Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Losing Ideals

I'm sitting around thinking, (cuz I have plenty of time to do that), about how things have gotten to this point in my life and in life all over. Are the bad guys winning? I think they are! And it does me no good to blame it on one person, like the owner of Huasheng, or the soulless skunk of a human being who seems to be running her business for her.

On the left is the choad who I have only ever known as Mr. Liu. Never told me his name. I suppose in HIS world I was too far beneath him to address him in anything but a formal manner. Diana, the owner, never told me HER name either. They both make a living cheating other people. At the meeting we had when I took this picture they were telling me how they were interested in having a long term business relationship with me. To that point I had paid for 4 visa runs and all of my rent. They were contractually obligated, (and had promised verbally), to reimburse me at least in part for both. This was just days before they agreed to give me exactly NO reimbursement for either. So of COURSE they wanted a long term business relationship with me! When you find somebody who will do most of the work while you collect most of the money, you wanna hang on to that person. Especially if you can cheat him out of even more of the meagre share of the profits he works for!

These two products of social destruction regularly hire young, innocent girls, most of whom haven't had much experience in the workforce of China, all of whom have studied hard and probably paid lots of money to get an education and improve their English so that it is good enough to deal with a foreign worker, like me, who doesn't speak Chinese. They work with me for about a month, helping me with problems I may have in China. None are work problems, mind you, just problems with government offices, legal documents, contracts, banking, renting, and anything else that, (probably BECAUSE it is all crooked), comes with mountains of ostensibly legitimizing paperwork. It is, in a word, a shit job. And they don't even get to do it in their own language! At the end of their month of work, the WELL EARNED paycheck they've been enduring all the crap for doesn't come. They ask these two con artists pictured above what the hell is going on and probably they keep them hanging on for a few more days stating computer or banking difficulties as the reason they haven't been paid. But soon, just like the hundred before them, every one of these workers realizes they aren't going to be paid. So a month or more of work, hard work, is wasted. And these girls aren't promised a great deal of money to begin with. To cheat them out of the little they expect, and continuously hire new girls, lie to them, then stiff them, this is something that only a morally bankrupt person can do. And they not only do it, they sleep well at nights. Probably brag to their friends about it.

Then they screw me on the contract they signed, rob me of thousands of dollars, block me from getting tens of thousands more, and they have a nice dinner and probably brag to their friends about it. Is this what passes for "honour" nowadays in China? Is this savvy business? Is this why we shake business people's manicured hands and kiss their Armani covered asses? For perfecting the art of greed? For overcoming innate measures of ethics? For upsetting the social compact, exploiting their brother and sisters' efforts at good, for personal gain?

I must have just had some bad luck, right? It can't be that bad. Not everybody successful lies and cheats like this. Well let's look at another example. Where should we look? Hmmm... how about the richest country in the world? The one that has been setting business and social trends for decades now and probably has the premier example of what I'm talking about LEADING the entire country right now. Let's look at King Donny Trump. He's a caricature of a man who proves almost daily that a person doesn't need to be smart to fit into the trends of despicable business and anti-morality nowadays, in fact it probably helps to be stupid.

He grabs women by their pussies, congratulates a despot on winning another sham election, enjoys defaulting on huge bank loans, makes fun of the handicapped, cheats on his taxes and his wives, thinks trade wars are good, hates people from "shithole" countries and, let's face it, wants everyone to be a little more Norwegian, fires the good, hires the bad, and probably could shoot someone in the middle of 5th avenue and get away with it. THIS is the new Teflon Don, folks. Nothing sticks to him. And he is in bed with another example of the moral depravity that we have elevated to a virtue in this world of ours. Putin is probably the richest man in the world and he didn't get that way by being a nice guy. He clearly has no conscience about cheating in every Olympics since Vancouver and it is most likely worse when it comes to ruling over Russia. He's the only guy Trump can borrow from any more and we will find that out if Mueller ever finishes his investigation. But will he?

It won't be easy to get rid of Mueller, but many think Trump will try. As I've summed up before, he has to get the attorney general to do it and he, inexplicably, has recused himself from all of the Russian nonsense. Oh, is that how it works in our world now? The most powerful lawmaker in a country can CHOOSE to not participate in the parts of his job that he doesn't like, no matter how important? Anyway, the assistant attorney general, on a weekly basis, says that by law there must be a good reason for excusing Mueller and he can't find one. So Trump will have to either fire the assistant attorney general and then I think the solicitor general, and then on down the line till he gets someone who will fire Mueller, or just retract the legislation that requires a good reason to fire him. If you think this hasn't happened before, you'd be wrong. Nixon fired two people to get to a man who would fire the lead investigator into the Watergate affair. All it did was make him look even guiltier. But, this is our brave, new world! If Trump does something similar to Nixon, would he get away with that too? We just might see!

And if all of this happens, before you shake your head and say, "How the hell can this happen?" this is NOT something that just came out of left field. It's been developing for decades. Do yourself a favour and give this a listen.

Trump, and I dare say Mr. Liu and Diana, are not the causes of the craziness in our world today, they are the products of a steady decline in morality, ethics and ideals practically worldwide. I remember along with Robert Reich and many people, the days when it seemed like folks in your neighbourhood, your school, your workplace, your country, were all working together for a common good. Something we don't need to be told from a lectern or a pulpit is good, we just KNOW it's good. And it is good that transcends any social, sexual, racial, religious, or national boundaries. It is what has been termed, "common sense." In the Bible it is said that God has given everyone a measure of faith so that we don't think of ourselves more highly than we ought. The Koran says that God has endowed man with an up-right nature. Buddhists search for that which is found through observation and analysis to be conducive to the good of one and all.

There are statements of ethical reciprocity, (the golden rule), in dozens of religions, and without being dramatic at all, if you can't figure it out for yourself, you are a cancer plaguing the planet. This "cancer" has reached epidemic proportions. We are voluntarily infecting ourselves and other people with it like it's some sort of virtue. Since long before Gordon Gecko said that greed was good, people have been changing from co-operative, sharing citizens to selfish, competitive arseholes and if you think it's been natural, you're ignorant. A lot of the politics, laws and societal agencies that have been orchestrating this shift since the 50's or 60's are outlined by Reich and we all know many more. In a very Big Brother sort of way, the shift has been successfully achieved and in a very real, Orwellian way, "Ignorance is power."

Until recently, I didn't know Jim Carrey was an artist. But he may have painted exactly the ugliness I'm talking about.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders is making a career out of lying. She is not an empirically ugly woman but the lies that drip like boiling acid from her prevaricating gob make her hideousness shine through so that I see what Carrey sees. Worse in fact. Some republicans were whining about how this portrait may have gone a little too far. I think Jim Carrey let her off easy. Her eyes COULD have been dollar signs!

Try to make it through this gem without throwing up. You NEED to be ignorant to fall for it. Yet, people do.

We are constantly being distracted by divisive lies about tertiary issues so that the evil rich can maintain and increase their empires. On the backs of the ignorant and submissive. We need to stop being submissive and demand a change from our world, but I don't think we can really do that until we become the change we want. Reich says he's heartened by protesting kids. I don't really share that optimism. While it IS nice to see kids forcing adults to act like adults, charity begins at home. How many of those marching kids made their beds or did their chores? How many of them are in total control of their households and take advantage of their parents' love for them for their own gain? This is another breakdown in the social compact that has been sold to us over the same amount of time. Kids are brats! And they're learning the manipulation at home that will make them successful manipulators, (liars, cheaters and thieves), in the messed up world. Parents have gone from this:

To this:

I just bet "Mr. Liu" and "Diana" ran THEIR households and were bratty kids. They went from selfishly disobeying their parents to selfishly disobeying the proper conduct that parents ALL try to instill in their children. I hope their own children do the same to them.

At any rate, I wish it WERE more shocking to me to see the rise of evil accelerating, but it's not too hard to pinpoint the causes. It certainly isn't as hard as it will be to rectify them. If they ever get rectified at all. I rarely disagree with Robert Reich but we are divergent on whether there is hope to achieve this. I sure hope he's right and I'm wrong!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Contract Killer

It is now the start of what should have been my second week of work at the new school. I am not at the new school. I am still in Korea and I am still being blocked by the most insane law I've encountered since becoming an ESL teacher. My expired foreign expert certificate remains un-cancelled by my former employers, Huasheng. This is blocking my prospective employers from processing a NEW work visa for me.

