Category Archives: Opinion

Bridge to understanding

Reaching Our Potential of Compassion

I may be one of those people, when you see one of my posts on serious topics, you quickly ignore, or wish, I should keep my opinions to myself. That’s understandable and perhaps I am cringe worthy at times. I hope this isn’t one of those times.

Recent private conversations with other people, cause me to suggest this is still a topic requiring open discussion or at the very least, thoughtful reflection.

Humans are complicated in many ways, but there are some basic requirements which all need in order to stay healthy. I’m primarily referring to emotional and mental health. I’m not a licensed professional or a person with advanced degrees in human psychology. I’m just someone who cares about other people, even those who live different than myself.

Each of us has a basic need to be cared for and loved. Try as you might, no one stays totally emotionally healthy without social contact and some form of reassuring interaction. Some people substitute animals for this support, but there’s still more to be found with other people. That’s also a challenge, because associations with some people are toxic.

As we go through a process of physical maturity, and our minds and bodies react to hormones as well as our thoughts, some things become automatic. One of these are sexual attractions. Out of this physical attraction, human bonds are formed, but here’s where it’s not necessarily going to be predictable, or set in a pattern which many of us think is the only way it should be.

I’ve learned through observation, not always my own experience, but through the lives of others, an empathy for people who think and act different from myself. In the case of physical attraction, I fall into the socially predominant, opposite sex attraction. It started without me thinking, analyzing, or consciously deciding that I liked the physical appearance and voices of women over men. Without going into detail, those are early awkward years for most of us.

Here’s where it gets difficult to understand for those who only have opposite sexual attraction. It’s challenging to recall or realize our gender attractions were not something we woke up with and deliberately decided on. When you meet someone, or know a family member, who has same sex attractions, think about your own experience, because this isn’t really something we choose. It’s not like going to buy a new vehicle and say, I can only drive a red car.

Here’s where it gets tougher for many of us, because we start down a path which says, you can only think like me, or you’re abnormal, freakish, or defective.

If you’re religious, you may think the person is sinful. This becomes a huge problem for many families that want to impose their life patterns on everyone within their care. Yes, I’ve heard the expression, “you can love the sinner, but not the sin”. When it’s part of our sexuality, that’s when “world’s collide”. If it becomes your mission to change someone who’s homosexual to heterosexual, you’re missing an entire fundamental of human need vs. Human decision.

You or I didn’t flip a switch and say, today I’m going to become heterosexual. Neither does someone with same sex attraction. It’s not something you can change like clothing, houses, or the brain, through prayer, scolding, chastising, shaming, or some other form of guilt burden. We don’t choose who or why or how sexuality works. It’s independent from these kinds of machinations.

What can you do if a family member is gay? Well, for starters you can show you love them, don’t try to manipulate by burdening them with guilt, lecturing, or taking them to counselors until you think you’ve found the right one for the job. Learn to understand your own reasons for doing what you do, but look around and see, your way of thinking isn’t a “one size fits all.”

Let children learn and grow, but don’t find reasons to label them as abnormal. They’re having a tough enough time at school or work. Society is an emotional roller coaster, especially for teenagers. There are enough mine fields in their world to navigate. It’s not useful or helpful to push your own values on anyone, most especially the ones we love. They need our love, not our condemnation.

I know this is a bit long, but I hope it helps someone, somewhere.

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Why I Hate Automotive Tech

There comes a time when the development of cars, computers, and so-called electronic convenience, become anything but that.

Fixing my own cars, and occasionally for others, I’ve witnessed this march to built-in catastrophic entrapment for several decades… and it ain’t pretty.

There was a time when an engine could be removed, valves replaced, seats ground, pistons pulled, cylinders rehoned, rings replaced, transmissions removed and rebuilt, and you could continue to use the same car for many years. If you want to keep them now, it’s going to be an expensive proposition.

Then came the need for pollution control systems. Not satisfied with pumping in more air to burn waste gases, nor using expensive palladium catalytic converters on the exhaust. That wasn’t enough. Let’s put in some sensors, and computerize the whole process of bringing in air, swirling it about with computer timed fuel injection and variable valve timing. Then fart it out the back with sensors that constantly sniff for emissions, only to feedback through the computer, hey – you’re giving me gas!

