And another thing…

Those who piously insist, “Violence is not the answer” are believers in the cult of “If I say it often enough, it will become true”.

The most cursory glance at human history will prove that not only is violence an answer, it is usually the answer.  It’s only human nature to pay close attention to the grievances of those who blow shit up and invade your country with a Mongol horde.

Published in: on January 28, 2011 at 2:19 pm  Comments (5)  

Anyone else fed up with the Superbowl = Child Sex Slaverypalooza crap?

I swear, I’ve turned into my grandfather.  I can’t watch the news without yelling at the TV anymore.

A fifteen year old girl is not in danger from pedophiles.  Jackasses in the media with more shiny white teeth than brain cells need to look up the scientific definition of pedophilia before having hysterics on TV.

Pedophilia is a mental condition which has classifications, how many depending on which study you like best.  The simplest classifications are exclusive (or true) pedophile and non-exclusive pedophile (also referred to as non-pedophiliac offender, and doesn’t that medical term kind of tell you a little sumpthin’?).

Exclusive pedophiles have no attraction to physically mature females. Just because YOU think a physically mature fifteen year old girl is too young to consent to a sexual relationship isn’t going to make the true pedophile start slavering at the idea of getting someone that old.  That’s right, old.  If she has hips, breasts and pubic hair, then she is too old for the exclusive pedophile.  Even if she’s 12.

The non-exclusive pedophile is sexually attracted to the physically mature AND immature.  While some studies suggest rather convincingly that non-exclusives outnumber exclusives by a wide margin, the non-exclusive pedophile has been proven to commit only 12% of child sex offenses.  Some experts have debated that the non-exclusive is misdiagnosed; a better diagnosis would be sexual addiction combined with narcissism and/or sociopathy, as studies show that those three present with high frequency in the non-exclusive pedophile.

Having sex, or wanting to have sex, with a physically mature female who has not reached the age of legal consent is not pedophilia.  Assholophilia, sure, that’s pretty much a given.  I’m getting sick of hearing 19 year old boys who knock up their 15 year old girlfriend called pedophiles, or 30 year old men who beat off to pictures of cheerleaders.  The first is sexually normal, though illegal in many states.  The second, if it were classified as anything, would be ephebophilia.

 

Published in: on January 28, 2011 at 1:05 pm  Comments (4)  

Having, doing and choices

I’m fond of saying, and really ought to put it in the Things I’ve Learned, that it isn’t what you have, it’s what you do with it.

I was an intelligent child, as such is defined by the neurotics running our school system.  I taught myself to read at three.  Being pulled out of normal classes for part of the day to take part in “gifted” classes started in kindergarten.  I was on the Who’s Who in high school.  None of this meant sweet F. A. to me for two reasons.

One – I disagree with the common definition of intelligence.  I’ve been testing at genius level on IQ tests since the second grade, and figured out about five minutes later that these tests don’t measure intelligence.  They can’t.  What they’re testing is reading ability and memory.  True genius is the ability to make your brain work at vastly higher function than most people.  Preferring a good book to television and having great recall is nifty, but not genius-level brain function.  IMO, intelligence is measured by one’s ability to learn and understand.  On that score I’m fairly smart, which segues into my next point.

Two – I have never had a desire to do anything with it.  My work ethic is far better than most, but I’m an independent cuss who thinks and questions too much, which makes me a terrible employee.  I never wanted to have a high-powered career – doctor, lawyer, high finance.  I was accepted at an Ivy League school and could have done the work for a much more impressive degree than the one I got at a lesser school, but I didn’t want it.  I knew I’d never use it.  Hell, I don’t use the degree I have.

Lack of ambition?  Sort of.  Ambitions I have aplenty, just not the normal ones.  I want to be happy, I’ll settle for contentment.  That, to me, means working enough to pay for my needs and some of my wants but not so much that I have no life outside of work.  A home and nice things, without caring whether mine are better than my neighbors.  Mostly I want to be left alone to fail or succeed on my own terms, as I see fit.

I don’t have a large, smashingly decorated home; flash tech gadgets by the dozen; a new car; lots of pretty clothes and shoes.  But you know, I’ve seen people who have all that stuff and I am more content than they are.  I work, I write, I putter around my kitchen, I do pretty much as I please, and this is all I need.  I am content.

