#metoo, Three, Four

Featured Image courtesy of Time.com

How is it that this conversation seems to be excluding male victims? Why has it become another reason to promote sexism and prejudice?

When did it happen? That the only people who have been victimized and hurt by exploitive and narcissistic people are women? This culture war seems to be getting its marching orders from the very kind of people it is outing.

People with an agenda who most likely are just as guilty as they are victim.

Initially, I thought to avoid this entire topic. Most likely because it is far too close to home. Because, I a self identified heterosexual male have also been victimized. And have also been guilty. I have been on both sides of the battlefront.

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Image Courtesy of RockPaperShotgun.com

That is why it is probably important to use this conversation to create and establish clear boundaries. If you have ever read anything I have written; than you know that I am a proponent of boundaries. And maintaining them.

I have not always been this way. For most of my adult life, boundaries in relationships were flexible spaces that had plenty of gray in them and lots of room to maneuver. When I set boundaries in my personal and professional experiences, they were set to please me. I created the boundaries and I could change them at will.

It was not until recently that I started to realize that boundaries are not like some demilitarized zone that is negotiated. They are firm lines in the sand. At least for me now. When I set a boundary, it becomes sacrosanct.

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Image Courtesy of Hanna Krynicki

You may wonder how I came to this place. Where I can now discern an appropriate boundary. And keep it without difficulty.

It was a painful road that included plenty of rejection and introspection. Plenty of misunderstandings and loss. Plenty of difficult choices and sacrifice. It was not something that I read about in a book or blog.

Some guru did not come along and enlighten me. I did not take classes or go to school and get a degree to figure this out. I have lived it. And have had to somehow reconcile the failed and lost relationships with my own failings and faults. My own weakness and desires coupled with sorrow and grief have led me to a place where I would rather keep a boundary than breathe. Because I do not want to hurt anymore.

And my relativistic view of boundaries is what has lead me to a lot of hurt. Lots.

Where did it start? At work. My first real job. I worked in a place where I had lots of free time and few people around. I had a coworker. She was interesting and lonely. I guess she was horny and also had a murky handle on appropriate boundaries. She was married too.

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Image Courtesy of Cosmopolitan.com

So it began. Sex at work and with a married woman. Bad Choice. Rather then go any further with the story, suffice it to say that it ended badly. I became so afraid of the consequences of our actions that we agreed one day to end it.

I also became so emotionally attached to her, that when we did end it; I was heartbroken. I ended up alone and afraid. And sad. Shortly after that, I also lost my job. And my sense of right and wrong in terms of personal relationships. All the work that had been done in church and at home in terms of parenting went right out the window.

I lost track of what was right and wrong when it comes to having a personal intimate relationship. Did I mention that she was older and had seniority? Does it matter? I was a willing participant because of my own desires and weakness.

From there, it just got worse. I started having sex with anyone that was willing. Just trying to fill a hole in my own heart. Trying to somehow find the moment of comfort and acceptance that I had. It never worked. After numerous lovers, I was still lonely and afraid. I was still missing that one minute of time where I had felt attractive and desired. Where I felt like I was competent and acceptable as a lover.

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Image Courtesy of sparkpeople.com

Trouble was, I was already bent by that first affair. I was bent towards a predilection for seeking and being with people who already had personal commitments. I did not realize it at the time. But a part of me was thinking that I could somehow get back to that moment by mimicking the first one with similar circumstances.

And that delusion led to a psychosis. That it is somehow possible to have intimacy with another person who is previously committed to someone else. So for years, I kept trying to get back to it. That one moment.

I got back to minutes like that. And even had some long term intimate relationships. But they always ended in disappointment and heartbreak. Every single fricking time. And people getting hurt. Even people who NEVER asked to be hurt, being hurt badly by my problems with intimacy. People who never even got a chance to decide if my bad choices would hurt them.

So was I a victim? Not really. But I became a perpetrator. I was so desperate to get back to that moment in time, that I started preying on people. I started looking for people who were also lonely and horny and had trouble with boundaries. And I found them. Where else? At work of course.

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Image Courtesy of Lifehopeandtruth.com

I recently realized that I was doing this. And have changed it all up. The only way I can figure to do this is to determine what boundaries I will hold myself at. To understand where the boundary is and to keep it with all my heart. No matter what the other person may say they want or need. No matter how easy it may look to get what I want.

