I haven’t been posting much the last few days as I’ve been working on the beginning to another novel that I may or may not continue called I Kill for Money – A Love Story About Cyborg Assassins, but I have posted a couple new true stories about myself.
A few days ago I put up The Borrowed Car about a time back in my drug dealing days when a complete stranger loaned me her car so I could go buy a bunch of weed from another complete stranger. There’s nothing really deep or meaningful here, just one of those funny little stories that drug dealers can get involved in.
Today I posted a very short true story I call The Grumpy Old Man, about a time when I was a kid and an old man got very angry at a friend and I, but was lacking in communication. This is one of the experiences that led me to believe that anger and punishments (even though we weren’t actually punished for anything) are highly over-used and counter-productive, especially with kids. Far too often kids and even adults are punished for things when they have no idea what they did wrong. Even the psychology textbooks agree that this is counter-productive to proper development.
And in a completely unrelated subject, another reason I haven’t been posting this week is I feel like I should say something about health care, but I promised myself when I started this blog that I wouldn’t get nasty and start calling people “monsters” or “selfish” like I too often did in my old blog. It’s difficult with health care because it’s literally a matter of life and death for some people, and a source of some stress in my life, and that’s something I can’t help but take personally. Let’s just say I believe that if we must have a government, then that government’s primary concern should be the health and well-being of its people.
I watched a recent episode of The Simpsons (Postcards from the Wedge, Season 21 episode 14 – spoilers follow) where Marge and Homer decide to let Bart do whatever he wants because otherwise he’s going to drive them crazy with stress. Bart then gets frustrated with his new freedom and talks about it with the bully, Nelson, who tells him that he’s got to up the ante, to do something really awful to get their attention. Bart takes this advice, then writes a note, pretending to be Lisa, telling on himself so that he would get in trouble.
The specific things Bart did to get in trouble were definitely outlandish, but the core idea behind the episode I believe is quite real and relevant. Kids can very easily become addicted to punishments and discipline. They don’t necessarily enjoy it (though many do), but they can come to a point where they feel more at home while being punished than they do anywhere else. They can become addicted to the lifestyle, which is something I think many parents overlook because they believe that only pleasurable things can become addictive. In these situations, parents and teachers often simply try to increase the dosage of punishments, which can halt the young person’s behavior temporarily, but ultimately drives them further into the lifestyle of punishment addiction.
We can see this in adults as well with the phenomenon of “stupid” criminals, the guys who go out and commit crimes without a plan and without seeming to care whether or not they get busted. It could be that many of these criminals became addicted to punishments when they were children. They’re not actually “stupid” for letting themselves get caught, they are merely addicted to the lifestyle of being repeatedly caught and punished.
Perhaps this has to do with an avoidance of guilt, or the satisfying of guilt. Without that punishment, they must feel guilty for the things they’ve done, and they get on a psychological pattern early in life that allows them to believe that everything’s even again as long as they’ve endured their allotted punishment. This is why I feel that over-use of discipline and punishments is one of the most dangerous things you can do to your children.
The other day I was telling a story about a time when I was going to lunch with a bunch of co-workers and we tried to cram too many people into an elevator. As everyone was trying to jam in, I tried to tell them that we were over the weight limit, but everyone insisted it wouldn’t be a problem. When we finally got everyone wedged in, we found that the doors wouldn’t close. This as an example of blind faith as we all felt that just because there’s regulations and inspectors, elevators must be foolproof, therefore we didn’t really need to take personal responsibility for their appropriate use.
Then the person I was telling this to mentioned that someone we both know believes that cigarettes don’t cause cancer. This is based on his theory that the government wouldn’t allow them to be sold if they were actually harmful. This is what you would call blind faith and this phenomenon is one of the core reasons I’m an anarchist. Many people don’t recognize the dangers this kind of faith represents in the long term.
This faith in government constantly shapes our culture in ways that can quickly get out of control. Laws in a democracy are written based on public opinion, not on facts or science. A huge proportion of our society then bases their opinions on law, and also largely ignores facts and science. This creates a reciprocal effect that sends our society down a path that has nothing to do with logic and opens up opportunities for shady businesses and special interest groups to manipulate the process to their own benefit.
