Tennessee shooting shows Trans treatments can lead to tragedy.

Let’s start this discussion by briefly considering our educational system.

In the 19th century, Prussia introduced the world to a new education system. It was thought to be better than the old education system which had been somewhat optional, less structured and less performance based. Prussia wanted an education system to regiment good workers, good citizens, and a stronger more skilled society ready for the industrialization of Prussia and the wider world.

Today’s neoliberal education system retains performance testing, and mandatory attendance but also uses computers to evaluate and measure performance in new ways. Learning plasticity is a well known feature of young minds. Children have an appetite to learn what they are interested in and their interests can be expanded by exposing them to new information and engaging them in problem solving. They also are in need of personalized guidance to help them to reach their innate potentials.

What worries me about today’s education system is the goal of neoliberal educators to redesign children into whatever someone imagines that society needs. The idea that children are a blank slate ready to be formed into anything is a persistent one that comes from the past.

This notion comes from John Locke’s tabula rasa. It contradicts the idea of innatism, where people are thought have inborn knowledge that comes without training. Genetics studies of identical twins shows that even when they are brought up in different environments, identical twins share a lot of similarity as adults. They share so many traits that it must be true that our genes strongly effect our aptitudes and choices.

After the panic that was generated from 2019-2023 over C-19, when children were required to wear masks and many stayed home for an extended period, children have shown increased stress and mental illness.

Children have also recently been exposed to radical philosophies about human sexuality and the political push to change the sex of children to be different from their biology. Children have also been required to be obedient to mask wearing and other radical indoctrinations.

Even many universities have a mission these days to indoctrinate instead of educate. Debate was once an accepted part of the learning dialogue, so I’m sorry to see indocrination taking the place of open discussions.

Children are becoming suspicious of adults. They aren’t friendly towards people they pass on the street. They look worried. I’m worried that they are being harmed by troublesome political ideologies that go against what is most human about us: our curiosity, our search for fun, the investigation of life for something new to learn about, the ability to change our mind as we learn more or meet someone who sees the world differently.

I hope that all teachers and parents and superintendents will remember that each child is unique and special and each has a chance to make choices that can allow them to achieve what some others may not be able to do. Please don’t try to reshape people for an imaginary world where reality is optional. Reality is still as real as it ever was.

Let children grow up to be whatever they are meant to become because of who they are born to be. Open up their opportunities to learn, but let them find their own way. Don’t try to force them into becoming something or someone that they aren’t innately suited to be.

When I consider the Tennessee shooting that happened recently involving a 28 year old trans-person, I imagine that tragedy and violence broke out because the shooter was medicated outside the envelope of what nature intended. In previous shootings, the prevalence of phycho-active drugs was a recurrent feature. In this case, how many drugs were involved that made this shooter an unstable and violent person?

If you are an adult Trans person I think you can try to be whatever you want to try to be. But leave sexually immature children alone. Treatments on children to alter sexuality should stop immediately. Some states have already drafted laws to make trans treatments of children illegal. Because trans treatments are harmful. Indoctrinating children to believe that they can change their sex is a lie. Changing a person’s sex isn’t possible and creates suffering.

I know that some doctors have been making money on trans-treatments even though some people who undergo trans treatment eventually experience regrets about doing that. Even when parents and their children choose childhood trans treatment, I don’t think they should be able get it. Childhood is a time of self-discovery. Children can be vulnerable when they explore. Irreversible gender damage during childhood should be avoided and made illegal.

I also think that trans athletes that are born male don’t belong in women’s sports where they have a biological advantage. Many others see these trans participants as cheaters that win a prize they don’t deserve.

There are monumental attemps at creating trouble in our political discourse and chaos in general (here I remember Chaos and Control from Get Smart). The trans movement seems to be disruptive for the purpose of creating chaos. In my whole life, I’ve only met two trans persons.

The whole trans movement seems to fulfill the purpose of creating a distraction to hide crimes being committed by a criminal elite. These elite operatives aren’t being prosecuted for a variety of crimes since at least 2007. Recent crimes include: bank fraud (SVB, FTX), probable money laundering in the Ukraine, illegal arrests and failure to adjudicate arrestees from Jan 6th, illegal prosecution against Donald Trump, treason, and widespread corruption. This breakdown in the rule of law bodes ill for our nation.

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Foucault could distinguish between rationality and a rationalization.

My husband was recently appalled when he read an article where a woman citing crime statistics in an argument for improving policing to prevent crime was ignored based on the idea that a numbers based argument would be a racist argument.

