Jun 28, 2009

If W. were still the president ...

Perhaps there is a place for violence in the world. If Bush were still the president, might we use our military might to make a few suffer, but liberate many more? WSJ 6/30/09 article describes the plight of general populace of Myanmar, while its military junta benefit from trade with Asia. What would happen if a bomber were to fly over the junta residence city of Naypyitaw and wipe it off the map overnight? Would the democratic elements rise up and elect Suu Kyi as its head? Would the country be delivered from misery and poverty?

It is inherently unfair what the junta is doing. They suppress democracy in order that they may rule and hold power. But, how can one group of human beings live in luxury knowing that they do so at the misery of another group? It is no different from the slave owners who exploited an underclass that they treated as sub-humans. It is a twisted way of thinking. In my mind, they should be educated on the sin of their ways, and if they do not repent and change their ways, they deserve to be exterminated.

There is a scene from Star Trek ... the good of the many outweigh the good of the few, or the one. Is this such a scenario? Why can't we launch a few missiles and wipe off the junta? Send in commando teams to assassinate the rest of the military leadership? If doing so would launch the nation into disarray and chaos, how is that different from what exists today?

Then again, there is also the saying ... Love your neighbors as you love yourself. Do you love even though neighbors who are hypocrites and do not love their neighbors? Or do you ruthless put them out, and while the act of snuffing them out is no noble enterprise, the end result would be the liberation of a larger group. If not for this, why do we spend $600 billion a year in defense spending?

Jun 27, 2009

Darden FAQ - Smart phone options and compatibility

Question - Can I use iPhone or Blackberry with Darden email?

Answer - per Darden IT help desk Service Desk Technician:

Both are compatible. Blackberry requires a $99 license fee if you want
to sync more than calendar and contacts. The iPhone in general is the
easiest to use and can be hooked up to the wireless network. All
windows mobile phones will work, as well as anything that supports

Jun 26, 2009

Cost of Darden, Financing Darden

So, today, my co-workers graciously held a going-away happy hour for me at Solaris in Greensboro (pretty good by the way, but food portions are not that impressive). And as I wrap-up my life with E&Y, I'm trying to look ahead a month to school. One of the biggest things that stresses me out is the financing for school. In retrospect, I would have started applying to scholarships before applying to school. Also, in retrospect, I would have started saving far more aggressively. Finally, in retrospect, I think I would have shirked some of my work duties to enable the other two, as it was 24/7 work hours that prevented me from applying or researching financing resources satisfactorily.

Anyway, I recently updated my cost summary and my expected source of funds to finance the education. At some point, I had considered fancier options, like home equity loan or rolling over Roth 401k to cash out, but for various reasons, I decided to keep things simple. Cash, indeed, is king!

Cost summary:

Planned sources:

Jun 15, 2009

Why having goals is not sufficient: On 5 year anniversary

Recently, I marked my 5 year anniversary with the Firm. I'm not good at celebrating. It should have been a joyous occasion. Instead, it felt meaningless and empty. Still, I had lunch with a colleague with whom I had started work on the same day five years ago. That gave the anniversary a little purpose.

Five years here and I feel that I've learned little. Scratch that. I've learned quite a bit. What I've been unable to do is to market any of it. Today, I can no better go out into the Fortune 500 world and make something of myself than I could five years ago. At least outside of the accounting profession. Was it a waste?

No, but that's not the point. Don't look back. Just do something about it and move on.

I was driving back from Raleigh recently on westbound I-40. I had an epiphany. It's not enough having a goal. One thinks that by setting a goal, and working hard, that one can reach it and make something of oneself. I saw plainly before me that this is a fallacy. Just as I was blazing toward the sunset on the highway, I saw that there was an accident on the eastbound I-40; a big one. Traffic was backed up for miles upon miles. All four lanes full of smoldering cars, choking on each others' heat and exhaust and going nowhere. Wasting energy, burning fuel, frustrated, but not moving. Why were they on a highway? Because they had a goal. What was the goal? To get to the city. Fine example of pursuing a goal. And it's not enough to have a goal. How can one have a real vision that can overcome such obstacles? What can one do so that the path is more clear, more visible?