29 December 2017

BSD is Short for "Let Me Create in Peace"

There is great power in copyright and its licensing. Careful that your chosen license doesn't take over your life!

I am a BSD or Berkeley Software Distribution license devotee. I am also a classical liberal that just wants to be left alone most of the time. I know, I have met RMS and much of my recent living has been made from Linux, but the BSD license is the license that is most likely to allow me to be creative without fretting licensing defense.

Some attempt to say that their work has been "dedicated to the public domain" to gain peace in the creative act. I enjoy public domain works, but there is no ready way to dedicate something to the public domain now that the Berne Convention insinuates copyright at the time of production. Public domain says there is no copyright, no owner, and therefore no one can grant its lack of license. Public domain work can only be expired from a previous copyright, or a product of the US Government, which was established as a non-owner (apparently). A copyright owner can choose not to "defend" rights to their work, but that doesn't allow people to simply use the owner's work: they still must ask for license to do so.

The BSD license is the grant of license to any comer and use without bothering the original owner for such. BSD acknowledges copyright but provides license to all for any usage outside of stripping away existing ownership. The owner simply says "do what you like with it and don't hold me accountable for it", basically: "Leave me alone".

Some are enamored of the GPL or GNU Public License, supposing that they are providing a license that will cause them to be undisturbed, but that is not so. As the GPL has stipulations, laudably meant to force changes back into the GPL so all can enjoy such, the onus is on the copyright holder to enforce such stipulations, though outside of the Free Software Foundation (FSF) few do so. If honest people want to be able to use a work outside of the GPL, the owner must be sought to gain a further license. If you want something to remain GPL, you, as the owner, must put forth effort to ensure this is done. That sounds like a potential bother to me!

The BSD-type licensing allows a person to be creative and not be bothered by the hassles of copyright enforcement or licensing. This was the essence of such parties as UC Berkeley, various curriculum providers, and software authors, all of whom didn't want to get into the software copyright protection business. It is perfect for a "just let me create" sort of person!

22 December 2017

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!

We are just finished days of celebrating Hanukkah and are getting ready for Christmas Day at our home.  I wish all of you joy during these days and hope you take some time to reconnect with your family during this sometimes hectic season!

I am grateful for my heritage in two traditions, celebrating God's love for us in two related ways, through miracles that we all enjoy and through the coming of the Messiah in the person of Jesus Christ! We celebrate the blessing of a miracle that came to the Jews as they rededicated themselves and their Temple to the worship of God. Even more so, we celebrate the coming of the Christ who would save us from death and give us the opportunity to be forgiven of our sins and join him alongside God as a worthy heir of all things. What marvelous gifts to us all!

If I seem hard or even harsh, it is because I want to see each of you in that blessed state in the future. I want to get there as well and I say and do things calculated to accomplish this for all of us. There are plenty of soft and gentle voices, often ignored, who encourage a higher course and I feel the need to sometimes use more forceful language for reinforcement of what God and Christ expect of us. I do this because I authentically love you and don't quietly watch people carelessly prancing down low roads to smallness and futility. Everyone makes their own choices of course, but I don't want my friends and family chastising me later about neglecting to tell them about their glorious potential through obedience and selflessness! Sometimes, real love can seem pretty tough!

So, I wish you a happy holiday season and a future that you can enjoy to the fullest!

17 December 2017

Forgiving the Offended

Did I offend some of you with my last post? Are you perhaps feeling offended on behalf of someone else like a good social justice warrior? Can I offer you some forgiveness?

Not understanding, I made a couple of turns in my life and made some choices. I was a very lucky person - I chose to follow some unspoken advice at very pivotal moments in my life and I stumbled, somewhat accidentally, upon a wonderful road and a miraculous journey that has brought me indescribable joy.  I was timid and shy and didn't have lots of friends as a young man and I can only say that, in a strange way, these things saved me from the confusion and heartache that floods over our times. So many people are searching for real happiness and true meaning - I practically tripped over it years ago and I stuck with it without really knowing what I had found. I look back on my marriage and my family and I was just doing what my parents had done and their parents and their parents before that. None of them were perfect by any stretch of the imagination but they shared with me a marvelous gift and they probably didn't even comprehend its value fully. Can you guess what the gift was?

They gave me life. They gave me plenty of other things as well, but let's focus on the essential thing.

