Sunday, March 26, 2017

Untitled Unblog Unpost #4

This morning (Sunday) I had the opportunity to pull out the harmonicas (and various percussion instruments) and play with a wonderful group of folks at their church. Afterwards a bunch of us went out to a barbecue place for a bit too much food. What's the perfect follow up? A nap, of course.

Unfortunately, the nap turned into a continuation of last night's sleep. I found that when I woke up someone emptied my brain box and replaced it with an equal sized block of stale sponge cake. Makes trying to write something clever and/or profound a bit tricky. (not stale!)

So, no blog post this week. You can always go back and check out some of my previous writings (and see if I was able to write something clever and/or profound with the normal brain box contents): My Humble But Accurate Opinion

Until next time, love each other.


©Emittravel 2017

Sunday, March 19, 2017

It's Broke. Time to fix it. Article #12

It's broke . . .

There was a lot of flack over Attorney General Jeff Sessions having to recuse himself from investigations related to the 2016 presidential campaign, including possible Russian interference, BECAUSE of a conflict in that he met with a Russian ambassador during the campaign.

Here's something: Why not have Congress folks recuse themselves from any function of their jobs that is also a conflict. For instance: Senator Paul Ryan is pushing legislation in an effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. "ObamaCare"), yet he has received MILLIONS of dollars in campaign contributions from the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries. There are items in the bill that remove penalties and provide tax breaks for those very industries. The "RyanCare" bill can be viewed as a response to those contributions. Contributions that in this case can be considered a BRIBE.
And he isn't the only one whose coffers have been padded by the very industries they are to regulate.

Remember during the 2016 Presidential Campaign when assertions of "influence peddling" (what we humble non-politicians refer to as, ahem, a BRIBE!) were directed at Hillary Clinton when she received donations to the Clinton Foundation from the very countries she was meeting with as Secretary of State?
Then we have people screaming for President Trump's tax records (since 2005's were so yesterday's news). Why not full financial disclosure of all of Congress, and a forced recusal when THEY have a conflict?

. . . time to fix it!

©Emittravel 2017

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Writer's Block

Writer’s Block

Must have been my fifth cup of coffee.
I lost count after number two.
I sit here with pen in hand.
Fighting “writer’s block”.
I want to write something special for you.

You’re very beautiful.
Very mysterious.
Very intriguing.
Deep brown eyes.
Long dark hair.
A smile that warms my blood.
And a gentle laugh that is sometimes difficult to procure.

Every time I open my mouth I can taste my Nike’s.
they don’t taste so good.
Each spoken word is difficult and always sounds wrong.
How do I please?
How do I intrigue (like she)?
What steps must I take to walk into her life?
I’m afraid to get too close to her door.
I fear the breeze from its slam.

So I sit here talking to myself on paper.
Trying to figure which words are the right words.
Maybe I should just sit quiet and watch.
And listen.
Maybe she feels the same.
Maybe she doesn’t.
One thing I know,
that I am sure of is,
I need a new pair of shoes...
these taste lousy.

J.P. Wiegand
©Emittravel 1988

Written while sitting in a donut shop shortly after getting out of the Navy, looking at an incredibly beautiful lady behind the counter.

Yes, I was having a bit of writer's block at the time, but decided that writing the "block" would be a novel idea.

No, I didn't get the girl.

Getting "tongue-tied" around beautiful women seems to be an ongoing dilemma for me. I either say nothing, or I put my foot in it.

I should stick with saying nothing...


©Emittravel 2017

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Does Science Support Your Opinion?

In my last post, “LGBTQLMNOP - Really?”, I spent some time questioning the obvious disconnect between those who say they are heavily entrenched in science (biological evolution, to be specific) yet claim to support those who chose to live a non-heterosexual lifestyle as normal. I did not approach the subject as a person being for or against those who chose said lifestyle. I only wanted to tackle the “hypocrisy”. I go into a lot more detail in the article, so please take time to read it if you haven’t already.

In this post I want to take the subject one step further, and ask how those who say they are heavily entrenched in science can at the same time support “gender reorientation” of children. By this I mean, how can someone say they support young Tommy wanting to be identified as, and further take steps to transition to, Tammy (or vise versa)?

(I am posting supporting links at the end of this post. The one from has supporting links for their article if you would like to research further.)

