Houston Strong

Houston

Houston is my home. I’ve grown up here, lived here, loved and lost here. The last couple of weeks have been tremendously hard for me, and for everyone in the Greater Houston area. I was fortunate to not have any damage to my home, my family is safe and sound. It’s my city, and my friends and neighbors, that are suffering. Local responses, by the community, and Fire, Police and Medical personnel were amazing. The community rolled up their sleeves, and jumped in, literally, to save each other.
The state, federal, and Red Cross responses have not been as amazing. There is a need, for the community, to hold our leaders accountable for the long term response. We need to rebuild the city, children need clothes, school supplies, books, and warm beds. The elderly, and the economically disenfranchised have gone from a poor situation, to a worse one. Now is the time, to come together, and to make sure that nobody is treated as a burden. We are one human race, we are all Texans, and we must rebuild. This will be a marathon process, and once the cameras and publicity shift to the poor victims of Hurricane Irma, Houston will still need an army of volunteers and citizens to make Houston stronger.
https://www.facebook.com/PSRHoustonStrong/

I’ve setup that page to help us coordinate. Please jump in, volunteer, and help me help this city. We all have our gifts, we all have our passions, and we all have each other.

#HoustonStrong

 

Legacy

Watching the Vice videos, I’m utterly disgusted at all the things that White Supremacists and Nazis say. The whole concept of racially superiority is such a joke. Racial purity is as well. Throughout the history of humanity, there has been once constant, humanity’s constant curiosity. We have explored, traveled, and spread throughout the Earth. The constant migration patterns of people have ensured there is no such thing as racial purity. Even the Germanic people of Western Europe can trace their lineage to migrations from Asia.

In regards to “savages” it’s ironic that those of European descent, to make such statements. The preservation of ancient Greek and Roman knowledge is due to the preservation by Arabic civilization. Knowledge was retained, and reintroduced from the middle east, through Russian and into Scandinavian societies. The renaissance was only successful because of the knowledge preserved from the east.

European dominance, thanks to rich trade with Asia, and sciences preserved and spread from the middle east, allowed the European powers to obtain not just knowledge, but also gunpowder, which they used to become more efficient conquerors. Tell me, who is more savage, those living in relative harmony with their environment, or those sailing to new lands, and forcing their will on native people and ecosystems?

Africa, America and Asia all suffered from the ill-conceived policies of colonialism, forcing traditional enemies to be part of the same “nation”, etc. There is no superiority in conquest and murder. Greed is no excuse to destroy native cultures, yet that is the history of the West. It’s a violent one, and though we have benefited from the technology developed to sustain this greed for expansion and conquest, we also immense ecological and cultural damage to deal with.

Humanity has a history full of violence, and barbarism, and the West is the pinnacle of those achievements. We are at the precipice of change. Either we give up old biases, and learn, and accept from our violent past, in order to make a more harmonious future, or we continue down the path of denial. We reject change, in the name of petty bigotry, and we prove to our progeny that the West’s legacy will truly be one of barbarism.

Fake Geeks

Let me say this to all the “geek” men that feel the need to belittle and harass women for the crime of having a cool job. Fuck off. Take your vile misogyny, and shove it up your ass and die. You’re not geeks, nor men. You are vile sacks of shit that need to go back under the rock you came from. All this woman is guilty off is enjoying some time with coworkers. She’s not a “fake geek” you are. I’ve lived my entire life being a nerd/geek whatever term you wish to use. I grew up being mocked, for the simple crime of liking things that weren’t mainstream. I’m sick of the bullshit “gamer” talk, the attacks I see on others for enjoying the same things. Comics, Sci-fi, science, etc, are not the exclusive domain of men. I sure as hell don’t see you douche canoes mocking women dressed in cosplay. Maybe that’s because you are a bunch of losers that enjoy creeping on women from a distance, because you subconsciously realize that your foul personalities are kryptonite to the other sex. Maybe it’s just because you have mommy issues, I Don’t give a fuck. You are assholes. You give geeks a bad name, and you deserve to get dragged through the mud, in public, for your vile statements. I promise you one thing, if I ever find out about one of you cretins trying to get a job where I work, I will shut that shit down. You’ll be stuck in your parent’s basement, with your hateful rhetoric, and your box of tissues.

https://www.themarysue.com/marvel-editor-harassed-for-selfie/

 

Equality

When I talk about how frustrated I am, let me explain why. The US has never been perfect. It’s had many, deep flaws. The history of the US is fraught with favoritism and deep seeded bigotry. That said, it was a nation full of people who fought. We fought to make the nation better for all people. In my short life, I have seen women, LGBTQ, and other minority groups gain ground in their pursuit of equality and justice. Under Obama, we saw a shimmering light of progress, not full equality, but more progress than had ever been witnessed. Now this push for equality saw an equal, harder push towards stopping any further progress.