My husband worries that if society ignores numbers and rational arguments based on observations, then the only thing left would be an irrational and absurd approach based on a policy mandate rather than what reality on the ground would suggest as a sensible approach. This implies a fixed approach that is harder to modify if/when it fails.

There seems to be some absurdity happening today. Certainly Covid mandates were like that: absurd, enforced well after they were proved unhelpful; hard to stop.

The difference between the word rationalization and the word rational is instructive. According to my Webster’s New World Dictionary, Second College Edition, under a definition for


“5. Psychol. to devise superficially rational, or plausible explanations or excuses for (one’s acts, beliefs, desires,etc.) usually without being aware that these are not the real motives.”

and also a definition for


“rational implies the ability to reason logically as by drawing conclusions from inferences, and often connotes the absence of emotionalism [man is a rational creature]; reasonable is a less technical term and suggests the use of practical reason in making decisions, choices, etc., [a reasonable solution to a problem]; sensible, also a nontechnical term, implies the use of common sense or sound judgement [you made a sensible decision]”.

In the case of social breakdown that causes an increase in criminality, real problems are hard to address. Resources to address social problems can be hard to come by when there’s stress on the economy. There’s less money to fix what needs fixing. Social divisions can be exacerbated by a claim that racism in the way laws are written or the way judgements are handed out is causing unfairness in the criminal justice system. Concerns about racism can distract everyone from blaming breakdowns in the rule of law where certain protected groups aren’t prosecuted, for example banks that broke the law in the subprime mortgage crises. Claims of racism can also divert attention from corruption, from inefficiency, from failures in performance, from manpower shortages and from social breakdown due to economic churn. A rationalization that stops police from reducing criminality may feel like a reprieve to some groups.

When people want what is in short supply, sometimes they want to rationalize why or how they must have something that can’t be obtained by everyone by a rational means. If a person can’t obtain what they want, maybe they can either steal it or force a shortage onto someone else who isn’t them by using a rationalization. But a rationalization won’t achieve what isn’t possible to do. Instead it will offer a lie or an excuse to comfort a frustrated wish. That isn’t the same as solving the problem of having a shortage. If someone else goes without something that they want during a shortage, there’s still a shortage.

Michel Foucault was a French political philosopher ( 1920-1984) (https://literariness.org/2017/03/28/key-theories-of-michel-foucault/). He liked to study and theorize. Instead of studying continuities in history he liked the discontinuities. He asked what caused society to break down during political upheavals, what characterizations led to people being incarcerated, or what kinds of thinking led to the inhumane treatment of people. I think that his writings have been exagerrated today in a way that is causing some people to embrace irrationality as a way to get around a more rational approach. Some people want to use Foucault to reframe descriptions of what is happening in our society in a way that benefits an irrational viewpoint. To some, this irrational approach can feel like an escape from trouble that can’t be avoided.

Some of us don’t want to face the notion that the economy is shrinking and a lot of economic suffering is happening for rational reasons. Instead some people want to complain about unfairness due to racism. There’s a wish to escape from a factual physical or economic shortage into an opinion that everything can be explained because of racism or rational approaches can be ignored because using those methods is a racist approach. A state of mind can seem easier to change than a real shortage of economic prosperity that is difficult to remedy.

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Economic harms are happening everywhere as a consequence of bad monetary policies involving financializaiton and monetary system abuse including overspending and too much debt at a time when energy costs are inescapably increasing because our petroleum resources are harder to extract and refine and that increases costs which are communicated to every part of our economy. What can we do about that? ESG certainly won’t solve such a problem as this.

Michel Foucault liked to look in the nooks and crannies of society where suffering was happening to marginalized groups. He examined rationalizations that people had for cruelty or for excluding some people from the rest of society. He liked to look at power dynamics and especially at those least powerful groups and ask questions about that state of affairs. He was looking at the human condition and the human mind and trying to understand society’s justifications for actions that hurt or marginalized others.

Even though Foucault liked to stretch his arguments, he never suggested that arithmetic is irrelevant. He didn’t say that we should ignore rational reasons for doing what we do. He just wanted us to be more suspicious about people’s motivations. He wanted us to realize that people have reasons for what they do and some of those reasons might not really be good enough. But he never said that geometry, algebra, statistics, and various rational ways of looking for information to better guide our approaches in a rational way is without merit. Foucault didn’t want people to abandon a sensible approach to solving society’s problems. He wanted us to ask ourselves and others hard questions about what our real motivations are.

That some would use Foucault’s analysis of motivations to ignore economic shortages or social breakdown doesn’t fix the problems of economic shortage nor of increasing criminality during economic decline. It distracts us from solving problems that need solutions.