This type of thing can be seen in many other areas. Global warming obviously is affected because people believe that if we were really headed toward massive environmental disaster, the government would be doing something about it. People believe that obesity is not a serious health concern because no one is thrown in jail for being fat. People who support the drug war and want marijuana smokers to be put in prison are no doubt people who have never known a marijuana smoker nor studied the actual effects of the drug or how legalization has worked in other parts of the world. They simply have blind faith that their government would not create cruel and unfair laws.
People in our society tend to base their opinions on the laws, and the laws are based mostly on their opinions. As we allow this cycle to continue, we will move further away from a safe and logical organization and closer to increasingly dangerous and volatile social situations. Just one more reason to be an anarchist.
The other day I was exploring a neighborhood where I was considering buying a condo and found myself in a BBQ restaurant that looked like something out of an episode of In Living Color. As I stood in line I read all the crazy signs and looked at the random junk they had tacked to the walls, and noticed a sign that said, “In God we trust. All others pay cash.” and somehow I read this sign and yet it just didn’t click in my head that it meant no debit or credit cards. To me, “cash” means money that you actually have as opposed to money you are borrowing, but in this case, obviously, ‘cash’ meant old fashioned paper money. Fortunately I realized my mistake before they started my order, but I was pretty disappointed because the place smelled delicious and I was in the mood for a dripping pile of meat on a bun.
Just a few days earlier I was eating lunch with some coworkers and at the end we all busted out our debit/credit cards and the waiter commented that we were “card guys”, which we all found odd, since a few of us couldn’t remember the last time we’d actually used paper money for something. This is perfectly normal as far as I’m concerned. I’ve met numerous people who never carry paper money and all things considered, debit and credit cards are probably used more often in our society than paper money. As a society, we’ve decided that electronic currency is now the standard form of currency, kind of how we decided at some point a couple hundred years ago that gold and silver nuggets would be replaced with paper notes.
So why do these rare businesses refuse to accept our standard, most basic, and most convenient form of currency? Well, something many people forget when they’re paying for things with their cards is the fact that these businesses are paying a fee for the right to accept our currency. They pay something like %1 on the purchases made with those cards, and they don’t see that as fair. They could simply charge a %1 fee to their customers to use their cards, but of course they are not allowed to do that because the credit card companies don’t want the public to be aware of just how much they are scraping off the top, so all of the business’s customers must pay this cost in the form of slightly higher prices, even if they pay cash every time. Some business owners don’t think this is fair, and I can’t blame them.
All the credit card companies are doing is facilitating a system to allow transactions, a system which is almost completely automated, and the cost for them to do that is a tiny fraction of what they are charging for the service. It’s no different than if you wrote up a contract for a home purchase and the printer company that made the printer that printed that contract demanded %1 of the purchase price.
Back in the day when paper money was first replacing the old gold and silver currency, our governments took over the process for the benefit of the people and provided the service of printing money and preventing counterfeiting essentially at-cost. Granted, we still have sales tax, which is kind of the same thing, but at least in that case, theoretically, that money is going toward the benefit of the people instead of into the pockets of wealthy businessmen.
So why is it today that the government has not stepped in to facilitate our more modern form of currency? They continue printing an inconvenient, outdated and expensive form of currency instead of keeping up with technology and trends and providing the people with the form of electronic currency we obviously expect.
To me, facilitating our system of currency is one of the most fundamental expectations of government. Instead, they have been manipulated by the big credit card companies and have allowed them to get their hands in the pockets of almost every person on the planet.
Now big-business controls our currency and our ability to exchange goods and services on a global scale in a situation where no one but the fat-cats have a vote. I can’t understand why more people don’t see this as, first of all, unfair, and second of all, dangerous.
I found this little bit that I wrote a few years ago when sifting through my old scribblings.
If a person runs from the police, many people use this as evidence of their guilt of the crime to which they are accused, but I believe this prejudice to be gravely mistaken. An innocent person, when confronted by the police with a crime is caught off guard and bombarded with numerous confusing emotions. He does not have time to think rationally, leaving him more likely to choose something like fleeing from the law. A guilty person, on the other hand, has had a significantly longer period of time to consider his choices, is well aware of the possibility of being confronted by the police, and has already decided the most practical course of action, which is to either work with, manipulate, or lie to the legal system.