In generations past, men and women married, had children, and raised families who went on to surround them with more marriages, new children and families, until there were dozens, even hundreds, of other men and women who can all be traced back to one couple who came together perhaps because they were following a tradition. Lately, old traditions like natural marriage and family life have been cast aside in favor of far lesser things, such as gay marriage or a purposefully childless lifestyle.  New ideas and forms that don't bring new children into the world and don't perpetuate families and the generations going forward are put about as "just as good" as the age-old tradition of natural families. I am happy to offend everyone in saying that the "new" ways (just old perversions made permissive) do not lead to the indescribable joy that I am talking about and never will.

Of course, I am not talking about men and women who are married traditionally and can't have children, so don't bother mentioning them as among the "offended" - you know exactly who I am talking about.

You will miss out on the real happiness and the true meaning of life if you don't embrace and follow the tradition. You will not be surrounded by children and grandchildren that are bound to you by ties more powerful than just biology, but by greater things like gratitude for the gift of life and sacrifice. By consciously choosing to abandon traditional family life, you bar yourself from that level of happiness and joy. If you don't like hearing this and that is the root of your offense, why not just ignore what I am saying? You can choose whatever life you like.

I am happy to forgive you your perverse behavior. However, there are some people to which you do an enormous disservice and it has nothing to do with anything they did:  your unborn children.  They deserve a life, they deserve a father and mother that are devoted to each other and the lives of their children. They deserve the opportunity to have families of their own and children that call you Grandma and Grandpa and enjoy coming to see you and spending time with you.  However, if you choose lifestyles that pervert natural families, none of this will happen. They will never be born in the first place and it will have been your choice and your fault. Perhaps you need their forgiveness more than mine. If you like, I will also happily play the social justice role and speak for these unborn children of yours.

Do I offend you by saying this? Imagine how your unborn child feels about your use of the cheap trick of offense to rationalize your refusal to give them the gift that your parents sacrificed in order to bestow on you! What a selfish decision and you salt the wound by adding self-serving "offense" to it!

Fortunately, you can choose more wisely. You can choose to still get married in the traditional way to someone you love (surely you are a person capable of loving a member of that "other" sex) and likely still have children (although disease around perversion can complicate this) and devote yourself to your spouse and kids in ways passed down through the generations before you. You can enjoy that special happiness and joy that only parenthood provides.  It is all still available to you if you simply choose to abandon perverse lifestyles.

If you change your ways and love your traditionally-joined spouse, bring children into the world, and raise them with your best effort, I am sure your children will forgive your early indiscretions. They will be glad to have you for a parent, no matter how offended you once said you were at the thought of honoring the gift that parents give to their children - that your parents gave to you.  You can have the joy of honoring your parents by giving them grandchildren and enjoy that joy yourself at some point in the future. Isn't that worth forgoing a little perverse pleasure today to obtain and hold onto something greater forever?

13 December 2017

Optimal vs Ideal - Marriage is Not Disingenuous Enough for Gays

This is an essay I wrote a while back. The topic was divisive at the time (to say the least) and every time I bring it up, I usually lose a portion of my readers. The times since I wrote this have become far stranger and the terms seem even more archaic than they were five years ago. It is probably about time to alienate some folks. I just didn't want to do it too early and have readers think that this is my subject for the whole website. It is something I am happy to be passionate about, but certainly not the only thing. I wanted to get it said and frankly out of the way at this point, to reduce confusion about how I feel about such things. For those of you that will walk away, I accept your strident emotional and philosophical immaturity...

Let's begin with the concept of "ideal" and how that relates to marriage, something most of us will involve ourselves in for most of our lives, if we have a desire to obtain a greater portion of joy and happiness in our lives.

I think it is a no-brainer that to have both a man and a women enter their marriage with their chastity intact is "ideal". In a union that requires loyalty and devotion, it is so much better to have no skeletons in the closet, no embarrassing old fling to make a visit, no previous commitment or children that this new union really can never truly share. If nothing else, such a marriage has a better than average chance of being successful, just by not being "complicated".

Although I know that it is quite svelt to tear the Ten Commandments out of courthouse yards, I will make an appeal to old custom and the Bible, where you were supposed to leave your parents and cleave to your wife. That sounds like loyalty to me, even beyond your life-long ties to those who gave you birth. God seemed pretty wierd about being a virgin at the marriage altar as well, and even kindly Christ gave the idea extra umph by saying that if you even looked at another woman with ideas in your head, you were being disloyal to your wife. Called it "adultery", even.

