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I wish I were a spy and evil people had come to my house and torn it apart looking for secrets.

Then at least I'd have an excuse for it looking that way.


"Researchers for the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority found over 200 dead crows near greater Boston recently, and there was concern that they may have died from Avian Flu.
A Bird Pathologist examined the remains of all the crows, and, to everyone's relief, it was confirmed that the problem was definitely NOT Avian Flu.
The cause of death appeared to be vehicular impacts. However, during the detailed analysis it was noted that varying colors of paints appeared on the bird's beaks and claws. By analyzing these paint residues it was determined that 98% of the crows had been killed by impact with trucks, while only 2% were killed by an impact with a car.
MTA then hired an Ornithological Behaviorist to determine if there was a cause for the disproportionate percentages of truck kills versus car kills.
The Ornithological Behaviorist very quickly concluded the cause: when crows eat road kill, they always have a look-out crow in a nearby tree to warn of impending danger.
The conclusion was that while all the lookout crows could say 'Cah', none could say 'Truck.'"


Girlfriend to a U.S. Marine private first class stationed at Camp Pendleton is planning the storybook divorce she always dreamed of, sources confirmed Tuesday.
Saying that she had been planning this since she was a little girl, Ashley Gibson told reporters she has always dreamed of that beautiful day when she would be granted spousal and child support from Pfc. Anthony Roberts for the couple’s six future children.
“I am just so thrilled that one day I will join Tony in the sacred bond of marriage for the rest of our lives together,” Ashley said, “or for a period of five years, whichever comes first.”
According to sources within the offices of prominent Divorce Planner Larry Abrams, Esq., Ashley has worked out every little detail, from purchasing a brand new car and fancy electronics to cleaning our her husband’s bank account and moving all of the furniture out of base housing while he’s on deployment.
“He is going to be so surprised by the amount of thought and care that went into all this,” Ashley said, while eating an entire bag of Doritos so she can be prepared to fit into her divorce sweatpants.


My wife was counting all the pennies and nickels out on the kitchen table when she suddenly got very angry and started shouting and crying for no reason.

I thought to myself, "She's going through the change."


When I was in the pub I heard a couple of dickheads saying that they wouldn't feel safe on an aircraft if they knew the pilot was a woman.

What a pair of sexist sh!ts. I mean, it's not as if she'd have to reverse the bloody thing!

Issue of the Times;
Libertarians and Abortion by Jonathan Goodwin

THERE ARE A HANDFUL OF THORNY ISSUES for libertarians – in some cases, significant issues on which there is significant disagreement. One such issue is that of abortion.

I will approach this issue via the positions of two of the staunchest and most principled libertarians of recent times – Murray Rothbard and Walter Block, and primarily Block. Both have written in favor of abortion (Block via his concept of “evictionism”), and both have defended their respective positions from what they consider to be a libertarian viewpoint: a trespass by the unborn child on the property rights of the mother.

With this in mind, I will present the case that it is the unborn child, and not the mother, that has the right of use of the womb for the term of the pregnancy. I base this on causation, reasonable reliance, unilateral contract, and, as Block has introduced the language of landlord and tenant, a lease and the covenant of quiet enjoyment. I rely on established contractual principles that are not in violation of the non-aggression principle.

I. Abortion is Killing, but is it Murder?

Block and Whitehead offer their personal view regarding abortion. From “Compromising the Uncompromisable: A Private Property Rights Approach to Resolving the Abortion Controversy,” by Dr. Walter Block and Roy Whitehead:

…we maintain that abortion is an abomination. It is a massive killer. More people die annually as a result of it (1,591,000) than perish from heart disease (720,058), cancer (505,322), stroke (144,088), or all accidents (91,983). Adding insult to injury, death occurs in these cases because of the purposeful action of other people.[ii]

Rothbard begins with a recognition of the “Catholic” side of the argument. From “For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto,” by Murray Rothbard:

For the essence of that case – not really “Catholic” at all in a theological sense – is that abortion destroys a human life and is therefore murder, and hence cannot be condoned….Murder is not an expression of religious preference; no sect, in the name of “freedom of religion” can or should get away with committing murder with the plea that its religion so commands. The vital question then becomes: Should abortion be considered as murder?[iii]

II. When Does Life Begin?

Rothbard suggests to not get bogged down in the “minutiae about when human life begins….”[iv] Block and Whitehead develop this concept further, concluding that it is appropriate to consider that human life begins at conception:

At what point does human life begin? There are really only two reasonable possibilities: at conception or at birth; all other points of development in between are merely points along a continuum which begins and ends with these two options.

So which is it? Does life begin at the beginning point of this nine-month continuum or at the end of it? We take the former position. We maintain that the fetus is an alive human being from day one onward, with all the rights pertaining to any other member of the species.[v]

I am no scientist, and cannot claim any unique knowledge on this question of when human life begins. An exploration of this question is far beyond the scope of this paper, however I offer the following:

When discussing the philosophical and/or ethical issues, surrounding the start of life the desire for science to provide a clear cut human/non-human boundary is very understandable. We need to be able to define this because it is important in our laws and our understandings. However, even from the brief descriptions given above, it is clear that there is no simple answer that science can give. It may well be that reality doesn't have an answer for us, and that "when does life begin?" is, in fact, a meaningless question.

Scott Gilbert concludes based on these premises that:

The entity created by fertilization is indeed a human embryo, and it has the potential to be human adult. Whether these facts are enough to accord it personhood is a question influenced by opinion, philosophy and theology, rather than by science.[vi]

Science appears to offer no definitive answer – what remains is “opinion.” Therefore, I find no reason to disagree with either Block or Rothbard in their conclusion. I am certain that the life is human one minute before birth (and science agrees on this point), and as science offers no conclusive answer to the question of when life begins, my examination proceeds assuming that human life begins at conception.

III. Aborting the Unborn Child is Like Failing to Come to the Aid

Block and Whitehead compare abortion to the act of failing to come to the aid of another – of failing to be a “good Samaritan” – therefore not an aggressive act.

The woman who refuses to carry her fetus to term is in exactly the same position as a person who refuses to rescue a drowning swimmer. Abortion is not, in and of itself, an act invasive of other people or their property rights, even when fetuses are considered persons.[vii]

This is not a good analogy. In the case of the drowning swimmer, the potential rescuer (presumably) did nothing to cause the swimmer to drown – the person did not throw someone unable to swim into the middle of the ocean after inviting the novice to go for a boat ride. However, the woman did take an action in the situation the act of becoming pregnant. Aborting the unborn child is like deliberately throwing a non-swimmer into the middle of the Pacific Ocean after providing a formal invitation to a nine-month cruise – a cruise with no scheduled stops. The invitation conveys an obligation; the act of throwing the person overboard is an aggressive act, in violation of the non-aggression principle.

IV. The Unborn Child is Trespassing

Rothbard states this case:

…this is the crucial consideration. If we are to treat the unborn child as having the same rights as humans, then let us ask: What human has the right to remain, unbidden, as an unwanted parasite within some other human being’s body? …What the mother is doing in an abortion is causing an unwanted entity within her body to be ejected from it; If the unborn child dies, this does not rebut the point that no being has a right to live, unbidden, as a parasite within or upon some person’s body.[viii]

What is meant by the term “unbidden”?

