Friday, December 23, 2011

Limited edition

Today, I read an article where there was some violence surrounding the sales of Air Jordan sneakers.  People were physically beating each other and some shoppers had to be calmed down with pepper spray because of these new pair of sneakers going on sale.  The reason for the frenzy is that they are limited edition sneakers which mean only a certain number are made, so no more will be made once they are sold out.  Unfortunately, I did not partake in the festivities known as "beat up your fellow shopper for a pair of sneakers."  I may also add that they were much more expensive than a normal pair of sneakers.  Let us come to our senses here, these are SNEAKERS!!!!!!!!!  They go on your feet.

Another example of limited edition items comes in the form of Lego building blocks.  One year, Lego made a limited number of a Star Wars Star Destroyer set.  It was initially sold at three hundred dollars.  The very next year, it was selling on an online auction site for ONE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS!!!!!  Never been opened, just being sold in mint condition.  Allow me to put this into perspective.  THIS IS A TOY!!!!!!!!!!! It was meant to be played with.

Then there are those who buy comic books right off the press and preserved in plastic.  Forever preserved.  At this point, it might as well be in amber.  I can appreciate artistry that goes into drawing the pictures, but these are printed by machine and not drawn by hand individually.  Again, THIS IS A COMIC BOOK!!!!!!! It was meant to be read and provoke thought.

Sure, I can accept that one man's trash is another man's treasure, but has the world completely gone mad?  I can understand assigning value to things such as diamonds, Rolex watches or even Corvettes, but sneakers, Lego blocks and comic books?   Have we completely lost our way as human beings?  Where is our self-estseem?  Where is our dignity? 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

wrong place, wrong time

Often, when tragedy strikes an innocent victim, the pharse, "wrong place, wrong time" is used.  What happens if the person is waiting for a bus, the bus arrives on schedule and he gets on, but a plane falls out of the sky and hits the bus?  Then, the phrase, "wrong place, wrong time" would not necessarily apply to this situation.  The phrase is usually applied when a child is at a store buying a carton of milk and a robbery takes place and the child is injured.  Wrong place, wrong time.

Where am I going with this?  Is there a right place, right time?  For example, let us take the case above where a child is buying something in a grocery store and a robbery takes place.  Let us swap out the child and say that a pedophile is in the grocery store buying a carton of milk and the same events happen, would that be the right place and right time?  Being that it is a pedophile (and most pedophiles project such nice personalities), people would say still say that he was at the wrong place and at the wrong time.  Then when they find out he is a pedophile, their perception will change that he was at the right place at the right time. 

Let us take it one step further, would the robber who fired the fatal shot be rewarded for ridding the world of this menace?  Then in this case, the robber would be in the wrong place at the wrong time, because he only wanted to rob the store and not shoot a pedophile.  But let us replace the pedophile with just any type of fugitive with a bounty.  Would the robber be eligible for the reward?  The fugitive would be at the wrong place at the wrong time, and so would the robber.  But in this case two wrongs probably made a right, but for who? 

We should just settle that things happen and the rightness or wrongness of the place or the timing is purely subjective.

Monday, December 12, 2011

holidary cheer...

For the past two years, it seems that every year when I decide to take my children on the subway to see the model trains at the train museum at Grand Central Station, we end up in the midst of SantaCon.

SantaCon, the time of year when fat, ugly white people ( yes, I have not seen any diversity in the participants) dress up as either Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, an elf, reindeer or some amalgamation of all of them.  They meet up at some place in NYC and start drinking.  Most have already started drinking before they hit public transit, so the are pretty loud and rude. 

It is a good thing that my children belive that Santa Claus is a fictional character, can you imagine what it would be like to explain this debauchery to a young child who has his or her hopes pinned on the story of Santa?  Actually, it is already quite difficult to explain the fat, ugly white people to my children and why they are so dressed up and loud. 

