A rational argument for the irrational

I have had to make a decision recently that is not the rational choice. Since I spend a fair amount of time advocating for rationality I was startled to see myself make this choice. This isn’t something minor like eating ice cream when I shouldn’t (a choice I often make); it is a significant financial choice.  I won’t describe the choice; you can’t judge me without the details. But, I confess this choice is pure emotion. I won’t lose any money because of it, just the annoyance of having to put more effort into the situation than I would like. So, I’m wondering if my irrational choice is a rational choice to make.

Rational means: based on, or in accordance with reason or logic, so my decision – based upon emotion, will become rational if there exists a logical reason to be irrational. I am free to construct an argument that justifies the irrational as being reasonable. This is the obvious foundation of religion: virgin births and once-dead, now-living 2017 year-old deities. These fantasies have no place in the world of rationality, yet the rational argument can be made that humanity requires some degree of fantasy in order to function rationally. Humans are like steam cookers that need to whistle away excess steam to efficiently accomplish the rational job of cooking. Excess steam is both the fantasy and the irrationality that is required to cook the meal but both are explosively harmful unless expelled in a moderate and controlled fashion.

Irrationality is a tool. It is a measuring device with no standard incremental values. Each fantasy creates its own standards and units of measure. Star Trek can fly through space at warp speed. The father in a Mormon family gets his own planet when he dies, but travel between planets belonging to dead Mormons probably isn’t at warp speed, if they even bother to visit one another that is. Dionysus dies each fall and is re-born each spring; his unit of measure is seasonal, which gives it a time basis in observable reality. The Ho Ho of theology, Christianity, with its three-gods-in-one trinity has too many variants to use any particular measuring stick although sex seems to be a particular obsession.

Sex as a measuring stick brings up all sorts of imagery that befuddles the pious, but putting all  that prudishness aside and focusing on just the variety of measuring sticks used by each entity in society, it becomes clear that there is no standard common to all. Sex is the wrong tool to use to assess moral standards; there is no commonality of measurement between groups. The facade of piety is far different from the reality of behavior making most established codes invalid unto themselves much less in harmony with others.

We must now be distracted by the escaping steam of the Nashville Report, an Evangelical wet dream of sexual passions about LGBTQ folks. They don’t know us and yet they have fantasies about us and hire lawyers to make fancy legalistic rules to condemn us and that makes them happy, really happy, too happy to be rational. They get off imagining how we get off. They rebreathe the voluminous eruptions of steam escaping their noses and it’s clouding their vision. They claim themselves to be, but obviously can’t see, straight.

People who separate steam from reality are our allies.

The taste for mystery, magic, wonder and supernatural imagination is built-in to the mechanics of how our brain works. We can’t eliminate fantasy from thought, it is an integral part of creativity. Interest in the supernatural is as much a part of the human condition as is love. Belief in fantasy as truth, not metaphor, is the crux of the problem. In today’s world we’d do a paternity test to discover the parentage of Jesus, but some humans would rather enjoy, and many seem to require, the emotional zing of belief in impossibilities. When these fantasies build an infrastructure to promote, enhance and solidify their authenticity it is the beginning of a cult which morphs into a formal established religion.

A religion that lives within the realm of a reasonable society often has value and contributes to the betterment of that society. However, when they exceed the boundaries of their place in society they become dangerous. Evangelicals haven’t just crossed the line, they have launched an attack with the Nashville Report; they remove themselves from common decency. They ask to be ostracized from the civil community of humanity.

I will civilly accept your need to believe in your chosen fantasy if you civilly accept my need to love the persons I love. The Law of Reciprocity – The Golden Rule – is how we get along.

Hurricanes

Hi there, I’m somewhat back again. St. Croix got a big bruise from Irma and a knock-out from Maria.  I now know what it is to try and sleep while the eye-wall of a Category 5 hurricane moves directly overhead.  Anyway, we survived, our dogs and house and car and truck are a bit dented, but we are very lucky to still have them. All of our fruit trees are gone: 3 kinds of mangos, several varieties of bananas, white plumb, grapefruit, cashew, nonie, carambola (star fruit), pomegranate, and a bread-fruit like tree we could never identify. Most of the coconut palm trees are gone which is fine by me, they are hard to maintain, but the royal palms will probably survive. The island is a mess but getting better every day.