The question, "Why would an expired certificate need to be cancelled?" is the first thing one would ask. The explanation of the foreign expert certificate, (FEC), and what it is might help. What it is is a glowing example of the unnecessary paperwork China seems to be in love with. It's a piece of paper that basically says you have a skill that is marketable in China and there aren't many Chinese people with that skill that you might be taking a job away from. I speak English fluently and have a degree to prove it. Chinese people in general don't speak English fluently. Why we require a paper that states this is anybody's guess. But this is not the most ludicrous thing about the situation. Not by far.

Acquiring the FEC is part of the process of getting a legal Z work visa in China. It is one of several certificates that are required. A residence permit, a work permit, an FEC, a medical check, a negative criminal record check verified by a Chinese embassy in your country, a copy of your degree verified by the embassy in your country, a couple pics and some other application forms that contain the same information on the other forms. When you have all of this ready, then you can submit a request to the government and they approve or deny your request to work in China. After that, you get a temporary Z visa with which your employer can get the actual documents listed above once you've arrived and started work in China.

So, again, why does it need to be cancelled? If I get all the other stuff, why can't the new employer cancel the old FEC while obtaining the new one? The new Z visa doesn't even require the old FEC to be cancelled technically.

What happened was my new school started processing the new work visa and were told that my old FEC was not cancelled. I told them that I had repeatedly asked the old employer to cancel it but they wouldn't do so because then they would have to pay me and they just didn't want to pay my final salary. In order to cancel the FEC, they need a sort of "end of contract" contract. They told me many many times to sign one of these and I refused. I refused because it contained the clause, "All dealings with (my former employer), are now completed and no more money is owed." Or something to that effect. I said that obviously I can't sign this until that was the case and it wasn't the case. They still owed me money. So I made it clear they would pay me first and then I would sign.

They just harassed me to try to get me to sign but refused to do what they should do and what the document says they have done. Even if I had signed, it wouldn't have guaranteed that Huasheng would have cancelled the FEC, however. All I would have gotten would have been their PROMISE to cancel. And their promise is worth less than nothing. That had become abundantly clear long before that point.

So we were at an impasse. I decided to just apply for a new job and let the certificate expire. My future employer, (Donna, the person who interviewed me), assured me that this would work. Well it hasn't worked. For some reason expiration is not enough. It needs to be cancelled. It gets stupider.

Victoria U., my prospective employer, has told me that it is ILLEGAL for Huasheng to refuse to cancel the FEC. They heard this from their visa department. So if it's illegal, how do we force them to cancel it? Well even though they say they are eager to get me working for them, they are not eager enough to look into this problem. I spent money going to the hospital to get a physical, going to Beijing to be fingerprinted, getting the criminal record check and stamped degree, and leaving the country so as to facilitate the Z-visa processing. The school told me this would all be reimbursed, but I was the one who paid for it all. It was over 1000 bucks not to mention the time and hassle.

Now Victoria U. is leaving it up to me to solve the FEC issue, FROM KOREA, and wishing me well. They have said nothing about sharing the expense that I endured after signing the contract, becoming their employee and being promised payment for the visa legwork. I don't think they'll pay me anything. And the expensive documents remain in their possession.

I have asked a couple people who I worked with at TUST to help me out by phoning around and finding out how to cancel the FEC. Another girl nicknamed Doris, who was the person working for Huasheng who was charged with convincing me to sign the end of contract contract, is also looking into things for me. She wasn't paid for working for Huasheng either and successfully went to a Labour office who forced Huasheng to pay her. She asked the office if they could get MY money back as well and they said they could. However, I was worried at the time about someone finding out about my working for Huasheng on a business visa before we got my Z visa.

I explained all of this to the representatives of Victoria U. back in December and January and said that it might be a good idea to get some of this stuff done in January just in case we have trouble with the new visa laws. Well I've been told that this problem we are having IS related to one of the new visa laws. They DID inform someone at the university where VU is located in Shenyang, Liaoning University, that my former employer was blocking me and that person called them. The result was who ever they reached, (probably the compulsive liar, Mr. Liu), telling them how I had wronged Huasheng and quit in the middle of my contract to work for another school. And I guess that same story is the one that was told to whatever office is not cancelling my expired FEC.

So, Huasheng, a company that has cheated me out of about 15-20 thousand bucks that I would have made working with them; a company who COMPLETELY changed my contract half way through causing me to quit, then threatened to have me booted out of China the next day and have my bad name and bad things published about me in the newspaper; a company who, through their shady dealings, lost the contract they had signed me on for, were unable to find me other work for the months of July and August, then in September illegally farmed me out to another school without signing the proper documents; THIS company is now able to block me from earning an entire year of wages by doing some more lying to the proper people. (Consult the "Ow My Ass" post for the details)

I have no idea if I'll be able to get this situation resolved even with the help of all the good people who are trying to get it straight. I'm losing hope to tell you the truth. And even if I hear that the FEC was cancelled this week, I don't know if there's enough time to still get hired on at VU.

So this looks to be another Lincoln International School situation. If you remember, that was the place I moved to and then found that their major investor, (who was Chinese), was busted for business fraud and they withdrew their offer of a year's work to me.

And before that was the Wall Street Indonesia fiasco where I was brought over on a business visa and told I would work there for a year, but shortly after starting work I had to be let go due to a government crackdown on Wall Street for bringing workers over on business visas instead of the proper work visas.

So this appears to be the third time in about 4 years that I've signed on for a year of work and had it taken away for some reason. And if you go back to 2010, there was the contract I signed with Dongshin University that I had to eat due to new visa laws in Korea.

A person is unlucky if this happens once to them. Twice is an absolute travesty! Four times and you are some kind of phenomenon! Four times in 8 years? Once every two fucking years?!?! There's no word for that. So 100 won for the person who can suggest the best name for what it is that I do better than most. Maybe better than anyone. Until I hear a better suggestion, I think I'll call myself a contract killer.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Bloggin' Beerin' and Batin' in Korea

I didn't want to do this before I got good news on my new work visa, but... there's no good news on my new work visa. I was supposed to have started work today at Victoria University on the campus of Liaoning University in Shenyang, China. I am still languishing, (not to say pulling my pud), in Korea while people try to unfuck what the asinine new visa laws have fucked for me. You see? This is why I didn't want to blog about this yet. But the time to stop ignoring the obvious: I have probably just spent lots of money and wasted months of time preparing for a job I won't be able to work... AGAIN!

I don't want to be negative. Don't get me wrong. I know how people would sometimes rather be "pozzed" than hear the negative facts. I think my unlikely future employers have been pozzin' me for a couple of months now. Back in late December and early January when I was offering to get the visa issues all taken care of early and warning that I'd already had problems with new rules and it might be wise to take precaution just in case a new rule slows things down, I was told that it isn't good to philosophize about problems we might have in the future. I was given that increasingly dreaded ESL pozzing phrase, "Don't worry."

But here we are in the future and all that positivity, all that not worrying, all that inaction hasn't helped anybody. Who'da thunk it? Since when can't all the problems in the world be solved by remaining positive?

So evidently there are four teachers who should be starting today and aren't. The school has had to call in teachers from the past and do some double shifting with a goal of getting us all at the school and hastily and haphazardly organized three weeks late. Which was exactly what I had hoped to avoid. But I was just being negative. Silly me!

Back when I was still in China I was getting all the paperwork done for the new Z visa so I could work at the new job. The Chinese have a national fetish for paperwork. No, let me amend that, it's a fetish for redundant or completely unnecessary paperwork. The fingerprinting, the criminal record check, the document shuffling, this has already cost me over a thousand bucks. A thousand bucks that could have been spent on the Olympics, or, right now, on surviving until the blasted visa permission letter is processed. I even offered to get housing, banking and moving squared away, but that was better left for the few days before the semester started. What was I thinking?

So instead I have my stuff packed up and stored in my apartment at Taiyuan University of Science and Tech.

And there it remains all vulnerable and useless. I was told I could leave it in my apartment for a month, which is all that was needed IF I had been able to get things done according to the expected schedule. The positive thinking schedule. People sometimes call me negative, but I've learned never to think positive when it comes to this sort of thing. Korea, Indonesia, China, it doesn't matter. 

Back when I left China for Korea in late January, my new school had all the documents they needed and they told me it would take them 2-3 weeks to process a visa permission letter that I need to get my Z visa here in Korea at the Chinese embassy. Well, since coming here, I've found that you don't get it at the Chinese embassy, you get it somewhere else. I've sent an email there and have been told there is a Chinese visa application service center just down the hill from where I'm staying. It's in Seoul Station. I walk there in 30-40 mins, give them that letter and BAM, (well not so much BAM, but in 4 days), I have my temporary Z visa that I will need to get my real one back in China.

