Category Archives: Me Being Pissy

Why American Airlines is Right

Read the article here: Autistic Toddler Removed from Plane



Dear American Airlines,


I’ve got an immediate suggestion for author Julie Deardorff. A title change is needed:


Unruly Toddler Removed from Plane


In the mother’s own words, the child “was on the floor rolling around”. According to the FAA’s regulations and guidelines on seat belts:

[T]he “Fasten Seat Belt” sign shall be turned on during any movement on the surface, for each takeoff, for each landing, and at any other time considered necessary by the pilot in command… [Each passenger] shall fasten his or her safety belt about him or her and keep it fastened while the “Fasten Seat Belt” sign is lighted… [And each] passenger shall comply with instructions given him or her by a crewmember regarding compliance.


Simply put: According to the rules and regulations put forth by the agency deemed as the ultimate rule-maker in this nation of ours, American Airlines is in the right.


This, however, isn’t the main point of my entry. My problem is that the author (and subsequently many people in the comments section) went apeshit over the fact that the child being reprimanded for his behavior was autistic.


Why is it that when you throw in a disability, suddenly this is noted as an outrageous slap in the face for those with disabilities? More than one comment suggested that the mother sue ‘em in the name of the ADA. Puh-lease.


This isn’t a matter of someone with a wheelchair being intentionally left behind because assistance would make take-off a few minutes late. This isn’t a matter of someone being denied access to a flight because he or she is blind and traveling with an assistance animal. On and on and on.


This is a safety matter.


I applaud you, American Airlines, for valuing the safety of your passengers — including that little hellion beast and his overly sensitive mother. Now, if you remove the ridiculous $15 charge for checked baggage, I’ll consider flying you once again.


Sincerely,

ChicagoJo

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I’ve got some more people to veto

Go read the article.


Yeah, that sucks. Chances are, this kid is a real pain in the ass, and the teacher just didn’t think things through. Bad call on the teacher’s part. We’re human. And, well, some humans suck. That day it was the teacher who sucked.


Was it inappropriate? Yes. Should she be fired? No. Should the parents sue? No. Should the kid — now that he’s finally been diagnosed — be in a special classroom where he’s not such a pain in the ass that the teacher loses her shit and lets the class go all American Idol cast-off on him? Probably.


That being said, I’d now like to go through the comments and point out a few gems.

I cannot put into words how disgusting this is. This teacher needs to be removed from the education system irrespective of tenure and accomplishment. She is NOT due “her side” of the story.


We’ll give killers their due with that whole “innocent until proven guilty” thing, but we should skin this teacher alive? Bad call Withheld. Perhaps you withheld your name because you’re an overreacting dumbass.

If the teacher is one of those sadistic bully types, Then just lets take a vote, and see how longs she keeps her job


Let’s take a vote and see if Rafer gets sent back to the fifth grade because his command of the English language out-right sucks.

All that said and done, what the teacher did was deplorable, mean and cruel. She ought to have her license thrown away. Just HOW inhumane can you get?


Pat can take her self-righteous act and shove it. Sure, I’ll give you “deplorable, mean, and cruel”. But “inhumane”? Give me a fucking break, you wiener.

This is a very un-fortunate situation. I find the teacher very much at fault in letting a class vote to expell another student. No group that age can, objectively, make that kind of decision. The teacher seens in-adequit to handle special needs on any kind. She seems to need much more training to teach at all.
It would also seen that the parents of the child in question need to explore other schools..The child will need much patience and understanding as he has a hard row to hoe with his handicap. We wish all of them well


Robert, I had to include you for one reason only: That is BY FAR my favorite misspelling of “inadequate” ever!

HAVING BEEN MADE FUN OF IN FRONT OF THE WHOLE CLASS BECAUSE I WAS SO MUCH TALLER THAN EVERYONE ELSE, I CAN TOTALLY RELATE TO THIS. I WENT TO A CATHOLIC SCHOOL AND THE NUNS BACK THEN SEEMED TO THRIVE ON TORMENTING KIDS, NOT ALL OF THEM, SOME WERE GREAT, BUT TWO IN PARTICULAR HAD NO BUSINESS TEACHING KIDS.


Donna is proof that being made fun of as a child makes you more likely to use run-on sentences and the caps lock key.

