Thursday, December 29, 2011

Gunpowder Tea, Chapter One, Part One

Chapter One

Where Nobody Knows Your Name

New York City, the last summer of the millennium.

The setting sun shed its last golden rays on the little Statue of Liberty far, far below, out in the harbor. Big black ships and little white boats, both as tiny as matches, crisscrossed its waters with their wake trails. Beyond the harbor and the twin black blotches of Liberty and Ellis Islands, the as black flatlands of New Jersey, intersected by inlets and waterways, stretched into a golden infinity.

On the other side, a vast rectangle of sun-gilded silvery columns stretched out and down until they too blurred into rows of matches. Atop Tower Two the tourists' cameras started to flash, and would not cease until the observation decks closed for the night. There sure was a reason why the southeastern quadrant of the one acre of Manhattan real estate that was the 107th floor of One World Trade Center was called The Greatest Bar on Earth and why it was Kevin Traynor's favorite hangout in all New York.

This side of the narrow floor-to-ceiling windows was pandemonium. Actually, it wasn't really pandemonium. Even on this Friday night, the bar was only moderately busy at this early hour. There were still some seats and barstools available, and only a couple junior investment bankers released from their cubicles were doing their antics on the small dance floor. It only felt like pandemonium to a Traynor who did not feel like dealing with people tonight. But like the game was safest below the barrel of the hunter's rifle, the multitude of the eight million constituted the best guarantee of anonymity for Traynor. Give or take a cougar or two to be dodged.

Tonight, a tequila sunrise and Traynor were celebrating the night his high school had closed for the summer. As far as he was concerned, it ought to be closed down and burned down for good. He raised his glass to its eternal burning in the hell of nasty institutions.

Yet for Traynor, favorite spot or not, The Greatest Bar on Earth was no safe bet, either. He constituted a decidedly endangered species up here. While the tourists atop the tower's twin continued to flash their cameras across the canyon, Traynor flashed the fake ID his dad had given him in recognition of passing grades.

"You don't look twenty-five." The waitress frowned formidably under her frizzy black hair tied into something midway between a sloppy bun and a severe pony tail.

"Not the first time I hear that, not the last." Traynor looked at the ID. He found it quite convincing and would almost have believed he was an adult.

She stormed off in a huff. Fortunately, the tower had been designed to withstand hurricanes, so there was little damage she could do.

But to Traynor she could cause no end of trouble: She returned without his second drink, but with a little something or rather someone else. "I'm sorry, but my supervisor has to examine your ID."

Supervisor. In a fucking bar. Even if it was, in name and in fact, the greatest bar on earth. A fucking bartender. The fucking bartender following on the fucking heels of the fucking tequila dolly held out his fucking hand, demanding Traynor's fucking ID.

Traynor cocked his head. "What?"

"Could I see your ID?"

"I showed it to your little friend."

"You'll have to show it to me, too, and good, if you want another drink. After all, you don't look twenty-one, much less twenty-five."

Traynor flashed the waitress a grin. "Hey, I told you it wouldn't be the last time."

Now the bartender frowned forebodingly as well. "Please?"

"I can't."

"You just showed it to me."

Shut up, dolly, I'm talking to your "supervisor," thought Traynor. "Uh, I swallowed it. I don't believe in IDs. It's an un-American concept."

"Then I believe your next drink will be orange juice straight. You swallow your ID, you don't swallow alcohol. Underage drinking is un-American, too. "

"No. It's America's number one teen sport. It's just un-puritan. Puritan is un-American."

The bar boss looked at Traynor like he was not sure whether to call the pigs to have him arrested for un-underage activities or the men in white coats to have him hauled off to a nice, safe padded cell. Public order was sure to collapse once Traynor's views took hold.

Traynor shook his head. "Maybe you can't see Boston from here, but you sure can smell it."


"Don't bother. The check, please."

Read on…

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Introducing Young Kevin Traynor

Over the next couple months, I will write and serialize in these pages Gunpowder Tea, the first story in the Young Kevin Traynor series, which will reveal how everything began.

Stay tuned for Kevin Traynor's very first adventure!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Kevin Traynor, Warrior Prince?

Been reading up on Beowulf last night. Looks like those Dark Ages warriors had a more enlightened idea of corporate identity than today's wage slaves.

Although Hrothgar and Beowulf are portrayed as morally upright and enlightened Pagans, they fully espouse and frequently affirm the values of Germanic heroic poetry. In the poetry depicting warrior society, the most important of human relationships was that which existed between the warrior — the thane — and his lord, a relationship based less on subordination of one man's will to another's than on mutual trust and respect. When a warrior vowed loyalty to his lord, he became not so much his servant as his voluntary companion, one who would take pride in defending him and fighting in his wars. In return, the lord was expected to take care of his thanes and to reward them richly for their valor.

This is actually quite a good description of the relationship between Kevin Traynor (and his thane colleagues, like Nick Parker) and his bosses at First American Corporation.

Wage slaves of the world, arise! Fire your pointy-haired bosses and live like warrior princes!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Satan Claus Is Coming to Town

A song of Satan Claus, Santa's sexy but earthbound brother.

You better watch out
You better not cry
You better not pout
I'm telling you why
Satan Claus is coming to town
Satan Claus is coming to town
Satan Claus is coming to town

He's making a list,
Checking it twice;
Gonna find out who's naughty, how nice.
Satan Claus is coming to town
Satan Claus is coming to town
Satan Claus is coming to town

He sees with whom you're sleeping
He knows you're on the make
He knows if you've been bad or worse
So be good at it, you rake!

With little red horns and plastic toy bums
Rooty toot toots and rummy tum tums
Satan Claus is coming to town
Satan Claus is coming to town
Satan Claus is coming to town

He sees with whom you're sleeping
He knows you're on the make
He knows if you've been bad or worse
So be good at it, you rake!

You better watch out
You better not cry
You better not pout
I'm telling you why
Satan Claus is coming to town
Satan Claus is coming to town
Satan Claus is coming to town

Satan's a busy man, he has no time to play
He's got millions of stockings to nick on Christmas day
Satan Claus is coming to town
Coming to town
Satan Claus is coming to town
Coming to town

He sees with whom you're sleeping
He knows you're on the make
He knows if you've been bad or worse
So be good at it, you rake!

You better watch out
You better not cry
You better not pout
I'm telling you why
Satan Claus is coming to town
Satan Claus is coming to town
Satan Claus is coming to town

The kids in girl and boyland
Will have a jubilee
They're gonna build a toyland
All around the Christmas tree
Satan Claus is coming to town
Coming to town
Satan Claus is coming in town
Coming in town

Monday, December 05, 2011

The Ayn Rand Curse

(Today we'll take a well-deserved breather from reason.)

Don't fuck with The Fountainhead. Ever since the movie Dirty Dancing smeared The Fountainhead in 1987, the cast and crew of the former has been dying premature deaths. The curse has been observed before, but to my knowledge, its cause has never before been identified.

Let's keep track of the cast here:

Max Cantor (Robbie Gould) died of heroin overdose in 1991, aged 32.

Cantor's character was the one that mischaracterized The Fountainhead as a Nietzschean affair that teaches "Some people count, some people don't." Coincidence that he was the first to die?

Anyway, the Dirty Dancing curse didn't stop there. For the curse, guilt by association is sufficient for a death sentence.

Jack Weston (Max Kellerman) died of lymphoma in 1996, aged 71.

Jerry Orbach (Jake Houseman) died of prostate cancer in 2004, aged 69.

Patrick Swayze (Johnny Castle) died of pancreatic cancer in 2009, aged 57.

In 2010, Jennifer Grey (Frances "Baby" Houseman) survived a bout with thyroid cancer only because she happened to get a medical checkup for Dancing with the Stars.

Director Emile Ardolino died of complications from AIDS in 1993, aged 50.

Executive producer Steven Reuther died in 2010, aged 58.

The studio, Vestron, went bankrupt in 1990.

Honorable mentions:

Charles Coles (Tito Suarez) died in 1992, aged 81.

Paula Trueman (Mrs. Schumacher) died in 1994, aged 93.

Alvin Myerovich (Mr. Schumacher) died in 1996, aged 89.

However, those can't be called premature deaths, given their ages.

Ayn Rand herself had died of heart failure in 1982, after a bout with lung cancer years before. Is it a coincidence that so many of the curse's victims died of cancer?

In any event, thanks to the curse and the fact that its origin has now been discovered, you can pretend you can cheat death by simply not insulting The Fountainhead while keeping your bad habits, like smoking.

