desire to
associate with others that we know and understand is a
self-protection mechanism that is basic to human nature. To deny
so is to deny human nature. The means to overcome this inherent
tribalism is through knowledge and experience in understanding one
another. It requires that we listen to the better angels of our
better nature, and not listen to our devils. The United States is
a country founded on the principle that all men are created equal.
We have not always been true to this principle, and the
institution of slavery in the United States is the worst example
of being untrue to this principle. However, we the people of the
United States has shown a remarkable propensity for trying to
correct the error of our ways and strive to meet this principle.
The Debt of Slavery
It was illegal in every slave state to simply let one's slaves go free. Each state had laws regulating ?manumission,? the legal process by which a slave owner could free his slaves. It was an expensive thing to do, requiring slave owners to pay fees and provide certain amounts of money, materials, and education for the slaves. Thus, many slave owners were unwilling to bankrupt their family because of a principle. Even for Washington, financial difficulties were an obstacle to the manumission of his slaves. As Washington's slaves had intermarried with his wife's dower slaves, he included a provision in his will to free his slaves upon her death, to postpone any breakup of their families, when her dower slaves would be returned or managed by her heirs. He freed only William Lee, his longtime personal valet, outright in his will. The will call for the ex-slaves to be provided for by Washington's heirs, with the old ones to be clothed and fed, and the younger ones to be educated and trained at an occupation so they could support themselves. Martha Washington freed her husband's slaves within 12 months of his death and allowed them to stay at Mount Vernon if they had family members. Nevertheless, in his Last Will and Testament, Washington ordered that his slaves be freed upon his wife's death and that his heirs? cloth and feed those slaves who were incapable of supporting themselves due to age or infirmity. Washington personally drew up his will in July 1799 and he died on December 14, 1799. His slaves were freed in December 1800, even before his wife died, and his estate cared for the aged and infirm for over three decades.
The third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, had an ambivalent relationship with the institution of slavery. During his lifetime, Jefferson attempted twice to legislate the emancipation of slaves, one time in 1769 at the Virginia General Assembly, and another in 1784 at the Continental Congress. Jefferson also railed against King George III of Great Britain and the slave trade in his draft copy of the United States Declaration of Independence in 1776. Yet Jefferson, himself, acquired and sold hundreds of slaves throughout his lifetime, owning as many as 267 in 1822. A profligate spender, Jefferson was deeply in debt and had encumbered his slaves by notes and mortgages; he could not free them until he was free of debt, which he never achieved. All but one of Jefferson's slaves were sold after his death to pay his debts.
When Benjamin Franklin became a prosperous businessman he purchased a slave(s). The duties of his slave were much like we would now call a manservant. These duties were not odious or difficult, and Franklin always treated his slave with kindness and respect. This purchase was expected of prosperous people as black were considered inferior and it was considered a kindness to them. Franklin never questioned this reasoning until later in his life. When Franklin left for England to represent Colonial interest he took his slave with him (it was legal to own a slave in England, just not legal to buy or sell a slave in England). When Franklin left England his slave informed him that he wished to stay in England as a free man. Franklin had every right under English law to have a constable seize the slave and put him aboard his returning ship. He did not do so and gave his slave his freedom recognizing that while he fought for Colonial freedoms it was hypocritical to deny freedom to his slave (unverified reports also said he gave the free slave some money to assist him with his new-found freedom). From that point on he never owned another slave.
After the Revolutionary War was concluded Franklin settled into a comfortable life of semi-retirement in which he was involved in many charity and public-spirited efforts. When a minister for the School for Free Black Sons requested a contribution from Franklin to support the education of free black male children Franklin decided to investigate the school (he often tried to determine to the goodness of all the charities he contributed too). Upon visiting the school he observed how cheerful, eager, and adept the black children were in obtaining new knowledge. He remarked upon leaving the school that his very core shook in the realization that there was no difference between a black child and a white child in their abilities, and that slavery was terribly wrong. At that point, Franklin became an Abolitionist and joined the Abolitionist Society, and started working for the end of slavery.
Franklin's last hoorah on slavery, just 25 days before his death in 1790, was to challenge slavery. In a letter to The Federal Gazette written under the name Historicus, Franklin related the (fictional) tale of Sidi Mehemet Ibrahim, an Algerian potentate who fought for the enslavement of Christians by Muslims in the late 1680s. The tyrant's inhumane pro-slavery arguments just so happened to echo those made by anti-abolitionist Congressman James Jackson of Georgia. Touch?! Franklin didn't live to see slavery abolished, but we'd be kidding ourselves if we said he had nothing to do with it.
Most of the Founding Fathers believed that slavery was wrong, but did not take any action to end it during the Constitutional Convention. The main reasoning for this was twofold; the need for unity and the belief that slavery was dying. The first reason was that they knew if they addressed the issue that it would tear the Constitutional Convention apart. At the time of the Constitutional Convention, the former Colonies were in dire straits. The economy was in shambles, with no hope of repair unless they normalized commerce between the former Colonies. The nation was in debt from the cost of the Revolutionary War, and there was little hope of paying the creditors? (both foreign and domestic) without a united government to manage the debt. There were also violent clashes between the peoples of one state against the peoples of another state due to commercial concerns, and the possibility of riots in the street because to the dire economic straights was a distinct possibility. The Founding Fathers knew the former Colonies needed to unite to solve these problems, and they could not allow the divisiveness of the slavery issue to interfere with this union. So, they put off the slavery issue to the following generation to resolve (U.S. Constitution - "The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person."). They did this in the belief that the next generation would resolve the issue. The second reason was that they believed that slavery on its own would collapse. Many of the intelligent plantation owners at the Constitutional Convention wealth was tied up in slavery, and they knew it was draining their wealth as the cost of maintaining slaves was greater than the incomes the slaves produced. They were hoping that slavery would die a quiet death because of this.
The only issue that they resolved was how the count slaves in a census that would be utilized in the distribution of Congressional representation. The infamous 3/5 rule was adopted not because they believed that a black person was only equal to 3/5 of a white person. Indeed, the Abolitionist did not want to count slaves at all in order to reduce the Anti-Abolitionist representation in Congress in the hopes of ending slavery. Whereas the Anti-Abolitionist wanted to count slaves as a whole person in order to gain more representation in Congress to preserve slavery. The infamous 3/5 rule was adopted as a compromise in order to establish a union, which was everybody's main concern.
So, the question remains why did slavery not die a quiet death, and why did the next generation not resolve the problem of slavery. I believe the answer was that the effort of slaves was very labor intensive for the product produced, and the effort to transport the product to market was very costly and time-consuming. When these two factors changed slavery became very profitable, and the issue of slavery became more intense and entrenched. When slaves produced a product it needs to be transported to a market, often in wagons along terrible roads. This transportation often took days or weeks to accomplish. With the improvement of the roads, the making of rivers navigable, the creation of canals, the improved speed of ships and the development of more harbors, and finally the development of railroads, the cost and time of transportation was significantly reduced. At the same time, this was happening the invention of the Cotton Gin occurred. Until the cotton gin was invented it was very difficult and time-consuming to separate the cotton seed from the cotton fiber in order to create the cotton product. After the invention of the Cotton Gin, it was very easy to do this separation, and vast quantities of the cotton product could be produced, and it became very profitable. The only labor-intensive effort was the dirty and back-breaking effort of picking cotton in the field. For this effort, they utilized their slaves, and now Cotton was King, and large fortunes were to be made. With the combination of better transportation and the Cotton, Gin slavery became very important and profitable, and the economy of the South became dependent on slavery. Therefore, the issue of slavery was not resolved in the next generation as the Founding Fathers had hoped it would be.
The Civil War
It has been said that the Civil War was the last battlefield of the Revolutionary War. The Civil War was fought to enshrine the ideals of The Declaration of Independence into our society:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness"
The Civil War was the bloodiest (in terms of death, injury, and disease) and costly (in terms of property destruction) ever fought the United States of America. It was a terrible price to pay for the evil of slavery. But as Abraham Lincoln said in his Second Inaugural Address:
"Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."
Another way of expressing this sentiment is to proclaim that the debt of allowing slavery to exist and continue within the United States has been paid for, buy both the north and the south, through the blood and cost of the Civil War.
Post-Civil War Era
The Reconstruction Amendments are the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, adopted between 1865 and 1870, the five years immediately following the civil war. The amendments were important in implementing the reconstruction of the American south after the war. Their proponents saw them as transforming the United States from a country that was (in Abraham Lincoln's words) "half slave and half free" to one in which the constitutionally guaranteed "blessings of liberty" would be extended to the entire populace, including the former slaves and their descendants.
The thirteenth amendment (proposed and ratified in 1865) abolished slavery. The fourteenth amendment (proposed in 1866 and ratified in 1868) created the privileges and immunities clause, applicable to all citizens; and made the due process and equal protection clauses applicable to all persons. The fifteenth amendment, (proposed in 1869 and ratified in 1870) prohibits discrimination in voting rights of citizens on the basis of "race, color, or previous condition of servitude." This amendment did not include a specific prohibition on discrimination on the basis of sex; it took another amendment'the nineteenth, ratified in 1920'to prohibit such discrimination explicitly. Men and women of all races, regardless of prior slavery, could vote in some states of the early United States, such as New Jersey, provided that they could meet other requirements, such as property ownership.
These amendments were intended to guarantee freedom to former slaves and to establish and prevent discrimination in civil rights to former slaves and all citizens of the United States. The promise of these amendments was eroded by state laws and federal court decisions over the course of the 19th century. Women were prohibited by some state constitutions and laws from voting, leading to Susan B. Anthony attempting to vote in New York in the 1872 presidential election as an act of civil disobedience. In 1876 and later, some states passed Jim Crow laws that limited the rights of African-Americans. Important Supreme Court decisions that undermined these amendments were the Slaughter-house cases in 1873, which prevented rights guaranteed under the fourteenth amendment's privileges or immunities clause from being extended to rights under state law; and Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896 which originated the phrase "separate but equal" and gave federal approval to Jim Crow laws. The full benefits of the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments were not realized until the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of education in 1954 and laws such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
- Excerpted from the Wikipedia Article on the Reconstruction Amendments.
