Time for some “Old School” thinking

There’s been a ton of stuff said about the Refugees and their plight…

In my opinion, a large percentage of it is complete and utter bullshit.

Ever heard the saying “Man the lifeboats! Women and children first!”

Ever thought about what that actually says?

IF you think about it, that simple phrase is saying; “We value our future, we’re protecting it by making sure the women (who may be pregnant), and our sons and daughters (who are our future), and our culture, will survive.”

That’s historically been the stance of Men in shipwrecks, times of war, and disasters.

It does not mean the men thought their women inferior, it says; we recognize that while we may be bigger and stronger, you can do something we can’t, give birth. 

It says; women are strong enough to raise a new generation of our people and that our culture and people will survive if they do.

It says; that right now it’s our job to protect you from whatever disaster is befalling us so that you have better odds of surviving to raise our children.

So without hesitation, I’d accept refugees from war torn places who were in fact women and children.

That’s what you’re supposed to do, in fact it’s the exact opposite of racism, because instead of fostering genocide, accepting women and children refugees insures that a group of people who may be completely different from you will survive and presumably return to their homelands when whatever disaster they escaped is over.

The above is the Old School view, at least as I was taught by my father and grandfathers.

So within that framework, looking at a majority of male, young, able-bodied, men calling themselves refugees, simply doesn’t track.

I can’ see them as refugees, I can only see them as cowards, or worse.

They’ve left their wives, children, mothers, and sisters in countries devastated by war, and famine, to fend for themselves. These cowards have boarded boats to foreign countries to live in relative opulence where they often don’t work, have a stipend, food, and time to complain about housing, and internet access.

What the bloody hell?

These men are exactly the men who should have been waving to their wives and children from the shore.

After the boats carrying their future were safe, these men, (if they were men) should have grimly turned to meet their enemy, fueled by rage and sadness that they may never see their wives & children in this life again.

This is the philosophy I was raised with.

I was raised to be suspicious of large numbers of able bodied young men going anywhere. Typically, large groups of young men were an army.

I find myself wondering what the hell is going on and how we’ve come to this place where we don’t or can’t question the nature of refugees.

More concerning to these old eyes is that it’s apparently verboten to even ask questions about refugees, and their intentions.

When you look at Europe, who has accepted thousands of refugees and see the unrest, it becomes pretty obvious that something is wildly amiss. The violence in Paris & throughout Germany should at least give you momentary pause.

It’s not hatred to point out a problem. Understanding the problem is the first step to correcting it. Superficially, one could say the problem is these refugees are coming from war torn countries.

Ok I’ll buy that. But where are the women and children in all this? When refugee centers are overwhelmingly young and male doesn’t that speak to another issue?

Add to that the basic culture clash about women’s rights, what is considered appropriate attire, and behavior. Then throw in the more  relaxed religious beliefs of the west, boredom, a healthy dose of alienation due to language difficulties, or misunderstanding of how to live in a free society where everyone is supposed to be equal,  and you’ve got a powder keg waiting for a spark.

Isn’t that what we’ve been seeing?  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or Phd in Sociology to see what happens next. Any idiot should be able to predict the outcome.

It’s never rainbows and unicorns.

With that in mind, I’m all for vetting all refugees carefully. To do that, we have to have a plan and procedures that will ensure those claiming refugee status are in fact refugees.

We’ve done it in the past and there is nothing wrong with having a standard today.

 

 

Can of worms…

I’ve been watching with some amusement, the bathroom wars.

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This morning I found myself pondering the question raised by our willingness to accept and give people privileges based on what they identify as.

A man identifies as a woman, and even though he has “boy parts” decides he needs to use the womens bathroom.

Okay. Fine!

What do we do when someone identifies as Klingon? Or a Vampire? Or a Werewolf? Or Predator? 

Werewolf

Do we afford these people special status?

What happens when someone who identifies as a Klingon, and lives a life of Klingon honor and follows a warrior code, is insulted by someone and decides to settle the matter in a very Klingon way? 

How about followers of the old Norse religions? Odin took a dim view of people who insulted him. 

Klaa

What about followers of Poseidon, or Ares, or Zeus?

Will “I identify as X, Y, or Z” stand up in court?

We seem to be somewhat willing to bury Islamic honor killings as “Cultural”.

What happens when someone who identifies as Klingon to the core of their being, takes someone’s head off with a Bat’leth because they were insulted? How will we deal with the children of people who identify as Klingon? Will we permit them to carry knives in school? 

Odin

Would a “Klingon” honor killing, or trial by combat also be justified as “Cultural”? How about a Klingon rite of passage where a 16 year old was repeatedly shocked with cattle prods instead of painsticks by the adults in his or her family? Would that be classified as abuse of a minor, or Cultural acceptance, welcoming the child into adulthood?

