Friday, 28 April 2017

bank and credit card interest

One is too high and one is too low. I thought interest used to be tied to something sort of like the gold standard or that secret metal stick that is exactly a yard long or whatever.

Grass and fink. Two strange words for tattletale, which is also a bit strange...

Who first said that people shouldn't tell on each other for doing bad things?
Teachers who don't like to hear the complaints of victims in school are only letting potential future monsters get away with stuff and giving them the freedom they need to take over the world with their grubby little grabby hands. The tattletale was usually the least popular kid, and maybe he did crave attention, but wasn't he just doing what he thought was right? And really, wasn't he just doing what WAS right? When did it become normal to just let bad stuff happen without saying a word?

I'm not necessarily advocating telling people's secrets to anyone who will listen. But the chances are probably near 100% that we all know a cheater, a dealer, a speeder, an evader, a liar, etc. We all hate lying politicians, but give the benefit of the doubt to pretty much everyone else we encounter. Getting away with unfair things all their life creates lying politicos. These are the people who had enough personality, charisma and influence to get others to hold their tongues. How many people you know could be a politician with no closet skeletons? This Schultzian "I know nothing" behaviour begets worse down the road. It must because we learn so much from our successes and failures. Every time a kid gets away with something it gives them confidence that they will get away with it again. A successful bluff in poker will never be the last bluff.

I know some of you are thinking that some of my best friends are probably cheaters and dealers and speeders and evaders and liars. Yes, this is all possibly true, but that's because we have bad laws and some of our norms are horribly outdated. We need to make better laws and discuss our norms honestly then then enforce the new ones that should hopefully actually make sense. Prohibition on drugs is not ever going to work. Legalize, regulate, educate about and tax. Speed limits are too low. Increase them to realistic numbers and enforce them consistently. Simplify the tax system and get rid of loopholes. Cheaters and liars who do real harm, like swindlers of the elderly with money scams or credit card fraudsters, for example, should be put in jail for a really really long time and should go on a published and public registry like released molesters.

Gangs, police, governments, social status, families, friendships, unions, charities, etc. all rely on fudging the numbers and turning the proverbial blind eye (!!) to stay in business. Don't rock the boat, be a team player, don't bite the hand that feeds you, toe the line or in other words, shut up and play nice, no matter what you might encounter. It's not your place to comment; it's not up to you to pass judgment. In my small sampling, cheating in schools is worse than it was just 5 years ago. Kids today either cheat or shut up. No one would dare tell on a cheater in today's classrooms.

Big business and banking have been so successful, so often, because of all the stuff we don't know about. Back-room deals, Swiss bank-accounts, tax-evading, where chemicals are dumped, what chemicals are used and have there been enough studies and a hundred other horrible and unjust things are some of the ways that governments and businesses get away with the swindles every day. And they are all products of this new-ish secretive norm. Look at this oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. It's been spewing for a month and everyone knows... and what? Hot potatoes are passed, facts and fudged and denied, governments are slow to react, companies will just pay some cash and stock prices will drop a little and they will go on making billions. Isn't this something we should have figured out by now?

All those great exposé documentaries and the non-fiction section in any bookshop tell tales of corruption, lying, cheating and greed. These books and films are the big and modern equivalent of finking on your friend for stealing the Hershey Bar from Kim's Grocery and while they do get more respect generally from the artsy crowd with a keen sense of justice, they do not have the effect they should. The exploratory reporting of papers like the Guardian and the New York Times is read daily and debated and commented on by interested people on all sides of every debate, but almost nothing changes. Look at a popular show like 60 Minutes. It makes a small dent in things once in a while, but ultimately not much is different. We all know this. And yet, the shut-up-and-play-nice thing is still the norm in most of society. Investigative journalism has cornered the market on finking without prejudice.

A few people complain and protest, but they are called radicals, rabble-rousers, trouble makers, the lunatic fringe, communists, anarchists and the like. I'm not personally fond of protesting, but I'm sure glad someone does it...

A very simple problem.

