Q & A

Q: What would you do if you won the lottery?

A:
Surprisingly, I have never really answered this question for myself. I have considered how people could keep from losing or blowing the winnings as they often do. I have also said that winning wouldn't change me or my lifestyle. I would still keep working my job. I would still live in my apartment or buy a modest home with some sort of workshop out back for various blue collar and artistic endeavors.

The lottery represents a windfall of sudden cash, and the appeal of those tickets is the entertainment that those daydreams create. I don't play the lottery because I'd rather buy a cup of coffee or a candy bar or something. But the daydream is an entertaining mental exercise.

A friend of mine suggested how awesome it would be if the lottery winner took all the cash, made a pile, and burnt that shit up. What a spectacle. I said that the person would be arrested for destroying the currency which makes it even more radical as fuck. That act of destruction would be such a statement and even indictment of conventional thinking that it would at least have people talking about it for decades. But it also cuts to a fundamental truth. Money has no intrinsic value. It is simply a medium of exchange. Burning it is not a destruction of wealth because the wealth it could purchase would already exist. It would also have the same effect as giving it away since that destruction of currency would increase the purchasing power of the remaining currency in the hands of the public. Of course, matched against the printing presses of the Federal Reserve, it would be like spitting in the ocean.

Money is simply the right to determine the direction of the flow of wealth. When you have a lot of money, it isn't that you suddenly have a lot of purchasing power. You have the power to make decisions and make those things happen. The problem is that people make very lousy choices with that power. I am watching Bill Gates do exactly that with his billions. He should have stuck to software.

I don't know what I would do with all that cash. Money flows to those who make the best decisions with it. Winning the lottery is simply an experiment in watching money flow to those who don't make good decisions with money. Sometimes, a rich person wins the lottery, and people say that is a waste. They want to see some poor person win it and then blow the living shit out of it on a thieving posse of friends, shyster accountants, con artists, bling, hookers, liquor, and blow. I know that I don't make great decisions with money because I would already be rich if I did. This is why I choose not to spend but to save. I would put my money in index funds and savings and live my life almost exactly as I live it now. I would essentially be leaving my money with those people who already make good decisions with money. My life is sweet now, and the really sweet things I want can't be bought.

MONDAY



1. I must apologize to my readers for not being more consistent as a blogger. I have a hernia. Or something.

2. When Santorum talks about courageous and principled stands that went against the popular grain, I have to wonder. Does Rick think he is more radical or principled than Ron Paul? And does a principled stand on a trivial issue like contraception really fucking matter?

3. Their minds met before their bodies.



4. Beauty is nothing more than a fresh perspective on an ordinary world.

5. I don't know if I care to read the latest Berskhire letter to shareholders. I think the only wisdom Warren spouts these days is to have friends in government.

6. Is a strategic alliance a good strategy for libertarians? Will have to watch and see. Definitely something not seen before in the history of politics.

7. The Office has jumped the shark. Stop watching it now.

8. A study indicates that wealthier people are more dishonest than poor people. That is some shocking shit. Maybe those rich fucks are screwing us after all.



9. But not these guys.



10. Ernest Borgnine cures hernias.

[SOC]

These SOC posts are where I write whatever comes into my head, but I am finding this particular edition to be problematic because what I am thinking about is not something I want to write about. I can't stop thinking about it, and I can't write about it. Talk about mas problemas!

This presents a mystery for people. What the fuck is Charlie thinking about that he can't write about? Could it be his job? Does he have hemorrhoids? Is he on the run from the law? There is this huge blank left for people to fill, and they fill it with their imaginations. This is a trick minimalist writers use to make stories seem fuller than they are. You have the tip of the iceberg while the rest remains submerged. The reader does the work of imagining it.

This trick is why old horror movies that use shadows and darkness are scarier than modern movies that rely on CGI special effects. No effect can compare to one's imagination. When you write a story, you need to leave room for this expansive imagination. Don't answer all the questions. Don't make all the descriptions. Paint with a few broad strokes and let the people do their thing.

I often wonder if the same technique can be used in painting and art, and I think it can. In fact, this seems to be what modern artists like Andy Warhol and Marcel Duchamp did with their work. They did not explain the work. They just made it and let it be what it was. This obviously leads to a reputation for inscrutability among artists which is often frustrating and smacking of elitism. What the fuck were they thinking when they made this?

People who are overt in their message are didactic. For instance, a novel like Uncle Tom's Cabin is didactic as it paints a world of black and white that is simplistic. I hate this shit. I don't mind it in my nonfiction, but I want my fiction to not be on the same level of a Sunday School lesson.

Shakespeare was good at this morally ambiguous writing. His most famous example is Hamlet with the melancholy Dane vacillating between action and inaction. Why doesn't he just put a sword in his corrupt uncle? But he can't. And things don't end on a happy note.

In modern times, I have to hear people crap on one of my favorite movies, No Country for Old Men, that has a less than satisfying ending for many people. I think that was what Cormac McCarthy was trying to do. He left the loose ends, the mysteries, and the fucking randomness of it all. The fact is that you can put together a string of purely random events, and people will form it into a narrative. People make stories out of things that aren't stories at all.

The biggest example of this storytelling is the concept of historical inevitability. The Marxists drowned in this particular Kool-Aid as they saw the worker's state being something that was just going to happen. It was inevitable. Then, the Soviet Union collapsed. There was nothing inevitable about it at all. We can laugh at these fools, but we make the same mistake when we yield to pessimism and say that tyranny is inevitable or that freedom will triumph over statism. But history shows no such patterns. Any such patterns are merely distortions.

I am learning to take things as they come. You need to hold things with an open hand. It could be yours. It could not be yours. Instead of trying to control it or predict it, perhaps we should just let it be as it is. Try not to overthink things. Let events proceed as they will.

This loose hold is difficult. But I learn this through my creative endeavors. I write these SOC posts with no idea where they will end. I do the same thing with my fiction now as I leave many of my stories open ended. I don't answer all the questions. I just let it be what it is. I find this leads to more surprising results than anything I could ever plan.

Something unplanned has happened in my life, and I am just going to let it run where it will. I find myself surprised each and every day. Things I thought were so aren't like that at all. And I could explain it, but I think I will leave you guessing. This is because I don't really know myself. I am going to let it be what it is and enjoy it for what it is. The only things that are inevitable are change and motion.


CHIHULY

FRIDAY



1. Shepard Fairey pleads guilty to one count of criminal contempt for fabricating and destroying evidence relating to this picture:



With Fairey's conviction, it makes it unanimous that this poster was a really bad idea. The only hope Shepard has now is a presidential pardon.

