My Thoughts on Transgender

In nature in the human species there are genetic mutations that cause various things to occur.  We see people born with both male/female genitalia.  We see conjoined twins.  We see people born with third nipples.  We even see people who [essentially] grow an antler/horn.

Aside from all of those visible mutations, there are even invisible mutations that we socially accept and don’t deny the existence of.  Some people are genetically predisposed to cancer, MS, or Huntington’s, yet we don’t claim it is impossible, doesn’t exist, or is all in their head.  It isn’t “taboo” or “gross”, it just exists and we know it.  We eventually see the side effects of it.

This leads me to my next question.  Why is it so hard to accept that there is, perhaps, a genetic mutation in our DNA that causes somebody to be born into the wrong body?  Just because it is invisible to us, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, yet some short-sighted individuals want to deny that it happens.  If you can be born with both male/female genitalia yet still feel like a “male” or a “female”, is it so far-fetched to believe that somebody can be born with a penis, despite their brain saying they’re a woman?  Why must we stay so close minded as a society and insist we stay within a binary system?

Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

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Three Quick Points on Trump Recently

So Trump has openly said he is against providing due process for those seeking asylum in the USA, and that he would rather just imprison or ship them back without so much as a court hearing even. This is dangerous territory. This would give ICE unlimited power with zero over-sight. How is this much different that Hitler’s Gestapo?
 
Also, please keep in mind that no country is sending anybody here. It’s not like Mexico or Honduras have a group of government officials going around and recruiting citizens to be “shipped” over to the USA. People come here on their own volition. People also leave here on their own volition.
 
Another thing to keep in mind. A wall would be pointless and solve perhaps 10% of the problem. Most people/drugs that get here illegally come here by legal methods. Most people come here with a legal visa via plane/train/automobile and just don’t leave once their work/student/tourism visa says they need to. Most drugs come here via legal shipping methods or plane/train/automobile. The whole concept of people sneaking across the Rio Grande under the cover of night is farcical. Does it happen? Yes, absolutely. Does it happen to the extent that Trump/GOP want you to believe it happens? Not even close. A wall would cost the USA billions of dollars and only solve a small fraction of a larger problem. That money would essentially be as useful as the millions of dollars Trump wants to spend on a parade. If you don’t understand what I mean by this, I’ll lay it out. Trump just wants to waste taxpayer money to tickle his ego and leave a lasting monument to put him in the history books.

My middle of the night thoughts on Trump’s summit with N.K.

As I am up for my [what is now regular] routine of waking up in agonizing pain, drinking water, taking some liquid pain meds that sting like nobody’s business, drinking more water, then having a popsicle to freeze and numb it all away, I am reading up on the Singapore summit and have some thoughts:

First off, congratulations to Donald Trump. This has [so far] been the first important moment in your presidency where you haven’t completely botched it, made an ass out of yourself, or made an ass out of Amerca. I am glad this sort of reigned in version of you does, in fact, exist. I am curious where it has been all along, too.

As I stand corrected by our POTUS actually behaving like a rational human being, I also continue to be extremely concerned with the state of our country. It was less than 10 years ago that Barack Obama said he would be open to meeting with North Korea/Kim Jong-Un and was derided by the Republican party, being called naive and weak.

Even when this point has been brought up to ardent Trump supporters [who are, quite frankly, being cocky and pompous that their guy finally did something right… acting like he’s been this great POTUS since day one, despite this being his first diplomatic “win”] they still find some way to make this all about how terrible Obama was (or how terrible Hillary was, despite this having literally nothing to do with her) and how legitimate Trump is.

This, however, brings me to my final point: legitimacy. After botching the G7 so royally, and making a complete and utter ass out of himself and the United States, I think Trump realized he needed to at least do one thing right that he could point to and beat his chest while boasting how great he is. I also think Kim Jong-Un is in a similar position. These are two men who have been largely written off as poor leaders, who also have fragile egos that need to be fancied. Kim Jong-Un gets to feel like a big boy, because he got legitimacy given to him, something his father never received. Trump is now getting legitimacy because he’s done something no other U.S. leader has done… and yes… he’s [so far, to my knowledge] done a good job of.