SantaCon is one of those rare (and we are very thankful that it is rare) occasions that people feel the need to dress up as some fanatasy character.  The other two occasions that I can think of are Halloween and ComiCon (or some variant like TrekCon or StarWarsCon).  Those costumes are made for people who can wear them, and because the characters are cartoons, no living person is supposed to be wearing skin tight suits.

If I was to start the war on Christmas, I would start by eliminating SantaCon.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

in this holiday season...

So, on Black Friday, there was this one incident where a woman used pepper spray at a store to gain an advantage over the other shoppers in order to get a video game console.  Despite all of the security measures (camera, guards, etc), she was able to escape undetected.  A few days later she turned herself into the police and decided to "face the music".  Quite admirable, considering that no one died and only twenty people experienced a good deal of discomfort with being exposed to pepper spray. 

The policed examined the case and the best they can come up with is possibly charging her with a misdemeanor.  Considering the behavior and bloodlust for a video console, a possible misdemeanor is close to nothing.  As the saying goes, "it's not like she had killed anyone."  Then again, if that is the nicest thing that anything can be said of anyone, it should not be said at all.

A week has past since she has come forward and admitted to subjecting fellow shoppers to pepper spray.  Now, she has filed a lawsuit against the store for inadequate security which had prompted her to use pepper spray to protect herself and her children from the surrounding mob.  I hope the error of her ways is obvious to everyone. 

First, considering all of the hype surrounding Black Friday events, it is unimaginable that any sane person would not expect a mob at most of these stores.  Second, she brings her children with her to such an event.  At this point, I think child protective services should really look into that home situation because any parent that would expose children to such a dangerous situation should be visited by child protective services.  Third, it is really a display of ingratitude at its worse when one decides to sue the store for inadequate security.  The fact that she was able to carry pepper spray into the store without being search may indicate that the store should review it's security protocols and search everyone at one of these events, it will also prevent a mad rush for items on that day.

In this holiday season, we have a blatant display of indecency, bad judgement, greed, lack of consideration for others, and most of all ingratitude. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A man has got to know his limitations

I believe that Dirty Harry said that in one of his movies.

Today, Jon Corzine testified in Congress about the demise of MF Global.  He was quoted as saying, "I simply do now know where the money is."  He is referring to the 1.2 billion dollars missing from the customers' accounts at MF Global. 

Some people find that surprising and frankly appalling that he does not know how he lost that much money or the status of customers' funds.  Why is that surprising?  He does not know where all the money of  New Jersey tax payers went during his tenure as the governor of that state.

Before he was hired at MF Global, did anyone read his resume, especially the part of how New Jersey was in worse financial state as he ended his term?  It is not as though he made the state more fiscally responsibile or turned a profit in that state.  Everyone emphasizes the fact that he was successful at Goldman Sachs...well, that was two jobs ago.  In between, he was a as United States Senator and the Governor of New Jersey.  I want to point out that he did not make any of those organizations better.  One can make the argument that there were 99 other Senators that he had to work with and it was diffiult, but at Goldman, there are hundreds of other partners and that is a successful company.  And when he did get to run the show as the Governor of New Jersey, he did not fare any better. 

Here is a guy who was just riding the wave and after it was over, it was over. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Black Friday

The day after Thanksgiving, aka Black Friday, signals the first day of the Christmas shopping season.  This has not become a sport, a very violent one.  Much like the presidential primaries, every vendor wants to be the first one open their doors for customers. 

In recent years, some malls and stores have opened at midnight on Friday and have attracted customers with deep discounts on a select number of items.  So, after Thanksgiving dinner, people would drive out to these places and stand in line or wait in the parking lot until the doors opened at midnight.  It is quite a spectacle.  Other stores, opened later in the wee hours of the morning with the same enticements.  Because of the frenzy, there would be throngs of people at the entrances and when the store was opened, a mass of humanity (and I use the term very loosely, more biological than philsophical) would rush into the store and grab whatever was marked down. 

As in any scenario where a lot of people are trying to squeeze into  small space, injuries (sometimes fatalities) do occur.  People have been trampled by this rush, sometimes store employees or even shoppers.  Comparatively, the running of the bulls in Spain seem safer because the bulls will only knock you over and the rest will try to avoid you.  What kind of people (again, I use the term loosely) would just step over a person who was knocked down and grab a discounted appliance?

