The Beauty of Pragmatism, Power Trippers, and Games I Refuse to Play

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Nobody likes change. Even when it’s change for the better, and especially if it short circuits their own personal power trip.

I am conservative by nature, so if I see a need to make a change or to be innovative, most of the time it’s well justified, and to me, at least, a no-brainer.  Unfortunately in life one has to deal with those who are more concerned about getting their own way and controlling others than they are about anything else- including getting things done more efficiently, being profitable, and other such practical things.  Some people only care about getting their own way and trashing other people to build themselves up in their own minds.   It’s even worse when they have a gullible audience in high places.

This is what happened yesterday, and that pretty much made me blow a gasket and go to the zoo for a minute.  I take what I do seriously, and I don’t abide unjustified criticism, especially from a rude young punk, well. There are few things I loathe more than a.) someone nosing about in my business, and b.) demanding that I change a more efficient way of doing things to feed his personal ego and score brownie points.  The worst part of this is that person did get his way (nepotism has its perks) and I just had my status as his personal shit box reinforced.

I can go into a plethora of details on that and how much it pisses me off, but suffice to say the man is probably so pussy whipped at home that I’m the only woman he can safely attack.  I don’t know whether I should have pity on that situation or not.  Right now, I think he deserves what he got- a controlling wife and her Italian family- in spades.  That is not going to be a fun divorce when it happens.  And it will.

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I refuse to play the power game.  I know power is addicting and I understand the mindset all too well.  I was a ruthless bitch in business and in life for many years and it took a health crisis and an episode of major depression to get it through my head that power tripping is no way to live, and that manipulating others doesn’t really give me much of the jollies.

The only person who I have to compete with is myself.  It doesn’t harm me when other people do well, but when other people simply tear me down to make themselves look good, (and the powers that be either can’t or won’t see through that game) that pisses me off.   Throwing other people under the bus just because you can is the hallmark of insecurity, and I know it all too well- because in my insecure youth, I used to play that game too.

I don’t expect other people to do everything exactly the same way I do.  It would be awkward for them, just as it is awkward and frustrating for me to accommodate frivolous bullshit to feed some jackwagon’s power trip.  But I don’t make those sorts of demands on others, because they serve no practical purpose.

The more I think about it, the more I am determined not to let the stupidity of others aggravate me any more than is absolutely necessary.

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And Einstein once said that insanity is repeating the same things over and over and expecting different results.

I’m not going to let stupidity win out.  Yes, I get pissed and I get despondent, but I also know how easy it is for me to overreact when certain buttons go off.  That’s why before I actually do anything I have to vent, think things through and plan a course of action.  I’m not an impulsive type, after all.

Asperger’s Is Not an Excuse, Actions Still Have Consequences, and Humanity is Still Totally Depraved

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I am glad that some thinking people are starting to understand that keeping people from protecting themselves and their families does nothing to change the fact that killers will kill. Even in the light of the past couple weeks’ worth of senseless shootings- and I freely admit that the existence of evil is something I don’t comprehend- I still believe that the Framers of the Constitution had the right idea when they included:

“A well-regulated Militia, being necessary for the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed. “

The Second Amendment has been expounded upon by far greater minds than mine, however, there are two points being made here.  Some more left-leaning interpretations of the Second Amendment take the first part about a well regulated militia and assume that meant that the Framers were talking about the armed forces, National Guard and law enforcement but not about private individuals.  What they are leaving out is a knowledge of 18th century history.  In the 18th century there was really no full-time armed forces, but individuals who would volunteer in time of war (a concept similar to a very rudimentary National Guard) and individuals had to keep their own weaponry in order to be able to be available when the need arose.

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Fast forward to the 21st century.  Most Americans have no concept of what it would be like to have to defend one’s life and property if a scenario such as the one proposed in the film “Red Dawn” would arise, where there would be war in streets and neighborhoods rather than an abstract concept of soldiers and armies fighting over obscure hills and fields in far-distant lands.  However, many Americans have experienced armed robbery, assault and other crimes of violence that could have been prevented if the victim had been able to defend him/herself.  The Framers had a solution to that: “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.”  The Framers not only believed so heartily in a strong national defense that it is one of only two responsibilities of the Federal government spelled out in the Constitution, but they also added it to the Bill of Rights- along with the proviso that individuals also have the right to defend their person and property.  In this statement the right to self defense is underscored as a natural right rather than a privilege granted (or withheld) by the whim of the state.

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I don’t have any problem at all with responsible gun ownership.  The law-abiding person who owns a gun and has had appropriate background checks and safety training is not generally the person you have to worry about- unless you are trying to perpetrate crime.  On the other hand, the unarmed are all potential victims.  All one has to do to be a victim is to be in the wrong place at the right time.