So yes, Donald Trump did something good. This doesn’t, however mean he was right. Trump’s threatening of nuclear war was not right. Trump’s stooping down to Twitter pissing matches with a dictator wasn’t right. Trump acting like an unhinged and complete maniac, with regards to North Korea, wasn’t right.

 

Question…

After yet another school shooting, I really only have one question:

How is it that the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is the only westernized country that has this problem? Please tell me that. Sure, I could throw facts at you that we have a higher amount of guns per citizen than any country. Sure I could tell you that we have some of the loosest gun laws of any westernized country. These facts don’t faze you, so please, why don’t you tell everybody why it is that America has more gun deaths, per-capita, than any other westernized country? (Hint: You cannot use God as a reason… we also have the most people, per capita, who believe in angels than any other country.)

All the pills…

Here is a list of pills that are apparently hard for many people to swallow:

  • There is a difference between the flag for the country of Cuba and the Confederate flag.
  • There is a difference between the AR-15 and sporting rifles. This is why the AR-15 is obviously the preferred gun for the vast majority of these mass shootings.
  • The issue of gun violence in America is multifaceted. There isn’t ONE singular thing that can be done to stop it. Some ideas from the left are good ideas, some ideas from the right are good ideas. Common ground needs to be found with ALL of these ideas being a part of the solution.
  • Guns are different than they were when the Bill of Rights was written. Guns are more dangerous now. One person with a gun back in 1800 couldn’t inflict nearly as much damage as one person with a gun in 2018. Period.
  • The 2nd amendment doesn’t guarantee your ability to purchase any gun you want without restriction. If you read Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist No. 29 you would realize what he means by a “well-regulated militia”. The nutshell version, you are not a militia just because you own a gun. Period.
  • The Constitution and Bill of Rights can be updated, and actually has been updated many times since its inception. This is why women can vote, black people aren’t worth 3/5th of a person, and we have presidential term limits (among other things). If you do not know what an Amendment is, perhaps you need a dictionary, not a gun.
  • The country of Russia interfered with our elections, plain and simple. The country of Russia clearly had a favorite of whom they wanted to win our Presidential election. That same winner is also denying something that has been proven to be fact. We do not know if he directly colluded with Russia in this effort, but we do know that he directly benefited from those efforts.
  • The current POTUS has been a philandering POS his entire adult life. He’s cheated on wives with future wives. He has cheated on his current wife with more than just one porn star. He has bragged about sexually assaulting women. This isn’t fake news. For some odd reason, however, he still received evangelical support. Odd.

This list will continue to be added upon.  I would love to hear from readers if they have any other pills they’d like to add.

-Trevor

IS BEING A REPUBLICAN A SYMPTOM? (PART III)

Donald Trump and the new GOP are still continuing to show just how short-sighted they are with their policies and proposals.  This time we’re talking about trade!  Donald Trump is imposing tariff’s on imports of aluminum (10%) and steel (25%), thinking that it will lower costs and create jobs here in the United States.  This is just brilliant, at least if you’re a Trump supporter who believes everything Fox News and the Donald tell you.

On the surface, what isn’t there to celebrate?  This will encourage companies within the U.S. to “buy American” and help create jobs in the steel and aluminum production sectors!  YAY!  What could possibly go wrong?

According to Donald Trump, this is in retaliation for China flooding the market with cheap steel.  Yes, let’s blame the Chinese for our steel and aluminum import problems.  We all know the top place we import steel is… wait a second… Canada?  Well, the 2nd biggest place we import steel from is… hold on… Brazil?  Cutting to the chase here, China isn’t even in our top 10 of where we import steel from.  After Canada and Brazil the list goes South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Turkey, Japan, Taiwan, Germany, and India.  I tell you what, though, putting a tariff on steel imports will certainly stick it to China, won’t it?  Here is a link on the matter.

