Wednesday, November 29, 2017

"Defiant Launch" by North Korea?

It is rather insulting that the media is attempting to paint the launching of missiles by North Korean as a "defiant launch".  The media and our government is also attempting to make it appear as if North Korea is planning to launch an unprovoked missile attack against the United States.  Other countries possess nuclear weapons.  Until the countries of the world are able to trust each other (never) countries will always possess nuclear weapons.

As long as the United States respects the sovereignty of a foreign country to develop nuclear defense/offense capability all will be well. 

The media and the government need to tone down the gloomy prospects for nuclear war.  As long as the United States does not take action to provoke a war, none will happen.  There is nothing to gain for the North Korean government to start a nuclear holocaust.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Sexual Harassment Incidents

No surprise in the recent revelations of sexual harassment.  Years ago, maybe in the 1990s I recall sexual harassment training being conducted at my former workplace.  But the “training” wasn’t enough.  There was no enforcement linkage to the training to scare perpetrators from committing acts of sexual harassment.  The burden was placed on the victim to come forward.  Absent a video or audio recording, or a willing witness not afraid of some type of reprisal, sexual harassment claims came down to she said/he said.  Those who came forward faced potential loss of a job, or doors being closed to future job advances.  Knowing there was a lack of enforcement slowed any chance of those being harassed coming forward to confront their abuser.

Recently we’ve had many people admitting their acts, apologizing, and trying to walk away into the sunset to restart their lives.  Restart lives minus punishment.  No time in prison?  No loss of money via payment to those they harassed? Yes, they may lose their current job, endorsements, or be banned from their occupation.  But, minus losing their freedom via prison time and minus loss of economic power to lead a comfortable life, what punishment are the abusers facing?  There are some exceptions.  The “doctor” who abused the female gymnasts will be doing jail time.  News reporters, entertainment people, politicians for the most part so far appear to be able to skip away without doing time in prison.  I have yet to hear of the harasser making a donation to any of the many organizations that must exist to help women deal with abuse.

Their apologies are empty without follow up action, which further demonstrates they truly are sorry.  So why do they get a pass?  Because we allow them to.  It’s the same general historical pass that has been given European American men throughout history in the United States.  Many European American slave holders sexually abused female slaves.  The histories of those families shy away from admitting that European American males in their family performed such acts. They were never punished for their immoral acts.  Is it that some European American males believe they have a right to sexually harass women?

We’re now coming to a point where no female of any age can be left alone with a male, in a room.  Has it come down to where we cannot allow any one-on-one meetings of any type with people of the opposite sex?  Who can you trust?  Obviously not a morning news host and host of a PBS show.  Not a Senator, not a Congressman, not a President?  Not an actor or entertainment executive?  Well, we should have known that sexual harassment goes on in the entertainment industry.

This type of behavior goes on more than we want to admit.  I recall within the walls of a federal agency I used to work for hearing of incidents occurring.  Managers were either slapped on the wrist with minor punishment, or nothing done at all.  In one case a supervisor within Human Resources who sexually harassed one of his employee’s was allowed to maintain his employment while being demoted.  But, that supervisor has been able to regain the level of pay he was demoted from.  The employee he sexually harassed was eventually fired.

If we keep allowing women to be sexually harassed and allow the perpetrator to apologize, and settle for being fired with no financial compensation to the victims then we are not doing enough.  We have yet to hear the other side of the story, if one exist.  Are their females in power who are sexually harassing males???

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Rest Stops on Interstate Highways

I do more highway driving these days.  I’ve learned to appreciate rest stops.  I stop just to use the bathroom and to wake the hell up.  You know that falling asleep feeling you get when driving.  That’s a scary feeling.  It’s like somebody is hypnotizing you and you can’t come out of the trance. That’s when I find a rest area fast. I did not know the history of rest areas.  But knowing this country black people were likely not welcome at most early rest areas.  They probably had unofficial rest areas where black people could stop.  No restroom, no water. No food.  Just a piece of cement in the ground big enough for 1 or 2 cars.   But, I did some research.  Rest areas started in the 1950s.  Some states built them, they claim, to emphasize that state’s culture.  I saw a photo where the state of Texas built rest areas in the shape of Teepees.  Now how insulting was that to Native Americans?  This country takes the land from Native Americans, then mocks them by putting up rest stops with a teepee design.  Who thought of that?  It’s like rubbing it it.  Whomever it was their entire family should be interviewed on TV then lined up to be slapped by the last 15 Native Americans living in this country. Thankfully most of the rest stops I visited looked okay.  But, I always worry about serial killers being inside the bathrooms waiting for me.  So, when I go into a rest room I go in fully loaded.  I’m packing like SWAT on a mission.  I’m talking full body armor, knives, backup guns, stun grenades.  So when I use the bathroom I have one hand on my stuff and the other hand on a weapon. I’m looking around and peeking  at whomever comes in. The food in those rest stop vending machines is sad.  They have sodas and snacks from 20 years ago.  You eat that stuff you’ll have to go big time at the next rest stop. But truckers really need rest stops.  Otherwise truckers would fall asleep and kill all of us.  Now some states are closing rest stops because you’ve got these all purpose gas stations being built with showers, restaurants, stores, video games.   They’re like little cities. I have an idea on how to keep the rest areas open.  Create rest and brothel stops.  That way it becomes a multi service facility. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Enabling Domestic Terrorism?

