Blue Collar Ambition

I have been experiencing a lot of frustration when it comes to the issue of careers. I have had so many thoughts swirling in my head, and I am not alone. These same issues have been on other forums and blogs that I read. I will see if I can break them down.

Generalization vs. Specialization

Wise Bread had an interesting article here on the subject of being a jack-of-all-trades or a master of one. I am in the generalist camp. I think specialization will make you a huge roll of cash if your specialty is in high demand, but you will pay it all back when the market for your skill reverts to the mean and craters. This happened with the computer sci people who made it big during the 90's building the internet, and then found themselves downsized as that same internet enabled companies to hire people in India to work for half the salary of their American counterparts.

The specialization route demands ever more specialization as people train and acquire more education in ever narrowing directions in a vain attempt to maintain their place in their niche. This is why we have so many people in graduate school learning shit applicable to only narrow fields. The result is a glut of higher degrees and mounting student loan debt. This can't go on forever. If you factor in costs of education and the job market volatility, I don't see these specialists being better off than generalists though they make huge dollars in the fat years. They pay it all back in the lean years, and the lean years always come.

I recommend generalization. The result will be lower pay but more consistent employment.

Blue Collar vs. White Collar

I am someone in the unique position of having a foot in both the blue collar and white collar worlds. I work a job that does not require a degree, but I find it more lucrative and personally rewarding than the jobs I could get with my degree. Granted, your typical middle manager will make more than I ever will, but as Taleb pointed out, middle managers are merely lucky coin flippers paid for taking credit for things they did not achieve and fired for taking blame for disasters they did not cause. I am also mystified by the entry level managers who work for less pay than their own employees. The reason for this disparity is simple. Entry level managers take a paycut in the hope of gaining entry into the casino. They take one step backward to take two steps forward. What they don't realize is that a step forward could find themselves stepping on a landmine.

Middle management is not skilled labor. Middle managers produce nothing of value. They make no decisions of any great importance because they are mitigated and ignored as they go down the chain or get overruled by someone up the chain. These people can be fired and not replaced resulting in a positive to the company's bottom line as the company saves money on not paying their bloated salaries. (I worked for a company where a multi-million dollar operation was saved by the brains and balls of a maintenance tech who got written up by a middle manager for not following company policy. Basically, he used a paperclip to fix a relay instead of waiting the week or so it would take for the replacement part to ship. Insanity like this only exists in large companies where office politics and the CYA principle matter more than satisfying customer demands and making profit for owners and shareholders. FWIW, that manager got fired later while the tech accepted an offer for more pay from another outfit.)

I see the white collar world as a world of bullshit. This is a world where an exec spends a bunch of time crafting the perfect PowerPoint presentation for the next big meeting that will amount to nothing. Some part of him yearns to make something of value. But satisfaction eludes him. Meanwhile, a metal fabricator puts a perfect weld on a tank that will hold solution for a factory somewhere. No one will care about that weld unless it breaks, but he cares. It is because his work matters.

People look down on blue collar people or anyone else who has dirty hands at the end of the workday. They place a premium on status which is why we have the bullshit of the white collar world. I can appreciate an accountant, a computer programmer, or an engineer. But these people have more in common with electricians and plumbers than they do with the pointy haired boss in Dilbert. There is a division between the labor and the corporate political class, and you are either on one side or the other. You will either take your plays from Machiavelli or Adam Smith.

Middle managers are useless parasites. This realization quells one's ambition. My own ambition is simply to work hard and be skilled across a variety of fields. I care less about high pay than I do about consistent pay that comes from being able to get a job no matter what economic turmoil may ensue.

The Education Bubble

A college education is free. All you need is a library card. This realization has done a great deal for the expansion of my mind. I am smarter than the average person, and this includes those with advanced degrees. This is because I read. That's it. College education amounts to charging people for reading books. Only dumb people pay to read.

A degree merely confers status on the one holding the degree. It is supposed to signify accomplishment in a field of study, but grade inflation has made this dubious. In addition, a Harvard grad with a C average will make more than a State U. grad with a 4.0 for knowing the same information. It's like owning a Lexus which is a Toyota with better marketing.

In technical fields and the blue collar world, this bullshit does not exist. If you don't know what the fuck you're doing, you can't fake it in these fields. In addition, these worlds often have accomplished workers with no sheepskin whatsoever. The only thing that matters is skill which is the way it should be.

The greatest value in education today is technical training. The tuition is surprisingly cheap, and the return on investment is much higher than having an MBA. This training almost always comes with a guaranteed job. Learning electronics at your local voc ed school will be a better investment than a mathematics Ph.D.

To tie this in with my earlier thoughts on generalization, I envisioned what I call the "Blue Collar Ph.D." Essentially, this is the combination of skills and technical knowledge resulting in a whole greater than the sum of its parts. For instance, imagine an industrial maintenance tech who is also a certified welder and a diesel mechanic and knows carpentry, plumbing, electrical wiring, etc. This may seem like an impossible task and a lot of stuff to know, but I don't see it that way. Blue collar types are supposed to be stupid, but we know better. But the time and money committed to the blue collar Ph.D. is considerably less than you would spend on a real Ph.D. or an MD, or a law degree. Plus, you become more employable the more you learn.

Entrepreneurship is for Suckers

I would love to run my own business, but as Virginia Postrel points out, entrepreneurship is the province of lucky fools. These people are not brilliant or brave so much as lucky and stupid. They have more in common with the lottery players who finance many government expenditures with their ignorance of simple odds.

Taleb made the same points when he said you were better off being a venture capitalist than being an entrepreneur. This stings for me because I see entrepreneurship as being the best way for an average guy like me to make it rich. But Taleb is rich and is not an entrepreneur unless you count starting a hedge fund as a business. I don't.

The best place to put capital is not in a startup but in a diversified portfolio of investments. Whether or not it is Taleb's treasury bond/options strategy or index funds like I prefer, you want to spread your bets and stop envying lucky fools.

The Work Ethic

I read a lot of blogs and books about business, economics, and personal development. Except for Larry Winget, none of them talk about the work ethic. Here's a handy formula for you:

HARD WORK + SIMPLE LIVING = WEALTH

There is a lot of conjecture about why the USA has become the wealthiest nation on the planet. We talk about freedom, innovation, and the like, and I agree that free societies are better than unfree societies. But why? This is because they are more productive. It begins and ends with production. You achieve more by doing more. Unfree societies decline because they steal this motivation through taxation and regulation.

The great dream of people is wealth without production. Everyone wants to live at the expense of everyone else. This isn't just a political thing but a social thing as well. I haven't read in any of the literature that the surest route to success is to spend more time working. But it is.

