Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden is a strange case.  On one side, he’s an American Hero, as far as I’m concerned – putting the best interest of his country ahead of his own self-interest, and blowing the whistle when he saw an agency of the government violating the Constitution, and exposing what is a crime being committed against our country.  The NSA needed to be exposed.  What they were doing was wrong, and the cost to benefit ratio was waaaayyy skewed.  If you want to live in a free country, you just have to accept the fact that you won’t be 100% safe.  That’s the way the cookie crumbles.  You also need to accept that you need fear a government with power over you far more than you do some terrorists with a pressure cooker.  A warrant to collect metadata on every call made within the US does not follow the letter of the following phrase, much less the spirit:

“no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Note the specificity.  Note that the letter of this amendment does not allow a government agency to pull a warrant for “everything and everybody,” as the NSA is currently doing.  They need to pull a warrant for a specific place, a specific person, and a specific thing.  They are breaking the law, and I am thankful that Edward Snowden was brave enough to stand in opposition to that and inform the American people what the NSA was doing to their country.

I understand that at least for right now, this data isn’t being used against "the people."

For now.  

But it will.  Absolutely, positively will be used against the people.  There is no other option. 

Consider this – how will an incumbent ever be unseated when he has all the dirt on his opponents, and all he needs to do is have some “anonymous tipster” tip him off that his opponent visited porn websites and made calls to a couple brothels? 

Or the next time CPS comes to your house on a welfare check because your bitch neighbor wanted to get back at you for mowing your lawn too early on a Sunday morning, and when you stand before the tribunal after they found an unflushed toilet in your home*, they present to the court that you’re an unfit father because you visit S&M chatrooms and like to look at lesbian porn.   There is absolutely no doubt that once the people get used to this monitoring, that the scope of it will be expanded, and the purpose of it will shift to domestic criminal cases.  None whatsoever, and if you don’t believe that, you’re a damn fool. 

On the other side, he’s a treasonous piece of shit who shared this information with the Chinese and now, the Russians, thereby committing a crime against our country, himself.   

So I’m really torn about this guy.  On one hand, I thank him, but on the other, he is a traitorous bastard.  So I’ll wait for a bit to see how this unravels before I choose a side. I'm not really sure what his plan is, or what the upshot is for him, yet.  If it turns out he did this for selfless reasons to serve his country (and no, the NSA is NOT America, and turning against the NSA, who are committing crimes against America is NOT treason) then I'll be against any attempt whatsoever to try him for any crime.  But I'm afraid that his reasons for doing this are far from selfless - this reeks of self-aggrandizing, money seeking behavior to me, at least right now.  

*This actually happened to my folks – well, minus the whole S&M and lesbian porn thing.  They pissed off their neighbor somehow or another back when I was a toddler, and she decided that she would call Child Services on them and report that Dad was abusing us.  CPS showed up at the door, threatened their way into the house, and did a welfare check.  One of us boys had used the toilet and forgot to flush, and based on that, the CPS worker wrote down that the living conditions in the house were unclean and unfit, and my folks had to spend the next 6 months proving that they were fit parents, all because of a bitch neighbor and a 3 year old son that forgot to flush the toilet.  The house was not unclean in any other way – my mom was a stay at home mom, and was fastidious about cleaning the house every day.  

If You Want to be Valued, Try Being Valuable

In my line of work, I get to work with a lot of guys that are from lower socio-economic conditions than mine.  I don’t say “lower class” because a good majority of these guys have a shit ton more class than many toothless, latte-drinking suburbanite corporate drones (men putatively in the same socio-economic class as mine) could ever hope to have.  Most of them are pretty good guys; the salt of the earth types.  Men who’ve made their living by getting dirt and grease under their fingernails, and who are damned proud of it (as they should be). 

Many of them are not.  These are the men that I refer to as “lower class,” because the term fits.

One of the things that I’ve been very interested to see is how much value many of the actual lower-class guys put into the term “respect.”  They are all about respect, and they feel as though you should always respect them, by their definition of that term, at all times. 

