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Monday, June 21, 2010

Pulse on BP

Is Tony Hayward Satan? No, he's just clueless. Hayward showed up at a yacht race off the coast of England this weekend, as the idle rich -- particularly Brits -- are known to do. However, most of those in attendance probably are not the face of a company involved in a major environmental catastrophe, at the moment.

Tony Hayward merely has horrible judgment. I'm not condoning his "testimony" in front of Congress, and I'm certainly not condoning the actions of his company. However, he isn't evil, he just doesn't get it. He needs to be on ultra-best behavior until well after this issue is solved. The public needs a whipping boy, and that's why he's getting that huge salary. He needs to pick up his oil-sopping cross, sling that thing over his back, and be a good little whipping boy until the leak is stopped and every bird is cleaned. This is BP's problem and the reason they should be replacing Hayward.

Since we're on to BP, despite my somewhat Libertarian leanings, I have absolutely no issue with the U.S. Government going after BP. In fact, I firmly believe this is precisely the time when the government should seize a company's assets. You only have to know me about four seconds to know how much I hated the bailout of the auto and insurance industries. One of the main reasons was the precedent created by the fallout of that decision. There is no way that the government can save face if they make a move to seize BP's assets.

Let me be clear: I want BP to pay the ultimate price, I want them to fall on the sword. BP should be out of business over this, that is how sinister I view the repercussions of their actions. I use the word 'their' intentionally there. I understand that this is people's jobs and that BP, the corporate pariah, is actually made up of people. Nonetheless, they need to pay and they need to pay dearly. Those people all made the choice to work for a particular company, and they are culpable for that company's decisions. That's the way life should work. It gets back to the rights-vs.-responsibilities argument: if you work at BP, invest in BP, or buy your gas there, you bear some of the responsibility for this issue. For that latter group, you get a break, but if you're still buying your gas there, you are as guilty as Tony Hayward.

So, Tony, I hope you enjoyed your day with your son. My guess is, many of those actually getting their hands dirty cleaning up your company's oily mess were not afforded the same luxury on Father's Day. The fact that you used that explanation to explain your ill-timed day off, my friend, makes you an ass. It is my hope that someone in this colossal failure of what we deem a government will step forward and hold BP accountable for paying the ultimate price. Not surprisingly, I'm not covering any bets on the issue.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day.

Happy Father's Day all you motherfuckers.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Truth About The Desire For Diversity and Acceptance

"We just want everyone to be heard and respected for what they believe." No, you don't. It doesn't matter if you're liberal, conservative, black, white, man or woman; you may pay lip service to this idea, but in reality, you're full of shit.

The next time you're at a gay pride rally and you hear someone bellowing about how we all need to be accepted for who we are and what we believe, drop Rush Limbaugh's name and see what happens. Don't get me wrong -- I'm no Limbaugh apologist, I think he's an asshole and should be unemployed. However, he certainly has the right to his views and there certainly is a proven market for said views.

Being tolerant means allowing Rush Limbaugh the same right to his opinions as Sandra Bernhard. You don't have to like either one, and you don't have to listen to either one, but both have the right to express their opinions. That's the amazing thing about this media-driven world in which we live -- everything you watch, surf or listen to you are doing by choice. If you're offended by Rush Limbaugh, shut him off. If Sandra Bernhard makes you cringe, change the channel. Don't want your kids to watch Broke Back Mountain? Do your job as a parent and say, "No." Worried they'll do it behind your back? That's your problem. There are parental controls on the TV now, and back when I was growing up there was a thing called a father; my father said no, he meant it. Which reminds me, marriage is another rant I have to address, but I'll save it for another time.

Being tolerant of diversity means being accepting even of those views that are in stark contrast to your own. Nobody wants that; you want tolerance for those who share your views and ideals, and you want everyone else to be quiet and leave you alone. Guess what -- they want the same thing from you. Contrary to what most readers of this blog will think, this is not directed to any person, persons, or group; it's directed towards everybody. Al Franken is as guilty as Glen Beck. In my world, both are assholes, just from a different set of criteria.

Don't get me wrong, there are times when I will let someone know when they've crossed my comfort line. I typically say something along the lines of, "Not on my time; I'm not interested." They can choose to comply with my request or not, and then I can react to their decision. For instance, I'm not a fan of "the 'n' word." (Egad, I hate that phrase) I don't use it and I'm not comfortable with others using it. If someone around me uses it, white or black, I'm likely to ask them to stop. If they choose not to, I can push the issue, leave, or just deal with it. In any given situation, I might choose any one of those options. The point is, the individual has the right to make choices about his/her language. The person doesn't need diversity training, sensitivity training, or therapy; could just be that he or she is an asshole. That is allowed.

Likewise, people sometimes ask me to tone it down. Depending on the setting and situation, I may comply, or tell them to stuff it; it's a judgment call. Sometimes I'll get a bit loose with colorful language around my family and those with kids will ask me to cool it. Typically, I do. Other times, I'll do it on a webpage or at my house and get a similar request that I choose not to comply with. That is my choice. Again, the point is, if you don't like it, you have alternatives.

So many cause-driven people spread themselves so thin on their myriad causes that one can barely take them seriously. If you feel you MUST correct my every decision, statement, personality flaw, or perceived thought, perhaps the problem actually lies within you, not me. I got some good advice from one of my professors at UNH, Jerry Howe. He said, "Battles use social capital, so choose your battles carefully." I learned something from that.

In the coming weeks and months, I will rant about many things on this blog. You are free to read them or not -- that is your choice. Just remember, I am not forcing my views on you, you are here and reading by choice. In the words of the immortal Darren Imbeault, "Don't like it? Don't look."

Thanks for reading.