The one-hundred-year era after the Civil War was a very mixed bag in the United States in regard to racism and discrimination. Although Constitutional Amendments and Laws were passed to assure equality of all citizens of the United States, many laws were passed that restricted these rights. As such blacks and other ethnic groups were treated as second-class citizens. Force and intimidation were often utilized to keep blacks and others "In Their Place" (i.e. - as second-class citizens). The rise and influence of the KKK were especially pernicious and despicable and was a large blot upon the United States.
Full Civil Rights Era
Starting in the 1950's, and accelerated into a full-bore effort in the 1960's, the people of the United States recognized the wrongheadedness of bigotry and discrimination. A non-violent Civil War began to arise (The Civil Rights Movement) to correct the faults of bigotry and discrimination. Although there were acts of violence during this period, for the most part, the goals of the Civil Rights Movement were achieved in a non-violent manner. Most Americans attitude changed from acceptance to the rejection of bigotry and discrimination. We now live in an era were most Americans reject bigotry and discrimination, where laws are enforced to not allow bigotry or discrimination, and when persons or groups express bigotry or discrimination they are condemned. Although traces of bigotry and discrimination still exist within the United States, when they are uncovered they are prosecuted and put to an end. That is one of the great things about American society; we learn from our mistakes, we try to correct them, and we try to never make the same mistakes again. For that, the people of the United States should be congratulated.
As expressed in the Preamble to the United States Constitution:
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
It should be noted that the preamble states "a more perfect union". The United States is not perfect, but as I have stated in one of my locutions "Perfection is reserved for God; humans should strive to do their best.". And we the people of the United States often, and imperfectly, and sometimes over a long period of time, strive to do our best.
The history of the United States has often been one of discrimination against immigrants. But then what nation has not discriminated against immigrants. Fortunately, the history of the United States is also one of eventually accepting and incorporating immigrants into our society. The Irish, The Germans, The Italians, The Polish, The Chinese, The Japanese, The Eastern Europeans, The Catholics, The Jews, to name a few, were all discriminated against yet were successfully integrated into our society. We also created laws that make discrimination illegal and prosecute people or entities that discriminate. Once again, the American people rose up and corrected a (large) fault of American society, and they should feel proud that they did so.
Anti-Semitism can take many forms, both blatant and subtle. Blatant Anti-Semitism is easily recognizable and should be opposed on-the-spot. All good-hearted people should express their opposition to the language and deeds of Anti-Semitism. All legal actions against Anti-Semitism should be implemented whenever possible. When legal action is not appropriate all good-hearted people should immediately condemn the language and deeds of Anti-Semitics. Blatant Anti-Semitism often takes the form of the mocking or taunting of Jews, physically attacking Jewish people, defiling or destroying Synagogues or Jewish Institutions, or causing Jewish people to be so fearful for their or their family's safety that they feel the need to immigrate. This subtle and blatant type of Anti-Semitism is now being practiced in many European countries and needs to be opposed and eliminated. The blatant Anti-Semitism most violent form is in radical Islam's cries of death to Jews and the wiping of Israel of the face of the map. Blatant Anti-Semitism should be opposed by all people of good will. Indeed, you can be certain you are not a good person if you do not oppose blatant Anti-Semitism. Subtle Anti-Semitism is more difficult to detect and oppose. It is unfortunate that subtle Anti-Semitism is increasing in our world. This subtle Anti-Semitism often takes the form of Anti-Zionism, Pro-Palestinian, or condemnations of Israel but not its enemies. It is especially disturbing that this subtle Anti-Semitism is occurring in the American left and college campuses. This is mostly due to a moral equivalence between the two sides of the Arab-Israel conflict. There is no moral equivalence between the two sides of this conflict. Of course, Israel can make mistakes in its dealings with the Arab world, and occasionally there is some collateral death or destruction when it defends itself, but it does not wish to deliberately destroy or kill all of its opponents. Indeed, it wishes to live in peaceful coexistence with its Arab neighbors. Many Arabs and many Arab countries wish to destroy Israel and kill all Jews. This is demonstrated by their support of terrorist attacks against Israel civilians, and the indiscriminate rocket attacks against Israel territory. Many Arabs, and many Arab countries, also support the political and paramilitary organizations dedicated to the destruction of Israel. To say that the mistakes of the Israel government are equivalent to the deliberate acts of death and destruction by the Arabs is to proclaim your own moral corruption. If you make this equivalence you should be ashamed of yourself, and people of good will and moral character should hold you in shame and disrepute.
I never thought it would be necessary to discuss Anti-Christianism discrimination in the United States. But here we are. If you have a sincere belief that abortion is the destruction of a human being and you do not want you taxes supporting abortion and that you oppose the legalization of abortion; that Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LBGT) marriage is immoral and you do not wish to participate in that marriage; that the sexes should be separated in regard to acts that expose their private parts (showering in gym, utilization of a restroom, etc.) you are being persecuted, and sometimes prosecuted, for your religious beliefs. You are being told that you must keep your religious beliefs inside your home or church, and leave them there when you leave your home or church. But religious beliefs are not for the home or church, they are for your life. You must live and speak your religious beliefs in all aspects of your life. And as long as they do not do any harm to others (physical not emotional) you have a right to practice them. This nation was founded by people who wished to freely practice their beliefs, and we had both a Revolutionary and Civil War partially based on our religious beliefs. Your religious beliefs are part of your Human Rights and enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. No government, not even the U.S Government, can abrogate your human right to practice your religious beliefs in your life. I also believe that ministers, priests, and rabbis have a duty to speak about the social and moral ills that they see in our society, and condemn anyone who condones these moral ills without fear of persecution or prosecution by any government entity (especially the IRS and Judges). This would include supporting or opposing a political candidate, or opposing a proposed law, or overturning a current law that they felt was untenable with their religious beliefs. When it comes to a politician declaring that they personally disapprove of something, but would not oppose it politically, I would remind them that as far as religious beliefs are concerned there is no difference between personal or political. If your religious beliefs cannot support a current or proposed law, then you cannot support a proposed law and you should work to overturn the current law. To support or not overturn something that violates your religious beliefs would make you irreligious (not to mention making you a hypocrite). Remember that God will judge you on your entire life, God does not distinguish you based on your personal or political life.
Anti-Islamism is a more difficult prejudice to discuss, as Islam is currently a religion in turmoil. In turmoil between the forces of the more peaceful faction who wish to live in peace and harmony with non-believers, and the forces who wish to subjugate and rule over the non-believers. Those that practice jihad as an internal struggle within each believer, and those who believe jihad is for the imposition of Islam on non-believers. Much like the Medieval and Renaissance eras, Christianity struggled between the believer and non-believer, and between Catholics and Protestants, Islam needs to resolve these differences to find its place in American society and culture.
The practitioners of Islam need to confront these difficulties and mold itself into the peaceful co-existence and the internal jihad struggle to fit into American ideals. They need to confront this openly and work with the other Americans to assure the smooth transition of Islam into America. They need to not only openly confront those of their religion who do not believe this, but they also need to point out those in their religion who cannot or will not accept this doctrine of peaceful co-existence and wish to do harm to America and Americans. For no society can accept a large group of people who wish to destroy the society they live under, and violently seek to impose their views on that society.
There is also the problem of Sharie law and its place in American life. American life is based on Human, Constitutional, and Civil law. Many cultures have brought with them different viewpoints on the law, and when these viewpoints have fit within American ideals and jurisprudence they have often been incorporated into American law. But if they do not fit within American ideals and jurisprudence they cannot be practiced as they are a violation of Human, Constitutional, and Civil law that is a foundation of American ideals. An, unfortunately, many of the strict Sharie laws do not fit into American ideals and jurisprudence, and so it is not permissible to allow those Sharie laws to be practiced in America.
If you can practice Islam within American ideals and jurisprudence then you should be allowed to freely practice Islam, and not experience discrimination because of your religion. If you cannot live under American ideals and jurisprudence then you need to find another place to live that will allow you to practice Islam as you see fit.
The personal history of discrimination in 20th century America is reflected in my own family's history. My grandfather was born in 1900 in the United States that was bigoted against blacks and prejudiced against the other groups that I have previously mentioned. My grandfather grew up believing that blacks were intellectually and morally inferior, and the other groups only slightly better. As such he was a bigot. The good thing about my grandfather was that he also grew up believing that all people should be treated politely and respectfully. His beliefs were expressed inside his own home and never expressed outside his house. Indeed, he would not allow others around him to be anything other than polite and respectful to others, and would often chastise anyone who was not polite or respectful. My father took on his father's opinions except he did not believe that blacks were inferior, only lazy and that the other groups were culturally unable to achieve their full potential. As such he was prejudiced. However, like my grandfather, he also grew up believing that all people should be treated politely and respectfully, and would allow none around him to be other than polite and respectful to others. I am happy to report that he had a change of heart later in life and lost most of his prejudice. I on the other hand grown-up with no consideration of bigotry or prejudice. I had Jewish friends, Catholic friends, Italian friends, a black friend, Polish friends, and I was friendly to anybody who was friendly to me. I enjoyed learning about their culture and history, not to mention the gastronome delights of their culture. I guess you could call me impartial (but mostly unaware) as regards to bigotry or prejudice. I was too young to be involved in the Civil Rights movement but supported it when I matured. As to my daughter, she has no problem dealing with anybody anyway, shape, or form. Bigotry or prejudice or discrimination are abhorrent to her and she actively opposes it. This pretty much describes the evolution of American Civil Rights in the 20th century, but there are always people who are left behind or choose not to move forward, and we should not tolerate their bigoted or discriminatory words or deeds.
