Teacher Suspended for Showing Anti- Bullying Film, Outrageous!

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Instead of my intended post, I decided to post about an event I read online tonight. A teacher in North Carolina was suspended for showing an anti- bullying film to her class. The film in question is called “All You Need is Love.” It’s about a world where homosexuality is the norm and straight people are denounced for their lifestyle choices.

Ashley is a young girl born of two normal mothers. She discovers she has a liking for boys which is against the norms of this particular society. Her peers find out about her hetro-sexuality and begin bullying her for it. Like many victims of homophobic bullying, those in authority like teachers blame Ashley for her suffering on account that she is straight. Her parents aren’t much help either. When she is badly beaten up, all Ashley’s parents can talk about is moving out of the town. In the end, Ashley takes her own life.

Having watched the film, I can say that there is nothing shocking, inappropriate or unusual about it. The bullying Ashley suffers is typical of the bullying many people suffer, I know, I suffered it too. So my question is, why are so many parents up in arms about it. Furthermore, I think that suspending the teacher over it is overreacting in a big way. My first thought is that this type of thing is typical of America. Something that appears controversial takes place and the knives and torches come out before all of the facts are known. What’s also an interesting note is that most of the pupils who saw the film were not upset by it. Rather, they saw the anti bullying message in it.

Okay, the vehicle in which the anti bullying message may seem quite controversial. After all, we don’t live in a world where homosexuality is the norm, it’s still more the reverse. However, bullying knows no bounds and can happen anywhere for anything. I know that all too well too. Therefore, I think it was right of this teacher to show the film and alert children to the dangers of bullying as it can happen anywhere.

To view the film: http://www.wsoctv.com/news/local/teacher-suspended-after-showing-students-anti-bullying-video/491662577

The Role of Music in Literary School Shootings: Nineteen Minutes

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Riding on the momentum from my last post about the influence of music in school shootings, I will look at this through some of the books I’ve posted about in the past. All of them are about school shootings. This post takes on Jodi Picoult’s best seller, “Nineteen Minutes.” For those who haven’t read it, it’s about a boy named Peter Houghton, who is so badly bullied, he goes into the school one day and shoots ten people dead and wounds eight more. The book goes back and forth between the events that led up to the shooting and those that come after and it’s very well done in my view.

After the shooting in the story, the police search Peter’s room and remove all sorts of evidence. Among all the books and online instructions on how to make bombs, they also take his DVD’s, one of which is “Bowling for Columbine,” and his CD collection. One of the albums taken is from a band called Death Wish and on the album is a song called “Judgement Day,” which many people say the lyrics of the song vividly describe the setting behind Peter’s shooting up of his school. Needless to say, many people begin to blame heavy metal music.

Not too much further along in the story, the lead singer of Death Wish and I love this name, Raven Napalm, gives a press conference. In it, he states that no one says anything when America sends kids overseas to fight and die for oil but when one kid fails to see the beauty of life and shoots up his school, then everyone points fingers at heavy metal music. Maybe he’s got a point here. Unfortunately, except for the fact that Peter listens to heavy metal in general, not much more is said on the subject.

What I found amusing is Jodi’s description of Mr. Napalm. It is practically Marilyn Manson to a tee. The black hair, eye shadow and lip piercings described in Raven Napalm’s appearance immediately brought Marilyn’s image to mind. Furthermore, Marilyn did say something along the same lines as his fictional counter part after Columbine. I am not suggesting she plagiarized anything, she didn’t. However, I do think she was very influenced by Columbine and Marilyn Manson, not that there is anything wrong with that.

Marilyn Manson- could this be Jodi Picoult's Raven Napalm?

Marilyn Manson- could this be Jodi Picoult’s Raven Napalm?

In short, I’m glad that in “Nineteen Minutes” Jodi seems to reject the notion that music had anything to do with the shooting in the story. All throughout the book, Peter is described as a loner and a victim and that heavy metal was his way of dealing with all the crap he was getting on a daily basis. Point, not everyone who listens to metal is a bullied loner. I just wanted to get that out because for me, “Nineteen Minutes” deals with the real issues that led to the shooting, the main one of these was the bullying.

