Thursday, May 26, 2016

Personality Ambiguity

There is a very difficult discussion I would like to broach.  Some discussion have easy answers, at least they do when one's politics and belief are aligned with the problem.  Some issues are either black or white, like the issues of voting for a conservative or a liberal when you clearly identify with one or the other of those specific philosophies.  
There are some issues that are much more difficult to ascertain like the issue of womans rights over the rights of the unborn child and it’s one of these types of issues that I want to bring to your attention.  The issue of gender association was to me a black and white issue.  My initial perception was that everyone is either a male or female with no variance allowed for crossover discussions needed.  I based my preliminary opinion on the now faulty genetic predisposition of all newborns being either a boy or a girl and in part upon my own experiences having ten children.  Each of our children were born without any issues about their sexuality and no need for genetic testing to ascertain their true gender identity, that was my experience and so it should have been for all.
I have since learned that 1 in every 1,200 to 1,500 (this number varies wildly depending on the statistics used) but I have decided to use the WHO (World Health Organization figures) babies born are born with an Ambiguous genitalia (Ambiguous genitalia is a birth defect of the sex organs that makes it unclear whether an affected newborn is a girl or boy).  The ambiguity is often very easy to ascertain with some parts much more pronounced than others making the choice by the parent’s fairly straightforward.  For example: a child maybe born having both a vulva and testicles. Associated intersex conditions for male babies include hypospadias, where the urethral opening is located in an unusual position such as the underside of the penis.
Further diagnosis then becomes important and this may include: physical examination hormone tests using blood, urine or both, genetic tests using blood, urine or both, ultrasound scan, x-rays blood tests, genetic testing.  For most of the aforementioned tests, I could not a find a definitive statistic to verify the results.  Most ambiguous genitalia births are easily solved through the use of testing with most children, again no verifiable conclusion, living normal and productive lives.
The issues arise when parents and doctors rely upon feelings and wishes or hopes rather than the science to determine sex.  A mother may wish to have boy and pushes the boundaries of the ambiguity toward her choice rather than the scientific conclusion of genetics.  See the story of Jim Bruce
There are many stories just like this one and it brings to mind the problems associated with making important decisions based on desire.  The parents in this case desired that their child be a girl and had his male parts removed.  There were no genetic tests done at that time and in their defense they did what they thought was prudent but that choice was wrong, at least according to their now identified male son, having come to the conclusion that he always felt like a male.
In tackling the issue of gender identification the desire to be something regardless of the reality of the science has become an issue, not just genetic disposition but an issue of rights and freedom. The rights of choice of an individual vs. the rights of society and the morality of that society.
I can hear the anti-moralist screaming now.  How can you bring morality into it?  How dare you suggest that my choice should somehow be mitigated by society?  “I am what I am” and  “I am what I feel I am”.  If we can simply choose to be what we want to be then why can’t a 45 year old, overweight sexually stifled male decide to be a teenage female and walk into the girl’s locker room? 

