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The Spectrum – Autism

20201105 The Spectrum – Autism – The Daily Summation
20201105 The Spectrum – Autism – The Daily Summation Podcast

It’s literally a reflex, as you walk into a dark room, you reach for the switch on the wall, with more or less zero thought about what you’re doing.

If things go as expected, the space in front of you is suddenly—almost magically—bathed in radiance from a bulb somewhere.

When what’s expected doesn’t occur, you work to try to rectify the situation. Most of the time, that involves the simple changing of a faulty light producer.

For most people this, and the moments in high school or college science class, in which light is discussed briefly, are quite close to the sum total, of their exposure, to any kind of real understanding of that seemingly magical thing, that makes it possible for them to see the world around them.

For some of us, there’s been a need to better understand light.

It’s true that my family has always been more highly invested in the sciences than many. The result is, I came to understand the visible “spectrum” of illumination, a good deal better than I suspect many do.

As a part of my time in the world of work, I spent about a year, in a digital and confocal microscopy lab, at one of my the local universities. This made it pretty important, to have an even fuller understanding, of the subject in question.

I know, you were expecting a discussion of the Autism spectrum, and you’re going to get just that.

Before we get there though, I wanted to explain something many Autistic and non-Autistic folks don’t seem to understand.

Most people look at the colors of the spectrum of visible light, and assume they’re different—that each is unique, and that they bear no relationship, one to the other.

This is, of course, untrue in a number of ways. One of the most important, is that those who spend a lot of time looking at light, talk about it in terms of wavelength and frequency.

You see, as you go from one end to the other, of the visible spectrum, if you start at the red side of things, frequency increases, and wavelength decreases.

The point here, is that the colors you know, were not randomly dropped into the places they occupy. They’re in those positions, because of their wavelength, and corresponding frequency.

In short, the closer you get to violet, the higher the frequency, and the shorter the descriptive waveform.

Like almost any other measurement system, the spectral one come to light, is graduated—a standard, as it were.

It’s with this in mind, that I take on the consideration of the Autism spectrum.

There are folks out there, who like to say that the spectrum of visible light is arbitrary; this is obviously an incorrect assertion. In my view, the same is true, for the Autism spectrum.

That measurement device is not (or at least should not be), a smattering of symptoms on a line.

Having such a setup, is basically useful to next to nobody.

Rather, the spectral nature where related to Autism, is or should be, a measure of severity of symptoms.

Whether you’re a fan of the concept of the numbered levels, or the named ones, is largely beside the point.

A person dealing with Mild (level 1) Autism, will almost certainly not match in symptomology, another at the same level. Both such people though, will likely become able to navigate the world, with relatively good success.

When speaking about differences in symptoms, the same applies as you move toward and into Severe (level 3) Autism. That is to say, those hallmarks that apply to one individual, will relatively certainly not be the same, as those experienced by another at that level.

To make this even more interesting, a Mildly Autistic person, may end up with many of the same traits, as a person at Level 2 (Moderate) on the spectrum. The difference, is that the person with what’s counted Mild Autism, will be more readily able to adapt, to the world around them.

In saying this, you need to be fully aware, I’m not indicating a person with level 1 autism, won’t have to work quite hard, to fit into his or her circumstances.

That said, a person who’s considered level 2, will almost certainly, have much more to deal with. It’s not some sort of contest. Rather, it’s a pragmatic understanding of what will be necessary, to bring a person to a place where they’re able to interact with society at large.

I’ve said before, it’s entirely possible I’m Mildly Autistic. That having been put out there, allow me to toss the concept out the window. For the sake of argument, assume I’m “normal.”

Yet and still, those considered to be in the level 1 range of the Autism spectrum, generally sit in normal classrooms in normal schools, not too long after their diagnosis is confirmed.

I’m not saying that’s always the case. Though that’s true, I would generally argue, this is where the spectral nature of Autism is made plain. A person may be considered Mildly Autistic, but could well be closer on the spectrum, to Moderate Autism, than another also counted so.

In explaining my child’s Autism, I’ve been prone to say he’s, “Moderately Autistic, but closer to Severe, than to Mild Autism.”

This is what’s meant, by the spectral nature of Autism, in my view.

Nobody’s arguing that every Autistic person is alike in the differences they possess, when compared to the population at large.

That point, doesn’t change where on the spectrum they reside.

If I’m confused in my understanding, that’s fine and good.

It must still be recognized that, some people will have a greatly more difficult time, interacting with the world, than do others.

