Monday, June 27, 2011

Attitude "Choices"...

An old Chinese curse goes like this:
"May you live in interesting times"

It sure seems to me at this particular time in this great political, social and human experiment called America we've reached a very interesting and might we even say convoluted crossroads. Our political landscape seems to be cut right down the middle. The views from the one side seem to be saying the whole thing is off track, failing and doomed without drastic counter measures.
The views from the other side seem to be saying quite the opposite, that we're just going through another of many ups and downs, same as all throughout history and that everything just like before will eventually come out just fine, with or without the politicians interdiction.

I'm not sure of the exact percentages but the same seems to be true with our social/moral views. One side saying we're heading down the road of moral corruption and ruin and the other side believing we're on the cusp of finally starting to remove a lot of the barriers in the way of total social and intellectual freedom.

It seems to me the last time most Americans were on the same general page was in the first world wars. Those times we had a common and excepted enemy. An enemy that seemed to be trying to take our coveted and loved way of life away. We behaved as a family unit back then. Mess with my family to your peril was the cry and hue of the day.

Let me admit something here. Every day I hear some "fact" thrown out there that positively proves to me that their point of view is right and just. Then practically the very next day, I hear another "fact" telling me everything the other person or side said was a complete fabrication. A flat out lie to further their particular political agenda.
Now these "Facts" not only come flying out of the woodwork from all the media sources and politicians but also just normal hard working folks I come into contact with.

These normal nice, seemingly intelligent folks walk in with their "Facts" in hand either screaming bloody murder about some injustice being inflicted on the huddled masses or screaming about America going down the drain of communism, socialism or any number of other "ism's", far to numerous to count.

One minute we for sure have more oil available right here under American soil than all the other countries combined and the only thing stopping us from using it are those crazy and oft hated environmentalist. The next I hear is that's all a complete exaggerated lie by all the Oil companies in the world to keep ripping us off in price.

Some "Facts" I found on the Internet:

Where are the reserves?

Proved oil reserves are those quantities of oil that geological information indicates can be with reasonable certainty recovered in the future from known reservoirs. Of the trillion barrels currently estimated, 6% are in North America, 9% in Central and Latin America, 2% in Europe, 4% in Asia Pacific, 7% in Africa, 6% in the Former Soviet Union. Today, 66% of global oil reserves are in the hands of Middle Eastern regimes: Saudi Arabia (25%), Iraq (11%), Iran (8%), UAR (9%), Kuwait (9%), and Libya (2%).

So in the end folks, I think we're back to the basics of psychology here. We each have it within ourselves to form opinions and attitudes about all the subjects we care to pay attention to slipping in whichever emotional Tagalogs we choose to add. Is today going to be a nice day or a crappy one? Is the weather too hot or just right. Are we going to see life through rose colored or dark glasses? Is America on the cusp of ruin or will it be just fine eventually?

The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.

-- Carlos Castaneda

I admittedly and proudly count myself in the latter. I make a choice daily to see the positive in life. Most people I come across think life is pretty damn good right now and fully believe it will always only get better on into the future with the normal bumps in the road. I suppose it depends on where you live but I get proof everyday where I live and work. Everyone I come in contact with, including me are holding their chins high and their glasses proudly half full.

I have no plans whatsoever to start trading in my cash for gold, building a secret bomb shelter or Ark for that matter, to stock with food, guns and ammo for the "The end". I'll leave that up to the thousands throughout time, both from politics and religion who continue to make those silly and obviously failed proclamations.

Oh, one more thing. Every time I get on this rant, someone inevitably accuses me of being the ostrich with it's head in the sand hiding from reality. Sorry guys. I hold my chin and head high and enjoy the fresh air of my own attitude choices and I choose to think positive.

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Friday, June 17, 2011

Things I flat ass don't care about!

This subject has hit me dozens of times over the last couple of years. As I watch the news, read newspapers, or any American media, more and more, all I see is stories about things I could care less about. Those things would be far too long to list in this short piece but I'm forced to give a few examples just to get my point across.

I could care less about all those weird ass countries in the far Eastern parts of the world. I live, work, and only care about America. I don't live over there and don't give a rats ass about the extremist's there with their continuing, unbelievably ignorant ways. I've been told the majority of them are decent folks. We'll have to wait and see how that war of ideas comes out in the end, now won't we? That crazy crap has been going on for thousands of years over there and probably won't end in my lifetime, if ever. I don't care about their religion, culture, habits, clothing, what they eat, how the extremist among them torture, kill and maim each other in the name of some idiot god. We have enough of that stupidity going on right here in America every day.

I don't have the slightest desire to be educated and understand anything at all about them. In my life, they don't even exist other than as some exotic tribesmen in some desert land. If there is a modicum of ignorance in my belief, tough $%#@.
Now the same thing is true for me about all the other places in the world. Mexico? I could care less, other than I wish they would stay home and handle their own problems and quit sucking our resources dry. Oh yeah. I could care less about learning to speak Mexican and they need to speak English to me or leave me the hell alone.

