The State of The Union

I wonder if the annual speech would be any better--more inspirational, or whatever--if it was titled The State of America. Do you grasp the distinction? Anyway, I don't know if I can bear to listen to it. Of course, my only reason for doing so would be to yell at the TV a few times. I don't know if I can even count on 5 or 10 minutes of decent inspirational stuff (in so many…Read More

Pop Quiz

Well, if this doesn't bolster my bald and unequivocal assertion that the "majority" in virtually any vote can usually be counted on to be a bunch of damned morons, well, then, I don't know what would. So, go ahead here and vote. (Tip: Hit & Run)Read More

Break Out the Sliderules

Time to get out the sliderules, conversion charts, scientific calculators, financial calculators, efficiency benchmark data tables, Excel spreadsheets, and all other whotnot. Members of the Quartet -- the European Union, the United Nations, the United States and Russia -- are expected to release a statement after their meeting in London to discuss whether isolating Hamas politically and financially is the best policy. I can pretty much guarantee that the "statement" will not answer the most…Read More

The Obliteration of Reason

Do you recall my favorite quote from the film The Conspiracy? "It made me distrust the language." That was in reference to the study of the law. It came on the heals of a discussion concerning the "evacuation" of Jews, such being an euphemism for gassing and incinerating them at the efficient rate of 2,500 per hour (60,000 per day). The Wannsee Conference was primarily an affair designed to secure allegiance and accord for the…Read More

Adulthood

I believe that the most profound aspect of my continuing pursuit to be an increasingly competent human being is that over the last 15 years I have come to the point where I can no longer fathom--and barely tolerate, anymore--how it is that people can be so submissive to various self-proclaimed authorities. Don't get me wrong. Authority can be perfectly valid. Parents have authority over their children. Adults, to some extent, possess valid authority over…Read More

Democracy

Well I was just on the way back from breakfast a few minutes ago with dad and my two brothers and I was roughly outlining a post about the wonders of democracy. See, I'd just seen a headline in the newspaper dispenser on the way out of the restaurant about how the world is "stunned" (shocked & stunned, I tell you) over the election results over there in that combination sewage treatment plant/landfill they call…Read More

The Hate File

I'm adding a new category: The Hate File. It shall henceforth be dedicated to those I particularly hate, of which there are many; and, of course, I love hating them all. Yes. Yes, of course I'm serious. Dead serious. So, let me dish up some more seething hatred for you. Fairfax County's police chief said yesterday that one of his officers accidentally shot and killed an optometrist outside the unarmed man's townhouse Tuesday night as…Read More

“The King’s Friends”

One thing that may have become clear during those conflicts was that, if criminal prosecution was controlled by the crown, the King's friends could get away with murder That's David Friedman, quoting something he once wrote in a book.Read More

2631 Atlas

Today I took a drive up to Sacramento to check in on a new little project. 2631 Atlas. Well, this is California, so the beat-up house you see was actually acquired for the price of about $200,000. Yes, the stories you hear are true. It's insane. But guess what's more insane? You can still buy a high-priced fixer-upper and sell it for an even higher price. Which means, rather than being scared off by the…Read More

Loving to Hate

The most frequent criticism I endure about this blog is my tendency to focus on negative things. I suppose I can understand that. After all, one is not to be faulted for focusing on making his life good and pleasant, and for many, that requires steering clear of a lot of the downer news and comment. In fact, I'm a bit like that. Seriously. I've never read the newspaper regularly in my life. I have…Read More

You Don’t Have To Be Right

So perhaps it's just a bit ironic that I would post something about doing well in the market last Thursday, just before Friday's fairly significant selloff. More ironic still is that the stock I chose to use for illustrative purposes, Google (GOOG), took a significant dump to close down over 39 points on Friday. Wow. Well, I didn't lose a penny. In fact, on Friday, four of my option positions on the SPX expired worthless,…Read More

Getting the Feds Out of My Shower

Well, I suppose it's no great act of civil disobedience, or anything, but the silliness of the whole thing is at least far outdone by the utter absurdity of the federal government so entwining itself in my affairs that I can't even take a decent shower without the fuckers messing in my business. A little history. Back when I lived in France, 'round 1990, I hadn't been in my apartment a month when I had…Read More

Do You Get it, Yet?

That's the twist of the knife to these GOP scandals. Not only have Republicans grown sleazy and corrupted by power, they've done so in pursuit of legislation that's wholly inconsistent with everything the Republicans once claimed to stand for. Radley's as pissed off as I've probably ever seen him. But it really should be no surprise to understand that the only reason Republican politicians ever "claimed to stand for" [small and limited government] is because…Read More

got coffee?

Well, in a world gone insane with wanting to be everyone's nanny, it's nice to get a steer once in a while to some news that things we enjoy consuming are actually good for us. Who would have imagined? Yea, I know. It's heresy. That hard-wired Judeo-Christian ethics has us so conditioned to think that everything we enjoy is bad for us and everything we hate is good for us. Never mind that we live…Read More

Selling Time

I've posted a few things in the past about my trading activities in the financial markets. These activities and my education continue, now more than ever. How about a 35% gain in my portfolio since November, and it has nothing at all to do with the "Santa Clause Rally;" and now, the New Year rally that will probably set a new benchmark and render 9/11's effect on the financial markets part of the settled past…Read More

Difficult Choosing

Help me out here. I'm trying to pick a doc and have been looking at some websites around. Oh, here's one. Among other things, his website says: His personal interests include Buddhism, Hinduism, foreign languages, philosophy (especially Existentialism and Eastern Thought), jazz, and orchids. And, here's another guy: In preventive medicine or while addressing acute or chronic problems, I always try to practice evidence based medicine, where there is compelling research to show a benefit…Read More

Goings On

Bea & I spent the weekend up in the cabin, by ourselves (other than the dogs, that is). It was a welcome change, seeing as two weeks prior, we had 19 people for New Year's Eve, with 16 sleepovers (yea, bags all over). This weekend was spent mostly watching DVDs. I had just done an Amazon run. First up was Downfall, the story of Hitler's final days in his Berlin bunker in 1945. Bruno Ganz's…Read More

Just Facts

At age ten, American students take an international test and score well above the international average. But by age fifteen, when students from forty countries are tested, the Americans place twenty-fifth. The longer kids stay in American schools, the worse they do in international competition. They do worse than kids from countries that spend much less money on education. That's John Stossel, who's putting on a 20/20 special tonight called Stupid in America. There's a…Read More

The Gulag Americana

The "bright side" is that it's all nice and legal. Affirmed and Upheld, even. You know. It's like a lot of your are always telling me, "it's the law." Yep, reflexively abiding by the law, without any particular deliberation or conscience is what's important. So human. Not robotic. Very good.Read More

Justice

I'm not laughing, because people getting killed of their own willful neglect and stupidity isn't really funny. Yea, we have the Darwin Awards, but that's not like 345 people getting crushed in a human stampede. MINA, Saudi Arabia - Thousands of Muslim pilgrims rushing to complete a symbolic stoning ritual during the hajj tripped over luggage Thursday, causing a crush in which at least 345 people were killed, the Interior Ministry said. The stampede occurred…Read More