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    scott's inner monologue

    Post by Guest on Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:55 pm

    I had an appoitment downtown today and stopped by the local high end mall for a $3.00 pretzel. It was a really good pretzel. The mall is not 5th Ave high end but it is the closest approximation we have in this general area. The items in the botiques are widely spaced on the shelf. What would normally fit on one shelf in retail space is spread out over 5 telling me that they have a lot of mark up.
    There was a junkie lady telling some tearful story about being stranded to well dressed woman outside the Nordstrums cafe. The junkie woman was stick thin, had sunken mal nourished eyes and most telling was itching all over. I think she was probably shooting drugs, maybe pills, but not smoking rock because she had really really nice teeth. The wealthy woman was giving her a few dollar to "help her out" becuase it probably made her feel good and she lacked the life experience to realize that the "stranded" lady probably tells the same hard luck story to the same crowd every day.
    So it occurred to me.. is what the junkie lady does really that much different than some poor russian girl selling designer handbags that they themselves cannot afford to some Dentist's wife or the goofy 55 year old overweight tax attorney that stops at the stand selling $60 dead sea exfoliating lotion becuase he thinks the 20 year old working the counter is interested in him and he is on the prowl again since his wife left him for the pilates instructor who is now living in his old house with his kids who in fact call him Mike rather than dad and he is not sure what to do about it? Does all the stuff in the mall make anyone happier? The whole place felt kind of sad and empty. I think I'll skip the pretzel next time.
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    Re: scott's inner monologue

    Post by tapu on Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:25 pm

    Nobody goes to the mall anymore!! What were you doing there?? Sheesh, no one saw you, did they? Malls are dead. Long live the malls.


    Um... I hate to appear dumb, but I'm not clear about the parallel you're drawing between the junkie/sophisticate scenario and all those later ones.

    Also, Scott dear, have you been maybe Robotripping, yourself?

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    Re: scott's inner monologue

    Post by Guest on Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:38 pm

    Cough syrup not my thing.
    The parallel I saw was a bunch of unhappy empty people all wanting to be somewhere else, all lost, all trying to fill a void, all wandering around getting a bunch of crap that they neither wanted nor needed, none of it really meaning anything, and .. I don't think I saw anyone with a real smile. The place was just ... dead. It was just a bunch of bottled up misery set in a opulent backdrop of material excess.
    Maybe I'm just having a bad day...
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    Re: scott's inner monologue

    Post by ziggy on Thu Jul 29, 2010 3:07 pm

    Wow, I love the whole played out scenario of all the characters in the mall...that's exactly what my brain does when I observe and report.

    Most of life is this way sadly - and since I practically LIVED in a mall in my early adult years working department stores and then repping for fragrance companies, I can tell you the mall is an empty place unless you're looking for "stuff". I really hate going to the Mall now - really just want to get in store and get OUT as fast as possible; I don't care how good the Cinnabons are lol.

    I look forward to more inner dialog from Scott.

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    Re: scott's inner monologue

    Post by Guest on Wed Sep 08, 2010 7:36 pm

    "voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism "
    Hermann Goring notable Nazi party member and convicted war criminal.

    What struck me about this quote is ... is this often done today in political debate? By "this" I mean question the patriotism of those we disagree with. Does someone raising questions about policy have to turn into "love it or leave it" or those that disagree with us "hate the country"? Could not both side be proud Americans that simply disagree on matters of public policy?

    Watch some political debate or listen to some talk radio and see if anyone else notices this unplesant trend.
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    Re: scott's inner monologue

    Post by ziggy on Thu Sep 09, 2010 3:47 pm

    I don't think it's bad to call the other side "un-American" on some issues or not patriotic. It allows us to see how that side or that person views what patriotism means. I think certain matters of public policy that veer our country AWAY from the intention of the founders to be un-American. I find people who view our country as the oppressor and are ashamed to be American unpatriotic. I find those that dislike our military unpatriotic. So from my definition of patriotism comes my finger pointing.

    If you can back up the reason why you think your policy is American or Patriotic have at it!! The firing off of that claim by either side doesn't bother me - it educates me.

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    Re: scott's inner monologue

    Post by Guest on Thu Sep 09, 2010 4:20 pm

    I think the founding fathers intended the country to be a work in progress as the had the foresight to understand that could not possibly contemplate all the hypotheicals. The very structure they set up allows for a process of continual change as situations evolve.

