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Who's Really the Victim Here?

By Signal 11 in Op-Ed
Wed Aug 01, 2001 at 05:52:32 PM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)

You hear it all the time - "the real victims of war are the women and children". Victim-less crimes. "I'm a victim of society!" Everyone, everywhere, seems intent on passing responsibility on to someone else - they've been victimized. Corporations have been "victimized" by rampant piracy. Consumers have been victimized by price fixing by the corporations. Everybody is pointing the finger at everyone else, while our political leaders hypocritically pound their fists on the tables and demand that people take responsibility for their actions and enact "tough new legislation" to curb perceived crimes. Who's really the victim though?

I've always marveled at bureauacracy. It might have something to do with my childhood. As a kid, I was needlessly subjected to over a decade of custody litigation between my parents. I'm 21 now. It was only this year that the litigation storm finally ground to a halt. "In the best interests of the child" was a commonly heard phrase in my life. And all of this was because of a complex bureauacracy called `family court', where nobody was responsible for their actions because they were "just doing their job". A few people actually cared... they were swiftly removed from the case.

Try getting help from your local telephone company when your xDSL line goes down. First you'll get the customer service representative. He'll tell you to check the cables at your end. You're a computer geek with 10 years experience, you've checked the fucking cables. You'll be put on hold. You'll make dozens of calls. "Must be a problem on your end." So you'll start climbing the corporate ladder, searching for someone who'll forget the damn policy for a second and realize that you know what you're doing, and send someone out to the DSLAM down at the CO and check /their/ cables. When it's all said and done, some two weeks later, you might be so frustrated you file a complaint with the local Public Utilities Commission. And then you'll wait. Nobody will return your calls. It's not the PUCs responsibility.. talk to your telco. Your telco won't refund the lost time - you were still charged. Plus you got nicked for having to have the tech fix the problem on /their/ end. The responsibility buck will be passed around and around, eventually you'll just give up, happy that you at least manage to squeeze 15KB/s out of your over-saturated, error-prone connection.

Tried protesting lately? Fill out a permission form with the police department, submit about a dozen different forms, and pay a small fee for `administrative overhead'. The American Revolution would never have happened if Benjamin Franklin, Abe, and Mr. Jefferson had to go through all the crap we have to go through. If you don't fill out the forms though, you'll be arrested, labeled a `criminal' and marginalized by the media. These days, just giving a speech about something that might be illegal in another country is gronds for arrest... did you fill out your forms? Where are your papers?

You're familiar with bureaucracy. We all are. Most of us have given up on trying to get anything done through `official channels' - it's slow, it often doesn't get done, and quite frankly, you have better things to do with your time. Our social institutions seem entrenched in more and more rules and regulations every day. But the consequences for violating those rules and regulations get worse every day too. Pretty soon skinny dipping will be a felony, and playing loud music past 10PM will earn you a summary execution by local authorities. Taking pills that make you hug people (Ecstacy) is gonna be a felony soon too.. heaven forbid should people be happy!

In addition to bureaucracy, we have the `minority rights' movements. You see, in a politically correct world, everyone is a victim. Woman? You're a victim of male chauvenism. Old? You're a victim of age discrimination. Religion? Yup - every religion's been persecuted. Black? The Man is keeping you down. Seeing a pattern here? About the only group under political correctness that can't claim `special status' is young, white males, who are agnostic and in the middle class. That's where the buck stops in a politically correct world. But paradoxically.. that group is in the minority too. So really, aren't we all victims of some kind or another? My car window got smashed out last week. I'm a victim of `random violence'. Where's my paycheck?

If you ask me, we're not oppressed... we're just differently pressured.


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Who's Really the Victim Here? | 74 comments (59 topical, 15 editorial, 0 hidden)
on the "victim" subject (4.28 / 14) (#1)
by Daemosthenes on Wed Aug 01, 2001 at 12:10:31 AM EST

Althogh this isn't completely on the topic of the story, I was thinking the other day about victims today. And surprisingly enough, heros.

Back in the old days, you'd here about real, honest-to-goodness heros; folks who volunteered, put their life on the line, and rescued someone else. Or perhaps a courageous leader, working hard to bring success to those around him, and those counting on him. Or maybe even the local Boy Scout, going out of his way to do a really useful Eagle Scout service project.

Today, I think we take the word "hero" as a euphemism for "victim". Think about it. Who is Dmitry Sklyarov? A person thrust into a situation who has now become the martyred hero for the anti-DMCA masses. These days we understand heros to be people who do amazing things, however we never stop to think why. Most of our "heros" are victims themselves, being thrust into a situation in which they could only react accordingly.

Shouldn't the requirements for being a hero be a bit more than being thrown into a SanFran jail?

pussy (4.05 / 17) (#7)
by streetlawyer on Wed Aug 01, 2001 at 02:12:55 AM EST

The American Revolution would never have happened if Benjamin Franklin, Abe, and Mr. Jefferson had to go through all the crap we have to go through. If you don't fill out the forms though, you'll be arrested, labeled a `criminal' and marginalized by the media.

Newsflash -- Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson *were* labelled 'criminals', and had to put up with a lot more than being 'marginalised by the media'. Quite what the fuck Abraham Lincoln has to do with any of this is unclear.

So your general thesis is that people who are victimised aren't really, because the real victim is you, because although everything is monumentally set up for the convenience of white males, it isn't absolutely as perfectly convenient as it might be? Fuck discrimination, the real problem in this society is poor service from government employees!

Give up Siggy. No matter how much time you spend on these poorly written trolls, you're never going to generate enough controversy to be offered the coveted post of editor at adequacy.org

Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever

Set up for the convenience? WTF (4.41 / 12) (#26)
by weirdling on Wed Aug 01, 2001 at 02:39:50 PM EST

Speaking as a young, white male, let me set you straight. When in college, I got grants totalling less than $2k. Most of my government loans are unsubsidised, meaning I got to have the interest while in college capitalised. That means that, compared to the mentioned 'victims', I have three times the college debt to deal with, and we make the same amount of money.

I tried to enter the Navy. If female standards had been used, I would have made it. However, as a male, I had to meet a higher physical fitness standard, and so very narrowly missed it.

These days, I pay a disproportionate amount of my money out in taxes to support all the whiny-bastard 'victims'. Yet, at no point in my life have I ever been 'eligible' for any aid, despite the fact that there were days when I didn't have cash for food while in college. The reason is that my parents made just enough money to keep me above the aid line but not enough money to actually be able to help me all that much, not that I would have accepted such help, because, dammit, I've got pride.

I guess that's what actually differs here: I'm a proud, young, white male, and I wouldn't accept help if it were offered. I'm getting durn tired of being the go-to guy whenever others need help, though. I struggled and fought hard to make it to where I am, and others can jolly well do the same.

