Covariance


I used to be a stockpicker. I gave it up after reading A Random Walk Down Wall Street. I am utterly convinced that there is no skill in stockpicking whatsoever.

My investing advice is simple. Hold a diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds at the lowest possible cost which means investing in index funds through Vanguard or TIAA-CREF. The solution is simple, but the ideas behind the advice is profound.

Superinvestor Warren Buffett will tell you that it is OK to put all your eggs into one basket. You just have to watch that basket. This is ridiculous advice. A casual glance at Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway will show you the many baskets the man has his money in.

No one has a flawless crystal ball. In my life, there is one thing I can reliably predict. The future is mostly unpredictable. Risk is common and unending. This is why they tell you not to put your eggs in one basket.

The wisdom behind this advice comes from the risk reducing properties of negative covariance. This is opposed to positive covariance which is when everything moves together. Negative covariance is when things do not move together like in the graph above.

An example of positive covariance is when you find a forgotten twenty dollar bill beside the bed after having mindblowing sex with a gorgeous blonde. An example of negative covariance would be buying a winning lottery ticket on the day your house burns down. Positive covariance would be having the lottery ticket inside the house when it burned down.

None of this probably makes sense to you, so I'll break it down like this. Risk is simply volatility. A guy like Warren Buffett would disagree. He would say that risk is the likelihood of losing money. But losing money is a certainty of life. Warren Buffett has lost lots of money. He's losing money now on NetJets. If NetJets was a private company instead of a Berkshire subsidiary, it would be done. But Warren has other streams of income, so he is content to ride it out. In short, he is diversified.

Basically, this is how it all works. If you want to increase reward, you must concentrate your holdings. The downside is that you will increase risk. For instance, the lottery generates huge rewards for the winner, but I am willing to bet my entire net worth that you won't win the lottery in your lifetime. Ever. The risk is tremendous. That's why we work jobs. Less reward but less risk. But spending a dollar a week on the lottery is no big deal. You get to stay out of the poorhouse and also open yourself to that once in a million years jackpot.

It is impossible to have absolute return with zero risk. It also impossible to live without risk. The optimal portfolio of investments will achieve a balance between risk and return given the investor's tolerance. This means investing in a mix of stocks and bonds or going further into the various asset classes that can be sliced and diced. But I am digressing at this point. . .

Diversification is the key not only to investing but in all aspects of life. I call it the gospel of covariance. It is a good strategy. I'll apply it to certain aspects of life to show you how it works.

1. EMPLOYMENT/CAREER.

When I was in college, computer science was a hot major. It has noticeably cooled since then. Where folks were making $60K to start in this area, they now count themselves lucky to be employed. I've seen this same thing with mechanical engineering, geology, chemical engineering, etc. In all of these fields, the rewards can be very lucrative depending upon economic factors. For instance, a mechanical engineer could name his price during the defense buildup of the '80's. He was out of work when the Berlin Wall fell. (Watch Falling Down with Michael Douglas to get a taste of this.)

The result of this is that more and more people are pursuing advanced degrees. This is a mistake. The reason people with a hot major make a lot of money is because they are in high demand. But it is in the nature of markets to fill demand. The result of this specialization is that you can make a ton of cash--if you're lucky. Nowadays, a decent welder from a votech program makes more cash than a computer science grad. Why? Supply and demand.

I think people are seeing the limits of specialization. In order to make big money, you have to be lucky enough to specialize in something that is in tremendous demand. But unless this something is hard to acquire (like a medical degree), you will probably end up spending a lot of money on something with a dismal future.

I think the answer to all of this is a return to the Renaissance Ideal. In other words, it helps to know something about everything. You won't make as much as a nuclear physicist, but you'll always have a job. When the market changes, you can change with it. Have a foot in both the blue collar and the white collar worlds. Be a double major in engineering and accounting while learning a skill at the local trade school. Or learn to be a welder, a machinist, and a truck driver while pursuing your love of painting and music in your spare time. Hey, Elvis used to drive a truck. It paid the bills.

It is impossible to become great at something unless you focus on it. Pete Sampras was the greatest tennis player to play the game. He was also a high school dropout and incredibly boring. This is no accident. He focused like a laser on his sport, made some cash, and he will probably be forgotten. A bad accountant could send him to the grill at McDonald's.

By being a jack of all trades, you will be the master of none. But you will be more employable (and more interesting.)

2. PICKING UP CHICKS.

I did a personal study of players to discover their secrets. How are they able to be with so many different women? The answer was readily apparent. These cats don't have any special magic or charm over women. They are simply cocky enough to throw themselves at any and every woman they encounter. They are successful less than 10% of the time. But we only count their successes. In short, they diversify their efforts. A loser chases after one woman at a time concentrating his effort leading to sexual frustration and an evening with Penthouse. The player has his phone ringing off the hook.

I learned all of this because I wanted to know the answer to a nagging question. Why do jerks and slackers end up with the girls? Well, that's easy. Jerks have no shame, and slackers have nothing but time. The result is a lot of hook ups. If I told you that pressing a button ten times will give you a dollar bill, you'd probably quit your job to be a professional button pusher. It is no different with women. Ask out ten chicks and see what happens.

3. RELATIONSHIPS.

I have a lot of friends. That's because I network. Networking has gotten a bad rap because it seems self-serving and impersonal. But it isn't. Networking is where you go through the trouble to write down the addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers of people you know and make an effort to stay in touch with them. I never get rid of a friend. It's a lot of work trying to keep in touch with all those people, but it pays off. Never burn a bridge. Those bridges may be the ones to get you over the next troubled water you encounter.

As you can see from these examples, diversification and covariance can be applied to a lot of different areas. You will also see where others are already applying it such as with spam. Spam is annoying as hell to us but very lucrative for those sending it. It's no different than the button pusher analogy. Advertising, marketing, etc. employ the same strategy.

For me, the biggest change I made in my life was to be a bit more omnivorous in my tastes, my projects, etc. My examples in this were Aristotle and Leonardo da Vinci. Both men were geniuses, and their influence is still felt to this day. They were polymaths which means they did it all. Aristotle made important contributions in philosophy, science, politics, and literature. Leonardo did the same with painting, sculpture, anatomy, inventions, etc. Without a doubt, their reaches exceeded their grasps. You literally cannot know everything or do everything. But you can do a lot more than you think, and it is worth it. Leonardo and Aristotle diversified. We have forgotten their failures and remember only their successes.

This meme has infected all areas of my life. I accept that I will fail more often than I succeed, but diversifying my efforts saves me from being at the mercy of fate. This is the same secret behind the insurance industry. I am very enthusiastic about this strategy which may explain the eclectic nature of my blog. I just throw stuff at the wall to see what sticks.

Charlie's Political Platform


I have a lot of opinions on various political issues, and I thought it would be a good idea to concentrate these positions into a single statement. My outlook is basically libertarian with a belief that people should be allowed to enjoy the maximum amount of freedom possible as long as it does not infringe on the rights of others which are the rights to life, liberty, and property.

This platform is not complete and will be revised in the future as either my mind changes or new issues emerge. No arguments are presented for these positions here but can be found in my other writings.


1. TAXATION

Income taxes and property taxes on all levels should be abolished and replaced with a sales tax.

2. THE FEDERAL RESERVE, CURRENCY, AND BANKING

The Fed needs to be abolished. America should return to a gold standard and currency should be open to competition in the free market. Banking should be deregulated, and government insurance programs of bank accounts should be abolished.

3. ENTITLEMENTS AND THE WELFARE STATE

Social Security and Medicare should be abolished. There should be no welfare.

4. EDUCATION

The government should be entirely out of the education business. The Department of Education should be abolished. Public schools should be closed, and the property sold off. No public funds should go to universities or other institutions of higher learning. The government should not give loans or grants to students or issue vouchers as proposed by school choice advocates.

5. THE FCC

The Federal Communications Commission should be abolished.

6. THE FDA

The Food and Drug Administration should be abolished.