Unbidden: [ix]

1. Not ordered or commanded; spontaneous.
2. Not asked or summoned; uninvited.

It seems rather inappropriate to consider the child was “unbidden.” The mother took an action that could result (no matter the precaution taken) in pregnancy. Pregnancy is not “spontaneous.”

Block and Whitehead also suggest the unborn child is trespassing:

Given this, how can we defend the mother's right to kill the fetus? Simple. She owns her own body, and the unwanted fetus growing within it is in effect a trespasser or parasite. This may sound harsh, but when the property rights in question are thoroughly analyzed, it is the only possible conclusion that may be reached.[x]

I suggest it is not so “simple” nor is it “the only possible conclusion that may be reached” when “the property rights are thoroughly analyzed.”

Block and Whitehead continue:

To see this point, consider the following case: Suppose one day you wake up to find yourself attached to another person, e.g., Thompson's by now famous violinist, through your kidneys. You have two healthy organs, and the other person has none that are functioning. During the night, while you slept, doctors performed an operation connecting that person to your kidneys through a sort of umbilical chord, and there you lie. This operation was conducted without the permission or even knowledge of either "patient."

What rights and obligations do you have with regard to this violinist?[xi]

The authors suggest that you have the right, after properly notifying persons who are able to assist the uninvited party, to sever the connection. I find this analogy also lacking. I quote: “This operation was conducted without the permission or even knowledge of either ‘patient.’”

In the case of pregnancy, one of the two “patients” – the one purportedly trespassed upon, who is providing the kidney services (the mother) – did take an action with knowledge: in order to become pregnant she was no innocent bystander. Intercourse always carries the possibility of pregnancy. This wasn’t some sneak event in the middle of the night performed by a devious Dr. Frankenstein, secretly inserting an unborn child into the womb.

From Dr. Paul:

The fetus, of course, neither aggressed nor intruded. The mother and father placed him there.[xii]

V. There is no Contract

Block and Whitehead suggest there is no contract:

The fetus does not yet exist, and even when it does, it is impossible to have a contract (implicit or otherwise) with a one-week-old baby.[xiii]

It is possible to have a contract with a minor. It is voidable, however, only by the minor.

For most contracts, the general rule is that while it's not illegal to enter into a contract with a minor, the contract is voidable at the discretion of the minor. Voidable contracts are usually valid contracts and are binding unless the child cancels it.[xiv]

As to the type of contract, I will come to this shortly.

VI. There Might be an Agreement, But the Mother Can Change Her Mind

Rothbard suggests an out clause, exercisable unilaterally by the mother:

The common retort that the mother either originally wanted or at least was responsible for placing the unborn child within her body is, again, beside the point. Even in the stronger case where the mother originally wanted the child, the mother, as the property owner in her own body, has the right to change her mind and eject it.[xv]

What Rothbard is suggesting is that the mother can break the agreement, even if the result is the death of the counter-party. It seems a rather one-sided out clause – where the one breaking the agreement suffers little if any consequence (in fact, sees a net gain, else why break it?), while the ultimate consequence is paid by the party that (presumably) was satisfied with the terms of the original deal. It doesn’t seem like any clause to which the unborn child would have agreed up front.

Most, if not all, contracts contain language that covers the possibility of one party or the other wanting out of the agreement. Remedies include continuation of performance for a specific time, return of certain forms of compensation, etc. Such contracts include language for even the most significant breach. An illustrative example:

It is further understood and agreed that any breach of this agreement by you will result in irreparable harm to the counter-party, that money damages will not be a sufficient remedy for any such breach of this agreement and that the counter-party will be entitled to equitable relief, including injunction and specific performance for any such breach or any threatened breach, and that you shall not oppose the granting of such relief.[xvi]

If the mother changes her mind – as Rothbard suggests she has every right to do – it will cause irreparable harm to the unborn child. Money damages will most certainly not be sufficient for the benefit of the now-dead unborn child. The counter-party (the unborn child) would be entitled to equitable relief, including specific performance, and such relief shall not be opposed. What specific performance would the unborn child demand? It is not difficult to imagine the answer.

Similar language is included in many contracts today, and one would expect in this most one-sided contract between mother and unborn child – where the party that set the terms of the contract could then break the contract and realize a gain while the counter-party suffers death – it seems reasonable that the expectation would be not less than what is standard in every-day commercial agreements – for exchanges much less significant than life and death.

There are libertarians who believe a specific performance clause is counter to libertarian theory. In my limited reading of others on this issue, it seems Rothbard is one such libertarian[xvii] and Block is not. [xviii] I find it to be a slippery slope for a libertarian when one begins down the path of calling into question the enforceability of the terms within a contract – a contract not otherwise aggressing against an unwilling third party.[xix]

VII. Evictionsim is Block’s Answer

In a blog post entitled “Evicitonism: The Only True Libertarian Position on Abortion,” Block summarizes his concept: [xx]

In a nutshell, the argument for evictionism is as follows:

1. The fetus is trespassing into the womb of the woman.
2. The rights of all fetuses are equal.
3. Therefore, the only right choice would be evicting the fetus. Killing it would be wrong.[xxi]

I find no trespass. How is one trespassing when one was invited? When the party host extended the invitation, she knew it would be for a nine-month visit with no possible way for the guest to depart in the meantime. The unborn child was invited by the action of the woman for just such a term.
Block develops the idea further:

What is evictionism? It is the theory that a pregnant woman has the right to evict from her body the unwanted unborn child, but not to murder it.[xxii]

He recognizes that, with today’s medical technology, if the eviction occurs prior to the sixth month or so, the infant will likely die. However he suggests, over time, that improvements in technology will afford the evicted infant a chance at life even if the eviction occurs earlier in the pregnancy.

From Block and Whitehead:

The position put forth here, in contrast, is one of eviction not of killing. However, if the only way to evict is by killing the fetus, then the woman's right to her property - that is, her womb - must be held above the valuable life of the fetus.[xxiii]

There is significant fault with this assertion. Even if one grants Block’s position, Rothbard suggests that property rights can be legitimately defended only proportionately:

The victim, then, has the right to exact punishment up to the proportional amount as determined by the extent of the crime, but he is also free either to allow the aggressor to buy his way out of punishment, or to forgive the aggressor partially or altogether. The proportionate level of punishment sets the right of the victim, the permissible upper bound of punishment; but how much or whether the victim decides to exercise that right is up to him. [xxiv]

Rothbard here seems to directly contradict his reasoning in support of a woman’s right to abortion due to the child’s trespass – the punishment certainly is not proportional to the (supposed) crime. One or the other position must be invalid. I suggest it is not Rothbard’s position on proportionality.

Is a shopkeeper justified in shooting a six-year-old child in the back while the child is escaping with a one-dollar candy bar? It seems Block and Whitehead would say yes. After all, it is the shopkeeper’s property rights in question. Does the six-year-olds’ aggression justify any and every level of violence by the shopkeeper in defending his one-dollar candy bar?

In my limited work on the concept of “proportionality,” I conclude that the answer will not be found solely by applying the non-aggression principle. [xxv] In the spectrum of possibilities beginning with simply retrieving the stolen property, there are many reasonable answers not inconsistent with libertarian theory – so, while Rothbard’s view of proportionality is one possibility, I don’t believe it is the only possibility.

But I am certain that shooting a six-year-old for stealing a candy bar is nowhere consistent with the non-aggression principle; this example can be applied as well to the case of the unborn child, making invalid Block and Whitehead’s position.