Besides, it is amazingly racist and sexist to suggest that somehow the white male is more capable of earning a living in this society, particularly in a technical field, where actual discrimination is pretty much unheard of. I don't come from rich parents; I come from solid middle-class parents that got education and worked their way up the ladder. I got an education and went a bit higher. I'd hope my children go higher still, but I expect to let them understand that those who can do and those who can't whine that others do, so they need to have pride and accountability for themselves, even if it means idgits pass laws requiring that they give what they make to others, because jealousy is a sincere form of flattery.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
The reason the Navy didn't take you... (3.00 / 5) (#32)
by elenchos on Wed Aug 01, 2001 at 06:03:23 PM EST

Is that a male in that poor of health is a risk. Women who run that slow (in general) do not cost the government an inordinate amount of money in health care for accidents and illness -- such as keeling over in boot camp, for example, or passing out in Saudi Arabia while wearing chem gear. The minimum health standard for a male is always going to be higher than a female for that reason. It has nothing to do with lowering the standard to admit women. The standard is set where it needs to be to accomplish the mission.

Another way of looking at it is that all else being equal, a female and a male who neglect and abuse their bodies by an equal amount will fail fitness tests at different levels. I've seen enough guys who couldn't pass military physical tests, and they all acted as if their bodies didn't exist and didn't matter. You could be one of the rare ones who actually takes care of himself and fails anyway -- no test is perfect after all -- but it's pretty likely that there is no reason to feel sorry for you, especially when you consider the vastly greater number of young people kept out of military service by poverty diseases like asthma.

I can't figure out what your complaint is about college aid. You got enough money to get through college. Do you think you deserved more than what you got?

"Who's making personal remarks now?" the Hatter asked triumphantly.
--Alice in Wonderland
[ Parent ]

Right, make some assumptions... (3.20 / 5) (#35)
by weirdling on Wed Aug 01, 2001 at 10:33:52 PM EST

At the time, I could run six miles, do twenty-five pushups, the required number of situps in the required time, and swim 200 yards in various forms. The only problem is that I was 15 pushups short, and 2% over the allowed bodyfat percentage. Oddly enough, I could have passed if they hadn't increased the requirements quite a bit *while* I was trying to get in.

Anyway, I was in excellent physical shape at the time. Two years of programming have changed that, but that's part of the job...

Anyway, were it a matter of basic fitness and survivability, it would not be so tough. Take, for instance, the SEALs, who have different requirements for men and women, or, the Marines, who also have different requirements for men and women. In both cases, it doesn't make sense, as an absolute minimum requirement would be necessary for a military; ie, Marines buddy, so a woman may have to carry a man off the field. Also, a woman may draw ammo-toting duty. Anyway, the different requirements is a tacit admission of sexism, not to mention harder on men than women.

I could go on for hours about how minorities have it easier in bootcamp than whites and how much of bootcamp has been 'sensitised' for women, but the whole thing is just rather sickening. If you want to be a soldier, sailor, or Marine, you'd better be just as competent as the man you are replacing or you're being sexist.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
It could be they know what they're doing. (4.12 / 8) (#36)
by elenchos on Wed Aug 01, 2001 at 11:03:04 PM EST

I'm sorry to sound like I'm kicking you around, but in taking a minor personal setback and trying use it to attack women and non-whites, you are asking for it.

Sometimes they use physical standards or medical data that are outdated or otherwise invalid -- this is the government we are talking about. But I'm not following at all your assertion that having different physical standards for men and women is sexist. It would be sexist to ask women to meet a standard that is based on male performance. To find out if a man is in shape, you ask him to perform one set of tasks. To find out if a woman is in shape, you ask her to perform a different set of tasks. That is not sexist.

You are right that there are different standards for the Navy and for the Marines and for a specialized unit like the SEALs. What would you expect? You're claiming that the Marines and the SEALs are letting in unqualified women?

And you say you could go on for hours about the easy treatment that minorities get? I thought you didn't serve? You have hours worth of second-hand information then? Share a few minutes of it with us. I'm interested to see how it compares with my experiences. It is a bit amusing that a guy who refused to get himself in shape to enlist in the service can speak of how he is "sickened" at the lowering of standards for minorities. Who are you to criticize? If they had never set lower standards for women, you still wouldn't have gotten in.

And on to the more general question of how life was stacked against you because you are a white male, it sounds more like the problem was that your arms were weak and you were overweight. Nothing to be ashamed of. Why didn't you do something about it and join up? Was it the fault of African-Americans that you couldn't do the push-ups? They can't work out for you. That's you're job. Did women make you too fat? And why didn't you just join the Air Force? They love geeks, the physical standards are lower and you'd have had both the GI Bill and the in-service tuition assistance. Did some minority prevent you from taking that option?

This is kind of amazing. You were on the very borderline of being qualified, and only a small effort would have gotten you in. Yet you couldn't do that. And you say that the daily, systemic injustice that minorities and women have to overcome their entire lives are as nothing. Other people have only themselves to blame, but you shift the blame for your own minor setbacks on everyone else but yourself.

You might want to think about the real purpose behind the physical requirements. It isn't really to see if a woman can do 5 chin-ups or a man can do 10, or whatever. It is to test who has the willingness to take personal responsibility and to overcome, rather than just say "I can't do it." You use a lower physical standard to test for that in women than in me, that's all. No matter what your physical ability, it is attitude that matters most in the armed forces.

"Who's making personal remarks now?" the Hatter asked triumphantly.
--Alice in Wonderland
[ Parent ]

A point... (4.42 / 7) (#46)
by beergut on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 12:26:50 PM EST

While I won't go into weirdlings inability to qualify, I would like to make a point about differing physical standards in the military.

They don't make sense.

As a soldier, male or female, you will be expected to be able to perform certain tasks. Among these tasks may be carrying a wounded comrade away from a live combat zone. This can easily require someone to be able to carry 200 pounds of dead weight several hundred yards or more, over rugged terrain.

You put your own life, and the life of your comrades, at risk if you are not capable of doing so. Different physical standards for males and females in the military ensures that, if a woman finds herself in the position of needing to carry a hulking 200-pounds-of-muscle comrade away from a hot spot, she will be unlikely to be able to do so. She will endanger herself as well as her comrades.

The military should not be a petri dish for social experimentation. Its role is to kill people and break things efficiently. It is not about "overcoming." There should be exacting standards for people in the military, and all should be required to meet them.


i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

-- indubitable
[ Parent ]

Almost, but that's too simple. (4.33 / 6) (#49)
by elenchos on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 03:42:36 PM EST

Sometimes I think the only task our troops must have before them is to carry their dead comrades off the battlefield. To paraphrase Patton, you don't win wars that way. You win by making the enemy drag his dead and wounded back home.

Just to be contrary, what if we solved this problem of carrying around 200 pound dead weight by excluding them from the service? A military made of nothing but 110 pound women could manage nicely then.

On a more serious note, I think this ignores the pressing need we have for smart, capable troops. The vast majority of jobs in the military are not about physical might. They are mostly technical, and especially in technology-oriented services like the Navy and the Air Force, excluding talented people because they are not strong enough is bad for the mission. If you are only talking about the infantry, you have more of a point. This is why there are different physical standards for different jobs. Nearly every technical job requires color vision, for example. Men are colorblind at a rate far higher than women, and if we only allowed men in the military, we would be forced to accept less qualified candidates to fill those jobs.