That was last year, when some people were trampled to death in the mad rush, this year, people were robbed in a parking lot (seemingly unrelated to shopping, yet, if you sit in a dark parking lot with lots of money, you will be robbed).  One person employed the use of pepper spray to get to the front of the line for a video game.  If there is anything that video games have taught us, it is the proper use of pepper spray to disperse large crowds.  In one other instance, a grandfather (50 year old or so) was slammed to the ground by security because someone accused him of shoving a video game (yet, another video game) into his shirt.  The explanation was that he was trying to secure it for his grandson, whom he had brought along, because others had wanted this item as well.  There were other stories this past season of shoppers rushing into a store that was not even scheduled to open and then looting the store as the employees hid and called the police.  What is going on?

Some people blame the retailers for causing this frenzy by marking down items well below any sane price.  Are retailers really to blame?  I saw this one video where a shop offered waffle irons for five dollars and that caused a fight.  WAFFLE IRONS!!!!!!! We are talking about WAFFLE IRONS!!!!!!!  Has everyone lost their minds?!?!?!!??  Even for five dollars, all you can make are waffles.  The economy is in a free fall and spending five dollars on something like that is considered a deal?!?!?!?!?!?!

A friend once told me that if you wanted to slow traffic down, you did not need to cause an accident, all you had to do was to throw a mattress (it does not matter what condition) on the the shoulder of a highway and you can cause the greatest traffic jam in the world because every single car would slow down just to look at it.  I scoffed at the comment until one time, I slowed down and looked at a mattress that was on the shoulder of a highway wondering how it got there.  Just like everyone else, I slowed down and looked at it.

I cannot blame the retailers for this frenzy on Black Friday.  The mass hysteria about buying last year's technololgy at cut rate prices is from the consumer.  The general consuming public is not smart enough to see that the stores wait until this time and then start to unload inventory to goose their year end numbers.  The warehouses are empty so that by February, they can be filled with the newest items in fashion and technology.  The public just eats up this crap that is dumped on them. 

All explained by economic behavior and the theory of games.  The notion of utility and what people will pay for  certain things.  Of course economists can explain it more techinically, but in the end, P.T. Barnum is righ, "there is a sucker born every minute", and I will add that these suckers are the result of multiple births. 

Retailers know that the more money you give, the more money they have.  .

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Post Office

The United States Post Office is considering a new cost cutting measure...they plan to eliminate 1-2 day service, so that people will have to wait 3-5 days for their mail.  I am not quite sure how this makes sense, does this mean that they will sort mail slower?  Or are they scaling back on delivery? 

Currently, the mail gets delivered six times a week, Monday through Saturday.  This means that the mail truck makes a delivery everyday.  If I put a letter in the mailbox on Monday to send to someone uptown, they would usually get it by Tuesday, maybe Wednesday at the latest.  The theorhetical work flow is that mail is picked up from the mail box, brought to the post office, sorted and then put in them mail truck for delivery.  How would it work if "next-day" delivery was eliminated?  Would that mean that pick up from mail boxes would not occur on a daily basis?  Or would that mean mail would be sorted slower than usual?  Or would the mail truck skip a building or two every day?  How is money saved?

Cutting back on services or innovation will not save anyone any money.  Cutting back on this type of service will only prove a disincentive to use the services. This is almost like flushing the toilet every third time instead of every time.  (If you worked in my office place, every third time would be nice for the men's bathroom, since it doesn't look like anyone flushes at all...nor does anyone else seem to wash their hands, let alone use soap, but I digress.)  Flushing the toilet on every third use would save water, energy and be good for the environment (nature and such, not the bathroom environment).  But water conservation via the reduction of flushing only annoys people. 

