Trump Creepin’ on Clinton? Gimme a break!

Ermagerd!  He’s so creepy!

To my fellow travelers on the Trump Train, here’s how we should deal with this absurd claim that Trump was creeping on Hillary in that second debate.

Donald Trump is married to the beautiful, intelligent, exotic Melania Trump.

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Yeah, Hillary Clinton’s got nothin’ he wants!  Boom!  I’m out!

 

How did America remember what “socialist” means?

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I’m used to boomer generation “conservatives” equating socialism with communist dictatorships.  The boomers lived most of their lives during the Cold War era in constant fear of the communist menace.  I expect better from my fellow millennials, however, particularly the well-educated.

Marion Smith, Executive Director of “Victims of Communism” , has written an ignorant piece of red bait for Politico called “How did America forget what socialism means?”   If I were to write something with that title, I’d argue that decades of fear during the Cold War era, combined with manipulation by right-winged pundits had caused the boomer generation to forget what socialism means and instead equate it with the Soviet Union, as though Soviet style communism was the inevitable result of any attempt at a socialist economy.  As I’ve explained in one of my educational podcasts , Socialism actually can refer to a wide variety of economic systems so long as the means of production are publicly owned and the public decides the distribution of wealth.  Socialism can be anything from total communism to a community of farmers who have decided to collectively organize and share the fruits of their labor.

Mr. Smith’s article shows a picture of Bernie Sanders on the front, and then goes on to discuss the horrors of dictatorial communism, including that of the Soviet Union, China, and Cuba in particular.  His organization, “Victims of Communism”, does an excellent job of documenting the horrors that continue in Cuba.  At no point in this article, however, does Smith explain how this is in any way caused by socialism more broadly, or that it has anything to do with Bernie Sanders.  It pretty much amounts to, Cuba is socialist.  They do horrible things to people.  Bernie Sanders is also socialist.  Therefore…

It reminds me of Dinesh D’Souza’s “2016 Obama’s America” where D’Souza spends an hour or so cherry picking details like how Obama Sr. was a Kenyan revolutionary.  Many of those Kenyan revolutionaries were communistsObama Jr. loves his father and cried over his grave.  Obama must be a communist!

The kind of socialism advocated by Bernie Sanders is not Soviet style, nor Cuban.  He advocates the kind of Democratic Socialism professed by nations in northern Europe like Denmark.  If you want to criticize Bernie Sanders by criticizing Denmark’s economy, or the economies of other such systems in northern Europe, that’s fair game.  But Sanders advocates nothing close to the kinds of dictatorships seen in these countries that identify as “communist”, such as China, Cuba, etc.  Besides, China’s system would be more accurately described as “authoritarian capitalism” .  75% of China’s economy is privately owned.  The corporations exploit workers and make enormous profits, while being backed by the authoritarian “Chinese Communist Party”.

Smith is so disappointed that most of our millennial generation has “forgotten” the meaning of socialism.  By this, he means that we don’t have the same knee-jerk reaction to the word “socialism” as the half of the boomer generation with 24/7 Faux News echoing through their homes.  But these millennials haven’t “forgotten” what socialism means.  The boomers forgot.  The millennials are remembering.  The boomers on the right are still fighting the Cold War.  Someone really should inform them that the Berlin Wall came down.

I’m forgiving of the old.  They are set in their ways, and their worldview has been shaped by experiences that I’ve only read about in textbooks.  But for Mr. Smith, there’s no excuse.

Best Kos article ever…but it still sucks!

I just got taken for a ride by a very clever article about discrimination in the Daily Kos.  While I have some conservative sentiments, I’ve never cared for the “take back America” mantra.  Last I checked, America was never taken from us, so I’m not sure from whom we’re supposed to take it back.

This Kos article, by someone named Steven D, initially addressed that mantra, which caught my eye.  The first half of it was an interesting account of young Steven’s life in N. Carolina towards the end of the “Jim Crow” era, as a white northerner.  It was very courteous of him to note that these kinds of segregationist norms were uncommon in S. Dakota “probably because there were so few black people living in the Northern Plains states.”  I’ve never appreciated how white northerners criticize the south for all of our history of racial strife, when they up north so rarely had to deal with it, so I’m glad Steven D notes that very important difference in circumstances.  Well, even though I’m about to rip into this article, I’d still encourage you to read it, because the first half really is an excellent primary history source of segregation in 1950s North Carolina.

Now for the ripping. 