Just think of the marriage every young woman wants and how tainted it gets if groom or bride had previously fielded their "wild oats". Even in these incredibly permissive times, everyone knows (and may actually admit) that this marriage is sad compared to what could have been. Obviously, in spite of the best efforts of mass-media and moral relativists, everyone understands when an ideal marriage is not happening, and no amount of white dresses, mounds of flowers, and smiling clergy can repair the obvious damage.

The great part is that ideal marriages are happening all the time! Even today, in the age of "everyone is doing it", there are still young people who "kept themselves" and present themselves unused to their new spouses, ready to give everything they have (and they still have everything to give) to their marriage and their future family together. My wedding involved two such people, as did my parents' and my wife's parents'. Such a thing is still very normal and expected within my culture, though I am sad to say that the rest of society somehow decided otherwise.

As a world, we have seriously deflated what our expectation of marriage should be. These days, many marriages are attended by the children of those getting married, often children with a father or mother who is not standing at the altar. Progressive couples may even invite former spouses or old flames, as if this is some freak-show mega-family being sewed together like body parts on Frankenstein's monster. What a wonderful jumble of mixed emotions on a day that people have supposedly waited for all their lives! The funny part is that everyone is supposed to smile and sigh with wonder just as if this were not the fourth spouse (or practical spouse) for everyone involved, behaving just as if this was an ideal marriage.

Now, I don't want to be accused of not being forgiving. My own parents divorced in my childhood and my father married a very nice lady, who was also a divorcee. Everybody had tons of baggage to bring to the union and there has been plenty of troubles caused by his, hers, and theirs. With patience, they have perservered, hopefully because nobody could expect anyone's full loyalty and devotion. No new family was being formed here, just a lonely man and woman who decided to love and care for each other and devote what they could to each other. Was it ideal? Of course not. But everyone wanted these two people to have another chance, even if there wasn't much of the ideal marriage stuff to bring to the table.

I have often wondered if it would be useful to call subsequent unions something other than marriage. As a person that avoids the whole idea of a "blended" family (I already have a family, albeit broken, thank you very much), I would really welcome some different terms to describe varying sorts of joining. My marriage is very different from my father's second marriage and as such, it is probably deserving of a different name to describe it. Where my wife and I having children was assumed and looked forward to with joy and anticipation by all, my father and his new wife, though still in their thirties when they married, wisely did not have more children. When you already have a family, even a broken one, a good man or woman feels the need to consider the ramifications of their actions in the lives of their children from a former spouse, as well as how their new spouse may feel as a redundant appendage. Any child brought into this tangle of relationships would have likely feel alienated enough by various half-siblings, divided loyalties, and where they "fit in" if they manage to at all. I have never come up with a word or phrase that I thought would adequately describe the frustrating feelings of my father and his second wife; feelings of being wedded yet not being able to feel like everything is really "ours" together. In a phrase, it is significantly less than ideal.

The problem comes in that the entire concept of marriage and family gets damaged as lesser forms use and enjoy the same term. All of a sudden, a fifth marriage looking back on twelve kids from eight broken union attempts is just as good as a bright young couple looking forward to total family unity, all because their descriptor is the same. I use a word for the way this seems to me: disingenuous. If the young couple are entering a marriage, with all the exciting expectations the circumstance implies, how can the fifth-time-around couple, with barely any expectations that a pre-nuptial agreement hasn't already codified, enter into the same sort of "marriage"? The only thing I can think is that to call the fifth attempt a marriage is to be (wait for it) disingenuous. The whole ideal of marriage is blackened by those who enter one missing most of the expected attributes and expectations. It is like calling a pile of rusted metal with two flat tires on top a "car" and expecting get in and drive it somewhere.

Now, some interesting people are proposing that we expand the ideal of marriage even further. With shouts of "fairness", practitioners of sexual perversions, sometimes euphemistically calling themselves "homosexuals", now demand to have ceremonies with flowers and clergy, and, with their sex-mates, enjoy the full benefits of "marriage". If anybody thought a fifth marriage was a bit of a farce compared with the ideal, this idea takes the cake!

In the one preceding paragraph, I have offended the "gay" heart multiple times. Let me expand on a few statements and offend these people further.

First off, it is impossible to be "homosexual" as a state of being, so I suggest that people stop using the term. "Sexual pervert" is more historically correct and far more accurate. First, one cannot be "homosexual" from birth, as many have conceded, unless someone ends up going to jail for a very long time for having sex with infants. Also, "homosexuality" is put forth as a sexual preference, which means you would have needed to have several instances of sex with several different lifeforms of several different persuasions to have developed such a preference for one over another. Given the term itself and how it is attained, there cannot be any honestly "homosexual" people. At best, you could have decided, at some point, to settle on a certain flavor after a time of sexual hedonism.