This revelation is in no way, intended to belittle the struggles of anyone on the spectrum.

The intent, rather, is to point out, that certain people may never reach what’s counted normalcy, while some almost certainly won’t ever come close to that mark.

So you’re Mildly (level 1) Autistic? The possibility is, you have a good deal of work ahead of you. Remember though, those counted Moderately (level 2) or Severely (level 3) so, likely have even more; and many of them, may never achieve anything like, what most other human beings are expected to attain.

Thanks for reading, and may your time be good.

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The Administrative State – Religion and Politics

20201104 The Administrative State – The Daily Summation
20201104 The Administrative State – The Daily Summation Podcast

If you haven’t heard the term, “the administrative state,” I’d have to wonder from what source, you get your information on government.

In certain quarters, the term is used all but mockingly. Among that group, there’s tendency to argue that either there’s nothing wrong with the vast amount of power being vested in bureaucrats, or that things aren’t as some (read here, “people like me”) would have you believe.

Others maintain, that at present, the control held by unelected individuals, is so great, that short of a good deal of dismantling, the chances of wresting it from them, are almost nonexistent.

This is an argument that will, I’m sure, continue to rage, for a long time to come.

That said, I wanted to take a moment to discuss my personal dealings, with what amounts to the long arm of the administrative state.

To begin with, let’s talk about my time working as a subcontractor, to an organization that contracted to provide certain services, to my local Department of Health and Human Services.

I worked as someone who helped to keep their various web applications running, make enhancements on existing ones, and help create new ones.

One of the projects I was involved in, was a system called Coding Validation Tables or CVT. We were working to modernize that site, so that it looked and felt as a newer application ought to.

I learned from my time working on that system, that typically more than fifty percent of state funding, wasn’t from the people of the state directly, but from the U. S. federal government.

You can be quite certain those monies, did not come to the state with no strings attached.

It turns out, that’s just one of many ways, the national government, keeps its hooks into state and local entities.

Another example, is the Medicaid system.

Anybody who’s worked on either Medicare or Medicaid, is well aware there’s an oversight body, known by the acronym CMS

The funny part? That abbreviation expanded is, “The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.” In case you think I’m making that up, go to the CMS website, and check out the expansion of the letters under the words “CMS.gov,” at the top of any given page.

And to be sure, if you were confused into believing the federal entity supposedly providing oversight to Medicaid (supposedly ostensibly a state agency, for each state), doesn’t have an iron grip on that program, just ask anybody who works in things related to it—if you can get them to converse honestly with you.

Because the federal government decides how a large part of Medicaid is funded (since much of the largess in question originates with that entity), all it has to do, is threaten to withhold those funds, if a given state won’t play ball.

But my favorite example of government at a high level, reaching down into the daily lives of others, is related to my experience, with having my children in daycare facilities.

As it is, I’m not at all happy with such an arrangement. Having my choice, my children would never find, or have found themselves, in either public schools, or daycare.

That said, I’ve been in circumstances, where I couldn’t easily see another way to do business, and still provide a home for them that was anything like reasonable.

The simple result is, my children go and have gone to, both school and daycare.

One of the more interesting things you find in daycare facilities in my area—and I doubt very much, my region is alone in this—is notices informing you, the business in question is essentially prohibited from discriminating, on the basis of race.

You might expect to find such an admonition in many businesses, but the interesting thing about this particular warning, is its source.

You see, it actually says on it whence it originates. You may not be surprised to hear, it wasn’t the idea of the company itself.

It may come to your mind, that local, or even state government, required its placement.

If so, you’d be incorrect.

So who did cause it to be posted?

“Surely it wasn’t the federal government?” you might be tempted to inquire. Yes, in fact it was.

“What agency could possibly have done such a thing?” might be your next question.

The answer? The United States Department of Agriculture.

That’s right, the USDA.

You may next ask, “How on Earth can they have implemented such a requirement?”

The answer is, some time in the distant past, the USDA convinced a sufficient number of such enterprises, to take food given via their programs.

If other such businesses wish to compete in that market, they must either buy food very cheaply, or partake of those same “giveaways.”

For daycare facilities that make small amounts of money, and are required to have a certain number of workers on staff, the obvious choice, is to use the programs in question.

Of course, as usual, they must meet certain standards, to obtain the items they receive. One such requirement, is a non-discrimination dictate, including the aforementioned placards.

This is just one of many such things, folks performing daycare services, must have in place, just in order to succeed in their chosen business.