In order to save water (and also for hygiene) someone invented automatic flushers.  I do not know exactly how auto-flushers work, some tell me it is the change in water pressure evidenced by the deposit of wastes into the "receptacle".  Others tell me it's the change in the light pattern presented to that little red "laser" sensor.  Still others say it is a combination of both.  Regardless, I like it and it works.  The toilets are flushed in a timely fashion and everyone is happy...except for the guy who dropped his phone into the bowl, but then again, auto-flush or not, he would still lose his phone. 

Auto-flushing is where innovation and technology have come in to save the day.  Although I doubt that people would stop using the bathroom because they would have to flush manually, this type of automation has improved the experience of bathroom usage.  How would this apply to the post office? 

The post office would have to innovate to make it relevant.  How will it do that?  Let us consider the post office alternatives, Federal Express and United Parcel Service.  These two companies acutally come and pick up your parcels and letters.  And if you need it to be somewhere in the next day, all you have to do is to pay a little extra and the delivery is practically guarantted.  The post office does have some services where mail is picked up.  In our office, mail is only picked up when other mail is delivered, which is once a day at about noon time.  Allah help the person who does not have their letter ready when the poastman comes by.  FedEx will pick up when you are ready.  It is true that FedEx and UPS charge a bit more than the United States Post Office, but they are giving us a service.  Instead of cutting back service, the post office can actually provide more service and make it more competitive with companies liked FedEx and UPS. 

FedEx and UPS are a bit more entrepreneurial as well, I think they pay by the number packages delivered and picked up.  The USPS also has more resources than the two private companies, it even has it's own police force.  There are so manything that they can do besides cutting service where it does not seem lke it will save any money, rather, it will just be viewed as an inconvienence for everyone.  Even if service remains the same, it is a bad public relations move, because everyone will think they are even slower, when they may be operating well within their time frame.  They should focus on improving their service, not necessarily delivery time, but flexibility, unlike the other private delivery services who only deliver when the recipient is not home and then force the consumer to trek all the way to the warehouse during work hours to pick up the package. 

The MTA...that is another organization that has wasted alot of goodwill from it's riders.  That discussion will have to wait until another time.

Monday, December 5, 2011


The Occupy Wall Street movement has spurred some interesting sister movements around the country.  Note that all of the other occupy movements name the city, not a specific street.  For example, there is Occupy Boston, shouldn't that be Occupy Beacon Street or Occupy Milk Street?  There's Occupy Philadelphia, shouldn't that be Occupy Market Street?

The protestors of Occupy Wall Street have emphasized that this is a leaderless movement and it's by the people, for the people.  But it also shows that New York City is a very different city than any other city in the world.  People in Philadelphia, San Francisco and Boston seem to be angry at the city whereas, the people involved with Occupy Wall Street seem to be angry at policy makers in Washington DC and bankers who worked on Wall Street.  There is a basic financial and economic injustice that just bothers them.  Their anger may be misdirected at the bankers, but it's palpable. 

Another hallmark of this movement is that if you place a city behind Occupy, you will have a protest.  This morning I saw someone with an "Occupy Detroit" logo on their bag.  If I have ever agreed with any of the protests, it is with Occupy Detroit, because that is a very good idea.  With people leaving Detroit, the best thing that can happen to that city is for it to be occupied.  It's a good thing that  their baseball and football teams are doing well, but they certainly do need more people in that city to spur some economic development, so yes, please, everyone OCCUPY DETROIT!!!!!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

It gets stranger....

Let us consider this....
I suggest that we go out to dinner at a nice out-of-the-way-for-everybody, Japanese restaurant that is known for it's sushi.  So, everyone gets there and we start to order.  I order ..... STEAK?!?!?!?!?!?  And you order..... STEAK!?!??!?!?! Going around the table, no one orders sushi.  For drinks...... no SAKE!?!?!?? 

I think that if everyone wanted a non-sushi item, then a non-sushi restaurant would be more appropriate, unless the non-sushi items at this place were considerably cheaper than at steak-servoing restaurants.  Yet, the steak at a Japanese restaurant is much different.  There are many places where one can overpay for Kobe or Waygu beef and there are lots of places where Kobe and Waygu are prepared better without enduring the trip to an out of the way place....that is unless you do not want to run into anyone you may know. 