7. THE MINIMUM WAGE

The minimum wage should be abolished and left to the marketplace.

8. OSHA

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration should be abolished. Workplace safety should be left to the courts.

9. THE EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency should be abolished. Environmental protection should be a matter of property rights and left to the courts.

10. ABORTION

Abortion should remain legal. It should never be publicly funded.

11. PUBLIC FUNDING FOR SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH

There should be no public funding for scientific endeavors.

12. NASA

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration should be abolished, and its defense functions turned over to the Department of Defense.

13. HOMELAND SECURITY

The Department of Homeland Security should be abolished.

14. DRUG POLICY

All illicit drugs currently illegal should be made legal. The Drug Enforcement Administration should be abolished. Prisoners of the current drug policy should be granted unconditional amnesty for their "crimes."

15. DEFENSE

The Department of Defense should be maintained.

16. GUN RIGHTS

The right of the people to keep and bear arms should never be infringed.

17. CHURCH AND STATE

Religion has no place in the public arena. The government should not restrict or promote religious institutions or viewpoints. Infringements of liberty for religious reasons should not be tolerated.

18. THE USDA

Farm subsidies should cease. The United States Department of Agriculture should be abolished.

19. FOREIGN POLICY

There should be no infringement on free trade with all nations. Managed trade is not free trade. Economic sanctions should never be used as an instrument of foreign policy. There should be absolutely no aid to foreign governments or international organizations. The United States should never interfere in the internal affairs of foreign countries. The United States should not engage in war unless attacked by a foreign entity or in danger of an imminent attack by a foreign entity.

20. ANTI-DISCRIMINATION AND AFFIRMATIVE ACTION

Laws and regulations against discrimination and promoting affirmative action in the private sector are violations of property rights and should be repealed. These laws should remain in force on the government. Laws against hate crimes are redundant and punish freedom of thought and should never be enacted.

21. IMMIGRATION

The only people who should be barred from entering the United States are criminals and terrorists. Immigration and naturalization should be liberalized letting as many people come to the USA as possible either temporarily or permanently. Foreigners who commit crimes should be deported after paying for their crimes.

22. THE TORT SYSTEM

The tort system should require that the loser pay for the legal costs of the victor.


23. THE DEATH PENALTY

The death penalty is fair and just in principle. Murderers should die. In practice, the death penalty is problematic as innocent people have found their way to death row, and it is a virtual certainty that innocents have perished while murderers have gone free. Innocent people should not die. Therefore, the death penalty should be abolished.

24. THE INTERNET

The internet should remain free of all government regulation.

25. ROADS AND INFRASTRUCTURE

The nation's roads, highways, and bridges should be sold to private firms.

States of Fear


One day, there was this guy going to work. He felt good because he was early. He was in no rush. He rode the elevator to the floor where his desk was. He prepared himself for the day ahead. Then, he heard a sudden boom and the building shake. Flames shot out everywhere, and he was facing the choice of burning alive in jet fuel or jumping out the window to smack into the concrete below.

This is the stuff of life. For most of us, life will not be as stark as it was for the victims of 9/11. We may buy it in a car accident or get taken out slowly by cancer. In the meantime, we may come home to see our S.O. having sex with a stranger. We can go to work and get fired. Shit happens, and the randomness of that shit is what will drive you nuts.

I think this is the basis of post-traumatic stress disorder. When you spend that much time expecting to be attacked at any moment from any position, it is hard to return to normal. That is too much stark reality to process which is why it takes time for these guys to adjust. Some never make the adjustment at all.

Life can be a chronic state of fear if you let it (or listen to people like Al Gore.) I often wonder why faith in both religion and government is so ubiquitous, but it doesn't take much to figure it out. Both religion and government reinforce a fantasy that God and our elected officials will take care of everything. And when both fail, people will bury their heads still further up their own asses rather than face the reality. If you don't believe this, look at how the disappointed victims of Hurricane Katrina still line up for their government assistance. Things will not change.

People are scared, and religionists and politicians are all too eager to exploit that fear. They offer comfort and security though both are purely psychological constructs against terrors that are phantom in nature. There is no Hell except the one in the line at the DMV or the Post Office.

Politics and religion aside, life is still fraught with risk and peril. You can make all the plans you want, but they are subject to the whims of fate. This fact alone makes the human enterprise uncertain. It can be frustrating. How can you be happy when it can end at any moment? Even if you do achieve your goals, they can be swept away at any time. Why bother?

It is very easy to allow yourself to be brought down by chronic fear and worry. It can get so bad that you can't even enjoy life, and that's where things really suck. The whole point and purpose of life is to be happy, and paranoia is the opposite of happiness.

You can't change anything by worrying. I wish it were possible, but you can't. All you can do is prepare. You save your money. You wear your seatbelt. You eat right and exercise. And in the end, you will still die. It is a black hole on the horizon for each of us that will suck us into its vortex, and we will be no more.

I rely on philosophy to make it through my life. That is because my life sucks more than what you will find on average. My bad luck runs a pretty wide streak. This leads to reflection which leads to reading a lot of the ancient Greeks who spend a lot of time thinking about the same shit.

I am an atheist, but I still enjoy the Bible as literature. The Book of Job is the finest thing in there because that book really deals with doubt. Job was a guy who had his whole world turned upside down through no fault of his own. Yet, Job's comforters ended up telling him it was his fault anyway. As someone who has been through some shit, I can attest that this happens almost all the time after something happens:

-"He got cancer? Was he a smoker? Did he eat right?"

-"He got in a car accident? Was he drunk?"

-"He's getting a divorce? Was he cheating on her?"

We want to blame the victim. We want to say that it was their own fault because it still implies control over an uncertain world. This is where superstition comes into play which merely evolves into religion. When people ask me why stuff happened to me, I tell them I forgot to rub my lucky rabbit's foot. They give me a puzzled look, but that is because they are stupid.

I don't know how many times I am told not to talk about certain things because I might "jinx" something or "hex" something. What utter stupidity. None of this is scientific in any way. But it does highlight how people give over to such foolishness. Even science can be twisted in this way as people have irrational fears about genetically modified foods, using radiation as a sanitizer, or what have you. People think that anything "natural" is good while anything "artificial" is bad. Yet, sugar is natural which contributes to weight gain and tooth decay while aspartame is artificial and passes harmlessly through your gut. But I digress. . .

As I said, I like to read the Greeks especially the Stoics during times like these. I disagree with the Stoic worldview especially their fatalism, but they prove that you can achieve a certain measure of psychological comfort in this world. Buddhism reached much of the same conclusions which helped to inform the later work of a guy like Albert Ellis who started the rational/emotive therapy school of psychology. Basically, your emotions are a product of your thoughts. If you change the way you think, you will change the way you feel about life.

Faith is a powerful thing. Religion is not true, but this does not change the fact that religious people report higher levels of satisfaction and happiness as opposed to those who are not religious. Like it or not, believing in such nonsense will help you make it through life. The downside is that you end up taking risks or ignoring information because it does not fit into this religious worldview. This is how you get snakehandlers or Christian Scientists who refuse medical care for themselves and their children.

It takes fortitude to face reality as it honestly is. Even then, a tragedy like 9/11 still shocks us, and we describe it as "unreal." It doesn't fit our view of reality which indicates that we all fool ourselves for the moment. Then, the rug gets pulled out from under us.

The reality is that the rug can be pulled out from under us at any time. The key is to remain moving forward in spite of what happens to us. That is the only positive advantage of religion. It keeps people moving in a forward direction. They go on believing and planning for the future. Victory and defeat are probabilities, but defeat is a certainty once you choose to surrender.

For the atheist, he must choose not to surrender. There may come a time when surrender is the only logical option. If I were going to be captured by al-Qaeda, I would eat my cyanide capsule. If I were diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, I would put my affairs in order, engage in some risky behaviors that I had been too chickenshit to do like skydiving, then I would eat a bullet. Dementia is not a fate I care to endure.

