Monday, September 17, 2012

It isn't that the machines are in control, as much as that the humans, are not.

You probably don't think about it much, and neither do I, until now, but you don't exist without a computer. In the business world today, nothing happens without a computer, and that is also the reason that we are in trouble in our economy today. The computer doesn't have the common sense to stop, and no human has the common sense to stop it. 
Prices of goods used to depend on the local economy, but we don't have local grocery stores anymore. The retail and franchise chains have taken over because  local stores couldn't compete with the buying and marketing power available to larger wholesale buyers. Instead of the local economy working with local stores and businesses to provide the needs of the community, the retail chains stay connected to their broader market despite changes in the community's ability to support them. Often that ability decreases over time because there is a steady trickling of job loss that occurs over time after a new, supposedly job creating, business moves in. 
As the community becomes less and less employed, it costs them more and more. The problem is that the computers can't see that. The computers in the store set the prices. They are not negotiable, and even sales are based on an algorithm of trigger numbers. You can't even change a price or sell a non-inventoried product in these stores. So if people are buying less and coming back less often, then the result in manufacturing is to make smaller product in smaller packaging, sell them at the old price for the bigger package, and people start coming back to buy more often. 
That triggers another number. Productivity. Now that the computer sees that consumer targets are back on track and they are using less material, they can spend less. Now they are meeting their goals, and making a ridiculous profit in the mean time. How could this forward progress be bad? Because shipping is down. 
We aren't moving enough things, so the computer sees that oil use is going down, and raises the price. It has very little to do with production, though many claim it does, they obviously haven't paid attention to how long it actually take a gallon of gas to get to the market, cuz it's not immediately. People who are employed don't usually lose jobs over oil prices but it does happen. People who are not employed have a tougher time looking for work. They don't go out as much and tend to look for work online. 
Anybody notice how high internet rates are these days? If you aren't a new or promotional period customer, internet service runs to the ridiculous, and doesn't offer the quick unlimited speed and downloads either, you are metered buddy, you're welcome.
So while people can't get out and spend as much as they were, and production is up, with less people working, but shipping is down, so oil is up, the markets start to really roll into play.
Credit is based on your computer score. That score represents your ability to secure currency and capital and remain fluid in the economy. If you get stuck anywhere, then you are a risk. There's a hedge fund to cover that though. Investments are always covered by someone for loss and gain. YOUR loss and gain. 
The "market" is a large betting pool and consumers are the horses. Right now, there are a lot of lame horses among us. So the burden falls to the people who are able to move around in the economy a little more freely. To urge them on and convince them to keep going and keep working, the people who watch the computers, point to all the lame horses and tell the rest of them, that those horses are keeping them from winning the race. Currently, over half of the people in our country are not working. Less than half the people in this country are the support for over half. 
The computers don't care about that. There are profits being made and triggers that will adjust prices everywhere until the very last cent is spent. As long as productivity and profits are higher the computers will keep forging ahead, and I am willing to bet you, the humans watching them, won't stop them, until it is simply too late. 
When is too late? Well in my view, it's now, but too late will be when everybody realizes it is happening and nobody can stop it, so instead they attempt to destroy it. Instead of reprogramming and allowing for the proper variables, the computer is going to keep asking for more quantitative easing, not cognizant of the fact that it takes food out of people's mouths when more currency is pumped into the machine. It doesn't know that it is starving us, it is just running the program. Instead of making sure that enough food and land are planted so that we can all eat, the computer will just stop moving money to the areas that can't participate in the economy and no food will grow, because the seeds weren't shipped, because no-one could buy them, because our money is too diluted, because productivity and profits are up, because prices in the stores are non-negotiable, and the community has no resources to support itself. 
Of course this is all just my opinion based on the hundreds of different stories I read on a weekly basis, including op-eds, market reports and analysis, as well as human interest stories. If you go read all that for yourself, I would put money on you seeing the pattern emerge as well. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

