Today’s Dangers

Three weeks ago I started a post that I didn’t finish before I was so involved with other things, especially getting ready to visit my daughter in Oceanside, Ca. Well the visit was enjoyable, I got away from worrying about what government, religious leaders, and others were doing. In the days I’ve been back I’ve been recovering from keeping up with a 5 year old grandson, his Marine dad, and my daughter who is staying in good shape keeping up with the young one. We went places that my phone recorded more that 20,000 steps one day and nearly 12,000 on another day. I’ve been walking between 7 and 10 thousand steps a day so those two days were a challenge. While we were in California my son posts he is having to move.

We get home and just as I’m recovering from keeping up with the young people he asks if we can help him move. He lives in a small apartment so I figure it shouldn’t be too hard. I forgot he has a chest of drawers so heavy and strong it will survive almost any kind of apocalypse. The daughter we had just visited built it as part of a wood working class her last year of high school so it is a one of a kind heavy beast. That he lived in an apartment on the third floor added to the effort. It took two days but we got it done.

Today my body is resting and will shortly be taking a soak in hot water to keep it healing from the abuse over the weekend. At least his new apartment building has an elevator. I came back to my unfinished post after this morning’s news got me thinking about the current state of affairs in government, religion, business, and other things. So here is what I wrote then followed by some more from today.

Columbus Day, or Indigenous Peoples Day

As I was starting my day looking at news and Twitter I was reminded this is a day to mark contact between Europe and the people living in America. Some call it Columbus Day and some call it Indigenous Peoples Day. Should it be called a day of celebration?

I figured I should know what celebrate means in case there is a meaning I’m not aware of. I found it can be officiate in a ritual like the priest who celebrates Mass. It can be to acknowledge an event with pleasurable and social activities. Such as Thanksgiving can acknowledge a good year with watching football, or parades, and a big meal with extended family. So whether we call it Columbus Day or Indigenous Peoples Day should we celebrate?

Before I give my answer for this question, let me tell about a story I read in a science fiction magazine years ago. There seemed to be a trend at the time of writing alternate histories. One I remember was that the Nazis won World War II and a Jewish family was keeping some of traditions of their family while staying unnoticed. They would forgo the ban on pork while celebrating one of the holidays. Another story I want to talk about a bit more in detail had to do with contact between Europe and America.

Part of the premise of the story was that Rome never fell. I don’t recall just where the author had the Roman government. It may have been a republic or there was an emperor. The big thing was it was at a time where someone had sailed across the Atlantic. Instead of sending conquistadors they sent ambassadors. Instead of trying to convert the indigenous peoples of America to Christianity they were wanting to set up trade. I think this day of acknowledging the first contact between Europe and America would not be controversial with that kind of beginning. Sure the Romans would absorb groups but there was a minimum of changing the cultures absorbed compared to what the Conquistadors did. There was enough for those of different parts of the empire to work together. But that story was fiction.

Why would that appeal to me? The biggest thing I promote is communication. Ambassadors are supposed to provide means for communication. Businesses, governments, and individuals in relationships can all benefit from good communication. Communication takes effort, especially mental effort.

I think it is a day to honor. It is up to each person, family, group, and community to decide if it should be any other kind of celebration.

That was a far as I got. Today I read about people in politics calling others liars before they even know what they said. I see concerns about what religious leaders are up to. I see religious leaders calling people liars, again without knowing what was said. I think clear communication would require hearing what the other party has to say. I used to like watching political groups spinning their stories.

They would take the same facts and put different meanings to them. The meanings weren’t as different as some today might think so I’ll use and example I remember from people telling about an international conference of news reporters. Those that wrote the story I read had been with some of the delegation from the Soviet Union. I don’t remember if it was at the same table for a dinner, or the same table in a workshop, or how they came to be talking with them. They asked the Soviet delegation how they could consider looking for the truth under the regulation of the press their government imposed? They said they always tell the truth, just they must word it carefully.

They gave a made up example. Say the President of the U.S. and the leader of the Soviet Union compete in a go-kart race. It is just the two of them and the American wins. They would report the results as the U.S. President coming in next to last and the leader of the Soviet Union being in second place. They would leave out the fact that there were only the two people in the race. They would not tell an out and out lie. I was taught this is called spin.

It used to be in politics that spin was fine as it was used to promote an opinion. The spin should not contradict the facts, just put them in the view the spinner desired. Those Soviet reporters were masters of spin. Some how in the time between then and now, there are many that feel spin means make up facts that fit what I want it to be.

This fits my overall topic of sex positive attitudes that include seniors in that to get facts takes research. I remember an argument against same-sex couples being able to adopt would not provide the kind of environment for the children that they would grow to be productive, happy adults. This was a statement of opinion as there was no research to base it on. I’m not sure if there is any research yet but I have seen many reports of happy children growing in loving homes with two moms or two dads. I believe the loving teaching is more important than whether there are two moms, two dads, one of each, or only one.

Each child, in each set of circumstances, is in need of unique help. There are some broad generalities that may help but the details of whether it comes from one parent, two parents, biological parents, or adoptive parents is not important.

Much like Christianity is a philosophy of loving others and doing good to them has been perverted into worrying more about whether or not others are living up to some standard and covering for those who claim the same denomination but violate those standards. Basing our support on those that claim a certain loyalty is asking for trouble. I have seen this in religion, I’m seeing it now in certain parts of our politics, and that some are trying to mix the two scares me no end. Who is to say a single adoptive mother will do a better job of helping a child prepare for a happy, productive life better that two fathers? Who can determine whether a re-married biological mother would be better for the child than the biological father who has married a man?

No matter what possibility I come up with, it will be the opinion of some person based on what facts are available. It will be inductive reasoning based on the patterns that exist. Where no known pattern exists it is nothing more than a wild guess.

When it comes to talking much about sexual attitudes there are few facts to base them on. Many have expressed opinions as if they are facts, but like those deciding the the fates of the children in my examples, all we have are wild guesses.

So I don’t accept all the opinions I was raised with about religion and sex. I do accept most of the opinions I was raised with about government but see those standards being assaulted by those that should be upholding them. Political office is a chance to serve the people, not force a certain attitude on them. That means all the people. Those who have a different attitude toward some policy, those who have different colored skin than the office holder, those who’s ancestors came from a different country, those who deal with different sexual desires than the office holder, etc. I think the government is headed toward the dangers George Washington warned about political parties bringing and I feel sex positive attitudes may be one of the casualties of that process.

At a time when we should be looking at the indigenous cultures to learn how their attitudes toward sex differed from the European attitudes brought here we are instead fighting about what label a person wears. Are they gay, republican, polyamorous, democrat, swinger, or monogamous? Those questions should only matter in small groups, and only to know how I can approach that person without causing offense. I fear the current trends to further divide us will eventually see one party ban anyone who is openly gay. It is time to protect rule of law and make sure those laws help everyone. Government should be protecting life, liberty, and ways to help us be equally protected in our search for happiness. Our government should not be a way to impose a certain religious belief or to enrich office holders. These are some of the dangers Benjamin Franklin saw when he said we had “a republic, if you can keep it.”

©2018 Michael Yocom 

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