Racism and poverty have often been linked in American history. The best examples are the Irish, the Italians, the Catholics, the Jews, the Chinese, the Japanese, and the Eastern Europeans. Immigration of these groups often started out as the lower classes fleeing their countries to escape oppression, poverty and to make a better life for themselves and their families. These immigrants were often discriminated against and were held in low esteem. This ended when they worked their way out of poverty, and integrated into American society. The awaking in the latter half of the 20th century of American society to the evils of discrimination also help end this discrimination. The black racism and its unhappy story are different in its seriousness and longevity. Black racism is no longer acceptable in commerce, law, and government and is actively being rooted out. Racism still exists in America, as it does in all parts of the world, but in America, it is illegal and prosecuted, not condoned by society, and when it rears its ugly head most Americans abhor it.
When you take a deep dive into the statistics on racism and discrimination in America you will find a much murkier situation than what is commonly believed. Also, keep in mind my Observation ?Oh What a Tangled Web We Weave? when reviewing statistics and studies. In today's America when charges of racism are leveled it is often not racism that is the cause but other factors which Thomas Sowell has expounded in his book ?Discrimination and Disparities? as stated in the Amazon recap:
?Economic and other outcomes differ vastly among individuals, groups, and nations. Many explanations have been offered for the differences. Some believe that those with less fortunate outcomes are victims of genetics. Others believe that those who are less fortunate are victims of the more fortunate.
Discrimination and Disparities gathers a wide array of empirical evidence to challenge the idea that different economic outcomes can be explained by any one factor, be it discrimination, exploitation, or genetics. This revised and enlarged edition also analyzes the human consequences of the prevailing social vision of these disparities and the policies based on that vision--from educational disasters to widespread crime and violence.?
Why, therefore, is there so many claims of racism, white privilege, or discrimination in America? Perhaps we should keep in mind the following words of wisdom:
'there is another class of
coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the
wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public.
Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their
troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising
their wrongs ? partly because they want sympathy and partly
because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to
lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their
- Booker T. Washington
'Racism is not dead. But it is on
life-support, kept alive mainly by the people who use it for an
excuse or to keep minority communities fearful or resentful
enough to turn out as a voting bloc on election day..
- Thomas Sowell
'the word 'racism' is like
ketchup. It can be put on practically anything - and demanding
evidence makes you a 'racist.''
- Thomas Sowell
The first way out is for Americans to admit that not everything about blacks is racism. The overuse of the charge of racism has diminished the impact when actual racism occurs. It also instills a sense of victimhood and despair in many black Americans, which often leads to more charges of racism. This feedback loop is deplorable and poisonous to American society.
And racism and discrimination in America is also big business in that it generates hundreds of millions of dollars a year in such things as professorships, grants for studies, funding for advocacy groups, legal fees from lawsuits, as well as advertising revenue from journalistic activities. It is also utilized by politicians to divide America in the hopes (often realized) that it will garner votes for those that try to exploit this issue.
In an 1865 speech to the Anti-Slavery Society in Boston, abolitionist Frederick Douglass said that people ask: "'What shall we do with the Negro?' I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us!" Or as Patrick Moynihan urged a century later in a 1970 memo to President Richard Nixon, "The time may have come when the issue of race could benefit from a period of 'benign neglect.'" But doing nothing or benign neglect is not possible in today's society. So what can we do? Racism in America still exists, but I believe that the main causes in today's society are education, personal attitude, and poverty. There is too little education, too much despair, and too much poverty in the black community. We must do more to end this situation, but there is much that the black community can also do to help alleviate poverty and a lack of education.
As to education, I have outlined this problem and solutions in my Observation ?Public Education?.
In regard to despair and poverty ?My Message to Americans? and ?Breaking Our Personal Bonds? Observations are a good starting point, and I would direct you to these observations for more information on these topics. A brief recap of these items is:
My Message to Americans:
- Get an Education
- Pick a Career Path that Suits You
- Create a Family
- Become Religious or Spiritual
- Cooperate with the Police
Breaking Our Personal Bonds:
- Lead A Moral and Ethical Life
- Be Polite and Respectful to All
- Control Your Life, Do Not Let Life Control You.
If you incorporate My Message to Americans and Breaking Our Personal Bonds into your personal life it has been shown that you will have a more contented and prosperous life. I also believe that this will lead to much less racism in America.
American is a land of freedom and opportunity. We are free to choose whatever we want to do and pursue any opportunity we want if it is done legally. But ?Just because you can doesn't mean you should? is a locution that you should always keep in mind. Whatever you say or do will have an impact on you, your family, your friends, your neighbors, your co-workers, and society itself. This impact could be for good or bad, and it is often both. The impact could be physical or emotional, your relationships with others, your career path, and even a change of direction to your life. Some of the impacts can be foreseen, but many will be unforeseen. You should always consider the possible impacts of what you say or do before you say or do them, and allow for unseen consequences. Make sure that this is really what you want to say or do, and always gauge the impacts on you and others. Doing so will mitigate the harmful impacts, and make you a better person as well.
Which leads me to the following observation that has a direct consequence on your life in the 21st century.
I remember when people used to write their personal thoughts in a diary, and were upset when others read their diary. Now people post their personal thoughts on social media, take selfies of themselves, text indiscriminately, and chat constantly and are upset if you don't read them. This is the world turned upside down. And most of this is done by young people who are not aware of the negative consequences of what they may be doing.
Your parents, your family, your friends, your neighbors, your classmates, your colleagues, and your potential or current employers will be able to review all of this material. Not only will they be able to review this material, but they can save this material on their cell phones or computers and review it or repost it at a future time. Due to the lack of precautions on your part, or the efforts of hackers, this material will be available for all to see for all time. And it will last forever. Years or decades later it can come back to haunt you. And it will come back, and it will haunt you. People will judge you based on this material, and your reputation can be tarnished by it.
Be careful of what you post on social media, the selfies you take, the texting you do, and the chats you participate in. Remember that this may all come back someday with possible negative consequence. Also, remember that our own or foreign governments may be intercepting this communication, and they may use this information for nefarious purposes.
My specific advice is to never be sexual, use profanity, or be disrespectful when you are communicating in this manner. That sexually suggestive, or partial or full nude picture of you will be distributed to people that you don't want to see it, or at a future time when it could ruin a desirable relationship. Using profanity will make you appear immature and lacking self-control (see my observation on "Swearing") and some people may not want to associate with you because of this. Communicating your disrespect for someone alerts other people that you could be saying disrespectful things about them, and they may not want to chance that happening to them so they will not associate themselves with you. I would also recommend that if you are political that you do it in a thoughtful and intelligent manner, as this reflects positively on you no matter what political position you are espousing.
So always be careful when you post information on social media, take pictures of yourself, and when texting and chatting. Besides, if you utilize witticism, drollness, thoughtfulness, intelligence, and humor people will want to associate with you and think more highly of you.
Sexual harassment has once again reared its ugly head in the public conscience. With the alleged incidents involving entertainers, media icons, sports figures, and politicians in the latter half of 2017 this observation needs to be addressed. Let me state that actual sexual harassment is moral, if not legally, wrong. It should not be tolerated when it occurs, and all efforts must be undertaken to punish the perpetrator. It is a violation of the victims? human rights that they are sexually harassed.
Sympathies must be accorded to the victims, and there must be efforts undertaken to redress their grievances and make right the harm they have suffered. However, we must remember that not all allegations of sexual harassment are factual. Even credible allegations of sexual harassment can eventually turn out to be false. In the vast majority of cases of allegations of sexual harassment the allegations are probably true, but in many cases they are false. Therefore, you should not jump to the conclusion that a sexual harassment allegation, even a credible allegation, is necessarily true.
It should also be remembered that not all sexual harassment is actually sexual harassment. A person assertively, or aggressively, pursuing another person may make the pursued feel uncomfortable, ill at ease, or disquieted, but it may not rise to the level of sexual harassment. Circumstances, actions, and words must be considered to determine if it was actually sexual harassment or simply improvident, crude or doltish behavior of the pursuer. When the alleged sexual harassment occurred during the youth of the alleged harasser you also need to take into account my observation of 'the Sins of the Fathers and of Youth? when judging a young person's behavior.
We must also keep in mind human nature. The male human nature is to be stimulated sexually by the visual (as all good marketers know and utilize). It is perfectly acceptable for a woman to dress attractively, even somewhat sexually, in the workplace and not be sexually harassed. However, there is a fine line between dressing attractively and sexually and dressing provocatively. The question of what is too much d?collet?, too high a skirt or dress, and too tight-fitting clothing that it will provoke the male sexual response needs to be considered. Dressing provocatively has its time and place, but the workplace is not the time or place to dress provocatively. Unfortunately, I have observed many times when I considered a woman in the workplace dressing provocatively, and it has elicited the male sexual response to negative consequences. An appropriately dressed woman should never be sexually harassed, but an inappropriately dressed woman should be discouraged and reprimanded.
Flirting in the workplace will happen. It is the nature of men and woman to flirt with each other, especially if both parties are unmarried or unattached. Having men and working together, and in close quarters, will lead to flirting. The question is it innocent flirting or serious flirting, and how much and what type is acceptable in the workplace. Complementing a woman on how nice she looks or the attractive attire she is wearing, if kept to an innocent level, is to be expected (and I would hope that a woman can complement a man on his attire if it is kept innocent). Serious flirting in the workplace should be discouraged and reprimanded, as not only could this be considered sexual harassment, but it can and often makes the co-workers feel uncomfortable and possibly feel being put at a disadvantage in hiring, promotion, and pay increases.
