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¡Viva Mexico!

close up of red white and green country flag
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Pexels.com

The Original Intention

Mexico wasn’t my first option of places to live when I left Vietnam. My original plan entailed moving to Chile. I spent several months putting together an Excel spreadsheet with a list of countries. I conducted extensive research. I would give each nation X amount of points in every category. I ranked them with at least forty factors. Among those were cost of living, safety, crime rate, air pollution, universal healthcare, importance of religion; distance from Russia, the Middle East, the United States, China, and North Korea; fragility of state, economic stability, corruption, female-to-male ratio, life expectancy, etc. I was very thorough and went the whole nine yards. At least I thought I did. I’m talking OCD accuracy. I was driving myself mad trying to find the most suitable country. At the end I tallied up the points. Anywhere that ranked lower than Thailand was eliminated. That was where I set the bar. Ukraine, Indonesia, and Bolivia got crushed in no time. The winner was Australia while Uruguay came in second place. Both were over my budget, so Chile came next in line.

Changing the Routine

Mexico was on the shortlist but not in the top five. There was still Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Brazil ahead. I came here under the assumption I would save enough dough to move to Chile eventually. That plan has been at the very least postponed if not kiboshed. Mexico was a backup plan as I couldn’t afford a plane ticket to Chile. It costs more to fly to South America from the United States than it does Asia. At least that’s how it was at the time. This was in the middle of the winter which was summertime in South America. That it was the opposite season might have been a contributing factor. Regardless, I improvised along the way. I moved to Merida, Yucatan, under the recommendation of Jacobo – an old acquaintance. My biggest priority was safety and security. My main complaint is that the weather is the same as Southeast Asia. It’s bloody stinking hot and humid ten months out of the year. It has the exact same climate as Thailand and Vietnam. My other grievances are there’s too many stray animals here. Nobody neuters or spays their pets, and the dating pool seems too slim.

Don’t Blame Jacobo

Merida is a very conservative city and one of the Catholic church’s biggest strongholds. The majority of Yucateca women marry and have at least one child by age 25. That to me was disappointing. Jacobo had no way of knowing I was looking for a significant other, so don’t blame him. I said I wanted to live somewhere inexpensive that isn’t crime ridden, and that’s where Merida popped up. Jacobo meant well when he suggested that. He was being a good friend. It’s my fault for not doing more research or asking which city in Mexico had the best dating pool. Had I known then what I do now, I probably would have gone to Guadalajara. I knew all along Latin America was more amenable towards someone like me. Hispanic cultures tend to be more forgiving and understanding about mental health than East Asian ones. I don’t know about Mexico, but I’m told they’re cool about it in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and other places. I’ve not had any issues with Mexico in that department. All I can tell you is it’s more autism-friendly than the Far East.

The Tour of a Lifetime

I’ve taken advantage of opportunities during my time here. The tour I took during the vernal equinox still gives me goosebumps. I went with a group to Dzibilchaltun and visited the Temple of the Seven Dolls. The aperture to that structure aligns perfectly with the sun during the spring equinox. After that, I explored Izamal – the Yellow City – and climbed the tallest pyramid in Mexico. It reminded me of the time I experienced Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur. Never in my life had I seen so many yellow buildings. I was afraid I’d get jaundice had I stayed much longer. The third stop entailed Xcajum Cenote – a natural waterhole. Those things I find mystical. The best and last part was Chichen Itza – an anthropologist’s wet dream. I didn’t realize it was an entire park not just that castle in the middle. Not only was I in awe of the Mayan ruins; I was blown away by the sun shadow forming a snake along the staircase. I got nostalgic because the Mayan artifacts reminded me of Thailand and the time I journeyed through Ancient Siam. The only difference was there were no reclining Buddhas at Chichen Itza. I’d go back there in a heartbeat.

Tales from the Dark Side

Day in and day out, I hear horror stories about Latin America. I don’t live in Juarez or Tijuana for crying out loud. Yes, I’ve seen Scarface, Traffic, Miami Vice, El Mariachi, Desperado, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Man on Fire, and other crime dramas. I’ve watched every episode of Breaking Bad, Narcos, and El Chapo, too. Most of those incidents occurred during the 80’s and 90’s. Pablo Escobar was killed in 1993. Chapo Guzman got convicted and placed in a prison from which he can’t escape. What the skeptics don’t know is those tall tales you hear about Latin America regarding the drugs, kidnappings, and whatnot also happen in Southeast Asia where I lived three years. They don’t call them cartels in that region because there’s no cocaine. They do however have heroin, opium, and methamphetamines. Those organizations are labeled merely drug rings, but it’s all the same in the end. There’s several reasons why nobody knows or hears about the Asian underworld. The obvious being they’re far removed from the United States across the globe. Another is they’re not flamboyant like Medellin and Sinaloa were. They do their activities surreptitiously and fly below the radar like the Cali cartel did.