Facebook has joined the confusion by listing every gender choice available to date….Agender, Androgyne, Androgynous, Bigender, Cis, Cisgender, Cis Female , Cis Male, Cis Man, Cis Woman, Cisgender Female, Cisgender Male, Cisgender Man, Cisgender Woman, Female to Male, FTM, Gender Fluid, Gender Nonconforming, Gender Questioning, Gender Variant, Genderqueer, Intersex, Male to Female, MTF, Neither, Neutrois…..The list goes on and on.
Despite the complexity of understanding the various choices what does one do when they use the Neither choice?  What does neither mean in this context?
My concern over this overly permissive process is in the long term effects it will have on our society.  Again with the Society….Society in any form is the process of grouping individuals into an agreed convention of behavior.  Some will wish to argue that there is no need for society and that anarchy should be allowed but even those who want too, not belong, will eventually have to associate in order to protect themselves from the brutality that will assuredly develop in the absence of a social order.  
Everyone has the choice to be whomever they wish to be.  There are obvious limitation in opportunity, however there are limitations in wanting to be whatever you want.  I want to be a fighter pilot (not really) but if I did I would have to look at the reality of what it takes to be a fighter pilot. I am too tall, I am too old, I get motion sick way to easy and I doubt if any government or major airline (not that they have guns mounted on their wings) would give me the chance.  But my desire to be a pilot should supersede all else.  I WANT TO BE A PILOT ….I AM A PILOT SO TREAT ME LIKE ONE is simply not realistic.
I want to be a billionaire, or a great artist.  I want to be a woman….or I want to be a man.  We know there are some real issues with a portion of our population and these individuals need our help and our understanding.  Most scientific research agrees that the number of affected children with Gender Ambiguity is closer to 1 in 4500 rather than the W.H.O. 1 in 1200, but the numbers are not the issue  The issue is getting better at determining the predominant sex of an individual and assisting that person to become what they were designed to become.    
Choice is not the issue.  Especially when that choice has social ramifications that will eventually destroy the very fabric of any given society.  I know there are some very small societies that allow for a more permissive life and are to some extent gender neutral but women still are the only ones who give birth and men are needed to inseminate, both sexes are essential and are defined in their distinct roles and those roles will remain distinct and different despite the roles one wants to personally assign themselves.  
If we continue down this road of personal ambiguity the defined lines of gender may be blurred and the roles of men and women may change but nothing will ever change the natural facts that woman bear children and men inseminate.  I don’t want to hear from those women who say they don’t need a man.  They may not need a man but they need men in some capacity in order to be inseminated or adopt from some previous insemination etc….
What will change is the focus of morality and the blurring of a society that supports those most basic, fundamental and natural roles that have been placed on all of us, even for those who start life with some ambiguity the need to be defined is essential not only for the individual but for family and the societies that are built upon those essential family foundations.  If you want to be considered Neutral just remember what the word means ... having no strongly marked or positive characteristics or features. "the tone was neutral, devoid of sentiment"
You may want to consider being nothing of neutral instead, that might make it easier on everyone else who actually see’s you as somebody.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Good leaders make good governments

Every where we turn there is a new emphasis on some new program, some new method that promises to improve and enhance our lives.  This is especially true with education, where every new administration has to have their gold seal of approval for some new curriculum in order to make them selves look good and create some all important reason for spending the millions they spend, even if everyone knows that nothing will change.

Politically the same motivation creates a fervor of activity around useless changes that invariably only affect the bloated psyche of those initiating the change.  The reality of politics is found firmly within this concept of constant change with the ignorant hope of those that follow that true change will eventually occur.  We all know, we have all learned that change for change sake does nothing to solidify a plan of action toward the eventual solution that supposedly plagues our lives, problems that are the direct result of those bloated leaders who rely on the gasping hopes of the insanely ignorant rather than the statesmen like efforts of true leadership.

From a broad perspective even the basic differences of political power have little to do with the reality that each proclaim, leaving most of us with an unfounded perspective of the true nature of these seemingly divergent philosophies.  Is communism really evil?  Are the republicans really only support big business?  Are the Democrats solely responsible for dismal economic conditions of our country?  Is socialism the standard precursor of communism and is fascism the birth place of megalomaniacs?

There are hundreds of other questions that can be asked and to honest there is really no solid evidence that any of the above is absolutely true.  We know that republicans are not all for big business. I am a republican and I deplore the actions of multinational corporations that have only the bottom line to consider when making important decisions.  I know responsible Democrats who are fiscally accountable and I can think of a few successful socialistic countries that serve their population very well.

There are even a few fascist states that do not abuse their countrymen but most of those have “good leaders” that manage their countries affairs for the benefit of the people.  I am however hard pressed to find a healthy example of communism but in history there have been attempts at communalism with some more successful than others, leading me to believe that the possibility for success is their with the right frame of mind and a balanced leadership that enjoys the same level of responsibility as their countrymen, perhaps not unlike the differences between a good and bad monarch…

 The point I am trying to make is that in our convoluted world we have many examples of failures but very few examples of success in relation to the different styles of government.  What we do have are complex amalgamations of all the above with numerous examples of failure within all types of governments but only a few with a track record of continues success.

