Sigh

What really bothers me is when outrage is driven by ignorance.

The mode of today: get angry first, get information and facts… maybe later.

 

How to make progress

We will make better progress if we start from where we agree and work with open minds and open hearts, than to start from where we disagree and drive the wedge even further.

 

Lessons from jaywalking

So there’s been this hoopla going on about a woman arrested in Austin for jaywalking.

When I first saw the story it seemed sufficiently weird from either side, so I figured there had to be more to the story. But you know our modern media and “always connected” society… it’s not about being right, it’s about being first, “going viral”, and if we can be outraged, even better. Right? Oh, and we can be outraged at fucking pigs cops? Even better!

So I waited. More information has come out, as tends to happen.

The story (at least as it stands now) appears to be that folks from the area had been complaining to police about pedestrians not following laws in that area. So naturally after all those complaints, the police start patrolling the area and issuing warnings and citations for violations. This young woman was jogging, with earbuds in and I’m sure music loud. She violated the law right in front of the police. The police attempted to verbally contact her, she didn’t hear them. Eventually she did, used a profanity towards the officers. When they tried to grab her, she pulled away, and that was that. And yes, once you are put under arrest you do have to identify. That is the law of the land (not saying it’s right or wrong, but that is what it presently is).

Of course, everyone wants to be outraged.

Here’s the thing. And note, I’m saying this based upon what I’m reading about this event, and my reaction to all the outrage going on. I wasn’t there.

From the jogger’s perspective? She was right.

From the police’s perspective? They were right.

Yes, both were.

As a jogger, she had her earbuds in. She was jogging. She was going about her business. She couldn’t hear the police. Someone touched her, and it’s quite natural, especially when you’re oblivious to your surroundings, to pull away if someone unexpectedly grabs you. I do not blame her at all for reacting as she did, and I’m sure anyone would have done the same (even APD Police Chief Art Acevedo).

As police, they were called by citizens to come and enforce the law. They were doing so. They saw someone violate the law, they went to do something about it, because that’s their job. This person failed to comply, this person amped it up, and so they had to escalate as well.

Through their own eyes, both were in the right.

Neither are looking at it through the eyes of the other.

Should they? Well, it’s possible that could have saved a lot of grief. But in the moment, well, we’re human and it’s tough to view things through any eyes but our own as events unfold.

What gets me tho is the outrage.

People are outraged at Austin Police because they “took down an innocent jogger”, a “small defenseless woman”. She was doing nothing wrong. No, she did something wrong. Yes jaywalking isn’t the worst crime in the world, but we all know it’s still illegal — that’s the very definition of jaywalking. Furthermore, the police were in the area due to complaints about problems. If the police ignored the complaints, if they didn’t come to enforce the law and work to improve behavior, you all would be outraged at the lack of response from the police. So you’re outraged if they don’t enforce the law, and you’re outraged when they do. WTF?

Furthermore, why is there no outrage at the jogger? She was oblivious to her surroundings and activities. She violated the law right in front of a police officer. Was she not aware of the police presence? or was she just blatantly disregarding? Her ear buds were up that she couldn’t hear their commands. What else did that cause her to tune out? I mean, that area of campus has so much pedestrian traffic, so many students get hit by cars and buses. And then when someone grabs you? Geez, for all the talk about “rape prevention”, I would think you might want to be a little more aware of your surroundings! To me, this sort of obliviousness, this “condition white”, is just not a smart condition to put yourself in. Who cares about the police here, I’m talking just general personal safety!

And then the ad hominem attacks about the physiques of the officers, or how it took 4 of them to handle this one little woman. When I hear that, it demonstrates how little you know about control and situation management. You just want to be mad at the police.

It’s funny too. So many of the people who get mad about these behaviors of the police? They’re the same people who want to give more control to the government, or at least take freedom away from the citizen. Furthermore, they tend to be people that believe “only police should have guns”. What an inconsistent thesis.

