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Set Apart – Religion and Politics

20201101 Set Apart – The Daily Summation
20201101 Set Apart – The Daily Summation Podcast

I’m sure everyone out there, can name someone who seems to have a large arsenal of useless facts, in his or her armory.

I’ve been accused by more than a few folks, of being that person, and frankly, I know many argue the truth in that idea.

I would dispute the reputation, but not because I don’t have a lot of information, many would consider to be useless or worthless. On what basis do I mount my refutation?

It’s my contention, that very few of the things I know, are of no value.

Some things, for example, what the “BNC” in BNC connectors stands for, can be argued to have largely lost their significance. In case you’re wondering, I shan’t keep you in suspense, it stands for “British Naval Connector.”

Some other things though, will either keep their value for a good long time to come, or be more or less, timeless.

One example, would be the origin of the word, “saint.”

If you look up the word in most online dictionaries (or get a definition on search engines), you’ll come up with something like (the result from the search, “saint definition” on DuckDuckGo):

saint sānt

  • n. A person officially recognized, especially by canonization, as being entitled to public veneration and capable of interceding for people on earth.
  • n. A person who has died and gone to heaven.

More at Wordnik from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

But if you actually look at the etymology, various places, you’ll get something like this (from EtymOnline, which purports itself an “Online Etymology Dictionary”). Keep in mind, this is but a short excerpt from that site.

saint (n.)

early 12c., from Old French saint, seinte “a saint; a holy relic,” displacing or altering Old English sanct, both from Latin sanctus “holy, consecrated” (used as a noun in Late Latin; also source of Spanish santo, santa, Italian san, etc.), properly past participle of sancire “consecrate” (see sacred). Adopted into most Germanic languages (Old Frisian sankt, Dutch sint, German Sanct).

I hope you can see the significant difference, between the two.

In the first, you find a definition the which, the “average Christian” would be lucky to ever to attain. In the second, the difference is not so clear-cut.

Are you consecrated? Are you holy (another word I would have others look up)? If so, even by this rather high-minded meaning, you are a saint.

Here’s the thing though. If you take the time to look for the word in, say, the King James Version of the Bible (KJV, created in around 1611AD), you might be somewhat surprised to see how that word is used.

I use an application called Online Bible, which has a good many modules, one can use to help one, to understand the Bible. One of these. is a tool called “Easton’s Bible Dictionary.” In that work, can be found the following for the word saint:


One separated from the world and consecrated to God; one holy by profession and by covenant; a believer in Christ #Ps 16:3 Ro 1:7 8:27 #Php 1:1 Heb 6:10 The “saints” spoken of in #Jude 1:14 are probably not the disciples of Christ, but the “innumerable company of angels” #Heb 12:22 Ps 68:17 with reference to #De 33:2 This word is also used of the holy dead #Mt 27:52 Re 18:24 It was not used as a distinctive title of the apostles and evangelists and of a “spiritual nobility” till the fourth century. In that sense it is not a scriptural title.

Wow! What a difference!

In this dictionary, that talks about what the word being used in Biblical senses looks like, it’s clear the meaning is not even all that similar to the one, presently in use.

Put plainly, modern day language (and by that, I mean compared to the idiom of Biblical times), has certainly done a number on this word. That’s not surprising, many similar examples can be found.

It’s pretty obvious that, in the original meaning of the word, more or less anyone who claimed to be under the banner of Jesus, called Christ, would be entitled to have that expression associated with his or her name.

Can a reasonable argument be made for the redefinition of the word in the course of time? In my mind, the answer to that question is pretty assuredly, “No.”

Nonetheless, that’s what has happened as we’ve moved toward the present day, regardless whether it makes sense, for it to have occurred.

And I think Christendom, is the poorer for that fact.

When believers are told they’re not saints, when the Bible seems pretty intent on indicating they are, it places them in a position of subjugation, I don’t think to be at all proper.

Recognition of this reality, also points up another thing many Christians seem to fail to understand. You are consecrated. You have been set apart.

Inability to comprehend this fact, makes it so many believers act as folks for whom it’s not true, instead of behaving as those for which it is the case.

Simply, when you’re not aware you’re a saint, you’re not prone to act like one.

Does sainthood mean perfection? Certainly not.

Even so, you have been set apart.

I’m not trying to cause people to “live up to” the idea of what’s currently referred to as sainthood, so much as help them to realize, the word applies to them.

I certainly don’t believe you’ll magically become the model of perfect behavior or attitude, when this is brought to your attention. I don’t think knowing it’s true is intended to cause that to happen.

That said, I do believe it should cause you to modify your view of yourself, and your fellows in Christ.

Have you gone your whole life to this point, not really properly understanding the word “saint?” If not, you’re in a distinct minority. It’s more common for followers of Jesus, to not know how this word should be applied, than to comprehend for whom it was intended.

Thanks for reading, and may your time be good.

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Health Care – Religion and Politics

20201031 Health Care – The Daily Summation
20201031 Health Care – The Daily Summation Podcast

I’ve had a thing about which I’ve wanted to write for some time now. The problem is, I well know, many will count me crass and uncaring, for what I want to put out there.

The reality is, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, I suppose you could argue that, in some senses, I care entirely too much.

It’s that concern, that motivates me in the direction of wishing to bring forth, the thing I’m about to proffer.

I haven’t been to a hospital for any purpose, other than to take others in for, or visit people while, they underwent care.

That’s not something I say as some sort of boast.

It’s really pretty simple. To this point I’ve been blessed of God Almighty, with health I have no reason to expect.

I have a few minor issues, but the truth is, pretty much nothing from which I suffer, having lived lo this half century, is severe enough to cause me to seek the aid of medical staff.

I may find out at some point, that something is happening inside me, which will cause me to fall into an early grave. If that days is forthcoming, it’s awfully hard to imagine at the present moment.

I’m sure a good many people have said the same, and fallen over and died directly after saying it.