If one had something to hide, going into a neighborhood where the probability of seeing someone who may know is lower than staying in the neighborhood where you work is the better choice.  Yes, this is just me stirring the pot.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Roasted Whole Bean - Detailed item view - Cafe de la Esperanza

Roasted Whole Bean - Detailed item view - Cafe de la Esperanza


Christmas used to be a very nice holiday or at least I thought it was when I was a child.  It was a lot of fun getting toys from everyone.  As I got older, I started to enjoy how nice everything looked during Christmas.  Everything had lights and streamers on them.  People were more polite and when the snow covered everything, it was a great time to be outdoors.

Recently, it seems that everyone is all twisted up on the word"Christmas".  All of a sudden, no one is allowed to say the word.  It's been replaced by the world "holiday".  And it's because everyone is a afraid that if the "word" is uttered, wars will start, people will start crying and the world will end.

What happened?  No one is forced to celebrate or observe Christmas, but everyone wants a day off from work, get gifts, eat a lot of food and sleep late.  Most holidays should not be observed with sloth and debauchery, rather they should be spent remembering the signficance of the day. 

It is true that the 25th day of December is not the actual birthday of Jesus Christ and that the basis of this winter holiday was based on some pagan ritual where naked druids danced around a tree.  Many elements of the modern observance of Christmas are not related in the Biblical account of the birth of the Christ, such as a Christmas tree, a big jolly man in a fur trimmed red suit, reindeer, crafty elves, nor the exchange of gifts.  Does it make it any less Christmas?

I think this whole "war on Christmas" is just payback by the heathen, pagans and aetheists to take Christmas away from the Christians.  After all, it was the Christians who had absconded their winter solistice observance.  And now, everyone is so uptight about who owns the observance.  For those who celebrate Christmas, Merry Christmas.  For those who do not, well, Merry Christmas to you also.  Kindness is kindness, just accept it.  If you get a stack of money in an envelope as a present, but it's all wrapped up in "Christmas" decorations, are you going to go and burn it?  So, don't be so uptight.

For those that do celebrate Christmas, remember it is a time to be nice to everyone.  Be sensitive that not everyone wants to see your ugly sweater and if someone says 'Happy Holidays', do not reprimand them or accuse them for waging a war on Christmas.  They are also trying to be nice. 

Let's just all try to get along.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Dear John

Public bathrooms are very difficult to find.  In NYC,  there is a program to install self-cleaning public bathrooms.  So far, only three have been installed because it is very difficult to find locations where plumbing is esaily accessible to install these public toilets.  Even then, the program plans to install 20 in 20 years.  That is not going to help anyone. So what do people do when they need to "go" and they are not at home.  They go to the nearest establishment where there is a toilet and it is usually a privately owned establishement that provides tolilets for their customers.  Places such as hotels or restaurants. 

So the private establishments have to pick up where the public sector cannot even provide for the basic needs for their citizens to relieve themselves.  The owners of private establishments must then maintain the very public use of these toilets and with very little thanks from the government.  Instead, the government then goes into these places and rate them on their cleanliness.  A good deed never goes unpunished. 

Private establishments are stuck between a rock and a hard place.  They bear the scorn of the general public when they do not allow non-paying customers to use their toilets, but if they do, they have to spend the time and money to maintain the facilities that the government cannot provide for its own public.  One of  the few injustices that business owners must bear...but do they really have to?

The Bill of Rights has turned us in to a country of whiners.

I like the Bill of Rights, I do not have anything against it.  I enjoy exercising my first amendment rights and also my second amendment rights.  The third and the fourth are pretty cool.  Always nice to acknowledge the fifth.  Sixth, seventh and eighth are quite useful.  Ninth and tenth are nice catchalls.  So, how have we become a country of whiners because we have this Bill of Rights?