Two recent mass shootings in the United States claimed the lives of 58 and 26 people respectively. It's now become so common there is even a "top 10" list of mass shootings in the United States.  We all know that as you read this, someone somewhere is making plans for their entry into the "top 10 list".  Unfortunately someone wants to be number one on the list.  Why?  Because we've been taught that being number one is something we should aspire to, even in negativity. That will mean more innocent lives will be lost for some deranged purpose.

The reason for these incidents occurring is not easy to determine.  There is no mathematical equation that shows A plus B will result in C.  C being mass shootings.  Or if their is a profile that predicts such behavior, our law enforcement agencies are not sharing that information with us.  We must agree that in these United States of America we have developed a system and processes that enables people to gain weapons and military accessories that can and will be used during mass shootings.  People are committing mass shootings basically because they can and because our system of obtaining guns enables them to.

People often refer to their second amendment right to bear arms.  We all agree that the second amendment under the US Constitution wasn't intended for the building of gun and ammunition stockpiles for mass shooters to use when they choose.  The second amendment to the United States Constitution says, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed."  Unless I'm reading it wrong nowhere does it say that  a human being has the right to purchase unlimited weaponry to use as they wish. The second amendment was proposed in the year 1789.  The complexities of life in the year 2017 do not compare to the "simpler" lifestyle in 1789.  We do need to reflect and act on what the amendment means in today's time frame.  Then the appropriate action to modify access to guns and other weaponry needs to be taken.

Since the police cannot protect everyone from becoming the victim of a crime, we agree that people should have the right to bear arms to protect themselves.  The self protection doctrine has merits.  But how much weaponry does one person need?  Do we not believe that our police forces and armed forces can be trusted to always protect us?  If not, one could say a person should have unlimited access to possess whatever type of non nuclear weaponry they need  to ensure their safety and the safety of their family.  As I read and learn about the massacres inflicted upon black people in these United States during race riots in the early 1900s, I definitely agree that people have the right to protect themselves from unruly mobs.

If the police are primarily responders to acts of violence, then some would say everyone needs some type of protection until the police can arrive.

Whatever side of the debate you are own we have to recognize a basic fact.  Our current system of "gun control" enables most people to obtain enough weapons to perform a mass shooting.  There is no mental health test that prevents a person who has never been labeled "mentally ill" from obtaining the weapons of mass destruction.  It is ironic that the United States often feared countries having weapons of mass destruction, when we ourselves created a system where an individual United States citizen can become a weapon of mass destruction.

Let's face a fact.  Until our lawmakers become recurring targets of mass shooters, laws further restricting access to guns will not be passed.  We know how it works.  It takes a tragedy close to the source to motivate people to act.  Our lawmakers are no different.  When they become as vulnerable as normal people, maybe they will act.  Have you seen the protection lawmakers are given at their office buildings?  They make sure a mass shooter can't get to them.  What about the rest of us?  Are we on our own?

Who knows, maybe we just need to get accustomed to the mass shootings and exercise diligence in where we go?  Get our Wills in order and have our funeral arrangements already worked out in detail. Do individuals have to arm ourselves like in the days of the Wild Wild West and always be ready to defend ourselves from harm?  I do wonder what our governmental agencies are doing to locate and stop mass shooters before they carry out their plans.  Can they develop "profiles" and mechanisms that will raise "red flags" on certain people who "might" be dangerous? How do you identify and label a person as a potential danger due to mental issues?

We have enabled people to obtain and use weapons.  If we don't plan to place further restrictions on access something has to be done to reduce the opportunities for mass shootings to occur.  Otherwise we will soon be talking about a top 20 list.