Are you a believer in the curse now?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Big Gaffe Eats Small Gaff

"Perry gaffe overshadows defiant Cain, Romney scrutiny," opines MSNBC writer Michael O'Brien.

He goes on to elaborate:

While a CNBC debate featured the most scrutiny to date of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's economic plans, and was highlighted by Herman Cain's first debate appearance since the emergence of sexual harassment against him, a gaffe from the Texas governor took center stage and threatened to crystallize Republicans' concerns about his candidacy.

True, what is going on is the sexual harassment of Herman Cain at the hands of some deluded women. But I suspect O'Brien did reveal this truth only involuntarily. He probably meant to write: "since the emergence of sexual harassment charges against him."

This one typo would be funny and ironic on its own, but O'Brien continues:

"The American people deserve better than someone being tried in the court of public opinion based on unfounded accusations," Cain said to wild cheers in the early moments of the debate. "This country's looking for leadership, and this is why a lot of people, despite what has happened over the last nine days … the voters have voted with their dollars, and they are saying we they don't care about character assasination -- they care about leadership and getting this economy gooing and all the other problems that we face."

I'll overlook the fact that he can't spell "assassination," but I submit that the economy is already gooed up enough as it is.

Looks like MSNBC shortened its deadlines way too much lately. I wonder whether they are keeping their writers chained down in the dungeon now?

And they call us pajamas media. At least I'm wearing my pajamas. MSNBC's word slaves are probably naked in their dungeon.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Debacle: Failing to Rebuild the Twin Towers at

The dead tree edition of Debacle: Failing to Rebuild the Twin Towers is now available from or direct from the book's online store. This edition contains two bonus essays that are not found in the present Kindle edition.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Tea Party vs. Flea Party

Insanity is… this. Sigh. The fleabags need a padded cell more than they need to get maced.

So, I corrected it. I guess they can be glad I didn't grade it, too.

Tea PartyFlea Party
(Grassroots movement)(Astroturf)
Most events ignored by the media, except by Fox News.Left-leaning mainstream media cheer looters on.
Participants revolt against the sick and poor who use need as a claim.Participants provide free food, healthcare, and emotional support to everyone present, then claim they cannot pay their student loans and call for another round of looting.
Anti-union, anti-moocher, anti-looter, anti-government, anti-Obama ("racist"); I grant you bigoted and xenophobic — the fundies insisted on tagging along.Strives for inclusion and participation of every moocher, looter, and rotter in the world, but xenophobic when "American" jobs are "exported," as if America or any country collectively owned jobs.
Funded by the Koch brothers. Avoids leaders — decisions made by the market, i.e., by the people who worked for their money.Funded by Buffett and Soros. Decisions based on consensus imposed by Ivy Starnes and her comrades.
People show up with "assault rifles," shout and spit at members of congress (boy, do they deserve it), and the police take no notice. Why should they?People show up committed to looting and violent overthrow of capitalism, and get maced and beaten by the police, as they deserve.
Benefits the 53%.Benefits the 47%.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Open Letters to Two Fleabaggers

(1) Fleabagger complains that Ayn Rand stylized murderer William Edward Hickman into a Nietzschean superman for his sociopathic qualities, i.e. for his standing against society.

How is Ayn Rand's idealization and idolization of William Edward Hickman any different from you all's idealization and idolization of Che Guevara?

That was short and sweet. BTW,

Rand also wrote, "The first thing that impresses me about the case is the ferocious rage of a whole society against one man. No matter what the man did, there is always something loathsome in the 'virtuous' indignation and mass-hatred of the 'majority.' … It is repulsive to see all these beings with worse sins and crimes in their own lives, virtuously condemning a criminal…"

Sounds familiar, you lynch mob?

Now for some of your fleabagger sound bites:

"There's something deeply unsettling about living in a country where millions of people froth at the mouth at the idea of giving health care to the tens of millions of Americans who don't have it, or who take pleasure at the thought of privatizing and slashing bedrock social programs like Social Security or Medicare."

Yeah, how dare those who are forced at gunpoint to pay for those programs to froth at the mouth.

"It might not be so hard to stomach if other Western countries also had a large, vocal chunk of the population that thought like this, but the U.S. is seemingly the only place"

So if all Western countries have a democratic vote on it, it's OK, whatever it is?

"where right-wing elites can openly share their distaste for the working poor."

One thinks that if the "working" poor gang up to loot, distaste is the least they deserve from productive individuals. So you'd like us better if we concealed our distaste?

"It turns out, you can trace much of this thinking back to Ayn Rand,"

Who had the temerity to tell productive individuals that they have a right to the wealth they produce.

"One reason most countries don't find the time to embrace Ayn Rand's thinking is that she is a textbook sociopath."

Newspeak for individualist = sociopath. And of course Rand isn't popular in the socialist peoples' states.

"…including the key architects of America's most recent economic catastrophe…"

The key architects of the "recent economic catastrophe" are you, the looters and moochers, who clamored for and got free money from criminal governments Republican and Democratic.

(2) Fleabagger wants to be friends with Randians.

You reach out to us to live in your community, yet in the header call our beliefs "nonsense" and in the second paragraph, our viewpoint irrational. Looks like we Randian loners still have better social skills than you fleabaggers.

Anyway, it is your viewpoint that doesn't make rational sense:

"Why are you so obsessed with being separate from everyone?"

We are only obsessed with being separate from looters that rob us at gunpoint.

"we must also live in community with others, care for others and participate in a dynamic and nurturing society."

A society you expect us to build for you, at the point of a government gun, at no cost to you. Build your own society, if you can. We're on strike. Drop dead.

"You have no morality."

We have the best morality in the world, the one that recognizes that we have no obligations to looting, mooching scum. "Hakuna matata: a problem-free philosophy."

"You can be lazy."

You are the lazy ones. We build things for ourselves, for our friends, and for those who ask us for our help. You build nothing for no one, but demand that we help you, without a word of thanks. If we give you something, all we get is ingratitude and a mob that comes back to demand more.

Get lost. The party is over. Get a job, or start your own business, if we find you unemployable.

"Please help me understand rather than attacking me the way those who have a Rand fixation often do."

Said the skilled networker that started hurling insults in the header.

"Together, my friend, we are greater than the sum of our parts."

I am not your friend since the header. Plus, we are great and you are the parts/tools.

"I'm honestly trying to understand"

No, you're not. We already covered that. You start hurling the insults, you're intellectually dishonest by definition.

"why you feel it heroic to cast aside morality,"

Because the only purpose of your counterfeit morality is to permit you to steal from us, to enslave us, and to murder us if we don't comply.

"renege on your obligation to others"

We have no obligations to looting scum, slave drivers, and jackbooted thugs.

"and, most of all, lose out on all the benefits of community."

Your community has nothing to offer to us. You're intellectually, morally, and financially bankrupt. Get out of the way. Drop dead.

"Why do you waste your life so?"

Et tu, brute?

"Step out into the warmth of the sun, into the warmth of community and LIVE."

We are in the sunlight. It is you that is benighted. We neither need nor want the fug of your community. We are alive. You are mindless, lifeless zombies.

"Life's too short to be stuck in an invented narrative."

Life's too short to be stuck in your dream, uh, nightmare world. Life's too short to be your slave.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sic Semper Tyrannis

Hey, Uncle Sam put your name at the top of his list,
And the Statue of Liberty started shaking her fist.

— Toby Keith

Saddam Hussein — check.

Osama bin Laden — check.

Muammar Gaddafi — check.

Sic semper tyrannis.

Freedom fighters. Making the world a better place, one bullet at a time.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Those Racist Republicans

Cain's numbers are sky-high among Republican primary voters. Fifty-two percent view him favorably, versus just 6 percent who see him unfavorably. Among Tea Party supporters, his favorable/unfavorable score is 69 percent to 5 percent. And among Republicans who identify themselves as "very conservative," it's 72 percent to 2 percent.

Only 2% of very conservative Republicans and 5% of Tea Partiers view Herman Cain, a black man in case you haven't noticed, unfavorably. Yet anybody who disagrees with Obama and his communism is a racist. GO(P) figure.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Year of the Yat

(With apologies to Al Stewart.)

