Saturday, March 29, 2014

How do you define smart? Part 5

This is the final installment of our series on the question: how do you define smart. Upon our investigation, we've learned that education does not make you smart, because there are well educated people all over this world who are not smart. Smarts is a perception thing, and how you define it depends on whether you are an idealist or a realist.

Imagine, for a moment, that you knew the truth.  What would you do with it?  You know if you tell people the truth they might get mad.  You know they will because, as the old saying goes, the truth hurts before it makes you better.  Yes, it's true, most people can't handle the truth.

Now, if you don't share the truth, you are an enabler.  I think way too many of us know truths but we don't share them out of fear of causing controversy.  Yep, we are chicken shits afraid to offend people with the truth.

I know there are many respiratory therapists who know bronchodilators don't cure pneumonia, but they don't say anything because they want to keep their jobs; or, as a bottom line, they want to keep the peace.

I know there are many people who know truths (which are answers based on facts, not theories) in politics but they won't speak what they know because they are chickens.

When you know the truth and don't share it that makes you an enabler.  Harboring truths makes us enablers.  We enable people to be stupid, and Lord knows stupidity doesn't make the world better, never has and never will.

You have all sorts of people, some of them nurses, doctors, politicians, or whatever, and they're really smarter than everybody else by not having firm opinions on things.  They say they are independents, centrists, and moderates, and they do this so they can keep the peace.

They don't care that your breathing treatments are a waste of time, and it's not even worth investigating if they are.  What they care about is that it feels good to give one; it makes money for the hospital; it makes them feel like they are doing something good.

I'm open-minded and so are you.  We study both sides of the issues, and then we make informed decisions. If you're like me in this arena, you are one of the biggest dupes, because you are sitting around judging both sides while one of them is lying through their teeth with everything they say to you.

Idealists lie because they know there is no proof to what they are proposing. These are the people who believe every feel good theory ever created.  And it's is not new, because it was started sometime around 400 B.C. with the philosophies of the ancient Greeks.  They sought answers, and when they didn't find them they created their own answers which they called theories.

Just think, for over 2,000 years a theory raged in the medical community that asthma was a nervous disorder.  There were many physicians along the way who challenged this theory, but they were ridiculed, harassed, and laughed right out of the medical community.

There is the history of stupid bronchodilator orders that's for sure, but there is no solid evidence, only theories, that they do any good for anything but asthma.

You'll even see insurance companies allowing breathing treatments to meet admission criteria because some doctor said this is what will help them get better quicker, but never any evidence of this provided.

The even sadder part is, I hear people talking about this all the time, but they never bring it up to people that matter because they are afraid of causing controversy that might cost them their jobs.  When they do come out into the open, they are called "complainers," and you are told just to "stay away from the complainers."

The powers that be say: "If a doctor orders it, it's needed.  If a doctor orders a breathing treatment, it's needed."

Evidence?  Who needs evidence when we have feel good theories?

Bronchodilators are but a small thing and a safe thing thankfully. But what if an idealist theory has the potential to destroy the economy?  What if it has the potential to destroy the medical profession?

Yet when you challenge these idealists on their Utopian views, that's when it gets real interesting. Yet when you consider the cost of all the needless bronchodilators given daily, and the costs of employing RTs to dole them out, you'll realize how deep, complicated, and puzzling this really gets.

So I have to consider these things very seriously, the nature of the evidence, the seriousness of the charge that bronchodilators cure everything from rickets to pneumonia.  Idealists are saying we really are saving lives with Albuterol and so forth.

Some politicians say we are saving the planet by educating people about global warming, which, by the way, is just a theory, a guess.  Surely we should respect our planet, but we shouldn't risk making changes many fear will destroy the economy based on a theory.  Why?  Because the theory might be wrong.

Many people look at people like me and you as being realists. And they link realism with being judgemental, which is true. If that's the case, I am more than happy to judge.  I'm more than happy to call piss piss when that's what it is.

So, to come full circle: what is smart? Well, I'm going to tell you. Anyone with an average brain can see idealism. We know what it is doing to the planet. We know what it is doing to the health care industry. We know what it is doing to the economy with it's regulations and taxes and government programs to create their ideal world.

We know what it is doing to the lungs (Well, nothing if you consider bronchodilators for pneumonia and CHF and rheumatoid arthritis and rickets are a waste of time.)  But it's costing hospitals millions of dollars each year that could be spent on more important things, like raises for us RTs.

All you have to do is look at Detroit and California to see where idealism will take you. All you have to do is look at all the failing nations. Look at the old Soviet Union. Look at Cuba.

Look at France for crying out loud.  Creditors decided France bonds are junk bonds long ago, and no one will loan that country any more money because it has no credibility.

Sure idealists have good intentions, but good intentions and sound economics don't always jibe.

All you have to do is look at what is going on in Washington. All you have to do is look at all the people who are scared because the people in Washington want us to be scared. All you have to do is look at your own emergency room at all the people who really don't need to be there, who are complaining because you aren't taking care of them in a timely manner. All you have to do is look at all the people who are complaining because they aren't getting enough time off work, or aren't getting enough benefits, when what they should be doing is the job the were hired to do.

That's where idealism has taken us. That's what happens when we all become sheep and never think and never question and never judge. Everywhere idealism has taken you you'll see real disaster.  Just look at what they did with healthcare.

Sure it looks good that 7 million signed up, but how many of that seven million were people who were forced out of their own healthcare plans because of Obamacare?  As a perfect example of this look at Maryland, where 60,000 people signed up for Obamacere, but 73,000 lost their health insurance plans because of Obamacare.

That's idealism. It's all with the intent of creating equality for everyone, but it results in inequality. It'a all about creating what they think will be a Utopia, a perfect world, but their attempts to create it make everything they touch worse. Why?  Because there is no evidence their theories will work. 

And of course they do it all with good intentions.

I think, if we were real smart as a nation, we'd listen to the people like you and me at the bottom of the ladder, the people who actually see what is going on, the people with average brains and average educations, to get ideas for real reform.

I know I'm right because I know who these idealists are. They will not look at it ideologically, and the only way they're going to be able to solve our problems is if they ask, "What are we doing here?", "Is this really science that we're dealing with?"

The only way they are going to be able to solve our problems is to think, "Hey,the numbers don't make sense," "It's a total waste of time here. I don't see the point in doing all this if the numbers are so far off."

Because if they asked these questions, they'd realize how humorous all their bronchodilator fallacies are. They'd realize our U.S. health care system really is the best in the world as is (or it was before they screwed with it). They would realize that all these taxes and regulations are are ruining the economy, and not creating anything close to a Utopea.

Yet they won't ask these questions. They'll continue to believe in their idealist theories and they will continue to bog down the medical system with waste

Our scientists are supposed to be the smartest, most open minded people in the world.  A scientist, therefore, should not take the idealistic route because that would pollute science.

Yet we see that all the time too. Look at the global warming for one example. I'm neither a believer nor a disbeliever in the global warming theory, yet you have those who support it -- even scientists, willing to do anything to show it is real -- even lie and twist facts.

Instead, what scientists should be doing is, if global warming is real, let the facts and stats speak for themselves. But since they are so enshrined in idealism instead of realism, they don't care about facts.

So you can see why it's so easy for politicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, teachers, and even doctors and scientists to become rapt in idealism.

But I'm just telling you, folks, the only way to understand this with certitude, with confidence, and then to be able to explain it to others is to understand what being a realist means, and what being an idealist, means. Once you understand that, it is so easy, because all you have to know is that everything idealists say -- I know this sounds extreme -- everything they say is a lie. That's basically it. Once you come to accept that, then the rest is easy.