Look, I am no fan of Chief Acevedo. I also think APD has a lot of problems, especially in the public relations side of things. I am not going to defend them. Could they have handled this better? Yes. Do I think Acevedo came off like an ass during the press conference about this? Yup. I think the way they are handling this could have been a good teachable moment to help the public understand what happened, why it happened, and to perhaps mend some of the public’s distrust and hatred for the police. But instead, Acevedo came off pompous and arrogant and I fear only served to further sour relations; again, folks are failing to look at this through the eyes of others. They’re failing Persuasion 101.

But ultimately, fault lies with the jogger. And to me, it has nothing to do with “avoiding arrest”. It has to do with basic personal safety. She engaged in behavior that put her in “condition white”, she was oblivious to her surroundings, and endangered her life. She’s lucky all she got was arrested, instead of hit by a bus. We go on and on about how stupid it is when people have their noses in their mobile phones and walk into fountains or walls or doors. And certainly people have had their noses down and walked into traffic or other dangerous situations (see? and from HuffPo too!). Instead of everyone being angry about this, hopefully we can find something positive from this so we can learn and grow and not make the same mistakes.

 

Gee thanx, Apple

Since I was forced onto Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) a couple weeks ago well… it’s more or less been fine.

I like how more apps are taking advantage of native notifications (sorry, Growl), and how with chat apps I can reply directly in the popup. Oh yes, and how Messages has native emoji support — that’s critical. 🙂

I like watching all the stats in Activity Monitor. The new memory compression stuff is interesting to me.

But all in all, life is as it was.

Except….

for…

my phone.

I didn’t realize it until a few days ago. A friend sent me new contact information. I updated things, and after a sync of my phone the updated data wasn’t there. What gives? So I give the iTunes app a deeper look and it seems the “info” panel is gone! How in the world am I supposed to sync my contacts, calendar, and other such things?

Oh I see.

Apple is forcing iCloud upon us.

Great….

Look, I know “cloud” is the hot new sexy. But I’m not willing to trust it (yet). I mean, it’s great for the horsepower and other processing and work stuff. But when it comes to trusting my data to someone else? Gee, that always seems to work out so well, right Adobe? And now they want me to store my credit card information in iCloud? Not just “no”, but “hell fucking no”.

Don’t worry, Apple. My distrust isn’t exclusive to you. And while I can see the convenience in having such information readily available across all my devices, once there’s a leak, talk about my life getting inconvenient. The trade off is not worth it, and you cannot guarantee bulletproof iron-clad security here. Yes, Apple, you have pretty good security, but you also had that big developer portal breach not too many months ago.

So yeah, to sync my contacts, to sync my calendar, I have to use iCloud. Fuck.

So I go ahead and flip that on in the System Preferences.

Then I go into the Calendar app to look at things, and it hangs forever trying to “move calendars to server account”. Watching error messages in the Console got redundant, because apparently it doesn’t know how to break out of this looping. I have to force-quit Calendar.

Then I find the solution? You have to go turn off iCloud Calendar support… which will delete all your local calendar information, so hopefully everything made it up there ok! (you can log into icloud.com to check). Then you launch Calender app, from there Add Account, adding your iCloud support, and from there it will work. It will take a few minutes to sync everything up, but thankfully it seems all my data wound up “in the cloud” OK and so it got it all back.

Gee, thank you Apple for nearly fucking me hard. Looks like you need to add some cases to your test plan.

I will admit, it is nice to just create an event on my phone then it shows up on my desktop. That is nice that I don’t have to explicitly and manually sync to get that. And it isn’t the worst thing in the world if my calendar info gets out. Contacts — well, just ask your friends with Yahoo accounts how great it is to now be subject to all the spam from address books getting slurped up by spammers.

I know Apple wants to push iCloud. I know that for all of iCloud’s suck, it won’t get better unless people start using it. But damnit. I really hate being forced, instead of being able to choose when I feel assured and certain (enough) that my personal data will be secure enough, and I’m willing enough to trust your service.

Children learn from our example

“The Angry Coach” at EliteFTS was writing A Sad Commentary on the State of Youth Sports. As I read it, it actually felt like a sad commentary on today’s youth and parenting in general.