Mexico Doesn’t Scare Me

I’m not afraid of Mexico City, either. I’ve been battle-tested after living in Thailand in Vietnam. Bangkok is one of the dodgiest cities on Earth. Mexico City can’t be any worse than Bangkok I tell myself. There are significant Russian and Ukrainian communities there and Saigon, and I’m certain they bring heavy hitters from Moscow and Kiev. Many Japanese expats live in both locales much of whom I suspect are Yakuza. I’ve stated I watch the same movies all the ‘experts’ have. I’ve even seen American Gangster based on a true story. Denzel Washington played Frank Lucas, an African-American kingpin in New York City during the 60’s and 70’s. Lucas smuggled heroin into the United States through coffins of fallen Vietnam War soldiers. There’s a street in Saigon called Bui Vien where people get zapped out of their minds on drugs. The police are there facilitating it making sure nothing gets out of hand. Thailand is one of the worst places on the planet when it comes to child sex trafficking. Many child predators travel to Southeast Asia as sex tourists because they know the governments are so corrupt, and there’s nothing anyone can do. I lived there when they busted Jared Fogel, the pitchman for Subway. I was also there during the bombing at Erawan Shrine. My inbox was flooded over the next day because my family and friends worried I might have been blown to smithereens.

Same Song, Different Dance

There’s nothing terrible I’ve heard about Mexico that I haven’t already about Thailand or Vietnam. The only things I’m worried about are crooked landlords, pickpockets, shady expats, and petty scams. I know how to handle those folks after living in Southeast Asia. I was robbed by the traffic police at gunpoint in Vietnam. My passport was stolen there without further ado. I’m better equipped to act accordingly. Mexico doesn’t seem that bad to me because I came mentally prepared. The second time the police tried to shake me down in Vietnam, I knew what to do. I took a semester of German in college. Many of the corrupt cops speak English, but I’ll bet none know German. That’s what I deduced how to handle them. I know they’re after my money, that they think all the expats are rich, and that they can intimidate me. They’re not going to waste their time seeking an interpreter and risk getting exposed. Most criminals aren’t as slick as they think they are. Nine times out of ten, they take the quickest and easiest route to get what they want with minimal exposure. I’ve studied a lot about criminal psychology during my off-time. I’ve read The Art of War by Sun Tzu. One of the main tenets of that piece is know your enemies. That’s why I now take off my shoes and hide my money in my socks whenever I travel with lots of cash and put only a small amount in different pockets. I might even get two wallets; one with a trifle of notes and throw it the opposite direction should I be mugged and give myself enough time to run away in zigzag patterns so the thug’s bullet won’t hit me should he/she decide to shoot. I may even walk around with my hands in my pocket. I’d rather the ladies and others think me shy and insecure than vulnerable.

I See Your True Colors Shining Through

That said, I no longer use taxicabs but only Uber. I don’t trust the former after living in Bangkok. The majority of scams the Viets have tried to fool me with I caught onto living in Thailand. Many hucksters at Ben Thanh Market got offended whenever I called them out. They thought I was stupid and didn’t know what they were doing. Little did they know, they would try the same shtick at Pat Pong Market in Bangkok. I wasn’t afraid to tell them I could see through them. I may be overstating things, but I imagine the same is true about Mexico City and other megacities in underdeveloped countries. I’ve learned how to mind my surroundings and always have my guard up. Therefore, I’m not afraid of Mexico City, Medellin, or anywhere else.  My bullshit detectors have been amplified ten-fold after living in Southeast Asia. I never buy things on the street unless they have price tags. I figure they’re knockoffs or the vendors want to play me for a sucker and overcharge me. As far as the organized crime goes, I suspect those guys are smart enough not to do their business in the open. As long as you use common sense and exercise caution, you should be safe. I don’t plan to go looking for them.

Much Ado About Nothing

I’m not worried about being kidnapped when I visit Cancun or anyplace else, either. Do you really think I’d be here if I felt someone might abduct me? First of all, the US State Department would ban all travel to Mexico if it was that unsafe. Secondly, I’d notify the embassy consulate before I do that. Third, I’d post a status on social media letting everyone know where I’m headed. Fourth, I don’t come from a wealthy family like Natalie Holloway, so my captors wouldn’t gain much from the ransom. Fifth, most of those take place up north near the border not down south where I am. Sixth and finally, I’d give my family, friends, or whomever specific instructions to contact the embassy and every news outlet they can if I’m not seen or heard from within a week. I have a game plan for events like this. Imagine how it would look if all over CNN or FOX News the headlines said, “Autistic American Male Missing in Mexico.” You think Donald Trump won’t heat up the propaganda machine and try to start a war with Mexico to beef up his campaign for the 2020 election or use that as a wild card to convince voters in swing states Mexico is full of murderers and rapists to divert everyone’s attention away from another recession? For all we know, his administration may use the ICE detainees as collateral damage in retaliation. Knowing Trump, I wouldn’t put it past him. Most smart criminals don’t want to draw that kind of attention.