Capitalism is by far the most successful governmental philosophy.  It may not be liked as the most idyllic but when balanced with the others it has succeeded.  The reason for the success is primarily due to the pursuit of money and commerce and the overriding balance that is forced on all it’s participants that is driven by a monetary rule of law.

Even with these obvious successes with capitalism the need to manipulate, fudge, influence and distort becomes so overwhelming that the elected leaders seem incapable of defending their honor and integrity and fall head long into the game of the bloated psyche, quickly becoming the very person they promised never to become.  So many are called but so few are chosen, and why are they not chosen? “We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion”. (D and C section 121)

Good men turn bad, good men become selfish and bloated to their own importance rather than seeking the pleasures of “true service” and devotion.  It is my opinion that almost any governmental philosophy would be effective if the men and women who are asked to lead would do so with the right purpose of mind. 

Even communism would be successful if the leadership was true and devoted, living by the example that they propose.  For in the heights of leadership divine the followers would seek to climb the lofty branches that are made clear only by those who reach down to help them rise.

Republicans, Democrats, Socialists, Theocracies and Communist can all succeed if they have “good” people who care about the people they serve.  The difference however is that with Capitalism, money is the arbiter of good and evil, money is the motivator, money creates the balance and in some large measure, at least it has in the past, prevents the evil and bloated from destroying the freedoms inherent through the electoral process of most capitalistic style governments. 

As a realist I like to think that my political choice, in some degree, transcends the bickering and blustering of those who know nothing of the realities and differences of each party or system.  I like to think that even though I am a conservative and strongly believe in metered changes and not in wholesale hope of every new scheme I have the heart to accept the hearts of others and like all others, I hope that our elected leaders will be honest and capable and good. Don’t you feel the same?

It may be too late to seek our and support that “good” candidate but we can still unify and demand whoever is chosen as our leader to be good and act in a way that serves our collected needs and not our individual and selfish desires.  

Friday, May 6, 2016

Darwin had a mother

I want to pay homage, not only to my mother who passed years ago but to the mother of my children.  I want to do so in a very peculiar way.  When each of our 10 children was born there were differences in the pregnancy and surprises at birth.  We choose not to be informed of the sex of the children, rather relishing the surprise at birth for the child my wife cared for during gestation. 

My humility is enhanced each time I delve into the pain, the joy, the surprise and the ultimate unknown as the responsibility of a new life is placed in our hands.  We all know the mechanics of life but rarely do we discuss the foundational principles that allow life to flourish, in all its diversity. It is for this that I give thanks.  My wife and mothers around the world have suffered the trials of birth just so they can be mothers. 

Being a mother for most woman is a profoundly spiritual and holy experience.  The connection of body and soul, between a mother and child transcend explanation.  There is more than just the physical manifestation of nature and the resulting birth; there is a union of cells, a commonality of genetics and a spiritual blending of one life with another through the ultimate amalgamation of life, in all its diversity.  There must needs be a foundational process that ensures that union and assures the success of life through the process of acceptance and opportunity.

How do we explain the severity of diversity within the universal commonality of our shared genetic similarity?  From the lowly Tree Spine Starfish to one of the greatest minds in over a thousand years, Albert Einstein, (my opinion) the similarities of our related genome motivate our thoughts to conclude a singular source of creation and the subsequent evolution of all life.  How do we justify the diversity within our own families when the commonality of resources is known and somewhat quantifiable? 

There are theories that propose a standard of creation similar to the needed standard instituted ions ago to ensure structural integrity (stay with me), a learned process perhaps, but a process of universal adaptation that ensures protection for all that is built and constructed by man, presupposing natural areas of learned skill beyond those derived solely by man.