He was observing a youth sports practice, and three things stuck out to him:

1. Practice started at 9 AM, but more than half the team showed up at 9 on the dot or later. This kills me. As a coach, 9 does not mean 9. Ideally, it means about 8:30. At a minimum, it means 8:45. When your kid has practice at 9, and you drop him/her off at exactly 9 (or worse, you’re later, which many parents were), what message are you sending? These are not going to be the “first in the weight room, last out” kids, because that concept will always be foreign to them. The good player, when he has practice at 9, shows up 20-30 minutes early, gets his equipment on, then goes out and warms up with his friends, throwing the ball around. He doesn’t show up when practice is supposed to start, stealing everyone’s time while he gets ready. That’s a shitty message to send your kid.

2. I saw multiple parents carrying their kids’ equipment bags across the street for them. I’ve never seen anything like this before, but I guess it’s because I don’t have kids of my own and because I’m not really involved with any youth leagues. For pretty much every other kid on this team, one parent would open the back of the mini-van, take out the kid’s gear bag, and carry it across the street while the kid walked over with his friends. I saw one kid (remember, they were 12, tops) on a cell phone while his mother was carrying his equipment. I don’t think I need to go into great detail on how this will hinder these kids as athletes. What was shocking about it was the number of parents doing it.

3. I saw multiple parents ignoring the one-way signs at the entrance to the parking lot so they could jockey for closer parking spaces. Again, another horrific message to send your kid (and likely one of the reasons why my car insurance payments are so f-ing high). This teaches the young athlete a number of things: 1) Narcissism, i.e., “I’m entitled to a better parking space than all my teammates.” 2) Taking the easy way out. 3) Flouting the rules because “we’re special and they don’t apply to us.” 4) “Nobody else matters but me, and I can do whatever I want no matter how much it inconveniences my team.”

Frankly, I see all three of these things as a more general problem today.

What happened to being early is being on time, and being on time is late? I deal with this every day, where meetings are set for a certain time, and people consider that time to start thinking about coming to the meeting. No, if the meeting starts at 10:00, you are seated and ready to go by 10:00, not that at 10:02 you leave your desk and saunter in delaying everyone until you grace us with your presence. Everyone seems to give service to the notion that time is precious and matters, but yet, actions don’t treat that time as precious.

What happened to kids being kids, and parents being parents, instead of parents being the servants of children? Parents should not be begging their children to undertake some action; the child should be told, the child should do, and if they don’t there are negative consequences. Granted, it’s not always so cut and dry, but the parent is supposed to be the one in charge. Should Mom be stuck unloading the groceries from the car while the kids run into the house and play? Hell no! They should be unloading, putting everything away, and doing their part to help out around the house. They should carry their own bags, their own stuff. Sure, small children are different, but as they get older, they need to start being given more treatment like adults, which includes carrying your own weight.

And #3. Oh, I deal with this one too often. I have nothing more to add above what The Angry Coach wrote.

Really, you want to know why kids are as they are today? Here’s a good starting list. And really, it just leads back to the parents… because they will learn from our example. And if this is the example set, what will their children learn from them?

Stop being a dick. You’re not helping.

So push came to shove and Starbucks went public with a stance on guns in their stores.

I can’t say I blame them. They got pulled into and caught in the middle of something they didn’t ask to be a part of. And let’s be real here; if you got pulled into a sticky messy issue caught between two warring parties, how would you feel? and how would you react?

Now of course, they could have reacted the other way, but I reckon either 1. they believe this is going to do less damage to their bottom line (they have shareholders to deal with, insurance and lawyers, etc.), 2. they are anti-gun (I do suspect a bit of this given how CEO Howard Schultz worded things), 3. some other third thing. I suspect it’s probably 1 and 2, but I’m guessing.  And yes, they have every right to do what they did.

So an article is going around about how we did this to ourselves. It struck me.