So what will really happen with this steel tariff?  Well, a couple of things:

  • Steel prices in the U.S. will go up.  True, this will help the steel industry in the United States.  They will be able to sell their steel for more money, therefore more profits, which could even lead to more production and more jobs.  There is, however, a downside to this which is…
  • Manufacturers within the United States will have to pay more for their steel and aluminum.  Steel costing more to be shipped into the U.S. doesn’t mean the price of steel in the United States (produced locally) will go down.  Steel prices (much like the prices of all commodities) act on global supply and demand scales, not just United States supply and demand scales.  If this, in turn, means the U.S. imports less steel, then there will be less supply of steel in the United States.  Anybody with a basic understand of economics know how supply & demand works.  If supply goes down, a product is more scarce, therefore the price will go up.
  • This will then lead directly into the consumer having to pay for those tariffs.  If your vehicle, appliance, hardware, building supplies, etc. cost more, as a company you then charge more for your product.  If you’re charging more for your product, demand for your product will increase.  You also won’t necessarily see more profit, as a company will increase their price for the consumer based on their profit margin.  (i.e. if it costs me $10 to make a product, and I want to make $3 per product, I charge a consumer $13 for my product.  If it now costs me $12.50 to make my product, and I still want to make $3 profit on my product, I now charge the consumer $15.50 for my product)

Ultimately by the end of these tariffs it will be us, the consumer, who have to pay for it.  Sure, if you work in the steel industry you company might hire a couple more people.  Sure, you might even see your pay increase, if ownership deems your living expenses as more important than their bottom line.  For the rest of us, however, we’ll see demand for finished products go down as prices go up.  This means manufacturing jobs will start to fall.  This means more jobs will be lost.  Yay short term gains!  We’ll pay for it with long-term losses.  Thank you Mr. Trump!

The other long-term effect, which isn’t too long term anymore, that we will see is the U.S. effectively pissing off all of our trade partners!  Donald Trump is essentially blaming the entire world for economic issues within the United States.  Listening to this blubbering man-child go on about how the U.S. is the victim of bad trade deals would be laughable, if it wasn’t so god damn scary.  What is going to happen when other countries retaliate to our tariffs we impose on raw goods and start implementing tariffs on our manufactured goods?  The same manufactured goods that we create with those (now more expensive) raw goods?  Demand will continue to plummet.  Jobs will continue to be lost due to decreased demand.  Dammit though, at least we’ve created a couple of good steel jobs, haven’t we?

Donald Trump and his GOP followers continue to show just how extremely stupid and short-sighted they are with their policies, one after the other.  We voters need to make sure we’re watching the long-term game, especially when November elections come!  If not, the United States’ standing as a global leader might be irreparably damaged, all thanks to the symptom of being a Republican.

Stay tuned for Part IV, as this current administration has given plenty to talk about.

Is Being a Republican a Symptom? (Part II)

I’ve had some time to reflect.  I’ve had some time to take in some opinions from various people, from various walks of life, and also with various political leanings.  Some of you have commented, and I enjoyed hearing your responses to the first part of this.  To also address the elephant in the room, a massive school shooting has happened since the last time I posted about this, and I’ve heard a whole lot of short-sighted, self-absorbed arguments from Republicans.

I’ve already spoken a couple of times about my thoughts on guns, gun controlgun violencepolice gun violencemore police gun violenceetc.  Hell, even my virgin post was about guns.  I hope that in this time I’ve grown not only as a writer, but also as a person.  It’s hard to think that I’ve been writing this blog since August 2015, and here we are in 2018.  I initially made this WordPress account so I could make snarky comments on the NBC sport page, mainly the MLB side of things.

