Reductionism and NASCAR

Whenever I mention that I like NASCAR, there is always some addled brained diseased cerebrum fucktard who likes to spout off that he doesn't see the entertainment value in watching a bunch of guys drive in a circle. Now, I can see why some people don't like NASCAR, and I don't think it is a crime not to be interested in stock car racing. To each his own, I say. But to use reductionism as an argument is just pure shitheadedness. I'll apply the same logic to other endeavors:

FOOTBALL
Watching a bunch of guys slam into each other chasing after an inflated piece of leather.

BASEBALL
A bunch of guys running around in a circle and popping speed in the dugout.

BASKETBALL
A bunch of tall guys putting a ball through an iron hoop and posing for SportsCenter highlights.

TENNIS
A bunch of women (or men) chasing a yellow ball around a court and emitting orgasmic grunts.

GOLF
A bunch of guys in bad clothes hitting white balls on a lawn.

MOVIES
Flickering images of colored light on a screen.

SEX
People inseting body parts into other body parts resulting in stickiness and, in some cases, reproduction.

LIFE
A mad chase after money which is immediately spent on consumer items and/or sex and drugs.

Everything in life can be reduced and diminished in this way. I admit that I have often made the same argument about things I am not interested in. But I realize that all I have to say is that I don't like those things much the same way I don't like collard greens, Oprah Winfrey, and hairy homosexual men.

The things we like are the things that mean something to us. Tony Stewart winning a race might not mean anything to you, but it means a lot to me. I can't wait for Daytona.

Bush and the Democrats on Iraq

I had to work last night and did not catch the State of the Union address. I don't think I missed anything all that great.

The big issue is Iraq, and the stupidity is now on both sides of the partisan divide. We are losing in Iraq. Bush refuses to see this because he is:

a.) Stupid.

b.) Dumb.

c.) Really dumb.

The Democrats are only slightly smarter on this. Unlike Bush, they will acknowledge that we are losing in Iraq. Most of the Democrats insist upon a pullout because we are losing. But before we withdraw from Iraq, we must first win. The mind boggles.

I suppose I'll have to be the one to say it. We can't win in Iraq. Hell, we can't win in Afghanistan. This is because nation building is an exercise in futility. Candidate Bush knew this in 2000 but quickly forgot it in 2001. In order to win in these places would require a cruelty and a rein of tyranny known only to people like Saddam Hussein. Saddam brought peace to Iraq. This is what happens when you put people in wood chippers.

I don't have the answer in Iraq. No one does. But I am not arrogant enough to pretend that I do. The fact is that the USA has the ability to destroy just about any nation on earth. Conquest is not going to happen here. We don't have opponents so much as nuisances. The number one threat to American freedom comes not from al-Qaeda but from our own government with the Patriot Act, an unbridled NSA wanting to snoop on us, and the heavy tax burden adventures like Iraq are creating.

The USA needs to exit Iraq--NOW. We should never have been over there. The USA needs to mind its own business when it comes to foreign affairs. We meddle, and we pay the price. This has been proven over and over again.

But it is not in the nature of politicians to admit defeat. They believe that they have the power to change the world. It is merely a matter of tweaking the policy until they achieve the right solution. This is what Bush's "new strategy" in Iraq amounts to--a policy tweak.

Some will argue that a hasty exit from Iraq will mean that things will get worse over there, but I don't see how things can get any worse over there now. The civil war has begun. We need to get out of the way.

The only real damage here will be the tarnish on Bush's legacy. It's a real shame that more soldiers should die and more money should be wasted, so Bush can get a better reading in the history books. The fact is that if he had read the history books he wouldn't be in this shit now. All I can say is sorry 'bout it.

I predict we will still be in Iraq when Bush leaves office. It will be the next guy's (or girl's) duty to clean that shit up. History will note that Bush was stupid, and that he persisted in this stupidity until the bitter end. Somehow, this persistence is reckoned as virtue. So be it.

Redneck

There is a saying that goes like this. If you try to please everybody, nobody will like it. I know how true that is.

I am a white boy from the South. I speak with a drawl. I like NASCAR, country music, pork rinds, and grits. This automatically means I am some kind of inbred hick racist Klan motherfucker. No matter what I do I am pigeonholed with this stereotype. I have tried most of my life to try and overcome the prejudice against me. But I have come to one inescapable conclusion. FUCK IT.