2. For shits and giggles, I baptized the Rev. Jerry Falwell posthumously into the Church of Satan.

3. You know the Democrats want Santorum on the ticket. And it isn't because sweater vests are kinda wishy washy.

4. I think Heidi Klum woke up one day and said, "Damn, he is one ugly motherfucker."

5. I bet Falwell was shocked when they dragged his fat ass out of Heaven.

6. INTERESTING READ: Lying for the Lord

7. The fuckbot picture generator just won't work. I suspect there has been SABOTAGE.

8. Finally, someone goes after Mitt's magic underwear.

9. I asked a newly minted Mormon friend about the underwear, and I suspect he did some lying for the Lord.

10. Any religion that is against coffee is pure fucking evil. Sorry. I can forgive the underwear, but don't ever fuck with my java.

THURSDAY



1. The fuckbot picture generator has broken down. Sorry.

2. Ron Paul got in some good licks in last night's debate. He also got more time to speak. Santorum got slammed.

3. Spring is here. There go the sinuses.

4. The Higgs boson is in the crosshairs. Or maybe not. Damn that God particle!

5. Mick Jagger describes Obama's singing as "courageous." That is odd. I have heard the same thing about my art.

6. "Courageous" must be a diplomatic way of saying "sucks ass."

7. Pepsi is coming out with a mid-calorie soda called "Pepsi Next." It will have half the calories which means people will drink twice as much of the stuff.

8. Rand Paul says he would be honored to be Romney's veep. Libertarians are not amused.

9. J.K. Rowling is going to write a novel for grown ups. What she doesn't get is that many of the Potter readers were grown ups.

10. Yes, I read all of those damn books. Fuck you. Kiss my ass. And don't ask me if I got teary eyed.

11. The Motorhead video generator is not broken down. Enjoy!

TUESDAY



1. A lot of drunkenness, drug abuse, and domestic violence would disappear if we abolished the earned income tax credit.

2. I know a guy on unemployment who had to stop drinking and is desperate for that tax check to come in. That is a real damn shame.

3. Skanks need love, too.

4. You can torture and kill Muslims, but don't fuck with their damn holy book.

5. I have a question for Rick Santorum. Is it a sin if a priest wears a condom before raping a boy? Or should he go in bareback?

6. Hugo Chavez has another tumor. Just when I think cancer has let me down, it comes back!! Go cancer!!!

7. At some point, leftards are going to call for single payer for college education. I have foreseen it.

8. Santorum says Satan is attacking America. This guy is starting to make Mormons look sane.

9. The NSA says Anonymous could take down the power grid in America. Naturally, this means the government needs to take over the power grid in America and take it down. I have foreseen it.

10. The EU gives Greece another bailout. By the end of the year, Greece will need another bailout. I have foreseen it.

The Schopenhauer Problem



The philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer was very pessimistic about human relationships. Schop liked to use an illustration to describe the futility of relationships. The illustration involved two porcupines. The porcupines are alone but could cuddle together for warmth. But when they got close to each other, they pricked each other with their quills. The result was a Catch-22. You could either be cold or pricked. Likewise, in human relationships, you can choose to either be alone or aggravated by the company of another. That is a very dismal view of relationships, but I find it accurate.

If you are going to be in any sort of close relationship, you are going to have to learn to tolerate bullshit. If this bullshit is too much, then you need to accept the cold emptiness of loneliness. We might imagine being in a pleasant relationship, but this isn't possible. People are human. They fart and snore. They have opinions that conflict with our own. They have terrible habits from biting their fingernails to much worse things involving substance abuse, gambling, and infidelity.

I don't have a satisfactory answer to this hedonistic dilemma. The reason I call it a hedonistic dilemma is because pain and pleasure matter to the hedonist. They are the essence of happiness. What Schopenhauer pointed out here as in countless other issues is the fact that life is a series of trade offs. Ultimately, life is either pain or boredom. You are either suffering, or you are bored because you aren't suffering.

I agree with just about everything Schopenhauer writes. But I'm not a pessimist. I think happiness is possible in life. The reason for this is because I am not a hedonist. Hedonism is a dead end. If Schopenhauer does anything for us, he shows us that the surest path to increasing pain is to believe that pleasure is happiness.

I am indifferent to pleasure and pain. This indifference is not the same as what the Stoics believed in. I have studied the Stoics in depth, but I came to the conclusion that their path was impossible as well. They attempted to create within their minds a psychological fortress that was impregnable. This can't ever happen. We are human, and there is no changing this.

Happiness comes from flow. Happiness is flow. This is what Aristotle referred to as eudaimonia or "flourishing." In this state of flow, pain and pleasure become meaningless. I can attest to this as I often end my day puzzled by the injuries I have sustained unknown throughout my day. Gashes on my arms and legs are a routine thing for me, but I don't actually feel them until I see them. I don't suffer from any kind of neurological disease that is paralyzing my senses. But I am too deep in the flow to notice the pain.

I have the same issues with sleep and hunger. I ignore those things for the sake of some project. They hit me later pretty hard. Usually, this is being famished at midnight and trying to decide between food and sleep.

If life is supposed to be either pain or boredom, I have to admit that I have neither. I get hungry like any other person. But it doesn't cause me grief. Similarly, I am almost never bored. I would say absolutely never except I had to take a trip to the DMV the other day to comply with some stupid new regulation. I just know that I don't live in Schopenhauer's world of endless suffering.

With relationships, I don't have a problem with tolerating other people's bullshit. I could point to all sorts of annoyances from my previous girlfriends, but that stuff really never bothered me. What did bother me was their ability to disturb that sense of flow. I'm not sure why things are this way, but women seem to have this unique ability and desire to quench the flow. It seems a woman is never happy until her man has reached the absolute point of misery at her hands. Women resent a man's job, his work, his projects, and the rest. Words like "neglect" and "workaholic" pop up. I call these women the "diminishers." They diminish flow.

I have zero interest in living with a diminisher. I am proud of the fact that I sent all these women sailing ass first to the curb. This is why being alone in the flow beats being in company with the misery. No warm arms or loving embrace can ever substitute for flow. Flow is everything.

I think two people who live in flow can certainly be together especially if they share projects. But even if they don't share projects, they can at least support each other in those things. The couples that I see who go the distance and have enviable relationships share this flow. Rose and Milton Friedman are the best example that springs to my mind. They both had a great love for economics and shared projects.

The Schopenhauer problem is a hedonistic dilemma, and I am not a hedonist. It isn't a problem for me. I am too happy to notice the pain or the boredom. For me, the only pain is anything that comes between me and that sense of flow. The only pleasure would be anything that enhances that flow.

Q & A

Q: Is it OK for a libertarian to take a welfare check or an unemployment check?

A:
This was a question Stefan Molyneux took on the radio program I was listening to last night. Molyneux likened these government checks to compensation for stolen loot. Basically, if someone steals your bike and you find it lying somewhere, it is perfectly fine to take back your property. Molyneux also said that it was just compensation for being imprisoned in public education for eighteen years of your life. Of course, here in SC, you get to drop out at age 16, so those last two years are on you.

