Sunday, 12 October 2014

A response to Bob Francis

This is in response to the following face book discussion.

First off psychology is a science. It is highly statistical science but if you want to be a Scientologist like Tom Cruise go for it.
Second you don't start with a theory. You start with repeatable observations and experiments, analyse the observations in unbiased manners, things like double blind tests, and you formulate a falsifiable hypothesis which can also be independently verified. A scientific theory is a well substantiated explanation of some area of the natural world that arrived at after repeated applications of the scientific method. Continually testing new and existing data to see if the current theory is still accurate. If it isn't either the theory is falsified and may have its domain of applicability reduced and it is replaced by a new theory that makes more accurate predictions or more predictions.
Newton's law of gravity is an example of a Theory that while wrong is still widely used but its domain of applicability is reduced.
Your statement that they've stopped checking observations is disingenuous or ignorant, take your pick. It is like saying biologists have stopped checking if evolution. It is continually examined. New scientists in learning their field continually test current hypotheses and theories and many main stream scientists do the same.
Your example of Einstein is a good one. He originally predicted that GR indicated a non static universe and introduced a cosmological constant to keep it static. He later said that was "the biggest blunder in my career" and it was removed from GR for a very long time. Then we continued to test GR over the next 80 years. ~20 years after GR was published we found something that didn't add up within GR and that was the galactic rotation curves that indicated that galaxies where rotating to fast for the amount and distribution of matter within the observed galaxies. Pop forward another ~60 years and we discover that there is unseen mass around almost all galaxies. Mass that is at best very weakly interacting electromagnetically. Pop forward another 10 years and we discover that the expansion of the universe doesn't indicate that it is going to slow down but never quiet reach zero thus will expand forever and it isn't slowing down and never has been slowing down to cause a "big crunch" but in fact is speeding up and dark energy is introduced as the cause of the Hubble expansion.

The SAME type of stuff goes on with climate change. To say it doesn't ignores all the scientific work out there and frankly shows a very poor understanding of the scientific method.

You know why appropriate action isn't being taken. Because of people like you that want to deny the science kick up a stink if money was sunk into fixing the problem. Would you right now be willing to go through the pain and expense that it will take to fix the problem? The IPCC report is not only about the science but there is a whole volume that goes into mitigating the problem and it factors in how much people are willing to do. The science of psychology on this matter is pretty clear. People generally have very short term impulses that work against fixing problems like this. Politicians have short term goals of getting reelected. People might like the idea of not fucking over the environment or even other people but when they can be fooled or self deluded into believing that there isn't a problem they'll take the greedy option. Take Easter island as an example. That society kept cutting down trees and at some point you'd think that they might consider it a bad idea to continue to do so but no...they didn't. They cut down EVERY tree on that island. They destroyed their civilization. This isn't some "soft science" hypothesis. We know they did it. Captain Cook discovered the island before the population completely dwindled out. The boats they had were pitiful meaning they couldn't even fish properly any more.

So again if you don't know what is in the IPCC report please shut up and stop making false statements about the report and all the science in the report because YOU and everyone like you, including Fox News, CNN, etc. Everyone that either knowingly or unknowingly makes it look like the science isn't in or says that it isn't science because, even though you haven't investigated the issue you are sure that all those scientists are doing bad science, it it is treated as a "religion" is the problem.