The variety of building styles and uses is not as extensive as the genome of humanity but it provides a healthy insight into the ultimate need for a foundational process of creation.  The variety of building styles throughout history, at least the successful ones all have the commonalty of a foundation, the essential aspect of that success being a workable and duplicable foundation. 

There are raised foundations, slabs; stem walls, pylons, etc…Each can be viewed as an essential pinion for constructing the usable portions of any building or habitat.  Failure to adhere to these basic principles negates any process of building and will ultimately ensure its rapid demise. The foundational approach to life is just as essential as our need to create a balance in our lives and generally we learn quite early that without some foundation the tendrils of our experiences either move toward establishing a more permanent foundation or they slowly and inexorably destroy the connectedness of  the cement that acts as a foundational material, leaving our structures weak and susceptible to the elements and invariably weaken our personal resolve toward greater and substantial life events.

3.2 billion, that's how many base pairs—or sets of genetic "letters"—make up the human genome. In order to list all those letters, a person would have to type 60 words per minute, 8 hours a day, for about 50 years! However, humans are by no means the species with the most base pairs. The marbled lungfish (Protopterus aethiopicus) has about 133 billion of them in its genome.  Comparing these genetic pairs has become a very lucrative process and an essential part of our ultimate understanding of who and what we are as humans and in comparing our DNA with those of other living things. 

Scouring the Web, here is what I have found so far.   This was taken from: 

- Chimpanzees are 96% to 98% similar to humans, depending on how it is calculated. 
- Cats have 90% of homologous genes with humans, 82% with dogs, 80% with cows, 79% with chimpanzees, 69% with rats and 67% with mice. 
- Cows (Bos taurus) are 80% genetically similar to humans. 
- 75% of mouse genes have equivalents in humans, 90% of the mouse genome could be lined up with a region on the human genome, 99% of mouse genes turn out to have analogues in humans.
- The fruit fly (Drosophila) shares about 60% of its DNA with humans.
- About 60% of chicken genes correspond to a similar human gene. 

Another resource to consider is: HomoloGene.

The fact of association by similarity is well documented and has been used for decades to support the evolutionary process, considering the unity of our shared genes as a symbol of a common ancestry.  But when compared to the analogy of a foundation the alternate theory of association is only a result of using a pre-determined process of creation rather than the happenstance of a multi-millennial process of evolving from a single cellular creature to the most complex creatures of today.  The water flea just so happens to be the most complex yet discovered with 25% more genes than humans. I guess size does not matter, at least in this case.

The theory of evolution is a formidable philosophy with scientific evidence being amassed in droves and with the support of thousands of scientist and supported by the overall mainstream of education that promotes the process as originally outlined by Darwin.  Almost without opposition, most believe in some aspects of evolution with many theologians siding in part behind the juggernaut of a God driven creation using evolution as His medium of delivery.

As humans we have often generated processes based on replication to ensure continuity.  That continuity saves time and resources and ensures stability in the processes that can be duplicated.  The gaming industry relies heavily on platform design to create the foundational process to lighten the load of creativity by utilizing pre-set programming to establish a matrix of possibilities.  Many of the most popular games use the same foundational programs.  Gamers very seldom know the difference in the creative process and only enjoy the external aspects of the game but like a foundation of any kind the beauty of the finished product is enhances and supported by that essential foundation.  Mostly unseen the structural necessity is essential if the product is to last and to eventually sell. 

Evolutionary theory studies the effects of change from one species to another and relies upon those innate similarities to enhance its viability and continues to rely upon the premise that from a single cell and billions of years the plethora of life now exists.  Would we look at a building as an evolutionary change from one house or building to the next just because their foundational processes agree?  Or would we see commonality and association of life from a singular bag of cement and some nearby trees?

As you’ve probably already guessed I am not a geneticist, nor am I a scientist but when we’re looking at the process of creation over billions and billions of years I doubt many would be qualified to view the reality of what happened and how life actually got started.