Batleth

Klingons may indeed be fictitious beings, but given that there is a complete Klingon language, code of behavior, code of honor, and the typically swift justice of a warrior race. Would someone who completely gave themselves over to the Klingon ideal, in fact be a Klingon or just nuts?

I could make an equally strong case that ALL world religions and cultures are as made up as Klingons. This begs the question why would one belief structure be more valid than the next? Why would one group’s identity be more respected than then next?

Predator cp

If someone decides they identify as a member of the Predator species and begins hunting in the forests of our nation, when they rip out someone’s spine are they guilty of murder or just following their cultural imperative?

I guess my point is, once we start allowing “Identify as“ to dictate what we’re willing to accept or worse yet willing to take into account during adjudication  then we open a Pandora’s box of effects that must inevitably lead to anarchy.

Let’s close Pandora’s box.

Blind justice

Let’s focus on the problems at hand in our society, close ranks, and define what we as a society are, and are not willing to accept. We cannot be all things to all people and we shouldn’t try.

Let’s once again blindfold justice and apply all the rules equally to all the people.

If someone from a foreign culture or religion doesn’t like the way we do things… well there’s a whole wide world of other countries in which they can choose to live, and planes leave most airports every hour.

It Begins

Once again I find myself at odds with a woman in power. She’s not even in a position of anything but minimal authority. But like so many women she apparently thinks she’s got something to prove.  Unfortunately, an older white guy presents her with an easy target. 

The older white guy in this case is me. Either I must look weak, or she figures with all the recent events, “the old guy won’t fight back because he’s white, male, and knows I’ll win.”


Here’s the crux of the issue. The rules at work say, “Document everything.” The time it takes to do this, in part due to some of the shittiest software I’ve ever seen, the complexities of proper reporting, and my admitted unfamiliarity with said software, plus a steep learning curve means that sometimes I may take 15 minutes or so collecting information or filling out the documents in the right way.  Sometimes longer, If I have to ask questions.

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That being said, I’m taking more calls every day, I’m documenting things better every day, and I’m getting better every day at doing all this.

I know I’m improving and I know this because Each day I’m more comfortable and not spending as much time figuring out the “usual” stuff.

The totally wacky stuff on the other hand takes a lot of time. Especially if you’ve got someone on the phone who is randomly talking about every thing they’ve ever had happen to them. It’s being recorded, and so you can be chastised for missing or not reporting things too.

Enter little miss twinkle twat…

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Who walks up to my work area and never bothers to introduce herself or even say hello…

“Can I help you????” said with a sneer or nasty edge, is not what someone says when they’re honestly interested in helping.

We all know it. The implied message is “YOU’RE NOT WORKING FAST ENOUGH” or “GOD! WHY IS THIS FOOL BOTHERING ME?”

And that means, that no matter how fast, or good you ever become… You’ll never be good enough.

My response was neutral, “Nope thanks, I was just documenting all the issues a call raised.”

OOOPPPSSS! Not the right answer. This is the problem men always have with the question “Does this dress make my ass look fat?

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In retrospect I probably should have said, “Yes, oh I’m so glad you’re here and thank you for your assistance I couldn’t have possibly done anything without your intervention.

But I’m kind of Harry Potter in that regard.

I shouldn’t tell lies.

Oppps, water under the bridge. 


The whole call / documentation process itself is somewhat problematic. Calls come in, problems are documented. If they’re not documented correctly, an oversight team sends the documentation back telling you what is wrong and to make corrections.

The problem is, this process is by necessity asynchronous. This means that by the time you’re being asked for corrections, days or weeks have gone by and now you have to research what was happening and try to recall why you did something the way you did.

Add to that, being saddled with a non-standard keyboard that you’re chasing all over the table and having to keep up answering phone calls and you’re always behind in everything and under stress.

My nature is to front load the process and do things ”Right” the first time. Apparently, that is not the philosophy of this “supervisor”

She’s also very new to the management scene. She’s not yet learned that whipping the slaves can be effective, but that whipping the slaves too hard, or often, inevitably leads to revolt.

Initially I assumed that all the new folks, (Like me) were under her scrutiny and being asked, “CAN I HELP YOU?”

As it turns out, apparently, I’m special.

Which ties back to my initial suspicion that she’s looking to make an example of someone and I’m the “Soft” target.

The first time, I wrote it all off to just her being concerned that I was taking too much time in the documentation process. Then IT relented and gave me a “Real” keyboard. Huzzah! I can freaking type again! So I’m accelerating and streamlining the way I do things and picking up helpful hints along the way.