While I agree with some of the points that followed, in particular that our criminal justice system continues to discriminate against blacks; in typical Kos fashion the article goes on to make ridiculous hasty generalizations against conservatives, and a series of other fallacious arguments I will explain.  For one thing, Steven D seems to be suggesting that conservatives who say “I want my country back” want to go back to Jim Crow.  I will admit that most such conservatives (who are more anachronistic than conservative by the way), most of them cherry pick the past.  They probably want the prosperity and patriotism of the 1950s, and chose not to remember the segregation, much less the very high tax rates of the era.  But while their memories may be selective, they are not racists, they are not closet racists, and furthermore, it is indeed possible to look to the past, maybe try to re-implement parts of the past you like while leaving behind the parts that you don’t.  I for example would love to make America a manufacturing power house again, like we were in the 1950s.  We don’t need segregated schools to have manufacturing jobs, and it would be absurd to tell me “you can’t cherry-pick, if you want to go back to the 50s, you have to have segregation too.”

What bothered me most about this article is that it engaged in the all too familiar leftist victim group umbrella tactic.  That is, after deeply discussing racial discrimination in the past and present, it jumped into LGBT issues, feminism, Latinos, and any other “victim group” that the monolithic left seeks to homogenize into their narrow-minded political movement.  The article made a clearly false claim about feminism – “Feminism as a movement did not exist until the late 60s and early 70s.”  What about the women’s suffrage movement of the 19th and early 20th centuries?  What about great classic feminists like Mary Wollstonecraft, who encouraged equality in education, reason and modesty?

Religious Freedom is a Problem?

The article then begins to attack religious freedom itself as a mere excuse for discrimination.  So, if a cake decorator is religiously opposed to same-sex marriage, and therefore refuses to make a wedding cake for a gay wedding, that is to be called “discrimination” and the cake decorator punished?  So, you’re entitled to your religious beliefs, but if they offend the left, you have to violate those very beliefs in public…because they’re offensive?  As so often with the cleverly bigoted left, this is compared to the 1950s when blacks were refused service at restaurants.

Here are three reasons why that comparison is absurd.  1.  In the 50s, the discrimination was widespread, and blacks were being denied very basic necessities such as hotels when they were on the road, food when they were hungry, etc.  This greatly diminished their quality of life.  One religious cake decorator refusing to make a cake will not diminish the quality of a gay couple’s life.  There are plenty of cake decorators who don’t care, and would make them a cake.  To compare one entitled gay couple who still had their wedding to a poor black family in the 50s who slept in their car because the hotel “doesn’t serve coloreds” – that is an insult!  2.  Gay is not black.  A black man walks in, you know he’s black.  When racial discrimination is allowed, it’s far too easy to do so and degrade blacks in every way.  The same would be true of any other skin color.  A gay man walks in, do you know he’s gay?  Some gay people don’t “act gay”.  Some straight people are “metrosexual” (I’ve been known to set off a few gaydars myself).  3.  There is a difference between refusing service simply because someone is gay, and refusing to be involved in a same sex wedding ceremony.  While I am not against same-sex marriage myself, as an American, I will defend the right of fellow Americans to practice their religion as they see fit.  This is not “discrimination”, it is freedom.  To punish a cake decorator who refuses to make a wedding cake for a gay wedding is not ANTI-discrimination, it IS discrimination.  This leftist tactic of comparing everything they hate to Jim Crow racism is a clear poisoning the well fallacy.  Well, I don’t want to be racist, so I guess I’ll have to make a cake of a same-sex wedding ceremony.

This next part isn’t even good enough to be absurd

Of course, this is the Kos, and if you think what I’ve discussed above is the worst in this article…just read on.  The article also made a beyond absurd argument that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in Indiana will somehow effectively discriminate against, well, any group the Kos wants to appeal to.  Here are Steven D’s words – “Their efforts encompass attempts to limit the rights of a far wider range of people, from the poor, young people and students, women, Latinos, immigrants, the disabled and, of course, blacks.  Anyone who thinks otherwise is frankly delusional.”  WHAT?!  I’m sorry, but due to my religious beliefs, I can’t serve poor people…that’s what Jesus would do.  HUH?!  Sorry, but I can’t serve coffee to you students who are cramming for an exam because, religion.  REALLY?!  Where did Steven D come up with this nonsense?