In a previous post, I had pointed out that the protesters involved with the Occupy Wall Street movement had compared the Mayor of NYC to various world leaders who have violently suppressed the rights of his people.  By violent, I mean they have shot and killed their own people.  Also some protestors have likened bankers and other members of the 1% to that of the Nazis in Germany or even Adolf Hitler.  I had called for more thorough research before public figures are inappropriately compared to violent despots (or even semi-benevolent despots).  It would really do a lot for the freedom of speech that all of us cherish.

Recently in the news, some students had at a university had formed a human chain by interlocking their arms and kneeling on the ground to block access to a part of the university.  A video shows that a police officer used pepper spray on these students who were protesting peacefully.  The majority of the viewers expressed outrage at this action by the police officer.  I do not know the circumstances surrounding the incident, but as it appears on the video on the internet, it does not bode well for the police.

When interviewed on television, a well-known documentary film maker compared this incident to that of Tiananmen Square.  Although I have not subjected to pepper spray (other than biting into a vicious habenero and having its juices squirt on the the back of my hand), I am pretty sure the being run over by a military tank or armored personnel carrier is probably much more painful (and probably fatal) then being hit with pepper spray.  Can we stop with comparisons of the events of truly tragic outcomes of protests in other parts of the world with those of the Occupy Wall Street movement?

So far, the rapes, attempted rapes, grand larceny, the majority of the assaults and some deaths that have occurred at these protests were not a result of "military action".  Most, if not all, of these incidents have been inflicted on the protesters by OTHER protestors.  Sure, during a march the police have swung a baton or two, they have tear gassed, pepper sprayed, or even treated some of the protestors a bit roughly.  How many were run over by tanks?  Did the police open fire on any of the crowds?

To compare the rough treatment of these protestors to the even at Tiananmen Square truly insults all Chinese people and those who have really sacrificed for the cause of freedom in their countries under violent, repressive and despotic regimes.  How many protestors in Tahir Square, Tiananmen Square, in Libya, or Syria, received free organic food prepared by a Michelin starred chef?  How many had the protection of the police when they occupied a public square?  They do not even have the Bill of Rights in those countries.

Please avoid comparing the OWS movement and the treatment of them by the police to those in other countries where the military has killed their own people.  In fact, if the police had treated OWS as the military had treated protesters in Tiananmen Square, this whole movement would have ended at 7pm on September 17th. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

I need to find a place where...

Since protesters started to occupy Zucotti Park (aka Liberty Plaza), open spaces managed by private companies have started to be more wary of how these spaces can be used.  Recently, the managers of the open space in front of World Trade Center 7 posted some rules on park usage. 

Most of these rules make sense to retain the "quality of life" in the open space.  Prohibiting littering, stunts off the benches and noise seem to make sense.  No one wants to sit in a dirty, noisy park and run the risk of being slammed by a skateboarder or a stunt bicyclist.

The one rule that seems to be a bit strange is the prohibition of "using illegal drugs or alcohol".   First, publicly drinking alcohol from an open container is against the law in NYC.  Aside, from food service establishments with sidewalk tables, it makes sense to prohibit the use of alcoholic beverages in this public space.  Why would the use of illegal drugs be prohibited in THIS park?  Is there a park in NYC where the use of illegal drugs is allowed?  I cannot think of any.  If anyone knows of any park in NYC where the use of illegal drugs is NOT prohibited, please let me know.

I think that listing rules on park usage is a good idea, because some areas of the law are not clear.  I think littering is pretty clear, but it's re-emphasized her in these rules.  This park does have a fountain where kids like to run into during the summer months, so that rule makes sense.  Soliciting / panhandling is a quality of life issue and should be spelled out in this case.  Some things are just clearly against the law, like the use of ILLEGAL drugs.  Would a person who sits in a park and smokes marrjuna be surprised to be approached by law enforcement officers?  What would he say?  "I didn't know that smoking ILLEGAL drugs was prohibited in this park.  If I had known that this kind of behavior was frowned upon... "

Clearly, this is not over-legislation or over-regulation.  I do not know if there is even a word (or set of words) that would describe this case.  Maybe "overly cautious" comes to mind.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

We are the World (Really, we are)

Towards the evening after the "eviction" (aka the enforcement of the rule of law) of those who had occupied Zucotti Park, I found one of the protesters standing near the park with a piece of cardboard that read:
You are next for violating the rights of free speech.