To make it through life, you have to keep moving. Relentless Forward Motion or RFM is what I call it. It doesn't guarantee anything, but it puts the odds more in your favor. It also has the added benefit of keeping you busy which is where happiness springs from. This is why religion emphasizes ritual so damn much. If you can't make them happy, at least keep them busy.

This is another one of those rambling posts, but the main purpose of this blog is as a psychological outlet for me. I deal with things by writing about them. It makes me feel better to put it all in words even it doesn't necessarily feel great to read those words. In the way of a conclusion, things are bad but not nearly as bad as some will tell you. You have some control over your life but not total control. And you shouldn't feel bad when shit happens because shit happens to us all. As they say, no one here gets out alive.

The Downward Spiral



I only have one great enemy in my life, and that is nihilism. For those not in the know, nihilism is a worldview that basically life is not worth living, that human beings are essentially evil, that truth cannot be known, and that happiness is impossible. If you want to get a flavor of this, listen to any Nine Inch Nails album or watch Fight Club.

It was Ayn Rand who pointed out that this bullshit began with Plato and worked its way through Kant to the present day. Personally, I think Schopenhauer deserves the most credit with his caustic pessimism. Nietzsche is often thrown into this camp, but he was actually fighting against nihilism. Finally, there isn't a nihilist who exists that wouldn't disagree with these statements.

My definition of nihilism is depression as a philosophy and a lifestyle. But it is a philosophy and lifestyle that I reject. I think a lot of people are with me on this which is why many people embrace religion. They are desperate not to give in to that soul sucking darkness. But they exchange arsenic for cyanide in the process.

Any ideology leads to nihilism because all ideologies posit a perfect world which the present real world can never be. People in the Aristotelian tradition as opposed to the Platonic tradition accept the world as it is. Reality is all there is. If you want to see the contrast, experience the flavor of the arts and humanities side of a modern college campus then go over to the engineering and sciences departments. There is a reason why the Virginia Tech gunman was an English major.

But even a scientific worldview doesn't change certain elemental truths. The universe is indifferent. Nature is red in tooth and claw. We are subject to random occurrences beyond our control. And human beings are capable of great cruelty to one another.

I am neither an optimist nor a pessimist. Things can go either way. The same indifferent nature that gave us the ebola virus also gave human beings a large cerebrum and an opposable thumb. The pessimist will look at life and see only the inevitability of death. I look at life and wonder that we exist at all.

The same thing exists with humanity. When reading about the Spanish Inquisition, the Holocaust, the torture methods of al-Qaeda, or watching a movie like Hostel, the barbarity of human beings sickens me. But the fact that such atrocities shock us gives me some hope for the human race. Slavery was abolished along with Jim Crow and apartheid. Germany is probably the safest place for a Jew living in the world today. Human beings are a far cry from the Reavers in Firefly.

I'm going through some tough times right now, and I can feel the downward spiral of nihilism trying to suck me down. I just keep going back to my touchstone of perseverance--LIFE IS A JOKE SO LAUGH AT IT. That is the essence of balanced thinking. I laugh at and mock the absurdities of existence.

It's hard to find humor in cancer or murder unless you're a sadist. It is said that Osama bin Laden laughed after 9/11 because most of the hijackers on those planes had no clue they were flying to their own deaths. I can laugh at bin Laden because he shows what an utter piece of shit he is. Yet, his beguiled followers think he is a great and holy man.

I laugh at stupid people. That is where the humor comes from. I can laugh at the 9/11 hijackers who martyred themselves to be in paradise with 72 virgins because it was the best chance that any of them had of getting laid.

In my own life, I have to laugh at the absurdity of my own troubles. If there is one theme I have encountered in my life, it would be this. I am loved but mistreated. I worry less about my enemies than I do about my friends and family. My enemies respect me and leave me alone. Most of my wounds have come from the back where I thought I was protected.

This isn't to say that all my friends and family members have done me wrong. I'd probably be nowhere without those people. The reality is that these are the only people in a position to do me wrong. Caesar fought countless battles, but he died on a friend's dagger. Loyalty must always come before betrayal.

In my present troubles, what I find surprising is that people care about me at all. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I hate myself in a way that most people could not endure. I am mystified that people I am nice to would hate me, but I am equally mystified by the people who care about me.

These people are the ones who keep me from losing myself in the downward spiral. I don't know where I would be without them. The result is a mixed blessing. By having people in my life, I run the risk of betrayal. By not having people in my life, I face the certainty of nihilistic doom. Therefore, I remain social and loyal to these people. I have been called an idiot for trusting people, but what is the alternative? Be a hermit? Suicide?

This post has been a bit of a ramble, and I apologize. There is no real thesis here except that I have a strange life. Good things and bad things happen to me all at once. This is merely a reflection of the random nature of existence. Fortune comes to us all. At the blackjack table of life, I am low on chips right now, but no one leaves the game a winner. You just have to keep playing.

Pumpkin

Immigration

The immigration issue has gotten a lot of attention recently as a compromise bill is being debated and tweaked in the Senate. As with any compromise, there are things to love and hate about the bill.

My position on immigration is clear. I am in favor of it. I would support an amnesty bill for the 12 million illegals already here except that I would scrap the $5000 fine and back taxes obligations. I oppose building a fence on the southern border or an increased military presence there.

The opponents of my unpopular position marshall two arguments against me. They are the economic argument and the social argument. I'll demolish the economic argument first.

People claim that Mexcian immigrants hurt our economy. Ironically, they never say this about Canadian, English, Australian, Austrian, or German immigrants. But I'm getting ahead of myself here. The fact is that these immigrants do not hurt our economy at all but actually help it. By providing cheap labor, farms and businesses are able to produce goods and provide services at a lower cost. This helps bring down the prices for these goods and services which we buy. In addition, these people require goods and services which we can then provide to them. Mexicans take jobs, but they also help to create jobs as well.

Opponents are deluded by their own economic illiteracy that sees the economy as a pie that gets no bigger. It is merely sliced with each person getting a smaller and smaller slice as more people partake of the pie. This simply isn't the case. Granted, if you are an American fruit picker making the minimum wage, you will probably lose your job to these Mexican fruit pickers working off the books. My advice is to upgrade your skills or lower the price of your labor. This may seem harsh, but you make the same choice when you tell Wal-Mart, Sony, Microsoft, or whatnot to lower their prices or improve the quality of the shit you buy from them. This is where economic growth comes from.

The other side of the economic argument is the fact that many immigrants take advantage of taxpayer funded social services better known as the Welfare State. This isn't a problem of immigration but a problem of welfare. If you want immigrants to stop getting welfare, stop signing the checks instead of putting up a damn fence on the border. This will be cheaper and will strengthen our society as well as eliminate a lure for lazy Mexicans to come here.

This leads us to the social argument that immigrants are bad for our society because they are a bunch of lazy dirty criminals. I find this ironic considering how hard they work and the threat that they pose for the American workforce. Someone said I worked like a Mexican, and I took it as a compliment. The reality is that I don't work nearly as hard as they do.

Stats show that the immigrant population has a lower crime rate than our own population. Granted, Mexican drug dealers are a problem, but this is largely a result of our idiotic War on Drugs. Legalize the drugs, and this problem will disappear. But even with the current idiocy, Mexicans are still less criminally inclined than the rest of the US population.

The fundamental reason people are against these Mexican immigrants are because they are brown and don't speak English. They run into these people in the grocery store or Wal-Mart and hear them speaking their gibberish and dressed and acting differently. Paranoia overwhelms them leading to xenophobia and racial bigotry and delusions of a Mexican takeover. In short, they hate these dirty brown wetbacks and want to send them back south of the border. I don't go along with this hatred.

I'm not asking these bigots to love these Mexicans. What I am asking of them is to respect the life, liberty, and property of these people. Most of these people want to come here and work and make a better life for themselves and their families. They're not stealing from anyone when they do this. They are working. This is what America is supposed to be about.