My own libertarian positions are not based on this line of argument. Molyneux is a philosophical libertarian while I am a consequentialist. Issues of right and wrong matter, and we can make a case that victims of injustice deserve compensation for their loss. But I don't spend my time considering those things. I look at what the outcome will be.

If the government provides it, it is your right as a citizen to take advantage of it. This could be a road, public education, food stamps, or whatever. In fact, you will probably find your life and freedom considerably diminished if you don't do these things since the government has a monopoly on things like roads. But I draw the line at welfare checks.

The problem with welfare, food stamps, and other forms of aid is that they require something of you namely that you not work or be gainfully employed. A Social Security check collected after age 65 entails no such restrictions. Even Warren Buffett collects his Social Security checks and doesn't miss a day of work. If the government check comes with moral hazard, you should never take it.

Welfare creates lazy bums. You don't want to be one of those people. Going without is harder in the short term, but you will be a long term winner if you don't take the welfare check.


MALNIC

[SOC]

I really need to stop going to Hooters. I spent the weekend with chronic diarrhea that seems to have begun with my eating a Caesar salad from that place. The food at Hooters really sucks. Why do I go there every Friday? I don't know. Probably because of this:



Hooters has wings! They also have other food items like beer. Beer and wings. Wings and beer. I don't do either. So, why do I go to Hooters? I really don't know.

I think you are safe eating anything fried from Hooters. Grease has a way of killing things like salmonella. They don't fry the salad, so I was destined to get sick. I endeavor not to eat crap food, but the problem with eating healthy is that it will kill you.

SATURDAY



1. 61% of Americans no longer go to theaters to watch movies. I blame it all on the obnoxious cellphone yammerer in aisle four who won't shut the fuck up.

2. I'm thinking the critics have a personal vendetta against Nic Cage. Or maybe Nic Cage has a vendetta against people who watch movies. I know Michael Bay does.

3. The USA has made a strategic alliance with al Qaeda to help topple the Assad government in Syria. This is ironic considering that the USA used the Assad government to torture members of al Qaeda. I'm sure this will all come to a satisfactory conclusion for the USA.

4. Who the fuck am I kidding?

5. Charlie Sheen says that Ashton Kutcher sucks. This may be true. But at least Ashton isn't sucking on the end of a crack pipe.

6. TIP FOR PEOPLE CONSIDERING RUNNING FOR PUBLIC OFFICE: If you are running for public office, there is nothing you have done that won't be known. This includes that crazy night with the one legged hooker, the bottle of Jack, and the Shetland pony.

7. I still have that hooker's wooden leg.

8. I think Windows 8 will be as popular as that fake turd I put in the punch bowl at the New Year's Eve party.

9. If anyone sees a streetwalker hopping around on one leg, tell her I will return her property if she gives me back my wallet.

10. BTW, if the GOP finds itself with a brokered convention, I will certainly accept the White Knight role of being drafted as the presidential candidate. Just don't ask me anything about Shetland ponies.

11. I will nominate Ron Paul as my vice president and resign immediately after taking my oath of office. Well, I might pardon all the pot smokers first. Then, I'll resign.

The Order of the Gash



From a box, a world of pleasures unseen.
Utter indulgence for a life unclean.
Fingers rub the edge of the golden cube
And opens the door for Hedone’s rube.
Expectations of Heaven turn to Hell.
In eternal suffering he shall dwell.
No difference between pleasure and pain.
His flesh ripped and torn in damnation’s game.
Chains of steel and bloody hooks tear apart
A vessel of soul and a hellbound heart.
Entwined and embraced by hellish lovers
Angels to some and demons to others.
Pushed to the edges of experience,
He is probed by tools of indifference.
Cutting and slicing in numerous ways
His cries ignored for infinite days.
Reminded always by the pierced man
This suffering was by the victim’s hand.
He is the loser on a foolish bet.
No suffering is greater than regret.

Random Thoughts on Various Subjects

1. A LOUSY WEEK FOR BLOGGING

I have really struggled this week with the blog. I have had the time, but I haven't had the energy to blog. Most of the time, the blog urge is strong, and I can't not post something on a daily basis. This week, the blog urge has been weak. It has been incredibly weak.

I haven't run out of material since I have a backlog of topics to write about on my list. Plus, I am always able to dip into my sources of inspiration for subject matter. This would be Facebook and the Google Reader. I find that the stuff I write most passionately about is actually in response to things other people have written. The problem is that no one seems to be writing anything that I find to be provocative. Or, it could be that I am simply beyond the ability to get pissed off anymore.

2. CAMPAIGN

It is becoming more and more obvious that Mitt Romney and his ilk stole the Maine caucus glory from Ron Paul. There is also that whole delegate strategy that the Paulians are pursuing in anticipation of a brokered convention. Newt is fading now while Santorum is rising. I think this year shows a Republican Party in transition. Obama is weak, but the Republicans seem unable to go for the guy's jugular. Of the current four candidates, Ron Paul strikes the greatest contrast to Obama and clearly has the best chance of beating the guy in the general election. Romney is merely a vanilla Obama while Newt and Santorum are just plain nutty as fuck in their respective ways. The problem is that Ron Paul can't get to the general without going through the gauntlet of the GOP primaries. It is a bottleneck as Ron Paul's base of support is broad, but his independent and Democratic supporters can't vote for him in the GOP process. Ron Paul could run as a third party candidate and may just do that. This would split the GOP vote ensuring Obama's second term.

The guy that should have run was Jeb Bush. If Jeb's last name was Smith instead of Bush, he probably would have run. But Jeb knows he will have to answer for his older brother's fuck ups even if the two are not the same guy. His name keeps getting tossed out there as the possible savior of the GOP in the event of a brokered convention. The Obama Machine would crush him.

Mitt really needs Newt and Santorum to drop out. He is going to have to cut a deal with them. He may offer Santorum the veep job while Newt would probably get whatever cabinet post most appealed to him. Neither Santorum nor Gingrich could ever get the nomination, and they have to know this. But they also know they have enough to deny it for Romney as well. A brokered convention means an Obama victory, so at some point, deals are going to be cut. But that would be a prediction from me, and I hate making predictions.

3. WHITNEY HOUSTON

There's not a lot I can say about Whitney Houston dying. She was an incredible singer, but that voice died long before the rest of her did. With the death of Michael Jackson and Amy Winehouse in the background, people have to be wondering what is up with musical stars and their drug habits.

I call this drug and alcohol fueled lifestyle "dirty living." This is opposed to clean living like I do. I remember boasting in my post called "The Death List" that I was going to do lots of drugs in the event of receiving news of terminal disease or whatever. I am rethinking that a bit as I think I would like to retain some dignity in my dying. Drugs and alcohol are antithetical to life and flourishing. I do not believe in hedonism, and it would be incongruous to suddenly embrace that hedonism when I don't have to worry about the consequences.