Although it seems altruistic, it is really self serving. For whatever the reason, I keep those boundaries. Whether it is because I do not want to be hurt, nor do I want to hurt anyone else. I keep those boundaries.

The irony of it all. Personal and professional boundaries are ridiculously easy to discern and keep. They are created by social conventions and good old common sense. They are pontificated by every “morally correct” person riding their high horse in to solve the problem. You know who you are. The Generals and Colonels of the #metoo movement who have yet to cop to their own failures.

What is the upshot of it all? Decide for yourself to keep the boundaries come hell or high water. And when someone crosses your personal or professional boundaries, call them on it. Do it quick and without mercy. Don’t try to spare their feelings. Don’t try to keep or get that job. Just tell them to their face they are trying to cross your borders and they are not ever, ever getting there.

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Image Courtesy of Natalie Whipple

If they back off, great. If they do not, then take it to the next level. Take it to the streets if you need to. Blow the whistle and stand on the rooftops shouting out the truth. If they still do not back off, take them to court. Involve the authorities that are charged with dealing with people who do not understand boundaries.

If you are still afraid or concerned, then let me know. I have ways of discretely persuading people to back off that you will never need to know about or have any personal involvement in. I do not charge for this service either and no one will ever know we spoke of it except Jesus.

Some things I like to do for the pleasure of it. I just enjoy it. But, that is another story for another time.

Mahoning Valley Podcast Episode 8 Transcript

Get this episode here.

This Episode goes back to the topic of the podcast. Local stuff. Although no one called me on it, I am apologizing for the last episode first. It may seem surprising to some of you who hear this episode, but I am sorry about the last episode. If you heard it, then you may know why. Anyway, Back to why I started doing this in the first place.

Cockfighting continues to be a problem here in the Valley. According to the Vindicator For the second time in less than a week, police and humane agents have served a search warrant as part of a broader investigation of cockfighting.

Members of the vice squad, Community Police Unit and Animal Charity served the warrant at a 1413 Forest View Drive home on the East Side today.

Unlike a warrant served Dec. 15 at an Ives Street home where police found roosters, heroin and cocaine, the Forest View Drive homeowners were cited only for violating housing codes prohibiting farm animals in the city.

About 30 roosters were found in a makeshift coop covered with a tarp in the backyard. It had wooden floors with straw and portable heaters inside. A detective described it as one of the cleanest he has ever seen.

This may seem somewhat insensitive to some listeners, but: Why is this illegal? Who cares if people want to set a couple of cocks in a ring and watch them tear each other up? Obviously some people do care, but for many it is a nonstarter. It does not harm any people. It does not cause property damage, unless you count the damage done to the fowls themselves. And it is not posing a health threat unless you happen to find some of that chicken in your chop suey or mcnuggets and it has not been cooked or stored properly. What about you? Do you care if people go to or organize cockfighting?

Then up in Niles, or down in Niles: I guess depending on your perspective the Vindicator is reporting that some more of the public officials announced that they are quitting. Robert Marino, council president since 2004 and a fixture on council for more than 20 years, shocked his fellow council members tonight by announcing he will not seek re-election next year when his term expires.

Two other council members, Steve Papalas, D-at large, and Frank Pezzano, D-1st, immediately followed Marino’s statement by announcing that they, too, will not run again in 2017.

And as if those announcements were not enough, long-time Law Director Terry Dull said he will retire next February.

The four revealed their plans at the conclusion of Wednesday’s council meeting.

Yeah, well for those of you who missed it, their alleged ringleader was indicted last month on more than 50 counts of various corrupt activities. According to the Vindicator, Two years after news of an investigation of possible corruption in Niles government began, an indictment of former Mayor Ralph Infante laid bare allegations of public corruption few could have imagined.

The 56-count indictment of Infante, released Tuesday, references bribery dating back to 1993, unreported gifts in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, including envelopes of cash around Christmas time, accepting money for a job with the city and a vice that harkens back to the Niles of yesteryear – gambling.

The indictments unsealed in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court contain a variety of allegations, including 17 counts of felony tampering with records, five counts of money laundering, two counts of theft in office, four counts of bribery and others.