The mentality is that work is for suckers, and people that work hard are pathological and clinically insane. But I notice these people don't make much money, or they think the way to make money is to "get over." In other words, if you want to be rich, don't be the sucker. Be the fucker who sticks it to the sucker. Sad shit.

Simple living is also condemned. People have leisure time which necessitates leisure activities requiring expensive toys. These would be boats, ATVs, RVs, motorcycles, jet skis, etc. Blue collar people are especially susceptible to this as I see most of these items for sale on the lawns of houses in working class neighborhoods.

When I have free time, I like to spend it with a low cost book. I might splurge on renting a DVD from Blockbuster, but my leisure activities are cheap. My rule is to do nothing that requires purchasing expensive equipment.

Conclusion

The bright red vein running through all these topics and insights I've discussed here is status. People want status, so they spend money and labor on getting advanced degrees, promotions to meaningless jobs with titles, starting businesses that are ovewhelmingly doomed to failure, and living large to impress their friends and families. People crave status and pay a premium to get it. My insight is that we should consider not paying this premium anymore. Work hard instead. Acquire job skills that are marketable and produce something of real value. And live simply. The result of these choices should lead to less stress, greater satisfaction, and financial stability in your life.

Random Thoughts on Various Subjects

1. TIGER WOODS

Tiger was cheating on his wife, and she beat his ass with a golf club. That's my take. Will have to see how the story unfolds.

2. CAROLINA VS. CLEMSON

If Spurrier doesn't win, that fucker should be fired.

DVD-Star Trek



Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is the greatest Star Trek movie ever made. Everything else in the Star Trek canon is a colossal joke, and this includes JJ Abrams' reboot Star Trek.

Star Trek is indebted to Khan and uses it as source material to begin the tale of Capt. Kirk and the gang. The first problem with the movie is the colossal bad acting. You quickly realize you don't give a fuck about any of these people. They act as people who know they are going to loom large in the future. It's like a bad sci fi version of Behind the Music.

The plot is also stolen from Khan with Eric Bana playing a bad guy who destroys Vulcan and does his best to piss off Spock in the process. Khan was an epic. This movie is more like a special effects soaked roller coast ride along the lines of Transformers.

Star Trek is bad acting and eye candy and nothing more. It will appeal to younger viewers who are stupid, but it did nothing for me. This flick will be an excuse to continue the series with the original characters, but this franchise is doomed. It is time to let Trek rest in peace.

Why People Can't Get in Shape

Getting in shape is easy. Eat right. Exercise. There is no mystery to it. There is also no lack of external motivation. Society and the media urge us to lose the flab. Finally, getting in shape makes you feel better and feel better about yourself. So, why can't people get in shape?

The conventional wisdom points to a lack of will power. People are just lazy. But this just isn't true. The USA is the fattest nation on the planet, but it is also the hardest working. Americans work more than anyone else. They put in the hours and get shit done.

Some will argue that we just have bad habits of spending our leisure time on the couch eating potato chips. There may be some truth to that. But you can't watch much TV without getting the guilt trip about being out of shape.

I will tell you the reason why people can't get in shape--OTHER PEOPLE. That's right. Other people are holding you back.

Announce to all your friends and family that you are going to get off your ass and eat right and exercise. These people will be nothing short of enthusiastic and supportive of your new lifestyle direction. This support will end the moment you actually start doing it. Then, these same people will hamstring you at every step.

The reason for this is that a fitness lifestyle is an antisocial endeavor. It divides you from the herd. It is an individualistic pursuit, and it will cause all kinds of friction.

You will notice this when you start eating healthy. Your loving girlfriend or wife will make you a fat filled meat loaf, and you will have to tell her as nicely as you can that you can't eat that bullshit. She will cry, pout, or do whatever. Your friends will invite you over for beer and burgers, and you will either decline, go and not eat, or bring your own food. All three options will not make you a popular guest. Or they will all want to eat at some restaurant that has nothing but lard and gravy on the menu. If you get the idea that healthy eating means eating alone, you would be correct.

The same thing happens with exercise. Hitting the gym, riding a bike, or going for a run all involve being alone for some bit of time during the day. Naturally, in our constantly connected world, being AWOL for an hour per day is unacceptable. Your wife or girlfriend is mad because you are late for the fatty dinner you can't eat. Your friends can't understand why you have to cut out early to get some sleep for tomorrow's century ride. Where are you?

These same people who were so supportive of you getting into shape could really give a rat's ass. Their habits are your habits. To change those habits is to cut across the social grain.

If you look at people who are in shape, you will notice two things. They either do it for a living (pro athletes, models, personal trainers, etc.,) or they are self-centered types who are either introverts or narcissists. If you don't get fit for a living, then you have to be selfish.

I don't have an answer to this problem. The reality is that bad habits are social habits (smoking, drinking, eating bad food, etc.) while good habits are solitary (eating right, exercising, studying, working, etc.) Very little is said about this social dimension, and the impact it has on your life. I think it helps to have friends in the lifestyle you choose to have. But in the end, doing something remarkable is a subversive act. Don't expect people to like you or applaud your efforts in these things. Nothing good comes without some sacrifice.


The Case for Working with Your Hands

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/24/magazine/24labor-t.html?_r=3&pagewanted=print

How was it that I, once a proudly self-employed electrician, had ended up among these walking wounded, a “knowledge worker” at a salary of $23,000? I had a master’s degree, and it needed to be used. The escalating demand for academic credentials in the job market gives the impression of an ever-more-knowledgeable society, whose members perform cognitive feats their unschooled parents could scarcely conceive of. On paper, my abstracting job, multiplied a millionfold, is precisely what puts the futurologist in a rapture: we are getting to be so smart! Yet my M.A. obscures a more real stupidification of the work I secured with that credential, and a wage to match. When I first got the degree, I felt as if I had been inducted to a certain order of society. But despite the beautiful ties I wore, it turned out to be a more proletarian existence than I had known as an electrician. In that job I had made quite a bit more money. I also felt free and active, rather than confined and stultified.

This is an outstanding article.

The Curious Case of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

Trying KSM in NYC is a mistake. The reality is that this terrorist will be treated with greater legal rights than our own uniformed soldiers get when accused of crimes.

I've given it a lot of thought, and I have come to a middle path between those who believe that terrorists like KSM should be locked up with no due process and those who demand they be tried with the same rights as US citizens. Neither path makes sense to me. What does make sense is a military tribunal and a firing squad.

The tragedy of a place like Gitmo isn't the guilty who rot there, but the innocent who have done nothing and have no recourse. For their sake, due process is necessary. But this doesn't mean a civilian court. Try them as war criminals and let them have their say. This is fair both to them and to America.

