plonq: (Emo Luna Mood)
Our VP was in town today. Actually, he's been in town for the last couple of days, but today was when he was supposed to come through the office to check on how things operate here. Everyone made sure to be in the office today - on time, and wearing collared shirts even - but in the end he never bothered to show. I guess he had lots of important things to do and we just weren't worth a few minutes out of his important day. I suspect that ultimately he blew us off because he didn't think that we knew that he was in town.

But we knew.

This is not a large department - the company has seen to that through years of deep cuts - so it is hard to keep secrets. He'd been given an edict by the CEO to get out and actually make a physical presence at some of our remote locations in order to meet the people who work for him, and get a hands on feel for what they actually do. Our new CEO does not take kindly to underlings who hide in the safety of the the head office, and he has been leaning on other VPs to get out and mingle. I suppose I can cut our VP a bit of slack, since this is the first time in his entire tenure that he has stepped out of the head office.

It can be a bit daunting to actually meet real people when you have only been surrounded by the other bobble-heads on the lead team, so I can understand his desire to coward out on us. He certainly went out of his way to try and make sure we didn't know he was in town. If it was not for a couple of our guys having deep-throat moles in the head office, we might not have known of his visit. Brushing us off - even if he thought we didn't know he was in town - is weak leadership. Sadly, it does not surprise me. I have never been blown away by this guy's leadership skills.

Our previous VP may have been a hatchet woman, but she would never have pulled a stunt like this. I didn't really like her, but unlike our current VP, at least I respected her.
plonq: (Masturbatory Mood)
For the record, I detest that expression.

I set out a number of chores for myself to accomplish today, and to my amazement I have managed to cross all but one off the list, and that one is a work in progress. The bar fridge is still defrosting out back.

✔ Vacuum carpets
✔ Spot clean kitchen floor
✔ Mop bathroom floor
✔ Sharpen lawn mower blade
❏ Defrost the bar fridge

I also sprayed about 1/4 can of Lysol around the areas where we cleaned up the mouse nest in the garage. It smells better in there than it did, but still smells a bit mousy.

One of my Facebook friends posted a link to an article today that the author had chosen to title in the format, "Five things that men do..."

My first though on reading the list was, "But I don't do that, nor can I think of any of the men in my circle of friends who would do that." I found it mildly bemusing that in an article that aimed itself to combating some of the stereotypes and attitudes towards women would choose to present itself with a blanket statement about all men.

I understand that the title was meant to be slightly offensive because it was preaching to a specific audience: feminists who are not men. I also don't think that there is any good that comes from presenting ones argument in such a manner. It is a fine approach if you simply wish to share your indignation with a group of equally indignant people, but it is the kind of approach that can alienate otherwise sympathetic people. It's OK to be angry, especially when it is justifiable anger, but don't swipe your brush of anger across people who are trying to be on your side.

I remember a bit from a comic I read some years back - it might have been ASB. I do not remember the exact scenario - I think one of the characters had been badly hurt by a group of homophobes who used him as a punching bag. He was surrounded by a group of gay friends who were trying to comfort him. A single, token straight guy was in with the group, and as he tried to add his own words of support, one of the victim's friends lashed out at him, calling him a "fucking breeder", and letting him know that they did not need his kind around.

The others chastised him for it after their straight friend left, reminding him that they needed straight people on their side if things were ever going to improve. They admonished him not to lash out at people who are on their side.

Just as we learned with race, and as we are finally coming to terms with homosexuality, I think that history will eventually teach that feminism was on the right side of things. I think we are making progress, but we still have a depressingly steep road ahead before the self-obvious rightness of respecting women as equals sinks into broad acceptance. That said, lashing out at your allies is not the smart way to achieve those ends. There are those who might argue that it is historically justified, but I do not think that it is smart.

"Five things that some men do..."

Focus.

They're watching you sleep
They're watching you sleep. Note to self: count my kidneys in the morning.
plonq: (Usual dark mood)
I'm going to delve a bit into politics here, and speak on a subject that I typically keep quiet about because, well, I don't usually like to dwell too much in politics in my journal. While I do not, in any way, condone the actions that happened in 2001, I get a bit tired of hearing this retread argument.