Both of my boys have autism spectrum disorders (my oldest has PDD and my youngest has Asperger’s syndrome). The bullying has been constant towards my children and yes, I’ve seen it scar them permanently 😦


Using the frowny-faced emoticon to show displeasure with how her children are scarred permanently by teasing tells me that Suzanne’s kids are probably worse off because their mother is the sort of fucking imbecile who draws flippant ‘net-lingo drawings in response to their actual problems and disabilities.

And we wonder why we cant get good teachers. I would rather nail shingles on a roof in July then subject myself to this kind of nonsense.


There’s nothing moronic about CD’s comment. I just wanted this one thrown in there. Amen!

When I was 12 years old (6th grade) I had a teacher who mentally and verbally abused me in front of my classroom on a regular basis. I have never forgotten it and I definitely believe it has affected the way I feel about myself to this very day. I am not 34 years old and it still hurts me.


She blames her current-day issues on something some idiot told her 24 years ago? Molly needs a big ol’ “get the fuck over it”.


Happy Wednesday, all.

Universal healthcare is not universally good

Way back in 1913, the government decided to start an income tax system to help pay for its expenses. This new system taxed only the very rich, affecting only 1% of the population.


The government is much like a child with a dollar bill. With the money in-hand and shiny things abound, that dollar will be spent. Two years later, the tax percentage was raised and the income amount lowered, making 5% of the population now pay into the system.


Eventually the government said “Holy crap! This is a great way to make money!” They then decided that everyone who wasn’t barely scraping by would be taxed. Lo and behold, we’re where we are now.


What started out as a system to take advantage of the rich turned into a system that now hurts the middle class the most. Low-income families are unaffected since they simply don’t pay in; and the rich work with the system to lessen their tax burdens. When all is said and done — between income tax, sales tax, consumption tax, luxury tax, tourism tax, and all the other taxes that pull from your paycheck — the middle class loses 50% of their salaries.


There’s no secret that the upper class pays less in taxes. With our engrained socialist outlook, it doesn’t seem fair that they’re paying so much less a percentage when they make so much more. But here’s a secret of the rich: they find ways to work with the current laws to benefit themselves.


It’s a different mindset than what the middle and lower classes have, and it’s also the kind of thinking that probably got them rich in the first place. Instead of just accepting one’s crappy circumstances, they’re stepping back, thinking the law through, and creating new ways to help themselves. In turn, while acting lawfully and within their rights, corporations owned by these rich people lessen their tax liabilities and also provide jobs — jobs that are eventually taxed at 50% for the middle class.


When the government starts talking about mandates to business, it makes me cringe. It’s not just my libertarian pull that makes me whole-heartedly believe that business should be left alone to run their own issues, but I also recognize that business owners will find a way to make mandates favorable to them.


In the case of raising the federal minimum wage, business owners are likely to invest in efficiency consulting to improve business processes, which results in pushing jobs to offshore sites and using layoffs or attrition to reduce overhead. If this isn’t enough or a viable option, they simply raise prices and pass that along to the customers.


A simple example would be grocery stores having to pay all cashiers higher wages. As soon as notice is given, owners invest in more self-checkout lines, and natural attrition is used to reduce the number of workers, where none are hired in their places. For those who still have a job with the grocery store, their $400 a week may seem like a bump, but when milk, bread, and cereal costs more to make up for the added expenses, is it really a bump at all?


Besides the added cost on the consumer side, choices are also limited. Continuing with the grocery store example, why would they employ deli workers to provide service to the counters? Instead, one employee can cut several days’ worth of meats and cheeses, seal them in cellophane, and leave them in refrigerated cases in half-pound increments. If you want a quarter pound of muenster cheese, you’re out of luck. A half-pound it is.


The latest issue that’s spinning my head lately is the Democrat-argued insistence for a universal healthcare system. Namely, Senator Clinton’s proposed plan mandates that all Americans purchase health insurance.


Being told that something is mandatory reminds me of my high school’s founder and operator talking about school-wide meetings: “This isn’t mandatory… But it’s not optional either.”


Clinton’s verbiage, though, takes no literary flowery side-steps: it is hereby dictated that you must purchase health insurance.


