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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 10:48 pm 
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Well, I have lived kind of a long time now, and have had what could be called an eventful life. But even for me it is unusual for quite so much seriously #@%&ed-up $#!+ to be crammed into a few hours of one day.

I'd like to tell you all about it, but I honestly don't believe I am a good enough writer to do it any kind of justice. Let's just say that I learned, or more likely re-learned, a long list of important life lessons today and tonight. I suspect a number of other important lessons were lost on me -- that they went right over my head.

A few I did get were these:

(1) Sinking or falling down in socio-economic status and becoming impoverished is not just depressing and humiliating. It's also dangerous. It can and will put you in real physical jeopardy, and not in a fun way, when you sail

"Into the blue again/after the money's gone
Once in a lifetime/water flowing underground." -- Talking Heads, "Once In A Lifetime" (c.1980)

(2) Most things and people and situations really are usually just about what they appear to be, and usually play out just about as you would expect them to. You will probably come to grief by letting yourself hope "this time will be different."

(3) Don't naively accept other people's self-descriptions or self-assessments at face value. Just because they tell you they are not what they appear to be is not a good reason to believe them. Watch what they do, rather than listen to what they say. (See:Lesson 2.) Except when they let slip some unguarded statement that gives away where they're really coming from, opening a window into the darkness of their hearts.

"Never get out of the boat." as Captain Willard said, in Apocalypse Now (1979)

I could go on, but I don't think I will.

"Experience is a stern teacher, but men will learn from no other." Like most important life lessons, most of today's were costly, or were almost costly. One nearly cost me a finger or three. I'm okay, though. Not a scratch. Not a drop of blood drawn, or not from me, anyway. Still it was as close as anything in years, maybe since 1997 or '98. But all I'm really out this time is some cash I could not afford, and maybe $80 or $90 worth of property I also couldn't spare.

When I had to set forth again after sunset, I noticed a reddish full moon rising, still low in the east. A full moon. Maybe that explains it. That, and the fact that the Memorial Day weekend has always been super-unlucky for me, like a three or four-day extended Friday the Thirteenth. Another quote comes to mind:

"Once an inhuman voice was lifted in awful mockery—the cry of an ape, Bêlit said, adding that the souls of evil men were imprisoned in these man-like animals as punishment for past crimes. But Conan doubted, for once, in a gold-barred cage in an Hyrkanian city, he had seen an abysmal sad-eyed beast which men told him was an ape, and there had been about it naught of the demoniac malevolence which vibrated in the shrieking laughter that echoed from the black jungle.

Then the moon rose, a splash of blood, ebony-barred, and the jungle awoke in horrific bedlam to greet it.(1934)

Cross

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"The practical reason for freedom is that freedom seems to be the only condition under which any kind of substantial moral fiber can be developed — we have tried law, compulsion and authoritarianism of various kinds, and the result is nothing to be proud of." -- Albert Jay Nock, "On Doing the Right Thing", in The American Mercury (1925)

‎"Men in a state of decadence employ professionals to fight for them, professionals to dance for them, and a professional to rule them." -- G.K. Chesterton

"No man is so exquisitely honest or upright in living, but that ten times in his life he might not lawfully be hanged." -- Montaigne

"But to live outside the law, you must be honest." -- Bob Dylan

"Unjust laws can be altered, as well as made. There's a new spirit in the world. Taxed out of existence, robbed of their independence by the government, the people must fight back how they can. What we're doing here is just a pin-prick. But a thousand pin-pricks put together ... " -- Christopher Syn

"Not in the flight of thought, but in the act alone is there freedom" - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

"The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire ... Must be a yearning deep in the human heart to stop other people from doing as they please. Rules, laws — always for the other fellow." -- Robert Heinlein


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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 9:20 am 
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I can't argue with any of that, though it's an understandably dark view of life. I'd only add to recognise that there are lots of God people out there too.

_________________
"A great deal of Security is unfortunately just like the underwear of Brittany Spears. If it's even there at all, it is needlessly complex and frilly; looks good without actually covering much; and is far to easy to get around or remove completely."
- David Boston


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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 4:23 pm 
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Honestly, Alan Moore could not have written the script for yesterday, May 25, 2013, in my life. But I did think of Moore as the interconnectedness of it all became apparent. It wasn't that hard to see how one thing led to another, and then that thing led to another thing, and so on down the line, like dominoes falling. "Big fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite 'em/And little fleas have smaller fleas, and so ad infinitum."

And I should have seen the danger coming. I had plenty of 'history" with one of the main characters, going back forty-one years, and whatever made me think he might have changed sure beats me. And then there was this other joker, who I had given far too much credit for being an "exception to the general rule," turned out to fit his stereotype to a capital T.

Honestly, I felt like the lady that adopted a snake, and when it rewarded her trust by biting her, and she compalined, the snake said, "Hey, you knew I was a snake when you too k me in." Or like the frog that gave the scorpion a ride on his back across a river, and then the scorpion stung him, fatally, in mid-stream. The dying frog cried out, "Why'd you sting me? Now we're both gonna die!" And all the scorpion could reply was. "Well, it's just my nature." A leopard can't change his spots.

And what led me into the whole mess? Desperation. I was desperate to raise some cash to pay the rent and some stacked-up bills. And why was I that desperate? What brought it on? How did it come about? How on earth did I lose about $56,000 (which I really needed) in the twinkling of an eye?