And please, don't bother to bring up the term "heterosexual". That would be a classic case of justifying a concept by defining its (perhaps) more acceptable opposite. As the trap is defined, if you are not "homosexual", you must be "heterosexual", and in identifying one way, you give credence and respectability to the other. I can honestly say that I am neither a "homosexual" or a "heterosexual" and there is no evidence to label me as either. I have only had sex with one person: my wife. I have not compared the sex I have with my wife with the sex I had with other women (because I have not had sex with other women). I did not engage in exploratory sex with other genders/phylum/genus, so I cannot really say what preference I would have among them. Therefore, I cannot honestly be called "heterosexual" much less any other "orientation" label. In fact, there really isn't a term for my sexual preference, beside perhaps "loyal".

Now that I have deflated any sense of respectability that sexual perverts have tried to build up over the past few years, I feel like everyone is ready to take a good look at the sickening effort [now success] being made to shoehorn the act of plank-mates "pleasuring" themselves on each other into the ideal of marriage. Hopefully, when I discussed the two concepts in the same sentence a moment ago, you had that twist in your stomach that says that these two things don't belong together. Hang on to that feeling because I am going to intensify it. A lot.

Everyone understands that sex is an important component of marriage. It can strengthen the bond forged at the time of the wedding. It can bring children into the family that the wedding created. Well, it could if we were actually talking about a union between a man and a woman who are striving to become one. These things aren't going to happen in a perverse same-sex coupling, no matter how hard genetic science or government funding want to make things "fair".

We need to talk about the word "optimal". It sounds like "ideal" but it isn't. Optimal is "the best you can do", given circumstances. In marriage or anything else, not everyone can have the ideal, but everyone can have the optimal. For instance, my father couldn't be a "virgin" for his second wife, which would have been ideal. My father could be absolutely devoted to his second wife after their marriage, which is optimal for him, given his circumstances. In my case, the optimal circumstance I brought to the altar was sexual purity, which was "better" or "higher" than the optimal circumstance my father could bring to altar #2 and certainly closer to the "ideal". This is meant as no disrespect to Dad, as he brought everything he could offer to his second marriage, which is all he had and is worthy of honor. Because of my circumstances, my "everything" that I brought to my marriage included more "ideal marriage" things than his did (and could have). Keep the terms "ideal" and "optimal" deeply set in your mind as we explore how the "optimal" proposed gay "marriage" stacks up to the ideal marriage between a man and a woman.

As part of their sexual explorations, "gay" people have collected a group (sometimes a large group) of "partners", which are basically failed spouses if there will be "gay marriages". This train of old exploits is an expected part of discovering one's "gay-ness" and considered "healthy" and "good" by most sexual perverts and their supporters. Therefore, the "optimal" circumstance in relation to sexual purity for nearly all committed "gays" entering a relationship is "devoted to you from now on". Some people, because of the strong hormonal pull of sexual feelings, get seduced into their first sexual encounter without intending to ruin their virginity, which is sad and unfortunate, but is also quite forgivable and, especially if it doesn't result in children, need not destroy the possibility of a positive marriage because it was an isolated mistake. "Gays" cannot claim this, for their sexual exploits become a journey rather than a mistake. For "gays", sex does not follow and enhance marriage, as it is supposed to do in the ideal; sex typically precedes any real commitment, cheapening any future relationship, and is often used as a litmus test before anything more than a "one-night stand" is considered. Although some marriages (that need another and lower term to describe them) follow a "try before you buy" "shack-up", everyone acknowledges that this is very sub-optimal and statistics show that this often leads to distrust, heartache, depression, and divorce. This circumstance is however the "optimal" one for almost all "gay" relationships, meaning that the best "gays" can do is roughly compatible to among the worst that traditional marriages can do.

I must say here that some "gays" justify the concept of "gay marriage" by comparing them to extremely sub-optimal marriages. "At least we love each other, which is more than I can say for those married people!" In subjective aspects such as love, this may very well be true, but each individual case will be different. Let us continue with more objective criteria for our comparison.