The Doctrines of Essentialism

I spend a lot of time on subjects of aesthetics and design. I like looking at architecture and consumer products. I also like music, art, and literature. In addition, there is the area of personal development. Within these fields, I find a war between maximalism and minimalism. Is less more? Or is more of everything a good thing?

Take a remote control for your TV. I hate modern TV's. There are a hundred buttons and features such that you become paralyzed by the panopoly of choices. Clearly, braintards (autistic geniuses who design for their own amusement instead of the real world) are the ones behind this colossal tomfuckery. This is the error of maximalism. It is the belief that you can never go wrong by including everything you can possibly think of throwing in there. More is more. But witness a person trying to figure out how to switch his TV over to watching DVD's. It makes any sane person want to club a nerd to death.

The reaction to this maximalist way of thinking is a reversion to minimalism. This would be letting Apple design a TV remote. It would have one button. You would press the middle to turn it on. Left and right would control volume. Up and down would change the channel. Naturally, you wouldn't be able to watch a DVD because Steve Jobs doesn't believe in DVD's. This is the error of minimalism. It isn't simplicity. It is austerity.

Essentialism cuts through the middle of these extremes. An essentialist remote would have an on/off switch, a volume control, a channel changer, numbered buttons to get to channels faster, and a button to let you switch to a DVD player or a video game. The purpose of a remote is to make getting to your destination easier not harder. The minimalist/maximalist approach to things makes it harder. You shouldn't have to choose overload or austerity.

The same thing applies to architecture and interior design. You have austere designs where everything is elegant and sterile vs. utter clutter. Minimalism erases all personality. Minimalists prefer the uniform. They like one size fits all. Meanwhile, the maximalists overload your sense and sensibilities. Essentialism aims at simplicity. There are pictures on the wall. You can close the windows. The furniture is comfortable. But you can actually clean the place. It is warm and inviting.

Here are examples of the difference:

MAXIMALISM


The sheer overload of this room nauseates me. There is way too much shit going on here. Everything clashes. I want to take a garbage bag and go through and toss shit out. Yet, many people live like this acquiring shit and stuffing their homes with it. So, some people go to the opposite extreme.


MINIMALISM



No one lives like this. Granted, this bedroom is gorgeous, but it is cold and austere. Living like this would be like living in a museum. Toss your shoes on this floor, and it is over. So, what's the antidote?

ESSENTIALISM




Notice the difference? The essentialist design is simple but not boring. It is warm not sterile. This is a room you want to spend time in. It has personality and life to it. But it is also unique. All minimalist designs look the same. Essentialism does not.

A maximalist builds a McMansion and crams it with bad taste. A minimalist builds a white cube and sterilizes it. An essentialist buys an old factory, guts out the interior, puts in wood flooring and leaves the exposed brick, buys some comfortable furniture, and hangs a few pictures on the wall. Essentialists recycle. They use what is there but also eliminate what is not necessary.

Essentialism is hard to grasp much like the Golden Mean. It is finding that middle path. But there are certain doctrines you can keep in mind when aiming for the essential:

1. NECESSITY

Form follows function. You should have what is necessary for the function of a thing--no more and no less.

2. SIMPLICITY

There should be no overload of the senses or indulgence in something merely for the sake of having it. Good design is not just about what you put in but also what you choose to leave out. Subtraction is an element of creativity.

3. PERSONALITY

The design of a thing should also be expressive and human. There should be warmth and feeling in a design. People like to personalize what is theirs. Personality gives uniqueness.

4. REALITY

The design of a thing should not attempt to duplicate the Platonic Forms but blend with the rest of the world. Wood is superior to plastic. Brick is superior to plaster. A found object is just as good as a new object.

I consider myself to be an essentialist. I aim for this middle way. Ironically, I get accused of being a minimalist in much the same way as I am accused of being a pessimist (or optimist depending on the situation.) These are the accusations of extremophiles who see things only in superlatives. If you aren't a maximalist, you must be a minimalist. If you aren't a minimalist, then you must be a maximalist.

There is no accounting for taste since these things are person relative. I just know what I like, and I strive to hit this sweet spot of essentialism in all that I do whether it is writing or my work or my lifestyle. I think all great art and projects attain this essentialist sweet spot.


Celibacy is Perversion

The Catholic doctrine of celibacy is a Platonic doctrine. It denies the world and the flesh for the sake of some higher calling. The result of this ludicrous doctrine is guilt, shame, perversion, and criminal activity.

With a few notable exceptions, human beings are sexual beings. It is hardwired into our species. We are programmed to procreate. Trying to deny this reality only leads to frustration and pathology. The simple fact is that your kids are safer with Hugh Hefner than with a typical Catholic priest.

Catholic apologists will make the case that not all priests or nuns are perverted like this. I will simply cite the fact that most married Protestant clergy don't have the same issues as those within the Catholic Church. The irony is that by denying sexuality these fucktards actually become more perverted. And the Catholic Church tries to cover it all up.

Sex is a normal part of human experience and to deny this only corrupts it. The Catholic Church can't change their stance on it because it would require them to admit error. My advice for parents is to never let their children be in the presence of these perverts. As for those who will claim that celibacy does not lead to perversion, who are we kidding here?

Random Thoughts on Various Subjects

1. HEALTHCARE IN CONGRESS

It is pretty much a given that Congress will pass some kind of healthcare bill. The Thief-in-Chief has staked too much on this issue to let it go. Tea parties cannot stop the inevitable. But is this what the American people want?

There are two theories at work here. The first theory is that governments are a direct reflection and consequence of the aggregate desires of the citizenry. The second theory is that governments actually defy and imprison their citizens and do not reflect their views at all. I tend to subscribe to the first theory, but I sometimes wonder if the second theory may be the true one.

2. SARAH PALIN

I don't think Palin will run for president, but she clearly wants to run her own talk show. I remember hearing someone say that Palin was the Paris Hilton of politics, and I am inclined to agree. My girlfriend said she thinks Palin is an airhead.

3. NEW MOON

A blockbuster propelled by the hormones of horny teenage girls. Sickening.

4. THE "RECOVERY"

Businesses are afraid to hire because of regime uncertainty. They have no clue what tomfuckery Obama has planned. If the GOP takes Congress in 2010, unemployment will drop dramatically. Gridlock is good. Vote Republican!

5. WRITER'S BLOCK

I am running out of non-fiction shit to write about. I'm not kidding. I can comment on stuff all day, but I feel like all my original thinking has dried up. This is a first for me.

DVD-Dexter



After finishing The Wire, I felt empty inside. My life had lost meaning. I needed another series to get involved with, but I couldn't find one. I wrote an email to my brother, and he told me to watch Dexter. My life has meaning again.