The argument goes something like this:

Premise: If a radical Christian group had performed a heinous act of terrorism against a Muslim country and killed 3000 civilians, Christian leaders around the free world would be immediate and loud in condemning the act

Premise: There has not been enough outcry and condemnation from the Muslim community leaders for the criminal acts of September 11, 2001.

Inference: The religion of Islam, regardless of how it bills itself as the "religion of peace", is fundamentally violent and flawed.

Conclusion: Muslims are bad people.

The first premise is fairly hypothetical. We hope that Christian leaders would condemn any such acts. I have enough faith in humanity to assume that they would.

The second premise is entirely subjective. We don't feel that they were outraged enough, but we have no idea what lies in the heart of the average Muslim. How many people who argue this have actually sat down with some of their Muslim friends (if they have any) and asked them to gauge their level of outrage?

The inference and conclusion are self-explanatory.

You see, the problem with this argument is that it is fundamentally flawed, because we are comparing the known reaction, and hypothetical reactions of two groups and drawing inferences and conclusions from those. Since the conclusion is based on a hypothetical argument anyway, let's adjust the parameters a bit so that the hypotheses play out on a more level field. If we are going to compare our reactions to those of the Muslims, let's actually put ourselves in the same situation.

Let's assume that instead of Christian nations, the world is dominated by a group of very rich and powerful Muslim nations. For generations the Muslim nations have used the Christian nations as their political playground, propping up brutal dictators in one country, and arming rebels in the next. Although the Christian nations sit on a vast wealth of resources, most of the Christians live in poverty because the Muslims openly prop up the corrupt Christian leaders who let them bleed the resources dry while pocketing all of the proceeds for themselves and their immediate friends and families.

Oh, and the Muslims have permanently stationed troops in The Vatican, and various other holy Christian sites. They also occasionally bomb Christian countries that get too uppity, and invade ones who threaten to try and control their own resources. They like to wax on about how Christians are evil, and they don't seem too bothered when one of their puppet Christian governments decides to slaughter and gas a bunch of their own Christian people using weapons that the Muslims gave them.

A group of Christian extremists manage to hijack some Muslim planes and slam them into a couple of Muslim financial and military centres, striking deep in the heart of what most Christians regard as the centre of all evil. Mind you, a lot of innocent people died that day. Naturally there is going to be a lot of wide-spread, angry and vocal Christian outrage, isn't there?

Isn't there?

*yawn*

Apr. 6th, 2006 10:49 am
plonq: (Cynical Mood)
Libby: I got my authorization from GW.

This might even cause a blip on the media radar before the next runaway bride.

Nothing more to see here, folks.

Carry on about your business.
plonq: (Cynical Mood)
Some of you homeowners out there might find this of interest.

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20050623/ap_on_go_su_co/scotus_seizing_property_2

The 5-4 ruling represented a defeat for some Connecticut residents whose homes are slated for destruction to make room for an office complex. They argued that cities have no right to take their land except for projects with a clear public use, such as roads or schools, or to revitalize blighted areas.

As a result, cities now have wide power to bulldoze residences for projects such as shopping malls and hotel complexes in order to generate tax revenue.

Flag Day

Jun. 22nd, 2005 09:33 am
plonq: (Brainfree mood)
I read an interested on-ed piece yesterday concerning how Congress looking to (probably successfully this time) pass a resolution making it a crime to diss the flag (actually it's a constitutional amendment, so it would still have to get past the states).  The gist of the article was that the flag is treated more like a religious symbol than it is a national banner.

"The evidence that we literally worship the flag is overwhelming. Unique among all nations, we have a Flag Day, a Flag code etiquette, a national anthem dedicated to the flag and a verbal salute to the flag. Twenty-seven states require school children to salute the flag daily."


As with most op-ed pieces, it's 90% bullshiat, but it's got enough underlying tidbits of truth to make one step back and say, "Hm."

I've always found that whole "daily mantra to the flag" routine to be a bit creepy - then again, when I was a wee lad we used to have to sing God Save The Queen and recite the Lord's Prayer every morning, so I guess it's all just a matter of perspective.

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