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What is truly interesting is the FACT that we are all sitting here thinking and reasoning and creating ideas. These actions are not random at all and rely on our possession of a mind, heart, spirit or whatever you like to call it. It is utterly unique and can't be adequately explained by science as a mere freak of electrochemical impulses. If such a mind is what is needed to experience our universe, and such a mind is not likely to have been brought about by chance, then to believe in the existence of a Creator is only rational. For my own purposes i prefer to think that God experiences creation through us, as our minds are small pieces broken from the infinite Divine.
Thus, what we do can matter as we are all part of God and he/she experiences life through all of us. Is it then any small wonder that all major religions have some variant of the golden rule?
For why would god wish to harm himself?
If the WWII era adults were the "Greatest Generation" then the boomers are the whiniest generation. They started off protesting inequality (when it was them on the short end of the stick) and finished by creating inequality by spending the antecedent generations into a hole, being careful to pad their retirement pensions in the way out the door. The ironic thing is that the very same people who were against war and for weed are now against weed and for endless war.
If, that is, it doesn't affect their taxes or investment properties.
Printing money would increase supply thus contributing to inflation and making companies more valuable in fiat dollars. This would help the argument that the stock market is fairly priced and should go up from here.
I'm unsure of the direction, myself. I'm buying individual stocks that I believe in and have researched carefully rather than bet the entire market to go up. That seems to be much more of a crap shoot carny game to me.
My advice is to delay repayment until it becomes trivial. Take what money you can save, and after like ten grand for a safety net, put the rest in a trading account and get busy! With some smart picks and conservative investing in single stocks (conglomerates are for decade long growth at nominal rates) you can see 50% or better per year. Even after paying capital gains taxes, you will be way up. Romney showed us that cap gains tax is nothing to fear.
Yes, this is my own strategy. As of this second month of 2012, I'm up 18% on my investments. I haven't had any big winners (whole foods, sprint) but when you are looking for 5-10% gains and then sell when you see that, you free up your money for the next investment. Add a string of those together and the year end result can be huge! So far if my investments keep doing moderately okay, I will be up 130% by the end of the year.
So use that big educated brain to
Make yourself some money!
"Gambling with your savings on the stock market in a trading account is highly NOT recommended."
This is very true, largely because the average private investor both knows little about how to do so and because most people are pretty dumb about money and thus require big dumb investment strategies. I have a 401k account too, and my company offers a large pension, but I realize I can truly count on neither because they are not within my control. Unwise investment of pension assets could get my six figure retirement cut severely or nearly eliminated. Retirement account trading is also very limited to supposedly "safe" investments like blue chips or government bonds. I mistrust both, but trade that account as I can, maximizing it with the blunt instruments. For instance I traded all my blue chips for government T-bills right before the last market meltdown occurred. I made very little on my 401k money over the next year, but didn't lose like 95% of the others, and I was poised to make a killing when the big bounce happened in 09.
Point is, if you are smart and savvy and a bit of an autodidact, you can do much better for yourself trading smart instead of following the herd. Especially in this age of land sharks who enjoy stampeding the herd off the nearest financial cliff.
The "safe" money was in housing, remember? Until it wasn't of course. Until the most predictably conservative investment in American history broke the back of America's middle class.
Go against the grain. That, I thought, is what Patrick.net is all about!
College education should be obtained on the cheap if at all these days. A smarter option than going to an expensive university to get a degree of questionable applicability to the job market is to do trade school followed by an apprenticeship in a high paid blue cOllar field. There are about 600,000 less machinists in the US than there is work for, employers literally can't hire enough skilled labor to fit their needs.
I am one of these people who went this route. What led me this way was having to pay for an expensive education. I am now a crane mechanic and make nearly $150k/year. The best I could do with my science degree was maybe a third of that. I also have a pension and full benefits. Once I paid off my student loans I was just in time to watch the housing market zoom into the bubble.
Nothing was left to do but save and invest.
Often I think that my degree was a total waste of time and money. Just in opportunity costs I probably am down half a million dollars than if I'd just gone this blue collar route to begin with.