Next post: Endgame by Nancy Garden

To buy He Was Weird, go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1485979678&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird

Does Music Cause School Shootings?

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Marilyn Manson

Marilyn Manson

When Columbine happened, there seemed to be a lot of people chimed in that Marilyn Manson was to blame. That the two shooters who carried out the massacre were driven to their crimes by the music of Marilyn Manson. Students at the school and many parents from the area were all certain that the two boys were hard core fans of the infamous singer. This was later debunked as investigations emerged that they were neither Manson fans nor of the trench coat wearing brigade. However, the accusations aimed at Manson nearly ruined his music career.

In the documentary film, “Bowling for Columbine,” during his interview with Michael Moore, Manson points out that on the same day, the US Air Force dropped more bombs on Kosovo than at any other time during that campaign. The bombings were sanctioned by then president Bill Clinton. Manson pointed out that the president has more ability to influence people that Manson does.

Columbine wasn’t the only school shooting where music was blamed. When the shooting occurred in Jonesboro, Arkansas, music was blamed as well. One US Senator stated that music was at fault and even got one of the teachers to say of the elder shooter, “He was a fine boy until he started listening to Tu-Pac Shaker and Bugs Harmony.” What the senator omitted was that the boy sang in the church choir and at ages 13 and 11, they know how to steal and drive a van and knew right where to get the guns for the big day. The 13 year old stated that the reason he shot only girls and a female teacher was because one girl ‘jilted’ him by refusing to become his girlfriend on demand. Sorry, that doesn’t sound like any musical influence to me.

A study by Alfred University lists the reasons why school shootings occur. There are sixteen of them and I don’t see music listed at all. The closest is viewing of violence in movies, games and videos. FFI, you can check it out yourself:  http://www.alfred.edu/teenviolence/whydoshootings.cfm

Music being responsible for school shootings also occurs in fiction as well as fact. Two of the books I have talked about on this blog have music blamed in some way for the school shooting that occurs in the story. I also have a little fun with it in “He Was Weird.” Therefore, my next three posts will talk about the shootings in those stories and the role music is believed to have played in them. I’ll start with Jodi Picoult’s “Nineteen Minutes” in my next post. Maybe then, I’ll have some understanding why people are quick to blame music for school shootings.

To buy He Was Weird, go to https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1485376494&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird

 

My Confusion of Religion and Music

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Many Born Again Christians who knew me in my teens and young adult years blamed the Marine Corps for my straying from the faith. Many but not all because some blamed music. The funny thing was the fact that there was a great deal of truth in that but not as some might imagine. See, I wasn’t turned from my faith because I began listening to Motley Crue albums, no, music played a role in my disassociation with Born Again Christianity in a different way, which I will now explain.

When I was fifteen, I worked the first of three summers at a Bible Camp based on the one mentioned in “He Was Weird.” My musical knowledge at the time was limited to AM radio and it was meeting people at the camp who had much more extensive musical knowledge who enlightened my musical experiences beyond that of mainstream radio. During the summer of 1976, I was introduced to musical artists such as Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, Jim Croce and even KISS. Although I knew of the Beatles, thanks to one friend, by the time the summer finished, I could practically sing the Sgt Pepper album by heart. What all of these musically wise co-workers all had in common was the fact that they were all very strong Christians. When the summer was over, I further investigated my new knowledge and began exploring musicians on my own initiative. That’s how a became a big Jefferson Starship fan. Furthermore, my musical knowledge would grow deeper when I would return to work at the camp over the next two summers.

Sure, there were those of the older generation and some younger ones who declared rock music to be of the devil. It was after the third summer when I heard someone from my local church youth group state that KISS was an anagram for Knights in Satan’s Service and I stopped listening to them. But for the most part, I listened to what I wanted without any finger pointing. In addition, when the church went roller skating, no one stopped the rink deejay from playing main stream music. So, I saw nothing wrong with listening to music.