They’re Not All Bad

The only bad things that happened since I’ve been here were my watch getting ruined in Xcajum Cenote, and I lost my ATM card. I know my debit card wasn’t stolen because my account wasn’t emptied when I checked my bank statement online. I reported it lost, ordered another one, and had my mom send me money through Western Union. Also, there’ve been a few power surges caused by storms. Other than that, everything has gone smoothly. Mexico turned out to be an excellent fit. I’d describe it the same way I would Michael Keaton, Daniel Craig, Charlize Theron, and Harrison Ford playing Batman, James Bond, Aileen Wuornos, and Indiana Jones or Albert Brooks portraying a mafia kingpin in Drive. None of those mentioned were the directors’ first selections. Some were last minute replacements like Ford. The movie critics were skeptical at first because they worried the roles might not match the actors’ skill sets, but those people caught everyone by surprise and wound up killing those parts.

A Successful Failure

Now most moviegoers can’t imagine Tom Selleck (the original choice) as Indiana Jones. Daniel Craig is arguably the best Bond ever behind Sean Connery. Some fans like my mother think the former was better than the latter. Charlize Theron landed herself an Academy Award for her performance. You can even compare my circumstance to Christopher Plummer replacing Kevin Spacey to portray J. Paul Getty in All the Money in the World. Ridley Scott scrapped Spacey from the project at the last minute when the Hollywood sex abuse scandal emerged and had Plummer fill the void six weeks before that film was released. They had to re-shoot all scenes involving Spacey with Plummer. Not only did Plummer pull it off within a three-week span; he knocked it out of the park and got an Oscar nomination. Now many people can’t envision Spacey in that role. If I were to correlate my time in Mexico to a movie, this turned out to be a sleeper hit like My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Napoleon Dynamite. It might even win Best Picture like Slumdog Millionaire which was also a surprise hit. Now I can’t envision myself moving back to Southeast Asia after living here. I perceive Mexico the same way historians did the Apollo 13 mission, a successful failure.

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Leave Our Knobs Alone

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

An Act of Barbarism

There’s a common practice in America I find barbaric and should be outlawed. I don’t mean privatized prisons or our lack of universal healthcare both of which I share the same sentiment. I’m not talking about capital punishment the latter of which I have mixed feelings. I’m not referring to burning fossil fuels, burying waste in landfills, or mass consumption which I find repulsive. I’m speaking of circumcision. It’s beyond me why this is still a topic of debate. Unsurprisingly, most people I’ve known who condone this vile act other than Jews are second wave feminists. Thus, I call them out on their hypocrisy. If they’re going to get preachy about abortion and women’s rights, the least they can do is respect those of males. What makes you think I like some ninny femsplaining to me what she thinks is best for my genitals if she doesn’t like guys mansplaining to her what’s good for her uterus? America is one of the few developed countries left that advocates this debauchery.

Don’t Believe the Hype

The liberal media loves preaching how horrible date rape is and going on diatribes regarding rape culture, campus rape, and statutory rape. They like shaming us about consent trying to convince us there’s a sexual assailant on every street corner. They had a field day regarding the child abuse scandal with the Catholic church and whatnot. Nobody on the left held any punches against Jeffrey Epstein or Donald Trump about the child sex trafficking. They only defended Bill Clinton saying he was just a passenger on the plain. What about those infant boys? Did they get a say in whether or not they were snipped? Why has that never dominated the headlines? I remember seeing an expose about female genital mutilation in Egypt when I was 13. Little boys have their foreskin cut, and nobody panics. Adults remove female infant clitorises, and everyone goes ballistic. My mother, who had me cut when I was a baby, and I have had heated debates over this. She tried arguing they use glass and rusty metal to do the procedure on girls. What makes her or anybody else think they don’t do the same to boys?

To Cut or Not to Cut

She’s not the only one. Her generation was sold the idea that it was more hygienic and the right thing to do. Every myth about male infant circumcision preventing urinary tract infections and STD’s has been debunked. Sadly, there’s idiots out there who still believe them just as there are those convinced vaccines cause autism despite the overwhelming evidence disproving that. Little do they know, the doctors who sold them that hogwash were receiving massive kickbacks from the hospital to perform circumcisions. Of course they’re going to say that when there’s some financial gain for them. I wouldn’t be surprised if one guilt-shamed my mother into having me cut. If those were true, Africa and the Middle East wouldn’t have higher rates of AIDS and other urological ailments. My mother acknowledges this, but she tried using a strawman argument stating women with circumcised partners have lower rates of cervical cancer. That’s what pap smears and HPV vaccines are for, my dear readers. That’s why they have condoms, IUD’s, diaphragms, and such. Women who sleep around and have multiple partners are at higher risk, but I don’t see anyone shaming them into monogamy. No, now we encourage Western women to brag about it and have annual SlutWalks. For every point the advocates use, I have a counterpoint to debunk it. If preaching abstinence-only is ineffective towards teenagers with raging hormones, I’d say it’s a safe bet trying to assure me circumcision is benevolent is fruitless.

