Men Matter Too

 

                                                      Anguished ManPhoto Credit: Shutterstock.com

I couldn’t pull my eyes away from the computer screen of the passenger in front of me.  I was flying back from an exhausting conference in Las Vegas and looking forward to an hour of blissful nothingness the glass of wine in my hand and music from my headphones were promising. That was not meant to be.

A man was writing an email to his wife, who it was obvious things were not going well with.  I knew I should look away, but didn’t.

“I’m sorry for the way things were when I left”, he wrote. “I’ve not been the husband you signed up for and you deserve so much more than I’ve been giving. I’m so very sorry if I’ve ever made you feel threatened or unsafe, thinking of that even being a possibility just kills me.  I promise to do what I can to fix things and all I ask in return is that you don’t become indifferent.  Please fight for us.  Get mad at me, punch me, pull my hair, do whatever it takes to show me that you care enough about our relationship to risk doing something outrageous.”

Now I’m paraphrasing from memory here, but the gist of the message I think is on target. This man was in complete anguish over his failing marriage and desperate to make things right. Every so often he’d stop typing, clasp his hands together and stare intensely at the seatback in front of him. Soon his fingers were back at the keyboard, deleting things here and adding things there.  Finally he called it quits and closed the laptop, probably because the creepy woman in seat 13C wouldn’t stop looking over his shoulder.

The whole episode was both disturbing and touching and not just because I was witnessing a broken marriage in action. That is not an uncommon event unfortunately.   It just struck me that when we hear of scenarios like this, or of any kind of flux between a man and woman, we tend to view the man through a one-dimensional lens and paint him as the “bad guy” who is always at fault.

This is plain wrong of course. Men, just like women, are individuals with different personalities, morals and motivations. They suffer too when relationships collapse and also feel intense emotions and pain, each in their own unique way.  And they are certainly not always at fault when breakups happen.

Yet culturally we seem to disallow this, as men’s individuality is slowly being erased in favor of a generalized group of lunky, dimwitted cavemen who lurk in corners waiting for the right opportunity to take advantage of and/or attack women.

The whole grievance industry that saturates today’s politics really pushes this narrative and it’s been just poisonous for male/female relationships.  It strips people of their humanity (thank you Julie) and labels them “oppressor” or “victim”, making it easier to demonize or idolize them for no reason other than what their group identity represents. Men are bad and always lie, women are good and are always to be believed.

The #MeToo movement, which I believe has done a lot of good, has been so corrupted by this that it’s difficult to take any new allegations seriously anymore. Who can be guilty when everyone is? And the whole Brett Kavanaugh fiasco just reinforced what many of us have known for awhile; that destroying a man’s reputation and career mean nothing to a fair amount of people in this country as long as the right ones gain power in the end.

None of this is good for men or women.  Men are being made to feel defective just for being born male and women with valid claims of sexual assault are getting lumped in with those wishing to push an agenda over the truth. In other words the trend of men disengaging from society is only going to get worse and the callousing of opinion towards women will continue to harden.  And then what?

More women need to recognize that swinging the pendulum too far against men in the otherwise honorable quest to stamp out sexual assault is actually harming the cause. As a wise person said to me recently, the cause of women in their honest claims cannot be advanced by those who blindly champion women in their dishonest ones.   Certainly the road to women’s empowerment does not stem from tearing down men.

I really hope the man from the plan was able to reconcile with his wife.  While it was morbidly fascinating for me to witness such a personal and touching scene, it made me think twice about the judgements I might make of people because of their sex, race, income level, political affiliation, etc…

Both men and women matter, we all do, as individuals with unique qualities, characteristics and a personal history that makes us who we are.  The identity politics crowd tries desperately to deny this as they shove us in to predefined groups pitted against one another.  We should stop letting them do so

 

 

 

 

Posted in identity politics, Political, Uncategorized, Women's Empowerment | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Get Out the Vote

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I think it matters not so much who you vote for today but why.  If your higher motivation is hate and fear of the other side as opposed to what yours has to offer, than I’d argue you are missing the boat on the spirit of American small r republicanism.

Sure, the differing issues and candidates are important, but they are not going to make or break this country and shouldn’t be treated as such.  The voting process itself keeps us connected to our Founding principles, which is the glue the binds us together.