We kiss

This month, my partner and I are coming up on 6 years. We have both been through a few relationships and I think sometimes, we are surprised that things are going so good. 
When we met, we didn't have any preconceptions of the future, we were just two people that enjoyed hanging out together. Part of me knows that helped. The other thing that I know helped was our complete enjoyment in kissing one another. :) We kiss alot. It has to be my favorite thing. I love being around someone who wants to kiss me, and does. More importantly, I want to be kissed by him. I think by keeping that close, intimate enjoyment of our relationship, we made a huge difference in our ability to weather the storms we've been through. I am so thankful to him, and I sure hope I get many more kisses from him in the years to come. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Throwing the b.s. flag

I get a little annoyed lately at this bitch about taxes and corporations. Mostly because I don't understand how any person that lives on this planet thinks that it is okay to use other people's resources and not compensate them for it in some manner. I mean, it seems like proponents of giving tax breaks to big corporations all use the excuse that they are the job creators, so we can't tax them and make it so that they have less money to create jobs with. Lets just throw in the bullshit flag right there. First off, where are the jobs? If they are job creators, where are the jobs? Most companies are posting profits, so where are the jobs? If they are profiting then why can't they pay for the resources that they use? The people, they deserve to be healthy. The community, deserves to have clean air and water. Promises they obviously made to get there. Deals with tax abatements and contracts for jobs and support in the community. Then they get a break, they don't have to pay. Now they have killed the community they swore to embellish and promote. Tax them, let the communities create the jobs. The neighborhoods and districts, they are the job creators. It used to be that a neighborhood grew to fulfill it's needs. Now a neighborhood grows around housing developments that follow Wallmarts and mini-malls filled with the food chain trifecta; tacos, burgers, and pizza. The check cashing places come next, and the cash for gold vultures circle, land, eat the carnage and fly off. All these businesses don't create jobs, they leech money out of the neighborhood. Then when it's all gone, they take off and the next leech comes in to fill the empty spot. 
In response, communities vie for more government subsidies, turn around and tax their own citizens for being overweight, and craving sugar. They tax the landowners, the ones that cared enough to stay, or had no other choice, now have to bare a heavier burden. They remove services to the people who are stuck there, jobless, homeless, penniless and indebted up to their eyeballs, leaving them now hopeless. 
The community leaders are charged with being "innovative" while having no base to start from. How do you innovate poverty and homelessness? They are instructed to be revenue streams, that creating money for the town is what they are there for, and they numbly agree and follow on. They have no idea what they are doing or how they are going to accomplish it. Truth is they were lost before they started. 
There is an answer to this. There are ways to fix it. We could start by looking at where it started, begin recognizing trends that brought us to where we are, recognize our participation in it. We could stop punishing all the people who can't fix it and blaming it on their greediness. We can recognize that we have been marketed into this, and that understanding human vulnerability has enabled marketing psychologists to abuse, harass and violate our bodies, homes and stability long enough. We can expose the manipulative tactics being used against us for what they are; greed, hypocrisy and an inflated sense of entitlement. We can stop this madness, we only need to recognize how far it goes and acknowledge the affect it has on us personally. 
For me I acknowledge that I like inspiration and hope and ideals. It appeals to my heart and opens up my chest, makes me feel like I can breath for a moment. Then when the reality sets in, and I realize that none of the things I believed about something ended up being the actual thing that happened, I am embarrassed and accuse my mind of making a bad choice. But that isn't true. What happened is that the presenter of the things that appealed to me, knew that I would be attracted to those things, and they used that to get the targeted response for me, and when it fell down, they expected me to blame myself and not them. This is the same mentality that people who abuse others have. Give the victim just enough of what they need so that they will be able to be controlled. It shouldn't surprise us that those people often end up in power. It's not that we can't rule ourselves, it's that we don't know yet that we can. We can get there. We can make these people-corporations stop abusing us if we call them on their bullshit.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