I found this internet hot spot near a medical clinic so this is the first time I could post anything. We run a gas generator long enough to keep the fridge up and running and sometimes watch a DVD. It will be months before we have power or regular internet. ATT is available but often slow which is not surprising given that someone keeps stealing the generator at their tower. The island has a goal of being ready for cruise ships again by Thanksgiving.

Path to Submission

I keep getting rejection emails from restricted Country Clubs that I have never even tried to join. Why do they always look like churches? I wish they’d take me off their lists.

Christian Scripture teaches that there is but one God who alone is Creator and Lord of all. To him alone, every person owes glad- hearted [sic] thanksgiving, heart-felt praise, and total allegiance. This is the path not only of glorifying God, but of knowing ourselves.

This is from the Nashville Statement, signed by Evangelical people I never heard of except for Dobson somebody. If he’s who I think he is, he’s one sick puppy. I don’t want to be part of an exclusive club so proud of its restrictive qualities that I’m offended by the first paragraph of its advertising. They go not the way to persuade; they go out of their way to offend. They are just so mean and off-putting.

I only needed to skim the new rules to understand it, I’ve seen so many like it before. Nailing this manifesto to the doorway in Martin Luther’s day was a bold and daring thing to do, now it’s simply insulting. “Looky here, I got more ways to exclude normal people from our religion, Yeah!  It’s full of that sex stuff we so love to talk about and it’s God’s word all twisted around by lawyers to deal with the ’T’ part of LGBT, which is about time ‘cause it’s all so confusing!” These guys get so worked up over problems they have never had, it is really quite sad.

I know myself a little bit more each day. Why would I need a lawyer to make rules about knowing myself? Glorifying a leader and promising total allegiance is what Trump asked for in his inaugural speech. It’s fascism. If you do it, you may know their rules, but never yourself; it is the path to submission not personal growth.

Sorry for no posts recently, I’ve been on vacation.

 

The Carousel is Burning

Every time I type the word ‘bureaucracy,’ the spell-checker has to fix it. I don’t like the word or the thing itself. However, bureaucracies are necessary for the efficient management of large numbers of people; they are necessary in government and the government is only as good as the people running the bureaucracy. So, the distressing part of the article I mentioned yesterday (which is now missing from this site): Why The Scariest Nuclear Threat May Be Coming From Inside The White House by Michael Lewis at Vanity Fair, is the giant gap in the number and quality of employees left in the Dept. of Energy.

Trump, with his cartoon sycophant sidekick, Rick Perry, is going about the destruction of this department the wrong way. It needs to be dismantled piece by piece in a structured and cautious manner. If some parts need to be saved or protected or are dangerous then you can’t just blow the place up or let it rot away. A plan, based upon understanding of the bureaucratic structure and how it evolved into being will be the guide for how to go about dismantling it. So, whether the intent is to keep it going or to dismantle it, the person doing this must FIRST understand it.

The Education Department is being destroyed much more efficiently due to the theologically driven Betsy Devos. She may not understand what education is in the real world but she is confident of what she wants it to look like in the future. There is a plan and she seems to be methodical in her pursuit of that goal from what is being reported. I hate where she is taking her department, but she is doing a better job of transforming the place than Rick Perry is with his ignorance-based technique. Any damage she does will only harm this generation of students with little permanent damage (except for the children which is bad enough). Perry, the stock Comedia clown that he is, has the fate of the planet in his hands, with no plan nor comprehension of his responsibilities.

Long before I started blogging I predicted that the US would fail in the same manner as the Soviet Union. I attributed the USSR failure to its overwhelming bureaucracy that made tractors more valuable as scrap metal than functional machinery. I predicted that our fall would take longer, but that our bureaucracies are so overwhelmed and cumbersome that they needed some trimming down.

The choice to perform the task of destruction is based upon ideology. The task of destroying a bureaucracy (ideology aside), can be done with callous disregard of its purpose or with respect for its intent. Bureaucracies of all stripes have a natural tendency to feed on themselves and grow new appendages and form knots of intricacies around themselves. Governments have massive knots of intricacies tying one entity to another. A significant disruption in one can have unforeseen ramifications throughout the system. The haphazard circumstance of the Department of Energy is our equivalent to the fall of the USSR. The potential for total system collapse is upon us and we’ve got Sapino the clown running the thing!