Well it's already been almost 5 weeks and we're stuck. The first problem originated at the school. I guess they were having trouble with the new visa laws, (or just didn't want to do the processing since it was holiday time, (Chinese New Year)), so they decided that it might be possible to get us all over there in time by getting us F visas, for business, instead of the proper Z visas. Liaoning U. suggested that to Victoria U. and, since it's illegal, they rightfully said no. So we will all have to wait an extra 3 weeks, (and that's probably positively thinking), for our Z visa permission papers. 

But I just wouldn't be me if I had the same problems as other people. I INVENT problems when it comes to work visas, immigration, any kind of dealings with the bureaucracy of this racket. It seems that, (brace yourselves for my latest invention), my foreign professional certificate, which expires when my past work visa expires, Feb. 19, needs to be cancelled by my former employer. NO, not TUST, my PREVIOUS employer, where all my stuff is, the one before that, Huasheng, who illegally farmed me out to TUST, illegally changed my contract half way through it and has illegally withheld my last month's pay. THOSE assholes need to cancel my foreign expert certificate that is already expired OR I can't pursue work elsewhere in China. Apparently this is one of the new visa rules, presumably part of the government's anti-corruption campaign. I guess, "The power to screw employees out of pursuing work elsewhere will NEVER be taken advantage of by employers," was the thinking behind this new and improved rule. 

So at this moment, I have given contact information to Matthew, the new head teacher at VU or LU, and he has told me basically, "Don't worry." They have people at LU who can call my former employer and be persuasive, and they will get Huasheng to cancel my foreign expert certificate. I like his positivity, but I predict Huasheng will not only NOT cancel, for the reason they gave me and Doris, (their former employee who was also screwed by Huasheng and advocated for me a little bit), "then they would have to pay me the money they are illegally withholding." No, they will most likely demand a contract saying they not only don't have to pay me that, but my new employer, or I, will also have to pay them a whole pile more to get them to cancel the document. An ingenious bite taken out of corruption by the bureaucrats who pushed this new law through!

I have asked Doris to contact the employees who currently work at Huasheng, who are all being screwed by Huasheng and will quit en masse after spring festival, if they could cancel my foreign expert cert., or at least get me a copy of it. I also asked the faithful Faith, who was screwed worse than anyone by Huasheng, if she could do anything. She knows how to cancel these things online and remembers the password to get onto Huasheng's site, but if that password has changed, she won't be able to do anything. I also asked my previous employer, TUST, if they had a copy of my foreign expert cert and was told they never had one. Further proof that the whole time I worked for them was just a joke. An illegal handshake agreement between them and Huasheng. 

I have a blank of the document that is necessary and will gladly just fill in the blanks with the appropriate signatures or stamps if I have to. So now it's not just the employer encouraged to break laws by this new visa rule, it's the employee as well. I won't be the first or last.

At any rate, I'm spending instead of earning again, waiting for a job, wasting time and money bunking with my ever-enduring Peet/Spiwaks. They put me up, feed me and beer me on an annual basis when I'm enduring the tribulations caused by the inept, the stupid and the CURSEDLY HYPERPOSITIVE! And, God please bless them, they take very good care of me!

Ribs and potato salad. Prepped by me but provided by the hosts.

Dalk kalbi. Maybe my favourite Korean food. Since the Peet/Spiwaks are 6 in number, they usually think nothing of my mouth being a 7th to feed. They're in for a free holiday in China someday. Hopefully I can be a good host to them 4 years from now when the winter Olympics come to China.

And I would be remiss if I didn't give a shout out to my other host and hostess, DB and Amber. They keep me well taken care of, as you can see. (the beer in the middle is mine)

So I don't fear disaster, yet, but it sucks to be here when I could so easily be there! I heard of a Ted Talk, but haven't yet seen it, in which a girl who worked in Asia says that in the west, everything is "hurry up and wait," whereas in the east it's "wait, wait, wait THEN hurry up." I think I concur. Even if there is no way to get Huashyte to cancel my FEC and I have to find other employment, I am here in Korea where I can get an emergency job at a hagwon if I have to. And as for my stuff, I HAVE been told to move it as soon as I can, but if I don't, I doubt anyone will do anything with it. Nobody at TUST had the energy to hire me legally, they probably won't be fucked to move a box full of books.

We shall see how this, my newest dramatic adventure in ESL, plays out.

It's never dull over here.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Don't Let Atlas Shrug

It's international grumpy fucker day today. I'm not kidding. And I am grumpy. Just grumpy enough to blog for the first time since my Olympic/Korean adventure started back in late January.

What's got me grumpy today? Same stuff as I've been blogging about lately. Just exemplified in more recent events. Like the latest in the long list of school shootings and the events around it and the conversation about it.

Scot Peterson. This is the guy who didn't go into the Florida school and confront the shooter and possibly save the lives of some kids. He is being hated on hard. I have been a security guard. It's not the same, but it's similar. I'm getting paid 10 bucks an hour. If there's a shooter in the building I'm guarding, I am NOT supposed to confront him I would probably want to, but I'm not supposed to. I am supposed to call a guy like Scot Peterson, who is being paid more, and, unlike me, is ARMED. He is then supposed to go in and confront that shooter. It's his duty. It's what he's paid to do. From mall cop all the way up to police swat team, law enforcement officials emulate and idolize the military. They use the same codes, equipment, techniques, they are like law enforcement soldiers. And soldiers who shy away from their duty can be punished for cowardice. Dereliction of duty, desertion, I'm no expert so I don't know what Peterson's actions, or non-actions, would be defined and punished as in a military court, but I know the punishment could be as serious as death. That's right, death.

For what? Well, he didn't do his JOB, and he didn't protect those children. Two extremely significant parts of our world culture that have few exceptions. As a man, you are primarily identified by your job. That is the major part of your identity. In some cases even more important than your very life. This guy was too scared to do his job. That makes him a weenie.

But what's worse? He didn't protect the kids. "Women and children first." In any emergency like a school shooting, burning building, sinking ship, it's save the women and children first. Why? Is it something we learn, is it natural, is it a combination? Why are men the protectors of women and children? Well what are women and children? The children are the future, right? And one of them might be vital to the entire world. One of the 17 kids killed that day in Florida might have gone on to write the great American novel, cure cancer, invent a car that runs on CO2 and emits oxygen. We will never know.

And the women? They are the carriers, birthers and primary care-givers of the children. The boobs are as obvious a natural hint as can be found. And while their potential for gaining power is being gauged by many of their owners, the breast's natural purpose is milk for the children. THIS is why "women and children first." Children, you have to study and become the architects of a better future. Women, you have to nurture these children and enable them to do so.

Is this happening? I am going to take some shit for saying this, but I think mothers are becoming worse and kids are becoming worse while men are staying very much the same. In general.

Now, I'm not saying kids are getting assault rifles and shooting up schools because of bad parenting. And I'm not saying that since these basic roles in our societies are getting blurred, that maybe Scot Peterson isn't a coward or that since women and children are breaking out of traditional roles that maybe they shouldn't go first any more. So what am I saying? I'm saying that nature, all natural, obvious and undeniable, NATURE is not getting the respect she deserves in social circles the world over. I'm saying NATURE is also saying "me too."

Donald Rump's quote about how he would have gone in and taken on that shooter even if he was only armed with his fun-sized fists is an example of a highly masculine trait. It's common, it's natural and it's undeniable. Strength, real or imagined, is a source of pride FAR more so in men than in women. It is likely all tied in with this protection thing. This is our natural and traditional role. Protector/provider. This is also why our jobs are so self-defining.

So I guess what I'm saying is men need their jobs. This has a GREAT deal to do with why men all GET jobs. And why there are more men working at many jobs than women.

I am also saying that there is a great social consideration for women, more so than men, when applying for a job traditionally held by men. You are taking a job, a vital job, away from a man. Jobs are what men need most. You are also diminishing the quality and maybe the quantity of nurture and parenting that you can give to any of your kids. I'm gonna come right out and say it: we need our mothers more than our fathers. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that if I were raised by my father alone, I'd be a more messed up person than I am now. And I was raised pretty much by my mother alone. What children need most is their mother.