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My musical knowledge and appreciation expanded thousands fold when I joined the marines. It opened up my experiences to all sorts of music including my love for Southern Rock. Therefore, when I left the service, I had all sorts of musical knowledge and experiences to build upon and was as knowledgeable as many of my contemporaries. As for being a Born Again Christian, I still had the faith but by that time, I was using Ephesians Chapter 2 verses 8 and 9 to justify not bothering with the works. That didn’t stop one of my old friends trying to bring me ‘back to the fold.’

I went to church with my friend and even to some of his young adult evenings. I found them fun but there was no spiritual uplifting for me. Then at one such function, those Christians began talking about the evils of rock music and how it was of the devil. My friend even confessed that he was having a difficult time in destroying his record collection to which one person advised him to simply put them in the bath and turn the water on to warp them.

This is what I found confusing. I had come to love rock music through friends who were just as good Christians, maybe better, than the ones who were now denouncing music. This contradiction caused great confusion in my mind because I saw nothing spiritually wrong with most music. If anything contributed to my divorce from this form of Christianity, it was this confusion over music.

Yes, KISS was still a religious football kicked around by these Christians as an example of the evils of rock and roll but further artists were being thrown in. Michael Jackson was attacked because he was a Jehovah’s Witness and buying his records was supporting that ‘false’ faith. Then more anagrams came in. The band WASP was awarded two: We Are Satan’s People and We Are Sexual Perverts. Furthermore, female artists Stevie Nicks and Grace Slick both supposedly practiced witchcraft and a couple of years later, so did Ann and Nancy Wilson from Heart. To me, it was just getting ridiculous. Then the final straw came after Live Aid when these so called Christians condemned the artists who performed saying they should have given 10% of their money instead of twenty minutes of their time. I wonder how many of these ‘Christians’ gave that much of their money. If it wasn’t that, my final straw with Born Again Christianity would have come a year later when these persons would show up at concerts and tell us we were all going to hell for seeing a concert.

WASP

WASP

My attitudes towards  music remained with me when I began investigating the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, (Mormons.) During one of the discussions, I was ready to come out and ask the missionaries teaching us if I joined their church, would I be expected to burn my AC/DC albums. Fortunately, my then wife was a bit more diplomatic and managed to steer the conversation to that vein so my question was answered.  Mormonism is more of a play on the conscience. When listening to any music, one is supposed to ask themselves, “Would they feel comfortable listening to it if Jesus were listening with them?” If the answer is no, then don’t listen to it. When I was young in the faith, there were a few albums I could answer yes to. Most had swearing in the lyrics and there was one song where the singer came right out and sang “Hail Satan.” But most of what I listened to I felt okay with. So, if anyone asks, music had nothing to do with my choice to leave the faith.

Contrary to what some Born Again Christians might think, I haven’t chosen music over God. In fact, I can listen to Christian rock just as I do non-Christian rock. I do really like Stryper. Just don’t tell me that I’m worshiping Satan because I listen to music because I’ll tell you where to go.

To buy He Was Weird, go to https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1484762670&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird

Religion is the Biggest Contradiction of All to Me

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Sometimes when I write a post, it opens my mind up for further contemplation on the subject I’ve posted about and paves the way for future posts. This is a good thing as I don’t have to dither on what I’m going to write about each week. Last week’s post on how contradiction has negative effects on me has been successful in influencing this week’s post.

Probably the biggest contradictions I’ve had to deal with in my life is those imposed on me by religion. For those who haven’t been following Peaceful Rampage from the early years, allow me to recap history. In my teens, I was a stalwart Born Again Christian. Like so many people who possess traits of Asperger’s Syndrome, I believed what was taught ultra literally. Not just what I read in the Bible but what was said by ministers, Sunday School teachers and others who I perceived to have standing in the church and to be good Christians. However, there were times that these people seemed to contradict each other and at times, the scriptures and that effected my faith.

