Archive for March, 2012
The s**tstorm continues! More details have come out on the case:
-Over one week since the Black Panthers offered a bounty on an American citizen publicly, the Department of Justice has not responded.
-Zimmerman fired only 1 round during the encounter, hitting Martin in the chest.
-The gun did not actually cycle the round. The Keltec PF-9 pistol does not do this when functioning normally. It seems very likely that something obstructed the slide from cycling to cause this. As most shooting instructors will tell you, this phenomenon can and does occur during a physical altercation when a victim or police officer is attempting to use a firearm while being physically assaulted.
-Martin had powderburns on his body consistent with a “contact” shot, where the muzzle discharged in VERY close proximity to the body.
-Save for the gunshot wound, there was no other wound on Martin, where Zimmerman had several wounds and lacerations.
-At least one witness was able to perfectly recall what the two men were wearing that night, and stated the Trayvon Martin was on top of Zimmerman striking him when the shot took place.
-Zimmerman was not pursuing Martin, he was apparently trying to get a bearing on Martin’s location to direct the proper authorities to him.
the rebel base on hoth reality
- For one they are now shifting the debate to “gun control” (Also known as: Laws that affect law abiding citizens who do not commit murders with illegally obtained weapons, while having little to no effect on criminals who do not follow laws, under the platitude “it helps”).
-Hank “Guam-Tipper” Johnson is back on TV.
-The media, that now has egg on its face for the hasty rush to judgement, has pulled a trump card out! There is a grainy video tape showing that Zimmerman is in fact not bleeding from the nose! (When he is brought into the Police station after having been treated by EMTs at the scene earlier).
Now I have a few questions on my mind, don’t Google these, ask yourself these questions right now with what you know:
1) Don’t police wait until EMTs have treated people at the scene before booking them, due to blood contaminant concerns?
2) Wasn’t Zimmerman so treated at the scene by EMTs, so if his face looked like a bloody mess in the video tape it means the EMTs either screwed up?
3) Do all broken noses bleed? Can the experts in the media state this with CERTAINTY? Isn’t it a fact that many broken noses are discovered to be so the day after the event has occurred?
4) “Zimmerman seems to be walking fine”, question: When pumped up with adrenalin don’t people often report not feeling injuries to their full extent? Does not a fight ending with a shooting sound like something that would get one’s adrenalin going?
5) Exactly how much time passed between the booking video and the incident in question? Would this have given Zimmerman time to simmer down or heal enough to walk without looking like a Jimmy from South Park?
I smell a whole lot of “wait.. I’m not sure” answers to some of those questions. No matter, it hasn’t stopped the “socially aware” from galavanting off onto Facebook armed with a renewed sense of outrage . See they would have you believe that their “overwhelming evidence” of a few seconds of grainy video tape and a very shallow knowledge of first-responder procedure and injury appearances – is more than sufficient for them to substitute their version of the truth in place of actual eyewitness accounts present at the scene, including police officers who have likely seen similar injuries during their service.
This meme that Zimmerman was a vigilante that “Took the law into his own hands” is disgusting. See in about 48 states in the union you’re allowed to carry a gun to defend yourself, I would call the right to defend yourself a basic human right. We’ve been able to do this since we were cavemen, (as opposed to the entitlements that some believe are “basic human rights”). Some say that “Even if Trayvon ‘Slimm’ Martin was in fact ground and pounding Zimmerman with fists, this isn’t a good enough reason to shoot him”.
I ask this: If Zimmerman was a smaller statured woman, would you say the same thing? I’d venture to say no. Believe it or not, people can AND DO die from being struck in the head with a fist or having their head bounced on pavement, especially if this is being done repeatedly. Some victims of similar beatings (if they survived of course) have dealt with awful migraines for decades. Tell me, how is this functionally different from receiving a survivable knife wound?
“Well what kind of message does this case send if he isn’t guilty!” That if someone is on top of you beating the daylights out of you, you must:
1) Be a semi pro MMAer and respond with hand to hand combat to make it “fair”, assuming your assailant is not physically superior, and that your ability to defend yourself is compromised as you’re dizzy due to say, having your head bounced on pavement or being suddenly struck in the face.
2) Determine whether or not your assailant is “just a kid” or an “honor student” during the encounter. It will not lessen their blows, but it will earn you pseudo-morality points, if you survive. These pseudo-morality points that are not redeemable by you or your family members to get your life or motor functions back.
