Not Rich!

April 28, 2009

When driving between Bel Air and White Marsh, Ashley and I came across this disgrace of a fancy bridal shop.

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Mexican Cloning Chamber

March 16, 2009

I stumbled across a secret chamber at the Frederick Lowes Men’s bathroom.  Usually I feel low class when acting upon a #2 in such a vile place, but today I stumbled across a secret genetics laboratory, the sign etched on the wall said so: “Mexican Cloning Chamber:. 0316091943

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Only the Strong Survive

March 15, 2009

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If you take the conservatism to the extremes, only the strong ones survive.  At birth, every able human being has a comparable amount of potential. If you only look at the child, potential is going to be similar across the board.  That potential is either nurtured or stunted depending on the socio-economic position of the family the child is born into.  Either way, beneficial or detrimental, conditions exist that sway the outcome of that infant’s future.  Right out of the womb this individuals future success is biased.  What happens if the bias serves the less capable?

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People seem to forget that a civilization is in fact a technology.  It allows individuals to become tools for everyone else, instead of having to re-invent the wheel every generation.  Civilizations are good for everyone included.  In ours we state that everyone is equal and therefore on this equal battlefield, we all compete to obtain a high quality of life.  Out of that competition the the winners then provide the best amenities for the rest of us.  If I can build the best house, then I get all the business, while the people get better houses, it’s a good system.  

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However, what if there’s a builder that’s better then me, who just couldn’t afford to get their company started (for reasons that don’t include incompetence)?  What if there could yet a better product out there then the one that I’m providing?  The greater good would be served if that ‘maybe’ better product was out there somewhere. 

Our government is the central component to the function of this civilization-technology.  Like a piece of computer software, the government keeps things as efficient as possible by  creating if-then statements for our civilization to then operate from.   Because society keeps evolving, the best hard-and-fast rules in which to govern it doen’t yet exist.  Until the magical formula for fairness/prosparity is discovered, we have no choice but to tinker or socially engineer, mainly when times are bad.

…I think anyway.

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Because of the profitable business model, banks prey upon the financially irresponsible. However, I don’t agree at all that debt ridden people are victims of greedy banks. Banks offer people terrible deals with confusing and picky rules that leave the consumers vulnerable to violating terms which opens them up to fees. However, regardless how bad the deal is, banks don’t force people to accept deals.

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I recently watched the documentary called Maxed Out which is all about the greedy banks. The movie shows Louisiana poor folk going through bankruptcy because they defaulted on loans. In one example, a loan officer had to show a poor and uneducated man how to sign his own name, the movie inferred this man was an innocent debt victim. It’s not the banks responsibility to determine your intelligence when doing business. Their jobs are to provide a legitimate service and make as much money as possible doing so.

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Whether or not you read them, banks terms are provided to you when you sign up. If you can’t read, maybe you shouldn’t be the one applying for a loan, but that burden is on the applicant, not the bank. Aside from nonprofit organizations, no business exist that cater only to the well being of others.

If I chose to open a restaurant, I did so because I enjoy interacting with people and I wish to get paid while doing that. To be clear, I don’t actually have my restaurant because I care about other people, I have it because this kind of business brings me pleasure. Therefore my business model is to earn money and pleasure. I would be no better then the greedy bankers. I tempt customers into my restaurant so I can exercise my business model on them.

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If someone doesn’t like mushrooms on their salad, then the burden is on them to either propose a counter offer to what’s on the menu, or to not order that particular salad. That’ it. If you can’t read the menu, then either find someone who can read it for you or just be ready to be flexible with whatever is the outcome. Unfortunately, most of the time finances aren’t very flexible, so just be informed.

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A few days ago a watched the Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room. Enron ran a naive and sketchy business, resulting in desperate money-making schemes like flicking power plants on and off. When looking at the big picture, the entire enterprise looks like a legitimate and documented conspiracy. Enron worked congress to get the energy business deregulated, which led to the ability to lie about the company value, which led massive earnings, which brought other banks into their schemes, which resulted in the financial rape of their shareholder, customers, and the general economy.

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As Ashley pointed out to me, a common argument against conspiracy theories is that “too many people would have to know in order to pull it off.” So if we can believe this publicly documented event which involved countless people, then why not believe a faked moon landing, intentional 9/11 strikes, or the NWO?

