Disappointment …

This is going to be one of those personal posts for me as it delves into my inner being but it needs to come out.  I think it is natural that when a person starts to realize his mortality that he tries to summarize his life and the world around him. For some it is about legacy, some just tr I have been doing that a lot the last few months. It is not that I  think I will die anytime soon but of course I have much more life behind me than ahead.

I have been searching for that one word to summarize my overall feelings about living in this world and that word seems to be “disappointment”. I know that sounds kind of dark and to some degree it is but it also  indicates that I have mostly dreamed of something better, 2017-01-03_13-00-01.pngmuch better for both me and humanity in general.

It is not that I think my life was wasted or I did not have much joy but instead it is about all the lost opportunities that presented themselves that I, or we as a corporate  group, failed to grab hold of.  For the most part I am happy with the way my life has turned out.  Even though I was late to the marriage scene I have enjoyed the 30+ years with my soulmate and wife. They are the same person by the way. 🙂 I had a well paying job and managed to stay with it for the 30 years necessary to get a pretty good lifetime pension. That is a very rare thing in this country today and I do feel fortunate for that.

On a personal level, I wished I had been able to have some kids. They would have helped shape my view of the future. That disappointment was primarily the result of not getting married earlier in life. Looking back that was likely due to my undiagnosed Asperger’s Syndrome hindering my social progress.

2017-01-03_12-53-48.pngI wish I had taken more time and had some form of guidance in my career choice.  I was really not tuned to be an engineer so I pretty much became a mediocre one.  I now say that I was just born 25 years to early. I found my natural occupation in the development of software (apps to all you younger guys). The logic that is required for that trade was a central part of my being all along and I just didn’t realize it. I am joyful that I did mange to work in that area the last 5 years of my career but that period was really just at the beginning of this current revolution.

I discovered early on my talents toward the written word but failed to do anything with it.  There were just no guidance counselors in my very small high school to help me in that regard. I effortlessly got A’s in all my English composition classes in both high school and college and that should have clued me that I was in the wrong field. Engineering is just not about writing.  Too many lost personal opportunities is a disappointment to me.

Looking beyond myself I am disappointed that the world is so divided into an us/them mentality and that constant wars and the resulting death seems to be the norm in my lifetime.   It is a disappointment that we spend more on our military complex than the rest of the world combined. Our obsession with guns is also an extreme disappointment.  If we could have stepped back from this dark trench we could have accomplished so many more things and saved so many lives.

I am disappointed….. with a tinge of regret I guess…

I Might Be More British Than American…

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When I came across this post in Instagram from my friends at BBC America I had a flashing thought that I may be more British than American.  I’m pretty sure my distant ancestors came from the Great British Empire a few hundred years ago so maybe it is in my blood.   I love looking at things from a philosophical angle and I devour almost everything on BBC America. We just seem to think the same way.

With two hundred and fifty years of history to look back on I kind of think we may have messed up by going our own way back then.  We were too impatient and impetuous to know what was good for us. British folks just seem to be more grounded than we Americans. Looking at our current political situation does nothing but to reinforce that feeling.

And then there are guns…  In Britain there are just not many of them around.  Even the police don’t carry them on their person while on patrol.  In a year the gun deaths in Britain equal about one weeks worth in the U.S.  Our obsession with guns is literally killing us. I, like my British friends, think that we could learn a lot about this from them if we only opened our minds.

Then there is medical care… In Britain it is just part of the social fabric of the nation that medical care is a right for everyone. We in the U.S. seem to believe it should be proportioned out depending on how much money you have.  In the U.S. we spend about $10,000 per person for healthcare. In Britain it is a little over $3,000 and if you listen to all the British expats in the U.S. they simply don’t see the U.S. version, if you can even get it, being any better than what they have at home.

These types of things have convinced me that I am more British than American.  The Brits say that Americans are basically brash in-your-face people and I for the most part see the same thing. I wonder what this country would look like if those young impertinent rebels had been defeated the same as the American South was during our Civil War?

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t see Britain as being superior in every way compared to the U.S. They have had their messy empire conquests the same as we have. Their basic belief in class and aristocracy turns me off and their politics sometimes almost border on the current insane politics of today in the U.S.  Nothing or no one is perfect but I still kind of think I may be more British than American…

I do love my country but I think we could learn a lot from  the rest of the world. If only we were not so brash and in-your-face to think that our way is the only way..