Men and women in the workplace will be attracted to each other and may form relationships while working together or in the same location. Indeed, some social scientists believe that a workplace romance leads to marriage in about 10% of the workplace romances (my experience is that this number may be too low). It can also lead to divorce if one or both parties are married to another person. Workplace romances are going to happen no matter if it is discouraged. This is simply human nature to become involved with someone you spend many hours with. But a workplace romance, and perhaps a breakup, is not sexual harassment. If both parties, freely and without pressure, voluntarily engage in a workplace romance it cannot be harassment. A workplace romance that ends badly can often lead to alleged sexual harassment. In such a case, you need to carefully consider the circumstance of the initial hook-up to determine if both parties, freely and without pressure, voluntarily engage in a workplace romance. If so an allegation of sexual harassment is not warranted. However, if both parties continue to work together after the breakup then you need to be concerned about the possibility of sexual harassment after the breakup. It would be best, under these circumstances, if the employer can separate the parties as to not allow for the possibility of sexual harassment in the future.
Allegations of sexual harassment should not be made nor taken lightly or hastily by anyone - by the accuser, the accused, the witnesses, or the person(s) responsible to investigate and determine the truthfulness of the allegation. Sexual harassment allegations should also not be made public by the accuser, witnesses, or investigative persons without credible, verifiable, and substantiated evidence of wrongdoing.Some of the greatest authors, screenwriters, and playwrights have told very credible and believable stories. This is one of the reasons that they are great. While their stories are credible and believable it does not make them factual. For something to be factual it needs to have verifiable and substantiated evidence. For an accuser to be only be credible or believable is insufficient to determine if sexual harassment has occurred, as there must also be verifiable and substantiated evidence of wrongdoing by the accused. In the determination of actual sexual harassment the accused has every right to defend themselves. This includes confronting the witnesses against them (including the accuser), having access to the evidence against them, presenting evidence to the contrary, and even calling into question the accuracy and veracity of the accuser, witnesses, and evidence. Let us also remember that no one need prove their innocence, as they are presumed innocent until they are proven guilty. Also, nobody may be required to prove a negative (prove you didn't do or say something) as it is impossible to prove a negative, and the burden of proof is always upon the person or persons making an allegation. To not give the accused the opportunity to challenge sexual harassment allegations is to violate their rights, including their human rights. In no case should allegations from undisclosed or anonymous sources be revealed or given any weight in the determination of actual sexual harassment, as these sources cannot be refuted. You should also keep in mind my thoughts on "The Rule of Law" when dealing with allegations of sexual harassment.
The above is true not only in a legal proceeding but also in our public actions and in the court of public opinion. Remember that the accused stands to lose their reputation, employment, wealth, future opportunities, and even family and friends based on sexual harassment allegations. These items should not be lightly taken from anyone without proof of wrongdoing. To do so otherwise would cause serious harm to the individual and to the social fabric of our society.
Let us all think about how we would feel if our mother, sisters, daughters, or granddaughters were sexually harassed, but let us also think about how we would feel if our father, brothers, sons, and grandsons were falsely accused of sexual harassment. We should all react to allegations of sexual harassment according to all of these thoughts.
So little shame, and so much hypocrisy in American society today.
We as a people have forgotten that shame is a modulating factor in a civil society. When you behave in an unlawful, immoral, unethical, or unwise manner you should be ashamed of your behavior. This shame helps you right your course, and become a better person. But today we have an "If it Feels Good Do It" attitude about our behavior. Very few seem to be ashamed of their behavior, and they, therefore, make no effort to correct their behavior or make no apologies for their behavior. Indeed, some revel in their behavior as if were a badge of individuality, freedom, or courage. It is neither of these things, but it is a badge of self-centeredness, egoism, or narcissism.
We seem to have replaced shame with hypocrisy in importance in our society. It is alright to not be ashamed, but it is not alright to be hypocritical. It is fine in what you say or do as long as you admit that is the person who you are. No matter if you are a person of immoral or unethical proclivity, if you admit it - you can continue it. In many cases, you are celebrated for not being hypocritical, even if it is a behavior that you should be ashamed of. To not be a hypocrite is more important than to be ashamed of your behavior in today's society.
And this is a very sad state of affairs in our society. We as a society need to be both ashamed when we behave in an unlawful, immoral, unethical, or unwise manner, as well as be non-hypocritical in our words and deeds. This will help both ourselves and society to improve.
Many would retort that if you personally engaged in shameful or hypercritical behavior in the past that you should not comment on another's shameful or hypocritical behavior. After all, if you did it why cannot others do it? To this I respond with one of my one of my Truism:
Just because you have committed an
unlawful, immoral, unethical, or unwise act, and upon reflection
determine that it is an unlawful, immoral or unwise act, does
not preclude you from speaking out against others committing
that unlawful, immoral, or unwise act. It does not make you a
hypocrite, it makes you repentant.
- Mark Dawson
In this article when I speak of fathers I am referring to fathers or mothers, as well as the son referring to the sons or daughters.
The Judeo-Christian theology is a mixed bag on the topic of the sins of the father being vested upon the son. Generally, the sins against God may be vested upon the son, but the sins against another person are only vested in the person who committed the sin. This article is only concerned about the latter and does not address the former.
The law and ethics of our land are also only about the latter ? and it is quite firm. The sins of the father may not be vested in the son. Each person is to be judged by their own words and deeds. Only during the sentencing, after guilt is determined, may there be a discussion of the sins of the father. And this discussion is only about mitigating factors that should determine the proper punishment of the guilty party.
This is how it should be as each person is only responsible for their own words and deeds and bears no responsibility for another's words or deeds. This is not only true in a legal sense but should also be true in a moral and ethical sense. When judging another's words or deed you should only be judging based on the individual's words and deeds. The family, friends, and associations of a person may only be utilized for context and not judgment.
The sins of the youth are another matter. We must first differentiate between the criminal acts versus the moral or ethical lapses of youth. Upon obtaining legal age any criminal acts must be prosecuted and punished as violations of the law. The youth of the offender may only be utilized as mitigating factors that should determine the proper punishment of the guilty party. Moral and ethical lapses are a different story.
I can remember when I was young. How full of life, how exuberant, how carefree, how careless and reckless, and how impulsive I was. I made some decisions that I now regret as to moral and ethical issues in my life, as have most all young person's when they mature have regrets and may be ashamed of their sins of youth.
We now know scientifically why the young are like this. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) of the Human Brain is located in the very front just behind the forehead. The PFC oversees abstract thinking and thoughtful analysis, it is also responsible for regulating behavior. This includes mediating conflicting thoughts, making choices between right and wrong, and predicting the probable outcomes of actions or events. This brain area also governs social control, such as suppressing emotional, sexual, or addictive urges. Since the PFC is the brain center responsible for taking in data through the body's senses and deciding on actions, it is most strongly implicated in human qualities like consciousness, general intelligence, and personality. Medical studies have shown that the PFC is the last section of the brain to mature. In other words, while all other brain regions are fully developed earlier in life, the PFC development is not complete until around age 25. (For more information on this subject visit the What is the Prefrontal Cortex? website of the wiseGeek).
This is why it is so difficult to reason with the young, to get them to consider the future consequences of their decisions, and to check their impulses. And this is how we should understand and judge the words and deeds of the young. Understand that the young are often behaving as they do due to the immaturity of their brains, as well as perhaps their upbringing. Give them some slack and not be too judgmental, depending on the severity of their words and deeds. And most importantly do not base your judgments on an adult upon the sins of their youth.
Remember that people mature, and as they mature they often learn to be better people. They also often have regrets or are ashamed of what they did in their youth. So, if you are judging an adult's words and deeds base your judgment on the adult's words and deeds and put little significance on their sins of youth.
You should also remember that if someone engaged in regretful or shameful behavior in their youth that you should rarely comment on this behavior in a condemning manner, especially when the adult is trying to provide guidance to a young person. After all, if they did it in their youth why cannot other young people do it? To this I respond with one of my one of my Truism:
Just because you have committed an
unlawful, immoral, unethical, or unwise act, and upon reflection
determine that it is an unlawful, immoral, unethical, or unwise
act, does not preclude you from speaking out against others
committing that unlawful, immoral, unethical, or unwise act. It
does not make you a hypocrite, it makes you repentant.
- Mark Dawson
As I have stated in other articles, I have tried to live my life in an ethical and moral manner. There are, however, situational ethics and moral dilemmas in which there are no easy answers. This article examines some of these particulars and their potential consequences.
Situational ethics can be defined as the doctrine of flexibility in the application of moral laws according to circumstances. Moral absolutism is the ethical belief that there are absolute standards against which moral questions can be judged, and that certain actions are right or wrong, regardless of the context of the act. Moral relativists say that if you look at different cultures or different periods in history you'll find that they have different moral rules. Therefore, we have the dilemma of situational ethics vs moral absolutism and moral relativism. The answers to this dilemma have engaged philosophers and theologians for thousands of years with no definitive resolutions.
Some examples of these situational ethics and moral dilemmas are:
Believe it or not, there are certain circumstances when ethics simply do not apply. Imagine you and one other person are in the middle of the ocean with a lifeboat built for one. What should you do? Ethical behavior requires that you act on a principle that can be applied to everybody else ? not just you. Let's say that you selfishly push the other person aside and grab the lifeboat to save yourself. If the other person acts on the same principle, he will push you aside. So, you both can't successfully act on the same ethics.
On the other hand, suppose you behave altruistically and sacrifice yourself for the other person's benefit. If he acts on the same principle, he will sacrifice himself for you. And you both drown.
Bottom line: there is no universal ethics that can solve the lifeboat problem. Ethics don't seem to apply.
Now if all the world were one big lifeboat, we would be living in a Hobbesian jungle. Each of us would be pitted against the other. One person's gain would always be another person's loss. Life, in the words of Hobbes, would be ?nasty, brutish and short.?