Dexter is about a serial killer named Dexter Morgan played by Michael C. Hall who kills predators like himself. Dexter lives by a code instilled by his adopted father Harry who was a cop who took Dexter in after finding him in a pool of his own mother's blood. The incident fucked Dexter up, but Harry steered these fucked up tendencies in a positive direction by telling Dexter to kill the scum of Miami. If it weren't for this, we would be horrified by Dexter's actions because he is a sick fucker. Our horror is counterbalanced by the fact that we believe Dexter's victims deserve their fate. Michael C. Hall pulls off a terrific acting job. He makes us feel sympathy and even root for a homicidal sociopath.

What makes the show so damn good is that Dexter maintains a normal front with a girlfriend and a sister and his job as a blood spatter analyst for the Miami PD. Time and time again, Dexter is put in situations where he could get caught, but he gets away with it. This is the essence of the program. We don't want Dexter to get caught. The show is never better than when Dexter strives to manage his time between his day job, his relationship with Rita, and his extracurricular activities.

So far, I have watched three seasons of this show on DVD, and it delivers. It is insanely addictive, and I highly recommend it.
A few quality individuals are way better than an army of bodies.

DVD-Ultramarathon Man:50 Marathons, 50 States, 50 Days



You want to hate Dean Karnazes, but it is impossible. He is not popular among ultrarunners because he is seen as a marketing tool instead of an athlete. But this seems to be more envy than anything else. Karno is the most visible member of an obscure sport.

Ultramarathon Man is the chronicle of the Endurance 50. This is Karno's dream to run a marathon in 50 states back-to-back for 50 days. Naturally, there aren't that many races scheduled like that, so Karno recreates races held in those states by doing the same course. And he is not alone. In every race, Karnazes has a crew of runners and fans running the course with him. The feat is to promote awareness of fitness among the young and to combat obesity.

Is the Endurance 50 a phenomenal feat? I don't think so. I'm old fashioned and think winning a marathon is way more phenomenal than finishing one. But Karno makes no pretense to be an elite athlete. He says he is slow. He can't run fast, but he can run very far. Much of the hatred for Karnazes comes from people who think he gets undeserved attention that belongs to the real athletes. They accuse him of being a narcissist egomaniac. But it just ain't so.

Karno has an enthusiasm for life, and you become infected with it watching this DVD. He is a humble guy, but he is passionate about his pursuits. Karno cares less about promoting himself than he does a lifestyle and a journey of self-discovery through these crucibles of endurance. He is damn likable, and he cares very much about other people. And when he pushes his former training partner stricken by Lou Gehrig's in a wheelchair on the racecourse, you can't help but be moved. Karno has class.

For me, the most amazing thing about Karno is that he does it all on four hours of sleep each night. He trained himself over a month to achieve this feat. Naturally, I want to try it, too. I sleep 6 now, but I could get a lot done with an extra two hours of waking time.

As for the Endurance 50, Karno succeeds. He also succeeds in winning over viewers as fans. The dirty secret about Karnazes is that he is an average guy. He just turned things up a few notches on his life when he turned 30, and it has been a glorious ride.

Fighting for the Soul of the GOP

The GOP is in disarray. This is putting it mildly. Here are the players:

-The moderates and the neocons, aka Big Government Republicans, who will do anything to win an election. These are people like Lindsey Graham and Newt Gingrich.

-The small government conservatives. These are people like Sarah Palin who support the war, oppose abortion, and whatnot but want lower taxes and oppose bailouts.

-The libertarians. This would be the Ron Paul crowd.

Naturally, I support the libertarians. Unfortunately, I don't think we have much of a chance of winning. I am hoping Peter Schiff and Rand Paul win their respective races, but I'm not getting my hopes up.

The Sarah Palin crowd is vitally important because they believe in small government. These folks are the heirs of a new GOP if they can get it, and it looks like they will. But what about the Republicrats?

Republicrats are lying fucks. That's all there is to it. If they win a spot on the ballot, you might as well stay home because voting for them is no different than voting for a Democrat. Yet, these Republicrats rule the roost. What needs to be done about them?

Third parties have been recommended, but I'm not fond of them except as a protest vote. But as it stands, the libertarians and the small government conservatives have a common foe. The GOP needs to get back to being the party of small govenment, free markets, and lower taxes. This is the most important fight there is right now. If you can't change a party, you certainly can't change a country.



PRICKS-Lance Armstrong


I have my heroes. These are people I admire for certain qualities and achievements. Then, there are my villains. These are people I despise for various reasons. But there are people who fall into a middle category. These are people who do things that are admirable and impressive, but they undercut these achievements by being total pricks. So, we have a new category for these folks--PRICKS.

Our first prick is Lance Armstrong. Lance is an amazing individual. He came down with testicular cancer and almost died. But he fought back and won. He also came back to professional cycling in a big way winning the Tour de France seven fucking times. He might even win an eigthth. Without a doubt, Lance is a badass.

Lance has also done a great deal for cancer survivors. He has raised awareness, money, and inspiration through his example and his advocacy and giving his own money to the cause. Lance would be a total hero on my list. But he fucks it all up by being a complete asshole.

Lance's big problem is that he looks like a doper. I don't know if he is or he isn't. He gets tested a lot. He's never tested positive officially. But he has had shady connections, and he is tops in a sport that is drenched in EPO. Lance might be clean as a whistle, but it would not surprise me if he turned out to be dirty.

Lance takes a very aggressive stance towards his doubters and critics. He has a mean streak in him. This meanness is Nietzschean in quality. The same determination he has shown in beating cancer and winning the Tour de France is also the fuel behind his viciousness. Lance carries grudges, and he repays his enemies.

This baseness demeans Lance. But is this mean streak justified? Do you have to be a dickhead to do the amazing things Lance does? Or is it possible to be a cancer survivor, a champion, and also, a classy guy? I think it is.

Paula Radcliffe is in a similar position as Lance. She is the world record holder in the marathon and competes clean in a sport that is also tainted by doping. She has also taken controversial stands against EPO as witnessed in this picture:


There isn't a mean bone in Radcliffe's body. She simply works hard and is humble. This lack of meanness on her part has made her beloved amongst her many fans. She shows that you don't have to be a bitch to be a world champion.

I must admit that at times I am a complete prick. I carry a certain degree of hostility in me these days. I'm less like Paula and more like Lance. I don't think being nice means being a doormat for other people. Radcliffe stands up for what she believes in. She is no pushover. But being mean is way easier than being magnanimous. I should probably enroll in Pricks Anonymous.

Weekend Recap

1. In the back of my mind, I nursed a glimmer of hope that the Gamecocks could pull off an upset against number one ranked Florida. Then, the Gators snuffed it out.

2. Panthers beat the Falcons. Important divisional win, but the season looks hopeless. The Saints are really good this year.