Before the Mexicans, it was the Italians. Before the Italians, it was the Irish. They were all dirty, smelled bad, were criminals, etc. But history shows that America benefitted greatly from these immigrants. They got the fair shake here that they didn't get in their countries of origin, and they prospered. They were just different.

The majority of the American public is against me on this, but I think history will show the ugliness of this irrational xenophobia. I support making immigration to the USA as easy as possible. Our borders should be as open as they can possibly be. The result will be mutual benefit, and these people you hate will become as beloved as a Kennedy, a Giuliani, a Dimaggio, or even, *gulp*, Bill O'Reilly.

America is not defined by race. It is defined by shared values of liberty, respect for human rights, and a belief in hard work. Anyone who shares these values should be welcome in our country.

Adversity


It is said that there are no atheists in foxholes, but anyone who has seen Touching the Void knows this isn't true.

Void is the true story of Joe Simpson and the hell he endured on Siula Grande which is a 20,813 foot peak in the Peruvian Andes. An accident left Simpson with a broken leg. His climbing partner Simon Yates attempted to bring Simpson down but a slip left Simpson hanging over the edge. Simon Yates was left with the agonizing choice to cut the rope or die with Simpson. Yates cut the rope.

Simpson should have died from the fall but a stroke of good fortune spared him. But his partner thinking Simpson was dead descended to base camp and prepared for the sad journey home. Simpson was in a crevasse, and no one was going to save him but himself. Would Simspon cry out to God? Simpson's response:

I was brought up as a devout Catholic. I'd long since stopped believing in God. I always wondered if things really hit the fan whether I would, under pressure, turn 'round and say a few Hail Marys and say, "get me out of here." It never once occurred to me. It meant that I really don't believe and I really do think that when you die you die, that's it. There's no afterlife, there's nothing.

In the end, there is nothing. Simpson made a decision to live, and he crawled six miles back to base camp through ice, boulders, and the camp's latrine without food or water to sustain him. It is an epic tale of survival.

But this is not merely a DVD review. This is about enduring adversity, and it comes to all of us. There is no such thing as a problem-free existence. Shit happens, and you must deal with it. And you must choose to live or die.

The biggest hurdle in adversity isn't the adversity itself but your mental approach to these things. I'm not going to launch into a Tony Robbins infomercial here. That idiot doesn't know a thing about adversity.

When it comes to hard times, you must believe in your ability to handle the shit life slings at you. You must believe in yourself. Praying won't change a thing. You are your own savior.

The second thing you have to do is believe in patience and persistence. This is how Joe Simpson saved himself. He crawled one foot at a time. He dragged himself out of that hell. Lesser mortals would have given up, but Simpson did not. He persisted.

Finally, the answer to most problems usually boils down to hard work. Nothing is really impossible. It is simply difficult, and the difficulty is that you must exert sustained labor towards the accomplishment of the goal. I'm a big believer in work. Everywhere I go in my life, I see roads, bridges, buildings, etc. and realize they were all built one piece at a time.

I just accept that I have to always work in my life. I have no plans to ever retire. This is a waste of life. I would rather burn out than fade out. And if you don't have a job, your job is to find a job. Anyone who doesn't have work isn't looking hard enough.

Adversity is no big deal. In fact, we seek it out. The reason Joe Simpson was on Siula Grande in the first place was because he wanted to be challenged. Similarly, we seek the same thing in very movie we watch or videogame we play. The basis of all entertainment is conflict. This is why we pit athletes against each other or watch an action hero in an epic film battle the bad guys. If given paradise, we would find the exit. Eden is boredom. None of us wants a trouble-free existence.

Overcoming adversity is easy. It is overcoming yourself that is hard.


SORAYAMA, unknown

SORAYAMA, unknown

Charlie's Philosophy of Business

There is a right way and a wrong way to run a business, and this is not a matter of opinion or debate. That is because if you run a business the wrong way it ceases to exist. There are certain fundamentals to running a sound business whether large or small, and these fundamentals comprise my philosophy of business.

1. The purpose of a business is to make money.

This may seem elemental, but in an era of corporate mission statements, corporate social responsibility, "giving back," and other such leftist horseshit, the profit motive has been forgotten.

Businesses exist to make money, and there is nothing immoral about this. Businesses make money by giving people what they want. For instance, a grocer exploits my need for food while I exploit his need for money. We make a mutually beneficial exchange, and there you have it. Where is the crime?

Sadly, I hear a lot of people in business say things like "money isn't everything." It boggles the mind. Money is everything, folks. We can talk all day about "self-actualization" and "fulfillment." But the bottom line is the bottom line. It is very hard to feel fulfilled when you're out of a job or your bankrupt.

Profit is king, and those in business benefit everyone most when they focus on making a buck and not diluting their efforts with this other rubbish. Buddhism and Bolsehvism are bullshit and have no place in business.

2. The customer is always right.

This statement is misunderstood by a lot of people. Clearly, if a customer orders a pizza topped with arsenic, you will have to turn him away. But at that point, you encounter the corollary--when the customer is wrong, he is no longer a customer.

When we say the customer is always right, it is the same as saying that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. A business only creates value to the extent that customers are willing to pay for it. But sometimes, businesses become arrogant and try to dictate to the customers what they should like instead of giving them what they want. This is a mistake.

I don't waste my time trying to figure out why people will pay three bucks for a cup of java at Starbucks or why Titanic was the highest grossing film of all time. There is no accounting for taste. People pay for what they want, and it is the job of a business to give them what they want. This is how money is made.

3. The only thing a business owes its workers is a safe work environment and payment for services rendered.

In the USA, you can quit a job for any reason. You don't have to explain why you quit or anything else. Yet, businesses take considerable risks in firing workers for any reason. The threat of discrimination or wrongful termination suits makes it difficult to fire workers which then makes it difficult to hire workers. No one wants to hire a dirtbag they can't get rid of.

In Germany and France, people see a job as an entitlement. Needless to say, you can't get fired in either country. You can't get hired either which is why the Krauts and the Frogs have high unemployment.

A business is not a welfare state. Workers and unions like to think this is the case, but this is how you end up with Detroit automakers on the verge of bankruptcy. With lavish pay and bloated pensions for assembly line workers, Detroit can't compete with the likes of Toyota and Honda. And if you try to change this, the union will strike on you resorting to force to get their way. The result is that both the company and the employees suffer.

Businesses should fire for whatever reason they like. This may seem arbitrary, and there are businesses that would do this. But getting fired isn't so bad if you can get hired again tomorrow. Basically, stupid businesses would render trained personnel to other businesses who would reap the rewards. It would be no different than McDonald's delivering burgers and fries to Burger King free of charge. Dumb.

Ulimately, the price of labor is determined by the market. This is what the unions don't get. This is why I laugh when a coworker tells me what a "fair wage" is. There is no such thing. There is the wage that the market sets. If you feel you are underpaid, you are free to market your services elsewhere.

Most businesses get around the unions and lawsuits by the use of the "hatchet man." The job of the hatchet man is to go around and document infractions of company policies to use as cover. This may seem underhanded but so is suing someone for terminating you. In fairness, if people didn't sue, the hatchet man would be out of a job. But he has a job, and if you think certain company policies make no sense, that is because they aren't supposed to make sense. They exist to help the hatchet man do his job. Stupid rules are routinely ignored which can be documented as infractions when the need arises.

You work at the pleasure of the business owner. This may seem unjust, but it isn't. The business owes the worker nothing but what was agreed upon. Additional terms can be agreed upon and put into a contract. But as the NFL shows, contracts are flimsy, and their spirits violated by both sides.

The bottom line is that workers are either assets or liabilities. The ones who are assets get away with a lot more because they are important for profitability. The ones who are liabilities will be terminated no matter how much they keep their noses clean. Produce or die. This is the way it is, and the way it should be.

