Click Clique

E-F Dictionary

That title is mostly for my American readers, and any of the rest of you who have not been afflicted with the French language.  I studied Parisian French in high school for five years; therefore I pronounce that second word as Cleek, not Click.  I also pronounce the word ‘niche’ as Neesh, rather than Nish, or Nitch, the way most Americans do.

Jim Wheeler’s most recent comment about ‘Tribalism’ made me think back to life in my small home town.  I have previously written about how just about everybody got along with just about everybody.  Some people have complained about moving/retiring to a small town, and not being accepted, ‘Yea, verily unto the third generation.’

The reason for all the comity was the (lack of) size of the population.  There just weren’t enough people to form ‘us’ and ’them’ groups.  The old couple who owned and ran the local movie theater finally retired and sold it to a businessman from Toronto.  He and his wife moved during the summer school vacation.  They brought their son, another “Bob”, a year younger than me, who started Grade 11 that September.  It was a Hell of a culture shock.

Football

Bob had played High School football in Toronto.  Bob was good!  Bob thought he would just come north and play football on our high school’s football team, and be a star.  Bob was absolutely astounded that our school didn’t have a football team, or a hockey team, or a track team….or a track!

There were more students in his Toronto high school (3500), than there were people in our entire (2000) town.  Our Regional high school, located in another nearby (2000) small town, didn’t have jocks, or dweebs, or keeners, or Goths.  If we had, there’d only have been enough for one of each.  At a tenth the size of Bob’s school, our little 350-body school just had students, most of them poor, dumb and untalented.  Somebody gotta pump gas fer them tourists.

Canada and the United States are the two largest diversely acceptant countries on earth, although, some subtle, unexpected, unanticipated tipping point seems to be looming.  I have ranted about exclusion vs. inclusion, and questioned why ‘we all’ can’t just get along together.

Psychologists and sociologists have done studies on that thought, and the answer seems to be on a sliding scale.  Individually, and as part of the hive-mind of a group, there seems to be a cumulative limit as to just how far we can stretch our acceptance.

It seems to be related to the strength of belief and faith; the stronger it is, the smaller the groups get.  The Republican Party begot The Tea Party.  Christians split into Catholics and Protestants.  The Muslims split into Shiite and Sunni.  Christians started to get funny with Mormon and Jehovah’s Witnesses.  The Muslims responded with al Qaeda and Boko Haram.  With the Christians, the strong belief/small groups have come down to Westboro Baptists and Duck Dynasty.  I’m probably fortunate not to know what the Muslim equivalents are.

As with everything else, there is a fine line between not believing in anything, and believing too strongly in the wrong things.  The apathetic would vote for a guy who might be Superman – if he were smart enough to find his way out of the phone booth after changing.  The faithful believe in bringing on ‘End Of Days’, so that they, and only they, may ascend to Heaven.  Me??  I believe I’ll have another beer.   🙄

#468

Being Canadian

Canadian Flag

 

 

 

 

 

Recently, there was a viral media story about an immigrant Muslim woman who appeared in court in the province of Quebec.  Her teen-aged son had been pulled over by the police with a suspended licence.  In a case like that, the car is impounded for 30 days.  If someone can show reason to need the car back before that, they have to appeal to the court.

Already, at that point in the story, I was having trouble with it.  Despite the public wanting safer roads by having dangerous drivers taken off them, do you know how hard it is to suspend this teen’s licence??!  As a minor, and a Good Muslim, to whom alcohol is forbidden, was he caught drunk driving?  Has he been convicted of multiple traffic offences, like speeding, racing, leaving the scene of an accident?

On her side, has she been blithely unaware of multiple traffic offences, at least one court case, and the suspension of his licence?  If she was aware of his suspension, did she uncaringly allow him to illegally use the car?

cmu15 0227 Hijab 12b.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

When she appeared before the judge, a lovely lady judge, she did so with her Muslim tea-towel wrapped around her head.  The female judge told her that she would have to remove her head covering, as a mark of respect for both the judge, and the court.  Things like scarves and sunglasses were not allowed, and must be removed, or her case would not be heard.

She chose to leave the court without recovering her car.  Instead of hiring a lawyer, she chose to arrange a pity party news conference.  Instead of claiming religious discrimination, she told enthralled TV and print reporters that she had worn her dish rag when she became a Canadian citizen, and now the judge had made her feel like she was not a true Canadian citizen.  Wah, wah, wah!    😦

The judge had already told her that scarves and sunglasses were not allowed.  Canadian-type rednecks, with tattoos and 2-digit IQs, are told to remove their ball caps.  These rules apply to everyone.  The closest she came to playing the religion card was to claim that Jewish men were not forced to remove their yarmulkes.

For pious Jewish men, the wearing of the yarmulke is a decreed portion of their religious observance.  Her wearing of some window curtain is merely personal preference, not a dogmatic Muslim tenet.  I now wear my glasses at all times, yet when I go to have my passport photo taken, I am told to remove them for better identification.