If you “disrespect” them, you risk being the recipient of a multitude of consequences, from passive-aggressive inattention to outright physical assault, depending on the user-defined degree of the offense. 

One of the worst offenders in this that I’ve ever known was a man who possessed very little in the way of respectable qualities – he’d been reprimanded for coming to work drunk, had a foul disposition, was lazy and slow and disgruntled about having to work on a daily basis, and I suspect that he was a meth user (based on some pretty strong evidence that I have to that effect).  The guy was lamentable at best, and a worthless piece of shit at worst, and he was absolutely adamant that I owed him respect. 

When I’d reprimand him for being an hour late, he’d grumble and groan about how I was disrespecting him and would then proceed to ignore me for the rest of the day, unless it was to make snide comments that were just out of my earshot.  It got bad enough in the three weeks that he was in my employ that I fired him.  He was on the verge of physically assaulting me when I did, but thought twice about it and walked away, telling me he didn’t need the constant disrespect, anyway. 

The worse the man, the more he expected respect, generally speaking, and so I’ve come to the conclusion that the reason that these men are so thin-skinned is because they know that they are worthless pieces of shit, and can’t take someone reminding them of that.  So they create an artificial social construct where they can blame their own indolence and self-inflicted bad fortune on everyone else.  “I didn’t get yelled at at work today because I was an hour late,” he’ll say to himself, “it was because my boss is a dick and he doesn’t respect me!” 

It caused me to remember something that my Dad used to tell me, and it is a hard truth that all of us need to teach our children, and it goes a little something like this:

No one gives two hot shits about you, for simply being you, other than your immediate family and close friends.  The only thing that anyone else cares about is what you can do for them. 

If you want people to value you, try being valuable. 

Provide something that makes it so other people will place a value on your presence.  It can be anything from hard work, a good attitude, a sense of humor, or a technical skill that only you have, but it needs to be something.  No one owes you respect – you earn respect.  I’ve gotten to the point to where when people demand respect from me for having done nothing – a pat on the back for just showing up, or deference to the fact that they are just there – I find that I have very little use for them. 

If you want to be respected, then be respectable. 

Unemployed?  If you want to be used, then be useful. 

Learn a trade.  Stop being so centered on the fact that the world owes you a living in the one thing that you want to do, because it doesn’t.  No one gives a shit about what you want – they only care about what you can do for them.  If the thing that you’re prepared to do for someone else isn’t in demand, and you can’t find a job doing it, then learn to do something else.  

Friday, June 14, 2013

Bioethics - Blergh

There has been a lot of to-do about the little girl who was allowed to get on an adult organ transplant list despite her age, due to the parents and social media outrage that this little girl was being denied a transplant simply because of her age. 

Bioethicists and shade tree ethicists the internet over have pondered this situation to death, asking whether it was ethical to take away the chances of the adult who she replaced on that list, in favor of her, simply due to public backlash on social media, and political lobbying on the part of the parents.

It’s been done to death, as I said, and since I don’t even want to pretend to be a bioethicist, and typically put ethical discussions into the realm of philosophical navel-gazing for the most part (and you all know what I think about philosophy majors), so I have no desire to rehash the thing.  If you’re looking for good discussion about the ethics of this situation, here’s a good place to start. 

The reason that I’m writing about this shit-sandwich is a different reason entirely, and it goes a little something like this:

This little girl needed a lung transplant because she has cystic fibrosis, which is a condition that clogs up your lungs over time with extra tissue until you suffocate to death.  Sounds like fun, eh? 

The upshot to CF is that it is a death sentence.  You will die.  Period.  There is nothing that can be done.  The oldest a person has ever lived to be with CF was 40-ish, and that person’s life was likely quite miserable.  The typical upper-end age that CF sufferers live to be is mid-twenties.  Many die far younger.