Fortunately, most of the time we can live by universal ethical principles that allow peaceful coexistence. We can also draw boundaries around the circumstances where ethics don't seem to apply. But what are those principles and boundaries? At one time most educated people believed there were ethical principles that philosophers could discover. Today, it's hard to find philosophers who believe that anymore.
The idea of trading one life for another has fascinated ethical philosophers and psychologists alike. In one thought experiment, a runaway trolley is barreling down the track, about to kill five people. However, you can save the five by pulling a switch ? diverting the trolley to a different track where only one person will be killed. Should you pull the switch? Why? Or why not?
Psychologists have experimented with a version of this dilemma by giving college students the opportunity to spare a group of mice from electric shocks by diverting the entire electric jolt to a single mouse. This posed a dilemma for the college students and the results were inconclusive for one action or the other.
In all of these cases, normal ethical rules don't seem to apply.
The movie ?Dirty Harry? provides an example of a moral dilemma in regard to torture. Inspector "Dirty" Harry Callahan tortures an unsympathetic villain to learn the location of an innocent girl who is about to suffocate in an underground tomb. Is it okay to torture someone to save a life? If the life to be saved was your spouse, your child, or another family member would your answer be any different? The entire subject of torture is fraught with moral dilemmas, especially about what constitute torture or not. The preceding example is one of the simpler moral dilemmas of torture.
A real-life example of a moral dilemma is the NAZI bombing of the English city of Coventry. British intelligence had stolen a NAZI Enigma cyphering machine and were able to break the codes and determine NAZI operations. They learned that the NAZI's were going to carpet bomb Coventry killing many thousands of civilians. If they evacuated Coventry the NAZI's would have suspected they had broken their encrypted communications which would have led them to change their codes. This discovery would have prolonged World War II and led to many more deaths and perhaps a different outcome of the war. The question was to keep this code breaking a secret thus leading to the deaths of many civilians in Coventry, or to save the civilian lives by evacuating Coventry leading to a longer war and more war deaths? If the more war deaths that was saved was your parent, grandparent, or great grandparent (therefore putting your very existence in question) would your answer be any different?
Finally, there is the moral dilemma question of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The United States had just gone through the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa where they suffered immense causalities. The Japanese defenders had fought to the death of almost every Japanese soldier. The civilian population also suffered massive causalities and even mass suicide to prevent capture. Given these battlefield results an invasion of the Japanese islands was expected to take between five hundred thousand to over a million and a half U.S. casualties (and some estimates were even higher), and perhaps over two and a half million to four million Japanese causalities. The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were expected to take between two hundred to three hundred thousand Japanese's causalities, and very few American causalities. Do you sacrifice over three million American and Japanese causalities in an invasion, or three hundred thousand Japanese causalities in an atomic bombing? The other solutions proposed (i.e. an atomic bombing demonstration) were not considered feasible, nor were they expected to be effective given Japanese militarism and obstinance to surrender. If the American causality that was saved was your parent, grandparent, or great grandparent (therefore putting your very existence in question) would your answer be any different?
The Ticking Time Bomb is another dilemma. Image that U.S Homeland Security discovers that there is an NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical) bomb about to go off in a west coast U.S. city within twenty-four hours. They have captured a terrorist that knows the NBC type, location and detonation time of the bomb. Is it ethical to torture the terrorist to obtain this information and perhaps save thousands and perhaps tens of thousands of lives? If the life to be saved was yours, your spouse, your children, or another family member would your answer be any different?
Situational ethics and morals depend on the situation. There is no easy answer or strict guideline for all situations. In all cases you should be cognizant of the (historical) environment, and psychology and sociology of the participant(s) in order to reach an ethical or moral decision. Even then you may not reach a proper decision.
Therefore, be very careful when making a judgement of the person or persons involved in a situational ethics or moral dilemma. You may also want to read my article on "Who are you to Judge?" for more perspective.
A good starting point to the subject of ethics and moral absolutism and moral relativism is the BBC's ?Introduction to Ethics?, ?Universal Moral Rules?, and ?Featured ethical issues?. There are literally thousands of web sites that deal with these issues. As such I cannot recommend any particular website other than the BBC website previously mentioned.
- Ethical note 'Lifeboat ethics' and 'trading one life for another' were extracted from a website article for which I do not have a hyperlink. My apologies to the author for being unable to attribute their contribution to this article.
I personally am not in favor of swearing, by a woman or by men. When I was very young and had my first full-time job, I swore up a storm. One day a man at the place I worked pulled me aside. He explained to me that he had noticed that I was extensively swearing. He also explained that this was because of my youth. As this was the first time I was on my own, without parental supervision, I swore much too often so that I would appear to be an adult. However, he explained, swearing did not make you look like an adult but instead, extensive swearing made you appear childish. He further explained that swearing should be done in an appropriate manner, to draw attention to what you were saying or to emphasize the passion of what you were saying. To do so otherwise was disrespectful and impolite to those around you. He suggested that I limit my swearing to those situations where it was appropriate. I took his words to heart, and I vowed to only swear to myself, and ever since I only swear on rare occasions where it is appropriate. I would suggest that both man and woman followed this advice.
I also realized that swearing to oneself was a better recourse to relieve your displeasure, as well as to not offend anyone that you may wish to have further dealings with. Most of the time when I swear I am swearing at myself. Swearing at myself occurs when I do or say something unintelligent or stupid, or when I violate one of my ?Principles? (as outlined in another observation by the same name). This is helpful in reminding me to not do or say anything in the future that is unintelligent or stupid, or in violation of one of my ?Principles?.
Many in today's society have said that swearing does not mean that much anymore. To which I retort that if it doesn't mean that much then why bother to swear. Swearing also is often used as a bullying tactic when it is done in an attempt to silence another. Swearing sometimes provokes a violent emotional or physical reaction from a person that is being sworn at, which only makes the situation much worse. I have chosen to have only a meaningful conversation, not to be a bully, and to not provoke another. So should you make this same choice, and be a better person by doing the right thing.
Swearing in public by public figures coarsens our society. Whether it be politicians, entertainers, business people, sports figures, or anyone else who has a public profile. Swearing cheapens the dialog and makes it more difficult for harmonious interactions between all parties. And when a public figure swears they are revealing their lack of character, their inability to communicate intelligently, and their witlessness. It is also a form of the Three D's (Demonize, Denigrate, and Disparage) as discussed in my ?Dialog & Debate? observation. As such swearing in public by public figures should be condemned by all people of decency and goodwill.
So, if you must swear you should do it under your breath or privately. Even swearing amongst friends can lead to negative consequences, and be harmful to your reputation.
The cost of higher education has both a financial impact and a societal impact. Both impacts need to be addressed in order to correct these situations.
The financial burden of putting a student through a college or university continues to rise at an alarming rate in America. Families are forced into restructuring their finances and reducing their standard of living to put their children through college. Some families have found themselves being impoverished by this financial burden. Students are encumbered with more and more debt, which they carry with them long after they leave college. But they undertake this burden because it is believed that you cannot achieve success in America without a college degree. But it is becoming more apparent that you may not be able to achieve success even with a college degree. More and more college graduates are having difficulty finding a job after college, and many of those jobs are not financially, intellectually, or emotionally rewarding.
Many colleges and universities consider the family finances not only to determine how to best determine student financial aid but to also determine how much money they can extract from a family. I know this to be true as I have been there and done that. My wife and I had put away monies for our daughters? college education while she was growing up. We had sufficient funds to give her a four-year college education at a modest college or university. When our daughter decided that she wanted to attend, and was accepted at a more prestigious university (with a higher cost than we had saved for), the first thing the student aid office was interested in was how much we had saved, and how much extra we could afford. They then structured a financial proposal in which half the cost would be borne by student aid and grants to be paid back by our daughter, and the other half would be borne by our savings and our current family income. This family income expense was almost twice the amount we had saved and would have led my wife and me into financial straits. Fortunately, my daughter was highly intelligent and the academic side of the university was very interested in her attending their university as they thought that the university benefited by her presence (which I am happy and proud to say that this was the case). When I firmly balked at this financial proposal and informed them that our daughter could not attend their university due to the financial burden, they asked for the opportunity to restructure the financial proposal. The new financial proposal had my wife and me assuming 1/3 of the financial burden, 1/3 of the financial burden being absorbed by student aid and grants that my daughter assumed, and 1/3 of the financial burden coming from the university's endowment fund. A proposal that I could accept and our daughter attended their university. The only reason I could think of as to the difference between the first and the final financial proposal was that the university wanted to see how much money they could extract from myself, my wife, and my daughter. Only my daughters? intelligence and my negotiating stance prevent my wife, my daughter, and myself from a financial burden that would have lasted for ten years after our daughter graduated.
So why are the financial cost of higher education continuing to rise? Unfortunately, we have only ourselves to blame. A College or University is the provider of a service. The service of providing an education that will be useful and helpful to a student in their future endeavors. But we don't judge a college or university based on this goal, but we judge them based on student's grades and diploma, and not the educational content and value. To judge them on the educational content and value we should insist that they track the progress of their students after they graduate, and to provide us this information to determine the educational content and value of their service. This would allow the parents to make a better determination of if their monies are being spent wisely. Of course, standards would have to be developed to properly track the progress of students after they graduate, but I am confident that there are sufficiently intelligent people at a college or university that can do this. And these standards would have to be uniformly applied to all colleges and universities, to be a useful evaluation by parents and students.