In conclusion, these three basic tenets comprise the core of my philosophy of business. But as I said, these are elemental. They cannot be disputed. Yet, the reason they are revolutionary is because a lot of people wish to defy these principles. They do so at their peril. It is the job of a business to make money. This will never change.


MENGIN, Sappho

Random Thoughts on Various Subjects

1. SARKOZY

The French wise up and vote in someone with a capitalist bent. This can only be good for them, but you can bet on some big time frog whining over the next five years. I can't wait for the abolition of the 35-hour work week.

2. JUNIOR

I feel 75% certain Dale will be racing for Richard Childress next season. But there is consolidation going on in the sport with teams combining to pool resources. It's a different world in racing these days.

3. GIULANI

Rudy tried to put the smackdown on Ron Paul, but I think it helped Ron Paul's campaign more than Rudy's. A lot of Republicans might have been with Rudy, but the American people are with Ron Paul on this issue. Interventionism leads to blowback which leads to further interventionism and blowback. It is time to end this cycle. BTW, Giuliani needs to try reading the 9/11 Commission Report.

4. FLOYD LANDIS

Landis is fighting it in court, but I fully expect him to lose his TDF title. Meanwhile, the sport of cycling is dead as a result of the doping scandals. I just wish they could get Lance Armstrong.

5. BASEBALL

I won't waste my time watching these dopers either. Fuck Barry Bonds.

6. PARIS HILTON

. . .will get her scrawny ass beat down in jail. She's a trophy for someone's mantelpiece.

7. THE FAIRNESS DOCTRINE

Rush Limbaugh is making a big deal of this, but it can't pass until a Democrat is elected President which is a virtual certainty thanks to Iraq. Basically, the Fairness Doctrine will return AM radio to the wasteland it was when stations were required to give equal time to opposing viewpoints. Essentially, it is an assault on talk radio because it is too much trouble to deal with all the dissenters. Limbaugh and others would be out of business. Needless to say, I am against it. I wish someone would abolish the FCC.

8. TRUE SHIT

Dolphins sleep with one eye closed. They only sleep with one half of their brains while the other half stays awake. Read all about it.

9. IDIOT OF THE WEEK

This fool:


10. DIRTY JOKE (Courtesy of Clint Monts)

Upon hearing that her elderly grandfather had just passed away, Katie went
straight to her grandparent's house to visit her 95- year-old grandmother
and comfort her. When she asked how her grandfather had died, her
grandmother replied, "He had a heart attack while we were making love on
Sunday morning. "

Horrified, Katie told her grandmother that 2 people nearly 100 years old
having sex would surely be asking for trouble.

"Oh no, my dear," replied granny. "Many years ago, realizing our advanced
age, we figured the best time to do it was when the church bells would start
to ring. It was just the right rhythm. Nice and slow and even. Nothing too strenuous, simply in on the Ding and out on the Dong."

She paused to wipe away a tear, and continued, "He'd still be alive if the
ice cream truck hadn't come along."

This Is What a Piece of Shit Looks Like



I hope this fucker gets his ass reamed nightly by a bull queer, and they knock his teeth out so their slimy dicks can slide easily in his mouth. Have fun biting the pillow, you sorry fucker. I hope it is a long stay where you're going.


SORAYAMA, unknown

A Coded Message for the Stunt Penis



,;;S1zxcI2d ken3H cm4mdm 5Tsbr6tNwe 7kOtden8a9 qEc1mm sn2Mw3evIr5brTcn wcnRbbq qUcytj6Oxx dfgYDergeEbtrsTbgsS bzaqgsAbsb5s W65w;cjhU23s< <>>gbswO br56bw sYwcqEbbbVs4 etw5 Etrb 4Iwrb Lwstb waE4234B Tt3gNqagAb gCgbqreI

Falwell

Mike Wallace asked Mitt Romney if he had ever had sex with his wife before they were married. I thought this was over the line and would have told Mike it was none of his damn business. Then, I remembered who he was interviewing.

The fact is that the religious right can't mind their own business, so they deserve interview questions like that. Romney has aligned himself with those religious fuckheads, so his sex life is now fair game. I'd love to ask Romney if he ever got a blowjob from his wife or stuck it deep in her ass. Tasteless? Yes. Justified? Absolutely.

The person we have to thank for this is a man named Jerry Falwell who with his Moral Majority took it upon himself to police the bedrooms of America. I am glad that fucker is dead. My only regret is that he wasn't caught frigging his cock to Penthouse magazine when his heart gave out. It's too bad there isn't a hell for that hypocrite to roast in. Good riddance to that fuckhead.

Wolfowitz

The girlfriend issue is a red herring. Basically, people at the World Bank hate Wolfie, and Witz gave them the dagger to stick in his back by giving his girlfriend a raise. But no one at the bank seems to give a shit about the girlfriend.

Folks, this is how the Machiavellians work. If the like you, you are safe no matter how many rules you break and ethics you violate. If they don't like you, they will get you no matter how clean you keep your nose. You can always find some "t" that wasn't crossed somewhere.

I could give a shit about both Wolfowitz and the World Bank, but I think it is a fascinating look at office politics. Throw in the scandal with AG Alberto Gonzales, and you see how the political game is played.

I despise this shit which is why I never pursued an assault on the corporate ladder or entered into politics. Politics is merely the selective use of loyalty and betrayal. I'd rather do my job well and stay out of that shit. The result is that I'm poor and unknown, but I sleep well at night.

SORAYAMA, unknown

Religion and Freedom

I spend a lot of time bashing on religion, and I think society and the world would be better off if religion died off. But as a lover of freedom, I want that death to be a natural death. I oppose all government attempts to outlaw religion or denigrate it.

This viewpoint of mine puts me at odds with other atheists. For instance, I support abortion rights, but I oppose taxpayer funding for abortion. As for prayer in public schools, that is a moot point for me because I oppose public education entirely because it serves merely as a means of state indoctrination.

I do support the separation of church and state, but I would oppose a group like American Atheists who would like to strip churches of their tax exempt status. I hate to say this, but I suspect that many atheists would like to become tyrants themselves and seek to harass and even eradicate religion through such measures as the tax code or regulation or what have you.

I think the atheist cause is just but only as a cultural revolution. I do not think religion will entirely disappear as even new religions like Scientology or the Heaven's Gate cult have sprung up in the last hundred years. I think if we got rid of God many idiots would turn to the worship of aliens and UFOs. Stupidity has no end.

What I would like to see is the rise of secularism as a permanent cultural phenomenon. Like Dawkins, Harris, and others, I agree that religion is dangerous, and it is dangerous precisely because of its dogmatic nature. Beware the person who commits atrocities for the sake of your salvation and will admit no error because his religion forbids it. In this, we find the seeds if tyranny, and it is no coincidence that the tyrants of history used religion to this end. From the divinity of Roman emperors to the divine right of kings, tyranny was able to add ignorance to fear as a means of controlling the populace.

Ultimately, the moral "legitimacy" of tyranny comes from the belief that the end justifies the means. This how both the Spanish Inquisition and Stalin could do what they did. It was for the "greater good."

With religion, there is no such thing as this greater good because it simply does not exist. There is no God. He is an imaginary construct and a collective delusion. It is harder to argue against communism than it is with religion. But communism has been shown to be idiocy, so it is the same with religion. In short, the truth will win out because lies take too much energy to maintain.

Atheists are going on the offensive like never before, and this is a direct result of things like 9/11, 7/7, and the Terri Schiavo case. Live and let live can no longer adhere because it is not in the nature of religious fanatics to leave others alone and to mind their own business. It is time for atheism to go for the cultural jugular and finish off this idiocy for all time. Religion will always exist, but these people will be seen for the babbling idiots that they are. I want people to be free to worship as they please, but I also want the right to not worship and to present my viewpoints.

I believe that reason will win. That is why freedom is important. It gives truth the chance it needs to win.

Shameless Self-Promotion

Regular readers of my blog will notice that I have done a redesign of the header. This is keeping with my new strategy of shameless self-promotion.