I don't care how I am perceived anymore. If people want to believe certain things about me, there's not much I can do about it. I just know one thing. I'm not spending the rest of my life going around apologizing for being who I am.

My boss has Charlie Daniels' "Simple Man" as the ringtone that identifies me as the caller. I should take that as a sign of something. I am college educated. I read books. I listen to NPR. I am articulate and write well. But no matter what, I will always be a redneck. There's no point in fighting it.

I refuse to be ashamed of who I am. I'm not a racist, but I get called one anyway. All I can say is sorry 'bout it. That's their ignorance not mine.

I'm back with my confederate flag, and I hope it pisses off a lot of people. I'm past the point of giving a fuck. If you don't like it, you can kiss my rebel dick.

Spectators Revisited

Well, I couldn't do it. I couldn't make it through the weekend without watching football. I had to see if Manning could get the gorilla off of his back. I try not to be envious of other people, but dammit, Tom Brady's life is just a little too perfect. The fucker doesn't need another Super Bowl ring.

I like watching football and cars going around in a circle. Despite my resolution from last week to not waste my life on watching these pursuits, I've decided to quit guilt tripping myself and enjoy the things. That Patriots-Colts game was damn enjoyable. It was one of the best I've ever watched.

Greatest Hits

I've been reading over the blog to cull my "greatest hits." A few things stand out:

1. I'm very repetitive.

2. I'm obsessed over cigarette taxes.

3. I need to get laid.

From all of the blather, I have culled a handful of posts that I think are worth reading again, and I've put them in the sidebar for your enjoyment.

Spectators

I wasted my weekend watching the NFL playoffs.

I admit that I love football. I also love NASCAR. But I feel guilty for it. I feel like I am watching life instead of participating in it.

I remember a guy from the distant past who I met when I was 18 0r 19 years old. I used to go to church back then, and our church group was taking a trip up to Maggie Valley, NC. We stayed in a rented cabin, and this was when I met this guy named Clay.

Clay was a quiet guy. I asked Clay some questions about himself to get to know him a bit better. I asked him what he liked to do, and he said, "I like sports."

"What kind of sports do you like to watch?" I asked. "Do you like the Atlanta Braves?"

"I'm sorry. You misunderstood me," Clay said. "I like to play sports."

This kinda rocked my world a bit. What really rocked it was when he got up at 4 a.m. the next morning to ride his bike up and down the steep mountain roads while the rest of us stayed in the bed. I thought I was being an early riser when I got up at 6 to make a pot of coffee.

I don't know what ever happened to Clay except that he joined the Marines and fought in Desert Storm. But what stayed with me was the distinction between being a watcher and being a doer. Clay was a doer. Unfortunately, I've been mostly a watcher.

I can't watch sports anymore. That is time better spent working or getting in shape or kayaking a river or something. The bottom line is that I am tired of wasting my weekends. I like watching televised sporting events, but I believe there are other things I would like a whole lot better.

Minarchy vs. Anarchy

I consider myself a libertarian with a small "L." I do not belong to the Libertarian Party, and I consider it a bit of a joke. I don't see the LP or any kind of third party being viable in the American political scene. Even if it were, it would dilute its principles anyway and be worthless.

I am coming to believe that a libertarian's best chance to affect political change is to become active in the Republican party especially the Republican Liberty Caucus. The GOP is beholden to so many interest groups and religious fucknuts that it has sold out on just about any libertarian leanings it ever had during the Reagan revolution. But if all the libertarians in the US were to become a part of the RLC, this would change dramatically. Instead, the libertarian movement is atomized which is what you would expect from a bunch of individualists.

The conflict among libertarians is between principles and pragmatism. The anarcho-capitalists are the most principled of libertarians advocating a stateless society free of coercion and based upon voluntary exchange. But even they admit a need for police and courts. As nice as it sounds, it is a utopian fantasy never to be realized in the real world.

I am a minarchist. I believe the best hope for liberty lies in small government. This is based upon empirical observation. The reality is that market anarchism has largely been a failure in the real world. If you could get everyone to go along with non-coercion, it would work. It would be a thoroughly just society. But this is never going to happen. There will always be those who find it easier to kill and steal. The same private police forces that would protect our liberties are often the same ones who would exploit our weakness and take over. This is probably how governments evolved in the first place.

We already know the consequences of extreme statism. From Nazi Germany to the USSR, we see what totalitarianism brings. But the USA is an example of the blessings of liberty and what can happen when you give freedom a chance.