Anyways, on to the beef, right?

We, yet again, have had another school shooting.  We, yet again, have had another mass shooting.  We yet again tell ourselves that we’re going to send “thoughts and prayers” while being told that, “It’s too soon to talk about gun control!  Let people mourn first!”

My biggest question to this is ultimately when will the right time be?  Now that Florida has happened, can we talk about Sandy Hook?  Really, the only difference between Florida and Sandy Hook is the age of the children.  They’re all still children, however.  Isn’t all life precious?

The short-sighted, MAGA hat wearing fanatics, are now taking up the usual, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people!”  This is short-sighted argument number one.  Yes, guns don’t kill people.  Yes, spoons don’t make people fat.  Yes, you can also kill somebody with a baseball bat or a knife.  We know this, we are not stupid.  Thing is though, when you take your short-sighted, self-absorbed thought away from this, take a step back and see the bigger picture you will realize that people kill people, and guns make it the easiest.

Back when the 2nd amendment was drafted, guns could fire maybe 2 rounds in one minute.  Back in these days, perhaps a blunt object, a knife, a saber, etc. was a more effective way of killing people in larger quantities.  Today, however, the AR-15 (which is commonly referred to as being very user friendly) can allow any untrained person with access to a Walmart, Cabelas, etc. access to a military styled weapon, that has been described by some veterans and being close to a M-16 or M-5.  Regardless of your opinion, I am going to state that an AR-15 is a military styled, semi-auto rifle.

Let me preface this next paragraph by stating that I do own guns.  I have been known to be a hunter from time to time, as well.  There is absolutely no need for any civilian to own an AR-15.  Even in the military, they do not let soldiers bring their M-5 or M-16 into the barracks.  They keep these locked away from these men and women.  The military realizes that these highly trained individuals have ZERO need for these weapons, except for on the target range or the battlefield.  If the military can realize this, why can’t our NRA backed lawmakers?  I do not need an AR-15.  Don’t get me wrong, if you gave me an AR-15 I would take it to the range and put a lot of holes into a lot of sheets of paper and have a blast.  I would be a responsible gun owner.  Every person starts out as a responsible gun owner until the day they flip.

Another short-sighted argument I’ve been hearing is, “Let’s put armed guards in every school!” or even better, “There are thousands of unemployed Vets, let’s give them jobs protecting schools!”  Schools are already heavily under funded. Who would pay for it?  Also, as a teacher, I’d rather that money be spent to update our curriculum, update our technology, and perhaps give paraprofessionals a raise so we don’t have most of them quitting after one year, among other things.  More guns shouldn’t be the answer to a gun problem.  Who would pay for the training of these vets or guards?  Also, as anybody in education will tell you, dealing with children is hard.  Having a man or woman in my school with a semi-automatic rifle dealing with teenagers scares the living hell out of me.  Kids can be mean.  I’ve seen professionals who have been in education for years lose it and walk off the job.  We’ve been trained to deal with children.  Would these armed guards have the same training to deal with children?  Also, do you really want your child at a school where they walk past a man at the door wearing body armor and holding a military grade rifle?  What kind of mindset does that student bring to math class?  How can a child learn in that environment?

More importantly with that argument; why is it that Canada, U.K., Germany, Japan, Australia, etc. do not have armed guards in their schools, yet we don’t hear about school shootings from them every year, and nearly every month?  Think about it.  They had a problem, they solved the problem, instead of throwing money and guns at it.

Another favorite short-sighted argument we always hear once a month when these events happen is, “Gun laws only affect law-abiding citizens!  Criminals won’t follow them!”

This is stupid, short-sighted, and self-absorbed for a number of reasons.

First off, by that logic, why have any laws?  Why have anti-discrimination laws if people will still discriminate?  Why have speed limits if people are just going to speed?  Why have laws against assault, battery, domestic violence, etc. if people are still going to be violent?