All services do need people who will adapt and overcome, and so challenging candidates to a hard, but not impossible for them, physical task like some number of push ups is a good test. It weeds out the ones who don't have the right attitude, like wierdling. To exclude such men, you ask them to to a mere 25 push ups, or whatever. To exclude women who are equally unable to face a challenge, you test them with only 10 or 15. That's all it's about. If someone has the mental will to do what it takes, rather than shift the blame for failure and give up, it is an easy task to give them the body to match the mind. But lacking the mental raw materials, there is not much they can do with you. Military service is really unfair. They operate for the needs of the mission, not the individual, and that means you get shit on all the time. One GI gets a plum assignment, another gets crap, and it almost always has nothing to do with being fair, with what you deserve. And a good troop takes it without complaint, and moves foreward. So these boys who whine about women and minorities are just not qualified to serve, simple as that.

If you only want to talk about the infantry, I think a good argument could be made for setting the strength minimum at a point where most women couldn't get in. But even there, I would say that mental toughness and will are far more important. The effectiveness of the Viet Cong is one example: those guys were little gnomes compared to the American giants they fought, but lesser physical size and strengh were not a military disadvantage.

In my own observation, even the wimpy old Air Force is still very sexist and it makes life tough for women. This means that by and large, the women I saw serving were not the dead weight, the substandard performers being carried along by affirmitive action that some would say (they've heard tell of) exist. The real women in the military are in fact a cut above most of the men they serve with in terms of will and fortitude. There are simply too many easier paths for a woman to take in life than the military, and the ones who choose to put up with all that shit are bad asses.

I know people like Rush Limbaugh would say otherwise, and love to dig up stories of women and minorites who aren't really good enough, but Rush got a medical exemption from the draft, and so like many of his ilk, he never served either and doesn't know what he's talking about. So maybe you've seen different, but that's what I've seen.

Hey! Read this. That is all.
[ Parent ]

Good and bad... we've just about reached parity. (4.50 / 6) (#51)
by beergut on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 04:26:49 PM EST

Sometimes I think the only task our troops must have before them is to carry their dead comrades off the battlefield.

Your pontificating about the "only task our troops must have before them" is asinine. The rest of your post is pretty solid, though. An infantry situation is the position to which I was referring, however, as this is the situation that I perceived weirdling to be addressing.

To paraphrase Patton, you don't win wars that way. You win by making the enemy drag his dead and wounded back home.

Indeed. By way of support, both logistic and technical, and combat operations that do not involve slogging through mud and jungle, potentially dragging wounded comrades off the field or (to a somewhat lesser degree) saving them from drowning, I am wholly in support of women in the military.

In a purely egalitarian sense, if we equipped an army of Amazons to fight our battles for us, and they were capable of functioning as a cohesive unit and wreaking massive amounts of damage upon our enemies, I'd be all for it. Hell... women want equality... give it to 'em.

You make a good point about attitudes and the ability to cope with a raft of shit. Women who can do that are just as formidable as men who can do that, mentally, and possibly moreso when you take into account the extra bunch of shit they take simply because they're female. I have naught but respect for women in the military, though I tend to disagree with those who claim we need a standing army to begin with. It's a tough-assed job. One I couldn't do.

Who gives a shit about what Rush Limbaugh says? Sure, he's entertaining, and I happen to agree with some of the points he makes, but my thoughts on this issue are my own.

i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

-- indubitable
[ Parent ]

Just so you know (3.25 / 4) (#54)
by weirdling on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 04:57:07 PM EST

Your assertion that only the infantry really has to have physical capability is valid and one reason why I can't understand the Navy's insistance on raising standards. Not that I care; it's their business to do whatever they wish, but it is bothersome.

As to a person being able to overcome, I don't really think physical ability is all that important to mental toughness once a certain point is past. Besides, that is what boot camp or OCS is for. The tests one must survive in Navy OCS are the exact same ones in Marine OCS, except the infantry parts, which are replaced with classes taught by ratings rather than field excercises. However, the running around at 0 dark thirty, the flopping like a fish, the Marine drill instructor yelling at you, that's all there. Navy OCS is basically three or four orders of magnitude tougher than a physical fitness regimen that would get one in shape to get in. You're up before dawn, in bed as late as humanly possible, run day in and day out, yelled at, annoyed, harangued, and generally pushed until you're ragged, at which point, they yank you out of bed and push some more. The Army and Air Force aren't like this, which is a reason I did not wish to join either of them. If I was going to join a fake fighting force, I'd join the National Guard and have my weekdays off...

The problem with using things such as pushups is that it is a well-known fact amongst those who are into fitness that certain body types will never be able to do a lot of pushups or pullups. So, setting the bar high enough will just eliminate them, because no amount of effort will get them there. For instance, at one point in my life, I was 6'3", 190 pounds, and around 4% bodyfat. Clothes hung off me like a scarecrow. My cheeks were depressed. Yet I could only do about 35 pushups. I could bench 320 pounds, I could play basketball until others got tired or I got bored. I could slam dunk. I used to wrestle. I could run just about forever. Several of my friends and I ran up Lookout Mountain in Tennesee and then back down again, just on a lark. That's about a mile each way. We were the only ones on that trip that got to see the top of Lookout Mountain, which is why we did it; there wasn't enough time to hike up it. However, I would not have made it into the Navy under the new regulations.

As a citizen, I am concerned about the wrong-headed use of pure physicality in a military that desparately needs geeks. These regulations will bar just about any geek I know from entrance. As a person who tried to get in, I am actually relieved to have failed. That's not the only thing wrong with the military; after eight years of Clinton, the military is basically a husk of its old self, and conditions are shit. Morale is at an all-time low, as is pay, and carreerists have taken over most officer billets, often staying in because they are simply unemployable. The result is a military that is actively decaying. The National Guard regularly whoops the Army in fitreps. It's actually quite pathetic.

My solution? Lower physical standards, keep stringent OCS and boot camps, double pay accross the board, muck out the senior officer corps, forcing retirement on those who are causing most of the problems, and allowing new blood up the chain. Then you'll have a vibrant military, one that can hold on to the senior NCOs that are the core of any military, such as my Marine friend, who will probably leave the military soon so he can feed his family.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
Wow. (2.50 / 4) (#55)
by elenchos on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 05:46:19 PM EST

The solution to the US military being a "husk of itself" is to lower the physical standards and let in more geeks. But you scoff at the Air Force because it is not a real fighting force. The Air Force really kills people. What more do you want? Not physical enough for you? You wanted to be in a service that only kills people up close and personal, not by pushing buttons. Okee dokee. So naturally you skipped tha Army and went for the Navy. What did you think you would be doing in the Navy? Not pushing buttons?

Don't tell me I can guess. You thought you were going to be a SEAL, right? If only they could overlook the way that nature screwed you over by making it impossible for you to ever do 25 push-ups, no matter how hard you tried. Yeah, the SEALs need guys like that.

Very hard to figure out. Maybe you did just want to be a sailor, not a SEAL. But you thought you could be an officer? Fact: no one will follow you if you constantly make excuses. That is not leadership. That is whining for mommy and if by some travesty you were put in charge of even a flight of geeky Airmen, they would frag you whiner ass.