I found the ending to be the most offensive and insulting of all.  Again, Steven D’s words – “I certainly don’t want a country where anyone can discriminate against anyone else of whom they do disapprove and escape liability for that immoral and otherwise unlawful act under any pretext, be it freedom of religionracial superiority or traditional values.”  In the name of white supremacy, the Reverend Clementa Pickney and eight worshippers were murdered at an AME Church in Charleston S. Carolina – while exercising their freedom of religion!  There’s a long a tragic history of black worshippers being murdered by white supremacists, and their churches being burned down.  To equate white supremacy to freedom of religion is an insult to the memories of every black worshipper who was murdered.

Why this article still sucks

I’m not frustrated by this article because it comes “from the left”.  There’s plenty of respectable leftist sources, such as The Nation and….The Nation…. I’m not even frustrated by all the ridiculous points I’ve now refuted, as I expect nothing less from the Kos.  I’m frustrated because this article actually had potential.  I’m not saying Steven D couldn’t make these points effectively.  With some basic critical thinking skills he could have made a plausible argument for why gay is the new black, or that it is wrong to refuse service for a gay wedding.  I’d disagree, but I’d at least consider it a respectable article.  But instead, what starts out as a very interesting first hand history lesson quickly degenerates into the kind of left-winged bigotry for which the Kos is notorious.  It is the worst kind of bigotry, as it is often in the name of anti-discrimination.  But discrimination in the name of anti-discrimination, is still discrimination.  If I as a Christian call for religious freedom, then argue that, say, Muslims do not believe in religious freedom*; and therefore Muslims must not be allowed to practice their religion because they are a threat to religious freedom, I would be a hypocritical bigot – no better than the ones at the Daily Kos.

I, too, “want a better country”.  But part of that depends on maintaining those aspects of our country that do work well.  The first amendment, amongst other things guaranteeing freedom of religion, has always served us well.  I’m not prepared to sacrifice that freedom in the name of anti-discrimination.  I’d rather use my first amendment rights to persuade my fellow Americans, than deny their first amendment rights in order to force their actions, which will never change what is in their hearts.

Note(s)

*For the record, I acknowledge that Islam, like Christianity, could be cherry-picked to justify suppressing religious freedom.  But like Christians, the average Muslim especially in America simply wants to practice his/her faith and has no desire deprive others of the same freedom.  If anything Islam has a better history of religious freedom, considering that they at least acknowledge some other faiths as “people of the book” and that during the Crusading era of the Middle Ages, Christians and Jews did have religious freedom for the most part in the Islamic world while the same courtesy was clearly not extended in the Christian world.

My Piece on the Charleston Massacre

Marco Rubio – Old Wine in New Bottles (5 Reasons)

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Marco Rubio may have a fresh face and uplifting tone, but his ideas are as stale as two week old French bread.  I do recognize his genuine efforts to focus on the positive and avoid mudslinging.  Therefore, I have no intention of attacking his character.  However, I find his policy agenda so abhorrent that I will show no restraint in attacking his ideas.  Despite Rubio’s youth, positive tone, and handsome face; he is simply a repackaging of tired, Bush era GOP policies – he is old wine in new bottles.  Here are five examples of recycled GOP policies:

5.   Rubio supports Oil Subsidies. Years ago, there was a debate over possibly ending the $4 billion a year our government uses to subsidize big oil companies.  Only two principled Republicans voted to end this corporate welfare, Rubio was not one of them.*  I sent Rubio a letter requesting that he support an end to this corporate welfare.  He responded with a lengthy letter.  Maybe two sentences explained that he would not end oil subsidies due to rising gas costs, and then nearly two pages were devoted to Obama bashing.  Sorry Rubio, bashing Obama doesn’t make you a conservative, nor erase your big government agenda.

4.   Inconsistent on Medicare funding, consistent on partisanship. Like most Senate Republicans, Rubio denounces Obamacare because it cuts Medicare funding, yet supports the Ryan plan that practically has the same effect.  So in other words, it’s not a “cut” when Republicans do it.  We really do need to control the costs of Medicare, and both parties seem to realize that.  I just wish they’d work together instead of slinging mud over a policy that is controversial, yet they both agree upon.

3.   Civil liberties take a back seat to “national security”. Rubio was one off the staunchest supporters of the NDAA of 2012, which allowed the Executive branch (that is, Obama and Eric Holder) to arrest and indefinitely detain those they regard as terrorists, or associates thereof; without a trial.  Rubio attempts to defend himself here, but if you read the bill (Sec. 1021 on p. 265 if you follow the link), you’ll see that it could allow far more than Rubio claims.  This appalling disregard for our Bill of Rights was bad enough.  His fellow Senator from Florida, Bill Nelson, at least attempted to amend the NDAA of 2012, by placing a time limit on said detention, but Rubio opposed that also.  Rubio is a supporter of this, the (un)Patriot Act, and all such post-9/11 efforts to use fear to erode our civil liberties.

