Sunday, November 6, 2016


According to Merriam Webster to objectify means to treat someone as an object rather than a person.

We hear that women are objectified by men all the time, reducing her to a soulless piece of meat. She exists for his pleasure only to indulge his fantasies. And some men do that, but so do women. 

Women objectify men and they objectify other women, granted they may be doing it for different reasons but they still do it. For many women men are reduced to dollar signs in conversation, oh he would be a great provider, so wasn’t that man just objectified? Seeing him as a cash register rather than a human being. How many times have we heard, oh he’s just a janitor, or she is just a waitress, that’s objectifying too. 

When a man or a woman sees someone they find attractive something goes off and it doesn’t have to be sexual. When you notice a person for their physical attributes or for the way they dress you don’t know anything about them, but something strikes you and it probably makes you feel good. And if you were to complement that person by making a comment (a civil one) it makes them feel good too. 

Shouting sexual innuendos at an attractive woman walking down the street goes way beyond objectifying, it’s rude and vulgar and chances are that person has a great deal of insecurity that he is trying to mask.   Relational interplay is important in our over digitized world and we will never be able to rid the world of vulgar, rude people - one needs to look no further than social media but all of us has the ability to make the exchanges positive rather than negative. And of course there is always that old saying we can fall back on; if you can’t say something nice keep it to yourself. 

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Is reality becoming less real?

Plato believed that what we take to be real, such as a mountain or a chair, is really an imperfect shadow of the eternal forms. An image that is being reflected from some distorted mirror giving us an intimation of what the true shape is. He also believed that the world we observe is just an illusion and that reality is hidden and unknowable to our senses and everything is made up of abstract entities known as the forms.

The only reality that exists is the reality we choose, and that explains why so many people live such unreal lives. Reality for them is Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat. They pull in all of the images from the outside to form their preferred reality and never allow the reality inside to assert itself. Enslaved by materialism, fakery and foolishness we cheer on sports teams and celebrities to end up watching a metaphor of ourselves. Yet someplace deep inside we know it’s a lie but we continue with the charade and live with the permanent contradiction because somehow it’s easier than facing reality.

Donald D. Hoffman, a cognitive scientist from U.C. Irvine studies perception, artificial intelligence and evolutionary game theory. He believes the world presented to us by our perceptions is nothing like reality and that evolution maximizes evolutionary fitness by driving truth to extinction. If that’s true then I guess those 60-100 million people that are homeless due to war and political instability have nothing to worry about. Or the 5 kids a day that die from child abuse, or the 49 million Americans that struggle every day to put food on the table or the 47 million currently enslaved in the world that have no way out have nothing to fear because their perception of their horrific life is nothing like what they think it is. Too much reality, don’t worry, we’ll just Photoshop it out. 

Monday, September 5, 2016

Why We Need Animal Protection Laws

               Imagine driving home one day and you notice the car ahead of you is slowing down slightly, you think they are having car problems so you slow down too, perhaps you can offer assistance. But instead you see someone in the car throwing a dog out of the window into the ditch and then speed off. Shocked and sickened you pull off of the road and run over to where the dog was thrown. You can tell the dog is alive and it appears that his back legs are broken so you carefully pick him up and usher him to the vet. You breathe a sigh of relief when the vet tells you he will make a full recovery. You find a home for him and now Rocket lives happily in Southern California. Unfortunately not all animals who are victims of animal cruelty are so lucky. It is difficult for us to comprehend anyone causing such harm to any animal but it is far more common than we realize which is why animal protection laws are so important.
 We’ve come a long way in improving our animal protection laws since 1641 when the first animal protection law was passed. Though the laws at that time were directed more towards working animals it was at least the start that would lay the groundwork for our current laws and we continue to make progress. Prior to 1986 only four states had laws against animal cruelty, now all fifty do. Illinois, Oregon, Maine, California and Michigan are the states offering the most protection with the harshest penalties while North Dakota, Utah, Wyoming, Iowa and Kentucky are the states lagging behind.
Animal cruelty is not limited to a violent act towards an animal but also includes any neglect and failing to provide for the animal’s general care and well-being. Most of us are aware that there is a strong correlation between violence towards animals and violence towards humans. This awareness has prompted law enforcement to take these crimes much more seriously. Earlier this year it was announced that animal abuse will now be considered a Group A felony prompting harsher punishment and penalties. The ASPCA estimates that in this country an animal is abused every ten seconds. Exact numbers are impossible to determine because much of the abuse goes unreported.

Animals offer us unconditional love and companionship, it is our responsibility to ensure they are protected and cared for which includes reporting any incidents of animal cruelty or neglect. Please take the time to check into your state and local animal protection laws to make sure the laws sufficiently guard against and punish animal cruelty. If they don’t offer adequate protection be the voice for those that don’t have one. 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Ladies, We Just Don't Get It!

There has been much discussion about abortion and Planned Parenthood in the news as of late and both sides seem to be getting more frustrated. The anger seems to be aimed at the women who utilize these clinics, yet no solution arises from all of the discussion, so I offer mine. 