It Israeli Not Necessary

Yes, I know most Jewish men are circumcised. Most Jewish men also don’t practice kosher or wear yarmulkes. I was an anthropology minor in college. Some Jewish woman tried claiming the Torah requires it. I’ll tell you what, lady. When every Jewish man practices kosher, has an unshorn beard, wears all black, and dons a yarmulke or black hat, then you can get back to me. When Israel discontinues its aggression towards Palestine and stops playing the holocaust card to justify the means, then we can discuss halakha. Do you really want me to go there? Mel Gibson wasn’t off the mark during his drunken stupor. I’m not condoning his behavior or saying he wasn’t out of line, but his statement wasn’t inaccurate. More than half of the turmoil in the Middle East is because of Israel. The United States government throws $10 billion a year towards Israel who has universal healthcare and free post-secondary education. Meanwhile, we can’t afford to feed the poor, shelter the homeless, or provide medicare, but that’s another story. The Torah also forbids homosexuality. Man-on-man relations are subjectable to death. There have been rabbis in Israel wanting to impose capital punishment for that, yet Tel Aviv has one of the largest gay populations in the world. I’ll bet that Jewish lady didn’t think I knew that, either. Nice try, woman, but it won’t stick. I don’t place much credence into religious law.

It Israeli That Simple

The reason nobody discusses how inhumane male circumcision is or all the heinous things caused by Israel is because Jews own most of the American media. Anyone who speaks up about these gets branded as anti-Semitic. That explains why Mel Gibson was Hollywood blacklisted. If the Jews have enough brain cells to speak English, Hebrew, and Yiddish fluently; practice kosher, study economics, handle finances, manage their money, make investments, run petty scams and ponzi schemes, hide their shady business practices, avoid detection by the IRS and Better Business Bureau, write screenplays, produce and direct movies; win Pulitzer Prizes, Nobel Prizes, and Academy Awards; plan bar and bat mitzvahs, train the Mossad, hunt down war criminals, conceal their own war crimes, invent krav maga (the world’s deadliest martial art) and the uzi, construct synagogues, build scud missiles and laser-guided keyboards, live autonomously, and light up menorahs during Hanukkah, there’s no reason they shouldn’t know how to wash out their schmeckels. That’s as easy as spinning a dreidel. They’re not animals though they sure act like it by the way they treat the Palestinians. I presume they take showers with soap and hot water in Israel if they have top notch universities. That stands to reason if they had the chutzpah to build a wall around their country and several kibbutzes, a solid military, and a sound infrastructure within.

They Are Not Alone

Judaism isn’t the only religion that practices circumcision, unfortunately. It’s also common in Islam. I don’t think the readers need me to remind them how the American media paints Muslims as savages. Circumcision is practiced neither in Japan, France, Scandinavia, nor anywhere else in Northern Europe. Those countries have some of the lowest rates of cervical cancer in the world which means there’s other preventative methods. That article my mother sent me I didn’t bother reading once I discovered the author was a woman. Call me sexist or insensitive, but I don’t need someone femsplaining or jewsplaining to me what’s best for my dong. That’s tantamount to those dry old men in Congress regulating women’s bodies as I stated in the first paragraph. If it’s her body her choice, the same should apply to men. That’s my rationale. What’s good for the goose is great for the gander. No, I will not STFU about this, either. I’m going to sing like Freddy Mercury giving his finest performance and ruffle as many feathers as Colonel Sanders if that’s what it takes to get my point across.

Another Form of Body Shaming

Indeed there’s a condition called phimosis where the foreskin doesn’t retract. That’s not abnormal during the first two to six years of a child’s life. It’s nothing soap and hot water can’t fix when it comes to penile hygiene. You can even use Q-tips and rubbing alcohol. The only time it should be an issue is once the boy reaches puberty. It can still be rinsed out with water if urine can come out of his willy unfiltered. There’s also paraphimosis where the foreskin becomes swollen and stuck. That’s the only time alarm bells should go off. It’s my understanding there are other treatments for this. I have an Irish friend who was born intact but had to be circumcised as a teenager when he developed this condition. That procedure was done as a last resort when the doctors didn’t know what else to do. Unbeknownst to the naysayers, these cases are quite rare. The odds of that happening are infinitesimal at most.

Try These On For Size

You can’t get appendicitis if you don’t have an appendix, but I don’t see anyone performing appendectomies on newborn infants arbitrarily. Just because we can live without our appendixes doesn’t it mean they don’t serve a function like the foreskin. The appendix is there to protect good bacteria and burn extra fibers in food. We don’t require it as much as our ancestors because they didn’t know how to cook. Everything they ate was raw. The foreskin is there to keep the glans moist and protect it from friction. Smegma acts as a natural lubricant during sexual intercourse. I had this conversation with one woman in Austin who liked to get around. She explained the difference between a guy who’s cut and one who’s intact. She elucidated that her uncut partner felt better like a well-lubed piston in lieu of a broomstick jammed up her bajingo which which necessitated the use of K-Y jelly. All the reason more circumcision should be outlawed.

