Florida Failed Nikolas Cruz

Throughout the motions of life, there will always be horrible scenes or incidents. Sadly society has become somewhat desensitized to many violent issues. However, what is remarkable is how on one hand society desires to create safe spaces or concerns yet, on the other hand, responds in a manner no different than witch hunters or extreme disciplinarians. There is no desire within American culture to remedy violent behavior or mental illness except allowing law enforcement to silence particular crimes.


It is as if mental health physicians and specialists are utilized after the fact rather than proactive. For example, a typical American social worker is usually summonsed during a crisis rather than before the crisis. In Europe social workers are a part of the norm rather than a stigma, usually based in America, to react to issues.


The recent shooting by Nikolas Cruz in a Florida school was perhaps the most tragic since the Columbine school shootings. However, what did we learn from the Columbine shootings? In 18 years since the Columbine shootings and five years since the Sandy Hook Elementary school shootings, we have not learned or implemented a single act towards mental health reforms or gun safety.


In each of the massacres, the perpetrator was a loner, ostracized, volatile, and experiencing some form of trauma. To make matters worse, there was at least a minimum level of raised awareness that intervention or red flags should be implemented for the safety of themselves and others. Very little, if anything, was done. Instead, the focus is to shift into this witch hunting mode to place all the burden on the wrongdoer and label them in the descriptive text as a monster, assassin, disturbed, or other labels as the lowest form of humanity. The most interesting part about this is that these same words were perhaps used before crimes yet nothing was executed to help remedy a foreseeable tragedy from occurring.


While it may be true, we should be responsible for our actions it should be indicative that we may want to become advocates towards facilitating better actions. There is no need to criminalize our intent. Instead, to become better at identifying potential threats we must learn to become proactive whereas not to create further harm. Society must stop becoming a lynch mob during a crisis and learn to become facilitators and advocates of mental awareness.


Mr. Cruz is a young man with a very troubled past. Being placed up for adoption only to have his newly adoptive parents die separately during his youth perpetuate the band-aid effect we place upon youth. If we spent more money on mental health rather than the end of year testing, we might see some better outcomes in our educational system. What Mr. Cruz did was heinous but inexcusable. However, it is my observation that Mr. Cruz was not in a clear mental focus to make any reasonable judgment. For that, the people of Florida failed Mr. Cruz and the students that were involved in the school shooting. It is a loss for both sides of the issue.


Laughter Is The Best Medicine

Joan Rivers said it best, “comedy is about everyone laughing to deal with issues.” That always resonates with me because we have honestly forgotten how to laugh. We have become so politically divided mixed with safe spaces that I fear that comedy is officially dead. Where is the freedom of humor and expression? Other comedians have mentioned similar negative cultures at the way we dissect comedy or simple jokes. Not all of us are born to be comedic. However, we should be mindful that having some laughter is critical towards our survival of dealing with pain and issues.

I watched a recent comedy show by the talented Lewis Black. During his appearance, he mentions that telling a joke about President Donald Trump isn’t funny anymore. Lewis went on to say that simple jokes have become toxic and divisive. There was a time where we could openly joke and speak without becoming a headline of misinterpreted hatred or labeled as discriminatory. This is where comedy and the ability to laugh has become a secret society or deemed not appropriate because it may affect someone. Folks, we must become a bit more thick-skinned than taking everything personal or literally. Humorous stories have been replaced with hurtful gossip and accusations where only the professional comedian is allowed to tell the joke; not before feeling the audience reaction. In some cases, the joke may be bleeped or edited for a broader audience. Based on that path we have censored laughter or regulated it. This is sad as an American in that should be living in a free speech world. Instead, our national comedic value has become an innuendo or suggestive setup where we are supposed to understand the punch without actually saying it.

Perhaps Joan Rivers was right to say we have become uptight assholes. Her brazen comedic talent was in your face like a therapist forcing a patient to deal with the core issue. George Carlin also tacked the same attitude values of comedy, Carlin pointed to nervous laughs because of how others may judge us. The point Carlin stressed, was to laugh and move past the problem. We have become ultra sensitive and critical of anything. Safe spaces do not facilitate or help to deal with issues. Safe spaces are no different than those suffering from PTSD that refuse to immerse themselves in situations. Therefore safe spaces only foster isolation and depressive behaviors.

It is time for us to laugh again and stop attempting the utopian society of false free expression. Naturally, there is a time and a place for humor, but sometimes it is best for us to relax a bit and become human rather than preprogrammed and neutral. You won’t find honesty in that value statement. If laughter is known as the best medicine, then we certainly have run out of supply or the ingredients to help heal the world.

Fake or Credible Internet?