Religions have "Truths" that are not independently verifiable. That is why we have thousands of denominations of the "Christian" religion, forget about all the other religions. Science, including the science of climate change is search for the best explanation to observed physical facts. The observed physical fact is our climate is changing. The fact isn't based off of 1 piece of data. It is from many different areas of the relevant sciences using data from many different sources. If you want to know about it then there is the IPCC report which makes it very easy to get a very large amount of work that has been done on the topic. Think of the IPCC report as a HUGE scientifically reviewed paper.
Are there still questions? Yes! Does that mean we should ignore everything we know until all those questions are answered? Not if you care about your grand children and great grand children. You and I might miss much of the problems. But Steven, Melissa, Bryan and Joshua won't. They'll be in the thick of it. And because simply pulling CO2 out of the atmosphere isn't a instant fix they are quickly being set into a future they'll not even be able to properly mitigate given the current science. It will take hundreds of years to get the oceans to return to normal. We'll never get back some of the aquatic life that is dying off because they can't evolve quick enough to the changes in their environment do to climate change.
The "taxing production" isn't a scientific solution. It is a political solution to try to motivate companies to change in a manner that is less economically impactful. I don't think that carbon should be taxed either. It is a stupid political trick to get people to think that the governments and companies are trying to do something. What needs to be done? Read the volume of the IPCC report that goes into that. There are many ideas that can be implemented put forth by many people much more knowledgeable then you and I. Not only "scientists" but others like economists.
It is like if you went to the doctor and they told you that you have a tumor in your head and they recommend an invasive surgery because based on their knowledge you'll die if it isn't removed. You might go to a few other doctors to get a second, third and forth opinion. Now imagine you've gone to 100 doctors about the issue and 98% of them agree that you need to get it operated on. None of them will guarantee your survival. Of the 2 others 1 suggests you use this drug that they say will help and you know that doctor has received a lot of money from the pharmaceutical company that makes that drug. Last doctor isn't sure that the tumor will continue growing or even if it does that it does you might have a better quality of life not operating. Then Alex, your neighbor, comes over and says that through meditation you can heal yourself. A work mate comes to you and says all you need to do is use a pillow with magnets. And another person that noticed you reading up on the topic of brain tumors while on the train tells you they heard that brain tumors actually can make you smarter. Who are you going to listen to? In reality you probably wouldn't get to 10 doctors. You'd be faced with doctors on one side pretty much in universal consensus about what you should do and quacks on the other side. Then CNN picks up your story and they'll bring 1 of the doctors on and Alex on to have a "debate". Hopefully most people will walk away hearing that all the doctors you went to see agreed on the treatment but a good percentage of people will hear that meditation has been found to work, even though there isn't any science or real evidence behind it, and they'll think you should go down that route because it is less invasive. That is what it is like. You can disagree but, by what you've posted, you clearly don't understand the issue.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Please stop with the persecution complex!

Do you really think that Christians in the USA are persecuted?  Is your opinion of your religion that inflated that you think that Christians need more rights and respect at the cost of American citizens of different beliefs?  Do you really think that given a Christians receive less respect then those with other beliefs?

The USA has a majority of people that identify as Christian.  73% at the latest count.  Almost 20% of American self identify as non religious.  Yet Congress is about 90% Christian and 9% Jewish. Hmmm seems we have about 20% of our country not represented yet if you listen to Fox News it is Christians that are the powerless ones.

It isn't Christians that are looked down upon by the majority of the country.  There are polls and studies that show that the majority of Americans would trust an atheist LESS then they would trust a rapist. As scared as many American's are of Muslims they are more likely to vote for a Muslim for president then an atheist.

You have government officials that instead of giving equal treatment to a secular organisation they prevented a Christian organisation from doing the same thing just to spite the secular organisation.  So here you have two organisations that want to help people. One is Christian and the other is run by an atheist.  The Christian politician decided that he would pull support from the Christian organisation rather then affording the secular group the same privileges.  Who is the one that is being persecuted and who is doing the persecuting?

 How many times do I have to see memes like this?
Let us look at the logical fallacies here.

First off  America is NOT a Christian Nation.  From the Treaty of Tripoli in 1796.

"As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen [Muslims]; and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan [Mohammedan] nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."

America is a nation for people of ALL faiths and religious beliefs.  Not just the thousands of Christian denominations that can't even agree on the interpretation of most of their holy book.

Second, who exactly says that YOU can't say "Merry Christmas"?
When has someone bitched you out for saying "Merry Christmas"?

Many people and organisations say "Happy Holidays" because there are other people in the USA that celebrate different holidays around this time of year, including pagans from which the Christmas Holiday was co-opted from the holiday of Saturnalia.

So if you are offended that other people and organisations are not paying your religion enough attention that is your problem.  There is no war on Christmas or Christians.  There are just people of other faiths that would like to pay and receive respect to people of all faiths and the rights our constitution guarantees. Every time someone claims the USA is a "Christian Nation" they marginalize all American's that don't self identify as Christians.  I didn't serve my country for 6 years just for Christians. I served my country for the benefit of ALL its citizens.

