Friday, August 9, 2019

5 Theories For Mass Shootings Other Than Guns

Lots of mass shootings lately. The left blames republicans as usual. Clinton blamed Rush Limbaugh for what the Unibomber did. Trump gets the blame for the current shootings. The left things taking away guns from law abiding citizens is the solution. Until we start looking at the root cause of the problem here, we will never get to the bottom of it.

So, what is really going on? Does anyone ever do any real investigating. What do these thugs have in common? Again, it's not politics. They come from all political ideologies. It's not Trump. These shootings occurred with Clinton, W, and Obama in the White House too. It's not guns. People have had guns for thousands of years. So, what really is going on here. Some theories are listed here.

Loss of sanctity of life.

There are a lot of changes going on in our country lately. There are liberals calling for abortions even after a baby is born. Abortions are now the leading cause of death in the United States. So, there are some who think this is the cause. There is a loss of value for the sanctity of life.

Attacks on Christianity.

The Church used to teach values. It taught principles. These were never changing. So, people grew up with a conscience. This conscience prevented people from causing harm to others. They were taught to respect others. "Do on to others as you'd have them do unto you." So, in times of trouble, people used to turn to the Church. They did this when they were looking for meaning and purpose in life. Today, the Church is attacked all the time by the media and the left. There's not one iota of religion left in public schools, of which most kids attend.

Redefinition of family.

Thousands of years ago people realized the value of the family. The nuclear family was learned to be the best way of raising kids. Kids learned values from their parents. They learned about how their country came to be. They learned patriotism. And this was passed on from generation to generation. Now, the nuclear family is being blown up to smithereens. You have something like 90% of black kids being born to unwed mothers. Many seldom see their dads. And you have people on the left saying kids don't need moms or don't need dads. I believe there's some truth to the notion that boys learn best from men, and girls learn best from girls. And boys also learn from moms. Boys are especially affected by the breakdown of the family. In 1960, only 22% of black children were born to single parents. Today it's 70%. This rise occurred almost completely parallel with the rise of the welfare state. A high percentage of these kids grow up to live in poverty. They are often lead to a life of crime. The government has now become the father. On the contrary, 8% of black married couples live in poverty. So, you can't tell me this doesn't have something to do with it. My kids often watch the Disney channel. Rare is it that you have a TV show with a traditional family. Most families are divided families. And the moms are generally very ineffective parents.

Fakebook and Social Media

A big part of the problem is a yearning for attention. People want to be famous. They want what every one else says they have but probably don't. I'm talking about Facebook. People lie on Facebook. That's why I call it Fakebook. They take pictures of themselves on vacations. They talk about how awesome their lives are. When in reality their lives are as miserable as any one else's. And so you have kids that are impacted by this. They yearn to have what everyone else says they have but they don't. They can't seem to get the attention that they want. And so they resort to violence. Look at how much attention these killers get. They get their manifesto's published in the New York Times. They get all the front pages. They become famous. They finally get the attention they yearn for.

We are depressing our kids

By we I mean liberals. Kids are taught the world is going to end in 10 years, and it's all our fault. We are told we are all going to die. And we are told the world is over populated. And you wonder why study's show kids are depressed. As noted above, Fakebook is depressing. You see that everyone else has what you don't and what you can't afford. You get depressed by hanging around social media. So, this may very well contribute the the mass shootings.

What to make of this? 

These are just some theories. They may be contributing factors to mass shootings. There's really no way to know for sure without actually looking at the problem, and investigating it. And that won't happen as long as we toss blame at others besides those thugs who pull the trigger.

My point here is that it's a cultural problem. No law will stop these shootings. It may make people feel like they are doing something. It may give lawmakers an opportunity to show they care. But, no law will solve any of these problems. The solution will only come by investigating.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Mass Shootings Result In More Calls For Gun Control

There have been three mass shootings in the past week. They were all random acts of terror. It's a horrible thing. We all agree this is devastating. And then we started hearing people blaming one another. Mostly it's the left blaming republicans, society, guns, and the 2nd Amendment. I see this happening all over Fakebook.