The reason I bring forward, what I have to this point, isn’t borne out of some desire to either pat myself on the back, or to brag about what a specimen of humanity I am.

I have no fear of going to doctor’s offices, or hospitals, so I’m not trying to say I’m deathly afraid of such places, either.

I’ve just come to the conclusion, that people lived their lives for millennia, without ever once having been looked over by such folks.

Here’s where the accusations are probably going to begin to flow.

It’s my contention, that far too many people spend far too much time, in the offices of various medical professionals.

In saying this, I’m not trying to indicate that there are no valid reasons, to find oneself in attendance of such folks. Certainly there are many.

I have to wonder though, how large a number of folks are so afraid of death, that they spend far more hours in such places, than are by any means warranted.

More importantly, it concerns me to some degree, that individuals take up the time, of people in medical fields, that could be better used.

To be plain, I’m not saying the persons they’re seeing, are lesser people for being taking advantage of their attendance. Rather my concern is, there are many who won’t get dealt with by various in that group, because they’re so busy as a result of folks who don’t truly need their care, sitting in the examination rooms, that could be put to better use, by folks who do.

It’s at this point, I expect the vitriol to flow. Those who’ve been in such facilities, for the smallest of causes, will likely be among the first to begin to spit invectives.

I somewhat suspect them to be followed in that process, by people who found out about something serious, when they went to a doctor’s office, for an entirely unrelated issue.

I want to make it painfully clear, I get that it’s totally possible, a person may be deathly ill, with little to no realization that’s the case.

It’s for such reasons I’ve not written this piece, up to this point.

That said, I would be willing to bet the majority of individuals, who enter the offices of medical practitioners, do so with little reason, and end up leaving just a little poorer than when they entered, with no outcome of serious benefit to anyone, but the professional to whom fees were paid, his or her staff, and the medical insurance industry.

What increases my concern is, people spend time in various such places, using medical insurance to cover the cost. Yet they’re likely have little to no understanding, they’re driving up the expense of insurance, not just for the rest of the people on a given plan, but for themselves.

Imagine a person coming to the conclusion he or she is unable to continue to pay for medical insurance coverage.

What if the folks making unnecessary health related visits had decided to not do so? Consider that by doing so, the cost of that person’s medical insurance, had remained sufficiently less costly, so as to make it possible for him or her, to keep it.

Now picture that same person, suffering potentially catastrophic ills, that could’ve been managed comparatively cheaply, had they just had the ability to maintain that coverage.

Like anything else—particularly any complicated thing—medical care is not limitless. It’s a finite resource.

To be fair, there are various other causes for increases in the cost of such insurance.

It cannot be overstated how regulation at various levels, has heightened that expense, for example.

Even so, it certainly isn’t helping things, for folks to make their way, to doctor’s buildings, with basically no cause.

I get the concern, that one might really be ill, and that the ailment in question, might be life-threatening.

I can understand the mentality that says, “It’s here, why not make use of it?”

Maybe in writing this piece, I’m helping you to understand why doing so flippantly, is not just consuming a resource you don’t need, but making use of a tool for which someone else might, have a true requirement.

Are you somebody who’ll find him or her self, in the offices of various in the medical community for little to no reason? If you are, I ask you to reevaluate.

I’m not talking about people with real concerns or conditions here. When your son breaks an arm, or you, or your daughter, has an exceptionally high fever, it’s totally understandable that you seek medical assistance. If you’re prone do so when that’s not the case though, I ask you to reconsider being in such a habit, for the well being of others.

Thanks for reading, and may your time be good.

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Media and Social Media – Religion and Politics

10-30-2020 Media and Social Media – The Daily Summation
10-30-2020 Media and Social Media – The Daily Summation Podcast

Most everything is connected to about any other thing, in some way. As a result you can be sure some part of what I say in this article, will essentially be what you’ve heard before.

I should also point out, when there have been ancillary discussions, relating to what’s spoken about in this piece, you probably should expect me to say the same, or at least very similar things, to what I express here.

Having made those disclaimers, allow me to get on with things.

Very few people would be surprised to hear me couch myself as a right leaning person. Some would be somewhat interested to hear me say that I’m not heavily to the right, in my perspectives and positions.

Being clear though, in my view, people who are strongly on that side of things, tend to advocate for at least anarcho-capitalism, if not straight anarchy.

I’ve said before and maintain now, that Socialism is a leftist philosophy, but Communism is an almost completely right wing one.

This confuses a lot of folks, so let me clarify. In my view, the closer something comes to anarchy, the more to the right, I consider it to be. Strong Socialism—including Nazism—tends to very much seek heavy government control, as such, it’s a leftist position.

At least in theory, true Communism expects people to come to a place, where they can all but self govern. That makes it so it’s a good deal closer to anarchy, than even many on the right, have any interest in.

For my part, I support the idea of a central government for a very limited set of things, with a more diffuse set of government bodies, for again, as limited a set of things, as possible.

The remainder of societal interaction should be left in the trust, of the population at large.

Though I very much consider myself moderate-right in my leanings, I have zero problem, with folks having both more right, and left based positions, holding forth on their beliefs.

This applies to the “standard,” and social, media.

That said, it’s an expectation on the part of many, that the media complex (read here, “Newspapers, television and radio news reports, and the like”), be impartial in their reporting.

I’ve said before, and maintain now, I have absolutely no illusion, that will be the case.

Even if the lines between editorial and unbiased news reporting weren’t totally blurred, I’m of a mind that people will be biased, on the simple basis, that they have particular beliefs.

This can be reduced in some measure, by having multiple hands involved in what’s reported and how.

It’s an ongoing problem though, that most news organizations operate within a culture. That culture—as with most any enterprise—has a tendency to be biased, in a given direction.

Want folks who’ll not spend their days rubbing their coworkers the wrong way? Hire individuals who have similar belief sets, to those already in place.

All considered, the media, whether news entities, or various types of editorial components, is considered by many (incorrectly), to be unbiased.