Again, I don't have the time, space or intellectual energy to name them all in this space but I think you get the idea. I am an American. There's no reason for me to apologize for that fact. I was lucky enough to be born here and everyone else in the world was unlucky enough to be born wherever they are in comparison. There's no reason for me to feel sorry for all those folks. It's just life. Their unfortunate circumstance in life is not my fault. Even here, I did not, nor would I own slaves. I did not bomb the Japanese. I did not kill the American Indians. None of that is my fault in the slightest and I'm sick of having uppity people try and lay blame on me for other people's problems I had nothing to do with.

Moving on, I could care less about other adults sexual or marriage habits. Not one tiny bit. Other adults have the right to do anything they want with their bodies and lives as long as they don't try and force any weirdness on others. I could care less about what women choose to do with their bodies. Those things are clearly none of my business. I'll take care of my own body any way I want thank you and it's none of anyone else's business.

Oh yeah. One more thing. I could care less about all the political extremist on both sides of the issues screaming their insanities and agendas. I could care less that they each think they have the right answer. Like most Americans, I think they need to shut the hell up, compromise or whatever else it might take and get something real done, once and for all.

In my perfect world which of course doesn't exist, we would all go back to the good old early America times, days where the only news that mattered was what was happening right in the town you lived. Towns hundreds of miles away didn't matter in the slightest to those folks, They had enough on their plates just etching out a living and staying alive. Those folks didn't give a flying $%#@ what was going on in New York city and barely even knew the rest of the world was real, much less cared.

I'm not even sure If I would say I'm especially proud to be an American, as much as it's just my incredible luck to have been born here. I really can't take any personal credit for that fact. I sometimes think all the "American Pride" stuff to be rather uppity and egotistical.

I'm guessing for a minority of folks these thoughts I'm conveying today somehow all of the sudden turns me into a non-caring %#*&@ but oh well, as the saying goes "You can't please them all".

Here's my truth as I and most people who know me personally see it though. I'm just a normal hardworking, honest to the core, caring about my friends, customers and family type of guy.

Nothing less, nothing more.

Like most Americans, I would jump out and help in any LOCAL emergency without regard for my safety or well being. I do care greatly about those around me.

Well? Whatchathink?
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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The devil in the details is.....BIG BUSINESSES GREED

I’ve come to the conclusion that when there are issues and problems in normal hard working folk’s financial lives, it’s inevitably the fault of big business in one way or the other and number one on my list would be banks. I know. I know. There's a small generally extremist screaming minority of folks down south and up in the junior high schools of deep Alaska who want to place all the blame for everything from toe rot to our present financial recession on the dreaded government but I beg to disagree. Just to remind those robots, the government is us folks. If you vote, you are the government. If you don't, go stand in the corner and shut the hell up. Is our government perfect? Hell no but it's probably the best in the world.

Now I'm not talking about the little corner market or friendly hardware store here. I’m talking about the giants of the world. Big business in most cases has only one agenda and that is profit. Profit above all other considerations. It’s all that matters. Now I’m not talking about a normal profit margin here to be able to keep a business healthy and successful but outlandish, rip-off and the hell with the public profit. The part that consistently angers my sensibilities is big businesses complete lack of consideration for a word that slowly slipped into the clouds of yesteryear and purposely forgotten at some point. That would be the whole concept of “Reasonable”. In the beginning, businesses were rightfully expected to make a “reasonable” profit. Somehow through the intervening years, that word just flat out disappeared, especially with concepts like “Whatever the market will bear” and “Supply and Demand”. These nonsense words were invented by big businesses as logical sounding excuses to rip a new hole in us, without guilt. A hole nothing goes in, just out.

In the beginning businesses also had far different concerns. They actually cared about their customers.... first and foremost above all else.
Lets see. What’s that old concept called? Oh yeah, customer service. Yea, that’s it.
Another old, out of date concept they practiced then was quality. They actually cared about the quality of whatever product they were selling, products that were meant to last for years if not generations. The owners had pride in the products. In fact as far as they were concerned the quality of their products reflected on them personally.

Seems like nowadays there is only one purpose for a business to be in business and that would be to make all the higher ups rich beyond their wildest dreams, including all the shareholders and owners. Not the employees mind you, screw those idiots! Just those at the very top of the ladder. The hell with those peons at the bottom.
Not just get rich but get rich as quick as possible, most time to the detriment of the common man. Not become more and more successful over a long period of time as in the past but RIGHT NOW!
I know, I know. I’ve heard all the talk about business being the grease that makes everything else happen. I even have a friend that proclaims that "GREED IS A GOOD THING!" That without hardcore greed, nothing would get done in life.

That same minority wanted from the very beginning to blame the people for being stupid agreeing to all those loans the banks were offering they couldn't afford. It was their fault for not reading all the fancy smancy legal fine print, only a lawyer could begin to understand. If any of them actually asked anything about this, the banks just said "Oh don't worry your little head about that. In just a few years, you'll make a fortune in profits on your home."

OK, I don't know about you but when my wife and I sat down in the Title offices when buying our homes and they spread out those 400 pieces of paper for us to sign, we didn't read one word, other than where to sign. You see, back then we personally knew and trusted our Realtor and trusted banks explicitly to not cheat us. We also had to prove beyond a shadow of doubt that we could afford the payment throughout the entire loan period.

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