Saturday, April 27, 2019

Scouts, Just Scouts!

Both my sons went through in Cub Scouts as well as spending a few years in Boy Scouts. I was a Cub den leader for several years.  I actually loved it but the fact that it was all boys irritated me quite a bit. Sure there are Girl Scouts (and they are a great organization) but they are definitely separate and not the same. 

Last year the Cub Scouts starting admitting girls and now the Scouts BSA program admits girls as well although for the later they are in separate girl troops. Still that is movement in the right direction. At some point in the future I expect they will become fully integrated.

A few years ago the Scouts gave up rules prohibiting gay adults and youth from participating.  And, contrary to what some people think, Scouting is not a Christian organization. In fact, the country with the largest number of Scouts is Indonesia.

Progress may be slower than we like but it is good to see some things are moving in the right direction.

Saturday, April 20, 2019


It is amazing how much sexism there is when you take the time to listen. Sexism that goes unnoticed by most people.

This morning on NPR I heard a story about violence agaisnt women along the U.S. Mexican border. Certainly all violence is tragic but throughout the whole story they never once mentioned violence against men. And of course the vast majority of violence is committed against men. The reality is that in our society women's lives are viewed as more important than men's lives. It is such a fundamental mental construct that it is shared by the entire political spectrum from the most conservative to the most liberal. How many people complain that 99.99% of military deaths are male?

Similarly I heard a woman at work state that she had a weekend honey-do list for her husband. It made me cringe. How can people think it is terrible when a man says he can't cook, change a diaper, or do laundry yet it is okay for woman to not know how to use a screwdriver or hammer?

It we are going to end sexism people need to start paying attention more.

Sunday, April 14, 2019


I saw a segment on the news in the U.K. about how it is not just female actors who feel more and more that they need to be in peak physical shape to get good roles but also male actors. The whole point of the segment was to convey the non-intuitive somewhat shocking message that it isn't just women who feel pressured to look good. It made me laugh a bit because of course male actors are just as conscious of body image as are woman actors.

They did a comparison of James Bond as portrayed by Daniel Craig vs. Sean Connery.  Craig, if you did not know, is way more in shape than Connery ever was.

There is a currently popular so called fat acceptance movement. No doubt due to the our expanding collective waistlines. But if you think about it is there really any difference between being in good physical shape and say, being well groomed? In the Craig vs. Connery example, it was stated that the attractiveness of men used to be more about how confident they were and how they carried themselves rather than how ripped they were. So does than mean that we are prejudiced against men who are less confident? What about other factors such as height or tone of voice?  Would a shy, short, fat, bald man who stutters ever be selected to play James Bond? I think not despite the fact that a person has no control over any of those factors. And even for factors that one has control over such as grooming, or indeed physical fitness, do they really reflect a person's worth? No, they do not.

But let's not get to hung up on the matter. It is all about context. I have had and have many friends and  work colleges who are of varying girth, height, or other physical characteristic as well as varying levels of self-confidence and even emotional stability. It doesn't really matter all that much. But I admit that when it comes to romantic relationships, it does matter. There are people who I would not go out with because of how they look and/or act.  I think everyone is that that way. Maybe that is why successful relationships occur more often between people who are the same category. Not just physically but intellectually, emotionally and ethically as well.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Driven By Greed

Lies, fraud and driven by greed. An apt description of family court but those are the accusations against pharmaceutical company Insys Therapeutics which has been accused of bribing doctors and deceiving insurance companies to sell an opioid painkiller that is up to 100 times stronger than morphine. The founder of the company and its top leaders are now being tried in criminal court

There is an underlying mental construct that is the root of, for lack of a better term, evil. This evil construct causes people to seek to prove they are better than others. The expression of the construct can range from shoplifting, embezzlement, bullying, violence, discrimination, fraud, perjury, or even just being mean. Hurting others, monetarily, emotionally or physically makes such people feel superior.

The irony of course is that in seeking to prove they are better than others, they only achieve the opposite.