The two biggest contradictory occurrences both happened when I was 17. During that summer, I worked away at a Christian summer camp and had a relationship with a female colleague there. When I came home at the end of the summer, I was determined to carry on the relationship despite the fact the girl lived 85 miles away. Naturally, to do this was complicated but I tried to have faith. Some, including members of my family thought that I was wasting time chasing after a girl so far away. However, what kept me on course was messages from two ministers who basically said that one night stands, short term and meaningless romances were a sin because that wasn’t love, it was lust. Therefore, I concluded that if I treated what I had with that girl as a summertime romance, I would be sinning against God. This contradiction messed with my head for the two years, I considered myself to be with this girl. It only ended when she rejected my proposal of marriage and that played a major part in my departure from wanting to do what God wanted.

The second instance started when I was 17 but lasted a good seven years and revolved around my time in the Marines. Some people in the church and my mother weren’t too happy my decision to enlist. They thought that me being such a good Christian, that I would become corrupted by the evil heathens that made up the US military. At the same time, however, many of them would pontificate Romans 13 and obeying the government. Ministers and teachers both stated that if we were called to go to war, we have the obligation to go. Furthermore, some, especially some of the younger Christians used to tell how the Vietnam draft dodgers were all in danger of hell fire for disobeying the Lord. This was a contradiction that in my mind, bordered on hypocrisy. Saying that you should obey your government in one hand but the other, discouraging young people from actually serving their country. That for me was the final straw with the Born Again faith. While I admit that I did become corrupted in the military, it wasn’t because of the evil heathens but because I got to the end of my tether with these contradictions. Saying that, I never renounced my faith in Jesus. I still professed to have faith but and justified it with Ephesians Chapter 2 verses 8 and 9. My statement was that if you’re saved through grace and not of works, why bother with the works?

In my very late twenties and thirties, I did find a faith that was right for me. That was the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or better known as Mormons. I didn’t find contradiction with the teachings save one, which I will go into in a moment. I will not go into any argument as to the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. I look at it this way, we can accept the Bible and Muslims, the Qu’uran, so why should the Book of Mormon be any different? Besides, if Joseph Smith did make it all up, he must have one hell of an imagination.  Another point about it is that I have read this book and found absolutely nothing blasphemous. However, I have found a contradiction. Mormons believe that murder is an unpardonable sin. Also, if somebody had something valuable of mine and refused to give it back, even after I had given him money for it, and so one night, I waited for him to be passed out drunk, killed him and got my possession back, I still would be guilty of murder. In the opening chapters of the Book of Mormon, this happens when Nephi kills a man named Laban because he refuses to give back the brass plates belonging to Nephi’s father. It is written that the spirit of God commands Nephi to do this but why would God have somebody commit and act which is really an unpardonable sin? This contradiction gets to me and saying that it’s not important isn’t the answer because it’s important to me. For the record, this wasn’t the reason why I eventually left the LDS faith.

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Now for the shameless connection to “He Was Weird.” In the story, Mark does become a Born Again Christian but God never delivers him from his bullies. When he sites the ‘turn the other cheek’ passage for not standing up to his bullies, he is rebuked and told that it doesn’t mean he needs to be a punching bag. The contradictions with his faith are one of the things that lead him to use Deuteronomy Chapter 20, verses 16-17 to carry out his big climax.

At the moment, contradictions in religion have resulted in me becoming a spiritual anarchist. I believe in the teaching of Christianity including Mormonism but to follow any faith would be detrimental to my mental well being because of the fact that I would believe things so literally and contradiction would cause nothing more than stress and anxiety. Therefore, I have chosen to remain happy.

To buy He Was Weird, go to https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1484157798&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird

 

 

 

I Don’t Do Contradiction

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The confused guy from The Last Show

The confused guy from The Last Show

Nobody likes contradiction. It causes confusion, raises anxiety levels and can make the person causing the contradiction appear stupid even if being contradictory wasn’t the intention. For most of us, contradiction is a severe stress on the mind but that multiplies many more fold with someone with Asperger’s Syndrome.