The Rights of the Unborn Child

I suggest that the unborn child does have rights to (and the mother has obligations to the unborn child regarding) the use of the womb based on general contractual principles, and further on contractual principles found in rental real estate.

IX. Causation


Causation is the "causal relationship between conduct and result". That is to say that causation provides a means of connecting conduct with a resulting effect, typically an injury.[xxvi]

Here I speak to causation not in the abortive act (although this could be used to counter Block’s “evictionism” argument), but in conception. The woman’s “conduct” during intercourse brought on the “result” of pregnancy. It is difficult to accept that the woman somehow has no responsibility at all for the pregnancy (and therefore, the unborn child) directly caused by her conduct.

From the afterword of Dr. Paul’s paper, by Doris Gordon:

Being in the womb and needing parental care is a situation parents impose upon their children; children do not impose it upon their parents. As libertarians agree, no one’s mere need for care should be made an obligation upon anyone else under the law. But if we are responsible for causing those needs, as with our own children, and if we negligently or intentionally fail to provide care and then harm results, we are accountable.

The critical moral point is not need but causation and assent (i.e., choice), and thus responsibility. …since parents, fathers as well as mothers, are responsible for causing their own children’s need for protection, their obligation is not a matter of choice but of their children’s rights.[xxvii]

It cannot be avoided that the mother’s action caused the pregnancy.

X. Reasonable Reliance

The unborn child, now existing bidden in the womb, at the invitation of the mother, might reasonably conclude he can rely on certain conditions; a reasonable reliance:

Reasonable reliance:

…what a prudent person would believe and act upon if told something by another. Typically, a person is promised a profit or other benefit, and in reliance takes steps in reliance on the promise, only to find the statements or promises were not true or were exaggerated.

The one who relied can recover damages for the costs of his/her actions or demand performance if the reliance was "reasonable."[xxviii]

What would a reasonable person – one unable to swim – assume if invited on a nine-month ocean cruise? Would he reasonably assume this invitation included the possibility that his hostess would throw him overboard?

After receiving an invitation that inherently involved nine months of complete – life-and-death – dependency, what would be more reasonable for the unborn child to rely upon than he was promised the benefit of the full term in the womb?

XI. A Unilateral Contract

Block and Whitehead suggest that there can be no contract (“implicit or otherwise”) as there was no counterparty at the time; the child did not exist at the time of contract:

…there can be no such contract in the case of pregnancy, at the very least because there is simply no child to have a contract with at the point of intercourse when the child is created. [xxix]

I suggest that the unborn child (and even the yet-to-be-conceived child) does have a right in contract, despite Block’s objection that a contract cannot be had with a party not yet in existence:

Unilateral Contract:

A contract in which only one party makes an express promise, or undertakes a performance without first securing a reciprocal agreement from the other party. An agreement to pay in exchange for performance, if the potential performer chooses to act.[xxx]

Offering a reward is a typical example of such a contract – a reward is made known to the general public. The counterparty need not be known at the time the contract is offered, yet it is enforceable by the counterparty if properly claimed. Technically, the counterparty need not even be born or conceived when the offer was made (imagine in 1963 a fifteen-year-old boy finding Hitler on skis in Bariloche). Subsequently, someone comes to claim the reward: the person who chose to act. Although he was not the individually identified counterparty (at the time of contract there was no specific counter-party), he has a contractual right to the reward.

The woman made an offer; she placed herself in a position of being obligated to a counter-party that might take her up on her offer. The unborn child took her up on the offer, and can therefore enforce the contract – contracts with minors are enforceable by the minor, if the minor chooses to do so; contracts with a minor can only be voided by the minor. I suspect the unborn child would choose to enforce the contract.

XII. The Unilateral Contract is an Offer to Lease

Block uses the language of landlord and tenant (“evictionism”) to describe his concept – I will walk along his chosen path: The mother as landlord and the unborn child as tenant have entered into a lease – a fixed-term tenancy, with the term tied to a specific event: birth. Such a lease term was recognized in common law:

Fixed Term Tenancy:

A fixed-term tenancy or tenancy for years lasts for some fixed period of time. It has a definite beginning date and a definite ending date. Despite the name "tenancy for years", such a tenancy can last for any period of time—even a tenancy for one week may be called a tenancy for years. At common law the duration did not need to be certain, but could be conditioned upon the happening of some event, (e.g., "until the crops are ready for harvest" or "until the war is over").

A fixed term tenancy comes to an end automatically when the fixed term runs out or, in the case of a tenancy that ends on the happening of an event, when the event occurs.[xxxi]

In this case, the term of the lease is for the term of the pregnancy – the “happening of an event,” being birth.

Can the landlord evict the tenant without cause? I have reviewed several typical real estate lease contracts, and find nothing to suggest this is so. And without such a possibility, there is, of course, no remedy proposed. I suspect if the landlord wants the tenant out during the term of the lease, the landlord must negotiate proper terms and compensation for this proposed breach. What would the unborn child demand as compensation? It doesn’t seem so difficult to guess.

XIII. Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment

In a lease, the tenant is protected in his right to enjoy the property without disturbance:

In the covenant of quiet enjoyment, the landlord promises that during the term of the tenancy no one will disturb the tenant in the tenant's use and enjoyment of the premises. Quiet enjoyment includes the right to exclude others from the premises, the right to peace and quiet, the right to clean premises, and the right to basic services such as heat and hot water and, for high-rise buildings, elevator service.[xxxii]

The landlord (the mother) makes this “promise.” It seems clear that the unborn child would want to exclude an abortion doctor from the premises, and would want peace and quiet as opposed to the horrendous and permanent calamity that comes with being aborted. The landlord is obligated to ensure the abortion doctor stays out.

XIV. Conclusion: The Property Rights to Use the Womb Belong to the Unborn Child

The unborn child is not an aggressor; the unborn child is not a trespasser. Based on these factors and contractual principles, I suggest that the unborn child has the rights to use the womb, rights the mother gave up for a time – in a similar manner in which a tenant has the right to occupy the rental home, rights the homeowner has given up for a time.

Just as in a rental agreement where the homeowner transfers the right to occupy the house to a tenant (without giving up ownership of the home), the mother has transferred the rights to occupy the womb to the unborn child (without giving up ownership of the womb).

The mother took an action that resulted in the pregnancy – causation. Her conduct caused a result for which she is responsible. She cannot be relieved – by her unilateral choice – of the obligation that came to be as a direct result of her action. The obligations, caused by her actions, are hers because of a unilateral contract – the one the mother extended to the potential taker – the unborn child. In this case, the unborn child took up the offer at the moment of fertilization. That he did not exist when the offer was made is irrelevant. There was sound basis for the unborn child to reasonably rely on his being wanted – the mother took action that gave this appearance.

The use (separate from ownership) of the property (the womb) belongs to the unborn child for the term of the lease – a fixed-term tenancy tied to a specific event: birth. The unborn child has the right of quiet enjoyment in the property. I conclude that the unborn child, not the mother, has property rights in the use of the womb for the duration of the pregnancy.

Within the context of abortion, therefore, the mother has no right to take action against the unborn child that might result in harm to the unborn child.

Quote of the Times;
“Politics must be the battle of the principles... the principle of liberty against the principle of force.” - Herbert

Link of the Times;
While more strippers and more whiskey are undoubtedly a good thing, I've found it's much easier to convince your boss that you deserve a raise if you just leave that part out.


