Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Lighten Up Already

August Full Moon

Okay, so the country seems to be going to Hell in a hand basket. The gubmint is evil, cops are monsters and if only we could all get along.

Yeah, right.

Now I believe that I have fessed up to being a Facebook kinda guy in these spaces on more than one occasion. Lately it's almost painful to go there to see what is offered for my viewing "entertainment." It's enough to make a fellow a pessimist.

Now there are a lot of bad things going on in the world and right here at home. Doesn't mean there haven't always been a lot of bad things going on in the world. It's just that these days nearly every person out there has a cell phone with video recording capability and access to YouTube.

Bam! Instant news story.

Sarge! That's my line! (Source)

(Hhmm, is it just me or does The Chant seem to have a number of chefs lately?)

Now how about what's happening at home, right now. Well, unless you live in or near a major city run by a bunch of nitwits, my observation is that not much is happening "at home."

Sure, our local community has its issues and problems to overcome, but if I was to believe half of what I see on line, then I would have to figure that -
  1. The police want to kill me, because I might be suspicious.
  2. I'm white therefore I didn't have to earn anything I have. It was given to me.
  3. Black folks are all downtrodden and are victims of the white patriarchy.
  4. Women folk are all downtrodden and are victims of the white patriarchy.
  5. Asian folk are good at math and suck at driving.
  6. Most types of food are bad for you and will kill you. You need to buy a book written by a doctor to teach you how to eat. (Why our species didn't die off thousands of years ago I find puzzling. I mean, ya know, SCIENCE!)
  7. Climate change is all caused by humans and we're all going to die. The polar bears are all dying and chunks of ice the size of Montana are melting everyday. Why New York City will be under water by 1995. (Yeah, not really.)
  8. The latest <insert trendy name here> diet is the only way to lose weight. Yes, you need to eat that crap for the rest of your life.
  9. The only way to go is vegetarian. Which confuses me because we are optimized to eat damn near anything. Kind of like bears. Only without the fur and the attitude.
  10. Meat is bad. So why do we have teeth designed to tear meat?
Okay, let's address those ten things point by point.

The first one, okay I know a lot of law enforcement types. They are not bloodthirsty craven fools. Yes, some LE types aren't as good as others. Tell you what though, imagine yourself on a dark street and you have someone behaving erratically. They reach for something, what do you do? Tell them to stop, don't move, that kind of thing? Or are you ready to open fire?

Oh yeah, you have two seconds to make that call. Make the wrong call and you might be dead.

Suppose the officer just barely passed through the academy. He might make the wrong call. Regardless, if your life is on the line, you tend to err on the side of "I want to go home after my watch."

The second bit, yes, I am officially classified as "white" or "Caucasian" if you prefer. Though I consider myself to be kind of a pinkish-beige in tone and not a single ancestor of mine ever got anywhere near the Caucasus mountains. Truth be told, I identify as "Chris," for that is the name bestowed upon me by my parents. (Well, that's the short version of my given name.)

It pisses me off every time I have to check off what "race" I am on some idiotic form. The concept of race is bullshit and pretty non-scientific. In Basic Training I checked "Other" and specified "Celt" as to what other was. My instructor started screaming at me that I was white and I had better gorram check "white" on the form. Didn't do it. No doubt I was marked down for "playing nice with others." Ever the rebel...

I'm still waiting for all the "hey, I'm white, where's my privilege package." Though I get what the people who spout that "privilege" nonsense mean. There have been times where the non-pinkish beige folks have been shafted. The Democrat Jim Crow laws spring to mind. Of course, I was in the Air Force and we were all treated equally.

I have to admit it's tough to stay unbiased with all the race baiters running around, those of ALL shades. But I just think back to the folks I served with and worked for. All good, righteous folk. The only color I saw was blue. (Well, actually olive drab but you get my drift.)

Third and fourth thing. Okay, there is some truth to this. But I would change that "white patriarchy" bit to "wealthy old white dudes, particularly the ones in Congress."

I mean my daughters have faced that, "Did I get a good eval because I earned it? Or are they scared that I'll complain to the diversity-nazis?" Women did and do have an uphill battle succeeding in traditionally male occupations. Some though will play "the gender card" in order to get ahead. Which screws things up for the others.

I think blacks have the same problem but to a greater extent. I cannot fathom how you can hate someone based on the color of their skin. It makes as much sense as hating someone because of the color of their eyes.

Improvements have been made but there is still a long ways to go towards Dr King's vision:
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Suffice to say, we're not there yet and a word to Obummer, Sharpton et al, you guys are making things worse, not better. IMHO.

Now that bit about Asians being good at math and sucking at driving? That's my kids' personal pet peeve.