Voting is how civilized societies decide issues that in previous times were fought on a battlefield; the peaceful transfer of power from one political party to another. Each cycle brings change and a test period for those newly elected officials to prove their mettle.  Really it’s all quite miraculous.

So sure, make your vote count but do so out of love of country, respect for your fellow citizens and thankfulness that we even get to participate in the process in the first place.

And if you’re guy/side doesn’t win it’s not the end of the world.  Really, it isn’t.

Posted in fear mongering, Political, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 33 Comments

Social Media Stupidity

I saw this on Facebook the other day and was relieved to know that I could now give up my quest to find the most asinine post ever made and get back to normal life.Hate Speech

There is so much wrong here it’s hard to know where to start, but what stands out most to me is the purposefully divisive nature.  And not merely divisive either, but the childish, in your face, finger wagging type; like an obnoxious drunk arguing their point.

Really it’s just a bunch of hot, meaningless words meant to indulge one tribe of voters by demonizing others. Forget trying to understand complex issues and the nuances of why people might hold differing views, or assuming they too have the best of intentions, let’s just jump right to “….and a bunch of other children were put in to camps indefinitely because they weren’t white.”   Seriously?

Sick of the incivility and hostility in our politics?  If you’re posting stuff like this than you’re part of the problem. You’re also in dire need of a grammar lesson.

Posted in fear mongering, Political, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 20 Comments

Halloween Funny

Halloween Funny

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Governor Jerry Brown is a Moron

Moron
Am I being too harsh? Well if going by Dictionary.com I think not. It defines the word like this:Moron: <mawr-on, mohr>noun.

  1. Informal.

A person who is notably stupid or lacking in good judgment.

Jerry Brown is the Governor of California, the most populous state in the nation and where I happen to live.  You may have heard that we have a housing problem here, in fact nearly 70% of us can’t afford to buy a median priced home.  This feeds in to our enormous homeless problem, which is so out of control that the state’s bigger cities have departments dedicated just to cleaning human waste off sidewalks.

We also have the highest poverty rate in the nation when factoring in cost of living and non-violent felons now serve no jail time because of the recently passed Proposition 47, which allows politicians to crow about “solving” our overcrowded prison issue by releasing criminals from behind bars to roam neighborhood streets.

Oh and thanks to the horribly mismanaged and politically corrupt bureaucrats in charge of our forests, damns and reservoirs, California has both a perpetual water AND fire crisis.   Our taxes are some of the highest in the nation highest, our K-12 schools consistently rank in the bottom 20% and we came in dead last in a US News & World Report listing of states by quality of life. Not surprisingly, residents are fleeing California in droves, heading for places like Nevada, Texas and Arizona where housing, food and energy costs are low.

So what has our genius governor done to address this?  Well, in 2017 he made filling up at the pump even more expensive with a 40% boost to the state’s already ski high gas excise tax.

He also increased the cost of housing an estimated 10k-40k by requiring all new homes be built with rooftop solar panels and just recently mandated 100% of the state’s electricity be generated by renewable energy by 2045, which will explode electricity rates, as utilities pay more for new renewable generation, battery storage and transmission.  What an absolute slap in the face to residents who have already seen a 30% surge in energy rates since 2011.

I stand by my statement. Governor Jerry Brown is a moron.

 

Posted in Political, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 36 Comments

Never Forget

Tower Burning               Photo Credit: Getty Images

Below is a transcript of a phone call between Brian David Sweeney, a 38-year-old former US Navy pilot and his partner Julie 3 1/2 minutes before his hijacked plane struck the World Trade Centre’s south tower.

“Hey Jules, this is Brian. Ah, listen… I’m on an airplane that has been hijacked… if things don’t go well, and they’re not looking good, I want you to know that I absolutely love you.

“I want you to do good, have good times, same with my parents.

“I’ll see you when you get here. I want you to know that I totally love you.

“Bye, babe, I hope I will call you.”

A sobering reminder of how horrible that day was. May we never forget.

Posted in Political, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 9 Comments

A Supreme Schooling

If you haven’t seen the above video of Senator Ben Sasse from the Supreme Court conformation hearings, please take 10 minutes to do so. He thoroughly (but politely) humiliates those who have turned the hearings in to a circus freak show of grandstanding and faux outrage in their quest to take down Brett Kavanaugh.