Is it Clinton's fault now? I thought it was women and minorities. Did Clinton make the fitness standards too high for you to get in? Where do you get all this stuff? It's really nuts, you know that?

It's fine for you to be a crank, you know. But stop going around picking on those you percieve as easy targets. You think affirmitive action lets unqualified minorities and women get ahead while your imaginary superior self is being held back. And no way is any of this your fault. Does anyone buy into these lame excuses? Does anyone who is in a postition to actually know what they are talking about give any credence to this weak and geeky, all-male, all-white military that you seem to be envisioning?

I mean seriously. Do you ever do a reality check? Like those push-ups you couldn't do. That was a reality check, not an unfair test. Do you understand what that means?

Hey! Read this. That is all.
[ Parent ]

God, you are an ass (2.50 / 4) (#61)
by weirdling on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 08:45:56 PM EST

That's how I'm going to start all my responses to you. It is an inimicable quality of the liberal that allows them to totally fail to understand a thing anyone else says, so this is probably a waste of time, but here goes:

I liked the idea of being in the Navy. The Navy has a tougher OCS, meaning success means more. The Navy has big ships and aircraft and a culture of personal combat that the Air Force lacks, except aircraft. I don't think the Air Force is ineffective; it simply isn't for me.

I think physical requirements for entrance should be lowered. However, doubling pay will allow you to be far more selective during OCS, where you will weed out those who do not actually qualify, rather than merely setting up fucking stupid standards.

And, for the last fucking time, I will wear it as a badge of honor that I, as a straight, white male, must *always* work harder for the same thing than anyone else because I know it means that people are admitting that straight, white males are superior through these policies. However, I will never make an excuse and never had. It is you, idiot, who is saying that I made the excuse. It is the liberal who assumes that there must be an excuse.

Anyway, good luck with yourself in your little world.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
Liberalism is the problem here? (3.33 / 3) (#63)
by elenchos on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 09:02:25 PM EST

I would think the liberals would be the very people who would be willing to reduce the number of push-ups the Navy asks candidates to do. All that judgemental stuff, separating people, saying some aren't good enough.

So then you are saying that among conservatives we would find support for more geeks in the military? It would be the more conservative position to lower the physical requirements?

Lets say that they do double military pay (something I wholeheartedly agree with) and they are flooded with applicants. Then they can be more picky with them. So. Um, what benchmark would you have them use to select which ones to take?

Not push-ups I take it?

Your are right that there is no excuse.

Hey! Read this. That is all.
[ Parent ]

Either an idiot or an ass (3.25 / 4) (#52)
by weirdling on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 04:30:01 PM EST

Good grief, man, can you stop and think for a bit before you make these posts? I never said the reason I wanted to join the Navy, but that is the service I wanted to join, which is my choice. Anyway, the reasons I wanted to join turned out to be based on false information given me by a recruiter, so I decided I no longer wished to join. I might have made it in a few months, but I had to eat, and had lost interest in the Navy, anyway, as I got a job paying much more.

Anyway, the point remains that these things are very much sexist. Differing standards imply differing abilities, which implies a difference between the sexes. It is you who has considered it that I am angry with women or blacks because of this; I don't care. Really. It's not that I'm bitter; it is that people who insist that white men have it easy are wrong. I *never* excuse my failures and *always* take responsibility for my actions. It is largely because I did not have enough time, not because I did not work hard enough, as I darn near killed myself running an average of 3-5 miles *per day*, weightlifting twice a week, and swimming a quarter mile every morning. I was *not* in bad shape; I have always had trouble with measurements, having a large waste due to huge bones but a small neck. Truth is that I was well under the bodyfat percentage by the Air Force or Army measurement, just not the Navy or Marine Corps. Please, if you must continue with this idea, reduce the personal attacks based on things you know nothing of.

Now, as to lowered standards for minorities, it is well-known that the government has set targets for the graduation of minorities in service, and these targets artificially encourage instructors to take it easy on them. While I never went through this process, I have many friends who have and every one of them says the same thing. This is known as 'affirmative action', or institutionalised racism.

Now, as to 'daily, systemic injustices', WTF? Please prove these happen...

Now, as to physical tests. These were instituted after Pearl Harbor, at which time sailors were often not even able to do one chinup, which caused a disaster in the rescue operations. Up until that point, if you were under the weight limit, and passed a medical, you were in. BTW, that's still true for *enlisted*, it's only officers that have to meet a physical standard. Anyway, raising the standards as high as our military has raised them is idiotic in the extreme. It guarantees you're only going to get muscleheads and fitness freaks, no geeks. A modern military needs more geeks than anything else, particularly a Navy. I was most likely going to be driving some sort of desk my entire Navy carreer, which is what I found out that caused me to lose interest. See, I have a degree in CS and a high IQ. No way they're going to let me actually fight.

I would seriously like to know two things: 1) why is it not ipso facto sexist to have differing standards (and remember, the argument that women are less strong than men is a sexist one), and 2) why defend such stringent requirements in the *Navy* of all things?

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
Lets see... (3.25 / 4) (#57)
by elenchos on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 07:25:50 PM EST

Remember the argument that women are less strong than men is sexist? No it isn't. It is a fact, just like men being more often colorblind is a fact. Believing a fact is not sexism. Sexism is believing a myth without evidence.

Such as in the whines you have second hand from these expert military sources. It is a proven fact that minorities get preferential treatment? Oh? You show me. As far as proof of racism and sexism, you've seen it time and agian here on K5 alone, if not elsewhere. You simply deny it when it's put right in front of your eyes. Not unlike the way you deny that this mere 25 push-up minimum is an acceptable standard for a Navy officer. That takes some serious mental gymnastics to believe.

I already told you why having differing standards is not sexist. The point is to weed out those who make excuses instead of getting the job done. You can weed out an adequate number of women with one physical standard, and an adequate number of men with another. If they raised the limit for women, they would be turning down candidates who actually have what it takes. If they lowered it for men, they would let in guys who give up too easily.

You emphasize this yourself when you mention the higher physical standards for officers. Their actual jobs are generally less physical, but that isn't the point. The goal is to cull those who won't take the initiative to overcome obstacles. This is even more critical with officers than with enlisted, because nobody wants officers who just try a little and quit. They want people who do whatever it takes.

One of the greatest flaws in the military is a one-size-fits-all solution to every problem. A weight standard, or a height limit, or even a complex array of tests is only a benchmark. There are going to be boundary cases where justice isn't done by the using the benchmark. That is simply how the military is; you are certainly not the first one to suffer from this.

An officer I know has worked his entire live to become an Air Force pilot. When he was only 17, while taking part in Civil Air Patrol, Boy Scouts and Jr. ROTC, and doing everything he could to become an Air Force officer and pilot, he discovered his vision was 20/40. Common sense will tell you that the AF will never take a pilot with vision that poor. They simply have too many qualified candidates with perfect vision. But he didn't give up. He doggedly went on to get an aerospace engineering degree, and became an officer anyway, even though he knew he would only be a navigator, forever waiting for a pilot slot that would never be open for him. The Air Force decided for him that they wanted him to get a masters degree in meterology. Two more years wasted in college, when his real goal was to be a pilot. He simply sucked it up and did what they wanted. Then they assigned him to be a navigator on C-130s, not the combat jets he wanted. He just kept at it, kept doing the best he could at whatever the service asked of him, because that it the way it's played. I think someday he may actually get to be a pilot, though he knows that all his years of loyalty count for little. What matters always is the needs of the mission, not the individual.