This little girl obviously had a pretty severe case, being as her young lungs were toasted enough at age 12 that they wanted to do a lung transplant – an operation that only has a 50% 5 year survival average.  To try to do this on a 12 year old is almost unheard of, and probably exposes the fact that this little girl is very, very sick. 

From what I understand, the new lungs won’t cure her CF.  They, too, will degrade over time, and given the first go-around, will likely be shot before her 25th birthday, at which time she’ll die, or need a new set of lungs.  This will go on until her death – needing a new set of lungs every 12 years, or die, and that’s assuming that she makes the 50% at 5 year cut every time, and her body never rejects her new breathing apparatus’, which will kill her. 

She is literally living with the sword of Damocles hanging over her head, and it is dangling by a thread. 

So here’s my point:

Quit fucking complaining all the time, you goddamned wussy...  

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

I Get Mail... Nigerian Scammer Edition.

So I'm trying to sell my old boat on Craigslist  and as is so common, the scammers are coming at me like flies on a dog turd.  I got one that I just had to respond to.  He hasn't relied yet - I wonder why?  His parts are in italics...

“Thanks for the mail...”

Oh, man, no, thank YOU so much for your interest in my {insert product name here} that I’m trying to sell.  It’s people like you and your interest in ­{insert product name here} that really make the world go around.  I am also very impressed with how cordial and nice you’ve been in our correspondence. You use such big words in such improper locations that it is obvious to me that you are trying very hard to be polite and impress on me that fact.

“I will appreciate more pictures..” 

I have attached some of my favorite pictures to this sending.  One of them is of a mountain range.  I don’t know where it is, but man, do I ever want to go there some day.  Talk about beautiful.  The other one is of a bear with mange.  I fucking love that picture.  I don’t know why – just sort of shocking, I guess.

“I am ready to buy it now,” 

That, my good friend, is a ballsy move.  I’ve never met a man who is actually prepared to buy a {insert product name here} without even laying eyes on it or testing it out first to make sure that it {insert product specific function here} properly.  I’m so impressed that I’m thinking of just giving you the fucking thing without making you pay a dime. 

I’m not actually going to do that, just thinking about it.  Sort of like when you think about fucking your cousin and how it might be kind of fun, because she has really nice legs and a set of tits that you would normally be very attracted to, but aren’t really attracted to because they are attached to your cousin.  You just THINK about it, not that you’d ever actually do it. Am I right James?

“But due to the nature of my work,phone calls making and visiting of website are restricted but i squeezed
 out time to check this advert and send you an email regarding it.i would be glad to pay for it as soon as possible”

Boss is a real ball-buster, eh?  My boss is always hanging over my shoulder to make sure that I’m not phone calls making and also visiting of website all the time.  I know that visiting of website are restricted, but sometimes I just can’t help myself.  That’s actually how I found the bear with mange picture above.  I was on a conference call the other day with this guy who was trying to tell me how it was wrong that I had one of my guys drive a bulldozer through his house – well, he was nattering on about his house this, and his dead cat that and I just couldn’t listen to his inane bullshit anymore, so I went to this website that had these chicks on it that would…

Well, that’s probably not appropriate to discuss right now.  Moving on…

“ though i will not be available to come for an inspection due to my tight schedule.Kindly get back to me with the following questions below”

Four fucking questions?  Jesus H. tapdancing Christ, man, it’s just a {insert product name here} not a space shuttle for fuck’s sake.  Oh, okay, fine, I’ll do my best to answer your four stupid questions, but only because you’ve been so nice so far.

“1) What is the condition?”

This {insert product name here} is as good as new.  It {insert product function here} better than any {insert product name here} has ever {insert product function here}.  It will {insert product function here} you so {adverb} good that your {body part} will be {adverbing} for {period of time.}

“2) Are you the Owner?”

Ownership is such a grey-ish legal term, and is highly overrated.  Let’s just say that I’m the person who is currently in possession of this {insert product name here} and leave it at that.  I wouldn’t be asking a whole lot more questions about this if I were you.  You aren’t a cop, are you? 