Is pleasure the highest good? Is pleasure happiness? For Whitney Houston, it clearly wasn't. Her final moments were probably blissful as she was swept away in the euphoria of her substances. But her life seems tragic and sad and unenviable. A pleasurable death is not a good death. I don't think I want to die like she did. It is something I will have to think about though I will probably eat it in a car wreck with some drunken teenager smashing into me. Hedonism is not happiness.

Bryan Caplan on Being Single

If being single is so expensive, why are the poor far less likely to get married and stay married? I'm sure you could come up with a stilted neoclassical explanation. But this is yet another case where behavioral economics and personality psychology have a better story. Namely: Some people are extremely impulsive and short-sighted. If you're one of them, you tend to mess up your life in every way. You don't invest in your career, and you don't invest in your relationships. You take advantage of your boss and co-workers, and you take advantage of your romantic partners. You refuse to swallow your pride - to admit that the best job and the best spouse you can get, though far from ideal, are much better than nothing. Your behavior feels good at the time. But in the long-run people see you for what you are, and you end up poor and alone.

Being Single is a Luxury

Bryan Caplan has an interesting article here. Basically, he makes the case that being married is cheaper than being single. The most glaring issue he ignores is the drag and financial strain that comes with having children. My personal view is that Caplan is doing some ex post facto justification for his own lifestyle choices which involve marriage and children.

A couple that is double income and no kids or DINKs are definitely better off than a single person. This is because they split the cost of things like housing and certain utilities. On the other hand, a husband who works with a wife who doesn't work forms a SINK which is actually worse than being single and alone. This is because the earner must pay for the non-earner. Likewise, a couple with one earner and 2.5 kids is going to be even worse. But there are also tax advantages and the earned income tax credit to consider as well.

The bottom line is that a single person who elects to share housing with a roommate is going to do as well as the DINKs. I know because I used to do this. It works fine until your roomie stiffs you on his or her share of the bills. I suspect Caplan is taking pains to make marriage look like a great deal relative to being single. Now, if his wife were to have a torrid affair with the UPS man while he was away teaching econ, he might see things a bit differently. The fact that most married people--men and women--cheat on their spouses suggests to me that being married is not nearly as lovely as Caplan makes pains to indicate.

I am a single man who lives alone. It is more expensive than sharing my housing with either a roommate or a significant other. It is a luxury, and it is worth it. I would live in a smaller place or work a second job to maintain my living situation. I find living alone to be very sweet. As for the last part that there is something wrong with single people, I don't think I am impulsive or short-sighted or take advantage of my boss and co-workers. Like I said, I think Caplan is trying to justify being married. People who go to such lengths suggests to me a great deal of second thoughts.

Marriage sucks. I don't know how else to put it.

TUESDAY



1. Valentine's Day is bullshit. Love is bullshit.

2. Bobby Brown ruined Whitney Houston. I bet he put it up her pooper, too.

3. Michael Bay is going to direct a fourth Transformers film. Christ in a corset.

4. Burn, Greece, burn. Fuck your whole damn country.

5. Kate Upton is yummy.



6. Yes, it is photo shopped.



I would still bang her even with the cheddar.

7. Greece keeps getting collection calls, but it won't pick up the phone.

8. In South Carolina, the winters are mild until February when we get hit with a ton of shit. Then, spring comes in covering everything in pine tree pollen.

9. Gas should be at $5 just in time for Election Day. Of course, Obama might release some oil from the strategic reserves to prevent that from happening.

10. Iran has neutralized Stuxnet. Unfortunately for them, they still can't get rid of that annoying pop up ad from Hot Persian Chixxx.

Q & A

Q: What are your views on the Free State Project?

A:
I'm not really for or against the FSP. Clearly, the FSP has made some impact in New Hampshire in the direction of liberty. On the other hand, New Hampshire ended up voting for Mitt Romney in the GOP primaries instead of Ron Paul.

The reality is that every libertarian in the country could move to New Hampshire, and it wouldn't be enough to make a difference. It is very hard to get numbers on how many libertarians there are since there are loose definitions of who is a libertarian. So, I will use a proxy. According to Wikipedia, there are 225,000 voters registered with the Libertarian Party. This is clearly not all the libertarians in the country or all the people who belong to the LP. But it is a hard fast number I can use. So, assuming it is undercounted, let's double the number. Let's say there are 450,000 libertarians in the USA. There are 1,318,194 people living in NH according to the US Census Bureau. If all these libertarians moved to NH, this would swell the population to 1,768,194 people. This would make NH only 25% libertarian.

Can 25% of the population make a difference? Not likely. If 51% of the population can thwart the other 49%, it is really no problem rolling over 25%. The goal of the Free State Project is to get 20,000 libertarians to NH. I don't see how that number can make a difference.

Where libertarians have made progress is on single issues. For instance, libertarians were able to get support for repealing the draft and for deregulating the airlines. Progress is now seen on issues such as marijuana legalization, opposition to internet regulation and censorship, and public mistrust of the Federal Reserve. This progress is marginal, but it represents what libertarians have been able to achieve.

If the majority of the population were libertarian, we would have less government and more freedom. The reality is that the majority is not libertarian. They don't want freedom. I suspect they never will. Freedom has always been a minority position in the history of the world and even in the history of the US.

Where the FSP makes the biggest impact is in creating a community of libertarian people. What the FSP lacks in political clout, it makes up for in providing a clear example of what freedom is all about. Other projects such as seasteading and agorism will have the same effect. Nothing converts people more than a great idea, and great ideas are seen not heard.

The bottom line is that I think the FSP is doomed in terms of exercising power at the ballot box, but I think it is promising in terms of being a living demonstration of how libertarians live and interact. The only way this country embraces freedom will be through mass conversion, and this will happen only when people see that liberty is the way to go. The FSP is a candle in the darkness.

[SOC]

I am struggling this week to put together content for the blog. I am not tapped creatively, but I keep running out of time. I don't get paid to blog, so it is last on my list of priorities which makes it the first thing to fall off when I have extra work to do. I am banging this out furiously before breakfast and coffee and heading to work.

What have I been doing with my time? I have been sleeping. Basically, I have gone from four and half hours of sleep to six and a half hours of sleep. Two hours makes a difference. The result is that I have less time to create, but I feel so much better for it.

Off to work.

SATURDAY



1. The Malnic Gallery is live.

2. Romney edges Paul for a victory in Maine. Ron Paul did everything he could to win that one. Frustrating but not surprising.

3. I know. That contest was probably fixed like the one in Nevada.

4. As I write this, I just got a text saying that Whitney Houston has died. Shocking but not surprising.

5. I never make predictions. But if I did, I would predict an Israeli strike on Iran, Julian Assange in a US prison, and Mitt Romney elected as President by the end of the year. But like I said, I never make predictions.

6. There are two classes in America, and it isn't rich and poor. It is makers and takers, and it goes from top to bottom. There are those who get things done, and there are those who just get over.