Heading down I-264 one day, bound for Virginia Beach, we saw a car kind of weaving between lanes and going painfully slow. As we passed this vehicle, we saw an Asian guy at the wheel, The Nuke just looked at the guy and sighed, "Yeah, thanks dude, thanks for reinforcing the stereotype."

In school The Naviguesser was often asked "Do you know kung fu?" Yeah, he got a little tired of that. For what it's worth, all three kids are really good drivers, two of the three are really good at math. None of them know kung fu. Besides which, they're half Korean, if anything they would know tae kwon do or some other Korean martial art.

Item the sixth. Anything if overdone has the potential to kill you. My favorite is "wheat is murder," which a good friend mentioned one day. I have to admit I did get rather spun up over that one. I've gotta admit, I'd never heard of that one before. I mean I like wheat. Bread is good, wheat beer is good. Well, they taste good. There's also a market out there for diet books and the like so whatever hook will sell a book seems to be the key.

Just another way for someone to harvest people's hard earned money.

Moderation in all things. Works for me. Now if I could just get someone to define what's moderate. The Missus Herself says one beer is moderation. I say two. Guess who gets to make that call. (If you guessed me, you lose.)

Climate change. The sky is falling. The ice caps are melting, all the polar bears are dying. Hokum. (And I don't mean a Soviet era helicopter.)

Not this Hokum. (Source)

The climate has been changing on this planet since it was formed. While it's an awesome idea to not screw things up by dumping crap into the water or pumping filth into the sky, it's not the West that's doing this. Try breathing in Beijing.

But I'm sure Algore made a lot of money through his environmental chicanery.

Number eight, if a method of losing weight has the word "diet" in it, it ain't gonna work. Again moderation is the key. The Air Force once had a series of fad diets that they would put us fat-challenged types on. None of them worked. Or they would work until you were down to where the higher ups wanted you, then it was break out the cheeseburgers and beer.

One thing I like about Weight Watchers is that they don't like using the word "diet." Rather they sell it as a life style change (which panicked the Hell out of me at first). Learn to eat a certain way, get off your duff and the weight comes off. It's also easy to stick with. Essentially you can eat whatever you want. It's all about the points. (In the interests of full disclosure, I have lost thirty pounds on WW, it's not that bad. Perhaps the first weight loss program I've ever been on where I don't feel hungry all the time. That is, it doesn't suck. High praise from me!)

Nine and ten go together. Why didn't I combine a few of the items on my list? Well, once I got started I wanted ten things. Has to be ten right? Going all metric I am. (NOT!)

One of my relatives once announced (when she was still a sprout, pun intended) that she was now a vegetarian. Apparently all she could eat was fried cheese sticks. Sometimes chicken fingers because apparently chickens don't count as "meat." My supposition is that veggie fanatics don't like beef. I've heard that there are some who won't eat anything that was once "alive." Hhmm, I though plants were alive. Maybe they just won't eat fellow oxygen breathers. I dunno.

So the basic premise of this post is that things are never as bad as they seem. (Unless of course you're on an old twilight zone episode where a genie gives you one wish and you ask to be an absolute dictator. Presto, it is so. Turns out that the genie made you Hitler. In April 1945. Another case of "be careful what you wish for.")

While sometimes things can be very bad indeed, stop, take a deep breath and ask yourself cui bono? To whose benefit? I find that in many cases someone, on either side of the political spectrum is pushing an agenda. Think for yourself. Don't trust the media (and Facebook is indeed part of the media), think for yourself.

Don't believe everything you read or hear. Someone else's perspective may not be actual reality. Even though Miyamoto Musashi* did point out that perception is reality. From the viewer's perspective, of course.

So my watch words are "Hey, lighten up already!" Serious people are the real troublemakers in the world!

Seriously...






* Author of the Book of Five Rings, a book which a number of Western business types bought because it was all the rage with business types in Japan. Another idea which didn't translate all that well from East to West. Of course, remember what Rudyard Kipling said...
And the end of the fight is a tombstone white with the name of the  late  deceased,
And the epitaph drear:  "A Fool lies here who tried to hustle the East."

26 comments:

  1. I strongly agree with most of this. I disagree with some, but not that strongly. For instance, Asians are all bad drivers...your kids just got the good gene. (JK)

    Great post!

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  2. "Suffice to say, we're not there yet and a word to Obummer, Sharpton et al, you guys are making things worse, not better. IMHO."
    Suffice to say, we're not there yet and a word to Obummer, Sharpton et al, you jacka$$es are making things worse, not better. TFIFY

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  3. Golly, if I wasn't on a run of posts right now, I'd feel like it was necessary to respond to this on my blog.
    So, suffice it to say we're pretty much in agreement ...except for that Asian driver thing.
    I'm fairly certain whatever the issue is, it's contagious.
    Because it isn't just Asians.