3. I set up two TVs in my man cave, so I can watch two sporting events at the same time. This is really important if you watch both football and NASCAR. I keep one on mute. Very engaging way to watch sports.

I am a hopeless junkie. I can't stop my sports addiction.

4. Can anything stop Jimmie Johnson? He won at Phoenix, and he is virtually certain to win another championship. Mark Martin is doomed to always be the bridesmaid and never the bride.



The Prosperity Gospel



I am listening to Joel Osteen preach as I write this. I don't listen to him every Sunday, but I can guess what the sermon will be. It will be the prosperity gospel. Here it is in a nutshell:

-Put your faith in God, and he will make you prosperous.

-Give money.

-If you are not prosperous, you simply lack faith.

-Give more money.

If you smell a scam in all of this, you would be correct. The prosperity gospel is nothing short of deceiving weak minded and desperate people into giving over the little cash they have. And God does not deliver on his promises. Ever. This is because God does not exist.

My financial advice to people is to cut up their credit cards, spend less, and work more. And invest in low fee funds through Vanguard and TIAA-CREF. But don't give a dime to a church or believe that God is going to rain down blessings. God will let you down.

God has not let down Joel Osteen. The man lives large off duping the idiots in his megachurch. The prosperity gospel is popular preaching because who doesn't want to be rich?

To be fair, not all churches preach this bullshit. Some of Osteen's biggest critics are other preachers. But these churches rarely endeavor to teach their congregants true money management in much the same way that they don't teach their congregants the right way to use a condom or birth control. And they will always take your money. ALWAYS.

The sad but undeniable truth about churches is they sell lies to people in order for charlatans to avoid hard work and giving value for the dollar. This racket goes way back in history. Religious leaders are parasites living off the stupidity of other people. Much of the ancient sacrifices were done to cover the smell of the barbecue the priests had going on out back. Christianity replaced this sacrifice with an appeal for cold hard cash. Theology was shaped by these economic demands. By the time we get to America and the American Dream--presto!--the Prosperity Gospel.

Here's an idea. Why doesn't God pay his own damn bills?

The Goddamn Truth About Nidal Malik Hasan


Nidal Malik Hasan is the son of Palestinian immigrants who came to America. He is now known as the Fort Hood Shooter. Little is known about him at the present time, but I will use my clever imagination to fill in the blanks for you, Gentle Reader.

Hasan joined the Army straight out of high school. The reason is because he was intelligent but poor. Needing cash to get to college, Hasan attended school on the taxpayer's dime going all the way to getting an MD. Hasan loved the military because it was a great welfare program. The killing part he didn't like as much.

While in the military, Hasan was first called a "sand nigger" by another soldier. This burned Hasan's ass. He hated the fucker and wanted to bash his brains in. But that would affect his career. So, he responded by becoming more and more militant in his Islamic beliefs. This made other people hate him more. Then, one day, some terrorists flew some planes into some buildings on a day we know as 9/11. While everyone else was horrified, Hasan secretly rejoiced. These American motherfuckers had got what was coming to them.

Hasan's inner torment began in earnest when the US decided to invade Afghanistan and Iraq to kill some Muslims and even the score which in America means killing at least 100 of them for everyone they killed of us. Hasan hated this. He voiced his displeasure in earnest, and everyone hated the fucker even more for expressing support for the "ragheads." But the Army had to be politically correct, and let this shit go. The FBI wiretapped Hasan's phone and email and watched him like a hawk thanks to the Patriot Act provisions. If this fucker ever went berzerk, the Feds would be on his ass like stink on shit. Everything would be just peachy fine. Yeah, right.

Hasan worked with soldiers coming back from the wars, and he heard all the stories of anguished soldiers telling of blowing some fucker's brains out and running over kids with tanks and raping the shit out of Muslim women. Hasan pretended to give a shit about this anguish, but he secretly wanted to kill these soldiers for these atrocities. He hated their fucking guts as they talked of wasting "camel jockeys and sand niggers and hajis."

Hasan's psyche was a powder keg, and it exploded at Fort Hood on Novermber 5, 2009 as he screamed "Allahu Akbar" and started shooting every uniformed fucker he could find and who were conveniently unarmed to keep them safe. Two decades of pent up anger and hatred were unleashed on innocents. They shot Hasan who did not expect to live. He did live and will certainly face execution for his actions.

The Obamaites were aghast at the incident and moved quickly to spin the story into a lone crazed gunman along the lines of Columbine and the Virginia Tech killer. This was not "terrorism." They were desperate to paint it as anything other than fodder for Dick Cheney to toss around on Sunday talk shows. But he will. You can count on that.

As I said, I am filling in the blanks with my imagination. Only Hasan knows what was in his own head. But it isn't much of a stretch to figure out. Now, we have the blame game. Whose fault is all this? I can tell you. It is Nidal Malik Hasan's fault. Pundits, politicians, and idiots will point to all sorts of larger issues that created the circumstances behind all of Hasan's actions. But this is stupid. Hasan was a fucktard. For this, he deserves to die.

Links of Interest

1. Pimps vs. Realtors
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44SXcFpdV_U

2. ChromeOS
http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/182152/google_chrome_os_a_nice_place_to_visit_but.html

3. Hollywood Economics
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBnfdQYKHXs
An optimist is one who loves the smell of bullshit.
A slack organization indicates a slack leader.

Top 10 Things You Need To Know About the C-Man

I don't have much of a biography. I write a lot about things I believe in or find interesting, but I don't write too much about myself. People ask me things about me, and I gave it some thought. Then, I decided to write this essay. These are the things you need to know about me.

1. SOUTH CAROLINA

I was born and raised in South Carolina. It took me five years of living in Florida to make me love SC and realize it was home. I've been to different places, and I think it is good to live in other places for a bit. But my home is South Carolina, and I'm never leaving it again. I don't care what jobs may lie elsewhere or if my girlfriend wants to drag me somewhere else. I am never leaving SC again. Being in Florida taught me how homesick I was for this place, and I love every inch of this state. I love Columbia and Myrtle Beach and Charleston and Greenville and even my hometown of Camden. Whatever I do with the rest of my life will be done here in SC.

2. LIBERTARIAN

I believe in social freedom and economic freedom. I've always believed in economic freedom, but I have evolved on the social side. This doesn't mean I smoke pot or drink or what have you. But I don't care if other people do those things as long as no one else gets hurt. As for the government, I believe in Nozick's concept of the nightwatchman state. This makes me a minarchist. I want just enough government to keep the peace and to leave me the hell alone.

3. FREETHINKER

I used to be a Christian. I even attended seminary with the goal of becoming a Presbyterian minister. Then, while at seminary, my roommate killed himself, and I found the body. The reason for the suicide was that he was a closeted homosexual hiding his secret from everyone and trying to attend seminary and be a good Christian. He was a poor deluded fool and so was I. I needed that tragedy to shock me into reality, and I have not regretted the loss of my faith. I don't believe in God or fairy tales. I question things now. I need proof to believe in something. Religion has no proof.