This being said, I can go back to the fundamental argument that guns don’t kill people any more than spoons make people fat.  The conscious decision to aim a firearm and pull the trigger is what kills.  It’s easy to go around screaming “gun control,” until one realizes that the decision of a killer is the root of the lethal mechanism.  It is possible to kill with bare hands, with knives, with poison, with motor vehicles, with a baseball bat.  The possibilities of potential lethal weapons are only limited by a potential killer’s imagination and desperation.  Banning firearms just means killers will find weapons other than guns to kill people with.  There are still murders in the UK and in every other country where strict gun control has been enacted.  The murderous impulse does not lie in an armament of steel, but in the convoluted and dark malice dwelling in a killer’s heart.

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Dark malice that can lead to murder can surface in any human being alive today if circumstances and opportunity press that individual hard enough.  Evil is that pervasive in this world.  I don’t subscribe to all of Calvinism (my soteriological leanings are more congruent with Molinism) but I agree with 100% of one of the petals of Calvin’s TULIP- the Total Depravity of man.

Human beings, if left to their own devices, are 100% self serving.  I’ve heard every excuse out there for why people kill- video games, bad childhoods, being deprived, being over-indulged, crappy schools, being bullied, being introverted, being mocked, et cetera and so on.  I think a better question, given the total depravity of man, is what keeps everyone from becoming a killer?   Or are we all killers, and the severity of our behavior is simply a matter of degree?  If so, then what is the mechanism of our restraint?  Does it have to do with the wiring of the frontal lobe of the brain, or is it a matter of the will, or a combination of both?  I believe it is entirely possible that the only thing that restrains most from indulging their darker urges is simply the grace and mercy of God.

Even though I believe that there is a God and that He is highly involved in the lives of humanity, I also believe that He expects people to respond to Him. I believe He has expectations for his creation (and maybe this is my repressed Catholic guilt coming out.)  After all, when one reads Scripture we learn that most of humanity’s problems arise from thinking our ways are better than God’s ways.

We don’t have the liberty to simply say, “the Devil made me do it,” if for any other reason than at the end of the day, God holds us accountable for what we do or don’t do.  Psychology would say that humans do what they do to pursue pleasure and avoid pain, but there is a deeper aspect- the aspect of “you own who you are and what you have become.”

Things in life can and do suck, but it’s every person’s responsibility to choose how to react to things that suck.  The question is, do we turn to God and His will or do we let evil win?

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I find it disturbing that society is all too willing to absolve people from individual accountability and blame their abherrent behavior on everything from being bullied as children to being on the autistic spectrum.  As someone who experienced both gratuitous and fierce childhood bullying and is a high-functioning autistic,* (apparently that’s what the medical community is calling Asperger’s Syndrome these days) I am here to tell you that both of those theories may have some credence, but at the end of the day, the decision to move beyond a painful past and to learn to work the wiring is not only possible, but it is also a moral obligation.  Maybe I say this out of a sense of noblesse oblige that I was taught- that those who are given more are held to a higher standard.  I can say that the convoluted and sometimes vexing wiring of Asperger’s or “high functioning autism” or whatever is the current terminology used to categorize the introverted, weird and/or eccentric is not a license to allow the depravity within to overcome.  Video games are no excuse. Technology in general is no excuse.  The laxity of discipline and the pervasive faux feel good PC philosophy being taught in the schools (while dreadful, false, and a contributor to the delinquency factor) is not an excuse either. There is a God, and He has standards and rules, even when it seems like society does not.

I don’t discount the influence of mental illness, and how society so conveniently “mainstreams” the mentally ill, denying that some people do have an inability to control their rage and that some people should be isolated from the greater community for a time to receive mental health treatment.  I do understand what it is to be depressed and near suicidal, but I also understand that there is help available for individuals and families when mental illness becomes overwhelming.  I’m no poster child for mental health, and insanity is downright pervasive in my family tree.  If there is anything that society (as opposed to the individual) can do to help prevent violence it is to identify mental illness and provide ways for those at risk to get help.

insaneI wish this were a joke, but it’s not.  I have ancestors who were crazier than shithouse rats.

I may never know for what purpose God decided to plop my sorry carcass on this earth, but I’m pretty sure that no matter how beat up on I was or how bizarre my wiring, He didn’t intend for me to load up an assault rifle and shoot up a classroom of unarmed, defenseless kids.

Sexy pole dancerI’m pretty sure God never intended me to be a pole dancer, either.  I’m doing good to walk a straight line without tripping over my own feet.

There I go again with that whole morality thing again, and no, I am not talking about the mundane concepts of morality- refraining from fornication,  eschewing the use of swear words, and those sorts of trite formalities, but a deeper morality.

One that says, “There is a God, and He has rules.”