Idealists will tell you world peace is possible, while idealists know it's not.

Idealists believe if we get rid of all our nuclear weapons all the bad guys will all of a sudden go away and the world will be at peace. They believe the only way to peace is by disarming.  A realist will look into the past and see that there was war way before nuclear weapons were discovered, and the only way to peace is through strength.

Idealists will tell you that if you raise taxes high enough you will be able to afford enough government programs to help all the needy and to get rid of all the poor. They really believe some day world poverty will end if we stick to idealist programs. The realist knows this is impossible.

Idealists think there is only so much money to go around, so if a rich person, or a rich country, is hoarding all the money, then everyone else will suffer.  They believe such people, such nations, are selfish.  They think such people, such nations, don't know how to spend their money wisely.  So they create programs to take it from them and spend it the way they, as idealists, think it should be spent based on their idealist theories.  They take fro those who work hard to earn it, and give it to every one else.

A realist will look at the facts and know that there is enough money in the pie so that every person can enjoy a slice of it, if they are willing to make an effort to get off the cough, to relocate if necessary, to educate themselves, and get the job that pays.  Any of us can do this, but most of us don't have the energy to do it. 

An idealist will look at the rich as bullies, as greedy people who take advantage of the poor and middle class to fill their pockets with money.  An idealist holds up the rich as a symbol of what is possible only in America, and instead of trashing those who achieve and create the jobs for everyone else, they teach everyone else how they too can gain a piece of the pie; how they can become rich.

Idealists think American Exceptionalism means that we think we are better than everyone else, so we need to apologize to the rest of the world.  Realists know that for 99% of human history only the ten percent who were in the social elite were allowed to obtain an education and to improve their lot in life, and America gave every man and woman this opportunity.  Realists know that American Exceptionalism means that only in America is every person born free with an equal opportunity to get a piece of the pie.

Idealists will tell you bronchodilators work for all that wheezes, or for all annoying lung sounds, or for all lung diseases. The realist at the bedside giving the treatment sees the truth, that such treatments, when not ordered for asthma, do nothing but absorb time, money, and energy.  Realists see that we are wasting our time here.

Once you realize idealists are lying, then it all makes sense.

Once you know that everything doctors and nurses who think bronchodilators cure everything is a lie, the rest is easy. It's easy to understand.

You might not want to accept that, might be too tough. "Oh, my gosh, I don't want to think half the doctors and nurses are lying." Well, think about it, they're either lying, or they are simply flat out ignorant. Those are the only options.

If idealists continue to run the healthcare system it will not get better, it will continue to get worse.  Of course if we continue to be enablers, holding back the truth as to not offend people, it won't get better either.  If we continue to be enablers, none of the facts we learn will ever matter.

The same thing is true of our nation.  I love our country and it's for this reason I want to learn as much as I can about it.  Yet, at the same time, it's frustrating to know that the same people who are lying to me are calling me the liar when I have the facts on my side.

So, what is smart?  Well, it depends on whether or not you are an idealist or a realist. If you are an idealist, you are smart if you believe in theories.  If you are an idealist, only the facts matter.

Friday, March 28, 2014

How do you define smart? Part 4 (Idealism -vs- Realism)

Idealists believe it's possible to create a perfect world by experts
 in Washington making rules for all to follow. The get so caught up
in their dream world that they often disregard history and facts.
So we have been investigating the question: how do you define smart.  I think the answer to this question lies in the definitions of two key words: idealism and realism.

Actually, the idea here comes from an article written several years back, and published in Playboy, by William F. Buckley Jr. I think he defines smart better than anyone, and Lord knows many people have attempted to define smart.

So you approach a group of people, you share with the group facts that you learned about a subject, say that the earth is closer to the sun in the winter. They get mad at you, because to them that doesn't "sound" like the right answer.  "It only makes sense," they say, "that the sun is closer to the sun in the summer."

Realists will tell you when the glass is half full of piss.
They will try to share such facts with idealists,
and when they do, they will be called idiots.
You confronted them.  They got mad.  They made fun of you and made you out to be the dummy, when all along you had the facts on your side.

I approached a doctor once and explained to him that a medicine I use, albuterol, treats asthma and no other lung disease.  I offered him proof.

Instead of being open minded and at least considering what I said, he said: "You are behind on your research.  Everybody knows albuterol helps a patient cough up pneumonia."

How do I respond to that without insulting him?  How do I respond to that without risking losing my job?   I can't.  So I have no choice but to let him go on believing something that is not true is true.

The only way to understand what's going on here is to understand the difference between different ideologies. You have idealism versus realism. Education, years on this planet, experience, has nothing to do with how people think.

What it all comes down to hear is idealism versus realism.

Idealism is when a person, an idealist, believes an ideal, or perfect, or Utopian world is possible.  In order to accomplish this they create ideals and theories for people to follow.  They deal with problems by setting rules, standards, or laws for people to follow based on these ideals and theories in order to entice people toward the Utopian goal.  Since the human mind cannot conceive of perfection, it's assumed what perfection would be.  The truth, therefore, is what sounds good, or feels good.  The truth, to the idealist, is the theory, the guess.

Realism is when a person, a realist, knows perfection is not possible.  They only understand what is real, and shoot for goals that are real or possible.  They do not shoot for Utopia because they know it is not real.  They deal with problems in an effective and practical way.  They shun opinions in favor of facts.

So now let's return to our examples.  You go to the crowd of guys and you say, "The earth is closer to the sun in the winter."  They get mad at you.  They make you out to be the idiot even though you have the facts on your side.   These people have educations and degrees, and yet they continue to fall for this crap.

You go to a doctor or nurse and explain that pneumonia is an inflammatory disease, so how could albuterol, a bronchodilator, have any effect on it.  But they make you out to be the idiot and complain that you're just trying to get out of work; that you're lazy. These people have educations and degrees, and yet they continue to fall for this crap.

You go to a group of people who believes in global warming, and you explain that there hasn't been an increase in global temperature since 1996, and they get mad at you instead of considering this new wisdom.  These people have educations and degrees, and yet they continue to fall for this crap.

You see, they are idealists.  They live in an ideal world.  They don't care about the facts.  You do care about the facts, but because you are willing to call a cup of piss piss they get mad at you.

Remember, we have Yale and Harvard graduates running our country who are not smart the way realists define smart, so education has nothing to do with smart.  In some cases, depending on where you are educated, education can corrupt you.

Idealists don't like it when you come up to them and are truthful. They say that when you do that you are confrontational. You are causing confrontation. You are being controversial.  They might also call you a complainer, and they will tell your friends to stay away from you when you are complaining.  They, in turn, will make you out to be the outcast, when all along the facts are on your side and not theirs.

So how do you define smart?  In order to define smart you have to have a grasp on what idealism and realism are.  You have to realize that education does not make you smart, it's whether you are a realist or idealist.  Realists are all about sounds good and feels good, while realists are all about facts and possibilities.

How do you define smart: part 5

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

How do you define smart? part 3

So we're continuing today our series on the topic: How do you define smart? Perhaps one way to define smart is to determine whether a person relies on facts, or relies on feelings, or what sounds good.

So, what do I mean by this?  Well, I think the best way to explain this by asking you a question.  Have you ever been in a situation, you're arguing or not even arguing, you're just discussing things with a group of people, and you know you're right, and you know you can prove it, and it doesn't matter to them.

And the reason that you know you're right is that you know things they don't know. And because they don't even have that baseline of knowledge to chat with you, they can't even understand where you're coming from.