So, I have major disagreements with the choice to destroy governmental bureaucracy rather than fixing it, but those objections become irrelevant when the process of destruction has so little regard for the safety of the world. Rick Perry obviously never read Spiderman, “With great power comes great responsibility”. Use it Rick, Use it. Become Responsible!

Look, We can fight about ideology another day if we survive. Go ahead, destroy the Department of Energy. Just do it responsibly, with integrity, use common sense. Hire the experts necessary to dismantle the bombs and the grid and the materials that will kill us, safely. There is way too much at stake to play silly clown-games with this stuff.

Send in the clowns: Scaramucci

When I saw the addition of Anthony Scaramucci to the cast of characters already playing at the White House I was dumfounded. This guy is his name. He is a stock character from the history of performing arts going back to the 16th century. He is the personification of his name!

Trump is truly running a Reality TV Show in the White House, but the most recent addition to his cast is an archetypical character with a long history. Commedia dell’arte in Italy and France was a popular performing art style with companies that traveled from city to city performing stock stories using stock characters each having a stock of “bits” associated with their character known as “lazzi”. We still use these characters today such as “Harlequin” and “Pantalone,” but Scaramouche is the same name you hear in Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen. It is still a familiar character ‘type.’

The stock character from Commedia dell’arte with the name Scaramouche (with guitar above) is known for certain traits. Scaramuccia, or Scaramouch are other spellings of the character’s name which means “little skirmisher.” His character evolved out of Commedia’s ‘Braggart Soldier’ character known as “Capitano” and is a stock ‘clown’ character as well as a ‘masked henchman’ and sometimes a ‘servant.’ He is portrayed as sly, adroit, supple, and conceited. This character migrated over time from Comedia into the Punch and Judy puppet shows. Punch would regularly punch Scaramouche’s pet dog so the dog puppet’s head could come springing off his body.

The purpose of the “fool” or “clown” character archetype in storytelling has evolved out of older Commedia traditions into a character who provides a foil for the actions or comments of the protagonist or other powerful characters in the story. The king has his jester who is vulnerable to abuse but often provides depth and understanding due to his presumed inferior position. The Shakespearian character ‘Bottom’ from A Midsummer Night’s Dream is even named for his lowly status. The clown called Feste in Twelfth Night is one of my favorites. He sings this mockingly somber ode to encourage sexual promiscuity amongst the youth:

What is love? ’tis not hereafter;

Present mirth hath present laughter;

What’s to come is still unsure:

In delay there lies no plenty;

Then come kiss me, sweet and twenty,

Youth’s a stuff will not endure.

The drunken companions he sings to respond:

SIR ANDREW

A mellifluous voice, as I am true knight.

SIR TOBY BELCH

A contagious breath.

SIR ANDREW

Very sweet and contagious, i’ faith.

What is a contagious breath? It is meant to be funny because the fool’s song is a woeful tune with lyrics ignored by the characters listening to the song. The meaning is masked by the style of delivery, but the audience gets it. Who is the real fool here?

Shakespeare made use of historical character types and improved their use in storytelling, they may still seem to be the stock ‘type’ at first but he makes them deeper and more fully realized. This evolutionary advancement of character in storytelling continues to this day. Unfortunately, Trump is playing to the Commedia-Style Reality TV audience who want simple, easy to understand, stock types without subtlety. Anthony Scaramucci is the contemporary blunt character modeled upon his sly, conceited, historical character’s theatrical name. 

By casting his office with ‘types’ instead of professionals Trump shows us a warped agenda. He was upset that Reince Priebus didn’t fight back. He wants a show, man, send in the clowns! Make them laugh, make them gasp, but be sure to distract. The meaning is supposed to be masked by the style of delivery, and the audience is not supposed to get it this time. ‘Dis ain’t no Shakspeer yous know.’

I question the intelligence behind the deception. Sure, the show is being ingeniously cast, toward what end we aren’t told. Stock shtick gets tiresome quickly and it certainly is not the way to lead a country. The novelty of a foul-mouthed clown is short lived; expect it to get real ugly real soon.

Spirit of Positivity

We were so close.

Then came January 20th and the inauguration with its ominous speech from Hell.

There was no ‘shining city on a hill,’ no one was ‘having a dream,’ there was no “What can I do for my country?’ instead there was: ‘American Carnage,’ obscure references to an “us” that seemed to  be someone else, and a promise that certain members of a religious group:

we will eradicate completely from the face of the Earth”.