I believe the purpose and end of government is to secure our liberty. It has no other legitimate purpose. The best government is the one that governs least. I am a minarchist. The government I prefer is the one that acts as a nightwatchman and nothing more. I abhor both the police state and the welfare state.

This government would require taxation to support it. I believe taxation is theft, but government is a necessary evil. The best form of tax would be a national sales tax, and it would be extremely low.

Will we ever have minarchy in the USA? Well, we already did. I don't know if we could ever return to that, but I think it is worth working for. I'll have more on this topic in future posts.

The Sleep Demons

I worked 17 hours yesterday. That was done on about 3 hours of sleep.

I hate having to sleep. This doesn't mean I hate sleeping. Hell, I love sleeping. But I can tell you that if you're not enduring a certain amount of sleep deprivation you're not living a full life.

I find that 4 to 6 hours a night is just fine. I feel great on that much sleep, and it doesn't really affect my performance. 8 hours is deemed the right amount of sleep, but I get lazy on that much. It seems the more I sleep the sleepier I become.

I've also learned the power of the 20 minute nap. In those 20 minutes, I can start over again. This strategy is what has gotten me home on many occasions when I have dipped too hard into my reserves.

I've also found that I can sleep just about anytime and anywhere. It doesn't matter if it is sleeping or sitting, couch or concrete. I can always cop a few Z's. I'm convinced that humans evolved to sleep like this but modernity keeps us from doing it. Like Edison and da Vinci, I could go through my day with just a series of naps here and there.

I can also tell you firsthand that sleep deprivation slows reaction time and thought processes and will cause hallucinations. At this stage of the game, your batteries are drained. It's time to stop and recharge.

I really like the battery analogy when it comes to sleep. I am always charging my cellphone, and I can't help but notice the parallel between my body and that appliance. One of the things I've learned is that you can cheat sleep by going for longer periods between sleeping. Like a battery, you still take the same amount of time to recharge no matter how depleted you are.

Finally, I call the urge to sleep an attack of the "sleep demons." They usually strike after a heavy meal, reading a hundred pages of text, or watching a ball game. It is a game of inertia between me and the sleep demons. If I slow down, they gain an edge. If I stop, they win. But losing isn't so bad. I usually wake up feeling great anyway.

DVD-Talladega Nights

This may be anathema to some, but I think Will Ferrell blows. I didn't like Anchorman, and I certainly hated this one. I just don't think that Ferrell is funny. His brand of humor along with that of most SNL alumni is not my cup of tea.

Talladega Nights is an overrated piece of shit.

Random Thoughts on Various Subjects

1. It is with a touch of sadness that I note the resignation of Bill Cowher as head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I don't know what made him make this decision, but I think winning the Super Bowl after all those years made him lose his competitive desire. I've never won a Super Bowl, so it is hard for me to relate.

2. Marilyn Manson is getting divorced. I didn't even know he was married.

3. Saddam Hussein's execution has been described as a "lynching" and "undignified." Who gives a fuck? That sick fuck deserved to have his balls ripped off, his dick sliced off and shoved up his ass, his entrails cut out out and fed to dogs, and his brains bashed in while being burned alive. He got more mercy than his victims.

4. I still find it hard to believe that Bush wants to send more troops and money to the Iraq clusterfuck. Then, he is supposed to announce a new "strategy" for "winning the war." Yeah, right.

Folks, here is the truth about George W. Bush. The man is an idiot. He is in denial. He is wasting wealth and American lives for the sake of his legacy which he has utterly fucked for all time. Meanwhile, Afghanistan is sliding back into its previous state while Somalia is becoming a hotbed for al-Qaeda. Here is what Bush should do:

-Get out of Iraq. Negotiate some kind of truce and partition Iraq. Do whatever it takes, but get the fuck out of there. Don't leave it to the next president. And admit the mistake.

-Demand Dick Cheney's resignation. He should have left with Rumsfeld. Then, Cheney should be publicly repudiated.

-Find and kill Osama bin Laden.

These three things would go a long way to giving Bush a great legacy as a president. But he won't do these things. He will join neoconservatism in the toilet of history.

5. Go Gators.

Charlie's Manifesto

I believe everyone has a worldview. Some are more informed than others. Then, there are those like me who can actually write that worldview down on a piece of paper. This is what I believe.

THE MANIFESTO

1. I believe in empiricism. I believe we know what we know through our five senses. We can come up with theories or what have you, but what we know is determined by what we can prove and what we observe.