I am a religious believer, hence the spiritual bent and the need to discuss the possibility of an alternate avenue of thinking that includes the creation of man and in this case the joy of motherhood with life in general from the planned process of a foundational network of standards that in the least guides the genome into their specific purposes.  Modifications of life do occur and will continue to take place within the programs foundational guidelines, allowing life to improve and to adapt or evolve in order to enhance our collective experience.

All life reproduces and those standards of reproduction can either be seen as a result of a common genome and the evolutionary process or the foundational principles that allow life to flourish.  Since man tends to move toward organized processes in all that we do the assumption, at least for me, is that we inherited that design and promote the practice as it was used to create our life and all life. 

The question can be asked, is the drive of mothers to have children simply a “natural” result of evolution or a planned process of procreation?  Evolution may suggest that the need for mothers is nothing more than a billion year old process to ensure life continuity but the overall process of life in general demands more than just a singular drive to procreate.  Mothers are an essential part of the foundational fabric that was designed to ensure a connection between both mother and child and mother and the creator.

The process of creation can be seen most acutely with the mother and child relationship.   In all aspects of life when the passage of genetic material is complete and the consequent life has been instituted the process should be considered as a planned and not haphazard or by chance.  The foundational process was established and continues to build upon itself with the unimaginable opportunities that all life has in store.

Happy Mother Day…. 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

No one hears

Over the past several months I’ve been dealing with a dilemma at work.  Most of you know that I am a teacher and I spend all my time helping those with special needs (that is not my problem).  The problem is with some of the other teachers who I believe are in need of special services… just kidding of course. 

These are not major problems by any means and I want to emphatically state that to a person I enjoy a majority of our conversations and enjoy the perspective that many bring to the table and in this case there really is a table, the lunch table where we often engage in spirited conversations.

The problem is, as long as I tone down my rhetoric everything is fine and when I say tone it down I mean refuse to honestly open up about my politics or even my religion.  On the few occasions that those topics were broached the very nature of the conversation changed.  I often sense a drastic cooling in the room when I start to mention my personal beliefs and on a few other occasions had I not backed off the conversation would have turned heated, not from my end I am proud to say.

The problem is in the democratic sharing of ideas that are to me the foundation of our great country and the only way I believe to develop a solid foundation for alternating beliefs.  But the dogmatic rhetoric within this school and most schools is disturbing as it presents a wholly one sided view and not the preached eclectic openness of liberalism that is espoused and supposed to helps all to learn.  It’s ok for me to sit and listen while other spout off their likes and dislikes about this candidate or this policy but when I interject with a more conservative view the process of democracy is quickly stifled. 

Ooh their polite and many would rather walk away then have to confront someone who thinks differently than they do, but when a discussion is sidelined by non participation then the process of discussion is over, leaving every one less informed and less able to overcome the major differences that exist in every avenue of life and work.

I am one who likes to discuss and I like to banter back and forth with the idea that I may actually learn from the others point of view, but the opposite is very rarely true with the others spewing their lines like automatons programmed to respond only in a very specific and pre-planned way, with their ears turned off so that if any divergent ideas seek audience in their brain it can be summarily removed before any real damage can occur. 

I have purposely left off all reference to my school and will not even mention the names nor change the names to protect the innocent.  The specific individuals matter little in relation to the overriding void of openness that should exist as the educated speak and ponder those ideas presented.

For many years I have been vocal about the issues I saw as important.  It’s easy to do as a blogger but almost impossible to do as an educator.  If I did decide to voice my opinions almost immediately a cloud of discord showers down the liberal line, drenching me in a diatribe of illogical and honestly, irrationality, that stems from too many years of following the wake of some great ship, thinking that the waves will protect if only we stay in close proximity to those ideas, never realizing the true danger of those waves and the easy in which they can pull you under the boat and shred you to ribbons by the powerful propellers.  The wake of the boat increases in danger the closer you actually get to the boat.  In other words, the more inline you are with one singular thought the less able you are to accept the truths that are so often in abundance, if one is really able to or willing to listen.