Some Christians will say that I am just mad at God and running away from Jesus. All I can say is that they are wrong. You can't be mad at something that isn't real. The denial was before I lost my faith not after I lost it. Now, I just don't care.

4. FAMILY

I have a brother named Jason who I keep in touch with on a regular basis. He makes me laugh and peppers this blog with outrageous comments under various handles.

I have never been married, and I have no children. I have no real desire to change this.

5. BLUE COLLAR

I graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1994 with a BA in English. People will say that this was a waste of time and money, and I am inclined to agree. I think 95% of college degrees are worthless. It's like buying an encyclopedia that is outdated in less than a decade, but you get to keep making payments on it. Fortunately for me, I avoided such student debt through a combination of work and help from my mom and dad. As for my major, I delivered pizzas with a chemical engineer. I recommend that people go to two year technical schools and learn a real trade they can get a job with such as welding, industrial maintenance, and diesel mechanics. You have a marketable skill that pays well for a fraction of the cost. The alternative is medical school where you get to amass student debt and hope you don't flunk out. I recommend plastic surgery as your specialty. It will be the only area not socialized by Uncle Sam.

I have only held one job in my life that required a college degree, and I hated it. I was coordinator for a company known now as FedEx Ground, and I hated every day of that job. Basically, my duties were to babysit fucktards while working for fucktards. The frustration and stress were so much that I started to drink on an almost daily basis. Finally, I quit. I was done. No more bullshit.

The jobs I enjoy doing are of the blue collar variety. I like working and being in control of what happens with my work. You don't get this being the boss. Being the boss is simply crisis management. You merely respond to shit as it hits the fan. You go home every day feeling like a failure because the people you have working for you are worthless. I dog out anyone who works for me or with me who doesn't share my enthusiasm for work or my values. As for the bosses, they are no different than the workers. They are lazy idiots with no honor or pride in their work.

My other white collar options are to go into financial services and the law which involve moral compromises that I know I can't make. I can't sell someone a product or a service that I would not use myself and thought was harmful. I am also not into playing office politics.

There are only two avenues I am keenly interested in. The first is doing work that is valuable and honest. The second is being an entrepreneur. I can manage employees that I get to hire and fire. The secret is to hire people just like me, and I meet them all the time. I could build an army out of the overlooked character and talent I see in the corporate ranks. So, I want to add to my blue collar skill set and perhaps start a business that provides basic goods and services like carpet cleaning, plumbing, or hamburgers. And I want to hire all those good people who are like me and do really good work.

I have no interest in bullshit careers. I don't want to run for public office or be a stockbroker or run some shady business or climb the corporate ladder by sycophancy and treachery. This is Slimeworld. I don't belong in Slimeworld. I am a blue collar guy, and if that condemns me to blue collar pay, I would rather have that and remain happy.

6. GIRLFRIENDS

I am not an optimist when it comes to love, and I am not a romantic. I will never marry. This is because love is bullshit, and I know this with the same certainty that I know the sun will rise tomorrow. But I love my girlfriend, and she is the only one I want. My sobriety on matters of the heart makes me choose good women now, and it is working well for me.

I distinguish between chemical love and real love. I hate chemical love. It is all hormones and pheromones. I prefer the deep and abiding love that comes from caring for a woman who is worth a damn. Chemical love fades. Real love endures. Only time indicates which one you've got.

7. WRITER

I write every single day. It is a compulsion for me. My day is not normal unless I put words on a page. Writing is the only thing I do really well. It doesn't pay well which means I will always have the dayjob. But I can't stop doing it anymore than I can stop showering, shaving, or brushing my teeth. I will be a writer until the day I die.

8. THE LOGO

I have always been called "Big C" for as long as I remember. I sign all my informal letters with my initial. Then, I decided I needed to market myself which meant having a brand. A simple "C" intrigued me, but I decided to throw the dot on the end. It is a mixture of ego and humility. I now sport a tattoo with the logo, and it is me.

9. THE LOSER

I am not rich or famous. I'm not much on status. I don't do envy or shame. There are people better than me and people worse than me. I have achieved some of my goals but not all of them. I have made mistakes but also avoided a lot of other mistakes. But when anyone asks, I tell them the same thing. I am a loser. This admission is like a gut punch to everyone but me. People tell me I have a low self-esteem, but I have a blog and a logo for chrissakes. I like who I am.

I practice a great deal of irony and self-deprecation. This is because I'm not into the status game. I like to tell people I work at McDonald's or dropped out of high school or still live with my parents. Most people tend to embellish. I do the opposite. The result is that people give up trying to insult me or hurt my feelings or whatever. I just don't care what people think of me. This brings me a great deal of freedom.

10. ODDS AND ENDS

-I do not smoke, drink, or use drugs.

-I eat healthy 90% of the time which means no hamburgers. But I will steal french fries.

-I am fat and out of shape. My secret dream is to lose weight and get in shape and run marathons. I used to run in my twenties and will definitely do it again in my forties as I try to overcome the midlife anxiety of knowing my life is half over. But my thirties have been slack as hell.

-I am not allowed to talk about my job. Seriously. Don't even ask what I do.

-Beyond writing, reading a lot of books and articles on the internet, and strapping on my running shoes to get my monthly exercise, I have no hobbies. I don't collect stamps, hunt, fish, play golf, or belong to a BDSM swingers club. I think these things are a waste of time and money and can be rough on the nipples.

-I am a workaholic. The amount of control I feel over my life is directly proportional to the number of hours I work in a week. Deprived of work, I become depressed and agitated and not much fun to be around. It is my ambition to work 7 days a week. And, no, I'm not cutting your grass or painting your house unless you are willing to pay me. Work without pay is like sex without orgasm.

-I shave my head everyday. I'm not a fan of hair.

I think that's it for autobiographical information you need to know about me or even care to know about me. Now, go mind your own business.

Real vs. Placebo Coffee

http://neuroskeptic.blogspot.com/2009/11/real-vs-placebo-coffee.html

I have a friend who says that the effects of coffee and caffeine are just mental. It can all be chalked up to the placebo effect. My friend is wrong.

Random Thoughts on Various Subjects

1. ULTRAVORE

I deleted my Ultravore blog, and I apologize to anyone who misses it. The fact is that 90% of the stuff I shared there came through my Google Reader where I already share items. (You can see the links in the sidebar.) That feature is way easier than creating fresh posts for Ultravore from scratch. Saving time allows me more time to write original content.