And I don’t by any means, give a pass to media outlets on the right, either. If they’re not as biased as the mainstream, it’s because they’re typically more so.

In fact, there’s a tendency on the part of rightist media, to—if it were possible—be more editorial in their point of view.

Social media is another matter. For those in that sphere, there’s an expectation of a true lack of bias on the part of the platforms, that exist.

That’s not to say the people who work in such companies, have no bias. Neither is it true, that from a content perspective, various social media entities, will not have a potential tilt, in one direction or the other.

The truth is, where it’s allowed, there tend to be raucous voices in both directions, as well as some who’re more centrist in their outlooks.

The problem though is, the people who both own and more importantly run many social media platforms, have a tendency towards bias, which creeps into their management philosophies.

Equally important, is the fact that many who work for the businesses in question, either institute of their own accord, or in deference to their tech overlords, policies for various types of filtering, bans, and censorship, that generate a distinct bias, in the direction of the ownership or management of such entities.

Considering the businesses in question are literally protected by law, from being counted as content providers, such a tendency is untenable to say the least.

Simply put, it should be the mantra of social media entities, to provide a platform, and to do so without political bias.

If filtering, censorship, or bans of any kind occur, it should be on the basis of legality.

As I’ve said before, I’m in complete support of people being able to say (and even do, where there’s no illegality involved), things I consider entirely repugnant in nature.

That works for what’s put on various platforms that supposedly purvey social content, just as much as anywhere else.

In my mind, you should literally be allowed to publish outright falsehoods.

It should be the task of those consuming what makes its way out there, to work to decide what’s true, and what’s not.

None of that activity ought to be undertaken by the platform owners.

You saw that Jennifer Lopez, had a baby with a martian dad? To begin with, I think you maybe should take that with a grain (maybe a barrel) of salt.

At that point, it’s on you, whether or not you do the research to determine the veracity of the claim, or claims made.

Social media not only shouldn’t have to fact check for you, they really have no reason to assume they ought to take such actions.

So I don’t consider the media nor social media, to present perfect fact, in all instances. Of the two, it’s hard to say which is less prone to do so. In the case of social media though, the source is not the platform. As such, it should be possible to make determinations, on likely validity of that presented, if you’re able to readily determine who’s saying what. It’s not the job of social media platforms to determine correctness of information, nor to fact-check in any way. That’s my two cents. Take it for what it’s worth.

Thanks for reading, and may your time be good.

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Voter Fraud – Religion and Politics

10-29-2020 Voter Fraud – The Daily Summation
10-29-2020 Voter Fraud – The Daily Summation Podcast

There can be little if any doubt, it exists.

There are, in fact, really only a few questions surrounding it.

Before we delve into those questions, allow me to take a moment, to point something out.

In all situations in which people are voting between two or more folks, you can be sure there will be individuals who’re working to cement the outcome of the election, so that it results in a particular candidate taking office.

Much of the mentioned activity, is not voter fraud. Folks in all quarters, are likely to strongly believe the person they support, is for one reason or other, the better choice for the position being filled. That’s fine, and it’s a normal part of the electoral process.

On the other hand, in all but the very smallest and best watched elections, you can be relatively well assured, there are those who will work to upset the balance, in ways that are anything but reasonable, to say nothing of their legality.

This brings us to the first of the aforementioned questions, surrounding this type of fraud. The simple question would be, “What is it?

I would be being foolish, if I told you I had a handle on each and every possible form of manipulation that might occur, in a given casting of ballots. That said, let’s take a second to cover just a few.

We’ll start with a person casting multiple ballots. This sort of thing is mostly likely to occur in elections where there’s more than one polling location, or larger elections, where the process of selection, occurs over a period of days.

If an election is decided on one day, and one’s vote may be cast in only a single location, the chances of such a thing, are obviously quite low.

The next, would be ballots being cast for or by, people unqualified to vote.

This can involve underage individuals, deceased people, folks in certain legal statuses, and those who are not lawful residents of the place where the election is occurring, to name just a few.

You can also expect folks, “proxy voting.” That is casting ballots for others, who either cannot or will not, be doing so for themselves.

It may be because they lack mental capacity—are over the legal age but haven’t the acuity to be expected to do so—like older folks, or people with mental handicaps of various kinds.

It’s also possible the person in question cares little, or not at all, about who ends up in the position or positions being decided, and allows him or her self, to be “compensated by” another, to make their choice, in some specific way.

Another, one that’s very much less likely, yet still quite possible, is the “stuffing of ballot boxes,” or “finding votes,” whether they be in the trunk of someone’s car, in a back room at a voting center, or somewhere else.

Each of the listed scenarios, can result in minor fraud. Equally, depending on their extent, the wrong done can be quite serious, and severe.

In saying this, I cover the second thing that should be asked about the illegal action being considered. That would be, “How serious is it?

Unless a decision over who gets a particular position is quite close, if we’re only talking about a few cases of improper balloting, the effect may be negligible.

The sad reality is, far more races are quite tight, than I think people realize.

In the United States, for example, the ballots cast for the presidential election are in the millions, yet the outcome can be decided by thousands, or tens of thousands of votes. Do even potentially tens of thousands seem like a large number to you? If even ten percent of the population of America, votes in that race, we’re talking about thirty-three million people. Thousands, or even tens of thousands, is a comparative drop in the proverbial bucket.

It’s because this is the case, as many people as are concerned, worry about the amount of illicit activity that can be found in such a process of selection.

The worry is, an election can be decided by a comparative few “skilled” actors, seeking to sway the outcome.

Those who understand this fact, are rightly bothered, that there are almost certainly folks out there, working to cause a different outcome, than the one that would be forthcoming, if the population at large or their legally appointed representatives, voted such that the desired person was selected.

There are some other ways in which election fraud may be perpetrated, like attempting to change the way the process itself happens.