And as a service provider, we are not choosing them on how cost-effective or efficiently they are providing their services. We would never think to hire a service in our other walks of life without assuring that our monies are being well spent, but we seem to do this in regard to a college education. And the College or University has no incentive to be effective or efficient or to inform us of their efficiency and effectiveness. They continue to receive public funding, and to raise their tuition fees, regardless of their effectiveness or efficiencies, because no one holds them accountable. If the monies keep on rolling in they will keep on doing what they are doing, regardless of effectiveness or efficiencies. They will keep on spending monies on newer, larger, and better facilities, raising the administrator or professor's salaries, or building facilities that are glamorous and attractive to new students, professors, or administrators. And the costs keep going up and up, and the monies keep on rolling in and in. And much of these monies come from parents in tuition or fee increases, and from the taxpayers in the form of increased subsidies, tuition aid, or grants. And we all know that the more government spends something the costlier it becomes.
The only way that we can begin to make them accountable is for a full public audit of how their monies are being spent, and to separate out the monies being spent for student education, student activities, facilities for students, and instructional salaries and wages directly spent on students, from all the other expenses that a college or university incurs. Then we will be better able to determine the efficiencies and effectiveness of the student's education and make wiser decisions.
When I worked on government contracts I became fully aware of this auditing and accounting. I saw how every expense was broken down into minutia, and every expense was tracked in minutia, and how this all was reported and incorporated into the final cost of the contract. I also saw this when I worked for an insurance company, as they were under the law to provide this auditing and accounting. And if you think that it is very difficult for a college or university to perform this auditing or accounting, you should take a look at government contracts or insurance reporting, and you will be convinced that a college or university can do this.
And many colleges are making it difficult for parents to be involved in the educational choices that their children make. Choices that impact their children's futures, and choices that the parents can provide wisdom and guidance to their children in making wise choices. This is often justified by the college and university that a parent will often provide undo pressure or intimidate the student to choose what the parents want, and not what the student wants or needs. And the college or university is often correct that a parent will not take into full consideration of what their children want or need. But the answer is to not make it difficult for the parent to be involved, but to mediate between the parent and student, to help the student make wise choices, and to help the parents understand why it is a wise choice (or at least an acceptable choice of the student).
My daughter is a perfect example of this. Her university never informed the parents of what their student was majoring in, what their studies were, and what their grades were. It was up to the student to inform their parents about these things. My daughter, being stubbornly independent, and of her own mind, never informed my wife and myself of anything about her student studies or activities (unless of course, she needed additional funds to do them). You can imagine the surprise when my wife and I discovered shortly before our daughters? graduation that she could read, write, and speak perfect Ancient Greek. Fortunately, we knew that she could also read, write, and speak perfect American English, and that she was proficient in mathematics, and that she was an organized person who could think and reason intelligently. And fortunately, after a bumpy start, she found a career path that utilized these skills (except for the Ancient Greek). During her college career, I attempted, without success, to get her to open up to me what she was studying. I suggest that no matter what she was studying she should take a course in basic economics, basic business, basic bookkeeping and accounting, and basic law, as all of these studies would be helpful in whatever career she chose. But being stubbornly independent, and of her own mind, she paid no attention to my suggestions. Several years later, after her career was in progress, she mentioned to me that my suggestions would have been of great help in her career, and that she now needed this knowledge and skills, and that she was obtaining them on her own. But Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be), and this, fortunately, did not have a negative impact on her career.
The societal impacts of today's higher education are large and increasing, mostly for the worse. Those college graduates who are having difficulty finding a job after college, or jobs that are not financially, intellectually, or emotionally rewarding are becoming an economic, intellectual, or emotional drain on our society and not a benefit to our society as a college education should be.
We also have a college environment that is not preparing our students for the rigors of employment and life outside of college. My Pet Peeves of Micro-Aggressions, Safe Zones, Gun Free Zones, Politically Correct Thought, and Perversion of the English Language, which I have made a previous observation, on are all present and prevalent on college campuses today. And most higher education today is based on educating students on what to think and not how to think. As such the students are ill-prepared for everyday life in the modern world. If they think life is tough on a college campus, and they need protection against perceived offenses, they are not being prepared for the real world outside of college. And they are in for a rude shock when entering real life, and they will not know how to deal with real life. I would suggest you read or re-read my previously mentioned Pet Peeves and apply them to life on a modern college campus.
All this ill-preparedness for real life is also having an impact on today's politics, and our ability to solve the social issues and concerns we face. If you cannot properly think and reason, utilizing knowledge, experience, and reasoning, then you cannot make proper decisions about your life and the best manner to resolve social issues and concerns. I do not object to people disagreeing with me, as long as they disagree with intellectual vigor and in a civil manner. Unfortunately, intellectual vigor and a civil manner seem to be lacking in many college students today. Many of today's college students cannot do this, and instead of helping society they are harming society. And the colleges and universities, as well as the professors, should be ashamed that they are not educating their students in intellectual vigor and civil manners.
So how can we persuade colleges and universities to reform and provide quality education with intellectual vigor and civil manners, and prepare students for the rigors of life outside of college? Hit them where it hurts the most ? in their pocketbooks. Reduce or withdraw public funding and tuition aid for those colleges and universities that are not committed to these goals. And who is to decide if they are committed or not meeting these goals? The answer to that is the same people who decide how to expend public funds ? the elected legislators of the people who supply the taxes for public funding. And if colleges and universities object to being held accountable to legislators they have two choices. First, they can operate on their own funding, or secondly, they can grow up recognize that this is how the real world of public funding works, and reform and deal with it.
The most horrendous crimes that one person can inflict on another person are; Murder, Physical Assault, Rape, Sexual Assault, Pedophilia, and Child Abuse. Not only are these crimes a violation of human rights, but they also are crimes that stay with a victim for their entire life. Anyone who commits these crimes should be apprehended, prosecuted, and serve extensive prison time for these crimes. No quarter should be given to the person who commits these crimes. Our hearts, minds, and charity should go out to the victims of these crimes, and we as a society must do all we can to help these victims heal.
There is, however, one arena in which there is some nebulosity. The nebulosity is in regard to what we referred to as date rape. Charges of date rape often involved accusations and counter-accusations, he said ? she said, non-verbal consent, and lack of hard evidence as to the nature and circumstances of the alleged crime.
Any date rape that is the result of deliberate intoxication, drugs, or threats of violence is a crime and must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. It is an alleged date rape without intoxication, drugs, or threats of violence that is most difficult to determine the facts of the case.
In the inter-reaction of two people, there is always the possibility, some say probability, of misunderstanding or confusion as to what the other person is communicating. We must as a society come up with a definition of what constitutes consent to a sexual relationship. We need to do this so that we can teach adolescents and youngsters what is or is not acceptable behavior. We also need to teach these adolescents and youngsters to be responsible; responsible for their actions, and responsible for their deeds. Ambiguity needs to be lessened to the point where everyone understands what is being agreed to. Responsibility needs to be affirmed in that you are responsible for your words and deeds, and you should thank about your words and deeds before you say or do them.
The only method that I can think of that does this is as follows.
If you willingly expose your genitals to another you are
consenting to a sexual relationship. The key word is "willingly".
If you deliberately expose your genitals or do not object through
words and deeds to the exposure of your genitalia, then you have
consented to a sexual encounter. If both parties expose their
pubic areas then there is an agreement on having sexual relations
between both parties, and the sex is consensual. The only
exception to this would be if one party becomes verbally or
physically abusive during the course of the sexual relations,
consent is withdrawn. If both parties expose their genitals while
both are voluntarily intoxicated or on drugs then there is no
crime, only foolishness. If one party is sober while the other
party is intoxication or on drugs it the responsibility of the
sober person not to engage in sexual relationships, otherwise the
sober person has committed a crime. In my opinion, this is a
reasonable and practicable means of reducing ambiguity as regards
to the accusation of date rape.
Violence in America (and elsewhere) has a terrible impact on the victim and their families, on the perpetrator and their families, and on society in general. Any violence committed by any person is a Human Rights violation, and we need as a society to reduce or eliminate violence as much as possible. To solve this problem we first need to define it. In my opinion, there are five types of violence, and each type needs to be resolved in a different manner. The types of violence are:
- Mental Illness
As far as reducing or eliminating violence I would first state that Gun Control is not the answer to these problems. As I have outlined in my observation on "Gun Control", the people who commit violence will find a way of committing violence whether it be through guns, knives, blunt objects, bombs or other extreme measures. The issue is ?Violence?, not ?Gun Control?.
The Constitution gives everybody the right to free association, and this is true for a gang member. However, this free association must be a peaceable association, which is not the case for gangs and their membership. Therefore, I would recommend that Law Enforcement inform all gangs and their members they are free to hang out together and have fun, but they are not free to commit any criminal activity. And that any (and I mean any) criminal actions they commit will result in an immediate response to arrests, prosecutions, and imprisonment of the perpetrators. And then Law Enforcement and society must have the fortitude to follow through on this. No more coddling, no more excuses, no more suspended or light sentences, for the perpetrators of gang violence. The cost to the victims and their families and society as a whole is too great a price to pay to allow gang violence to continue. No matter what the cost may be for Law Enforcement, Judicial Proceedings, and Prisons, we as a society should bear them to remove the scourge of gang violence.
Drug Addicts should have our understanding and assistance in overcoming their addiction. But not if they commit a violent crime to support their habit. Nor if they commit a violent crime while under the influence of drugs. The drug addict who commits a violent crime does not deserve our understanding and assistance, but our punishment. And this punishment needs to fit the crime, and not ameliorated because the perpetrator has a drug addiction. Our understanding and assistance for the violent drug addict should happen during and after they are serving the sentence for their violent crime, and not before their imprisonment.
The Mentally Ill who commit a violent crime is to be pitied. Most of the mass murders and serial killers are mentally ill, but they need to be seriously punished for their violent crimes. And they will receive treatment for their mental illness while being punished. The other types of mentally ill that commit a violent crime also need to be punished, but the punishment that is ameliorated by their mental illness. I do not believe in the legal doctrine of ?Not Guilty by reason of mental defect or mental illness?. I do believe in the concept of ?Guilty by reason of mental defect or mental illness?. The distinction is that you are held responsible for the violent crime, but that you would be held to a different punishment due to your mental defect or mental illness. I would support the building of separate prisons for the mentally ill, with different modes of incarceration then standard prisons, and ongoing treatment by qualified physicians and staff for the treatment of the prisoners. I would support minimum sentences for those mentally ill violent criminals, but no maximum sentences. You could not be released from a mentally ill prison until you have served you minimum sentence, and you have undergone a medical and administrative procedure that can certify that you are no longer a danger to yourself or others. For more on ?Mental Illness: please refer to my observation on this topic.
