Extreme Idiocy

I hate passive-aggressiveness. Hate it, hate it, hate it. That being said, there are times when this is the proper course of action.

I have an acquaintenance who has been deemed “extremely mission-critical” by his boss. This man is so essential to business, he is to show up to work if he is sick, where his boss will make the determination if he is sick enough or not. If he is “sick enough,” he will be sent to the doctor to be trated and for a note.

Abraham Lincoln, in Star Trek TOS remarked, “You should give your opponent what he wants, just not the way he wants it.”

So, I had the following thought exercise.

DISCLAIMER: I do not advocate the actual execution of this suggested course of action, or any variation thereof.

First of all, you should create a situation where you have to stand over your boss. Be scratching your scalp constantly during this situation. When the boss asks about your scratching, remark, “Sorry I didn’t tell you. My daughter came home with head lice and we are all infested.”
So, boss man panics, as he thinks you have been dumping lice on him. He orders you to the doctor.

You return the next day with the following note, signed by your doctor:

To whom it may concern:

Let me be plain and say upfront that you are an idiot. You have unnecessarily exposed my patients to this condition, and unnecessarily exposed your employee and his family to serious illnesses from my other patients when his condition could be treated at home with OTC treatments in order for him to obtain this note.

You have also wasted my time, taking it away from my other patients to draft this note.

You may, therefore, consider this an invoice from my office for the amount of $100 for my time to draft this doctors note.

This is further notice if I have to repeat this unnecessary action for any of your employees, I will invoice your company $500 per letter.

Thank you. Have a nice day.

By the way, I used to read George Hayduke way back when.

Posted in Fun

My Recovery Song

I have 731 songs in my iPhone. The artists go from Adam Ant to ZZ Top. Glenn Miller, Jethro Tull, Bib & Rich, Coolio, Kid Rock and a ton more.

I listen to these songs for many reasons. To laugh, to cry, to be inspired and more.

I have one Recovery Song.

This one song reminds me just how often I stared into Deaths face and I was able to walk away. I am extremely lucky I am still here. I truly believe God has kept me here for a reason. I try to live every day as an inspiration to others. It warms me whenever someone else tells me, “Because of your example, I didn’t quit.”

Here is that song.

Please come now I think I’m falling
I’m holding to all I think is safe
It seems I found the road to nowhere
And I’m trying to escape
I yelled back when I heard thunder
But I’m down to one last breath
And with it let me say
Let me say

Hold me now
I’m six feet from the edge and I’m thinking
That maybe six feet
Ain’t so far down

I’m looking down now that it’s over
Reflecting on all of my mistakes
I thought I found the road to somewhere
Somewhere in His grace
I cried out heaven save me
But I’m down to one last breath
And with it let me say
Let me say

Hold me now
I’m six feet from the edge and I’m thinking
That maybe six feet
Ain’t so far down

Sad eyes follow me
But I still believe there’s something left for me
So please come stay with me
‘Cause I still believe there’s something left for you and me
For you and me
For you and me

Hold me now
I’m six feet from the edge and I’m thinking                                                                         That maybe six feet
Ain’t so far down

To me (YMMV), the singer believes he is at the end, and while he’s fighting for life, he’s thinking that giving up wouldn’t be that bad. Despite that, he still fights.

Fantasy vs. Reality

With the several deaths that have ensued at police hands recently, people aren’t listening to the other side. They basically agree on the major points, they just see things… differently.

Here is a video story out of Phoenix that was about a Black Rights Activist going through a live use of force scenario.

When I had a CCW license, I trained constantly. Marksmanship, practical pistol competitions and specifically what are called “shoot/no-shoot” scenarios. I used an air-powered simulation pistol with a narrow light beam and sensor in the barrel, with a system similar to the NES’s Duck Hunt.

You then watched a short video using a wall projector to simulate the exercise. When you pulled the trigger, the air piston would rack the slide (thus giving the feeling of firing a round) and flash the light. The projection screen would for 1-2 frames go black, except for a white spot to represent a proper target, generally the center of mass of the person(s) on the screen. If the weapon was aimed at the white spot, the light would reflect off of it and back to the sensor in the weapon and tell the computer to register a kill. The computer would then play the appropriate video clip based on if you were justified in shooting and if you hit or missed.