White People Can’t Understand Racism (Oh, Yeah?)

Ok, I have a bit of what I would call an inciteful streak.  Sometimes I like to stir the shit for the sake of the smell.  Today is one of those days. Recently I perused a site developed by our friends in the ivory tower of academia (i.e.= people who don’t have to live in the real world) and it genuinely disturbed me.   According to UnFaircampaign.org, an “anti-racism” campaign brought to us by the University of Minnesota, white people are the problem. Apparently we just can’t understand racism because white people don’t experience racism.  Really?  I have to wonder about that.

Why do I find myself apologizing for being white?

I freely admit that I am as hopelessly white bread as they come, and a lot closer to the trailer park than I would like to claim.  I can trace my ancestry in this country on both sides back to the early 1700s when the USA was still the 13 colonies.  That and $4.50 will get you a Starbucks. My family tree is almost 100% comprised of northern European immigrants from England, Scotland and Germany- with the exception of one French Canadian and one Cherokee Indian that I know of.  Whoop de doo.  In that group of ancestors I know at least one was a rum-runner during Prohibition, and two died in insane asylums.  No one I know of in my family, with the exception of my oldest sister, could ever have remotely have been considered “wealthy,” and even she married into it.  I come from a long line of poverty and insanity.  Again, whoop de doo. I was born with a plastic spoon in my mouth. So what?  What I do with the parameters I’ve been given is up to me.  I can feel sorry for myself, claim inferiority, and expect others to feel sorry for me and take care of me because of my shitty background and my overall abysmal luck in the cosmic lottery, or I can get off it and do the best I can with the tools I have.

I do have to opine that it would be racist to assume that simply by benefit of being white that I am “privileged,” “wealthy” or otherwise inherently superior to anyone else in any way.  It is also racist to assume that just by virtue of being non-white that one is “poor,” “disadvantaged” or “needy.”

Of course the slack-jawed rednecks of the various white supremacist movements are open to derision for a number of reasons.  They make all white people look bad, just as the thuggery of a few young black males who want to be “gangsta” causes me to instinctively hit the “lock” button on my car remote again should I  pass a group of young black males in the parking lot.  (Yes, it’s prejudiced, and yes, it’s unfair profiling and I shouldn’t do it- but I do.)   I don’t believe in white supremacism, largely because the slack-jawed rednecks who claim it are mostly inbred, poorly educated idiots who have no rational argument to stand on other than blatant racism.

Newsflash: Adolf Hitler is NOT a positive role model.

I say don’t bother sending this guy to prison.  Save the taxpayers’ money and drop him off in downtown Detroit, preferably in close proximity to a Church’s or Popeye’s, and see how long he lasts.

Now I wouldn’t be averse to a wee bit of white advocacy, but I find it amusing to think of how these fictional organizations would be taken the wrong way:

How about the NAAWP– the National Association for the Advancement of White PeopleI know my sorry ass could use some help. Especially with rhythm and dancing.

I also think that we need an Anglo-American Caucasian History Month, in which everyone is encouraged to celebrate the history of all the dead white men in American history who did really cool things like writing the Constitution, sending a man to the moon, and coming up with modern computers.

Oh, and near and dear to my heart- the Anglo-American College Fund, to help white students who are working their way through college and who are denied any government assistance with their education, because their parents (who have half or more of their paychecks eaten up in taxes and insurances) “make too much money.”

Just imagine the public outcry if anyone were to form organizations such as the fictional ones mentioned above.  “But white people don’t need any help!,” would be the outcry.  Really?  I know plenty of white people who could use a hand.  The question that I have, and this is a deeper issue, is, why does anybody think they’re entitled to anything based solely upon their ancestry or the color of their skin?  Who thought that fostering an entitlement mentality was a good idea?  (I can go into Lyndon Johnson and his  “War on Poverty” that has done nothing but subsidize more of the same for the past 40+ years, but that’s a week long diatribe in and of itself!)

“Affirmative Action” is nothing more than reverse racism.  The problem with giving any group a privileged status is that in doing so, equality goes out the window.  It’s not politically correct to say that, but it’s true.

It’s a rather interesting, yet hopeful, demographic trend that racial lines are becoming blurred.  If anything, I think this is a good thing for society because in time it will force people to look beyond ancestry or race.  It’s a little harder to blame “whitey” if you’re half white (unless you’re Obama, but he is his own piece of work) and it’s rather pointless to pin your woes on “the bros” if you’re half black.  Somewhere it has to come down to judging people by the content of their character- to quote Martin Luther King- and to stop the race baiting and division.

Don’t blame his white half, either.  Obama’s ineptitude and arrogance have nothing to do with his race or ancestry.  Ineptitude and arrogance are known to transcend racial, ancestral and cultural boundaries.