Here's a secret many of you may not know about, but here it is. What do no talent and even unattractive people like Madonna, Paris Hilton, Gene Simmons, Ron Jeremy, and others have in common? Shameless self-promotion. They aren't the best at anything except getting themselves known. In short, it is marketing applied to the individual, and I am jumping on the bandwagon.

The problem with shameless self-promotion is that it is so. . .shameless. But never fear folks. My self-deprecating wit will remain intact as a result of having a below average sized penis. I cannot quite master the cockiness that comes with ten inches of tube steak.

As for the blog, you can expect to see more of the same--obscenity, depravity, and stupidity. Some things will never change.

A Coded Message for the Stunt Penis


YswcOdUvfaR BwdRqdExseAgtTvfeH SnhyMcwcEvfLvfLewrS LvfIvKeE KvfewOmnhgOojL AjhIjyD AliyNmnhgD AcdsSpoiuhS.

SORAYAMA, unknown

DVD-Spider-Man 3


Yes, I know. S3 is not actually out on DVD just yet except for bootleg DVD. But it will be in the near future, so here's my review.

S3 sucks. It is darker than the first two, but it is clunky. You've got three bad guys to deal with, Peter Parker's relationship troubles, and a whole bunch of other stuff. This movie seems almost like a spring cleaning for the series.

Here's the gist of it. Peter Parker's life is going great. People love Spider-Man. His girl loves him. He's making the grade at school. Then, things get bad as the son of the Green Goblin starts kicking Peter's ass around. Then, you have the Sandman who actually was the one that killed Uncle Ben. Then, there's Venom who acts as a dark counterpart to Peter. Then, Mary Jane does her typical woman bullshit not realizing that Peter is a busy boy. He is not tending to her "needs."

Basically, S3 suffers from bloat. They crammed as much story as they could in this one. They should have stuck with Venom as the single enemy. I'm hoping he will come back in S4. Venom is the best bad guy ever, but he was underutilized in this flick.

The other thing about S3 is that just about everyone knows Spidey's identity as Peter Parker. This would include Osborne (the Green Goblin's son), the Sandman, and Venom. I wonder why he bothers to wear the mask. Any of those guys could have caused Pete some trouble just by going down to the Daily Bugle and dropping the goods on Spidey.

This series is not in trouble yet, but it will be. What the producers/director needs to realize is that good storytelling is what made people like the first two flicks. It seems to me that they opted to cram it all together for this one hoping something would stick. They need to work more on the script for the next one and come up with a cleaner story.

Fuck Mother Theresa

Junior Leaves DEI

It was about time.

Dale, Jr. needs to go race for Richard Childress in the number 3 car. But he might not. The bottom line is that he needs to race for an outfit that will get him a Cup championship. DEI sucks as an organization. Hate to say that, but it is the truth. No quality driver would ever want to race for them.

I don't know where Dale will go, but he made the right decision to leave DEI.

The Secret

I despise motivational types like Tony Robbins or Deepak Chopra and that whole industry. The latest bullshit to come from this sector is a bestseller called The Secret which basically states that the universe will give you whatever you want according to what is known as the Law of Attraction. Oprah Winfrey is a believer in this shit.

This book (and DVD) is probably the most repugnant shit I've ever heard of from these self-help/motivational types. In other words, if you are a failure in life or have cancer or have a miscarriage or what have you, it is your own damn fault because you think the wrong way. Meanwhile, the successful people (like Oprah) think the right way which is why they are successful (and deserve it!)

In case you are stupid, let me set something straight for you. The universe doesn't give a damn about you. It has no thoughts or feelings or anything else. (And BTW, Oprah Winfrey is a stupid cunt.)

Here's the lowdown on success. People like Oprah Winfrey or Bill Gates are successful largely through sheer dumb luck. People like them are not especially talented or smart or anything else. The reason they made it is because they were lucky enough to have something that the fickle public was willing to pay for. That's it.

I give athletes and musicians a little more credit because the things they do require some measure of skill. But consider Kurt Cobain who was a lousy guitar player, a lousy singer, a high school dropout, and a dope fiend. The man became rich and famous because of a catchy riff he came up with in a song called "Smells Like Teen Spirit." The rest is history. In addition, the man was such a negative thinker that he ended up blowing his own head off with a shotgun in a fit of depression. His life story pretty much puts the lie to The Secret.

My whole view of success is like this. The purpose of life is to be happy. If you are happy, then you are successful. You have achieved your purpose in life.

For a lot of people, money becomes a substitute for happiness. Don't get me wrong. I'm as greedy as the next guy. Money enables me to do things I otherwise couldn't do if I was flat broke. Money is the means to the end. It is not the end in itself. Even if all you want to do is surf all day, you still need money for a board and to continue eating.

I despise that scam known as the Law of Attraction, and I must admit that I also despise successful people like Oprah and others who believe that they are somehow superior to the rest of us "negative" thinkers. These narcissists are so full of themselves that they don't realize how much luck played a part in why they got to where they are. In Oprah's case, she appealled to a bunch of ignorant ass housewives who are nothing more than willing dupes in All Things Oprah. I doubt she planned any of it, but people like her are prone to revisionist thinking where they come out as the winner in some epic struggle. Please. . .

I don't go around thinking that I'm better than other people. The fact is that the reason I enjoy the modest material things I have now is because I was lucky enough to be born in America. If I had been born in Haiti, I'd be dirt poor like everyone else. And if you dropped me off in Haiti right now, I would spend all my efforts in trying to get to America because I know I'd never make it there.

I don't know what it is about rich and famous people that makes them become such babbling idiots. You've got Madonna with her Kabbalah Jewish mysticism bullshit. You've got Tom Cruise with Scientology. You've got Russell Simmons with his Zen yoga vegetarian bullshit. It amazes me how such fools ever got to where they are. But trust me, folks. It is all bullshit.

If you want to be successful in life, I recommend making a list of things you'd like to do in your life and simply work at doing those things. What you will find is that the pursuit of those goals brings more satisfaction than the goals themselves. Happiness flows from a life of purposeful activity.

Fatz Cafe of Camden Sucks Ass


I just got back from Fatz Cafe here in Camden, and those fucking shitheaded retards fucked up my order. They gave me the wrong style of burger and did not include fries. I would go back and complain, but it would eat up my time which is too damn precious.

I am tired of these retards fucking up my orders. So from now on, I'm going to post their fuckups on my blog. Whenever these restaurant fucktards fuck up, I'm going to vent here. And as someone who has worked in a restaurant, I can tell you why they fuck up. BECAUSE THEY DON'T GIVE A FUCK!!! These places find the scum of human waste to fill these positions and put up with their horseshit. I saw all the kitchen staff, and they are the shit of the human race. They are abortions that lived.

Here's their phone number:
(803) 432-3439

Fuck Fatz Cafe.

Goretopia

Does Atheism Breed Evil?

I get this a lot from religious fuckheads. Wasn't Stalin an atheist? Yes, he was along with Mao, Pol Pot, etc. For what it is worth, atheists are responsible for more human misery and suffering on the planet than religionists. It is a good argument but one I am going to dispose of.

Atheism is not a philosophy any more than being an a-unicornist is a philosophy. I hear fundamentalists claim that atheism is a religion, but this is not true. Atheism is merely a belief that there is no such thing as God. That's it. If religion were to disappear tomorrow, atheism would disappear with it. It exists only as a stance against religion.

If you talk to atheists, you realize that most of them share very little in common. For instance, both Karl Marx and Ayn Rand were atheists, yet I doubt they could have ever occupied the same room. Most atheists I meet are liberal fuckheads who believe in socialism or what have you. But then again, a lot of Christians are socialists, too.

The reason Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, etc. committed their atrocities is because they were communist fucks who believed in a myth just as damaging as religion which was the Worker's Paradise that was the end justifying all means. Their atheism was merely incidental to this. When you consider the proto-atheism of a guy like Thomas Jefferson, should his non-belief get credit for the Declaration of Independence? Or how about an atheist like Camus who abandoned communism when he saw it conflicting with his basic compassion for humanity?

