Childish Social Media

On social media there is a growing trend of users who get upset with you when you comment on their public posts. I guess they don’t understand what social media is all about. So here is a primer.

Social media is first of all social. That means not just you but a group of people. If you don’t have any friends or follower on social media what would be the point of sharing something.

Social media secondly is about sharing. Your likes, your dislikes, your political views. Your faith or lack there of. Your vacation pictures. The pictures of your children, grandchildren, or pets. You can share your pet peeves, favorite recipes, and so much more.

With social media you can share these things and a lot more instantly. You can share them with your friends, your family, your co-workers. And it can be shared by their friends, family, and co-workers as well. And even further to people you may not even know yet.

So I am surprised when someone gets upset with something they shared with the entire world. Not everyone is going to like or agree with things that you share.

This needs a solution and I have it. It’s very simple too. If you find yourself upset over comments made on something that you shared with the world then you need to get over yourself first. You did share it. What did you expect?

If you don’t want any comments or don’t like the comments you get. Well, it is your page or wall. Feel free to delete them, but they might come back if you do. The better solution is to not post anything that you don’t want commented on in the first place. Everything posted on social media is subject to comment. Not all comments will be positive.

Looking at Facebook, you do have options on who a post is shared with … this too can help limit the comments. Use this instead of posting it to the whole world of “public”. Post it so only you can see it.

Just don’t complain that it’s your page or wall when a comment is something you don’t like. That is childish.

Starship Design Blunder

Starship design in most science-fiction doesn’t make a lot of sense. This is true across most science-fiction franchises. Star Wars, Star Trek, the original Battlestar Galactica, and many others.

The design problem is the placement of the bridge. In many of these starships the bridge is located behind a glass window looking out into space. And it is located at the front and center of the ship.

This makes the bridge an easy target during combat. It’s not well protected and it sticks out like a sore thumb.

The bridge dome at the top of every Federation starship’s saucer shaped primary hull. The front windows of the bridge of the Battlestar Galactica in the original series was shattered more times that I can count in battle. And the bridge at the top tower of an Imperial Star Destroyer of the Galactic Empire in Star Wars.

These are all advanced civilizations but they don’t protect the nerve center of their warships. At least this was corrected in the reimaged Battlestar Galactica series as it was within the hull and well protected. It used sensors and small craft to view what was happening outside instead of a glass window.

Having the bridge exposed is just a bad design. In any of these stories I would target the bridge location in every engagement. Concentrated firepower would get through any energy shields and completely disable any ship targeted.

Transgender Military

Transgender, gender dysphoria, gender fluid, or any other term one wants to give to this and related thought processes are a mental illness.

Diagnosable, certifiable, and properly treatable. Anyone who is mentally ill should not be allowed to serve in the military. To deny their service is an act of kindness and love, not one of hate or oppression.

The facts are simple. No matter how many hormones or drugs someone takes will not change one’s gender.

Cosmetic surgical mutilation cannot change one’s gender.

And no matter how one feels about their gender, this will never alter it either.

Some of these may introduce temporary and even permanent changes to outward appearance but it does not ever change the gender of the individual. Even a court order will not change the actual gender, it might change current documentation but that is only an illusion.

Gender is determined at the moment of conception. The mother’s egg provides an X sex chromosome. The father’s sperm provides the 2nd sex chromosome in the linked pair. An XX pair is female. An XY pair is male. This is basic biology and undisputed scientific fact. There are mutations to this but those are rare.

No amount of chemicals or surgery will alter this scientific based chromosomal pair. And this pairing can easily be discovered with a simple blood test no matter what documentation, feelings, surgery, or hormones have attempted to disguise.

Stop promoting and enabling this mental illness under the guise of equality. There is nothing equal about preventing someone from getting professional treatment for a mental illness. Transgender Rights, there is no such thing since being transgender is a mental illness.

Don’t Forget These Guys!

It’s been a wild few days in the media with a story coming out of Washington, DC, related to the March for Life. For those unfamiliar with it, the March for Life is a demonstration for those of a pro life persuasion, and for the most part, it’s not that controversial except for those who think abortion is a right that should be preserved. Let’s call them…the pro baby death movement. Anyway, a group of Catholic school students attended the March for Life when they were riddled with insults from a group called the Black Hebrew Israelites accusing these students of being racist, gay, and potential school shooters.