3) If you cannot “fight fair” when you fight back versus your single or multiple assailants, you simply take the beating and hope that you aren’t permanently hurt, raped, killed, or left to die at the scene.
4) You must assume they do not intend to do anything other than savagely beat you, if they do* attempt/succeed in something worse than this, “oh well.” Your injury or death is actually preferable to the act of you defending yourself, it has a higher pseudo-morality point value.
5) Pray your rhetorical skills convince your assailant(s) to “see the error of his/her ways” and stop.
6) Cry and beg until police arrive, whenever that is.
Sound’s like OSHA for violent criminals right?
Speculation and prediction: I think the
media State of Florida will charge Zimmerman and make him go to trial to appease the angry mob (who is looting candy stores (that’s a crime FYI) and doing other childish things in “protest”), and then find Zimmerman innocent to the outrage of the mob due to lack of evidence that this was a murder, and overwhelming incidents + actual eyewitness testimony that shows otherwise. It will be witch hunt that ends up being a waste of tax payer dollars to appease a mob. The media will be outraged, as will Sharpton, as will some netizens.
The parents of a Florida boy are experiencing something that frightens most who have children: the prospect of burying their child. This is a case that’s gone very public. I’ve watched my Facebook blow up with people loudly proclaiming Zimmerman, the shooter of Trayvon, to be a murderer. Using the Facebook posts and insinuations by talking heads, let me piece together what the initial truth looked like:
Zimmerman (heavyset white racist redneck) saw Trayvon Martin, puppyfaced honor roll student, walking down the street with skittles in his hand. He called 9-11 on this kid, for no reason, because people do this. The 9-11 dispatcher said, “no don’t do anything, police are en route.” Zimmerman walks over to Trayvon Martin and shoots him dead. The police win the “Officer Barbrady” award for saying, “nothing to do here”
Information comes out about Zimmerman that seems to paint him as a loose cannon. Pictures of Trayvon as an 11year old are shown. The media jumps on this. Obama made a speech as he did with that “The uhhhh, Cambridge police acted stupidly” situation. I saw things on my Facebook showcasing Michael Vick vs Zimmerman, more or less implying Michael Vick went to jail for being black.
Because as we all know, Michael Vick must have been wrongly convicted, nor did he actually do anything wrong. He only more or less ran a dog fighting ring at his house. We also know for a fact that Zimmerman is a murderer. Zimmerman’s trial is unnecessary, because only un-uniformed Al Queda terrorists caught on a battlefield shooting at American soldiers overseas in a warzone should get the benefit of a trial.
Well, more details have come out, including from witnesses actually at the scene.
-Witnesses say that the screaming heard on the 9-11 tape is from Zimmerman, who was being beat up by Martin.
-Zimmerman was apparently walking back to his SUV when he was attacked by Trayvon Martin, who pursued him and tackled him. Trayvon “Slimm” Martin (as labeled on his Facebook page) struck Zimmerman in the face, and slammed his head into the sidewalk, leaving him bloodied and battered- according to law enforcement.
“I could observe his back appeared to be wet and was covered in grass, as if he had been laying on his back on the ground,” the officer wrote. “Zimmerman was also bleeding from the nose and back of his head.”
-Zimmerman was more or less a “Self appointed” neighborhood watchman, in his gated community where there were a string of recent robberies. People in the community were on the look out for suspicious individuals.
-Zimmerman had never seen Trayvon Martin, who was walking through the gated community after hours with a hood over his face.
More on our “racist” Zimmerman:
-Zimmerman is a registered Democrat (looks like he can’t be a racist Republican/TeaPartier)
-Turns out he tutors young underprivileged black children on weekends, on his own time. This must be because he’s SO racist he’s trying to avoid looking racist.
-Zimmerman is in fact hispanic. For those who were assured only caucasian whites were capable of racism, this complicates things.
-Zimmerman does have a diverse group of friends in terms of their ethnic make up.
Here’s what else has occurred:
-The Black Panther Party has put a bounty on the head of Zimmerman, dead or alive. This is illegal and outrageous.
-Spike Lee tweeted the address of Zimmerman, it may not have anything to do with the above mentioned point. Turns out it wasn’t Zimmerman’s address. I hope the homeowners (Who turn out to be an older couple), are able to lawyer up and protect themselves.