So you offer your facts, and they get mad at you and walk away.  Or, better yet, they laugh and mock you and tell you that you are being ridiculous; that you are being controversial; that you are just creating conspiracy theories; that you are a liar; that you are a Nazi.

Ever have that happen to you?

Perhaps I can provide you with a better sense of what I'm getting at with an example.  My friends are sitting around discussing why it is colder in the winter and warmer in the summer.  One person says, "It's warmer in the summer because the earth is closer to the sun, that's why?"  Everyone else agrees because what he says sounds good; it feels like the right answer.

But you know better.  You know from reading books that the sun is closer to the earth in the winter, and the reason it's colder in the winter is because the sun hits the earth at an angle, making it colder.  In the summer the earth is further from the earth, but the sun hits the earth straight on, making it hotter.

So my friends get mad at me.  They make me feel like I'm an idiot.  They call me names.  But I know I'm right, but no matter what I say will not satisfy them because what I say doesn't make sense; it doesn't sound good; it doesn't feel right.

So the next day I go online and research this topic, and I verify that I was right all along.  So, here's an example of all the facts were on my side, but I was made out to be stupid one.  When, in fact, I was the smart one, at least in this example.

You can go into politics here too. There are people who have a political position, and then you come into the discussion and say, "Hey! Wait a minute! If you consider this fact, what you guys are saying is poppycock!"

Let's take the theory of global warming as an example.  Maybe you support this theory and maybe you don't, but let's just assume for sake of argument that you don't support it.  You walk into a bar and your friends are talking about how man is causing global warming.

You say, "Wait a minute you guys.  I just got done looking at statistics on this subject, and there has been no increase in global temperatures since 1996.

Of course you think you're friends would be glad you were throwing facts on the table, and, perhaps, they might reconsider their position.  But, instead, they get mad at you.  They make fun of you and make you out to be the idiot, when all along you have the facts on your side.

Consider these questions: Isn't it the role of scientists to be doubters? Isn't it the job of scientists to be open minded?  Isn't it the job of scientists to constantly be looking for facts?  Isn't it true that theories are educated guesses, and not facts?  So if facts show a theory to be false, shouldn't new theories form?

The answers to all these questions should be yes.  But, this is not always the case.  It's not always the case because some scientists, like some lay people like you and me, form opinions based on what sounds good, what feels good, not based on what is good.

Now, this is fine, so long as we are willing to change our opinions once better wisdom is available.  But this is not always the case.  There are scientists who become so rapt in their opinions, their political agendas, that they refuse to accept new wisdom when it slaps them in the face. This, in my opinion, is not science; it is not smart.

In fact, if I remember right, Socrates was sentenced to death for this exact reason. He questioned authority. He would walk up to successful business men and question them about how to succeed in business, and he'd get some very useful wisdom.

Then he'd ask the businessman about how to make, say, horse shoes. The person would talk as though he knew what he was talking about, as though he were an expert in that area too, when Socrates knew he was not an expert in horse shoes. The businessman, in essence, was pretending to know everything, when in fact he was ignorant in nearly every area except running a business.

So, for questioning authority, for encouraging people to think, and to admit they did not know what they did not know, Socrates was sentenced to drink a cup of hemlock poison that killed him.  Socrates took the poison willingly knowing that if he did his wisdom would become eternal.

Anyway, they make you feel like an outcast. Like the ancient Greek Senate voting for the death penalty for Socrates because he dared to disagree with the common theories of the day, your friends, or whomever you're debating with, might want to kill you, or otherwise shut you up.

Now, this brings me to idealism and realism.  I think, and this was the topic of William F. Buckley's column in Playboy a few years back, that as we delve into the subject of idealism and realism we will gain a better grasp on what smart is. This will be the topic of our next post.

How do you define smart? Part 4

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

How do you define smart? part 2

The continuing theme this week is: how do you define smart.  Yesterday we postulated the theory that education does not make you smart, in fact, depending on where you get it, education can corrupt you.  What makes you smart is common sense.

Today we're going to delve into the topic of idealism versus realism, and how these two terms are key to how most people develop their smarts.  To begin with, we must realize that there there are idiots with degrees all over Washington, DC. There are idiot doctors prescribing medicine and running ventilators.

So how can this be?  How can someone come out of school with a medical degree and still not be smart?  Well, the answer depends on how you define smart.  So how do you define smart?

First off, I don't think it takes a smart person to make a smart decision. All you need are the facts on your side. Yet sometimes talking to people who think they are right yet they are wrong can be frustrating.  And you know someone is wrong and you are right when the facts are on your side.

If, on the other hand, you don't have the facts on your side, then you, if you are smart, if you have common sense, should be listening instead of speaking.  Twice in my life a psychologist, both of whom I saw back in 1985 when my asthma was really bad, said they suspected I was smart.  I also had several teachers say that to me, even when my grades were bad.

I remember asking one psychologist: "Sometimes I get As, but sometimes I get Cs, and right now I'm not doing good in school.  So why do people think I'm smart."

He said, "Because you speak little and you are a good listener, two qualities of common sense."

So we once again come to the conclusion that common sense, not education, makes you smart.

Now, what that psychologist said didn't mean much to me back then other than to give me the needed confidence boost I needed.  But, in retrospect, as I hear those words again, I realize the seed he planted in my mind, which is what psychologists do

How do you define smart? Part 3

Monday, March 24, 2014

How do you define smart? Part 1

William F. Buckley Jr. once wrote a piece for Playboy -- I actually have never read Playboy -- and the title of the piece, it was brilliant. The title was: "How Do You Define Smart?"

I never read Playboy. Honest -- I never did.

I learned about this article through various other media outlets I read. You know, the one's that warp my mind. Actually, nothing I read ever warps my mind because I'm a free thinker. I believe as long as one is a free thinker nothing and no one can warp him or her.

So I think the question Buckley posed in this playboy article was a brilliant question. The answer to it, though, is multifaceted.

When I was a kid I always thought of my grandpa as smart. I say this knowing my grandpa quit high school despite his principal telling him he'd never amount to anything if he quit. He ended up starting an auto dealership from the ground up, and this ultimately became a Chrysler dealership in Manistee.

Whenever I had a question he always had the answer. Yet there are old people in Washington and Lord knows many of them sure aren't smart.

So do we become smarter when we become educated? Well, Lord knows there are graduates of Harvard in Washington, and there are tons of ignorant politicians making laws who have no clue what they are doing.

We have many doctors who are definitely educated who don't have a clue what a bronchodilator is supposed to do, and they order bronchodilators for anything that causes a wheeze and treat any person who's short of breath as though they had asthma.

And there are doctors who think a 1,000 tidal volume (that's a very deep breath) is appropriate for a 5 foot lady just because she's 550 pounds.  What he doesn't realize is her lungs will be the same size regardless of how much she weights, so if you try to push too much air into her lungs just because she's obese, you'll blow her lungs like an over inflated balloon.

So there are lost of politicians, and lots of doctors, who are not smart.

So what is smart?

Here you have a lifelong asthmatic who abused his inhalers because his asthma wasn't controlled, and yet all the other asthmatics he knew were gaining control of theirs. Then one day he woke up and thought, "Hey! Take your medicine, stupid!"

Yet, how can a blogger who has gotten every thing wrong for so long, be called smart. How can someone who did everything wrong in every way, shape, manner, or form be called smart? How does that compute? He's educated; he can string a couple sentences together; proper syntax. What the hell is smart? Why would someone read his blog.

This has always been something that has bugged me.