So for once I'd like to see Christians actually act as suggested in Ephesians 4:1-3 "I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace"

If you want to say "Merry Christmas" then go for it but don't EVER tell someone else that they must express a greeting in the manner which you demand.  Are you going to bitch me out if someone sneezes and I say "Gesundheit" instead of "God bless you"? Do you even want a blessing from a heathen like me?  Sure, with 80% of America worshiping the Abrahamic god I'd probably be fine with that response.  I'm sure most of the other 20% wouldn't care that I said "God bless you either".  I may get a few people say something like "Actually I don't believe in God but thank you" and I know this because I have at times said this and heard other atheists say it.  So isn't saying something like "Health" a more inclusive response?  You won't hear a Swede yell at me because I didn't say "prosit".  They wouldn't go away and start a meme implying they where discriminated against because someone didn't greet them in the way they normally greet others.  They'd probably say thank you and move on grateful that they were acknowledged

Stop with the persecution complex because when minorities, that are really persecuted, see/ hear you complain then it just leaves them with a bad feeling about your self righteousness.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

What is the USA good at? Pissing off and on everyone in the middle East!

Think about this.  1953 We destabilize the government in Iran.  In 1979 that came all tumbling down on our head.  The USA puts into power Saddam Hussein and at the same time the USA secretly worked with Pakistan to create the Taliban to combat against Russia.  We back a horrific government of Saudi Arabia because of the large amount of oil they control.  We supply intel to Saddam Hussein on Iranian targets and ignore the fact that he's using chemical and biological weapons on them, some of which we sold to him using  some of the billions of dollars we essentially give him.  At the same time we sold arms to Iran through Israel in attempt to have hostages release.  This all done by the greatest administration according to many in the GOP.  We then have the CIA aid in the creation of al-Qaeda to also combat against Russia but at a crucial point we withdrew aid from al-Qaeda.  Saddam Hussein uses chemical and biological weapons not only on Iranian combat forces but his own citizens.  The US blocks an attempt by Iran to raise the issue of Iraq using biological and chemical weapons, probably due in part to the USA supplying much of the components of those weapons to Iraq.  We finally loose the last little bit of control we had of him much like we lost control over Iran.  Suddam occupies Kuwait.  Something that the USA could have lived with if it it didn't threaten Saudi Arabia.  USA goes to war with Iraq with just under 300 casualties, 2/3 by either accident or friendly fire incidents *rolls eyes*.  We spend then next few years trying to regain control of Suddam with no success.  August 6th 2001 President bush was warned about Bin Laden being determined to attack the USA and promptly told the analyst ""All right, you've covered your ass, now." apparently more concerned about his vacation.  1 month later the 9/11 happens and the USA uses this to start 2 wars.  One with Iraq over WMDs that did not exist and the other against within Afghanistan.  The USA then is directly and indirectly responsible for literally hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in both those countries being killed.  The USA uses weapons like white phosphorus grenades in areas with large amounts of civilians within.  We use signature strikes attacking suspected but not confirmed targets often just based of the use of a cell phone without knowledge of who is in possession of the said phone. We arrest and deport people to Guantanamo Bay often just on the word of various accusers we are willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars to for essentially a body regardless of any proof they've been involved in any crime. We torture many of these people there in an attempt to extract information from them but not once got a single piece of accurate information.  Some prisoners we use a process of rendition where we send them to places like Egypt to torture them more extensively while trying to maintain some deniability over the torture. We even abducted innocent civilians from countries like Italy, had them tortured to find out we had the wrong person then dumped them in the desert of Afghanistan hoping they'd die. We perform attacks on suspected targets then when first responders show up to aid the injured we'd attack them as well.  We execute drone attacks based on very faulty data even after we see that we've killed dozens of innocent people for every "valid" target we got.

All during this time we've got politicians saying "They hate us because they are jealous of us" "They hate us because they hate us." "All they want is the destruction of western society"

Today we have the GOP screaming Obama should have backed the "moderate" rebels in Syria. When we have no idea who the "moderate" rebels are if there are such a thing.  A few of the groups many Senators claim are "moderate" have just signed agreements with ISIL who we now want to attack because they've beheaded a few people which was in response to us bombing them.  The reason they are there is because we tried to force 3 different groups of people into one country, Iraq, with out regard for their actual backgrounds.  To this we now will wage an air war against them but the GOP wants boots on the ground because for them it isn't a real war unless American men are being killed on the ground.  This will get American's more scared and fuel more money into the military industrial complex.

We don't have enough money to help a 9 year old boy have lunch at school but we can afford to pay hundreds of billions of dollars to fight a force of currently only 30,000 odd fighters.  But fear not! The USA attacking them will rally more fighters to their cause so the battle will not be won easily or quickly.

