Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Twenty years ago today

May 16, 1998  I married my ex. We were married for 13 years. This date has very little meaning for my happiness these days, but it isn't a reason to be unhappy. See, we may be divorced, but we are still coparents. Reid has a mom and a dad. Both are important to him.  I have learned a lot since I was 20 years old. First, I learned that just because two people aren't good to each other, or aren't good together, doesn't mean they aren't good people. I have learned that marriage is not something to enter into because you want to be in love and married.

Did I love him? Sure, but I don't think it was the same kind of love that one needs to be married. I was twenty and didn't know the difference in types of love that were necessary to build certain types of relationships. We were married for thirteen years mostly because I was too stubborn to admit that I may have been wrong. Chris wasn't a bad guy. Sure he did things that pissed me off to no end. If you go back far enough on this blog, I am more than sure that you will find proof of that very fact. I know that I did the same to him. That was then. Are we the best of friends, now? No, not really. I do have to say, though, in the realm of exes, I would rather have him than some of the others I have seen. I have a laundry list of reasons for why we should not be married that I can blame on him, and I am absolutely sure that he has the same. We are great people who don't belong together.

Here's what I can say:

He is a great dad. He wants what's best for Reid. He takes time with him and makes him feel good. He takes his time to come to games and take him to dinner. He makes sure that he is well taken care of. He's a good guy.

If you are going through a rough split and have kids, don't rush things. Be patient. The split is your choice, but don't expect to magically get along. Chris and I were nasty to each other when we were married and when we first split. We would never be that way to each other now. We have come to terms with our split, and we realize who is really important, Reid. No one but Reid. Now, if I need something, I know I can go to Chris if I need to, and he can come to me. We can eat dinner together because it makes Reid happy. I can pick Chris up from the airport when he needs a ride because his ride bailed on him. I can give him relationship advice and talk to him about what is bothering me if I need an impartial audience. Why can we do this? Is it because we are in love, love each other, or belong together? Nope. Absolutely, positively not. I could not be married to him again if you paid me, and I am 1000% sure he would say the same. Does that make either of us bad? Nope. We are incompatible. He is a great fella, and I think I am a pretty good gal. Good gals and great fellas don't always belong together. I now have Everett, and he is a great fella too. He is my other half and my great fella. Chris is someone else's great fella.

I appreciate him for who he is. He is Reid's dad.  Reid loves him endlessly as he does me. He worries about him and he worries about me. That is all that is important. Reid. We care for Reid and take care of him together. He isn't my son, nor Chris's; he is ours. We parent together. We handle what Reid needs as a team. I am grateful to him. He gave me the greatest son I could have asked for. As a matter of fact, he also shared his oldest son with me, and Tyler will always be mine in my heart. Tyler has a great mom and I wouldn't replace her, ever, but I will always love him as my own. Chris is a great dad and has two great kids to prove that. Sure Tyler's mom and I have a hand in that too, but genetics plays a part, and the fact that Chris makes sure his kids know that he loves them is incredibly important.

Twenty years ago today I married a guy I had no business marrying, but I wouldn't trade that choice for all the money in the world. My twenty year old self thought that loving someone would fix the incompatibility. I love lots of people, but I would never marry them. Don't disparage your ex if you have one, especially if you have kids. You may have made the wrong choice in partners, but it doesn't mean that there wasn't something wonderful to come from that choice. Chris made the wrong choice in marrying me, but I am sure he'd do it again to have Reid. So, twenty years later, I want to thank him. Thank you for teaching me that there are very different important types of love. Thank you for being a good guy. Thank you for being a great dad. Thank you for having my back when we parent our son. Thank you for being there when I need for you to, and trusting me to be there when you do. Happy anniversary, sort of.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Logical Fallacies- Slippery Slope

This is the "world is going to end because we didn't plant grass today," argument. This fallacy often seems plausible. The slippery slope argument often hinges on worse and worse things until the world is basically ending. I most often see this when debating gay marriage and gender identity.