On a morning from a Wyler movie
In a city where they turn back time
You go strolling through the crowd like Henry Fonda
Contemplating a mime

She comes out of that fun in a soaked dress sweating
Like the water cooler on the train
Don't bother asking for explanations
She'll just tell you that she came
In the year of the yat

She doesn't give you time for questions
As she locks up your arm in hers
And you follow till your sense of which direction
Completely disappears

Midst the disrepair down near Congo Square
There's a hidden door she leads you to
These days, she says, I feel my life
Just like the river running through
The year of the yat

Why she looks at you so cruelly?
And her eyes shine like the moon in Dupre
She comes with gumbo and etouffee
So you take her, to find what's waiting inside
The year of the yat

Well, morning comes and you're still with her
And the boat and the Yankees are gone
And you've thrown away your choice and lost your ticket
So you have to stay on

But the drumbeat strains of the night remain
In the rhythm of the new-born day
You know sometime you're bound to leave her
But for now you're going to stay
In the year of the yat
Year of the yat

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Kevin Traynor 4-for-3

At the moment, all books of the first Kevin Traynor trilogy are part of the 4-for-3 promotion. Buy all three Kevin Traynor books plus another book (how about Democracy Society?) and get the cheapest one for free.

Here the qualifying editions:

Torch in the Night

Phantom Train

Mysterious Boat

How about Democracy Society as the fourth book? If you like Traynor, you're probably gonna like this one, too.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Meet Ellis Wyatt

Ellis Wyatt went to Washington, met Mr. Thompson; it didn't work. Anyone surprised?

Harold Hamm, the Oklahoma-based founder and CEO of Continental Resources, the 14th-largest oil company in America, is a man who thinks big. He came to Washington last month to spread a needed message of economic optimism: With the right set of national energy policies, the United States could be "completely energy independent by the end of the decade. We can be the Saudi Arabia of oil and natural gas in the 21st century."

The other reason for America's abundant supply of oil and natural gas has been the development of new drilling techniques. "Horizontal drilling" allows rigs to reach two miles into the ground and then spread horizontally by thousands of feet. Mr. Hamm was one of the pioneers of this method in the 1990s, and it has done for the oil industry what hydraulic fracturing has done for natural gas drilling in places like the Marcellus Shale in the Northeast.

Chicago, DC: More Guns, Less Crime

The evidence from Chicago and DC is in, and more guns do indeed equal less crime.

More guns, that is, in the hands of would-be crime victims who had been disarmed by the criminal government.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Reporting Evil Patriots to Attack Watch

Hey, Obama, I want to snitch on my parents. They say you're a communist.

Hey, Obama, I'm looking for the office of the Thought Police.

Hey, Obama, they say your IQ is 70, 35 in the morning and 35 in the evening.

Hey, Obama, they say you need an ear job.

Hey, Obama, they say you're dumber than either the shrub or Palin and have done more to destroy America than both of them together.

Hey, Obama, my fellow entrepreneurs say they won't hire anybody as long as they don't know what Obamacare will cost them.

Hey, Obama, they say you defrauded investors and handed GM to your union buddies/sponsors.

Hey, Obama, they say you fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down.

Hey, Obama, they say you fell out of the idiot tree and hit every branch on the way down.

Hey, Obama, all my friends are libertarians, i.e., by your definition, domestic terrorists. Where can I report them?

Hey, Obama, I'm an anarcho-capitalist. Where can I report myself?

Hey, Obama, they say there are gremlins in your computer. Watch out!

Hey, Obama, they say you're dumber than you're ugly.

Hey, Obama, they say you, Papa Smurf, and Karl Marx are one and the same person.

Hey, Obama, my telescreen is on the fritz. You can't see me anymore. Help!

Hey, Obama, there's plenty of stuff on right-wing blogs that needs to go down the memory hole.

Hey, Obama, do you know that your new website sports the nazi colors?

Hey, Obama, you're late: 1984 has come and gone.

Hey, Obama, my neighbor Winston Smith has smashed his telescreen.

Hey, Obama, they say you should read a book called "Atlas Shrugged."

Hey, Obama, I want to report my latest book, "Mysterious Boat." It's full of evil anarchic right-wing stuff. Can you refute it?

Hey, Obama, the paper your book is printed on is way too tough.

Hey, Obama, they say you should publish your scribblings on toilet paper, so it has some use.

Hey, Obama, the exchange rate fluctuations caused by your insane policies have hurt my business. Will you give me a refund? After all, you have money for this here kind of shit.

Hey, Obama, they say you're second only to FDR as the worst president ever.

Hey, Obama, they say you could benefit from economics lessons from a Valley Girl.

Hey, Obama, they say you believe in shovel ready projects.

Hey, Obama, is this the website for Nobama for America?

Hey, Obama, I want to donate to your cause. I have a snail shell and two pieces of pocket lint.

Hey, Obama, I want to thank you for solving the immigration problem. Since you ruined the country, no one wants to come anymore.

Hey, Obama, I'll be rooting for you in 2012. The Republican candidates are all bigger morons than you.

Hey, Obama, where can I join the Junior Spies and the Youth League?

Hey, Obama, they say you look like the backside of a donkey.

Hey, Obama, they say it's impossible to smear you: Whatever one says, the truth is worse.

Hey, Obama, the rich say you're already looting enough of the wealth they produce.

Hey, Obama, the rich say they will move to a place called Galt's Gulch.

Hey, Obama, the rich say they're gonna do some seasteading. Let me explain this to you: They all move on a big cruise ship, which means you and the other losers can then go tax each other.

Hey, Obama, the rich say they're gonna pay their fair share. Here it is:

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Debacle: Failing to Rebuild the Twin Towers Out Now

Friends, Americans, civilized humans, lend me your eyes; I come to praise the WTC, not to bury it. The evil that men do lives after them; the good should not be interred with their bones: nor should it be with the bones of the Twin Towers. The vile Caesars have told you the Twin Towers were ambitious: If it was so, it was not a grievous fault, but their noblest virtue. But grievously hath Caesar answered it.

World trade means world peace… The World Trade Center is a living symbol of man's dedication to world peace. Beyond the compelling need to make this a monument to world peace, the World Trade Center should, because of its importance, become a representation of man's belief in humanity, his need for individual dignity, his beliefs in the cooperation of men, and through cooperation, his ability to find greatness.

— Minoru Yamasaki

Is it beauty and genius they want to see? Do they seek a sense of the sublime? Let them come to New York, stand on the shore of the Hudson, look and kneel. When I see the city from my window — no, I don't feel how small I am — but I feel that if a war came to threaten this, I would like to throw myself into space, over the city, and protect these buildings with my body.

— Ayn Rand

Those awesome symbolic towers that speak of liberty, human rights, and humanity have been destroyed. They have gone up in smoke.

— Osama bin Laden

Ten years ago today, murderous terrorists crashed jetliners into the Word Trade Center Towers, realizing their plan that the Twin Towers that stood for rational man's achievement, capitalism, freedom, free trade, and world peace should no longer grace the New York skyline, aiming to extinguish the twin beacons of liberty and enlightenment, so that the forces of darkness should rule the world once more.

The terrorists have failed, as rule by faith and force must always fail. They have not brought about another Dark Age. But they murdered 3,000 human beings, wrecked four jetliners, prompted people to sacrifice priceless liberties to fear, caused economic damage in the trillions of dollars, and destroyed two landmark building complexes.

Some of these battles are battles for another day and not the primary subject of our book. But on September 12, 2001, there was little doubt as to what had to be done about one of these points. The landmark complex less completely destroyed, the Pentagon, was quickly restored. To this day, people from around the US and the world are shocked to learn that what is built at the WTC is not new Twin Towers, taller, stronger, and safer.

For ten wasted years now, the worst of contemporary politics has made sure that no towers of comparable stature are rising at the WTC, thus kept the killers' legacy intact and respected their wish that New York and America be cut down to size, never to rise again.

Groups that favored drastically different philosophies of urban design, groups that saw professional opportunities for themselves, and groups that saw any pool of funds dedicated to relief of the needy as best devoted to their own priorities swooped in to claim they spoke for all.

Allied to this was the most vocal proportion of those who had lost loved ones in the attacks, casting about in their grief for solace. Whether seeking to blame someone for their loss or seeking maximum public recognition of their loss, they made pleas of a kind rare in previous historical disasters that often amounted to leaving the site as the killers of their loved ones had desired rather than permitting it to be reclaimed for the purposes to which and for which their loved ones had given their lives.

To the vulture-like opportunists seeing an opportunity to remake the city, and to the emotionally devastated seeking to see its unmaking left as a tribute to the victims, the officials listened. To the wider nation anxious to see the restoration of what could be restored, they paid no heed.