Hatred stewed, and a narrative formed, trying to explain how the work of progressives would “take away” from others. How does asking for equality take away from others? There was no pursuit to remove religious freedoms from Christians. They were free to worship in their churches and prayer houses in peace. We simply asked that the more radical adherents not be allowed to discriminate against others. Pushing for the end of a for-profit prison system, and equal treatment under the law, for minorities, wasn’t taking away the privileges of White America. We simply asked that others be able to enjoy the same freedoms. Legalizing same-sex marriage was not an assault on heterosexual, or religious people. We asked they be treated with the same protections that any couple that is in love be treated with.

People demonize “illegal immigrants” for the same crime that Columbus, and America’s very founding fathers participated in. The pursuit of something better. They mock environmental protections and deny science, in order for profit. We can’t drink money, breathe it, or eat it. This is foolishness at its height.

The pursuit of science and education is laughed at, as if it was something to be ashamed of. The pursuit of knowledge is tantamount for a healthy democracy. We should not speak of intellectualism as if it were something to be avoided. Our very nation depends on scientists and engineers, but also, musicians, and artists.

The radical right is so busy, finding fault in others pursuit of equality, that they have allowed treason to go unanswered. People scream of wars against Christianity, or against white america. No, there are no wars against these things, except the war being fought by those that would see others deported, mistreated, or ignored, simply so that a subsection of America can sleep at night with the belief that they are “better”, all while surrounded by poverty, disease, and pollution.
All of the good that the US stood for, and the good that could have been, are now threatened by the arrogant actions of a small minority of people. They fight to destroy anything that doesn’t fit into their narrow viewpoint. They would take away our freedoms, all while screaming patriotic epitaphs that no longer have any meaning.

If you are a patriot, you will fight for the rights of others. You will pledge your lives, your fortunes, your sacred honor, in order to defend the dream, so easily afforded to a few, and so hard-fought for so many others. Demonizing your friends, neighbors, fellow residents, because they seek to live a life as free as yours, in true equality, is not the mark of a patriot, or a “conservative”. It is the deepest form of treason.

This is why I’m frustrated. This is why I get angry, and fired up. There is nothing wrong with me, I just see what is so horribly wrong with so many others.

This is not a joke. This is not an over reaction. I wish to see America fully live up to its full potential. That will never happen until we fully embrace the words All People are Created Equal.

Communication

I’ve been contemplating this. Please read fully before attacking me.
I’ve noticed a lot of statements regarding people being to easily “offended” by things. That may be true, but that statement is being used to dismiss actual dialogue in many situations. It’s ok to be offended by certain things, and to bring it up in a rational way. That’s how conversations are started, and how people learn to understand. It’s also ok to say “that comes across as a bit racist” or “That can be mistakenly viewed as a racist statement.”
Those words are meant to bring light to a situation. It’s ok to ask “How so?” and it’s ok to discuss it. For my White friends, I know you are all good people. Most of you are not “racists” but some of you may be ignorant of certain things. You have some prejudices, so do I. It’s something I work to get over and to improve on constantly. Please don’t get “offended” by the statement, but seek dialogue.
Here are some situations, and my views on them. These views apply to some people, and not to others.

1. I have heard the statement “They are taking our jobs” from people in regards to immigrants. Let’s analyze that. Many of the people being accused of this are migrant workers, earning less than minimum wage. We currently have an unemployment rate of about 5.5 to 6%. If migrant workers are “taking” these jobs, it’s because those 19 million Americans are either A. unqualified,C. unwilling to do those jobs, or C. Being passed over because those hiring are trying to circumvent labor laws. The solutions would be to put more money to education and the enforcement of labor laws. Hold companies accountable for hiring undocumented people instead of demonizing those coming over and looking for an opportunity.

