Post for Jun 29-Jul 5 2014

TaN: Initiation rites are inherent to fraternities but not hazing.  In any association or group where people establish and/or join for the purpose of promoting comaraderie or brotherhood, initiation rites are instituted to determine the length or degree of desire of an inductee or recruit to belong as well as to provide some sort of an orientation to the workings and belief system.

Hazing, in the way if is being conducted conventionally, however, is not a necessity.  It has DEVOLVED into a macabre form of S&M activity where the members want to exact a pointless, inane, and totally unnecessary “tradition” for its own sake and the newbies want to show just how “brave” or macho they are.

In truth, conventional hazing is just grown men acting like children.  There is no redeeming value whatsoever — pointless, purposeless, complete waste of time and effort, and utterly nonsensical and often result in emotional abuse and physical assault.

In conclusion, the feeble and ineffective attempt/s to eradicate hazing by enacting laws and policies only result in failure because the inappropriate solution is being applied.  The better — but longer and more difficult or challenging and permanent — approach is through a total change in value.  A change in the value system is required for it has been and continues to be said that, What the mind can conceive, the body can achieve.  This means that if we focus on the mindset of people, we can change their behavior — and this is more permanent than the over-simplistic solution of putting up laws and policies and expecting people will automatically change overnight.

TaN: What if all jobs (or work or occupation) have the same compensation, would the usually coveted jobs still be coveted?  I mean, if a CEO and a janitor or the President and a street sweeper receive the same salary, would the CEO position or the Presidency still have the same appeal or desirability?  If all jobs have exactly the same perks and benefits and retirement packages and privileges and differing only in job description and duties and responsibilities, perhaps people would be more honest in their pursuit of a career.

Although there would certainly be exceptions, on the whole, most people in the developing or under-developed world are in jobs not of their choice but they are “in for the money”.  This results in “job mismatches” and dissatisfaction and (to some degree) “incompetence”.  “Incompetence” because people who love their jobs and not due to the monetary compensation will perform better.  They will have passion for the job and tend to take their jobs seriously, ergo will “do a good job”.  The “incompetence” would come from the absence of love and compassion for the job they hold.  Their performance would be more of a minimum compliance — just enough to get the job done but no incentive to perform a sterling job.

Moreover, another offshoot from these job “inequalities” is wealth inequality which redounds to other inequalities — such as in: education, consumption, privileges, and treatment and access.  Better compensation in higher-paying jobs provide you with more money to afford better schools for your children, more disposable income to purchase more and better quality products and services, and generally more privileges at work.  Having more money means we wear better clothes and arrive in more expensive transports and get better treatment from guards and sales people.  Having more money in the bank gets us better treatment from bank personnel.

Of course, I realize that there are exceptions and in many instances quite a lot of exceptions.  Like what they say, A better dressed monkey is still a monkey or clothes do not make the man.  Still, on the whole, I would think and maintain that equalizing the compensation of all jobs will mitigate — I doubt if it will eradicate — much of the (economic) inequalities and social injustices.  By having the same compensation regardless of the job description, people will tend to opt for the job of their choice because money will no longer be an issue — a very significant issue for most people.

Finally, it must be realized and remembered that what has been covered in this TaN are jobs so it does not include entrepreneurs and self-employed people.  Entrepreneurs and self-employed people dictate or have conditional or fluctuating incomes and their choice of “jobs” are less influenced by the income, though I am not totally discounting the possibility.  I know of people who choose a certain business because it “promises” a reasonably higher rate of return or revenue.

TaN: The Bush-Cheney-Obama trio are the most war mongering presidents (and vice president) to-date and the arrogance of the United States of America (USA) is now coming full circle — in terms of being a war-monger nation and doing what it wants without regard for other nations.  From a June article in Common Dreams sometime this month (sorry, cannot seem to locate it), I agree that one probable reason for the “sprouting” of nations that defy the United States of America, one after the other, is the perceived waning of its power or might.

The USA used to be able to arrogantly do as it pleases and without accountability to any nation.  Although it still wields much power, it is the perception of other nations — as Iran, North Korea, China, Ukraine, etc — that the USA is losing its dominance in world affairs and upstart nations (with long-suppressed ambitions) are now flexing their (political and military) “muscles” to see just how large a piece of the global pie they can grab for themselves.

This is a common (animalistic or bestial) phenomenon when the dominant or wielder of concentrated power and authority is perceived to be weakening and the time is almost ripe for a change in the leadership structure.  Each defiant nation will cautiously but increasingly exhibit some amount of “courage” to assert itself in the global power arena and try to ascertain just how big a slice of the pie it can snatch from the grip of the aging lone global superpower.

“Ambitious” nations claim the same prerogatives that the USA have consistently and persistently invoked in the past — i.e., conducting pre-emptive strikes on whichever states, “terrorist” and whatever groups of people with interests and issues deemed to be a threat to those of the USA or are in possession of something/s that the USA desires (like oil).  Just like the adage: what is sauce for the goose is also sauce for the gander, defiant nations are “saying”, if the USA can do whatever it wants — United Nations Charter, international law, and USA Constitution be damned — whenever it wants, and to whomever it wants, so can we.

This attitude of the USA is not even new, though could be considered original.  As early as in the colonial days, colonial Americans have copied, reprinted, pirated and violated copyrights — principally because of the prohibitive cost of books even back then — and they justified the infrinegement by its necessity and yet the United States of America (today) is not only at the forefront but is even the primary proponent of the global campaign against violations of intellectual property rights, something that they themselves have been guity of in the past.

It would appear that the United States of America (USA) has a double standard when it comes to its interests that run against its own.  It is alright, legal, and moral if and when they do it but not right, illegal, and immoral when others imitate them.  Just like when the USA interfere (and literally invades) with the internal affairs of other nations, it is not okay if and when other nations do the same.  It is good when the USA (and selected allies) possess a nuclear program (and weapons) but bad if nations that do not share their interests and/or the USA deems “unworthy” embark on their own nuclear program — even if they are for peaceful purposes, like (nuclear) medicine and power generation.

Today, defiant nations “smell blood” and are eagerly though cautiously “going in for the kill” and are giving the USA a “taste of its own medicine”.  Now we will see if the USA Empire can take it as well as it can dish it out.  The arrogance of the USA Empire is coming full circle — karma.

In conclusion, another case is drone technology that the USA has been deploying in the global arena and many “victim” nations are doing catch-up — developing drone technology of their own and will soon likewise be deploying them in much the same ways as the USA has been doing (as a defense and “defense” or pre-emptive strike against foreign and terroristic hostiles and mass surveillance and unbridled unwarranted invasion of privacy).

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