-People are blaming this on “Florida’s shoot to kill law”. Note: They have not looked at how this law has affected crime (pro or con), they have not talked about whether or not it’s the will of the Floridians. Instead, those who will often tell you proudly that their political ideology is the one of empiricism, science, “reason”, understanding, open-mindedness, hugs and unicorns, et al – are now saying this law is the problem given the overwhelming evidence of this singular event, one in which they apparently are 100% sure of what has occurred.
-The media and outraged TV watchers have demanded for the resignations in the local Police. We do not know if in fact the officers that handled this are in fact the best (or worst) officers in the entire nation. Technically speaking, they could be among the best officers in the entire state. We do not know this. However, given media reports of an incident that has not yet gone to trial, this is sufficient to ask for resignations.
-Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are publicly doing whatever it is that they do.
-Sabrina Fulton (Trayvon’s mother) is seeking marks for the phrases “I Am Trayvon” and “Justice for Trayvon,” according to filings made last week with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. In both instances, Fulton is seeking the trademarks for use on “Digital materials, namely, CDs and DVDs featuring Trayvon Martin,” and other products. http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/trayvon-martin-trademarks-769123
-I’m leaving out “details” on Trayvon Martin’s school record, but apparently there are things in it that make people question the honor-student-angel narrative.
Here’s my take, given the “evidence” we have now, in this case that has not yet been tried.
-Zimmerman should not have pursued Martin. He should have let it go. Martin’s problem was being in the wrong place at the wrong time in the wrong garment. Those things are not crimes. It’s a tragedy that he’s dead now. But it’s too late for that. For a great % of this encounter, he did nothing wrong, and Zimmerman, in retrospect, was being stupid. That night should have ended with two people scratching their heads, one guy feeling like an idiot for being jumpy, the other enjoying his skittles.
- Trayvon Martin was not shot for being black. Trayvon “Slimm” Martin was shot because he, apparently, assaulted Zimmerman. He should not have tackled Zimmerman while he was heading back for his car. He should not have repeatedly struck him despite Zimmerman’s shouting for him to stop. He should not have slammed Zimmerman’s head into the ground. Zimmerman shot him, in what most other scenarios that wouldn’t even get local media attention. “Person A beating the daylights out of Person B, Person B shoots them after having their head slammed into the ground” is a “Good shoot” in most states (And by most states I mean 40+).
-The media needs to disengage their “Ralph Nader Crusader” mode. Some are blaming this on Florida’s stand your ground law. Even if this turns out to be a murder (after this case actually goes to court), this law would not apply. See, driving a car at 65MPH is legal, when doing so on a highway in a lawful manner. Driving a car off the road at 65MPH into a crowd of pedestrians is murder. Instead of doing actual research on this law and seeing if has curbed crime in the state, instead of actually asking the question, “maybe people shouldn’t have to flee criminals who would do them ill will”, the media has blamed this “crazy law” for what had occurred. That’s absurd, a knee jerk reactionary judgement made on next to no evidence, based on a case that has not even gone to trial yet. Laws like these exist all over the nation, and it has not turned the nation into the wild west. The talking heads need to stay in their lane on this one. Intellectuals love to state that “people are stupid in groups”- those calling for draconian gun restrictions in the face of what may, for all we know, be a legitimate self defense shooting, is a case study in this.
-On the race related conversation some want to have: If your religious beliefs include ‘political correctness’, you won’t like this. Apparently even a cursory look at statistics shows that Black on Black violence rates and Black on White violence rates are staggeringly higher than White on Black violence. My belief is: all of this violent crime is a problem! - regardless of what that person’s race is. When a violent crime victim does not return home to friends and family, it is a tragedy no matter what their race is, no matter what their job is, no matter what their religious beliefs or sexual orientation is. I don’t think the most important conversation here is one race on another’s violence, it’s violence as a whole.
The badger also:
-Chases a cobra up a tree
-Takes a freshly killed mouse from a venomous snake and eats it
-Then decides it wants to eat the snake
-Receives a bite from the snake and passes out
-It wakes up and finishes eating the snake.
-To reiterate: Takes what it wants.
Bad ass right? I believe it’s the Stone Cold Steve Austin of the animal kingdom. Stuns the world champion, pins him, wins the belt- then stuns the referee for good measure. Stuns Vince McMahon, does that thing where he yells at him on the ground. Gets up on the ring post and flips off little kids in the front row, and showers everyone with beer. Good times.
Some think the honey badger is like the Kim Kardashian of the animal kingdom. Initially famous for a shocking video tape, and now famous for being famous despite not having the talent of other animals. Regardless, while tough, I don’t think the honey badger is the heavy weight champ of the animal kingdom… Know who is?
