The Seven Deadly Sins

The seven deadly sins are alive and well and thriving in the world of today. What are the seven deadly sins? By today’s standards they are: Wrath; Greed; Sloth; Pride; Lust; Envy; and Gluttony. The seven deadly sins are objectionable vices which are part of Christian Ethics. The Catholic Church divides these sins into two categories. One is a venial sin (which is where guilt in minor), and the other is a mortal sin (which is said to destroy the life of grace and charity, which ultimately leads to a life of damnation. Let’s have a look at how these sins are alive and well in society today.

Wrath is extreme anger. Where have we seen this display today? Domestic violence is a good example of wrath. Each and every day on the news there is an example of this deadly sin. There are thousands of men and women beaten on a daily basis so that the offender, which is the person doing the beating, whether verbal or physical, feels a sense of superiority over the person being beaten. Rather than give you a specific case, just read your daily newspaper. You will find a case between pages one and nine of a domestic violence case.

Greed is the intense and selfish desire for something. Most commonly it is a desire for power and wealth. This too is alive and well and living in the world today. Take a look at that company that we reviewed a while back. The one we called “Piggy.” “Piggy” makes money hand over fist by getting approval from the Public Utilities Commission, who might have Piggy’s hand in their pocket, to pass on the costs to their customers for their own negligence in not maintaining their own equipment. I do not know about you, but if my company blew something up, destroying the lives of many, due to lack of maintenance on my companies part, my company would have to bear the cost. “Piggy” gets approval from the P.U.C. so that we the people have to pay for their negligence, and all of this for a “good bottom line.” Hmmm…bank bailouts are coming to mind too…and the crash of the housing market due to poor decisions made by lenders on risky loans. Who ended up with the money? Who has the power? Who has taken operations that were once in the U.S. to other countries due to cheaper labor resulting in hundreds of thousands unemployed in the U.S. and fatter wallets?

Sloth is the reluctance to work or to make an effort. The older I get the more I see this. I do not know about you, but I know a number of folks in their mid-forties to mid-sixties who have had troubles with their jobs; lost their jobs; and now they feel that they are “owed” by society for the loss of their job. Guess who gets to pay for them not working? It comes down to you and me. I know a gal who has been out of work for years and who suffers, blames it on others, and has every perfect reason why it is that she just cannot work for this place or that. Get a job and contribute to society so that I do not have to support you!

Pride is a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct…More and more in the news we hear of police officers who break the laws that they are to uphold. We also get to see those who thump their chests as they run for political office, and then the dirt comes out. See wrath…

Lust is a very strong sexual desire. Let me ask you this: Have you heard of any politician having an extramarital affair? Is there anyone that comes to mind from say the last year? Maybe from two years ago? Maybe from 15 or 30 years ago? Oh, and just to make sure that this article is not picking on one particular group, politicians, think about the teachers and clergy in the news that have “hit on” children. Actually, there are a number of television shows about the topic, so no need to go further. Just turn on the TV and search the channels…you will find a program on this topic guaranteed.

Envy is a feeling of discontentment or a resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck. Do you know anyone who has displayed jealousy? Well, there you go. This is in the news too every day and is usually included in the news report on where wrath is involved.

Gluttony is eating to excess. In this country we read and hear daily about obesity. We have become a society of fat people who cannot say no to eating a stack of six pancakes, three eggs and 2 slices of bacon and 2 sausages for breakfast. But how can one possibly pass by three 99 cent tacos at that fast food joint? Or the $10 pizza that comes with 6 sugar coated cinnamon twists? Does this give you a picture?

And the sad part is that all of these seven deadly sins tie one to the other. For other examples on these seven deadly sins, just read the newspaper.

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Blinded by the Lights!

We have not written in a while being busy with family and the recently holidays. We felt the need to write a rant over the misuse of fog lights.

Picture yourself driving down a road at night. It is a clear, cold night with temperatures in the 30’s. The road has one lane going in each direction. You are in an area where there are no street lights. The road winds continuously, snaking down a mountain and then back up. The road is very narrow and there are no curbs, no houses, and the area is remote.