The most serious charge Infante faces is engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, which carries a 10-year prison sentence upon conviction.

The other charges, especially the 17 counts of tampering, could make his possible sentence rise to more than 100 years.

The charges date back to 1993, just one year after Infante began his career as Niles mayor, which spanned 24 years, ending in 2015.

So I say good. It is apparent that Niles needed a good laxative. And so the rest of the excrement that had been running that town is voluntarily evacuating itself. And it is about time. Who knows how many people were oppressed by that group of alleged criminals. Notice I keep saying alleged. That is because an indictment does not a conviction make. But at least, the rest of our allegedly organized criminal element in this town has been put on notice. You are being watched and recorded. It won’t be long before we come for you too. Or you can skink off like the cowards you are and find some other rock to crawl under in some other Valley. Are you getting the idea? Aint everyone affeared of you.

And related to this story the Vindicator is also reporting that Niles Oversight Committee is grappling with another or revised plan to bring it’s finances back into balance.

Despite some reservations, the Financial Planning and Supervision Commission unanimously approved the city’s latest amended recovery plan from fiscal emergency – the fifth such revision.

“You have demonstrated quite a bit of progress since the emergency was declared,” said Quentin Potter, commission chairman. However, Potter and several other commission members are concerned about one of the plan’s key elements – the leasing of the financially troubled Wellness Center.

The city hopes to lease the building for $240,000 annually for three years with an option by the tenant for a three-year renewal. John Davis, a commission member, was skeptical about finding a tenant and questioned Mayor Thomas Scarnecchia as to the level or probability of success from low to high.

“If it’s low, then it shouldn’t be in the plan,” said Davis, who earlier this month in an interview with The Vindicator called for the mayor’s resignation after council rejected his fourth revision to the plan.

“I would say it is a high probability,” the mayor promptly responded.

And that is what a mayor is supposed to say isn’t it? He is not supposed to say, “well: you know for the last 20 or so years our community has been allegedly raped by it’s governing officials who were to busy enriching themselves to bother trying to actually serve the public interest” No, any descent mayor is going to say, “this is the plan and it will work. Or at least there is a good probability it is going to work.” And let’s hope for the sakes of the beleaguered residents of Niles, now that the crap is clearing itself out of the area, it can start living up to it’s potential instead of being a haven for alleged criminals.

St Jude PSA

So in brighter more Holidayesque news, The WFMJ Channel 21 News reported that Youngstown has passed a budget for the first quarter of 2017.

Youngstown City Council approved its quarterly 2017 budget Wednesday evening December 21, 2016.

A total amount of 40 million dollars will be used until March, with almost no changes from this year’s budget.

Fourth Ward Councilman Mike Ray says no changes will be made to police and fire departments, and that the council does not see any future layoffs within the next year.

The downtown amphitheater project will also not affect the budget.

Council will meet again in the coming months to decide the budget for the full year.

Now there is some good news. Police and Fire protection for the City will not be affected. That is progress. Not only that, but one of them wonderfully free venues will be added to the Downtown area, an amphitheater. Not that it will be free to build, but many times; such a venue actually will provide free entertainment to the community. Not to mention the fact that when it is not hosting an event, it makes a great place for childrens and adults alike to play. It may not be a playground, but who when they were growing up didn’t love to hop up on an empty stage and look out over a large space and act like Robert Plant? Or Cher? Depending on what gender you identify with.

Now this is not exactly Valley related, but before you click on Cher’s website: I want you to make sure that you are not at work for 2 reasons. First, she is forward thinking enough to welcome people with audio onto her site. Yes, I said forward thinking. She welcomes you with her own voice to her website. That is so smart, If you have a website and are that smart; you need to get in touch with me. Because that is part of what I do here at Mahoning Valley Podcast.

Second reason. Cher has a tendency to put her best features forward. And if you never have seen Cher, then in her case and in my opinion one of her best features is behind her. Yes she is a good singer, but like wow, she has an incredibly attractive behind. And she is not shy. So, if you click over to her website, within 1 minute you will be graced with a very nice picture of one of her more revealing outfits. I almost was delayed in the writing of this transcript the view is so nice. Anyway int may not be safe for work.