My father, on the other hand, was never called “bright” as a child.  He didn’t even take Algebra in school.  Never went to college.  Struggles with reading.  He’s also an engineer who worked his way up in an international company which finds him irreplaceable and pays him five figures a month to prove it.   He has four cars (including a sweet Mustang and a truly beautiful classic Chevelle he restored himself) and a truck, a motor home, a flat screen in every room.  So.  It’s not what you have, it’s what you do with it.  I’m a  blissful poster child for failing to meet potential while my father is busily thumbing his nose at all those people who said he wasn’t smart enough to go anywhere in life.

Moral of the story: I hear so many people lament what their life could have been if it weren’t for the expectations of others.  In short, they screwed up once by letting other people live their life and now they’re whining about it to boot.  “I didn’t have a choice.”  Bullshit.  You always have a choice.  You may not like the choices, but they exist.  You will never be content until you know who you are, what you want and how far you’re willing to go to protect both.  There are two lies which are the cause of most personal misery, in my opinion.  The first is that you have to listen to what other people tell you to do.  The second is that you have to let other people decide what you aren’t capable of.

Published in: on January 27, 2011 at 1:47 pm  Comments (3)  

The ethics of morals, and vice versa

Apropos of something I heard on NCIS last week.  Yeah, I get this stuff from some really random nether, don’t I.

Contrary to a popularly-held opinion*, ethics and morals are not the same thing. You’ll find all sorts of ways and metaphors to describe the difference.  One tale I’ve heard used in classes in some form or another is Two Guys With a Baseball Bat.  There are two guys, see, and we’ll hand each one a baseball bat and tell him to beat you up.  One guy says, “That’s assault, I’d go to jail or something.”  The other guy says, “You expect me to beat up some guy I don’t know?  No way, I can’t do that.”  The question is then, which guy is a good man?

A common answer is both.  Incorrect, and I will tell you why.

The first guy in the story is the ethical man.  Ethics are compliance with outside strictures – rules and laws placed upon you by someone else and which you obey.  It’s an easy logical trap to think that someone who obeys laws is a good person.  The problem with ethics, however, is that they change, often wildly swinging from one idea to a conflicting notion in less than a lifetime.  Would you like to see historical examples?

The American Psychiatrics Association listed homosexuality as a mental illness until 1973, the American Psychologists Association until 1975 and the World Health Organization until 1990.  Homosexuals could be subjected to various treatments, including drugs and commitment to a facility.

In 1941 in Germany, it was perfectly acceptable to murder Jew, Slav, Romani, homosexuals, the disabled, the mentally ill, as well as blacks, Asians and any Latino who didn’t have a Caucasian appearance.

It was considered right and proper to label women and children as chattel (property) within living memory.

Are these examples hyperbolic, even hysterical?  Not even close.  They are all recent examples of entire populations of normal Joe SixPacks and Sally SoccerMoms who thought themselves good people for abiding by the ethics of the day.  Today we consider locking people up, considering other humans to be your property and killing people to be wrong.  Which just leaves the question, what are we doing today that is perfectly legal and socially accepted and yet will be called barbaric in a decade?

The second person in our story is the moral man.  The primary restriction on his behaviors comes from within – his own moral code.  While he may abide by the rules and laws of the day, if they go against his moral code he is likely to violate them.  Moral men hid Jewish families in 1942, threw tea into the Boston Harbor in 1773, sat in the front of a Montgomery city bus in 1955, and faced the consequences for behaving so “unethically” – ostracism, harassment, arrest, prosecution, death.

The answer to which is the good man is that we lack enough information to call either of them good men.  An ethical man can comfortably live next door to a Holocaust death camp, and a moral man can protests soldiers’ funerals to teach us all the error of our ways.  However, your chances are better with a moral man because he chooses to think for himself rather than allowing outside authority to dictate what is right and acceptable.

 

* Illustrating with devastating effectiveness that what “everyone knows” is better evidence that “everyone” is an idiot than that people are generally well-informed.

Published in: on January 26, 2011 at 2:50 pm  Comments (5)  

Lies, damned lies, and.. well, all of the above.

Maggie McNeill puts up a very good post on a subject dear to my heart: the Mainstream Media Are Liars, Idiots or Both… Yeah, Probably Both meme.

The cliffnotes are that some media hack found a DOJ study which claims 293,000 youths are “currently at risk of becoming victims of commercial sexual exploitation.”  From there, a gripping expose follows about the 300,000 child sex slaves in America.  OMG y’alls!  Child sex slavery is more common than autism, diabetes, chicken pox and redheads!  Just think of the economic stimulus from all those child sex slaves going to Dallas.  I’m sure Monkeypaw is on his way right now, with plenty of Taco Bell money.