Also, in my profession there is zero percent unemployment. We have a devil of a hard time Finding even halfway qualified people to hire.
A full journeyman won't be between jobs for long.
These jobs are mosty union, and if they aren't then it's usually easy to form a local. I'm a member of the machinists union (IAM). Union membership has never been lower nationwide since their advent. However this will change as high tech manufacturing comes back to the US. This should lead to a much stronger economy overall, as union workers secure higher wages which means more people with the means to "stimulate" the economy as our Dear Leader Obama keeps exhorting us all to do. As naive as his domestic policies have been, he begins to show promise with his new push to normalize corporate taxes and provide incentive for American manufacturing. This is the true way back from the brink. America works when Americans work.
Unions can't do the jobs without members though, so more trained machinists are needed before they can be hired. Google my info and read the articles yourself.
As for recession proof jobs, let's just say that my income in this profession has been uninterrupted by the worst recession in four generations. Many people were not so fortunate. I give to charities that help those down on their luck, but I'd prefer people to have jobs and self respect. Bringing back manufacturing will achieve this.
I don't know how to link it, but I read, "The Sociopath Next Door" and really enjoyed it. The book is by a very experienced psychologist who asserts that 4% of western adults are secretly sociopaths, for whom shame is a foreign concept. They are usually not jailed, and cause untold misery through their games and extreme selfishness. Another article posted here last week said that 10% of brokers are sociopaths. Sort of makes sense, eh?
You really have to think about what you want your car to do for you. If you "wanna go fast" like Ricky Bobby then the muscle car is for you. If you want to impress granola crunchers and homely chicks with ugly shoes, get a Prius. If you want to be economical with a fast depreciating "investment" that is a giant waste of money, then get a three to four year old civic or camry, or similar car.
If you want an"pussy wagon" to impress young hot chicks with your means, then buck up and get a BMW, Lexus, or Mercedes. Those cars say very plainly "I have money" and you will attract many shallow gold digging whores who will sleep with you without having to pay them first. You're "showing" them the money, not giving it to them.
Consider your transportation needs and choose accordingly. Maybe you would be better off with a bicycle!
There is definitely something going on with RE. The inventory that is at least decent is gone days after it hits the market (OC), and multiple bids on everything. We've been looking but nothing is available to even bid on.
One thing is different from the bubble years: homes that are overpriced are sitting until they lower price. People aren't stepping up for substandard inventory either. But the premium stuff is flying off the shelves!
That airplane image is clearly fake. Where's the burro?!
Craigslist IS full of scams, but it's also how I found the house I'm living in now. Landlord has been a real peach, and the place has met all our needs for three years.
Eh, I'm planning to retire to Thailand when it's time. The people are friendly, the weather is warm, the sand is white, and the drinks are cold. Oh and it's cheap. Rent should be around $350/month, food bout half that, and I won't need a car. However last time I was there, a guy offered me an elephant for two grand. That should take care of transportation, and they work for peanuts! :)
I believe the Catholic church has made no secret of its extreme opposition to Obama's crusade to make abortions the American birth control of Choice. Obama has made dozens of decisions which enable and enhance and even pay for a woman to get an abortion for any reason whatsoever. Catholics are against abortions. Why should it be a shock that this translates into them being against Obama?
That's like being shocked at liberals being against Bush2 because they wanted an end to the wars our nation is fighting in the mideast. Wasn't that one of Obama's rallying cries? You know, he will give you a pinky promise to actually stop fighting the wars if we give him a second term to get "really ready" to make that decision.
Your thoughts are neither original or truthful. Do more research. A lot more research. This is a much more complex subject than 99% of atheists give it credit for being. In my experience, atheists mostly want to just feel good about 1) sexual issues (where, with whom, and how to have sex), 2) the creation story, and 3) explanation for lack of divine interference with the evil perpetrated by other humans (I.e. "If God is real and loving, how could he let the holocaust happen?".
