I Must Be the Only One

Reading my Facebook feed this morning, I feel like I’m completely alone. I’m the only person against same-sex “marriage”. Yep. I said it! I’m agin’ it! But it’s not what you think. I’m not for any state sanctioned marriage at all. You know how we can promote equality in the United States? By the government, especially the federal government, staying out of religious ceremonies. And that is what marriage is, a religious ceremony. If your religion does not allow same-sex marriage, you should work that out with your religion, not the state. What happens now when a church does not want to perform a same-sex marriage because they believe it is wrong? Will they be forced to do so, like the businesses that are forced to take money from people they don’t agree with? How is that “equality”?

The state should be upholding contracts between consenting adults and that is all. Anyone should be able to make legally binding contract with any other adult to be that persons legal partner. It has nothing to do with sex, love, or religion. Taxes, insurance, community property; none of these things should be linked to marriage. Your church “marrying” you should not count toward legal things. It’s a religious thing. You should need to have a “civil union” contract between you as well to be recognized by the legal system.

I’m disgusted with the hurrah and excitement over the state overloads condescending to allow consenting adult to sign a binding contract. It’s ridiculous!

Cheap

My recent Walmart experience made me think of something important that my sons and talked about a lot. They needed a new mountain bike. They had one to share. My Mom had it and gave it to their sister and she gave it to them after it sat in the storage shed for a couple years. It fell apart. Parts were just expensive as a new bike so we decided to get one. The bike at Walmart was $135 out the door. Seems reasonable for a mountain bike. They offered us the “insurance” and as usual I declined. It’s a scam to buy those things. If the bike is actually defective, any decent store will take it back out of good customer service. So we left with the spiffy new bike.

After three weeks of riding it around our neighborhood the bike fell apart, quite literally. The shocks were leaking something and very soft and then the chain fell off and the piece that held it on broke off. It was disappointing. So we took it back to the store.

Here’s where I got irritated though. We walk in with out receipt and the boy at the counter (with his hair so much in his face, I could only see his mouth) asked what he can do for us. I tell him, “I’m here to return this broken bike.” and hand him the receipt. He takes it, asks me to hand him the bike over the counter. What? He scans it, marks the receipt, hands me my money, and moves on to the next customer. What just happened? No, “Sorry! What happened to it?” No apology for defective merchandise. No, “Can we replace it for you?” Nothing. Just a shrug and my money back.

This experience leads me to believe that so much merchandise comes back to them defective that they don’t even care to replace it, or feel bad that they sold it. The employees have no pride in their work or place of business. There is not trying to keep customers.

I understand having a store that sells inexpensive stuff. It’s great that there is a place for people with lower income to buy things they need. Maybe it’s not the best stuff but it works. And scratchy ill-fitting socks are better than no socks at all. But what is the point of having things to sell that are so cheaply made that they don’t last more than a couple weeks? I don’t think it does anyone any good. Does it? It doesn’t really help the store owner. He buys the stuff cheap and then sells it for a profit, but if half your customers return the stuff broken doesn’t that eat up the profits a bit? And how long are people going to continue to shop there?

I used to be a big Walmart fan, especially when I was on the road. But it’s gotten worse. I’ve stopped buying things there that I can get elsewhere. I live in a rural town, so I don’t have many other choices but when I do, I shop elsewhere, even if it costs me a little more in time and money. It makes me sad though because I know the store didn’t get as big as it did by being this crappy. We aren’t that stupid as a whole, are we?

Waiting for Instructions?

Is that what we’ve been reduced to? A large group of humans just sitting waiting for instructions from our masters? It recently came to me that is what we may be doing!

There are wildfires in our area. It’s nothing new. It’s just a natural cycle of things here. But this one is different for me because I recently joined a local group on Facebook to see what people are talking about. When the fires started people sent in pictures from their houses, links to news articles, and personal accounts of what they saw. It’s up in the mountains near us, not in our neighborhood but we are suffering from the smoke of it. I was amazed by how many people freaked out about the smoke and didn’t know whether to run their air-conditioner, swamp cooler, or neither. People jumped on to ask others what to do without so much as looking it up online first. And many people chimed in on what they thought the others should do. There was nothing productive about any of it.

