While fact checking a speech

Yes, I do perform fact checking. Not on everything, but items that seem too good/bad to be true. So, I was listening to one of the Lake Land protesters during the walkout the other day. She made the claim that the number one cause of death for kids was gun violence. Now, I do not agree with everything that they are trying to accomplish with this push. I do support a couple of items such as; less kids being killed, and their involvement in the process. (More on this later) Do I want kids to be getting killed? No.

So I pulled up the numbers and the little lass was wrong, the claim was false for every age group. The most recent chart is below for your review. For the moment, let me focus on the age group of the speaker, 14-24.  Homicide, Firearm is 2nd after motor vehicle accidents. Have you heard anyone push for vehicular safely? Even with vehicles being a third more deadly… When you combine the numbers from all of the age groups, where do you think homicide, firearm falls in? 5th place.

So let’s consider how business and life works. You seek out the fastest, cheapest, and effective method to bring the best results, right? If we were really looking to reduce juvenile deaths, we would take our eyes to the bigger numbers right? Well, drivers are not to be vilified, there are too many of them. God forbid we overburden the police by having them actually enforce the traffic laws. We would need to pay for more of them so that they could perform the job. Don’t get me wrong, I like to police. I just think that they have been refocused away from the community policing that we need to build the social structure that is conducive to respect for oneself and others. A great example of that was the pilot program in Vancouver WA that put cameras on school buses to catch drivers putting out kids in harms way while getting on or off the bus. Why was it called off? it generated too many citations. Wait, what?!?  Initially it would be a revenue generator, then as respect (or fear) built up, the drivers would pay more attention and the tickets would taper off with safer drivers. I know at least one local girl died in this manner, more than died in the county by school shootings in the last ten years.

There are 37000+ high schools in the US. How many have had a real shooting? No, I personally do not count the bullshit numbers being padded in such as a window getting shot by a punk with a BB gun. However for expedience, I will count the data in an unfiltered manner from 01/01/00 to 03/14/18.

There were 268 deaths and 386 injuries. Too many I know, but if you listen to the media and rhetoric then you would think that the number was in four or five digits.

Since the various levels of government have already permitted plenty of infringements to the second amendment, what will a very small amount more hurt right? It isn’t like I am going to pay attention to them. So let’s look at what may have some impact.

Good background checks, that are not as moronic as the no-fly list. There has to be due process to individuals being named. We have enough people listed on the no-fly because their name sounds foreign.

Mandated weapons security, safe, lock, other similar manners to keep arms limited to proper owners.

Illegal immigrants in possession of a firearm, immediate deportation after due process.

 

I am quite curious why suicide (in any manner) is listed as an “Unintentional Injury Death”. By the very definition of suicide, it is intentional and should not be included on this table. Another oddity in the results was that from 25-64 the leading cause was unintentional poisoning. No ideas there yet, but I found it notable.

https://www.cdc.gov/injury/images/lc-charts/leading_causes_of_injury_deaths_unintentional_injury_2015_1050w760h.gif

What is the controversy in 13 Reasons Why?

Over the last couple of days Gigglez and I have binge watched “13 Reasons Why” (https://www.netflix.com/title/80117470). The general premise is simple, yet quite complex.  A high school junior commits suicide, but before she does, records a series of audio tapes. These tapes involve all of those that contributed to her decision to end her life. Each person on the tapes are to listen to them and pass them onto the next person.

I think that this may be the most important series that I have watched in quite some time. The level of passion in the work harkens back to Dead Poets Society. Reaching deeply into the high school minds.

I am a fan of what Stephen King says about banned or censored works:

“Censorship and the suppression of reading materials are rarely about family values and almost always about control about who is
snapping the whip, who is saying no, and who is saying go. Censorship’s bottom line is this: if the novel Christine offends me, I don’t want just to make sure it’s kept from my kid; I want to make sure it’s kept from your kid, as well, and all the kids. This bit of intellectual arrogance, undemocratic and as old as time, is best expressed this way: “If it’s bad for me and my family, it’s bad for everyone’s family.”

