Strange Observations from LinkedIn

I received a random (to me) invitation to “connect” on LinkedIn from a concrete contractor. I don’t think I know the man, so I’ll probably let the invitation sit for a while just to be sure his name doesn’t appear somewhere on a submittal, but for now I’m not expecting anything.

While checking the contractor’s bio on LinkedIn, I also happened to notice a Russian/Ukrainian whose invitation I’d accepted (his posted thoughts regarding BIM were enlightening) is now enlisted in the Ukrainian army. This begs the question, “Is he enlisted or conscripted?” The difference is not trivial. As a scion of a long line of conscripts, the notion of fighting for some remote aristocracy administered by a tyrannical bureaucracy does not appeal to me. Despite my brother’s loud defense of Ukrainian interests, my instinct is that Ukraine is a doomed nation, and any person choosing military service in its cause without force of coercion has discarded both his future and the future of his scions. I could be wrong, of course.

In further LinkedIn news, a former nanny for my children is now a leasing agent (her career seems to return there). I noticed she also finally graduated college with a BA in sociology with a minor in history. It’s too bad the law prohibits her use of sociology or history when leasing property.

Don’t let the nanny thing mislead you: I’m not that wealthy. I was out of the country at the time.

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Ireland

Question:

How do you know Papists, and their leader, the Pope, aren’t Christian?

Answer:

Ireland purports to be over 80 percent Papist, yet approved so-called gay marriage. Around 20 percent of Irish regularly attend mass.

The Papists’ Pope has not ordered extensive excommunication of non-Christians from the Papist communion, yet has that authority.

Who was first carried off to exile: Israel or Judah?

Who worships a golden calf?

What is the sin of Jeroboam?

Circle Jerk

I can’t keep reading the shit folks post. No, this isn’t /ragequit. I’m still here, and the blog stays up. I’ve cancelled all my blog subscriptions, stripped out most of my social media to bare minimum (zero follows in twitter, for instance) so I can focus on my thoughts, not other’s drivel. If you need me, call me at my office number.

Anecdotes

Sometime in my youth, I camped overnight in the back yard of a church mate, Matt. Perhaps it was his birthday. Another guy, Eddie, joined us that night. Years later, those two spent considerable time together, whereas I eventually hung with a different crowd, but that visit stuck in my mind for several reasons which I’ll share.

I recall I arrived late, perhaps after dark, though I no longer recall, and we must have hung about his house and yard doing one thing or another. Sometime during the evening, we happened upon two stray kittens which stayed with us the rest of the evening and into the next morning. During the night, I brought at least one of the kittens into the tent with me and let it sleep atop my sleeping bag. I think one of the other guys had the other. I awoke in the middle of the night to find it pawing at my bag and peeing on it. My frustration awoke the other two guys – or perhaps they were already awake – and we tossed the kittens out into the yard. that ruckus must have awoken Matt’s dogs, who at Eddie’s (and Matt’s?) encouragement, lit into the kittens. The dogs roughed-up one kitten badly, but it wasn’t permanently injured. I don’t recall what was done with the kittens exactly, but I seem to recall putting an end to the event, and perhaps put the felines back in the tent or elsewhere.

The next morning, some folks came around early looking for the kittens and thanked us three boys for finding them. After that, we walked up the road a little way to a gas-and-groceries store and bought some breakfast; I purchased pop-tarts and orange juice. I recall Eddie and Matt buying stuff like fried pork rinds and Mountain Dew. I do know that was the worst and only convenience-store breakfast I’d ever eaten prior to that morning. When I got back to the house later, Matt’s mom offered me eggs, which I accepted. They weren’t the best eggs, but they we better than Pop-Tarts.

After that, many years later, I went out water-boarding with Eddie and Matt and maybe a girl – I can’t recall whether it was Donna – who later starred in a film with Clooney – or Eddie’s sister, Diane, who became an MD. Not long after that, while I was away at college, Matt died in a boating accident. He managed to conceive a son before that, so the woman who cooked me breakfast got a grandson at least, Matt being her only child. She also attended my grandmother’s funeral for my mom’s sake, so I have a soft spot for that lady for those, among several other reasons.

Another church mate, Nikki, was killed by three men who kidnapped him from a known meeting place for homosexual men and murdered him. Two of the three men were executed. Another is serving life without parole in Texas. Nikki was probably a faggot, but he did have good taste in clothes. I didn’t find out until much later, but he was a very good and kind friend to Diane during a very rough time in her life, so she remembers him very fondly. He and I roomed together at a church camp one summer. I learned plenty about clothes that summer, but not a lot about Nicky. So much of that came later, after he was dead. A high school buddy and a his friend hung with Nicky on weekends, and Brad used to tease the two of them for kissing in the back seat. I won’t name the other guy. Brad and I corresponded not long ago. He found weight-lifting after college and bulked muscle, corrected his attitude, and seems to be well. Anyway, Nikki’s dead.