It's so hard not to respond. For the most part I'm nice. I try not to say anything, especially to the nice lady's. I try not to comment on their posts. One lady said, "Another mass shooting. Damn you and your 2nd Amendment rights." Another wrote, "The only thing we can blame is guns."

Really? Like, why don't we just blame the person who pulled the trigger? Why don't we ever just hold that person responsible? Why don't we do some real investigating? Like, what do these thugs have in common. That's hard to determine. People on the left like to blame republicans. But, the ideological platforms of these thugs is all over the place. Some are radical left, some radical right, some cut right down the middle. So, ideology doesn't seem to play a role.

Is it guns? Well, the 2nd Amendment was approved in 1791. There were no mass shootings until the past 30 years. So, guns aren't the problem. Besides, some thugs use cars to just run over crowds. Others use knives. There are other weapon besides guns.

So, it's quite clear the anti-gun people, the proponents of gun legislation, are using these mass killings as reasons to advance their agenda. Heck, some democrats are even using these tragedies as strategies for campaign fundraising.

But you have a lot of young people. You have a lot of people who barely follow politics. And of course you have many who are well aware of politics. And they chant things like, "Well, we have to do something."  And that something is always government intervention. And that usually results in more laws. And that usually results in less freedom.

Think of it this way, 99.9% of American gun owners had nothing to do with those crimes. 99% of gun owners are law abiding citizens. Why is it that they are always blamed for these mass shootings. The National Rifle Association is always blamed by people on the left. Its like clockwork: Mass shooting equals attacks on the NRA and gun rights.

Truly, I don't know what the solution is. I do have some theories I will discuss in my next post. But, I'm quite confident blaming republicans won't solve anything. Taking away more freedoms won't solve anything. In fact, all that's going to do is piss off more people.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Days of Depression

I had a friend confide to me that she feels depressed sometimes. Of course, and then she pulls herself out of it. And then there's that feeling of euphoria that follows. Then you appreciate what you have all the more.

I thought it was neat she shared this. And I shared that I experience the same sometimes. I think it's normal. And it sucks when you can't think of anything good. But it's always a neat feeling when you pull yourself out of it. It's neat those moments when you truly appreciate what you have.

And while it sucks, it can be good too. I mean, I think that depression, when it just occurs sometimes, is Gods way of saying, "Something you're doing is wrong. You need to back up. You need to stop. "

I mean, I think that's why you have hangovers after drinking too much. And that's why alcohol makes you feel depressed. It's Gods way of saying, a little is good, but what you did last night was too much. Slow down!

For me, I'm most likely to have those depressed days after I take on too much responsibility. Or maybe they occur after an event that makes me very anxious or otherwise uncomfortable. Or I make a change in my life, or try to, and then realize I don't really want to do this.

I don't want to get too personal here. But, a good example I can think of is when I applied for a new job about 15 years ago. I felt excited about the prospect of getting a new job in a new city.

But, then once I was interviewed, and the shock of all the new things I'd have to learn hit me, depression hit. And the cure for the depression was to not answer the phone when they called to tell me I had the job. And to stay in the job I already have and am already comfortable with.

I think it's moments like this that help you to appreciate what you have.

Some people are good with change. They can just jump from one job to another without even thinking about it. And this is great for them as it sets them up nicely for new work, new excitement, better opportunities, and more money

Not this guy. Things must go slow. Change must be slow and easy. It does hold me back some. It prevents me from taking on more responsibility. It probably prevents me from making more money. But, oh well, 'm fine with it.

Just as my friend is fine with her life. And she has a good life. And she noted she realized this the moment she pulled herself out of her days of depression.

Friday, December 7, 2018

God, Divorce, And My Job Moment

The Biblical Job was the victim of a bet.
It was between God and the Devil.
God took everything Job loved away from him.
And he still never lost his Faith in God.
And so God won the bet.