(original image available here: http://www.flickriver.com/photos/barryzees/3570765210/)
1) The honey badger has theatrics, but the bengal tiger has metrics.
The honey badger, at 30lbs- is tough for sure, but never mistake enthusiasm for ability. If you had an animal combine the way we do for NFL scouts? The tiger would be shattering records and embarrassing the other scouts.
-Bengal tigers have a standing long jump of 10 meters
-They can run at 40mph. They ain’t no cheetahs either, tigers are BIG cats
-Strong enough to swim with prey
- The average weight of a male bengal tiger is around 500lbs.
- They’re about 10 feet long.
-Paws are positively enormous
-They will and have hunted bears (via ambush)
You cannot overlook this stuff. Physically the honey badger has no business trying to fight in the tiger’s division. Yes, it’s aggressive, but I’m sure most house cats will vouch for the fact that their chew toys seemed aggressive- before they ripped them in two and pulled the stuffing out of course.
2) It’s stealthy, too.
It’s clear that tigers are absolute powerhouses and tremendous athletes. Even if the tiger were not a mostly silent predator, a non-skilled hunter that would use only use frontal attacks? It would still be a terrifying animal on its power and speed alone. But the reality is they’re incredibly stealthy. They will stalk their prey for quite some time, then blind side it and overwhelm it.
From a design standpoint? Image this: You assemble a panel to design the ultimate warrior on the battlefield for ancient times. The panel would have concluded: “It should have the speed of someone unarmored while being armored, the strength and toughness of a barbarian, the skill of a knight, but the quickness and stealth aspects of a ninja.” The tiger is mother nature’s answer. To say it’s like a ninja the size of an NBA player carrying around William Wallace’s 5-6ft tall claymore sword would be a fair comparison.
3) The lion, the “king of the jungle”- goes second in the draft behind the tiger.
Lions are big cats, pretty fast, good predators, good scrappers, capable of bringing down large prey, but still second place. Why so? Tigers are bigger, faster, stronger, have a more interesting range of prey (including bears), you name it. In a fight, lion vs a tiger?
“Owner of Londolozi Reserve in South Africa, John Varty cited “People always ask me which one is bigger? If a tiger and a lion had a fight, which one would win? Well, I’ve seen tigers crunch up a full-grown leopard tortoise like it was nothing. And lions try, but they just don’t get it right. If there’s a fight, the tiger will win, every time.” “
There have been several recorded incidents of lions and tigers fighting in captivity due to accidents. From my own short research, it looks like the tiger’s mostly undefeated. In the wild though, this battle would be different – with some animal experts stating, “It would be a pack of lions roaring at the single tiger to retreat.”
4) Tigers are gentleman
Those who study tigers are constantly perplexed by their behavior. For one, they’ve found that even though tigers are very territorial, male tigers will often let the loser of their dominance battles also inhabit the same territory range as long as it doesn’t bother the original tiger. (Note: this includes mating rights with females). These dominance battles usually take place through intimidation and noise, not going to fists. They would rather talk things out before fighting! The conversation might look something like this: ”Alright, you can crash on my couch for a bit- but don’t look at my girlfriend when she comes over, and don’t eat the food labelled for me in the fridge.”
Further, “In contrast to male lions, male tigers will allow the females and cubs to feed on the kill first”. It’s not uncommon for tigers to share kills with other unknown tigers.
Tigers can truly do whatever they want, in ways that disrespectful little weasel the honey badger could only imagine. They don’t have to be conciliatory or fair, but they are often both. Everyone loves a champion that’s a respectable person off the field- The tiger is exactly that. If it had the time and a checking account? The damn things would likely even open a “Alpha Male Bengal Tiger center for cubs who can’t read good- and who want to learn how to do other things” school.
5) Their prey
Tigers have an awesome menu to choose from. It includes all kinds of deer, boar, water buffalo; little things like porcupine, bunnies, peafowl, and cows when humans build farms too close to their territory. Interesting of note is the fact that wolves really try to avoid tiger ranges. Farmers and hunters are told to avoid taking tigers if they wish to control the wolf population. In that respect, are tigers like the United States in the cold war, a huge deterrent force? I’ll let you decide…
..but the answer is yes.