Now let me say, I’m conflicted on open carry. I think there are tactical issues and there are political issues. I can see both sides of it, and I don’t fall squarely in either camp (yet). I would like to see open carry be legal and not prohibited, but remember that legal doesn’t mean “good” or “moral” or that it’s a good thing to do (and illegal doesn’t mean bad or immoral or a bad thing to do). I would like to see a day where people carrying a gun openly isn’t considered a big deal; in fact, it may be seen as a positive and responsible act. But, is it always tactically sound to show your hand? Maybe; I’ve heard anecdotes on both sides that show how it can be good and be bad. And politically it can make a powerful statement, but you’ve got to be mindful of how you make your statement and the message you’re sending (here comes my undergraduate and graduate education in speech and human communication).

One reason open carriers do this as a political statement is to help normalize it. But some say it’s stupid and should be kept hidden. Well, politically or tactically? Tactically? Sure. But politically? Well, are you saying my parents – my white father and Korean mother – should have kept themselves hidden during the late 1960’s? They faced massive rejection and racism (even from within our own family). Should they have let all that stop them? Should they have kept themselves hidden? Granted, racism still exists today, but we can argue that we’re at least a little better than we were back then. To see people of other races, of other cultures, to have it always around… it’s normalizing. And so, yes I can understand why open carriers take this approach in their use of open carry as a political statement and action.

But when you make a statement, you have to choose how you make your statement and craft it in a manner that will make your audience receptive to your message; else, naturally, they will reject it.

And I think that’s really what we gun folk have done to ourselves:

We have turned the debate into a joke. Yes, we are all responsible.

Whether youre an (A) “in your face activist” as previously mentioned, or a (B) gun owner who doesnt agree with them but remains silent and thereby complicit, we are all responsible. Own it.

Personally I fall into the latter category (B). I think the first category are a bunch of fools, and open carry is a piss-poor method of carry outside of a few distinct instances. I have remained silent on the issue, but that ends today. I don’t want to be represented as a gun owner by those who choose to act as those described above. A tactical victory is never worth a strategic defeat. In the end this has hurt us in a battle where we are making progress. If we dont “eat our own” and correct these issues, the OTHER SIDE will. We have lost ground due to tomfoolery, chicanery, and general shenanigans. If we don’t get on the same page, we will continue to give up ground.

Much like how we get irritated when the “not terrorist” muslims dont come out and outright condemn muslim terrorist acts and organizations…we are taking the same track by not raising the bullshit flag when we ought to. We have to police our own. No successful organization, entity, or cause embraces personnel or spokesmen who damage the image and value of the brand.

If I can only choose between camp (A) and camp (B), I’m in (B). But I guess by my present writing, that’s stopping. I’ve felt the following for some time, but for whatever reason opted to be quiet about it.

Here’s the problem.

You’re being a dick.

I see this a lot by the visible pro-gun folk out there.

I see various bloggers, on Twitter, on Facebook. It’s really a problem. It’s really bad on Twitter. I see various pro-gun folk even seeking out anti-gun people, engaging them in “debate”, and being a total fucking asshole while doing it.

Oh sure, you are right. Your facts are sound. The other person is totally irrational and emotional. Yes yes, I’m not going to deny any of that.

But it’s your presentation that’s the problem; and that also cannot be denied.

When you tell someone “you’re wrong”, you force them to double-down more strongly on their (wrong) stance.

When you curse them, call them names, engage in the same childish behaviors that you call them out for, you’re making things worse.

I debated calling out some of these pro-gun folks by name, but I’m not ready to do that yet.

But really, think about it. You want them to see your side of things. How are you going to accomplish that if you treat your audience like shit? If you are rude, mean, condescending, and inconsiderate?

That whole “attract more flies with honey than vinegar” thing.

Or maybe better… learn how to win friends and influence people.

The reason these open carry things aren’t working out is because some of those engaging in the act are being assholes about it all. And so when you do this, when you act like an asshole, when the news reports you being an asshole (because face it, most of the mainstream media is anti-gun and so they will relish any opportunity they can to make gun owners look like stupid evil asshats that need to be controlled and broken and driven out of society)… what do you think that’s going to do? That’s going to reinforce the stereotypes, that’s going to strengthen the anti resolve, and it only makes things worse and more difficult to overcome.