The U.S. started to notice that there were many traffic deaths with automobiles, first mass produced in 1908.  This was a new thing.  We literally had zero laws to regulate these horseless chariots.  Eventually localities started setting up regulations about where and how fast automobiles could drive.  We saw a change in our transportation technology, and we decided to protect our citizens against it.

Here is the thing.  I consider myself a great driver, despite my driving record which is full of speeding violations.  When I drive, I am in complete control of my car.  I can drive fast and not destroy property or put lives at danger.  Do I feel like I am the victim of an over-reaching government for keeping my speed to 30 mph in the city?  Absolutely not.  I realize that even though I am responsible, not everybody is.  We need to protect citizens from reckless individuals, and also from their own self.  Do people still break these laws?  Every f**king day they do!  Does that mean we should not have them?

Speaking of protecting people from their own self.  Seat belt laws!  When we first enacted seat belt laws in 1984, the statistics showed that requiring drivers and passangers to wear a seat belt lowered the number of vehicle deaths.  Crazy concept, right?  Are there still people who break this law every single day?  Yes, I’ll be honest… I am one of them.  (Mom, if for some reason you’re reading this, please don’t text me and tell me to buckle up.)  Despite people still breaking this law, this law started saving thousands of lives every single year!  Whether it saved your life directly, because you were an idiot and drove your vehicle into a wall, or saved your life because some other idiot drove his car head-on into your car doesn’t matter.  Lives were saved by creating a regulation.  Do you feel like your liberties have been infringed upon?  No.

Note: Please don’t tell me that cars aren’t in the Constitution and Bill of Rights.  I f**king get that, really.  That would, again, be you being extremely short-sighted and self-absorbed.  Please also remember that when the Bill of Rights was created we did not have cars.  Please also remember that when the Bill of Rights was created, guns were muskets that were not very accurate, and could maybe first 2 bullets in 1 minute if you were really f**king good at it.

Secondly, if there is an issue, does that mean we shouldn’t try to fix it?  Let’s just throw our hands in the air and accept that this is just life, and nothing can be done about it.  I’ll dig to the bottom of my “thoughts and prayers” barrel and throw more of those at the problem.  I warn you, however, my barrel is rather empty these days.  Will Costco have a sale on these soon so I can stock up?  I fear that if we cannot fix this problem, and we’re taking the approach of not doing anything about it, I might need some back-ups.

Lastly, and this goes a little bit with the first, criminals will still get guns.  Yes, this is true.  If we have any sort of gun control, or gun reform, or a ban on certain types of guns, however, it will make it harder and more expensive for criminals to get guns.  Let’s talk about marijuana for example.  Marijuana isn’t cheap.  Why isn’t it cheap?  Well there is a certain amount of risk to buying and selling marijuana, as it is illegal.  There is a certain risk for transporting marijuana, as it is illegal.  You get the point.  Funny thing about marijuana, however, is that it grows like a weed.  If that were legal, and marijuana could be mass produced, you’d find it is a very cheap plant.  Because it is illegal, however, it is harder to obtain, and more expensive to obtain.  Same goes true for lots of illegal things.  Creating a black market for guns by making laws and regulations can go a long way in cutting down on some petty crime.  That pissed off father isn’t going to go out of his way to buy an AR-15 that now costs $10k on the black market to threaten his family when he’s drunk.  That 17 year old will no longer have access to his dad’s unlocked AR-15 to shoot up a school, but instead might grab his bolt action hunting rifle, instead.  Now instead of killing 15+ people, and injuring another 20, he’s maybe shot 5 people, as his rifle only holds 5 rounds and is slower to reload.  Lives. Would. Be. Saved.

I’m sorry to say to you folks that there will have to be a Part III to this post.  Please continue to give me comments, whether you agree or disagree with me.  Please feel free to ask questions.  Please feel free to bring up points (for or against) that I haven’t written about, or perhaps haven’t even thought about.