I started to write a positive post here but it’s already gone astray, sorry. I’ve been thinking about the future and how to remain positive about it. When I first moved to the Island of St. Croix I saw bumper-stickers saying, “Positive is how I live.” I automatically thought it was about having HIV and taking proper care of themselves, but I saw the phrase everywhere, it was on way too many t-shirts and store-fronts for that. Turns out it is a non-profit effort to give local children a useful attitude toward the future and prepare them for success in their lives. How Cool!

A friend of mine volunteers her time in the library at a local elementary school. When Trump was elected her students asked if that meant they would have to go to Africa since they have dark skin. How positive can life be if that question is on their minds?

Some things are beyond my control, so I’ve decided to look on the bright side of life. I’m tired of being depressed and anxious about the future so Positive is how I will live. I have many reasons to be positive. For example, my home is well above the 17’ rise in sea level predicted within the next 30 years. We checked the FEMA tsunami prediction maps before purchasing the property. The projections were made with existing water levels so, adding another 17’ above that puts us in…Oops, did it again. Stay positive!

We’re putting skylight windows in to brighten the interior of our home, a generator for the frequent power outages, and glass windows instead of screens and storm shutters that will help with rust and mildew. I’m going to stop right here lest I venture into less-than-positive areas like the corner of the bedroom that seems to be separating from the rest of the house, so I won’t even mention that in the spirit of positivity.

I’m volunteering for the PRIDE events celebrated in September here. A large chunk of the local gay community on this isolated island is still living in the Boys In The Band era of the 1960s while the ex-pat gay community is loud and proud and a big part of the development of the West End of the island. My task is to bridge that gap between the closeted crowd and the loud and proud crowd with a party for our allies during PRIDE Week. The theme is “Harmony.” I know it’s going to take more than just one event, but this is a positive with no downside. We’re here, We’re queer, We’re allies, Let’s have a party together, so we all can get used to it.

No cynical ending to this post guys, I’M POSITIVE!

https://www.stxpride.org

Rules of Acquisition

Stephen Fry spoke in an opinion piece for the NYT  about the importance of a monarchy and how we in the US might attempt such a thing: “But ritual and pageant, costume and custom are to public life what metaphors are to language; they bring it to life and move it from the abstract to the real.” Fry suggests we elevate someone, anyone to the position of “Uncle Sam” or “Aunt Samantha” to be the US equivalent of the King or Queen in a monarchy. He says that putting on the “show” of a monarchy will make our shared ideals real in the way a metaphor does in language. That sounds interesting although I wonder what commonality we would use to identify the essential “Sam” of our nation.

I’m veering off from what Stephen said now (he also spoke of the need for leaders to explain their actions, etc.) by asking if any common ground exists between the ideology of the Obama era and Trump’s current amorality? My first thought, as elementary as it may be, is, ‘don’t kill other people,’ part of the law of reciprocity, it’s a shared value for everyone. The second item on my list of assumed fundamentally shared values was ‘don’t steal from other people’ but after a second or two I realized Trump doesn’t actually share that particular fundamental value. He doesn’t pay workers for work done. He lies (fundamental 3) and breaks promises (4). He cheats (5) but cheating and capitalism are practically synonyms anyway. He “grabs ‘em by the pussy,” (6) another form of theft that is also: assault, humiliation, demeaning, disrespect, belittlement, male entitlement, and violation. I could go on, but I stopped even numbering because the search for unifying values begins and ends with one – don’t kill! Wait, Mitch McConnell’s health care plan will kill people. That is the end of commonality.

Ladies and Gentlemen there is no value that we hold in common. 

This was too simple, I’m not ready to give up, let’s try a more established set of rules:

The Ten Commandments (modified to be inclusive),

1 Thou shall have no other ideologies before me. Obama’s ideology is to seek the greatest good for all, and Trump’s is self interest – money, ego and golf.

2 Thou shall not make any graven images. Obama preserved vast plots of land and historical locations as national parks; Trump builds gold plated hotels with his name on them.

3 Thou shalt not use the ideology’s name in vain. Obama protects our environment for humanity’s sake and Trump destroys it for monetary gain.

4 Remember to keep the holy days a time for ritual and reflection. Both men play golf but Obama prays introspectively. Trump plays in the temples that bear his name while banning the people whose rituals and reflections he doesn’t comprehend.

5 Honor and get along with thy father and mother. Trump constantly belittled Obama’s parentage as he does the heritage of all immigrants. How does that honor his own parents?