Or something like that, but the main point was the two recent world leaders in juxtaposition to the mayor of New York City.
It's a good thing that the Mr. Bloomberg has thick skin, because no one wants to be compared to two recent world leaders who were violently removed from office.  I'm surprised the protestor did not list Idi Amin and Pol Pot as well, but maybe it was the lack of space on the back of the pizza box that kept the number to two world leaders. 

If the mayor did feel insulted by these comparisons, I would encourage him to look at the brighter side of things.  It is nice that New York City can be compared to two COUNTRIES in the world and that the mayor of New York has that status of a world leader.  If we extend the comparison, this would make commissioner Ray Kelly the Minister of Defense.  The police force would be the army.  City Hall would be Tripoli or Cairo.  Gracie Mansion would be the palace and Bloomberg's Fifth Avenue home would be the winter palace or the summer retreat.  Maybe I have carried this a bit too far, but it's Occupy Wall Street, there are no limits to the hyperbole when bankers, politicians and businessmen are compared to ruthless dictators who wantonly run tanks over their own people, commit genocide or eat their opposition. 

With all of the so called college educated protestors (especially the ones that majored in any type of history) could they be more creative than comparing people to Mr. Murbark, Mr. Khadafy, or Adolf Hitler.  Why can't they find some obscure figures like Idi Amin, Pol Pot, King John of England, or even Mr. Montgomery Burns of Springfield?  Is it because the protesters are not as educated as they seem.  If that is the case,then they should blame the universities or other schools that they have attended for failing in their tasks to give them a proper education.  It is those institutions that have failed them.  Those Ivory Towers that are too big to fail.

Yes, Occupy Wall Street, the world is watching, so be a bit more creative in making signs and stop making the USA look like a bunch idiots to the rest of the world with completely inappropriate comparisons of world leaders to the mayor of New York City. 

Gross Things at the Office

R. licking the knife between each slice of cake is pretty gross.  So is that fact that people stick their hands into the ice maker after coming out of the bathroom, but this one will top them all.
You know that we get breakfast everyday and long with the communal tray of bagel-muffins and fruit salad is a bottle of orange juice.  People open the juice, pour some and depending on whether they are considerate or inconsiderate people, the cap is reapplied to the bottle. 
One day as I entered the kitchen, there was a "debate" as to whether the orange juice is "good".  Not quite understanding the "hidden" meaning, I said, "yeah, why not, it's not like it's spoiled."  Then I was quickly and quietly informed that someone caught O. driniking directly from the bottle and he put it back down on the counter one day.  I asked when this was, and was told that it was a month ago.  I was a bit angry, not just because O. had drank out of the bottle and put it back down, but because I was not informed of this earlier.  So, all of us looked at the bottle on the table.  Then I started to take all of the other half-finished bottles out of the drawer fridge and place them on the counter.  The others were horrified thinking that I was going to play some kind of shell game or musical chairs with the OJ bottles.  Although the thought of torturing people did cross my mind, I started to open each of the unfinished bottles and empty the contents down the sink to everyone's relief.  If we can not ascertain the purity of any of the partially finished bottles, then we have to get rid of it all.
Did you know that O. drinks out of the bottle and places it back on the counter?  If you did and you did not tell anyone, then just about the whole office has kissed O.!!!!!  If you did not know, and you have had the juice in the middle of the day, then you have kissed O.!!!!!!
Yep, kind of sickening.

On Cults

Mind control.  Yes, now you're thinking "Kevin has really gone off the deep end and will never come back."  Perhaps you are right, but just consider this for a moment.  Why do people say that religion and cults are for the weak-minded?  That is because for the most part it may be true.  Any type of organization that preys on people who are lonely (away from home), isolated (away from home), starving (away from home) and extremely tired (lack of sleep). 