The second time, I was surprised when I got the “CAN I HELP YOU?” because I was in fact working more efficiently and taking more calls. “Meh, whatever…”

She’d come over to my work area, from her work area on the far side of the building to ask her question. I was in the midst of documenting 12 issues from the last call, not including the actual corrective action.

The third time, she sent a higher level manager to check on me. OK Now, I’m pretty sure, we’ve got some kind of perceived issue… But no-one is being forthcoming about what that issue may be.

Yesterday, she was particularly nasty, while I was packing up to leave. I had one of those moments where you’re tired and I was checking around my desk area to make sure I wasn’t leaving something behind or undone and she happened to be speaking to one of her peers. I was standing there scanning my area and she interrupted her conversation to turn and look at me with what I can only describe as open hostility, “CAN I HELP YOU?”

“Uh, no… Just packing up to leave…” I answered very confused by her attitude.


When I was very young, I fought back, playing the same nasty political games, as my opponent. As I matured, I’ve tried ignoring situations like this, hoping they would go away. Later in my work life I tried more centrist positions between the two.

Where I played the political games, I won. Typically, I win, by using a scorched Earth policy. This is effective as hell but doesn’t win you many friends, and usually leaves you at the bottom of the list for promotion.

Where I tried to be “above it” I lost. In both cases I was completely miserable.

Trying more centrist positions, was just exhausting. Keeping track of all the bullshit and mounting moderate defenses takes a lot of time and thought. Time that I think is better spent doing the job I’m actually being paid to do. I know… What a fucking concept!

Memorial Day, had HR been in I’d have been in their office nipping this shit right in the bud.

Yesterday, I decided it was far more important for me to get the hell out of work and on my way home. I was tired and usually when I’m tired I tend to be a bit more direct than I would be otherwise. Folks sometimes have a problem with my “moderate” directness, I can guarantee there’d have been a major problem if I was completely unfiltered.

After being pissed off about the situation on Sunday and then pissed off again on Monday, I slept on it.

I’ve decided I’m going with a more centrist position. I think I’m going to talk to the higher level manager that she drew into this situation. I’m just going to bluntly ask what I’m doing wrong.

I’ll see if this situation is salvageable. If I get some guidance, I’ll implement what I’m told to do. If that helps, great, I suspect that it won’t, and am therefore going to begin looking for another place to be either within the company or, (more likely) outside the company.

However, I’ve also decided that if this crap continues…  I’m going to put the company’s “Zero Tolerance” policies to the test. 

If little miss annoying continues her passive aggressive harassment I’m going to file a complaint. Let’s see how Zero Tolerance works when the aggressor is a woman and the victim is a white male.

Should be interesting…

My instincts tell me that this will not end well, but I feel like I have no choice but to respond.

So twinkle twat, this old white boy ain’t gonna get fucked over AGAIN… Let’s fucking dance!

Cocktail / Dinner Party Don’ts

Discussing, politics, religion, & the family doctor at social gatherings… BIG social no-no’s!

Audrey-Hepburn-cocktail-partyI was at a dinner party the other night.  It was nice until someone assumed that everyone in the crowd would be voting for Hillary!  I corrected him, simply saying that I wasn’t. Then he called me a misogynist because I’m not on the Hillary bandwagon.  Hey, I’m not voting for Trump either!

In hindsight, since the word misogynist rolled off the guys tongue with the same venom as the word “Racist” I probably should have kept my mouth shut.

I didn’t!

I asked this person to explain their logic.  Things went down hill from there, I really need to learn how to disengage, or better yet not engage at all!
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This person explained that is was time for America to have a woman president.

He went on to justify that statement by saying European countries had elected women leaders. I asked how he could justify voting for Hillary when we know she’s lied about at least one issue of national security regarding her email server, and that the FBI is currently investigating her.

I also pointed out that if she were a man, or Republican, or a citizen like everyone in the room, she’d be out of the presidential race and likely in jail. The response was, “Hillary is better than Trump.”

“What about Fiorina,” I asked.

“She’s a Republican!”

Hillary-Clinton.pngAt which point, I pointed out that his choice of Hillary was in fact not based simply on the fact that America needed a woman president but party politics.

Then the guy tried to “WIN” the conversation by loudly asking me again if I was a misogynist and accused me of being afraid of a woman president.  I told him that I thought his attitude was based in misandry and given that he was a man I found that quite ironic.

Thinking about it… That was when I should have stopped.

He didn’t understand what I’d said, so I should have realized I was having a war of wits with and unarmed person.