    Viewing policy as wrong AND being ashamed of being American are NOT the same thing. I am a proud American that can also accept that we as a nation have made some calls that in retrospect were not the right ones. Typically we get around to correcting them at some point. Think Japanese internment.

    Also I think those who are truely anti-military are the slightest fringe minority. Most Americans from either party / any walk of life respect the military and apprecitae the sacrfices that the men and women of the armed services make. The term anti-military is overused. I am very pro military and think that going into Iraq was a bad move.
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    Re: scott's inner monologue

    Post by ziggy on Thu Sep 09, 2010 6:59 pm

    The founder's intentions are pretty clear, however, in the basic fundamentals of freedom and the structure of our country as a Republic and not an Oligarchy. I don't like thinking the Constitution becomes irrelevant as many liberals do, and that it is a work in progress. When people start trending toward a more socialist society I think that is Anti-American as it goes against the founder's fundamental intent. If you read the Constitution, it is amazing how much foresight they did have in regards to what might happen that would totally screw up the great nation and structure they were providing. Their intent is very clear. When the American Communist Party has influence in the White House, that's Anit-American to me. We are not to become that - we are supposed to be about INDIVIDUAL LIBERTIES AND FREEDOMS and that type of governmental structure goes 180 degrees against American ideals.

    Some people's interpretation of the Constitution are perverted imo. Just like some people pervert their religious teachings to suit their own needs, so too can our great Constitution be interpreted to fit the wants of those who would like to gain more control over the people - or get more votes - or make sure we don't come to the Capital and throw them out of office by their ear. The set up for continual change can also be abused and I think it has been by career politicians, lobbyists, PACS and earmarks.


    We are a country that DOES right our wrongs and it takes a lot less time than most countries do. We are the most generous country in the world. We've made mistakes, no doubt - I don't think any clear thinking person would not admit to that. But to shame ourselves over and over for it and allow others to shame us is wrong. Let by-gones, be by-gones, my wise granmother used to say.

    Keep in mind I live in the People's Republic of Kalifornia where they seek constantly to ban military recruitment on campuses and recruitment centers period. There is also a constant attack on ROTC programs. Military personnel are looked down upon in many San Francisco/Berekely areas. I personally go out of my way to approach Military peeps and thank them for their service.

    I was in the Oakland airport a few years ago and a soldier was flying Southwest, like me, and we had to stand in line for the first come first serve boarding. I loudly offered him my place in line. He refused and I insisted. People ignored him - except one other guy who was further up the line and then he too convinced our soldier to get up in front of him. No one else seemed touched by that. Perhaps this is the fringe minority but I see the hatred for the military in a big way daily. Probably too much influence by that crazy Cindy Sheehan.

    So when I say anti-military I'm not alluding to people who were against going into Iraq, but people who really think we don't need one and shouldn't have one and are ashamed of what our military do and would never in a million years condone one of their own joining.


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    Re: scott's inner monologue

    Post by Guest on Thu Sep 09, 2010 7:23 pm

    We still are a republic / representative democracy. Our trending towards oligarcy is imo caused by deregulation of big business rather than the government. It is the super wealthy multinational corporations that manipulate the system to their liking that make the playing field uneven and take voice away from the working American not the government. It is big business not the government that is wiping out the middle class.

    I live in a area populated by military bases and hardly if ever see any anti military sentiment. Your experience may be different. It is amazing how regionally different this nation is.

    How are we trending towards communism? The accusation is thrown about a lot but I don't see us heading in that direction. Example?

    Also not specifically directed at you. This is something I personally do not understand about the republican party. They want "personal freedom" and "smaller government" BUT want to regulate medical decsions between patients and drs, keep the influence of big insurance in everyones life, ban marijuana and prostitution, outlaw gay marriage, etc etc.

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    Re: scott's inner monologue

    Post by Guest on Thu Sep 09, 2010 7:27 pm

    That was a pretty disjointed post but it is titled Scotts inner monologue so I just wrote stream of conscious. Anyone else out there or is it just you and me Ziggy?
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    Re: scott's inner monologue

    Post by ziggy on Thu Sep 09, 2010 7:51 pm

    Just us. I'm an independent so I join in some of your confusion over The Republican Party ideas, but one I think you are mistaken about is that they want Insurance companies to continue in the same vein. No way! Any true conservative can see that it's freaking corruption because there is no competition to drive down the prices. It's the lesser of two evils at the moment.