I do not like it when people do not do what they say they are going to do.

If governments, companies, societies, and on a very basic level, people just simply did what they said they were going to do, the world would be a better place.

How many times have you said you would go for coffee with someone when you didn't mean it? If someone suggests to me that we go for coffee, I assume that it's a sincere offer of wanting to, at some point in the next, say, 2 months, actually sit with me somewhere and have coffee. If you do not want to have coffee with me, do not suggest we have coffee. London was really bad for the "Let's go for a pint some time" thing. This is said 100s of times every day in London, partly because there are so many people and partly because there are so many good places to have a drink, and I came to discover that either I was not very popular or I brought this out in people or people there just do it a lot. "Let's go for a pint some time", in London, means "Bye, I'll probably only see you again by fluke and really I have much better people to drink with" or at least that's what it felt like...

I'll definitely be there at 2 to help you move or for our soccer game or for your kid's birthday means, to some people, apparently, "I'm not coming". I'll never understand this. Are many of us too shy or self-absorbed or socially stunted to just be honest about these things?

That is the very basic way this is annoying. But I think it can be expanded. If governments, schools (and I'm a teacher...), businesses, societies, radio stations, think tanks, etc. etc. did what they were mandated to do... did what it said on the tin (again for the UKians), all would be well.

An appeal to Green voters... And non-voters too? A Facebook post I'd like people to read

Excuse this very long BC, Canada-centric political interruption. Please ignore at will. Also, sorry for repeating this junk so much all over the Internet for years.

I'm not sure how many friends I have who support Christy and the Libs, but you can stop reading now....

Ok, they're gone. I really really really don't want the Libs to win again and I'm really very worried that the left/progressive/whatever/non-Christy vote will once again divide itself up between Greens and NDP and the Libs will slip through. And please remember the Liberals paid for some Green advertising last election, and there are a couple former Lib insiders twittering about Lib strategy meetings concerning this exact issue. They rely on the Greens to take leftie votes. And yes of course the Greens take some votes from Libs too, but there is polling showing NDP are more frequently the second choice for Green voters. Accurate or not, the main point will be somewhere below.

I understand some people like the Greens (even though Weaver isn't very cool about teachers and unions, hmm..), and I know some of you have good friends and relatives running and supporting the Greens. I've never run for office. It's a good and difficult thing to do. I respect the process and personal choice and all that, but I'm mostly into the 'greater good' thing which trumps (oh god...) all for me.

In this election, with this electoral system, with all past and current polling, the NDP is the only party with any chance at all of getting rid of the Liberals. It's not personal (except against the Liberals), the NDP isn't owed your vote, no one is telling you how to vote. It's just math that everyone should understand.

Please think about the strange math of a first-past-the-post election and adjust accordingly depending on which is more important to you: supporting a Green candidate who might be lovely and a great future politician, but who will definitely lose in all but 3 or 4 ridings OR getting rid of Christy and the Libs. IF you pick the former as the most important of those two, please vote Green. It's fine. Like I said, no one is telling you how to vote. I just want everyone to fully understand what our votes will actually do and if you're ok with the Libs in power again, so be it. I lose and I think we all lose. IF the latter is more important, you have to (hold your nose?) vote NDP (unless you're in one of the 3 or 4 ridings where Greens are legitimately strong).

NDP, if they win, will have a referendum on electoral reform. We will hopefully vote to reform it, and Greens could get 8? 10? 12? seats next time and keep growing.

One odd bit for me is the Liberals will be much worse than the NDP for the environment. That is supposed to be the Green's main focus, no? If climate change is really the main freaky concern, you want them gone now, no?

Anyway, Libs will definitely not change our electoral system, so Greens will get 1 or 2 seats for the foreseeable future because the NDP and Lib bases are just too large. Maybe one day Vancouver Island will be its own Green province. It's way bigger than PEI...

Ok, brevity has never been my strength. Pick this apart if you like, but I think I'm right... Please notice the big IFs. Thanks, IF you made it this far.