Archive for July, 2009

Chameleon People

Posted in Humanity, Top Posts on July 29, 2009 by raingeg

Is there anything virtuous about changing who you are to accommodate the people around you? That was the subject of a recent discussion over dinner. The answer to this question needs some explaining.

Throughout all of my life I’ve been around people that I thought I knew. When I would hang out with these people they would be fine, but when we would hang out with other people they would change. It seems that in most cases they were desiring acceptance, wanting the group of people that they chose to hang out with to like them. This particular example happened on numerous occasions with numerous people, one minute I would be hanging out with a friend that I thought didn’t cuss, the next minute he/she was cussing like a sailor. It happens with a whole host of different situations, and it is normally called peer pressure.

There is another type of situation that can play out. Lets pretend you have a friend that smokes, normally, this person would be huffing and puffing away, but when this individual is around people that don‘t like smoking they don‘t smoke, they even go so far as to pretend that they don‘t like smoking. Is there anything good about that? This situation is still peer pressure. Its peer pressure that produces good values as opposed to the peer pressure that we all know, the one that produces bad values. Think about this, people are often times yelling and screaming about how you should not let peer pressure get to you. But should you? I would actually submit that you should let it get to you.

It really matters where exactly this peer pressure comes from. If you have a drinking problem its probably not a good idea to hang out with drinkers, but it’s a great idea to hang out with people that do not drink. Likewise, if you have a hard time with gluttony, its probably not a good idea to go with your friend to a buffet. But if your friend is going to a salad bar that is desirable. Often times those good attributes of our friends rub off on us just as easily as the bad ones.

What is to be said of that person that changes his/her ways depending upon who they are hanging out with. Are they disingenuous? In most cases, yes. Though there is another way to look at it, they are weak, as we all are in particular areas. Often times the word “weak” is used as a pejorative, but there are times when it should not. To be weak in an area is not necessarily the bad thing, its bad to be weak in an area and allow yourself to be influenced by that area. That is why it is often said that abstinence is a characteristic of the weak.

In fact I think it can be good to change your habits for someone else. Lets assume that you are hosting a dinner party for your friends. Now lets assume that you have a friend that is a recovering alcoholic, that is still very weak in that area, and if this person saw you drinking he/she might be inclined to do the same. In this situation I think it is a good idea to not serve alcohol at the party. You did nothing wrong, you actually helped your friend in his/her endeavor to not be an alcoholic, and I‘m sure your friends will understand, if they don’t that’s their loss.

It is definitely angering when you are friends with people that are more or less Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I think our first inclination is to be angry at the persons disingenuousness, I certainly know that that is my first inclination. But disingenuousness is not the problem, its lack of knowledge of ones self that is the problem. Disingenuousness can actually be a good thing. Is not a person that drinks a little bit, exercising temperance, just as “disingenuous” if they go against their inclination to drink more and get drunk. Or is it not “disingenuous” of a person to act a certain way, a better way, for the betterment of ones peers. In some peoples eyes yes, in others no. If it is disingenuous then it certainly cannot be bad all of the time. So that debunks the idea that one must be “real” all of the time. In fact I prefer a fake good person that is trying to make their life better than a “real” bad person who I don’t want to be around.

I strongly adhere to the belief that action comes before desire. So while a person might be inclined to cuss around certain people if one refrains one is likely to refrain more often, and actually, in time, develop a desire to not cuss. So while on the outset it might seem disingenuous to refrain from cussing, and in a way deny yourself or your peers some strange satisfaction, it becomes extremely genuine because your actions speak to who you want to be, and in that instance what you really are. Your actions might even change the minds of your peers. Contrary to what some might say progression often comes through chosen self restraint or temperance, rather than through a perversion of liberty. It is utterly wrong and evil when government restricts ones liberty, but it is largely virtuous when, through temperance, moderation and sometimes abstinence, one puts restrictions on ones self, becoming a slave to nothing but ones freedom.

When is it alright to be disappointed with this two faced person? It is largely dependant on that persons self knowledge. If your friend has the knowledge that he/she has a problem in a certain area yet they still hang around with people or watch and listen to stuff that affect them negatively or they are not trying to change at all, that calls for some disappointment. It is inevitable that a person will be influenced by their peers and by society as a whole, there is no way around that. But generally we all have a choice as to what we let into our lives. Some might ask, what then do you say of the person that grows up always influenced and persuaded to be a certain way? That does not in any way prevent that person from making a choice. Though it should be expected of a person to find it harder to change their attitude if they’ve been indoctrinated to live a particular way their whole life. In that case we should have patience with people that are trying to change themselves.

In every situation we have choices, even if we don’t know that a particular option exists, we still have a choice. For example, lets say that you are taking a multiple choice test. The test presents you with a question that has four options, but just because you can only see four options doesn’t mean that there aren’t a million other options, in this case there might only be one right answerer, but you do have a lot of wrong options that could be chosen. That is how life is, at times you might think you only have one choice or two choices, but you really have millions of choices. Think about it this way, say you have a job at a drug store. You have not enquired with other stores about a better job, you actually thought that wasn’t even an option. For all you know it very well might be an option, you have to find out, because again, knowledge that a certain choice does not exist does not prohibit someone from making a choice.