We now have the Deputy National Security Adviser saying the following.  "We need a Sunni partner in these countries.  That's why we need his inclusive government and that's why wee need a Sunni opposition partner in Syria" referring to Iraq.  Do you know who that describes?  Saddam Hussein!  For fuck sake.  We've got a pattern of sticking our nose in places it does not belong.  Backing the wrong people.  Switching sides then backing the opposition.  Often while still backing the original group.  Pissing them all off so that they then all want to attack the USA.

SSDD, Same Shit Different Day.  Given Hillary Clinton or Ran Paul in 2016 I'd have to go with Ran Paul.  I hope a legitimate Democrat beats Clinton in the primaries.

Friday, 8 August 2014

What would you want the world to do if every week 102 children in Boston where being killed for the past 4 weeks?

The latest count for children killed by Israeli incursion into Gaza in the last 4 weeks has topped 408.  102 children ever week. 14-15 children every day!  What would you do?  What would you want the world to do?

Now you might say "But Israel has to protect itself from Palestinian rockets?".  I'll tell you the number.  It is 28.  Now you might think "See! 28 Israelis is a significant number!".  But let me tell you one more piece of information you should know about that number.  That is 28 Israeli's in the last 13 years.  How many this year? One.  Yes one Israeli killed by 705 attacks fired from all over Palestine in the last 7 months.  So Israel wanted to "cut the grass" and launched a ground invasion into a city that is already blockaded.

Let me go into the geography a little for you. The Gaza strip is ~63%  larger then Boston with 3 times the population.  Now factor in that 44% of the Gaza strip is designated as "no go zones" by the Israeli Defense Forces you've got a even worse situation.  Take a look at it here compared with Boston.  The people can not leave this area.  So when you hear the Palestinians get warning to leave where are they to go?  They can't leave the borders.  They can't even move around much within the strip.  Most of the people there are dependent on the UN for food and basic medical supplies.

If you took all the children killed in just the last 4 weeks and spread them out as much as you could each child's dead body would be about 1/2 a mile from the next and the entire gaza strip would be covered. To give you a rough idea I've done a little placing of 400 dots over the Boston area. Remember this is just in the past 4 weeks.  Oh, remember I've used the 44% of the area where Israel says they can't go too.

I don't care if you think Israel is justified to have occupied and oppressed the citizens of the Gaza strip for the last 47 years.  I don't care if you think it is Israel's right to force out a democratically elected government.  I don't care if you justify Israel's military action because Hamas's charter calls for the destruction of Israel all the while ignoring the Likud party's charter says the exact same thing about not only Hamas but all Palestinians.

What I care about right now is the whole sale slaughter of the Palestinians within the Gaza strip and specifically the deliberate targeting of refugees even when in well defined UN controlled compounds. What I care about is over 400 children that should be still on the face of this Earth and not mutilated beyond recognition or crushed by the very building that was supposed to be their protection.

Israel has killed over 1,900 Palestinians in the last 4 weeks in the Gaza strip.  75% of them innocent civilians.  Take that square of dots above and increase the number of dots by 4 and that is the carnage that is going on.

You say Israel has no choice because Hamas and other Palestinians are using civilians as Human shields?  Hmmm back in 2005 the Israeli High Court found that the Israeli Defense Forces used Palestinian civilians as human shields 1,200 times in the previous 5 years.  There are multiple reports of IDF forces using civilians just this week.  One was the use of an 11 year old Palestinian boy to open packages the IDF believed may have been booby trapped with explosives another case where they tied a older boy to the front of their vehicle.  Let us forget the hypocrisy there.  Let me point out that Israel has bombed 8 UN run refugee camps who's location they knew about.  One of them hit just days ago the UN had relayed the camp's location to IDF 37 times in the last 4 weeks. You heard that there were rockets found at some UN locations?  Did you hear that it was the UN that found the rockets?  Did you hear it was the UN that turned them in?  Did you hear that the UN locations where those rockets where found were not occupied by refugees or even currently used by the UN?  Did you hear that the locations bombed had no rockets and no attacks were made from them in the past 4 weeks? Now tell me why the IDF had to target them.  I can tell you why.  Benjamin Netanyahu has said that Palestinians need to be beaten into submission.  That it is Israel's goal that the civilian losses are so great that the civilians stop the dissidents and then turn around bow to their oppression under the hand of Israel.

Israel has a right to exist.  So does Palestine.  Hamas has said they will bow to the will of their people and if the people want a 2 state solution that is what will happen.  Israel on the other hand just yesterday said there will never be a 2 state solution.  Palestinians will never be released from their oppression.