She whined about not feeling like a “real Canadian”, yet every member of every level of ‘Canadian’ police, every ‘Canadian’ EMT tech, every ‘Canadian’ firefighter, and every member of ‘Canadian’ Armed Forces, male and FEMALE, remove their head covering in court.  That’s what “real Canadians” do, they show respect, and they obey the law.

Militant Islamism is more dangerous, but this type of Muslimism is more insidious.  Many Muslims come to North America with the honest hope for a better way of life.  Far too many though, come here saying they want a change, but the only change they want is to our way of life.  They play the long game.  They plow their twisted view of the Koran, and sow our welcoming multiculturalism, so that they can eventually reap the crop of the universal Caliphate.

Niagara bridge

 

 

 

 

This woman is no more a ‘real Canadian’ than the two, fortunately inept, terrorists who were going to dump a Niagara train and bridge into the gorge.  She’s just more subtle and long-range manipulative about it.  Sadly, there are too many politicians loaded with gullibility and White Man’s Guilt, who will feel sorry for her.

An Englishman arrives at his mate’s flat, to find him desperately packing. “Where are you goin’, an’ why??” “Well, it’s about homosexuals!” “What about ‘em?’ “Two hundred years ago, if you were gay, you were hanged, drawn and quartered.  A hundred and fifty years ago, you were flogged and sent to a penal colony.  A hundred years ago, you went to prison for life.  Fifty years ago, it changed to ‘live and let live’.  A few years ago, that became ‘Don’t ask – don’t tell.  I’m gettin’ to Hell out, before it becomes mandatory!”

Only three days after her little video went viral, she had crowd-sourced $20,000 to pay for a lawyer to represent her, to thumb her nose at Canadian traditions and the legal system.  I don’t know if I’ll be more disappointed to find that the bulk of the funds came from apologetic Christians, or hard-core Muslims, financing the firm insertion of the thin edge of the wedge.  Sharia law, here we come!

 

Am I Blue!

Guinness

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ah yes, the Blue Laws, often forgotten, but still not gone.  Ontario is not the most morally repressive place on the planet.  There are places in the Muslim Middle East, matched by the American Bible Belt, where anything even smacking of enjoyment, is flatly forbidden, or fiercely frowned upon.  In Ontario, some killjoy politicians may pass legislation, but after that, it’s just the rule-following sheep who work to prevent the goats from having any fun.

Alcohol and tobacco are moving in opposite directions here.  A recent visit to a smoke shop in Detroit reminded me of what I haven’t seen around here in years – dozens of brands of cigarettes, and cigars, and loose tobacco, cigarette holders, pipes, ash trays, even bongs.

In Ontario, convenience stores are forced to hide all that behind plastic or cardboard covers.  See no sin – do no sin!  That worked so well during Prohibition.  When a pack of smokes is pulled out, the manufacturers are forced to use ¾ of the package to display pictures of diseased organs, rotted teeth, and a saggy cigarette, hanging down in a 90 degree arc, above a notice warning, “Caution!  Smoking may cause impotence.”  F**k you!…..if I could.

Ontario has come a long way towards normalizing alcohol enjoyment and use, but we still have a long way to go.  Up here in ‘civilization’, a “party store” will provide paper hats, candles, confetti, crepe paper, and Happy Birthday banners, whereas, down in the states…..

My childhood neighboring small town was “dry.”  No alcohol of any kind could be bought or sold.  It remained that way for years – as long as the voters could stagger to the polls.  Bootleggers were endemic.  Average alcohol consumption was estimated at twice what my town’s was.

Past, and present, rules often seem to make no sense.  No establishment which serves alcohol may have double-swinging “barroom doors,” whether external or inner access, although Ontario will let you have a beer while you watch naked strippers, something many American locations will not allow.

Bars, and licensed restaurants, have only existed for the last 30/40 years.  Prior to that, hotels provided “beverage rooms,” two per establishment, one for men, and another for “Ladies and Escorts.”  You could have 11 drunks around a table, as long as there was one token female.

Waiters/waitresses could only serve one drink per customer at a time, keeping them constantly moving, bringing out all those singles.  If you saw a friend over in the corner, you were not allowed to pick up your drink and go join him.  The law required the already overworked server to carry your drink over for you.

When bars and lounges started popping up, you still couldn’t order just booze, food had to accompany it.  A round of drinks would include a vending-machine cheese sandwich.  Often, the server would scoop it up with the empties, and re-deliver and charge for it with the next round.

Beer was bought at buildings labelled “Brewers Retail,” until enough confused American tourists forced the monopoly to rebrand clearly, as “The Beer Store.”  There, that wasn’t hard, was it??  😕

They’re starting to sell a bit of beer now, but for years, the government-owned Liquor Control Board monopoly stores sold only wine and distilled spirits.  No spectre of Big Brother there.   In my lifetime, we have come from:

Immediately after WW II, you had to go to the Liquor Store and provide identification and proof of age (21 years).  You were given a small notebook, and were allowed, once a week, to buy only as much as you could list on that week’s page.  If you missed so much as a 2-ounce bottle of bitters for whiskey sours, you were forced to wait until the next week.