2.   Supports special tax breaks for Wall Street. Like most establishment Republicans, Rubio sings Reagan’s praises while supporting a tax plan that goes against the very principle of Reagan’s tax reforms.  In 1986, Reagan passed a brilliant tax reform package that forced Wall Street to pay the same tax rate as everyone else by making the so-called “Capital Gains” tax rate (the special rate for Wall Street) the same as the regular income tax rate.  Rubio, however, like most Republicans, including the flagrant hypocrite Rush Limbaugh (Hey, I didn’t say I wouldn’t attack Limbaugh’s character), claims that “Capital Gains” taxes are a “double tax” and should be eliminated.  In other words, if you work for your money, you pay taxes under Rubio’s plan, but if you make your money on “capital gains”, such as in the Stock Market, you pay no taxes.  Currently, Wall Street pays a marginal rate of 20% (before exemptions) while regular income earners at the highest bracket pay 39% (also before exemptions).  This is what constitutes fairness in GOPonomics.  What?  Are you jealous of Wall Street’s success?  But they’re the job creators!

1.     Rubio is just another neocon too willing to start more wars. Like Bush, like Chaney, McCain, Graham, etc. Marco Rubio thinks frequent meddling in other countries is good for them and for us.  He is in denial about the failure in Iraq as you can see here, he supported arming the rebels in Syria, which is partly responsible for the emergence of ISIS, he seems to think we should now be fighting ISIS while poking Iran at the same time, even though Iran is doing a better job of combating ISIS than we are.  If Rubio were to become president, we’d just have more expensive, destabilizing wars; often creating more problems than we solve.  If we’d never invaded Iraq in the first place, if we’d stayed out of Syria, we’d have caught bin Laden long ago and there’d be no ISIS.

Rick Perry has claimed, for example, that we could have stopped ISIS if only we had done more to stop Asaad.  HELLO?!  Asaad is fighting AGAINST ISIS!  Rubio would never say something so stupid, yet his policies are the same.  However, Rubio is able to inspire without making a fool of himself….and that is why he is dangerous.  If they were all like Rick Perry and Sarah Palin, we’d be better off.  But Rubio is actually taken seriously.

As my followers know, I’m a Paul supporter.  And it’s not like I agree with him on everything (He unfortunately also opposed ending oil subsidies).  But looking at the big picture, Rand Paul brings fresh ideas both to the Republicans and to libertarians.  Mostly important, he brings fresh ideas to the country as a whole.  Rubio, however, is just more of the same in a handsome young package – he is old wine in new bottles.

*On this, I’d like to express my gratitude for Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe for putting principles before party on the oil subsidies issue.

Rand Paul’s dangerous flirtation with “Judicial Activism”

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I would write a blogpost refuting a statement by the very man I’m endorsing for President.  Rand Paul hasn’t lost any of my respect due to this, I simply think he is in error.  He’s allowed the left to mislead him with their often flimsy definition of judicial activism, which pretty much amounts to “using the judicial process to overturn bad laws”.  If “bad laws” are unconstitutional, then it is the Supreme Court’s job to overturn them.  Judicial activism is when these judges start abusing that power to push their own agenda, no matter how well intended that agenda may be.  Legislators, that is, Congress is there to pass good policies.  The Judicial branch, headed by the Supreme Court, is only there to ensure that these laws adhere to the Constitution.  So, I’d like to address each of Paul’s examples of where he thinks he’s supporting judicial activism.  Some of these really do fit the definition of activism, but others are simply proper use of judicial review, that is, to overturn unconstitutional laws or statutes.  (Note that I will quote the parts of the Constitution used in full at the bottom.)