    How is the government trending socialist? You have to ask? Uhhh, well, let's see
    1) social programs are ever expanding and people have come to EXPECT the government to bail them out of everything. Look at FEMA, and all the agencies that get involved. yes they are helpful but we let people just rebuild and re-rape the system.
    2) the nanny state is growing.
    3) government jobs are growing at an alarming rate. Jobs are really created in the private sector, but with government employees being able sit on their fat asses and look at facebook, retire after 25 years with a full pension and then go get another job ON TOP of that income - the voting population is being bought out by the government jobs and social programs. If you are a government worker, I apologize, but I've never met one who wasn't very slacksidazical (made up that word BTW) at their job. Only competition and fear of keeping your job or the possibility of advancement based on performance makes people perform at close to 100% or go above and beyond what is asked of them.

    OK there are a bazillion other examples but since I'm not a government employee I have to get back to work. lol.

    Hey, I figure I can't really offend too many people if it's just you and me here Scott.

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    Re: scott's inner monologue

    Post by Guest on Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:13 pm

    Expanding social programs are not communism. Remember it is the middle class or lack there of that makes a prosperous nation.
    Unemployment is up NOW during the recession. I am not certain that the nanny state is growing.
    I think a lot of the bailouts went to big business that were screaming for the money. Very little trickled down to the middle classes.
    Governemnt workers are like anyone else. Some are great at their job. Some are terrible. Most are somewhere in between.
    Yes... seems to be no danger of offending anyone right now. No one is there to offend.
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    Re: scott's inner monologue

    Post by ziggy on Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:29 pm

    Bailing out big business goes right along with what is un American!!!! There should never be too big to fail. Taking over GM is a socialist trend. The middle class is lacking because of over-regulation and like it or not - unions. Union control is a factor in losing our manufacturing and the ladders to the middle class.

    That bailout is what I'm talking about! I was against it.

    Government workers are NOT like everyone else. There may be a minority who really care. When was the last time you had to depend on one? I've talked to several of our clients who are about to lose their homes and their frustration with unemployment is a big EYE OPENER. Most of these people have not had to deal with any government run program except the DMV so they had no clue how bad it is.

    Name one thing the government does better than the private sector? (Military doesn't count). I've got one word for you - Fed Ex. (or is that two?)

    It is overreaching for the government to say to dictate to me - YOU HAVE TO SPEND 20% OF YOUR INCOME ON HEALTH INSURANCE so that everyone else can have it too. That's what Obama said...20% he didn't think that was too much. In fact, it's unconstitutional but when asked why they didn't consider that it was, most dems. shrugged it off. Some even said like this representative in CA, that the government can do whatever they want...they don't have to worry about the Constitution. If I can find that clip I will post it. I think you will be FLOORED. You should spend some time out here if you want culture shock, lol.

    Now you've got me into a complete Mt. St. Helens bubbling under the surface suffering succotash frenzy!!! The two Red Bulls today probably don't help. Good thing PMS isn't in the mix. You might see me in an orange jumpsuit.
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    Re: scott's inner monologue

    Post by ziggy on Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:29 pm

    And I detest orange. (the color)

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    Re: scott's inner monologue

    Post by Guest on Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:20 pm

    ziggy wrote:Bailing out big business goes right along with what is un American!!!! There should never be too big to fail. Taking over GM is a socialist trend. The middle class is lacking because of over-regulation and like it or not - unions. Union control is a factor in losing our manufacturing and the ladders to the middle class.

    That bailout is what I'm talking about! I was against it.

    Government workers are NOT like everyone else. There may be a minority who really care. When was the last time you had to depend on one? I've talked to several of our clients who are about to lose their homes and their frustration with unemployment is a big EYE OPENER. Most of these people have not had to deal with any government run program except the DMV so they had no clue how bad it is.

    Name one thing the government does better than the private sector? (Military doesn't count). I've got one word for you - Fed Ex. (or is that two?)