In the ‘60s, we moved to a paper slip system.  Write the catalog number of the booze(s) you wanted, and a clerk disappeared into the nether-world of the back room, where, presumably, elves brewed the stuff up, out of the sight of the susceptible public.  Since people didn’t move around, you could be put on The List.  If you were caught drunk in public last Saturday night, the liquor store would refuse to serve you this Thursday, and perhaps for several weeks, until a manager unilaterally decided to annul the sentence.

Finally, we have reached the point where we can actually see the stuff on the shelf, put it in our own little shopping cart, and pay for it at the checkout.  Be careful though.  Some of those weird rules still exist.  “Only people 19+ can legally handle alcohol in LCBO stores.”

A local mother stopped into an LCBO store to pick up an eight-pack of Guinness for her husband.  While she dug her wallet out of her purse, her 17-year-old son helped out by placing the beer on the counter.  The clerk immediately asked him for ID.  He explained that the beer was not for him, but for his mother, who would pay for it, but the Can’t Touch It rule had already come into effect.

She went back and brought a pack up by herself, but now the manager came over, and accused her of buying the beer for a minor.  He claimed that staff is highly trained to prevent “second buying.”  All very noble, but this staff could never be accused of second thinking.

Bureaucracy exists to assure its own continued existence – and some strange restrictions and regulations.

 

Triviana Fore

 

What I Did On My Christmas Vacation
I’m retired!!  It’s ALLLL vacation.

I received my WordPress email outlining my year.  I ignored it.  Last year I displayed my stats.  This year…Pfft!  I’m not disappointed; it’s just that guys like BrainRants and The Byronic Man get year-end notices that include the statement, “The population of the Earth is seven Billion.  Every one of them visited your site last year – twice!”  I think mine mentioned a Mini car….or was it an electric scooter?

SDC10603

 

 

 

I found some money (what a surprise), and got panhandled for a bit of it – twice in one day.  If Ace is the place for Americans, Canadian Tire is the place for Canucks.  I went there with the wife to buy the grandson presents – tools he’ll need for his welding apprenticeship.

While she was dithering deciding, I ambled up the aisle.  I’m planning a post about written stuff I find on the floor/ground.  Halfway between me and an oncoming woman, there was something on the floor.  Probably just someone’s shopping list – but I hurried a bit, to get there first.  I picked up $15 – a ten and a five.

I went into a non-usual grocery store, and checked out the coin-counter machine, as I always do, and got 45¢ for my Scottish trouble, a quarter and two dimes.  The next day I went to my usual store, and was barely inside the door when some young colored female asked me for a dollar.  She was well dressed in figure-displaying clothing, but had a Muslim modesty scarf over her head.  Oh, that sexy hair.  That’s what guys go crazy for.

She and her friend had come in to purchase a single-use aluminum roast pan.  Probably going to cook up a camel haunch.  They had brought their little change purses, but had both left the big ones with the real money locked in the car.  The roast pan cost more than they’d thought it would.  They didn’t want to have to go all the way back to the car in a snow storm, and would I just give them a dollar.  Uh, NO!

The nerve!!  The absolute gall!!  I was about to tell her what she could do for a dollar, when I realized she already had.  This tale alone was worth more than the dollar.  As I left this store, I checked out their coin counting machine – and picked up another 45¢, this time a nickel and four dimes – including a 1952 silver, King George one to add to my collection.

silver dime

 

 

 

I went a quarter-mile down the road to another supermarket which carries a house brand not available elsewhere.  As I exited, I was accosted by a mid-20s male, slightly scruffy, but warmly dressed.  He politely asked if I could spare any change toward ‘bus fare.’  Yeah, right – but his girlfriend?, seeing that he had a big one hooked, came rushing over – on her power wheelchair.  Oh damn.

I kept the silver dime, but bought some Karma by giving them all the change in my pocket – not a lot, more than a dollar, perhaps less than two.

The wife and I shopped for groceries together one day.  The couple checking out – the guy ahead of us – and we were third in line.  As the first pair bagged up and left, the guy in front of me stepped forward, and onto, and then off, what appeared to be a coin.

I moved forward into the area he’d vacated, and bent forward slightly to see if it was a quarter I might later pick up.  Suddenly he was all in my face!

“What the FUCK are you lookin’ at??!  Just keep your goddamned nose out of my business!  I don’t want you snooping at my shit!  Just stand the FUCK back, asshole, and mind your own fucking business.”

Dear Lord!  Take a chill pill Bill.  Increase the medication dosage, and attend those court-ordered anger management courses.  Nosy??  Snooping??  Your business? – in a grocery store??  All for looking at a dirty spot on the floor?  Does your wife have you picking up panty liners, or are those yours Nasty Nancy?