Executives from Facebook, Twitter, and Google appeared today before Congress to discuss issues of possible Russian election interference. What I learned from that discussion was that internet providers are not as transparent as they claim to be. It has been a long-standing unwritten policy that the internet will not be controlled by anyone or any company. What we perceptively learned today was that the big internet giants have an interest in revenues and public image. Naturally, they do not wish to be labeled as “controllers of free speech.” But what about television, mail adverts or newspaper media flyers. They are regulated by many rules and regulations, and the deliverables of that particular irregularity or false product could be held liable for distribution not to mention investigators will be serving search warrants and filling up evidence boxes for later court dates. Such false advertising or false production is similar to snake oil pitches. Eventually, the salesman and the product can be banned and criminally charged if it causes harm.

The internet can be a dangerous place. It does have a unique mystique about it, and the data it collects and shares can be compared to a diamond mine depending on how one desires to implement a plan. But the internet today is not the porn hub central that once was deemed the 1990’s deviant playground. Today, the internet has become a part of our connected world with ala carte news and home appliance device connectivity. This is a differing contrast to European and foreign markets that protect user information. The internet has become dangerous because we have created conditions for it to be hazardous. Without fundamental enforceable law and boundaries, we have allowed the internet to be policed by not companies and people but instead analytics and software. This is not to imply a conspiracy theory of artificial intelligence taking over the world. Alternatively, the implication is that software is not human enough to determine what is real versus what is not. But to take that argument a bit further, many Americans have difficulty in distinguishing between fake or credible.

Based on that little snippet of discovery it will be hard-pressed for any prosecutor to effectively rule on the Russian election hacking issue. Not because of evidence, but because of the complexities of election laws differing across state lines and internet data servers that typically reside outside the United States as a form of redundancy and backup qualities. Let’s not mix up collusion with election tampering. Collusion is a secretive path to data where tampering is a physical adulteration of data. But I think it is equally important to ask tech giants to disclose to government or a branch of oversight how it maintains its secretive or propriety paths. For example, today I performed a random search of Kevin Spacey and Anthony Rapp separately. What I quickly discovered was that Spacey had all the press information while Rapp had similar linkage. There was not one negative search story about Rapp to include alternative viewpoints or discussions. Why? Is it that analytics immediately point to what is deemed credible or is it what tech giants want us to read?

Overall, it is very complicated, and any legal ramifications about internet tampering will ultimately set a new precedent of how we or others police credible data. Another question to ask ourselves “does metadata exclude opposite viewpoints on purpose because it deems them as false?” This would be the argument I would introduce because not one blog or publication raised issues with Rapp. I am not attempting to slam Rapp. I am only using this as a prime example of how information seems adulterated and selectively scrubbed while searching for it.

The bottom line is that tech giants have an agenda and we the people are its product. Naturally, there won’t be much transparency from tech giants because that would remove a large slice of income and data collection from its grasp.  Google, Facebook, and Twitter currently monopolize our data where we do not own ourselves or our privacy any longer. Until someone breaks up the monopoly or peels back the onion of these companies, we will continue to witness distortion and snake oil pitches that seem all too real. Perhaps the internet and another nation adulterated our recent election by creating emotional harm. At what point will it become perilous where many people die or are harmed because the internet has succeeded credible standards seemingly no longer used because it’s not technical or high speed sufficient?

America’s Failed Obsession With Sexual Assault

The recent barrage of sexual assault claims and allegations do nothing more than demonstrate how disproportionate the powerful are over the unknown. If this had been Joe Spacey and Mark Rapp from Anywhere, USA there would be a formal criminal investigation because little or no power is utilized. Anthony Rapp waited thirty years to come forward however allegedly told his friends and others about the encounter. Rapp is not sharing a story. Instead, he created a situation by using his status as power. This is no different from others that commit sexual assault and their quest for power or dominance; should that be the motive. Using a dangerous platform such as social media and networks to share a story rather than a professional therapist, doctor, or legal counsel is not a conversation. It is merely an attempt to seek power and reinforcement of control by others. Rapp seems to lose his credibility when he says he was the last person at the party watching TV in Spacey’s bedroom. I find it highly suspicious where any 14-year old seeks to spend time at a party by watching TV alone in a strangers bedroom. I am unsure what excuse Rapp told his parents about his whereabouts? However, I am sure there is another trail of lies and deception. Similar to the trick Rapp initiated by these almost seemingly “fresh” allegations.