And then the brains of us merry few who still have critical thinking skills kick in.  The Superbowl is not and has never been an orgy of exploited women and children.  The number of happy hookers, for that matter, is a fraction of the hysterical media claims.  (Sorry, dudes. It’s already been studied and proven nothing more than a myth.)  The number of child sex slaves is exaggerated for ratings and personal issues.

Brave new world.  The media is more agenda-driven than your common blog, and less accurate.  It’s just depressing to realize I’m surrounded by a population who get their worldview on the basis of, “The TV said so and TV would never lie to me!”

ETA: The link should work correctly now.  Oops.

Published in: on January 26, 2011 at 1:31 pm  Comments (2)  

Dealing with the public

I’m going to treat y’all to a glimpse of my inbox.  This should be good.

These are actual emails copied directly and in full, redacted only to protect identifying info.  And there are so many more where these came from.

Client: Do u practice the lingam massage

Me: I am not even certain what that is.

Client: A massage of the groin area

Me:

What is Therapeutic Touch?

Touch is a basic human instinct each of us is born with. Reaching out and touching another person is a universal action that offers love and caring and has been shown to have health benefits that complement conventional medicine. Stress and anxiety of the mind directly influences our physical well-being. It can raise blood pressure, tense muscles, and affect heart rates. Therapeutic touch is a relaxation technique which encourages a calming effect on the mind, body, and spirit. This is not a massage service as we do not perform nor offer to perform any service with a purported health benefit. This is an aid only and involves the loving touch of the heart through the hands.

In order to achieve the maximum level of relaxation possible, the sessions are conducted in a private, non-clinical setting with soft lighting. Your comfort is a priority, therefore your state of undress is left entirely up to you. Draping is optional and available. You can even stay fully clothed if you like. We will respect your modesty and not touch any area that you decide to keep covered.

What are your rates?

$50.00 per half hour. Cash only. We are not set up at this time to accept checks or credit cards.

Where are you located?

We are located in Portland, TX in a quiet complex near Wildcat and Lang. Upon scheduling an appointment please call prior to leaving your location for confirmation and complete directions.

Are you licensed or registered as a massage therapist?

No. Nor are we advertising a massage service as outlined by the Texas Department of Health. What we do is holistic and spiritual in nature and does not consist of muscle and tissue manipulation for a medical benefit. If you have been asked to seek out the services of a massage therapist by a physician or have been recommended for Deep Tissue, Swedish, or any other prescribed types of massage therapy. We urge you to seek out a licensed or registered massage therapist that specializes in that area.

Do you provide “extras” or is your service “all inclusive”?

Assuming you are speaking of any activity that violates the Texas Penal Code or the rules and regulations of the Texas Department of Health to include any type of sexual activities, then the answer is NO we do not.

Is there a number I can use to contact you?

Yes, it’s 361-434-****. Please understand that most of the time we are unable to answer calls during the day due to our work load. This number is for our voice answering system and we encourage you to leave a message to include your name, phone number, and an appropriate time to return your call which we will do as soon as possible. There are times when we are unable to return the call that day. If this is the case, please try again at your next convenience.

How do I schedule an appointment?

At http://bbr.genbook.com you will be able to see the dates and times that we are available plus schedule your own appointment at the time that is most convenient for you. Priority scheduling goes to those that use this system. If you call or email, we will try our best to fit you in at the next available time slot. If you have any more questions that are not covered here, please email brandysbedroom@gmail.com

Client: Do u have a picture

Me: Any other questions?

Published in: on January 18, 2011 at 1:48 pm  Comments (2)  

Turns out I am not cynical enough. Go figure.

Whoa, Nellie.

Excerpt:

The sheriff has been editorializing and politicizing the event since he took the podium to report on the incident. His blaming of radio personalities and bloggers is a pre-emptive strike because Mr. Dupnik knows this tragedy lays at his feet and his office. Six people died on his watch and he could have prevented it.  He needs to step up and start apologizing to the families of the victims instead of spinning this event to serve his own political agenda.

Jared Loughner has been making death threats by phone to many people in Pima County including staff of Pima Community College, radio personalities and local bloggers. When Pima County Sheriff’s Office was informed, his deputies assured the victims that he was being well managed by the mental health system. It was also suggested that further pressing of charges would be unnecessary and probably cause more problems than it solved as Jared Loughner has a family member that works for Pima County.