There are two distinct reasons why contradiction is dangerous for anyone on the Autistic Spectrum. One is the fact that most people with ASD take what is said to them literally. In many cases, it is seen as carved in stone gospel fact. Therefore, anything in contradiction can cause confusion with a person with ASD. If it doesn’t cause confusion, any new contradictory message to what that person believes can be outright rejected because said person has been told what they have been told already so this new contradiction can’t be true. No matter how much evidence is presented that it might be. The person with ASD has already been told one fact and has made their mind up, end of.

The other reason is that with many people with ASD, all information gets through and those who know can back me on how much overload that can cause in the brain of the ASD person. Any contradiction to what a person has believed for a length of time can very easily overload the brain, especially if that particular receiver of information has difficulty in processing information. Yet another reason why contradiction is a danger to people who have ASD.

While there are small instances of contradiction playing havoc with Mark’s mind in “He Was Weird,” none of the events are that consequential to the story. Although they are a contributing factor to Mark snapping. However, there are plenty of instances in my own life where it has been consequential. One such and I’m not blaming my mother here, is that I was taught never to pester people. For most of my childhood, this was a great tool for me. However, when I was seventeen and looking for part time work a contradiction set in. On several job applications, I was told by the prospective employer that they would be in touch. They never did and I never pursued it because in my mind, that would be pestering people. It was then that I was told that I should bug those employers and let them know that I was there. This was a major contradiction in my brain because it went against everything I had been taught over the years and it took me a long time to process it into my brain.

Another one was when I was in the marines. During the four years I was wearing a crew cut in the service of my country, it seemed everyone commented on my short hair. People who saw pictures of me with longer hair before I went in said I looked better with it. Then I get out and do grow my hair. Yes, I went from one extreme to the other but all of a sudden, everyone began saying that I looked better with shorter hair. The effect that had on my brain was near catastrophic. It totally sent my mind into a massive overload and it highlights another effect contradiction has on me and I’m sure I’m not the only one. At times, I can perceive people who deliver contradictory information as hypocrites.

Today, in my more advanced years, I am able to deal with contradiction much better. This comes from years of mental conditioning and like many things with my life, painful trial and error. Still, I don’t always handle contradiction very well and will never master it.

To buy He Was Weird, go to https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1483565248&sr=8-1&keywords=he+was+weird

 

 

 

 

 

Merry Christmas to All!

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christmas

I’ve been silent for the past few weeks because my computer has been in the shop undergoing a service. Thing was that the finished it over a week ago an didn’t bother to tell me so. In the weeks I’ve been absent, I found that my theory behind Westworld was wrong but it was fun writing about it.

I would like to wish everyone out there a Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays!

My Theory Behind the New Westworld

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Since joining the blogging community six years ago, I have had the pleasure of reading many of the blogs out there, either directly or indirectly. One such blog and the subject behind this post, I came across indirectly via the blog Opinionated Man. OM often features guest bloggers and I have had the pleasure of being one in the past. In this particular case, it was a blog called Soren and Sons, who wrote a post about the new and very popular TV series Westworld.

For those who haven’t watched it, “Westworld” is about a rich person’s vacation resort where guests can go and live out fantasies of being in the Wild West. The hosts, as they are called, are robots who the guests can interact , kill and even have sex with. The series is a follow on from the 1973 film of the same name and based on many of the principals of the film. Links between the two are many. In the post, Soren and Sons puts forward many theories about the series, one of which turned out to be correct in last week’s episode. We found out that the Bernard character truly is a robot created by the character played by Anthony Hopkins, I can’t remember his name. Well done on that one! At the post’s invitation, I put forward my own theory about the show and the film and the host liked my idea to the point I was invited to expand on it in a blog post, which I’m going to do now.

“Westworld” had many story lines, which does keep you on your toes. My theory involves the infamous ‘man in black,’ played by Ed Harris. On the programme, we see this man in black roaming the fringes of Westworld looking for a maze. During his travels, we see him committing several grievous murders in the Wild West style. In the opening episode where he kills one man and takes a young woman named Dolores, who becomes a big player in a couple of the story lines, into the barn and it is heavily implied that he rapes her. Soren and sons’ post puts forward an interesting theory on that but I digress. The man in black seems to be letting nothing get in his way of achieving his goal of finding the maze. However, in the latest episode, we learn that in the past, he shot a young mother and daughter, (both robots), in cold blood to see if he was capable of inhumanity. He says, he felt nothing when he did that.