If the person(s) on the screen made an aggressive move (such as advancing toward you and/or pulling a weapon) and you shot and hit, the video would show the person dropping. If you missed, they would shoot you and declare you “dead.” Sometimes the person would throw up his hands and surrender or run off without pulling a weapon. If shot then, you lost because your use of force was unjustified.

Police officers make split-second life-and-death decisions every day. “Armchair quarterbacks” who have days or months to analyze what happened will 99% of the time find something that the officer missed in the 0.72 seconds the officer had to decide in who lived and died. The armchair quarterbacks can also kibbutz about “Why didn’t you shoot the gun out of his hand?” or “You should have shot him in the leg to stop him instead of the head” are blowing smoke out their ass.

Unless you have had to make those kind of split-second decisions, be quiet. You have no idea what you are talking about and “should haves”  are bullshit.

Happy 2015???

While I understand the concept of “Happy New Year!” and all of the “changes” it entails, I am a bit perturbed that we must “wait” until New Years to change our lives. Never mind how most of those resolutions don’t make it to Valentines Day, but I digress.

The passage of time is part of the Universe. It is said we live in four dimensions, the three dimensions of the physical world (left and right, back and forth, up and down) and the dimension of duration. While we can revisit physical coordinates again and again, we can never have the exact components that were there before.

The measurement of time is a Human construct. In our efforts to quantify everything, we clip off durations and give names to them, so that we may accurately communicate with each other coordinates and durations.

In my personal travels, I have learned that each day, each minute, each second is a new beginning for one’s self. To make a significant life change (better or worse) you do not need to “wait” until a particular “time” to make that change. Some say, “each dawn brings forth a new day to start over.” I think 3:43:17.2 this afternoon is just as good, if not better, than sunrise tomorrow.

While we all have to get used to writing “2015” for the year (for another 364 days) on our documents, please remember, it is always “now,” and “now” is the proper time for positive change.

I do not wish “good things” to happen to you for 2015. I wish for them to happen to you for your entire duration on this plane of existence, and every subsequent plane of existence that follows, until the end of time.

Freedom Isn’t Free… Merry Christmas

While I write this, it is still a few hours before Christmas officially arrives here. However, it is already Christmas in other parts of the world.

No matter the Latitude or Longitude, you can find a US Navy warship nearby, plying the oceans, ever alert for the enemies of Freedom. From Engineering to the Bridge, Sailors stand watch, ready to maneuver into harm’s way.

The motto of the US Navy is, “Non Sibi Sed Patriae.”

Which is Latin for, “Not For Self, But For Country.”

I don’t know who wrote this. It is my Christmas offering to those who heed the call of the sea, past, present and future.

A Sailor’s Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas, the ship was out steaming,
Sailors stood watch while others were dreaming.

They lived in a crowd with racks tight and small,
In a 80-man berthing, cramped one and all.

I had come down the stack with presents to give,
And to see inside just who might perhaps live.

I looked all about, a strange sight did I see,
No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.

No stockings were hung, shined boots close at hand,
On the bulkhead hung pictures of a far distant land.

They had medals and badges and awards of all kind,
And a sober thought came into my mind.

For this place was different, so dark and so dreary,
I had found the house of a Sailor, once I saw clearly.

A Sailor lay sleeping, silent and alone,
Curled up in a rack and dreaming of home.

The face was so gentle, the room squared away,
This was the United States Sailor today.

This was the hero I saw on TV,
Defending our country so we could be free.

I realized the families that I would visit this night,
Owed their lives to these Sailors lay willing to fight.

Soon round the world, the children would play,
And grownups would celebrate on Christmas Day.

They all enjoyed freedom each day of the year,
Because of the Sailor, like the one lying here.

I couldn’t help wonder how many lay alone,
On a cold Christmas Eve on a sea, far from home.

The very thought brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees and started to cry.