Of these, the first is childish. Sex is natural, and getting hung up on its details says more about the person asking than the subject.
The second is the most interesting, and deserves careful rational thought. If the Jewish myth of creation isn't literally true, as all scientific evidence clearly reveals, does that refute the existence of a deity? Personally I think that is faulty logic.
The third point is also childish, and the result of incomplete thought. My kid hits my other kid who cries and says "why did you let her hit me?" as the parent I could have taken away my children's freedom "for their own protection," and thus avoided any chance of one child abusing the other. But, out of love, I do not.
Similarly, if my son jumps off a wall I told him not to jump off of, and breaks his leg as a result of gravity and poor decision making, is it really my fault?
Thus: don't blame God for bad things that happen. He did take time to dictate out a rather long set of rules that, properly followed, can keep us safe. It's not his fault that we decided to declare them old fashioned and irrelevant, and run around hurting ourselves and those around us.
The last thing atheists like to drone on about is heaven and hell and who goes where. I would suggest that they not worry much about this. We'll all find out when we get there. Live a life you can be proud of, and just trust that your heavenly father approves. No amount of argument or discussion will change anything as immaterial as an afterlife, so leave that to the philosophers and try to be good to your fellow humans.
Fine, the concept of "evil" is just that, a concept. Since a concept is not a thing, then that passage that you've taken grossly out of context does Not infer that "God created evil."
And that's just using logic to directly refute your argument.
An untruth loudly proclaimed is still not true.
Any true student of history will know that it was reparations forced on Germany by the league of nations at the close of WWI that set the stage for, and indeed almost required that there would be a Part Two to that war. It came, sure enough, brought on by crippling reparation taxes levied against the citizens of Germany that led to a complete debasement in German currency which wiped out wealth in that country. It would be a lot like the UN deciding that the USA had to pay reparations to Vietnam in the amount of five times our national GNP. Oh, and give up any colonies you've got, even though they are the shittiest ones in the world.
Reparations only punish the people, not the assholes who start wars. And if you oppress an entire people, don't be surprised when they unite behind the first megalomaniac (Hitler) who promises them both freedom and glory.
Germans make cool stuff, quality goods and machinery that serves the world well. What the hell does Greece make except a stink when they are cut off from the tits of Europe? Maybe they should stop making a fuss and Get to freaking work. The world can't afford to give them national welfare anymore. I'm sure that their leaders did "envision a different union with Europe." It was mouth firmly pressed to nipple, sucking away like a greedy piglet!
Trains are good for the people, giving cheap reliable transportation that doesn't require a 1)car payment (note: you must have credit for this), 2) car insurance, 3)car tax/registration, 4)car fuel (note: price can be variable depending on the level of sword waggling the politicians have been paid by oil companies to perform), 5)car maintenance, 6)tolls where applicable, 7)taxes for increased upkeep of heavily trafficked roads. At the cheap end of the range, a car would require around $1000/month to own and operate.
I'm probably missing a few items here, but it's very very expensive to own and operate a motor vehicle. Buying the aforementioned $12 train ticket seems absurdly cheap in comparison. You could buy a whopping 83 train tickets at that price and break even as a consumer of transportation. If you commute both ways to work and take a trip each weekend day that's still 30x2=60 trips X $12= $720. More likely that you would pay far less.
Have you picked up a copy of "Superfreakonomics?"
Dubner and his pal came up with three ways to fix global warming without regulating carbon dioxide whatsoever. The best one was to take six coal burning power plants and fit them with extended stacks, balloon supported, to pump that pollution directly into the stratosphere. Why? It's simple: Sulfur dioxide (the main noxious pollutant in coal smoke) is a simply wonderful radiation insulator. The earth gets a good dose of this every time a big volcano goes off (like the one in Iceland two years ago). Volcanic emissions are PROVEN to lower average global temperatures by as much as a degree C per massive volcano. To replicate that amount of SO2 emissions, they calculated that the combined output of six coal plants putting their sulfur directly into the stratosphere would accomplish the same result, ameliorating the degree change in global temps practically overnight. You just need to make the stacks much higher so that smoke makes insulation rather than acid rain as is currently the case.