7. In an alternate universe, there is a President Obama who actually kept his promises. The wars were over. Marijuana was virtually legal. Wall Street never got those bailouts. Unfortunately, they still got stuck with Obamacare.

8. Romney wins CPAC. Unusual but not surprising.

9. I find this Aussie entertaining:



10. Apple is now bigger than Microsoft and Google combined. Ironic but not surprising.


Random Thoughts on Various Subjects

1. CAMPAIGN

I don't really have much to say about the presidential campaign. I have sort of stopped thinking about it. I just find it humorous watching conservatives choke on Mitt Romney and vote for the likes of Gingrich and Santorum. Mitt really needs one of these guys to drop out. The fact that Gingrich and Santorum couldn't make it on the ballot in a few states indicates to me they have no fucking chance. But in the interim, they are drawing blood and inflicting heavy damage on Romney. Mitt would much rather begin his battle against Obama, but the GOP won't let him.

Ron Paul is done. It is clear that he is campaigning just to be heard at the convention. All those smug pundits who said Ron Paul couldn't win were correct. He can't win.

2. HALFTIME IN AMERICA

This was without a doubt the most laughable Super Bowl commercial this year:



Clint Eastwood should be ashamed. He hasn't laid an egg like this since Bridges of Madison County. Basically, Chrysler paid a man who is supposed to be a libertarian to help rehabilitate the fact that they received a taxpayer funded bailout. Now, Chrysler is owned by Fiat, an Italian carmaker. I think Remy does a much better job with his commercial:



3. INTERVENTION VS. NON-INTERVENTION

I have been reading and listening to various conservative commentators defend interventionism abroad as opposed to the "isolationist" views of someone like Ron Paul. Basically, it is that whole "they hate us for our freedom" bullshit. It is the good guys versus the bad guys. This issue is what unites Republicans and Democrats, and it is the only reason Ron Paul isn't the GOP frontrunner. This is also why Tea Partiers never became libertarians.

The antidote to this mythmaking are facts. Unfortunately, the facts that the antiwar crowd present are under reported. For instance, Iraq is still a shithole where Shias are now dominant over Sunnis and will certainly become the ally of Iran when that war starts. What has intervention achieved? Similarly, what did intervention do for Vietnam? And why is China liberalizing despite the fact that we haven't invaded?

I am going to have to take pains to reply to the myths being put out there by the interventionists and the neocons. This is some of that asymmetry I am talking about. With the cancellation of Freedom Watch, it certainly appears that libertarians have their work cut out for them.

4. SOME CAREER ADVICE

The best career advice I can give to anyone working today is to always be looking for another job. Companies are always looking for some way to fuck their workforce, so it behooves you to have zero loyalty to any employer. This is because companies have zero loyalty when it comes to you. A job is not a marriage. It is a business deal. Unfortunately, people in deals often attempt to use fraud, deception, threats, and intimidation to get what they want. Workers do this when they go on strike. Companies do this when they lie to their workers or attempt to extract from them work without paying for it. Another tactic they do is to give a worker a certain number of hours to get him hired and in the door then cuts those hours after he has settled into the position. Another tactic is to fire workers to save the jobs of some parasites and then take that work and put it on the ones remaining. In every one of these tricks, the company attempts to get something for nothing.

Termination is a two-way street. Your boss can fire you. But you can also fire your boss. There are other jobs. Going on strike doesn't change anything. Neither does going to the labor board. What changes things is the free market, and it behooves you to shop around for jobs just like you would a new car, a cellphone, or a computer. Bad companies deserve lousy workers. Lousy workers accumulate as good workers hit the exits. As this process continues, that company loses money, managers get fired, and outfits go bankrupt.

Am I looking for another job? Always.

MALNIC

The Consent of the Governed

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE


It is a popular notion among many libertarians that people want freedom, but they are denied freedom by the government. The masses are either duped or cowed into submission to the powers of the State. Though this notion is popular, it is untrue. Orwell's 1984 cannot exist for a majority of the population. It can only exist for a minority. For the majority, it is Alduous Huxley's Brave New World. In short, no majority can ever be the victims of tyranny. Tyranny is the majority.

It is always within the power of the majority to change or abolish its government. The fall of the Soviet Union and the Arab Spring are testimony to this. The recent defeat of legislation to crack down on the piracy of intellectual property on the internet is another example. Even when faced with the facts of its own coming fiscal collapse, the government still will not override the will of the people to establish a balanced budget. Conversely, the electorate are given freedom options and candidates in election after election, yet those candidates get voted down in favor of whoever is the slickest liar. The majority of the population get the government they expect and ask for. If they don't, that government will collapse or reform itself to accord itself with those wishes.

Changing the government is a simple matter. You merely need to change the hearts and minds of the majority of the population. No change in elected officials will ever do the trick. A libertarian as president would make little difference if he was elected in opposition to the will of the majority. In short, all governments whether monarchy, dictatorship, democracy, republic, or anarchy is at the will and mercy of the vast majority of the population. Even Rome had to offer bread and circuses to keep the people from revolting.

People do not want freedom. The history of the world and countless examples demonstrate this truth again and again. Freedom is not popular. It isn't that people want to be enslaved and impoverished. They do not necessarily want other people to be enslaved and impoverished. But they do want to collect money they did not earn, and they want to punish those they despise. Those twin desires are why we see the erosion in social and economic liberty. This is morally repugnant, but the government as well as the people cover over this immorality with an appeal to the "common good." This makes wrong turn into right. A neighbor may not have the balls to go next door and rob his neighbor at gunpoint, but he is quite content to let the government do it for him.

What the government allows the majority to do is to pursue immoral actions while absolving itself of culpability. Nothing demonstrates this more than the German myth that the people in Germany were at the mercy of Hitler. The reality is they loved that man, voted him into power, and supported him until their defeat and their disgrace. Ashamed of the Holocaust, this myth of impotence popped up to cleanse their guilty consciences of the crimes they were complicit in.

To be against the government is ultimately to be against your countrymen. You are defying them and their crimes and immorality. Libertarians must not make this distinction between the government and the people. The government is the people. Once this is established and repeated again and again, the people will have to answer for the crimes they have supported. At that moment, they can either remain complicit in the crime, or they can choose to stand apart from their countrymen and defy them. This is what it means to be a libertarian. Libertarians are the ones who defy the majority.

Changing the government won't change the people. Changing the people will change the government. The way to change people is to hold them morally and intellectually accountable for either supporting or defying the government. This is done on an individual basis. As for those who declare apathy and indifference, this is no excuse either. There are no sidelines when it comes to tyranny. You are in the game whether you chose to play or not. This is why it is called tyranny.