Is it possible that my divorce was a gift from God. That God saw that my marriage was making me miserable. So, to pull me out of that rut, He had my wife pull the plug on the marriage. Is that true?

Sometimes I think my ex-wife pulled the plug on the marriage to do me a favor. She even admitted once that she was not nice to me. She said, "I know I'm so mean. Why do you ever stay with me?"

Well, I did because I had Faith. I made a commitment. I was not going to back out of my commitment. You know, there's this part of marriage that says, "For better or for worse." Well, here we were in the "for worse" part, and I was not going to give up.

So she did. She filed for divorce. She filed, I think, two months before she even had the nerve to tell me. And she told me. We were in the kitchen. She said, "I think we should get a divorce."

I was blindsided by this. I felt like a puppy dog getting hit by a Mack truck. It was totally unexpected. Here we were in a miserable marriage, and I was broadsided by the word divorce.

I was stuck for words. My face filled with tears. That deep, darkest feeling over came me. And I said, "Is that what you think God would want?"

She said, "God would want me to be happy."

I said, "God would want you to choose your own happiness over your commitments that you promised to uphold?"

And she defended her statement that God would want her to be happy. And I never understood that. Still don't. Perhaps that's the liberal hold inside her brain. This thing that principles don't matter. That you can just make up rules as you go along in life. That there is nothing etched in stone. That, if you're not happy, you can make changes, even if those changes destroy a marriage.

But, that's what she wanted to do. And I could barely function at work the next day. I was so beside myself. My patients talked to me, and I might have talked back. But I never paid them much attention. It was, as though, a part of me had just died.

It was so bad I did not want to go back home. I decided to go to a hotel. I left work that night planning on getting a hotel room. I did not want to ever see her again. I was that disappointed. And, hate never entered my mind. Disappointment is the word that did enter my mind. I was disappointed in her.

And I was mad at God. Instead of going to a hotel, I drove a round a bit. Then I ended up parked at the beach. In fact, it might have been almost a year ago to this day. As I'm writing this, it's November 14. I was beside myself.

I threw a fit in my car. I crinkled up every last piece of paper in my car. I tossed stuff. I threw stuff. I tossed and threw obscenities into the air. I was utterly mad at God.

"Why did you do this to me. Here I have always been faithful to you. I have always worked to be a good Christian. I pray every night. I prayed to find her. You found her for me. We had a perfect marriage. And then you took it all away! Why!"

So mad was I. Then I stopped. I meditated. Sometimes, when you meditate, you hear God's voice. A message is sent to your mind. But, on this day, there was nothing.

"Please, God! Please give me an answer."

Nothing.

Now, I know this now and not then. But, there is this old saying. It goes something like this: "Sometimes your prayer has already been answered."

Okay? I know that now. God gave me this gift of divorce. It was a gift. He helped me get away from that stress. He gave me a chance to start all over. And I would more than succeed at piecing back together my life. But, there was no way I could have possibly known that on that day.

So, the next day I'm sitting at work. My coworker says, "John, what's wrong? I can tell something is wrong with you."

I told her my story. All of it. And I told her of my Job like moment the night before.

And she said, "John, that wasn't God doing that to you. It was some other guy."

It was the Devil.

Ahh, how could I not see that? Her words caused goose flesh to creep up my spine. It brought a feeling of awe and joy. And, of course, "Doh! How could I not have seen?"

"It's because you were so deep. It blinded you to the truth," she said, "But, God would never do that to you."


Monday, December 3, 2018

Divorce Doubled My Standard Of Living

To me, divorce didn't go anything like the experts said it would. For one thing, they said that your standard of living will undoubtedly go down. This is because you will now be living on half the money you had before. That sounds like it makes sense.

But, that's not how it went down with me. My standard of living doubled, maybe even tripled. I had this second job. I am a writer. I do this all day. I love writing. I'm passionate about it. And I always told my wife if she would just let me have control of the money I made I could double it.