Now, this is the part where most people start paying attention. A Native American elder walked up to the students as they were trying to sing their school spirit song and started drumming in one student’s face. Someone took a picture of a student wearing a Make America Great Again hat smiling/smirking at the elder, and that has been the focus of the discussion. We can debate who was in the wrong and what should have been done (and, believe me, it’s being done to death right now), but there is one question I have that few, if any, people are even discussing.

What about the Black Hebrew Israelites verbally attacking the students?

Contrary to popular Leftist rhetoric, words aren’t violence (although listening to them for any length of time makes my head feel like it’s been battered by an ANTIFA mob). Yet, I have yet to see a Leftist come forward to condemn the Black Hebrew Israelites for their use of racial and homophobic slurs. I guess they’ve been too busy trying to dox the students at the behest of fellow Leftists to actually bother with such an issue, but their silence is still worth noting.

I have two ideas as to why the Left is silent about the racist and homophobic statements made by the Black Hebrew Israelites, and a combination of the two is just as likely as the two ideas separately. First, the Left doesn’t want to condemn them because of their race. White people in particular are scared to call out racism from non-whites because we’ve been conditioned that any such criticism is racist, even when the criticism is legitimate and warranted. We can thank the Left for this. To the Left, racism is power plus race, which means non-whites cannot be racist because they lack power. (The racism of this concept breaks my Irony Meter 9000.) Ah, but the Black Hebrew Israelites had enough power to hurl insults at the students, and many of those insults were specifically about their race. Kinda destroys the “racism is power plus race” dynamic, doesn’t it?

The other possible reason for the Left’s silence is they agree with the Black Hebrew Israelites attacking the Catholic school students. Lately, there has been an increase in the number and frequency of anti-Catholic sentiments coming from the Left, including some of their 2020 Presidential hopefuls. Reasons for this abound, but they may all be based in general disdain for people of faith. Leftists look at people of faith like zoo animals, but don’t necessarily go into depth about why they are people of faith. Even some Leftists profess to be people of faith, but they seem closer to Unitarians (Do What You Want and Let God Sort It Out) than any actual faith. Just look at Nancy Pelosi. Her Catholicism is looser than her facial skin before a botox injection. Ultimately, Leftists don’t like any faith that involves an entity higher than government.

The Right isn’t off the hook on this, either. They’re spending their time and energy to defending the students, which I get, but in doing so, you’re taking your eyes off those who are the real and verifiable bigots in this situation. The Black Hebrew Israelites deserve as much scorn as anyone in this situation, but they’re being allowed to skate because of what the media are telling you is the real story. Yes, I know the media are spinning this story, but that’s what they do. Just because they tell you what you should be focusing on doesn’t mean there isn’t another angle to consider. And I would say the Black Hebrew Israelites acting like bigots is an angle to be delved into more deeply than an aside in a New York Times article.

There are other ways this matter could have gone down, and these, too, will be debated ad nauseum, but unless we hold all bad actors here accountable, we aren’t going to get anywhere. What the Black Hebrew Israelites did, even if provoked, was unacceptable. If the students provoked them as has been claimed, that is also unacceptable. And what the tribal leader did by banging a drum in a student’s face is also unacceptable. Right now, we’re only trying to hold 2/3 of the entities involved accountable, which leaves one party free to continue to be racist and homophobic without fear of condemnation by those who claim to want to rid the world of racism and homophobia and by those most often accused of both without merit.

Screw the optics and do the right thing.

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

One of the most interesting perspectives in politics today is watching people get bent out of shape over ultimately trivial matters, only to turn around and excuse it when someone on their side of the argument does it. This phenomenon has a name: hypocrisy. But Leftists have given it another name: tribalism. And as you might expect, tribalism isn’t a good thing to them.

