Monday, November 26, 2007

Stupid Things Stupid People Do

It seems to me that a lot of reasonable people will do stupid things every so often. It doesn't matter if you are a member of Mensa, you will do something stupid. It may end up costing you money, it might cost your job or marriage or your life (the latter usually ends up being published in The Darwin Awards). But I have found that there are people out there who repeatedly do the same stupid things that keep them in the hole or alone. I'll list some of things I've seen here and hopefully people will agree with me:

1) People who repeatedly use credit cards, especially to buy Christmas gifts. What, you didn't know Christmas was coming this year? You forgot that your kid's government skool year starts soon? You didn't have your anniversary marked on your calendar? No problem, I'll just use the credit card and watch as that complex interest builds up to a point where I can't pay it when I retire. Folks, the easiest way to avoid using credit cards altogether is to make saving money a priority over spending. I'm only 25 years old and if this simple fact can be understood by a sophomoric adult like me, then there is no excuse for you if you are older.

2) People who are surprised when their banks raise credit card interest rates or add additional fees on credit cards they already own. Banks are allowed to do this and if you read the fine print on their contracts, it will say that they are allowed to do this, in whatever the current legal jargon is. I know, it's not fair. Tough. If you really don't like it, get a savings or money market account together and cancel that stupid poverty-generating piece of plastic.

3) People who keep credit cards to maintain your credit "rating." Nevermind that the FICO score is nothing more than a marketing scam, you will only manage to make small reductions in your interest rates. This goes doubly for those who have home mortgages, which is most people I gather. If you are able to pay it off at the end of the month, not only do you have the absolute contempt of the company that issued you the plastic blackhole, you are obviously able to cover your expenses with your own income. Why bother with the middleman that is nothing more than a bankruptcy tool waiting to happen?

4) People who think I'm crazy for not having any credit cards. OK, so I'm not all that materialistic and will actually patiently wait until I have the money saved up to buy that piece of furniture I've always wanted or I actually sit down with my wife and plan a budget each month. Actually, that brings me to my next one...

5) People who don't budget their income each month before it comes in. Folks, your money can either be a tool or a burden. If you don't sit down and spend 30 minutes out of the month to plan for the next month then you bound to be chasing your tail for the rest of your life. I blame the rise of credit card usage as a big part of this problem. Oh, and include your spouse in the budgeting process so that you don't clash over what gets spent where. Seventy percent of divorces that occur in the first seven years of marriage are financial related.

6) People who cut people off on the road and don't check their blind spots. Those driving tests are real easy to pass, probably too easy. I knew a lot of stupid people in high school who probably should not have gotten their driver's license until they were 26 or so. Yet I saw them driving to school everyday after they got it. Not only are there a lot of stupid people driving on the road, stupid drivers are responsible for more deaths then most of other hazardous diseases or activities. These are the kind of people who would cut off a bus full of nuns if they were carrying a dynamite load. And don't bother thinking the police care about this kind of crap. They are too busy checking your speed or using nightvision goggles to see if you are wearing seatbelt.

7) People who think that Social Security is a trust fund and that their money will be there when they retire.

8) People who think the government will solve the problem of (essentially) evil.

9) People who think that poverty is the root of all evil.

10) People who think the police are responsible for their safety. I used to believe that until the night my wife and I tried to report a noise complaint. We were on hold with the non-emergency line for a long time and when we decided to dial 911 and damn the consequences, we were also put on hold. Save up and buy a handgun. If you live in a city where it is illegal, go out of state. Keep it safe and out of reach of children, but have it easy to get to when an intruder decides to break in. You don't have to kill them, you don't have to shoot them, just scare them away.

11) People who try to sue over stupid little things. These are people who have absolutely no sense of humor and should be exiled to Siberia. In more civilized times, these kind of people were marginalized in their own communities.

12) People who try to trace all the world's troubles to religion. Yes, like every other institution that is man-made, religion has had its share of atrocities. But if you think you blame all the world's troubles solely on religion of any kind, then you're an intellectual lightweight. I don't care how many degrees you have or what your IQ score is. You are stupid.

13) People who think that believing in God gets you into Heaven. It doesn't. Read the Bible to find out why and how you really can get into Heaven.

14) People who think that the Phelps clan is a Christian conservative organization. Fred Phelps actually ran as a Democrat for local office and support Al Gore in 2000. I guess that makes Al Gore a gay hater then.

15) People who think that homosexuality is genetic and therefore excused behavior. Even if it was genetic, that doesn't mean anything. Alcoholism is genetic and people with that disease need to stay away from social drinking and bars.

16) People who think I hate gays. I don't hate gays anymore then any other people group. The fact is, I don't care what you do with your sex life as long as you keep it out of plain view and you don't abuse children (under the age of 18). Most Americans feel the same including most Christians. Tammy Bruce herself has said she felt more acceptance from the likes of Jerry Falwell, even though she is a lesbian, then the political left has given to those like Jerry Falwell. Makes you think who really is bigoted.

OK, I'm getting a little off track here, so I'll stop before I've ruined my day. The list of stupid people could go on and on. I'll admit to doing stupid things in the past. I will probably continue to do stupid things in the future. The only thing that separates me from the groups I've listed is that I will actually try and make an effort to change or do something different. It is the opposite of insanity.