Eventually, tyrannies collapse as they must. But they are often replaced with another tyranny. This is because people don't change. They want to collect money they did not earn and punish people they hate. The only hope is a moral hope and revolution. I don't know of a single libertarian who believes in liberty merely as a voting option. It is part of a worldview and a lifestyle as well. This is because freedom demands responsibility. Until the majority of the population is converted to this libertarian worldview, nothing will change.

Libertarians are great educators. We permeate the culture in a variety of ways. But does it make any difference? I can't think of a single person in my life that came around to my way of thinking on anything much less liberty. My personal belief is that people tend to not listen. It goes as far as closing their eyes and sticking their fingers in their ears. Not only do they not know, they don't want to know. Watching the reaction to Ron Paul demonstrates this better than my words can express. Ron Paul is respected for being right and promptly ignored.

The other popular belief amongst libertarians is that people will become libertarians once they learn the facts. This is also not true. I have benefited immensely from these educational endeavors, but I am already a convert. The failed war on drugs shows the folly of government actions in this regard, but I have yet to convince anyone that it should be abandoned. The simple fact is that Prohibition ended because most people liked to drink. Similarly, marijuana will be legalized as more and more people actually smoke the shit. But it won't come as a result of some change in thinking. Likewise, people respond strongly against SOPA legislation because it might interfere with them downloading their torrents. But they are silent on NDAA because that will be against individuals who are probably Muslim.

There are no principles animating the population. The Egyptian Revolution was basically a case of an old fart miscalculating and shutting down the massively popular internet. You can tax us and take away our freedoms. But don't fuck with our Facebook.

Freedom is not popular. It never was, and I doubt that it ever will be. Almost every libertarian I know acknowledges this in one way or another. Libertopia is merely the belief that the majority might come around. They won't, but it is nice to dream. In the end, people want their welfare checks, and they want whoever they hate to suffer. People are utterly fucked up. This is why I am a libertarian pessimist. I don't ever see this changing. Freedom when it happens is mostly accidental.

THURSDAY



1. Fox cancels Freedom Watch on the Fox Business Network. This was the best libertarian show on the air, and it is now gone. And, it really sucks that it is gone. Napolitano is awesome.

2. I wonder when they will cancel Stossel's show.

3. I believe there was fraud in the Nevada caucus. I am not much into conspiracy theories, but things are really starting to stink with the GOP establishment.

4. If you are going through Freedom Watch withdrawal, I recommend LRN. I listen to it through iTunes.

5. Suge Knight got busted with weed. I am shocked. SHOCKED. It totally changes my opinion about the man. I suspect he is also fond of 40 oz. bottles of malt liquor, handguns, and women with large asses.

6. They are coming out with inhalable caffeine. That is fucking awesome with a capital A.

7. They are cancelling House. To be honest, House was tapped out when House tapped Dr. Cuddy's sweet ass.

8. I watched three episodes of World's Toughest Fixes today. This show doesn't get a lot of attention, but I think it is the best of Blue Collar TV because it focuses more on the work instead of the antics of the host or the drama of the workers. It is educational and thrilling at the same time especially the episode where they work on the TV tower. That one will put you on the edge of your seat.

9. The cancellation of Freedom Watch and Ron Paul's inability to win a primary or caucus demonstrates to me beyond all shadow of a doubt that the libertarian message cannot and will not catch on with the American people. Freedom is not popular.

10. I suspect the popularity of the smartphone is its ability to take porn on the road or to the bathroom. Beware the sticky smartphone.

Asymmetry



What does not destroy me, makes me stronger.

NIETZSCHE


In the gaming world, there are cheaters who enter online arenas with modified controllers, hardware, and what have you that give them a distinct advantage over their competitors. This stuff is frowned upon and will often result in 5000 day bans from these arenas which is the gaming equivalent of the death penalty. Gamers despise this cheating, but it still goes on. It seems the gaming world is as dirty as the Tour de France. I have a friend who is a gamer who despises this cheating, and we have had long discussions about it. For him, the game should be fair in terms of equipment, and it should be purely a match of skill and wits. Some people simply don't have this skill, so they resort to cheating. I asked him if it made any difference to him. Was he still able to win against the cheaters? His surprising answer was that he was able to beat them and win. The cheating made no difference and probably enhanced his skill level. This was an epiphany to me.

Life is not fair. That might be news to a few people, but I think the vast majority of the people reading this already know this. But we all seem to agree that life should be fair in one way or another. The epiphany I had was a rejection of that idea. Life should be unfair. There needs to be a certain level of unfairness and injustice in the world. I gave this concept a name, and that name is "asymmetry." I will explain.

In my study of martial arts, I find that the learning process is pretty basic. I get my ass kicked by someone who knows it better than I do. Those repeated defeats at the hands of my superiors is what makes me better. This is asymmetry. I am a midget fighting a giant. But each time I fight, I grow a little taller.



Asymmetry is the stimulus necessary for these increases of skill. If things were absolutely symmetric, no progress would be possible. All progress is the result of unfairness. It could be an enemy, a friendly opponent, or merely circumstances. In order to progress, we must battle with those things that have advantage over us. If they do not destroy us, they will make us stronger.



The dangers of asymmetry are twofold. The first is that we will be destroyed. This is why no one practices catching bullets. The second is that we will surrender and give up. Wisdom is knowing when to fight and when to run. As long as we can progress, we should stay and fight. If we can only destroy ourselves, we should step away. But we should not step away and take the pussy option if there can be progress in ourselves or our situation even in a defeat. Victory is often at the end of a string of defeats.

The cheater attempts to give to himself an unfair advantage. At the heart of every cheater is weakness. They follow their own set of rules, and their string of victories actually makes them weaker instead of stronger. Similarly, those blessed with talent or advantages grow weaker over time instead of stronger as they remain within their comfort zones and exploit their advantages.

Those who progress continually seek out asymmetric opportunities. Bruce Lee was the master of this. His greatness came from constantly seeking out those who could beat him and learning to beat them. He went against a Hollywood system that was not favorable to Asians, and he became one of the greatest stars in cinema. Life was never fair to Bruce Lee. He had to fight for everything he achieved. The irony of his death is that it seemed that Fate itself was a hater of this man who defied his destiny to become what he was. We can say that life should have been fair to Bruce Lee, but Bruce Lee would not have existed without that asymmetry.

Once you embrace asymmetry, your whining should cease. You don't want things to be fair. Fairness is the desire of pussies. You want the stimulus that comes from adversity. It is good to have haters and enemies. It is good to not always have things go your way. As Seneca put it, "Disaster is virtue's opportunity." Asymmetry is the deliberate embrace and pursuit of disaster.

The fear of asymmetry is the fear of losing. In a victory or loss, we discover who we really are. But as we see, it is possible to lose with honor and win with dishonor. That sense of honor should matter more to us than victories or defeats. The real loss is dishonor and disgrace.