“Bengal tigers have been known to take other predators, such as leopards, wolves, jackals, foxes, crocodiles, Asiatic black bears, sloth bears, and dholes as prey, although these predators are not typically a part of their diet. Adult elephants and rhinoceroses are too large to be successfully tackled by tigers, but such extraordinarily rare events have been recorded. The Indian hunter and naturalist Jim Corbett described an incident in which two tigers fought and killed a large bull elephant. If injured, old or weak, or their normal prey is becoming scarce, they may even attack humans and become man-eaters. ”
When your prey list looks like a who’s-who of tough guy animals? You’re something special. Something I find amusing… Their retirement plan is to eat humans, the thing at the top of the food chain.
6) They can win via submission or strikes
Many animals are stuck hunting a narrow set of prey, with only a few tools. Tigers don’t have that limitation. When they fight or kill large prey, they prefer to ambush the prey and go for the neck or spinal column. This is true for bears. For the most part they do not prefer to go up against a bear in a frontal attack. Submission and ground and pound keeps the tiger out of trouble – they’re smart to use this when they can. However, for other prey they will not stray from more or less beating and clawing/striking it into little meat cubes. With teeth, claws, and that kind of strength? They can destroy most things in a frontal confrontation.
7) Female tigers: They have their s**t straight.
Female lions have no problems providing for their freeloading boyfriends/husbands who sit around all day trying to look pretty. (In fact some studies on lions showed that that female preferred their males to have larger darker manes, and that this was a very serious factor in picking a mate.) While female lions concern themselves with silly things like hair, female tigers are much more results oriented. Also, female tigers usually establish territory close to their mother’s. They play things safe and don’t try to bring home bad guys they think they can fix. They hold their men to a high standard, making sure the ones allowed to stay are the kind that pay for dinner; and they are not dependent on male tigers (some refusing to let one near their cubs). Interesting story of note:
“A dominant tigress they called Padmini killed a 250 kg (550 lb) male nilgai – a very large antelope. They found her at the kill just after dawn with her three 14-month-old cubs and they watched uninterrupted for the next ten hours. During this period the family was joined by two adult females and one adult male – all offspring from Padmini’s previous litters and by two unrelated tigers, one female the other unidentified. By three o’clock there were no fewer than nine tigers round the kill.“
Have a grandma who cooks like a champ? This is apparently a feature of tiger society too.
I hope you found this article fun and interesting! I plan to a do a few more like it. Next week we will be meeting the super heavyweight champion.
No more commentary is necessary, enjoy the clip!
With so many divergent ideas on China, I have one to add to the pile. One I believe is quite plausible if not probable: China will collapse on itself, and sooner rather than later. Gordon Chang wrote an article about it that you can read here: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/12/29/the_coming_collapse_of_china_2012_edition
He also wrote a book or two about the same topic. Is he a “doomer”? Possibly, but I personally believe what he has to say.
What’s in the article that you the reader would prefer not to have to sift through?
1) China has turned its back on the policies foremostly responsible for their economic growth, and reverting to the ones that were in fact the weights on their feet. (For example: ditching the working parts of communism, opening it up for foreign investment, etc.)
2) They’re defaulting to big government strong arming to solve their unrest problems, including mass censorship and heavy handed police tactics.
3) One of the reasons they were successful in the last decade: They were not playing by the rules of the WTO that they agreed to follow when they joined in 2001. The Euros would not hold them accountable for protectionism.
4) They had a bulge in the work force that is starting to age. They’re out of people to move to cities and work in factories. Wages are also rising, hurting their competitiveness. I’m not sure even their pegged currency can save them from that.
5) The world’s economic market conditions have changed for the worst for them – as countries begin to take hard looks at measures to improve their import/export ratios, reforms that would hurt China.
6) The first world’s economic engine troubles the past few years have also hurt China.
7) Their government is more or less a room of 9 guys calling the shots for over 1 Billion people.
8) They’re currently planting the seeds for future trouble too. Picking winners and losers, nationalization, harassing the “Winners” (like Google), etc. They’ve been doing this since 08.
9) The economic indicators point to trouble there, money/investors are leaving, all this despite their own stimulus spending. Kinda funny, we did borrow money from them. It’s like taking money from a loan shark to pay for our coke problem- and finding out the loan shark also has their own coke problem.
Let me leave you with his closing notes:
“And as for the existence of an opposition, the Soviet Union fell without much of one. In our substantially more volatile age, the Chinese government could dissolve like the autocracies in Tunisia and Egypt. As evident in this month’s “open revolt” in the village of Wukan in Guangdong province, people can organize themselves quickly — as they have so many times since the end of the 1980s. In any event, a well-oiled machine is no longer needed to bring down a regime in this age of leaderless revolution.