Insurance is essentially a gambling program. Whereas some people bet that they’ll become sick, I’ve spent much of my adult life betting that I won’t. As someone who is responsible for my own actions and trusts my ability to make sound decisions, for years I chose not to carry a traditional healthcare insurance policy. Because I’m young, healthy, and have a family history that says I won’t be afflicted with anything until I’m way, way older, I chose not to spend $200 a month on a plan that gives prescription benefits, regular checkups, and comprehensive care. To protect the assets I did have, I took a $50-a-month gamble for what amounted to hit-by-taxi insurance.


In the case that I decide that I don’t want any form of insurance, the plan calls for automatic deductions from my paycheck to provide me a plastic card for something I may never use. How is forcing me to pay for something I don’t want — and something that benefits only the individual — legal?


One thing that a Democratic presidential candidate never wants to be associated with is the supposed Republican attribute of benefiting big business. At a price tag of $110 billion (with a B, not an M) per year, how is this not tossing money — and ultimately control — into the coiffeurs of insurers, healthcare providers, and drug companies?


If everyone must have insurance, what’s to stop the industry from complying with the natural laws of supply and demand? When given an unlimited number of patrons, services can cost whatever insurers dictate. Mean eyes from government officials won’t suddenly convince insurers that they should charge rates that match the standard cost of living. This is a business — just like any other — that concerns itself with profits, losses, and the bottom line.


Businesses outside the healthcare industry will be hit by this mandate too. Businesses will be charged a per-month, per-employee charge (approximated around $300) if they don’t offer their own plan. There are several fall-outs from this.


In the case of smaller operations, companies can choose to just not have employees. Whether they make everyone a 1099 contractor or just pay under the table, both of these lessen the income tax contributions from all.


If $300 is cheaper than what’s currently given, companies can decide to quit offering their current healthcare plans. If the government is going to do the work for them in finding adequate plans and save them money while they’re at it, what’s the incentive to offer insurance?


Well, one incentive would be to make kick-ass health insurance a real (instead of expected) benefit. However, this will make it so the companies that choose to do this can pay lower salaries to potential employees. Much like working for Google, if you want free soda, a foosball table, and a job where you get to constantly work with the coolest up-and-coming technologies, you’re going to be paid under market.


I understand that healthcare is a concern for many Americans. One poll from NPR, the Kaiser Family Foundation, and the Harvard School of Public Health says that people genuinely care about a solution and generally support the idea of a socialized system.


Much like taxes, socializing medicine will again hit the middle class hardest. The upper class will employ techniques such as the ones mentioned above to avoid the program’s liabilities, the poor will continue to receive free services, and the middle class will be the ones stuck with the bill. When monthly premiums and the federal tax dollars dedicated to covering the $110 billion needed each year come up short, where will funds be drawn from? That’s right: taxes will increase. And as demonstrated in my initial discussion, we know who pays those tax dollars.


Instead of this mandatory plan, I instead ask what’s wrong with sitting down with major companies, negotiating a way to control costs, and then passing those savings onto the people? As a business person, I’ve always had success when I opened communication lines and approached discourse seeking a win-win end point. Because I use my own and my investor’s money, I’m especially cognizant of my fiduciary commitment to protect these stakeholders. Unlike the government, I cannot rely on raising taxes when my money falls short in achieving my end goal.


Because mandatory universal healthcare harms the very people it’s aiming to protect, it is not a viable solution that we should support. If you value having choices in your healthcare decisions, Clinton is not the right choice for president.

“I think that one of our goals should be that every American own their own home, but I’m not going to mandate that every American own their own home. I think that every American should have…an affordable college education. But I’m not going to mandate that every American go to college. I feel the same way about health care.”


— Senator John McCain

Being blue makes me see red

“…Stop waiting around for people to fix your shit and take actions to positively contribute to the quality of your life


Those sound like words from my own mouth, profanity and all.


The thing with not believing in fate, destiny, or things happening for a reason is that you’re instantly in charge of every aspect of your life. While some people have an extreme aversion to the notion of there not being a cosmic hand in all things, but I find the opposite liberating.


When the outcomes are up to me, and I’m the only one to blame, things suddenly get done.


And when this realization hits, and you understand that you make the things you want come to fruition, there’s this shift in the way you see things.