I believe in the scientific method. I believe that what we know is held with a tenative grasp to be improved upon in the light of new information and the rigorous demands of peer review.

I do not believe in the postmodern claptrap that truth is purely relative to the individual. There are not many "truths" that are equally valid. There is the truth which is objective reality, and then there are our perceptions of that truth. All viewpoints have value but those viewpoints do not have the same value. They are not necessarily true either.

2. I do not believe in God or the supernatural. I have no religion nor do I care to have one. The reason I do not believe in God is because there is no empirical evidence that he exists. Believers tell me that you have to know God through feelings or "faith." This is simple horseshit.

3. I believe that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There are no objective aesthetic values. Your tastes may differ from mine and one is not objectively superior to the other. An environmentalist may find beauty in a forest while I may find beauty in seeing that forest chopped down and paved over to make a parking lot. I think Titanic is a suck ass movie, but a whole helluva lot of people liked it enough to make it the top grossing film of all time. Who am I to argue with this?

4. I believe in capitalism and the free market as being the best means for human beings to achieve material prosperity, and history shows us that this is actually the case. Thanks to the free market, poor people of today enjoy a standard of living far in excess of the wealthy a century ago. I reject socialism and communism as being inferior economic systems, and the evidence overhwelmingly inidcates that these systems destroy wealth, hurt the poor, and lead to totalitarian forms of government.

5. I believe that the best form of government is that which governs least. I am a minarchist, and I believe that government exists solely for the purpose of preserving liberty from criminals and foreign threats. When government becomes the enemy of liberty, it has strayed from its proper role and must be fixed or abolished.

6. I am an egoist. I believe that in order to be happy you should live for your own sake and not for the sake of others. I reject altruism which demands that we live a life of sacrifice for the "greater good." I reject narcissism which demands that others live for my sake. I wish to be neither slave nor tyrant.

7. I am an individualist. I reject collectivism and consider it antithetical to the interests of the individual. A collective is merely an abstraction that serves to enslave individuals to the agenda of some narcissist and is the essence of tyranny. There is no such thing as the "greater good" or the "common good." There is only the individual good.

8. I believe that there are only three human rights, and those are the rights to life, liberty, and property. These are rights that any individual may possess without infringing upon the rights of others. Government sanctioned rights to universal healthcare, a living wage, cable TV, etc. are not rights at all but theft of the property of others.

9. I believe in the Golden Rule that states that we should do unto others as we would have them do unto us. In this, we see that egoism and respect for the rights of others are the basis of ethics and morality. I do not believe in violating the rights of others unless they have violated my rights or threaten to violate them. I have no claim to the life, liberty, or property of other people, and they have no claim to mine.

10. I believe that the purpose of life is to find happiness, and this happiness is relative to the individual. I believe that each person should be as free as possible to find their happiness in any way they desire as long as it does not violate the rights of others.

There you have it, folks. This is what I believe. I don't have a label for this worldview, but if I did, it would probably be "secular individualism." As it stands, my manifesto is subject to change in the light of new information, so you might see revised editions in the future.

Socialized Medicine

The London Times reports that the National Health Service in the UK has run out of money and is cancelling operations and other forms of basic medical care in order to balance the books. You can read the whole story here:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2530550,00.html

Socialized medicine is a farce.

Dirtbag Divide

For the last week and a half, I have had to fill in at work for a record number of dirtbags who elected to call off instead of doing their jobs. I like getting the hours, but it has grown harder and harder for me to hide my contempt for these worthless pieces of shit.

There are two types of workers who fall on either side of the Dirtbag Divide (Continental Divide for slackers.) There are those like me who look to work and try earnestly to get the job done. Then there are those who look to get out of work and could care less if the job gets done. You either fall on one side or the other. There is no in between.

For dirtbags, work is a curse. They labor not out of love or even greed but merely because it is required. Their goal is to do the least amount possible and still get a paycheck. While on the job, they will whine, piss, and moan incessantly about the "injustice" of it all. The injustice is that they have to do something to earn that paper.

The other sign of a dirtbag is that they are always critical of the good workers. Good workers are "suckers." The reality is that they make the dirtbags look like the dirtbags that they are.

I have a low tolerance for dirtbags. They make everyone's job harder including their own. But as mad as I get at these worthless fucks, I must remind myself that they persist in the workplace because management tolerates them. Ultimately, all I can do is the job given to me. If management refuses to do their jobs, there's nothing else for me to do. I just know that I could never be a dirtbag.