There are some great nuggets in there too on the three branches of government and how the legislative side has neutered itself by transforming so much law making power to administrative bureaucrats. This in turn makes Supreme Court Jurists super legislatures (our Founding Father’s would be horrified) and has contributed greatly today’s unhealthy political environment.

Like I said, give it a watch.

Posted in fear mongering, Political | Tagged , , | 14 Comments

Time to Get Rid of Safe Spaces

I was spending time with friends the other day when one of them got to talking about his great uncles who were pilots in their 20’s during WWII.  He told some amazing stories about their air battles, one of which involved a bullet ripping through fuselage and sheering off half of one poor uncle’s thumb.  He kept fighting of course, not even thinking of landing his plane before the last Japanese Zero was struck down.

Was he brave and tenacious for doing this?  Well yes, but he was also doing what seemed to come natural to people of that era; gritting through what must have been an incredibly fearsome situation to get the job done. He was part of the Greatest Generation that fought in WWII and what they went through and sacrificed should never be forgotten.

This got me thinking about today’s young men and women and on what would happen if, God forbid, the nation entered in to another world war and had to enact an involuntary draft.  Hundreds of thousands of Millennials and Generations Z’s would be jettisoned from their comfortable lives to do battle for their country and this worries me more than just a little.

Don’t get me wrong, there are many in this age group who wouldn’t hesitate to step up to the plate and fight with the same valor, grit and sense of duty as the uncles mentioned above did.  I know (and am related to) many.

We live in a different world though, one filled with safe spaces and trigger warnings to protect against so called hate speech, where the “wrong” Halloween costume or prom dress can spark a frenzied outrage of condemnation and where even eating a taco can cause offense because of the vastly shallow and meaningless term, cultural appropriation.

While we shouldn’t paint all young adults with this wide brush of nonsense, the very vocal and perpetually aggrieved ones screaming their heads off about stuff like this (and the older people that enable them) has me wondering if we have what it takes to rally and defeat another Hitler.

As my friend with the great uncles said to me, “I look at what they went through during WWII and compare it to now where kids were given time off from school to deal with the “trauma” of Donald Trump’s election and I just think we’re screwed.”

Who knows really what would happen during a time of war, but if we continue down this path of coddling students, trying to protect them from icky feelings then yes, our future looks bleak.

Kids need to learn from a young age that things won’t always go their way, that getting a trophy for just showing up means nothing and that conflict is a natural part of life. The sooner they learn how to deal with it in healthy ways, the easier it will be for them to navigate the world as adults and live respectfully with others who think and act differently from them.  College is all about getting your worldview challenged and feeling more than a bit uncomfortable should be the norm.

Gosh, what a different world we would have if schools actually promoted this type of environment and students embraced it.  Where debate on tough subjects is encouraged and those who try to shout down differing opinions are ridiculed as the whiny babies they really are.

Feeling uncomfortable and hurt can be hard, but hardship builds character and character wins wars.  Let’s stop pretending that smothering our kids and young adults to protect against any possible harm doesn’t have negative effects on this.

 

 

Posted in entitlememt mentality, Free speech, Personal growth, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 40 Comments

The Truth About Hate

This has got to be the dumbest piece of news I’ve heard all month, perhaps even all year and that’s really saying a lot.  A faith based women’s shelter in Alaska called Downtown Hope Center is currently embroiled in a nasty battle with a city agency over a discrimination complaint filed against the shelter for refusing to take in a biological man who identifies as a woman.

Timothy Coyle, who now goes by Samantha, had been ejected from a nearby homeless shelter for fighting before showing up drunk and wounded at the Hope Center’s door. He was denied admittance, but was provided cab fare and sent to the ER for treatment.  When he came back the next day and again was turned away, he filed a complaint with the Anchorage Equal Rights Commission,  claiming he is female and transgender and so belongs to a protected class that the Hope Center discriminated against by refusing to let him stay there.

Folks, this is where denial of truth goes off the rails and becomes dangerous.  And, as usual with these types of things, it’s the most defenseless members of society who end up taking the hit.