Of course, the same can and should be said for anti-gun folk. When you engage in lies, sensationalizing, blood-dancing, knee-jerk reactions, suggestions that have been proven to not work to solve problems that aren’t there, what do you think that’s going to do? How do you think you’ll be perceived?

Maybe take one from LZ Granderson here.

There is no one enemy.

Thus there is no one solution.

Because like it or not, the folks spraying our cities with bullets are not NRA members or legal gun owners. And despite the tendency to tie it all together, they have nothing to do with the Adam Lanzas of the world.

And it’s too early to know how Alexis fits in the conversation.

According to a count by USA Today, more than 900 people have been killed in mass shootings since 2006. The thousands of other victims of gun violence over the past seven years died from many different circumstances, requiring different conversations.

This is why gun-control advocates need to abandon the routine of using mass shootings to turn law-abiding citizens into social pariahs and instead focus on something that could work.

In the end, it doesn’t matter what you are trying to do, what the debate is about, or what side you are on. You will never convince anyone to see your side of things if you’re a dick.

Stop being a dick. Start being more considerate of others.

Or if your whole point is to be a dick? Please grow up, or go away.

See the positive, understand the gain

I do not live my life in a typical way. Of course, what is “typical”, but here it tends to mean that those around me whose lives intersect with mine in some meaningful way… my life doesn’t follow their same patterns.

I get a lot of grief and backlash because of it.

Overall I don’t mind because I am generally fine with the choices I make for myself and my family. But I cannot deny that it gets old constantly dealing with it.

People cannot accept me as I am (and disagree), they must agree with me (meaning what I do must intersect with their choices, outlook, morals, ethics, etc.)… else somehow I’m the one that’s fucked up.

I do understand this mentality and approach, it’s very human. It’s how we tend to deal with that which is “different”.

I guess what gets really old is where people focus their attention: they focus on what they see as wrong, instead of what they could see is right.

For example, our choice to homeschool our kids. People focus on the “S” word… socialization. Won’t your kids miss out? Won’t they have friends? What about as they get older, prom? Oh, I feel so bad for all the things your kids won’t get to do.

And that’s what so many people focus on, and the only thing they see: what they won’t do. Or rather, what they perceive they won’t do.

They don’t see the wonderful education. They don’t see the options in teachers and curriculum. They don’t see our kids are actually learning, not just learning how to take a test. They are developing, not just trying to pad their achievement list to compete for college entry. They don’t see the lessons they learn in how to interact with people of all ages. They don’t see the leadership taken on by the older children as they help the younger children. They don’t see how instead of spending all day locked in a classroom, eyes front, stop being creative, conform, do as you are told… that they can have freedom, they can efficiently complete their work then spend the remainder of their day exploring other avenues (how else did Daughter get to be such a great artist?). The list can go on.

So many people are concerned about what we miss out on, they don’t realize themselves what they are missing out on in their perceptions. It doesn’t matter who you are and what you do in life, you cannot have it all. You will not experience everything, and there’s going to be far more things you will miss out on than you will experience. Instead of focusing on what you miss out on, why not focus on what you are gaining?

We don’t make the choices in our life because we want to miss out on things. No, we make choices because we see an overall gain. Oh sure, there may be some downsides to the choice, but we only choose to do things if in the end it’s a net gain. Why is this constantly overlooked? Why are we looked at for what we’re losing, instead of what we’re gaining?

We should not overlook loss, negatives, downsides, etc.; these are important aspects of the evaluation process. What needs to be remembered is they are not the only things to look at; you must look at the gains and upsides too. You must remember that if someone makes a choice, they likely did it because they see the most benefit from that choice over all other possible choices. Seek to understand and see their (potential) gains, instead of merely dwelling on your own cognitive dissonance.

This is why we can’t have discussions

Marc MacYoung posted the following on Facebook:

Conflict and violence are very human behaviors. They serve a very important survival and social purpose.

Having said that we’ve kind of put ourselves into a self-eating watermelon situation about them because we’ve allowed our understanding of the subject to be controlled by an extremist ideological position.