In today’s team-based political mentality, tribalism isn’t unusual. If you’re a Republican, you want Republicans to win. If you’re a Democrat, you want Democrats to win. So, why is it now frowned upon by the Left? Let’s find out!

tribalism

What the Left thinks it means – Republicans and conservatives simple-mindedly believing the same things, promoting the same ideas, and quoting the same sources to promote their ideology

What it really means – substituting party line thinking for actual thought

Sociologists (or at least the ones I could stay awake listening to) have long stated humans have an inborn desire to be part of and accepted by a group. That sense of belonging is fine and all, but it can lead to another phenomenon called “groupthink.” Basically, that’s when you go along with the crowd because you want to continue fitting in, even if what the crowd says absolutely sucks. I call it the Sanjaya Effect. “American Idol” fans know who I’m talking about, and for once it’s not Shaft. (And, yes, we can dig it.) The Sanjaya Effect made millions of people vote for an okay singer because everyone else they knew was doing it.

And that’s where tribalism comes into play. Once we become invested in a group, we want to defend it against those who would mean it harm. This plays out in our minds in several ways, ranging from the logical (protect the clan) to the social (more people will like me) to the personal (I feel good about myself) to the sexual (chicks dig it). In a political framework, the same concepts apply (defend our ideology, more people will like me, I’ll get noticed and appreciated, chicks dig it). At its core, tribalism is primitive and driven by instinct and/or emotion.

Which begs the question of why the Left would be against tribalism, given the emotional spectrum is their playground. The answer, oddly enough, involves their feelings of self-worth. Leftists always like to think they’re the smartest people in the room and are above the kind of visceral reactions they claim to see from the Right. That gives them a blind spot when it comes to looking at what they do on a regular basis.

Here’s a prime example. Recently on MSNBC, host Nicole Wallace said, “There isn’t a strain of racism on the left.” Ah, but that ignores a litany of blatant and covert racism, mainly blaming whites for all the evil in the world. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t maligning a group of people based on skin color…racism? Why, yes…yes it is!

To make the claim the Left has no racism while finding racism under every rock on the Right is pure tribalism, not to mention utterly delusional. Granted, it was said on MSNBC, which is pretty much Tribalism Central on the Left, but the point remains. The fact Wallace couldn’t find a single racist in a group where race is one of their primary talking points shows one of the major dangers of tribalism: it forces you to rationalize behavior you wouldn’t stand for normally because of who acted. Maybe I’m just old fashioned (or just old for that matter), but I grew up believing wrong is wrong, no matter who does it. The Ku Klux Klan is just as racist as the Black Panthers, white nationalists are just as bad as black separatists, and the Westboro Baptist Church and radical members of the gay rights movement are singing from the same hymnals. They just don’t know it yet because of tribalism.

I will admit I used to be tribalistic when I was younger, mainly because I was young, immature, and a dumbass a good chunk of the time. Eventually, I got to a point where I couldn’t keep justifying bad behavior on one side while blasting it on the other. I’d rather be hated for being honest than loved for being dishonest. I’ve seen too many otherwise good people get caught up in the moment and go along to get along without considering there might be a different course to take. There’s a rule of thumb I live by: if it doesn’t feel right, it’s not right, and you have no obligation to ignore your instincts because everyone else decides to do what you feel is wrong. You do, however, have an obligation to yourself to be an individual, think freely, speak freely, and above all else live the life you want to live irrespective of the whims of the crowd. If they aren’t paying your bills, they have no say in your life unless you let them.

So, reject tribalism when you can. Question authority, even the authority you trust. Reevaluate your ideas and arguments to make sure you’re getting the full picture, and don’t be afraid to adjust them as needed. The worst that will happen is you come away with a broader perspective and maybe make a friend or two along the way.

Plus, you won’t be stuck with a whataboutism defense. But more on that another time…

Classed-Based or Skill-Based

The problem with class-based RPG systems is very simple. There is artificial growth in abilities that take time, training, and use to improve.

Take for example the classic Fighter and Wizard characters. At 1st level they both have a proficiency bonus of +2. While a Fighter is proficient in all weapons a Wizard has a very limited amount.

At 1st level a Wizard might use a weapon more than spells. But as that Wizard advances in his class level he become more and more dependent on the arsenal of spells. The weapon at 1st level gets used less and less.

Fast forward to 18th level. The Wizard and the Fighter both have a proficiency bonus of +6. The Fighter by nature of his class trains and relies on weapons. His bonus makes sense.

The 18th level Wizard hasn’t used the weapon in many levels. His spells are his weapons which are far more potent than any mundane weapon. Yet he has the same bonus as the Fighter.