Even my wife, who is usually judgemental and unsympathetic of my ‘shenanigans’, was amazed at this over-the-top paranoia performance.

General Motors recently sent me a letter, telling me that, if I attach a bowling ball to the keychain for my Chevy Impala, it may cause the jet engines to fail in midflight, and kill more than the AirAsia crashes.  Nice going idiots!  This 54¢ part recall has been going on for years.  I’ve owned this car for almost 11 years, and you finally got around to telling me that my vehicle is one affected.  I feel so cared for.  🙄

I had an awkward moment recently, when I wasn’t sure if I actually had some free time, or if I was just forgetting something again.

 

It’s Beginning To Look A lot Like Commerce

Christmas Presents

 

 

 

 

On Tuesday, November 11, after I stood quietly, respectfully, for two minutes, I stopped at a Dollar Store, and picked up a box of biscuits for the dog.  With my receipt, the clerk handed me a postcard sized form.  If I filled it in and dropped it off soon enough at a downtown office, I might earn a seat in the reviewing stand for the local Santa Claus parade – being held tomorrow, Saturday, Nov. 15th.

I returned home to hear the son announce that he’d picked up his ticket for his firm’s gala Christmas Party – being held next Saturday, Nov. 22.  Dear Ebenezer Scrooge, it’s not even the American Thanksgiving yet, and we’re already hip deep in Christmas.  Welcome to the Festival of Conspicuous Consumption.  The decorations have been out, and the ‘Christmas Sales’ have been on since Halloween.  Even today’s crossword had 3-down – gift-bearing trio = Magi, and – guide for 3-down = star, although, admittedly, those are a little more Spiritual than the rest.

Canada is a bit ahead of The States.  We held our Thanksgiving last month, well before the behemoth that is the Holiday Season was on its tracks and starting to move.  We’ll still be ahead of them in a few years when the commercial season begins about the 4th of July, and we celebrate our independence on July 1.

Be sure to give the ‘Good Christians’ lots of room to ignore Ramadan, Rosh Hashanah, Diwali, Kwanzaa and secular atheism, and insist that their single day in the next two months of celebrations, is the only valid reason for The Season.

Allow the more militant among them a little extra swing room for when they U-turn, and insist that no-one should be allowed to have fun, or give presents, or engage in spiritual introspection, without their permission and participation.  Their cold, exclusionary Grinch’s hearts are well attuned to this icy time of year.

Armed with my CDs, I’m ready for the day, just over two weeks away, when the radio begins delivering nothing but all-Christmas songs, all the time.  I got a new keg of Bah Humbug on E-Bay, and will be downing the occasional shot to keep me topped up, as I help the wife assemble and bake Christmas Holiday cake and Christmas Holiday cookies.

Under Pressure – Overtime

Recently, the son climbed out of the car and left his choice of radio station on.  When I climbed in, I left it playing.  Because of this, both of us heard David Wilcox’s, sexual innuendo, double-entendre song, Layin’ Pipe, with its line of, “Eight shifts a week is never enough.”

People like young, up-and-coming doctors and lawyers put in huge amounts of hours to guarantee future success, but often, hourly-paid workers will do the same, working two or three jobs, to get ahead.

One of my fellow auto-workers put in an 8 AM to 4 PM shift every Saturday at a cookie factory in the next city.  There was no problem when he was on day-shift, or afternoons, but, when our week ended after a midnight shift, Saturday at 7 AM, he had an hour, to drive 20 miles, and punch in by 8.

The son has a co-worker who works as a bus-boy/prep chef at a local family restaurant every Sat. & Sun.  On a straight midnight shift, he gets a few hours sleep, and works Saturday, from 2 till 10.  The plastics plant has offered a couple of Saturday midnight shifts recently, and he took them.  Leave the restaurant at 10 PM Saturday, drive across town and put in an 11 to 7, grab a few Sunday ZZZs, and back to the diner.

Fortunately, they were the weekends before, and after, Easter, giving him a week to recuperate.  The son worked both weekends also.  He had a four-day week with Easter Friday off, but followed by a six-day week.

My auto plant had a five-year stretch of prosperity, where there was overtime available every week and weekend.  As a union shop, the work went first to the person on the required job, and then by seniority.  A young man hot-forming vinyl sheets went through two packs of Hall’s Mentho-Lyptus cough candies per shift, to keep his mouth moist.

Someone suggested doing something on his day off, and he replied that he hadn’t had a day off work in 17 weeks, and many of them had been 12 hour days.  It was either the work stress, dextro-methorphan poisoning from all the Hall’s, or a combination of both, that lost him his job.  Not once, but twice, he phoned the plant manager’s house (who, of course, wasn’t home) and screamed at his wife and daughters and threatened them with violence and death.  I’m not sure if he demanded less overtime, or more.

