Wife is “white”, at least visually.
I am “not-white”, at least visually.
There are those who look upon Wife differently because she chose to marry a “not-white”. Some look down on her because she married “outside her race”. Some look up to her because she married “outside her race”. Regardless of which way they look at her, they look at her differently because of her choice… or rather, their perception of her choice, because they see her skin color/ethnicity/race vs. mine, see our colors don’t quite match, and thus different regard.
Either way, it’s discriminatory behavior.
It’s curious I don’t receive the same regard. I mean, I did the same thing: married someone “outside my race”. I’ve had people publicly praise Wife for her action, and when I point out I did the same thing, I watch their brain lock up and reboot because they never considered the reciprocal. Is it because I’m male? Is it because she’s “white”? Is it because racial issues (supposedly) only flow in one direction?
That’s more discriminatory behavior.
Even more curious is when people look at me, they only see the half of me that’s Asian. They don’t see that white girl married a white boy, they see white girl married “something else”. Note you can only consider me “something else” if you look at me. My name is rather “white”. My voice is rather “white”. My attitudes tend to be rather “white”. For most people, the only indication I’m “not-white” is the slight squint in my eyes, the slightly darker skin tone, and some other physical features. And somehow in the eyes of some, it’s those few features that wind up defining me — not my mind, my heart, but my squinty eyes. It’s those features that, to some, define at least part of the relationship between Wife and myself.
Why do some people only see part of me? Why did they choose to see that part, and not the other part? Or that they choose to only see part of me, and not all of me?
Again, discriminatory behavior.
I grant, ultimately this is human behavior. We’re all guilty of it. I’ve come to accept it, and in fact sometimes I like that I look different be it due to ethnic background, my long hair, or my choice of clothing — especially because my looks don’t jive with who I am versus the stereotypes and preconceived notions some people have about folks that look like I do. It offers me a chance to see how a person really is. Do they look inward at the person? Do they stop at the shell? Are they blind to race and color? Or do they view the world and everything in it through a constant filter of racism, injecting race into every matter and issue and problem in the world?
If you want people to stop caring about race, you need to stop caring about race — period. The first step is to admit your own prejudices and faults, because you probably aren’t as progressive as you think you are.
So long as you deny our humanity, so long as you malign our dignity, intelligence and wisdom, so long as you seek to shade us under a cloud of evil that we do not partake in or support, so long as you tell us that because we own guns we are terrible people, you will prove yourselves absolutely right in that we won’t come to the table to talk with you.
This. So very much, this.
Read the full article. It’s long, but well-written. (h/t Jon Thomas)
They want to have a “national conversation on guns”, but there’s no conversation. It’s just a lecture, a scolding. Who wants to listen to that? When someone dresses you down, how much do you listen to them? How much do you want to cooperate with them? If they call you names, tell you you’re evil, put words in your mouth… do you really want to listen to what they have to say? Are you going to be receptive to anything they propose? It has nothing to do with guns; that’s just a human reaction.
Here’s a PDF from Dale Carnegie. Just about every rule gets violated in this “conversation”, and so we’re losing friends and alienating people.
To be fair, it’s not just the anti-gun folk that are like this. I see pro-gun folk that are this way as well. I cannot stand looking at my Twitter feed because I see so much … well… asshole-ish behavior going on. Conversations in less than 140 characters is not a conversation. I see name-calling, baiting, and just general rudeness. I mean, there’s assholes in every crowd, alas they tend to be the ones creating the most jibber-jabber, thus they create the perception. This sort of behavior won’t win anyone over to our cause. There’s no attempt to educate, just more violations of Dale’s rules. Really, what Mr. Snell’s article concludes cuts both ways: that so long as pro-gun folks treat anti-gun folk in a bad way (denying humanity, maligning their dignity, intelligence and wisdom, etc.), well… they won’t come talk to us either.