An example would be doing things like, making it so the electors in a presidential election here in the U. S., voted along with the popular vote for the country, rather than for the state from which they come.

There are various states, already proposing a change in this direction.

What modifying things in this fashion does, is to essentially nullify the standing system, by making it so that states that would have fallen to a given candidate for office, potentially end up going to another instead.

If all states (or even certain ones considered “swing states”—something that can literally change, election to election), took this approach, the end would be, that electoral college would cease to be a factor.

You may think that’s no big deal. As for the residents of states with smaller populations, who get some relief from a lack of representation, as a result electoral college being in place, they ought to vehemently disagree.

This discussion isn’t a simple one. As such, I have just a few words to talk about what isn’t really election fraud.

Things like, foreign powers taking out or sponsoring advertisements for given candidates, or people lying about the virtues or vices of a given candidate, fall in this realm. These sorts of things, are a matter of due diligence on the part of voters.

Where it can be argued there’re other ways foreign governments, can interfere in various elective processes, for the most part, such things don’t appear to be happening.

Is election fraud a serious issue? Sometimes. I would argue the present moment, is one such time. It’s something for which those watching elections, whenever and wherever, should always be vigilant, and it’s pretty much never, something about which folks ought to make light.

Thanks for reading, and may your time be good.

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Why Have Borders – Religion and Politics

20201028 Why Have Borders? – The Daily Summation
20201028 Why Have Borders? – The Daily Summation Podcast

Racism! You hear a great deal about that subject, at the present moment.

There are copious amounts of highly charged conversations going on, that discuss the idea, how to eradicate it, or at the very least, how to mitigate its existence.

For my part, I believe it’ll always exist. There’ll always be those, who buy off conceptually, on the idea of races where humanity’s concerned. I can find no valid reason to consent to the viewpoint. In my mind, there are no races among humanity, and only one species.

Even so, people use the idea, to support mostly bad actions, regardless whether supposedly working for or against racism.

That’s not to say I don’t recognize differences in people. It simply means, I don’t tend to believe the variations to be much more than a minor consideration, as fantastic and wonderful as I find the bouquet of potential diversity.

It should be understood as a result of what I’ve just said, that I’ve no time for the idea of racism. Not only do I not conceptually support such a viewpoint, but I find the base concept itself, faulty.

With all I’ve said to this point, you might conclude, I believe mankind should live together in one giant family, with no need for the type of separation, that must occur when borders are set, between one entity and another.

You would be incorrect in that conclusion.

It’s not on the basis of racial differences, that I see a need for lines on maps, indicating where one nation, or state ends, and another begins. It’s on differences in ruling philosophies.

You could argue that the underlying culture of a given country or sub-unit, is the foundation on which I agree with delineations being made, but where that’s somewhat true, it’s really more about the overarching governmental system.

The reason for this is simple. The undercurrent of ideas in a given community, may or may not, be the driving factor in the leadership style, under which the entity in question operates.

By way of example, until a very short time ago, China was a society, that largely operated with various kingdoms, as its primary form of rule. More recently though, it’s found itself operating in, not the Communism most count it to be under, but a very strong form of Socialism.

Looking at the Chinese people, it can be argued it’s more than a little surprising they’re living within such a form of leadership. Yet it’s that place, they largely currently occupy.

This is the basis for my argument for borders.

If you look at the countries to the north and south of the United States, you find that both tend to be somewhat more socialist in their approach to management, than America has traditionally been.

It’s for this reason, borders become important.

If people were allowed to cross the demarcations of one entity, from the one out of which they’ve resided, the chances are good, they’ll bring ideas and expectations from that place, to the one they enter.

Many will argue this is a good thing, you’ll forgive me while I forcefully disagree.

It’s sufficiently problematic that people within a given country, or other discreet group, choose to flout the traditions, existing within the confines, of the construct in question. This is made more complex, when you consider that sometimes, the decisions made, are on things that really need changed.

Adding to this, those coming from outside, who often have no understanding, why things are as they are inside the walls, as it were, does nothing to simplify things.

The result being, those not sufficiently familiar with why things are how they are, will be inclined to attempt to make changes, such that the very things that made them leave their former place of residence, may come to occur in the place where they now find themselves.

It’s also true, that people in one place, assuming they’re allowed to cross over into another, may well take advantage of that fact, to gain benefit that was designed only for those, who are citizens of the place to which they travel.

So if health care, or schooling is freely given in one entity, but not in a neighboring one, those in the latter, may well make their way to the former, in order to obtain the things, they might not get at home. This may sound great, until you realize, the folks living in the place that offers such benefits, are often the ones who pay for them, too.

It would be one thing, if the tendency was to stay, and become a full resident of the place, in which they got such treatment; that’s often not the case.

Again, even if they decide to do so though, it’s commonly true, they bring the attitudes, perspectives, and culture, of the place they left, “polluting” that which exists in their new home.

The result is, once great countries, often move in the same directions, as those abutting them. In the process, they begin to fall into the practices, that caused the nations around them, to be less prosperous or otherwise successful.

You may not think small changes in attitude and perspective, can make such a large difference, but the tendency towards an erosion of the things that made a given group who they were, can cause such a shift in how they do business, as to make it so they lose advantages, furthered by their former actions, and attitudes.

We’re definitely seeing such shifts here in the United States, and many of the changes aren’t even from external sources, as I’ve already noted.

When people from outside the country come in, and bring the mindsets that made the entities whence they came what they were, the results can be all but disastrous.

It’s for reasons like these (and frankly, some I haven’t space to name), that lines on maps, separating one nation from another, make sense.

You may not like the idea, but each country—in some cases, each state—is a kind of laboratory. If the folks running the tests, can’t control how things work, the experiment will very likely be in vain. Because this is the case, we distinguish ourselves from our neighbors. Whether or not you count that a good thing, many consider it entirely necessary.

Thanks for reading, and may your time be good.