The argument with gay marriage is usually laid out as: if we have same sex marriage, what's next? Marriage between a man and his cow? Pedophiles marrying their victims? and so on and so forth. Generally speaking, this is absurd. The majority of people that say things like "people should be able to marry whomever they choose," are speaking of two consenting adults. Now, at the risk of falling prey to another logical fallacy, no, they don't always say it, but it is implied. "How is it implied?" you may ask. Well, I have never actually heard a logical, sane person argue for anything other than same sex marriage when they actually get into the argument. When pressed for more information on the policies they seek, they will argue for two consenting adults be allowed to marry regardless of gender.

The other way I see this fallacy is when people are discussing gender identity or sexual orientation. People will suddenly break in with something like "if I feel like a dog, that doesn't mean I am actually a dog." or "What next? people identifying as poodles." This is a bit extreme. From what I can tell, there are two basic genders, on either end of the spectrum. None of them come up with a whole new gender. There's male, female, gender fluid (both), and agendered (neither) for the main categories, and it may be somewhere in between for some. None of these are listed as poodle, duck, tree, or anything else. It's an extreme reaction to something the person doesn't understand.

This is the slippery slope. Neither of these things are really going to happen. We can even create laws to prevent them. The laws could state that marriage between consenting adults is legal, as long as all parties agree to the terms. It becomes less sexy then, but the government isn't very sexy to begin with. We also must acknowledge that separation of church and state means that there is no religious connotation of marriage under the legal definition. Churches may elect not to perform ceremonies, but they can for heterosexual couples as well. As far as gender, we can also limit this to only human genders. We can insist that people will choose a human gender. We don't have to acknowledge the ones who want to identify as a tree. Bathrooms should all be single stall unisex anyway, so don't get me started.

Don't fall down the slippery slope. Things that you do not approve of or understand may exist without the drama of thinking the worst will happen.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Bill of Rights- The Tenth Amendment

The tenth amendment covers those things that should be left to the states.

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

Basically this one covers everything that the federal government should stay out of. People should govern themselves or the states should; the federal government should stay out of it. This is a debate between the Democrats and Republicans in many cases. One side wants more government control while the other wants less. There should be some common ground in this area, as what is best for the people may be different depending on each situation. No, I don't think the government needs to know everything I do always, but I do think that some consistency throughout the states would be good. I am not a lawmaker, however, so I cannot decide which of these things are better to be left to states and which should be federal. There are cases for both. The fact of the matter is, the constitution says that somethings should be left alone.

The Bill of Rights- Ninth Amendment

The ninth amendment is a catch all.

"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

This amendment basically says that the rights of the people are not limited to those outlined in the constitution as it is written. We have more rights than are outlined here. The rights of the people to be free shouldn't be infringed upon, and the constitution felt the need to say that this document wasn't conclusive. There really isn't much to debate in this one.

I do feel that 2nd amendment supporters should actually use the 9th amendment instead. The wording of the second is unclear as to whether or not we should be armed to have a well regulated militia or if everyone has the right to bear arms for any purpose. This one says that the the amendments are not conclusive, so they could protect the rights of the citizens to protect themselves. Just my two cents worth, though. ;)

Logical Fallacies- False Dichotomies

False dichotomies are related to being black and white. They are also either or. It is a fallacy of limitations, though. Many people do not see the shades of grey in the world, and that is the fallacy of seeing things as black or white. There is also the dilemma of limiting one's choices. Like the example of conservative or liberal that was the black or white debate, this one is popular in politics as well.

During the last presidential election, people were hellbent on choosing between republican or democrat. Maybe they were the two most likely choices, or the ones with the most viable candidates, but they weren't the only choices. Many people believe that voters either voted for Hillary or for Donald. Well, that's simply not true. Many states have provisions for write in candidates (NC has restrictions such as you must be registered as a write in candidate) and almost every state has provisions for third party candidates. If a candidate files in a state prior to their deadlines, and following their rules, many parties may be represented on a ballot.