The inspector/packer on my Jeep line was a little, Muslim, Turkish Cypriot.  As such, he had a great need for male children.  His wife first presented him with two daughters.  He bitched at her, but she was sufficiently Canadian to tell him that he only got back what he put in.

She finally gave him a son, but – Oh Horrors – the boy’s right ear was malformed, and he held it against her, loudly, constantly.  They had a nice little house, with a nice little mortgage.  She must have felt that, if he was going to either ignore her or belittle her, she wanted something that included room away from him.  Before long, they had a nice big house, with a nice big mortgage.

Soon, between abandoning her and paying down the mortgage, he was spending huge amounts of time at the plant.  One day, the supervisor distributed our pay checks and, without thinking, I asked, “Did you work any overtime last week?”  Then I slapped myself!  I worked the standard 40 hours.  He had a slow week at 80, 24 at time-and-a-half, and 16 at double-time pay, and yet, his check was exactly double mine.  All the premium pay had gone to the government as taxes.

He would work four hours over, each day – five 12-hour days by Friday – then come in on Saturday and Sunday as well.  If he wasn’t asked for overtime, he had a system.  Even if he worked till 11 PM Friday night, he was back at the plant by 6 AM Saturday morning, “Just to get something from his locker.”  He knew that, of a crew of 10 or 12, at least one would get drunk, or forget to set an alarm, and he would be invited to fill in.

He had another trick.  He would work the Saturday day-shift, come back at 11 PM and work the overnight midnight shift, get a bit of food and sleep, and return once again and work the Sunday afternoon shift, getting in three shifts over two days.

A few times, he managed to stretch one of the weekend shifts to 12 hours, giving him a total of 88 hours for the week.  Wilcox’s “eight shifts a week” is nothing; that’s eleven! At least once that I know of, he managed to get 12 hours on two of the weekend shifts, setting his record (and anybody else’s) at 92 hours.

He showed me a picture in his wallet once, of a handsome young man.  I thought it might be a younger brother or cousin.  It was just him, shortly before I met him, pinched, dried, wasted!  I own an 11-year-old car that I may not be able to afford to replace.  At 70, my mortgage isn’t paid off yet, but people still don’t believe I’m as old as I am.  I worked to live.  I didn’t live to work.

Huge work hours, and dedication to a job or career can buy you lots of “stuff”, but it often doesn’t leave you enough time or energy to truly enjoy your stuff.  I tried to attain a middle ground with my employment, and still often shake my head at those who don’t leave time for life or family.

Ego And Insecurity – Episode 1

Brigham Young is quoted as saying, “He who takes offence when none is offered, is a fool!”  He then added that, “He who takes offence when offence is offered, is also a fool.”  Too many fools wed ego and insecurity to teleology, and not only get upset when it’s not their ox that’s being gored, but blame the wrong thing, or a non-existent thing for the goring.

Negros can refer to each other as niggers, and it’s all in good fun.  Women can refer to each other as bitches, and they’re just joking.  Let a white man refer to a black man as a nigger, even in the same joking manner, and there’s Hell to pay.  If a mere man calls a woman a bitch, a Government Agency will quickly be involved.  Should a white man call a black woman a nigger bitch, he’d better not do it in Utah.  They still have firing squads.

A nephew used to refer to his Negro, high school, best friend as “Nigger.”  I cautioned him against it one day.  “That’s okay.  He knows I’m joking.”  Maybe, but others may not.  My son’s Grade 2 teacher had a bad habit of smacking students in the back of the head with a pen if they didn’t measure up.  It’s not the kind of action that should have been acceptable against anyone.

She’d smacked almost every kid in the room, with no retribution, till the day she smacked the only black kid in class.  The next day, she and the principal were visited by six high-level Black Panthers, including a high-voltage lawyer.  Cease and desist was the least of the threats.

A politician in New York, with a broad vocabulary, bemoaned a low grant for his pet project by calling it a niggardly amount.  It’s not even spelled the same, and it has no connection to Negros, but he was forced to issue an apology.  “I’m sorry you black folks are so busy learning Ebonics, that you don’t speak English.”

An Ontario bureaucrat, referring to some of the Aboriginal problems I mentioned in my Attawapiskat post, said that many of them were caused by do-gooder Whites, and was called a racist by both Indians and other whites.  The comment is not racist.  It’s an acknowledgement of a social/cultural situation.

Oprah Winfrey went into a boutique store in Switzerland and wanted to buy a $38,000 purse.  The clerk shooed her out, saying she couldn’t afford it, not knowing that Oprah could buy the entire country.  Immediately the accusations of racism rang out.  Bullshit!  Classism maybe.

Used to the more sophisticated, urbane European upper-crust, to the clerk, Oprah must have seemed like the typical sweatshirt-and-flip-flops-wearing, ugly-American, “looker.”  She could have been white, black or green.