On the way back to New York as I was sitting in the Phoenix airport, they announced that the flight to Vegas was full.
The airline was looking for volunteers to give up their seats.

In exchange, they'd give you a $100 voucher for your next flight and a first class seat in the plane leaving an hour later. About eight people ran up to the counter to take advantage of the offer.

About 15 seconds later all eight of those people sat down grumpily as the lady behind the ticket counter said, "If there is anyone else OTHER than the flight crew who'd like to volunteer, please step forward..."


A college senior took his new girlfriend to a football game. The young couple found seats in the crowded stadium and were watching the action. A substitute was put into the game, and as he was running onto the field to take his position, the boy said to his girlfriend, "Take a good look at that fellow. I expect him to be our best man next year."

His girlfriend snuggled closer to him and said, "That's the strangest way I ever heard of for a fellow to propose to a girl.
Regardless of how you said it, I accept!"


THE PACIFIC OCEAN – Steaming through an estimated 700,000 square kilometers of filth, United States Navy warships laid territorial claim today to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch – a big strategic win for the Red, White, and Blue, according to U.S. government officials.
Emphasizing America’s profound cultural ties with garbage and refuse of all kinds, a Navy spokesperson aboard the destroyer USS Milius trumpeted the acquisition as an “emotional homecoming” for the billion-some plastic water bottle caps, knotted trash bags, and used tampon applicators that constitute the Texas-sized mass.
Garbage Island marks the first addition to the United States’ list of territories since the Northern Mariana Islands in 1978. While responses in the West have been overwhelmingly positive, the move has sparked controversy with heads of state in Beijing who assert equal claim to the island.
“For decades, we Chinese have demonstrated a profound and steadfast commitment to the destruction of global ecosystems,” said one official, going on to explain the “almost-spiritual” connection he feels with Garbage Island. “Besides, most of that junk was ‘Made in China’ in the first place.”
At press time, Chinese warships were en route to the garbage patch, while diplomats in Washington and Beijing scheduled hasty, high-level consultations to determine which nation is rightfully entitled to all that shit.


I recently had a medical exam, and all the doctor could find wrong with me, was that I was overweight.

"I'm prescribing these pills for you," my doctor told me. "I don't want you to swallow them. Just spill them on the floor twice a day and pick them up, one at a time."

Issue of the Times;
The Value Of Self-Knowledge by C.Contrary

So long as the sun rises, human misery abounds. The self-help and psychiatry industries are therefore thriving, for trite books and yuppie dope now stand in for religion, the earnest practice of which is too demanding for most 21st century team members. (It’s not as if there’s a great lack of belief here in the US.)
Yet to be sure, that one person should turn to another for guidance is not in itself a bad thing. I glance at my library, for example, and behold the magnificent works of hundreds of Great Dead White European (and American) Males: Plato, Aristotle, Epictetus, Seneca, Machiavelli, Montaigne, Pascal, Spinoza, Samuel Johnson, Burke, Hume, Schopenhauer, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche, Freud, Carlyle, Ruskin, Emerson, Thoreau, William James, and many more.
How much I have learned from them! Most men define themselves by doing things that any number of other men can do. That can’t be said for the greatest minds and writers. They teach, or reveal, what we would not know without them. I would be much more ignorant of human life if it wasn’t for these immortal names on my shelves.
All of the men in my list, in their various ways, were concerned with that timeless and incomparably difficult question: How should I live? It is a question that, if it matters to me, only I can answer for me. For however much I may learn from the great dead, or even from some of the living here in our glittering dark age, I am still a unique person, with his own history, his own problems, his own anguish. I alone have access to the content of my consciousness.
Thus it is certain that no one can look into me as penetratingly as I myself can, provided that I am up to the task. It is certain that no one can understand me as well as I myself can, provided I try to know myself. What I must do is to ponder myself and the world around me, while I am instructed by the works of the great minds of the past who did the same, and then apply what I find to the strange and difficult endeavor of living.
Not everyone does this today. In love with convenience, and in deeper love with delusion, many people now turn to watered-down wisdom and to the often problematic medications of psychiatrists. Is there not something very sad about so many of us turning to others (and their drugs) in order to know how to live? Have most of us looked deeply enough into ourselves?
Perhaps not. For self-knowledge is a test of character. It takes a certain fearlessness to be utterly honest with yourself. We are, all of us, subject to terrible thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. We sometimes have quite immoral motives. And it is painful to see these aspects of our nature. As with the sight of a rotting corpse, we’d rather look away.
Most people, when told they have done something wrong, react, at least at first, by putting a kind of convenient spin on things: they didn’t really do this or that, we are told; or, whatever happened didn’t happen quite like that; the point here being to shirk responsibility. And yet, human beings owe each other criticism. A friend or family member who is living in such a way as to harm himself or others deserves to be reproached.
And so it is with ourselves. If we have any sense of dignity—if, in other words, we value ourselves—then we need to be exacting and unsparing in our self-analysis. But, just as many people, in their relations with others, distort the truth in order to avoid the pain of it, so too they are not unflinching when it comes to looking into themselves: their view is only partial, their bad aspects ignored.
We must employ discriminating caution in our efforts to acquire self-knowledge. It is true that the mind, in its inclination to avoid pain, has a way of steering us toward rationalization and away from truth. And while we must be vigilant in guarding against this awful tendency, we must also not go so far as to become cruel perfectionists. Sincere self-examination which brings to light our culpability must be followed by self-forgiveness. Otherwise we avoid the common extreme while falling into the other, which is indeed torturous.
Though often hard, and sometimes even terrifying, self-knowledge is empowering. Having come to know myself in a deep sense, I find that I do not need any self-help book—I have already studied the book of my life. So too with anti-depressant medications. While for many people these are undoubtedly useful or even necessary in times of crisis, what I must do in any event is to take control of my life, insofar as I can.
That will often mean changing my life, and to that end, myself; in particular, my flaws. This is hard work, of course, but again, it is empowering: I achieve power over myself, where others may have no choice but to be subject to the power (say, the bad advice or prescription) of others.
To be serious about having good character, or improving our character, is to be serious about self-knowledge. If I want to live a decent life, or a better one, then clearly I cannot be ignorant of myself, of how I am living or should live. I must rather be steadfast in examining my motives and intentions.
What is the reason for Socrates’ famous remark that the unexamined life is not worth living? It is that without examining my life I cannot value it: any sense of value depends on knowledge; in order to live a worthy life, we must have a sense, borne out by experience, of just what makes it so.
It is no wonder that the greatest teachers of humankind were characterized by immense self-knowledge. A person who knows much about his complex nature—and all human beings are complex—may for that very reason be well-equipped to instruct others. You may not be Montaigne or Emerson. Even so, the fruits of your self-examination can afford you insight into others, who, after all, are not so different from you; you may indeed aid other people in walking a more illumined path.
“Men more frequently require to be reminded than informed,” said the great sage Samuel Johnson. I believe that every student of himself, having asked himself how he should live, should eventually come to a set of beliefs which are rather homely, in the sense that many thoughtful minds have been there before, so that the truth is no mystery.
It has long been thought, and rightly, that we human beings require a balance of satisfying intellectual and physical activities, interests, hobbies. These, along with meaningful relationships, are what make a life happy, or at least tolerable, for these make for an ongoing sense of vitality. If one of the purposes of your self-knowledge is to determine how you should live—as of course it should be—then you need not expect your conclusions to be so far from what many thoughtful travelers on the way arrived at before you.
Life is an endeavor in which we get to know ourselves. How strange is that notion, the notion of a self that does not know itself, as if to exist is to be a kind of stranger even to yourself. For life is a kind of ineffable unfolding. During its course, we find we are ever-changing, growing, moving between contradictions.
Indeed, while we may, if we are successful, arrive at more or less the same conclusions with respect to how we should live, we shall all find our distinct phenomenological experience—what we essentially ARE—to be endlessly unique, and frequently surprising. You are a self, and the self that you are contains innumerable surprises. That is dream-like, and beautifully strange.
Quote of the Times;
“If it is reasonable to hold Christians today responsible for the actions of other Christians during the Crusades nearly one thousand years ago, how is it unreasonable to hold Muslims today responsible for the action of other Muslims yesterday?”

