Tag Archives: news

Shut Up, Mr. Man!

Let me issue a trigger warning. I am about to embark on a circular argument, because I am about to explain something while being a man. This act has been labeled by the liberals as a derogatory term, since for a man to explain something is evidently a microaggression. They have lumped this microaggression into a grouping designed to address what many feminist perceive as an affront to humanity: Mansplaining, manspreading and, here’s a new one, manterrupting. These are terms that feminists are using to promote the “gender inequality” argument that has been catching traction the past few years, so much so that CBS correspondent Faith Salie did a segment on the phenomenon on CBS Sunday Morning.

Mansplaining is the tendency for a man to “talk down” to a woman by way of explaining the man’s position “in a condescending manner.” Unfortunately, a condescending manner appears to be any time a woman doesn’t want to hear the argument, which, most men who are or have been married know, is all the time. But the label doesn’t really cover the gamut of condescending explanations. My kids condescend all the time. I have had enough eye rolls and heavy sighs from my granddaughter and women friends as they try to explain something to me to know that condescending is not a gender specific trait. Men explain things to other men. As an instructor, my whole day is spent explaining things. Is this mansplaining? Or is it only mansplaining when a man explains something to a woman? So if I teach a class of both men and women, am I only committing half a crime?

Manspreading is the masculine tendency to sit with the knees far apart supposedly to expose the genitals in some sort of sexual power display. This particular faux pax is a well-earned one, but maybe misunderstood. I know I tend to spread my legs when sitting, as many men do. Unfortunately, this has less to do with sex or power than with comfort. Men have certain physical accoutrements that occupy the space between the legs and those attributes can be in a position to cause discomfort with sitting with the legs together. The only remedies are to sit with the legs slightly apart, or to manually adjust the affected parts. Neither option is socially accepted and thus men find themselves between a rock and a hard place, or more to the point, stones and timber. That is not to say that some men don’t go overboard and stretch out to an excessive point. This is not exclusively a male trait though. Many larger people of both sexes can occupy more space that is appropriate. These people are simply douchebags. Again, not sexist. Just asshats.

Manterrupting is the tendency to interrupt a woman who is talking, presumably to do some mansplaining. This is a new one, because evidently, only men interrupt. Women are far too civilized to engage in such a rude activity, and it is only when a man interrupts a woman does the crime rise to the level of manterrupting. Women interrupt other people all the time. Both of my Ex-wives were quite ready to interrupt me in any discussion. Why is it manterrupting only if I interrupt them? Faith Salie threw out some statistics that during the presidential debates, Donald Trump interrupted Hillary Clinton 55 times compared to the 11 times she interrupted him. The wonderful thing about that debate was that Donald interrupted everyone, including the moderators. It is just a Donaldism. Perhaps the term should be Donterrupting or Trumpterrupting.

One of the more tried and true rhetorical strategies that have been employed throughout the history of human interaction is that of undermining the authority of opposing views. This is no more evident that the current argument that men cannot have a voice in the abortion issue because men have no uterus. This is also evident when a feminist labels a male argument as “mansplaining.” Once the label has been applied, the man’s argument can be dismissed in its entirety with no more consideration to the content of the argument. So, when a label like mansplaining or manterrupting is thrown out in a discussion, it is merely another way for a woman to say “shut up, Mr. Man.”

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The Sweet and the Bitter of Election Day

Tuesday the 8th of November, 2016 will be a bittersweet day for many people in this country, if not the whole world. It is the date that the worst campaign in the history of this country will officially end, which is the sweet part. The bitter part is that it is also the date that we will have elected the person who will no doubt go down in history as one of the worst world leaders ever. It is not because we have been forced against our will to endorse a tyrant, but rather we have degraded the principles of liberty so much that the citizens of this country no longer know any better than to elect people based not on capability, but instead on popularity. Knowledge and logic have been supplanted by feelings.

This is not new to this election cycle, unfortunately. The election of Barack Obama was the first time a president was chosen not because of skill, knowledge, or experience, but rather because of social popularity. Obama was not elected because he was the most capable, he was elected because people thought it was time we had a black man in the White House. This election is another opportunity for the populists who want social justice to ring their bell by not electing the best candidate, but by electing the first woman to the presidency. In fact, it has become the media catch phrase as pundits tout how America will make history by electing Hillary Clinton.