There will always be a sexualized charged pop culture. The hordes of girls (and guys) waiting backstage at rock concerts of the past were almost a rite of passage. Band members, groupies, and stagehands were all equal participants in the sex scene. It still happens today. Data supports evidence that sexual curiosities are often peaked at events where high profile or famous people are. However, Hollywood is the first of a tumbling wall of skeletons in the closet and other entertainment or popularity based headliners will eventually be mentioned, accused, or investigated. What we are witnessing today is an adulteration or adaptation of the facts of past culture versus current culture allowing power and influence based on new policy or regulation. Kevin Spacey and others that perhaps made poor choices years ago are on public media trial today because others want or desire to abuse power based on their celebrity status or introductory profile. Surely others will throw their own spin of accusations with minor infraction but create major implications. However, the modern oligarchist society wants to identify behaviors from the past to rectify in the present based on power creating a false majority. If Rapp had a drunken man perform the same actions at an NYC subway station would the situation be immediately reported or thirty years later? Again, its nothing more than constructive abuse of power and a rush to absolute judgment. Our rush to judgment, especially about a past incident where no physical, sexual contact took place has become nothing more than the modern day Salem Trials where any form of mistake or interpretation endures no forgiveness or apologetic closure. If this had been nobody we had heard of then the story would have been shut down well before it began.

Sexual assault, rape culture, and other sexually driven motives should be a conversation on how to move forward. If there is a criminal element, then naturally there is a course to deal with that particular set of conditions.  Instead, the conversation has turned into gang warfare tactics and hatred where only one side is doing all the yelling and finger-pointing. At what point do we return to the conversation which becomes an educational tool for all? As long as social media and unqualified social justice warriors shift the conversation to a single platform based on power, then free societies will become a presumption of guilt until proven innocent. Lives can quickly be destroyed at a whim of allegation or misinterpretation of the facts. That is not freedom and fails to follow in the footsteps of our ideals of “justice for all” standards. Let’s return to the discussion without the name calling. Let’s fix and discover ways to heal and educate everyone fairly and openly.

Cost of Child Care equals to college tuition

Raising a child in America ain’t cheap. Finding that high school babysitter or locating an accredited child care center may be similar to finding the right university. What can be similar is the cost of obtaining child care. A whopping $7,000 to $8,000 is the annual average cost of childcare in the North Carolina. The equates to nearly $690 a month for parents. When you add in the cost of housing, car payments, student loans, food, insurance, and a cell phone plan, it can make parenting not such a good idea.

What got us here at the cost of child care in the first place? The argument stands in overall quality. Daycare centers are nearly identical to a private academic standard. It embodies technology to entertain and enrich children. Daycare centers rely on the most qualified vetting system in America where applicants backgrounds are scrutinized at every corner to ensure the safety and welfare of the children.

Child care centers are almost fortress-like with security cameras, steel doors, fire, and carbon monoxide monitoring mixed with state of the art technology to provide parents peace of mind. Let us not forget about the cost of insurance that daycares must pay. Liability for any child is and will continually remain a vast bulk of overhead. From random food allergies to equipment FDA warning letters or recalls, child care centers must always have a vigilance stance. However, it is, we the public, that created that standard but

It is, we the public, that created that standard but doesn’t want to pay for the additional excess. This is perhaps why parents that cannot afford standardized day care continue to utilize “under the table” child services just to make ends meet. We live in a libelous nation with a social justice warrior attitude complaining about quality yet then complain when that outcome is met about the consequential effect. If you think childcare is expensive today just wait until child care employees begin demanding pay increases that level teaching or other professional services. Currently, child care professionals are drawing hourly pay at the minimum pay scale. However, that too will soon change as childcare will become a premium private regulated service.

I do not foresee childcare becoming a public need unless taxpayers are ready to begin transitioning elementary schools into daycares. I do expect childcare migrating into an Uber or Lyft related application as an alternative to saving money only to have it scrutinized or downplayed as ineffective or hurting licensed centers. It is just how America works.

Thank You To My Readers

I wanted to take this moment to personally say thank you to those of you that follow my blog. Honestly, writing each day has its challenges. Writing an opinion, for me, should create a bit of professionally minded controversy to get us talking about problems, situations, and sometimes hidden unspeakables that we are afraid to base our opinion on. I don’t intend to write to fuel the flames or to be compared to “shock jocks” in the media. Rather I write in hopes to provide a voice for the opposition or concerns from those that cannot seem to get in front of the microphone. It is my wish that others would blog more to foster a better understanding of one another without becoming overly emotional or critical of the writer. The focus should be the subject, and we should scrutinize it carefully not to silence each other, but to be heard equally, fairly, and open minded.


Many of you know that I am in graduate school at the University of South Dakota. Next week is spring break. I will take one week off beginning next week to have some much needed free time. I will return to my blogs on the following week. Again, thank you all, and I look forward to your comments and feedback.