— Louis Epstein, World Trade Center Restoration Movement

WTC leaseholder Larry Silverstein has been determined to rebuild the office space, but lacks the vision and vigor to rebuild the towers he had once said he lusted for, towers he could only buy, but not create. He prefers the bulk of the iconic Twin Towers to be broken down into a bunch of buildings each half the size of a Twin Tower, to be built at a pace that minimizes his economic risk.

Moreover, he won't permit any new building at the WTC to have nearly as many occupied floors as the 110-story Twin Towers, as he now believes he has to protect the people who would work there from themselves.

All new WTC buildings now planned or under construction are much smaller and shorter than the Twin Towers, with the exception of the antenna on the new One WTC, which will be slighter taller than the old antenna. Thanks to officials' incompetence, there will not even be a new Windows on the World restaurant.

While politicians made sure that the public was never offered a poll pitting the stunted designs preferred by the interests they catered to — victims' families, urban utopian planners, and Silverstein — against restored Twin Towers, any poll there was soundly rejected the official offerings, which never managed to beat "none of the above" and usually took a shellacking from "none of the above."

Results on Imagine New York (the LMDC's official poll):
Libeskind: 205 votes / 26%
THINK: 260 votes / 33%
None of the above: 323 votes / 41%
Total: 788 votes

Results on NY1:
Results since February 4, 2003
Libeskind: 6,853 votes / 21%
THINK: 4,615 votes / 14%
I don't like either of these plans: 20,892 votes / 64%
Total: 32,360 votes

Results on CNN:
Which of the two finalists' designs do you prefer for the World Trade Center site?
Libeskind: 33,050 votes / 32%
THINK: 34,867 votes / 34%
Neither is good: 35,747 votes / 34%
Total: 103,664 votes

The incompetent and intellectually bankrupt officials have seen their WTC plans fall apart again and again for ten years because they treated the WTC rebuilding as a random office development with a memorial plopped in and failed to heed the most fundamental advice for great architecture:

Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood and probably will themselves not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will not die.

— Daniel H. Burnham

The human beings we lost were bold. These people deserve majestic new towers as bold as they were. One of the best ways we can honor them is to carry on their work. Safer, taller towers will be a living testament that complements our memorial and helps make it one of the seven modern wonders of the world. We need a skyline that does justice to the wonderful people we lost. We will not sell these people short.

— Jonathan Hakala, tenant, One World Trade Center

In the words of New Yorkers from all walks of life, Debacle: Failing to Rebuild the Twin Towers chronicles their love of their city and their towers, their hopes for rebuilding, their experience with the corrupt official rebuilding process, and the blueprints that can still restore tall Twin Towers to the WTC.

Debacle: Failing to Rebuild the Twin Towers is now available for Amazon Kindle. Dead tree edition coming soon.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Debacle: Failing to Rebuild the Twin Towers Is Coming

Why aren't the World Trade Center Twin Towers being rebuilt taller, stronger, and safer? Why is what pretty much everyone took for granted on September 12, 2001, not coming true? Why are iconic 110-story Towers being replaced with a bunch of shorter buildings topped by pointless spires?

Ten years after the original disaster and ten years into the disaster that is the rebuilding process, New Yorkers and out-of-towners from all walks of life come forward to tell the story of the second destruction of the World Trade Center, not at the hands of terrorists, but at the hands of politicians, builders, and activists, who sacrificed the world's most famous landmark to their own narrow interests and thus perpetuated the destruction wreaked by the terrorists.

The tales they have to tell are not pretty: stories of corruption, venality, opportunism, greed, short-term thinking, irrationality, incompetence, cowardice, and betrayal. Keeping the Twin Towers destroyed did not even require a grand conspiracy. All it took was the business as usual of New York politics. The twin behemoths of City Hall and Albany were all it took to make sure that rebuilding the icons of New York, America, and the free world was sacrificed to the personal gain and the short-term political advantage of a few politicians pandering to vocal minorities and well-connected builders.

Together, these essays mesh into a kaleidoscopic epic of how the worst of mankind was first met with the best of man, only to be thwarted by the worst of contemporary politics.

Due out September 11, 2011.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Economic Freedom

Watch this or watch Big Brother on your telescreen!

Follow instructions below; freedom will ensue.

Economic Freedom | Support the 500,000-View Video Campaign

Let's get 500,000 views for the video by Labor Day (Sept 5th) to educate as many Americans as possible about the keys to creating jobs, fighting poverty and improving human well-being. If we get enough views, the video may be turned into a TV commercial seen by millions.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Leaving It As I Found It

"I am leaving it as I found it. Take over. It's yours."

— Sign left by Ellis Wyatt at the foot of the burning hill of Wyatt Oil in Atlas Shrugged.

The moon bats claim Wyatt did not in fact leave it as he found it. He extracted some oil and left a major conflagration that was not there when he found it.

(I suspect the new left would probably worry more about how the oil spill will impact those poor birds and fishes, and less about the property damage, as the old left would when Ayn Rand wrote this.)

Yet Wyatt spent his money and part of his life on the oil field, money and time that no one will refund him.

So your point was, moon bats? Thought so.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


"Whenever destroyers appear among men, they start by destroying money, for money is men's protection and the base of a moral existence. Destroyers seize gold and leave to its owners a counterfeit pile of paper. This kills all objective standards and delivers men into the arbitrary power of an arbitrary setter of values. Gold was an objective value, an equivalent of wealth produced. Paper is a mortgage on wealth that does not exist, backed by a gun aimed at those who are expected to produce it. Paper is a check drawn by legal looters upon an account which is not theirs: upon the virtue of the victims. Watch for the day when it becomes marked: 'Account overdrawn.'

— Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

The day of AA+ has come and gone.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Looters Hoist with Their Own Petards

There's warrants seal'd: and my Brit schoolfellows,
Whom I will trust as I will adders fang'd,
They bear the mandate; they must sweep my way
And marshal twofold knavery. Let it work;
For 'tis the sport to have the vile looter
Hoist with his own petar; and 't shall go hard
But I will delve one yard below their mines
And blow them at the moon: O, 'tis most sweet,
When in one line two brutes directly meet.

— William Shakespeare

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Huge Pair of Jug Ears

AKA An Ode to Emperor Barrack I on the Occasion of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Unfortunate Event of His Birth

(Without apologies to Jimmy Buffett.)

Now they make new riots on old black and white
No happy endings, everybody fights
So if you are looking at that nostalgic rage
Sheeple, jump right up and break your cage

I wish I had a pencil thin mustache
The Henry Waxman kind
A two toned Barrack Obama hairdo
And an autographed T-Bill from Benny the swine

I remember bein' happy and wealthy
Back when the economy was healthy
Oh, I wish I had a huge pair of jug ears
Then I could print some money, too

Then it's bailout, stimulus, blowin' up fast
Spendin' on a crank idea
Yeah, Obama of the bungle is every bat's bwana
But only Billy Clinton was smokin' marijuana
Yeah, I wish I had a huge pair of jug ears
Then I could print some money, too

Now it's flat broke, dirty job, cops lend a heel
Grindin' you into the livin' room floor
Yeah, they sent him off to college, try to gain a little knowledge,
But all he learned to do is how to cry fore

Yeah, but now he's gettin' old, on the emperor
You don't find no clothes, and he don't dye his hair
But you can go to movies and see it all there
Just the wealth that there used to be

That's why I wish I had a pencil thin mustache
The Henry Waxman kind
A two toned Barrack Obama hairdo
And an autographed T-Bill from Benny the swine

Oh, I could see anyone I wanted to see
Kidnap suave Errol Flynns, shoot the Sheiks of Araby
If I only had a huge pair of jug ears
I'd send Tomahawks cruisin', too

Yeah, Brylcreem, a little dab'll dye yah
I'd send Tomahawks cruisin', too

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Obama Torched London

Obama said he wanted to "spread the wealth around."

The London looters say they're redistributing property.

As long as socialist politicians claim they have the right to redistribute property, freelance looters will take that "right" into their own hands every time government loses control.

Are you happy now, Barry?

Friday, August 05, 2011

Socialist Men Under Red Father

Birth mystery solved! Obama's true identity revealed!

Evidence that Smurfs are evil.

Plus, more evil Smurfs!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

CreateSpace 1, Lulu 0

From Lulu Press via Facebook:

Share the Savings on us through Aug. 15th with our forward to a friend discount, good for 15% off up to $100. Coupon Code: MYBOOK325 Tell your friends!

