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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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Autism Related Daily Summation For LinkedIn Health and Fitness Philosophy Podcasts Religion Religion, Politics and Philosophy Videos

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

reasonable.

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.

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Christianity, Standards and Principles – Religion and Politics

20201022 Christianity, Standards, and Principles – The Daily Summation
20201022 Christianity, Standards, and Principles – The Daily Summation Podcast

One of the realities of life, is that we learn things that change how we respond to various situations and circumstances.

For some people, an example has been, how they deal with folks from other “races.” Race being a term for which I have no time. There’s one species, and no races, where humanity is concerned, as far as I can tell.

I won’t go into who, but certain individuals long entrenched in politics, used to make statements saying things like, “Integration will result in a racial jungle.

At least some of those same people today, make the statement that they were never “racist.” It takes no kind of search engine sleuth, to go back into their history, to find it’s replete with examples, that make such statements, direct falsehoods.

Have the persons in question changed their tunes, from that time to this? It appears the answer may be, “Yes.”

That said, perhaps the changes aren’t what they want people to believe.

This is how personal beliefs work.

Having considered that, there’re other types of beliefs, that aren’t so mutable.

An example of this, is basic Christian doctrine.

Where that belief set is concerned, the idea that “racism” is in any wise, a valid thing, cannot be found.

There are those who argue to the contrary. I’ve never seen anyone do so, with more than limited success, and generally, their considerations are squashed, by people with more solid comprehension of the subject.

All of this said, there are other things, that Christianity seems to not support, as well. An example of this, would be homosexuality. Forget the idea of a blessed union, between folks who claim to be gay. The tenets of that system, appear to me, to not accept the idea that being homosexual itself, is reasonable; and again, I’ve never heard a contrary argument, I think stands up, to even superficial scrutiny.

Let’s be clear, as a believer, I’m not saying Christians are called to, in any way, do harm or even act badly, towards those who count themselves to be gay.

Asked if they believe such a lifestyle is sinful however, will very often result in an affirmative answer, from those who’ve spent any time, working to understand and accept what their chosen belief set, counts true, and correct.

Being entirely fair, sin is a common reality in the modern day, and frankly, another thing such folks tend to hold correct, is that things like theft, lust, and many others, found to be at least somewhat reasonable at present, are equally sinful.

I want to make another point. The reality, is anyone in the Christian community, who believes government should have any say in the idea of marriage, for example, or the licensing of churches, is horribly confused, in my way of looking at things.

Marriage, according to the tenets of that hallowed system, is a matter between a man, a woman, and God Almighty.

The fact is, the interjection of even a priest, preacher, or pastor, into things, is already more than a stretch.

I know, I’ll certainly catch flak for such a position, but I would be surprised to hear a great many believers, would be willing to disagree, having chosen to do their due diligence, and read the text that answers such questions. We know that tome, as the Bible.

Here’s an important consideration. That set of books was “canonized,” a very long time ago. It hasn’t really changed since then.

There are those who’ll argue, that what’s currently accepted as scripture, was not what was intended. I’m not willing to get into that discussion here.

As for me, I believe what’s found in the modern day Bible, is sufficient for salvation, and direction.

That means that, short of interpretation, the chances of changes in understanding, ought not be forthcoming.

Looking back in time, it’s patently obvious, that Christians in past, have not sanctioned homosexuality, much less gay marriage.

As to whether they’ve tried to keep such an idea from being a societal norm, that’s another matter. Certainly, some have, while others choose to treat it as being among those things, over which they have little say.

For my part, I would tell others who claim to be among the faithful, that it’s not sanctioned. That said, I would also inform them, that if people chose to act as if it were reasonable, where their interactions with those folks may end up being different, for the most part, they ought to take a hands off approach.

It’s okay to attempt to convince, but not to hurl even insults, much less fists, or other weapons, at such individuals.

Here’s what’s important to understand though. Christian beliefs should not change based on what a society in which a believer lives, comes to accept. Expecting them to do so, is wrong.

It’s understood that the entity in question, has the right to enforce allowance of those norms outside of the belief set. It’s not correct to assume they should in any wise, change what happens within it.

Part of the current problem here in the U. S., is that church groups take advantage of certain laws, that make it so they’re not subject to taxation of various types.

This makes them feel, or actually be, beholden to the state because they do so.

In my view, every church congregation, or other entity taking such benefits, ought to stop doing so immediately.

They should pay the same sorts of taxes, as would be expected, of any other person, or group.

In doing so, they would be taking the appropriate, “render unto Caesar,” stance.