There’s an old joke with the punchline ‘We’ve already established that. Now we’re negotiating the price.” That ‘negotiation’ is critical when we look at conflict and violence. Where do we set the line as to how much (and when is it) is acceptable?

This is where we need to recognize the extremists. Specifically those who think violence is always the answer to any problem on one side. But the other extremist position are those who maintain ‘violence never solved anything.’ The first are obvious, the second, not so much. But it is an extremist position.

If you ask the right questions, you’ll find that yeah, overwhelmingly people acknowledge there are times that violence IS the appropriate answer. And ‘now we’re negotiating the price.’ Where are those lines? When is it appropriate? When is it not appropriate and to what degree? These are all damned good questions that we need to hash out among ourselves.

Personally I come from a place where that bar is set pretty damned low. Having said that, I like living in places where the bar is set high. But this experience gives me an understanding that people will have different standards of where that bar should be set.

This includes an important understanding, that is ‘no matter what your use of force’ decision, someone is going to disagree with it.

Now being a cynical bastard I will often point out that the people who tend to disagree most strongly are the ones who didn’t get what they wanted because you chose to act. Those folks seem to take the approach that any level of force beyond which they are comfortable using to get what they want is ‘violence’ — and therefore bad (especially when it is used against them). But what they’re doing isn’t violent and therefore they don’t deserve to have violence used against them. This especially because it hurts their feelings.

That last paragraph may seem like a rant from left field — and maybe it is — but it is also common theme among the extremists who maintain that violence never solved anything. Or, and this is another weird form of mental gymnastics, physical violence is always bad and wrong. Hence anyone who uses it is also bad and wrong. And while we’re at it, if you agree that sometimes violence is the appropriate response then you’re …

Yeah, that’s a good way to encourage mature discussion, understanding, education and coming up with effective coping mechanisms to deal with conflict and violence.

The problem with the extremist position isn’t that it exists, it’s that they won’t shut up about it. In doing so they don’t allow other people to have different points of view and, by extension, a discussion. They will constantly attempt to control the conversation or — if they can’t do that — shut it down with outbursts about how violence is wrong and evil, should not be tolerated and how society must change.

Uh actually that’s what we’re trying to do by ‘negotiating the price’ and gaining a fuller understanding of the subject than ‘it’s evil and wrong.’

Oh you want society to change in particular waaaaaaay…

He’s quite right… we are negotiating on price.

I used to hold onto the notion of violence never being an answer. For anyone that reads even a bit of my writing, you should know I no longer hold that position. I believe that violence can be an answer, and sometimes it is the right and only answer. Case in point, if a woman is being raped, should she not respond with violence? Isn’t a kick to the groin, a palm strike to the nose, thumbs to the eyes, pepper spray, kicking, biting, screaming…. fighting (back). Is this not violence? Is this not a violent response? Is this not an aggressive action? Think about it for a moment. If violence is never the answer, then what other recourse does this rape victim have? lie back and enjoy it?  Because even responses like to vomit or pee on your rapist are arguably a violent response, if perhaps just on the lower end of the scale. If you truly stand by the notion that “violence is never the answer”, then you are damning women to being raped. However, I don’t think this is what you mean, nor what you want.

So in fact, if you think about it hard enough and if you’re honest with yourself, you do accept that violence can be an answer and that sometimes it is the right and only answer. As Marc says, we’re just negotiating price.

Pay heed to the latter point Marc is making. If you really are an open-minded person, you’ll shut up and listen. You will earnestly allow for the possibility that you could be persuaded, even if it means giving up all you know and have built for yourself, if in fact Truth shows you were wrong and “the other way” is right. If you are unwilling to admit you could be wrong, if you are unwilling to give it all up, then it becomes rather difficult – and perhaps pointless – to have any discussion, because you don’t want to discuss, you just want to be right.

Alas, today more people are interested in being right than in finding truth.

How to lose friends and alienate people

So long as you deny our humanity, so long as you malign our dignity, intelligence and wisdom, so long as you seek to shade us under a cloud of evil that we do not partake in or support, so long as you tell us that because we own guns we are terrible people, you will prove yourselves absolutely right in that we won’t come to the table to talk with you.