Ed Harris as the Man in Black in Westworld

Ed Harris as the Man in Black in Westworld

Now let’s go to the 1973 movie, “Westworld,” which I first saw when I was twelve, but I watched it again the other day. The movie is about a man named Peter, played by Richard Benjamin, who vacations in the resort of Westworld with his friend Bob who is played by a young James Brolin. Bob has been there before so he promises Peter the vacation of a lifetime. Almost as soon as they get there, Peter is confronted by a man in black, only this is a robot played by Yul Bryner. Peter kills the man in black in a saloon gunfight. After being repaired, the robot seems bent on revenge. Peter shoots him again in his hotel room. The big climax happens after that. Not only the robot in black but all the robots go off programming and begin killing all the guests. Not just in Westworld but also in Romanworld and Medievalworld as well. Bryner kills Bob and then tries to kill Peter who flees with the robot chasing him. To make a long story short, Peter eventually kills his antagonist by setting him on fire. in the final scene, we see Peter sitting on the steps while the film fades out with the park’s advertising slogan, “Boy do we have a vacation for you, vacation for you, you, you.”

Richard Benjamin and James Brolin from the film Westworld.

Richard Benjamin and James Brolin from the film Westworld.

The man in black, played by Yul Bryner

The man in black, played by Yul Bryner

My theory is simply this: Ed Harris’s man in black character is actually Peter thirty years on! His trauma from that vacation thirty years ago has effected Peter so much that he now has become so obsessed with the discovering that maze in the hopes it may have the answers to his experiences. Since his nemesis was dressed in all black, Peter now dresses in black as a result. Having experienced extreme violence first hand from one robot, he now dishes out similar violence on the robots he comes into contact with. That would explain his murdering the mother and daughter. However, he won’t be at peace with himself until he achieves his goal and woe betide those who stand in his way.

One possible plot complication to this is the fact that Ed Harris has revealed that in the real world, he is a titan of industry. In the film, Peter says he’s a lawyer. However, this does not need to be contradictory. We never know what kind of lawyer he is so he could be a corporate lawyer and in the thirty years, has risen to the top rungs of the corporation. Another possibility is that because the Dellos Corporation is so afraid of a lawsuit and in the real world there would have been many filed by the relatives of all the slain guests, they offer Peter a very cushy job within the corporation. Problem solved.

This is my theory behind the man in black in the TV series. I’m probably wrong but we will have to wait and see. There are further developments in line as it was revealed that the mother he shot was reprogrammed and now runs a brothel. She is now remembering here past. Before I go, there is one question about the movie that is never answered. We never know what becomes of the guest played by Dick Van Patten who becomes the sheriff of Westworld before the critical failure.

Dick Van Patten in Westworld

Dick Van Patten in Westworld

To buy He Was Weird, to to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1480533340&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No Need to Justify But…

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Justifying myself has been something I did constantly throughout my early life. The reasons were mainly down to people not understanding where I was coming from or taking something I said totally the opposite direction from what I intended. This is a common occurrence with those who have Autistic Spectrum Disorder and another reason as to why I think I’m on said spectrum. Then again, bullying came into play here as well. Either as an excuse to unleash or threaten violence on me, these people would intentionally misinterpret something I said or in the case of a third party, misrepresent or just simply lie to my tormentor(s). Often times, this feigned ignorance would be used as a source of amusement against me because I would find myself desperately trying to explain myself only for it to fall on deaf ears. I know now that many times, those ears were intentionally deaf.