Both Ultravore and the SC Liberty Blog were places where I posted a lot of vids and articles linking to third party content. Both blogs generated very little traffic compared to the CBlog here. I'm not sure why, but original content is king when it comes to blogging. It also has lasting value. The posts that generate the largest traffic here are classics from two and three years ago.

I will continue my Charles Noir fictional alter ego project. I like the divide between writing non-fiction under my real name and writing fiction under a pen name. The Charles Noir name was given to me by a MySpace fan a couple of years ago. I'm never going to nuke that blog but put more time in to it. I have a ton of stories I have written in my notebooks, and I just have to key them in.

2. SMALL CHANGES

I made a list of small changes this week, and I am implementing them. So far, the results have been dramatic. One change was to start drinking coffee in the evening. I have more energy now. It's like getting a second day. The other thing was to nuke Ultravore. I'm also back on the wagon when it comes to televised sports.

I like sports, but watching the Yankees win another World Series made me want to puke. It reminded me of my resolution that I failed to keep. Why do I waste my life watching these events or keeping up with them? And where is the sport in buying your way to a championship? As I said before, the key reason for watching these things is to have a "safe" subject for conversations. But I am finding that I can do without sports and the conversations.

What I really want to do with my time is to get into shape and do some sports of my own. Televised sports are just the male equivalent of a soap opera. Sports is personalities and drama. Meanwhile, I am seriously out of shape. Once again, be your own hero. So, back on the wagon. . .

3. JOHN STOSSEL

I hate that John Stossel left 20/20 to go to Fox. He was a bastion of libertarianism in a sea of leftardation. But I can understand the switch. All those years being behind enemy lines must have taken a toll on John. You can only tolerate so much stupidity.

4. GOP CIVIL WAR

There is a definite battle brewing within the ranks of the GOP between "moderates" and "conservatives." Moderates are the ones who are fine with big government as long as it has a GOP stamp on it. Basically, this means favoring big businesses with tax breaks. Conservatives are the hardcore Republicans who favor small government. There is talk of a split and a possible third party comprised of tea party people. It may happen, but I think this third party will be just like the LP--a strong but marginalized force.

Republicrats need to be chased out of the GOP and forced to join the Democratic Party. This is because they are essentially Democrats. What is the difference between a guy like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Nancy Pelosi? Very little. Basically, Republicrats are centrists who found it amenable to carry the GOP label. But they hold no principles. They are RINOs. As the GOP stands for something, these people will hit the exits.

5. HOMICIDAL NUTJOBS

This week, we had shootings at Fort Hood and in Orlando by fucknuts with guns. Such senseless violence makes people what to see some deeper cause for this shit, but this is a waste of time. The one thing I learned from Columbine is that those two fuckers did it all just for fun. They weren't bullied teenagers alienated from parents and peers. They were fucknuts. Plain and simple.

People do extreme stuff for really mundane reasons. Trying to diagnose and correct root causes is folly. The root cause of all this shit boils down to individual madness and stupidity. Essentially, they want to do something big and dramatic and horrifying. In their fucked up brains, this is how you assert control over the world. With senseless violence, you can shake things up for a news cycle. Then, it is forgotten.

The only "cure" for this sort of thing is the Second Amendment. These fuckers are emboldened by the helplessness of the general population. The sad reality is that almost any public place can be a shooting gallery for a single lunatic with a handgun. Terrorists exploit the same thing. They are like predators who target the sick, the wounded, and the dying. A person without a gun is dead vs. a lunatic with a gun. It behooves us to let our NRA folks carry their guns even if we don't want to carry them ourselves. These people bring balance back to the equation. People have the right to defend themselves.
Treating bad people good and treating good people bad is the cornerstone of bad leadership.

Fort Hood Massacre

I'm still waiting for all the facts to come in about the shootings at Fort Hood. All I know is that an Army shrink with an Arab sounding name went berzerk and started shooting people. They shot the guy four times, thought he was dead, but the guy actually survived. In the end, they will hang the fucker.

They say he was not pleased with being deployed to Afghanistan. If this was a demonstration against the war, it was the stupidest way to do it. Killing a bunch of innocents achieves nothing. It hurts the cause more than helps it. But this guy might be a terrorist. We don't know yet. Will have to wait and see.

VILLAINS-Bono



I love U2. I think they are one of the greatest rock bands in the world. I even liked Bono for a time. I had no problem with his opposition to apartheid in South Africa or his work on behalf of the environment. He leans left in his politics the same way George Clooney does, but this will not expel you from hero status in my world. Some of my heroes are leftwingers. But not Bono.

Bono lost me when he decided to tackle world poverty. This is when his stupidity combined with being a pretentious ass got him in trouble. Here's the deal. Bono is a rich rock star prick who feels guilty over being a rich rock star prick. He feels guilty for flying on private jets and having a summer home on the Riviera. It bugs him that he has all the good things in life because he was lucky enough to be born in a Western country and also attract the purchasing behavior of millions of fans. So, to appease his guilt, he insists that everybody in the West pay higher taxes and send the money to corrupt kleptocratic governments in sub-Saharan countries to continue oppressing the people there. If you disagree with this, you lack "compassion." Meanwhile, Bono shelters his own money from these taxes. Neat trick there.

Bono's problem is that he is stupid. Ignorance can be corrected but not stupidity. There are many people who are moved by compassion to go to Africa and try to help. They come back disappointed and disheartened. This was Paul Theroux in Dark Star Safari. The problem isn't a shortage of compassion. It is a shortage of common sense. African kleptocracies merely continue the exploitation that happened under colonialism except these governments don't even have the burden of white guilt to keep them in check. In short, these robbers would have stopped long ago because they have stolen everything. They continue directly as a result of Western aid and loans.

Bono knows these facts. He just doesn't care. He has never let reality intrude in that fucked up brain of his. He believes that all problems are spiritual problems. He is not unlike Mother Theresa who let people die of curable diseases. For St. Bono, solutions matter less than guilt and repentance. The problem isn't that Africans have a shitty life. It is that Westerners have a good life. Nevermind, that Bono is at the pinnacle of that good life.

Bono is a narcissist. His efforts to help the world are not selfless. They are merely outward expressions of his own inward gaze. He sees himself on par with Martin Luther King, Gandhi, and the Dalai Lama. Yes, he lives the good life, but he feels GUILT over that good life. That's all that matters. Just feel bad, and you can live good. How fucked up can one person be?

The sad thing about Bono is that his efforts actually work to increase misery. Everytime some African kleptocrat gets debt forgiveness, this gives him a new lease on raping and murdering his own people. Then, Bono thinks more money should be given to them. Fucking amazing. This man can challenge the former white government of South Africa but can't do the same when it is a black government. The fucker is batshit insane.