That is how military service is, and that is what a good officer is. That is not you. You are a guy who makes excuses for his own weakness, and blames the underdog for injustice, instead of being strong and helping the weak.

Why didn't you just join the Air Force? Don't you see the contradition between your claims that you are such a stud tough guy and such good military material, and your decision to give up when faced with a single setback. How can you sit here and say the Air Force is not manly enough for you? If you think a military with more geeks is better, then they are your dream service. Although in all honesty, I don't think you would have made it through even enlisted basic training. The whole system is set up to find and to test those who complain too much and can't get the job done. The TI's would have rode your ass out the door.

I don't think you would deserve to get picked on at all if you would lay off those who don't deserve your scorn. The fact is, the US armed services are filled with thousands of women and minorites who have paid seriously heavy dues and overcome hardships that would make you fall down and cry. You sit there on the outside, a quitter, and smear their good name, saying they got there by special treatment.

It is slanderous for you to say such things against them, and that is why you are drawing this criticism on yourself.

Hey! Read this. That is all.
[ Parent ]

God, you are an ass (2.40 / 5) (#60)
by weirdling on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 08:29:11 PM EST

I was willing to assume you were merely uninformed or stupid, but you don't even read, do you?

For the last fucking time, I have no interest in joining the US military. Perhaps the National Guard, but not the standing military. Also, it is not the fault of those in the military the shape they're in, it's the fault of the idiot Bill Clinton and the Democrats, as I've said time and again. At one time, I wanted to get into the Navy; I changed my mind.

Now, as to the assertion that minorities and women have it easier getting into the military, you have nothing but your own assertion. Further, you take it as gospel fact that 'even on K5', where it's almost impossible to tell who is a woman and certainly impossible to tell who is a minority, they face discrimination. Show me some fucking facts if you insist I show some. Damn, man, try to work with me here. If it really is that self-evident, you should be able to prove that there is tons of real discrimination, not pansy-waist treatment such as what passes for sexual harrassment these days, as *MEN TREAT MEN LIKE THAT*, so saying women can't take it is sexist...

Also, these idiotic restrictions reduce those who can get in without materially affecting the kind of person that makes officer. What it does do is insist that jocks are the only officers we get, which may have been fine in a past life, but now is not; we need geeks there, and they won't make the cut, trust me. I am very physical for a geek, could enter the National Guard any time I liked, but will never enter the standing military until they pay a decent wage and remove the blasted carreerists that think as you do: raise the physical fitness standards to force in the kind of people who will work hard to meet them.

Were you reading when I said that I worked out *Daily* for an entire year trying to make it in? Is that not good enough for your silly pretentiousness?

When did I complain? I said time and again that I don't care that the Navy has these standards; it is their right. However, differing standards *are* ipso facto sexist. You said it yourself; there's a difference between competency levels in men and women. That is sexist. By extension, it follows that men, who are physically stronger, will make better infantry. That is sexist. I don't disagree with the fact; I am sexist. You do. You say that somehow the fact that differing standards is a tacit admission they are different isn't sexist, and further, we should allow people in who failed to meet the same standards.

Anyway, please get your facts straight. I am not whining about not getting in; I don't blame it on women or minorities; I blame it on me changing my fucking mind, as I have said time and again, not that you can be bothered to read what I write.

It's funny how much extrapolation you can create without even knowing me. Just shows how much of a jackass you are, I guess. Anyway, try this time to read and understand my post before simply saying the same dumbass thing over again.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
Oh, I'm sorry. I stand corrected. (2.75 / 4) (#62)
by elenchos on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 08:54:03 PM EST

You went to go in the Navy, and didn't pass the physical, and then decided that you didn't really want to be in the Navy after all. You just then got the news that the pay was low and it was not exactly dreamland for geeks.

Or did Bill Clinton suddenly come into office and ruin everything? I'm a little confused as to who decided the military would be overrun with these incredible jocks who can all do like 25 push-ups and all that superhuman stuff. Meat heads.

Who needs them right?

I'm so glad I didn't wast my time finding you any links about discrimination. I knew you wouldn't be able to see them for what they were. I was talking about stories posted here, not the posters. I've seen you post comments on them so I have to presume you had a chance to read, to follow those links. And still you are in heavy denial.

Instead you are off on this thing about the miliatry needing more geeks. What the hell is the basis for that? Have our forces done poorly in battle anywhere due to the excessive athleticism of the troops? Is this based on any kind of facts. Like could you show me a more geeky military force, one with lower physical standards than ours, that is superior? Are there any strategists who share your belief here? Or could you be the only one?

Your definition of sexism is equally soliopsistic. Does anyone else on Earth define sexism like this? Women are shorter than men! Ha! I'm such a sexist. Women have smaller hands and feet! More sexism. Women have less upper-body strength. Such horrid sexism! Did you know women pee different too? It's true and I don't care who calls me a sexist for saying that women need different restroom facilities than men.

Oh, such an ass I am for my blockheadedness. Who thinks like you do? Certainly not those who have served our country in spite of the shoddy deals and the low pay and the jealousy of computer geeks with serious personal responsibility issues. I thought you were just insulting the minorities and women in the services. But you're here today to spit venom at everyone in uniform. Nice.

And I'm an ass?

Hey! Read this. That is all.
[ Parent ]

news from reality (3.75 / 4) (#40)
by streetlawyer on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 03:19:26 AM EST

here's a newsflash from the planet Earth -- if you can only do 25 pushups, you're not in "excellent physical shape".

Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
Pick on Weirdling day (3.33 / 6) (#53)
by weirdling on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 04:39:30 PM EST

Depends. If you're 6'3", 240 pounds, 40" waist, 22% bodyfat, 25 pushups is excellent. The idea that a pushup is a good measure of a person's fitness is outdated. Very large people, even those who are merely tall, have trouble with it. Short, wiry guys can do pushups all day, but if I only had to lift them, so could I. I can, however, lift five of them, so I am much stronger. I have a Marine friend that can do around sixty pushups with no trouble, can run five miles without any real effort, do situps until he gets bored, but can't bench half what I bench and can't run away from me over short distances. I've always been in possession of more strength than endurance, but that doesn't mean I wasn't in shape. Even though I am more strength than endurance, I still could run 6 miles at a steady pace, swim a quarter of a mile (200 yards was the Navy requirement), do 25 pushups, and 60 situps in a minute. That is better shape than the majority of people out there.

Of course, I also played a lot of tackle-football, and there are some 300 pound guys that can attest that getting hit by someone who weighs 240 pounds and is in good shape hurts a lot more than someone with just as much muscle as that person but only 200 pounds. There were several guys on the field who weighed around 180-200 pounds that weren't as tall as I am but were as strong, and if we collided, I always won. They were only a little bit faster than I was, so that wasn't a major advantage. Back then, I used to play nose tackle (still my favorite position, at 6'4" 280, I'm much better at it), and bowling over a 300 pound center is part of the job, something that Marine who can do hundreds of pushups could never do. He won't play lineman if I'm on the other team.