You can bet other such strictures (based, of course, on benefits of some sort given), are as or more onerous, than the one mentioned.

It may seem like a small thing, to have to maintain such items in your place of business, whether or not you agree with what’s required. That said, it’s just one more thing they must do, if they wish to survive.

So on top of the more nebulous aspects of the nanny or administrative state, there are some examples I can give, that’re far more concrete, as you can see.

You may not have a problem with a constantly growing and expanding group of bureaucrats, implementing requirements at ever lower levels, from on high. As for me, you can rest assured I consider such things, a major concern. Perhaps it’s already too late to do anything about them. By the time many conclude they’re problematic, it will almost certainly be so. Make your choice now or later, but remember, choices have consequences; as does kicking the can down the proverbial road.

Thanks for reading, and may your time be good.

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Christianity and Borders – Religion and Politics

20201103 Christianity and Borders – The Daily Summation Podcast

Considering the complexity, and depth of the text found, in the book known as the Bible, it seems to me more likely people are bound to get various messages found therein incorrect, rather than understanding them.

I was recently involved in a discussion, in which a person cited the following piece of Biblical content, yet showed exactly how easy it is, to misunderstand what was said.

Galatians 3

26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

If one ignores the context of what is therein said, it’s possible come to the errant conclusion, that the speaker is intending to do away with all differences between, those about whom he’s talking. In one sense, it’s even sort of fair to say that he is, with one exception.

The problem is, considering verse 28 alone, one can assume wrongly—if one works quite hard—the intent of the words in question, was simply to wipe away understood differences that today, can be somewhat properly equated to racism and sexism.

What’s happening instead?

Looking at the context of what’s written, the author can be seen to be generating an intentional separation beforewiping away the differences in question.

That distinction, is between those who choose to follow Jesus, called Christ, and those who don’t fall in that camp.

This is an important realization, since it shows a desire philosophically, to build two camps, those who are believers, and those who aren’t.

It’s hard to look at any such compartmentalization as anything, but the building of a wall—a border as it were.

Still not convinced? Consider the words of Jesus himself.

Matthew 10

34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.

37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

That seems like a pretty strong set of statements. It also appears pretty obvious what meaning, He intends to impart by them.

He certainly seems to be pretty strongly stating that, if you choose to not follow Him, in the process, potentially alienating yourself to those around you, He considers you to be an unworthy servant—someone not fit to be in His presence.

For those who argue that such statements do not form a boundary between the Christian, and those most count precious, I have one simple question, “Exactly how do you come to such a conclusion?”

Everything I see, indicates quite strongly that’s the case.

The point of what I’ve said here is relatively simple. Christianity doesn’t just accept the concept of borders, it’s predicated upon them.

This is all fine and good, it makes it clear that those who believe in the Bible, as canonized, ought to have no issue with the idea that borders, are a real and meaningful part of Christianity, and are in fact, necessary to it.

Let’s examine another piece of scripture. This one is going to seem just a little off the beaten track, but please bear with me.

Matthew 22

15 ¶ Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk.

16 And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men.

17 Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?

18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?

19 Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny.

20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?

21 They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.

Where borders between entities like countries are concerned, this idea applies. Lots of Christians count themselves members of the societies and communities, in which they reside, as for me, that’s only the case where higher matters don’t prevail. I’m going to pull just one more piece of Biblical text into play here.

Romans 12

2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Considering what Jesus Himself said in the previous two excerpts, it seems pretty obvious, that doing what’s talked about here, should cause you to fall in line with that which was previously given.

It’s in this spirit, that I generally consider myself a member of the society around me only insomuch as I can do so, without ignoring the things I’ve laid out to this point.

With regard to state, or national borders, they’re “Caesar’s things,” to me. The result is, I don’t have to worry greatly about them. That said, I still see the advantage in their existence.

So does Christianity support the idea of borders? Not only does it do so, but in some measure, it exists for the believer, on their construction, at least in a spiritual and conceptual sense. Does it eschew the idea of state or national borders? Not in any way I’m able to see. I’m always open to consider the possibility I’m in error. To this point, I cannot see how that might be the case.

Thanks for reading, and may your time be good.

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A Sign of the Times – Religion and Politics

20201102 A Sign of the Times – The Daily Summation
20201102 A Sign of the Times – The Daily Summation Podcast

It’s been an ongoing problem for some time. I’m not one to argue it’s less seen, on either side of the political aisle.

That said, the point I’m discussing here, is a sad, unfortunate, merging of the branches of governmental power, here in the United States.