In Montreal, a young couple who were culturally, but not religiously, Jewish, did not wish to sign a religious document and be married by a rabbi.  Instead, they went to City Hall for a secular ceremony.  The clerk who served them was a headscarf-wearing female.  Not only had they been married by a “religious” person, but one from a religion which debases females, and discriminates against Jews.

The Quebec Premier tried to have an act passed which would prevent anyone serving the public from overtly displaying any religious symbol – and the camel-shit hit the fan.  The loudest howls are from Muslims, claiming that this is racism, ignoring the fact that Muslims come from around the world, and from many different races.  It might be claimed that it is religious discrimination, except that it applies uniformly, to Sikhs, Jews and Christians, as well.

One apparent Muslim, (Abdullah Ahmad – you decide) sent a letter to the Toronto Sun, bitching about, “the ban on religious clothing or gear.”  Again, no such animal!  There is no ban on what you wear, only on what you may or may not do, while being paid by the Province, serving the secular public, when you wear it.

On a discussion page I recently read, a 25-year-old female said that she gets moody and short-tempered from time to time, and takes it out on her live-in boyfriend.  She got in a bad mood, and he sat and tried to talk it out with her for a half an hour, but she snapped at him again.  He rose, pointed a finger at her, told her she was a high-maintenance, drama queen, said he’d had enough, and slammed the door on the way out.  What should she do about it??!

I was amazed that, not only did every commenter, female and male, take her side, but nine out of ten females urged her to dump him for being abusive.  This is not abusive!  There is a legal axiom which states that the truth is the perfect defense.

She may be upset to hear that she is a high-maintenance drama-queen.  If you don’t want to hear it, don’t be it.  The problem may solve itself if he finds somewhere else to live, and only comes back for his stuff.  She wanted, “The right to her own feelings.”  She may get it – alone.

One of the young fellows at the auto plant had a succession of short-term girlfriends.  After five or six months, they each, “Just went crazy.”  I told him one day, after the seventh or eighth time I’d heard this sad song, that the common factor wasn’t the gals going crazy, it was him, but he was too busy bumping into trees, to see the forest.

I’d try handing out some of those Free Thinkers cards, but it wouldn’t work.  People like these always “believe” that it’s somebody else’s fault.

Teleology

The title is a word which means assigning invalid motives and results.  It is done far too often.  It can range from the small to the large.  A guy says to his woman, “Gee honey, that outfit looks great on you.” and she replies, “Well, if you think you’re getting lucky tonight, you’ve got another think coming.”  Maybe he was hoping to get lucky.  Maybe he was just trying to be the thoughtful, caring, supportive mate she says she wants.  Either way, it might be a long time before he compliments anything of hers again.

The small stuff can just be irritating, but this process is often carried on by politicians and religious rulers.  It can be most dangerous when the two come together.  It is usually driven by egotism and insecurity.  After the recent meteor which streaked over Russia, the leader of the opposition party (Who apparently is the majority stockholder in a vodka firm.) released a statement saying that the phenomenon was caused by “a secret American weapon”.

So, this couldn’t be just a case of God shaking the dust from His sandals over Russia.  Something that left only a dust trail in the sky, and an ice-fishing hole in a frozen lake, had to be a weapon, an American weapon, and a secret weapon.  It would break Igor’s ego heart to know that the Americans haven’t taken Russia seriously since 1991.

Two recent related political/religious stories have me gnashing my teeth.  Two insecure, egotistical pols in North Carolina are trying to establish Christianity as the State Religion.  Ignoring the edicts and directions of the founders of a country offering freedom and tolerance, they are using the best psychological bases to achieve their ends, by wrapping this endeavor in the name, Defense Of Religion.

It simply is no such thing!  It is not defense of Islam, or Judaism, or Shinto!  It might be Defense of a Particular Religion – Christian – but it’s not even that.  As in my Aug. 14/12 post, A Gored Ox, they had been asked nicely, not to begin State Legislature meetings with a Christian-only prayer, in legal contravention of the “Separation of Church and State” directive.  Now they want to pass a law which allows them to do just that.  The only thing that this law will defend is Christian religious monopoly.

I can smell the insecurity from here.  People like this amaze and anger me.  If they are as sure of the monopolistic validity of their beliefs as they would have us believe, why are they so adamant to silence opposing views?  If you ain’t one of us, you ain’t welcome!

The other legal/religious situation which irks me, is the Defense of Marriage Act, DOMA!  Like the above, this is a carefully crafted psychological crusade to conceal the fact that it isn’t what it says it is.  If two homosexual men are allowed to marry, not one heterosexual couple will be forced to divorce.  If two lesbians are allowed to marry, not one heterosexual couple will be prevented from marrying.  No man will be forced to marry another man!  No woman will be forced to marry another woman!  In other words, if gays are allowed to marry, the only change – the only thing that Bible-thumping, Good Christian, heterosexuals will lose – is the morally highjacked right to the monopolistic use of the term, married.