My kids are growing up

I have had kids since I was a kid myself. Started having them at 15 and raising them at 18. Two grew up in families that love them dearly and would move the earth for them, and the other four grew up with me. I always liked that, growing up with my kids, but now, I am forced to recognize that we are all grown up. They aren't as dependent on me as I have come realize I am, on them.
The other day, my daughter who is about to be 18 let me know she wanted to leave school. I listened to her tell me all her reasons why, silently playing my own memory pictures to the words in her description. I was really identifying with her, when I was snapped out of my mind-movie, by "Mom you are 39, you'll be 40 this year, you aren't thinking like an 18 year old, you don't know what I am going through."
At first I was shocked, my brain clicked, I'm 39? Then I felt like I was kicked in the gut, "I don't know?" Why the hell did I carry all that angst around so that I could identify with you then?! At that moment I realized it was me who was wanting to be identified with. She never asked for all of that. Dammit, why does she have to just break down my barriers? I wasn't ready!
I told her she was silly, and she said the conversation was over. Fine, I needed time to regroup from that anyway.
Luckily I have a partner that is more mature than I feel (or act) most times. I relayed that conversation to him, up to the "you aren't thinking like an 18 year old" comment and he laughed. "Thank goodness" he told me, "we've grown past thinking and that way!" "And we survived!" I laughed.
I didn't think growing up would feel this way. Suddenly I needed to call my parents and apologize for being a teenager. Especially theirs. I heard the same things she was pleading come out of my mouth all those years ago, and I thought they just couldn't understand. Maybe that is wrong. Maybe they felt out of place, overwhelmed and pushed toward things that didn't jive with them too. Maybe they just put on a better show. They told me I would understand when I grew up. I think this means I should tell them that I just did. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What does labeling get us?

I've noticed that people like labels. If there is a label for it, somebody will shout it out. As if saying the label explains everything you could possibly need to know about the thing being named. But is that true?
What if the use of the label only serves to limit the scope of possibility of the thing? How many times do people shout out labels in a positive manner? With that jubilant tone of recognition and familiarity, instead of the sharp report of fear and accusation? How many times when a label resounds in the conversation does it bring harmony and agreement?
My opinion on the matter is this; Labels are lazy. Words are normally used to communicate, but labels are used to decrease and cut off communication. Labels announce judgement and finality, as if uttering the word was magically covering everything about the subject into a neat little line, that is now fit to be discarded. Labels are used to decrease the value of the subject. By limiting the description, a label effectively limits the furtherance of idea. Kills it right there, before the idea could convince anybody, that it wasn't as scary as it's label. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

What happens when we outgrow our governments?

Growing up sucks in a lot of ways. The biggest one for me is the realization that the beliefs I held getting to this point are largely inaccurate. I thought that governments were meant to run countries. I thought that countries were the whole of businesses, military, national security, etc. More and more lately I see that governments are busy attacking their people. 
In this country the government is waging a class war and draining the economy of all usable currency. They are tracking our every move through digital markers. They are continually in-fighting and refusing to address the concerns of our public. They are waging a war of fear and bullying. If you don't like it or fight against them, they'll find a way to marginalize you or put you in jail, just like all the others.
In the country north of us the exact same thing. 
In the country south of us, they are letting their populace be killed, and point at drugs when they are confronted by the 100's of thousands who are standing in the family rooms in the neighborhoods those people are killed in.
I can think of the same human atrocities taking place in country after country, and it begs me to ask, "What happens when we outgrow our governments?"
How is it, that we can as a people, one race of humans, simply ignore what a very few people are doing to us? Why don't we make them stop? Why do we keep paying them? Harboring them? Fostering them? We are more than they, but they are beating us. Soundly. 
There has to be a better way, one that doesn't require violence, and death. These wars aren't ever aimed at the homes of the people who create them. 
The bombs and gunfire erupt in neighborhoods that people had moved into previously, had their children, built schools and businesses. It isn't other neighborhoods shooting at them either, it's government funded, professionally trained killers, shooting at families. How does the human race allow this?
 Is it a fight for survival? No, there are 7 billion of us, and no stopping point in sight. 
Is it a fight for rights? No, they are shooting into villages with families who live there.
It is simply about money. 
A made up piece of something that people allow to have a value. Something that if it didn't exist at all, would not impact our ability to live or create. It is because of our consent for it's importance that all the indignities and violations toward other, non-aggressive humans continues. 
Our governments are tied to our currency. All the currencies in the world are tied together. All governments are tied together. Whether they are trading, or warring, or sanctioning, all governments remain tied to each other in some manner. 
This puts us at an advantage. If we begin to view governments as only one government, and we figure that there are way more of us than there are of them, then the problem becomes much smaller. The perspective of it begins to change and the solutions begin to become apparent. 
I don't think as much separates us humans as a few people who have access to large audiences would have us believe. 
By being kept in separate areas, and not venturing forward to cross cultural and social boundaries, we rely on single perceptions based on the currency being exchanged. Nothing they speak has anything to do with the truth. 
Humans are pretty much biologically the same. There isn't a whole lot complicated about us, and there isn't a lot of mystery. The same molecular processes take place in all of us, rendering a limited amount of responses.
 If we begin to recognize those things in each other then we can't help but begin to recognize our own ability to empathize. 
Which leads us back to the people that are supposed to be our leaders. If we possess the ability to recognize the needs of ourselves and others, then what excuses the people that are only in government because of us, the right to refuse to recognize our needs?
 How do they represent anything other than their own interests based on currency? Currency doesn't represent us. It doesn't define us. We are a capable, very large number of humans all living on the same planet, with no where else to go, and we are being held at bay by a figment of our belief system. 
It's time to grow up, be the adults, and correct the imbalance in the government/currency system, develop real solutions together, and stop looking to people who don't represent us.