Then, at some point in my life, I realize that education doesn't make you smart, common sense makes you smart. The problem with common sense is that some of us have it, some of us don't have it, and it can't be taught.

The fact that common sense can't be taught is probably why education does not make you smart.  So, education does not mean you're smart. In fact, education, depending on where you get it, can corrupt you.

How do you define smart? Part 2

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Top ten guy movie actors ever

Guys tend to have a different agenda when seeking out a good movie than women. That's not to say women don't like guy movies, or guys don't like dramas, but a general rule of thumb is guys like, well, guy movies.

Guy Actor Impact Scale
1.If' you're desperate
2.Only a few guy flicks
3.Classic F-word lines
4.Franchise actor only (007)
5.Great bad guy actor
6.Too many so so movies
7.Classic guy stud
8.Stud Comic/ Guy humor
9.Stud of the second tier
10.Guy movie actor stud
A guy actor list should include (duh) the top guy actors, even if they're not in the order you're used to seeing them. To give some idea how much proximity factors into the equation, I've assigned each guy actor an impact rating that corresponds to the scale in the table to the right.

That should help narrow it down for you which of the guys on this list are most likely to choose a "boring" movie, compared to one who has a long history of choosing only the best movies to act in.  For instance, Robert De Niro and Steve McQueen only appear in A+ guy movies, so they both get a rating of a 10.

If you want to be guaranteed a good guy flick, these are the guys to follow.  Those who get a 9 generally choose good guy flicks, although most of their movies are those of the second tier.  If you want a good guy comedy, then you'll want to seek out those who score an 8.  If you want to hear good one liners, then seek out those who rank at 3, and so on and so forth.

Robert De Niro's portrayal of the mobster king Jimmy Conway
was nothing short of classic. 
1.  Robert De Niro:  I have never watched a boring De Niro flick. I can't even name all the elite flicks he has starred in, but I can try: Goodfellas, Godfather II, Mean Streets, Raging Bull, The Taxi, Awakenings, Cape Fear, Midnight Run, Casino, and Killing Season. Even in the few comedies he's acted in, he plays a tough guy, see "Meet the Parents," and "The Fockers."  Guy actor impact:  10

"Go ahead, make my day," said Clint Eastwood, in "Sudden Impact,"
a classic sequel to the #1 guy movie of all time "Dirty Harry."
2.  Clint Eastwood:  It only makes sense that he makes this list, although some of you are surprised he's not ranked number one.  Well, any guy movie veteran knows that Robert De Niro has had a greater guy impact than even the great Eastwood. That said, Eastwood plays the best tough guy ever, and for that he has never made a boring movie.  Guy actor impact:  10

Sylvester Stallone as Rambo in the explosive movie "Rambo."
3.  Sylvester Stallone:  He made a couple movies in the 1980s that were, well, truly boring.  However, he has made up for those blunders by making many great movies since, particularly the Expendables, The Expendables II, and soon Expendables III.  Every movie he acts in is good stuff, from Rocky, Rocky II, Rocky III, Rocky IV, to Rambo, Rambo I, Rambo II, Rambo III, Rambo IV.  Do you see a trend here?  His movies are so good they create franchises. You could make a good argument to move him to #1 on this list. Guy actor impact: 10

4.  Al Pacino:  He's acted in two of the top ten movies of all time: The Godfather and Scarface.  Nuff said! Guy actor impact: 10

The coolest guy actor ever was Steve McQueen.  Photo here is
from the San Francisco car chase in the movie "Bullit." 
5.  Steve McQueen:  He was the smoothest guy actor ever.  He was "The king of cool."  He was not only one of the best guy actors of his era, he was the top box office draw during the 1960s and 70s.  If he didn't die at the age of 50 in 1980 due to mesothelioma, he would probably still be making movies, and he would probably be #1 on this list.  Guy actor impact: 10

"I'll be back," said "The Terminator," played by Arnold.
6. Arnold Schwarzenegger:  He's a perfect example of why America is exceptional.  Here's a guy who comes into this country, works hard to make his body huge, becomes Mr. Universe, becomes a famous A guy actor, and then becomes a famous governor.  Only in America could that happen.  When he first appeared on Expendables 2, he was offered a handgun.  He said, "No, I want a big one."  That pretty much sums up his impact in movies and in real life.  Guy actor impact: 10

7.  Mark Wahlburg. I think he has done enough guy movies by now to move up the ladder of best guy movie actors.  He has now starred in such films as Ted, Ted 2, The Gambler, The fighter, Boogie nights, The Departed, Shooter, Invincible, Italian Job, The Yards, and Four Brothers.  He has definitely developed a reputation as a guy move stud. Guy movie impact: 10

"Kickboxer" put van Damme on the map as a guy stud
8.    Jean Claude-van Damme: He's not in any of the top guy flicks of all time, but he is still one of the best guy actors of all time.  If you see the name van-Damme on the cover, then you'll probably get a good guy movie.  Guy actor impact: 9

9.  Bruce Willis:  He does tend to get involved in some bla bla movies, and for that reason we have to downgrade him a little.  Still, he's a top notch guy actor. Guy actor impact:  9

10.  Chevy Chase:  The neat thing about Chase is he uses comic absurdity to show absurdity.  He uses his comic ability to show how hard it is to be a man in a woman's world (well, it is, isn't it?).  Guy actor impact: 8

John Wayne: the king of classic guy flicks
11.  John Wayne: Now, how could we have a complete guy actor list without the rugged, masculine, western king with the distinctively calm voice, cool walk, and foot-ball player style build. He moves down in these here rankings only because these here older movies, you see, focus on plot more so than shoot 'em and kill 'em, knock 'em too the ground in a pile of blood action.  Guy movie impact: 7

Honorable mention:  Charlton Heston (10), Mark Wahlberg (10), Nicolas Cage (9), Dolph Lungren (9, 5), Chuck Norris (9), Steven Seagal (9), Liam Neeson (9), Mel Gibson (9), Will Farrell (8), Eddie Murphy (8, 3),  Marlon Brando (7), Danny Glover (6), Ray Liota (5), Harrison Ford (4), Sean Connery (4), Roger Moore (4), Pierce Brosnan, 4), Daniel Craig (4), Joe Pesci (3), John Travolta (2), Leonardo DiCaprio (2), Christopher Walken (2), Tom Hanks (1), Tom Cruise (1), Emelio Estevez (1) Christian Slater, Paul Newman and Robert Redford (1).

Who am I missing? Where am I wrong?  Help me add to this list.  

Friday, March 21, 2014

She said, "What do you mean by religious?"

So he asked the wise old lady, "Are you religious?"

She said, "What do you mean by religious?"

Ah, he thought, I hate it when people toss questions back at me!  After pondering it a moment, he tossed it back: "What do you mean?"

"Well," she said, "Everybody is religious about something; even atheism can be a religion, and, therefore, atheists religious."

He said, "I never thought of it that way."

She said, "Even politics can be a religion.  When people get all upset when you oppose their political views, you are, in essence, insulting their religion."

He said, "Interesting."  

She said, with a smile, "So what do you mean by religious?"

Thursday, March 20, 2014

2014 MLB Predictions:

For what it's worth, here are my predictions for the 2014 Major League Baseball season.