We Don’t Need No Explanation

Nothing anyone says can convince me otherwise. Heck, why not continue the practice to protect our children and then do the appendectomies? Next we can yank all their teeth out with pliers. That’s what they did back in the ‘good old days’ during the earlier part of the 20th century. We can replace their teeth with dentures. That way they can’t get tooth decay or cavities, and we can save a killing never having to take them to the dentist or the orthodontist to get braces. We can yank out their toenails and fingernails so children don’t bite them and save time and money not having to clip them. Better yet we can chop all their fingers off so children can’t slam them in doors by accident. Perhaps we should slice every woman’s tits off who supports circumcision once she turns 40 and see how she likes it. That way she can’t get breast cancer. It’s not like she needs her mammary glands once she’s past her childbearing years. While we’re at it, we should give our autistic and special needs children lobotomies, put them away in institutions, and throw away the key. That way the rest of society can go on with their guilt-free lives and never worry whether those children live or die since nobody gives a toss about mental health. We can spare everyone the inconvenience and indignity of tolerance and understanding. Lastly, we can euthanize everybody in America once they turn 65 to circumvent ageism in a society whose media worships youth. That way we can balance the federal budget not having to pay into social security and even pay off the national debt sooner. It’s not like most old folks aren’t over the hill or as productive as they were when they were younger. That’s the whole point. Whatever rubbish the advocates use to justify circumcision are just as asinine to me as the rest I just mentioned. We would all be born intact if God wanted us cut. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

We Don’t Need No Thought Control

The good news is there are ways to restore one’s foreskin though it’s a long and arduous process. I began this after I moved to Thailand. I haven’t been consistent, but I’m told that it can be done within two to three years through hard work and dedication. I discovered Wayne Griffiths – the father of modern restoration – when I did my research. There’s all sorts of methods such as manual tugging, foreballs, TLC tuggers, and O-rings. If it were up to me, they’d teach these to young boys who’ve been cut so they can be intact by the time they reach puberty or adulthood and have satisfactory sex lives. That was the original reason we started circumcision in America. The powers that be decided men who were cut were less inclined to cheat. Now in hindsight, we know that urban legend is as ridiculous as the one stating chronic masturbation will make us blind. It’s nothing more than false rhetoric and propaganda used as a fear tactic and another form of thought control. Alas, I’m pleased to say Iceland has outlawed circumcision. Hopefully, the other 195 countries will follow suit. If it were up to me, not only would circumcision be illegal; each parent who authorized it would be charged with criminal negligence and child abuse as would each doctor, and the practitioner would lose his/her license and serve time along with the parent. Lastly, each party and the hospitals would be slapped with hefty fines.

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Terrorism Has No Religion

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Take Another Look in the Mirror

The shooting in Christchurch inspired me to speak out about two issues. The first being gun violence and the second Islamophobia. One of the primary reasons I left America and have no inclination towards returning is school shootings. I find it ironic how people tried inciting fear about me going abroad. Often others were afraid I might be kidnapped in Southeast Asia or Mexico by some organized crime syndicate. I appreciate their concern for my safety. However, their misgivings were misplaced. This is the part that burns me. Everyone is worried someone like yours truly will wind up an organ donor or get cooties from the boogeyman whenever we go abroad, but climate change and school shootings aren’t treated like national emergencies as they should. I felt safer and more secure teaching at schools overseas. Not once did I have to worry about some distraught kid coming onto campus and mowing down his classmates with an AR-15. Never have I once had that fear when I walked out in public, yet my inbox was flooded fast after the bombing at Erawan Shrine. I wouldn’t touch an American school with a ten-foot pole.

Careful When You Play with Straws

Many times I worry about my niece and nephew in Texas where gun control laws are toothless at best. I had nasty fallouts with two long-time friends on Facebook on separate occasions over this not long ago. Things got ugly when they tried using strawman arguments about the government infringing upon their personal freedom, and they insisted it was their divine right to own firearms. They would state the same platitude, “Guns don’t kill; people kill,” we hear from yahoos like Alex Jones. Both situations went sideways when I told them, “You tell that to the parents of the Sandy Hook children. What do you care as long as it’s not your kids caught in the crossfire?” I’ll bet they wouldn’t share the same sentiment if it someone they loved were killed.

No Way to the NRA

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I hope the next shooting massacre happens at the NRA headquarters and that it’s worse than Orlando or Las Vegas. I’m serious as a heart attack. Plead me guilty now. If a masked gunman turned Wayne LaPierre and his evil henchmen and followers into Swiss cheese, that would be plenty alright with me. Maybe what it takes is to bring the war home for the American public get it through their thick noggins. Before anyone panics and reports me to the FBI, I’m not planning a shooting spree myself. All I’m saying is the National Rifle Association will get exactly what they deserve if that happens, and I won’t bat an eye. They’re a biggest threat towards our national security than Al-Qaida or ISIS ever were. The NRA has way more American blood on its hands than those other two.

If They Can Do it, So Can We

I find it ironic how the American media views it as a terrorist attack only whenever a non-white person commits it. If a black person or Muslim kills several civilians, then it’s an act of terror. Whenever a white person does the opposite such as the case in Charleston, South Carolina, then it’s a hate crime. The same was said about the Christchurch, New Zealand. I’m glad New Zealand, Australia, Great Britain, and other developed countries dropped the hammer and have strict gun control laws. This makes me loathe the Republican Party to no end. They have no right to call themselves pro-life. They care more about fetuses than the lives of children already born. Any party that opposes gun control and universal healthcare and supports war and capital punishment is in no position to call itself pro-life.