So, if you'd bother to consider the thing systemically, you'd see that pushups are not at all a good indicator of shape. Most people would consider that I'm not in real good shape until they see me play nose tackle, when they realise that I'm in perfect shape for that, despite the fact that I could only do ten or so pushups.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
a little parable (3.33 / 6) (#41)
by streetlawyer on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 03:21:28 AM EST

"Where's all this water I keep hearing about?" said Fred the Fish.

"I look around me and what do I see? Duckweed over there for the ducks, gravel for the crayfish, plankton for the insects. What about the water? I don't see any! Isn't it time somebody did something for the fish in this pond?"

Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

New political group. (3.20 / 10) (#8)
by harb on Wed Aug 01, 2001 at 02:48:13 AM EST

With the sole purpose of educating people on how to take responsiblity for their own actions.

Educate them that their actions DO have consequences, and that they should deal with them.

It's inherent in our society that when you do $a, the opposing reaction is almost entirely variable. If you steal a car, but can sweet talk your way out of it... if you cheat on a girl, but blame your parents always cheating on each other...

Anything you do can go at least two ways. There are no absolute consequences in our society.


How's this for a slogan: BLAME YOURSELF.


Gravity Kills (3.33 / 3) (#14)
by Farq Q. Fenderson on Wed Aug 01, 2001 at 07:53:03 AM EST

This reminds me of a Gravity Kills shirt, which says "guilty" on the front and "and you're guilty too" on the back. I've always liked it.

farq will not be coming back
[ Parent ]
* ahem * (2.50 / 8) (#44)
by streetlawyer on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 07:58:02 AM EST

I have just abused my trusted user status to rate your post zero. Blame Yourself.

Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
Siggy... (3.37 / 8) (#11)
by ti dave on Wed Aug 01, 2001 at 03:49:05 AM EST

If I may ask...

"I'm 21 now. It was only this year that the litigation storm finally ground to a halt."

Why didn't it end 3 years ago, when you turned 18?


ti dave
"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

Student? (3.33 / 6) (#15)
by finkployd on Wed Aug 01, 2001 at 08:00:35 AM EST

Not if he were a student. Child support and custody issues continue past 18 if the person in question is a full time student and still claimed as a dependant legally. At least I think so.

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]
Support Yes, Custody No.... (3.33 / 3) (#23)
by ti dave on Wed Aug 01, 2001 at 01:11:55 PM EST

Unless Siggy was found incapable of caring for himself.

Oh Yeah, the IRS will let you claim the student for tax purposes.

Perhaps he'll confirm your hypothesis.


ti dave
"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

[ Parent ]
Actually... (3.80 / 5) (#25)
by Signal 11 on Wed Aug 01, 2001 at 02:04:52 PM EST

Actually you're both wrong.

Simply put... the courts didn't care that I had turned 18, because the matter of back child support and medical fees continues past the time you become an adult. The only reason it was resolved at all was because my mom paid my dad off so she could get her life back... the court system would have been happy to drag it out another ten years. btw - that particular payment had been paid several times over, but due to the complex nature of the case and multiple bureaucratic mistakes... she kept paying, and paying, and paying...

Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.
[ Parent ]

And what does race have to do with *this*? (3.00 / 4) (#38)
by elenchos on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 12:31:22 AM EST

Would there have been fewer bureaucratic mistakes if you had been black? Would the case have proceeded more swiftly? Is it the fault of some minority that your family had this conflict to begin with?

Again and again you find a little rain falling in your life, and you want to turn yourself into the persecuted white male as a result. You really thrive on the sense of injured merit (tm John Milton), don't you? I don't know about the white male thing, but irresponsible whiney boys whom everyone picks on could be formed into some kind of political identity group. You might even get someone to pay to shut you up if you played it right.

I wonder if you successfully became their leader, would that disqualify you for memebership? Nah! You'd think of a reason why someone was still fucking you over. There is always someone to blame.

"Who's making personal remarks now?" the Hatter asked triumphantly.
--Alice in Wonderland
[ Parent ]

hey great idea (3.50 / 4) (#43)
by streetlawyer on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 07:56:51 AM EST

You might even get someone to pay to shut you up if you played it right.

Boy ain't that the truth. I'm certainly good for a couple of bucks if Siggy can deliver his half of the bargain.

Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Excellent Point. You're just who I wanted to ask.. (3.66 / 3) (#39)
by ti dave on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 03:18:24 AM EST

Another personal question, if I may.
This thought was spinning through my head, and since IANAL, but I do pay Child Support, I must ask.

Once you reached the age of 18, who receives the back due money? You, or your Custodial Parent?

I can see reasons for either scenario, but I tend to believe that the Custodial Parent would be assigned the back due amount, as compensation for providing 100% of the child's financial support until the child reaches the age of majority.

i.e. Paying for shelter, utilities and food benefits both the child and the custodial parent.

OTOH, however, the money should be used for the child's benefit, so they could have a legitimate claim to the money at age 18. This way, the child could arrange educational financing, or perhaps invest it.

IIRC, you're in Michigan?


ti dave

"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

[ Parent ]
k5 for discussions... (4.65 / 20) (#12)
by Afty on Wed Aug 01, 2001 at 06:12:58 AM EST

There are a number of posts above deriding Sig11 posting because the authors of the posts 'couldn't see the point'. - I don't feel we need an author of a story to have a point, the site is here to generate a discussion, and I believe this one does.

The victim culture is something I find pretty incredible, and the social groups Sig11 picks out are only the icing on the cake. The real 'point' there towards the end of the post was hit upon - that single young white males can never really be 'victims' because of societys' perceptions.

I'm a single white male in my early 20s, I haven't been a victim since I finished puberty. Maybe it's because I'm a fairly strong and laid back person, maybe it's because others in society don't feel I fit the victims' demographic. I like to think it's the former.

If someone does something to me I don't like, I retaliate. To do this you need to have at least some willpower, a modicum of intelligence and a belief that you are entitled to exact revenge or compensation from others that have wronged you.
  • If you end up with shit service from your DSL provider and you are certain things at your end are fine, phone them. The first thing you do is ask to speak to someone more senior. At first, they won't let you, inform them that you are placing a block on your payments to them from your bank, now they will pass you on to the most senior person they can find. They will moan and threaten to sue you if you have contracted them for a minimum period. Tell them that they will not do this, as the burden of legal fees and administration at their end is far higher than the remaining value of your contract (it will be) and that you know this. Inform them that you will take your business elsewhere and post a review of their service to a number of local papers, magazines and online sources. Tell them they have 24 hours to fix the problem. It will be fixed.
  • Your boss refuses you a raise - go work elsewhere.
  • Someone refuses to emply you - go start your own business, do it better than them, put them out of business.
  • Your girl dumps you - get a new girl.
  • You lose a game of soccer - practice hard for next time.
  • Someone at work spreads rumours behind your back - punch them the next time you see.
I could go on forever with the list. The ultimate point I'm (very badly) trying to make is that you are only a victim if you allow yourself to be a victim. People who have been hit by cars and paralyzed from the waste down could be classed as 'victims' - but some of them get on with their lives, find new suitable challenges and complete these challenges, just so they can find new ones. They don't allow themselves to be a victim so they don't feel like one. Anyone can do this, but the truth is that most people are just living their lives waiting to become victims.