This. So very much, this.

Read the full article. It’s long, but well-written. (h/t Jon Thomas)

They want to have a “national conversation on guns”, but there’s no conversation. It’s just a lecture, a scolding. Who wants to listen to that? When someone dresses you down, how much do you listen to them? How much do you want to cooperate with them? If they call you names, tell you you’re evil, put words in your mouth… do you really want to listen to what they have to say? Are you going to be receptive to anything they propose? It has nothing to do with guns; that’s just a human reaction.

Here’s a PDF from Dale Carnegie.  Just about every rule gets violated in this “conversation”, and so we’re losing friends and alienating people.

To be fair, it’s not just the anti-gun folk that are like this. I see pro-gun folk that are this way as well. I cannot stand looking at my Twitter feed because I see so much  … well… asshole-ish behavior going on. Conversations in less than 140 characters is not a conversation. I see name-calling, baiting, and just general rudeness. I mean, there’s assholes in every crowd, alas they tend to be the ones creating the most jibber-jabber, thus they create the perception. This sort of behavior won’t win anyone over to our cause. There’s no attempt to educate, just more violations of Dale’s rules. Really, what Mr. Snell’s article concludes cuts both ways: that so long as pro-gun folks treat anti-gun folk in a bad way (denying humanity, maligning their dignity, intelligence and wisdom, etc.), well… they won’t come talk to us either.

We can even step back from guns. Look at abortion, LGBT equality, environment (e.g. global warming), food (GMO, etc.), race, religion (including a-religion), whatever. Ever notice how divisive things are today? How the media no longer maintains a facade of neutrality but now blatantly takes and panders to “sides”? How politicians hammer on “the other side” for being in the way of progress, instead of they themselves trying to progress? How there’s so much spitting of venom and hate? There’s so much talk of tolerance, but little is given, especially to those that don’t agree with me. It doesn’t matter the topic. So long as we deny humanity, malign dignity, shade “the other side” under a cloud of evil… we’ll never come to the table and break bread together.

If united we stand and divided we fall… then it looks like we’ve fallen, and at this rate, we’re not going to get back up. Because while our humanity is crumpled on the ground crying for help, you’d rather Instagram ‘dat shit’ and walk away laughing at the ‘dumb bitch’. We need people to put their smartphones away, give our collective humanity a humble look in the eyes, and offer it a helping hand.

Hooray for Government – keeping the homeless fed and safe

Louisiana’s State Health Department forced a homeless shelter to destroy $8,000 worth of deer meat because it was donated from a hunter organization.

[…]

“We didn’t find anything wrong with it,” Rev. Henry Martin told KTBS. “It was processed correctly, it was packaged correctly.”

[…]

“They threw it in the dumpster and poured Clorox on it,” Martin told KTBS. “Not only are we losing out and it’s costing us money, the people that are hungry aren’t going to get as quality of food, the hunter that’s given his meat in good faith is losing out.”

[…]

“While we applaud the good intentions of the hunters who donated this meat, we must protect the people who eat at Rescue Mission, and we cannot allow a potentially serious health threat to endanger the public,” the Health Department stated.

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1600# of venison.

Accounts vary, but it seems a “serving of meat” is considered to be 3oz. So that’s 8533 servings that were destroyed.

Let that sink in for a moment.

More than 8000 servings of food.

If you divided that by 3 meals a day, that’s 2844 days.

Can you see how many people who meat could have fed?

Meat is expensive. And hell, venison is lean and high quality protein. We complain about the poor food choices that people make, the poor food choices available to people. And when it comes to charity food donations, people aren’t always going to be donating organic canned goods from Whole Foods, y’know? But here you’re getting high-quality, free-range protein… and you’re destroying it.

Under the guise of “protecting people”?

What about the hunters or other folk that would have otherwise eaten the meat? Why aren’t they being protected? Why is their consumption of the meat OK? If the meat is unsafe to eat, it’s unsafe to eat — period; thus no one should be eating it. But that doesn’t seem to be the case, does it?

None of this makes sense.

You’re not helping.