Hamas and other groups within Palestine need to stop using force because it is utterly ineffective.  It is getting them no where.  Like wise Israeli needs to stop their excessive use of force.  All it is doing is breeding more hatred.  Their constant targeting of civilians is causing more and more Palestinians, that only want to live their lives, to change and want nothing but revenge for the decimation of their families by Israel.  The problem is Israel has all the power.  Before the ground offensive the death toll ratio was around 300:1 Even if Israel stopped air strikes any Palestinian dissident's attacks are shown to be not very effective.  With less then a .5% success ration Israel has little to fear.

How long will you sit around and ignore the tragedy happening to the people within the Gaza strip?  How long would you expect the world to sit around if it was your baby just 24 days old, along with eight other members of your family, 2 of them also children, that was killed by an artillery round destroying their house.  None of your family being involved in any aggression.  How many of your friends would you see die before your eyes?  How many nights would you cower in fear never knowing if you'll never see the light of day?  How long would you think the world should stand by and allow this to happen to you and those you love?  I say this has been 4 weeks to long.  If you have any compassion, if you say you believe in "God" how can you do nothing?  How can you say nothing?

Pointing out that Israel is using excessive force isn't anti-Semitic.  The oppression of the Jews decades, generations, ago does not give them licence to murder innocent civilians with impunity let alone free from the criticism of the rest of the world.  All this does is make Israel look bad.  The propaganda white wash they've used for decade is old and the world is quickly getting bored of it.  How many more innocent people have to die before you'll act?  I bet if it happened to just one person you know many of you would act right away.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Is your news source really about news?

If you live in the USA then where you get your "news" from is most likely not really concerned with news but money and what sells.  So what sells?  Things that make you afraid of things that are different.  Fear mongering is rich among the major media outlets.  What you don't get is a true picture of what goes on in the world.  You normally hear how it is reasonable that Israel kills 4 times more innocent civilians then intended targets.  You hear how they give warning and ask Palestinians to leave before bombing You hear that Israel has no choice when they kill civilians.  You don't hear that the Gaza Strip is basically a large prison.  You don't hear that Palestinians can't really leave the Gaza strip.  You don't hear that Israel bombs civilians completely isolated from valid military targets like the a hospital or 4 kids playing ball on a empty beach.  I could go on but this post isn't about Palestine and Israel.  It is about news outlets and them not actually reporting news.

Do you know who this woman is? Some of you might but odds are most of you don't.  Her name is Shannon Guess Richardson.  I don't know about you but I think she's pretty but then I have a thing for red heads. Shannon is from Texas and she was an actress.  Don't feel bad if you still don't recognize her.  Even though you've probably seen her, she's been in Walking Dead, Vampire diaries, Twilight Breaking Dawn and a bunch of other tv shows.  Pretty much everything she's been in has been as an uncredited extra.  This isn't the news that you should have been told.  What you should have heard from your news sources is that she is a dangerous terrorist inside of the USA.  You might be thinking "WHAT!?!?!, She doesn't look at all like a Muslim!". She isn't.  She is much more dangerous.  She is an extreme right wing conservative who is part of a population that think it is her right to try to assassinate multiple politicians including the president.  She even tried to frame her innocent husband for it.  What did she do? She actually sent ricin to Obama, Bloomberg and Mark Glaze.  She's eventually pleaded guilty and will serve 18 years.  Now if she was Muslim she probably would have had a good chance of being shot while being taken into custody.

Think this isn't a big deal?  I can see some people I'm related to making the claim it wasn't that serious because the president was never in danger because of the security protocols around him.  For you that don't know how deadly ricin is think about 1 aspirin.  Now chop that pill into over 200 equal parts.  Now take just one of those portions and that is enough to kill a fully grown person.  Yes Obama was very safe.  He doesn't open his own mail and there is strict screening on any mail sent to him so even the staff in the white house were in no danger.  But what about Bloomberg and Glaze?  What about the postal worker that handled those letters.  What if on or more of the letters broke open and contaminated other mail.

But even the "liberal" media of the USA didn't really say anything about this.  Because she is a white female.  You can guarantee that if she was Muslim that you would have heard nothing but her story for weeks on end.  But your news doesn't want you to think critically.  They want you afraid of stuff you find hard to relate to, like Muslim terrorist.  That is what drives their profits and you come out the other end with a distorted view of reality.  You look at Shannon and you probably think something like "she looks like someone I'd be friends with."