Monday, May 21, 2012

She gets down sometimes

I'm not sure what it is lately, a combination of I don't feel like it, and why can't I just get anything done? I have struggled with anxiety and depression for a really long time, and some days I just can't seem to get past my self. There is never anything physically standing in my way. There isn't alway pain or discomfort, just this feeling in my chest and my gut, making me choke up if I try to look at what is going on. I'm tired of running through my life scared. I feel completely crippled and helpless to even address my own needs at times. I can't even always tell why. I'm scared of numerous things and I desperately want to leave them behind and avoid them, but they are ever present and that behavior won't help anyway. I feel like even though I've come this far, there's this lump of things tied together and I can't seem to untangle it and straighten it out. 
The biggest issue is my finances. It seems complicated to me. Not because I don't understand finances, but because I understand just enough to know that I am in a situation that is completely beyond me, that I have no idea of how to address. I spent the first two decades in a job and lifestyle that I didn't need a degree for. I gained valuable and applicable experience. When I moved to California from Ohio, I tried to stay in that career, but I didn't have the right paperwork so that I could do the same work here. It's not that I suddenly forgot any of the skills that I have learned, just that there aren't the right papers for them to put in their files saying that I can do it. Without a job, the money and time required to get all those things in order is non-existent. 
I decided to go back to school, but barely 10% of the credits I have received in other educational institutions would transfer toward a degree, and I was forced to sit in classes that were redundant to me and held no educational value whatsoever. Many times the classes I was forced to endure were taught by people with no motivation to keep up with current information or events and disseminated loads of inaccurate information to students lacking the discernment to know otherwise.  On top of the educational inadequacy, there are serious administrative issues in most schools that I have attended. Maybe that means that I have bad taste for choosing my course of education. I don't know, but if I have this much trouble getting where I want to go, it makes me ask the question; Does anyone else suffer this way? I have student loans that are now around 85Gs. That's too much. Too much to not earn a degree and too much to risk getting a degree that is useless when I graduate. I can't even imagine what I have to do at this point to make those loans a good investment. 
In addition to the school thing, I have come to realize that I have had enough of the grind of regular unemployment. The way I see it, it doesn't work for me. I have had over 20 years at this point of working for somebody so that I can just get by. I have worn my body and my heart out, and now, I just want something that I can be fulfilled by. Something that shows the good in the world and something that can pay the bills too. 
I put in my time. I've cleaned up innumerable messes with any combination of human fluids you can imagine. I've watched more human agony and pain than the majority of people have in a lifetime. I've brought life onto this planet, and I have been there so many times when lives ended. 
I feel like I have paid my dues, but at the end of the day all I am left with is a broken heart, humbled spirit and without enough money to know that I am going to be able to eat through the next few months. I know I'm not alone. 
I look around my neighborhood and I see people worse off. The turnover for housing here is monthly. Nobody can settle in and stay. They have to keep moving just to keep a roof over their heads. It's unsettling, especially knowing that there were good times, but the people that are here now, won't see them again for a very long time. Not the way things stand right now. 
People all over are feeling hopeless and powerless just like me, and we'd all fight our way out of these paper bags, but they're the only protection some of us have from the rain of pepper spray and rubber bullets. 
I don't know what to do. I don't know how to change the way I feel. I watch all the contention and fear in my fellow humans and realize, they don't know what to do either. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Flexi's Medicare and Insurance Rant