Most people who are socially secure, not in want and generally well rested make rational decisions.  They don't have to be told what to wear, when to eat or what to think.  This is why child-rearing is so important.  When you take away that kind of support from a person, they tend to make really bad decisions about a lot of things and when they are extremely tired, they begin to give in mentally and just go with whatever is there so that they can survive.  That is very much like a drug addict who will do anything for the next fix.  In this case the next fix is to be included in the immediate community.

If you study why cults are so successful, it is because they isolate people, break down their self-esteem and then tire them out by depriving them of sleep.  Then they have the inductees recite mantras until they take root and in a few weeks, you have a bonafide cult member.  So how is this similar to the occupy wall street movement, college and torture. 

In the OWS movement, you have people who are living in a park that is not designed for living.  They spend practically 24 hours a day together, listening to the misguided drivel that comes out of anyone's mouth.  Although they have food, they have to stand for hours on end or sit on hard surfaces and then hear more of the "money is evil" mantra.  They are quite isolated.  You may argue that they get a lot of support, but that support doesn't come in socializing with different people, it comes from being together with people of the same mindset (like that of a cult).  So, here you have relatively young people who have been indoctrinated in the public eye and no one says a thing.  Why?  Because it's acceptable. 

How is college the same?  Again, you have similar conditions except with younger people who are looking for acceptance, away from home and sleep-deprived.  The universities are filled with teachers with a very liberal bias, and so, they are also indoctrinated in whatever their god-like professor tells them.  Again, the indoctrination of young people in the public eye..and it's PAID FOR.  Why?  Because it's acceptable.

Torture.  Everyone will agree that torture is bad.  Prisoners of War are in this same set of circumstances, although more extreme.  They are often pressured to give up information or even to say bad things about their own country.  We're not even talking about waterboarding or having them experience extreme pain.  Just simply depriving them of sleep, isolating them and starving them and they will say whatever they are told to say.

So, these so-called movements are nothing more than the indoctrination of young people who cannot think for themselves.  They present themselves as educated and intelligent people, but when you dig down, they just repeat the mantras that they have been imbued with.  Isn't it sad?

Protests and Signs

Since the protests began, there have been a number of messages that are displayed in the park.  Messages range from "End the Fed" to "9/11 was a government conspiracy" to "Free Puerto Rico"  And then there are just the crazy people who like to hang out in the park and bang on drums all day and wave anarchist type flags. 

So, the other day I was telling you about the "Nazi Bankers" sign and how that was historically not correct.  Last night as I was leaving with A.S, we saw a large sign from a group that read "Jews for Racial and Economic Justice".  What does that really mean?  Does that imply that there are Jews who are not for racial and economic justice?  Because if there were, I would like to know where that group was gathering.

On another note about the protests, it seems that if you put the verb "occupy" before any type of noun, you would have some kind of event.  Occupy Wall Street is the start, and then you had Occupy Boston, Occupy Seattle,  Occupy Des Moines.  Occupy Des Moines?!?!?!?  I think it should be changed to Evacuate Des Moines, no one wants to be there!!!!!

Occupy Wall Street has been trying to get organized, so they have a daily agenda of things to do, such as 7 AM General Meeting, 10AM Education committee meeting, in fact Friday and Saturday nights this week, they are doing a Family sleepover night, they have snacks and a play area for children.  This may seem outrageous to some, but I find it amusing. The funniest thing on the schedule is the proximity of certain events on the agenda.  As I mentioned before, if you place "occupy" in front of any noun, you would have an event.  Today, they plan to OccupyTimesSquare during the afternoon.  Then at 6:30pm, they plan to occupySubway, which I can only assume that they mean the mass transit system and not the sandwich stores.  Then at 7pm, they have General Assembly down at Zucotti Park (Liberty Plaza).  If OccupySubway is going to do what I think they want to do, then everyone will be very late for the General Assembly meeting downtown at 7pm.

They should really have a reality show on this protest called OccupyRealityShow.