Al Gore was appraised of this idea and proclaimed it "ridiculous" and "dangerous."
Odd position for him to take, unless you consider that his CO2 credit corp would be worthless five days after this solution was implemented.
I think what Peter is saying is that IQ scores are notoriously unhelpful at determining success in life or if a person will be a good father or mother or an abuser, a conscientious human being or a sociopath, a productive member of society or a sponge on resources. While intelligent people have the potential to excell in certain narrow areas of cognition measured by an IQ test, this does not mean that they will be the people you'd want to hire.
Who would you rather have working for you? The guy who aced his SATs, got a free ride to college, and low grades because he rarely studies, or the woman who got average scores on the same test, but worked hard in school and got A's and B's, while working to pay her own way?
I know I'd rather have the second, as she will be a hard worker while the first strikes me as a slacker. Perhaps a brilliant slacker, but this is actually worse because he will be better at hiding his underperformance.
IQ tests don't measure a lot of intelligences that actually make a difference beyond academia. Things like social intelligence, moral intelligence, and physical intelligence are usual far more important to determine if someone is an anti social nerd or the kind of guy everyone wants to have on their team.
For reference, I did very well on IQ tests, but I've struggled in other areas.
You know, Romney is a really upstanding guy, family man, smart businessman, extremely generous with his time and money ... so why does he scare me so much? Maybe it's the last decade of being screwed over by smart businessmen who do the sort of things that made him rich that's making me shy away from this paragon of capitalism. Not that I don't believe capitalism has its place, it surely does as a motivator for imperfect people to make a society produce while serving individual self interest. This is vital, and most people understand it intuitively, if they haven't had intuition educated out of them yet. But the kind of crooked business we've seen lately has us calling foul and theft, and practically nobody in government seeming to give a rip. Romney fits snugly into the role of the guy who sent our jobs overseas, and so, regardless of his moral superiority over the president, we are scared of what he may do to further consolidate the stranglehold big banks have on our America, that he may actually hand out the jackboots that hedge fund owned business presses down on our necks.
Has the Obama administration failed to help the economy back to its feet? Absolutely! Obama has no clue what he is doing when it comes to the economy, and furthermore is too proud to take suggestions from those who do. I'd like to see him gone for any number of arrogant self serving things he's done with his term.
But, at least in thEory, he's the candidate for the working class, ready to uphold worker rights against big business.
So that's why I'm waivering here. Sometimes the devil you know is less scary than the devil you don't.
I voted Ron Paul, the the Main stream media demonized him effectively and he had no chance.
Deja vu to the 1930's and the Dustbowl. Seriously, history, even weather history, repeats itself. It's downright disturbing.
Exactly, iwog, I have done the research on Bain. It's vulture capitalism in truth, and Romney was the CEO. They put up Staples and Dominos as success stories but those are more like examples to throw off the investigators. I agree with everything you said. Romney made his millions in a legal but dishonest way. It's really just a testament to how disgusted I am with Obama that I can even entertain the notion of this shark running the country.
However it would make sense from a historical POV. If you consider that the housing boom/bust was a setup to 1) transfer wealth away from middle class and then 2)make housing cheap again so workers would accept lower wages, then things make sense. To compete on the global market, American workers had to have a serious pay cut. But with housing high, that was unrealistic. Everyone was going to be a rich rock star in the 90s. So they orchestrate a financial disaster that would hit everyone. Then, when you're just trying to feed your family and not be homeless, that $12/hour job at the copper pipe factory (Mississippi) looks pretty good.
Romney would be the perfect person to preside over the extreme wealthy class's return to power. If things go as they have in history, we'll have the bad old days of 14 hour shifts at dual income families just to pay bills, child labor, and a political system that forces us to choose between a Douchebag and a Turd Sandwich (credit Southpark). (if you vote for a third party you're throwing your vote away!)
Bad news for working people.