American League
East:
Boston Red Sox
Baltimore Orioles
Tampa Bay Rays
Toronto Blue Jays
New York Yankees


Central:Detroit Tigers
Kansas City Royals
Cleveland Indians
Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins

West:
Seattle Mariners
Los Angeles Angels
Texas Rangers
Oakland Athletics
Houston Astros

Wildcards: Royals over Indians
ALDS: Redsox over Royals and Tigers over Mariners
ALCS: Tigers over Redsox
Cy Young:  Justin Verlander
MVP:  Mike Trout
Come back: Grady Sizemore
Busts:  Edwin Encancacion and Chris Davis

National League
:
East:
Washington Nationals
Atlanta Braves
New York Mets
Philadelphia Phillies
Miami Marlins

Central:
Pittsburgh Pirates
Cincinnati Reds
St. Louis Cardinals
Milwaukee Brewers
Chicago Cubs

West:
Los Angeles Dodgers
Arizona Diamondbacks
Colorado Rockies
San Francisco Giants
San Diego Padres

Wild Cards: St. Louis over Cincinnati
NLDS: Dodgers over Cardinals and Nationals over Pirates
NLCS:  Nationals over Dodgers
Cy Young:  Jose Fernandez
MVP:  Bryce Harper
Comeback:  Matt Kemp
Bust:  Zack Greinke and Matt Carpenter

World Series: Tigers over Nationals
World Series MVP:  Justin Verlander

Monday, March 10, 2014

What classifies as a guy movie

Steve McQueen in "Hell is for Heroes" (1962)
My Uncle Tony once said that if someone doesn't die within the first 60 seconds of a movie it's not worth watching.  I wouldn't go quite that far, although I see his point.

So, what are the qualifiers for a good guy movie?According to Filmsite's own Greatest 'Guy' Movies of All-Time, "the themes and content of... time-wasting, 'macho' or 'guy' films appeal mostly to male audiences." They generally include:
  • Contests (conflicts or games)
  • Hot cars and women
  • Road trips
  • Sexual initiations
  • Male bonding and buddies
  • Profanities and obscenities
  • Excessive action fight-explosion sequences. 
  • Lavish doses of brutality
  • Ultra- or cartoonish violence
  • Various vulgarities
  • Competitiveness
  • Races
  • Blunt humor
  • Trite dialogue
  • Scenes with naked males and females. 
They may also include:
  • A good plot: Sans a good plot no movie is worth watching.  In fact, a good plot can even make a G-Rated film acceptable to guys (see Old Yeller)
  • A powerful male protagonist:  An established tough guy or cool mail lead, such as Clint Eastwood, Charles Bronson, Al Pacino, Arnold, Sylvester Stalone, and Steve McQueen.  A powerful exception here is Uma Thurman in Kill Bill
  • Powerful protagonist:  A hero who speaks little and makes his few words mean a lot; such a protagonist may also be a bad guy that you learn to love
  • Vehicle chases: These are always nice
  • Vehicle crashes: Even better
  • Explosions: Better yet
  • Drinking: Hard alcohol shows toughness; beer shows meanness. 
  • A powerful antagonist: It some cases it may even be the good sheriff
  • A heartless, guiltless killing or massacre: Works especially well to gain attention at the beginning, and as a sendoff at the end. 
  • Dead bodies: It's not real, so don't worry
  • Great one liners: Like, "Go ahead, make my day!", or, "I'll be back!"
  • A powerful twist at the end: These keep you thinking long after the movie is over, and over force one to watch the movie a second time.
Movie genres most associated with guy movies are:
  • Action films
  • Crime films
  • Gangster films
  • Sports films
  • Westerns
  • Comedies
  • Raunchy teen films
Movies classified as "guy movies" are movies generally aimed at male audiences (obviously), so the main characters generally tend to be male, and the themes and plots are written as such so that the average guy would connect with them.  So while some of the movies on my list of best guy movies ever may be mainstream hits and box office successes, most are just guy movies.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

What is American Exceptionalism?

It seems there are some Americans who have forgotten, or, perhaps, never learned, about American Exceptionalism.  As recently as 50 years ago we wouldn't even need to discuss this, but considering recent comments by President Obama, I'm thinking it's time for a refresher course.

Now, I want people to know that I'm not judging our President by my following comments, I'm merely using his words to make my point here.  This has nothing to do with whether or not I like his political agenda.  If George W. Bush had made similar comments, I would post them here too.

That said, President Obama recently said:
I believe in American exceptionalism just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.
This statement pretty much proves to me that a) he has no idea what American exceptionalism is, or B) he misspoke. I'm not into speculating, so I don't care why he said them, just that he did say them.

So, if Obama is wrong, then what exactly is American Exceptionalism?

Here is the real definition:

American Exceptionalism: It's freedom and liberty. That's it. It's freedom and liberty.

So, here is a further explanation.

The majority of history was full of bondage and slavery. For most of history 99% of the people of any nation lived in poverty with no chance of improving their lots in life. For 99% of history only the 10% who lived in the aristocracy had a chance at a good education and a well paying job. So the majority of people throughout history have lived under tyranny and despots.

Then along came America where every person was granted the freedom and liberty he or she was born with. The U.S. was the first place in the world where the government did not take away freedom and liberty, and therefore every person had an equal opportunity to succeed in life.

American exceptionalism is the opportunity provided to every person who lives in America because of freedom and liberty. American exceptionalism is not what Obama says: " I believe in American exceptionalism just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism."

American Exceptionalism is not that we are better people. It is not that we are superior people. It is not that we are smarter people. It is not that God loves us and hates everybody else. It is not that God prefers us. It is not that God doesn't prefer anybody else.

It is nothing more than the equal opportunity afforded to all who live among the American borders because our government does not and cannot (and this was ultimately guaranteed by the signing of the U.S. Constitution om 1787) make any efforts to take away our God given rights to freedom and liberty.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Founding documents protect natural rights

I think people in this nation forget that the Declaration of Independence is still a full and binding, legal document. In it our founders wrote:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed
By this statement, none of the Amendments are even necessary. By writing this, Thomas Jefferson "assumed" that people reading it knew that by "men" he was referring to human beings, both men and women, and by saying "that all men are created equal," he was referring to all men regardless of race, creed, sex, color, health, etc.

So by wording it this way, Jefferson meant that all people --men, women, blacks, homosexuals, bisexuals, smart people and idiots -- are accorded the same inalienable rights at birth, and these rights cannot be taken away by any government. To protect these rights, the Constitution was written so that it prevents the U.S. government from making any law that takes any of these "natural rights" away.

It was assumed, therefore, that "by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness," Jefferson was assuming people understood that this was a beginning of the list of natural rights, and that people would "assume" that the rest of the natural rights are also included in this.

Yet later founders believed -- and accurately so -- that this may be misinterpreted, so they created the Bill of Rights, that protect these rights for the third time. The original Constitution protects them for the second time.

So the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, if read correctly, should give gays, blacks and women the same rights as me. Yet people amid society acted to take those rights away, and these good people had to fight to get these rights back. This is what lead to emancipation, women's suffrage, and the current plight of gays.

Yet it shouldn't be this way. If "All men are created equal" is read as it was intended, all men and women would be treated as equals. Yet the intent of the founders was misinterpreted almost as soon as it was written. And so it is that innocent people have their god given rights taken away by society, and they must continue the fight to get them back.

Monday, March 3, 2014

The danger of making unwritten laws written

Unwritten laws are those laws that have never been enforced by government although obeyed by most people. They are sort of the laws that hold the fabric of society together, even though they do not exist. It's sort of like the unwritten rules of sportsmanship in sports, such as not trying to bunt when the opposing pitcher is trying to toss a no hitter.

In 2000, Jonathan Rauch, who is an openly gay advocate, defined hidden law as "the norms, conventions, implicit bargains, and folk wisdoms that organize social expectations, regulate everyday behavior, and manage interpersonal conflicts."