Link of the Times;
Book-burning is such an ugly phrase.

I prefer to think of it as "English lit."



A married couple is driving down the interstate.

The husband is behind the wheel. His wife looks over at him and says, "Honey, I know we've been married for 15 years, but, I want a divorce."

The husband says nothing but slowly increases speed to 60 mph.

She then says, "I don't want you to try to talk me out of it, because I've been having an affair with your best friend, and he's a better lover than you."

Again the husband stays quiet and just speeds up as he clenches his hands on the wheels.

She says, "I want the house." Again the husband speeds up, and now is doing 70 mph.

She says, "I want the kids too." The husband just keeps driving faster, and faster, he's up to 80 mph.

She says, "I want the car, the checking account, and all the credit cards too." The husband slowly starts to veer.

"Is there anything you want?"

The husband says, "No, I've got everything I need."

She asks, "What's that?"

"I've got a driver’s side airbag."


Negotiations between union members and their employer were at an impasse.

The union denied that their workers were flagrantly abusing their contract's sick-leave provisions.

One morning at the bargaining table, the company's chief negotiator held aloft the morning edition of the newspaper, "This man," he announced, "Called in Sick yesterday!" There on the sports page, was a photo of the supposedly ill employee, who had just won a local golf tournament with an excellent score.

The silence in the room was broken by a union negotiator. "Wow," he said. "Think of what kind of score he could have had if he hadn't been sick!"


If men are from Mars and women are from Venus, there's going to be one big-ass fight over where to set the thermostat.


You refine heroin for a living, but you have a moral objection to liquor.
You may be a Muslim

You wipe your butt with your bare hand, but consider bacon unclean.
You may be a Muslim

You have nothing against women and think every man should own at least four.
You may be a Muslim

Issue of the Times;
“Microaggressions”, “Trigger Warnings”, and the New Meaning of “Trauma” by Chris Hernandez
When I joined the Marines, I met a man who had survived a helicopter crash during a training exercise. The first time I saw him his head and face were covered in burn scars. A balloon filled with saline, that looked like a dinosaur’s crest, was implanted in his scalp to stretch the skin so hair could grow. Something that looked exactly like the checkered buttstock of an M16A2 was imprinted on one side of his head. He greeted me when I checked in to my unit, and totally ignored the shocked expression I must have had when he approached. He shook my hand, asked a few questions, then left with a friendly “See you later, PFC.” His demeanor left me with the absurd thought, Maybe he doesn’t know how strange he looks.
He had been assigned to my reserve unit while undergoing treatment at a nearby military burn unit. I wound up becoming friends with him later, and eventually worked up the nerve to ask him about the crash. Of course, I quickly followed my question with, “But if you don’t want to talk about it, nevermind. Sorry.”
He brushed off my concerns. “Nah, no problem. The day I can’t talk about it is the day it starts to haunt me.”
He told me about loading up with his platoon in the helicopter that day. He described what it was like to see the ground coming through the window and realize they were about to crash. He talked about grabbing his seat belt release, being knocked unconscious on impact by his rifle butt slamming into his temple, and waking up on the floor with his head on fire. He told me how he crawled toward the exit, in flames, past screaming, burning Marines trapped in their seats. He recounted his memory of shouting that he would come back to help them. He told me how he managed to drag himself over the edge of the helicopter’s ramp and fall into a rice paddy. He told me about other Marines who saw the crash and ran to save him and some others. He talked about all the friends he lost that day, more than a dozen. He talked about how much he missed being an infantryman, and how he had made peace with the fact that he could never be one again.
What struck me was how easily he was able to tell the story. I had never heard of someone making a decision not to let trauma affect their lives. I had a great uncle, still alive then, who had been a Marine in the Korean War. He came back traumatized, took years to get back to normal, and to his dying day never told anyone in the family what he experienced. Even after I became a Marine, he gave me only the barest details of his service. As far as I know he never told his Marine son either. Unlike my friend, my uncle couldn’t talk about his trauma.
I’ve experienced trauma myself. I don’t know how many murder scenes I’ve worked as a police officer. I remember the shock I felt when I walked up to a car after a seemingly minor accident and saw a two year old’s head lying on the floorboard. I stood helplessly outside a burning house as a ninety-two year old woman died inside, while her son screamed hysterically beside me. For years after my time as a soldier in Iraq I’d have a startle response if I unexpectedly saw a flash, like from a camera, in my peripheral vision (it reminded me of flashes from roadside bombs). Soldiers near me were shot, burned or killed in Afghanistan.
My childhood wasn’t rosy either; early one morning when I was eight I heard pounding on our kitchen door, then was terrified to see a family member stumble into the house covered in blood after being attacked by a neighbor. Even today, after thirty-five years, I still sometimes tense up when I hear a knock at the door. When I was ten, my eleven year old best friend committed suicide because of a minor sibling dispute. He wrote a note, left a will, snuck his father’s pistol from a drawer and shot himself. I was severely affected by his death, and ten years later got a copy of his suicide note from the city morgue. After I read it, I finally felt that I could heal from that horrible event.
I’m no stranger to trauma, and I’ve dealt with it by writing and talking about it. I suppose I’ve always defined “trauma” the traditional way: a terrible experience, usually involving significant loss or mortal danger, which left a lasting scar. However, I’ve recently discovered my definition of trauma is wrong. Trauma now seems to be pretty much anything that bothers anyone, in any way, ever. And the worst “trauma” seems to come not from horrible brushes with death like I described above; instead, they’re the result of racism and discrimination.