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Such an occurrence happened as a result of my post last week. Some who read that post on Facebook may have gotten the wrong idea about me saying that leaving America isn’t the answer to Donald Trump. In one case, I was asked if I were in Nazi Germany, would I have said to the Jews they should stay. My answer would have been no. Hopefully Donald Trump will not be anything like Hitler but if he is, then those who are the most vulnerable to his persecutions should flee the country. But if he’s not, then the best way to fight back against him is to stay and show your opposition to him, within the confines of the law of course. Yes, he may try to change the law to effect my last sentence but that opens up an entirely different debate which I won’t go into now.

Another stems from the what has become commonly known as ‘liberal intolerance.’ The premise that liberals and those on the left believe that they alone are right that they refuse to hear any alternative opinions from those considered on the right or conservative. What’s worse, is that the left begin calling these adversaries rednecks or stupid. Many of them are neither, they just have a view that you don’t agree with. However, I have seen and heard the same type of intolerance from the right. Once, when I expressed concerns about mandatory drug testing, I was called a ‘shit for brains drugger.’ When I pointed out that Sweden hadn’t fought a war in over 200 years, I was told to go live there. Furthermore, while the left called anyone voting for Trump a redneck, one person tried to dissuade me from voting for Jill Stein because the Green Party was socialist. Hey, they branded Obama that in two elections and it worked neither time.

One more point from last week: As predicted, the Democrats are blaming Jill Stein for Hilary Clinton’s defeat and are calling Stein a spoiler. Well, the maths tell another story. After the election a poll was taken of Jill Stein voters asking how they would have voted if she wasn’t on the ballot. Here are the results:

Only 25% said they would have voted for Clinton

14% said they would have voted for Trump

Most importantly, 61% said they would not have voted at all!

Proof that Jill Stein did not lose the election for Hilary

NOT!!

NOT!!

Since I feel like I’m on a roll, I’m going to justify myself with everything to get it all out in the open. In the past, with my Aspergers’ and DAMP tendencies, I have been afraid of doing so for many reasons. So now, I’m not holding back and while you might not agree with me on some or many points, I hope you will respect my opinions for they come as a result of experience and not because I read some book or attended a lecture.

I sit just left of centre on the political fence. This is in British terms of where the fence lies. In American terms, I would be seen as a Trotskyite, Marxist, radical, I’m not I assure you. Yes, I did delve into Marx in the mid 80s but I have long since concluded that it is a nice theory that will never work in reality.

Nice guy probably but his theory is unworkable.

Nice guy probably but his theory is unworkable.

Anyone can be a perpetrator or victim of racism. While it is true that most of it is carried out by whites against non-whites, it certainly doesn’t mean that racist acts carried out by non-white groups should be justified or ignored. Point: I’ve heard racial minorities say the same things against other minority groups that whites say. I’ve heard Africans call Asians ‘Pakis’ and Hispanics ‘Spicks’ and I’ve heard both of those call Blacks ‘Niggers.’ Pointing this out does not make me a racist. I think the only race we should all regard is the human race.

 I have no problem with anyone who follows a belief, philosophy or religion. All I ask is that you don’t try to convert me around to your way of thinking because I believe that that’s the root of the problem starts. Everyone should quietly live according to their own beliefs and not try to push theirs on anyone.

Having lived in two countries, there are things good about both of them. An example from each: The National Health Service does work in the UK. In the US, I see the benefit of lower or no tax on items such as clothes, food and petrol. Both countries do some things better than the other and vice versa.

I don’t think the US 2nd Amendment, The Right to Bear Arms will ever be repealed. I sympathize with the argument that it has become outdated but it’s been ingrained in the minds of too many Americans. In a post I wrote some months ago, I pointed out that there are plenty of gun laws in America to control it. However, these laws aren’t being adequately enforced. That’s just wrong, so let’s start by doing that.

Now to the First Amendment, which I have used pretty much throughout this post. You have the right to tell me you disagree with me, I only ask that you do it without hurling insults or calling names. Furthermore, I think that right wing extremists and Muslim hate preachers should be allowed a platform to speak their views. This way, most reasonable people can see them for what they are. The BBC did this successfully when they allowed Nick Griffin, leader of the far right British National Party (BNP) on Question Time. There’s hardly been a peep out of him since he was on that show.