As National Review's Jonah Goldberg said:
"Basically, hidden law is the unwritten legal and ethical code of civil society. Abortion, assisted suicide, and numerous other hot-button issues were once settled by people doing right as they saw it without seeking permission from the government."
Some examples of unwritten laws may include:
  • Being kind to gay people even though your religion frowns on gay life
  • Not having an abortion based on the belief that it's immoral 
  • Not supporting assisted suicides because it is considered morally wrong
  • A kid can have a lemonade stand even though it is technically illegal to open a business without a license. 
  • It's okay to eat high fat foods even though they are technically bad for you
  • It's okay to eat junk food even though it is technically bad for you
  • You do not have to do business to all people; i.e. you don't even have to answer your phone if you work out of your home and specialize in some service, such as baking wedding cakes, siding houses, fixing roofs, etc.  
Yet dragging unwritten law into politics is a bad idea, as Rauch explains:
“Hidden law is exceptionally resilient until it is dragged into politics and pummeled by legalistic reformers.”
Goldberg said:
"That crowd believes all good things must be protected by law and all bad things must be outlawed."
Goldberg, who is a conservative who supports gay marriage, added:
"As society has grown more diverse (a good thing) and social trust has eroded (a bad thing), the authority of hidden law has atrophied. Once it was understood that a kid’s unlicensed lemonade stand, while technically 'illegal,' was just fine.  Now kids are increasingly asked, “Do you have a permit for this?”
Gay activists won the battle for hidden law a long time ago. If they recognized that, the sane response would be, 'You don’t want my business because I’m gay? Go to hell,' followed by a vicious review on Yelp. The baker would pay a steep price for a dumb decision, and we’d all be spared a lot of stupid talk about yellow stars.
Say I own a roofing business, and I don't want to fix a roof when the weather is less than thirty degrees.  The phone rings and I say, "I'm sorry, but I'm not taking work right now."  The lady on the other end says, "I'm sorry, but you have to take my business, it's the law."

It used to be that the unwritten law was that I don't have to take your business, and then you'd move on and find someone who would. Now, at least in Arizona, you can't refuse to make a cake for someone even if that someone lives a life you do not religiously agree with, a right that is Constitutionally protected.

Opponents of Arizona's law that was not signed into law this past week put a good spin on the law, saying it would be similar to Jim Crow laws, whereby store owners would not serve gay people.  Ironically, there was not one mention of gay people in the law.  This was completely an erroneous claim.

But the claim went so far as to encourage the NFL to bully Arizona Governor Jan Brewer by threatening to pull the Super Bowl if she didn't veto the bill, which proposed to make law in Arizona what was made legal by Bill Clinton in the 1990s.

The law, therefore, was vetoed by Brewer because she couldn't risk hurting the economy of Arizona.  She was afraid she would be seen as a gay basher if she signed the bill.  All of this because a few people who were ignorant of what the bill truly stood for tipped the public relations scale in their favor by fooling the NFL and the public.

Quite frankly, I don't think it was a perfect bill anyway.  If I were Brewer I probably would have vetoed it on principle alone.  I don't think we need more laws, what we need is better education.  It covered things that were already covered under unwritten law.  On the other hand, I wouldn't have vetoed it based on threats that were based on ignorance and completely unfounded.

Like Goldberg, I believe gay people should have a right to marry if they want. It's a free country, after all. It's time we, as Americans, start educating ourselves before we make decisions and form opinions.  It's time we stop forming opinions based on fallacy, and start judging people for their actions rather than who they are.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

22 myths about gay and gay marriage

The fight in this country regarding gay marriage is based on misinformation both on the right and on the left.  The purpose of this post is to clear up some of these myths so we can make informed decisions, kiss, make up, and get on with our lives.  

1.  The liberal argument is to champion for gay rights. The truth is, all people are born with natural rights, and these natural rights are protected by the Declaration of Independence, The U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.  

One natural right, for instance, is the right to choose who we spend our time with. 
These founding documents were written for "We the People," meaning all the people.  No laws can be written to deny this right, and no laws have.  Two straight people can spend time together, and two gay people can spend time together.  No natural rights are violated.  

2.  The liberal argument is that gay people should get the same benefits from marriage that straight people get.   Sure, if marriage has benefits, gay people should have the opportunity to get these same benefits.  

On the other hand, if the only reason gay people want to marry is benefits, then that sort of deflates the purpose of marriage.  Marriage is a union or a commitment between two people based out of love and respect and the promise to take care of each other regardless of the hardships that will come on the road ahead.  If people are marrying just for benefits, then perhaps the benefits should be taken out of marriage. 

That said, if the people of a state are adamantly opposed to "scarring" the institution of marriage, then civil unions are an option.  Yet this path seems to have been rejected by the ignorant on the right who have no tolerance for their gay brethren.   

3.  The gay fight should be on the federal level. Again, there is no need to fight for change on the federal level.  The U.S. clearly already protects the natural rights of gay people.  The tenth amendment reserves the right to make any laws regarding gay marriage to the states or to the people.  So the fight should be on the state level and not on the federal level.  

4.  An argument on the right is that God prohibits the gay life.  This is perhaps one of the biggest myths of all time.  The Hebrews were very concerned with the spread of disease, and were the first to prescribe to the idea of disease prevention.

Since they observed that the transmission of disease was rampant among gay men, they discouraged the behavior and encouraged only monogamous relationships. When Moses gave his people laws, it was not because he hated his "gay" brethren, but because he wanted to prevent the spread of disease among his people.

Of course this was taken out of context by later generations who were ignorant of what the situation was at the time the Bible was written.  The truth is, God loves gay people just as much as he loves straight people.  

5.  An argument of the right is that if gay marriage is legal, there will be a bunch of gay men walking around holding hands, something they want to avoid discussing with their kids.  The truth is there will be no more exposure to this after a law is made than what is already occurring.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at the present time just over 2% of Americans comprise the homosexual population.  There's no reason to believe that a law making gay marriage legal would increase this population. 

6.  People who oppose gay marriage hate gay people. This is a generalization that is more than likely false.  Most people who oppose gay marriage don't hate gay people, they hate that people want to risk hurting the institution of marriage. They hate the thing, the idea, not the people. This is not to say that there are a few people in the majority who are intolerant to the homosexual population.  Yet to say that the few represent the view of the majority is poppycock.

7. A liberal argument says the gay fight is the same as the fight for black civil rights.  People who believe this think that those who oppose gay marriage are no better than racists who denied black people the right to vote.  This could not be further from the truth, yet it's been repeated so many times that some people simply start to believe it as fact.

To understand this we must understand the difference between natural rights and civil rights.  Natural rights are those rights that we are born with that cannot be taken away by government.  Natural rights include the right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.  They include the right to breathe air, the right to eat, the right to search for food, and the right to defend yourself.  They also include the right to enter into a contract.  Civil rights means the right to have all the laws enforced equally among all the people.

Black people were denied their natural rights.  For instance, while white people were allowed to ride on buses, black people were not; white people were allowed to live free, and black people were not.  Since the laws were not enforced equally, black people had their civil rights violated: They had to fight for their civil rights.

The fight for gay marriage has nothing to do with civil rights. All people are born with a natural right to enter into a contract, and marriage is a contract.  The constitution protects the right to enter into a contract, although it does not define contract. This means that the definition of contract, by the 10th amendment, is reserved to the states to define.

It is not a violation of civil rights for a state to act in the public interest by regulating through state law under what conditions a marriage contract can be entered into.  So, by the laws of most states, marriage is defined as between a man and a woman.  Any man can marry any woman, and no man can marry another man.