I am glad to see that the American Supreme Court has finally ruled against DOMA.  This is not the end.  The Westboro Baptists and their like will still need their daily doses of ego and insecurity to feel good about themselves, but it is, perhaps, the beginning of the end of this moralistic bitching.

To justify not allowing gays to call their unions a marriage, they say, “We never have in the past.”  I’d like to call this circular logic, but there’s no logic applied, just exclusionary emotion.  There is no need to Defend Marriage!  It is not under attack.  Many gays, having been clearly and pointedly shown that they are not welcome within their previous religious groups, opt for a civil ceremony.  Others marry in churches with more open, accepting rules.

As citizens of democratic countries, they want what all other citizens of the same country legally receive.  Why don’t they call it a Civil Union?  It’s the same thing.  If it’s the same thing, why don’t you let them call it a marriage?  Civil unions, especially in areas controlled by moralists like these, do not always accrue the same benefits as marriages.  Companies do not provide spousal benefits.  Long-term partners are not granted care decision-making in hospitals, or burial arrangements for deceased partners. Unlike even common-law partners, in the event of a split or death they do not receive a fair portion of shared assets.

Many of these same Good Christians rail against the attempted application of Sharia law for Muslims, yet feel they are justified in forcing their opinions into law against those they morally resent.  They want to apply religious law in countries which are supposed to be secularly governed.

Not letting you push Christianity and your, perhaps mistaken, opinion of Christian morals, down my throat is not an attack on your religion.  It is my Defence of Freedom!  Christ was accepting and inclusive of many who might be called fallen.  It would honor Him and His teachings to do the same!  Let some of the pressure out of your self-important ego, stop jumping at every imagined religious slight, and get on with it.  I’ll let you do your thing, as long as you let me do mine.

My Sauce Got Goosed

Here in Southern Ontario, we recently had two men charged with terrorism.  They were Muslims who had immigrated here, gone to the trouble to become citizens, and then allegedly plotted to load a train passenger car with explosives.  The Big Bang was to occur when the train was half-way across a railroad bridge above the Niagara River, on its way to the United States.  The loss of life and property damage would have been horrendous.

Fortunately, police got wind of the plot, and arrested the two before they could proceed.  One of the pair immediately lawyered up, and denied the whole thing.  The other genius is demanding a lawyer who will argue that he should be tried under Sharia law.  He claims that the laws of the country should not apply to him, and that the Koran should be the only book to judge his actions.  Good luck with that!  Even Muslim lawyers are backing away, because they know that the Canadian Penal Code must be the one to apply.

Opinions online, and in op-ed letters are unanimous.  How dare you think that you can use your religious beliefs and your holy book to justify illegal activity!  You live here in Canada.  You have to obey the laws of Canada!  Okay now, come along with me.  We’re going to take a little trip to visit KayJai, in Newfoundland, for another lesson in religious entitlement and intolerance.

Several years ago, the Province of Newfoundland did away with Catholic separate schools.  They were rolled into an all-encompassing Provincial school system, and the pertinent laws stated that no religion would be allowed to display any religious symbols in the now-secular schools.

Recently, a parent filed a request to the Provincial School Board, to have a Christian cross removed from above the door of a previously Catholic school in St. John’s.  Saint Matthew’s School, if you care.  The school board has acceded to the legal request, but, oh, the howls of Christian anguish.

In an attempt to stick a finger in the dike, to keep special religious treatment and benefits from leaking away, the female spokesman       (-woman?, -person?) for the parents association has started asking stupid questions.  “What harm is a cross doing to the student, or the complaining parent?”  The same, but opposite harm that taking it down would do to you.  The complainant does not have to give a reason, but you must obey the law.

“Why do we have to take down our cross, when only one person has complained?”  For the same reason that I have to stop robbing banks, even if only one bank manager has complained.  It’s against the law, and you don’t get to obey just the laws that you like.  “What’s next?  Will we have to take down our Saint Matthew’s name, too?”  Well, if you keep bitching and dragging your feet on this request, that might indeed be next.  Cut your losses and play nice with others.

I’m not saying that hanging a cross and blowing up a bridge are equally serious offenses, but they’re both firmly planted on the Yellow Brick Road of religious intolerance and social disobedience.  If attitudes and actions are not modified, it doesn’t take much to proceed from one to the other.  I am reminded of the book-burning scene in the movie, Footloose.

I am both amazed and disgusted that Good Christians will decry and deny application of Muslim sharia law, and the validation of the Muslim holy book, but will haul out Catholic benefits and the Bible to justify their own selfish and illegal behavior.  They both equally feel that the laws of the country should not apply to them, and their holy book should supersede Provincial legislation.

The Bible may be a great book, and Christian principles may be grand, but, they don’t hold a monopoly.  They should not be shoved down others’ throats, just because they’re nice.  Everyone has the right to go to Hell in his own way.  In the Bible, Jesus ordered that we are to “Render unto Caesar, that which is Caesar’s.”  Cast off your feelings of inferiority and insecurity!  Live, and let live!