This is me for all to see. I don’t need to justify myself and in the future, if you should read something you don’t agree with or are not clear on, just ask.

To buy He Was Weird, go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1479840352&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird

 

 

Note to Trump Haters- Leaving Is Not the Answer

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Now that the US election is finally over and Donald Trump will be the next president, (I voted for Jill Stein), I am now taking time to reflect on reactions and possibilities resulting from Trump’s election. One thing that has caught my attention and amused me is the amount of people who now want to leave the US because they don’t like the fact that Trump was elected. Even my sister joked about emigrating to Australia. All the talk about people leaving the country has brought back something from my past and now I feel the need to share it.

Green Party Candidate Jill Stein

Green Party Candidate Jill Stein

Thirty years ago, I was a rather angry young man. Experiences after coming out of the marines left me with the feeling that I had given America the four best years of my life only for America to give me nothing but heartache in return. The final straw came when I was went to England to study at the University of London for a year. I had been in college for about two months when the Veteran’s Administration informed me that my course of study wasn’t approved and they weren’t going to pay for my studies. Of course they also sent me forms for the college to fill out in order to get approval but for me but my mind had already been made up that America had screwed me once too many times.

Growing up in a religious family, I decided to pour my soul out to the college chaplain. After all, he was very vocal against then president Ronald Reagan’s Contra War on Nicaragua so I thought he’d give me loads of sympathy and help me get on a plane to Sweden. He wasn’t shocked at my opening line: “This might shock you coming from an American student but I hate my country.” I then proceeded to explain how America had gone too far to the right under Reagan and I was a victim of social and political intolerance in that country. He listened but he had no intention of putting me on that plane to Sweden. It was what he said about Reagan America that has relevance here. He told me, that leaving America would only serve Reagan because there would be nobody to voice opposition to him.

These days, I see his point. The problem was back then, I was such an angry young man that I believed his words proved a former work colleague back in America who was ultra- conservative to be right. This colleague used to say that every non American in the world was trying to come to the US, not true. However, if all the Trump haters left the country because they didn’t like him, that would only strengthen him as there would be little opposition. The best way to keep Trump or any elected official in check is to voice your opposition to them. If that official does something you don’t agree with that might be bad for the nation, let them know it and let those who voted for that official know it too. Leaving the country is not the answer. Besides, Trump won’t know or care if you did leave.

Jello Biafra

Jello Biafra

During her campaign, Stein took advice in the words of one of my heroes, Jello Biafra, who said the best thing to do, especially against a corporate entrenched medial is to become the media. Inform people why you believe what you do and why you didn’t vote for Donald Trump or in my case Hillary Clinton either. The problem is the way the left has gone about it and here again, Biafra’s words are wise. Simply calling someone who doesn’t agree with you a redneck or a bigot or in Clinton’s case, deplorable isn’t going to win them around to your way of thinking. In fact, it will drive them in the opposite direction. One of the things that made me so determined to vote Stein was the Democrats insistence that voting for Jill was a vote for Donald Trump. I found that very patronizing just as much as calling someone who doesn’t agree with you, ‘stupid.’

This insults my intelligence

This insults my intelligence

Now some who know me may be thinking I’m a hypocrite because I have lived in Great Britain since I came here thirty years ago. Yes, sure my angry young man phase had a lot to do with it but the main reason I remained in the UK was down to affairs of the heart. If I hadn’t met and married a British woman, I probably would have ended up back in the US. Otherwise, I might have gone back to the US when Bill Clinton was elected president. Even when we split in 2000, the idea of returning was a non issue because I feared I would never see my three children again. Besides, I doubt that Sweden would have let me emigrate there, I could be wrong. What I do know in my Autumn years is that the chaplain was right on this one, (though I still say he was incorrect to say that I came to Britain to run away). The best way to keep Donald Trump or any politician you don’t agree in check with is to voice your opposition in the correct manner.

To buy He Was Weird, go to https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1479122372&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird