Monday, June 27, 2011

The Slippery Slope, or... Human Nature.

You know how I like to go on about reality. Things have to be pretty obvious before I trust in them. I know that not all things can be tangibles, it's just a lot easier for me to grasp when they are. So, I have a tendency to discount anything that appears to be a variable, like the way that people believe. Some people are of one religion, and some people are of another. Even though most people will claim that "there is only one God", they seem to bow to their God in different directions. When there is a different perception of what is real, I have a tendency to be suspicious. I usually fall back to my "hammer test". If it can be hit with a hammer it is real. If it can't be hit with a hammer it should be viewed with a healthy amount of suspicion.

A lot has been happening in the world lately that has me wondering "what the hell were they thinking".  Bloggers have a tendency to feed upon each others stories, I think that it's part of that "Slippery Slope" that we are all familiar with. A little bit of feeding on each others stories, or adding pertinent information in one's own blog is probably okay, but at some point copying other blogger's stories becomes plagiarism. Myself, I usually feel quite honored when somebody uses a quote, or part of a story that I have written. Usually it means that I've made some good points. But, when I'm using material from another bloggers story, I find myself on the precipice of that slippery slope, and I have to decide if I'm adding to a story or simply stealing it.    

Recently, Kym Kemp wrote about a lady in Fortuna,  So, I have to give Kym full credit for my mental meanderings here, although I'm not sure she wants the credit... She wrote about the lady that allegedly swindled people out of hundreds of thousands of hard earned dollars. Some people claim that the lady is really the salt of the Earth, and simply got caught on the down side of the cash flow and was unable to recover, others claim that she was cunning and conniving, and is the lowest form of swindler. It's always that line between what people believe and what is the truth, or in my case "reality" that causes me to wonder.

I wonder how people get so far over that slippery slope that they can never recover. In the beginning, does someone simply "misuse" somebody's money, just for a little bit? Then miracle of miracles, fortune comes their way, and they pay back the money before anybody even knows that it was missing. Maybe it works so well that they keep skating other people's money for their own benefit. Then one day they build such a huge house of cards that they are so completely dependant upon the economy improving that they have no other options. They are completely in over their heads, then the economy folds, disaster ensues and they keep shuffling money until they can no longer cover their debts, and everything comes tumbling down. Is that how Bernie Madoff got his start? When did he start dancing on the top of the slippery slope and then slip irretrievably over the edge.

The man that managed the Humboldt Creamery had a similar story. He was faking the creamery's inventory to make the business seem to be worth more. It seems like such a small thing as long as business is improving, and the income can eventually cover the fraud. Who would ever know? But, the business didn't do well enough to cover his fraud, he eventually confessed to his misdeeds and resigned. Later, to be fined millions of dollars and put in jail. What the heck was he thinking? Was it ego that made him want to appear to be a successful manager. He surely lost more than he ever stood to gain.

Is religion like that? Can the truly religious people go out and sin everyday? Then simply pray for forgiveness then start all over again with the sinning? I see a lot of that. What is it with human nature that keeps us on the edge of that slippery slope? We all temp fate. We eat too much hoping that we may not gain too much weight, but if we do we can always go on a diet... right? Then there is that car or house that we really can't afford, but our credit is good. If things keep improving we should pay everything off.. right?

I'm not saying that I'm perfect. Far from it. I'm skate at the top of that slippery slope all of the time. But, I'm ever-vigilant of where the edge is. I never want to find myself somewhere past the point of no return. I see too many stories in the newspapers about people that have been sucked over. Now, I think that I will go have the Hungry Man Special Breakfast... I will diet next week. Hopefully, before I have a heart attack.


Joe Blow said...

What does a true believer know about reality? What have you proven by life's experience that is the truth or perfection? Do you know the difference between who and what you ARE from what you think and what you? When you can we'll talk about perfection and religion.

Anonymous said...

One thing I always wondered about is why do folks think because someone has much money it was hard earned?


Ernie Branscomb said...

I would never presume to talk with you on your level. I fully concede that you are holier than me.

Money is power. Money is control. Ultimate money is ultimate control. Don’t believe me? Who owns the news networks and cable news service? Who owns our country’s leaders? We have been genetically chosen to fear people with money and power. Those that didn’t fear, died. Slid of the slippery slope, so to speak.

Anonymous said...

Ernie, you know I almost always agree with what you say and always have. I just meant that some folks that are well off financially did not all have to work hard to get it, as in hard earned money. I was kinda laughing about that because it seems folks think that money earned was hard earned.


Ernie Branscomb said...

Yeah, Oregon. I'm sorry, I was off on my own tangent. I was thinking about all the peole that I know who got wealthy on other people's backs. The money was hard earned alright, just not by them.

One of the reasons that I always liked working with you, was because we think a lot alike. You were always where you needed to be before I got there. The only time that I remember not liking to work with you was the time that you bulldozed the dirt out from behind that redwood stump that we were digging out up behind Eureka. It's a pretty sick feeling to be dozing dirt around a stump, then look below you and see that your way off is gone. It's not good to be behind a redwood stump with a D-6 Cat with no way off. I wonder how much we cost the boss that day? I can still remember you trying not to grin. Just remember, payback's a bitch.

Anonymous said...

As I recall, we both had a good time that day. You always liked a challenge and that was a small one for you, getting off that stump on a steep hillside.
Oh yeah, be careful how you get even, I'm old and frail now.


Ernie Branscomb said...

Actually, I’d planned on sneaking up on your deaf side and whacking you with my cane.

Remember when we were kids, that we would practice sneaking up on each other and practicing our takedowns or shoulder punches? Like we were Cato and Chief Inspector Clouseau, one of us would jump out of nowhere and do a takedown. I remember the time that I hurt my back, I would look around every corner hoping that you wouldn’t nail me.
Today if kids acted like that they would get a “Time-Out’ for non-PC behavior.

Actually, nowadays, if you jumped out of nowhere and nailed somebody, they would pull out their 40. Cal and blow you away, put you in a pickle barrel with drain cleaner and pour your slime in the ocean. This peace and love generation doesn’t seem to be able to get along as well as we did…

skippy said...

If I was on the slippery slope facing down someone's .40 or D-6, I'd at least like to know where the edges and boundaries are.

Skating down the thin ice of modern life isn't as easy as it used to be.