Go See For Yourselves

Now for the second part, Islam does not advocate terrorism. I’ve found myself defending Muslims more than I care to. I can guarantee the readers none of those folks bashing Islam have been to a majority Muslim country like I have. I had no idea Malaysia is sixty-percent Muslim when I went there during Chinese New Year 2018. I’m not going to lie. At first I was apprehensive when I landed at the airport in Kuala Lumpur. I was afraid I might be stoned to death if I look at a woman more than three seconds. I believed the same hogwash about which they pontificate on FOX News. I found out that was anything but true about the second or third day there. I didn’t know even with my background in geography and anthropology because nobody discusses it on the news, and it’s not in the Middle East. That I suspect is why most people are unaware Indonesia is the world’s largest Muslim country.

It’s Not What You Think

These things you never hear because they’re Shafis. They’re not at all like the radical Sunnis in North Africa or the Shiites in Iran. In fact, many Malays hate the Saudis. Malaysia is a very progressive country. Half of the women wear burqas and hijabs, but the other half walks around in tanktops, Daisy Dukes, and flip-flops. There are ladyboys walking around in plain sight. Everywhere I looked, there were bars that served alcohol. Kuala Lumpur has an incredible nightlife comparable to that of Bangkok. They even have soapy massage parlors with happy endings, and nobody cares. That should tell the reader something. Further, I recommend anyone who travels to Southeast Asia visit Malaysia. It has all the magic oh Thailand, and it’s a more developed and family-friendly country. I liked it because Kuala Lumpur is squeaky clean like Singapore but not as highbrow. Everything you can find in Bangkok exists in KL. The difference is the Malays don’t wave it in your face like the Thais do. They’re more discreet about it. Obviously, they don’t have Sharia Law because the country is about 20-percent Buddhist and 20-percent Hindu. They all have to live in peace and harmony, so Sharia Law wouldn’t fly.

Let Freedom Ring Everywhere

The women there have the same rights Western women do. They have college educations, careers, and positions of power. Just because they don’t hyphenate their surnames when they marry, decorate themselves with tattoos and piercings, cut their hair short, and dye it freakish colors doesn’t mean they’re all barefoot, pregnant, and stuck in the kitchen. The Malay ladies drive cars, go shopping, and speak their minds just like Western women. I’m sure some even think their opinions are the law of the land. One time my credit card wasn’t working. I entered a local bank, and the branch manager, a woman in a hijab arrived and said, “May I help you?” I explained the situation and got it sorted out. Everybody there speaks English because it was a British colony. That’s why I couldn’t find a job there no matter how hard I looked. Some of the best Indian food I’ve had in my entire life was in Kuala Lumpur. That stands to reason when a quarter of their population is of Indian descent.

Check It Out; You Won’t Regret It

My third day, I went on a tour of the city. One place where we stopped was the National Mosque of Malaysia. In plain was a giant sign that said, “Terrorism has no religion.” in three languages one being English. Like Indonesia, Malaysia has a zero tolerance policy towards domestic terrorism. I wish we’d induce the same in the United States. Obviously, Malaysia doesn’t have prohibition for the reasons I mentioned. They don’t have child marriages or practice female infant circumcision. They don’t stone people to death for adultery, behead homosexuals in town squares, or hang them from cranes. They don’t have child marriages. The legal age of consent is 16. The men don’t do acid attacks and disfigure women who reject them. They don’t have gang rapes, blame victims, or implement honor killings. The police don’t go around whacking women with batons for wearing cosmetics, nor do they force them to go at night with male chaperons. Trust me on this one. I sure as hell wouldn’t have considered moving to Malaysia after leaving Vietnam if any of that was true. The main thing travelers must worry about is crooked cab drivers trying to rip tourists off, but that happens everywhere.

anxiety, aspergers, autism, changes, culture, democrats, electoral college, gangs, health, ideas, philosophy, politics, psychology, republicans, violence

Living in the Wild, Wild West

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The Need for Gun Control

One of the primary reasons I no longer live in America is gun violence. I’m tired of turning on the news and hearing stories about school shootings and deranged gunmen mowing down several people. The NRA is a terrorist organization in my humble opinion. They have more blood on their hands than the IRA. Of that I’m certain. At least the latter has a righteous cause. The National Rifle Organization cares nothing about the lives they’ve destroyed. The Irish Republic Army wants to repatriate Northern Ireland back to the Republic of Ireland. The latter had the audacity to disband after 9/11. The NRA fills people’s heads with hogwash in that they’re convinced we’re safer when everyone carries firearms. Funny how they ban guns at their headquarters. Nutjobs like Alex Jones exacerbate the dilemma when they pontificate nonsense about the government coming to take our guns and enslave its citizens. The Sandy Hook parents had every right to sue that jerk. Wackos who listen to that tripe are convinced they stand a chance against a platoon of Marines donning kevlar, a regimen of armored tanks, or a squadron of drones.