“3) Pick up Location?”

An undisclosed location in the New Mexico Desert.  I will meet you at a pre-determined time and date in Tucson, at which point in time I will blind fold you and fit you with a set of those nifty Bose noise canceling headphones so you can’t hear anything, and I will drive you to the location where the {insert product name here} is located. 

“4) Please can you give me Any Bank Account to Proceed with the Payment As Soon As Possible?”

I don’t believe in bank accounts.  They have a number associated with them.  You have to get this number to buy or sell goods.  Sound familiar?  Can you say MARK OF THE BEAST? For my monetary needs, I deal exclusively in antique PEZ dispensers.  Come with the goods, and you’ll leave with a {insert product name here}. 

“I would be glad to make the payment immediately through Online banking Transfer  kindly get back to me with 
your Any Zero Account Balance. Number  or Any  Registered Bank Name and Registered Bank Acc. Info.  Address  For Me To Proceed With The Payment.”

Just ship me the PEZ dispensers and be in Tucson at 9:30 PM on Tuesday September 5th.  I will contact you there.  We don’t need to get the banks involved, am I right? 

“You need not to worry yourself about title transfer and shipment,i will instruct the shipping company to handle that”

I’m very glad that I need not be concerned with the title.  Load off my shoulders, man, thanks. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Addendum to "And Then They Shoot Me!" Below...

One more thing… 

When you apply the “or else I’ll kill you” standard below to many of the things that the government does on a daily basis, it is really horrifying how petty the list of things over which we’d gladly kill our neighbor becomes: 

National Endowment for the Arts?  “Pay for this crucifix in a jar of piss, or else I’ll kill you!” 

NPR?  “Pay for this radio broadcast espousing political views with which you disagree, or I’ll kill you!”

PBS?  “Pay for this TV Station, or I’ll kill you!” 

http://www.factcheck.org/2011/03/reids-cowboy-poetry-puffery/ “Pay for this poetry festival or I’ll kill you!” 

It also gets pretty horrifying when certain controversial programs are considered, since there would be just reason for a citizen to choose to abstain from funding those:

“Pay for Guantanamo Bay, extraordinary rendition, and torture, or I’ll kill you!”

“Pay for faith-based initiatives and abstinence-only sex ed, or I’ll kill you!”

“Pay for this young woman’s abortion, or I’ll kill you!”

As I said, this should be taken into account whenever we discuss what should and should not be law.  If a person has a moral and just reason to abstain from paying for something from which they draw no personal benefit, perhaps it shouldn’t be law.  If something is so trivial that the threat of killing them if they don’t pay for it seems absolutely absurd, then perhaps it shouldn’t be law. 

In my opinion, this is another reason that I think that a citizen should be able to cherry pick whether he chooses to pay for certain programs in his taxes, or not, and that the total number of programs for which we’ll kill people if they don’t pay for them becomes much smaller and much more essential than it currently is.  Don’t want to pay for PBS?  Here’s a deduction.  Want to contribute to NEA?  Don’t take this deduction.  This would help the public vote with more than just the ballot box, too, since programs that didn’t receive sufficient funding would dry up and go away, instead of becoming entrenched, professional lobbyists to ensure their continued survival past their expiration date. 

Tornado Cost and "They Just Don't Build 'em!" Discussion...

Tam commented on an article about how the prevalence of “cheap, vinyl-sided 2x4 and particle-board slab cover” homes in tornado country might be a reason for the increased costs of tornado damage in the Midwest. 

I disagreed.

You see, there is a general tendency to look at things being built today and lament that they “just don’t build them like they used to.”  In some cases, this is, indeed, lamentable, but I assure you that this is NOT the case when it comes to home building. 

As I’ve said before, I am a construction project manager specializing in commercial and institutional construction.  Some of the stuff that I do includes remodeling and structural upgrades to old, existing buildings.  When people tell me that “they don’t build them like they used to” my response is invariably “THANK GOD!” 