2. I’ve seen people offended that minorities bring up stories of injustices to them. Statements are made like “I would never do that” or “I’ve never seen that happen”. Congrats, we aren’t talking about you, and you live in a wonderful area where people aren’t outwardly racist. This doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen in other places, or when you aren’t around. Listen, think. How would you feel if you walked into a mall and were followed around all day by a Police officer? This happened to me, I was in slacks and a button up shirt, and I was shopping, and paying for stuff. He profiled me because I “don’t fit in”. That was wrong, on his part. I didn’t do anything stupid, I kept calm and I was annoyed and offended.

3. Asking for bad police officers to be held accountable for breaking the law, or abusing their power, doesn’t mean people don’t support law enforcement. Most police officers are hard working, good people. Just like most people of any ethnic, religious, or political group tend to be good people. Holding bad people accountable for their actions is part of making sure everyone has justice.

4. Being Pro-Choice doesn’t mean being pro-abortion. It means that I let women, and their doctors, make their own medical decisions. I have my personal views, I keep them to myself. There are medical reasons, and ethical reasons, for abortion. Every situation is different.

5. Don’t cheer the death of anyone. The loss of any life is tragic. It doesn’t matter what they looked like, or what they did, we should learn to treat each other with respect. The taking of any life is a serious thing, and something that shouldn’t be done callously.

6. Corporations aren’t people, but since they are being treated that way, they should pay their fair share of taxes. If they choose to offshore their headquarters, in an attempt to bypass tax laws, then they should have tariffs levied against them. If they want to contribute to the political process, then they need to pay up like the rest of us. Same for Churches.

Stop demonizing groups of people. Realize that assholes exist in all groups. Listen to each other. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes.

You are welcome to disagree with me. I encourage it. Keep it civil though, let’s have discussions. I will delete any post that attacks me, or someone else. We need to talk TO each other, not AT each other.

Acceptance

When I was in Elementary school, I went to a school that didn’t have many Asians in it. I remember being in 2nd grade and having some kid say something about his uncle fighting the Vietnamese in Vietnam. He made fun of me because I had to be one of them. I’m not Vietnamese, but to that kid, and his parents, all Asians had to be Vietnamese and were not “welcome”. As I grew older I learned about the Japanese internment camps, and how Japanese Americans were distrusted, just because of their heritage. I asked why German and Italian Americans weren’t placed in camps too. I learned that many were discriminated upon, but mostly they could blend in and assimilate.
I saw racism focus on anyone that looked “Arabic” during the first Gulf war, and then after 9-11. Even Indian friends faced racism because bigoted Americans couldn’t tell the difference. I know Koreans faced the same kinds of Racism during the Korean War, and the Chinese were mistreated during the 1800’s because of the influx of immigrants. I now see Latinos being targeted for the same reasons.
All these groups face racism for one reason. They don’t “look” American. I’ve been the victim of such racism. I often times talk about Americans as if I wasn’t one. I was born here, I’ve only ever lived in the U.S. I’ve been called out for talking about Americans because I am one so why don’t I always claim it? I now realize I meant “white” people when I talked about “Americans”. That’s wrong, I’m an American I’m proud to be one. I claim it proudly, and I hold no ill will. I love this country.
I grew up feeling like I didn’t belong because I didn’t “look” right. That feeling is something that evolved from the casual racism that young children are exposed to. It’s something we must all stop from happening.
Let’s all take a moment to realize that most of us are descended from immigrants. We all have ancestors that probably fought each other. We are all here for the same reasons. The promise of opportunity. Stop pointing out differences and start looking at each other’s humanity. No child should grow up feeling like an outcast in a nation of immigrants.

Full Friday

Joseph cautiously peeked over his cube wall. The SAP migration to Linux was well on its way. Terminal junkies were in their T-shirts and jeans, greedily consuming endless amounts of coffee. Random issues with ancillary systems kept Joseph from sneaking out at 1. His head pounded from the stress of having to work a full Friday. The needed SPN changes hung over his head, forcing him to commit to staying another half hour.
Bitterly he took a drink of his water, cursing the PMs involved.
“Next Friday I shall skip out early” he vowed.