    It is overreaching for the government to say to dictate to me - YOU HAVE TO SPEND 20% OF YOUR INCOME ON HEALTH INSURANCE so that everyone else can have it too. That's what Obama said...20% he didn't think that was too much. In fact, it's unconstitutional but when asked why they didn't consider that it was, most dems. shrugged it off. Some even said like this representative in CA, that the government can do whatever they want...they don't have to worry about the Constitution. If I can find that clip I will post it. I think you will be FLOORED. You should spend some time out here if you want culture shock, lol.

    Now you've got me into a complete Mt. St. Helens bubbling under the surface suffering succotash frenzy!!! The two Red Bulls today probably don't help. Good thing PMS isn't in the mix. You might see me in an orange jumpsuit.

    Red bull does seem to make Ziggy fiesty. GM is publically traded again. They just had an ipo I beleive. They were not taken over. They SCREAMED for help after careers spent making bad business moves AND they got the help they wanted.

    Unions did NOT break the middle class or cause us to lose manufacturing. The effort on the part of big business to cut the workers out of the profit and hord more and more money led them to send manufacturing to places were they were free to exploit workers without influence from the unions. Hey if we had no regulation here and no unions then American children could be working in sweat shops for minimal compensation.

    Can I say I don't know on the bailout. I have mixed feelings. On one hand I don't like rewarding big businesses for poor decisions. On the other hand I don't know what our economy would look like now without the bailouts. We think it is bad. It could be much worse.

    Post office is better than fed ex. They do for 0.44 what Fed Ex does for about $8.00. Want to pay more, get overnight service, and ability to track? You can do that with the post office too. IF the post office charged like Fed Ex the population would be complaining about their inefficiency and they would be out of business.

    Police are government employees. Despite a few noteable incidents of serious mistreatment by police in my personal life I am glad to have them there. It would sure be a different world we live in without them. Courts are far from perfect but they are a branch of government that gives the citizens a way to address greivances that is not enjoyed everywhere in the world.

    Every other industrialized nation in the world is able to figure out how to provide a level of medical care for their citizens. Why can't we? I don't know what the right answer is. I don't know why it is so elusive to us.
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    Re: scott's inner monologue

    Post by ziggy on Fri Sep 10, 2010 5:06 pm

    http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2009/05/what-unions-do-how-labor-unions-affect-jobs-and-the-economy

    Unions function as labor cartels. A labor cartel restricts the number of workers in a company or industry to drive up the remaining workers' wages, just as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) attempts to cut the supply of oil to raise its price. Companies pass on those higher wages to consumers through higher prices, and often they also earn lower profits. Economic research finds that unions benefit their members but hurt consumers generally, and especially workers who are denied job opportunities.

    Unions Reduce Investment.
    Unions Reduce Jobs.
    Unions Cause Job Losses.
    Unions Slow Economic Recovery.

    They certainly have had a negative impact on the educational system. Their secret ballot voting is shameful.

    Organized Labor? I think they border on organized crime.
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    Re: scott's inner monologue

    Post by ziggy on Fri Sep 10, 2010 5:10 pm

    The post office sucks. I've had so much mail lost - I constantly get stuff that is not ours and have to play mailman myself and go deliver it to the suite down the block - there is ALWAYS a mile long line when I go to the post office. People will pay more for better service which is why they use Fed Ex or UPS. The post office is the hard to use toy. Too complicated and no customer service. I just used Kinko's Fed Ex the other day and the service was great when I went into the store.
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    Re: scott's inner monologue

    Post by ziggy on Fri Sep 10, 2010 5:12 pm

    Today some 20 million public employees (overwhelming union) earn an average of $74k per year vs. the general private sector worker of $43k per year. It’s quickly become apparent that the poor and middle class is being called upon to fund the elite public sector or the people are working for the government, rather than the government working for the people.

    http://caps.fool.com/Blogs/public-vs-private-unions/340074

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    Re: scott's inner monologue

    Post by Guest on Fri Sep 10, 2010 5:59 pm

    ziggy wrote:http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2009/05/what-unions-do-how-labor-unions-affect-jobs-and-the-economy

    Unions function as labor cartels. A labor cartel restricts the number of workers in a company or industry to drive up the remaining workers' wages, just as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) attempts to cut the supply of oil to raise its price. Companies pass on those higher wages to consumers through higher prices, and often they also earn lower profits. Economic research finds that unions benefit their members but hurt consumers generally, and especially workers who are denied job opportunities.