I get so tired hearing about cuts to Medicare and how in order to sustain it we have to somehow reform it. There is only one way to fix and sustain Medicare, take it out of the hands of the insurance companies. 
Insurance companies are the trolls under the bridge. They take more for themselves and profit off of denying our aging populations claims. We need to take all the useless bureaucratic jobs created over the last ten years and retrain them to administer and maintain Medicare, it's budget and it's compliance. We need to have clear lines of coverage and no room for huge profit making. 
The working public paid into this system, it is mandated and it should not be handed off to the vultures to meat out to the public. This situation is salvageable and can be managed correctly. I am sick of the bullshit excuses from our politicians who are in the pockets of all the biggest scam artists on earth, insurance companies. 
This leads me into the next gripe I have which is the mandated insurance coverage. The insurance companies stand to gain 45 million more clients with the implementation. Then they get to refuse to provide birth control forcing a population surge that the whole public has to pay them for. 
This merry-go-round of money making has to stop. It is killing us quite literally. While unemployment skyrockets, insurance companies hold billions over their required securities and no entity has the right or will to force maximums on their tax exempt holdings. Every claim is backed by a hedge fund that only garners them millions more in holdings each quarter
The more people become unemployed and enrolled in the govt. health programs, the more the insurance companies make. No matter what happens in our economy an insurance company is making money. Michael Jackson dies before going on tour? Massive insurance claim. Probably through a hedge fund, or it could have been an outright policy, but somebody made money. Heath Ledger, Whitney Houston, any high price entertainer that dies while in the middle of a project, somebody gets a boatload of cash. Makes me want to be small and uninsurable for the rest of my life. 
The solution and alternative to the insurance coverage is to give all people the right to have Health Care Saving Accounts that are not administered by insurance companies, but instead by the IRS. There's more jobs for all those useless government research sector employees who need to be retrained as productive citizens. Clear rules about covered procedures could be as simple as, who you paid for the care and what their covered status is, i.e. I go to JC Penny and I see the eye doc and I buy my glasses, I save my receipt, it is covered. No endless clauses and exceptions, just clear, and tax exempt. Instead we are constantly subjected to someone else's judgement call about whether what we are having done is a.) necessary or b.) covered. 
Since there are no consensus among insurance agencies about what should and shouldn't be covered, and other than a few glaring examples, the government has been at best unwilling to step in and define coverage, the IRS seems to be the logical choice. They would be unable to be influenced in the same way that regulators, politicians, and our world leaders have been by insurance companies. They would also have to give equal Constitutional consideration to all taxpayers. No more of the bullshit of corporate moral fantasy. The only participation corporations would be entitled to in the pursuit of their employees health needs would be the percentage of their monetary contribution. This would also save them from the fines that can now be levied on them by the IRS for non-compliance.
The IRS could also introduce a new tax bracket to allow people to come together in co-operatives to participate in their chosen kind of health care. 
There should be no imposition of titles such as "alternative health care" because all care of the human is personal and all people should be allowed the dignity of choosing the appropriate measure of care for themselves. 
The local communities need to be given back the reign of the care provided in their borders. Corporations that are in a community must be expected to give back to the health care system in the places they inhabit. 
It is no secret in 2013 that these businesses use many times the resources that the individuals in the community do, and the exhaustion of those resources make them unavailable to the people who live and survive there. They must be expected to participate in restoring the imbalance they are responsible for or they must be forced out. Where they will not comply, opens up an opportunity for someone to come in who will. Businesses failing is not new. Bailing them out is. 
Speaking of the bailout, does anybody remember what the company did that caused this whole mess we're in? 

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