The World of Bullying

The World of Bullying.


By G. Ray Gompf


We’ve heard a great deal about bullying lately, in fact politicians have made noises that bullying must be stopped.  Without a definition of bullying, it’s pretty hard to stop something when supposed sane adults bully in the name of all that is holy and fair.


Sure it’s easy to point to that schoolyard bully because everyone has suffered at the hands of the schoolyard bully and knows full well what bullying is from that point of view.  Even those school yard bullies were bullied and when they ran into that bigger bully, they figured out that bullying really doesn’t work in real life so they learned better ways to live in a grown up world.


But some never figure it out.


Take these two DJs in Australia that caused such a fuss when they telephoned a London hospital pretending to be the Queen and Prince Charles inquiring about the condition of the Duchess of Cambridge who is suffering pregnancy related complications.  A few days later, the nurse who spilled the information commits suicide as a result of this breach of security.


This was a case of bullying, pure and simple, but the world wide press has deemed it a prank gone wrong, that no one possibly could have predicted such a devastating outcome.  Wrong, it wasn’t a prank, it was a case of bullying.


There was another case of bullying that was disguised as a protest in the Greater Toronto Area.   In this case a group of feminists objected to a speech that was going to be delivered on father’s rights in divorce situations.  Father’s often have court appointed rights to visitation that is often thwarted by ex-wives, yet these men make the child support and alimony payments regularly and on time.  Ex-wives often use police to intimidate their ex-husbands claiming to have been physically assaulted even though these allegations are completely false.   Now, there is admittedly violence against women and that violence – any violence – is deplorable and should be dealt with by the courts harshly.  


I just can’t buy into the statistics bandied about by the feminists organization on the violence against women.  If I were to believe those statistics, then on my block, only one man doesn’t beat his wife and since I don’t beat mine, it must be me and every other man on my block beats his wife.   I know flat out that isn’t the case.  I know I’m not the only man not to beat his wife on my block and many other blocks.


I do know of women who beat their husbands and although it’s less common than men beating women, it does happen with enough regularity to have statistics although men usually don’t complain about the physical abuse out of shame.


The thing is that when men have a disagreement with another man, it can become physical but when it’s over it’s over, usually, the combatants go off and have a beer with each other and the disagreement is history, never to be brought up again.


When women have disagreements with women, few of those become physical.  There are a lot of angry words, then the plotting begins and hatreds maintain.  Women never forget a sleight.


The problem is when men try to use men logic dealing with women there are misunderstandings that women never forget and never let the men forget.  And the problem grows in magnitude because women use women logic dealing with men. 


So these feminists try to stop men from trying to figure out what female on male abuse is about.  Of course to these feminists there can’t possibly be such a thing as female on male abuse, either physical or otherwise.  But there is, it’s real.


To stop this speech being heard, the feminists rip down all the advertising for the event.  Then when it appears the event will still go ahead, they picket the venue for the event and try to intimidate the attendees and the speaker.  The police are called in and the feminists physically and verbally assault the police – especially the female police officers – and the police accept the assault and offer no arrests, because it’s not politically correct to upset feminists. 


I do not support the methodology of the feminists in their fight to suppress dissent to their cause but I certainly do support their rights to express them.  Why do the feminists feel they have the right to suppress dissent to their views?  


In this country we have the right to a dissenting opinion, we do not have the right to suppress that same right in others.


Our teacher’s union leadership should remember that line I just wrote above.  Everybody has the right to dissent even those members who don’t want to be bullied.  Our politicians need to remember not to bully constituents.  Our political system is all about dissent then consensus.  Let’s remember that and stop the bully tactics so common.


Bullies are not just a schoolyard phenomenon




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The Log Book Safety Lie

The Log Book Safety Lie.

By G. Ray Gompf

Ask any bureaucrat or politician or CEO of a trucking company and they will tell you flat out that logbooks are a solution to a safety issue.  That safety issue is “tired drivers”.

I contend that that log books have nothing to do with safety and everything to do with doing something that will confuse the general public into thinking the aforementioned bureaucrats, politicians and CEOs are spinning the truth for their own purposes.

