Be A Friend To The “Cranks” In Your Life


This is #a response #to #the one-word prompt “Crank” by “The Daily Post.”

Is there someone #in #your #life that you come into regular if brief contact with that are just never in the “mood”  and really have anything nice to say to anybody. I think we all at least once in our lives have come across one of these “#cranks” and we are never quite sure how to deal with the person.

Usually, when we look a little deeper we tend to find that the “cranks” in our lives do not behave as they do “just because” but that there are actual reasons behind the behavior. Any number of reasons that prevent them trying to connect with others. The best thing to do is whenever you see the person is just as a starting point give them a friendly greeting and move on, but keep doing this every time you see the person.

Eventually, hopefully, this will “break the ice” at some point and those greetings will turn into small conversations which may then turn into a friendship of shorts and before you know it, you are no longer dealing with a “crank” but a normal person. Which they have always been, the “crankness” was always just a cry of help; the person needed a #friend. So why not #be that friend whenever you encounter a so-called “crank.” You will begin to make the world a much better off place as a result. It also does not take much if any effort on your part but the impact pays “big dividends.”

So what are your thoughts and viewpoints on this subject? Please do share them, all are welcomed and wanted. 

To Have a Glimmer of Hope


This is #a response #to the one-word prompt “Glimmer” by “the Daily Post.”

How important is it to #have#hope” in tough situations? Is it actually encouraging and helpful or is it really damaging in the long one? These are questions that people have struggled with forever. On the one hand, “hope” does seem to allow us to get through our challenges in life by focusing our attention less on the bad situation/possible outcomes and more on something positive that gives us reason to “push on.”

Yet “hope” can indeed be damaging if those positive outcomes do not materialize. We then will “lose hope” and become even more demoralized. Although I would say that the danger here lies not so much in “hope” but in reality “false hope.” Wheres “hope” can give us something to hang onto that encourages us to “fight on” despite how bad the situation may appear; it never does so by “magically changing” the situation we may be facing, only how we perceive it.

Before getting “hope” we already had the “tools” and ability to “get out” but our “despair” prevented us from seeing that. With “false hope” we are given something positive to hold onto, but when we really don’t have the ability to make things better. So the problem with “hope” is not that there are times when we can get “too much” #of it, but that we can confuse “false hope” for “real hope.”

To have real hope in our lives, at our “deepest lows”  is to the have the “tools” needed to “get out” at our disposal and the “vision, courage, and drive” to make use of those tools. “Hope does not give us anything new that we don’t already have, merely a reason for us to make better our situation.

So what are your thoughts and viewpoints on this subject? Please do share, all are welcomed and wanted. 

Remove Emotion From Debates


This is a response to #the one-word prompt “Thwart” by “The Daily Post.”

In the wake of the Parkland Florida school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School which killed 17 people, there has been a considerable nationwide #debate #on how to better protect our schools and children in them. Some of it has been good and productive, but a lot of it has just been “noise” that is really only inflaming passions on all sides of the “political spectrum but having little actual productive results.

There has been new legislation passed by some state legislatures to answer some of the perceived weaknesses in school security. In Florida’#s case, it is a mixed bag with a lot of good things being done but also a lot of “showboating” (as is the case whenever politicians get involved). While the legislation does carry some new rules for dealing with handling mental illness and its treatment it also bans the buying of guns till the age for 21 (it was previously and is in most of country 18).

The call for banning gun sells until 21 years of age ignore the fact that most teenage shooters unlike the one in the Parkland Florida shooting do not own their own guns but take them from home, i.e. parents or relatives who do. Thus, banning the sell of guns until age 21 won’t do anything in #reducing the risks to shooting in our schools.

Those who advocate for tougher/more gun control laws always use the term “sensible” in describing just what they want. A gun control measure can only be called “sensible” if it actually does or makes a considerable effort to the objective it would be put in place to accomplish. How can the measure just mention contribute to our preventing more school #shootings if the majority of teen/school shooters don’t buy the guns they use to shoot up schools?

Unfortunately, this detail largely escapes the ongoing debate of the issue above because of the raw emotions evolved and the very little actual, rational thinking among those partaking in the debate on both sides. Everyone wants to just “do something” to keep our schools and children safe. Yet, that there is the problem, our need to “do something, anything.” Just “doing something” will not help solve this or problem. Solutions need to be concrete and precisely targeted in order to have the best results.

The only way we as a nation and as a people are going to be able to come up with solutions to better protect against school shootings (any mass shootings) is to #remove our emotions #from the actual decision process. They may be good for the initial call to action, beyond that they always only cause more harm than good.

What are your thoughts and viewpoints on this issues? Please do share them; all are welcomed and wanted.

“The Founding Fathers’ Guide To The Constitution” by Brion McClanahan; A Review


#Brion #McClanahan‘s book “#The #Founding Father’s #Guide #to the #Constitution” is #a very compelling and complex history of just how The Constitution to the United States had come to be and of the views for and against it. The way he percents his facts and figures and the back-stories behind each of the debates during the Constitutional Convention and the ratifying debates is just stellar in the thoroughness and ease of following.

Especially compelling is how he counts not just the well-known men that “we” all “know” from history as “Founding Father’s” (Washington, Madison, Hamilton, so forth), but literally everyone involved in the making and ratifying of the Constitution. He measures involvement #by the debates on what type of government the United States should have; which were going on all across the thirteen states since during the Revolution on till the ratification its self.