Even your typical, mass-produced, cookie cutter house being built today is almost INFINITELY more capable of withstanding a tornado than a house built even as recently as 20 years ago.  I won’t go into the particulars of balloon framing vs. stick framing, but trust me on this one – if you ever find yourself in the path of a twister, and you have a choice between running into a “vinyl-sided, 2x4 and particle board slab cover” or one of those “well-built” homes from any time pre-1990, choose the former instead of the latter.  Hurricane straps, anchor bolts, steel press-plates, and steel lumber connectors are standard now, whereas the old method was “drive a nail in it” if you were lucky, and “gravity will hold ‘er in place” (way more horrifyingly common than you’d ever want to imagine) if you weren’t.   

As for particle board, they don’t use that in construction except for non-structural items like floor underlayments.  What I’m assuming Tam was talking about was OSB, which is an engineered product called “oriented strand board.”  It has gotten a bad rap as being a cheap, recycled lumber item that is reminiscent of particle board, simply because it is a newer product and looks hokey as hell, but it is stronger on both axes and in shear than any similar dimensioned piece of plywood ever could be.  They use it because it is better, not because it is cheaper (also, it isn’t cheaper – the cost of 7/16 OSB and ½” CDX plywood is nearly identical).  My guess is that when plywood first came out in the 30’s that people were lamenting it as being “thin, glued together pieces of trash wood” and were touting how houses built with old strip-sheathing and ship-lap were way better (never mind that strip and ship-lap has zero shear capability) just because that was the way it was supposed to be done back then. 

As for 2x4, no one uses 2x4s for structural walls anymore.  Structure walls are invariably 2x6 by code.  Back in the day, however, 2x4 framing was all the rage.  This was true up until about 1990 – pretty much every home pre-1990 has 2x4 structural walls. 

Hate to say it, Tam, but I’d put a cheap-assed cookie cutter built in the last 10 years up against Roseholme as far as durability against a tornado any day of the week, and I’d win. 

Bob – Oklahoma has never been, nor will it ever be, a big concrete block building area.  Nor, contrary to what you would think would be pretty logical, are concrete block houses any more resistant to tornadoes than a well-built wood framed house.  In fact, the reason that concrete blocks fell out of favor for home building (or one of the reasons) is that they proved to be pretty damned fragile without putting a bunch of money into reinforcing them with bond beams and rebar. 

So what is causing the increase in costs in tornado alley? 

I think there are two factors causing the increase in cost for these tornadoes.  The first is anecdotal, and has to do with my Dad.  Dad bought a new truck in 1976, and paid $5,500 for it.  His uncle told him that he thought he was crazy as a loon, because my uncle’s FIRST HOUSE cost him that much.  Now, we have similar pickup trucks selling for $60,000 and a starter home is minimum $130,000, even in these areas.  Back in the day, when a tornado took out a house, it did $25,000 worth of damage.  Now, it takes out the same house, and the bill is $250,000.  It took out a brand new truck in 1976, and the bill was $5,500.  It takes out a brand new truck today, and the bill is $60,000; factors of ten times more expensive for the same amount of damage. 

Notice that I’m not just talking about inflation, here.  Inflation alone can’t account for the cost of trucks going from $5,500 in 1976 to $60,000 today – the fact is that our stuff is more expensive now than it was then, even adjusted for inflation.

The second factor causing this is a little more concrete – the Midwest is a more target-rich environment today than it was years ago.  http://www.census.gov/dmd/www/resapport/states/oklahoma.pdf

There are a million more people in Oklahoma today than there were in 1970.  How many more homes are we talking? Even if you average 4 people per household (which is high as hell) that’s still a quarter million more homes.  A quarter million more targets for a tornado, and each of them a factor of ten times more expensive to replace when a tornado does eventually hit it. 

If that doesn’t sum it up, I don’t know what does.  

And Then They Shoot Me...

Good discussion in the comments section here about my often-repeated claim that the government does everything that it does at the point of a gun. 