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High Earners – Religion and Politics

20201027 High Earner – The Daily Summation
20201027 High Earner – The Daily Summation Podcast

Can you imagine yourself as a wealthy person? Envision you own a large company, or set of them, that produce foodstuffs.

The items your companies create, are largely perishable. If you don’t use them, or sell them, what benefit is there in making them?

You can only eat so much, and even if you gave some of your output, to friends and colleagues, you would still have way more to deal with, than you could ever hope to consume.

What do you do? Do you like the idea of staying rich? If you do, my suggestion would be, sell things.

Can you come up with a better answer? I certainly can’t.

In fact, does it even make sense, to have your factories churning out food, you’re not intending to sell?

Again, do you want to continue to make huge amounts of money? If you answered, “Yes!” allow me to inform you, it would be flatly ridiculous to not find ways, to make a profit off the products your industries were working hard to create.

Without questions, this is the model, for most folks with substantial means.

The idea that a real estate mogul, would cause to be built, potentially thousands of personal residences, without the underpinning concept, that they would end up being sold to make a profit for that tycoon, seems more than a little ridiculous.

The point of this concept, is that for the most part, it’s a pretty strange idea, to assume someone who foots the bill for the coming into existence, of huge amounts of anything, has it in mind to hold onto it, allow it to rot in a warehouse, or just toss it out.

What that means is, where the person considered may have plenty of money, multiple homes, large numbers of cars, a jet, and a yacht, he or she likely hits some sort of saturation point along the way.

Further, if the person wants to keep the various things he or she has acquired, he or she must at least not lose enough of the wealth possessed, to make it impossible to maintain standards achieved.

Does that mean the individual in question doesn’t have obscene amounts of property of various kinds? Of course it doesn’t.

That said, in most cases, if you took all that person had, sold it, and gave away the proceeds, you’d be flatly amazed by a couple of realities.

The first is, for how few people, you’d be able to do any kind of meaningful good.

The second would be, how fleeting the effect of that supposed largess would be.

I don’t think most folks consider a third idea though. If a person made his or her money, producing cars, taking all he or she had, would make it impossible for him or her, to continue to do that.

You could just take the excess, skimmed off of the company, and leave the entity itself standing. If you did though, the amount you would procure for your purposes, would be even smaller.

Now again, imagine you’re the person, from whom the money and other resources were being extracted. Why on earth would you continue to work hard, when what you toiled so fervently for, is taken from you, and redistributed to those who didn’t spend the time and effort to amass it?

Truthfully, to some degree, you should be aware such people face this dilemma daily, in the present moment.

After all, how many times have you heard it said? “The rich need to pay their fair share!”

It’s almost invariably true, people saying such things, are proposing ways in which the wealthy can be separated from their wealth.

This is often done, through one of a couple of mechanisms.

The first is obvious. If we simply increase their tax burden, everything will be fixed! Of course, if spending is not reined in, those monies just go to do things like, service existing debt. Put simply, if you spend irresponsibly, the result will be, that you’ll constantly be trying, to dig yourself out of a hole. How successful is that likely to be?

The second is various kinds of government regulations and laws. One excellent example of this, is wage laws. The most common type of such edicts, is minimum wage laws.

They seem like a grand idea, until it dawns on you, that increasing the minimum amount everyone gets paid, cannot help but cause a corresponding increase in prices—but one of a few potential effects. Why? Because somebody (read here, “business owners”) must pay those increased wages.

Unlike what so many assume, many businesses operate with comparatively slim profit margins, and even if they don’t, it’s not necessarily the owners or CEOs, who pocket the profit.

If the company is publicly owned, a large part of the profits, are distributed to investors.

Some such people may be “Wall Street fat cats.” Most though, are people with IRAs and other types of retirement or similar investment vehicles.

“Wait! I have an IRA!” you might be saying.

How do you think it makes money? Such mechanisms, typically invest in successful businesses, and grow based on their performance. The better the companies in question do, the greater the return on investment. The obvious result, is increased yield for your retirement, or other investment account.

Don’t have a retirement account? Don’t worry, in the course of time, it’s very likely you’ll end up with at least one.

After all, even if Social Security does remain solvent—a highly questionable thing—do you really want to retire on what you’ll end up getting from it? If you think that’d be fine by you, I highly suggest, you talk to someone attempting to survive, on that level of income.

Is it true that people who qualify as high earners, often have more than they’ll ever need? Certainly. That said, most of them, are also producing or causing to be produced, those things off which the average person lives. Take what they have, and the question is, “Why should they continue to create things for others?” Let me know when you come up with a good answer.

Thanks for reading, and may your time be good,

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Piling On – Autism

20201026 Pilling On – Autism – The Daily Summation
Piling On – Autism – The Daily Summation Podcast

Click Bait! You know, those little areas on a web page that have some sort of salacious, or supposedly interesting pictures and text, intended to whisk you away to some site, that’ll give you the skinny on a given subject.

What’s happened to the former cast of The Brady Bunch?” or, “Can you name these actors from the seventies?” We’ve all seen them, and I imagine most folks, have found one or two, that’ve enticed them into visiting the site (knowing full well, they were a target for advertisers).

For me, one of the more recent ones I’ve wasted my time on, asked something like, “Did you know these celebrities were Autistic?

Being an outlier in the Autistic community, by virtue of the fact, that I act as the primary caregiver, to a Moderately Autistic son, I bit!

Had I spent more than a second or two thinking about what I was intending to do, I might not have frittered away those minutes.

Looking back, I’m kind of glad I entered the vacuum for a moment. After all, though the idea has been brewing for a while, doing so made me finally write a piece, I’ve been intending to pen, for some time.

If you’ve seen the same “article” in your travels, and even if you’ve followed through to the “content,” you may not have noticed something that was horribly obvious to someone who deals with Autism on a daily basis.

To begin with, probably more than half of the people listed, were never diagnosed. That wouldn’t be such a big thing, were it not for the fact that you can be sure, if they’d ever been checked out, they would’ve almost certainly been found to have very mild Autism at best.