Take Randolph County for instance. There is an upcoming sheriff's election. There are two parties with candidates running before the primary. The Republican Party may choose from Greg Seabolt or Robert Graves. The Libertarian Party has Eric Hicks and Adam Brooks for candidates. Eric Hicks is actually a republican, but thought he would ensure his nomination by switching parties for the primary. This way he would make it on the final ballot in November, but Adam Brooks entered the race. Now, I am not sure why Hicks chose Libertarian, as I have not followed him that closely, but I imagine it has to do with the fact that it's not one of the "two major" political parties in the US, so he thought there would be less likely a challenger. We still have two parties to choose from, but they aren't the parties that most people would consider. It would seem that we only have two choices.

We have more than two choices now, as we did in November of 2016. In November of 2016 we could vote Democrat (Clinton), Republican (Trump), Independent (Johnson), Write-in (Stein), or not voting. See in NC, You have to register as an optional write-in candidate. Jill Stein was the only NC candidate to do so. BUT we still had more than two options. People kept complaining about the two options, but didn't want to take the time to actually vote for/ campaign for another option. People complain about there being only two choices, but there are not. It's a false dichotomy. Nothing will change because the democrats won't vote republican and vice versa. Well, What if people start electing not Democrats or Republicans? But they won't.... oops that's circular logic. We'll discuss that one next. We have limited ourselves by devising a dichotomy and living by it, when it doesn't really exist. We have more choices, but we can't see the forest for the trees.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Logical Fallacies- Genetic/ Origin Fallacy

This fallacy bases it's argument on the origin of the argument. This one is popular in political circles. Donald Trump said it; therefore we know it's crap. Hillary Clinton said it, so it must be evil. While I don't like to accept anything Donald Trump says at face value, it isn't wrong just because he said it. For example, like him or not, heck, like Hillary or not, he was kind to her back at the debates when he said she was a fighter and not a quitter. I don't necessarily agree with everything Hillary says or does either, but she is a fighter. I had definite reservations about her being president. This isn't about her politics, or his. What this is about is that no matter how you feel about someone, they may have a valid point. Dismissing a valid argument because the person with the idea is an enemy or you don't like them, is a fallacy in itself. His point, in this case, was valid and true. I cannot dismiss it just because he says it.

This one is difficult at times. Donald Trump, in my opinion, is a bigoted misogynist. I don't trust most of what he says. That said, I can't dismiss an argument just because he says it. I fully believe that we should validate, research, and explore his (or anyone's) arguments before believing them as fact. I also believe that we shouldn't believe anything based upon origin, either. People shouldn't believe everything anyone says. Not even our parents or friends. I mean, look at the whoppers our parents told us in childhood. ;) I love my dad, but basing an argument on things he says could be dangerous. He tells a great story. That doesn't mean they are 100%true.

People are often wrong, and often right. We are fallible, and should investigate all claims. Accepting or denying claims based upon the genetic origins is ill advised.

The Bill of Rights- The Eighth Amendment

This amendment keeps us from being held with excessive punishment.

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

This means we cannot be put to death for stealing a loaf of bread. We also can't be held on a million dollars bond for that same loaf of bread.

Most Americans agree that the punishment should fit the crime. Petty theft shouldn't carry decades in prison. Rape should carry more than 6 months.

Most of the time when this particular amendment is debated, we tend to be angry about the lack of punishment. We tend to be discussing how an accused rapist is later discovered to be wrongly convicted, but the accuser isn't charged, or the punishment is lighter.

Another debate is how one person of a certain race is given a lighter sentence than those of other races. Punishments must all fit their respective crimes regardless of skin color or gender.

This amendment is supposed to keep us from being punished harshly for a minor crime, though. There are other laws that are meant to handle punishments being different for groups based on gender or race.