Over the last year I’ve heard references to “Microagressions” and “Trigger Warnings”. Trigger Warnings tell trauma victims that certain material may “contain disturbing themes that may trigger traumatic memories for sufferers”; it’s a way for them to continue avoiding what bothers them, rather than facing it (and the memories that get triggered often seem to be about discrimination, rather than mortal danger). Microaggressions are minor, seemingly innocuous statements that are actually stereotype-reinforcing trauma, even if the person making the statement meant nothing negative.
Here are two examples of “trauma” from the “Microaggression Project”:
My dad jokes with my younger sister that he remembers selling Girl Scout Cookies when he was a Girl Scout. She laughs, understanding the fact that since he’s a boy means that he could not have been a Girl Scout. Thanks, Dad. I’m a boy and a formal Girl Scout.
The assumption that Girl Scouts will be girls. That causes trauma.
24, female-bodied, in a relationship – so Facebook shows me ads with babies, wedding dresses, and engagement rings. Change gender on Facebook to male – suddenly I get ads pertaining to things I actually care about.
Facebook thinking a woman might be interested in marriage and children. That causes trauma.
As one might expect, “Microaggressions” and “Trigger Warnings” are most popular in our universities. In late 2013 A group of UCLA students staged a “sit-in” protest against a professor for – no joke – correcting their papers. These “Graduate Students of Color” began an online petition stating “Students consistently report hostile classroom environments in which the effects of white supremacy, patriarchy, heteronormativity, and other forms of institutionalized oppression have manifested within the department and deride our intellectual capacity, methodological rigor, and ideological legitimacy. Empirical evidence indicates that these structural and interpersonal microaggressions wreak havoc on the psychophysiological health and retention rates of People of Color. The traumatic experiences of GSE&IS students and alumni confirm this reality” (
A college professor expecting graduate students to write grammatically correct papers. That causes trauma.
In addition to correcting grammar, the professor insulted the “Graduate Students of Color” by changing “Indigenous” to the proper “indigenous” in their papers, thus reinforcing white colonial oppression of indigenous people. Oh, and he shook a black student’s arm during a discussion. “Making physical contact with a student is inappropriate, [the aggrieved Graduate Student of Color] added, and there are additional implications when an older white man does so with a younger black man” (
A white professor gently touching a black student’s arm. That causes trauma.
I’ve reviewed these reports of “trauma”, and have reached a conclusion about them. I’m going to make a brief statement summarizing my conclusion. While I mean this in the nicest way possible, I don’t want victims of Microaggressions or supporters of Trigger Warnings to doubt my sincerity.
Fuck your trauma.
Yes, fuck your trauma. My sympathy for your suffering, whether that suffering was real or imaginary, ended when you demanded I change my life to avoid bringing up your bad memories. You don’t seem to have figured this out, but there is no “I must never be reminded of a negative experience” expectation in any culture anywhere on earth.
If your psyche is so fragile you fall apart when someone inadvertently reminds you of “trauma”, especially if that trauma consisted of you overreacting to a self-interpreted racial slur, you need therapy. You belong on a psychiatrist’s couch, not in college dictating what the rest of society can’t do, say or think. Get your own head right before you try to run other people’s lives. If you expect everyone around you to cater to your neurosis, forever, you’re what I’d call a “failure at life”, doomed to perpetual disappointment.
Oh, I should add: fuck my trauma too. I must be old-fashioned, but I always thought coming to terms with pain was part of growing up. I’ve never expected anyone to not knock on my door because it reminds me of that terrifying morning decades ago. I’ve never blown up at anyone for startling me with a camera flash (I’ve never even mentioned it to anyone who did). I’ve never expected anyone to not talk about Iraq or Afghanistan around me, even though some memories still hurt. I don’t need trigger warnings because a book might remind me of a murder victim I’ve seen.
And before anyone says it; being Hispanic doesn’t make me any more sympathetic to people who experience nonexistent, discriminatory “trauma”. Discrimination didn’t break me (or my parents, or grandparents). I’ve been discriminated against by whites for being Hispanic. I’ve been threatened by blacks for being white. I’ve been insulted by Hispanics for not being Hispanic enough. Big deal. None of that stopped me from doing anything I wanted to do. It wasn’t “trauma”. It was life.
Generations of Americans experienced actual trauma. Our greatest generation survived the Depression, then fought the worst war in humanity’s history, then built the United States into the most successful nation that has ever existed. They didn’t accomplish any of that by being crystal eggshells that would shatter at the slightest provocation, they didn’t demand society change to protect their tender feelings. They simply dealt with the hardships of their past and moved on. Even my great uncle, the Korea Marine, never expected us to tiptoe around him. He wouldn’t talk about his experience, but he didn’t order us not to.
So again, fuck your trauma. If your past bothers you that much, get help. I honestly hope you come to terms with it. I hope you manage to move forward. I won’t say anything meant to dredge up bad memories, and don’t think anyone should intentionally try to harm your feelings.
But nobody, nobody, should censor themselves to protect you from your pathological, and pathologically stupid, sensitivities.
Chris Hernandez is a 20 year police officer, former Marine and currently serving National Guard soldier with over 25 years of military service. He is a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan and also served 18 months as a United Nations police officer in Kosovo. He writes for and Iron Mike magazine and has published two military fiction novels, Proof of Our Resolve and Line in the Valley, through Tactical16 Publishing. He can be reached at or on his Facebook page (
Quote of the Times;
“Depressive states are often creative attempts by the Self to drive us into deeper communication with our wholeness.”