The discussion, such as it was, devolved into his pronouncements that no-one should have guns and everyone in America was afraid.  I told him I thought that he was overstating the issue. Especially considering that Munich was currently on lockdown due to threats from ISIS. And that in the wake of Paris, and San Bernardino perhaps being prudent and more aware of our surroundings was not a bad idea.

His rather angry response was to tell me that being alert and aware of your surroundings, or preparing for things like fire, or earthquake, and more recently jihadi attacks, by noting things such as exits in a public place is paranoid and demonstrative of the cowardice of America.

Therefore I was paranoid and a coward. Uhhh WOW!

Justice-in-the-Form-of-a-New-Law-Served-to-PA-Crime-VictimsI pointedly asked him if he really thought it was paranoid to take just the slightest moment to note exits in case of an emergency. He responded that even if terrorists came into a restaurant shooting he’d be ok getting shot.

My brain rebooted.

In my world view  you never just lay down and die, especially not when you have options, like the ability to retreat.

DUDE-WTF-IS-WRONG-WITH-YOUI asked him to explain himself and honestly was curious about the foundations of his belief,  because that mindset is so completely Alien to me.

He started spouting circular and rhetorical talking points that led me to believe he worked for the progressive Democrat movement. After several rotations of the talking points, suddenly he threw in people don’t need to carry guns.

I said what?

Then I realized he was referring to the new Texas open carry law, and that somehow in his world view, now everyone was carrying guns all the time everywhere. I even pointed out that people exactly like him had managed to take the right of open carry away from their fellow citizens in California.

I kept asking questions and he kept parroting the progressive liberal talking points. It became very clear that he wasn’t actually thinking. I have no problem with people having differing opinions from mine, I have a real problem with people regurgitating stuff that they’ve not really thought about.

moderate-alcohol-consumption-beneficialGranted there was some alcohol involved and somewhere in my brain there was a diagnostic running that was questioning if I was drunk and being an ass.

The little boy in me said “He Started it!”

I’d decided to disengage because I was tired of making points that he tried to erase by parroting canned talking points, but being unable to discuss or expound on any of those points.

Later, It occurred to me that this person had probably never in his entire live been in a situation where they were the least bit on the edge. His world experiences were so safe or he was so oblivious, that he actually believed he was safe from everything all the time. This is a person who believes they don’t have to have an earthquake kit because the government will be there to make everything fine, instantly.

At that moment, I wasn’t able to look at this person with anything but contempt. I saw the guy as prey, a sheep, weak, and someone that I wouldn’t miss if I never saw him again. If an earthquake had happened at that exact moment, I’d have done nothing to ensure his safety. Sheep die all the time…

Things really took a turn towards the surreal when my other half told the guy he was being an ass by not allowing me or anyone else to complete a sentence without interruption.

The other half even said I wasn’t being an Ass, but that the other guy was. I began looking for signs I’d entered an alternate universe, I didn’t find any so…

Surprise Surprise Surprise! I’m not a complete asshole!

That my other half took a side like that, surprised the hell out of me

Normally I’m allowed to make an ass of myself without comment. On rare occasion I’m  told I’m being an asshole, and that I need to shut up.

In this situation apparently, my only fault was answering someone who was clearly interested in a battle of wits, they thought they’d win.

They weren’t prepared to have someone say, “Defend your opinions.”

I was really worried that the other half was pissed at me. I asked about it and was told it wasn’t me.

Church Lady isn't that specialA friend reminded me that I should have dropped to my Southern upbringing and simply avoided the whole conversation with;

“How nice” or “Bless your heart”

That’s really good advice and I’ll be taking it next time.

One of those things that goes through my mind…

Saw an article on The Huffington Post the other day. It was a puff piece that was entertaining.

Then I noticed the masthead

Okay, I thought, then I wondered if there was a “HUFFPOST MEN”

Guess what? There isn’t!

WTF? That’s exclusionary of 50% of the population. It’s sexist! Where is the justice? Are we looking at another gamer gate situation? I cry FOUL! Men have issues and need places online where they feel safe and where issues of specific interest to men can be discussed.

Yeah, yeah, I know it sounds silly when I say it, but why isn’t it silly on it’s face?

Look at the selections offered under “Voices”. Notice anything?

Think about who’s missing?

Men, and Asians. It occurs to me that generally those two groups are not prone to bitching about much of anything. All the other groups pretty much bitch or scream about some perceived discrimination or slight at the drop of a hat.

To their credit, the “Religion” section does a pretty good job of representing everyone. I went there because another group missing from the “Voices” subheading is Muslims. They are represented under “Religion” with an interesting balance.

So Huffington Post, where are the Men and people from Asia? Why aren’t they receiving fair representation?