Not long ago, everything was going well for the mandarins in Beijing. Now, nothing is. So, yes, my prediction was wrong. Instead of 2011, the mighty Communist Party of China will fall in 2012. Bet on it.”
Truth be told, I feel bad for the people of China. They’re just like anyone else, trying to make a living for themselves, with a desire to make things better for the next generation. It appears central planners made dumb policy decisions, and now they may suffer because of it.
A friend then commented: “Know what’s sad? I’m willing to bet the History Channel’s profits are up because of the “Hurr” programming too. Show quality and profits should be positivly quarelated. Not inverse of each other!”
Part of me agrees, after all it’s a very agreeable statement. Lots of people comment on the fact that there’s a whole lot of “Toilet Television” on these days. But the bad news is: It’s our fault. The history channel is not a public service, it has to turn a profit for its share holders, employees, etc. The profit mechanism is also* a punishment mechanism. The day we don’t want garbage TV on the tube anymore, we will collectively stop watching. If not and it’s just a handful… if everyone else is watching, then is it really garbage TV? How do we define the idea anyway?
“Well Captain Obvious, I think there’s a market for more uplifting television. But it would be a herculean task. Most companies wouldn’t like the risk so they wouldn’t try it. You’d need someone with big name recognition and a lot of money. Someone with experience in broadcasting, one that can bring in huge ratings. Crap it might even take like a TV God! Lol” Someone agreed with you…
Oprah is pretty much every one of those things. When she set out to start her own network, having a positive message in her programming was one of her main ideals. Didn’t work. At last I heard the ratings were awful. If Oprah can’t work the concept, it’s probably very hard to do!
Then again, what does reward virtue?
I’ve been repeatedly assured by netizens (internet people) that there is no all powerful creator being watching us, so you can count him/her/it out. (Humorous note: Many of those same people will then talk about astrology as if it were a hard science without missing a breath). Most people would agree that society does a piss poor job of rewarding virtue. Economic systems don’t, regardless of what “ism” it was assigned. Nothing really does. This problem is as old as dirt.
The inventor of the wheel likely received less attention and notoriety than the best grunter/singer of his time. (Though I’ve heard Ugh-Brown actually kept his hands to himself, a trendsetter amongst the cave people). Click-clack, the hottest girl in his clan likely also received more attention. For all we know she invented knee high deer stocking boots at the same time. To think, she wasn’t even the most attractive girl in the world at the time, and that was a very small pool! This is a trend that continues today. Somewhere there’s a man or woman that posted professionally taken photos of themselves that was more viewed, shared, “liked”, commented on and cared about than the statuses of people talking about other more pressing matters. This is par for the course! Remember when Steve Jobs died? Of course you do. Remember when Dennis Ritchie died? “Dennis who?” Let me show you something I ran across a little while back:
Welcome to life guys. Everywhere and every day the injustices of improperly appropriating time and attention occur. In many respects it isn’t fair, and it never has been. It never will be, and garbage TV is a symptom.
“Captain obvious, I have a pretty good life. I have the gift of good health, I have a family that loves me, I have friends that are there for me, but this isn’t good enough. I want to drive my life’s car straight into the ditch of fail. What can I do?”
Well, you’re in luck! See I spend a lot of time talking to older folks, and you can boil down some of life’s biggest fails into six things.
1) Ignore the obvious.
Sometimes life gives us warning signs, it’s up to us to see them! If your cast of friends that has habits, hobbies, and choices like yours – is constantly running into problems with the law? This is a sign. If your spouse is being abusive (physically or verbally) and you find yourself constantly crying to friends and family about it? This is a sign. If you’re constantly broke because you’re paying for, say, a pogs collection- and you don’t have money for essentials? This is a sign.
Pain without knowledge is fruitless! Remember: If your goal is failing, if things hurt or seem very difficult, you’re on the right track. Life’s hiccups hurt because we’re supposed to learn from them, failure is supposed to be the same way. See, when winners fail they reexamine the situation, change things around, and try again – or give up on a lost cause. But notice that operative word: Winners. Reexamination is for winners. If your goal is ruining your life? Keep putting your hand in the waffle iron!
2) Become an addict.
Whitney Houston. Michael Jackson. Heath Ledger. John Belushi. Chris Farley. Kurt Cobain. Mitch Hedberg.