Sorry, not a deal I can recommend. For example, Mysterious Boat is $9.99 through CreateSpace at, but $13.99 at

The latter is already discounted from a whopping $19.99 list price. With the additional MYBOOK325 discount, that works out to $11.89. Still almost $2 more than through CreateSpace.

Why is Lulu so expensive? From the proofs I've seen, quality is about the same at CreateSpace. The royalties I get from CreateSpace are a bit lower, but not that much lower.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Bahama Republics

AKA Banana Republics (John Galt Edition)

(With apologies to Jimmy Buffett.)

Down to the Bahama Republics,
Down to the tropical sun
Go the ex-patriotic Americans,
Hopin' to find some fun
None of them go for the sailing,
Caught by the lure of the sea
They know too well what is ailing
Livin' in the land of the "free"

Some of them are running from ex-wives,
Leaving no forward address
Some of them are running from their drug terms
Most are running from the IRS

Late at night you will find them
In Freeport hotels and bars
Hustling the blond turistas
While they dance beneath the stars
Spending those renegade pesos
On a bottle of rum and a line
Singin', "Give me some purpose to live for
"Or another chick to wine."

First you learn to lie to customs
Soon to dodge a tax law or two
You know that you cannot trust Sam
As Sam knows he can't trust you
Ex-patriotic Americans
Feelin' disgust for Sam
Telling them sheep the same lies
That they told before the lam

Back from the Bahama Republics
Things aren't as free as they seem
None of the looters is getting
Any second-hand American dreams

In Detroit you will find them
With el cheapo meth dubbed malt
Hustling the two-bit hookers
While they ask, "Who is John Galt?"
Spending those renegade pesos
On a bottle of rum and a line
Singin', "Give me some purpose to live for
"Or another chick to wine."

Down to the Bahama Republics
Down to the tropical sun
Go the ex-patriotic Americans
Hopin' to find some fun

Monday, July 04, 2011

Happy Birthday America!

Happy 235th, and long may you wave, in spite of the shrubs and Obamas!

Now I ain't sayin' it's right or it's wrong
But maybe it's the only way
Talk about your revolution
It's Independence Day

Let Freedom ring, let the white dove sing
Let the whole world know that today is a
Day of reckoning
Let the weak be strong,
Let the right be wrong
Roll the stone away,
Let the guilty pay,
It's Independence Day

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Unselfish People Are Most Selfish

Today it struck me that of all the people I have met, the unselfish ones are the most selfish. (In the traditional sense, not Ayn Rand's reframe.)

It's the most "liberal," left-wing, avowedly meek and tolerant moon bats, unselfish by their own accounts and only out to help others, that are most intolerant (of everything but left-wing stuff), opinionated, pushy, arrogant, touchy, resentful of criticism, entitlement-minded, greedy (for donations and tax money for their pet causes), and the first to call for a law that attempts to exterminate any of their pet peeves with psychotic violence. The same is true, to a lesser degree, of the wing nuts and Jesus freaks. (Maybe it seems to me to be to a lesser degree just because I never go to Utah or Mississippi and slum with the hardcore Jesus freaks.)

It's the people that in your face are warmest, friendliest, kindest, and most mild-mannered that will explode into a fireball of rage once you scratch the surface and question the beliefs they take for granted and regard as universal. Let's call it the Mother Theresa syndrome, after the bitch that believed that for helping those who were dying in agony find Jesus (instead of giving them medicine) she was entitled to free flights, at the expense of airlines.

It's not so much the objectivists (except for Rand herself) that defriend people for disagreeing with them. It's the moon bats, and to a lesser degree, the wing nuts. And while the objectivists / Rand fans I know can be jerks, just as Randians reputedly are, they pale in comparison with the moon bats.

True, there is quite some repudiating going on, but that's nothing against what happens if you question the principles of a liberal. And it's not because my opinions are closer to objectivists and libertarians than to moon bats and wing nuts. I've fought with all of them, and it takes much less to provoke a more psychotic reaction from a moon bat than from a libertarian.

I'd say I'm selfish (in the Randian sense of caring mostly about my own affairs), and that entails some of the above qualities commonly considered negative, like arrogant, opinionated, intolerant (of intolerance), greedy, etc. But compared with the unselfish people, I'm Gandhi (as are most objectivists and libertarians).

So while selfishness in the Randian sense can turn someone into a major jerk, that's nothing against the unselfishness of the moon bats. Given that observation, it's little wonder that the state is so ready to threaten and use lethal force to "protect people from themselves." The unselfish, the moon bats and the wing nuts, make sure of that by voting the way they do, for fascists like Obama and the shrub. Unselfishness is preached as a virtue, and observe the results.

And no matter how controversial Rand's reframe of "selfishness" is, she was right. Unselfish people are indeed no good.

The unselfish may be saccharinely friendly in your face (at first), give to the poor, and volunteer for the community, but if you disagree with their socialism and/or Jesus crap, at best you're dead to them, and at worst they call for a law to send you to a concentration camp. In fact, I think I can formulate that as a general rule: If someone I meet is unbearably saccharine, chances are she will explode into a fit of psychotic rage the first time I disagree with her.

This rule can be expanded beyond moon bats and wing nuts to include all second-handers, even libertarian ones. As a second-hander bases her self-respect on the number of her friends instead of on her own achievements, she will try to ingratiate herself with everyone she meets. But if her second-hander beliefs are questioned or once she is frustrated by the unworkability of second-handedness, she will react with all the negative qualities that are stereotypically associated with the straw man of the selfish person, although a truly selfish person has much less of them than an unselfish person.

The meek shall destroy the world. It makes sense: As there is no way their delusions can be defended rationally, flight and psychotic violence are their only weapons in an argument.

Objectivists, compared with the moon bats and wing nuts, you are gold! (You may want to copy and paste and treasure this one, as I'm not going to say that often.)

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Alex Saves the World Wide Web

It has been brought to my attention that the English-speaking world wide web is being bogged down by the fact that the www abbreviation takes six to nine syllables to pronounces, twice to thrice the amount it takes to pronounce the original word. As www is an ubiquitous element that needs to be pronounced whenever a URL is given, the English-speaking world wide web and the economies built upon it are at a serious disadvantage competing with economies whose languages pronounce www as only three syllables. Furthermore, the US being the world's foremost economic and cultural power, a collapse of the American internet would precipitate the world back into the Middle Ages, or at least the 1950s, which is the same.

So what is to be done?

In my infinite generosity, I give you "three shrub," which is how www is to be pronounced in English from now on. Now, at only two syllables to the www, English-speaking countries will be able to easily out-compete Continental Europe and Asia.

No, don't thank me all at once.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Ramble, Christian Soldiers

Andre the Giant may have a posse, but Sarah Palin has a new campaign hymen hymn:

1. Ramble, Christian soldiers, murder as in war,
Bomb abortion clinics like we done before.
Faith, the ancient horror, fights against the mind;
Forward into battle, see our jackboots grind!
Ramble, Christian soldiers, murder as in war,
Bomb abortion clinics like we done before.

2. At the sign of Sarah sanity doth flee;
Ramble, Christian soldiers, on to lunacy!
East and West Coast quiver at our web of lies;
Mortify your brain cells, belt your moron cries.

3. Like a zombie army moves the church of god;
Brothers, we are treading where fascists have trod.
We are not gratified, all no body we,
Only desperate doctrine and insanity.

4. Crowns and thrones may perish, kingdoms rise and wane,
But the state's guns do the status quo maintain.
The real world can never 'gainst that church prevail;
We have Sarah's promise, and that cannot fail.

5. Onward then, ye people, join our moron throng,
Blend with ours your voices in our insane song.
Glory, laud, and honor unto god the king,
This through countless ages fools and killers sing.

"When fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in the Flag and waving a cross."

— Attributed to Sinclair Lewis

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Palin's Non-Sequitour

History professor, would-be candidate for next village idiot, and past her shelf life Miss Potato Sarah Palin discovered startling new facts about original tea partier Paul Revere (AKA OG T).

(No turkeys were harmed in the making of this video.)

As you cannot both be a human being and part of one nation with Palin, her surreal tour de force across America and through history has now been renamed the non-sequitour.

Ramble on, Christian soldier.

Ristorante Ecoli Hamburg Now Open!

First we took Staunton — now we take Hamburg! Ristorante Ecoli Hamburg is now open for business!