Atheism does not create bad people. It does not breed hatred except for ignorance. And like it or not, most of the Nazi atrocities were committed by people who decried the Jews as Christkillers. From the Inquisition to the Salem Witch Trials, Christians are responsible for a great deal of suffering, and they perpetrated it believing they were doing it for the good of their victims. This should sicken us.

The difference between the atheist and the Christian is that the Christian believes that his atrocities are justified by Almighty God. The Marquis de Sade was a sick fucker who believed his atheism gave him license to do the things he did and wrote about. Ironically, de Sade's favorite villians were Catholic clergy given to lechery and perversion. De Sade's fiction became reality when Catholic priests in the USA molested children and sodomized boys and what have you. And they did this with the Catholic Church covering up the crimes. The "greater good" is what was at stake.

If anything, what all these evil folks had in common was that they were collectivists. I don't see one whit of difference between communism and Christianity. Martin Luther King, Jr. didn't either which is why he embraced Marxism. Today, Hugo Chavez is both a Communist and a committed Catholic. Catholic liberation theology is nothing more than communism wedded to religion. I would go so far as to say that Marx got most of his ideology from the New Testament.

The fact is that our morality is a cultural thing that has changed and evolved over time. Much of what we read in the Bible offends our modern moral sensibility. The reason Christians quit killing people is because of the influence of Enlightenment thinking which was inherently secular. It was not because of a religious impulse.

I am not under the illusion that the world would be a perfect place without religion, but it certainly would be a better place. Most of that bullshit in the Middle East would be gone without religion. In short order, what religion lacks in severity it makes up for in longevity. The Berlin Wall fell within a lifetime. 200 years from now, Jews and Muslims will still be fighting over that worthless real estate.

As for me, I derive my morality from the Golden Rule which can be found in the Bible as well as in Confucianism or what have you. Morality isn't hard. Respect the rights of others in the same way you wish your rights to be respected. You don't have to be a Christian to believe that, and it would probably help even more if you weren't a Christian. Christians are notorious for not following what they profess to believe. They aren't even decent to one another.

I am against religion, but I will never be against compassion, honesty, or fair play. The end can never justify the means because people are the end. This is individualism, and it is the only true moral stance. Everything else is propaganda in service to tyranny. This includes religion.

Nothing negative or positive can be ascribed to atheism except that it is true. That is the bottom line. Or as Dawkins points out, much of the world's atrocities were committed by men with moustaches. Should we insist that facial hair breeds evil?

David and Goliath

A Few Thoughts on the War in Iraq

The War in Iraq is over. We have lost. So, why are we still over there?

Basically, George W. Bush is an idiot. In 2000, I supported Bush's stance of being against nation building and a "humble foreign policy." The fuckhead abandoned all of that after 9/11.

Essentially, the Iraq war was started to answer a question. Can the USA change the world for the better? Can we be the world's policeman? Well, we have our answer--NO. It can't be done. This is not to diminish our cultural and economic impact. In Vietnam, you can buy a Coke and a pair of Levi's. I tell people all the time that we won the Vietnam War much the same way the Japanese won World War II.

The reason 9/11 happened is because you had a handful of religious fuckheads who exploited a gap in our defenses. In short, they were lucky idiots. Even a broke clock is right twice a day.

The great fear of these nutjobs is the one thing they can't defeat--the encroachment of Western ideas and values. It bothers these Islamic fucknuts that many of their Muslim brothers would rather watch American Idol than engage in jihad. For the most part, Islam has become irrelevant. What Osama bin Laden wanted was a war, and George Bush took the bait. What a fool.

So, what now? The US needs to leave Iraq. Forget phased withdrawal. Just pack up and leave. This is where everyone seems at a loss. I think the country is united in the agreement that Iraq was a mistake. But two issues stick in their throats. The first is a reluctance to admit defeat. It stings the pride to lose. The second is concern that Iraq will descend into a cauldron of anarchy and become a breeding ground for terrorists.

I will answer the pride question first and say FUCK PRIDE. This macho right wing fascist horseshit is idiotic. The USA should not be proud of its ability to kick foreign ass. What we should be proud of is a live and let live approach to foreign policy. In other words, we don't start shit, but we will finish it. It's not our job to police these fuckers. Our job is to kill anyone who tries to kill us. As it stands, even Afghanistan has become a quagmire.

I am not so optimistic as to believe we will always have peace. Like it or not, there is always someone who wants to start shit. But once you beat a fucker up, do you offer to pay for his dental care and his hospital bill? That is exactly what we have done in both Iraq and Afghanistan. How ludicrous is this?

The job of our military is to kill people and break things. I learned that from Rush Limbaugh way way way back in the day when Bush the Elder was still prez. I have to wonder what happened to Rush since that time. By following this sage but forgotten advice, the USA would invade, kick ass in overwhelming fashion, then leave immediately. This was Desert Storm. The only drawback with Desert Storm was that we failed to leave Saudi Arabia. We hung around which was a motivating factor for our current involvement over there.

It is good advice to stay out of other people's business which leads me to my second point. What will become of Iraq when we leave? Well, that is simple. A fullblown civil war will erupt between the Sunnis and the Shiites. Iran will get involved (as they are already) and will experience what we have now--an intractable situation. I don't see this as being necessarily bad for the USA though it may affect some oil companies.

People will say this is madness, but these folks forget that the USA purposively supported a war in that region between Iraq and Iran that lasted for ten bloody years. We gave support to a man named Saddam Hussein. We purposively stirred up shit in that region. How can our departure be worse than that?

Interventionism doesn't work. It never has, and it never will. People will use the end of World War II or Kosovo as examples of successful foreign intervention, but those came at the end of long wars when all sides were exhausted from the bullshit. In addition, the USA was reluctant to get involved in both. The bottom line is that those folks we helped really helped themselves by abandoning war and moving on to rebuilding. We will probably help Iraq in the same way ten years from now when the fuckheads have killed each other leaving smarter and more peaceful people.

This leaves us with our allies in Iraq. If we withdraw, what will happen to them? They will die. This is a certainty. So, we take these refugees with us if that is what they choose. This is an expensive solution but far less expensive than the current situation. My xenophobic readers will howl in indignation at having these Iraqis come to America. These are probably the same fuckheads who think Bush was right for invading over there. But we fucked these people, so we have to do right by them.

We can clear up our involvement over there in short order. Will Bush do this? Fuck no. Like the piece of shit that he is, Bush will leave it to the next guy (or gal) to clean up. It sickens me that American men and women have to keep dying to feed this man's idiocy and self-delusion. What a goddamn slobbering fool. And they impeached Clinton for lying about a blowjob. . .

Some Sad Stuff

To Be a Mental Patient
by Rae Unzicker (1948-2001)

To be a mental patient is to be stigmatized, ostracized, socialized, patronized, psychiatrized.

To be a mental patient is to have everyone controlling your life but you. You're watched by your shrink, your social worker, your friends, your family. And then you're diagnosed as paranoid.

To be a mental patient is to live with the constant threat and possibility of being locked up at any time, for almost any reason.

To be a mental patient is to live on $82 a month in food stamps, which won't let you buy Kleenex to dry your tears. And to watch your shrink come back to his office from lunch, driving a Mercedes Benz.

To be a mental patient is to take drugs that dull your mind, deaden your senses, make you jitter and drool and then you take more drugs to lessen the "side effects."

To be a mental patient is to apply for jobs and lie about the last few months or years, because you've been in the hospital, and then you don't get the job anyway because you're a mental patient. To be a mental patient is not to matter.

To be a mental patient is never to be taken seriously.

To be a mental patient is to be a resident of a ghetto, surrounded by other mental patients who are as scared and hungry and bored and broke as you are.