By intent, there were and are, three distinct governmental prongs, in this country. I have a funny feeling, if you were to ask the average college student—forget high school—what those branches of government are called, they would in the best case, have issues answering.

You and I know them to be the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches.

I hope you recognize their purposes as well.

By way of quick summation, the executive branch does just what the name implies, it relates to things like policing. Essentially, it enforces the law.

The legislative is equally aptly named. Its job is to manage the laws written—including to write new ones, where called for—such that they fall within the existing framework. That is, they should either be inside, or supersede, existing law.

The judicial branch of government, is the group responsible for deciding matters of law. Is this person or that group, in compliance with, or outside of the laws as currently written? They can also be said to be responsible for deciding the fate, of those in breach of law.

In these present days though, it appears to be fashionable, for each of these three, to attempt in some way, to usurp the authority of the others.

The judicial, uses interpretation of law, based on feelings, common sentiment, opinion, and legal concepts, from outside the borders of the country, to essentially rewrite what the legislative, has penned. This is often referred to as activism in the judiciary.

The legislative, attempts to encroach on the activities of the judiciary in various ways, and on the workings of the executive in others. For the judicial, an example would be congressional hearings, that claim the authority to judge and potentially even punish wrongdoing. The second part of that example, can be seen as taking over part of the executive function.

And the executive is no better. The famous, “I have a pen and a phone.” statement, made by our previous president, is an excellent example.

To say that the power of executive orders has been vastly overused, would seem to be a definite understatement. When you consider that the original purpose for that tool, was very likely to implement existing legislation, that becomes pretty clear.

Here’s the thing though. What all of this points to, is not what you might think.

Don’t get me wrong, the fact that the people in various positions of power routinely and roundly abuse that power, is a problem.

Considering that, you must still ask yourself a probing question, “How did they get there?

There are arguments to the effect that a large part of the problem, is the complexity of the systems that’ve been generated over the course of time. I’m not trying to maintain there’s not some truth to that reality.

Even so, the larger problem in my view, is not that level of difficulty.

What does it come down to, in large part? The simple answer can be summed up in the words of Thomas Jefferson, “Whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government; that whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights.

Read more: https://www.searchquotes.com/search/Jefferson_On_Informed_Electorate/#ixzz6ceTUzanJ

It cannot be argued, that the population at large bears no responsibility in this.

Though that’s true, the real problem lies squarely in two places.

The first of these, is the home. When parents don’t adequately understand, what makes a people successful and prosperous, they’ll be unable to pass that information, down to their progeny. Thing is, this is largely a result of what happens in the second location.

That second venue would be places of learning, whether schools, extended family, churches, synagogues, mosques, social settings, or whatever

In the case of places dedicated to education, the first issue I see, is the lack of a requirement for educators, to first understand, then teach, civics.

In fact, it’s become relatively commonplace, for individuals to find their way, into the educational system, who routinely, abjectly fail, to understand how this country, has become one of the richest in the world.

It’s also commonly true, that people in such positions are absolutely convinced, the children they’re paid to teach, are often in horrible poverty.

Keep in mind, this is said of families with houses, often multiple cars, smartphones, and more than one television in the home. To be sure, most of them have barely ever missed a meal, but through choice on someone’s part.

Another consideration, is that purveyors of “higher learning,” have often been co-opted by left-leaning persons, in order to teach ideologies, counter to those that made us what we are today.

The result is, young adults are often indoctrinated into belief sets that not only don’t help things, but actively harm them.

To say that the United States has been moving in directions that are horribly counter to what’s led to the vast reduction in poverty seen here and elsewhere in the world, would be a serious understatement.

Making matters worse, many of the folks who run for political office, are self-serving in the extreme; and since the majority of Americans are woefully uneducated as to what their country is about, it’s not within them to see this is the case.

We’re rapidly descending into a state, where it’s hard to imagine redemption.

We have governmental administrative entities, operating on autopilot, regardless who makes their way into authority.

Unless people wake up to what’s occurring, it’s highly unlikely any of this will change. If it’s to be fixed, the amount of work needed to cause that change to occur, is already highly onerous.

My message? We must begin to bring people and requirements, back into the education of our youth, that allow them to see where we are, and contrast that against where should be. This must happen in homes, social gatherings, and schools to be particularly effective. The time to begin that process is now. The road ahead is long. If nothing else, as parents, people should work to understand what’s actually beneficial, and pass that knowledge, on to their children.

Thanks for reading, and may your time be good.

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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:

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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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.