Robert Kiyosaki talks about these differences, namely from a financial standpoint. His most repeated example is that one person will say, “I can’t afford that,” and another will say, “How can I afford that?”


I apply this to other areas in my life besides just finances.


About a year ago, when I started loathing my job, I switched my mindset. Instead of working for the benefit of White Men in Ties, Inc., I started doing my work solely to make the lives of HeBoss and SheBoss easier. I respect them both ridiculously, so this held me over for a bit.


After my three weeks in Texas at the end of 2007, work was the last place I wanted to go. The guy I was seeing witnessed me being a colossal wienie, unaware of the unique brand of crazy that lies beneath my calm and cool exterior. I can meet and impress 10 new people in a single night, successfully remember all of their names upon our next meeting, and include details from previous conversations to ask appropriate follow-up questions. But me having to go back to work in a field I’ve rocked for the past decade will crumble me into an anxiety-riddled heap, asking for a paper bag to breathe into. What sets me off baffles even me, but that’s just how it is.


I sat back and thought about solutions to this problem. Getting another job sounds like the obvious answer. However, between the people, the pay, the number of days off, the freedom given, and the actual issue at hand (having a job, not just having *this* job), that’s a Band-aid fix, merely postponing the inevitable.


Early in January I got serious about my real estate business. Each and every day I take action to change this part of my life. I now see my job as a tool to get where I want. I stick with it, perform my tasks, collect a few grand here and there, and use the spare time I’m given to best use that money to make it so I don’t have to keep showing up.


How’s that for perspective? Taking action? Changing one’s circumstances? Improving one’s life?


Pretty neat, huh?


Five years ago I found my life absolutely stagnant. My chosen career wasn’t something I was interested in continuing with — especially with the pay rates dropping in Austin’s tech industry. I was dating a wonderful man whose future I knew wouldn’t align with mine. My friends were all in a position of transition, just waiting for the guts to make their leaps elsewhere.


When presented with the opportunity for my own leap, I took it. With no job, friends, or plans, I packed it all up, made my move, and trusted in my innate ability to make things happen.


A month into my introduction to the arctic gales that Chicago is so known for, I got my first taste of seasonal depression. Each year thereafter, I’ve been stricken. I get my introductory glumness in early December, escape to Texas’ warmth for relief, and then ready myself for the big hit.


March. Fucking March.


The best way I can describe it is that I’d jump off my balcony… except it’s too much effort to pry myself from my couch to fling myself over the railing.


This lethargy is absolutely killing me. I’ll go a week without sleeping, only to spend the next week sleeping 12 hours a day. Taking sleeping pills only makes me wake up with a massive hangover, and being not fully rested and suffering from a pounding head doesn’t make for a good day.


I’m generally successful at achieving my New Year’s resolution of leaving the house once per day. I hit the gym on most days. I keep all social obligations. But even having the foresight to make these a priority isn’t helping.


It’s coming down to needing to make a choice and take action in creating my happiness. I’ve previously toyed with the idea of moving to LA. But with the ultimate goal of stopping the anxiety that comes from showing up each day at a j-o-b, an expensive place like LA will have to wait until I further reach my career goals.


I love my house. I love my friends. I love my big, gay chorus. I love walking everywhere. I love that I know the city in and out. I love being able to afford to live across the street from work. I love the lakefront running path. I love playing beach volleyball with every other young and single good-looking person in the city once it hits 60 degrees.


But when I am out-right fucking miserably frigid for months on end, there’s only so much a woman can take.


Chicago, I love you. I really, really do. But we’re getting dangerously close to a break-up. I’d say that it’s not you but me, but I’d be lying. It’s all you, and I can’t stand for it any longer.


I suspect that an offer will be submitted and accepted on a lovely 2-bedroom, 1.5-bath, 2-story town home with two balconies that overlook a pond by the end of the week.


I look forward to swimming in my pool and going around the corner to the running and biking trails — and using both items for much of the year. Add to it the 30-minute drive to the ocean, a shared gym with my brother, having my parents 15 minutes away, hosting my sister and her kids on any given weekend, and being close to the apartments I will own by time I make my way there, and it’s a lot to look forward to.


As soon as my birthday party’s streamers are swept up, I’m outta here.


So long, Chicago.