The Sailor awakened and I heard a calm voice,
“Santa, don’t cry, this life is my choice.”

“Defending the seas all days of the year,
So others may live and be free with no fear.”

I thought for a moment, what a difficult road,
To live a life guided by honor and code.

After all it’s Christmas Eve and the ship’s underway!
But freedom isn’t free and it’s sailors who pay.

The Sailor say’s to our country “be free and sleep tight,
No harm will come, not on my watch and not on this night.”

The Sailor rolled over and drifted to sleep,
I couldn’t control it, I continued to weep.

I kept watch for hours, so silent, so still,
I watched as the Sailor shivered from the night’s cold chill.

I didn’t want to leave on that cold dark night,
This guardian of honor so willing to fight.

The Sailor rolled over and with a voice strong and sure,
Commanded, “Carry on Santa, It’s Christmas, and All is Secure!”

Some Good News…

Finally, some good news! I found a job! It doesn’t pay as much as I would like, however, it is income sufficient to support myself and family.

I am thankful for this. It is also a production type position, so no slacking off during “work-at-home” days to post here.

I am thankful, to my God, my family, my Masonic brothers and my friends for their support, tangible and intangible, throughout this ordeal.

The product I am assembling is supposed to take about 2.5 hours from parts to product. I have assembled four so far. Two under supervision, and two without. I assembled #4 in 3 hours 45 minutes, which is way ahead of the learning curve for the other assemblers. I guess the skills needed to mass-produce Space Marines does translate into real-world skills!

 

Notice of Upcoming Post

I am doing something I don’t normally do. I am writing a post and I am going to let it sit for a day before posting it. I need time to let someone else consider their reactions, and to make sure of where I am emotionally coming from when I write these words.

I am currently standing at a point where I know I have to make a stand. This is literally a “Put Up or Shut Up” moments, and I refuse to shut up.

Stay tuned. This ride is about to go off the tracks.

 

The Justice System

I do not have the time nor inclination to search for, a television reporter reporting on the “false bill” result for the Grand Jury indictment against Officer Darren Wilson, for the death of Michael Brown. This reporter wanted this to go to a jury anyway, “so all the facts can come out and we all know.”

Evidently, this person is not very cognizant of the process the law takes from crime to either conviction or acquittal. I do not possess a law degree, nor am I directly or indirectly involved in the justice system. This knowledge is acquired by intense reading on a wide variety of subjects.

Just as an aside, not all States have a “Grand Jury” system, some use preliminary hearings. Grand Juries are convened to investigate felonies only.

First step, of course, is that a person must violate a law. There are two types of laws from a violation point of view: Misdemeanors and felonies. The difference is the length of imprisonment. Misdemeanors are punishable my no more than “11 months and 29 days confinement,” while felonies are punishable by “more than one year of confinement.”

Second, the crime is discovered, the police investigate, determine the suspect(s), then apprehend the suspect(s).

Third, the suspect(s) are then referred to the District Attorney for charges. If the DA believes the State can win the case, then the DA assigns a prosecuting attorney, who then files the actual charges and refers these charges to the Grand Jury.

In TV trials, you’ve watched the attorneys from both sides argue over the guilt or innocence of the accused. This not TV, and this is not that process anyway.

The Grand Jury is an investigation by citizens (a “jury of your peers”) to determine if enough evidence exists to convict the accused. There is no “defense” side of things here. It is just the prosecutor presenting the evidence that they will use in the actual trial to try and convict the accused. The prosecutor also does not have to present any exculpatory evidence (evidence which shows you are not the perpetrator of the crime). The Grand Jury can also subpoena witnesses to testify.

If a Grand Jury returns a “true bill,” the members believe that the evidence presented has enough merit and weight to show that a crime has been committed and the accused is probably guilty.

Then we get to the TV part, with the prosecution and defense…

Just to make it clear, if the prosecutor can’t convince the Grand Jury you committed the crime in question, then the prosecutor will not win in a real trial.

 

Liberals are complex people

Liberals, by and large, like to pigeon-hole everybody. Give them a label, and that’s what you are for the rest of your life. Black, White, Conservative, Mentally Ill, it doesn’t matter.