With both hands on the steering wheel you take your time as you go. You are driving with your brights on, and as you approach the next bend you see the reflection from the head lights of an oncoming car. You switch off your brights as the car on the approach will be coming around the bend in the road just ahead.

As the car comes around the bend in the road you find yourself blinded by this vehicle as they are driving with not only their headlights on but they have the fog lights on as well! Not being able to see where you are going due to being temporarily blinded, you run off the road into the hillside. Thank goodness you were not going fast! Cars on this road are few and far between. You are lucky not to be hurt, but your car is damaged and there is no cell phone service. You wait for two hours before the next car comes along.

This accident could have been avoided if the driver of the other vehicle used the lights on their car properly. A fog light is not for night driving when there is no fog! As the name implies they are for driving in the FOG!

If you have been driving with your fog lights on in non-foggy weather, put yourself in the shoes of the person in this story. Turn off those fog lights when driving at night unless it is foggy.

No names were used in this article as requested by the person this happened to.

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No Need for Gun Control?

Our constitution here in the U.S. gives us the right to bear arms. It was added to the constitution so that we could bring up a national guard to protect this country should we need to. At that time too, the people did not have a Safeway or Lucky Store to buy food at. They had to go out and hunt to sustain themselves. Today we have the benefit of a grocery store so that we can bring meats to our tables. And we have an armed force to defend this country.

Here is a really good reason that we do not need gun control in this country as it appears on today’s headline news…From CNN.com…”MASS KILLINGS AT SCHOOL.”

Yes, today 27 were killed at an ELEMENTARY SCHOOL! An elementary school! How sad is that? One of possibly two gunmen has been killed, shot down in a classroom. 18 of the 27 killed were kids. Kids! This shooting has the possibility of being the second worst school shooting in our country. Remember the shooting at Virginia Tech in 2007? 32 people died and 17 others were wounded on that sad day back on April 16th 2007. Remember the shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado back in 1999? 15 died and 21 others were injured.

How many more will die before this country toughens up the gun control laws? How many? Write your Congressman and Senators to put a stop to this type of needless heartache and death!

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Gay Marriage Anywhere

We were watching the news this evening, Friday November 30th, and there was a news story about Gay Marriage going before the Supreme Court. The reporter interviewed some person who mentioned the constitutionality of Gay Marriage. So let me ask you this: Where in the Constitution of the United States of America does it say anything about marriage? And, why should it?

The definition of marriage is a union between two people. Plain and simple. There are vows that the folks getting married make to each other in front of God and family and friends. These are people in love who vow to love, honor and cherish each other, in front of God and their families and friends. Doesn’t God love all that he/she created?

Do you honestly think that the founders of this country took marriage into consideration? What do you mean that this was not foremost in their minds? What? They were more concerned with taxation, freedom, the right to free speech, and more…basic rights that they felt this country needed. Are you kidding me? Shouldn’t marriage have been the first thing that they had on their list of things to do when creating the Constitution?

This country is made up of a diverse group of people. Each has their own culture, history, and mores. As we allow for all this diversity, I have to ask: Why not allow for one more? We are OK with this. What goes on within the confines of ones home regarding their sexual preferences is none of our business, nor that of anyone else. Would you allow someone, including the government come to into your home to tell you how you have to live your life? That was not why this country came into being. If we allow this to come into the bedrooms of our homes, then be prepared: Government will have the open door then to enter your bathroom and tell you what kind of toilet paper you need to wipe your butt with!

Let’s take a look at some of those folks of today who are against Gay Marriage. I ask that you take a look at this listing posted on Ranker.com. The folks on this list, and their anti-gay sentiments are a matter of record. And their actions are too. Here is the list of the Top 10 Anti-Gay Activists: Do As We Say, Not As We Do! If you stopped to read these accounts, well…hmm, they are a bit two faced maybe?