People will say that Bono's motives are pure. So, what? I'm sure the bloodletters had pure motives as well. They wanted to cure people. But it was their ignorance that killed people. Similarly, it is Bono's lack of reality based intelligence that kills people in Africa. This is the problem of the Left. They let sentiment conquer reality.

The problem with the world is not a lack of compassion. The problem with the world is compassion without understanding. I want to help people in Africa, but I know the best way to help them is to stop hurting them by funding their enemies with foreign aid. Freedom is the answer, and the best way to promote freedom is to leave people alone. Fucknuts like Bono are incapable of doing this. They have to fuck with the world. Because he is a rockstar, he is qualified to fix all the world's problems. He isn't.

I am all for celebrities getting involved in politics and charity. I think they do a lot of good when it is directed in the right direction. But celebrity activism is a double edged sword. Bono is the evil edge. He could do a lot of good challenging governments in Africa. Instead, he enables them, and he doesn't care as long as he looks good doing it.


Government is tomfuckery writ large.
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, and die gallantly.

Specialization is for insects.


ROBERT A. HEINLEIN, The Notebook of Lazarus Long

Zen Habits Founder Leo Babauta on Owning Nothing

http://mnmlist.com/on-owning-nothing/

When you abandon the idea of private ownership, a lot of possibilities arise -- limited only by our imaginations.

Only an economic illiterate could write something like that.

Here is the problem with common property. Economists call it the "tragedy of the commons." The term comes from the common pasture where farmers would put their livestock with each having full rights to use the land as they desired. The result was overgrazing and destruction. You can read more here.

When something is free or shared, people acting out of self-interest will horde and consume as much as they can. The only way to alleviate this is a form of rationing. The government can be the one to ration these resources which leads to loss of freedom and shortages and a trip or two to a Siberian gulag. Or you can set up self-rationing in what is known as the free market. The result is prosperity and freedom and abundance.

There is a reason Leo Babauta is on this "less is more" kick. It is part-and-parcel of his worldview which I discussed here. This way of living leads to death, and Leo's embracing of what can only be a communist lifestyle only illustrates my point. They already have a place where Leo can find this lifestyle. It is called North Korea. If you want to see the difference between communism and capitalism, here is the famous picture of the Korean peninsula at night:



Leo defends himself against my charges of communism:

I know people will point to failed experiments such as the USSR where the abandonment of private property didn't work even a little. I agree with that assessment, but the problem was that it was all state-controlled. I think allowing the government to control property is a very bad idea. People should control property -- we could set up voluntary, democratic associations to maintain bike and car and book and clothing libraries and housing and all that.

These voluntary associations did exist during the 1960's. They were called communes, and hippies shared everything including orifices and genitalia. The result was that these lazy bums tried to live off of everybody else. The smart and industrious ones left. Eventually, they all left because parasites need a host to feed on. The modern day equivalent of the commune would be the entourage or "posse" that surround millionaire celebrities and athletes. These entourages are a primary reason these famous rich people end up declaring bankruptcy later.

The final example of communist living would be the family. Husbands and wives share property along with kids. They also endlessly bicker and fight over that property. The cool thing about living alone is that you know where your stuff is, and you only have one person to blame if it gets lost or broken.

Theoretically, communism should work. On paper, waste is eliminated. In practice, it never works. Sharing does not eliminate need or promote peace and happiness. Leo Babauta is wrong. The man is a fool.

As for capitalism being wasteful, this is not true. Granted, people own shit they don't use or need and put away in storage spaces. But eventually, they empty these spaces either because of bankruptcy or what have you. That's when a scavenger like me picks them up for peanuts. I am not the original owner of anything I own except my toothpaste and my toilet paper. I am a thrift store junkie and buy only used vehicles. I am also a total libertarian capitalist. I believe in abundance on the cheap. I regularly have to throw out stuff I don't need that has been given to me. It gets donated to thrift stores.

I think everyone has the right to their own lifestyle, and I won't begrudge Leo his Zen lifestyle. But communism comes at the expense of others. It only holds together under totalitarianism which is why it always leads to that. This was the thesis F.A. Hayek illustrated in The Road to Serfdom. Shared resources lead to central planning and control. ALWAYS. This leftard commie dream is a fantasy. You can't have both freedom and communism. It never works.

Every kid in the world has imagined a superhero that used flatulence as a super power.
Love your country. Hate your government.
I hate when people piss on my dream of quitting my dayjob and pursuing ballet.

Weekend Recap

1. The Gamecocks lost to the Volunteers which really blows. At this point, the Cocks are headed to utter mediocrity for the rest of the season. I can only hope they are able to beat Clemson.

2. NASCAR finally achieved its purpose. It made Talladega boring. Cracking down on bump drafting has made the drivers chickenshit to race. NASCAR should go ahead and take Talladega and Daytona off the schedules and stick to cookie cutter tracks and short tracks. Fucking idiots.

3. Panthers beat the Cardinals, but the season still looks ugly. Delhomme will be lucky to stay in Charlotte when this season ends.

4. Favre whipped the piss out of his old team, the Green Bay Packers, AGAIN. We see why he wanted to play for the Vikings so bad. Right now, they look Super Bowl worthy. All I know is that Favre has silenced his critics. The old man can still play ball.

5. My girlfriend made me watch a chick flick Friday night. It was The Proposal with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. I am ashamed of Ryan Reynolds for doing this movie. Van Wilder is dead.

6. Finished reading Darkly Dreaming Dexter on which the Showtime series is based. Save yourself the trouble and watch the Showtime series because it is way better. Author Jeff Lindsay is good at creating interesting characters, but his plotting is not nearly as good as that of the screenwriters for the TV show. I will pass on reading more in the series because it ruins my watching of the TV show.


The Charter for Compassion

There is one thing I share with religious people, and that is a belief in the Golden Rule. What would be really cool is if those religious fucknuts actually practiced it.

The Charter for Compassion is an attempt to do exactly that. The Charter is a product of TED which is familiar to cerebral types who watch the addictive videos from their annual conferences. You can learn more here.

The problem with the Golden Rule is that it is too often divorced from any larger intellectual framework. I'm sure the Spanish Inquisition thought they were doing their victims a favor by saving their souls through torture. Humans don't lack compassion but common sense. Today, leftards and fasctards fall into the same shitheaded thinking proposing things that promote the greater good at the expense of the individual.

The Golden Rule without acknowledgment of individual rights is not compassion. It is ignorance using compassion as cover for atrocity. Without respect for life, liberty, and property, "compassionate" people are nothing more than faux saints wielding power for their own ego gratification. Bono from U2 would be a great example of this colossal arrogance and ignorance. (Am I bugging ya? I don't mean to bug ya.)

This project will probably be nothing more than cover for a socialist agenda. We will have to wait and see.