Asking the wrong questions in the Information Age

I have been a Toastmaster speech writer and presenter. I attended my first Toastmaster’s meeting with a Russian immigrant friend who wanted to go there in order to improve her English. She invited me to give her some courage and some encouragement. After her first meeting, she decided that speaking English to give speeches was too frustrating so she only went to one Toastmaster’s meeting. I found speaking in public to be harder than I expected it to be, so I ended up staying for a few years until I improved after practicing writing and giving speeches.

I once wrote a speech at Toastmasters about the Information Age. In that speech I talked about how people get psyched out by the sheer amount of information that comes across to all of us every minute of every day. For example, just do a query on the photo of the day. Many examples/choices will come up on the menu. If you only look at one of them, say the site from National Geographic, you will find wonderful images that go back pretty far in time. Even after being charmed by the images, their sheer number over time might feel overwhelming. Like there’s no way that you could appreciate all of them. But you don’t really have to take them all in to appreciate them, do you?

It’s so easy to feel that there’s no way to see it or understand it all. If you wanted a drink of water, you wouldn’t go stand under Niagara Falls and let that water pound onto you. Similarly no one can cope with all the photos and text available on the internet. So what is the solution to all that information? How can you cope with it to turn it in your favor instead of letting it pound you down?

To answer that, I want you to imagine that you have inherited a house with a room full of canned goods. They all are stamped with a date and they are all in date but none of them have their colorful labels to tell you what is in the can. What could you do to find out what is in each can? You would have to use a can opener. You would open one mysterious can every night at dinner to find out what is in the can. Then you would have to think of how to present it with the meal.

What I want to tell you is that instead of having a can opener to handle each part of the flood of information during the Information Age you have something better. Your ability to ask a question can be your can opener. If God is omniscient and God knows all information, it is also true that a human being can’t know everything. What helps us to cope with all the information that exists in the world is that we can narrow our search by asking a specific question. That question can open whichever mystery-can is the most useful at that moment. And the right questions can keep out the worst offenses of too much information that can create anxiety.

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After experiencing the information stressors that we’ve all experienced over that last several years, I have to say that it seems that information chaos has been worrisome. Every effort in mainstream media seems to have been made to increase information overload without helping people to ask the right questions that will help all of us to reduce the flood of information and the stresses that it brings.

When asking questions, it helps to ask pertininent questions that will help to resolve whatever worry brought you to that moment. When I was worried about whether the new m-RNA shots were safe, for example, one question that I asked was “What is the persistence of m-RNA in the body’s natural systems?”

The answer that I got is that m-RNA has a short timespan of persistence in the body. But when I read about researcher’s goals for the m-RNA jabs, I read that they tried to develop ways to prolong the persistence of their experimental messenger RNA. I decided that the jabs might not be safe if they could prolong the persistence of the m-RNA beyond the natural persistence that allows the body to maintain homeostasis (or the balancing act of proteins in the right concentration at the right time). That was a useful question in a sea of confusing information.

We do this selective questioning all the time whenever we try to decide for example, where to go on vacation (like when we ask what kind of vacation, in what climate, doing what activity). When I look at all the dystopic cultural press coverage I can hear on the radio or on TV, do you ever wonder if the people writing that copy are asking the right questions? It sounds like they are asking how to create scary confusion rather than social harmony through useful information.

Instead of asking scary questions, here are the questions that I wish broadcasting infotainers would ask:

How can we be more happy in our society?

How can more of us experience a more abundant lifestyle?

How can we shape future events for a better future than what we see now?

Where has our political and economic system taken a wrong turn and how do we get back onto the right track?

What guidelines worked in the historical past to curb people’s worst impulses and bring forward the best in all of us?

I have one last point to make.

I have heard that when the internet came along, people who read commentary formed a lot of negative views about other people. So much of commentary was negative that it reframed humanity as a darkness…a darkness of violence and greed and anger and lust and whatever other negative traits surfaced online.

The new window of the internet gave new access to people’s private dark thoughts and some of that darkness came into the public’s view. I don’t think that people’s dark side is present all the time in everyone. It isn’t our only potential. But seeing it come into focus for the first time on the internet made people lose respect for the grand human potential.

So if your opinion of humanity has been negatively influenced by the commentary you read on the internet, please realize that not everyone thinks in the negative way that someone was willing to express as commentary. Many people have happier perspectives that they keep quiet about and that you aren’t hearing. So ask the question:

“What are the good perspectives that you aren’t hearing or seeing?” Also, keep in mind that algorithms are affecting how information is curated on the internet. Those algorithms don’t curate information equally for every person nor does every view get equal play.