Domestic violence appears to be on the rise in today's society. Spousal, child, or familial abuse takes a terrible toll on all those involved and has negative and far-reaching impacts on society as well as the individuals involved. Family, friends, neighbors, schools, police and first responders, as well as anyone who comes into contact with domestic abuse, need to report their suspicions and concerns before domestic abuse becomes violent. And those involved in domestic abuse should be required to obtain assistance with their problems before the problems turn violent. But once they turn violent they need to be dealt with swiftly and harshly. The abuser needs to be immediately separated from their family, dealt with criminally, serve the appropriate prison time (and they should be imprisoned if they were violent), and monitored after being released from prison to assure they do not continue their domestic abuse.
Ordinary forms of violence occur in society as a course of the everyday interactions of people. People lose control of themselves and commit ordinary violence when they lose control. This is not to excuse their actions, but to only label them. And they should be criminally charged, prosecuted, and if found guilty serve an appropriate prison sentence for their violence.
Many of those reading this observation are thinking that there is a lot of incarceration and prisons that are involved in these solutions. The additional costs of Law Enforcement, Judicial activities, and Incarceration could be exorbitant. And this may be so, but the human cost of allowing violent crime to persist or grow is also exorbitant, and I believe that the monetary costs incurred are much less than the human costs. So we must bear this monetary cost to reduce the human costs.
And much of the problem of violence in America is a result of how we behave and treat each other. A more respectful and civil discourse would go a long way to reducing violence in America. It bears repeating a quote I included in my observation on ?Gun Control?. As Dr. Ben Carson said after the tragedy of the mass murder of the black church members of Charleston SC in June of 2015:
"I think we have to start is going to the heart of the matter. The heart of the matter is not guns. The heart of the matter is the heart. The heart and soul of people. You know, this young man didn't wake up yesterday and suddenly turn into a maniac. Clearly there have been things in his background, in his upbringing that led to the type of mentality that would allow him to do something like this. And one of the things that I think that we really need to start concentrating on in this country is once again instilling the right kinds of values particularly in our young people. You know, we're so busy giving away all of our values and principles for the sake of political correctness that we have people floating around out there with no solid foundation or beliefs. "
To which I say this holds true for all violence in America, and I would say Amen! to Mr. Carson's comment.
One of the largest problems that police and prosecutors have in prosecuting crime is the lack of witness cooperation and testimony. There are many reasons for this, but the primary reasons are fear and burden. The result of a lack of witness cooperation is that the perpetrator may not be prosecuted, or receive a lesser criminal charge or a lighter sentence. This will often result in their being freed or reentering society earlier than they should, where they can then commit more crimes.
The fear is of getting involved that could result in retribution by the perpetrator or their friends, the fear of getting involved with the police, as well as the fear of exposure within the judicial system and your exposure to potential legal liabilities, and the possibility of disapproval of your family, friends, and neighbors. But this fear is probably greater than the reality. You need to discuss these fears with both police and prosecutors so that they can help alleviate and minimize these fears.
There is also the burden of time and expense of providing police and prosecutors with statements, and the possibility of having to participate in a trial. Many excused their lack of cooperation as not being worth the effort.
But as to the fear I would remind you that the Bible states 365 times (on for every day of the week) ?Be Not Afraid?. If you allow fear to direct your life you will always be afraid. Replace your fear with caution and gain control of your life.
As for the burden not being worth the effort you must ask yourself in you, your spouse, your children, your parents, or your siblings were the victim would the burden of assisting police and prosecutors be too great? Of course not! So, you should consider the burden of assisting others who are victims not too great. As the saying is ?Do not ask for who the bell tolls, as it tolls for thee?.
It should also be noted that there is no such thing as a criminal 'snitch?. Snitching on harmless pranks and raucous behavior is frowned upon unless it results in physical harm or property damage. However, snitching upon criminal behavior should be encouraged. You have a civic duty and personal responsibility to report and witness criminal behavior.
So, I say we all need to accept the fear and burden of being a witness to a crime in order to help our society become a better and safer place for all law-abiding people. It will also ease your conscience when you have done the right thing by your fellow citizen.
We have seen many great changes in American Society since its inception. At the start of American Society, we were an agrarian society with a few great cities on the eastern seacoast. As we grew in the 19th century we were still an agrarian society, with a few greater cities in our interior. At the beginning of the 19th-century life was centered around the family and the community in which you lived. Most people thought of themselves as citizens of a State, with only a modest national identity. Travel was very difficult, time-consuming, costly, and dangerous. Communication was mostly verbal, or via newspapers or postal mail. Labor was manual, intensive, and time-consuming. The great 19th-century American improvements were to ameliorate these conditions, for which we greatly succeeded. At the end of the 19th century, America was a much better place to live, but we were still an agrarian society.
At the end of the 19th century, America was going through a great transformation in its social fabric. Our society was progressing from an agrarian to an industrial age. Our people were moving from farms to cities to support the industrial age. And technology was at the forefront and impacting all Americans. Our manual labor went from barely above a beast of burden to a less back-breaking effort. Industrial machinery transferred the beastly effort into the human effort as men operated the machinery that did the beastly work. This technological advancement also impacted the agricultural worker as they no longer plowed and tilled behind beasts of burden, and reaped by hand, but sat upon their tractors, tillers, and reapers to do this work. The development of home appliances such as washing machines, stoves and ovens, refrigerators, dryers, dishwashers, toasters, and toaster ovens, and microwave ovens freed the housewife of her intensive manual labors. And this has freed women to seek work outside of her home and family, and to develop her own self-identity based on her own personal accomplishments in the workplace. And the rise of telephones and automobiles freed people from the physical constraints of their environment. It was now possible that you could go anywhere at any time you wished, and talk to anyone at any time no matter the others person's location or your location. Men and women had more time to enjoy life, and technology assisted in the enjoyment. Photography for all, phonographs in the home, motion pictures, radio and finally television made life so much more pleasant. And this all occurred within a space of 100 years, within most of the 20th century.
At the end of the 20th century, we started to embark on another great transformation in our social fabric. Our society was progressing from an industrial age to an information age. People were moving from the cities to what we now call the suburbs. And technology was again at the forefront and impacted all Americans. The development of mass telecommunications and computers sprang into being, and computers began operating the industrial machinery while humans operated the computers, and everyone was communicating with everyone else via telephone. Much of the labor pool was converted from industrial work into office work, and hard labor was the exception and not the rule. The rise of personal computers, the Internet, cell phones and finally smartphones has accelerated this transformation, and in the 21st century, we are well into the information age.
What is to come next is anybody's guess, but we should take the time to look back and examine the social changes to help us guess the possible future social changes. When we were an agrarian-based society our social structure revolved around our immediate family who usually live with us, or not that far away, or neighbors who were a few more miles away, and the people of a nearby town. Communication was slow and often incomplete or inaccurate. A social gathering of all these people had to be planned for a time and place. And it often took hours for the people to travel to a social gathering. And as a social gathering was difficult to organize it was usually a grand affair that people would remember until the next social gathering, which could be many months away. Regular Sunday church services and picnics for the few were utilized to fill in between these grand social gatherings. A visit from a friend was to be treasured and often became a several days visit. And people were very centered on their locality and somewhat their state, and not so much nationally. Of course, the people who lived in the cities did not suffer the same constraints, but they were a very small percent of the population.
When we transformed into an industrial society, and most of the population began to live in the cities, the social fabric of our nation transformed as well. Gatherings became more frequent and less grand. Not only family, friends, and neighbors gather, but many times strangers would join in the gathering. A sense of neighborhoods and social grouping based on common interest began to rise. The rise of sports and entertainment venues brought together people from all walks of life, and mostly strangers to each other, but gave them a sense of commonality. Trollies, buses, and local trains made transportation swifter and more reliable within the city, so you did not have to work next to your employers? place of business, but could commute to your place of employment in a matter of tens of minutes. And radio and television united us a nation as never before but was also very local as well due to the local news, sports and weather reports. People began to think more nationally, and less and less of the state, and only occasionally of the locality. As people found it easier and/or more profitable to move across local and state boundaries they often did. And their sense of local and state ties lessened.
And in the information age, we see another social transformation. The traditional groups, neighborhoods, localities, and states have almost blurred out of existence. With the instant communications of the Internet and smartphones, the easy and swift transportation by automobiles, trains, and planes, we have become a decentralized society. The family has become to mean your parents, your siblings, and your sibling's children while they are young. The extended family ties that used to be strong seem to have faded into almost non-existence. How often has a family member mention that the only time a family gets together is at a funeral or wedding? Friends have also taken on a whole new meaning as they are no longer those who you pal around with on an almost daily basis, but those that get together with on the weekend or sometime during the month or special occasions. And you count as your friends those that have befriended you on Facebook, texted to or from, or subscribed to your Twitter tweets. In most cases, these Facebook friends, texters, and tweeters have little personal interaction with you other than electronically. People seem more glued to their computer monitors and smartphones, and when something happens in their life they are more likely to send a text message, or tweet, or a Facebook posting rather than to directly contact their friends. Regular, personal, and face-to-face interactions have taken second place to electronic communications.
This is not a criticism, but simply an observation of the current state of society. So what can we expect next? We can always expect that technology will advance and change our social fabric. But in what ways? Being highly interested in science and technology, and having studied science and technology, and having spent my entire life in the information technology field, I believe that I can venture a few guesses.