We can even step back from guns. Look at abortion, LGBT equality, environment (e.g. global warming), food (GMO, etc.), race, religion (including a-religion), whatever. Ever notice how divisive things are today? How the media no longer maintains a facade of neutrality but now blatantly takes and panders to “sides”? How politicians hammer on “the other side” for being in the way of progress, instead of they themselves trying to progress? How there’s so much spitting of venom and hate? There’s so much talk of tolerance, but little is given, especially to those that don’t agree with me. It doesn’t matter the topic. So long as we deny humanity, malign dignity, shade “the other side” under a cloud of evil… we’ll never come to the table and break bread together.
If united we stand and divided we fall… then it looks like we’ve fallen, and at this rate, we’re not going to get back up. Because while our humanity is crumpled on the ground crying for help, you’d rather Instagram ‘dat shit’ and walk away laughing at the ‘dumb bitch’. We need people to put their smartphones away, give our collective humanity a humble look in the eyes, and offer it a helping hand.
Game developer, Greenheart Games, created a game about creating games called Game Dev Tycoon. It’s a familiar game genre, a sort of “Sims” about being a software game developer. I haven’t played it, but it seems cool.
But what I thought was really cool? What they did to make a point about piracy:
In a curious social experiment, the developer deliberately uploaded a full, cracked version of its game to the most popular torrent trackers. The cracked version is nearly identical to the real thing except for one detail. As players spend a few hours playing and growing their own game dev company, they will start to see the following message, styled like any other in-game message:
“Boss, it seems that while many players play our new game, they steal it by downloading a cracked version rather than buying it legally. If players don’t buy the games they like, we will sooner or later go bankrupt.”
Slowly, the player’s in-game funds will dwindle, and every new game that they create has a high chance to be pirated until they eventually go bankrupt. There is no way to fight it, in an ironic twist, players of the cracked version of the game are doomed to constant failure due to rampant piracy.
I thought that was pretty clever. It’s an old argument and issue for sure, but I like that because they granted the realities of the game they were making and that they were making a game, they had an avenue to make a point and they chose to make that point. So why make that point? From their own website:
Game Dev Tycoon was created by two brothers. They invested all their savings to start a company and develop the game. They truly enjoy tycoon and simulation games and after seeing many of the new social and pay-to-play games where buying coins is more important than good gameplay, they wanted to bring some true simulation games back. Their motto is less social, less ville, more game and they believed that there is a market for real simulation games but as independent game developers it’s difficult to survive and the reason why so many companies create pay-to-play or coin-driven games are because they make more money with them.
If you like the look of Game Dev Tycoon and you want to see more games like these then you should really think about buying a legal copy of the game. The price of the game is reasonable (7.99USD), you get legal copies for Mac, Windows and Linux, free service updates and you can even install the game on a couple of your personal computers.
If you don’t care about all of this and just want to get a cracked and illegal version then we can’t do anything about that, but if years down the track you wonder why there are no games like these anymore and all you get to play is pay-to-play and social games designed to suck money out of your pockets then the reason will stare back at you in the mirror.
I’ve been writing software for 20-some years. I complete understand. I mean, I dealt with piracy before Napster and torrents. I do sympathize with any artist and person that wishes to make their living on “digital data”, be it software, music, movies, books, whatever — something that’s easy to copy and distribute. I sympathize because that’s how I earn my living and feed my family! I don’t sympathize with the way “Big Media” has gone about trying to enforce things because I learned long ago that pirates will always pirate and good people eventually will pay up, so long as they understand and are given reasonable terms. Since I have limited resources (time, money, energy), I can either work to make my product better or fight the people that I’ll never win over anyways; so why not please those willing to be my customers? Draconian DRM that hampers and just pisses off your legit customers isn’t the right way to go (witness: SimCity 2013′s rollout).
What it really takes to improve this situation is for the public to be educated.
The Klug brothers are right: if you want good things, you have to support those willing to make good things. If you like games like this, support them so they can keep making these things that you like. It’s pretty simple. It doesn’t matter if it’s your favorite music artist, movie studio, game developer, book author… whomever and whatever. These people have worked hard to produce something, something that you now enjoy and has made your life better. Is it fair for you to take and not give anything in return? Would you appreciate someone doing this with the fruits of your labor? Is the way we should get people to pay by forcing them with ugly DRM and shitty experiences (think about this next time you try to play a Blu-Ray and are forced to sit through FBI Warnings)? is that high quality? is that how you want things to be in life? Or would you rather be willing participant in the process and support those that make your life better?