The social justice warriors who gave us affirmative action and hiring quotas are now trying to staff the White House, as if the qualifications for that job are limited to the color of one’s skin or the gender to which they self-identify. A knowledge of history, or law, or economics or anything understood to be a formal education are not even mentioned in the candidate selection process. None of the candidates who ran in either primary touted their academic credentials. Very few of them mentioned their relevant experience. All of them threw out their feelings on the issues about which the media had drummed the populace into a frenzy and batted sound bites around like a litter of puppies fighting over a toy, and we the people watched with similar fascination as we decried the responses that hurt our feelings and shouted along with the ones that echoed our own beliefs.

As a society, we have become so focused on feelings, that real matters that have meaning are relegated to whispers among the like minded, too afraid to speak out in public for fear of being labeled a bigot, racist, misogynist, extremist, leftist, right-wing, birther, libtard. If we cannot discuss the serious matters facing society as a whole, how can we hope to find a leader willing to do it? We can’t. This is why our politicians have become so impotent lately. They are afraid of being on the losing side of legislation being voted on by a public who cannot be counted on to actually learn anything different from their preconceived notions and ideals and who think it is time we had a woman in the White House even if that woman is a proven manipulative, elitist liar who doesn’t even think members of her own party are worthy of consideration.

Clinton said in an interview that she wants to be the president of those who vote for her and those who vote against her. Well, that is as stupid a statement as any candidate has ever made, but nothing more can be expected from someone who has manipulated the system at every turn to ensure her victory in the election, even going so far as to have defrauded the country by negotiating back room deals, including selecting her opponent, to lock in her win, no matter the outcome of the ballot count. When Hillary is announced as the winner (and she will be) understand it will not be because of the ballots cast. It will be because she defrauded an already corrupted process and was validated by a population that wanted a woman—any woman—president. Wednesday morning, there will be no more campaign commercials and no more news time devoted to the campaigns, but we will have someone who will no doubt end up being the worst president in history sitting in the White House. Bittersweet indeed.

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Isn’t Anything Else On?

Reminiscing is fun. Reliving memories of times past can bring pleasant feelings to mind and warm the cockles of one’s heart. There are not too many things I enjoy more than walking down memory lane and reliving the good times long gone. I am not alone, there is a whole industry dedicated to helping record the past for individuals as well as the media. Reminiscing is also a ratings giant. The news loves to remember the past, particularly if the past they are remembering is a story that garnered a lot of public attention. It can be like a two-fer for the stations. They get a rating boost when they break a big story, then another boost when they commemorate their coverage of the event.

The problem is that it is not just one news outlet doing the commemorations. Every news broadcast will spend a good chunk of their airtime reliving the past. This gets old fast. Hurricane Katrina hit the gulf coast five years ago and it was all the news that was reported for the better part of a week when it happened. It continued to dominate airtime for many weeks after. It got old then. I have no interest in reliving old news, so all the coverage of “Katrina five years later” got old again.

Two years ago, hurricane Ike ravaged Houston and naturally the local news spent every hour covering the effects of the storm. They spent so much time covering the storm that Houstonians didn’t learn about the financial crisis for weeks after the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bailout. This is understandable, however, as the storm aftermath was more significant to the citizens of Houston at that moment in time than the start of the recession.

I can understand commemorating a public figure after they die. Even the media blitz over Michael Jackson’s death was tolerable. These retrospectives can offer insight into the lives of society’s movers and shakers that we otherwise might not know. Commemorating significant historical events such as D-Day, Pearl Harbor or the Boston Tea Party is likewise beneficial. Examining New Orleans five years after a hurricane offers nothing more than an advertisement opportunity for the city’s hospitality industry.

Was Katrina devastating? Sure. No one can argue that. I lived in Houston when the refugees began pouring in from Louisiana. I saw the conditions they were forced to endure and the aftermath of the ruined communities and loss of life and property. I saw it—plenty of it. Life has moved on, why would I want to revisit it again? It is not a pleasant memory and it doesn’t offer us any insights into our condition today. There are plenty of other issues the news could be covering instead of rehashing this story.

