Greece: pay your debts

Is anyone else sick of Greece, Greeks and their attitude right now?

After years of overspending, cooking the books and tax evasion, Greece’s party is coming to an end. Trouble is, they got rather accustomed to the party lifestyle and paying for it all on a credit card.

Now, it’s all caught up with them and the monthly credit card statement has arrived, only to their shock, instead owing a few grand, they owe in excess of €300B.

Like the rest of us who have overindulged at one point in our life, it’s time to figure out how to pay off the credit card.

The irony of “love wins”

I kind of love how the gay community took to using the term “Love wins” to celebrate their victory in the Supreme Court a couple of weeks ago allowing them to marry in the United States in the same way that heterosexual couples can get married.

The gay community was using the term to express that the act, existence and expression has won out as a result of the decision and that millions of people can now love equally in the eyes of the United States government.

For a long time, “love wins” has been used by Christians to indicate how the teachings of Jesus (of love, not hate) reign supreme and should govern their actions. In fact, if you’ll notice, it’s part of my tagline on this very website. I believe that Christians ought to be known by their acts of love, rather than their bible bashing, vindication or bullhorn ministry.

Replacements for swear words

Gosh darn it. What the heck is going on in this effing place?

One of my pet peeves is people who use friendly replacements for swear words. As in replacing “God damn it” with “gosh darn it”.

The reason it bothers me so is that it’s a religious response intended to make these swear words more acceptable. However, the fact is, everyone knows that when you say “what the heck”, you really mean “what the hell”, so you just look like a hypocrite by trying to create a phrase equivalent to the original without actually saying it, thus alleviating you from the repercussions of saying it.

What a fucking joke. Stop being such a pussy and say what you mean. Stop giving a damn about what people will think of you and if the original phrase isn’t appropriate for the audience in front of you (e.g. kids or church) then perhaps you should reconsider whether your replacement phrase is appropriate as well, because we all know what you want to say, so just spit it out.

Why is a flat rate tax such a bad idea?

Tiered tax rates are very commonplace in most developed societies. However, I’ve never really understood why and I don’t know why flat rate taxes get laughed at whenever they’re proposed.

I get that those who earn more have more of a capacity to pay tax, but does that mean they should? I’m not so convinced. That idea is thrown around in the name of the fairness, but what could be more fair than everyone paying the same amount of tax for every dollar they earn?

After all, high-earners would still be paying much more because they’re earning much more. To me, a flat rate tax would simplify things and level the playing field. You just pay a set number of cents of every dollar you earn to the taxman: I really don’t understand why this is so lambasted when viewing it from a purely intellectual point of view (rather than getting angry that it might mean that you personally might be paying more tax).

Seems to me that it’s just a political tool to appeal to the masses while still pulling in as much tax revenue as is needed.

The weekend

By definition the weekend is the end of the week. People’s definition of the weekend may vary slightly but I think that most people would agree that includes most or all of Saturday and Sunday.

So why then do Americans insist on putting Sunday at the beginning of the week in calendars and diaries? It just seems to be another example of religiosity creeping in to American culture and dictating that Sunday should come first in the week because it is the holy day.

And once again, America just looks silly and goes by a convention that no one else in the world observes.

Things to not say to a pregnant woman

The way in which we talk to and about pregnant women (and their husbands/boyfriends) is a little bizarre as far as I’m concerned.

Just yesterday, we met with our midwife who made a good point that there comes a point in a woman’s pregnancy where she is now undeniably pregnant (maybe at 5 or 6 months in) where people feel her body is now an acceptable conversation piece.

Aside from just being plain awkward, there are certain things which make the expectant mother feel bad. This is by no means exhaustive, but it’s just some of the things that we’ve experienced over the past 2 years that have caused irritation:

Why $15/hr for fast food workers just doesn’t make sense

I haven’t paid attention to this “news story” where fast food workers in the US are demanding $15/hr for the work they do, but an opinion piece from Matt Walsh (Fast Food Workers: You Don’t Deserve $15 an Hour to Flip Burgers, and That’s OK) caught my eye on Facebook and I proceeded to read through his thought process.

Matt’s thoughtfully crafted article is an excellent rebuttal to the orders of fast food workers. Jobs are paid commensurate with their implicit value and as Matt elegantly puts it:

So, real talk: Your job isn’t worth 15 bucks an hour. Sure, as a human being, you’re priceless. As a child of God, you’re precious, a work of art, a freaking miracle. But your job wrapping hamburgers in foil and putting them in paper bags — that has a price tag, and the price tag ain’t anywhere close to the one our economy and society puts on teachers and mechanics.

Showing up unannounced

Im not sure if this is a sign of me having grown up in England or simply times having changed, but does anyone else feel like showing up unannounced at a family member’s / friend’s house has become socially unacceptable?

Cement and concrete

Here follows an engineer’s  pet peeve.

Cement. Concrete. They’re the same thing, right? It’s the hard grey stuff that many buildings and slabs are made out of.

Wrong.

How to spell a name

I certainly don’t think of myself as old-fashioned, but when I see names spelled incorrectly, I’m sure I come off that way.

This became especially noticeable to me when I moved to America. Evidently, there is a cultural trend here of giving your child a unique name for the sake of them having a name that no one else does but also it seems as something of a status symbol, that you were free or daring enough to spell it differently.

To me, alternative spellings not only look weird and ugly, but they just cause confusion in life.

And what is your name, ma’am?

Michaela. With an A, not an I, a K, not a CH, and a Y not an E.

It’s also just a progression of the bastardisation of language that people feel that they should just spell things how they sound or how they want in the name of expression. It’s the kind of attitude that is seeing through spelled as thru all too regularly and even in professional contexts.

Call me what you will, but to me, Rebekkah will always be Rebecca, Jacklynn will always be Jacqueline and Mikeal will always be Michael.

Further reading: Does a baby’s name affect its chances in life?