The fact is, I was well aware, before my child was ever diagnosed, that he had some issue. He didn’t speak like other children, his learning of various things most parents and children take for granted, was well below what would’ve been expected, at pretty much every step along the way.

In short, it was never really a question he had some condition, that made him lag well behind his fellows, in various types of mental and social development.

Before you think in your head—and I may already be too late—“Autistic children are so smart,” allow me to make it plain that intelligence, doesn’t equal achievement.

The fact is, those Autistic folks with greater than mild Autism I’ve met are “wired differently,” than those around them. The result being, it often takes them much longer, to get where peers among whom they find themselves, manage to reach, if they ever entirely do that.

Among the remainder of the folks spoken of in the aforementioned click-fest, nobody was cited as having Autism more serious than mild Asperger’s—a term I should tell you, most people don’t even use at present, but we won’t worry about that.

I’ve made a point of saying, that I take my son to one of the local parks, on a pretty regular basis. We might not be able to do that as much, now that the weather’s getting colder, but I’ll still work to get him out with others, for social interaction.

As intensely as I dislike divulging my son’s condition to others (because I want him to be treated as much like those around him as possible), periodically, I find the need to do so, regardless my desires.

He’ll act in some way, that’ll make other parents and children, nervous, uneasy, disgusted, or angry. My best recourse at such a time, is to do my what I’m able, to help others to understand my son, “isn’t normal.”

The problem? In most people’s minds, the concept of Autism has been done to death. They’ve heard about it, they may even have a nephew or one of their own children, who’s Mildly Autistic.

What that tends to mean is, they think they know what the parent or caregiver for a child who’s not Mildly Autistic is dealing with, or going through, to say nothing of the Autistic person him or her self.

Occasionally, you meet someone who’s a little better able see the hallmarks. Once in a great while, you meet a person who really gets it.

For most folks though, they’re just sure, you’re negligent as a parent. They can’t conceive their children, ever acting like yours does. Keep in mind that, often what sets my child off, is bad behavior on the part of their child. You can imagine, that makes their profession of stand-out parenting, just a little harder to deal with.

Don’t get me wrong, a part of the reason I take my child out and about, is to learn to deal with such people. Put another way, he doesn’t do that well. I’m certainly not trying to argue he’s some sort of saint, or angel.

What I’ve come to realize is, there are a very small number of people in the American population, whose Autism is at a Moderate or Severe level. The result being, that most folks have an image of what it means to be Autistic, based on the lowest levels of the condition.

Because this is true, there tends to be from both other children, and parents, a sort of a piling on process that occurs where I’m concerned. I’m not saying it doesn’t bother me at all, but I can deal with it as a rule.

The thing that affects me a great deal more, is when they pile on where my boy is concerned.

He needs to learn to deal with that, that’s true. Further, he must figure out how to fit in, in a world that is assuredly not, his own—as I say, that’s a large part of the reason I take him out into the public.

Every day, he becomes just a little more able, to deal with what he encounters.

More and more, I come to recognize that most folks, rarely ever see, someone like him.

And the better I do as a parent, and he does, in learning how he’s expected to behave, the less likely people are, to understand his condition.

In the end, I would ask just one thing of those who react harshly, to people like my child. I know this is probably a waste of breath, because very few will see it. If you do though, please recognize, what you’re daily shown about Autism, doesn’t apply, to people like my child, much less to those who are more severe.

Thanks for reading and may your time be good.

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What’s Wrong with a Public Option? – Religion and Politics

20201025 What’s Wrong with a Public Option – The Daily Summation
20201025 What’s Wrong with a Public Option? – The Daily Summation Podcast

Imagine a system of health insurance, or even health care, where there’s never an issue with your need to pay. Sounds exciting right?

This is what people think they’ll get, when folks talk about what’s alternately called “single payer,” and “public option,” health care, or insurance.

Those more in the know, will argue the two aren’t the same thing.

“The first,” they’ll insist, “is a system through which health care is paid, by some single mechanism.” What they’ll fail to say most of the time, is that single payer, is almost invariably conceived to be government.

The reality is, it’s almost impossible for it to be anyone else.

“The second,” they’ll argue, “is where some entity offers insurance or care, with costs managed by the government.”

The two ideas sound different. In reality though, they end up being essentially the same thing. Allow me to explain.

When people talk about single payer systems, they’ll almost invariably insist on two things.

The first, is that the system should be universal—that is to say, everybody should be under it.

The second is, it should be government run.

When these two are combined, it can be assumed the reason for their being mashed together, is that by doing so, the government can essentially set prices for various medical services. If someone wants more for their work, than government decides is appropriate, that’s too bad. What they get, is what some sort of payment schedule allows.

We’ll talk about the ramifications of such an idea in a moment.

For now, let’s discuss the idea of a “public option.”

You can’t really call an insurance option public, if government doesn’t manage that option.

Part of doing such management, includes dictating terms of the available “policies.” This results in government controlling payments in much the same way, as a single payer system.

It’s commonly true, that people advancing such concepts, assume there’ll continue to be a private market as well.

The problem? Because the public option will always appear to to undercut private insurers, the private market consistently dies in large measure, when public ones are installed.

You might be asking why that’s a bad thing. Here’s the answer.

There are two reasons public options always seemcheaper.

The first, is that they’re nearly invariably, subsidized with taxpayer money. This will generally make the supposed public option look cheaper than it actually is.

The second, is the government can limit access to care, in ways they would never allow private carriers to.

The result is, they’re able to keep costs down, by making it so people they decide, don’t need procedures or other medical care, don’t get that care.

Though I could go further into this, the time and words needed to do so would be excessive. As such, I’ll leave that be for now. I may talk about it in a subsequent piece.

The point is this, those who know, realize they’ll be required to subsidize the public option, through their taxes. The result is, they either pay higher premiums for insurance and are taxed to help pay for the public option, or ditch their private plan to reduce costs.