Guns and the Great USA…

I know guns are an emotional topic for many in this country. It is kind of like the immigration issue. Many of us have compassion for those who struggle to come to the “land of opportunity” but others see those coming, both legally and illegally, as someone to fear.  They fear they are rapists and murderers or at least taking away their jobs. Some see threats, some see love. I guess that is American diversity for you.

The sad fact is that there are now more guns in this country than there are people. I hear the latest episode of the guy to went in and shot over one hundred people has caused the gun model he used to fly off the shelves! How sick is that.  I also learned that those who own guns often times own many of them. It is not unusual to see “gun collectors” having dozens of guns in their collections.

In many ways America is a land of obsessions. We have the privilege of having most of the necessities in life satisfied and that allow us to unreasonably seek out unnecessary things. Then there are the survivalists among us who are preparing for doomsday. They say with their firepower to hold off the hordes they will be the ones who will survive. Personally I can’t imagine that kind of lifestyle that fixates on such a scenario.  Give me love not fear for the cornerstone of my life.

Guns, especially assault rifles, are solely a means of human destruction. To think that they are a necessity is absurd if you ask me. America is a land of obsession. The definition of obsessions that it is an unhealthy and compulsive preoccupation with something or someone.  Yeah, that fits gun ownership to a T but that is not our only obsession.

We seem to be obsessed with having whatever the marketers point us to.  Now it is not good enough to have a comfortable home to provide us with shelter.  Now we must have outdoor fire pits, outdoor kitchens, even living rooms. We must have the latest designs and will go into serious debt to get them.

Its great that America, the land of opportunity, provides us with the ability to obsess over whatever we want but acting on those obsessions can be a very damaging thing to ourselves and especially our society.

Guns need food. Starve them.

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Ammunition degrades because the gunpower inside of it does not last forever in the compressed state that it lives….

For most people, the decline in accuracy is mitigated somewhat by the fact that they never use their firearms for self-defense purposes. But it really can be a problem in the long-run. And that’s why ammo manufacturers are even more profitable than gun manufacturers.

Because ammunition is gun food, if we can starve the guns a bit, or change the way ammunition sales are regulated and controlled, perhaps we can change the way guns are used.

SOURCE: Guns need food. Starve them..

If you have read anything here you know that I am not a gun fan. I do believe that the second amendment was necessary 250 years ago because local militias were the standard for our country so we needed to make sure that people could supply their own guns.  The only militias around today are like those nuts in Oregon who want to shut down government, not protect it. The second amendment has simply outlived its time, kind of like saying a person of color is only 2/5 of a citizen. Neither apply in today’s society if they ever did in the past.

I personally know how addictive smoking is. It took me years to finally get up the courage to quit. I think guns are pretty much the same thing. The the power of guns are addictive; when you own a gun you hold the power to easily take away a life, especially the “bad” guys (but who are the bad guys varies depending on your attitude). Our addiction to guns is fed to us at a very early age. Well over half the video games sold today involve using guns. There are so many show on TV that show taking a life is just an ordinary thing.

I didn’t realize that bullets got old and needed to be regularly replaced.  The idea of bullets are the food for guns is a creative way to attack our obsession for these weapons of destruction. I like the idea of restricting ammunition purchases  as cited in the article but I would attack the problem from a different angle.

Let’s treat bullets the same as we do cigarettes:

  • We start with the premise that you have a right to own a gun but do you really need one?
  • We show very graphic pictures of the results of guns in our society.  Show how many more people getting killed by their own guns than killing people who might attack them. Show gory pictures of kids killing themselves or other kids accidentally with guns in the house.
  • We tax the hell out of bullets. Gradually increase the cost of bullets to compensate the damage they do. Make them so expensive that you must give up something you consider valuable in order to afford them.
  • Keep hitting on it so that eventually it will soak in that guns just aren’t worth the deadly cost of owning them.

I know it took years to go from almost half of us smoking to now where less than 17% of us do but it has eventually happened. Only the most excessively addicted still smoke.

I know it will be impossible to take away guns in any near term but we can, like cigarettes, eventually make people realize just how damaging  and costly they are to our society….

Guns don’t kill people, bullets do….