With real human beings, however you cannot realistically do this to them. No “bad” person is 100% “evil,” nor is every “good” person 100% perfect. We are a spectrum ranging from good to bad and everything in between.

I now present Darlena Cunha. She came to my attention this morning, after writing in Time magazine in favor of people rioting in Ferguson. Something prompted me to take a deeper look at her through what she has written and this is what I found:

in 2007, Darlena moved from California back home to the East Coast. She became pregnant by her boyfriend. Her boyfriend proposed, then they bought a house. Then, several events ganged up on her. Three weeks after closing, the housing market collapsed and their home instantly lost 40% of it’s value. Then her boyfriend was laid off. Darlena gave birth to preemie twins, and decided to freelance from home to raise their children. As a result, they suffered an 80% pay cut. She wrote the article, The day I drove my Mercedes to pick up food stamps, where she described her experiences applying for Medicaid, SNIP (otherwise known as food stamps) and WIC.

She had this to say about the Mercedes (and why it was a significant part of the story):

That’s the funny thing about being poor. Everyone has an opinion on it, and everyone feels entitled to share. That was especially true about my husband’s Mercedes. Over and over again, people asked why we kept that car, offering to sell it in their yards or on the Internet for us.

“Sell the Mercedes,” a friend said to me. “He doesn’t get to keep his toys now.”

But it wasn’t a toy — it was paid off. My husband bought that car before we met. Were we supposed to trade it in for a lousier car we’d have to make payments on? Only to have that less reliable car break down on us?

And even if we had wanted to do that, here’s what people don’t understand: The reality of poverty can spring quickly while the psychological effects take longer to surface. When you lose a job, your first thought isn’t, “Oh my God, I’m poor. I’d better sell all my nice stuff!” It’s “I need another job. Now.” When you’re scrambling, you hang onto the things that work, that bring you some comfort. That Mercedes was the one reliable, trustworthy thing in our lives.

I would like to say, as of the publication of the article (July 2014) they still had that Mercedes. Good for them.

The next article gave me a very wide grin. Darlena attempted to apply her Liberal virtues upon her children, and got them thrown right back in her face by her children. I’m a die-hard liberal. It ruined my parenting.

What she attempted to do was apply a reasoned approach to why she did what she did to and for her six-year-old twin daughters. She attempted to get “buy-in” from her daughters and it failed miserably. Her daughters logic was impeccable and better than Darlena’s. So, she had to fall back on those old Conservative (although she doesn’t use that term) principles of “Do it, because I’m your Mother.” The system of telling young children (generally under 10 years old) what to do rather than explaining why and expecting the “now enlightened” child to do it of their own volition has worked for several thousand years.

Once children start developing the ability to reason through several sequential thoughts to get from start to finish, then you can take the time to explain the why’s and wherefore’s to them. The best thing to do with children is tell them to do it. Make the rules for their conduct age appropriate and clear beforehand. If you have to administer punishment, do it when you are calm (or have the other parent do it while they are calm), then love and hug them before and after the punishment.

When correction (and by extension discipline) are done through love and support rather than anger, you will end up with a better young adult.

Now for the reason for the post: Ferguson: In Defense of Rioting.

In typical Liberal fashion, she writes this (emphasis mine):

Because when you have succeeded, it ceases to be a possibility, in our capitalist society, that anyone else helped you. And if no one helped you succeed, then no one is holding anyone else back from succeeding. Except they did help you, and they are holding people back. So that blaming someone else for your failures in the United States may very well be an astute observation of reality, particularly as it comes to white privilege versus black privilege. And, yes, they are different, and they are tied to race, and that doesn’t make me a racist, it makes me a realist. If anything, I am racist because I am white. Until I have had to walk in a person of color’s skin, I will never understand, I will always take things for granted, and I will be inherently privileged. But by ignoring the very real issues this country still faces in terms of race to promote an as-of-yet imaginary colorblind society, we contribute to the problem at hand, which is centuries of abuses lobbied against other humans on no basis but that of their skin color.