Downtown Hope Center’s mission is to provide battered women and sex trafficking escapees a safe place to stay, while they get resources in place to move up and out of their volatile  situations.  It goes without saying that many of its residents live in constant fear of their abusers and that just being near any man can trigger severe emotional distress; thus shelter inhabitants are understandably limited to females only.  Men can be offered assistance but are not allowed to live there.

Bettering the lives of vulnerable women however is not what a Social Justice Warrior bent on a cause cares one whit about, nor, really, are transgender people.  You see this is not about letting people live their lives as they see fit, but compulsion. As Kevin D. Williamson states brilliantly in this NRO column about Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips:

“After winning his case at the Supreme Court, Phillips was again targeted by Colorado activists, one of whom asked him to make a cake to celebrate coming out as transgender. Phillips declined, and was ordered to the state to compulsory mediation. He is countersuing.

Liberalism has always struggled to balance the protection of minority rights against majoritarian institutions and — less often appreciated — the protection of individual rights. The American Left has liberated itself from such considerations by abandoning liberalism for identity politics and a might-makes-right ethic.

Why compel Jack Phillips to knuckle under? Because you can, and because you hate him. Hate is an inescapable part of tribalism, and hate is now the single most important organizing principle of the American Left.”

Hate. Such a small word, but one that holds enormous influence over our country’s political, cultural and social discourse. For some time now, most folks have accepted transgender people and their wish to change genders. While it’s probably impossible for outsiders to fully understand why a person would do this, most of us generally don’t like to see others suffer and are fine with people changing their sex if it offers some relief.

Live and let live is fine up to a point.  It becomes a problem when it bleeds over in to threatening the safety and rights of others.  Common sense tells us that a biological man staying at a shelter for battered women is a bad idea, as is allowing him access to female locker rooms and bathrooms just because he identifies as a woman.  Again, whose interests are really being served here by compelling society to accept this as normal?

Certainly not women and girls and most people know this.  Yet, those who push back get labeled as intolerant haters, facing social ostracism and even possible job loss for holding such “archaic” views. Most understandably end up shutting up and keeping their heads down.  Normal people don’t have the time and emotional energy to spend days on end defending themselves on social media, plus no one wants to lose friends or put their jobs in jeopardy over stuff like this.

And that is the exact reaction the identity politics crowd wants.  The majority of the country may not agree with them, but they know their loud and relentless bullying and cries of hater thrown at anyone who disagrees shuts down debate and allows their agenda to creep forward.  Complex issues that require open and honest conversations, now get dumbed down to two opposing sides; the good, right side of history crowd vs those bad traditional values folks.

A free and democratic society that values truth cannot function under such tactics. A some point people will either decide they’ve had enough and stop catering to this social justice nonsense or draconian speech laws will eventually take root and religious freedoms will be greatly curtailed.

The transgender community needs acknowledgement from outsiders that they too are just regular people trying to forge a happy and fulfilling life.  Balancing their needs with society as a whole requires great empathy, and grace plus an understanding that there are no easy answers.

The denial of truth however should not be tolerated, nor should anyone be shamed in to thinking it should.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in fear mongering, Free speech, Uncategorized, Women's Empowerment | Tagged , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Yup, That’s Been Me Lately….

Head in Sand

Head in the sand, blissfully unaware as the world goes by.  Here’s why.

For days now it’s been unusually hot in my little neck of paradise here in coastal San Diego. It’s been humid too and the air stagnant, which means my normally breezy and comfortable little beach house becomes a sweltering tinderbox starting at about 2pm daily.  Seriously, I could probably make good money renting it out as a sauna.

The heat frying my brains, on top of a busy work schedule and a nasty bout of food poisoning has left my motivation for blogging just dying on the vine.  Instead of scouring the daily news and picking off any one its multiple absurdities for a meaty blog post, I’ve chosen to ignore it all together and pretend all is good with the world.

And can I tell ya something?  It’s been pretty nice.  I’ve been way more relaxed and my mornings have been fabulously stress free as I forgo catching the latest headlines to pray more,  read Oprah like self-improvement stuff, or just get a jump start on work.

I know I can’t stay this way forever and  I’ll be back at it again soon enough.  Just not quite yet.  I’m enjoying my blissful ignorance and plus it’s rather cool here beneath the wet sand.

 

 

Posted in Humour, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 26 Comments