And then, when the fire continued along the mountain, people starting asking if they should evacuate, when the fire department would come, and whether there would be a warning or not. What? This is how we panic? We just sit in our house with the swamp off in the 100+ degree heat because of smoke outside and wait for someone to tell you to evacuate? Why not go outside and look to see if you see fire? Why not check the fire department website for where exactly the fire is, or call them? Why not drive around a bit and see how close the fire is? Make a judgement as to what you should do for yourself. If you are nervous or believe the fire is headed in your direction, make a plan, pack up your car with essentials, and be ready to leave. You don’t need permission or instructions to be ready to protect yourself!

If frightens me to think that we are that helpless as a population. I’m afraid that even though I am prepared to protect myself, the panic and fear of those around me will seriously hamper my efforts to do so.

How did we get to this place? It’s not just the fires I’m talking about. This is just one symptom of a much larger issue. I watch people I know complain that their children’s school is not helping their kids learn and yet continue to go there. They complain that there are other kids beating up theirs and continue to send them. They complain their doctors don’t listen and continue to make appointments. They complain things are too expensive and get credit cards to buy them anyway. They complain about the laws, taxes, and unemployment in their area and refuse to move.

How do we get out of this? How do we go back to self-sufficiency? How does one learn self-preservation?

Found Something

An article came up on Medium this morning and I was intrigued by the title but haven’t read it yet. I will, I save articles for the heat of the afternoon!

View story at Medium.com

It’s really the subtitle I was interested in. “Why I’m engaged in social activism rather than politics”. I can’t wait to read his reasons. I’m beginning to be pulled in that direction myself. I believe that parents taking back the education of their children from the state and other private entities is the key to bringing back a fairly educated and wise population capable of ruling themselves. The only way I see to do this is to promote self-education and homeschooling through social activism, not government programs.

Admission of Guilt

Here it is. I have very little patience…for anything really. It’s not new. It hasn’t gotten better as I’ve gotten older. It just is. I do my best to reign it in now and again but mostly the only change I’ve made over my lifetime is that instead of blowing up at everything, I tend to just admit I have no patience for X and walk away to do something else.

And one more. I wear my heart and my life out on my sleeve where everyone can see it. I’m not good at hiding my initial feelings (patience) and tend to react but I am open to changing my mind. Typically my first response to something is not how I will come to feel about it once I’ve had a moment to process and talk. TALK! That’s the thing. I NEED to talk it out. If someone does something, tells me something, or I read about something, I need to talk my thoughts out to get to an understanding. Sometimes it’s all nonsense and incoherent when I first start talking. Sometimes it’s offensive to those around me. But talking is how I process. I feel like I can’t think straight in my mind. Just writing this out and going back to read it isn’t exactly what I mean. It would be better for me to talk it through and then write it out. But that isn’t always available and it isn’t always profitable, especially when the people around you are the subject you are trying to process.

I wish sometimes that I had a call center that had nothing to do with me but to listen and…not really agree, but not disagree or argue with me. Not sure. Disagreeing doesn’t help. But not just smile and nod. Maybe reflect back what they think I’m trying to say so that I can hear it a different way and expand what I’m working through.

Writing this here is better than nothing though.

Public Schools

I was recently driving through an area where I used to live and noticed a giant, beautiful new high school. The area has expanded a lot since I lived there and there are thousands of big new expensive homes. It made me think.

Why are public schools in rich neighborhoods bigger and better than public schools in poor neighborhoods? I mean, if the point of schools paid for by the government is to be sure that all children have the opportunity to learn to read, write, and do arithmetic at a base level, then wouldn’t all the schools in that state have the same amount of money and resources?

Everyone pays taxes for schools regardless of whether or not they have children and the reasoning is that it is better for everyone in a country ruled “by the people” that all the people have a basic education. So wouldn’t it make more sense to gather X amount of dollars from the people through taxes, divide it up by how many children are in each county or city and give each one that much money to provide a basic education for children in that area?

If you have more money than others and want to provide more than the basics for your children, shouldn’t you be paying for that yourself? Or if you have extra and you would like to provide extra for others in your area, you can do that, can’t you?

But why does one high school have a brand new state of the art theater while another in the same state has temporary stage at the end of the gym? Why does one public school pay it’s teachers more than other in the same state? Why does one public elementary school get $4000 per year per student and another get $7000 in the same state?

It just doesn’t make sense to me.