It’s just an aspect of class-based systems that bothers me. It’s not realistic at all. And there needs to be some realism to make a game believable and to be able to rationalize any unbelievable or fantastic aspects of it.

This is why I like skill-based systems over class-based ones. Although I have and do play both kinds of games.

Forget Where’s Mitch? Where Are the Senate Democrats?

Recently a friend of mine asked me where the Democrat Senators interested in running for President in 2020 were during the current government shutdown. When you think about it, that is a really good question. There are a number of prominent Democrats in the Senate right now who are looking to get promoted from Kamala Harris to Bernie Sanders, and a whole slew of others wanting to crowd into the Democrat nominee clown car. Yet, where are they when leadership is needed?

A good question deserves a good answer, and I think I have one. The Democrat Senators interested in running for President have one thing in common: they’re used to demanding what they want done instead of persuading people to follow them. This isn’t unusual, as this is the Leftists’ MO for anything they want to accomplish. By virtue of being Leftists, they think what they say goes because they’re the smartest people in the room (just ask them). The problem is their egos write checks their intellects can’t cash because more often than not their intellects aren’t up to snuff.

Not that being smart is a requirement to be in politics. If anything, it’s a resume enhancer if you’re dumber than a bag of hammers because it means you can be lead more easily. However, there is a difference between dictating and leading, one that many figures in the public and private sector fail to recognize. Power is more than a title, the size of your office, and a name placard. It can be constructive or destructive, depending on how it’s used, and right now the Left is using it destructively to further an agenda that does more harm than good to the country.

This is where a Senate Democrat looking to beat Donald Trump in 2020 can make a difference. Instead of telling people what you want and expecting them to comply, make the argument that your way is better, especially with the shutdown. Ideologically, I know you don’t want to give Trump a W, but to be a leader you have to think beyond the current day. Being instrumental in getting the government back up and running would be a boon for any Presidential candidate at this point.

Unfortunately for Democrats, none of the Senators are stepping up and leading. They’re too busy Tweeting about what should be done to actually do something.

Shutdown Continues

The government shutdown continues onward without any sign of it being revealed. And this is total fault of Congress. It is the duty of Congress to pass a budget, this has not been properly done since 2006. That’s more than 10 years ago.

Since the US Government hasn’t had a budget, it operates on continuing resolutions that only last a short period of time. This way both parties and the Administration can shutdown the government in order to promote a specific agenda. This is used by both the Republican party and Democratic party.

President Obama demanded the passage of Obamacare in order to fund the government and remove the shutdown that was imposed. And then Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, demanded that Obamacare needed to be passed in order to find out what was in it. That is and was absurd.

All President Trump is requesting is a small amount for border security. But again Nancy Pelosi isn’t going to have her Leftist Democratic host pass such a message. And she is confused since this is the first Republican President who isn’t bowing down before the Democratic tyranny machine.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi needs to do her job and pass the appropriate funding to reopen the government.

All the Colors of the Rainbow…Except Red

The scuttlebutt in Washington, DC, right now involves Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. Leftists have been circulating the idea Graham is being blackmailed by President Donald Trump to say and act in a different manner than he did prior to the death of Senator John McCain, suggesting Trump knows a dirty little secret about Graham’s presumed sexual preference. You see, Graham is believed to be gay and, although he’s never come out one way or the other, it’s a “known secret” like Valerie Plame being in the CIA was.

Before I go any further, let me just say there is nothing wrong with being gay. If you get your jollies with a member of your own gender, great! All I ask is you don’t force me to sanction it, and I won’t force you to sanction my heterosexual relationship with my wife. And it’s been my experience that most gay people are okay with that.

This is where things get tricky. From an ideological standpoint, gay Leftists demand loyalty to “The Cause.” And if you deviate one micron from their ideology, you’re “not really gay” or an enemy to “The Cause” or both. It’s amazing that the same ideology that gave us 5,376,891,239,134,148 genders (as of the writing of this blog) can be so binary in their ideology.

This dichotomy/hypocrisy of Leftist ideology leaves a lot of homosexuals with a Faustian deal: conform, or be cast out. (Subdivisions.) Some gays have even said it was easier to come out as gay than it was to come out as conservative (and, yes, there are conservative and libertarian gays out there). If you really think about it, and I have, it seems counterintuitive to preach diversity on the one hand because a person is homosexual and deny it on the other if that same person digs Ayn Rand. It would be like…oh, I don’t know…having a group of black Congresspeople deny inclusion to their group on the basis of race and ideology. Good thing such an organization doesn’t exist or else the Left might be seen as bigots!