But, she refused.

You see, I saw the money I made writing as 'Extra Money.' Your bills are paid using our regular pay. And, before I got this 'extra job,' we paid our bills just the same

So, now I start making an 'extra' $500 a month. Then I'm making an extra $1000 a month. I figure this money can be used to get out of debt. I figured once we get out of debt, we can use this money to go on vacations or buy things for our house. So, that's kind of what motivated me.

But, after years of this, the debt never went away. In fact, it got deeper. All of a sudden she starts saying things like, "We need to pay said bill. When is your check coming?"

Like, I don't want this money being used to pay for bills. I mean, once in a while is fine, but, that's not what it's for. Our bills should be paid out of our day job money. This is 'extra money." This is money that supposed to be spent on fun things.

But she refused to make any changes. No matter how many times I requested that she not ask for my check to pay bills, she kept saying it. It was depressing to me.

So, it was a disincentive for me to write. I got to the point, if she was just going to pay bills with this money, I wasn't going to write any more than I had to.

I mean, I was fine paying bills, so long as it was to get out of debt. But, in order for that to happen, she'd also have to stop going on her vacations. But, instead of that happening, she started going on more and more vacations.

Actually, one of these vacations she went on with just her and the kids. Like, if ever a hint could have occurred, a coworker came up to me. And this was someone I barely ever talked to. She said, "John, aren't you a little concerned about your wife going on vacations without you. It's not right."

Naive, I just defended her. I was the good husband (and perhaps that would be a good name for my book). I said, "Oh, she's a good mother. She earned the right to go on vacation with just her kids. Besides, I had to work."

Hint not taken. I moved on. But, that's not to say I was happy. I was not happy at all she went on vacation without me. If I had my way, there would have been no vacation at all until we were no longer living paycheck to paycheck.

I have a good analogy here. This is like what it's like living in a socialistic dictatorship. I actually even said that once in a fight we had. I told her that she is like a dictator. She taxes me at 100%. If I make more money, she takes that money too.

And most of it went to vacations. I never got to spend any of it to make our house look nicer. Nearly 100% of it went to bills and vacations. And, eventually, her new car.

So, one day I said, "If you let me control my money, I can double the amount of money I make."

She never did. She never allowed me to have any control. So, that sort of threw me into a depression of sorts. Here we were, 15 years into our marriage, and I'm not allowed to do anything. And I do something, and I'm berated for it. And then I'm told I never make any plans.

So, you can see this was not looking good. Still, I had Faith. The idea of divorce never entered my head. We would work it out. Although, this was not good form confidence or my self esteem. In the back of my mind, there were those voices that were saying, "John, this isn't good." But, I tuned them out.

See, this was the Faith in me. I knew I was in a trap. I was trapped. I was in a cage. Damned if I did and damned if I didn't. I was in a walled up country. That country was a socialistic Venezuela country. I was chained to a chair. The sole purpose of my existence was to be a good dad to my kids and to make money for her to spend.

And I continued to believe things would get better. And I never gave up thinking that it would. I never gave up until that inevitable day in court.

But, after than, my standard of living doubled. Hell, it tripled. Motivated to get out of debt and start saving, I went from writing 5 articles a month to 20. I was on fire. I was also moderating like crazy, and getting paid by the hour for that.

So, within the first month living on my own, I doubled my monthly wages. Seriously, folks, I doubled my wages. Now, nearly a year later, I am working on a deal that might help me to triple my wages with my 'extra' job.

So, your standard of living doesn't have to go down if you get a divorce. That's not true at all. In a way, I think my divorce was a gift from God. And I think I will make God the topic of my next rant about divorce.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Here's What I Think Caused My Divorce

My wife and I made a deal shortly after we met. She loved to manage money, so we put her in charge of that. We were then going to do the Dave Ramsey Program. We were going to get out of debt. We set a 5 year plan to get out of debt.