To be a mental patient is to watch TV and see how violent and dangerous and dumb and incompetent and crazy you are.

To be a mental patient is to be a statistic.

To be a mental patient is to wear a label, and that label never goes away, a label that says little about what you are and even less about who you are.

To be a mental patient is to never to say what you mean, but to sound like you mean what you say.

To be a mental patient is to tell your psychiatrist he's helping you, even if he is not.

To be a mental patient is to act glad when you're sad and calm when you're mad, and to always be "appropriate."

To be a mental patient is to participate in stupid groups that call themselves therapy. Music isn't music, its therapy; volleyball isn't sport, it's therapy; sewing is therapy; washing dishes is therapy. Even the air you breathe is therapy and that's called "the milieu."

To be a mental patient is not to die, even if you want to -- and not cry, and not hurt, and not be scared, and not be angry, and not be vulnerable, and not to laugh too loud -- because, if you do, you only prove that you are a mental patient even if you are not.

And so you become a no-thing, in a no-world, and you are not.

Rae Unzicker © 1984

some strange shit I found on the web. . .

Random Thoughts on Various Subjects

1. RON PAUL 2008

Ron Paul did outstanding in the first GOP debate. According to an MSNBC poll, Ron Paul had the highest positive approval and the lowest negative approval. He might surprise a lot of people when it is time to vote.

2. IDIOT OF THE WEEK

Paris Hilton. No contest. 45 days in jail for what she calls a "misunderstanding."

3. TRUE SHIT

Reading in the dark will not damage your eyesight. This myth of damaged eyesight is an old wives' tale without any shred of scientific evidence.

4. SMOKING IN THE MOVIES

I was listening to NPR when they reported that many states' Attorneys General have called on Hollywood to ban smoking from children's movies. It was recommended by some shithead that these movies be Rated R if they have smoking in them.



5. SECRET SERVICE FOR OBAMA

Barack Obama got some early Secret Service protection which they say is because of the large crowds he is drawing. This is bullshit. Obama is black, and there are a large number of racist fuckheads in this country who have threatened to take him out. They need to call it out for what it is.

I sincerely hope that Barack Obama leads a long and healthy life. I may disagree with his politics, but I admire the courage it takes to be a standing target.

6. ACQUISITIONS

Murdoch wants the Wall Street Journal. Microsoft wants Yahoo! Both will overpay for assets that are certain to underdeliver.

7. HARASSING THE METALLY ILL

Koreans have gotten off light since the Virginia Tech Massacre, but those diagnosed as being mentally ill are taking the long dick in the ass. The witch hunt has already begun as states go after people with diagnoses of mental illness with the intent of taking their guns. Yet, what is mental illness? Is it believing in the Virgin Birth? Is it post traumatic stress disorder which a third of Iraq veterans will say they have in order to collect a disability check?

Fear is the oxygen on which the flames of tyranny feed. So, because one fuckhead goes berzerk, everyone else will feel the punishment as a result. The mentally ill are an oppressed minority, and no one speaks out for them.

PRINT-The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins holds the Charles Simonyi Chair for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University which is just a fancy way of saying that he teaches science to us commonfolk in public forums. In the teaching of that science, his atheism comes to the fore such that Dr. Dawkins has written this explicit manifesto for the atheist worldview.

Atheists will find nothing new in this book. Nevertheless, it is required reading because Dawkins along with Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and now, Christopher Hitchens advocates a more explicitly militant atheism. Or as the kids on South Park put it, these are atheists being dicks.

Should atheists be more outspoken? Before 9/11, the answer would have been negative. After 9/11 (and Terri Schiavo), it becomes pretty apparent that believers of these fairy tales intend to not stop at mere belief but wish to actively push their views down the throats of others even if it means tyranny and murder. If you ask why these atheists have become so militant, it is a direct reaction to the militancy of religious fuckheads.

The God Delusion is an apologetic for atheism. You will find the scientific arguments as well as a refutation of the religious arguments. But, basically, Dawkins lets himself go to say what he really thinks about religion. He is not kind. He is scathing. Of course, I would have gone even further, but I am a cocksucker. Dawkins is a decent guy.

The bottom line is that it is time for atheists to punch back. I would disagree with this being a political punch using the government to advance my views. But it is a definite cultural punch whose time has come. The God Delusion is a solid hit to the guts.


JOHN REINHARD WEGUELIN, Lesbia

Men and Women Can't Be Friends

Back in the day, there was this movie called When Harry Met Sally starring Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan. It was a chick flick that proved that men and women can just be friends. Then, Crystal and Ryan fucked blowing that theory completely out of the water. And so it goes. . .

There is no such thing as "just friends" between men and women. Women will write to beg and differ, but men won't. They know. As I wrote in an earlier essay, "friend" is a slippery term for women, and it is merely a term of deception and even self-deception. The bottom line is that sex is always there and will always be there.

There are certain exceptions to this principle. For instance, I think I could be strictly friends with a 85-year-old woman wearing Depends unless maybe I was a 85-year-old man in the same shape. Then, I'd pop a Viagra and try to bone her.

I don't do the "friendship" thing anymore. As a wise friend once told me, "I fucks." You don't get more succinct than that.

I get involved with women in order to have sex with them. Beyond that, if I want friendship, I go hang out with the guys and watch televised sporting events. I like doing things with the ladies, but it is all ultimately aimed at fucking. I'm a scoundrel like that. Sue me.

Reader Mail

I haven't received much mail lately except for offers of free Viagra and gay sex in my area along with various phishing scams. So, I only have this gem:

Dear friend of the mexicans,

After reading your blog about Bush injecting common sense into the immigration debate, I can assure you that most of the country disagrees with you. I lived and worked with those worthless people in Las Vegas for seven years and I can assure you, we will be fighting a civil war with these people soon enough. In the facility I worked in, they defacated on the bathroom floor no less than nine times(four times in the womens bathroom). If they didn't like a supervisor or the janitor, they would smear shit on the walls and wipe their ass and put the tissue in the wastebasket instead of flushing it.Twice, I contacted the ICE and they did nothing. Apparently, you are either hispanic, or you have never worked along side these morons so you obviously are ill-informed about the dangers of having them in our country.And the sad thing is that even the mexicans who have lived here for a long time are siding with their own kind. Blood is thicker than water. The only reason they are in our country is because the immigration agencies have not done their job. Either they have been told by the government not to enforce the law, or they are simply ignoring the problem. The ICE is ran by a hispanic and the border patrol is infiltrated with traitorous hispanics who take pay offs to let their brethren into the country. We will be fighting these people just as we fought the British, and like we did once before in our history, we will kick their asses all the way back down to Mexico where they belong and if you want to fight with them, you will have to go with them and live in Mexico where you belong.

Sincerely,
J.S.
Las Vegas, Nv.


Keep those e-letters coming. Your comments are appreciated.

Aaron's 499

I have dragged ass this week to getting to my commentary on Sunday's race at Talladega. It has been an especially hectic week for me. Anyway. . .

First of all, it sucks that Jeff Gordon won the damn thing and also passed Dale Earnhardt on the victories list. A lot of Gordon haters pelted the #24 with beer cans. I'm not necessarily in agreement with that kind of thing, but I do laugh my ass off about it.

Jeff Gordon will never have my love, but he does have my respect. That guy can drive a racecar. Earnhardt, Sr. knew this and gave the man his props. I think Gordon returned the favor.

The other big story was Tony Stewart getting wrecked at the end of the race. Stewart is having a shitty year, and it is coming out. Smoke does fine when he's winning, but he runs off at the mouth when he's losing. Right now, he's losing.

NASCAR is a lot like life. It requires hard work, talent, supporting personnel, and more than your average bit of luck to win a race or a championship. You have good guys and bad guys. Most of it is kinda boring then gets exciting very fast during a wreck or at the end. Just like life. Life is tedium punctuated by periods of intense crisis. That is also true of racing.

I hope Smoke can get it together. There's still a lot of racing to be done, and we'll see what happens.