How many right wing extremists have you heard about killing anyone?  Now how many times have your heard how dangerous Muslim terrorists are.  Do you know right wing extremists are over twice as deadly as Muslim terrorists in the USA?  Left wing extremists are really bad.  They haven't killed anyone in over a decade.  I often blame conservatives for not standing and speaking up against the radicals in their midst.  But truth is most of you don't know they are there.  Funny enough it is right wing extremists that always ask why Muslims don't condemn Muslim Terrorists.  This is what is called projection and isn't anywhere near reality.  The reality is that there are TONS of Muslim organisations that put out statements of condemnation after some terrorist attacks.  From the right you only hear how the actions of radicals in their own groups are some how justified.

So here is what I suggest you start doing if you want real news.  Try other sources.  Huffington Post is a good one. The BBC is pretty good.  Al Jazeera is actually excellent and much more independent from government pressure then the major networks in the USA.

At the end of the day if you want to stay ignorant then by all means keep watching Fox News, CNN, or even MSNBC.  You'll get right wing view, warped "balanced" news or Centre right "liberal" views.  What you will not get is the real story but something that makes them money and doesn't actually amount to anything remotely like journalism.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Pointing out disproportionate responses is not anti-semitic

Palestinian Rocket
1 Israeli dead, over 200 Palestinians dead and over 80% of them innocent civilians.  Make shift rockets fired from the Gaza strip are rendered harmless by American designed and funded technology.   Israel then uses sophisticated rockets and bombs for which the Palestinians have no defense against.   All the while Israel has occupied Palestine for over 44 years and refuses to allow them any sovereignty.  Israel says they want peace but, with America's support, won't allow Palestine to even have a voice in the UN to negotiate for peace.

Israeli Defensive Rockets
Now as American's we have no moral ground to stand upon with how many civilians we've killed in the past 2 decades.  But as American's we shouldn't let what is happening in and around the Gaza strip to continue without voicing objections.  There is wrong on both sides but Israel is not responding in kind.  A 200:1 ratio isn't a proportional response especially when the current reason the fighting is going on is because Israel refuses to stop occupying Palestine.

Just one of the Palestinian Children killed by the Israeli Navy
What would you do if this was your child?  This child was just one of 4 that where killed by the shelling of a beach by the Israeli Navy.  This kid was not a"human shield" for Hamas or any other group attempting to attack Israel.  This kid was playing on the beach with his friends. Some of his friends died with him.  Others are badly wounded and witnessed their young friends bodies get mutilated beyond  any ability to survive.  Avigdor Lieberman, Israeli foreign minister, said "To the best of my understanding, it is not possible to ensure summer vacation, a normal summer for our kids, without a ground operation in Gaza".  So this Palestinian child, and others like him, had to be brutally killed so that children in Israel can enjoy their summer vacation?  What kind of sick twisted logic is that?

For over 4 decades Israel has been the oppressor.  Perhaps they should try a different tactic especially when they are killing 200 times more people then their enemy.  Perhaps they should show some restraint when they are only, at best, 20% effective at targeting their enemy with the other 80% being innocent people like the child above.

We, as Americans, have to realize that many around the world that "hate us" don't hate us simply because they are jealous of us.  They hate us because we occupy them.  They hate us because we kill their children.  They hate us because we oppress them.  Here we occasionally ask for Israel to show restraint but never demand it.

What if that was your child?  What if some foreign nation occupied were you lived for almost your entire life?  What if you had to live in constant fear?  How would you react?  Do you know why Palestinians blow themselves up in a market?  Because they don't have F-16s supplied by the USA to deliver their bombs.  They aren't terrorists.  They are fighting for their freedom.  Just because Israel has more expensive weapons doesn't make them right.  Just like the USA using unmanned drones to kill innocent civilians doesn't make it right.  Just because I point out the reality doesn't mean I'm anti-semitic.

As American's we need to open our eyes up to the reality of the destruction we cause.  We need to open our eyes up to the destruction we condone.  Then and only then maybe we can halt the blood baths we create.  Then and only then will we be able to start to repair the damage WE have done to our own image.  Then and only then can we start saying we are part of the greatest nation the world has ever seen.  Until then we are just bullies of the world an Israel is just our side kick.  But instead of stealing lunches and punching a weaker kid we literally kill children that just want to be children.