Shoot ‘Em Up There, Partner

In spring 2016 after my return from Thailand, I heard on the 6 o’clock news about a gunman in West Houston who wounded and killed several people at a Conoco gas station. The perpetrator was a military vet who served in Afghanistan. I’m surprised the media didn’t blame it on Asperger’s, but that’s another story. I suspect battle stress had something to do with it. How does this relate to gun control? The last guy he killed was carrying a concealed handgun. I wasn’t there, but I know what happened. I know Texans and how they think. Rather than run for cover, the dumbass was trying to be a hero and engaged the gunman in a showdown. Then the shooter offed him like a fly. The moron learned the hard way he was outmatched. That doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out. Though he may have fired his handgun at a range, I’m positive the guy never saw any action like the gunman. It never occurred to him the police and SWAT team are trained for these situations. These idiots watch too many movies. That’s another part of the problem.

I Dub Thee Unforgiven

Speaking of which, one of my all-time favorite films is Unforgiven. There’s a reason why that flick is only one of three westerns to win the Oscar for Best Picture. The other two were Cimarron and Dances with Wolves. I liked Unforgiven because it de-romanticizes all the spaghetti westerns Clint Eastwood and others made during the earlier part of the 20th Century. It debunks all the myths we grew up believing about the Wild West. It’s one of the few movies I liked the antagonist more than the protagonist. Clint Eastwood plays the antihero Will Munny, a retired bounty hunter traveling to Montana to kill two outlaws who mutilated a woman. The main antagonist, Little Bill, portrayed by Gene Hackman is the sheriff of the town where Munny is headed. Somewhere in the movie, English Bob, played by Richard Harris arrives for the same reason. He travels with a writer from back east named Beauchamp who’d never ventured out west before. All the while, Beauchamp is drafting tall tales and urban legends he’d heard about English Bob and such.

Debunking the Myths and Legends

The part that caught my eye was that firearms were banned in the town. Little Bill roughed up English Bob and arrested him for carrying concealed firearms. Most people by default would cheer for the protagonist but not me. I liked Bill because he demystified all the legends about outlaws being the fastest draws in the west. I admired Little Bill because he not only was good at his job, but he had excellent bullshit detectors. The viewer could tell the man was way before his time. After awhile, Beauchamp put two-and-two together and ascertained English Bob and the rest of those guys were full of beans. Unforgiven gave a real life depiction of how life was in that era. People didn’t walk around carrying six-shooters and have duals periodically. Most of the cowboys were either black or Mexican not white guys settling on the frontier. The majority of firearms they used were shotguns and rifles to defend their livestock from predators or hunting. The only people carrying pistols were the sheriff or the outlaws, and we all know how much the latter respected the law. Even when the sheriffs had to engage them, they wouldn’t go alone. They’d organize a posse full of trained gunmen.

Draw Partner!

That’s the problem with Hollywood and gun culture. All the charlatans out there like Alex Jones only know what they see on screen. The reason Wyatt Earp was so famous was because he was calm, steady, and collected. The guy had nerves of steel. The same was true about Wild Bill Hickok. Most of those ‘cowboys’ would get drunk saloons and get themselves hurt or killed doing something stupid. We all know how brave and bold men are when they’ve had too much to drunk. I’m sure they never puffed themselves up as the meanest baddest sons-of-bitches who ever lived. Even if you read about Wyatt Earp, you’ll learn they had gun control back in Tombstone. During the shooting at O.K. Corral, Earp, his brothers Virgil and Morgan, and Doc Holliday killed the brothers Tom and Frank McLaury, Billy and Ike Clanton, and their compadre, Billy Claiborne. The latter refused to bequeath their firearms upon arrival in Tombstone and tried to challenge the former. It cost them their lives. Most of those famous outlaws we hear about like Billy the Kid and Jesse James killed their victims when they were most vulnerable. Sometimes they’d shoot them in the back. They wouldn’t dare challenge the town sheriffs in a draw. Wyatt Earp or Doc Holliday would’ve wasted Billy the Kid or Jesse James in no time.

In Cold Blood

There’s more to a gunfight than the ability to aim and pull the trigger. The military and police are trained to dodge bullets, take cover, and handle stovepipes and misfires. There’s even breath control which was snipers must master. That’s not so easy when you have a target shooting back at you and your heart rate is jacked. Will Munny in Unforgiven knew these things which is why he an effective killer. Sadly, most viewers only see action in these films and never see the substance within the storyline. Towards the end, you finally see the guy’s true colors realize how evil the man is. In a nutshell, this validates my argument about gun control. I can promise the readers if they learned about the outlaws in the Wild West, they’d realize they were cowards who killed their victims in cold blood like the Orlando nightclub and Las Vegas strip shooters. When was the last time you heard of anyone trying to rob or shoot up a police station? Never, right? The Fort Hood shootings were committed in gun-free zones, and the second one blew his brains out like the spineless fiend he was. Gun control isn’t about taking away the firearms of ordinary citizens who wish to defend their homes and businesses or go hunting. It’s about background checks, thorough vetting, and keeping guns away from criminals and the mentally ill. It also entails banning automatic weapons. Nobody needs an AK-47 or an AR-15 to defend oneself. If we have no gun control, we might as well have no law enforcement.