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    1. Stay on your current run, I'm enjoying it immensely!

      Delete
  4. It's not on that list, probably because nobody talks about it, but I am a bit worried about our National Debt. If the Chinese ever call in that note, which they won't because their economy is just as dependent on us as we are on them, but someday that sky may fall. Why don't we talk about it? Probably because no one really understands it and/or can do anything about it.

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    1. I don't worry about the so-called "National Debt." Damn politicians want to run up big bills with nothing to back it, they should be held personally liable. Another thing to keep in mind the so-called "National Debt" is also owed to folks who purchased gubmint savings bonds over the years (like many in the military). I need to do more research on the so-called "National Debt," my take is it's not "national" at all, should be called the government's debt. Hey, if they can't pay it they go to jail. Then we get to elect replacements.

      Hhmm, I may rant on this topic some day.

      Delete
  5. People that whine about #1, should make a traffic stop at 0330, on a moonless night, with occupants that make your metaphorical tail go PHOOOMP!, and the nearest backup is 25 miles away, and then the radio comes back with the plate being on a wanted car for armed robbery. ( Thank God for passing State Troopers whose radio was not picking up your county's frequnecy , but was curious as to what you were up to. ) Man I felt alone until those red and blue lights came on.

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    Replies
    1. Back up is good.

      God Bless Law Enforcement!

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  6. Have you noticed that Russian gear tends to look Evil?

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  7. I used to work in human resources. We would have to give out forms with the race checklist on them. One gal looked at the options and said well I think I'm all of them. So I told her which one we really needed and she marked that one for me. What a joke.

    I'm blue tinged.

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    Replies
    1. Blue tinged? Ah, yes Michigan, it's the cold, Susie!

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  8. The part "we" really don't talk about is the all men created equal and endowed with unalienable rights part. And governments deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed part. Since that lil' ol' declaration and the Constitution answer every single one of today's major malfunctions, I can only conclude that the majority of "we" ain't really Americans after all. Just happen to have been born here. And with an overdeveloped sense of entitlement to other people's stuff. You know, merkins. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merkin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I admit I didn't get the reference so I followed the link.

      I think you're on to something!

      Delete
  9. Good rant, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Not so sure about the "sky is falling" comment. Over the centuries people have
    changed the story from the original. Chicken Little was never afraid of the sky falling. He had a very large neighbor
    with a serious inner ear problem and he was vertically challenged. Chicken Little was trying to warn everyone that
    "This guy is falling, this guy is falling!"

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    Replies
    1. Hahaha! I saw that the other day too. Good one.

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  10. A strong effort will overcome "privilege" while whining about it is a socially acceptable (in many circles) excuse, IMO.

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  11. You can't be serious! All of the malarkey must prove that there are living malarkeys somewhere. The problem I have with serious is that if one cannot make life and death decisions or shoot straight, one should not be a police officer. I grow weary of hearing that it was a matter of life and death and the cops chose to live and kill everything downrange, innocent or guilty with a hail of gunfire. Of course, I live on the shores of MetroParkCentralis now and we had one car fleeing a hundred cops with well over a hundred bullet holes in it where the cop who administered what must have been fatal wounds, leaped onto the hood of the then stopped car and shot the driver and passenger point blank even though they never had a weapon and then followed it up a year later by dashing in a car to within 3 feet of a 12 year old boy and instantly blowing his head off. I'm not all that pleased with the cops that relieve motorists of all their cash as if that was a crime.
    It's not all the cops but it is indicative of the fall that the worst are all shielded by the rest and never suffer any consequences from killing ordinary innocent bystanders in their haste to save their own lives or who steal the hard earned money of travelers because......... I'm not sure why.

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    1. You do have some valid points there Cap'n. Some cities seem ill-served by their police departments. You have provided some examples in your comment which are especially egregious. I agree though, the bad ones need to be punished. Problem is, you get the mob (like in Ferguson) who howl for the blood of any officer who is involved in a shooting, regardless of whether it was justified or not. I don't know if there is any solution to that particular problem. Cops are, after all, human. Most are very good and very dedicated, some of the others just want the power that comes with a badge and a gun.

      As to the monetary shakedowns, those are pushed by the local political whores who seek revenue wherever and whenever they can. Civil forfeiture is another example of the law gone wrong.

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  12. Ancient history but in 1962 or thereabouts 71 Denver Police Officers went to prison, convicted of operating a burglary ring. Denver PD had about 720 officers at the time.

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    1. Wow, ten percent bad apples seems awfully high. Of course, those are just the ones who got caught.

      I wonder how many bad cops there are nation wide. While I admit that I'm an optimist, I'd guess less than 1% are "bad," probably another 5% or so suck at their jobs. I'd still bet that the vast majority are good cops. It's the crappy ones who get the media's attention.

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Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)