Unfortunately, we had to get rid of the sniper rifle on the balcony due to local gun laws. But you can try our fresh bean sprouts at half price! A little complimentary surprise with every dish of bean sprouts!

Or visit us on the web:

Dude, not funny? Well, then take it as a public service announcement.

Don't eat sprouts. Ever.

If you eat sprouts, you're asking for E. coli. (If the feds have to outlaw something, they should outlaw sprouts instead of weed. But I digress.)

Who eats that shit, anyway? I mean, really.

It's esthetically praiseworthy if you don't want to go the way of the beached whale, but steering clear of high-fructose corn syrup should be enough. Don't have to ingest those germ plants.

At least we know now why it's called Germany.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Quote of the Day

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

— Ferris Bueller

Sunday, May 22, 2011

God on Railroad Timetable, Camping on His Sword

I mean, even if you believe in god and rapture and stuff, how can you believe that such a jealous, ancient god would schedule his apocalypse according to time zones drawn up by nineteenth-century railroads?

In other words, when we get to May 21 on the calendar in any city or country in the world, and the clock says about — this is based on other verses in the bible — when the clock says about 6 p.m., there's going to be this tremendous earthquake that's going to make the last earthquake in Japan seem like nothing in comparison. And the whole world will be alerted that Judgment Day has begun. And then it will follow the sun around for 24 hours. As each area of the world gets to that point of 6 p.m. on May 21, then it will happen there, and until it happens, the rest of the world will be standing far off and witnessing the horrible thing that is happening.

As I'm writing this, the rapture after party is winding down, and the birds are singing outside. Yet life is not good for the fundies Harold Camping defrauded.

"My mentality was, why are we going to work for more money? It just seemed kind of greedy to me. And unnecessary," she says.

And so, her husband adds, "God just made it possible — he opened doors. He allowed us to quit our jobs, and we just moved, and here we are."

Now they are in Orlando, in a rented house, passing out tracts and reading the bible. Their daughter is 2 years old, and their second child is due in June. Joel says they're spending the last of their savings. They don't see a need for one more dollar.

"You know, you think about retirement and stuff like that," he says. "What's the point of having some money just sitting there?"

"We budgeted everything so that, on May 21, we won't have anything left," Adrienne adds.

Nothing, except for the fervent hope that all of them will be raptured.

The Haddad children of Middletown, Md., have a lot on their minds: school projects, SATs, weekend parties. And parents who believe the earth will begin to self-destruct on Saturday.

The three teenagers have been struggling to make sense of their shifting world, which started changing nearly two years ago when their mother, Abby Haddad Carson, left her job as a nurse to "sound the trumpet" on mission trips with her husband, Robert, handing out tracts. They stopped working on their house and saving for college.

Last weekend, the family traveled to New York, the parents dragging their reluctant children through a Manhattan street fair in a final effort to spread the word.

"My mom has told me directly that I'm not going to get into heaven," Grace Haddad, 16, said. "At first it was really upsetting, but it's what she honestly believes."

Thousands of people around the country have spent the last few days taking to the streets and saying final goodbyes before Saturday, judgment day, when they expect to be absorbed into heaven in a process known as the rapture. Nonbelievers, they hold, will be left behind to perish along with the world over the next five months.

Well, it's the fundies that will perish now, starve to death, as they deserve, one might say. Or one might blame Camping for fueling their delusions.

While Ms. Haddad Carson has quit her job, her husband still works as an engineer for the federal Energy Department. But the children worry that there may not be enough money for college. They also have typical teenage angst — embarrassing parents — only amplified.

"People look at my family and think I'm like that," said Joseph, their 14-year-old, as his parents walked through the street fair on Ninth Avenue, giving out Bibles. "I keep my friends as far away from them as possible."

"I don't really have any motivation to try to figure out what I want to do anymore," he said, "because my main support line, my parents, don't care."

His mother said she accepted that believers "lose friends and you lose family members in the process."

"For those who were invested in this prediction, their world did end Saturday," said Rev. Jeremy Nickel, the minister at Fremont's Mission Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation. "They thought they were going to heaven, and they didn't. They may have donated all their money. They're going to be in a world of hurt."

Billboards guaranteeing the end of the world Saturday were almost as ubiquitous as Starbucks outlets in the Bay Area and the world and just as galvanizing to followers, who donated more than $100 million over the past seven years and drove RVs all over the United States to alert people of the coming rapture. Oakland-based Family Radio, with 66 radio stations across the globe, was uncharacteristically quiet Saturday, its website down.

"Here's the takeaway," said Richard Hodill of San Mateo, who staffed the registration table at the atheist convention. "Learn to be a discriminating and critical thinker. Base your life on evidence-based reasoning. Religion exploits people to their detriment."

Others had risked a lot more on Camping's prediction, quitting jobs, abandoning relationships, volunteering months of their time to spread the word. Matt Tuter, the longtime producer of Camping's radio and television call-in show, said Saturday that he expected there to be "a lot of angry people" as reality proved Camping wrong.

Tuter said Family Radio's AM station in Sacramento had been "severely vandalized" Friday night or Saturday morning, with air conditioning units yanked out and $25,000 worth of copper stripped from the equipment. He thinks it must have been an angry listener. He was off Saturday but planned to drive past the headquarters "and make sure nothing's burning."

The retired MTA engineer poured his life savings — $140,000 — into an NYC Transit ad campaign. The signs reads: "Global Earthquake: The Greatest Ever! Judgment Day May 21, 2011" and is now plastered on bus kiosks and subway cars all over the city.

Because of those delusions, people quit jobs, wasted their last money, and what is worst, ruined their kids' social lives. It has been asked, "What should Camping do now?" In my opinion, he should do like Varus did and fall on his own sword. Suicide is the best option for him. Well, he's 89 years old and ugly like 110, so he'll probably be dead soon, anyway.

Why is it actually that the government can regulate interior designers, but not false prophets? The Second Amendment has been regulated well nigh out of existence, so the First Amendment could bear some regulating, too. After all, human sacrifice and (falsely) shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater is already banned, in spite of free religion and free speech.

There's all kinds of regulations of Wall Street, presumably to protect investors, but fundies may prey on the gullible at will. And why is it that gambling is banned or regulated, because people cannot make their own decisions about betting all their money on 13 black, but they may spend their life savings on fundie nonsense? Gambling would give them better odds.

At the very least, Camping should be forced to give all his money to indemnifying his credulous, faithful (a tautology, of course) victims. Then again, it's hard to commiserate if (fundie) scum is exploited by worse (fundie) scum. I'm just sorry for the kids.

So beware of false prophets. Hint: They all are.

If those people had donated their money to science instead of religion, maybe a cure for aging would have been found, eliminating people's need for the crutch of religion.

PS: Being left behind rocks!

PPS: Did you know that Camping was originally from England and was born Harold Tenting-Ground?

Calling All Fundies

So have you been raptured? And if yes, from where are you writing?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Rapture 2.0

Hey, fundies, don't you know that the rapture already happened? You just weren't in on the fun.

If you weren't raptured on September 6, 1994, that means god hates you. You will die and be eaten by worms instead of playing the eternal harp in heaven. Because god hates fundies.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Atlas Shrugged: Part 2 Exclusive Trailer

Apparently certain people were right to worry that if a certain movie bombs, certain other people will laugh all the way to the bank.

Competition for Facebook

Did you notice all those niche social networking sites cropping up all over the place?

Basebook for ballgame enthusiasts.
Bracebook for dentists.
Casebook for serial killers.
Chasebook for GTA players.
Dazebook for dreamboats.
Faithbook for fundies.
Glacebook for cooks.
Grazebook for cows.
Hazebook for bullies.
Lacebook for steam punks.
Lazebook for Dudeists.
Macebook for feminists.
Pacebook for runners.
Phasebook for trekkies.
Racebook for white supremacists.
Tasebook for pigs.
Tracebook for hunters.

From Hammerspace with Love

Poor Newt Gingrich. He tries to please everybody and everybody hates him.

"I believe that creation as an act of faith is true and I believe that science as a mechanical process is true," Gingrich said at an afternoon session that preceded a more formal address. "Both can be true. I don't think there is necessarily a conflict between the two."

Now both the mystics and the scientists hate him.

"When he talks about god in government, then I believe if he's a godly man he should say that 'I believe god created the heavens and earth because that's in the bible.' "

For the fundies, he's not godly enough and likes the ladies too much. (I feel your pain, Newt.) For the liberals, he's not gay enough full of hate and likes the ladies too much.