I see the integration of information technology into more and more of our lives. We already have information technology embedded in our appliances and homes, as well as in our automobiles. Eventually, information technology will be embedded into all of our possessions so that we can be in constant contact with this embedded information technology and utilize it. We also see the integration of information technology into our bodies in the form of intelligent pacemakers, and I can foresee more information technology embedded to monitor our other bodily functions, especially when an operation or replacement is performed in our bodies. The advancement of joint and hip replacements is occurring, and I can foresee information technology being integrated with joint and hip replacements to monitor their performance and safety. Prosthetic replacement of our limbs, hands, and feet will also be integrated with information technology, to monitor their performance and safety, as well as making them more efficient and useful. The rise of wearable information technology is starting to happen, and I can foresee people not wanting to be without their wearable information technology for convenience sake. I can foresee that some of this wearable information technology will become so small and unobtrusive that people may opt to embed it in their own bodies for convenience sake.
What are the possible social impacts of these changes? I do not possess any special insights that that would allow me to make any predictions. But I do read about this issue, and I have read Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, and Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, that has led me to some speculations on this subject based upon these novels.
In Brave New World human society has evolved into the World State as outlined in the Wikipedia Article on Brave New World:
- Educating children to mold the child's self-image appropriate to their caste.
- Discouragement of critical thinking.
- Discouragement of individual action and initiative.
- An abundance of material goods.
- Abolition of natural reproduction, replace by artificial insemination and incubators, with genetic selection.
Society is strafed into castes in decreasing order; Alphas, Betas, Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons. The Alphas are in control and are the intelligent members of society, while the Epsilons are the beasts of burden with little intelligence. Society is promoted by the ready availability and universally-endorsed consumption of the hallucinogenic drug soma, and by the promotion of recreational sex, often as a group activity. Emotional, romantic relationships are obsolete; chastity and fidelity are causes for disapproval or mockery; and marriage, natural birth, parenthood, and pregnancy are considered too vulgar to be mentioned in polite conversation. Spiritual needs are met by mock religious services in which twelve people consume soma and sing hymns. The ritual progresses through group hypnosis and climaxes in a sex orgy porgy (more on these items will be discussed later in this observation).
As to the apropos of Brave New World to this observation, the following are how I see us slouching toward this result.
Educating Children To Mold The Child's Self-Image Appropriate To Their Caste? is occurring in today's public education system. The importance of self-esteem, group identity, social awareness, and peaceful interactions are now more important than obtaining basic knowledge and critical thinking skills and are all present in today's public education
Discouragement Of Critical Thinking? is rampant in today's Colleges and Universities. My Pet Peeves of Micro-Aggressions, Safe Zones, Gun Free Zones, Politically Correct Thought, and Perversion of the English Language, which I have made in another observation, are all present and prevalent on college campuses today. And most higher education today is based on educating students on what to think and not how to think.
Discouragement Of Individual Action And Initiative?. Groupthink, group action, and doing what everybody else is doing is all the rage. No rocking the boat except to implement group think and group policies is all that occurs today. Any deviation from group think and group policies is not to be permitted or tolerated. When groupthink and group policy has been established there will be no more individual action and initiative allowed.
An Abundance Of Material Goods? is reflected in all the entitlements people expect from the government. If the government supplies everybody's basic needs then there will be less self-reliance and more government control of your life. Nobody will be interested in government interference in their life, as they do not wish to endanger the entitlements they are receiving.
Abolition Of Natural Reproduction, Replace By Artificial Insemination And Incubators, With Genetic Selection? is not happening as yet. Current medical technology does not allow for insemination through birth by artificial means. However, I expect that this medical technology will become available in the 21st century. At that point will people give up natural reproduction due to its risks to the mother and child, and opt out of natural reproduction for safety reasons. Or perhaps opt out just because of the inconvenience, discomfort, or disruption of your life that a natural reproduction implies. And when this happens will the government also bear the responsibility of raising the children as well?
In Brave New World the population is kept in line through the use of the drug soma, entertainment by feelies, and by the orgy porgy. An argument can be made that marijuana is the soma of today. With the increased availability and usage of marijuana, we are allowing the general population to zone out of everyday life and become more compliant and dependent. The entertainment by feelies is in the form of the advancement of today's Virtual Reality. At some point in the 21st-century Virtual Reality will stimulate all the senses and you will be able to go anywhere, see anything, and feel anything from the comfort of your living room couch. What will be the social impact when this occurs? I do not know, but I do know that it will be very large. As to the orgy porgy we see this today in the promiscuously of which young people engaged in sexual activity with each other.
The only major difference between Brave New World and our future society would be that in Brave New World the Deltas and Epsilons are the manual laborers in the society. With the rise of intelligent robotics in our society, I can foresee little need for Deltas and Epsilons in our future society, as this labor will be replaced by intelligent robots, with the lower class Gammas managing the intelligent robots.
In Nineteen Eighty-Four society has evolved in the following manner from the Wikipedia Article on Nineteen Eighty-Four:
The Class Hierarchy Has Three Levels:
- (I) The Upper-Class Inner Party, The Elite Ruling Minority, Who Make Up 2% Of The Population.
- (II) The Middle-Class Outer Party, Who Make Up 13% Of The Population.
- (III) The Lower-Class Proles (From Proletariat), Who Makeup 85% Of The Population And Represent The Uneducated Working Class.
As To The Government, The Party Controls The Population With Four Ministries:
- The Ministry Of Peace Deals With War And Defence.
- The Ministry Of Plenty Deals With Economic Affairs (Rationing And Starvation).
- The Ministry Of Love Deals With Law And Order (Torture And Brainwashing).
- The Ministry Of Truth Deals With News, Entertainment, Education And Art (Propaganda).
Nineteen Eighty-Four is set in Oceania, one of three inter-continental superstates that divided the world after a global war, with each superstate organized in the same manner. Posters of the party leader, big brother, bearing the caption "Big Brother Is Watching You," dominate the city, while the ubiquitous telescreen (transceiving television set) monitors the private and public lives of the populace.
As to the apropos of Nineteen Eighty-Four to this observation, the following are how I see us slouching toward this result.
'the Class Hierarchy Has Three Levels? is already happening. We see our society stratifying into the upper class composed of politicians and the very rich who receive special considerations and privileges, and in some cases seem to be above the law. The middle class is currently shrinking to contain only those people who have the knowledge, skill, abilities, and desire to become the upper class. It seems less likely, due to government laws, regulations, and taxes that you can live a ?normal? life and achieve middle-class status without working continuously and expanding great efforts to keep your middle-class status. As such many middle-class people are slowing descending into the lower class. The lower class seems stuck in their status and seems to be only interested in more government entitlements. And if they get these entitlements they will be content in their lower-class status as long as the government supplies their basic needs.
As The Government, The Party Controls The Population With Four Ministries?. We actually have 15 departments of the US executive branch (The Cabinets), but they are all working in concert with each other in regard to groupthink and group policies. The politically correct speech emanating from their spokespersons is designed to provide Obfuscation, Smoke, and Mirrors (as outlined in another observation of mine) and is done to obscure people's understanding, leaving them baffled or bewildered, and thus more tractable to the governments? policies.
I am also a big fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation which had as one of its protagonist 'the Borg? which is apropos to this discussion. 'the Borg? are a fictional alien race that appears as recurring antagonists in the Star Trek franchise. The Borg are a collection of species that have been turned into cybernetic organisms functioning as drones in a hive mind called "The Collective" or "The Hive". The Borg use a process called assimilation to force other species into the collective by injecting microscopic machines called nanoprobes. They then do prosthetic replacements for various body parts. As such they become part machine and part living organisms, and they are all in constant communication with each other and can hear each other's thoughts. The Borg are driven by a need for 'perfection', and assimilate other races to further that goal. The Borg have become a symbol in popular culture for any juggernaut against which "Resistance is Futile". As to the apropos of The Borg to this observation, as I have previously discussed within this observation, with the future increase of information technology embedded into our bodies and prosthetic replacements for our body parts, I can foresee us becoming The Borg. But we will not be assimilated, we will assimilate ourselves.
The only area that is murky is the human brain. Scientist and doctors are only beginning to understand how the brain works, and all scientist and doctors are amazed at the complexity of the brain. All the neurons, synapse, ganglion and other structures of the brain, and the interaction of all these parts is astounding. It will be many decades before we understand the brain and its functionality. And no current or projected computer system can even begin to duplicate the brains complexity and functioning. Watson from the IBM Research Labs (and a recent winner of a Jeopardy contest) comes the closest, but Watson has many limitations and constricted capabilities. Watson is great as a research assistant for finding information and drawing inferences, but it cannot mimic the human brain.
Quantum Computing is a very new field of computing and is totally different in its approach than Binary Computing (which is the basis of today's computing). Quantum Computing has the theoretical possibility of eventually mimicking a human brains capability, but no reputable Quantum Computing Scientist expects any like this to happen for at least a hundred years. But you never know. An astounding breakthrough could occur, or a paradigm shift may happen, that could accelerate this timetable. But when our understanding of the human brain functionality is almost complete, and the development of a quantum computer that could mimic a human brain functionality is almost complete, and the two of those meet, you will have to face some important issues. One of these issues is that if the quantum computer obtains sentience what its human rights are. We may also have to decide whether it is acceptable to transfer a human brains knowledge and conscience into a quantum computer, and what will be the human rights of the quantum computer after doing so. But I will leave these issues to the next generation to resolve, as I do not expect myself, my daughter, or her potential children or grandchildren will have to face these issues.
And all of these social changes were, are, and will be driven by technological improvements and advances in information technology. We need to recognize this possibility and not face it with eyes wide shut, but with eyes wide open. And we need to make a conscientious decision as to how we wish to proceed as a society before all this occurs without our realizing it.