A Dissection of Thin Skin: Failed Perception of Intent

Pop quiz, hot shot.
Someone asks you a clarifying question or offers a suggestion.
Do you assume that…

  1. they require more information or see a possible issue, or…
  2. they’re only asking or saying so just to piss you off?

1 of "12 Angry Men"Too many folks seem to fall into the latter category, and there’s a reason – but not an excuse.

I used to have “thin skin” in middle school (who didn’t, right?) If someone was laughing when I entered the room, obviously it was at me. I outgrew this because I realized that everyone is most concerned with themselves, and that isn’t a bad thing. Even doing something for another person is essentially giving yourself the satisfaction that you made someone else’s day. It’s a wonderful feeling, the knowledge that you were able to do or think of something that they didn’t or couldn’t.

By nature, I’m a problem solver/organizer: an ADHD-fueled jack-of-all-trades with a Master’s Degree in Google Fu and a lifetime’s experience in trial-by-fire. I’m also an extroverted pessimist, among the rarest of social creatures: I observe projects, discern potential problems, and think up solutions. If the glass is half empty – and it usually is, dammit – I will figure out a way to either fill it up or use the glass for something better since it isn’t doing much good here.

Now for the phrase that repeatedly gets me into trouble: “Does anyone have any questions?”

Continue reading “A Dissection of Thin Skin: Failed Perception of Intent”

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My Thoughts On the 2012 Presidential Race

If this isn’t self-explanatory, let me know.

Why I Love the Idea of Herman Cain

In high school, I barely paid attention to song lyrics, let alone politics. In college, I was still trying to figure out what I wanted to “be.” In the US Navy, I got to travel Europe and the Middle East while getting a very good view of how the rest of the world views Americans. After my service, I got into customer support and media creation, but it wasn’t until I met someone else who did pay attention to the political landscape that I actually started to listen.

As a veteran serviceman, it was a no-brainer that our current president had the wrong idea from the word “change.” The world cherishes American exceptionalism and invention, and they all jealously aspire to it (wouldn’t you?) Communism and socialism are interesting ideas that fail as soon as one person wants more than the next person and has the means to take it (sorry, pacifists), and it’s human nature to securely want more than enough. Sometimes it’s greed, but it’s also easy to identify that it comes from a time when you didn’t have what you needed whether it was for you or those you car about.

Now a new presidential campaign has started, and many old men and established politicians are saying the same old things with one exception: Herman Cain. I had heard him before when he sat in for Neal Boortz (who always has an interesting take on things), and I admired what Mr. Cain has been able to do with his life and his success. At the prodding of fans and friends, Mr. Cain explored the possibility of running for the US Presidency and decided to run. The message is a threat to all politicians everywhere: a non-politician who wants the government to run with the same accountability that every business and individual is responsible for. He came prepared with actual plans that backed his statements, not vague buzz words that sound wonderful when cheered by a mob.

I also recall that his biggest fear was what would happen when the attacks began, and he was most concerned for his family. With no other place to stick a dagger, opponents at last dug up the report of an affair, targeting his family life as a character assassination attempt. Thus far, it has worked, mostly because it seems to be affecting the candidate himself. While I have no idea if these allegations are true or not, consider the following: why would anyone who kept an affair secret risk their family life by putting themselves on the stage of public opinion? It doesn’t make much sense but it does make for great tabloid, and that reeks of manufacturer.

True or not, I hate the idea of voting for the “less evil” candidate, and someone like Herman Cain sounded like someone I’d be happy to vote for instead of crossing my fingers that things wouldn’t stay on course to hit a brick wall. However, my thinking is this: after weeks of steadily losing ground, talk of Herman Cain’s withdrawal is effectively getting his name back out there. If he stays in the race, it’s with the commitment of a man that deserves my support. If he withdraws, he was never really prepared to go as far as he needed to begin with.

Your move, Mr. Cain.

Stricter Gun Laws Due to Tucson Tragedy, Anyone?

My friend Patty posted this today:

“To everyone who is calling for stricter gun laws in light of the tragedy in Tucson, may I offer this little tidbit: If guns kill people, then pencils misspell words, cars drive drunk, and spoons make people fat! Remember: Hold the person accountable for their actions, not just the means they chose to utilize!!!”

It felt a bit incomplete, so I added the following:

“Oh, and you forgot hammers destroy people’s thumbs, computers steal people’s identities, and chainsaws chase teenage virgins through the woods at night (not to mention axes, machetes, bowie knives, hooks, spear guns, and finger-bladed gloves.)

“Oops, almost forgot: no one thinks for themselves anymore. That means that anything you decide to do was obviously something you heard on television, the radio, or read online. Individual thought is a myth, just like personal responsibility. Just sit back, turn on the tube, and do everything your government says so they can take care of you.”

I Attended the Tucson Memorial Service and All I Got Was This Lousy T-shirt

tucson memorial shirtIf the President of the United States shows up to speak at your single-shooter massacre or public building bombing, should you expect people to cheer his speech and take home a free t-shirt? How about a “battle of the bands” on a second stage on the opposite side of a graveyard during a funeral? Our speaker will also be signing copies of his new book and other swag at a table next to the casket.

See More Here.

Grow the Pie

This is Economics 101, people. Everyone knows if you slice every pizza the same way, your piece is bigger if the pizza is larger.

“Grow the Pie.”

If you take a bigger slice (percentage of the pie) with no incentive to grow the pie larger, someone loses whatever part of the pie originally meant for someone else. If you take the same slice (same percentage) of a bigger pie to by incentivizing growth, that same percentage is a bigger slice. How does increasing taxes grow the pie? It can’t… it just takes away more of the same pie and forces business to work with what’s left: raising prices, cutting quality (or production), or laying off workers.

What’s being discussed in congress right now isn’t a tax cut; it’s extending the same cuts that were about to expire. Second, the super rich very often stay super rich by spending money as investments that create business and spawn jobs. Finally, no one says you can’t contribute more than money to help the less fortunate, but it isn’t the government’s job to take from the rich and give to the poor.

We’re talking about an INCOME TAX increase, right? This doesn’t tax money that’s sitting in account earning almost no interest right now, just money that’s INCOME. The bulk of that is from money that’s working (businesses) and even small businesses with as little as 10 employees making $25K a year is a $250,000 business, even if the owner can’t take a profit. The 1% “super rich” will ALWAYS find a loophole to pass their tax increase down to the middle class.

The rich do not work as hard as the middle class.. would you? Their money does, however, if they intend to stay super rich. Let’s say congress passed a bill that only raises Walmart’s income taxes by 20%… that should be plenty, and they can afford it, right? If Walmart decides to instead go out of business rather than pay the targeted increase, what’s 20% of zero? But cutting the taxes (or, in this case, extending the cuts) allows growth, and the same percentage of a bigger pie is more money.

Seriously, does anyone want a smaller piece of their pizza?

Cue for a ChangeOver

Narrator: See, a movie doesn’t come all on one big reel. It comes on a few. So someone has to be there to switch the projectors at the exact moment that one reel ends and the next one begins. If you look for it, you can see these little dots come into the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
Tyler Durden: In the industry, we call them “cigarette burns.”
Narrator: That’s the cue for a changeover. He flips the projectors, the movie keeps right on going, and nobody in the audience has any idea.

That’s a quote from Fight Club, but I don’t think they were talking about midterm elections or anything political. The cue for a changeover, however, is definitely upon us, whether that’s the Republicans actually doing something positive after watching Democrats in total government control failing to agree on how to get things done or proving once and for all that neither party can stop thinking about their next election to address real issues.

Did you vote? Get going!