Apparently, when you end up caught between all stools, the heavens hammerspace opens and showers you with glitter. Nice.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Trump: A Is Non-A

With Fox Mulder nailed to his scalp, Donald Trump obviously forgot all about the law of identity, if he ever knew it.

Over the last few years, according to interviews and hundreds of pages of court documents, the real estate mogul has aggressively marketed several luxury high-rises as "Trump properties" or "signature Trump" buildings, with names like Trump Tower and Trump International — even making appearances at the properties to woo buyers. The strong indication of his involvement as a developer generated waves of media attention and commanded premium prices.

But when three of the planned buildings encountered financial trouble, it became clear that Mr. Trump had essentially rented his name to the developments and had no responsibility for their outcomes, according to buyers. In each case, he yanked his name off the projects, which were never completed. The buyers lost millions of dollars in deposits even as Mr. Trump pocketed hefty license fees.

Those who bought the apartments in part because of the Trump name were livid, saying they felt a profound sense of betrayal, and more than 300 of them are now suing Mr. Trump or his company.

"The last thing you ever expect is that somebody you revere will mislead you," said Alex Davis, 38, who bought a $500,000 unit in Trump International Hotel and Tower Fort Lauderdale, a waterfront property that Mr. Trump described in marketing materials as "my latest development" and compared to the Trump tower on Central Park in Manhattan.

"There was no disclaimer that he was not the developer," Mr. Davis said.

Alan Garten, a lawyer for Mr. Trump's company, said that, regardless of what Mr. Trump himself or any marketing materials had suggested, his role was disclosed in lengthy purchasing documents that buyers should have carefully scrutinized.

Make no mistake, Trump lied. He said he was the developer when he wasn't, which is proven by the disclaimers in the contracts.

He guaranteed these projects to his customers with his name, which to them stood for quality, and now he claims the disclaimer nullified that guarantee. It is an interesting legal and moral question whether you can make an oral guarantee and then simply go, "April fool!" and revoke it in the written contract. No matter what the courts decide, however, morally speaking, Trump should indemnify his victims at least to the amount that he profited from the deals where they lost.

Instead, The Donald cynically claims that, due to the crash of property values, his victims would have lost even more on the apartments if the developments had gone forward. This is completely immaterial.

After all, if his victims had made a killing with the apartments, he would have claimed it as being due to his "genius." Success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan.

If his victims had turned a profit, Trump would have taken all the credit for that. Now that they have lost money through him, he blames it on the market.

This kind of deception constitutes a worrisome trend I've seen growing worse over the last couple years. Marketing materials claim that a service is exceptionally A, only for the contract to painstakingly insist that the service provided is not to be considered A in any way, shape, or form.

Don't ever believe anything you see in an ad. All ads lie. (Except for my book ads on the right, of course.)

Read the contract. Read the fine print. That's where the truth is out there.

Trust no one. White-collar criminals will go through all the motions to appear legitimate and respectable to you. You can't go by appearances. Read the fine print, or you will be defrauded.

And no one has anything to give away. If it sounds too good to be true, it very likely is too good to be true. Stay the fuck away.

No, you don't need the government to protect you, even if you're not a Randian hero. In the fine print, there will be a very clear disclaimer saying that the service advertised as A is not in fact A and that you can lose all your money. If you read such a disclaimer, run like hell.

It's in fact those white-collar criminals that clamor to be regulated by the government, so they can advertise the fact that they're regulated. But all the government regulation in the world doesn't help you none if you sign a contract where you waive your right to receive the service you paid for. And once you sue them for deceptive advertising or the like, they're already in Brazil with your money.

"Trump. Owning here is just the beginning." What a threat. Do you really want to own a property that's infested with Foxes Mulder?

The sad thing is that even an unethical businessman like Trump would be a better president village idiot than Obama or the shrub. At least Trump can run a multi-billion-dollar business, give or take a bankruptcy or two, and not just commie unity organize. (*Wince.* Read: At least Trump knows how to successfully separate people from their money.)

Trump's borderline fraud is chicken shit against Obama defrauding auto company bondholders and thereby revealing that the village idiot has no clothes and that the "rule of law" was a myth all along. And at least Trump knows there's no such thing as "shovel-ready projects."

What's Trump's conduct compared with social security, the largest Ponzi scheme in history? What's losing a deposit compared with income tax?

Trump for president. A skyscraper on every corner. A dead cat on every head.

I mean that sincerely. No joke.

Well, a sad joke. Or rather, sad, but no joke. Or a joke, but not as sad or as big a joke as Obama.

At least things will not get boring with The Donald as village idiot. And you can make fun of him without the moon bats automatically bestowing the title "racist" on you.

Trump says that when he's elected village idiot, the world will no longer laugh at America. True. The world will be busy laughing at Trump.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Donald Foxed

Hey, I just realized where The Donald gets all those conspiracy theories from. The fox he nailed to his forehead — it's Fox Mulder.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

How to Fix Farewell Ranch

Many people see Medicaid as a program for low-income single mothers and their children.

But in fact most Medicaid spending goes to care of the elderly and disabled, not to single moms and their kids. More than eight million people over age 65 rely on the program, typically people in nursing homes or those getting long-term care from a visiting nurse.

Oddly enough, Medicare, which is supposed to take care of those over age 65, does not cover most long-term care, such as in a nursing home or assisted living facility. But Medicaid does cover such care.

Although they may not have thought about it when they were 40, many older people — without their adult children living nearby — will end up in such facilities. Grogan said people over age 65 "don't know how important Medicaid is until they need long-term services."

She added, "If you look at the elderly who end up relying on Medicaid, a lot of them were middle-class people their entire lives and they have children who are solidly in the middle class."

Long-term care is so expensive that "people spend down their resources and do estate planning" — thus shielding some of their assets — so that they can qualify for Medicaid, she explained. "There's absolutely no way a middle-class family can save adequately for the expenditures that are needed if you have a parent who needs that type of care."

Robert Saldin, a health policy expert at Harvard University, said Medicaid "is widely misunderstood and thought of as merely a program for the poor. In reality — and for better or worse — Medicaid has become a broad-based program with two-thirds of its spending going to the elderly and disabled. Many of the elderly on Medicaid spent their lives in the middle-class before they had to pay for a nursing home. But Medicaid's reputation hasn't caught up with this reality."

Now, with social security systems bankrupting the US and facing bankruptcy themselves in other industrialized countries, what can be done to fix this mess?

(1) No, Virginian, you can't retire.

Any social security system of the future can be nothing more than disability insurance. If you're able-bodied with two less than totally arthritic hands, and haven't made and saved enough money to support decades of idleness, you'll have to work past 65, 75, and 100.

Social security may have worked in a society where people worked from, say, age sixteen to age 65 and were worm food by 70. But you can't expect to retire at age 65 if you only finish college at, say, age 25, but live to be 80 or older. How do you expect to make enough money in forty years to live another twenty years with the same standard of living without working?

(2) Your social security check just bounced.

A dude accosts you on the street, "Hi. I'm a victim of Bernie Madoff. Give me my money back or I'll murder you."

Good idea?

The point is that those who paid into social security can only get their money back if it is robbed at gunpoint from others.

The criminal government is bankrupt, and no one has any right to get any more back from the government than what they can get out of the auctioning off of the government's assets.

(3) Your grandpa is your responsibility.

In 2007, the top 5% of income earners paid over half of the Federal income tax revenue. However, as of 2004, the top 5% hold 59.2% of wealth. The top 1% of income earners paid 25% of the total income tax revenue. Again however, the top 1% hold 23.5% of wealth. According to a conservative media group, it was "predicted" by an unnamed source that forty seven percent of Americans would pay no federal income tax in 2009 (though they still pay federal payroll taxes). Note, though, that this percentage does include some people without job income (e.g. children, retirees) along with the low-income workers to whom this applies.

So the rich pay the lion's share of taxes, and care for the elderly is the budget buster. Basically, we're all palming off our parents on Bill Gates and company.

But we can't go on doing that. It's just not sustainable demographically.

People live longer and have fewer children, so fewer young people will have to look after more old ones. It's doubtful that the wealth of the Bill Gates will increase fast enough to keep up with that.

Plus, if you raise taxes on them to pay for social security, it's bad for the economy and wealth creation. For every fool like Gates that works and pays taxes and lets you bully him into donating his taxed money to charity, too, there's one who goes Galt.

So people will have to look after their own parents, when there are children and they have the means to do the looking. Let's face it, our parents paid for us for eighteen years, so in their old age, it's time to give back. (One instance where the old bromide "to give back" actually makes sense.)

