Dogmatism and Equivocalism

mn130429fbIf everyone were equivocal and understanding of each other’s viewpoints, there would be no motivation to move forward. In politics, people are dogmatic for a reason. They hold their own beliefs so that new policies can be formed to be presented and made into law to move the country forward in time. If people were too equivocal, debate would not be held to which policies would be formed because everyone would be wishy washy. Like Alexander Hamilton says, “if you stand for nothing, you fall for anything.”

Contrary, the easier argument is if everyone were too unmoving, too bigoted, no person would be able to compromise; therefore, no policy in congress would pass without opposition.

However, people in general need to be more open minded, but not to the point where they are not firm on certain beliefs. A current example is the Syrian refugee crisis. The intake of refugees seems to have caused an outcry of racial slurs. The Syrian refugees are being called terrorists and miscreants all across many countries in Europe. I admit, no one wants to deal with a sudden rush of immigrants. Due to a large spike in population, competition of the housing and job markets would be created between current residents and immigrants. Nobody likes that. On the contrary, one must consider the situation of the refugees and the dangerous conditions in their homeland. This whole event reminds me of the quote by Martin Niemöller:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

And think; just a simple glance at a different perspective could fix the bigotry and misunderstanding of Syrian refugees. This philosophy can be applied to every situation and would provide a better solution than ignoring the inherent problem.

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Dear Diary: A Narrow Pass

narrowpathDear Diary,

Today I am going to sit down and have a conversation with my parents and tell them that I am moving away. I know they will not be happy about this, but I just have to.

“To tell you the truth I have been bullied at school for the past five years, and I think it would be best if I transfer to a different school. I cannot put up with classwork if I have no one to talk to”

They shake their heads and say “honey, you can talk to us”

“I come home and all that I hear is you two fighting about the littlest things; I don’t understand why you guys are still married; GET A DIVORCE. I do not care if you think it’s going to affect me. It won’t. I’ve already talked to grandma and she says that I can move in with her and go to high school near her. I’m moving so you two can figure your shit out and I can move on with my life.”

It is a hard truth, I know. But the truth is how it is. I cannot go to school and come home to endless noise and glass shattering on the floor.

My mum looks at me, like I was a child. “You can’t do this” she says. “You can’t just uproot and move like that”

“I cannot live like this anymore and this is the only obvious solution for me. Do you guys not want me to succeed. Obviously you don’t if you can’t keep the noise down while I’m doing homework.”

I think to myself about how this is not really about school. I can handle the bullies and can handle being picked on. I do have friends, but not having a steady, quiet home life is the real issue. I can get that with my grandma.

“Look. This is the best for me. I don’t want to be the reason you two fight. This is why I am moving away from you so you two can work it out. I cannot believe that I am telling you what to do, but it is just something you should think about, okay? I am moving out in two weeks. You can’t stop me.”

I went back to my room, tears in my eyes, and I started packing up my clothes. My dad came in with a suitcase, laid it on the floor, and nodded his head.


A work of fiction by Eric Blickensderfer

Q&A:GMOs

wkqaI commented on a blog post that was discussing the advantages and disadvantages of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). I agreed with the advantages listed, such as the ability for GMOs to increase crop yield in undeveloped countries, so nourishment would be plentiful; however I disagreed with the claim that GMOs could give rise to super pests and viruses. I stated that scientists would always find a way to circumvent the situations and would find new ways to prevent commercial plants from being preyed upon by disease or pests.

Guns on College Campuses

guns_on_campusThe university of Texas have recently announced that they are allowing people to carry concealed weapons on their campus. Now, this is not as serious as allowing middle school or high school students to carry a gun to class, but there has been recent shootings on college campuses. The most recent shooting that I have heard is at Indiana’s Ball State University. Two Guys entered the campus, both wielding .25 pistols, shooting erratically. The whole campus proceeded to be on lockdown while the police handled the situation. Meanwhile, a dear friend of mine was texting me the details, from underneath her desk. The police were able to detain these two gentlemen, without any injuries or casualties to civilians.

Of course this brings up the debate on gun control. If students and faculty members were allowed guns on campus, this issue would have been resolved in less than one minute. The response time for police and ambulance and other emergency vehicles are about 6-10 minutes, plus an extra few minutes to set up a safe perimeter; whereas a law-abiding citizen with a concealed firearm could disarm the tense situation without injury. With the knowledge that some people carry weapons on the campus, criminals may think twice before they start shooting innocent civilians.

The counter argument is that police go through extensive training in order to detain perpetrators without the use of lethal force. In order to obtain a concealed carry license, one does not have to go through any training; it would be a shoot-off until either the criminal or the citizen is dead.

Another argument against allowing guns on campus is that it would put a weapon in a safe place. There would always be the potential of a shooting; and on a college campus where people are stressed to no end; it could cause a mental breakdown ending in a mass shooting or suicide.

Recently, an organization called Students for Concealed Carry have formed on college campuses across the country, including Indiana University. At the activities fair, many people signed a petition to allow students on the IUB campus to carry concealed firearms.

But Texas is Texas and like anything, it is 20/20 hindsight. We will see how the allowance of firearms on a college campus turns out.

Campus Life: Bikes or Skateboards?

pictures-kids-bicycle-skateboard-scooter-100052008342When you walk around the campus of Indiana University, you notice two things:

  1. The campus is absolutely beautiful
  2. Everything is so far apart

With these two things in mind, one can only imagine how long it takes to get from one side or another. Since there are only sidewalks on campus, cars are not the most viable options, so that only leaves a few of options. These include many forms of wheeled transportations, such as bikes, scooters, skateboards, and roller blades, etc.

But since you do not want to look like a friggin’ nerd and this is not the 1970s, you really are only left with two options: the fast and efficient bike, or the badass leisureliness of the skateboard.

The quickness of a bike is certainly one thing to consider for the bicycle. It is a nice and fast way to get from point A to point B without too much of a hassle. However, there is a con to riding a bike on campus: everyone hates you.

The fact of the matter is if you are riding a bike, you are honestly the worst thing on earth to pedestrians because bikes come out of nowhere and have the potential to blind side you. If you are in fact riding a bike and cut off a pedestrian, you actually give them a heart attack. No one wants to be hit by a bike, so the fact that the possibility is there makes the average pedestrian anxious.

Now, if you are riding a skateboard, everyone is jealous of you. You are really super-cool skater boi who poses no threat to a walking pedestrian because let’s face it, we can just push you off your little wooden plank. The skateboard has its cons though, because it is quite a lot slower and harder to control than a bike. One would definitely have to practice skateboarding before plunging into the mess that is the 9:55 am walk back from class.

So, all things considered, the bike is probably the more viable option for traveling across campus. But since everyone hates you, you will have more time to study for the class that you arrive 20 minutes before everyone else so what else do you have to do with your life?