Now, if anyone assumes from this that I think women should stay in the home, they shouldn't be paid the same or have the same job opportunities as men, women can't handle certain jobs, women are inferior or unequal in any way, they are just assuming. I am saying, nor implying absolutely none of that. My point is that when a woman chooses the more traditional role of stay at home mom, I have a great deal of respect for that because she is enabling one man to achieve a job identity and however many children she has are receiving a better shot to not be little brats. And this is an often overlooked consideration when people talk about job equality. The world has about 50-50 men and women, but this is just one reason a 50-50 split in the work world is not necessarily equality.

I am a teacher. I work with a lot of children and I've taught in several countries. There are two things in common and I believe directly related in all of the places I've worked: 1. Women are trending toward higher employment and 2. Children are brattier.

Trump also said that teachers love the students. When did this shit start? Teachers are not the ones who are supposed to love the kids. If you're like me and have classes of 90, we're lucky to remember a few names for crying out loud! But since both parents started working, children are receiving more time in classrooms. They can't be left alone can they? So two income families try to convince themselves that teachers "love" their students and it's not an abandonment of their proper parental duties.

I hate to even think this, but, it's possible the Orange Orator meant that children need firm instruction and sometimes discipline and that this should not be given to them by someone who doesn't love them. If so, I agree with Trump! I don't love my students. I'm not the one who should be teaching them manners or punishing them when they're assholes. But in today's world, this has become an expectation of the teachers.

Once again, don't draw any false conclusions from this statement. I think it has more to do with greed and the bottlenecking of resources to the few that has almost forced women to become a larger part of the workforce than ever before. As well as the social conventions that demand every kid have everything it wants. I'm not saying women are being selfish, abandoning their children, stealing jobs from men or anything like that. I would like to see a stop to the shaming of women who want to be housewives. I would like to see wages keeping up with the cost of living so that option becomes available again to average people. I would also like to see people think of natural and traditional roles as just one of the factors that just might have something to do with perceived "inequality" in the workplace.

It's part of that thinking I keep saying people aren't doing any more. Before you jump on a bandwagon and say, "Yeah, I want this job because women never get it," or "You are a misogynist bastard because you hired 7 men and only 6 women," or something like that, consider all the factors. And though it is becoming increasingly unfashionable to consider, roles like the caregiver/nurturer, and the protector/provider are not just made up. They require some serious consideration.

Take this with a grain of salt if you will since I have a few clear biases. Being a teacher, traditional roles in which children are brought up by parents and just TAUGHT by teachers are definitely preferable in my opinion. Also, being a man who requires a job, the fewer competitors for my job the better and I AM in a field in which there actually ARE more women than men. I'd even go so far as to say the women are better at it. But any successful, female ESL teacher working for a good school that treats you well, if you are considering staying home and starting a family, let me nudge you in that direction, and, could I please have your job?

Before anyone paints me as a woman-hater, I think women carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. Men have the easy part. Working a job and maybe coming home and giving your kid a lickin' for something is much easier than the crucial responsibilities shouldered by women. To add on a full-time job to that is asking a lot. But there are some superwomen and I have a great deal of respect for them as well. I reckon women are like the Atlases of the world. They carry the important weight of society on their shoulders. This is why "women and children first." But if we try to ignore these important roles, if we shrug them off, what happens to our world?

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

If You Don't Believe Me, Take it From a Feminist Being Bashed by Feminists

THIS is what I'm blathering on about, folks. Margaret Atwood: misogynist! This is how absurd this languid, lazy, pigeonholing has become. Now admittedly, not everyone has had the exposure to Canadian literature that I have, but, before you carelessly fling the label of woman-hater at Margaret Atwood, at least give her a Google?

Her best known book, "The Handmaid's Tale" has one of her most, if not her most, common theme: the struggle of a woman against patriarchy. It takes place in a dystopian society in which women have no rights and its protagonist, Offred, is a handmaid, which is a word for a woman used as a concubine for elite, rich, but infertile couples to reproduce. The nameless, "Commander," and his wife, Serena Joy, a former gospel singer, use Offred during the appropriate point in her menstrual cycle each month, to have sex with the Commander while Serena holds Offred's hands and sings a lovely hymn. I challenge you to find a more hammer-the-reader-over-the-head feminist allegory!

Another of  her common themes is that of women as meat or ornaments. Things to be taken in by the senses, but not yet possessed of humanity, much less equality. In "The Edible Woman," the hero, a woman named Marian, is engaged to a lawyer who treats her like arm candy but will be a fine husband and a good choice to make Marian's life a social success. But she also has feelings for Duncan, an aimless English Lit grad. Marian starts to realize the helplessness her patriarchal society has forced onto her as she sees Peter, (her fiancé, and another word for penis), cutting a steak. She finds that she can no longer eat meat. Then she can't eat at all as the wedding approaches. She thinks of herself as icing on Peter's cake, then bakes a cake shaped like a woman. Peter doesn't eat it and the wedding is called off. Marian finds she can eat the cake and in the end, Duncan finishes it. Again, quite an obvious statement about feminism, although not so realistic. As many a Duncan, including myself, can tell you, in real life, Marian marries the dick.

If you don't have time to read a whole book, how about the poem, "Helen of Troy Does Countertop Dancing." Admittedly, a hard sell, it paints a pole dancer as a goddess of femininity. But read it, analyze it, research it, don't take anyone's word for it. There are some fantastic lines in this poem! I can't say I remember reading it or any of Atwood's specific poems during my education, but I DO remember reading "The Handmaid's Tale" and some of her poetry and deciding I liked the poetry better. It may have had a lot to do with the fact that I had a billion other things to read and the poetry was shorter, but do yourself a favour and read this poem!

The start is the defence of the woman who chooses making money dancing "naked as a meat sandwich," over 8 hours a day of standing, getting varicose veins for minimum wage. The narrator/stripper admits it is exploitation but doesn't admit to any shame other women would tell her she should feel. "It's the smiling tires me out the most," says the dancer/goddess, and the pretence that she can't hear the patrons' speech, all warty gutterals as obvious as a slab of ham. They try to reduce her to components and objectify her, but they can't see through her. "Nothing is as opaque as absolute transparency." In her total nudity she hides her secret divinity. Her dance is a torch song. Touch her and you'll be burned.

Can't you hear a room full of feminists, (most of whom don't HAVE the option the goddess speaks of and would be met with shouts of "PUT IT ON" if they tried to exercise it), slagging this poem or the dancer, if she were real, without having read it or heard her? It's the easy thing to do. And they have the support of their fellow feminist club members. But if they'd just think before becoming indignant and outraged and firing out dismissive generalizations, "whore!" "sell-out!" "shame!" "get a REAL job!" etc., they might see that this poem is not very different in theme than the two novels described above. It's the idea that all the women have to resort to desperate measures to attain any small freedom they can get. Extreme measures like fleeing to Canada, (Offred), abandoning the easy life, (Marian), or workin' the pole. I'm not saying this is a legitimate idea or that I agree or disagree with it. But it is the height of moronity to describe it as anti-feminist. Yet, somehow, that's what people are doing. Or at least characterizing the writer of these feminist statements as a traitor to the cause.

"In times of extremes, extremists win. Their ideology becomes a religion, anyone who doesn't puppet their views is seen as an apostate, a heretic or a traitor, and moderates in the middle are annihilated." This is a direct quote from Margaret Atwood's column in the Globe And Mail that was written about author and UBC creative writing instructor who was fired under very similar circumstances to those of James Damore, the hero of my last post.

Margaret Atwood wrote, a bit tongue-in-cheek, an article asking whether or not she was a bad feminist. Reason being she has been labelled as such by many TL;DR Susan Atkinses of feminism for denouncing UBC's guilty until proven innocent, then its guilty ever AFTER being found innocent process of dealing with sexual assault specifically regarding Steven Galloway, the UBC professor, or at least one of them, in question. He was fired for PR, same as Damore, there is little doubt of that in all but the minds of the mindless. And how fierce the mindless can be in their wrongness!

The above reference to Susan Atkins, if you don't know or haven't Googled her, is quite dated so I'll explain. See, there was this guy name Charles Manson? Ever heard of him? Seriously though, have you ever HEARD him? Is it just me or does he sound exactly like George W. Bush? Although I'd unprofessionally diagnose BOTH as socio or psycho pathic, depending on nature or nurture, I'm not talking about what they say, I'm talking about their voices. Eeeeerily similar!