Those who don’t know, take the option that’s cheaper, since they assume it means a smaller outlay for them, not realizing they’ll often be taxed to “make up the difference.”

Even if they’re lower wage earners and as a result, don’t see a direct increase in taxes, they’ll almost certainly end up paying for things.

Why? Because those who are taxed will want more income to offset the expense. The result of this is higher prices, which the persons with lesser compensation, will have to pay along with everybody else.

Simplifying, the increase in taxes will cause an increase in wages, that’ll trigger an increase in costs. In a word, inflation.

Again, getting into detail on why this is true, is the subject for about a chapter, of a pretty substantial book, even though it’s pretty simple math that makes it true.

Here’s the important point. Both single payer, and a public option will almost certainly put government firmly in control of healthcare pricing and availability.

Wealthier folks may be able to avoid this, by paying their way privately, if private care is still allowed.

When it’s not, they’ll do what Canadians and others typically do, when they end up on waiting lists in their home country—they’ll find other countries, that will allow them to receive care, on their own terms, and pay to make their way to them.

Here’s the thing. Once government is firmly ensconced in the position of controlling costs as well as the quality, and quantity of care, since they’re not the ones receiving that care, they’ll start doing things that will either make them look better, or enrich them in some fashion.

The result will be reductions in quality, reductions in what they’re willing to pay for procedures, and rationing of care.

Even if this doesn’t happen immediately, you can be pretty well assured it will come.

In all I’ve said so far, I haven’t yet even mentioned the devastation that’ll be wrought on the medical community. When doctors and other medical professionals who’ve spent huge portions of their lives, and sums of money, becoming qualified to do what they do, realize they cannot continue to practice medicine without taking a vow of poverty, you can be certain, many will stop doing so.

As it is, lots of medical folks already have an exit strategy, so they can ultimately get away from jobs, that suck the life out of those doing them. It’s often a long, laborious slog, that takes a heavy toll on their health and well being, to do what they do.

I’ve given a quick overview of what you can expect, if either a public option, or a single payer system is put in place. Doing more, would take many times more space and hours, than I can easily break loose at present. If you want to see more, you can look into the work of folks like Dr Thomas Sowell. If you take the time to do so, don’t count on their words being comforting, if you think either to be a good idea.

Thanks for reading, and may your time be good.

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Conversation’s a Two-Way Street – Religion and Politics

20201024 Conversation’s a Two-Way Street – The Daily Summation
20201024 Conversation’s a Two-Way Street – The Daily Summation Podcast

It wasn’t too very long before I was born, that the transistor, began to become ubiquitous.

The result is, in my youth, there started to be more publicly available things like, transistor radios and walkie talkies.

Though I don’t much remember them as a child, I recently bought a set of the latter, in order to give my son, what experience I had gleaned over the course of time.

I learned again, the lessons from my childhood. If you keep the device keyed, the other person’s transmissions don’t get through to you.

In the course of time, you begin to anticipate the speech of the other party.

In some instances, you find out, that somebody nearby, has receipt and, possibly transmission equipment, using the same frequency, as do your units.

It’s then you find out about cross talk. That’s when the conversations of others, can at least partially be heard on your device.

In the course of time, I demonstrated another interesting possibility to my boy. I showed him feedback.

It’s easy to do on most walkie talkies, all that’s necessary, is to get one unit in close proximity to the other, and key the microphone on it.

In these simple devices, you learn many basic concepts of conversation.

To begin with, you find out that there’s a problem with the idea of just speaking, without waiting for you fellow in discussion, to finish what he or she is saying.

You also learn that the back and forth of verbal communication is exactly that, back and forth.

Then comes the lesson of politeness many seem to never have learned. When in a crowd, people talking, can be easily interrupted by others chiming in, while they’re trying conduct simple dialog.

In the former gear, that would be roughly equivalent to cross talk.

Another interesting lesson, is that of feedback, which funnily, is generally considered a positive thing in most situations.

In the radio world, it’s almost always an annoyance, capable of damaging your equipment.

It’s partly for the reason that various issues exist in spoken communication, that I’ve favored certain other forms. For some time, email has been a favorite.

These days, I’m prone to spend more than a little time, in the creation of pieces of prose, similar to the one you’re now reading.

As great a propensity as I have, towards not dealing with speech though, it’s still a quite necessary and important thing, with which one must labor.

That considered, I wanted to talk about a few issues surrounding such back and forth.

The first of these, is the tendency that I see occasionally, of folks “turning off” other speakers in their mind. It’s more obvious, than many seem to realize when they do so. I consider this an unfortunate turn of events, since it really precludes any further meaningful dialog.

Related to this, is dealing with folks, who have childlike viewpoints.

When you’re talking with children, that not only shouldn’t be a surprising thing, it ought to be a somewhat expected one.

On the other hand, when speaking with adults, my hope is, I won’t find them to be in similar places. Sadly, at times that’s not the case. Interchange with such folks, can be more than a little difficult, to say the least.

Another seemingly tough to overcome concern, is those who seem to believe, when you come to them with facts and logic, speaking as you normally would, that you’re guilty of some sort of abuse or other. It certainly makes one wonder if, in the minds of some, “losing arguments” is in some instances, roughly the same thing, as being abused.

Each of the listed concerns, are things with which I’ve had far too much experience for my liking.

I’m not by any means, a communications expert. That said, it seems to me there are a good many folks, who’re downright primitive, where such skills are concerned.

My consistent desire though, is to continue to improve my ability, such that I can overcome what appear to be, all but insurmountable obstacles, to the robust flow of information.

This is something I think to be one of the more important things, one might seek to achieve.

For most of the previously mentioned, it seems the best solution much of the time, is to walk away for a period, recognizing the potential to engage with others, at some point in the future.

I’m forever hopeful though, that I’ll come up with some means of breaking through, that aren’t so caustic or jarring, as to make people feel intimidated or bullied, by the mechanism used.