Let’s get back into local news and commentary. Apparently the Austintown PTA thinks that perpetuating myths is more important than raising their youngins with the truth. According to the Vindicator, As Austintown Elementary School student Bryan Fleshman stood in line to meet Santa Claus, he confessed he was a little nervous.

“I’m not ready for Christmas yet,” said Bryan, a red Santa hat perched on his head and green face paint coating his cheeks.

The second-grader was one of about 1,000 of the school’s students who got to meet Santa on today, thanks to the school’s Parent Teacher Association. An annual Santa Claus visit is a school tradition.

“We try to bring in any kind of fun or educational activities that we can,” said PTA president Bethany Martinez. “Some of the kids, it’s the only time they’re going to get to see Santa.”

A flurry of holiday happenings took place district wide over the last few weeks. The intermediate school also got a visit from Santa this week, thanks to the PTA there. AIS and AES both hosted a “Santa’s Shop” for students.

That is great, but the fact is that Santa is a myth. A figment of the imagination. And that is why no living or dead person has EVER seen Santa. News flash, the dude doesn’t exist. Why am I being such a grinch you may ask yourself? Because when I was growing up, my parents (God rest their souls) had me going for a few years with the myth of Santa. I know they were just doing their best to be entertaining and even fun, but it would have served me better to learn from an early age that there is no such person. That in order for them presents to appear on Christmas morning, someone had to work their ass off and make sacrifices and even cause themselves to pay horribly high interest rates on Credit Card balances. That way, when I found out that Santa is a fake, I wouldn’t have started wondering in my young mind, “What else did my parents lie to me about?”

FEMA PSA

Now because this is a podcast and it represents for the most part a mobile form of communication here is one headline about Mobile Internetting. According to The Verge, The European Commission has accused Facebook of providing “incorrect or misleading information” in the run-up to its $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp in 2014. Information requested by the Commission is used to vet large mergers and takeovers, aiming to find out if the resulting business would be anti-competitive. If Facebook cannot provide a decent excuse for misleading the Commission before January 31st it could be fined up to $179 million.

The Commission’s complaint refers specifically to the nature of the data-sharing agreement between Facebook and WhatsApp. In 2014, Facebook told the Commission that it would be unable to automatically link data between accounts on the two services, but in August this year, the social network introduced a new privacy policy that does exactly that. WhatsApp user data — including phone numbers — is shared with Facebook in order to map social connections and deliver more relevant ads on both services.

Does this surprise anyone of my listeners? If so, let’s talk. Contact me for a free and very quick consultation on privacy on the internet and if you want in modern society. And then if you want we will talk about how you can start using the internet to your advantage as well. Because I know some of you out there in the cyber audience know that the Internet can be used for more then jut sharing pictures of your dog eating your lunch. Or emailing grandma that your sled needs a tuneup so you can’t make Christmas dinner this year.

Lets wrap it up with some more examples of how people can actually do some good in this community. According to the Vindicator, Owens Construction helped Youngs-town Community School celebrate Christmas in style with a dance and pizza party.

Mike Owens, owner of Owens Construction of Youngstown, and a few other company employees wanted to give back through a donation of some kind for this holiday season.

His choice was made easy when he heard the gifts students wanted for Christmas.

“One kid wanted a blanket, and another, a mechanical pencil,” Owens said Tuesday afternoon. “These were just such basic needs, not really wants. That’s what got to me.”

In addition to the dance party, pizza, snacks and drinks, students received nearly $2,500 worth in Christmas gifts for students and their families.

Principal Heidi Cope-Barker said the holiday party is a symbol of what the YCS represents – being a child.

“We want to make sure we are celebrating our kids everyday,” she said. “Having a holiday party for them reminds us we are all kids at heart, and we get to be kids, too.”

Beyond that engaging in such charitable activities benefits the Owens Construction Company too. Everyone hears this time of year about how it is more blessed to give then receive. Well due to this act of generosity, they are not only getting a free plug in the local paper, but I shared their facebook page post on my timeline. I am sharing this story on the podcast, I am sharing the link to my twitter account and I gave them some link juice too by linking back to their website with a Search Engine Optimized Link that will point back to them from at least 4 different locations where I post these transcripts. All that from one act of generosity. And a nice attaboy from me too. Well done Owens.