Link of the Times;
A bedbug infestation has been found on New York City subway trains.

These days, a train might not be the only thing you'll catch.


"So," Jane asked the detective she had hired.

"Did you trail my husband?"

"Yes ma'am. I did. I followed him to a bar, to an out-of-the-way restaurant and then to an apartment."

A big smile crossed Jane's face. "Aha! I've got him!" she said gloating. "Is there any doubt what he was doing?"

"No ma'am." replied the sleuth, "It's pretty clear that he was following you."


I saw a book in the self-help section on how to boost my confidence.

I was afraid to buy it.


The lawyer says to the wealthy art collector tycoon: "I have some good news and, I have some bad news”.

The tycoon replies: "I’ve had an awful day, let's hear the good news first”.

The lawyer says: “Your wife invested $5,000 in two pictures today that she figures are worth a minimum of $2 million”.

The tycoon replies enthusiastically: “Well done, very good news indeed! You've just made my day; now what’s the bad news?”

The lawyer answers: “The pictures are of you screwing your secretary”.


I wish I were telepathic.

Not just to read people's minds, which would be cool.

But to cut down on my cellular phone bill.

Issue of the Times;
Why Are Some Countries Rich While Others Are Poor?

In A Farewell To Alms, economist Gregory Clark attempts to present the reasons for the industrial revolution taking place and why all of the world’s countries were not equally affected by it. Two hundred years after the industrial revolution, some countries see untold wealth while others are actually living worse off than before it took place. He looks into the economic answers to this problem. The book starts off by examining how life was for the common man before the industrial revolution (the Malthusian era). During this time, any increase in population would mean a direct decrease in living standards. This check prevented runaway population growth.
Any increase in birth rates in the Malthusian world drives down real incomes. Conversely anything which limits birth rates drives up real income . Since life expectancy at birth in the Malthusian era was just the inverse of the birth rate, as long as birth rates remained high, life expectancy had to be low. Preindustrial society could thus raise both material living standards and life expectancy by limiting births.
This Malthusian world thus exhibits a counterintuitive logic. Anything that raised the death rate schedule— war, disorder, disease, poor sanitary practices, or abandoning breast feeding— increased material living standards. Anything that reduced the death rate schedule —advances in medical technology, better personal hygiene, improved public sanitation, public provision for harvest failures, peace and order— reduced material living standards.
Technological advancement during the Malthusian era would result in more people, but not necessarily higher income for those people.
In the preindustrial world sporadic technological advance produced people, not wealth.
Since preindustrial living standards were determined solely by fertility and mortality, the only way living standards could be higher in 1800 would be if either mortality rates were greater at a given real income or fertility was lower.
More people can live on lower incomes than in the past, especially thanks to medical advances, so population explosions can co-exist with abject poverty. The income needed to merely survive today is much lower than in the past, so there is no “punishment” for having a lot of children even if you can’t afford it (the likelihood is high that they will all survive). In the past, only the rich could have many children, but now we’re seeing an inverse situation where poor people pop them out while rich people delay birth.
If the great majority of income was spent on food then there was also little surplus for producing “culture” in terms of buildings, clothing, objects, entertainments, and spectacles. As long as the Malthusian Trap dominated, the great priority of all societies was food production.
…between 10,000 BC and AD 1800, real living conditions probably declined with the arrival of settled agriculture because of the longer work hours of these societies. The Neolithic Revolution did not bring more leisure, it brought more work for no greater material reward.
To keep birth rates low and living standards high, many cultures invented various social customs that limited births—a sort of societal birth control. Modern medicinal birth control simply duplicates what was already going on in the Malthusian era, so attributing low birth rates to birth control or feminism, for example, fails to look into the complete history. Birth rates already declined greatly before the pill was introduced. Modern life introduced by the industrial revolution is argued to be the biggest contributor to birth decline.
Could the rich of the preindustrial world actually have wanted fewer children, but been unable to achieve that desire because of a lack of effective contraception? No. Figure 14.6 shows that most of the decline toward levels of gross fertility characteristic of modern developed economies had been accomplished in England (and indeed elsewhere in Europe) by the 1920s, long before modern condoms, hormonal contraceptive pills, legalized abortion, or vasectomies.
In these societies violence was a way of gaining more resources and hence more reproductive success. Thus Napoleon Chagnon, in a famous study of the warlike Yanomamo society, found that a major predictor of reproductive success was having killed someone. Male Yanomamo sired more children at a given age if they had murdered someone than if they had not.
…in the preindustrial era cities such as London were deadly places in which the population could not reproduce itself and had to be constantly replenished by rural migrants. Nearly 60 percent of London testators left no son. Thus the craft, merchant, legal, and administrative classes of London were constantly restocked by socially mobile recruits from the countryside.
The New World after the Neolithic Revolution offered economic success to a different kind of agent than had been typical in hunter -gatherer society: Those with patience, who could wait to enjoy greater consumption in the future. Those who liked to work long hours. And those who could perform formal calculations in a world of many types of inputs and outputs— of what crop to profitably produce, how many inputs to devote to it, what land to profitably invest in.
The industrial revolution completely changed how human societies live, with aftershocks that are still taking place today. The author tries to explain why this happened.
Around 1800, in northwestern Europe and North America, man’s long sojourn in the Malthusian world ended. The iron link between population and living standards, through which any increase in population caused an immediate decline in wages, was decisively broken. Between 1770 and 1860, for example, English population tripled. Yet real incomes, instead of plummeting, rose. A new era dawned.
The model reveals that there is one simple and decisive factor driving modern growth. Growth is generated overwhelmingly by investments in expanding the stock of production knowledge in societies.
Thus, despite all the complexities of economies since the Industrial Revolution, the persistent growth we have witnessed since 1800 can be the result of only two changes: more capital per worker and greater efficiency of the production process. At the proximate level all modern growth in income per person is that simple!
Enhanced production of knowledge capital, seemingly starting around 1800, generated great external benefits throughout the economy. This increased the measured efficiency of the economy, and with it the stock of physical and human capital. Thus the path to explaining the vital event in the economic history of the world, the Industrial Revolution, is clear. All we need explain is why in the millennia before 1800 there was in all societies—warlike, peaceful, monotheist, polytheist— such limited investment in the expansion of useful knowledge, and why this circumstance changed for the first time in Britain sometime around 1800. Then we will understand the history of mankind.
The British population tripled in 120 years but their farm output didn’t increase since land was limited, so they had to import food. To import food you need a product to export. In this case it was manufactured goods. Britain quickly became the workshop of the world.
The classic Industrial Revolution, with its reliance on coal and iron, was the first step toward an economy that relied less and less on current sustained production through plants and animals, and more on mining stores of energy and minerals.
In one word, the industrial revolution created massive wealth because of efficiency:
In a world where capital flowed easily between economies, capital itself responded to differences in country efficiency levels. Inefficient countries ended up with small capital stocks and efficient ones large amounts of capital. And efficiency differences explain almost all variations between countries in income levels.
Differences in efficiency could stem from discrepancies in access to the latest technologies, from economies of scale, or from failures to utilize imported technologies appropriately.
Poor economies since the Industrial Revolution have been characterized mainly by inefficiency in production. Their problem, however, was typically not in gaining access to new technologies. The problem, it turns out, was in using these new technologies effectively.
The book finally arrives to the money shot in answering why some countries are poor and some are rich: the rich countries have the greatest efficiency in maximizing output per worker based on the same inputs.
[Poor countries] were inefficient in the use of labor, not in the use of capital. Even though they were using the same machines as the high-wage economies, they employed many more workers per machine, without obtaining any additional output from the machines. Thus in ring spinning one worker in the northern United States tended 900 spindles, while one worker in China tended only 170. On plain looms a worker in the northern United States managed eight looms at a time, in China only one or two.
Poor countries used the same technology as rich ones. They achieved the same levels of output per unit of capital. But in doing so they employed so much more labor per machine that they lost most of the labor cost advantages with which they began.
Thus the crucial variable in explaining the success or failure of economies in the years 1800– 2000 is the efficiency of the production process within the economy. Inefficiencies in poor countries took a very specific form: the employment of extra production workers per machine without any corresponding gain in output per unit of capital.
So now you’re probably wondering why is the labor in Africa or Pakistan worse than the labor in Britain or America. In the past, “labor quality” was looked into as the reason, which to me seems like a politically correct euphemism for intelligence.
Although the disparities in performance across countries remained unchanged, the “labor quality” explanation disappeared from the economics literature after World War II. Most economists now attribute the poor performance of industry in underdeveloped economies not to labor problems but to a generalized failure by management to productively employ all the inputs in production— capital and raw materials as well as labor.
The nineteenth-century view blamed these on the quality of workers, whereas the twentieth-century view tried to say the problem lay in managerial failings. But since many western managers were exported to work in foreign countries, there is little evidence that the management theory explains the wide disparity in efficiency levels. So we have this amusing let down:
Regarding the underlying cause of the differences in labor quality, there is no satisfactory theory.
The difference in wealth between nations is due to efficiency, which the author gives compelling evidence for. The difference in efficiency can only be due to labor quality, but we have no academic answer as to why the labor is different.
Another interesting piece of knowledge you’ll learn here is that technological and knowledge decline has happened many times in human history where a society has simply lost a capability that the previous generations had. Don’t ever assume that progress happens on a straight upward line, and we can argue that today we’re seeing a cultural decline where collective progressive beliefs become further estranged from scientific reality.
One major complaint I have is that this book is dry and academic, meant for college students. It’s a good book to read before going to bed because it’ll put you to sleep, but at the same time it gives great information in explaining how the wealth of societies came about. The end was unsatisfying, as it will leave you with unanswered questions, but thankfully it answers a few along the way. If you were victim to an American public school education, you probably think that the industrial revolution happened solely because of the steam engine. This book will rid you of such a primitive notion.

Quote of the Times;
"Whenever we give up, leave behind, and forget too much, there is always the danger that the things we have neglected will return with added force." – Jung

Link of the Times;
If you ever get pulled over by a police officer and he says, "Where's the fire?" just say, "At my house!", then speed off.

But remember to call ahead and have someone start a fire at your house, or you'll end up in mighty big trouble.


Britain's Prince George is said to be walking.

