The easiest headline to write

Here’s an article about how the Islamic State of Iraq (note that’s “Islam”) is ordering women between the ages of 11 and 46 to undergo genital mutilation in the name of the religion.

And the Republicans, who stand against this exact thing, are the ones leading the “War on Women?”

I get concerned for our country when so many people can’t do the simple math. Why would female conservatives and Republicans support a party that has launched a war on them? Similarly, why would Republicans want to pollute the environment when they have to breathe the same air as everyone else? (I could go on.)

Radical Islam, which is wholly supported by the very people who promoted this idea that there was ever a Republican “War on Women,” are the very people who quite deliberately make women second class (which might be a generous label) in their own society.

There’s a significant number of people in this country who better start to ponder a bit the things they hear from our elected officials…

(Oh, and the headline for this one? Any variant of “The real war on women,” will do.)

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Why do I always have to?

This morning, I got on the bus to go to work and it was about 300% humidity and easily over 75 degrees. The bus was fairly full, and I couldn’t help but wonder if anyone else was as uncomfortable as I was. There didn’t appear to be any windows that opened, so I went up to the driver and asked her to put on the air conditioning.

And I couldn’t help but wonder, why do I always have to be the one to solve the problem?

At concerts, if someone is having a conversation near me, it’s always me who has to tell them to be quiet (and maybe next time, don’t spend so much money on a concert ticket if you need to have a conversation with someone).

In an airplane, it’s always me who has to tell the person to stop clipping their nails on the plane.

If there’s a line of people entering the building, and they’re only opening one of the two doors into the building, it’ll always be me who goes to the front and opens the other door.

If the neighbor’s two dogs are outside barking at 1 am, it’ll always be me to go over to their house to ask them if they’re aware that their two dogs are currently barking in their backyard.

There’s no way, in the situations I just described, I’m the only person who notices these things and is bothered by them. But somehow, I’m the only one who ever confronts and solves the issue.

I have a hard time standing by when there are problems to be solved or issues to be confronted. I prefer to resolve them and move on instead of sitting by and wishing the offending person or situation would figure it out on their own and do something about it.

But being “that guy” gets tiring after awhile. It would be great to see someone else step up now and again to confront these things.

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Come ride with us

You never know what’s going to stick in your head, but I’ve always had a weakness for the power of a good jingle.

This ad used to run when I was young and growing up in Milwaukee. Ever since then, I’ve had “Come ride with us… on the bus,” rolling around somewhere in my head.

Why George Takei? I have no idea, but I bet the number of people riding the bus would have been much lower without him.

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Can you imagine what it would look like if you could make an acronym out of every word you’ve ever spoken?

Think about how much time you could have saved…

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A nation of immigrants?

Immigration was never even in the top ten issues that Americans cared about until the recent influx of immigrant children pouring through the Southern border of this country.

This has naturally kicked off a new round of immigration debates and arguments. While listening to one such argument, one of the people involved said “we’re a nation of immigrants. You know, “Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free.””

Certainly I’ve heard that line before, and so probably have you (if not, you should have).

What I’d never considered before was the response: It’s from a poem affixed to the Statue of Liberty. It was put there by a private charity – not the government.

What made me think about that was the counterpoint to that argument. It’s a poem. It was never United States policy.

Mor intriguing to me is that at the time it was put there, there were no entitlements – no welfare – of any kind in the United States. People who came here were on their own with whatever they brought with them. Amazing for people now to think that people survived and thrived in this country for nearly 200 years before there was any kind of government safety net. How could that be?

Lastly, it was correctly pointed out that most of us are not immigrants. Some of us are. And some of us may have been born to immigrants. But most of us were born to parents who, themselves, were born in this country.

This nation is full of people who were born here and who grew up with and helped shape the culture that is unique to the United States.

We have a legal immigration process, and I think anyone – conservative and liberal alike – can support as many as who want to go through that process.

What I don’t think we should support is illegal immigration – people who sneak in and then go into hiding. It’s a recipe for all kinds of problems, from its effect on minority joblessness to a simple insult to those who went through the system properly and followed the rules.

The funny thing is, with illegal immigration, the word “illegal” is sitting right there. Funny how that word starts to disappear when people who support it say it. Now we call them “Dreamers.” How quaint.

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Joggling? Oh, it’s real, baby

JoggleI was just at a conference at which our strategist showed off his juggling prowess in between sessions. He asked if we had ever heard of joggling. He said it was a real thing.

Sure enough, joggling is a real thing. And before you laugh, please note in the Wikipedia entry that the record for the 400 is 1:03. That’s a pretty solid 400 time for anyone. But to do it while juggling?

I don’t think that who ran that 400 was joggling. I think he was springgling.

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Living in “me” world

I’m not a big fan of fluorescent lights – especially in the workplace. And it’s been my experience, in working around professional designers for the past 20 years, that most designers also do not like fluorescent lights.

While working at Capital Newspapers, my marketing department was moved to a converted loading dock that had no windows. We had nothing but overhead fluorescent lights. I had all the bulbs taken out and we bought enough lamps to light the place with bulbs, instead.

Now, I work in a room with more natural light than I’ve ever had before in my professional life. And yet every day, one of our colleagues comes in and turns on the overhead fluorescent lights.

But it’s not the light situation I notice most. It’s the lack of awareness.

By the time this person arrives at work, there are routinely 10 to 20 people sitting at desks working – with the lights off.

This person, who is one of the newest employees in the group, walks in every morning and flips the lights on without asking anyone if they’d like them on.

A few things strike me about this: 1) if you walk into a room where people are working in an established environment, wouldn’t you ask if you were going to change the environment? 2) if you were the newest person on a team, wouldn’t you just blend in for the first month or two before making an unrequested change to their habits? 3) if you’re their manager, shouldn’t you determine what others want before forcing your preference on everyone?

Unfortunately, I had a lights related issue (probably the low point of my management career at Responsys) that prevents me from really getting involved or commenting on anything light related. But otherwise, I would love to ask why it’s a good idea to just walk into a room full of people and make a change to it without asking anyone first.

To do that just illustrates to the team that you’re only thinking of yourself and not considering why the team didn’t turn them on and if they liked the environment as it was before you changed it.

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