To date, for the most part, I’ve yet to find tools that make that possible on a regular basis. That’s not to say that at times, I’m not able to achieve desired ends, just that it’s nothing like consistent.

Now and then, I find that you can get a person to engage, by moving from statements, to questions. An important factor in such an approach, is to actually ask. In other words, the idea of leading people in any but the most basic ways, tends to be a bad one for the most part.

To some degree, since discussion tends to be on a specific topic or set of them, I don’t think it’s entirely possible, to not move banter, in certain directions, but when you ask instead of telling, you allow the person with whom you’re dealing, to respond either in agreement, or explain why they can’t hold with what you’re saying.

In all of this, it’s important to realize, verbal communication is a skill I can honestly say, I haven’t mastered to this point in my life. I hope the older and more experienced I become, I’ll come to be better at it, than I am at present.

If I had to give advice to others though, I would certainly say, they ought to remember, conversation’s a two-way street. You give, and you get, if you’re not interested in both, you’ll probably have discussions that are far less fruitful.

Thanks for reading, and may your time be good.

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In Defense of Repugnance – Religion and Politics

20201023 In Defense of Repugnance – The Daily Summation
202010232 In Defense of Repugnance – The Daily Summation Podcast

I’m sure you’ve been witness to various things, you would refer to as repugnant. If you haven’t, I would assume you’re quite young, or exceptionally sheltered.

I’m not sitting here, assuming people you count friends or family, have necessarily been the sources of the things about which I’m speaking. Further, I may even have been the culprit, where the offense is concerned.

Here’s the thing, I’m not certain exactly how far afield the 1st Amendment to the U. S. Constitution, can be reasonably applied. I’ve recently heard folks who insist there’s some doctrine, that extends its reach beyond the national congress. Whatever the case, I support the idea of the rights it protects, being shielded, to the furthest reasonable boundary.

Yes, that includes people who say and even to some degree, do, things I count obnoxious.

To be clear, if a person is doing something otherwise illegal, those rights may be curtailed by that action, or those statements.

So for example, if you’ve sworn yourself to secrecy, by applying for, and receiving, a government security clearance, you should be ready for some level of fallout, should you make known, things you learn, as a result of exposure to classified information. That’s regardless whether or not the intent of your actions is, “whistle blowing.”

In the end though, I can think of few if any, rights I feel it less appropriate to curtail, than the god-given one, to freedom of speech.

Allow me now, to present some reasons for saying so.

To begin with, letting people speak, even when what they say is to the level of abhorrence, ensures that 1st Amendment is not likely to be abridged. If folks can utter things others revile, it’s more than a little unlikely they’ll be censored for things said, that are considered far closer to normal, and


It’s also true that hearing folks express ideas and concepts that appear nigh unto insanity, helps one to recognize when such things are posited. In the process, one should be able to maintain a better sense of balance in ideas, by and large.

Let me bring up another interesting consideration. I’m sure you’ve been apprised of circumstances in which folks were caught unawares, by the startling, possibly even shocking, actions of someone else.

Where there’s no guarantee, it’s possible if that person felt at ease expressing his or her mental state, the situation or occurrence in question, could have been at least better understood, if not avoided entirely.

In general, I think most people know, saying something that sounds outlandish, will at best, garner them disapproving looks, and at worst, cause them to be dealt with, quite harshly.

In short, letting others speak their minds, lets you know who they are.

At this point, things get interesting. How many times, has someone been fearful of expressing themselves, and as a result, held their tongue, only to have the thing they would have said, come back and bite others, who would’ve had a hard time hearing them?

To put it simply, what that person puts out there, may seem bizarre, or even offensive, but you may come to realize, the person is actually correct.

Here’s the thing, even if what another imparts is generally wrong, it still may help you to realize things you’ve missed, or misunderstood. That’s even the case when the one doing so, doesn’t say what you come to realize; when it was unintentionally conveyed.

That person may end up using you as a sounding board of sorts. I’m not to saying they won’t get an echo, just that it may not match what they tried to make known.

It’s entirely possible I could come up with yet more reasons, to allow people to speak their peace even when what they say seems untoward, but the question in my mind would be, “Do you really need them?”

I’ll bring up one more. It’s a truth of life, that people who spend the time to voice things that flow from their thought process, may tend to feel a great deal less valued, when others don’t make the effort, to listen to the result of their doing so.

On top of that, when you do take that moment to hear others out, you’re presented with a unique opportunity, to discuss with them, what they’ve released for consideration.

In doing so, particularly if one can manage civility in the process, there are a some potential outcomes, that can be pretty great.

The first of these, is that you can help the other, to come to a better understanding, of the thing discussed.

The obvious second, is when you become more aware, or enlightened, as a result.

Finally—and this has happened for me, more times than I can recall—it’s not entirely unheard of, for both parties, to receive, or conceive, some sort of revelation as a result of the encounter.

Here’s the thing, if nothing else, you may help that person feel like others care enough to listen to him or her. That alone, makes it potentially, a very worthwhile thing to do, much of the time.

I’m not suggesting that you need to agree with what’s been spoken, just that you listen, and better yet, work to try to understand.

Being the father of a Moderately Autistic son, I can’t begin to make plain, how important it is for my child, that I work to comprehend, and often even echo back, sometimes very simple recognition, of the things he utters.

Though it may be less of a consideration for people who don’t have issues with communication, if a person’s putting things out there, that are untoward and potentially unsettling, do you suppose they might fall in the camp of those who do?

For the causes stated, I would argue that letting people hold forth when you’re able—even when what they choose to express, seems to be of no value, or is even seemingly problematic—is potentially a much more valuable thing, than you might recognize without diving a little deeper, than most are prone to. If you manage nothing else, you may just help a person in despair, to feel a little better, and it’s possible, you might accomplish a great deal more.

Thanks for reading, and may your time be good.