Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Panda Bear on Her Return,, Red Lines, Syria and the War on Office Plants

The Panda Bear Blog is a blog about a stressed out, overly busy, lowly office worker and her thoughts on life. She has returned from her summer break of sitting outside and reading after work. (The Panda Bear knows that she has serious problems if this is her idea of summer fun). She needed to connect with friends.

With her much needed break from blogging the Panda Bear returns. Readers have been asking the Panda Bear about her different home projects. They went well. However, are two crises that will be the focus of this blog posts. There the international crisis of Syria crossing Obama's red line in using chemical weapons and the Panda Bear's workplace crossed the Panda Bear's red line in banning office plants.

The Panda Bear has spent much of the Labor Day weekend e-mailing officials and signing petitions against the US using military force in Syria. The civil war is Syria does not directly affect US security. The US is already having problems paying for the wars it is in right now. The US would be responsible for civilian deaths if it took military action in Syria. The US has to learn to mind its own business.

Some experts have asserted that the US will lose all credibility if it does not go to war when it threatens to go to war. The Panda Bear has two responses to this line of reasoning. One is to be credible but incorrectly start a war is still not a smart thing to do. It is better to admit that one has changed one's mind. Secondly, to behave in an unpredictable and erratic way to threats probably would cause more anxiety in the "enemy" then consistency.

Senator McCain has said that the honor of the US is at stake. The Panda Bear could not care less about hono of the United States. . She agrees with Shakespeare’s Falstaff on the nature of honor and courage. In one place Falstaff says “The better part [quality] of valour is discretion, in the which better part I have saved my life”. Below is Falstaff's speech on honor in both the original and modernized version from Spark notes-

Regarding a visit from death.

'Tis not due yet. I would be loath to pay Him before His day. What need I be so forward with Him that calls not on me? Well, ’tis no matter. Honour pricks me on. Yea, but how if honor prick me off when I come on? How then? Can honor set to a leg? no. Or an arm? no. Or take away the grief of a wound? No. Honor hath no skill in surgery, then? No. What is honor? A word. What is in that word “honor”? What is that “honor”? Air. A trim reckoning. Who hath it? He that died o' Wednesday. Doth he feel it? No. Doth he hear it? No. 'Tis insensible, then? Yea, to the dead. But will it not live with the living? No. Why? Detraction will not suffer it. Therefore, I’ll none of it. Honor is a mere scutcheon. And so ends my catechism.
It’s not due yet. I’d hate to pay him before the due date. Why should I be so eager to pay him before he even asks for it? Well, it doesn’t matter: honor spurs me on. Yeah, but what if honor spurs me off once I’m on, and picks me out to die? What happens then? Can honor set a broken leg? No. Or an arm? No. Can it make a wound stop hurting? No. Honor can’t perform surgery, then? No. What is honor? A word. What is in that word, “honor?” What is that “honor?” Air. Quite a bargain! Who has it? A guy who died last Wednesday. Does he feel it? No. Does he hear it? No. It can’t be detected, then? Right—not by the dead, anyway. But won’t it live with the living? No. Why? Slander won’t allow it. That’s why I don’t want any part of it. Honor is nothing more than a gravestone, and that concludes my catechism

The Panda Bear agrees with Falstaff that a sense of honor and respect is not always enjoyed by those who win wars. Often the "winners" in war (i.e. the Europeans over the Native Americans) are described as blood thirsty, overly aggressive, imperialistic, deceitful  treacherous and ruthless Thus, the Panda Bear thinks honor is one of the worst reasons to go to war.

Meanwhile, the Panda Bear's employer has crossed the Panda Bear's red line in banning all plants from work. The plants gave the workers much pleasure and joy and the office has few windows. These and a few similar rules have made the Panda Bear actively seek employment elsewhere. The Panda Bear is convinced a nicer work environment is out there but the Panda Bear believing that discretion is the better part of valor has to be careful not to burn her bridges.

The Panda Bear was talking to one of her physicians about the ban on plants and she told the Panda Bear that several of her patients were complaining about employers putting in some petty rules. For whatever, reason modern managers don't seem to feel that the happy worker is the productive worker.


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