Correct me if I'm wrong but I think Manson is telling the truth, right? He didn't actually kill any of the people, he just brainwashed his "family" into doing the dirty work for him. Back in the time he was disappointed for not making it big as a rock star, he used the prevailing love and trust your brother and sister, along with psychedelic drugs to distort his victims' realities enough that they'd gladly kill or die for him. And he got his revenge in his messed up mind for being passed over by the music business. I wonder if this is what would have happened to George W. if he had lost the elections. Anyway, nowadays, as I touched on in the previous post, it's laziness, apathy and general undereducation that allows for false information to be seeded into brains along with work and social responsibilities sucking the time that could be used to stay informed and intelligent enough to prevent those false seeds from taking root.

What seems to be the result is these various echo chambers of people who agree on specific issues and whether or not they're right or wrong or have any thought behind their opinions, want to force them onto others by shaming those who disagree and calling them names. As I have previously lamented on this blog, we're back in kindergarten and folks, we're FAILING!

So to get back to just ONE group like this, the one that has gone so far as to alienate one of its greatest proponents through their overzealous foot-shooting, do you suppose the feminists, (no, NOT the feminists, just the stupid, extreme whackos who belong to that club), are actually operating outside of, and even in conflict with their club's directives in other specific cases? There is no shortage of examples we could use here. Celebrities accused of sexual improprieties lately? No shortage at all! Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Louis CK, Gene Simmons, some NFL players, Bill Cosby, Geraldo Rivera, Garrison Keillor, Sylvester Stallone, Al Franken, Aziz Ansari, Ron Jeremy... here's a list of over 100 just from 2017.

Now you may look at that list and say, "GASP! Garrison Keillor? Bill Cosby? Two wholesome, family values guys!" But I'm inclined to look at it and say, "Ron Jeremy? WTF?"

But seriously, when you look at examples like James Damore and Steven Galloway who were obviously attacked by extremists and fired by people who feared those extremists, it casts a shadow over all the accusations legitimate or not. Galloway was actually found not guilty in a legal investigation and STILL a known feminist can't support him without being called into question.

How long before we stop being scared of them and tell these extremists who call themselves feminists that they are hurting, not helping their stated cause? But again, we must ask ourselves if they are really that stupid. IS feminism their cause at all? Or do they just want to get as many men fired as they can? A lot of jobs are opening up that, in today's more favourable to women than ever job market, can be filled by women. Do you think this has never entered the heads of these crackpots? Or am I just a jerk. A misogynist.

Yeah, me and Margaret Atwood both.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Forget Fire and Fury, We Know Trump's An Idiot. Read THIS!

Quick, can anybody tell me who this guy is? If you're too busy reading the new Fire and Fury book, maybe I'll give you a pass. Otherwise I have a lot of reading for you to do. If you can't do it, you will prove this fella's point, and mine. If you do it, you may just find the benefit of researching and really contemplating things instead of just believing the popular narrative.

This is James Damore. He was fired from Google for not fitting into their predetermined social behaviour compact. Was he wrong in his dissent? You be the judge.

I don't want to sway you with opinion, but let me just reiterate, he worked for Google. In his profession as software engineer, and at his age, there's really nowhere to go but down. He's a chess master, an artist, and he went to Princeton, M.I.T. and Harvard. Google doesn't hire dummies. They just don't hire many people who are women, evidently. Is that because they're evil, or could there be other reasons? That's what James wanted to discuss academically and reasonably. For that he was fired.

"...a manifesto on why women are biologically inferior." Forbes Magazine article written by a woman in praise of women in tech who are climbing into positions of power and hiring women because they are under-represented in the tech industry. A perfect illustration of the catch 22 feminist footshot that James Damore described in a memo as the situation at Google. "All disparities in representation are due to oppression." I would add, "particularly discrimination." He continues, "We should discriminate to correct for this oppression." If you mathematically break that down it becomes, "We should discriminate to correct for discrimination." Besides being contradictory and illogical, it just doesn't work. I have spent a few decades trying to judge whether people who call themselves feminists, just don't understand this or whether they totally understand it and just want their chance at running the world. Even on an individual basis it's a tough call.

"...the science in Damore's memo is still very much in play, and his analysis of its implications is at best politically naïve, and at worst dangerous." Wired Magazine article written by, (I think), a woman and a man, cites the "incoherency problem" one innate in scientific efforts to quantify things so eminently unquantifiable as personality or, indeed, differences between the sexes. They comment that, "Very smart people studying the same things collect related, overlapping data and then say that data proves wildly different hypotheses, or fits into divergent theoretical frameworks. The incoherency problem makes it hard to know what social science is valid in a given situation." They say that it is a common impulse to apply theories, such as the idea that women are more prone to neuroticism, as proposed by David Schmitt's 2008 meta-study and article that was referenced by James Damore in his memo, to real life situations such as Google's disparate hiring practices. But the article ironically goes on to quote David Schmitt and Richard Lippa saying that they are "unclear" and "don't know the answer" to whether their respective research relates with Google's hiring practices. The article's authors take both as disagreement with Damore's memo. This, I am left to suspect, is a good illustration of the TL;DR, (too long, didn't read), phenomenon Damore includes in his memo. Just below the reference he writes that, "Differences in distributions of traits between men and women may in part explain..." I doubt either Schmitt or Lippa would deny that their studies theorizing that women are more prone to neuroticism, and men prefer thing-oriented professions, while women prefer people-oriented professions, respectively, MAY IN PART, explain ANYTHING. That's why they published the research presumably. What I'm saying is if Damore had said that these things are definite causes of the low representation of women at Google, the article's characterizations of the scientists' comments as "disagreement," would be valid. As it is, THEIR implications could accurately be described as "at best politically naïve, and at worst dangerous." Furthermore, the initial reaction to Damore's memo and the readiness with which writers shame and slag him with little to no accuracy, are perfect examples of the situation he lamented in the memo.

The overwhelming question to me is, did they get the memo? I mean really GET it? I don't think so. Here's another misleading quote from the second article: "So when Damore does juke from preferences to abilities, it looks a little sneaky. Here’s what he writes: “I’m simply stating that the distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women may differ in part due to biological causes and that these differences may explain why we don’t have equal representation of women in tech and leadership,” he writes. Making the leap from personality differences to achievement differences would require citing at least some of the well-studied body of work we’ve mentioned here, which Damore ignored." NO, IT WOULDN'T. Tomato - Tomahto, I like peanut butter, you hate it. There is nobody who would deny that preferences are part of our personalities. And they differ. Likewise, only a moron would say that job preference doesn't affect job choice, (if you are allowed to choose for yourself, of course). What these two are saying is that we need some scientific study done on whether my love of teaching and hatred of repetitive tasks had anything to do with my choice to leave my job as a driller and become an ESL teacher. I can tell you with 100% certainty, even without any scientific research backing me up, that it did. Again, another desperate use of believable SOUNDING arguments to fit a personally preferred narrative. And again, a great illustration of what Damore described in his memo. And once again, may I draw your attention to the word Damore uses again, not once, but TWICE: "may."

As it so often is, I'll use sports as a great example. Any athlete's love of any sport depends on his/her personality. General love or hatred of sport as well. And it follows naturally that love of a sport leads to the desire to play it more, which in turn leads to higher achievements in that sport, which finally leads to being chosen to join better and better teams. I suspect it is no different with computer programmers. If you fall in love with code writing, you will do it more than someone who hates it. Even if your parents are forcing you to do it. You will get better and you will be offered better jobs, maybe one at Google. This is not debatable. It's not science either, it's nature. There ARE no scientific studies on this, taste, preference, instinct, love, why we laugh or why salmon can instinctively find their way home that can produce any relevant, replicable facts, because it's nature. It's the mind. It's that part of science that arrogant scientists are constantly trying to ACT like they understand but they never will. So why would someone write in an article that there is research needed here?

It's that "echo chamber" Damore includes in the title. Preaching to the previously convinced. What passes as "intellect" nowadays is far too often, in my mind, just pandering to the pre-decided. We don't have time for objectivity. Prejudice saves time. Say what I say and you belong to the club. Because people have less and less free time, or have less and less educational things with which to fill it, the TL;DR attitude leads us to false conclusions/beliefs. However in our ignorance we can still be extremely supportive of ideas, or people we assume have done the reading on these ideas, even though we are completely wrong. I see it in science all the time. We ALL do! It's just not something well publicized. It's often not the popular narrative. One recent example on a few of my friends' facebook pages, is Bill Nye. He's the Science Guy! But he's not a scientist, he just plays one on TV. He makes false claims sometimes, citing science, even though science has either shown the opposite or is not sure. For instance he'll tell you that the cause of global warming is definitely human beings. He'll tell you science has proven this. Not true. But if you try to bring up studies, theories, ACTUAL SCIENCE, you all know what you get called: A "Climate Denier." Some of his ideas on GMO's are wrong too, I think possibly corporately wrong if you know what I'm saying. And despite his dedication despite scientific facts, I've seen him slag spirituality for the identical reasons.