Rich. Famous. Talented. Loved by Millions. They’re all gone now. If you want a pretty good path to screwing up your life, get on that track and stay on it. One can screw up their life royally and not die- while many drug addicts are still alive, they’re plenty screwed up. Bonus: It makes the lives of loved ones harder too.
Some addicts eventually go to rehab and get clean, and go on to live normal and happy lives. But if you’re hellbent on ruining your life? Rehab is for suckers! (See: Reexamination is for winners)
3) Get in a relationship with a loser
It worked for Whitney Houston, and it’s worked for millions! Being with the wrong person can make your life absolutely miserable, it can stay that way for a long time even after the break up. I was talking to an older friend of mine; a good friend of his from high school recently got a divorce. The marriage was miserable but he tried to stick it out, now he’s broken emotionally – and also will be so financially soon. (I’m sure the women’s studies major types that aren’t reading this blog are butt hurt that I didn’t mention that men can be bad too. That’s right, I didn’t, because that’s a non-point that’s so obvious that it goes without saying, hence the phrase. Everyone knows men and women can be equally as good OR EVIL, that’s what equality is all about.)
If you dump an ex, and every one of your friends is ecstatic that you’ve left them behind, getting back together with them is a sure bet to make your life more difficult until you get tired of the BS.
4) Never ask questions
Asking questions is a great way to learn, and learning is for successful people! Failure to learn is a good way to stay in the same place stagnating. Why ask questions when you can proudly tell professionals/the experienced how to do their job? Who needs actual knowledge or experience anyway? Remember: Try to figure out everything yourself. “Pride goes before destruction” is a warning for some, but it can be a very effective blue print making your life harder than it needs to be if that’s your goal.
5) Envy others, hate yourself
“You never catch the dragon.” People who envy others and believe that if they do this one thing or get XYZ, they’ll be fine? Seldom end up feeling fine even if they get it. If you want your life to feel more stressful than it needs to be, sit around thinking all day about what you don’t have. Think about how unfair it is that others were born with more of this or that, and never let it go. It’s no one’s fault you were born in the circumstances you were (good or bad), or that others were given certain advantages or disadvantages (that they may have later conquered to become successful) – but this doesn’t prevent you from holding on to it.
The reality is that people living in the civilized modern world in the year 2012 have it better than a very large percentage of the people living on the planet *right now*. If you’re reading this from a high speed internet connection, you have more freedoms and a greater availability of goods/services than a solid 99% of the people who have walked the Earth during its history! But don’t let this get your spirits up, think of everything in terms of who has what, who is “privileged” by whatever metric you chose to focus all your attention to, and all other manner of envy breeding garbage.
6) Constantly look for magic bullets
People sometimes have moments where they realize they have a problem- say you have such a moment, but you don’t want to break your commitment to your mission to steer your life into the ditch. What do you do, is it over? Are you resigned to reforming your life and getting more of what you want out of it? You’re in luck… all is not gained… Begin the pursuit of magic bullets. Why use a comprehensive fix that’s guaranteed to work, when you can search for band aids? Hard work and dedication is for winners, quick fixes are for people in denial that don’t want results. Magic bullets come in many forms, try as many as you can find, and make up new ones as you go along!
Well, maybe ruining my life is not for me, what can I do?
First off, avoid the above mentioned steps to making life difficult.
Next, follow these basic guidelines:
1) Don’t get in trouble with the law
2) Don’t take on dumb debt. Nothing is free in this world- you pay for it later, or end up asking others to do it for you.
3) Recent studies have shown that intercourse may lead to pregnancy (in the state of California), treat it seriously if you do not want to have children right now.
4) Don’t get the herp
5) Don’t start abusing drugs/alcohol
6) Obey the one commandment! This one is real simple, a real good rule of thumb.
“Don’t go stupid places, and do stupid things, with stupid people.” If you’re hanging out in a parking lot frequently monitored by police, and doing drugs with a bunch of people that have criminal records? You’ve checked off all 3 boxes. This rule is great, even if you accidentally do one of these things, avoiding the other two tends to keep you out of trouble.
None of those things will make you rich, none of those things are a 100% guarantee of happiness – but they’re a good head start!