    Unions Reduce Investment.
    Unions Reduce Jobs.
    Unions Cause Job Losses.
    Unions Slow Economic Recovery.

    They certainly have had a negative impact on the educational system. Their secret ballot voting is shameful.

    Organized Labor? I think they border on organized crime.

    Reduce jobs? If you are talking # of jobs... probably. They don't allow things like hiring two part time workers to do the job of one full time worker so that the corporation can avoid paying benefits. Unions increase the value of a job by forcing the employer to pay a reasonable wage. With the decreasing influence of unions we are left with increasing #'s of working poor, more and more people falling out of a middle class into poverty, and an... oligarcy. [You used the word the other day. I liked it.] Countries don't fall into economic decline becuase the middle class is doing too well and there are just too many opportunites for people.

    Unions worked UNTIL we became a more global economy. Now big business shop around the world for what often amounts to slave labor. It is a shameful practice in a long line of shameful behavior perpetrated by the wealthiest few multi national billion dollar enterprises. We all pay the price.

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    Re: scott's inner monologue

    Post by Guest on Fri Sep 10, 2010 6:01 pm

    ziggy wrote:The post office sucks. I've had so much mail lost - I constantly get stuff that is not ours and have to play mailman myself and go deliver it to the suite down the block - there is ALWAYS a mile long line when I go to the post office. People will pay more for better service which is why they use Fed Ex or UPS. The post office is the hard to use toy. Too complicated and no customer service. I just used Kinko's Fed Ex the other day and the service was great when I went into the store.

    Your experience is different than mine. I am 36 so figure 18 years of adult life. I have had ONE case of a letter I know I mailed that did not arrive and ONE case where my mail was stolen when I was in college. Other than that no complaints.
    I go to an automated machine at my local post office. I rarely wait for more than a person in front of me. I swipe a debit card. Everything works. No complaints.
    Mail becomming less and less important all the time as the world becomes more electronic.

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    Re: scott's inner monologue

    Post by Guest on Fri Sep 10, 2010 6:10 pm

    ziggy wrote:Today some 20 million public employees (overwhelming union) earn an average of $74k per year vs. the general private sector worker of $43k per year. It’s quickly become apparent that the poor and middle class is being called upon to fund the elite public sector or the people are working for the government, rather than the government working for the people.

    http://caps.fool.com/Blogs/public-vs-private-unions/340074

    Is the government overpaying workers or is the private sector underpaying?
    The assertion that the poor and middle class are being called upon to fund the elite public sector is inflamatory and inaccurate. Tax law is far too complex to effectively discuss even a majority of the possible scenarios here BUT the lowest wage earners pay the least amount of tax. All dedcutions being = the elite government worker making 74k a year is paying a greater amount of his income to taxes than the private sector worker earning 43k per year.
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    Re: scott's inner monologue

    Post by ziggy on Mon Sep 13, 2010 1:28 pm

    The government is overpaying but what you are failing to factor in is the pensions and how the taxes they pay DO NOT cover it and then it's up to the private sector's taxes to help cover government worker pensions. Also factor in that they can retire early so they aren't going to pay in with taxes at that rate as long.

    Here in CA we cannot afford the pensions that have been promised. We are broke. If I can't afford something, I don't buy it but my state thinks it's OK to offer these things which it cannot afford on my back. Screw that.

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    Re: scott's inner monologue

    Post by Guest on Mon Sep 13, 2010 1:34 pm

    It would be an interesting all be it wholly impractical exercise for you and I to switch cities for 6 months. I am a bit left of center living in a mostly right area. I think you are a bit right of center living in a mostly left area. Overall I am not sure that you and I are really that far apart on most things.

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    Re: scott's inner monologue

    Post by Guest on Mon Sep 13, 2010 1:38 pm

    Both public and private sectors have cut back on retirment plans / other benefits recently. Money held in retirement funds is down. It is unfortunate for the workers in either. Harsh reality of a down economy and turbulent stock market. People have lost all accross the board.
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    Re: scott's inner monologue

    Post by ziggy on Mon Sep 13, 2010 8:59 pm

    But Scott, the union and government workers do not lose theirs. That's the point. They have a contract and they get their pensions no matter what.

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