As if that wasn’t enough, they installed infotainment systems into these supposed smarter cars. Only one problem with that, no make it two. First the drivers need updates, and that wasn’t happening. Knob fiddling was one thing, but glaring at a screen which not only controls the interior temp, your favorite radio stations, the last 500 songs you cleverly downloaded, and also gives you reroute instructions past the 15 car pile up you need to avoid to get to work.

What Are The Usual Causes For Computer Failure in Vehicles

car-computer-insideNot only are computers failing with ever-increasing frequency, due to downsizing all those millions of tiny micro junctures, which makes them more susceptible to cycles of heat and cold. They now control your 9-speed automatic transmission which is arguing with your engine management systems on what the right fuel-air combination, meshing with the right gears for your on and off the acceleration because you couldn’t make up your mind on which of the 6 lanes of traffic to travel.

Mercedes, among several later manufacturers, has built-in systems to detect when you’ve listened to way too many conference calls and are now too drowsy to stay in your lane. They’ve also added another computer to check that your eyes are scrutinizing that fancy whiz-bang infotainment system instead of driving, and are about to plow into the little old person crossing the road in their 4 wheel drive, electronically controlled wheel chair. It has now applied the computer management system for your brakes, and detected the G-force to be sufficient to maim you, has launched 3 out of 7 possible air bags to cushion your low earth orbit.

One last system has been called upon to maintain your ride stability system which manages ride height on all 4 wheels, keeping you level, while bearing down on previously mentioned senior citizen, having a cardiac event in front of your just in time stopped car.

Never mind, the smart 4 wheel drive scooter has called 911 to get her or him the assistance they need.

Meanwhile, you will have gone through a pile of cash or credit to replace the inflated airbags and clean up the interior of your car, contaminated by all the internal special powder they put in those airbags, combined with your sudden urge that has stained the leather in your seat. After you receive the hospital bill for the face and neck burns from the airbags, you will visit your doctor for a prescription of Nitrazepam.

infotainment_cntrThe advance of technology has repealed radio / cassette knobs, in favor of a computerized lit entertainment screen which beckon you to gaze at it, instead of attentive driving.

BTW, you’ll need a new infotainment system after you have smashed your knuckles into it when your computer determined you had to stop extra fast because of the kitty running across the road in front of your collision avoidance equipped, modern car. evil_mask_sml

The Bias Construct

Recent public conversations about the political nature of Supreme Court appointments, has surfaced again. No matter who is proposed, if they’ve lived, worked, met, and offered numerous legal opinions, any nominee is going to have opinions on key issues of their day.

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United States Supreme Court Building

Such confusion and double-talk exists in our public-politic, it’s amazing that anyone can be appointed. In a recent public speaking engagement at University of California, Berkeley, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor had this to say.

“I’m saddened to see that many people have lost confidence in judges and believe they are political.”

Sotomayor made the comments while taking questions from law students. The school’s interim law school dean, Melissa Murray, served as Sotomayor’s clerk when the justice was a federal appellate court judge.

Sotomayor said judges try to be fair and impartial and don’t have rigid beliefs they apply to every case. She encouraged people to view judges as “human beings who care deeply about what we’re doing.”

This is an interesting response, considering her words elsewhere.

Sotomayor, spoke at the University of Minnesota on October 19, 2016, commenting that the Supreme Court was designed to have nine justices so it can break ties on difficult cases.

“We try to come to decision-making as best as we can,” she said. “Where we can find a very, very narrow way of deciding a case, we use it.”

Sotomayor compared Scalia’s death to the loss of a family member despite their differences.

“There are things he’s said on the bench where if I had a baseball bat, I might have used it,” she said.

Enter the new nominee Neil Gorsuch. There’s a leading headline in Rueters describing, “ideological balance at stake in confirmation fight” . Of course the usual politicos, Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, and Democrat Dianne Feinstein, are leading the opposition to his appointment along ideological lines. The Rueters article describes some of the opposition rational as to why he shouldn’t be appointed.

It’s a good thing Supreme Court judges are fair and impartial and don’t have rigid beliefs.

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Neil Gorsuch – Supreme Court nominee