anxiety, aspergers, autism, changes, culture, education, gangs, health, ideas, living abroad, psychology, travel, violence

You Gotta Keep ‘Em Separated

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The Long Flight to Japan

Some segregation I find necessary. Before anyone screams bloody murder and accuses me of bigotry, hear me out. None of it pertains to race, religion, creed, or any of that sort. On my way home from Saigon to Texas, I changed planes in Tokyo before venturing to Houston. The trip to Japan was a nightmare. The seats were uncomfortable with limited leg room. They’re made for short Asian people not tall Westerners like me. The flight full, and I had difficulty sleeping. A couple across the aisle had a 2-year-old infant crying her head off. I know nobody can calculate how fussy their children will be. I suspect the cabin pressure made her ears hurt. She was probably scared of the turbulence, moreover. I wanted to catch rest on the plane, but I deduced that would be impossible with that baby wailing non-stop. It was hard practicing restraint and not yelling, “Shut up!” in their direction. Not giving the parents scornful look was a greater challenge. Being the nice guy I am, I said nothing.

Judge Not Less Ye be Judged

I shared a status on Facebook venting my frustration stating they should make families sit at the back of the plane in an enclosed area with soundproof curtains. I imagine the readers want to tell me the same thing one woman said – “It’s easy for him to say when he has no kids.” Like I haven’t heard that a thousand times before when I got irritated. It’s easy for them to scold me when they weren’t the ones who had to sit on that plane. None of those naysayers are on the autism spectrum and hypersensitive to high-pitched sounds, either. I’m sure the parents were embarrassed and felt they were being judged. Periodically, the dad would sing a tune or the mother would carry the tyke to burp her. Just because I didn’t wear my heart on my sleeve doesn’t mean I don’t empathize. You wouldn’t believe the flack I caught. Left and right, I got bombarded with remarks from parents giving me the runaround about how insensitive I was. Despite what my critics concluded, I was thinking about that child. I was also factoring the well-being and comfort of the other passengers. I’ll bet if I spoke Japanese and took a consensus, most of those other travelers would say they wanted that baby to keep quiet.

Separate But Equal

Having a designated area for families in the back with a soundproof wall for a few hours is nothing like forcing African-Americans and other minorities to live in separate parts of towns with inadequate facilities. I don’t know where someone came up with this grandiose idea to use that strawman argument, but it holds no water; apples and oranges. By that logic, I guess we shouldn’t have people fly first class or coach. I don’t see anyone lamenting over the airlines allowing folks with greater finances to sit at the front of the plane. Oh, wait! That’s different! We’re supposed to give them preferential treatment because they paid more money, right? Like I said, having a region towards the tail of the plane is no worse to me than having first class and coach seating or smoking and non-smoking sections in restaurants. On that note, I say restaurants should adopt the same practice or have certain hours which children can attend. While the PC police might jump on this like white on rice, I stand by my point. Most people don’t want kids running around terrorizing the other patrons while they want to eat their meals in peace or kids screaming at the top of their lungs when people are trying to unwind. I don’t recall hearing about any time civil rights leaders caused that kind of disruption unless you count Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on the bus in Montgomery, Alabama back in 1955.

Remember the Heysel and Hillsborough Stadiums

There is a time and place for everything. I don’t expect everyone to opine like me, but I’m using facts and first-hand experience to state my argument. I also believe they should separate fans of home and visiting teams during sporting events. Not only do I declare alcohol shouldn’t be served; I also feel there should be family and adult sections. I’ve been to more than one ballgame in my life to see alcohol brings out the worst in people. I’m more familiar with the mob mentality than I care to admit. One particular event that molded my standpoint is the Heysel Stadium Disaster in 1985. Several soccer fans gathered to cheer a match between Liverpool FC and AC Juventus. Numerous British fans assaulted the Italian spectators causing a human crush. In the end, 39 people were killed while 600 were injured. Something worse unfolded four years later during the Hillsborough Tragedy in Sheffield, England. Not only were the stadiums overcrowded, many victims in both cases were children.

The Long Track Record

There’ve even been incidents during NFL games where things have gotten out of hand and brawls have broken out. This is one reason the Oakland Raiders left the Coliseum in Los Angeles. They didn’t want to be affiliated with gang culture which was another causation towards their relocation to Las Vegas for the 2020 season. Philadelphia Eagles fans have a long track record of causing ruckuses, too. All the reason more why I think sports fans should be segregated, and alcohol should be either prohibited or at least limited during events. To put it bluntly, I’m more concerned about the safety and security of everyone around than I am the revenue alcohol brings in towards an organization, the feelings of emotional hemophiliacs who expect everyone to do things by their universal PC playbook, or entitled parents who want everyone to accommodate them because they have children. Nobody ever afforded me that courtesy for having autism, so I don’t owe them the same in return.