End of yet another anti-bureaucratic religious rant!  We will return you to your regularly scheduled program of fun and foolishness in a couple of days.

In a sad post script, a Good Christian couple in Pennsylvania believe in “Divine Healing”, but not in obeying Man’s laws.  They have caused the death of a second son in three years from pneumonia, by not taking them to a doctor or hospital.  Accommodation of religious beliefs does not extend to allowing the death of children, even your own.  They have been charged with third degree murder, for failing to provide the necessities of life.

Losing My Religion

More and more, all over North America, and probably the world, smug, self-assured “Good Christians” are having their unthinking beliefs and systems questioned and rejected.  One of the recent sore spots has been the distribution in Public Schools, of Gideons’ Bibles.  The local school board took its own sweet time, but finally agreed to end the practice, after increasing complaints from Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, Atheists, and even some Christians.  Of course, the Christians wanted the Gideons’ Bible out, and their Bible in.

The wife’s Bible, which I have been using as a reference book for years, had started to get a little tattered.  When my brother was placed in the local Catholic hospital for quintuple bypass surgery, and I visited him, he was taken from the room for a few minutes for a test.  While he was gone, I looked inside his bedside drawer, and took the Gideons’ Bible that was placed there.  What?  They hope people take them home.  Brother wouldn’t touch one, even with heart surgery, but I needed a new one.

I live in a suave, sophisticated urban area, and can even say that without giggling too hard.  There are still regions in Southern Ontario which are more Bible-belt than here.  Despite the tourist Mecca/casino aspects, the Niagara Region Board of Education still has not ended the Christian-only handouts.  There’s even a public-funded Mennonite school.  An Atheist couple had refused to sign a consent form for their daughter to receive a Bible, but were particularly incensed when she was expected to distribute them to other Grade five students.

They have officially applied to have a booklet titled Just Pretend: A Free Thought Book for Children and Losing Faith In Faith, distributed to the same students.  A female newspaper columnist doesn’t understand the concept.  She asks, if they object to the Bible being distributed, why would they think it’s acceptable to have this booklet handed out.  This is how the Christian monopoly of the Lord’s Prayer-only in schools was broken.  A local Muslim group offered to distribute Korans, but backed out at the last minute.  Still, it stirred the board to action.

If enough of a fuss is raised, and they are refused the right to give away their literature, they have grounds for legal action.  Jewish and Muslim groups asked to have their prayers said along with the Lord’s Prayer.  The courts rightly decided that it was an all or nothing situation.  Since the “Good Christians” didn’t want their kids exposed to “that heathen crap”, they decided on nothing.  The heathens didn’t take God and the Lord’s Prayer out of school, Christians did.

A Connecticut Yankee in King Jesus’ Court was transferred to a branch office in Kentucky, by his company.  An extension was added to a road up a mountain, out in the boondocks.  He purchased the last, highest lot, and lived in a trailer while he cut trees to clear a site and build a log home.  He thought he was getting along well with the locals, but after several months of the first summer, he realized there was a problem.  He began to hear that the mountain folk wanted something done about him.  Burned at the stake was not specifically mentioned, but there was a lot of, he felt, undeserved antipathy.

Wanting to remain a good neighbor, he began asking those who would speak to him, what the problem was.  It began with the fact that he had brought with him from Yankee-land, two small concrete garden Demons, and had placed them on both sides of the end of his driveway.  These God-fearin’ folks didn’t cotton to no Demon-worshippers.

He protested that he didn’t worship them, or any other Demons.  They were just silly caricatures, for decoration.  Yeah, then why don’t y’all go to church on Sunday mornin’ when we go to church?  Because I thought that was a good time to haul out the chainsaw and cut down a bunch more trees when you weren’t here to be disturbed by the noise.

Sadly, at this point, I lost the story.  Nothing further was published.  He was probably as good a Christian as was necessary in Connecticut, a vague believer, just not a great church attender, and was not ready for the degree of surveillance and intrusion from hyper-Christians.

To be tolerated, he had to fit tightly within these peoples’ religious limits, do exactly as they did, act exactly as they acted.  It was probably a great surprise to him to find these “Good Christians” with no live-and-let-live in their makeup.  Narrow-minded and narrow-social-viewpoint people like these are slowly and reluctantly learning that other people have legal, social and moral rights to act differently, without interference.

There is a tiny poem which reads;

Rebel, heretic, a thing to flout,

He drew a circle to shut us out,

But Love and I had the wit to win.

We drew a circle which took him in.

There are millions of Hyper-Christians who will not enlarge their circle to take in anyone whose beliefs don’t exactly match theirs.  Frighteningly, many of them have advanced to powerful positions within the American government.  It is hoped that, slowly but surely, they will be shown that citizens other than Good Christians have equal rights.