What does this all say about being someone that continually changes their attitude around different crowds? It says that you are not a product of society, even if you are heavily influenced by a certain part of society you are still your own person. That means you cannot blame society for your woes. You are not a victim of society.

Paul Ryan on CNBC

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on July 27, 2009 by raingeg

Joel Gaines Show 7-26-09

Posted in The Joel Gaines Show with tags , , , , , , , on July 27, 2009 by raingeg

Joel Gaines Show Audio

Visit The Joel Gaines Show on the web!

Rebrand the party!? How about rebrand the leaders!

President Obama has acted stupidly – he has inserted himself in a local law enforcement matter in Cambridge Mass – and for all the wrong reasons – and I want to weigh in on that.

And then – Despite the President’s assurances that his healthcare bill will cut cost for Americans and cover more Americans, the Congressional Budget Office sees it differently.

Marijuana laws and law enforcement – let’s take a look at some frustration in states where there are lax pot laws. If you are a proponent of legal dope, you are just ASKING for bigger government. I’ll tell you a little about that.

And – there are calls from all over the leftist blogosphere for the Democrats in congress and across American to start acting on their majority. Act LIKE a majority.

Audio On Obamacare

Posted in Health Insurance with tags , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2009 by raingeg

“Liberty Watch,” a local radio show in Tucson, talks Obamacare  on yesterdays show.

mP3: Liberty Watch On Obamacare

The President Is An Insider!

Posted in Health Insurance, Politics with tags , , , , on July 24, 2009 by raingeg

The claim that President Obama and other politicians have oft made that they are “beyond Washington politics” and not “Washington insiders” is incredibly far from the truth. This is perhaps one of my biggest complaints about President Obama and other politicians that think the same way. To make this simple, when it comes to the President he lives in Washington D.C. and he is just as much a politician and an insider as any of our other elected leaders, perhaps even more. He obviously has interests, he obviously has ideas that he’d like to see propped up and he has ideas that he’d like to see pushed away.

These news conferences aren’t about arbitrarily speaking, he has an aim or a goal in all of this. Last night he said “I understand how easy it is for this town to become consumed in the game of politics, to turn every issue into a running tally of who’s up and who’s down.” That’s right, its politics, and this is an attempt on your part to gain the lead, and you know it. He then changes subjects, from politics, which it is, to making it sound more personal. “This debate is not a game for these Americans, and they cannot afford to wait for reform any longer,” “They are counting on us to get this done.” Oh, how sweet he cares about me, honestly, I think he cares about his policies passing, just as any president does. He even said that he thinks his policy is best. I’m not faulting him for this, its just how politicians operate, and I have come to terms with that, that is what they are elected to do. I am only faulting him for denying that this is how he and other politicians operate.

I can easily say that there are ideas that I’d like to see propped up and there are certain ideas that I want to see thrown out the window. Namely, the parts that increase the size and scope of the federal government. And especially issues that entail the government taking even more of the peoples money than they already have and claiming that they know what to do with that money.

It seems to me that the health insurance issue is something that would increase the size of the government in the United States, and that is the main point that needs to be expressed. I highly doubt that there are many Republicans out there that actually want “the status quo.” I know that I sure don’t. And I definitely know that they, as well as I, don’t want the government to grow. And they don’t want hasty decisions.

So it is not about keeping what we already have! Contrary to what the President would have you believe, that is not the position of the Republican party. It is about providing people a change that can actually work. I honestly don’t see how you can lower the cost of something and keep the quality exceptionally high. It goes against everything I’ve ever known. At the risk of sounding repetitive, the old adage “you get what you pay for” seems to come into play here.

Gallup: More Disapprove of Obamacare

Posted in Economy, Politics on July 22, 2009 by raingeg

A new Gallup poll shows that 16% of Americans are without health insurance. This is actually a good thing, because it shows that a majority of Americans have health insurance.

An important number to look at is the 27% of Americans aged 18-29 that don’t have health insurance, this makes sense, because a lot young healthy people don’t want to pay for health insurance. As far as I know that option will not be available if the President gets what he wants, that scares me.

And in another Gallup poll released yesterday more Americans are against Obamacare. This is where it is most important, 55% of Independents disapprove of Obamacare while 40% approve.

On foreign policy most Americans are in favor of what President Obama is doing. Anything having to do with the economy or money, your money, the poll shows that most Americans disapprove of the direction that he is taking us.

The second poll is only good in the sense that it shifts momentum, but until we see what happens in congress this pretty much doesn’t mean a whole lot. But it is good to see that the initial adoration of President Obama is wearing off. People are finding that they can disagree with him. After all, we still live in a free country.

Blues Kid

Posted in Music with tags , , on July 22, 2009 by raingeg

If you’re a guitar player you can appriciate this. If you’re not a guitar player you can appriciate this. He is pretty good.