Life should not be fair. You should not want it to be fair. One you embrace this, few things will trouble you further. You won't worry anymore about setbacks, adversity, cheaters, enemies, or the rest. Instead, you will welcome these things as the spurs to your greater development. And when you triumph over your enemies despite their advantages, they will scream out about the unfairness of it all. And they are correct. Nature does not allot virtue equally. Some are better than others. This is the way it should be.

Q & A



Q: Are smartphones a waste of money?

A:
It is difficult for me to answer that question because I think it is person relative. I know a smartphone is a waste of money for me. It is also a waste of money for a lot of other users as well according to this article that points out that 1 in 4 smartphone users consume no data at all. In addition, less than 1% of smartphone users come close to using 2GB a month. For those 1%, a smartphone is probably worth it. For everyone else, it isn't.

The one advantage of a smartphone over a dumbphone in terms of business is the email capability. Add in a full keyboard for texting, and you have the BlackBerry. I have never owned one myself, but I could see where it would be essential for office workers, people in government, business leaders, etc. I think the tactile keyboard is a huge advantage over touchscreen devices.

The iPhone changed the game with the Android phones right behind them. Those phones are not serious phones. They are toys. Their main use is for playing games, fart apps, updating your status on Facebook, etc. They can be used for serious purposes, but I think most of the people buying these phones are not the ones using them in this way. I can't help but notice that most of the people I see with smartphones tend to have lower IQs and are atrocious with money. These are the same folks who used to run up their phone bills each month buying a hundred different ringtones.

For some folks, these phones are pretty damn vital. Like I said, it is person relative. But from where I sit, I just see people getting ripped off with another piece of consumerist crap. People will call me a Luddite for this, but I remember some awesome tech products that came out which no one cared about in the long run. This would be things like the Apple Newton, the Palm Pilot, and now, Blu-Ray disc players. The smartphone seems different as now over 30% of cellphone subscribers own one.

Are smartphones a fad? I can't answer that because any prediction I make would probably be wrong. But I do like to look back at what came before to see if there is some precedent. Has the public ever adopted a new technology only to drop it as they retrenched to something simpler they had before? The dismal sales of Blu-ray disc players shows this to be the case. But it never really caught on in the first place. The videophone and the color fax were also failures back in the day.

The best precedent that I see is the 8-track cassettes that came out in the 60's and the 70's. These were massively popular during that time, but they faded. They were clearly superior to vinyl and reel-to-reel tapes. You could play them in your car. Cassette tapes would later come along and be popular as well, but they did not really supplant the 8-track player. I know the reality. People liked FM radio, and those 8-track tapes wore out and sounded crappy after awhile. Vinyl endured while the 8-track faded away. Even after CD players, the iPod, and what have you, people still love vinyl records.

I see smartphones as being like those 8-track tapes. I could be wrong, and they may be the future. But the fact that the people who own smartphones don't use them except primarily to make calls and send texts tells me they will probably fade out. My own decision to stick with a dumbphone was based largely on the fact that I hardly ever use my iPod touch. I still have my old DVD player instead of the Blu-ray. I never upgraded to a high def TV. I don't own a DVR. The constant surges to upgrade has left me a bit fatigued as devices I own are outdated before they are worn out. It makes you want to simplify it all. I think this is why vinyl has seen a renewed popularity.

[SOC]

I write these things on Saturday morning as a creative warm up. Mornings are rough for me as that is when I am at my most decaffeinated.

It has been a mild winter. I suppose I should be grateful for that. Meanwhile, Alaska and Seattle have been buried in snow, and it all somehow has something to do with climate change. I'm tired of that shit. They just don't fucking know, and they can't come out and say it. The irony is that the same people who harp the most about global warming are utterly oblivious to the coming financial calamity and the debt crisis.

* * *

That was as far as I got on Saturday morning with that post. I was running late for Fight School, so I did the RTOVS and hauled ass. After that, my life became a blur of work and sleep for two days. I missed the Super Bowl working late. No big deal as I find working weekends way more tolerable since giving up the sports habit. You can either watch people doing things, or you can do them yourself.

I just got done writing an email to Malnic. Malnic is very stimulating. I drop everything online to respond to a Malnic email. Malnic has that same creative urge that I have. Most people I correspond with have interests in politics, philosophy, or economics. Malnic is the only one who creates. I think people are afraid to create because you are taking something from inside of yourself and putting it out there to be praised or damned. In that respect, we are comrades.

Talk to me long enough, and you will hear me whine about TME--Time, Money, and Energy. TME are the resources we all use to accomplish our objectives. If we fail to accomplish an objective, it is usually as a result of a lack of one or more of those resources. For instance, I believe that I can cure cancer if I put my mind to it. The problem is that I will probably die of cancer before I ever get to the cure because there is that whole medical school thing you have to do before tackling that cancer thing. Plus, I don't have the money for that sort of thing either as I would need a great deal of funding to do the research involved. So, we temper our ambitions to what we think we can reasonably achieve given the time, money, and energy that we have.

People think their failures are due to some lack of virtue on their part, but I don't see it that way. I think it all goes back to the TME issue. I remember my brother lamenting the loss of fitness and chalking it up to some degree of laziness on his part. The reality is that he spends numerous hours working on engineering plans and his few leisure hours with his family. This isn't laziness. Ultimately, there are only so many hours in a day, and he devotes most of his time to being an engineer, businessman, husband, and a father. Since that time, he has cut back a bit on work and got back to working out. I am sure when something doesn't get done on the job he laments his laziness there.

The reality is that our ambitions exceed our resources. In my study of achievements, I can't help but notice how so much achievement is the product of neglect in other areas. What you don't do is often as important as what you do. That nugget of wisdom forms the kernel of the minimalist lifestyle strategy. This is why less is more.

Minimalism is nothing more than being deliberate in what you are going to shun and neglect and eliminate. Most people are not deliberate, and they let the failures dictate what happens to them. The result is a messy frustrating life. I know all about messes and frustration. The only antidote I have found is the creation of a "Not To Do" list. You need to make deliberate decisions on things you are not going to do. This will help you concentrate your time, money, and energy on the things you really care about. That is Leo Babauta's wisdom in a nutshell.

I am someone with a large appetite for new interests. If I actually indulged all of my interests, I would achieve nothing. I am not talking about climbing Everest or painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. I am talking about the most mundane of things like taking out the trash or cleaning my bathroom. In fact, most of the bad habits people report are mostly neglect of important but mundane things in pursuit of the things that really thrill them and make them happy. This would be things like eating right, getting some exercise, and flossing. Watching TV, partying, working, blogging, painting, and many other things consume our interest so much that we end up neglecting other things in the process. I have literally lost hours and been late to things because I started a blog post that consequently consumed my being. I have to have a "go to sleep" alarm on my Timex to remind me to go to bed, or I will forget to sleep.