Ho-ly shit.

To bring the white-hot light of OMGthatmanissofucked into full clarity, death threats by phone are felony charges.  Had the sheriff pursued these charges instead of pooh-poohing them, Jared Loughner would not have been able to buy the gun used in the shooting.  He wouldn’t have been able to pass the required screening.

That is fucked up.  Tar + feather + rail.

Published in: on January 10, 2011 at 1:30 pm  Comments (2)  

Just once, I would like to be wrong about politics

Both quick and predictable.

Rep. Robert Brady, D-Pennsylvania, said he will introduce legislation making it a federal crime for a person to use language or symbols that could be perceived as threatening or inciting violence against a Member of Congress or federal official.

Emphasis my own.

And it was just yesterday that the news was making orgasmic much-ado about Giffords having read the First Amendment on the House floor to open the session.  People continue to believe that it is not only possible to exchange liberty for security, but apparently that there is an event horizon at which the criminals will feel such empathy for our helplessness that they will stop committing crimes.  Let me know how that works out for you there, Mr. Brady.

Published in: on January 9, 2011 at 4:00 pm  Comments (2)  

And another thing!

Just a bunch of random thoughts.

This is somehow a statement on the violence of conservatives and the Tea Party.  Oh, sure, that makes tons of sense.  Radical conservatives are well-known for their love of communist literature, burning patriotic symbols and being pot-smoking liberals.  File this under “Never let a good crisis go to waste”.  Idiots.  Disgusting idiots at that.

I’m sure Congresswoman Giffords is a lovely woman, kind to cats and bald men, pays her taxes and bakes cookies and takes gifts to her mother for no reason at all.  I hope she recovers fully.  That said, a member of the House who votes for TARP; Obamacare; repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell; extending unemployment; expanding hate crimes; AARP (stimulus bill); the Food Safety bill and cap and trade is not a perfect bastion of non-partisan centrist beliefs.  There’s a difference between refusing to speak ill of the dead (or those so gravely injured as to make the issue in doubt) and rewriting who they actually were.

There is no such thing as an automatic handgun, to the best of my knowledge.  Also, 9mms are not assault weapons.  Let’s at least make some efforts at accuracy in our stampede to burn the Second Amendment.

It is entirely possible to be both an asshole and a criminal without being a terrorist.  News is reporting the authorities will possibly be pursuing charges under the label of domestic terrorism.  *facepalm*  So much fail.

Published in: on January 9, 2011 at 2:45 pm  Comments (3)  

A Controversial Word From Our Sponsors

B and I have been listening to the news non-stop since the shooting yesterday, and I’ve reached a conclusion.  Whoever is managing public relations in Tuscon really, REALLY needs to install someone besides that sheriff as the public spokesman.

The man is clearly broken up.  He’s stated he knew many of the people personally.  This makes him a very sympathetic character – I want nothing more than to give the fellow a big hug, poor man – but his statements are one soundbite nightmare after another.  I doubt he’s thinking properly.  Probably running at the mouth from shock, which is completely understandable.  Nevertheless…

– Implying that Republican pundits and conservative news are to blame, by “inciting” the unstable elements in the population.  Seriously?  This is not Glenn Beck’s fault.

– And then he goes off on gun control.  This was not the gun’s fault either.

– The coup de grace was a mention that they used to lock up the mentally ill but now they’re out on the streets shooting people (not an exact quote, can’t find an exact quote, but something like that).  The defense attorney probably wet himself with glee at that one.  He has the sheriff on record as giving the opinion that the shooter was mentally ill, perhaps so mentally ill as to need locking up because he can’t control his actions.

Everyone leapt to “mentally ill” but I’m not necessarily buying that.  Incoherent, sure.  Not terribly educated, yes.  I’ve seen the same sort of crazy-style writings from people online though.  Disjointed writing can come as easily from public education as being three bricks shy of a shithouse.  Show me the psych reports first.  What we know for certain is that the shooter is a grade A asshole.  Ill-educated sane people who shoot little girls because they’re pissed off at the government makes a pretty prima facie case for Asshole Of The Year.

Fry the bastard.  Send that sheriff home to his wife and a Valium, and put someone who didn’t know the victims personally in front of the press.

Published in: on January 9, 2011 at 1:15 pm  Comments (1)