Which brings me to Bret, who died this year. Bret and I didn’t spend much time together, but I liked him well enough, and he was a constant through my years in church. Somewhere along the way, his parents divorced, which is always a sight to see in a Baptist church, but at some point before high school graduation, Bret started attending again, and I recall him from my infrequent visits after I started college in another state. I don’t’ recall seeing him during my semester sabbatical, so perhaps he’d moved onward to other work or education by then. Bret got killed by an underage drunk driver who struck him at the notorious intersection of a major highway into town and a loop road around town. The drunk drove right over the top of his car, and apparently killed him instantly, which I suppose is a better death than either Matt or Nikki got.

I met a pal from my early days in Little Rock at the megalochurch two weeks back. Actually, it’s been four weeks, but I didn’t recognize him until he re-introduced himself. Everybody seems to get fatter as they age.

I’m sure there’s some way to string all this together into a narrative with a theme and perhaps a moral, perhaps something about the precariousness of life or our fleeting time on the earth or how memories start to fade after 30 years pass or how things that seemed important at 14 aren’t at 44, or even how things that seemed important at 14 still ARE important at 44.The truth is, age makes finding meaning out of life and all the many moments of it harder to accomplish, not easier. “Shit happens,” all the time, and all the time, “shit happens.” Try as you might, it’s very hard to pull together a story without embellishing the details so as create a fiction that supports some false premise.  So we all muddle along, trying to create meaning where there probably isn’t any meaning at all.

Does the ‘leader’ of the free world really know so little about climate?

For people who love the intersection of science and politics.

Watts Up With That?

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

Mr. Obama’s remarks at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy’s Commencement May 20 demonstrate the extent to which his advisors are keeping him divorced from the facts.

President Barack Obama delivers the commencement address at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., May 20, 2015. During his comments, Obama discussed the impact of climate change on national security. DoD screen shot President Barack Obama delivers the commencement address at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., May 20, 2015. During his comments, Obama discussed the impact of climate change on national security.
DoD screen shot

The bulk of his speech was devoted to what is now becoming more and more obviously a non-problem: “the challenge … that, perhaps more than any other, will shape your entire careers – and that’s the urgent need to combat and adapt to climate change.”

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Some facts. In the 11 years 2004-2014, the rate of global warming taken as the mean of the three terrestrial datasets was one-twentieth of a degree. The ARGO ocean dataset shows warming of one-fortieth of a degree. The…

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A Message from the Patriarchy – Feminism Abandoned the Solution

An examination of historical Feminist documents unearthed these Seven Demands from the National Women’s Liberation Conference held in Birmingham in 1978.

The women’s liberation movement asserts a woman’s right to define her own sexuality, and demands:

  1. Equal pay for equal work
  2. Equal education and job opportunities
  3. Free contraception and abortion on demand
  4. Free 24-hour community-controlled childcare
  5. Legal and financial independence for women
  6. An end to discrimination against lesbians
  7. Freedom for all women from intimidation by the threat or use of male violence. An end to the laws, assumptions[,] and institutions which perpetuate male dominance and men’s aggression towards women.

We, the Patriarchy, offer these terms to all women, enumerated respectively.

  1. Equal shares of marital property, regardless of ongoing financial contribution provided by each spouse, recognizing that women who contribute labor by managing households and rearing children are equal to women who contribute capital by selling labor outside the home.
  2. Education of women according to their life-goals, be it mother or businesswoman. No woman should be obligated to sell labor to outsource child-rearing when she is willing to partner with a man who will either contribute capital or labor or both for the rearing of children and support of a household.
  3. No woman should be obligated to carry to term a non-viable child, nor a child conceived by force. Nether should a woman be obliged to risk conceiving unwillingly. For this reason, Patriarchy requires all men obtain public affirmation of intent to conceive, usually, though not necessarily, with a public wedding ceremony, and acknowledges that conceptions without such public announcements are unintended consequences of imprudent erotic couplings.
  4. Patriarchy supports the enforcement of on-demand childcare through the system of family relations, kinship, and extended networks of kith. Every woman should expect support from family and friends for the support of her children, and provide that support to others in turn. Only wherever such networks are established can society rely upon altruism. The Patriarchy adamantly opposes all attempts to disassemble or degrade such social supports for women.
  5. Women are equally obliged as men to the responsibilities incumbent upon members of Patriarchy. With those responsibilities come many privileges, including legal and financial independence and culpability. For this reason, no man is obliged to provide financial support for any woman who is not his dependent, nor legally responsible for her actions, except where the two are in a household partnership, upon which dissolution his obligation ends.
  6. No woman is obliged to sexual conduct or exclusivity, except as agreed with a man, nor is her erotic conduct restrained.
  7. The Patriarchy opposes violence between men and women except in response to violence and to contain violence. No person may demand from another support or cooperation by use of force; agreements for collaboration shall be based upon a mutual exchange or trade of goods or service, mutual assurance of support, and similar commerce. The Patriarchy endeavors to provide a socio-economic framework favoring neither men nor women so that the natural strengths of each gender may reach full potential.

When next you hear Feminists demand equal pay for equal work, equal education and employment, reproductive rights, free childcare, legal and financial independence, sexual liberation, or non-violence, please recall this offer from the Patriarchy.