There are only a few teachers that would even entertain a discussion of voting for the conservative or even the non democrat, most getting visibly disturbed by the very act of breaking their life long bubble of perception with no variance available toward consideration of another’s point of view to ever consider the possibility of change.

Just the other day I was in a polite conversation with a language teacher who I have talked to in the past with most of our conversations surrounding the unconcerned areas of life and the safe areas of politics, meaning I simply agreed and let them talk while I nodded my head to be polite, not wanting to offend in any way.  But the conversation turned to religion and I was asked what church I attended?  My answer was direct and to the point as I stated that I was a “Latter Day Saint” with the needed attachment that we are also called “Mormons”. 

Almost from one breath to the next the conversation went from cordial and friendly to the other party standing up and making excuses for having to leave and a subsequent issue of no contact with only a polite but curt greeting in the hall.  The question arises, why would my choice of religious offend another?  Do they not have that same choice and why is it that my choice is not as valid as their choice?  Does not the same logic follow all of our choices? 

I know politics and religion are two volatile subjects that are often encouraged not to be broached but my question is why?  I feel strongly about who I am and how I can retain my understanding of myself and my fellow man though the process of self examination and study.   I enjoy learning from others and receive great satisfaction when profitable discussions can be achieved with the almost mandatory segregation due some illogical discord based on inaccurate perceptions.

The problem is not just around my work room table but seems to be a rampant issue across this great land.  We as a country have lost the ability to openly discuss and share, holding the principles of mutual respect to guide our thoughts into learning from each and with no overall principle of conversion from either side.

Many shed their logical skins when Mormonism is even mentioned, feeling uncomfortable with the whole idea that as a Christ centered Mormon I can have profound feelings for the Son of God.  So often parishioners have heard the propaganda of horns on our heads and lecherous activities within our temples and the ideas of having multiple wives leading many to conclude that the Warren Jeffers crowd and the LDS Church are one in the same….Not even close.

It’s not in the misunderstandings that bother me but in the ignorant refusal to discuss our differences.  In both religion and politics the inner sanctum of ones mind often overshadows the practical as screaming priests or politicians can be heard in the minds of the weak telling them to ignore whatever is being said, regardless of the truth. 

It is primarily due to my belief that I seek to further my foundations of truth.  I can read, ponder, even pray to find the truth but only when I live what I believe will the truth of my decisions be known, for “faith has to proceed the miracles of belief”…Spencer Kimball. 

Even within politics the religious fervor of one party over another transcends the common sense and destroys all rationality.  One of the teachers asked who I was voting for, thinking that I would have taken the Educational side and chosen either Sanders or Hillary,  When I mentioned Trump the room went quiet before the storm of reprisal and the negative slurs began in Ernest and unabated until I either stopped defending my life or I left the room.
When was it OK to disregard the beliefs of one over the beliefs of the others?  When was it OK to demand a belief prior to participating in a conversation?  Do we all have to agree on everything?  If I like blue and you like red does that make me wrong or you conversely more right than me?  When did this country become so rude and inconsiderate?  And when did my beliefs create in others the need to lambaste and condemn me for those beliefs? 

I will most likely continue my soft footed approach to lunch room discussions but I will never back down when my thoughts or my beliefs are converted to hate and revulsion from others that do not agree.  Let me close with this.  I am a Mormon.  I believe in Christ as the Son of God.  I am a Christian by all rights and would like to remind all who disagree that the name of my Church is the Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints.  What’s the name of your church and what does that say about your devotion?

My politics are Christ centered with the overriding belief that teaching a man to fish is ultimately the goal of any social or welfare system.  I believe in honesty and integrity and search the candidates for those who are honest, capable and electable.  I believe in the constitution and its divine origination. 

So if you don’t agree with my stance, at least have the maturity to agree but disagree and leave the name calling to those who are truly ignorant.