Now retired bodybuilder Ronnie Coleman, who some of you may recognize from his long and successful career as a bodybuilder- and others may recognize from the “Yeah Buddy!” videos. Like many champions, he has an interesting story. Apparently his first choice for his occupation, his first dream really, was to play professional football in the NFL. He was denied his dream, and upon graduating from college he became a police officer. After being prodded by a friend, he got into bodybuilding. ”Look at the guy, he must have taken it by storm,” you may be tempted to say…
In fact Ronnie competed for quite a long time without being successful. Bodybuilding is an expensive sport, even more so if you’re not a winner/regular runner that lacks a sponsor. It’s a lifestyle, and a huge time consumer. Many bodybuilders do not work at all, and live mooching off of family or breadwinner spouses, no joke. Competing several times a year is financially difficult, as well as extremely physically straining. Ronnie was competing for several years on his own dime in competition after competition. Flying around the world to contests, spending oodles of money, and getting nowhere. It’s not just that he wasn’t winning 1st or 2nd, he was placing horribly.
After several YEARS, his friend and fellow bodybuilder Kevin Levrone told him to quit. (Kevin, at the time, being a “regular runner up” and favorite to win the coveted Mr.Olympia title). He gave him the advice as Ronnie’s friend- after all he’d been spending tons of time money and time, but getting absolutely nowhere to show for it. I believe this pattern was going on 5+ years, Kevin had believed it was time Ronnie gave it up.
Eventually, Ronnie actually started winning. His first Olympia win was in 1998. He ended up winning 8 straight titles, tying the record of his idol, Lee Haney. Worth of mention is the fact that he was 41 for his last victory in 2005, and he had a real job as a police officer during his first 2 wins.
Not only did he win, he changed the sport. Commentators later joked it looked like he got off of a spaceship. Other competitors would be backstage and wonder who was placing 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. When later asked what his favorite victory was, some wondered if he would cite 2003 as he was in his best shape. He stated, paraphrasing in Ronnie-speaker, “1998. It’s, hard for me to believe that I’ve won to this day because.. actually I was just hopin’, I could make the top 5.” In 1997, he had placed 9th. What’s interesting to note, is that his friend Kevin Levrone never actually won an Olympia title.
Ronnie Coleman went down in history as one of the best of all time. The guy’s made millions of dollars, he’s famous, loved by fans, and a world champion several times over. He’s not the most articulate speaker you’ve ever heard, he didn’t invent anything, – there’s a list of things he hasn’t done: but he’s lived a storied life anyway. Not bad for someone that lost his dream of going to the NFL. Had he made it to the NFL, he may very well have had a lack luster short career, fighting for starting spots and the like. As a bodybuilder, he was one of the greatest of all time.
It’s stories like his and others that I’ll be talking about in the future, that have me mostly unconcerned with the prospect of life closing a door on an opportunity.
I can’t believe this guy actually had to explain WHY it’s a bad thing that Iran gets a nuclear weapon. In thinking on what a giant s***-sandwich this is, I’ve decided to make a chart to illustrate the point.
For a second, imagine this was all a movie…
(If you cannot read it because the font is scrunched, either click it or drag it up to a new tab!)
Tough break for ABC right? I’m not convinced that country D would not be spared either. I can’t help but look at this situation and shake my head. Our reality reads like a bad movie script. “Oh come on, it’s a little too extreme to be believable?” I’m very un-enthused by how this has been handled so far. Crossing my fingers on those sanctions, though some believe it’s too late. It’s upsetting to realize that for the past 3 years we’ve done the diplomatic equivalent of Milton from Office Space asking for his damn stapler back
Don’t believe for a moment that because we live in the 21st century, that we’re somehow immune from the kind of mistakes that were made not too long ago by those in similar shoes. An international community very similar to this one dropped the ball on Nazi Germany.
Here’s something we had a hard time keeping in mind when we were younger: High-school does not translate perfectly to life as a whole. Most people don’t try to make the contention that it does- intentionally anyway… but the accidental assumptions in some of their ideas make it abundantly clear they’ve lost sight of reality’s bigger picture. One day on Facebook some obviously frustrated young guy was talking about kids ONLY doing thing for perceived social status, he was ranting on and on about it. Other kids (his age) were agreeing. Here’s a snippet from my reply:
“Listen breh, young people tend to put a lot of stock in very minor social non-achievements of questionable significance; but thankfully not everyone is like that. Were that the case, we would likely still be cavemen. Cavemen with a “fashion sense”, an entire class/caste level of Kim Kardashians, and a rumor mill so efficient that ants would be aware of what “ClickClack McUgh” wore to the unveiling of the wheel. That is, before the inventor was stoned for being different of course.”
Luckily people are able to pursue their own self interests and own pursuits; many pursue lives not based solely on accumulation of perceived social status points.