Forgive the cliché Nazi comparison, but the Nazis too were a large group who ran an unethical operation. We must remember, like the Nazis, Enron was extremely unsuccessful in their big picture goals. These organizations were so large, and their effects were had such an impact, that they did not survive. “All the people who knew” were either out of a job, imprisoned, killed, etc.

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Enron had countless participants, the Nazis too was a large organization, as in these examples the number of participants alone does not mean that they are incapable of doing harm. It is the scale of an organization, along with diminished individual responsibility that paves the way for potential ruin. What the Enron situation does not have in common with other conspiracy theories, is that it’s members all suffered by everything from job loss, prison time, and suicide, which the media has all documented. All those peope did know, and look what happend to them.

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For many conspiracy theorists, traditional conspiracy theories by nature can not be disproved because lack of available evidence can be seen as evidence of a cover-up, so no matter what the findings, theorists claim proof of a conspiracy. I guess one could argue that the Enron situation didn’t measure up to the severity of the moon landings or 9/11, so the same level of cover-up wasn’t required. Or maybe, Enron was prosecuted so that the institution could show the people that they don’t cover-up. This way the people will stop looking for the real conspiracies, tricky, tricky!

Not being able to disprove a conspiracy theory, is not supprting evidence for it’s plausability.

Elrond vs. Enron

March 2, 2009

Today was the first legitimate snow day all winter long. This morning I watched Enron “The Smartest Guys in the Room” and later on Ashley and I watched Lord of the Rings: “The Fellowship of the Ring.” Both movies deal with absolute power and nothing thinking about the little people.  However, Enron never had a elf such as Elrond!

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He’s to be taken seriously.

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Enron was a fantastic scam, kudos!

Culinary Art

March 1, 2009

Going out to eat: 

I sincerely am not interested in a “chef’s” culinary art.  Their job is to offer me an attractive and consumable package, if the package isn’t appealing enough as-is, then they should accommodate.

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Ashley and I went out to eat last night for her Mom’s birthday.  It was this arrogant restaurant in downtown Annapolis: O’Learys.  Yes of course the food was good, it’s not hard to find a restaurant that serves good food.  Ashley asked the waiter if she could swap something out from her entree and the server’s face scrunched up, shook his head and said he would have to ask for the chefs permission.  

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Who do these chefs think they are? If someone asks for Cheerios with some Tang to wash it down, and it’s available in the back, then there’s no reason not to comply.

What you get when you go to places like O’Learys, is simply the knowledge that your surrounded by people who have money.  Personally, I like going to places where I know the surrounded patrons have less money then me, makes me feel better about myself.

Poverty’s Boring.

February 24, 2009

The middle of the county is poor. Ashley and I spent the weekend with her side of the family because of the passing of her grandmother. We drove from Maryland to Illinois, an extremely lengthy drive, and most of that distance is in stupid, stupid poverty. Don’t get me wrong the drive is beautiful, all the trees, and fields, and intermittent snow; but I would not trade civilization for rolling hills any day. The novelty of being “way out there” loses its luster after a while.

My Stimulus Question

February 16, 2009

I have an economic stimulus question. Instead of bailing out companies, what if the government only gave a stimulus to individuals?   The money would pass through individuals and eventually get to the businesses that the collective people wanted to save.

Pretending that politics aren’t a factor, is there a practical problem with stimulating the economy this way?  It seems that pushing more money through the people helps those people and allows a more capitalistic way to bail out worthy businesses.

With the new arrival of our Maryland tax return, Ashley and I have gone on a quest to find a new couch.  Currently we have the silliest couch ever made, the Super Sofa.  It has a fold out tray, built in massage, heating, hidden hubbies everywhere, and now thanks to us, it has the familiar faint scent of cat pee.  I loved this couch.

While looking for our new fancy family room ride we visited Marlo, Ashley, and Wolf’s.  We eventually made our final purchase at Wolf’s Furniture, however the other two stores frantically stalked us as we shopped.  Ashley and I would try out a sofa while the salesperson joined us, “So do you like this one?” “How about this one?”  “This one is new!” “This one has microfiber!”  “Did you see one you liked?”  Occasionally we would manage to wiggle away from them only to see them floating around behind us conveniently organizing pillows.

So today we go to pick up our new adult-style sofa.  So long Super Sofa.

Want more exciting news about the Henley family room make-over?  Check out Ashley’s blog: http://theriperadish.wordpress.com/2009/02/12/family-room-additions/