Those who fail to do this, shouldn’t be surprised when the state decides it’s reasonable to attempt to push them to accept things, for which they have no business allowing.

It’s really pretty simple. Christians ought to support what the Bible, and the Spirit of God, tell them to. Since the two shouldn’t diverge, that should mean, calling things like homosexuality sin, refusing the idea of Christian homosexual marriage, and treating gay people, as they might anyone else in sin (which is an awful lot of us). That shouldn’t involve things like, doing the people in question harm, or even deriding them. It should include compassion, love, and concern.

Thanks for reading, and may your time be good.

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Talk is Cheap – Religion and Politics

20201021 Talk is Cheap – The Daily Summation
20201021 Talk is Cheap – The Daily Summation Podcast

More than thirty-five years. That’s roughly how long ago a kid, not much time out of high school, with no clear vision for his life, joined the United States Air Force.

I’m not going to lie to you. I had no intention to protect you, or America when I did what I did.

I truly just, had no better life plan at that point in my short jaunt on the planet.

As time went on in that pursuit, I began to understand what the military was ostensibly for. For a time, I not only supported the ideas and concepts behind those forces, but I came to view myself as a person working to protect freedom.

I grew older, and I like to think, smarter. In the course of time, I came to believe something for which I to this day, have zero proof. I came to accept that there was a God, that He was responsible for my being, and that in the form of the Son, He came to Earth, and died on the cross, for my sake.

Funnily, I credit the Book of Mormon for helping me to see that. I won’t get heavily into detail, but I saw some of what was written there, was truth. Other parts, I came to recognize, were not. If you ask me how I knew, I would have to tell you, even now, I have no real answer. I can just tell you, I came to believe it was the case.

I bring up the beliefs I came to hold, because it was on that basis, I concluded I needed to exit the Air Force.

I sat in a room, in a small building on Osan Air Base in the Republic of Korea, where I was undergoing Leadership Training, and did my best to attend the folks responsible for instructing me.

The first man got up and said basically, “Your mission in the Air Force, is to break things and kill people. Thank you.” Then he sat down, waiting for the next instructor.

I concluded he wasn’t entirely correct, as a member of the Air Force, you’re tasked with one four possible missions:

  1. To break things and kill people
  2. To threaten to break things and kill people
  3. To support people breaking things and killing people
  4. To support people threatening to break things and kill people

I recognize these are seen as necessary, and important activities in state-craft. Nonetheless, knowing they were the things with which one may be tasked, I resolved to depart the body, burdened with such charges as quickly as I was able. I simply couldn’t reconcile them, to what I held to be the basis for my existence.

The result was, before too very much longer, I left the service, not in the nicest of ways, but not in a terrible one either.

I’m not going to say I made no comments as I went along in the process, but I will say, considering the title of this article, talk is indeed cheap.

The result is simple, I came to recognize what I believed, and chose a course that would help me to come closer, to those things I held true.

To this day, I have friends who made the same pledge I did, and at least stayed for a time. Some retired from the military.

I hold no grudge against any of them for having kept their word, and done what they felt was their duty—even if they too, counted themselves Christian.

The point of all of this though, is that each of us resolved to take a certain course. For some, the path changed over time, but in each case, we decided on our direction, and acted in accordance with what we chose.

Put simply, it’s easy to talk. Where the rubber meets the proverbial road though, is in action.

From the time I pledged myself to military service, until the day I left (not when I decided to do so, when I actually did do it), I acted in good faith, regarding my choices.

Even now, there are things I learned in my time in the Air Force, I’m obliged not to divulge.

This is one of the key realities of life, what you say, is fine and good, but it doesn’t matter one whit, if it doesn’t match your actions.

Don’t get me wrong, you can get truth from someone who doesn’t live it. I honestly believe even hypocritical people, can speak reality.

I’m not suggesting you ignore the words of others, because they don’t practice what they preach.

That said, the fact that they don’t behave in accordance with their words, should make you question whether the individual considered, is one you choose to support or count worthy of your time and effort.

This is a definite consideration in politics. There’re a lot of folks who—looking at their records will make plain—do not act in line with what they say.

What it’s important for you to realize is, no matter how good those people sound, the thing that’s really significant is what they do.

I might reverse this for you as well. Even if a person seems to spout garbage, if his or her actions are good, what he or she says, is of little consequence compared to them.

In case you’re wondering, there’s an underlying Biblical principle here. It can be found in Matthew 21:

28 But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard.

29 He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.

30 And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not.

31 Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.

My simple message to you? Talk is cheap. That works for those around you. It works for politicians, too. If you ignore this reality, I can pretty much promise you’ll find yourself wondering what went wrong at some point.