In no time at all, he'll be talking and will no longer have to walk. Just say, "Would you get me... "


OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea – US Air Force Tech. Sgt. William Kilgore “loves the smell of toner in the morning.”
Kilgore, assigned to the 51st Fighter Wing’s Logistics Readiness Squadron, is regarded by colleagues and superiors alike as a “reckless desk jockey,” often completing his assigned tasks at the expense of hundreds of toner cartridges.
According to Senior Airman Charles “Chef” Yates, the “brash, eccentric office cowboy” puts on several pots of coffee each day, precisely at 0745, 1045 and 1415, all the while humming “Ride of the Valkyries.”
Sources also disclosed that the operatic anthem underscores Kilgore’s daily bowel movement at 0910.
“I thought [Kilgore] was a little odd when he cornered me and asked if I liked to web surf,” said Yates. “I knew he was bat-shit insane when he kicked over his chair at the last Cyber Awareness Training brief and shouted, ‘You can either web surf, or you can fight!’ before charging out, yelling, ‘To the Keurig!’”
Kilgore, who has bumper stickers that say “We Are the ADMINfantry!” and “Charlie Don’t Collate” prominently displayed on his desk, claims to have engaged tens of thousands of reports, memoranda, and FOUO documents at the office’s Xerox WorkCentre 3615/DN. He also claims he can “field strip” and reassemble the machine blindfolded in under seven minutes.
“How many copies have I made? There were those six thousand that I know about for sure,” he said.


Nick Cannon and Mariah Carey are headed for divorce.

Mariah is now free to do what she's already been doing.


Grandpa was celebrating his 100th birthday and everybody complimented him on how athletic and well-preserved he appeared.

"Gentlemen, I will tell you the secret of my success," he cackled. "I have been in the open air day after day for some 75 years now."

The celebrants were impressed and asked how he managed to keep up his rigorous fitness regime.

"Well, you see my wife and I were married 75 years ago. On our wedding night, we made a solemn pledge. Whenever we had a fight, the one who was proved wrong would go outside and take a walk."

Issue of the Times;
Obama’s Next Useless Subsidy by James E. Miller

As if the country weren’t full of enough petulant, overgrown children.

President Obama’s new proposal to offer “free” community college for two years to anyone “willing to work for it” is more of the same trite welfare nonsense that further belittles an already feeble nation. The president’s plan comes at the opening of a new Congress where Republicans are, at last, in charge. It’s not that Mitch McConnell and John Boehner will pass anything that actually shrinks the size of D.C. The most any cynical conservative person can hope for is that they’ll stop the worst of the executive overreach and act as a bulwark against harebrained progressive schemes. And there is nothing more asinine than the government picking up the tab for community college. The president’s “free college” proposal requires congressional authorization, which means it hopefully will get the thumbs down from Republicans. But since the party of Lincoln is so laughably inept at preventing the government’s growth, there is a slight chance the proposal could become law. Should government-provided college become the norm in America (more so than it already is), it may well corrode the sliver of self-responsibility still left in the country’s young adult population.

Obama’s proposal contains the loaded term “free,” so right away the plan comes off as a costless way to help out high school graduates. The government has already socialized the handling of student loans. Surely, it can’t be a huge jump to provide “free” tuition for the lowest rung on the university ladder. But nothing that comes out of the Mordor that is the District is actually free. Obama’s plan will cost an estimated $60 billion. Admittedly, that’s a drop in the bucket compared to the $18 trillion in national debt. Even so, you don’t dig yourself out of a financial hole by promising to extend credit to give away more freebies. For the left, fiscal responsibility is one of those archaic ideas that has its roots in white, oppressive patriarchy.

The problems with the president’s new social scheme don’t end with the price tag. The “free college” initiative is being marketed as a benefit to the middle class when, in reality, it’s aimed at the worst performers in school. Anyone bright enough to pass high school can find a way to have college paid for, either through loans or scholarships. Reihan Salam of National Review points out that community college is virtually free already for the low and middle classes. Using statistics from College Board, he writes that in the 2011-2012 school year, “net tuition and fees were $0 for students from households earning $60,000 or less while it was $2,051 for students from households earning over $106,000.” If the president’s plan becomes law, it won’t exactly lift the middle class to new and unimaginable heights.

Uselessness aside, I suspect there is something greater behind Obama’s push for more universal education. Given the current low price of community college tuition, the program is demonstrably aimed at pleasing the sensibilities of liberal voters. Obama-backers won’t receive any support through the program, but they will feel good about generating one more form of welfare. As George Mason University economist Tyler Cowen estimates, the marginal impact of free community college will be minimal at most. Once again, the possible success rate of a government program is overestimated, which is a disservice to the public.
As immature and illiberal as college curricula already are, the idea of sending more impressionable youths to any form of university is idiotic. The state of higher education in America is in dire straits. The traditions that have long defined a well-rounded education have been eroded over the last few decades, with more and more emphasis placed on accumulating high marks and resume boosters. Stanford scholar Franco Moretti recently proposed a radical emphasis on “quantitative reading” by colleges, to replace actual absorption of classic texts. Contemplation on normative and moral goals is being replaced with a pseudoscientific push to turn human beings into cold, calculating machines.

The Obama Administration is already emphasizing that students will receive funding only if they attend schools that either provide transferable credit or job training. I’ve never understood why conservatives and liberals put strong emphasis on college leading to employment. Job training doesn’t require a bachelor’s degree; it requires discipline and sticking with employment no matter how crummy. You can learn persistence by getting a job right out of high school. Today’s top universities are no longer churning out thoughtful graduates who go into adult life with a worldly view on things. They are spitting out overachievers who are so afraid of failure they can barely function in normal life. Recently in New Republic, former Yale professor William Deresiewicz documented the alarming trend of college graduates who have zero skills at coping with life’s twists and turns. Current undergraduates show severely low levels of emotional well-being. They, Deresiewicz said, possess “toxic levels of fear, anxiety, and depression, of emptiness and aimlessness and isolation.” If the top universities in the country are producing graduates with the maturity level of a middle school geek, how in the world is universal community college going to help America’s competitiveness?

By and large, contemporary higher ed is a rip-off. I graduated from a state university in 2011 with a bunch of mediocre, C-average kids who skated through school. Before that, I blazed through community college, paying most of my way by working at a local theme park. Both required little intellectual dexterity. I learned early on that you only need to show up to every class to virtually guarantee a passing grade. Anyone with 8th-grade writing skills can graduate base level university if they remember to set their alarm after coming home from a frat party.
Anyone who thinks the key to American prosperity is more college graduates ought to have their own university degree revoked. We don’t need more bachelor’s degrees. We need fewer special snowflakes that drift through school and fall apart in the real world. We need young adults that know both success and failure, joy and heartbreak; who can struggle on when times are hard. No university can teach students to be grateful for the privileged lives they lead. Places of learning can only provide the foundation to better understand the highs and lows that come with being a person. And they are far from the only place that can serve as that conduit.

In between fake rape accusations and speech suppression, universities are no longer places of learning. They are a means to put off being an adult for four years while pissing away work experience on an increasingly worthless piece of paper. They swaddle young folks in a cocoon of politically-correct warm feelings. When these students emerge into the cutthroat job environment, the safety blanket that protected them from “trigger warnings” and offensive material will be gone. All that’s left will be the raw, uncaring world which college failed to prepare them for.

And President Obama wants to create more of these sorry people?

Quote of the Times;
"I have come to realize that my theories explain the degeneration of a great civilization; they do not prevent it. I set out to be a reformer, but only became the historian of decline." - von Mises

Link of the Times;
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