Since it seems women don’t get it and continue to have indiscriminate, unprotected sex with men who have no intention of marrying us and then we wantonly get pregnant and march off to the abortion clinic only to have it ripped from our womb. 

Ladies, we don’t get it, and we can’t be trusted to do the right thing…so I think it’s time for those opposing women having control over their bodies try a new angle. Focus your attention on the men and leave it up to them to put an end to this insanity.  

The abortion issue is less complicated than it seems, because there is a simple solution; condoms. Okay, it isn’t perfect but if condoms were used consistently and properly with every sex act we would put a huge dent in unwanted pregnancies.   

After all they are 98% effective in preventing pregnancy, as well as preventing STD’s; so let’s put this issue to bed once and for all.  

Really, it’s that simple-isn’t it?

Monday, June 8, 2015

Once Upon A Time...

Imagine a place where there is harmony. You are surrounded by people who value the same things that you value; stability, security, integrity and mutual respect. Because you have similar values and you essentially want the same things for your future - crime is relatively rare. Of course there are disagreements and situations that need resolution but those resolutions are not difficult to come by because you gave the same vision for your future and the future of your children and the future looks good.

But one day others decided that you were too much alike; you lacked diversity and were too isolated from the cultures around the world. You needed to be more inclusive; embrace the other cultures of the world, bring them into your society and allow them to assimilate into your society so you could coexist.

So, being generous and open minded you decide that it will be a good thing to invite others in and extend your generosity to them so that they are able to enjoy the benefits your society has to offer. You are optimistic that they will learn from you and you will learn from them and together you can build an even better future for everyone.

But there is a problem with that. The other people that you so graciously accepted and welcomed into your society don’t want to assimilate. They aren’t interested in who you are as a community, they don’t care about your beliefs or your values. In fact, they despise your beliefs and your values and deride the way you act, the way you think, and the way you look. They believe women are second class citizens. They believe their culture is superior and believe everyone should accept it.

No one wants to be critical of the others because that would be offensive to them and their way of life, so no one says anything. The natives adapt to the others and make room for their intolerance and judgement; they make excuses for them and cover up their behavior.

Now imagine that same place some year’s later, violent crime has increased up by 300% and rape is up by 1472%. Only one other country, known for its violence against women has a higher incidence of rape than this country. That is and of itself is horrible; but the real tragedy is that those in charge are still making excuses for those others that see fit to commit violent acts against those who so unconditionally accepted them into their community. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A World of Illusions

We live in a world of illusions. Advertisers manipulate us with images of the life they think we want and all we have to do to get it is buy their product and that perfect life is ours.  So we go out and buy the product or whatever it is they are selling and are disappointed when nothing in our life changes. Advertisers lie to us, politicians lie to us constantly and then we lie to ourselves. We lie for many reasons; to maintain an image, to make others think we are something better or more interesting and we lie because we want to maintain some sort of control in an environment that at times seems overwhelming; after all the truth can be difficult. Advertisers and politicians get to us to think with our emotions rather than reason and logic and most of the time we aren’t even aware that it’s happening.

With all of the distractions and images surrounding us it’s easy to lose track of who we really are. We get tossed into categories that aim to define and limit us, but that isn’t the reality. We are individuals, each with unique personalities to be celebrated not restricted by a politician or advertisers narrow definition of who they think we are or should be. There is room for different opinions and different thoughts; that’s what this country was built on. Being true to yourself is the best gift you can give.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Two Front War on Women

Liberals and conservatives both seem to have some desperate need to place women into some narrowly defined box of what it means to be a woman. Conservatives speak of the traditional woman, liberals the liberated woman, what does that mean, who sets the definition of what that is? Is traditional defined by marriage and children or is it defined by what her ideology is and how she lives her life, can you be a traditional woman and not marry? There seems to be this prevalent attitude that a woman is somehow flawed if she fails to take the path society has laid out for her. If both conservatives and liberals believe in the individual and individual choice, why not let her decide what path is best suited for her?  
Marriage is not for everyone, raising a family is not for everyone, being single is not for everyone and why isn’t that okay? If you are a woman of a certain age and are childless you are judged. If you are a single mother (for whatever reason) you are judged. If you are a working mother you are judged, if you aren’t working you are judged. One size does not fit all and no, we don’t all want the same thing, both sides should celebrate that not attack it. We claim that we celebrate the individual and individual liberty but we attack those who choose a path we find distasteful or are unfamiliar with.  

While the numbers vary according to the source; on average 40-50% of marriages end in divorce, 60-67% of second marriages end in divorce and 73-74% third marriages do. Many more divorces are occurring with those over the age of 50; sociologists say the rate has doubled since the 1990’s and 66% of those divorces are initiated by women, one would have to wonder why?
AARP did a survey of dying people and asked what their biggest regrets were; the number one regret was not having the courage to live a life true to myself. That pretty much says it all. 

We are human beings before we are women and there is not a one size fits all.