WWF PSA

Mama’s Boys and Daddy’s Girls

If this is you, I will try to be civil. But please grow up. Stop treating your “boyfriend” like he is supposed treat you like a princess. You know why I ask?

Cause he is afraid to ask you himself. Because likely you act like some crazed emotional terrorist. Likely every time he says something or does something that is not daddy like, you go off on some psychotic rant about how he just doesn’t understand and he doesn’t care. You stomp your feet and snarl like some kind of feral animal and start to throw stuff at him. Or worse yet, you go an sulk in the corner somewhere and manipulate him into trying to somehow placate your selfish ideas of how you should be treated.

Daddy’s girls have no sense of themselves. That is why if you are in a relationship with one of these types; dude you got to get clear and now. Or you need to read this right now. Ain’t no way you are ever going to add up to how daddy treated or treats her. And even if you could, you aint going to be ever having no life of your own. Cause she be thinking she belongs at the center of your world.

Maybe she belongs in your world, buit if you make the mistake of making her the center of it; you are putting yourself in the position of being terrified she is going to find herself a better daddy tomorrow if you don’t live up to her unrealistic expectations. That aint no way to live, man.

So here is the bottom line. If you want to be a daddy’s girl, fine; but stop trying to act like you are emotionally mature enough to have a man. You aint. So let that man go. Stop torturing him and trying to make him feel like he has to live up to your expectations. Please grow up or let that man go

So mama’s boy, its your turn. Please grow up. Stop treating your woman like her only purpose in life is to wipe your nose and clean up after you. You know why I ask?

Same as above, because she is probably afraid to ask you herself. Because likely anytime she asks you to do some dishes or help out around the house or with the childrens, you act like it is such a huge imposition, that she is afraid you will go out with the boys again for a few beers and come home and start whooping her or just puke in the bathtub and expect her to clean it up in the morning.

According to Wikipedia, your attachment to your mother could mean that you need some counseling duder. Check this:

“A mother’s boy may be effete or effeminate, or might be perceived as being macho, or might have a personality disorder, such as avoidant personality disorder, or might be schizophrenic, so that the mother acts as a caretaker.”

It could also simply mean that you are not ready to be monogamous. So stop leading her on and making her think you are going to settle down eventually. At least be honest with yourself about how much you love your mommy.

If you are dating a mama’s boy, lady you got either admit it and get gone quick; or start accepting it for what it is. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you are going to change him or he is going to grow out of it or you may be finding yourself on the floor wiping the blood of your mouth the next time you have a conflict about how to raise the children or take care of the house.

And really this is why I tend to discriminate against these kinds of behaviors. Because we were not put on this earth to try to replace the emotional support that most of us have had when we were growing up. We grow up so we can provide each other with that sort of support. You know all that “give to get” stuff.

So check yourself. If you are in a relationship to try to replace one of your parent’s place in your life; you probably need to get free for a while and find your self. You are better off going back to daddy or mommy until you are ready to fly on your own. Than try to fly too soon and take your mate down with you.

Image Courtesy of Jar of Quotes

Todays Target Gender Politics

Image Courtesy of Timeforequality.org

Why Gender Politics? Why should I discriminate against Gender Politics? Well in my opinion because it is stupid to try to pigeonhole a person into any role just because that is what society as a whole expects in whatever time you happen to live in.

So if we lived 50 years ago and I wanted to stay home and take care of the children instead of go out into the world and get a job; I may have been ostracized. Likewise, today if someone would prefer to work and take care of himself or herself rather than have children, they are looked on as weird or gay.

Gender politics have been used by strong and rich people to oppress poor and weak people since the beginning of civilized society and it has gotten people nowhere closer to understanding each other than any other form of politics.

It is ridiculous in my opinion to say stupid things like, “I am a man, so I must go out and win the bread for the family.” Or “I am a woman, so I must stay home and scrub the skid marks out of my man’s undies and clean up after him.” Just because that is what society or culture says. Forget that noise.

It is ok if you choose to play the role of breadwinner or housewife. As long as you are choosing it for yourself. It is completely bullsquaggle if you are choosing these roles because culture, or society or your mamma or your grandpa is telling you to.

I know that choices are sometimes hard to make and it can take time to decide what roles are right for a person to play. However, please don’t decide what your life can be just because of your gender.  Do you have any ideas on this topic? Please share.