Israel, like the USA, needs to realize that just because we can destroy our enemies with relatively few casualties of our own doesn't mean we should.  So when someone like Dick Cheney talks about defense spending and says "That ought to be our top priority for spending. Not food stamps, not highways or anything else,"  we shouldn't listen.  We already spend more then the next 11 countries combined.  Dick Cheney says we can't fight 2 wars at once.  Well our funding says we should be able to fight 11 wars at once and still have a little left over.

The reason that they don't want peace is 2 fold.  First it keeps them in power.  For Israel if their people are afraid then their government has more power.  The second reason is money.  This is trillions of dollars in play keeping the military industrial complex going.  Those corporations don't want peace because peace is bad for business.  Fuck the dead kids and fuck the average person.  Dick Cheney would rather your son or daughter have a gun in their hands made by these corporations then your child actually getting an education.  Because the education won't make Cheney and his friends money and an educated person is what the rich fear the most.  Keep your population dumb and poor to keep your power.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Double standards with touchy subjects. Did you ever have a crush on a teacher?

  Well another female teacher sleeping with a male student of hers.  29 year old Kathryn Ronk has been charged with multiple counts of first degree sexual misconduct, one count of child pornography (presumably a picture of the boy, and one count of providing a minor alcohol.  The boy is 15 years old.  So I'm going to go some of the things many people think but few will openly discuss.  It may make you feel uncomfortable but stepping outside your comfort zone can very often be a good thing.  Some times doing it is a necessity to really start to make change that is needed within our society.  If you don't care about making change then feel free to click "x" now.

   First off it is inappropriate for multiple reasons in my view.  The age being the first.  The position of authority being the second.  There are some interesting issues we, as society, need to look at these types of things.

  I've seen arguments, in the past, how something like this isn't that bad.  Honestly there is running jokes about hooking up with hot teachers while you are in high school.  It is a huge fantasy of a large number of students of both sexes.  Our culture both demonizes and glamorizes it.  The list of movies and songs that show how it is just normal "young love" is very long.  From movies like Blame it on Rio, American Beauty, Private Lessons, My Teacher's Wife, Circle of Two and many more.  Sting wrote the song "Don't stand so close to me" in the late 1970s and won a Grammy in 1981 for the song. Re-released in 1986 right when I was just 16.  Sting reportedly says the song is not autobiographical but he was a teacher and it really isn't a stretch now is it.

  These days we seem to have more views of predatory pedophiles lying and manipulating "grooming" young people on-line.  Before the internet such grooming was much more personal.  Actual pedophiles had to put themselves in roles where they would be around young people constantly but that is for another blog post.  I'm not sure I'd class Kathryn as a predator or a pedophile but is that because of culture I grew up in?  It reminds me of this episode 10 from season 10 of South Park.  I've got a clip here for you. Basically Kyle's little brother, Ike, who can barely talk, is having an affair with his kindergarten teacher.

  You might not find South Park funny but the sentiment isn't really far off the mark if Ike was 10-11 years older.

  When I was in high school  there were 2 young female teachers I had a crush on and would have been ecstatic if I hooked up with either of them.  Lets be honest, like most young men, I probably would have been over joyed if I hooked up with almost any of the young women in the whole student body back then.  The attitude is boys are boys and, well, as young men we are naturally horny little bastards.  So when I was 15 if I had a teacher like Kathryn that I had an affair with I can say that I'd have come out of the whole ordeal with very minimal metal scaring.  I'm sure it would not last and would be very sad when it ended.  At the time it would be very hard emotionally but hormones would have kicked in and some other girl would have caught my eye.  I'm sure I wouldn't have been scarred for life.  I'd wager that probably 95% of the guys I went to high school with wouldn't have ended up any worse for the wear if it happened to one of them either.

  We, as a society, don't like to think of young women in the same light.  We hold them in a better light for the most part.  In a way everyone just accepts the way young men will act.  But females...they aren't controlled by hormones like boys aren't they?.  They are looking for long term love!  Their crushes on a teacher are motivated differently in our eyes as society.  But I wonder how many of the women I know had such crushes and what was honestly going through their heads.  My experience is that young women are not all that different then young men.  Young men are controlled by hormones but most guys I know at 16 were not out to play the field.  We were, for the most part, happy to try to latch on to one girl for as long as we could.  Bird in the hand mentality.  Tho the 2 in the bush would get us in trouble even if we never got close to them.  Males and Females have our differences for sure but girls aren't the princesses we expect them to be.  That is fine too.  Because once we stop trying to hold them to unrealistic expectations they'll have less pressure and can  be who they want to be.  A young woman that does have sex shouldn't be looked down upon and called a 'slut' while young men get a pat on the back and a 'that's my boy!'