Yeah, I know I’m weird. I have this perverse sense that if you demand equality and claim to stand for equality then you should truly be, well…

Egalitarian.

Huffington Post editors and writers, If you don’t know what that word means, I have two comments for you. 1) You paid too much for your education. 2) You need to go buy a Webster’s Dictionary.

Things that make me go Huh?

Apparently, we now expect children to adhere to the same rules of sexual harassment conduct as we have in the workplace.

Clearly, another one of those WTF moments.

I was chatting with a friend whose child had been accused of sexual harassment for engaging in normal childhood play. The child is six! The school decided to take normal play that is not about sex but about annoying the girls, and sexualize it.

If you ask me, what the school did is WAY creepier than a little boy trying to gross a girl out.

“EWWWWW Teacher, he gave me cooties!”

Boys love to freak & gross out girls, That’s our only method of interacting before we’re remotely interested in any kind of Physical contact, much less kissing or sexual activity.

Boys love flipping boogers at the girls, we love hiding earthworms in cubbies. We thrill to the squealing EEEEEEEEWWWWWWWW!!!! of a good plastic spider in the prettiest girl in the class’s desk.

Boys are curious about the different thinking the girls exhibit. Boys are interested in girls noticing them. Girls are after all, typically ahead of boys scholastically, and socially.  In that advancement, for a time, girls are quite alien. So boys test them, annoy them, poke them and in elder times dipped their ponytails in the inkwell.

So why the hell are we treating little boys and little girls like criminals for normal, expected behavior a.k.a. being exactly what they are… Children!

I can’t even begin to imagine what reaction the old “Show me yours & I’ll show you mine” game would incite. Probably a full lock down of the school, letters to parents, and a hazmat crew!


In my childhood, I learned the physics of a catapult, and a lesson in duplicity from a girl named Patrice. She was bigger than I was and I’d been annoying her for many weeks. So one day, she invited me to the see/saw (teeter / totter) out on the playground. You know back int he day when children were allowed to go outside and PLAY.

Patrice started “bumping” the see / saw. She out weighed me by quite a bit, and with each successive “bump” It became harder to hold on to the see / saw handle. Eventually I was flying over her in a nice ballistic arc caused by her lack of braking, the flex of the wood, and the disparity between her weight and mine.

“Ohhh, that’s how a catapult works… and wow hitting the ground with my face kinda hurts.”

I distinctly recall Patrice and all her friends pointing and laughing. “How could he be soo stupid?” They were all asking each other.

Patrice hadn’t really wanted to see / saw with me at all, she was attempting to be mean. And due to my innocence she was successful.

I stopped annoying her, instead sticking close to my buddies as we continued attempting to figure out the mystery that were girls… from a safe distance.

I’d annoyed Patrice. She had enough of my annoyance and she fixed it. Her solution left my buddies and I huddled on the other side of the monkey bars like the primates we were. End of story and end of problem. I left Patrice alone and she left me alone, until Junior High School.

That’s when due to strange happenstance, she and I were paired up for square-dancing and we found that we enjoyed each other’s company. We started partnering up for chemistry, then archery, and we even went to our first school dance together.

I hope she remembers our interactions as fondly as I do.


It sounds like NONE of this kind of thing would be allowed to go on in a school today.

In fact, because of the way I annoyed Patrice I’d most likely have ended up suspended and my parents called into the principals office to discuss what an EVIL, VILE, PERVERT I was.

No doubt there’d have been bunch of questions regarding my home life and where on earth I was getting this horrific and inappropriate sexualized behavior. Perhaps my parents were abusing me or debasing me by forcing my innocent eyes to behold adults having sexual congress.

None of these rules or questions are appropriate for a child in Elementary School.

Children aren’t thinking sex, they’re blissfully ignorant, we should do our best to allow them to remain children, they’ll grow up in due time all on their own.

I don’t believe we’re making better people by isolating them from each other with rules and regulations and threats of suspension or zero tolerance policies. I think we’re creating people with no social skills.

Children explore & interact through experimentation. Sometimes they’re going to do the wrong thing and through the school of hard knocks learn how to avoid that mistake in the future.

I shudder to think what my life would have been like if all my failed experiments in socialization had been taken out of context, sexualized by the adults, or worse yet criminalized.

Oh, he was assaulted by someone who stabbed him with a pencil, so he acted out against a girl he perceived as weaker than him because of his inherent gender bias. He sexually harassed that girl because he was trying to regain some of his white male privilege and since he’s ‘Damaged Goods’ he should be sent to a school for troubled children. Or perhaps placed in remedial classes where he can be with other heavily medicated or violent ADHD children.”

What would I be like today?