  1. Lochner vs. New York – This ruling in 1905, a 5-4 decision, concluded that the right to enter a contract was implicit in the 14th It specifically overturned some early labor laws in the NY, limiting bakers to 10 hours a day and 60 hours a week.  I’ll agree with Rand Paul to the extent that this was judicial activism.  I’ve read the 14th Amendment thoroughly, and fail to see how it guarantees unlimited, unregulated individual contracts.  With that said, I see nothing wrong with such a law, but I do agree that it is an example of judicial activism and the kind that Rand Paul would support.
  2. “The New Deal” – This is a broad category of many laws passed during the Roosevelt era, and difficult to refute for that reason. Some of them probably were unconstitutional, and others not.  My position is that Congress has the authority to create programs such as Social Security, for it is consistent with the General Welfare clause of Article I, Sec. 8.  If Rand Paul is like his father, and believes Social Security to be unconstitutional, then overturning it would not be judicial activism.  It would simply be the proper use of judicial review.
  3. “State bans on birth control” – This is a tough one. I personally am a strong supporter of birth control rights.  As an advocate of judicial restraint, I’m hesitant to overturn state laws on this (though I’d certainly oppose Federal laws).  I could see how this would be consistent with the rather vague 9th Amendment, however, and would not consider it an abuse of judicial power to overturn state bans on birth control based on the 9th.  Birth control is a very personal decision, and unlike with abortion, the dispute over human life doesn’t enter the equation.  I can see how this would be one of those “others [rights] retained by the people”.
  4. “Obamacare” – here I completely agree with Rand Paul’s policy position, but completely disagree with his assertion that it would be “judicial activism” to overturn it. Obamacare is clearly unconstitutional as it requires people to purchase a product, effectively punishing inaction.  As there is no constitutional justification for this, we default to the 10th amendment, and leave it to “the states, respectively, or the people”.  Rand Paul is right to want to overturn Obamacare, but this would be well within the authority of the Supreme Court, and certainly not any type of judicial activism.
  5. Brown v. Board of Education – this is the ruling that ended segregation of public schools on the basis of the 14th Amendment’s “equal protection” clause. Like Paul, I agree that segregation needed to be overturned, and I’m glad that it was.  Unlike Paul, and unlike many Civil Rights leaders, I do not see this as judicial activism.  This is perfectly consistent with the original intent of the 14th Amendment, ratified after the abolition of slavery to ensure equal protection under the law to all citizens, with the intention aimed at the time towards former slaves.  Surely that includes the right to the same educational opportunities as whites.

So in conclusion, while I agree with some and not others of Rand’s positions, I completely disagree with his definition of “judicial activism”.  Judicial abuse of power is a very dangerous trend.  If 9 unelected judges who serve for life can overturn laws at their whims, they have become a panel of oligarchs.  And to my libertarian friends, just like I tell liberals, remember…if they can overturn laws you don’t like, they can also overturn laws you do like.  Do you really want 9 unelected judges who serve for life to have that much power?

From the US Constitution, word for word:

14th Amendment (Section 1) – All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

9th Amendment – The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Article I, Section 8 (first clause) – The Congress shall have power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

10th Amendment – The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Another of my posts on judicial activism:

Christine Sommers is consistently pro-choice – deal with it!

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Christina Sommers has been very consistent in her pro-choice position.  She’s always supported a “woman’s right” to choose abortion*, and has always opposed government funding for abortion.  She sees it as a freedom, not an entitlement.  Despite this, “rationalwiki” claims that her views have modified.  This article is informative, but somewhat slanted, as it follows Sommers unique life as a feminist and seems to describe her as drifting away from feminism.  On abortion, their claim that she has “modified” her stance on abortion is based in part on her position that abortion should not be pushed onto women who oppose it for religious or other reasons.  Yeah, that’s called being pro-choice…as opposed to being pro-abortion.  Many so-called pro-choicers are actually pro-abortion, such as by opposing even so much as a 24 hour waiting period for a woman seeking an abortion, or requiring women receive some basic medical information.  Sommers just wants women to have the choice, she isn’t trying to make it happen.

The “rationalwiki” article’s other justification for saying she’s “modified” her position is the following quote:

“I find it appalling that there is such a disregard for what is in fact a majority of our countrymen [pro-lifers] who view it differently, and some passionately. Rather than attack them as somehow engaged in some kind of dark conspiracy against women’s bodies, we have to understand why they hold these positions… and why it’s not going away as a moral question.”

So, she recognizes that prolifers have other reasons for opposing abortion than being “anti-woman”, or trying to control women.  I’m pro-life, and have no desire to control women.  I want to stop the termination of an innocent life.  If women don’t want a baby, and use birth control, that’s their choice.

What this really boils down to, as you can see from the general tone of the “rationalwiki” article, is that Christine Sommers is an independent feminist, rather than just another vitriolic, rape-fear mongering, male basher spouting talking points about a non-existent patriarchy.  Sommers is a true feminist in that she believes women are equal to men, and will likewise stand up for men by the same standard.  This has caused her to be perceived by others as an “anti-feminist”, which the article admits.  However, the article falls into the same kind of paradigm thinking, assuming that feminism is what we are led to believe it is, rather than what it is actually.