I can only imagine that in 2013, we will get a blitz of Hurricane Ike revisited deluging our news, followed by the retrospective” Recession: five years later.” I know I will roll my eyes and put in a DVD or—as I have been doing lately—watching a Netflix stream on the big screen while I wait for the media to tire of this round of retrospectives.

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Filed under Media, Society

The Danger is in the Listing

Every once in a while, I like to play devil’s advocate. It allows me to see more than the liberal spoon-fed agenda foisted upon us in the media. The news this evening featured a story about a Houston neighborhood that has the largest concentration of registered sex offenders not serviced by a residential facility. The reporter made the point that the parents of children living in the neighborhood are concerned and want laws that limit how many registered offenders can reside in any given neighborhood. What the reporter did not mention and many (almost every) person fails to consider is that not every registered sex offender is a threat to children. In fact, many on that list are no threat to anyone at all.

Imagine you are a young man just turned 21 and your friends take you out to party. Not everyone indulges their coming of age birthday in this fashion, but it is more common than not. After several drinks (and let’s give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you have a responsible person as a designated driver) you spy an attractive young woman who seems interested. After some slurred small talk, the young lady offers a ride and you accept and the next thing you know, it is the next morning and you think you just had a fantastic night. That is, until you find out that this young woman is actually 16 years old and she thinks you are a couple now. After several days of not calling the girl, she gets upset and tells her mother all the sordid details of your night together. You find yourself being booked for rape and in very short order you are on the sexual offenders’ list.

Imagine you are a devoted father who finds out your wife is cheating on you. You file for divorce and threaten to take the kids. Your estranged wife, desperate to hold on to the children, convinces your young daughter to say that you touched her. The next thing you know you have not only lost custody, you are barred from seeing your kids without court supervision. And you are on the sexual offenders list.

These are not hypothetical situations. These are real cases. Real people finding their lives ruined not just because they were convicted, but even worse, they are constantly judged by everyone they meet. Jobs are lost, credit is denied, and now they cannot even find housing. The penal system is supposed to allow those found guilty of crimes against society to make amends and re-enter society once their punishment is complete, yet we hold these “predators” to a different standard. We continually punish them even after they have completed their sentence.

Now, the flip side is that there are many individuals who are a continuing threat to our society. These sick individuals will continue to prey on victims no matter what punishment is doled out to them. The problem comes from our need to categorize and label everything we encounter. All those who are convicted of crimes that are related in some way to sex are considered predators. The man who stalks and rapes brunettes between the ages of 16 and 22 who remind him of his mother, the man who rapes and murders every girl who turned him down in high school, the pervert who only finds stimulation with prepubescent children, these are the individuals for which the registry is designed. The list is not enough for these perverts; castration perhaps or even execution would be more suitable. Hell should have a special place for these guys and if it does, it isn’t bad enough.

Every name on the list is not a threat to your children’s safety. Remember that not all of those people are criminals that need to be permanently segregated. Some are victims of the system, some are victims of their own stupidity, and some committed a premeditated crime for which they have paid the price and would never do it again. Yet we lump them in with the serial rapists and pedophiles and force them to live with the same stigma as those who are truly evil dangers in our midst. This is the real danger: the media driving us to lump all people into the same categories regardless of the situation.

The media finds it easy to generate ratings by teasing stories with leads that mention the predators list. People clamor for more information and the media laps it up. They tell us all the potential danger of having a predator among us without mentioning the specific threat. Telling us that a divorcee who lost his children in a custody case because his daughter accused him is not the kind of story that generates public outcry. So they abridge it to say that a registered sex offender is near and we tune in every time.

Look beyond the media’s stories. Look for the truth and in doing so protect yourself from the real danger. Do your own research. Find out the specifics of those who live near you, not just the fact that their name is on a list. Everyone’s situation is unique and just because they have a conviction on their record doesn’t necessarily make them a threat. Making assumptions based solely on what the media says is what we should fear.

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