Thanks for reading, and may your time be good.

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Don’t Think, Just Do – Religion and Politics

20201020 Don’t Think, Just Do – The Daily Summation
20201020 Don’t Think, Just Do – The Daily Summation Podcast

I needn’t tell you there’s a well known company in the United States, that’s had a slogan much like the title of this piece for some time.

In their case, I think it’s sort of reasonable for them to do so.

In know for some, you may consider that I’ve done this subject to death.

The sad reality though, is that people seem uninterested in really considering what I’m saying.

There’s zero doubt that all of us must act on various things going on in our lives.

The problem is, I’ve noticed a tendency as I’ve gotten older. The direction being, that of people doing without considering, what it is they’re causing in the performance of their actions.

More and more, I have to be excessively defensive as a driver, for example, knowing it’s very likely people will jump in front of me, and jam on their brakes in order to turn.

I know that may seem like a small thing, but when you note an uptick in the accidents you see on a daily basis—some of them moderately serious—you begin to put two and two together.

It’s just doesn’t take dazzling brilliance, to arrive at four.

Then when you hear about instances, where people are being attacked and potentially killed, often in things like gun violence, as a result of road rage, you see the situation is getting particularly ugly.

I know, there are people like me out there, who insist on things like, going the speed limit or below, when we’re out on our travels. I understand, you’re upset by the fact we’re doing so.

I get it, the cops aren’t generally going to ticket you for speeding. Then again, another cause of the copious accidents, may well be a result of people rushing around like madmen.

On top of this, is the fact that you don’t really get from place to place significantly faster, for being in breach of speed limit laws.

On a slightly different subject, which is related to the idea behind this piece, I was at a local park with my child, who, as I’ve said before, is Moderately Autistic. I take him out to various places, in order to work to improve his ability to deal with the world, on a social level.

He goes to school, and there, deals with other kids who’re mostly his age or very close thereto. He’s pretty strictly supervised, and spends most of his time, among other special needs students.

Like it or not, when a child spends his or her day in such circumstances, there starts to be a tendency towards the establishment of a certain amount of normalization. The children become somewhat entrenched in expectations, making it so conflict is often abated.

In one way, that’s a good thing. In another, it’s not so nice.

Learning to deal with conflict, is an important part of life.

It’s for this reason, I take my son to the places like that park. I want him to learn how to deal with a world that doesn’t look exactly how he wants it to. I desire for him, to come to understand the failure in the title of this work, “Don’t Think, Just Do!

You see, regardless the age or relative toughness, of the people with whom my son deals, he has a (bad) tendency towards lashing out when things don’t go as he’d like them to. He doesn’t think, emotion takes over, and he does.

He’s beginning to learn to curb such behaviors, but it’s a good deal of work, for both him, and for me as well.

The result is, though he’s never hurt anyone in more than a very mild way, both children and guardians, become quite alarmed, and upset by his behavior.

He doesn’t understand this, but his tendency to act without consideration, comes back on me, not so much on him.

This is often a result of the attitude that says, “Just go ahead, don’t worry about the fallout.” At times, it might affect the person acting. In many circumstance though, those affected, are in fact, others.

Bad enough that you jump out onto the roadway, going half as fast as flowing traffic. It’s that much worse, when a mother is trying to drive her children to school, and ends up being distracted by their actions, when you do so. Missing the fact that you’ve done as you have, now she—moving as she had been prior, to your doing so—piles into the back of your vehicle.

What happens if that individual, let’s say she’s a single mother, is killed in that accident? Her children survive, only to become wards of some (potentially less than caring) family member, or worse yet, of the state.

Now let’s add another wrinkle. What results when one or more of those children, is or are harmed by that accident, in a way they never totally get over?

Part of the reason it pays to use your brain before you act, is that you can come to recognize the possibility of things of that sort happening, and work to ensure how you behave, reduces their possibility.

I’m not trying to say it’s critical to analyze every situation in which you find yourself. I’m just saying failing to make a habit of taking the time to think things out, may have disastrous consequences.

The worst part? By the time many folks have already caused some catastrophic event to occur, it’s too late to realize that they could’ve prevented it entirely, by using their brain. That’s something some of them, never live down.

I get that people are in a rush much of the time these days. I understand that you have things to do and people to see.

You may think you can go through life, doing without thinking as a default response; and maybe just maybe, you’ll succeed in not meeting with terrible results, for yourself and others. Then again, maybe not. Are you willing to take that chance?

Thanks for reading, and may your time be good.