Today’s “feminists”, after a lengthy male bashing tirade, and denouncing fellow women who don’t conform to the current “third wave of feminism”, or pretending to speak on behalf of all woman kind, then quote the dictionary definition of feminism, as follows:

“the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities” from Merriam Webster 

Most self-identified feminists have little in common with this definition, but Christine Sommers is the real deal.  Due to Sommers’s courageous stand for gender equality, many in the “feminist movement”, particularly the “third wave”, find it hard to accept that she really does believe in women’s rights, including abortion.*  Her consistency and devotion to gender equality puts the modern “feminist” movement to shame.

*For the record, I do not consider abortion to be a “woman’s right” or anyone’s right.  Nobody has the right to kill an innocent unborn child.  I do believe in a woman’s right to use birth control, and with that right, I fail to see why abortion is necessary.  Don’t want to get pregnant, buy a $1 condom!

Bring back Bossy

#banbossy

Do you remember the whole #banbossy movement?  It was a mostly feminist effort to ban, or socially ostracize the word “bossy” because they decided that it was used to discourage assertive women who sought leadership roles.  They seemed to think that only strong women are called “bossy”, while strong men are respected for their leadership skills.

Some time back, I had a boss, an older lady about 5 feet tall, probably around 60 years old, blonde hair, and a deep raspy voice from years of smoking.  She was a strong woman who anyone with any sense knew not to mess with.  She’s also about the nicest boss I’ve ever worked for!  Anytime she wanted me to do something, she never told me.  She asked.  She’d always call it a “favor”, even though it was really me just doing my job.  She’d always say please and thank you.  Whenever someone did an exceptional job, she always showered them with verbal appreciation.  Result?  Everyone loved her, everyone respected her, and stuff got done.

I also remember a young female supervisor from my UPS days, also blonde, also about 5 feet tall.  I grew to like her later on, but at first, she was bossy.  She shouted orders, repeated them even more angrily if you didn’t hear her (it was a very noisy warehouse environment).  She’d instruct me to do one task, and then catch me in mid task and order me to change.  I’m a completest by nature, and hate leaving something unfinished.  It’s as painful to me as holding my breath, and finishing the task is like suddenly breathing again.  Well, she was actually a smart, and very driven lady, but she really needed to change her attitude.  Over the years, she did!  My last impression of her is of her very effectively running a safe and efficient sort aisle.  She still had a stern nature, but had learned to be more consistent with instructions, and explained to her employees why things were being done a certain way, rather than just ranting orders.

I myself, many months ago, was trying to be more leader-like at a job.  I started seeing myself as the glue that held that place together, in part because I was training most new hires.  I came up with some of my own ideas to make things run better, and made the changes without consulting anyone.  My coworkers went along with it, and I’ve seen recently that my changes are still in effect.  When I needed something done, I didn’t ask, I told, especially when things were hectic.  I didn’t mean to be a prick, but I was.  Finally, a much older coworker, a veteran that I respect, pulled me aside and gave me some straight talk.  He told me flat out “You’re not the boss around here”.  It wasn’t pleasant, but I knew he was right.  Did I play victim?  Did I act like he was trying to discourage me?  Did I try to #banbossy?  No.  I apologized to him, because I knew he was right.  It was no fun being told that I was “bossy”, but I’m so glad that he told me (Oh, and I’m a man by the way).  I’ve since learned that no matter how logical my ideas are, you don’t manage people effectively just by being right.  If bossy men or women want to be treated with respect, they need to be respectful.  I’ve now learned that if I ask people nicely, and then say thank you, I get far better results.

Let’s bring “bossy” back.  I don’t mean bossiness, I mean the word “bossy”.  If someone is being bossy, have a talk with them one on one.  Don’t do it in front of coworkers, it’s embarrassing and disrespectful.  Do it in private.  That shows that even though you’re having an unpleasant discussion, you’re doing it not to hurt them, but to improve a situation.  If any women have been manipulated by the #banbossy video or movement, I ask that you instead take “bossy” as constructive criticism.  You’re not being called “bossy” because you’re a woman.  It’s because you need to improve you’re PR.  I know it’s easy to get so focused on the job itself that you just want things to get done, but your coworkers are human beings, not computers, and will go the extra mile for you if your make them feel good about working for you.  The small effort of a few kind words will pay you back tenfold in efforts towards the task at hand.  Just try it!

Interesting link(s):

Ana Kasperian and guests give a solid criticism of the #banbossy campaign