  So looking at this situation I know I should look at this in the same manor that I'd look at it if it was a 29 year old male teacher and a 15 year old female teacher but it is hard to keep that in frame.  Maybe because I've got a strong protection instinct.  I've gone through so many phases looking at age differences between couples from different perspectives.  When I was 18 and based in Georgia I had a girl friend that turned 17 just a month after we. I also dated a 28 year old woman when I was barely 18. Was the fact that I was a Marine a reason people didn't look at that as a bit odd?  When I was just 22 in and stationed in Hawaii I met a 20 year old woman I fell head over heels for but I remember thinking when I first met her "Hold on! She's only 20...she's pretty young!" when in reality it was me that wasn't as mature as I would have liked to think.  Years later after getting married, leaving the Marine Corps, having a child and broken up with my ex I found myself 28 and in the same year I dated two women that were very different.  One woman that was 9 years older then me and one that was 9 years younger then me.  The younger woman was much more mature then the woman that was over twice her age.  In my mid 30s I once again found that I couldn't bring myself to date women that realistically where only 7-8 years younger then me.  In 26+ years of dating my views on age have changed.  The rule of 1/2 your age plus 7 years seems pretty safe but I still wouldn't want a relationship with a 29 year old.  Not because she'd be to immature but realistically the problem would be years down the line when the 15 year gap doesn't get smaller but actually bigger. I relate to people younger then me just fine these days but when I'm 85 and needing some care I'd hate to think I'd be hindering a partner just 70 and still very much in the game of life

  So I've had a roller coaster ride with my personal views on ages and relationships but I've realized a few things.  Age is often a poor factor when it comes to the emotional maturity of a person.  At the same time we have to have some lines.  Many courts are now starting to factor in age differences in situations where current laws are fairly stupid.  For example a 17 year old boy and his 15 year old girlfriend's relationship shouldn't suddenly become illegal because he turns 18.  The age difference didn't really change and he shouldn't face a sex offender charge because of it.  Was dating a 19-20 year old when I was 28 wrong?  Some might say so and if she wasn't the woman she was I would have agreed but it still wouldn't be illegal just like when I just turned 18 and dated a 28 year old while stationed near D.C.  So is 29 and 15 all that different then 28 and 18.  Realistically the difference between 28 and 29 is nothing.  The difference between 15 (probably almost 16) and 18 is just over 2 years.  Even going through boot camp I'm not sure I  was all that much more mature at 18 then I was at 16.

  So where does this leave my opinion of the matter.  Surprisingly enough I'm pretty clear in my head despite what I've said up to this point.  She's gone to far.  Most places the age of consent is 16 and we have it there for a reason.  She faces up to 15 years in prison because she couldn't seem to wait just a few months.  Do I think she deserves 15 years?  No.  Partly, I'm sure, because of how society has framed my view about this topic.  Partly because I think the current laws in many places need to be further reformed and some judgement should remain in the power of the Judge.  If Kathryn is convicted and there was no evidence that something more devious was going on then yes I think she needs to be rehabilitated but I think it should be more mental health treatment then hard core jail.  I'd have to say the same thing, and this is difficult, if it was a 29 year old male teacher and a 15-16 year old female student.  Hell, the student could be of the same sex as the teacher and I don't think it should matter.  If the teacher was found to have been grooming more then one student then the picture starts to drastically change from a bad indiscretion to predatory behavior. The liberal in me starts going out the window and I'd want the judge to throw the book at the teacher.  Our teachers need to be stronger morally because of the position they are in.

  Finally some random thoughts that I know are just not informed.  OK call me shallow but she's very attractive.  If she wanted a young guy she'd have an easy time with young men just in uni or the military.  First thought I think of is why?  Just go pick up an 18 year old. I'd like to think that she did fall for him.  I don't know what they are feeding some of these young men but they seem to look much older then anyone I went to high school with.  This is what an under 18 player in Australia looks like these days.  Would you look twice if you saw the woman above kissing this young man?

With young women we might try to say it is all the make up and that is partly true.  In reality it is our media that is changing our views and changing the outlook of our young men and women.  I'll wait and see if I can get a transcript of the court case when it happens but in reality I'll never know the real true story.  I hope she gets the help she needs and hopefully someone talks to the young man and puts the whole thing in perspective for him at least.  Hopefully the whole process of her going to trial doesn't traumatize the young man.