Anyway, you should be glad even if you're eighty, can't afford to retire, and don't have any children to look after you. Would you rather go back a century or two, when you would have been expected to raise twenty kids (most of whom would have died on you in infancy), would have toiled at backbreaking labor for fifty-five years, and then would have kicked the bucket at age sixty?

No? Well, I didn't think so.

And don't pull the "not kind to the elderly" card on me, or Ryan, or anyone trying to fix this mess. Social security systems and states are not quite bankrupt yet, in the sense that lenders are still willing to advance them money.

There's no majority to get rid of those systems before they are utterly bankrupt or the government is overthrown in Revolution 2.0. So today's elderly will not have to face the music in their lifetime.

It's the young that will have to live with the consequences of this mess, paying social security taxes and getting nothing back. So if I'm insensitive, I'm insensitive to my sort. It's the old people that are insensitive by not thinking of future generations.

Farewell Ranch. The only way to ride into the sunset.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Dead Foxes Are a Little Bit Racist, Too!

Donald Trump shows off his newfound presidentiality by proving that he's not racist. You probably noticed long ago that The Donald doesn't exactly have the gift of the gab.

When it comes to racism and racists, I am the least racist person there is. And I think most people that know me would tell you that. I am the least racist. I've had great relationships.

In fact, Randal Pinkett won on The Apprentice a little while ago, a couple years ago, and Randal's been outstanding in every way. So I am the least racist person.

This, of course, does not follow. Even if "Randal Pinkett won on The Apprentice" did prove that Trump is not racist, how does it prove that there are no less racist persons than Mr. Cathead?

And not only is it illogical, it sounds stupid, too. "So I am the least racist person." Just about like a kindergarten kid or a total retard (a racist word, or just politically incorrect?) would defend himself. I've known a total retard who used to defend himself exactly like this.

In fact, his logic and language sound a lot like Sarah Palin.

Here's what Mr. Dead Fox should have said upon being called out for his racism:

And of course, I'm a little bit racist, too. Or in other words, gentlemen prefer blondes.

All Should Be Equally Poor, Says Cuban Commie

Life imitating art — this pervert is like a certain character from my book Mysterious Boat.

Then there are people like Juan — a Communist Party faithful, also in his 70s, who doesn't want much to change. "Raul is playing with fire," he says.

He remembers the social inequities that plagued Cuban society before the 1959 Revolution and fears a return to what he calls "institutionalized inequality" if private enterprise is given the space to take root.

"Some people just think about what we don't have here without appreciating what we've built."

They've built — nothing. The commie motto: Not to each his own, but for all the same — even if it's nothing.

Inequality isn't institutionalized in the social system of capitalism — inequality is institutionalized in human nature.

Men are not equal in intelligence, rationality, ability, diligence, and productivity. In a free society, the more able will always prosper more than the less able. Material equality means robbing the intelligent to give to the stupid and robbing the diligent to give to the lazy. The only way to achieve a semblance of material equality in a society is by abolishing liberty — by looting — by resorting to the guillotine and decapitating those who refuse to obey — by cutting off the heads that house the ablest minds. In other words: socialism. (Torch in the Night, p. 126.)

The Simple Difference between Capitalism and Statism

Here's a good article on how retailers try to sell you pointless gadget insurance. (Note the missing hyphen. Pointless-gadget insurance is as true an interpretation as pointless gadget-insurance.)

That's a good example to illustrate the difference between private, capitalist enterprise and the state. Of course there'll always be borderline-ethical companies trying to bilk you like the state does. But the simple difference is that you can opt out of such fraud by simply not buying it. You cannot opt out of taxation.

As long as you're not forced to buy, you're dealing with a business, and all is well. As soon as an entity aggresses against you to force you to buy or do something, you're no longer dealing with a business but with a criminal / a state, no longer with capitalism, but with fascism.

Calling All Fascist Pigs: I Opt Out of Government

As I said before, what is the danger of a fire compared with the danger of a government-run firehouse?

An Alaska teenager jumped onto an ice floe, some altruist clowns believed he was in danger and called the government-run fire fascism department, and the latter "rescued" him out of his non-emergency, endangering their heroic "firefighting" lowlifes in the process.

The jackbooted thugs of the fascist US government, or the Palinist Alaska government, which is pretty much one and the same, then proceeded to kidnap him, charge him with the fascists' favorite catchall non-crime of "disorderly conduct," rob him of a sum in excess of $100, and sell him into slavery for fifty hours.

Or, in pig speak:

Poland spent the night in jail and resolved the case the next day. He was sentenced to 10 days in jail with all 10 suspended, 50 hours of community service and fined more than $100.

Fascists of all countries, listen good: I opt out of your racket.

Now, I don't want to steal or murder anyone. And I know that in this concentration camp of a fascist world you won't let me opt out of your drug laws or airport security theater.

But let's make one thing perfectly clear: If I (or anyone else on my behalf) ever call(s) 911 (or any equivalent fascist number) to summon you(r) tax-paid asses for assistance, I'll first ask whether you believe that my emergency is my own fault and you'll want to punish me for it after you "helped me," "rescued me," or "saved me from myself." If the answer is yes, stay the fuck away from me, no matter what the "emergency" is supposed to be.

You stay sitting in your government-funded firehouse and go on playing with your hose. I sure prefer slowly freezing to death on an ice floe over slowly bleeding to death because you fascist pigs shot me when I defended myself against your attempts to "cuff" me.

A statist sheep by the name of Steve comments bleats:

We pay taxes to provide emergency services… the key word there is emergency, not stupidity. By his own admission he made the choice to go floating off on a piece of ice which is dumb. What if you lived in the area and your house caught on fire from an electrical short and the firefighters response time was slowed because this idiot was taking up their time and equipment? He got off lucky with just the night in jail, 50 hours of service, and 100 dollar fine. I would have charged him for the use of time and equipment which I'm sure was more than just 100 bucks.

I mean, if he called for help, by all means bill him. But the article sounded like he neither needed nor wanted help. And in any event, there's no excuse to kidnap him, unless he refuses to pay.

What's next? Will the pigs kidnap all BASE jumpers, because BASE jumping is dangerous, and a BASE jumping accident could tie up a fire engine that then can't go to a house fire?

Oh, I know. I'll set up my own government. I'll waltz up to smokers, smack their cigarettes from their mouths, and then fine them for endangering my health because I had to breathe their smoke in order to help them.

Then, how does this sort of emergency service work out in terms of resources? Whether he wants help or not, you send him a fire engine, which then can't go to a house fire. So to punish him for that, you send a police car, which then can't go to a housebreaking or a murder, or for that matter, to a truly wicked crime like a drug deal or a statutory "rape." Now you've got a fire engine and a police car tied up, Sherlock.

I guess that's just the modern approach to police "work," huh? Never negotiate with terrorists, never give a window breaker a break, or as they put it in GTA: Liberty City Stories, "psychotic violence at the drop of a hat."

Real great work, Sherlock. Before we had the problem of being aggressed against by amateur criminals. Now we have the problem of being aggressed against by professional criminals that even get paid tax money. Real progress.

As I said, I'm making that real easy for you thugs, and I spell it out once over for you illiterates: If I ever get caught on an ice floe or any similar non-emergency of my own making, please ignore me and any pleas from moronic bystander sheeple to help me, and proceed directly to the house fire, house fires being the only excuse for your existence. (And only because the private fire insurance companies, whose responsibility firefighting is, palmed it off on the state in a nineteenth-century corporate welfare maneuver.)

Plus, as for El Presidente Steverino's argument, I'll have to point out that not all electrical fires are created equal. What if the guy with the house fire caused it by replacing a fuse with a hairpin? That would make him about as deserving or undeserving of help as a fool on a floe.

This just to illustrate how stupid the statists' examples usually are. They necessarily are, as there is no good argument for the existence of the state.

Ah, to think of the good old days of the Old West, when the danger that someone could call the government for help was minute.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Trump Pattern Baldness

Trump pattern baldness (also known as reverse mullet or alopecia grandiosa) is a rare cause of hair loss in male humans. It also occurs in chimpanzees and orangutans. In classic Trump pattern baldness, hair is lost in the front, while the hair in the back grows forward to cover the bald patches.

Often, the final result resembles a dead fox plastered to the forehead or a dead cat nailed on top of the crown of the head. This is dubbed "developer's balding." Rarely, the condition may progress to complete delusion.