6 Thou shalt not kill people. Trump’s major go-to guys, Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan are seeing to this. The ACA attempted to prevent avoidable death. “Trumpcare” doesn’t care.

7 Thou shall not commit adultery – “grab them by the pussy.”

8 Thou shall not steal. Already covered that.

9 Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor. Tweeting Trump’s unTruths.

10 Thou shall not covet anything. Like money, attention and hot chicks, or walking into contestants’ dressing rooms?

Well, That was an exercise in futility.

Outside of the Ferengi “Rules of Acquisition” (from TV’s Star Trek series) there is no known code or set of moral guidelines that fits Trump’s behavior. Trump plays by his own set of rules, none of which seem to fit with the ‘Golden Rule,’ the Law of Reciprocity in any way. Here’s a sampling of the Rules of Acquisition: 126 A lie isn’t a lie, it’s just the truth seen from a different point of view,  90 Mine is better than ours, and 144 There’s nothing wrong with charity … as long as it winds up in your pocket. See what I mean?

So, establishing Stephen Fry’s idea of a ‘Sam’ uncle or aunt monarchy would have been perfectly viable during Obama’s era while impossible now. The right wing back then held ‘Judeo-Christian’ values as the foundation of the country, however, now that Trump is almost a saint to the Evangelicals – Christians (in theory at least), God has been replaced with gold. The new Golden Rule is: “Screw thy neighbor and make them pay for it.” Take Mexico and the wall for example.

The right wing spent the eight years of Obama’s administration saying: ‘no’ without clarification of what they would do instead. Now that they have all three branches of government the best they can put forth is a SCI-FI TV show’s farcical metaphor of capitalism run amok? All hail the new Uncle Sam – Trump, the hairy-eared Grand Nagus of Ferenginar.

“But ritual and pageant, costume and custom are to public life what metaphors are to language; they bring it to life and move it from the abstract to the real.” If we did as Fry suggests it would give us a metaphor so ugly that it would force us see just how repulsive and distant from Judeo-Christian values we actually are. No amount of pageant, costume, custom or ritual can hide the vulgarity of the Evangelical hero, Trump. It is time to bring the metaphor to life, to make this abstract real enough for even a Christian to see.

Trumpian Coincidence

Christians who love turning coincidence into evidence of a god should be having field day with this one. An iceberg the size of Delaware just broke off Antarctica at the same time D. Trump Jr spills the beans about collusion with Russia. The first is proof of climate change and the second is proof that Trump is guilty. Both lead to abrupt endings. It’s definitive evidence of God’s displeasure with Trump. Or God’s displeasure with humanity. Or, more rationally, it is the basic cause and effect of nature: “stupid will out.” If you heat the planet up – ice will melt. DUH! If you elect pollution and prejudice to power it betrays itself. DUH! Either way humanity pays the price.

Of Shame and Embarrassment

Have you no shame?

Shame on you for suggesting that!

Take the walk of shame down the hall of shame.

I can’t, I am beyond shame.

What a shame — you’re naked;

cover your shame!

But, I have no shame.

Well, it is a bit small, but nothing to be ashamed of.

Adam and Eve left the garden, ashamed.

Ain’t that a shame?

A low-down dirty shame!

The strong-arm enforcer of our own psychological behavior is “shame.” It is a great tool of conscience to protect our own standards of virtue. We may be prewired for it, but the specifics of shame are learned from our home life and society. Those rules become deeply embedded within our core.

Embarrassment is the emotional reaction when someone has, or is seen as having broken a convention of their group or society such as walking into a room with a fly zipper down. It’s intimately tied to shame and guilt but not as profound: toilet paper stuck to the bottom of your shoe. Shame is internalized. It is the emotion of knowing yourself to be flawed. It is personal. Those who feel shame know that they are bad. An embarrassing moment passes by. Shame lives within.

I know of a person who is a master of preemptive shame. He tends to speak in ‘lectures’ when he wants someone to know what the rules are. His lectures are structured to include an experience of preemptive shame so that the listener will truly feel the shame of the violation during the lecture. He means to instruct the listener thoroughly by using this technique, so he wants the lesson to be experiential. As children his offspring would walk away from one of these lectures feeling guilty for something they hadn’t ever done nor considered doing. The extra gut-punch of preemptive shaming was effective, I mean his lesson was learned, but it also had an effect that wasn’t beneficial. Shame lives within, so the build-up of unearned and undeserved shame became psychologically problematic. The repeated implication of fault at an emotional level of this magnitude destroys self confidence regardless of its cautionary intent.