My husband and I (do you know if we are male and female, or male and male, or female and female? And, does it really matter?) are both of the belief that not only are Gay people taxpayers, but they are members of our society, combined and individually from which this society does benefit. Government should be more worried about the “Fiscal-Cliff,” overspending, and budget deficits, to name a few, then to worry about what Jack and John, or Betty and Mary are doing in their bedrooms at night!

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Nomophobia – A New Neurosis

Well, if you follow us, you might have thought that we dropped off the map. We did not, we just took a break. The election for President here in the U.S. was upcoming, now over, thank God because the political commercials reigned supreme over the internet, the television and the radio stations. We finally have time to breathe and now to rant about the newest affliction of the world: Nomophobia!

What the heck is “Nomophobia,” you are asking. Here is the definition:

It is the fear of being without a mobile phone! Again, it is the fear of being without a mobile phone! This has us shaking our heads. This also has us asking ourselves, “What is happening to the people of this world that they cannot do without a mobile phone?”

Let’s go back in time. Let’s go back to the days when a telephone never existed. What did they do then? They wrote a letter or sent a telegram. If they couldn’t do that, they simply could not, and it was not diagnosed as a neurosis.

Society today has become a society of whiners. Really, they are whiners. I want something my way; I want something to work the way that I think it should; I want; I want; I want, and if I do not get my way, everyone else will have to pay for it somehow, someway.

This is really what it is all about today. We have a younger generation who feels that everything should be handed to them on a silver platter. They take for granted the technology that exists today that was created by past generations, and they simply cannot do without it! But the real problem is that they cannot think without those technological devices to tell them what is is that they need to do. How sad is that?

I heard earlier this year, 2012, on the radio an ad for a upcoming series to be featured on NBC, called “Revolution,” which is said to be about, “a global blackout that thrusts the world into a new dark age.” It is an age where there is no electricity; no internet; no telephones; no television or radio; and no refrigerators or microwaves! What will they do? I repeat, what will people do?

Let me ask this: What did they do before we had electricity? What did they do before the internet? What did they do before telephones? What did they do before we had television or radio? How did they store food and cook it before refrigerators and microwaves? What did they do? How did they survive? They found ways to make things work so that they could survive! It was their discovery of making things work that has led to the technology of today.

We should be more involved today in being self sufficient, and knowing how to survive even one night, or ten, without electricity, internet, telephones, television, radio, refrigerators, microwaves, et al… Oh, but that means that someone will have to do something! To the younger generations out there: Time to go back to the books, real books, using pencil and pen, and start to learn how to live life in the event that these things disappear, so that YOU CAN SURVIVE!

So those suffering from this new neurosis called Nomophobia, should be more concerned with the newest phobia: One that we are naming today. It is known as the: LivingLifeWithoutPhobia, or the LLWPhobia! Get with the program now because at some point, your life will depend on it!

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Prepping for the Propositions

OK, so we have about 3 weeks till we vote.  Being in California we have 11 State Propositions on our ballot in addition to any local county or city issues.  Add to that the politicians, judges, supervisors, school boards, and other lesser positions, that are all up for grabs.

Whether in California, or another State , we are now inundated with advertisements.  Vote Yes! Vote No!  Vote for me as my opponent is a liar!  I know what’s best for you, so vote for me!  It doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat, Republican, Independent, Green Party, or Purple Power advocate – enough is enough!

However, we must not forget that what we do as voters will be affecting all of us in the all to near future.   A recent post from Wrant and Wrave dealt with California’s Prop. 30 and how both sides, supporters and opponents,  of that Prop. are spinning fact and fiction.

I received my Vote by Mail ballot today from my county’s registrar of voters.  I still haven’t received the State’s booklet which lists the summaries for all the State propositions.  Guess the State can’t afford the paper and ink.  Yet I need to know more about these propositions  that will be affecting me, the State, and of course MY WALLET!

I was able to find a website that lists all the information needed.  It is not a State sponsored site, why would it be?  This site lists the individual proposition’s provisions, pro and con statements, who is backing the pro or con sides of the issue, how much money both sides are spending and best of all it is not biased to either side.