Civil rights are not violated so long as this law is enforced equally.  However, it would be a violation of civil rights to tell someone, "You cannot get married to anyone."  It would be a violation of civil rights to tell this gay couple they can get married, but this gay couple cannot.  If this were the case, then gay marriage would be a civil rights issue.  But this is not the case.

So the right that gay marriage proponents claim exists really does not. The right of all men and all women to marry is not denied by state laws. The ability for a person to marry someone of the same sex is equally denied to everyone.  Therefore, this is not a violation of civil rights. 

8.  The term gay means homosexual.  False, but not completely false.  The truth is, the term gay means happy or full of mirth or care free.  It comes from the Old French term gai, which in turn comes from a Germantic word that is not completely known.  In fact, you can hear the word used in the tune for the Flintstones: "You'll have a gay old time."  So you can see that as of the 1960s the term gay, in the mainstream anyway, still meant happy, mirth, or carefree.

However, there were times throughout history where the term "gay" was used as a slang term in reference for lifestyles that were not traditionally acceptable.  For instance, in the 17th century the definition was twisted to mean "of loose and immoral life."  This was a twist on the original meaning "care free."

In the 19th century the term was used as slang to refer to a woman who was a prostitute, or a man who slept with a lot of women, sort of the opposite of today's use of the term. There was also a phrase "gaying it up" which referred to having sex.

The modern use of the term "gay" as slang for "homosexual" was started in in the 1920s and 1930s.  It was from this point on that gay people referred to themselves as gay.

In 1955 the homosexual crowd took the term "gay" national, starting a public relations campaign to make the term popular.  The reason was because they thought "gay" shed a positive light, as opposed to the offensive sounding "homosexual" or "homo."  The goal was to shed better light on homosexual behavior.  The PR campaign was a huge success.  This is a perfect example of how perceptions can change over time by spreading information as opposed to forcing change by laws.

9.  Marriage is about love:  This is one of the main arguments by the left.  They say if two people love each other, whether gay or straight, they should be able to create a union and share each other fully. However, if marriage were about love, then it would be easy for a couple to make the selfish decision to separate when they fall out of love.  If it were about love, then there would be no need to stay married when love was no more.  The truth is that marriage was created to create a stable environment for the children.  It is about the welfare of children.

This was explained best by Mona Charen in her October 14, 2014, article at nationalreview.com, "Answering Ted Olson: Changing Marriage is not the way to secure dignity and respect for gay couples." She said:
The idea of endorsing same sex marriage implies that mothers and fathers don't matter.   If two men who love each other or two women who love each other are equally good for children’s welfare, then the argument that men and women should marry and remain faithful to the partner with whom they conceived children loses its force.
The “being with someone you love” case fits nicely on a greeting card, but it also contributes to the divorce culture, because the implicit message is that when you no longer love someone, the purpose of the marriage is over. Adults’ feelings will trump all, as they too often do already.
The move for same-sex marriage was never about marriage. It was about social acceptance. We should give the social acceptance, but not undermine marriage.
So marriage is not about love, it is a union between a man and a woman in order to create a favorable environment for creating and raising children. At least this is how it has been defined traditionally, and how it is still defined by most states.

10.  Gay couples should not be allowed to raise children:  Poppycock!  Gay couples who can create the stable environment required for the raising of children are just as capable of raising children as anyone else.  There are many children in this world in need of a good home, and if this home can be created by a gay couple than this should be an acceptable part of our society.

11.  Gay marriage would result in no harmful societal effects.  Not necessarily true.  If you tamper with the definition of marriage, where does it stop.  It doesn't just stop with people of the same sex getting married. People in UK want to marry their dogs and everybody's saying, "Well, it's okay. We've changed the definition," and the same-sex marriage crowd says, "No, no, no, no, no. You can't!" Why not? You're the ones that wanted the definition changed. Where does it end?  Justice Samuel Alito recently tackled this topic during a Supreme Court Debate, saying, "Why not let four lawyers marry one another?" There's a reason traditional American marriage has been defined as between a man and a woman, and it is to prevent such a slippery slope from occurring.  When such occurs, the definition of marriage may become so watered down that it no longer has any viable meaning.

12.  The old view of marriage is now considered bigotry. Some people are now considered inconsiderate bigots for supporting traditional marriage. To understand why this is not true let us further differentiate between the old, traditional definition of marriage, and the new definition of marriage.
  • Traditional. Marriage is between a man and a woman.  It's needed to shape sexual behavior and promote the well-being of children.  It is a long-term commitment and not a convenience. It is about children and raising them properly.  It is about creating families and holding them together, promoting culture, and keeping it solid and together. It is about something specific. It is a solid structure that is good for all eternity, despite its faults. It has long-term value. It is a commitment. It is an unchanging, solid foundation to hold societies together regardless of the changing desires of that society.  It is an institution.  Ideally, originally, marriage was defined as a union between a man and a woman, and under God.  It is about advancing the human race and creating culture. 
  • New. Marriage is about love and convenience. It's an emotional union between another person or a thing.  There is no specific goal other than to show love or to obtain some convenience, such as benefits or some other specious desire.  There is no long-term commitment, and no long term goals. When you fall out of love, you just get divorced and move on.  It does nothing to hold families, society together.  It does not promote culture in any way.  It is not about something specific. It is not a solid structure. It has no institutional long-term value. It is not a commitment. It is not a solid foundation for holding societies together, and therefore has no societal benefits.  It is an institution. It has nothing to do with a man and a woman, and nothing whatsoever to do with God. It has nothing to do with advancing the human race and nothing to do with culture. 
So, traditional marriage is not about bigotry, although liberal teachers and the media (such as every one on the Today Show) have done an excellent job of marketing new marriage so that people who even consider holding on to traditional views are often considered bigots and homophobes.  This is not true, as traditionalists do not hate gay people; they (most of them anyway) respect them as any of their other brethren.  Yet because they don't want tradition messed with, they are frequently called names.

13.  Traditional marriage is inferior to the new view of marriage.  The writers of National Review Online answer this one:  "We think the older view is not only unbigoted, but rationally superior to the newer one. Supporters of the older view [of marriage] have often said that it offers a sure ground for resisting polygamy while the newer one does not (offer that resistance). But perhaps the more telling point is that the newer view does not offer any strong rationale for having a social institution of marriage in the first place, let alone a government-backed one."

14.  Gay marriage is a Constitutional Issue for the Supreme Court to Rule on.  Wrong. Again, and I probably sound like I'm being redundant here, but the Constitution does not even mention gay marriage, and therefore, as per the 10 Amendment, it is up to the States to decide. The Constitution neither commands states to adopt one of these two understandings of marriage (the old nor the new definition) nor forbids them to.

Since it is not an Enumerated power, Congress cannot act on it -- but states can.  This is called Federalism. In this sense, some states may make laws granting gay marriage is legal, while others may choose not to.  So, when the issue of gay marriage comes to the Supreme Court, the Court should declare that this is not a matter for the Court to decide.

On this issue, Justice Kennedy said, "This definition has been with us for millennia, and it's very difficult for the court to say, 'Oh, well. We know better.'"  In other words, it's not up to the courts to decide the old view of marriage is bigoted, and that the new view is superior.  Of course Kennedy also said it's not up to the courts to decide that only "opposite-sex couples, uh, can have a bonding with the child. That was a very interesting... That's just a wrong premise."

So true.  So, the Constitution does not allow the Supreme Court to decide this issue: it  an issue that should be decided either on a state, local, or individual basis.  Worded another way: there is no Constitutional right to marry, and there is no constitutional right for two men or two women to marry either.  So the issue is not for the courts to decide.  If the courts somehow find that there is, it is wrong.  However, while there is no constitutional right, that hasn't stopped the courts from finding one (as was the case in Rowe -vs- Wade).