He tells how the “founding #fathers” included not just the names we recognize such as those mentioned above, but many others such as Luther Martin, Rodger Sherman, and George Mason, to name a few. He also does away with the “common” terms of “Federalist” and Anti-federalist” in explaining his reasoning; where he shows how the opponents of the Constitution were actually wanting to preserve the existing federal system of the Article of Confederation.

Brian’s work shines because of the detail he puts into his findings that the Constitution would not have passed ratification let alone pass the Convention floor if it was not understood to be putting in place a strong centralized government, but one with limits in place. He also does a wonderful, enlightening job of explaining away certain preconceived notions and myths about the “founding fathers” and the making of the Constitution.

It is a myth-but one often repeated-that the Framers “really wanted” the president to be chosen by the people at large; supposedly they rejected this method only because the people in one State would not know enough about the candidates from others States. But the records from the Philadelphia Convention clearly illustrate that the Founders intended the Electoral College to be a buffer against the potential abuses of democracy (p.129).

Overall, the book is a very well thought-out, telling of the history of the Founding of the (2nd Republic) of The United States under the current Constitution. He does an excellent job of keeping to a “fact-based” scholarly approach while at the same time showing the suspense and conflict experienced by our “founding fathers” to keep the reader entertained as well as informed and not be drowned in “dry” texted. A very good history of the subject with some surprising turns in its direction. The most important point from a historical perspective is that the author Brian does so well in not just telling the history of the Constitution’s making, but the telling of “all the sides” involved.

I hope you enjoy this book #review; please do share your own thoughts and viewpoints. All are welcomed and wanted!

Explorers Verses Inventors


This is a response to the one-word prompt “Explore” by “The Daily Post.”

What was one your favorite activities to do as a child growing up? For me it was the make-believe/pretend. The playing soldier and running through the backyard and the trees behind the house. Whether it is the childhood pretend games or the exploration of space and/or the ocean to making any kind of scientific/new discovery as an adult we as humans have a deep inner need to explore our surroundings

If we are confronted with something that we do not know, eventually we will be driven to confront it, to find out just what that thing is. Oh, it may not happen right away, and we may be frightened into staying away form that something for a time, but eventually we will confront it; our curriortsity will be too much for us to handle.

Yet, our deeply inner need to explore and find out new things and ideas is becoming a problem for society’s development when it comes to technology development and how that effects said society. In order to see why, lets look at the two fundamental motivations of “#explorers/scientists” and “#inventors.” Explorers are driven by the need for discovery for discoveries sake. They are in it for the knowledge that they gain. The inventor on the other hand while may take the knowledge gained from the explorer/scientist’s discoveries, is primary motivated on applying that knowledge to solve a problem or provide a need for both the individual and society at large.

The problem arrises or can arise when the jobs of “scientist/explorer” and the “inventor” become entwined. For when the explorer is doing both the “discovering” and applying of new ideas, he is not concerned with “is this needed” but only “in can this be done.” Jeff Goldblum’s character Ian Malcom from the first Jurassic Park movie said it best in the line “Yah, but your scientists where so focused on ‘can we could do this,’ but never asked themselves ‘should we do this.'”

Now there, the question is more on the moral need of society and advancement, but still is needed in answering the question of a perceived need or benefit to society by a new discovery/invention. I am not one to take away from all the technology breakthroughs in the last decade or so, nor the ones just coming around the “corner in a few years ( in fact I am quite excited ); but I do think with the rapid advancement of said technology, we are having the problem of only trying to figure out if “something can be done” and not truly “asking should it be done, is it needed.”

We as humans are driven to explore and find out how “this or that works” and we are also driven to come up with better ways of doing things and making our lives easier. When the two natures are balanced and while connected still in their proper spheres of influence, human society benefits. The trick is to find that balance, to be able to discover to our hearts contents, yet still be able to ask the question “is this truly necessary; should it be done?” That is the unending conflict between “explorers and inventors.”

What are your thoughts and viewpoints? Please do share them, all are welcomed and wanted.

Is Social Media Toxic In Large Amounts?


This #is a response to the one-word prompt “Toxic” by “The Daily Post.”

#In light of the controversy around FaceBook right now, it seems a good time as any to discuss the effect that #social #media as a whole has on society. There is no doubt that social media in the likes of FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIN, and so-forth have been a major boon for society in terms of better and faster connectivity for individuals and groups, but at what costs?

While we as a society may be more connected then ever; are we really getting anything out of that connectivity or is it just giving us a false sense of connectivity? In other words are we actually connected and/or spending time with each other, our family, friends, etc. The consensus and research says no we are not; we are actually as a society feeling more lonelier than ever. This despite the fact of how much time people are spending on social media. We humans are social animals who need social contact with others, but as it turns out that social contact actually needs to be physical or in other words “real.”

Social media platforms like FaceBook or LinkedIn can be useful in helping us to maintain contact but only if they remain just that, a ‘magnifier” or addition not a replacement for “traditional” face to face in real life meetings. To put it another way social media in small docidges are extremely helpful, but in #large #amounts are actuallly #toxic to what they are meant to help, that being social contact.

What Are Your Thoughts and ViewPoints on this subject? Please do share them, all are welcomed and wanted.