The second problem is that an innocent person often has no knowledge of the actual crime, and therefore has no idea what sort of evidence might be presented against him, or what people might say, so he has a greatly reduced ability to create a believable defense.
small handful leftover potatos
diced green pepper
two frying pans or one flat-top grill
Spray your flat-top grill or frying pan with cooking spray and throw down your potato, onion, green pepper and mushrooms. Top with a liberal dose of taco seasoning. Remember the taco seasoning is onion based, not salt based, so you can put on more than you think without ruining it. Stir these vegetables and get them nice and mixed up with the taco seasoning, though be careful not to mash the potatos.
Next, take one or two tortillas. It’s best to use two on a flat-top, but if you only have a pan, one will do. Throw the tortillas down without any oil or spray at a very low heat. If you put oil down or even cooking spray, your tortillas will get too greasy. If you have two tortillas and two kinds of cheese, put one kind of cheese on one tortilla and the other on the other. Spread it evenly. It doesn’t need to be too thick since you are applying it to both sides. Mozzarella is my favorite because it gives it that nice stringy pizza sensation and isn’t greasy like cheddar. I usually put cheddar on one tortilla and mozzarella on the other. If you use nothing but cheddar, you might be dripping a little grease.
Wait for the cheese to melt, then throw in your tomatos into the vegetable mixture. Mix them up and cook for twenty seconds or so, then mix in the olives and immediately transfer the mixture to the top of your first tortilla and spread evenly, then slap the other one on top. I use two spatulas to carefully transfer to a cutting board to slice into sections.
The little cubed breakfast potatos work well for this, or leftover baked potatos diced into cubes. I’ve even done this using leftover french fries with reasonable success.
Obviously if you’re not a potato person, meat works just as well.
I just posted My Spirit Animal, which is a story about a time I met a pack of coyotes while eating Fruity Pebbles Cereal as a child.
This is a spoiler, though I don’t think it matters much since it’s such a short story, but this experience helped teach me about how easily we can misunderstand the intentions of others and believe, based on stereotypes that we don’t recognize as stereotypes, that certain types of people–or in this case, animals–have malicious intentions when they do not.
I still love Fruity Pebbles Cereal to this day, though I usually buy the generic version. I especially enjoy them when substituted for Rice Krispies in Rice Krispies treats.
raw diced chicken
That’s all you need for this Easy Mexican Chicken Recipe. Throw the salsa in a pan (no oil). You don’t need a lot, but you need enough so that you can’t see the bottom of the pan. Throw in your chicken and bring to a light boil. Cook the chicken thoroughly, which should only take five minutes or so.
And that’s it. Easy squeezy, simple pimple. You can do whatever you want with it now. Throw it in a burrito with rice and beans or in a taco or over nachos. If you’re drunk or desperate, you could probably get away with just eating it like a stew.
The nice thing about this is that you don’t need to waste time marinating chicken and you don’t need to bother with any other seasonings, yet it creates moist and flavorful chicken. It’s also difficult to screw up. If you over cook it a little, the chicken should stay moist. The only drawback is you might waste a little salsa. I haven’t tried it with other meats, but that would probably work too.
Kalin’s leftover chili recipe (fresh chili works too ) This is stoner food right here.
optional, though you should include something from this list to make it more interesting:
nacho veggies (onions, tomato, olives)
Take a big serving platter (or a regular plate if you’re all by your lonesome), put down a layer of tortilla chips. Top with shredded cheese. Spread hot chili over top of that. Top with more cheese, then your shredded lettuce mixed with your optional cilantro (my favorite part), green onions and nacho veggies. Serve with sides of salsa and sour cream.
This is my favorite drink recipe that I concocted. I haven’t had one in a while because I’m trying to save money.
1 part Irish Cream
1 part Frangelico
1 part Kahlua
1 part Soy Milk (or regular milk for those anti-soy folks)
optional: 1 part hennessy (if you like it a bit stronger)
Combine over large ice cubes. I prefer soy milk over regular milk because it’s easier on the stomach and doesn’t distract from the other flavors, but most normal people will probably prefer regular milk or–if you’re hard core–cream.
The four ingredients can be mixed in any combination; they don’t need to be even or you can leave out either the Frangelico or Kahlua and it will still be delicious.
I tried this once with a little bit of Peach Schnapps. That turned out well, however, I also tried a bit of Aftershock in this drink and that did NOT turn out well.