15. If gay marriage is found constitutional, it will not affect churches.  Wrong.  If the Supreme Court finds that the same sex marriage is a constitutional right, then this may force Catholic churches to marry same sex couples.  If churches refuse to do this, they may lose their tax-exempt status. This will eliminate many churches.  For some people on the left, this is the ultimate goal: to eliminate churches.  That's what happened in Communist Russia.  It Was the goal of fascism.  So you can see that such a decision will cause further conflict, and further divide our nation the same way the Rowe- vs- Wade decision did.

16.  Twenty-Five percent of Americans are gay?  It's true, a recent Gallup Poll showed that American adults believe 25% of Americans are gay.  The estimated population of the gay and lesbian population is thought to be 2%.  So why do people think the percentage is so high.  The answer may be because this number is beefed up by a liberal press and Hollywood.  According to Gay and Lesbian Against Defamation (GLAD), out of 813 scripted regulars, 32 are gay or lesbian. This means that 40% of characters on TV are gay or lesbian.  So, with the gay and lesbian population inflated in Hollywood, the warped view of the gay and lesbian population makes sense.  The truth is that the gay and lesbian population is 6 million, with only about half of them (about 3 million) championing for gay marriage.  Still, this small minority has had significant success in the U.S. in their efforts to change the traditional institution that has been the glue and fabric of traditional families in America.

17.  The high divorce rate shows traditional marriage doesn't work anyway.  Wrong.  Just because some people enter into the institution of marriage and fail doesn't mean it's the fault of the institution.  Not everyone is going to obey the rules of marriage.  Not everyone is going to succeed.  An institution is what it is; it is not defined by who enters into it. The problem with marriage is not the institution, it's certain groups of people who, based on their desires at that moment, leave people to think it is unfair that they cannot enter into it.  Certain people are the problem, it's not marriage. The problem is that certain people have been convinced that, based on the whims and wishes of the modern world, marriage is unfair and that everyone should be included.  They are the problem, not the institution of marriage.  Ideas change and people change, but marriage is unchanging.  However, if you change the definition to suit modern desires, then marriage has no meaning. Those who inculcate such change, they are the problem with marriage.  The institution of marriage, when left alone, has worked to hold societies together for over a thousand years. So, while certain marriages fail, marriage itself does not fail, so long as it's traditional nature, it's traditional definition as being between a man and a woman, holds true.

18.  Traditional marriage is unfair.  It is fair.  It is so that any man can marry any woman.  No two men can marry one another.  Every male and every female has an opportunity to enter into it, and all such unions have an equal opportunity to succeed.  It is up to the individuals to make it succeed. Some people, or groups of people, are made to think it is unfair because it doesn't offer them what they want (such as benefits), but that does not mean the institution of marriage in and of itself is unfair.  Fair is that people who cannot enter into it can find some other means to find happiness, benefits, or what have you.  Fair is that any man can marry any woman he wants, and any woman can marry any man she wants.  Fair is that, in most states, no man can marry another man, and no woman can marry another woman.  So long as the law is enforced equally, it is fair.

19.  Marriages do not hold families, cultures together.  Wrong.  Every study ever done on the subject shows that societies where traditional marriage is inculcated, children are 70-80% more likely to become productive members of society.  It has been proven over and over again.  There have been so many studies on this that I don't think it would serve any purpose to list just one here. This is one of the reasons why some people believe the best way to help impoverished people is to encourage marriage between one man and one woman.  This is the time tested best method of helping people and societies rise up out of poverty and to maintain productivity.  Yet once you allow same sex marriage, that changes the whole definition of marriage; it changes the whole meaning of it.  Marriage in this new sense has no meaning, and has no societal value other than to make people happy in the moment. People who worry about the attacks on traditional marriage worry about future implications of such action, such as the eventual breakdown of the society our forefathers worked so hard to build.

20.  Republicans/ conservatives/ Christians need to become more tolerant toward gays to maintain relevancy. The argument here is that we need to soften our image and become more tolerant in order to win future elections.  While homosexuality and transgenderism was once considered weird, they are now considered normal.  So, those who wish to defend old, worn out, conservative/ Christian values in favor of marriage as between a man and a woman are now considered weird. They are considered discriminatory, mean-spirited, bigoted, racist, homophobic, sexist, and misogynist.  They are considered deadbeats, dryballs, and sticks in the mud. So in order to stay relevant the republican party must change, or move forward.  This is a myth, because, if republicans caved on every issue like this, they would become democrats and liberals: there would be no difference between the two parties. The truth is that republicans/ conservatives/ Christians ARE tolerant toward all people, especially especially the gay community.  Our gay brothers and sisters need and deserve our prayers.  Rather than cave, republicans/ conservatives/ Christians need to become as good at getting their message out as the the 3 million who want to make gay marriage legal have.  We must explain that we love all our brethren, including our gay brethren. As Pope Francis once said, "A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: 'Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?' We must always consider the person." We must educate people that the quest to preserve tradition is a quest to preserve culture that is needed for a society to continue to exist, it is not an attack on the gay community. All the reasons to this are explained in my response to myths 1-19 above.

21.  All gays are democrats.  The truth is that many gays are republicans who humbly go about their lives. They do not try to force their views on the majority.

22.  Marriage is not a religious thing, it goes way back further than Christianity.  Wrong. It's not something that some slave owner 200 years ago invented specifically to discriminate against people. The first references to marriage anybody knows of are in Genesis. So you can say that the first references to marriage come from God.  Genesis 2:23-24:  "Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was staken out of Man."   "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh."  It's also reaffirmed in the New Testament in Matthew 19:4-6, "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh; so no longer two, they're one. What, therefore, God has joined together, let no man separate."  There was no solid definition of marriage before religion, and that's what the left wants to get back to.  They want there to be a watered down meaning to marriage so that religion has less meaning.  That's their goal.

23.  People are born gay.  Look, I'm no scientist and no doctor, and I don't think I'm any more qualified to know this is true or false than anyone.  And, just to repeat something here, I really don't think it really matters why people are gay.  As the old saying goes: "It is what it is."  We should respect people for what they are, and we should love everyone regardless of who they choose to spend their time with or who they choose to love.  In essence, this is what Jesus would want.  Still, that said, if you look at the logic of it, the idea that people are born gay doesn't make sense.  Look at it this way: The #1 objective of every species, of every one of God's creatures, is to procreate to keep the species alive. Think of it this way, environmentalists are concerned that the north white rhino and the Amur Leopard might go extinct.  Well, imagine if the only two of each of these animals were gay.  The species would go extinct.  Imagine if all white rhinos were gay as of ten years ago.  Then the species would have gone extinct long ago.  The truth to the matter is, you never hear about gay dogs, cats, lions, tigers, bears, rats, mice or cows.  In the same way, God (or nature, or the peanut butter ferry or whatever you believe) does not make gay people. Gay, like love, is a choice.  You choose it.  That's fine.  That's acceptable to me.

Bottom line: Any discussion in the arena of ideas should be made in light of the facts, and, to the best of my ability, I have attempted to allay myths about homosexual marriage using nothing but facts here, compared to "It sounds good" or "It makes me feel good."  Regardless, as a nation of God fearing people, we must love one another as Jesus loves us.  So, if I succeeded in allaying common misconceptions about gay marriage, you are now armed with the wisdom needed to further this discussion in the arena of ideas.

Further Reading: