Friday, August 26, 2016

OK, Now We Know The Terrorists Have Won...

This is a photo of the beach cops on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France, forcing a Muslim woman to disrobe at gunpoint because she wore a "burkini" instead of standard Western beach togs to hang out on the strand.  I learned about this when the Deputy Mayor of Nice was defending the action on the radio, saying the woman could not possibly have been comfortable in that getup.  (Maybe he thinks it's more comfortable to be forced to disrobe in public by a group of armed men?)  He said several times that it was provocative and inflammatory to wear that outfit, especially on the same beach where an unbalanced Muslim recently got behind the wheel of a semi trailer truck and ran down a screaming crowd of Bastille Day merrymakers.
All I heard the guy saying was, "These terrorist acts are really working like a charm.  If I see someone in public that I can identify as a Muslim, I'm petrified.  I'm so scared that I can't even stop to think."  Maybe it never crossed his tiny mind that a Muslim who can be easily identified by his or her dress is a lot less of a threat than a stealth operative, dressed like everyone else.  Remember these guys?

They don't "look like Muslims" to me, either, and yet what are they?  Islamic terrorists. 

Maybe it's never crossed the deputy mayor's mind that almost none of the Muslims in France -- or around the world -- mean any harm to anyone at all.  Regardless of how they're dressed.
Or maybe I'm just stupid, and the fact that she was wearing a burkini meant she was planning to set fire to everyone on the beach, huh?

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Another Week, Another Team Meeting

All we talked about today in team was the meaning and application of the word "flex."  Now, most of the people on our team use that word to mean that if they work overtime one day, they shave some time off another day in the same pay period to even it up.  There is no such thing as overtime for us, so it's pretty important to do that in order to prevent seething resentment, releasing piranhas into the water cooler and walking off the job suddenly on a random Wednesday, never to return.  The dark overlords know we do it, they completely support us in doing it, and nobody that I've ever heard about has a problem with it.  In fact, it would be impossible to do our jobs any other way; we have to meet people at home around their work and school schedules, soccer games, camping trips, dance classes, and so forth.  And we have to manage unexpected crises which can strand us in the office half the night when we were planning to be asleep in bed, documenting a police contact or something fun like that.  There's really no way to get all our work done unless we constantly shift our hours around, especially when you consider the rules that everything we do has to be documented and signed within 24 hours of our doing anything. 

But the higher ups don't see flex time exactly the way we do.  They recently had our supervisors conduct a survey to determine who on our team would like to "flex" their hours in a totally different way. They decided to do the survey because one of those supervisors asked to change her hours around so she can have 3-day weekends in exchange for longer workdays.  So this is what they mean by "flexing" your hours:  you exchange five 8-hour days per week for four 10-hour days.  Not once in a while: forever.  If you're allowed to "flex," you "flex" every week, exactly the same way, by prearrangement.

So if they allow us to "flex" our hours by their definition, it becomes a lot less, um, flexible.  Most of us refused the option, some rudely.  We don't want to "flex" our hours because it will keep us from flexing our hours.

Another triumph of bureaucracy!

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Voting Day!!!

Today is one of those voting days when all the more or less local offices seem to be up for grabs.  County prosecutor; drain commissioner; county sheriff; state representative; register of deeds; county clerk; Republican convention delegate.  You are only allowed to vote for Democrats or Republicans, not both.

But behold my local ballot!  There seem to be half a dozen people in the Republican column competing for every single job.  It's funny, because the only bumper stickers I see on anyone's car this year are advertising the glory of Bernie Sanders. 

And on the Democratic side?  There are only two names.  Running for the House of Representatives is Melissa Gilbert.  Remember "Half Pint" from Little House On The Prairie?   That Melissa Gilbert.  The radio people have explained at some length that she is currently in the hole to the IRS to the tune of a hundred thou.  Oh, and they made a great deal of the fact that she has dropped out of the race due to a health issue.  So is she running or not?  Is she even supposed to be on this ballot?

The only other guy in the Democratic column has the same name as the rabid dog Atticus Finch shot in To Kill A Mockingbird.  Tim Johnson.  So if I want to vote Democratic, here are my choices:


In other words,  f you want to vote at all, and get a meaningful result, you HAVE to vote Republican.   This is the most  obviously stacked deck I have seen in many, many years.   I can hardly wait to see who gets how many votes!