DVD-An Inconvenient Truth

I finally got around to watching Al Gore's lecture to America called An Inconvenient Truth. Basically, it is a campaign video disguised as a college lecture in front of a jumbotron. By the end of the movie, you are convinced that Al Gore is going to make another run for the presidency. At the very least, you get the idea that Florida/SCOTUS will be responsible for the planet's destruction because they didn't give Al Gore the presidency.

Ultimately, this is all left wing gloom-and-doom. Global warming is seen as a political problem instead of what it truly is--a technological problem. If carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels are the reason why the planet is heating up, then the most logical answer would be to fully explore nuclear energy as an alternative fuel source. It already powers much of the US Navy. It is the cleanest energy source we have next to solar and wind power. And unlike those "renewable" energy sources, nuclear power is reliable and could meet much of our energy needs. You won't see a single item in Gore's movie praising it.

Gore dismisses critics like myself as putting money before the planet. That is a bit simplistic. What I will say is that the earth turning into a fireball in the next 200 years just isn't going to happen. Gore extrapolates from current trends and assumes they will go on uninterrupted forever. Even in the fireball, we'll still be driving around polluting the atmosphere with our fossil fuel emissions.

If you look at a timeline, you will see that the industrial revolution has always turned to more efficient and environmentally friendly energy sources. We went from wood to coal to oil. Then, this progression stopped as the environmental movement got started. These tree huggers can ban fossil fuels all they want, but they are more likely to produce a black market in these goods than to achieve their aims. This is the lesson of the current war on drugs.

Gore will argue that he is not looking for a ban on fossil fuels but a reduction in emissions. This is rather stupid. If the population of the earth is going to double, a mere reduction won't do anything for the planet except buy us a little more time. But it really is all bullshit. At some point in the movie (just like with Michael Moore,) Gore expects us to move from science to religion on this shit. He uses science to diagnose the problem, but politics is the "cure." Gore never mentions that maybe--just maybe--there is a technological solution to this problem. Not one time.

Unlike Mr. Gore, I believe that if this problem truly exists that we will also discover the means to solve it, and it won't involve electing Gore as president. Personally, I think we would be better off to truly tap nuclear power for much of our energy needs. This is anathema to the environmental crowd which is why Gore never mentioned it.

I recommend watching this DVD but to be critical in your viewing.

Resolutions

It's a new year, and with it come resolutions to lose weight, quit smoking, blah blah blah. By Febuary, they will be totally abandoned. I know because I have had the same two resolutions going back to high school--get in shape and quit being a slob. Still working on those.

I hate making resolutions I can't keep, so here's a list of resolutions I've made that I know I can keep:

1. Quit helping people.

I'm a softhearted person, but that ends in 2007. No more charity. I'm not bailing anyone out ever again. It is a waste of time, and the only thing you will get from it is grief and ingratitude. Are you homeless? Fuck you. Husband beating you? Fuck you. Orphaned? Fuck you.

2. Treat women like shit.

That's really an overstatement. The bottom line is that I am going to give up on the belief that women will like you if you treat them nice. They won't.

3. Be more openly hostile to religion.

I'm just going to quit hiding it and admit it. If you believe in God, you have shit for brains.

4. Quit pulling practical jokes.

People will tell you that they can take a joke, but they can't. I remember where I pulled a joke where I pretended to be drunk and had pissed my pants. The piss was actually tap water I splashed on the front of my pants. Even after the joke had been revealed, I was still an asshole for doing it. And the people who are the sorest losers on this shit are invariably the ones who like to pull these kinds of jokes. I can laugh when a joke is pulled on me, but I have concluded that I am the only one.

5. Stop eating in the car.

I am a busy person and like a lot of busy people, I eat behind the wheel. The result is a car full of trash and food crumbs. Whatever time and money I saved with this multitasking is eaten up by having to clean up the shit and the lowered resale value of my car. So, I'm going to indulge myself and sit down at a table to eat my meals. If you can't take time to eat like a civilized human being, then you really are too busy.

6. Stop eating at my desk.

This is really the same thing as eating in the car. My desk is always littered with the detritus of meals eaten while at my computer. I don't think I ever eat at my kitchen table. Time to slow down and enjoy my food.

I think that does it for my list of achievable resolutions. I'm going to go eat now away from my desk.

Happy New Year.