If you have a problem with mercury or formaldehyde in any one single vaccination you might want answers about, (like why the hell they CAN make the same vaccination without them and why the hell THAT one is more expensive, or why the hell they didn't even until recently let us know what was in vaccinations), no, you are not a person rightfully concerned about injecting poison directly into your bloodstream, you all know what you are, right? An "Antivaxxer!"

And if you haven't heard or read the phrase, "You can't argue with science," at least once today, you're probably not on the same media sites as I am. This is one of the least scientific things you can say. Not long ago it would have been laughed at as ridiculous, and rightfully so since constant and rigorous questioning is what USED TO make science science. But now we can't argue with it. We can't question it. We have to believe everything, I mean ER Vre THANG about science, about vaccinations and about climate that people tell us. The commonly accepted narratives. If not, shaming, exclusion, segregation, and in the case of James Damore, firing.

Look, I am totally on Bill Nye's side on reducing CO2 emissions, I get my vaccinations and am grateful for not having polio or the measles right now, probably because of them. I don't think the Earth is 6000 years old and I almost always agree with science. To be honest, I'd bet that a great deal of the male/female disparity in all the world's workplaces, including Google, has to do with discrimination against women. But I'll tell you what DOES need some further scientific study, the one to one relation between population and hiring. Would it be considered "right" if Google had 50% men and 50% women? Why? I believe this is no different than the discussion James Damore was trying to stimulate.

Let's use some crazy analogies. NASCAR. Shawna Robinson and Danica Patrick. That's it. In the history of NASCAR, since 1949, they're the only two to really be successful even though about 104 have actually raced. That's more than anybody would guess, I'm sure. But why? Why so few? Do men like going faster? I use sporting analogies too often. What about business. A traditionally male dominated area. Let's look at an area of business that's REALLY male dominated. Like very few women. Stock traders. The movie Wolf of Wall Street was a very good example of why. An in your face sausage fest of a movie in which every major character except the FBI investigator, was a douchebag. And only one or two of the traders were women. Every character is reprehensible, screwing other people to get rich, drug-abusing, don't-give-half-a-shit, midget-throwing scumbags! But how many guys watching that movie, no matter how "nice" they are, didn't think for even half a second, "Man, I kinda wish I coulda worked for Jordan Belfort." And how many girls wouldn't mind dating guys just like them?

In our society men are judged by achievement and women by beauty more often than not. No science really needed, it's fact. Therefore, a lot of men who are absolutely repugnant scumbags, are respected because they're rich. They are highly competitive, reckless, chance-taking, alpha male personalities in whom assertiveness translates to euphemisms like "career-minded," "going places," or "ambitious." The few women in this industry are probably single because they are viewed as bitches. Even if they're beautiful. We don't know WHY this stuff happens and there is no science, (I hesitate to type YET), that can prove why this happens, but we can all see it if we're honest with ourselves.

Women are careful investors, slower drivers, shitty tippers, they are more commonly risk avoiders. Again, not science, just nature. In women assertiveness translates into gregariousness, social interaction, maybe even gossip. That's cute, and nice and feminine. But if you become aggressive at work, you're a dragon lady.

People in every society are treated differently based on sex and that naturally leads to self-segregation. If people don't correctly segregate, it leads to micro-aggression in the pack, which stifles individuality. Don't kid yourself, assholes will use this to gain personal power through bullying, shaming, even blackmail.

If I see a company like Google with only 20% female employees, I could get upset, or I could get rich. I go to Google and propose some company programs to increase hiring of women. Not only that, I offer a description of company-wide sensitivity training and incentive programs for workers who display good relations with women or who ARE women. I outline some directives to increase female participation in company management and global representation and I charge the company a billion dollars. The company thanks me but refuses. So I shame them publically announcing their sexist policies and encourage people, (like those above), to write scathing, not necessarily accurate, articles about the company. They eventually cave to save their P.R. Is this far-fetched? I would have thought so as a young man. But nowadays, you KNOW I'm practically sure of it! Do you think this is 100% NOT the case? If so, you might have attended some of the above corporate brain seeding sessions.

Anybody ever heard of the Rainbow Coalition? How about Jesse Jackson? Sure you have! Well, it's a little bit different, but basically, he has been accused of doing this for black people in industry. Toyota being just one example. James Damore thinks he was fired for P.R. reasons. I'm inclined to agree. You see, for a month Damore's memo was circulating within the company. He was shamed and treated badly within the company but only after it went public was he fired.

Google had this famous saying within the company, "Don't be evil." But it's recently been changed to "Do the right thing." Here is a good article on the subtle difference that could be a pretty large one. Also, as always, boycott Nestle!!!

Now, if I were to look at the practice of hiring women to offset the low numbers of women at Google, I would say the policy is not evil. But I would also say that it is not the right thing. It takes actions, not words, to raise your ethical standards. Ethically, the question MUST be asked, if Google wants to hire more women because they have a 20% female worker rate as compared to a 50% female population, and they have no doubt that the one behaviour ethically and necessarily follows the other, then they are admitting to being unethical. Assholes. Or as Damore absolutely correctly puts in, "All disparities in representation are due to oppression." What they're saying is that by basing hiring on discrimination against women, we're doing the wrong thing. This is not the problem. The solution, as seen by Google and accurately described by Damore, is the problem. "We need to discriminate FOR women to correct the problem."

In Canada, the Employment Equity act had the same mentality and it has been a disaster. It's one of many things making it hard for both job seekers AND employers in Canada. To give one example, I know a guy with a business in Northern BC. He must hire natives to meet population and Employment Equity regulations in that area. I will not get into Canadian Native laws that make it easier for natives to be unemployed or the parts of their culture that may or may not have contributed to my friend's problems, but he could not keep a native working for him for any length of time. And every time a native quit, it was a huge expense to find and re-train another native worker. All the while passing over non-native, but better qualified workers. But he tried and tried and tried until one day he asked what the penalty for not obeying the Employment Equity laws would be. It was a considerable amount less than he was paying by obeying, so he simply hired a dreaded, politically incorrect, but qualified, white male for the job and lo and behold, he saved money. A lot of money. Meritocracy was outlawed by the Employment Equity Act of Canada I think in 1995. But it still goes on. Only it's illegally and secretly. Just another reason I can't live in my own country though.

Like James Damore, I believe this example should open up discussion. Free and open and edifying discussion that could be good for all of Canada. But I tell this story in Canada and I'm a racist. I'm a native hater. I'm a traitor to my country! I'm shamed and bullied. In fact, I doubt I'll get away with it even on this blog in this context. Much less the apparent misogyny. So I understand Damore's situation. Here's something important about the memo: At the very beginning, Damore wrote that there were many people within Google that have expressed agreement with him, but were too scared to publically do so for fear of ostracizing and even losing their jobs.

So what are you supposed to do if you are very smart, very qualified, very hard-working, but just don't fit into the racial, sexual, or other strict hiring categories of the place you most want to work? Should there be a Handicapper General who makes you a WORSE candidate for the job? I'm not making this up, folks. This is taken directly from a Kurt Vonnegut short story. Here it is in its entirety. Tell me this isn't where Google-type or Canada-type thinking is leading us. It is wrong, folks. And James Damore is right. And he got fired for being right. THAT is the bottom line.

Are we a world full of Bergerons being forced to suppress our intellects and settle for the lowest common mediocrity? Has Damore tried to kiss the ceiling and been cut in half by the Handicapper General's shotgun? Well, word is that he's launched a class action lawsuit against Google. Time for Google to put their considerable money where their motto is. Are they going to do the right thing or just not be evil? I guess we'll see...

In closing, I know there is a lot of reading in this blog post. A LOT. But if you read it, you will be able to make a better decision about the story of James Damore and possibly other things related. I'm not trying to persuade you to think as I think or abandon any beliefs, just research them. Don't use the TL;DR excuse on this blogpost. I think it is one of my more important posts. I strongly urge you to read the entire memo. I have it in PDF form and can't give it to you on this post. I actually had a hard time finding it with charts and citings. Maybe because I was using Google to search for it. But if you read nothing else in this post, read that memo. And if you read the memo and only read one other thing, read the Vonnegut story. It's really short.