I’ve read through the vast listings and was pretty impressed with the write ups.  I urge you, especially you California readers, to go to this site and get the facts.  Forget the TV, radio, and newspaper ads and get both sides of the stories.  For those not in California, please visit the website and find the links to your State’s election issues.

About 1/4 of the way down the page, and to the right side, is a box with the California State flag.  Below that is a list of the propositions.  Each is linked to a page with information on that particular issue. We have copied and pasted the links for the 11 propositions farther below.

Remember – an informed person is one that will make a better decision.  Find out the who, what, and why.  Click the link below and help yourself to understand the real issues.  Don’t let the “spin doctors” keep you ignorant of the true facts of each side of a proposition.

http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/California_2012_ballot_propositions

Individual prop links are listed below for quicker access.

Flag of California.png
 
 
 
November 6
Proposition 30
Proposition 31
Proposition 32
Proposition 33
Proposition 34
Proposition 35
Proposition 36
Proposition 37
Proposition 38
Proposition 39
Proposition 40
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OOH, I like to do the side step……………..

Ever see the movie Best Little Whore House In Texas?  If not you must, if for no other reason than to see one excellent scene.  For those that have not seen the film here is a brief …..

Bert Reynolds plays a small town sheriff,  Dolly Parton is his girl and also a madam at the Chicken Ranch (the house of ill repute) and Charles Durning plays the governor of Texas, the State in which the story takes place.  Make no mistake, his part fulfills every States’ politicians’ actions, not just Texas.  Say much without saying a word!

OK – so where does the Side Step come in that is mentioned in this article’s title?  Well, it is Charles Durning’s character.  He plays the quintessential politician in this film.  He says a lot and never gives an answer.  His part earned him a nomination for an Academy Award. 

His five minutes of doing the Side Step is priceless and as it is an election year it is most appropriate.  Click, or paste and copy, this link – http://youtu.be/NJG75FJkjr8  and enjoy the five minutes as they clearly show us how are politicians act, especially in an election year.  And listen for the comments of the actors playing news reporters.  Just like real life!

And remeber, as mentioned in an earlier blog, a politicians favorite color is plaid.  Go figure!

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Who is better……….?

Better at putting a spin on things. Is it a Disk Jockey or a politician? If you picked the latter you win! I hate election years in the good ol’ USA. The lies that are spun on both sides of an issue create enough BS to fill every septic tank in the State. Let’s take California’s Prop. 30 for example.

Prop 30 raises the State sales tax 1/4 percent. It also raises the tax rates for those individuals making more than $250K per year and for couples the amount is $500K. That is the simple basics of what this Proposition does to the citizens. So – what do the Spin Doctor Politicians and groups say? Let’s see

Politicians say that if passed Prop 30 will keep them, the politicians, from using the money for anything but helping fund schools……….LIE #1; politicians say that the increase in taxes is temporary (when have you known of a politician not wanting more, getting it, and then holding on to it…never!)…….LIE #2; politicians say

“Without Prop. 30, our schools and colleges face an additional $6 billion in devastating cuts this year. Prop. 30 is the only initiative that prevents those cuts and provides billions in new funding for our schools starting this year—money that can be spent on smaller class sizes, up-to-date textbooks and rehiring teachers.”    LIE #3 as there are no mandates that the politicians must use the money for education!

“Prop. 30 is the only measure that establishes a guarantee for public safety funding in our state’s constitution, where it can’t be touched without voter approval. Prop. 30 keeps cops on the street.”  FINALLY not a Lie, this is the only mandate within the proposition.

“Prop. 30 balances our budget and helps pay down California’s debt—built up by years of gimmicks and borrowing. It is a critical step in stopping the budget shortfalls that plague California.”  LIE #4 as there are, again, no specifics as to where the extra money will go and it will probably just go to the general fund to be spent anywhere and anyway the politicians want.