I, like perlhaqr and several others in the comments section of the link, have tried to have the “I do something that harms no one else that happens to be illegal… …various steps in the process… …and then they shoot me” discussion with a lot of folks, and very few of them have allowed it to sink in to any great degree.  The fact is, if you defy the government, and you refuse to give in, the eventual result is that they will eventually fucking shoot you because you didn’t comply.  Just ask Randy Weaver.  Everything that they do, from enforcing the Endangered Species Act, to collecting taxes, is done with the implied full force and violence of the federal government behind it.   

Let’s take a hypothetical, as perlhaqr did, and take as given that the citizen in this hypothetical will not comply with the law in question because he sees it as wrong that it is illegal, and go from there.  Using the hypothetical example of not purchasing health insurance under Obamacare, because I just love the irony of it all, let’s see where we go:

Average Joe does not buy health insurance because he doesn’t think he needs it and doesn’t think the government has any right to make him buy it; leads to…

Government penalizes Average Joe for not having health insurance by fining him; leads to…

Average Joe, still not believing that the government has any right to make him purchase something, refuses to pay the fine; leads to…

Government issues a warrant for Joe’s arrest; leads to…

Government attempting to arrest Joe; leads to…

Joe resists the government’s attempt to arrest him for something that he does not think they have a right to arrest him for;  leads to…

Government actors, in fear for their lives (and probably rightly so, assuming Joe is doing it right) shoot and kill Joe.

The root cause for this is because Joe did not want to buy health insurance and did not think the government had a right to tell him to.  This is not ludicrous: it is the implied chain of events that will occur any time, and for any reason, when the government tells you what to do.  The fact that it doesn’t happen more often than it does is merely the result of humans being rational actors and realizing that sometimes, it is better to just buy health insurance than to die trying to avoid it. 

Because of that last point, a lot of folks come back at me and say that this entire chain of events is Joe’s fault, because he kept escalating and should have given in at some point.  I usually respond with a pointed “why was it Joe’s responsibility to give in and stop escalating?  Why is it okay when the government escalates but not when Joe does it?  Why would you rather have a country where guys like Joe are beaten down subjects that give in rather than face their own execution, as opposed to free, self-determinate men?  Why is it so damned important to the government (and by extension, the rest of us) that Joe have health Insurance that they would fucking kill him rather than let him choose to go without?” 

This is why I don’t like having the government dictating anymore than is absolutely necessary to the Average Joe, and why I think that we should have this discussion every time we pass a new law.  Is the law that you are passing important enough that you’re willing to kill someone over it?  If not, then let’s have a real serious discussion on whether we should make this law or not. 

How long do you anticipate it will be until we, as a collective, have killed someone for not buying health insurance now that Obamacare is the law of the land?  Does anyone else see the bitter irony in killing someone because they didn’t have health insurance?

This is not an endorsement for anarchy.  It is a realization of the brute nature of the institution that we’ve placed among us in order to regulate the things that we can’t regulate ourselves.  To a certain extent, we will always have that rough beast among us, and we need to deal with that – everything in life is a sacrifice.  You give up a little and get something in return.  We give government a monopoly on violence and coercion so that we live more comfortable, more certain lives, and in return, we expect that government use those powers to the absolute bare minimum necessary to maintain a functioning society.  We keep our guns as backup, just in case the government forgets its place, and we keep watch on it to make sure that the monopoly that we’ve granted it does not get used for ill-will. 

But what we fail to do well is to stand up and decry the use of this monopoly to force and coerce when it either benefits us, or does not hurt us in any way.  You don’t own a business, so when they passed a law saying a business owner can’t allow smoking inside his establishment, you forget that what you, and the rest of society is telling that person is that if they don’t stop allowing smoking in their place of business, you will fucking kill them. 

Or if I don’t wear my seatbelt while driving my car, or a helmet when I’m riding a motorcycle, you will fucking kill me. 