To sum it up, I guess the message behind this post, the meme and pretty much life is, if you don't read, research or think for yourself, somebody might be able to convince you that Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" speech, and Oprah's "Don't Say 'Me Too'" speech, cancel each other out.

Okay, happy reading, my friends.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

It's a Fake, Fake World!

Would you believe a THIRD sports post in a row? Well, not really. It's gonna be partially related to sports, but just in the beginning, I think. I hope to segue onto more serious, (seeming), matters. But one of the beauties of bloggery is I can't seem to control what my fingers bang out on my keyboard. I'm like a novice wizard testing out new incantations. Sometimes I'm just mumbling nonsensically and hoping to INVENT a new spell of my own. More often than not, nothing happens but on occasion, the muses are in my court and the end result, a shiny, new blogpost, ends up being creatively satisfying. Let's see how this one goes, shall we?

I am actually enjoying myself these days. A LOT! Maybe a little bit too much, being unattached, unemployed and unsupervised by any authority figure, be they work boss, home boss or societal boss. And it's one of the two best times of year sporting-wise. So I can be up at 3 AM watching a World Jr. hockey game and say to myself, "Would it be okay to have a beer right now whilst watching my countrymen play our favourite national sport?" Then I can look at the calendar, look at the clock, look around my apartment, and see no reason why not. Then after that I can watch an NHL game, or, like this morning, a PLAY-OFF NFL game, and say to myself, "Self, is there any reason why I shouldn't drink a few MORE beers?" And my Self will reply, (being unattached, unemployed and unsupervised necessitates soliloquizing), "Again, bruvvuh, if I'm honest, I'm no' bovvahed if you crack on wid it! 'Undred percent, jnowu'amean?"

My conscience isn't Jiminy Cricket, he's a cheeky chappy from Essex. 'Owevvuh, 'ang on a tic, wha if it's a fit bird in me 'head? Literally a bi' o me! On papuh we'd genuinely 'ave grea ban 'uh, (great banter), jnowu'amean? (do you know what I mean?) It ain't bein' muggy to 'ave a few mugs then innit?

Being unattached, unsupervised and unemployed, I can also watch reality TV shows to bone up on my Estuary English, jnowu'amean? I don't see anyone around my apartment to judge me if I watch the most embarrassingly trashy TV show ever, like, Love Island and watch some full on fit birds and some well gorge blokes trying their best to stick it on each uvvuh. And all with delightfully fast-but-rewindable cockney accents. I'm no' bovvuhed.

It's the proverbial car accident. I know I shouldn't watch. Not only is it not improving my life or intellect in any way, it's probably damaging it, but I can't look away! It's tedious because the relationship issues are mostly manufactured drama that I struggled through blabbedy-blah years ago, but it's still kinda fun to watch.

I mean, really, what's not to like? Beautiful, young people enjoying fun, sun and social drama in Mallorca, Spain. Or is it Majorca? Mayorka? Anyhoo, it's not just the drama that living in close quarters creates in this group, but the show's producers really stir things up. One episode had five boys going to a villa just around the corner from the original one for some "male bonding." Little did they know, five new girls would meet them there. Meanwhile, back at the original villa five new BOYS were crashing the girls' fun without their men. And by this time there were some pretty close couples, so what do they do? Why, they have a competition that includes boys and girls naughtily snogging, French snogging, skinny dipping and such. All the while, the villas are so close together that the teams could actually hear each other! THEN picture postcards of the shenanigans in which committed boys and girls were sleeping with and kissing others, for the competition of course, were shown to their jealous mates. Fun times!

One of the solid couples was Jess and Dom. Or so we all thought. Somehow Jess got voted off the island along with a new boy named Mike. Dom stayed without Jess but he was "gutted" and swore to remain unattached and faithful to Jess. And he DID. But, rumours of the outside world found their way into the villa that Jess and Mike immediately hooked up after being voted off. No way Dom could know! And they didn't show the viewing audience either. It's still a mystery to me.

That's Dom on the left on Love Island and Mike and Jess on the right looking all couply and cozy off the island. Poor Dom. I think he got his grass cut.

Maybe my favourite relationship on the show so far isn't a romance, but a bromance between Chris and Kem. Look at these guys, they even dress the same!

It's as much a sport as hockey and football, really. Boys being boys and girls trying to regulate them. Keep them from becoming ME! Don't judge me. >:-(

So what is it that has inspired me to blog today? What is the more serious matter I promised to blog on about? It seems to me that I am getting more negative in my old (er) age. I am sure a few of you are chuckling or saying something like, "You think?" or "Nice one, Captain Obvious!" but I do have my positive side. I just don't blog much about it. For instance, sport. I have been a huge sports fan my entire life. But more and more I find myself questioning whether or not it remains untouched by the corporate virus that is infecting everything else on our planet. I didn't GET up today, I STAYED up all night and watched the Saturday afternoon hockey games AND the NFL wild card games. It was pretty tough to do, but I managed to get to half time in the second football game before crashing. The FIRST football game, however, is one that has me wondering if I was watching the NFL or the NFEL. You know how the WWF changed to the WWE, (world wrestling federation to world wrestling entertainment)? Even though it was some copyright violation rather than a change separating the sport of wrestling from the fraudulent entertainment of the WWE, I always thought of it in that way. I have to admit, I've been noticing more and more games that smack of the WWE fakery and it is upsetting. How does Kansas City completely dominate the first half and then look like a college team in the second half? Was it football or football entertainment? The announcers were saying the coach of Tennessee gave some kind of moving speech at halftime. They were also mentioning that the loss of Travis Kelce to a concussion, (of course I had picked him in my playoff football pool), made a big difference. But I'm inclined more to skepticism as I age. I think that possibly the more meaningful halftime speech might have taken place in the Chiefs' dressing room and it was delivered by an anonymous, no-necked, cigar smoking guy wearing black on black and it probably went something like this, "Youse guys had a good time dat half. But me, and a lotta my close friends, didn't expect youse to have so much fun. We actually BET youse wouldn't have so much fun, capiche? So why donchu go out dere and have a little bit less fun? As a favour to me. And my friends. Who know where you live. And how many kids youse have. And what schools dey go to. Den, maybe someday I can do YOUSE a favour. Okay? Okay."

And last year's Super Bowl. I STILL don't believe THAT shit happened!

That Edelman catch? Was there helium in that ball or what? How did he make that catch? Atlanta won their game today and now that the Chiefs are gone, a Patriots/Falcons Super Bowl rematch looks a lot more likely. Wouldn't THAT attract a lot of paying viewers?!!??!!???!! Like, a helluva lot more than any OTHER match-up! Hmmmm... I should have THOUGHT of this when picking my football playoff pool, but, once again, I am still too positive to bet on football fixing. We all know it goes on in sport, but I just want to believe there is still something pure left in this world.

I told you last post what I thought of that stupid publicity stunt at the World Jrs. Canada won eventually, even though they were outplayed in the final by Sweden and maybe THAT is another example of what I'm lamenting here, but isn't it just the most dramatic, (i.e. attention and paying viewer attracting), story that could have happened? Last year Canada loses a heartbreaker in a shootout to the Americans. This year, they lose another heartbreaker in a shootout to the Americans in the outdoor game. There are many calling it a "classic" already. It just seems a bit scripted to me. Maybe NEXT year they'll have an American/Canadian re-re-match and CANADA will get revenge at home in a shootout. It won't be outdoors though because it'll be in Vancouver and Victoria so the weather won't be cold enough. All this stuff kinda makes me feel a bit like Bubbles, the smartest Trailer Park Boy,

And as for the sports that are more social, again, maybe I'm a bit of a jaded, over skeptical dude, but I can't believe half of the crap that was happening on Love Island either. My biggest head-shaker was Camilla. Just take a look at this picture. This is the fuckiness me and Bubbles feel.

You look at that picture and you see a STUNNING girl who looks like she'd be a laugh. XXX Survey said: EEENNNNGGHHHTTT! She either IS or is acting like the biggest prude in England. The question I've asked 100 times during my soliloquies is what the hell she was even doing on the show. I mean, did she not know that people are supposed to hook up there? She spent the whole show tee-hee-heeing at anything remotely sexual sending out coquettish vibes to poor suckers who, when they acted on them got friend zoned like she was a nun. Is she? Do we KNOW she's not?