And I was serious about this. I told her I would give up golfing and collecting baseball cards. I said I'd live on $30 a month. It might even have been $20. That's all I figured I'd need. And, in five years when we were out of debt, I could start doing the things I enjoyed again. I would start golfing and collecting cards.

I am also a home boy. I love my house. I spend lots of time in the house. I wanted to decorate our house and make it look nice. I wanted to fix the yard and make out home look nice. But, so we could get out of debt, all of this was put on hold. So, we lived kind of in a dump.

So, the plan was to get out of debt, save money, and then restart our lives when we figured we could afford it.

But, that never happened. Five years turned into 15 and then 17.

And here's why. 

The next winter she said, "Do you want to go to Florida?"

I said, "Can we afford that and still get out of debt."

She said, "Yes!"

I said, "Then, okay! Let's go have fun."

Well, the same thing happened the next ten years. Fool me once, fool me twice, fool me three times, fool me four times, fool me five times, fool me ten times. I'm an idiot.

It got to the point if I said no to a vacation she gets offended. Like, I said yes so many times she just expected it.

So, the word no never got said. And here we are 15 years after staring the Dave Ramsey program. We've gone on vacation every year almost, and we have a huge debt. Now it's I can' golf and I can't collect cards. I can't decorate the house. It's no longer something I'm doing willingly anymore. Now I'm being forced to not do anything. And any time I went to the store to get something, she got mad at me. I was being selfish.

Like, something was going to come crashing down here. So, this is what I think created tension in our marriage. To her vacations were important. To me, you only go on vacations when you can afford them. But, she always got what she wanted. And, so, this lead to tensions.

Finally, when I called her on it, it lead to arguments. I was unhappy because I figured if we just quit going on vacation 2 years we could save up. We could have an emergency fund. We could stop living paycheck to paycheck.

But she didn't want to give up her vacations. Finally, in the past year, we went on a vacation. And there was constant pressure. She refused to talk to me. When I did talk to her, she argued with me no matter what was said. So, to keep the peace, I'd just keep my distance.

I always prided myself on the fact that we never fought about money. But, in the end, it was money that caused our divorce. I am he peacekeeper. To keep the peace, I kept letting her get her way. In the end, my peacekeeping destroyed the marriage.

So, how did my standard of living double after I got divorced.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Divorce Is Like Facing Death

There are those of us who have lost spouses. This is always a sad time. There will always be that empty spot that cannot be filled again. But, we move on as best we can.

I have always said that our loved ones would want us to move on. Surely, when we lose loved ones, we go through a mourning process. That's normal. That's to be expected. But, I think it's fair to say that our loved ones would want us to always remember them. But, they would also want us to move on with our lives. I think that's fair to say. I know if I died, that's what I would be thinking as I looked down from Heaven.

Now, let's discuss divorce. I can tell you from personal experience it's not much different than having your wife die. To have someone you loved wholeheartedly and unconditionally give up on you and your marriage is just like losing your spouse to death.

There is a gaping hole in your life that cannot be filled. The only difference here is that your spouse is still alive. And you have to split time with your kids with that person. And you still have to communicate with that person because of the kids.

As a Catholic, I never in a million years expected this. My parents fought. They fought harder than my wife and I ever did. And they are still married all these years later. And people respect them for it. I always figured we'd be two old, people who would look back and laugh at the times we fought. And we'd be respected as people are when they're married that long.

I figured my marriage would be the same way. We fought. We get over it. That's just what you do. That's especially what you do when you are good, faithful people.

But, that's not what she wanted. She wanted to give up. She wanted to quit trying. And, once she came to that decision, there was no turning back. In this state you only need one person to give up on the marriage. You don't need consent from the other person.

So, being realistic, there came a point where it was best to walk away. And so you do. You read how to split. You do what the experts say. Or, you create your own path.

And then you start all over again. You have a clean slate, minus the stain of divorce.