If you talk about a law, and put “or else I’ll kill you” after the law in question, and it doesn’t sound reasonable, then we all need to sit down and have a long discussion about whether we really need that law, or not. 

Don’t rape women, or else I’ll kill you.  Check!

Don’t steal (thereby taking away whatever portion of life that person spent earning the item you stole from them) or else I’ll kill you.  Check! 

Don’t drive your car without a seatbelt, or else I’ll kill you…  FAIL! 

I will grant that sometimes, the acid test above doesn’t work:

Don’t fail to help pay for public streets, or else I’ll kill you!  FAIL!

But that’s my point – not to never, ever have the government do something that doesn’t pass this test, but to allow them to do so only with lots of careful thought and deliberation, discussing whether the result is worth it, and whether there are other methods to achieve the result without passing a law.  Apply the “individual” test that I’ve discussed before: “If it is wrong for an individual to do something, then it is wrong for a group of individuals to do something, also, no matter how large the group, or how popular.”  Keep that in mind when you consider new laws.  We’ve given them this monopoly in trust – this isn’t a permanent state of affairs, but as long as it is to all of our mutual benefit to maintain the status quo, let’s maintain it from both sides – by not taking it back, but also by not allowing the scope to creep while it is in their hands. 

The passage of a new law should never be easy, and should never be done without considering whether there are other options besides killing people to achieve your goal.  

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Your Job Probably Won't Be a Pathway to lasting Happiness...

Why is it that all of these women have somehow become so enamored with the idea of a career being this wonderful, life-fulfilling thing with no parallel in modern society?  How have they come to the conclusion that, of all the things that you can do to fulfill your life and make yourself happy, that working for a corporation for a paycheck is somehow the ultimate fulfillment of your life? 

I like my job.  I enjoy doing it, and my career is full of personal accomplishments for which I’m proud, but let’s be completely honest – it is a means to an end, and nothing more. My career exists so that I can support my family and give them a good life.  Full.  Stop.

Without my family, my life would be empty and hollow – full of personal accomplishment and luxury, but without any real meaning.

If I was independently wealthy tomorrow, there is no fucking way that I’d be doing this stressful shit day in and day out. 

I don’t understand the people who think that a career can make a person happy.  I can’t remember the last person I’d met who dedicated their life to a career, to the sacrifice of other things like family, and was honestly happy.  Most of them are miserable, avaricious, self-serving jackasses who think that that next promotion, or the next big deal will finally grant them the happiness that they’ve been searching for all their lives, and it pains me to see that it never does. 

Feminists in general have simply failed to recognize this.  They’ve become so “grass is greener on the other side” that they’ve failed to see that it isn’t. 

I read an article the other day about how women just want it all  - a “kick-ass career”, as she put it, and a family that loves her.  I’m not saying that it is impossible to have both of those things, but I’ll bet if you polled women at the end of their lives, who had tried to have both, and asked them which of those two actually met the expectations of what they would be, that the vast majority would tell you that their “kick-ass career” was a massive disappointment, even if they did do something cool for a living. 

Never mind that most women don’t – let’s face it, the female of our species is far less inclined to risk and the responsibility associated with that.  The “glass ceiling” that feminists are constantly whining about isn’t a result of women being discriminated against – no, it’s a result of most women just not wanting to move beyond positions where they don’t have to put their necks on the line on a daily basis.  So most women fall into support roles – nurses, secretaries, administrative assistants, accounts receivables…  jobs that don’t require a lot of risk taking and a lot of executive decision making. 

Your job isn’t going to make you happy, no matter what you call it.  You aren’t biologically wired to take more than a few hours worth of satisfaction from your accomplishments – otherwise, before we had reason, we’d be sitting back on our laurels congratulating ourselves about how we killed that mammoth two years ago while we starved to death.   Lasting happiness can’t come from a job.  Can.  Not.  It is contrary to our biology in every way. 

Find what is going to make you happy and go for it with gusto, but be warned – if you think that your job is that thing, you will most likely be in for a huge surprise.