In an ideal marriage, a family is created. Through sex, children are created by this marriage, which is very ennobling for everyone concerned. Parents "grow up" and become more responsible and children are born into a stable and nuturing environment leading to the next generation of responsible adults. Of course, this is the ideal again and many families fall short of this. However, most nations and governments acknowledge that marriage-led families, on average, produce more and better adults than any other institution, such as orphanages, adoptive homes, and foster homes. In comparison, though, committed "gay" couplings cannot form such families and begin the relationship, again at the most "optimal", with a marked disadvantage of artificiality.

Now, "gays" can simulate a family, which I think is part of their push for "gay marriage". Children can be adopted or fostered, or brought from other relationships where one partner or another "slipped" from a committed "gay" lifestyle and had sex with someone of the opposite gender, among other possible perverse maneuvers. Before I introduced "gay-ness" to this essay, I described these sorts of "his, hers, and ours" circumstances and how inferior they can be when compared with the bright, young, "virgin" couple that is the ideal. Again, this is another case where the "optimal" thing a "gay" person can bring to the table in the way of family is comparable to among the lowest definition of marriage.

My wife told me a story the other day, as I was talking about this essay with her. She had heard a report of a "gay" coupling (men in this case) that wanted children. Knowing that nature only allowed one spermatozoa to combine with one egg, they arranged for an interesting solution made possible by recent science and tremendous infusions of money. With the sperm taken from each man, two donated eggs would be fertilized. A willing surrogate was procured and both eggs were implanted and carried to term. "Twins" were born and the "gay" partners took home "their" children, but not really.

The seemingly warm and cuddly human interest story ended there, but I started thinking forward. As those children grow, it will become likely obvious which child belongs to which father. If they are honest, the "gay" dads will explain the circumstances of conception and birth with the kids, revealing that the there is no biological tie between the siblings and that they are only really the true child of one of their "fathers". The natural inclination of almost all children is to 1) affiliate more with their natural dad when inevitable conflicts arise, and 2) to seek out their biological mother and try to connect with her. These two realities, which come up with almost perfect clockwork in those tween years, can cause terrible havoc in any situation. Ideal marriages handle these needs easily - natural father and mother are right there, already bound together and united both with each other and with their biological child in a unified family. The "gay" conglomeration has so many points against it, even in this particularly "enhanced" situation, that these needs of the child can often causes a serious rift, as it is easier to sever the manufactured "gay" coupling than it is to interfere with the very real bond between a biological father and his child. Where a proper marriage will tend to pull together because of their common bond in the face of most challenges, the simulated yet increasingly conflicted "gay" "family" will tend to come apart in favor of more authentic and natural ties. It may be painful for "gay" advocates to admit, but blood really is thicker than water.

I could go on, but I see no need to provide further examples of how a "gay marriage", even at its absolute best, is so tragically and purposefully inferior to the ideal marriage. In an age where many people feel that "gays" are more in touch with their feelings and far more sensitive and caring than others, given their downtrodden status, I strongly charge the sexual perversion community with heartless cruelty to themselves and to everyone touched by their perversion. What "kindly" person would militantly demand that intelligent adults enter into purposefully sub-optimal commitments and then possibly drag in innocent children for the sole purpose of playing a childish game of "house" that only honors political opportunists? We already know the answer to this question: perverts (and not just the sexual variety).

After thrusting a sword into the hearts of "gays" and twisting their irresponsible yet cherished beliefs a bit, let me offer some hope. Not just a tiny sunbeam of hope, but "bright sunshine on a clear day" kind of hope. Wherever you are and whatever you have done in the past, you, like everyone else that wants happiness and to give more happiness to someone you love, can have a more "optimal" relationship, bound together by age-old custom and better approaching the ideal of marriage.

If you have considered yourself "gay", you can simply put that aside and move on to a much brighter set of possibilities! Every ideally married couple will tell you that, although sex is an essential part of their relationship, it does not define them or their marriage. How you have chosen to have sex in the past does not demand how you must have it in the future. You can have sex that is more natural and infinitely more productive and you can still marry someone of that "other" gender to enjoy such sex as part of a much more fine and more rich relationship than you may have ever known before. Just as you chose your current "partner" from the field of available "same-gendered" people around you, you can chose to look for the person you can marry among the "differently-gendered". You can have far, far more than the selfish and self-serving "gay" community offers you and, if your supposedly enlightened "gay" friends are any friends at all, they should cheer your striving for the "optimal" -- the best you can possibly do and be!

So, instead of fighting political and judicial battles to legitimize a bad facsimile of the marriage ideal, why not simply abandon the un-useful labels that defined you in the past and "go for the gold"? You, your future spouse, and possibly your future natural children will be very glad you did!