In the US, log books were brought into use in the 1930s to prevent overzealous employers from demanding their drivers go beyond that which is reasonable.   At the time, 10 hours was a good compromise but it was still sort of arbitrary.  Also, the 10 hours of driving in the 24 hour clock became not just the maximum but the minimum.  Is the world safer as a result?  Well, that remains to be seen.   What happened was CEOs (through those under them) started to demand double log books and frankly until the early 80s, there was no real way to verify or even audit log books.   And if there was a charge laid because of log book manipulation it was always the driver that was charged and paid the price.  Even though he (and yes, in those days it was always a he) was threatened with the loss of his job if he didn’t do the companies bidding.  Safety?   I don’t think so.

Enter the mid 80s.  Canada brings into existence the need for log books and virtually copied the American legislation that had been on the books for fifty plus years.   Why reinvent the wheel especially when almost all Canadian drivers were familiar with the log book regulations in the US and complied with the US regulations while in the US.   The only difference between the US and new Canadian regulations was the length of the driving day for the driver.  Instead of this arbitrary ten hours, Canada settled on thirteen hours of driving for every 24 hours cycle.

I can remember sitting in committee in the mid 80s and listening to the rhetoric, the spinning if you will, on why we would have a 13 hour driving day for Canadian truckers.  Those CEOs at the table were saying things like “Well, if we allow them 13 hours in the day, then they can do a Toronto/Montreal turn in one shift”.  It struck me strange they’d be settling on 13 hours because it’s exactly 26 hours of driving time between either Montreal or Toronto and Winnipeg; or, two driving shifts.  It didn’t take into account that through Northern Ontario in the winter time there are blizzards of considerable magnitude and the road through said Northern Ontario is a two lane cow path that takes one through every town, villages and hamlet along the way.  Between North Bay and Nipigon there are two roads, Highway 11 and Highway 17; from Nipigon west to the Manitoba border, there is but one.

Now isn’t it curious that Canada’s logbook hours of service was set at 13 hours?   Why wasn’t it set at 12 that split the 24 hour cycle as half for working and half for resting?  That might have been justifiable, but no, these CEO lobbied and got a 13 hour driving shift because it saved them a whole day of shipping time between the eastern markets and the western markets.  Isn’t that a poser?  And who says that politicians make all the decisions?  Not even close, all politicians are lobbied into making decisions not in the best interest of the voters themselves but in the way business wants to operate.

Before Canada brought out log books,  every trip I did, I was handed a piece of paper with my running orders along with a tiny little white envelope attached to it.   The first time it happened I asked  “what is the purpose of this little envelope?”  “Just in case you need it” was the answer.   Well, I ripped the envelope from the running orders and threw it on the dispatcher’s desk.  After that I was on the black list and was only given the hardest possible runs.  At least I could do the runs on my terms, safely without being awake for four days.

Once I was given a running order in which I had to drive from Winnipeg to Toronto in 18 hours.   Because I had been a rebel and refused the little white envelopes, if I didn’t do the runs I was assigned within the time frame they assigned, I was not paid for the entire run.  Since it was my truck not their’s  and I paid the fuel not them, I felt this arrogance was beyond offensive.

I went to the yard to find the trailer and did a super inspection on it then left Winnipeg and drove a full shift and stopped at Hearst and had a full compliment of sleep.  Which meant that when I got up in the morning I was supposed to be looking at Toronto just a spit down the road.   Yet here I was still just slightly over 12 hours away from my destination.   My running order schedule meant that I was to be at the Toronto yard at noon.   I called the dispatcher in Toronto to appraise him of my whereabouts (now this dispatcher is not the same person that dispatched me from Winnipeg although they were in contact on a regular basis) as I was supposed to do.   He asked me where I was and I told him I was in Hearst.   He said, “you’re going to be late”  and I replied to him “No, I’m not going to be late at all.  Late is when you have to find another truck, another driver and oh I don’t know, eight or ten lumpers to unload my trailer from its resting place 600 yards out in the bush and then find a tow truck to pull my truck and trailer out of the bush and hopefully I’ll only be in the hospital and not dead.  Now that would be late.  I’ll be there at midnight no ifs, ands or buts.  Do you have a problem with that?”   “No, Ray, I’ll make sure you get paid for this load too” came his reply.  He had known that I had been given an impossible task and he liked that I had the intestinal fortitude to stand up to the bullying.

This is what CEOs did with the logbook legislation.  It certainly isn’t the spirit of the regulation and certainly isn’t the way the politicians think it works.  It’s time for drivers and companies now to get onto the same safety page and get some rules and regulations that both promote safety not just from the spin doctor’s point of view but from the reality point of view.

Safety is not something that can be faked.

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