"victims" (2.92 / 14) (#13)
by Farq Q. Fenderson on Wed Aug 01, 2001 at 07:47:05 AM EST

There are no innocents.

No one owes you anything.

Until people begin to realize this, there will always be a huge proportion of people who make victims of themselves. Usually, it's their own fault for being naive, and then later being unwilling to stand up for themselves.

farq will not be coming back
in that spirit (2.30 / 10) (#42)
by streetlawyer on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 07:54:51 AM EST

and as an object lesson, I have just abused my trusted user status to rate your post zero. It's your own fault, for being naive.

Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
tag (4.00 / 3) (#58)
by Farq Q. Fenderson on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 07:31:05 PM EST

You're it.

We both know where this goes.

farq will not be coming back
[ Parent ]
bureaucracy (3.50 / 6) (#18)
by wiredog on Wed Aug 01, 2001 at 09:00:44 AM EST

Bureaucracy may be the only thing keeping the Government Corporatist Complex from enslaving us. The bureaucracy is so complex that it can't get anything done. Neither can we, but would you rather have a government that is efficient enough to do everything it (and we) want it to do, or one that is trapped in its own La Brea Tar Pit?

If there's a choice between performance and ease of use, Linux will go for performance every time. -- Jerry Pournelle
It's an op-ed (3.16 / 6) (#20)
by loaf on Wed Aug 01, 2001 at 09:43:00 AM EST

The writer doesn't need a point. The writer doesn't need to be coherent. The writer is using the space to have a rant ... and a well justified one too.

What right does anyone else have to infringe my actions? Ultimately it's all about "society" and "co-operation". Anarchy won't generate power, build roads or get the nation fed.

Society needs to protect itself - but at what cost to liberty? Innocent is as innocent does - do nothing to protect yourself and you deserve everything you get ... but what about those who are vulnerable? Society has a fine balance to find. Sticking up for people without forgetting that they might be able to do it better for themselves.

RE: It's an op-ed (none / 0) (#72)
by glorinc on Wed Aug 08, 2001 at 12:57:43 PM EST

Society needs to protect itself - but at what cost to liberty?

"Those who sacrifice liberty to achieve safety deserve neither."
- Benjamin Franklin

[ Parent ]
pot. kettle. african-american (2.66 / 9) (#27)
by strlen on Wed Aug 01, 2001 at 03:12:29 PM EST

what? so you're trying to make a statement about personal responsibility while blaming the bureacracies the "feminazis", the "minorities", the "politically-correct" for all your problems? [sarcasm] i must imagine that the black kid in south central LA selling crack on the corner to feed his mother and three siblings must really feel for you. It's really tough being a white middle class youth, huh? [/sarcasm]

[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
according to young white males (2.00 / 3) (#69)
by alprazolam on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 02:24:46 PM EST

they are a victim of all the minority groups. ironic isn't it?

[ Parent ]
pretty much (2.75 / 4) (#71)
by strlen on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 06:12:06 PM EST

oh boy those minority groups.. i guess the reason i have a cold is due to all those liberals and all the affirmative action, and all the minorities. i just scratched my car's front bumper.. must be all those minorities, and all the afirmative action and all the liberalism, oh the humanity! damn that black kid in watts, he's infringing on my rights, he's opressing me!

[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
Reminds me of something (3.00 / 5) (#28)
by mami on Wed Aug 01, 2001 at 03:55:07 PM EST

I don't remember anymore exactly, but it must have been during my first four to six months being exposed to the marvels of the internet and some technical support emails of a guru in my mailbox, in 1996. I was just a mami. So, I had a lot of difficulties to understand the well-meant help I got from the Guru(tm).

But, of course, though I lacked understanding Perl code, I was very intrigued by the signature's quotes, which, as I learned, were haphazardly chosen from a larger collection. At least these quotes I could understand, easily, and sure thing they always seems to hit the point.

They fit so well that I really started to be suspicious if those sigs were choses just by coincidence. I began to be very suspicious of guru's signatures' intentions. "What did the guru want me to "get" this time?" I asked myself. One day this sig came along:

"There are no victims, only volunteers".
Boy, that hit me. What about the holocaust victims I thought, what about civilan people, who trample in land mines ? Of course there are victims, I thought. How cruel to believe otherwise. This guy must have no idea about how it feels to be a victim, never have been in the wrong war, on the wrong side, for all the wrong reasons.

So I swallowed my rebellious thoughts and continued to discover the world of geek thinking. And it caused me a lot of headaches. No, there ARE victims, said my inner voice. I am not caving in to the wisdom of guru-ism.

I went with the above quote to the meanest people I could think of, to the news office of quite a large media organizations and presented it to the crew of journalists, who usually love nothing more than to tear you apart sarcastically, and asked them: "Are all victims just volunteers ?" A resounding answer: "Are you nuts, of course not."

Well, with so much "encouragement", one day I took a heart and sent the best flaming email I have ever written in my life to Mr. Guru. I thought it was a polite flame though, but I guess, it wasn't. I never got an answer, but - - this quote vanished from his quote database table for good. I have followed this guru's posts on technical mailing lists for years and NEVER saw it again.

Of course, nowadays, I do believe that most of the time the sigs are generated haphazardly. Though, if I put something as my sig's quote, I always choose something which should make a point to what I was saying in my comment.

BTW, now that I know, thanks to K5, a little bit more about anarchists, Libertarians etc., could it be that this quote was something, which represents the fighting spirit of the true freedom loving hero anarchists ? Or something one would "teach" you in the military to "strengthen" your fighting spirits ?

Nothing is true. All is permitted. (3.50 / 4) (#31)
by Duke Machesne on Wed Aug 01, 2001 at 05:26:07 PM EST

arts schoolsweight loss
[ Parent ]

Huh ? (3.00 / 2) (#37)
by mami on Wed Aug 01, 2001 at 11:18:59 PM EST

[ Parent ]
Albert Camus (4.00 / 1) (#45)
by bluesninja on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 10:23:20 AM EST

I think he (Duke Machesne, not Camus) was referring to that "which represents the fighting spirit of the true freedom loving hero anarchists". Incoherently, I might add.


[ Parent ]

Hassan i Sabbah (4.00 / 3) (#48)
by Duke Machesne on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 02:55:42 PM EST

"Nothing is true, All is permitted."

These were the dying words of Hassan i Sabbah (the "Old Man of the Mountain"), leader of the Assassins.

"Hassan-I-Sabbah . . . the only spiritual leader with anything to say in the Space Age." -William S. Burroughs

arts schoolsweight loss
[ Parent ]

More help with geek thinking. (2.50 / 2) (#47)
by elenchos on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 02:37:35 PM EST

Though I think you are in the habit of taking irony and sarcasam too literally, you are actually on to something in your apprasial of geek thinking. Anyway, see my current .sig for more food for thought (I hope the link works).