Then Darlena has the temerity to invoke the Boston Tea Party.

For those of you who do not keep up on history, the Boston Tea Party was a political protest over “Taxation Without Representation,” the frustration of American Colonists and their being taxed by Great Britain without Colonial representatives in Parliament. In today’s dollars, about $1.6 million of tea was destroyed by throwing the chests containing said product were thrown overboard from three cargo ships. Nothing was burned and no one was hurt. Benjamin Franklin (that old, evil white guy) actually called for and tried to make restitution for the losses. The Boston Tea Party was actually considered at the time something shameful. It didn’t get its current prospective until 60 years after the event.

As far as what I have in bold above, I think Darlena has a different dictionary than I do. My dictonary defines racism as, :”… the doctrine that a certain human race is superior to any or all others.” To say “I am racist because I am white” as a blanket statement is beyond ludicrous. And, just as a thought, if she is a self-admitted racist, why should any person who is not of her skin color trust her?

I prefer to judge people on their actions and the content of their character. The color of another persons skin is not a factor in any decision I make about a person.

There you go. Darlena is a self-admitted Liberal, and a self-admitted racist. Do I think every other Liberal is a racist? No. I make that determination based on each persons actions and words. You draw your own conclusion.

 

Consequences of Your Actions

There are always consequences of your actions. Any action you perform interacts with and changes the Universe to some degree.

Too bad we have been taught that “consequences” has a negative tone. Because consequences can be positive as well. If you do the right thing for the right reasons, the resultant consequences are positive. If you hurt others, the consequences are negative.

Hence this article, U.Va. Looks at Alcohol as Factor in Sex Assaults.

Disclaimer: I was drinking at 18. That being said, I was on a military base where the drinking age was 18. Off-base, the age was 21 and I did not drink off-base. I also assure you, if I had gotten drunk on-base and something stupid, I would have faced the negative actions of my actions.

Back to the article: In this typically Liberal bastion, the Regents are more concerned about appearance than substance. So, these “regrettable incidents” are either quietly swept under the rug.or ignored altogether.

Here is a novel idea. How about the laws of the land be enforced? How about the university attach some significant consequences to bad actions?

Let’s start by enforcing the law of the land. All students under 21 years old found intoxicated will be presented to the police for investigation and if necessary, appropriate charges. Same with a sexual assault. Both parties are to be referred to the police for investigation and appropriate charges. That would include charges against the “victim” for filing a false report if that was found to be the case.

Now, what can the university do to ensure this doesn’t happen on campus? How about, for a misdemeanor conviction, the student loses the entire semester. All class fees for that semester are forfeited. No classes count toward graduation. You must retake all of the classes for that semester. A second misdemeanor conviction during the twelve months following the first conviction will result in immediate expulsion from the university and forfeiture of all credits and fees. Any felony conviction will also result in forfeiture of all credits and fees.

As far as the “Greek system” goes, I am willing to give a bit more latitude, as one adult or organization should never be held accountable for the actions of another adult. If an on-campus Fraternity or Sorority (I’m willing to be equal here, the university in the article wasn’t) in the course of a year (or whatever the pledge cycle is) has an “incident” involving a member of that Fraternity/Sorority, upon conviction of the member(s) involved, it goes on immediate probation. A second conviction results in pulling of that charter and banishment of that Fraternity/Sorority from the campus for not less than five years. I specify on-campus organizations, because the university has no authority over things that happen away from their campus.

Now, will this “stop” the underage drinking and sexual assaults? Of course not. An 18 or 19 year-old is by definition impulsive and curious. I most certainly was. I made my share of mistakes, and I paid for them. Fresh away from home like this they are on their own for the first time in their lives. They are going to try new things. Some of them will be stupid things.

The best way to mold these wild young adults are to give them a clear set of rules and guidelines, as well as the positive and negative consequences of these guidelines. This should have been started when they hit about 10 years old, but I digress. To those who follow the rules, they will most likely end up as responsible and contributing members of society. Those who cannot or will not follow the rules, most likely won’t have that outcome. It’s really as simple as that.