Which way do you want it?
They claim that schools are places to teach… for students to learn.
If the story told is facts and truth…
Yes, he brought a shotgun onto school grounds. It was a mistake. The kid’s an Eagle Scout, and he’s human too (i.e. makes mistakes, just like you do, just like school adminstrators do). The moment he realized his mistake he secured the shotgun and went to the school office to try to contend with it (have Mom come pick it up, or some such solution). He was really left with no options, because if he left school grounds that’d be cause for punishment, so what he could he do? He tried to handle it in a responsible manner, but instead he got suspended and turned over to law enforcement.
The school system is standing by their decision.
“Administration reacted promptly and the proper procedures and protocol were followed,” Jones said. “The situation was turned over to law enforcement immediately. As a result of our investigation, it is our best determination that students and staff were safe at all times.”
They were always safe and never in harms way.
But this is what “zero tolerance” policies do. In fact, it’s what policy tends to be about: something to hide behind.
There is no thinking.
There is no consideration.
There is is no accountability because you can just point to the faceless “policy” and wash your hands of everything. Even those that made the policy, if they are still around, aren’t accountable.
Whatever happened to understanding that youth is a period in our lives rife with mistakes? Thus youth should also be a life period rife with learning and forgiveness. But alas, we’re not allowed to make mistakes anymore. What sort of society are we building?
And what lesson is Cole Withrow and the other students supposed to learn? Thinking is bad? Shirking responsibility is what you do as an adult? Because that’s certainly what “school administrative officials” are doing… all because Cole Withrow made a mistake, and sought to do the responsible thing in correcting it.
Mr. Withrow, no matter how this falls out, don’t let the actions of a few unthinking individuals color and tarnish your view of the world. Yes you made a mistake, but you handled it as right and responsibly as you could.
Legitimate defense can not only be a right but a grave duty for someone responsible for another’s life, the common good of the family or of the state. Unfortunately it happens that the need to render the aggressor incapable of causing harm sometimes involves taking his life. In this case, the fatal outcome is attributable to the aggressor whose action brought it about.
A fuller examination from Mr. Michael T. Barry. (h/t Wife) Please click through and read.
So despite what some “Catholics” might feel and say about gun control, they do not speak for The Church and one should not mistake their opinion for dogma.
So yesterday I post that you should learn some medical skills.
It just keeps coming. Some of this is coincidental, some is intentional, relative to the timing of the Boston Marathon bombing and the West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion. But if casting them in that light helps and motivates people to learn, then there’s some light from this darkness.
And so Greg Ellifritz posts some quick stuff about field medicine for terrorist attacks. It reminds me strongly about the lessons Caleb Causey (Lone Star Medics) taught me in the Medicine-X EDC weekend and Dynamic First Aid class.
Now I know Greg’s article is presented in the context of terrorism, but really, it’s useful in the face of anything more serious than a boo-boo or bee sting. Serious car wreck? you are likely to encounter a car accident than a gunshot wound or a bombing. Bleeding is bleeding whatever caused it. Stopping bleeding is important, regardless of what caused it.
Greg’s writing really mirrors what Caleb teaches, and what strikes me is how counter it is to any first aid training you may have had in the past.
Point #1: get the patient to safety.
In my youth I was always told to not move the patient. They might make exceptions for if there was severe risk, but it was always presented in a manner to really discourage moving. Thinking about it tonight, I realize that so many of those contexts were never serious. In fact, so much first aid training was never put in any sort of context at all. It was just “here’s a broken bone, how do you stabilize it?”. Maybe they might talk about being on a hike or some such, but really, everything was in a vacuum. Not necessarily a bad thing, but that’s where Med-X EDC really shined because it put you into real situations. It put you into context. It wasn’t done in a vacuum, and it made you realize what you need to do and you had to do it. I mean, Caleb saying “CONTACT FRONT!” over and over to me because I failed to “get off the X” and get the patient to safety as my first and most important task… those 2 words keep ringing in my head. And I’m glad for that, because I bet you dollars to donuts that if I’m in such a situation for real, I’m going to hear Caleb’s voice and MOVE. Learning took place.