I agree that we need a whiner of the day/week award forum. It's just too entertaining to read self righteous people explaining that although they just bilked a bank for a crapload of money, they still deserve our sympathy because they believe themselves a victim!
Amazing! I want more.
A "brilliant science student" just massacred 12 people in Colorado, shooting 71 people in total. I'd call that a distinct lack of social and moral intelligence. Who gives a crap what he studied or how high his IQ tested? I'm betting the majority of people would agree that we'd all be better off if this sociopath had never been born.
Seen this guy's pic? Looked damn unattractive to me. And he's a pretty average body type. If we were flying air France, then sure. But
Americans are just way too fat to be attractive naked.
The right to self defense is such a fundamental right, that any animal denied this right is nothing more than livestock. If we deny people, even citizens this right, we have taken away the most elemental right of them all. Guns exist in all their various forms. We may wish that they didn't, or that we could remove them all from the country but that is NEVER going to happen. What will happen is that we will see more and more dangerous weapons come into being as history goes on. Given that criminals with guns are out there, the only measured defense against them are other guns, held by people. Take then away and you only make law abiding citizens into sheep.
Personally, I believe the sheepification of the citizenry is the Liberal agenda anyway. Because if none can object, then the power of the politicians and their handlers reigns supreme.
I believe that young couples are choosing to have fewer or even zero children based on other factors that do not include the economy. Right now in this society, there is a ton of enjoyable ways to fill a lifetime that do not include wiping noses or butts or sleep deprived nights and stretch marks. Having kids is a big commitment and many couples just are not doing it as a lifestyle choice. As a result they usually have nicer houses with more toys, better vacations, and a more interesting night life than couples who strain finances, time, and patience raising children.
Don't get me wrong, I love children. I'll have my third any day now, but it's a terrible sacrifice to make that choice nowadays. People who do not value progeny as much as I and my wife do are making the choice to stay childless.
It really is a shame that those two peoples can't get along. The sons of Ishmael and the sons of Isaac never really have tho. I don't know why we care so much, or why we insist on sending billions of dollars we have to borrow in order to keep a national socialist state solvent. Anyone else find it ironic that the very people victimized by such a government in Germany found it expedient to adopt such a system for their own nation?
Bought college: left with a degree in high science, no job, and 55k in loans due immediately. I dont use my degree, but managed to get into a high paying niche profession that I could have trained for with two years at a occupational center.
Bought war: who didn't want to see Osama pay for what he did?
Bought voting: been a voter every year, still do so out of habit and for local election issues which actually do matter. President? Hah, tell me a new one!
DIDN'T buy house! I was all set up to buy in '05, but didn't believe in the market. Good thing. Been saving and renting ever since, and in another part of the country I'd pay cash for something.
Retirement: the union has a kick ass retirement. I might even see it someday, if the dollar doesn't devalue or the fund administrators don't piss it all away on the next big bubble. I have 401k too.
But even if I have ultimately nothing for retirement because the lawyers and banks steal it all, I have three assets that will endure. My children. Right now they are a drain, but when I get old, I hope they'll compete to house me and their mother. Family is everything.
Henry Ford said that "The first rule of the Industrialist is to make the best product you can at the lowest price you can, paying the highest wage you can." I think "modern" business practice is to pay investors the highest return possible and screw consumers and workers. The obvious problem with that strategy is that the economy is made up of workers and consumers. When they have money to spend over and above subsistence, they may just buy the products that their fellows work to manufacture. Unions are good for ensuring that the little guy gets a fair and living wage that allows a worker to move out of mom and dad's basement and perhaps start a family of their own.
If you think unions are the problem, then please send a check to the CEO of your company. He/she is obviously not getting a large enough share of the profits.
If you think investors should be paid above all, then send Romney a check. He'll only pay 14% tax on that amount. Funny thing happens when you give people that much money to spend. They reinvest it in Washington DC buying up Congressmen who will lower their taxes and ensure nobody will ever be allowed to compete.