I can trace a lot of the causes, and many of them lie far outside my control. Sure, anyone might say I showed poor judgement in this, or was unwise in that, judging from the end results. But given the state of my knowledge at the time, my decisions, based on the best information and advice available to me, seemed sound, even incontrovertible. So it's more like you can do everything right, and still lose.

Cross

_________________
"The practical reason for freedom is that freedom seems to be the only condition under which any kind of substantial moral fiber can be developed — we have tried law, compulsion and authoritarianism of various kinds, and the result is nothing to be proud of." -- Albert Jay Nock, "On Doing the Right Thing", in The American Mercury (1925)

‎"Men in a state of decadence employ professionals to fight for them, professionals to dance for them, and a professional to rule them." -- G.K. Chesterton

"No man is so exquisitely honest or upright in living, but that ten times in his life he might not lawfully be hanged." -- Montaigne

"But to live outside the law, you must be honest." -- Bob Dylan

"Unjust laws can be altered, as well as made. There's a new spirit in the world. Taxed out of existence, robbed of their independence by the government, the people must fight back how they can. What we're doing here is just a pin-prick. But a thousand pin-pricks put together ... " -- Christopher Syn

"Not in the flight of thought, but in the act alone is there freedom" - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

"The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire ... Must be a yearning deep in the human heart to stop other people from doing as they please. Rules, laws — always for the other fellow." -- Robert Heinlein


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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 6:57 pm 
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crossada75 wrote:
So it's more like you can do everything right, and still lose.

Yep. No doubt about that. My mother in law had a lot of her life savings invested in Enron.

_________________
"A great deal of Security is unfortunately just like the underwear of Brittany Spears. If it's even there at all, it is needlessly complex and frilly; looks good without actually covering much; and is far to easy to get around or remove completely."
- David Boston


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PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 3:36 am 
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^^

Yeah, so many lost everything in Enron and others like them. One guy I know nearly 60 lost everything he had 3 times and it didn't sound like he was gullible or stupid, and Enron was one of those who ruined him. Naturally he's scared to invest again and worries what his retirement is going to be like. And plenty of others have had their retirement earned from working shaved year by year so they're slowly losing their bennies (like one worked 20 years and was forced to pay into a private retirement fund to cover retirement payments, and every other year or so they cut down the monthly payments that they'd paid into against their will, wounding them with a hundred paper cuts).

It's why I get annoyed (at least) whenever I hear people or read how old people who are suffering do so because they didn't plan for their future accordingly. Well I suppose if they meant they should've stashed all that they invested (but often it wasn't a choice) into a chest and buried it somewhere instead then I guess I see their point, but it sure would be a bitch to dig up once they had arthritis. When the government was arguing what to cut this time they again threatened senior bennies (don't recall how that turned out) which had a lot of people once again saying it's the fault of the elderly they don't have anything, no exceptions. It doesn't help that I can see hundreds of billions (IIRC) I want to see slashed from the budget elsewhere (though I am a minority opinion on that). To me people like the elderly who worked hard should come before throwing a bunch of more pot smokers in prison to never be productive citizens again, for example, and the government should've taken those absurdly huge golden parachutes many in Enron got when they bailed from that sinking ship and paid back the people ripped off (and for that matter, cut the corporate welfare crap out and give that to those who need it more rather than those who can pay a good bribe to get that chunk of taxpayer money).

_________________
"Never underestimate the power of sex, which has built and obliterated families, nations, and food co-ops." --Dyke Drama, by Leslie Lange

"Life in Lubbock, Texas, taught me two things: One is that God loves you and you're going to burn in hell. The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth and you should save it for someone you love." ~Butch Hancock

"A penis was not meant to go into a man's butt, but rather a womens." --excerpt from an illiterate rant to a gay rights page

"if you consider the fact that cats and dogs are of the same species you would still find it odd if a cat acted like a dog now wouldn't you" --from the same rant as above


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PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 11:30 am 
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Dervish wrote:
It's why I get annoyed (at least) whenever I hear people or read how old people who are suffering do so because they didn't plan for their future accordingly. Well I suppose if they meant they should've stashed all that they invested (but often it wasn't a choice) into a chest and buried it somewhere instead then I guess I see their point, but it sure would be a bitch to dig up once they had arthritis. When the government was arguing what to cut this time they again threatened senior bennies (don't recall how that turned out) which had a lot of people once again saying it's the fault of the elderly they don't have anything, no exceptions. It doesn't help that I can see hundreds of billions (IIRC) I want to see slashed from the budget elsewhere (though I am a minority opinion on that). To me people like the elderly who worked hard should come before throwing a bunch of more pot smokers in prison to never be productive citizens again, for example, and the government should've taken those absurdly huge golden parachutes many in Enron got when they bailed from that sinking ship and paid back the people ripped off (and for that matter, cut the corporate welfare crap out and give that to those who need it more rather than those who can pay a good bribe to get that chunk of taxpayer money).

Hear, hear.

Investing in the stock market is no different to playing poker or the slot machines. You can do very well, and you can lose your shirt. The only way to improve your chances is to either study to become extremely knowledgeable about it or to pay someone who is to manage your investments. Neither of those guarantee anything, of course, they just improve your chances.

My b-i-l told me that Enron employees were given shares in lieu of retirement benefits.

_________________
"A great deal of Security is unfortunately just like the underwear of Brittany Spears. If it's even there at all, it is needlessly complex and frilly; looks good without actually covering much; and is far to easy to get around or remove completely."
- David Boston


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