There’s also a privacy issue at work here. Gays, by and large, don’t want their sex lives to become public fodder, which I can respect. Yet, there are some gays (who just happen to swing Left) who think it’s a duty for them to “out” gay conservatives. Regardless of your stance on homosexuality, purposely outing someone because of political difference is a bridge too far. Unless you’re going to allow them to open up your closet (so to speak) and drag out all your skeletons, you’re delving into an area you shouldn’t want to be seen in because it can easily boomerang on you.

So what if Lindsey Graham is gay? Doesn’t affect anyone in the grand scheme of things, so leave it alone. What matters are the policies he supports and the actions he takes in accordance with those policies. That’s it. Even if all the cool gay kids are snickering at him because they think he’s gay, it’s not an open invitation to make it a focal point of your derision, and it’s certainly not carte blanc to suggest he’s being blackmailed by Donald Trump because of it. Blackmail is still a crime in this country, and if you accuse anyone, let alone Trump, of engaging in it, you had better be ready to produce evidence or else you risk legal, personal, and image problems up the ying-yang. (Of course, if you’re into that kind of thing, you may enjoy that, but it’s not my place to judge.) In the meantime, cool it with the blackmail crap and focus on a long-term vision for the gay community, one that embraces ideological diversity as easily as it embraces racial and cultural diversity.

Or is that too radical a thought to consider?

Shut Up About the Shutdown

As we enter another week of the government shutdown, I’ve noticed more and more talk about it and its potential impact to our economy and to the furloughed government workers and service members and their families. Since we haven’t devolved into Thunderdome yet, I’m thinking we’re doing okay, but the media seem ultra concerned about the shutdown as though we’re one story away from total anarchy.

As both a freedom-loving individual and a lower middle class wage earner, I see both sides of the equation. On the one hand, living paycheck to paycheck is subsistence, not living. On the other hand, not having government worm its way into my life (and my wallet) as much is a good thing. Somewhere in between, there is a happy medium.

But since we have toddlers in Congress, we can’t have that. Republicans blame Democrats for not agreeing to $5 billion to fund a wall/barrier/fence/garden wall that President Donald Trump wants. Democrats blame Republicans for not doing anything about it when they had control of the House and Senate. Trump is blaming Democrats for not wanting to come to the table about the wall, after saying he would take full responsibility for shutting down the government.

Is anyone else tired of the shutdown talk?

Yes, I see the irony of writing a blog post talking about not wanting to talk about the shutdown, but the point is still the same. People are tired of the back and forth between sides that don’t want to be the first to blink. Take ideology off the table for a moment, folks, and look at what the core of the matter is. It’s not national security. It’s not amnesty. It’s not separating families or curtailing crimes committed by illegal immigrants. It’s not an allegedly racist President wanting to stroke his ego or a Congress whose approval ratings are lower than a snail’s belt buckle.

It’s about a wall. Period.

All of this macho posturing over a damn wall that won’t mean a thing unless there’s real change in the way we address illegal immigration. And, spoiler alert, only one side of this shutdown debacle is even talking about matters beyond a wall, and rarely at that. Meanwhile, the other side has members who want ICE abolished because reasons. Actually, they want ICE abolished because doing so allows more illegals into the country…to vote for Leftist candidates.

Put simply, the wall is a metaphor for the political aspirations of two sides who really don’t give a damn about us, but they care enough to shill for our votes and take our campaign donations. It’s political theater where you pay out the nose for a bag of popcorn and watch the crappiness play out. Wait. That’s the current movie-going experience. Nevermind!

You know what might stop the posturing and jockeying for position? If we stop paying attention to it. Fire doesn’t last if it’s deprived of oxygen, and so do political shenanigans like the shutdown/wall controversy. There are a lot better things out there to be spending time on than rehashing the same tired arguments about why we need/don’t need a wall. Like, and I’m just throwing this out there, reading a thoughtful, occasionally humorous, and well-written blog like mine. You know, if you’re into that kind of thing…