So I read the article that Catalogued the horrors of Nazi Germany against gays. I wasn't impressed. When a writer has to go back sixty five years to find a good example of homos getting this type of treatment, I'm just "meh" about it. Here's an idea: how about that writer goes to Afghanistan or Iran or even "pacified" Iraq with his sob story of trampled gay rights? Those nations have a rather strict policy of killing homosexuals as a matter of law. That's current! It's happening, now!
What truly makes me chuckle is when the same group of libs who march and kiss for gay rights, cry about Guantanamo, which contains people who would cheerfully murder every gay on the planet!
True liberalism is dead, or just extremely rare. Nowadays they label it libertarianism. Liberals today are characterized less by their thoughtfulness than by their lack of any coherent thought whatsoever.
Dan6287: need to increase your reading comprehension dude. I already mentioned the middle east in like the next sentence. What I was pointing out was that this was lazy lazy reporting, picking on the biggest bugbear of them all to make a point about society's treatment of homos. The nazis weren't nice to gypsies or Polish either. They were an abortion of a festering gangrenous flesh-eating infection on the Earth. Big effing deal! Lazy! Go write something relevant instead of just regurgitating the tripe that passes for university education.
In other news: the sun is still putting out enough solar radiation energy to sustain life on Earth! Yay!
You would be amazed at how fast cats can reproduce. They are true pests when feral, breeding as soon as they reach sexual maturity at like six months old. And then usually one gets mange, spreads it to the others. And then you have a bunch of the ugliest cats imaginable dragging their swollen bellies around, hissing and spitting and shitting everywhere. Large kittens, not even cats yet dragging pregnant bellies with more demon spawn, and giving you the stink eye from a scabby bald head. Yuck! Bring on the Koreans!
Also on thE subject of cat/dog supply for eating: we eat chickens and cows and pigs the most here in the USA. Wanna guess what their populations run? It's hundreds of millions of chickens...
Whatever you are eating will have to be raised in large numbers, so I bet Korea has more dogs per capita.
Looked it up, nearly 2 billion chickens in the US alone.
Yah the little bit of law that I took in uni taught that you can break an "unconscionable" contract. That would be one that violated or caused you to violate the law, invoke personal harm on yourself, or was written in such a lopsided way that nobody would sign it except under duress.
Sorry Apoc, the lawyers have thought of everything.
When marriage was allowed to become a function of the state rather than a strictly religious tradition, it was assumed by all that this would be a partnership between the two with the fundamental core of the definition of marriage held up by the state and thus administered. What the gays are doing by insisting on a redefinition of marriage is to have the state hijack the institution completely and force it into the realm of politics where the fashion of the day is law.
Perhaps religion should never have relinquished its hold on the administration of marriage, but that ship sailed centuries ago. Today the function of religion in marriage is perfunctory in many cases. Two people get married at a time and place of their own choosing, probably by a clergy person who just printed out his/her ordination certificate from the Internet last week.
I fully understand and sympathize with the folks who are upset at the gay marriage agenda and want to hold it to one man and one woman. They've been cheated here, by a government who promised to hold this trust and is now breaking its word.
But I also agree that a redefinition of marriage (to include gay marriage) is inevitable. The religious roots of marriage have lost their grip on anything substantial and have been waving around in air searching for soil that was stolen years ago. As a partnership of church and state, marriage is done.
Here's what I see for the future:
1) gay marriage
2) polygamous marriage (sooner than you think!). This type will be quite popular for people who want to raise a family in tough economic conditions. If you have two men and three women in a marriage, three or four of them can be working and still have plenty of child care available. As well as ... Um, interesting social activity among the five parents.
3) The utter rejection of state sponsored marriage by many religious conservatives of different religions, replaced with church-administrated unions where all conflicts would be mediated by church ministers. This will likely have as many names as there are religions: Catholic marriage, Hindu marriage, Mormon marriage, Sharia marriage.
The gays will get marriage, but it will not be what they want. They want legitimacy, but what they will get is entry into an institution which has lost all integrity. It will be about as meaningful to get a marriage license as it is to sign up for Unemployment.