“To protect schools and safety, Prop. 30 temporarily increases personal income taxes on the highest earners—couples with incomes over $500,000 a year—and establishes the sales tax at a rate lower than it was last year. Prop. 30’s taxes are temporary, balanced and necessary to protect schools and safety.”  LIE #5 as it also increase taxes on the individual with a $250K income, and does not guarantee any money to schools, so how can it protect schools????

“Only highest-income earners pay more income tax: Prop. 30 asks those who earn the most to temporarily pay more income taxes. Couples earning below $500,000 a year will pay no additional income taxes.” PARTIAL truth as they make no mention of individuals, only couples.

“All new revenue is temporary: Prop. 30’s taxes are temporary, and this initiative cannot be modified without a vote of the people. The very highest earners will pay more for seven years. The sales tax provision will be in effect for four years.”  ONLY time will tell on this one.

As for the opponents – here are some of their spins………

  • There is no guarantee in the way it is written that the money would be used for schools. Thus, opponents say, it is a “$50 million shell game.” To buttress this argument, opponents quote the California School Boards Association, which in May 2012 said, “the Governor’s initiative does not provide new funding for schools.”
  • “Nothing in Prop 30 reforms our education system to cut waste, eliminate bureaucracy or cut administrative overhead.”
  • Instead of supporting education, the new tax money raised by Proposition 30 will really go to “backfill the insolvent teacher’s pension fund.”
  • “The Governor, politicians and special interests behind Proposition 30 threaten voters. They say ‘vote for our massive tax increase or we’ll take it out on schools,’ but at the same time, they refuse to reform the education or pension systems to save money.”
  • “Politicians would rather raise taxes instead of streamlining thousands of state-funded programs…look at what they just did: politicians authorized nearly $5 billion in California bonds for the ‘bullet train to nowhere’, costing taxpayers $380 million a year. Let’s use those dollars for schools! Instead, the politicians gave us a false choice — raise sales taxes by $1 billion per year and raise income taxes on small businesses OR cut schools.”

Those groups in favor of this Prop have spent $41 million, those opposed about $3 million. Too bad these two groups won’t pool their monies and give it to the State, then none of us will be threatened with higher taxes. 

Ask yourself this question — Why would you want to give politicians more of your money as they have proven all too well that they can’t manage what they already get.  Why should we pay for their screw-ups?

So, who does one believe?  The only spin doctor I believe is the guy playing records.

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Gas Prices in California…Enough is Enough!

The last time I filled up my gas tank I paid $3.98 a gallon. That was on September 29th. Today the local gas prices are over $4.50 per gallon here in California. Not a big deal for those in other countries because comparatively we pay less. But we wanted to visit gas prices with you with our slant vs. the oil company slant.

Let’s do a hypothetical situation. Let us say that I own a gas station in California. I start out new two weeks ago. Let us say that the cost of the gasoline that I paid on my first order was twenty cents per gallon. OK, I can hear you saying, “Then why am I paying what I am paying at the pump?” The reason is the tax on gasoline that the station has to pay to the State of California. So, in order for me to make a profit, I need to at least double the cost of what I paid. So, to simplify this hypothetical situation, let’s say I charge you forty cents on the gallon. And, yes the remainder is the tax that I pay on your behalf to the State of California…

So, let’s take a look at something else that one would think would be involved. Here is the situation: I paid for my initial gas two weeks ago right? Right! But yesterday they had a mishap at the Chevron refinery down in Richmond, CA. So today, gas prices, as announced on the news, jump fifty cents a gallon. OK, the numbers are a bit extreme but bear with me. Gas prices throughout the State jump that fifty cents a gallon. But wait! I only paid twenty cents on the gallon, for which I am charging you the additional fifty cents to the gallon. Here is the rub. I have not paid the higher price for that gasoline yet, but I might be paying that on my next purchase. Might be, or, maybe not. Even though I am still trying to sell the twenty cent a gallon cost gasoline, I raise my prices for the mishap at the Chevron refinery. And, so does every other station in the State even though they may not be Chevron supplied stations. But wait! Go back to me paying twenty cents on the gallon. Shouldn’t the pump price be based on that? Shouldn’t the station have to use all the twenty cent a gallon gas before refilling their tanks and then charging more? Why does it not work that way? What is up with that? Price gouging maybe??? Why are we not asking station owners to hold their price until they fill their tanks with the higher priced gasoline?