My "Not To Do" List or N-List is the following:

1. Do not watch televised sporting events.

I am tempted all the time to watch NASCAR, the NFL, and UFC. I keep putting the sports talk station on my car radio preset and removing it at least once a month. It gets uncomfortable having a convo with one of my buds, and sports comes up and I go silent. I didn't know the Patriots and the Giants were playing in the Super Bowl until a week before the game. The reason I don't know this stuff is because I have to put my mental energy and time into things that matter more to me than watching these competitions and keeping up with them. The most blatant example is that I can watch mixed martial arts, or I can learn mixed martial arts. I choose the latter. The same thing goes for fitness. I can watch football, or I can go work out.

2. Do not begin new hobbies.

I have a friend who is a drummer, and I have gone to see some of his gigs. We talk a lot about the drums and favorite drummers. I am not a drummer. He gives me music catalogs for drum equipment because he thinks I am going to break down and buy myself a kit. I never do. I also get hunting/fishing invites almost weekly from other friends, and I always turn them down. I can barely do the things I have on my plate now, so adding new things will be money wasted. I take a keen interest in these things but only to the extent that I like to write about them. I even attend offbeat church services even though I am an atheist merely to indulge my curiosity. The bottom line is that I am a journalist except jobs in that field pay so poorly that it is simply a hobby for me. Good journalists and writers are merely explorers of worlds who report back to their respective audiences.

Except for writing, my only other leisurely pursuits are getting in shape and learning self-defense. I can't even call them hobbies because I see them both as being vital to living well in much the same way you wash your car and change the oil. Both have as the aim the preservation of one's bodily functions. The workouts are more chore than pleasure, but the ironic thing is that you will get your chores done. It is more a "have to" than a "want to."

3. Do not buy the unnecessary.

This is the tools/toy thing I have mentioned on the blog before. I wanted a smartphone, but I disciplined myself to buy a durable dumbphone. Similarly, I want to buy a hulking 4WD pickup truck with mudgrip tires, a wench, a roll bar, and a set of chrome truck nuts hanging on the back. What I will get will be a small pickup that is good on gas and won't cost me a month's pay to put tires on. The irony is that I find the tools more delightful than the toys. This is because I use the tools while toys end up unused and neglected.

4. Do not get another girlfriend.

This is the latest item on the list. Nothing eats a man's resources more than a woman. There was a time when a good woman was an asset. Now, they are mostly nagging liabilities. This struck me when I saw that the guys do most of the cooking on Jersey Shore. Women are a waste now. Over the last year of unattachment, I have more TME than before. TME beats TLC especially when TLC doesn't exist.

5. Do not listen to anything other than country or rock.

I spent a decade (the 90's!) exploring different musical genres from classical to jazz to hip hop to soul to electronica to ambient to what have you. I had a library of CDs. In the end, I still like to listen to rock and country. 90% of that library of music went unplayed in favor of whatever was on the radio. Since then, those CDs have disappeared in favor of digital files that remain unplayed on my computer. I mostly listen to the radio. The reality is that my musical explorations only revealed to me that what I really like is what I have listened to since I was a kid. Country and rock are to me like Coca-Cola and Levi's jeans. You really don't need to fuck with those things. They are fine just as they are. The lesson is that the familiar doesn't always have to lead to contempt.

6. Do not indulge wanderlust.

Living somewhere else is appealing because it offers new sights and new experiences. Travel is also pretty cool. But if you do enough of it, you start to notice the same things instead of the new things. This would be seeing a kid in New Delhi wearing a pair of Levi's and drinking a Coke. This cures whatever notions you might have that you are missing something by not traveling more. The reality is that the world is smaller than you realize. The experience of the new pretty much ended with the advent of the glossy magazine, the television, and the internet. As a friend who spent a honeymoon in the Cayman Islands told me, "Save your money. All the good parts you see in the brochures. Going there only lets you see the ugly parts."

All of this stuff on the N-list would suggest a boring monochromatic existence for me, but it isn't like that at all. What I have found are the ironies of life. The supposedly good things in life are oversold. The really good things are the familiar things and those without the glam and the advertising. It is the difference between reading a thick novel like The Count of Monte Cristo and watching Transformers. I have done both, and I can tell you that book is unforgettable. I am still trying to forget Transformers.

Quotable Quotes

Black leaders and white liberals have kept black Americans so focused on superficial indications of racism, that we overlook the most pernicious and ruinous use of race, that is, as an economic weapon – not just to deter one's employment in companies created by others, but to hamper the ability to create employment for oneself.
ELIZABETH WRIGHT

The great thing to remember is that the mind of man cannot be enlightened permanently by merely teaching him to reject some particular set of superstitions. There is an infinite supply of other superstitions always at hand; and the mind that desires such things - that is, the mind that has not trained itself to the hard discipline of reasonableness and honesty, will as soon as its devils are cast out, proceed to fill itself with their relations.
GILBERT MURRAY

The greatest threat to the future of our nation - to our freedom - is not foreign military aggression ... but the growing dependence of the people on a paternalistic government. A nation is no stronger than its people and the best measure of their strength is how they accept responsibility. There will never be a great society unless the materialism of the welfare state is replaced by individual initiative and responsibility.
CHARLES B. SHUMAN

The truth is that private ownership of property is the greatest instrument of freedom ever designed and it is sheer folly to speak of granting a man freedom while withholding that instrument from him.
BERTEL M. SPARKS

Trade between two individuals, entered into freely, always results in benefits to both parties. Otherwise, why should they trade?
W.M. CURTIS

The end of the law is, not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom.
JOHN LOCKE

Do you not see, first, that – as a mental abstract – physical force is directly opposed to morality; and secondly, that it practically drives out of existence the moral forces? How can an act done under compulsion have any moral element in it, seeing that what is moral is the free act of an intelligent being? If you tie a man's hands there is nothing moral about his not committing murder. Such an abstaining from murder is a mechanical act; and just the same in kind, though less in degree, are all the acts which men are compelled to do under penalties imposed upon them by their fellow men. Those who would drive their fellow men into the performance of any good actions do not see that the very elements of morality – the free act following on the free choice – are as much absent in those upon whom they practice their legislation as a flock of sheep penned in by hurdles.
AUBERON HERBERT

[U.] Take the Cannoli



u-daddy is primed for CRIME. my felony? straight k to them motherfucking BRAINS. gonna hit it and quit it in another installment of THE UNKNOWN BLOGGER. spread them legs and take what the u-man is delivering.

super k bomb on the nwo. END GAME BITCHES:



buy GOLD motherfuckers:



lady di died in a HIT. straight SHIT from Paul Mooney:



james cameron BUGS OUT of the USA. what does he know? alex jones drops the k bomb:



randy gage drops the straight cheese on the FRINGE OF FEAR:



the u-balls is drained and never in vain. the u-man has busted the nut and now must cut. let's rock them AMENS. u-daddy wants to feel the love. SHIT ON THE HATERS. i gots no love for you. sleep with the fishes bitches. peace to the posse. out this motherfucker.