Point #2, which really goes with Point #3 – stopping bleeding, and using a tourniquet. Yeah, I carry an IFAK (thank you, Caleb) almost everywhere. I tried to come up with a solution for carrying a SOF®TT-Wide on my belt with the rest of my EDC but haven’t found a workable solution yet (Caleb’s solution of an ankle wrap is genius, but I wear shorts a lot so it doesn’t really work for me). Again, it goes against so much prior thinking. I also appreciate the approach Caleb said about sterility. Everyone freaks about sterility, but Caleb is right: stopping bleeding now, treat infection later. I mean, infection doesn’t matter if the person bleeds to death; infection is treatable… later. Stop the bleeding first and foremost. Tourniquet is one of the best ways to do it, and while you need some training and instruction on how to use and apply them, it’s not hard.
Give Greg’s article a read. It’s short, and it may do more towards saving lives than any concealed carry gun, AR-15, or political hand-wringing ever will.
Coincidental timing to my prior post about getting medical training. But maybe the extra exposure here might prompt you to get some training.
We take a break from the typical topics of guns and weight lifting to talk about something else.
I’m not perfect.
I’m happy to admit it.
I don’t expect you to be perfect either.
And, I’ve worked to make that clear to my children.
I read this article and thought to share it. (h/t Cass and El).
I’m talking about kids who are well adjusted, high functioning, easy to talk to and seem to have nothing to prove.
Secretly (until now), I’ve noticed a common theme amongst well-adjusted kids. The theme seems to be this: Great kids come from families in which parents are real about their shortcomings. They come from families who live and believe in grace.
I’ve also noticed the opposite. Many of my friends who’ve confessed to me they’ve had problems in life come from families in which parents (and mostly the Dad, honestly) have a hard time admitting they’re wrong. Often they come from religious families in which the parents felt they had to play a role model of perfection.
I’m sure I’m not the best Dad in the world. My kids think to seem I’m OK, but I know my shortcomings. I know what I’m failing at, and I admit it to my kids. They forgive me, and we work on it together. I think about the things my own Dad did and didn’t do, and how I swore I’d be different. In fact, I was thinking about this very thing the other day, and then that Harry Chapin song came into my head. It was both me as the son, growing up to be just like the Dad I swore I wouldn’t be like, and me as the Dad both not wanting my sons to be like me but fearing they might. And if that’s going to be the case, what do I need to change about myself so that if in fact they will be like me, hopefully they’ll not have my same failings.
And so, sometimes that requires admitting my mistakes, my failings, my weaknesses to my kids.
Sorry to admit this Mom & Dad, but I don’t really recall them ever being so frank with me. Admitting when they made a mistake. Apologizing when they were wrong. I do remember having feelings of resentment because when it was quite evident they were in the wrong, they didn’t admit it, they didn’t own and fess up to it, they didn’t apologize for it. No, it’s not time for a pity party for me, but I guess that is something I swore I’d do differently, and have succeeded at.
I don’t like bullshit, I’m not one for bullshit, I won’t bullshit other people, and I don’t like people who bullshit me. That holds especially true for my kids. If I made a mistake and didn’t own it, that’d be bullshit; thus, I own it.
Trust is so important with kids. When they’re young you can rule them with an iron fist. But as they get older, they can and will make their own decisions. I know that eventually trust is the only thing we’ll have, and I have to trust they will obey and they have to trust that my judgment and guidance is right and best. And in part of that, I know that showing I’m not perfect and that yes sometimes I will make a mistake, that sometimes I might steer them wrong… well, that’s helpful for them to know. Because they can know I’m working truly in their best interest, and that I will make best effort for them. It allows them to have stronger faith in me. I too must also accept they will make mistakes, more likely than not since they are kids and learning. And that I must allow them to make mistakes, to learn from them, and to grow and move on.