Guilt is the product of shame. If you violate the laws of a group or society you must pay the penalty.  If the violation is small the punishment is embarrassment alone. When the severity of the offense grows, guilt is added to embarrassment. Additional shame is required to produce that guilt. It’s a simple progression. Problems arise when people start thinking for themselves instead of following the existing rules.  Rational thought often invalidates older codes and the chimera of theology. Rational thought voids shame as a mechanism for conformity and control.

“You ought to be ashamed of yourself” is the older person’s cry to the young “offender.” If the response is “Why?” there had better be a good reason. Rational thought is the foundation of social rebellion. The emotionalism of both racism and civil rights were put into rational context by Martin Luther King Jr’s 1963  Letter from Birmingham Jail. He was publicly shamed by the police, but it was five white religious leaders who tried to shame him with a letter published in the local paper. He turned around in the adverse discomfort of a jail cell and rationally and emotionally tore down their bigotry and made the rational case for action. It provided an extraordinary moment of clarity in a charged environment of conflicting values. His document is now a standard text for college freshmen across the country. All because he stood up and said this is why you can’t shame me. He gave reasons. Among the multitude of lessons available from his letter is the assertion that reason can be a tool to defeat irrational shame and guilt.

So when does sex become shameful? Religions have always made it so, but to the enlightened rational mind, where should the line be drawn?  Well, child rape by Priests or other adults is obviously on the bad side. Any rape for that matter, or perhaps we could say unwanted, harmful or involuntary sex is wrong. Incest that leads to psychological problems, or genetically mutated offspring is wrong. There is some concern for keeping sexual relations out of public view.  That just about covers it.

Those who would support only conventional sex may use ‘possibilities’ as a rational argument against the full range of sexual expression such as, possibly, acquiring a disease, or getting pregnant, or some other unintended consequence. That risk is as fundamental a risk as can be found in any other activity, depending upon its form, so the “possibility” argument is not persuasive. When the religious argument is used the debate shifts away from rationality making it irrelevant. Moral standards of the society on the topic of sex tend to be based in religion not rationality. All that is left is the ‘ick’ factor: ‘it doesn’t feel right,’ ‘that’s just icky,’ ‘I would never even think of doing that!’ Some may wish to keep their children ignorant of sexual variety. The non-participating public’s icky feelings are not a rationally persuasive argument. There is no rational argument outside the question of harm against any sexual expression. So, why be ashamed?

When I came out of the closet to my parents I preemptively eliminated the possibility of them shaming me. I spent several years coming up with a strategy that used personal confidence and absolute surety. I’d read most of the limited available literature in 1979 and anticipated their response. They had no knowledge of what being gay means, so they argued from their built-in prejudice with its theological underpinnings.  By eliminating the option of shame from their arsenal of argument it was easier to show them their own ignorance of the topic. This was the healthiest way for me to share my identity with them.

Shame is the glue that binds moral societies together. Unfortunately, it becomes a useful tool for adult bullies. They thrive on destroying reputations. They often remain anonymous while manipulating others to achieve their goals. Adult bullies are usually smart and enjoy playing out strategies that undermine a person’s credibility. They choose their targets capriciously. They manipulate the target’s need to avoid shame. Adult bullies are patient and covert, their strategy plays out over time. If reputation weren’t such a valued part of identity, and shame so devastating, especially in the workplace, the bully’s play toys would disappear.

I don’t mean to imply my parents are bullies by saying this, but by removing the potency of shame when I came out to them I removed their ability to use the bullying tactics inherent in the manipulation of shame to “fix” me for being gay. There is no easy mechanism to fight an adult bully. They are secretive and plotting and evil in their intent. In the workplace 70% of targets leave their job. Only 10% of bullies are found out and fewer are punished. Fighting a bully demands that you lower yourself to their moral level (assuming you can discover who they are). This action alone is devastating to reputation. You end up using the bully’s tactics to fight; that is humiliating. The bully has the advantage of being psychologically driven to do harm while the target is forced into uncharacteristic and abusive behaviors for their own defense. They become a bully to fight the bully, but there is never a winner. The choice to compete in this battle itself destroys reputations.

Ain’t that a low-down dirty shame?