Yet when books are run out of school classrooms and even out
of school libraries as a result of this idea, I’m never much disturbed not as a citizen, not as a writer, not even as a schoolteacher . . . which I used to be. What I tell kids is, Don’t get mad, get even. Don’t spend time waving signs or carrying petitions around the neighborhood. Instead, run, don’t walk, to the nearest nonschool library or to the local bookstore and get whatever it was that they banned. Read whatever they’re trying to keep out of your eyes and your brain, because that’s exactly what you need to know.” 
― Stephen King

So, as controversy is starting to stir, we decided to see why. What is the idea that “they” did not want us to see?  Was it the sex, drugs, suicide, free thought, bullying, or what? The negative press is asserting that the show is somehow condoning suicide, rape, drugs, and alcohol.  We simply did not find that to be the case. We found it to be illuminating the problems rather than glorifying them.

This series draws you in tightly with a broad spectrum of demographics and personalities. The cast was convincing in their roles.  Their portrayals caused emotional response and reflection for me.  It may be too hot of a topic for the various award giving entities to give the appropriate accolades.

Katherine Langford plays the role of the girl who chose to end her life. The life, death, and everything in between had such vibrancy it was the girl next door.

Dylan Minnette, the male lead, pulled of his role to such quality that it had me thinking of my youth. Back came the memories of the girls that I wished that I had the courage to approach. The cheerleader in math class, everyday taunting my middle school mind.

I think the one who stood out most for me was Kate Walsh. She played the grieving mother, struggling to come to terms with what happened with her cherished daughter. Why did she lose her daughter and could there have been anything that she or the school could have done to prevent it.  I could see in her the pain of all of the mothers who have lost a child. I have enjoyed her work since Gray’s Anatomy, but this role was far beyond the characters that I have seen her in before.  I know that she has kids, and that may have been part of what propelled the emotional buy-in that we saw. It was an utterly stunning role to see her play out.

As the series unfolds and we see more and more of the factors come to light it is difficult to watch as you know what is about to happen.  I am being mindful of spoilers so there is much more that I would like to say, but, it would be better for you to watch for yourself.  The episodes delve into areas that we wish did not exist, and for some, pretend that they don’t.  Guess what people, kids are mean, bullies exist, sex is had (consensual and rape), drugs and alcohol gets consumed.  When you watch this series (and I hope that you do if you have the strength) take the time to watch the follow-up episode.  The breakdown of the rationale for the way that certain scenes were carried out was quite valuable.

My wife and I were both reminded of those that we lost in our youth. The names, and faces from the past. We lost people, almost lost people and have had some that we reached out to when we were worried. In the end we cannot help but wonder how many times we missed a friend in need.  We also have to think about how something we may have said, or NOT said could have nudged someone to a darker place without meaning to, or realizing it.

Where does this leave our society? We need to be more thoughtful in how we interact and raise our kids. We have to be open, mindful, watchful, and communicative.  It is too bad that we cannot instill the golden rule upon our kids and have it stick with them for their entire lives. We are not perfect, nor are our kids.

 

should teen dads be forced to stay out of sports or other extra cirriculars until the mother is back to school?

I think the title pretty much covers the question.

Not much to add.

Should religious schools be required to teach health/sexual education from a non-religious perspective?

Does theology trump general health?
Can the nation decide that there be a minimum level of sexual education that must be provided by schools regardless of the school religious beliefs?

Should people between the ages of 18 and 20 be allowed to drink adult beverages that contain a lowered alcohol content?

You know years ago, I was in Colorado and found that they had a great set of alcohol laws.

If you are between 18 and 21 you could drink 3.2 beer.
Once you reached 21, then you could go to regular 6.0 bars and liquor bars.

Lets also add the fact that we have vets that have put their lives on the line, but they are minors and can’t buy a beer? What kind of bullshit is that?

Saggy Pants Are Gay

Now, I actually have a theory with this. (would you expect anything less?)

I have done a mini survey on the subject.

So far, I have not found a single person that finds the saggy pants look to be the least bit attractive.

With that in mind, guys must find it attractive when those belt lines are drooping so far south that you can drop a 12 inch crescent wrench in there. It doesn’t matter if there are a pair of boxers hiked up to cover or not. The only woman that I has seen wearing her pants like that was a  BULL dyke.

So if you are running around with  your pants hangin’ low , you must be looking for someone to run some pipe in the back door.