Hey! Read this. That is all.
[ Parent ]

Thanks, (3.00 / 2) (#65)
by mami on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 11:01:50 PM EST

actually it's quite hard for me to recognize and understand a lot of what is meant to be sarcasm. I think many underestimate how difficult it is to "get" sarcasm outside your mother tongue correctly. One of those "online communication sucks" thingies and of course a matter of one's educational background.

[ Parent ]
Joe Schmuckboy's 2-kW car stereo (3.00 / 7) (#30)
by ncc74656 on Wed Aug 01, 2001 at 05:20:32 PM EST

playing loud music past 10PM will earn you a summary execution by local authorities
...and there's something wrong with this? :-)

exactly (3.71 / 7) (#34)
by strlen on Wed Aug 01, 2001 at 07:22:45 PM EST

yes, those kiddies with two 15" sub woofers in the trunk, pointed outwards annoy me. perhaps summary execution may be too soft of a punishment. making them listen to backstreet boys with their stereo would be a better idea. really, nothing wrong with little bass (like two 10's pointed inwards), but those kiddies playing full volume, full bass all day long annoy me.

[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
I agree - death to punk-asses (4.16 / 6) (#50)
by Mr.Surly on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 03:53:44 PM EST

I live in a low-rise apartment complex. My apartment is right next to the parking entrace.

Seems about 50% of my neighbors think it's to neat to enter/leave with their goddamn stereo blasting at 140 decibels.

In addition, there are at least 3 stalls with cars whose owners have installed "loud stereo detectors" (car alarms) that begin going off in sympathy whenever one of the rolling boom-boxes goes by.

I ask management to do something about the car alarms -- the shrug and say "what can you do?" HAVE THEM TOWED! My god -- do something! People wonder "what kind of an asshole would key my car?" Here's the answer: The guy who got tired of being awakend at 2am by your car alarm. Every time I hear the things, I *pray* the car is actually being stolen.

Big problem these days is that people have a complete lack of common courtesy, and cannot think past their own selfish desires. After all, they're the only person on the planet, right?

[ Parent ]
common courtesy, selfish desires (1.20 / 5) (#67)
by burris on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 01:56:16 AM EST

Instead of whining about it and laying in bed gnashing your teeth, get some freakin' EARPLUGS. You have the power to solve this problem yourself but you would rather have others modify their own behavior for your selfish desires.


[ Parent ]

ironic (none / 0) (#74)
by anagram on Thu Aug 09, 2001 at 03:47:25 PM EST

You call someone who wants peace and quiet in their own home selfish. Nice.

Right, it's not selfish at all to blast music so it can be heard (literally) a mile away. Even though one would be able to hear it just fine at a lower volume since they are less than 10 feet from the speakers.

Here's a clue: bass vibrations are felt by the body, not just the ears. I have often tried to go to sleep by putting ear plugs in my ears, but kept awake by the floor shaking bass I can feel in my chest.

I guess I'm selfish for wanting to go to sleep in the first place, right?

[ Parent ]

I must say... (3.60 / 5) (#56)
by PhillipW on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 06:01:57 PM EST

I can totally understand what you mean with the phone company. I work in provisioning for an ISP, and have to deal with the telephone company regularly. It's a fucking mess.

However, one part of your article you talk about them telling you to check their cables. I used to work in tech support, and I always recommended this to people. However, if I thought it was the client's fault, but they insisted it was not, I would still open a ticket with the telephone company, making sure to tell them of the hefty visit fee that gets charged if it's really their fault. Also, saying that you are a computer geek of 10 years doesn't help, since those guys often get calls from "Network Engineers" who don't know what winsock is.

Wow I've gone way off topic... Yeah the bureaucracy of the telcos sucks dick.

Checking Cables, bureaucracy, etc (3.20 / 5) (#64)
by dyskordus on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 09:27:02 PM EST

I (among other things) do Tier 2 DSL support for a telco. This means I can dispatch outside techs to mess with phone lines, inside techs to play with things in the CO, get the attention of ATM network people, etc.

Before I do anything else (except possibly run a MLT), I make sure all basic troubleshooting is done. Far too often I discover filters between the router and the phone, cables hooked up backwards, routers not reprogramed, and so on.

On the bureaucracy part of things, I totally feel for you. For most problems I can get ahold of the correct department with relative ease. If anything odd pops up, I usually spend at least an hour calling different departments, most of which will try to refer me back to the one I am in.

"Reality is less than television."-Brian Oblivion.
[ Parent ]

Abe? (3.25 / 4) (#59)
by Kasreyn on Thu Aug 02, 2001 at 07:44:28 PM EST

"The American Revolution would never have happened if Benjamin Franklin, Abe, and Mr. Jefferson had to go through all the crap we have to go through."

Please tell me you didn't mean Abraham Lincoln. He was in either his 50's or his 60's in 1865 when he was assassinated (can't remember his age). This means he could not have been born before 1796. American Revolution = 1776-177something (1779 IIRC).

Umm... wha?


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
Abe (2.00 / 1) (#70)
by Tsuraan on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 03:55:29 PM EST

Maybe by "Abe" he means George Washington. You know, "Abe". Right? Didn't you call him that in your history classes? *cough*

[ Parent ]
Great poll .. (3.00 / 1) (#66)
by dave920 on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 01:37:03 AM EST

I got a kick out of your choices for the poll .. and they are very well put. It amazes me how numerous common examples of hypocrisy abound, many of which some of us are guilty of professing, I'm sure.

getting over hypocrisy (2.50 / 2) (#68)
by dogwalker on Fri Aug 03, 2001 at 01:45:56 PM EST

(nice troll).

I think I found a new favorite form of hypocrisy. I'm not quite sure if I can nail it down right now, but see if you follow...

A: "It doesn't seem right that some people in this world are super-rich, while others are super-poor. Should we strive to have people treated equally?"

B: "Oh no, that would turn out awfully. You see, some people are simply better than other people, and therefore deserve to own more things, and are more fit to tell others what to do."

A: "Yes, I suppose you're right. It's a shame some people have rotten lives, but at least it's limited to inferior people. I guess if we help out a little people who are treated poorly through no fault of their own, it should work out ok."

B: "Oh no, that's a horrible idea. You see, no one is treated differently, everyone is basically the same."

I guess that's not so much hypocrisy as people blindly using the "That's just the way things are" argument, which seems to me to be a lame one.
share and enjoy

Victims outsmarting themselves? (5.00 / 1) (#73)
by Tatarigami on Wed Aug 08, 2001 at 09:28:46 PM EST

I went through tertiary education during a period when universities and polytechs in this country were making an intense effort to be politically correct. Some days it seemed like every flat surface had a poster on it showing a grainy photo of a young white guy with a black strip across his eyes to protect his identity and a slogan along the lines of "stop the violence", "stop the discrimination", "stop the fear", etc.

I found myself thinking "A lot of people are telling my particular demographic that we're monsters, in the hope that we'll try to prove them wrong. I wonder what they'll do if we decide we agree with them, and that it's time we stopped trying to fight it?"

Who's Really the Victim Here? | 74 comments (59 topical, 15 editorial, 0 hidden)
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