I’ve also found telling stories of my own mistakes, my own failures, it’s helped the kids. It’s helped them realize that mistakes aren’t the end of the world. This was especially true for Oldest, who never took failure very well and sometimes it would keep him from wanting to ever try because he didn’t want to risk failing. To see successful and happy Dad, and that he made it here despite that… that Dad learned, what Dad learned, and how Dad overcame and did better? Who else should be that good role model in life, but Dad, right?
No, I’m not perfect.
But I try to be better every day.
And sharing my failings with my kids, hopefully helps make them better every day too.
…learn medical skills.
Start with basic first aid stuff — boo-boos, bee stings, shock, hypothermia, dehydration, burns, etc.. Think “Boy Scout First Aid Merit Badge” sorts of stuff.
And try some more serious stuff too, like how to work with tourniquets, pressure dressings, etc..
Make yourself a kit, or buy a kit. Keep something in the car. Keep something in your purse. In your briefcase or daily bag. Whatever. If you need it, you’ll need it pretty quick, so have it handy and be redundant.
Just consider events of the past week. Not just the explosion in West, Texas. Not just the bombing in Boston. But how many car wrecks did you pass during the course of your week? Medical skills are useful.
Shout out to my bud, Caleb Causey @ Lone Star Medics. If you can, try one of his courses. You’ll learn a lot.
You don’t have a choice.
When you were rear-ended at the stoplight? You didn’t have a choice in the matter — you were the unfortunate recipient of the fender-bender.
When the teenager was more concerned with texting than driving and t-boned you? You didn’t have a choice.
When the drunk-driver veered across the double-yellow line and smashed head-on into your car, you didn’t have a choice.
Actually, you did have some degree of choice, and you likely exercised it. The moment you got in the car, you chose to buckle your seatbelt. In fact, you may have exercised some greater choice prior to driving the car. When you bought the car, you may well have researched things like the crash ratings and other safety features of the car, and chose your purchase at least in part based upon the car’s safety features.
We accept that life has risk. When we get into our car, we accept that risk. We may not consciously think about that risk every day, and we may only buckle up out of habit, but it’s a pretty good habit to be in if the statistics are correct and there’s a 1 in 84 chance of you dying from a car accident.
We buckle up not because we expect to be in an accident, but because we understand it can happen. If we could expect it, if we knew it was going to happen, why would we go there in the first place? Why wouldn’t we avoid it to the fullest extent of our capabilities? But since we can’t know when, since we can’t know where, and since we cannot choose when or where it will happen, since it takes us by surprise, since we have no choice, we take measures so that if it does happen, we can improve our chances of coming out on the other side alive.
No one considers you paranoid for taking steps to preserve your life. No one asks you what you’re afraid of. That’s because they understand that such things happen, and your actions are wise towards the preservation of your life.
When I put on my gun in the morning, it’s not because I’m afraid of anything. It’s not because I’m paranoid. It’s because I understand that violent crime happens. Rough numbers are what? about 1 in 250 of being the victim of a violent crime in the US? It’s not too far fetched that in your lifetime you’ll be the victim of a violent crime.
When that crime occurs, you won’t have a choice. You don’t get to choose when it will happen. You don’t get to choose where. Some people decide they’ll carry their gun when they go here but not there. Why? Is “there” somehow invulnerable? and if “here” is bad enough that you know you need a gun, why are you going there in the first place?
Some just want a gun in the car, in the glove compartment. What good does that do when you’re attacked while in the parking lot (which is where many victimizations occur). Again, you didn’t get any say in when or where you’d get attacked.
It’s important to accept that bad things happen that you have no control over. You get no say, you have no choice. But there are aspects where you can have a say, and where you can choose. When you make these choices, you don’t do them out of fear or paranoia, you do them out of acceptance of life’s risks. You do them because you understand the realities of life, that “shit happens”, and the more you can do to deflect the shit, the better your chances are of continuing your good life. It’s why we always buckle up when we get in the car, and it’s why some of us chose to carry a gun… always.