Today there are many options available for “children choosing” to change their gender, beyond simple name recognition, apparel, and which bathroom they use. One option is so-called puberty blockers, which suppress the production of estrogen and testosterone, given to children between the ages of 10 and 12. Another is providing estrogen or testosterone as a cross-sex hormone to transgender teens around 16 years old. There are health hazards with both treatments, but the idea is to allow the changes to occur while the child is still growing, versus having to resort to surgery when a person is fully grown.

In the paragraph above I put the phrase “children choosing” in quotes. Part of the reason is that legally minors require the legal permission of parents or legal guardians for medical procedures/medications. The other part leans more into the point of this post: there are children that are choosing, or are encouraged to choose, to change their gender. It is HERE where the hypocrisy lies.

According to science, a person’s brain does not reach physical maturity until the around the age of 25 years old. According to an article from, the area known as the prefrontal cortex goes through some major changes between the ages of 18 and 25. “The prefrontal cortex doesn’t have nearly the functional capacity at age 18 as it does at 25. This means that some people may have major struggles with impulsive decisions and planning behavior to reach a goal. The brain’s reward system tends to reach a high level of activation during puberty, then gradually drifts back to normal activation when a person reaches roughly the age of 25. Adults over the age of 25 tend to feel less sensitive to the influence of peer pressure and have a much easier time handling it.”

According to Nancy Guberti, a Functional Medicine Specialist, when describing the stage of development for 7 to 22 year olds,  “The neural connections or ‘grey’ matter is still pruning, wiring of brain still in progress, the fatty tissues surrounding neurons or ‘white’ matter increase and assist with speeding up electrical impulses and stabilize connections. The prefrontal cortex is the last to mature and it involves the control of impulses and decision-making.”

Did you see that? I’ll repeat: “The prefrontal cortex is the LAST (emphasis mine) to mature and it involves the control of IMPULSES and DECISION-MAKING (emphasis mine).

Here’s the disconnect: if it is scientifically known that the part of the brain that controls impulses and makes decisions is not fully formed until a person is in their mid-20s, why do we allow the decisions of a CHILD (especially of such importance) to be made that will impact the REST OF THEIR LIVES?

If a child is in elementary school and has a wonderful teacher, that child may come home and say that they want to be a teacher when they grow up. That is an admirable life goal. But would anyone think it normal/advisable/healthy to put that elementary school child in a program that will FORCE them to become a teacher when they are an adult?

When I was 17 I joined the U.S. Navy. When I did, I was determined to make a career out of it. At about six months before my time to reenlist or depart, I told the Captain of the USS Elrod (the ship I was stationed on) that I’d rather “flip hamburgers than reenlist”. When I called my parents from Italy (we were in the Mediterranean on our way home from the Persian Gulf) to let them know I was coming home, my mom flipped when she realized it was permanent. Why? She told all of our family and friends that her son was in the U.S. Navy and was making a career of it. Can you imagine being 17 years old, and signing a 20-year contract with the military? Of course not.

(By the way, I'm proud to have served in the U.S. Navy. If you are looking to join the military, take a look at Navy. It was a wonderful experience!)

So why would it seem normal to have a young child make an even more life-altering decision than that?

I often say that it is easier to count the number of college students who DON’T change their major.

Earlier I mentioned that I put “children choosing” in quotes. Let’s touch on that.

How many times is a child born a boy (or girl), when the parents really wanted a girl (or boy)? How many times is that child raised, even unintentionally, as the opposite? Ever hear of a “tomboy”?

In today’s attention-hungry culture, how many parents want the attention/publicity, even if it is through their children, because Tommy wants to use Tammy’s bathroom in school and a stink is made?

In other words, how many times is the child’s decision to change genders based on outside, rather than internal, circumstances? If a good teacher can influence a child towards a career, how much influence does a parent have?

This is too current an issue to think we have all the answers. There has not been enough time to see the outcomes of gender reorientation of children. When Tammy becomes an adult, and her prefrontal cortex has finally fully formed, what happens if she then decides that she made a terrible mistake and should have lived her life as Tommy?

(And let’s not even focus on the chances that those who go through gender reorientation can find themselves sterile adults.)

If science proves that the brain is not capable of making fully-formed decisions until the mid-20s, how can those who say they are so pro-science support the gender reorientation of children/teens?

©Emittravel 2017