Maybe it was the, fact?, (is it a fact?), that she once dated, then friend zoned Prince Harry. So how could any of the blokes on the island be good enough for her? Then there was the convo with Jonny in which he pointed out that he was completely FOR sexual equality and Camilla, (falsely), agreed that that was what she wanted. Then she said it just wasn't the case in England. Jonny pointed out the female PM's of England, and the idea that a lot of feminists don't want equality, but they want to run the show for a while to make up for years of men doing the same, and THAT is what translates into equality for them. He didn't word it quite as well, but somehow, even though he genuinely wanted equality, and Camshaft agreed, somehow even the ANNOUNCER was labelling him a sexist and everything they had to that point came to a grinding halt. And the drama that ensued! Tears, face in hands bawling about how all men are pigs. Consoling from the other girls in the villa. It was a Korean soap opera! I had faith that the English public was smart enough to see through it, after all, one of the best things about almost everyone from England I've ever met, is that they really put a high social value on intelligence. Their comedy is absolutely awesome in my opinion because it's smart. Their country has spawned many a great intellectual and they are very proud of them. But, no! Camilla was the darling of everyone in the villa and all the voting viewers in England! It just struck me as very fucky.

Then, inconceivably, Jonny was forgiven! So she lead him on for a little while longer making him think he had a shot. I think it was also so she could stay on the island. THEN during the five for five swap with the new villa, she met a sweet-talker named Craig. To be fair, "sweet-talker" is only four letters and a dash away from "stalker." This guy had seen the show from the outside, and like all of England, loved Camilla. So he comes on just spouting effusive compliments to her and making her tee-hee-hee in narcissistic glee. Enough for her to completely abandon Jonny and keep Craig around by coupling up with him. And even though she dumped Jonny so unceremoniously, and Jonny wisely coupled up with another girl, (to get to a THIRD girl, (the show is complicated(but in a good way(much like this bouquet of parenthesis)))), Craig was given the cold shoulder because somehow Camilla hadn't completely forgotten about Jonny. So more tears and heartfelt, emotional support for her manipulative games ensued. But I was SURE the intellect of England wouldn't let me down and they'd vote her ass off the island. After all, it's not Friend Island is it? But NO! If anything she got MORE love! Just plain fucky if you ask me.

Is it possible that even more serious things than sports, be they athletic or social, are as Orwellian as these examples I've listed? Is it possible that everything is not naturally occurring, but scripted by people for the purposes of creating a world environment maximally conducive to consumer spending? Is everything fraudulent? Am I going to be sedated and stopped from writing this blog by some men in white suits who bust down my door? Has it already happened and I can't remember? Dang! This requires a beer. Anyone here in my apartment object? "Nao too right mate! Go on then!" I thought not.

If it's not obvious to you by now, you haven't been following my bloggage. The "sport" to which I think as much, and most likely even more fuckery can be applied is politics. Where are we there? Well, let's move from England to America. The hottest selling book right now is one in which the main point is basically that the POTUS, probably the most powerful politician on the planet, but nothing compared to the corporate script writers who are the puppet masters yanking his strings, is an idiot. If you go to the end of this article about the book, there is a short list of famous, powerful people who have basically said this. With all due respect, if you haven't figured this out by now, maybe YOU are an idiot. But I hope it will carry more weight being in book form and once and for all spark a movement toward getting this bozo out of the White House.

But, I don't know if that's in the script. There is nobody who can genuinely entertain the idea that his presidency isn't a UGE conflict of interest. Not even Trumpbot Sarah Huckabee Sanders could entertain - well, okay, maybe Sarah Huckabee Sanders could believe that but most of us aren't sucking Trump's dick like she is. He owns golf courses. Golfs WAAAY too often on them. And wouldn't you know it, there's a tax loophole in his vaunted tax reform that gives a really nice break to golf course owners. There is absolutely NO doubt that this presidency has been in direct contravention of conflict of interest rules, if they weren't so wishy washy. We have all heard of people being forced to step down from business positions to take on the presidency. Hell even the Bushes did so! Didn't they?

Here's what Bubbles and I are talking about. It turns out that there really is no solid law against this kind of fuckery and, of course, Trump is jumping right in there to fully take advantage of that. Before anyone like Elizabeth Warren, just for example, can pass a bill ACTUALLY telling the president, (and VP), of the U.S. not to pass all kinds of bills into laws that will benefit him and his financial fuck-buddies into law. A lot too little and a lot too late. And, oh, yeah, by the way, President Trump would have to pass this bill to limit conflicts of interest for him and the VP. I just don't think he'll find the time to do that.

Is this really going unnoticed? Is this OBVIOUS corruption being allowed to slide? Oh wait, there's more! You see, as it turns out, Trump has been a bad boy in business for many years. It's rumoured that he has been dealing directly or indirectly with the Prince of Darkness himself, Vlad Putin and/or Russia. I don't think there's much doubt at all. Just the details and the extent remain in question. And how long will they remain in question? Well, I'm glad I asked that question. How much longer is Trump's term? Another 3 years or so? Yeah, THAT'S how long.

Robert Mueller seems to be conducting the longest investigation of anyone EVER folks. Hey, if you or I cheat on our taxes, how long will it take an investigator to bust us and get that money? Well Trump has already eclipsed that time limit. And there is doubt about this perhaps ONLY to one man on this planet, special investigator Robert Mueller. Trump's ties to Russia are public knowledge, unlike his taxes. The rumours about them I have shared here before. "The Don of a New Era."

Oh, and by the way, just in case you have ANY doubt about the fuckery being perpetrated on the U.S. and the world here, Robert Mueller, the guy investigating Donald Trump, can be FIRED by Donald Trump. Of course, it's not that simple because every one of the most misleading things in our world have booby traps in place to create doubt about our doubt about them. And when it comes down to it, they win because the average person hasn't got the time to negotiate all the booby traps. So we have to believe someone who we think might. Trust. A dangerous thing in a corrupt world. The fact is, Trump would have to direct deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein to fire Mueller. Failing that, he could repeal laws that give Rosenstein the power to fire Mueller, then fire him. Or, and keep an eye out for this, he could promote one of his flunkies, like Sarah Huckabee Sanders, or an equally sycophantic henchman who has no experience whatsoever in law, to be the attorney general and then direct HIM/HER to fire Mueller. See if THAT doesn't happen in the next three years of Trump's reign of terror.

And you know where things are even worse? Business! I'm sure this little break from the harsh, cruel, screw your brother world of business is a welcome break for Heir Schtrumphmeister. I am getting a good taste of business shenanigans over here in China where they use population as an excuse for it. In America and Canada, (lest we think, as we are wont to do, we are any better), it's just business. And with huge, evil corporations acquiring other huge, evil corporations, and politicians and lawmakers continuously paving the way for corruption by enforcing crooked laws, it won't be long till even in business they no longer have to lie to us to hide the corruption.

Bayer is merging with Monsanto. Big pharma and GMO/Roundup poison. Why does this seem like a terrible match? I was grievously disappointed with the news that Tim Hortons's, a beloved franchise in Canada, is going to purchase Popeye's Chicken. That news wasn't the bad news. It was just that not long ago I heard that they'd bought Burger King. And now Popeye's. And, hmmmm, wait a moment, when I go into my local Timmy's and ask employees their salaries and/or if they have any benefits, what is their general answer. I NEVER thought I'd say this but fuck Tim Horton's. Unless they start paying decent wages, fuck them. I will never roll up the rim to win again and NOW that I know the kind of scumbaggery that goes on at this franchise, I'm questioning whether I EVER legitimately had a shot rolling up the rim. It appears even Tim Horton's is in on this global orgy of deceit. Is not even coffee and donuts sacred any more?

What I'm NOT questioning is the idea that companies, especially massively rich ones, can make money AND still be socially responsible to their employees.

The only thing that needs to happen is for regular people to demand it. Stop settling for, nay encouraging, corporate greed. Stop accepting the excuse that it's just business or we have to be fiscally responsible to our shareholders. Mandating business ethics is not socialism or communism or any other word rich people will invent to scare us away from it while they manage to hang onto their oversized pieces of the economic pie.
But what chance does that have of happening so long as even politics is conducted as a fraudulent business? It's encouraging to see some countries in the world where business sometimes has to take a back seat to people. Like Denmark or Iceland or Sweden or Norway. What is the Scandinavian cure for corporatism? Why is their model ignored?