Question: Does that seem fair to you? If the station has not used up that twenty cent a gallon gasoline, why can they charge more? The accountant in me says what about inventory valuation? I just cannot imagine having to change my cost structure on a daily basis to fit what the rest of stations in the country or in the State are doing.

Let’s take a look at another angle. If I travel to let’s say Prescott, AZ, where there are no oil refineries, and the gasoline needs to be trucked in to them, why do I pay less for gasoline there than I do here in California for the same gas I buy in California? After all they are trucking in the gasoline, for which there would be shipping charges, and which one would think that the Arizona gas station is paying for too. Maybe it has to do with the State of AZ tax on gasoline. But shouldn’t I be paying somewhat the same price in this country no matter where I go? No, no, no, no, no!

Here is another issue. It was reported on the news today that stations here in California are closing because the folks that own the franchise stations cannot make any money on what they have to pay for the gas. One station owner claimed that his cost to fill his tanks was $50,000. I am not sure what the gas companies terms are on the purchase of gas, but can you imagine having to fork out $50 grand that you have not yet earned? But then you should have adequate money accumulated within your business to pay the next upcoming billing. Hmmm…If stations close, there is less availability. If there is less availability, then the gas companies can ask more for the gas!

Here is another bit from the news today: Governor Jerry Brown is asking the refineries to change over to the “winter” formula early to help alleviate the cost that folks in this State are having to pay. Why should the cost of the winter formula be any different than any other time of the year? The answer is because of the additives that are added to the “summer” gas work with the heat in a large part of California.

So, the big question here is this: If the refineries experience trouble at their plants due to improper maintenance, due to for sake of example, be a faulty valve, that burns off the gasoline they are trying to refine, shouldn’t that be one of the risks of the business, and already included in the cost calculation of the price of the gas? Events like the recent Chevron mishap are becoming monthly events. Maybe there should be more government inspections of these plants. But then who gets to pay for that? We do! It is a never ending cycle of making the consumer pay for the mishaps of companies, regardless of what industry that they are in. And the reason is to show a good bottom line to investors.

Until the consumer tells companies that they are tired of paying for their “mishaps,” no matter how the companies may couch them, this practice will continue. When are you, my dear consumer, going to say “Enough is enough?”

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Will You Pay Me Back?

The fight is on for votes on the upcoming elections. Have you heard about the one political party candidates who want to get rid of Medicare?

Medicare

For those who do not know, Medicare is a social insurance program started in 1965 that guarantees health insurance to those over 65. As I am approaching this age, and I see that there are those who want to get rid of this program I have to ask some questions.

To those politicians that want to do away with Medicare, here is my first and foremost question: If you get rid of Medicare will you pay me the money that I have put into this fund over the last 40 years? I have quite a bit of money accumulated in this fund, and if you do away with this, well then, I want the money you deducted from my paychecks over the years to be returned to me.

Is there any hope of getting that money back if they do away with this program? No. The plan is to keep the money, which does not quite seem fair now does it?

How does this affect the politician? It doesn’t. They are above the law in this regard and do not have to pay into Medicare, nor do they pay into Social Security, which is another program that is heading to the chopping block.

Think of Medicare and Social Security as an annuity. You put money into this fund as as it sits there the amount of money grows as it earns interest. If you have not been a “big” wage earner, then this is all you have to help you when you enter retirement. So another question: Who is going to take care of me in my retirement years if they get rid of the two programs that I paid into? Can you see the numbers of folks ending up on the streets in their 60’s-70’s? How sad is that?

Now to all you baby boomers out there, this is the time to have a peaceful revolution. Let us oust those who want to take our money and run! Fight for the money you worked hard to earn which you paid into these funds. Do not allow those politicians to deprive you of your right to health insurance and the retirement fund that you paid into!

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