Monday, April 6, 2009


Several years ago, Starbucks Coffee Company began printing short essays entitled “The Way I See It” on their paper coffee cups. These essays generally contain a heartwarming message with mild social commentary. Typically, they address issues such as childcare, environmental protection, racial tolerance and healthy eating. At Reason, Commerce, Justice & Free Beer, we salute Starbucks for providing its customers with enlightened perspectives from varied sources. In our view, literature and opinion help the community by enriching public discourse. We also salute Starbucks for taking chances on the messages it prints. After all, on the bottom of each cup, there is a small-print disclaimer: “This is the author’s opinion, not necessarily that of Starbucks.” We understand that Starbucks does not want readers to impute scandalous opinions to its corporate name. Even with the disclaimer, however, we strongly support Starbucks' attempt to broaden public discourse.

Despite our support for Starbucks, we feel duty-bound to reveal that Starbucks does not print content from all the speakers who wish to contribute to “The Way I See It.” In the spirit of free, uninhibited public discourse, we feel compelled to share some essay topics that did not survive Starbucks’ rigorous editorial process. Although we share Starbucks’ view that every speaker has a right to broadcast only messages with which he or she agrees, public discourse suffers when we suppress voices. At Reason, Commerce, Justice & Free Beer, we believe the public benefits from hearing as many perspectives as possible. In that light, we are proud to present essays that did not make it onto Starbucks’ official printed cups. These speakers all have something to say. They may not speak about "the difference between promises or missions,” “the fact that Americans spend 13 years in front of their televisions,” or “the beauty of the sub-Saharan African bush,” but they nonetheless believe in their messages. In America, we prize every voice. For that reason, we are proud to share the following short essays.

REJECTED CANDIDATE #321 : Hunting children is so much fun. In Africa, it is so easy to do; and no one is there to stop you. In fact, no one really cares when you take a shot at a kid from a safari truck. Plus, they are really small targets, so it helps you practice your aim. If you can hit a running African kid from 300 yards, you can definitely take out a running antelope from 400 yards. People misunderstand child-hunters. They say we are the worst kind of criminals. They say we have no respect for life. We are not criminals. We are sportsmen. We respect life. We do not exhaust natural child populations, and we do not impact the environment. This is our pledge: We will never use shotguns on children whose mothers did not want to get rid of them in the first place. We will hold to our pledge, come what may. That is sportsmen’s honor.

Mr. “Big” Bill Blanford, Chairman and CEO, United Nursing Homes, Ltd.

REJECTED CANDIDATE #190 : Nobody likes getting caught masturbating, especially at work. As a hedge fund manager, I can’t tell you how many times I have interrupted bored analysts playing with themselves. You should see the look on their faces; it is just pathetic. On the other hand (no pun intended), I do not want to be a hypocrite. On really boring Thursday mornings, I sneak a wank in, too. For that reason, I am not too harsh on financial masturbators. In this economy, we need all the help we can get in the financial industry, even from people who masturbate at work. After all, to be a good analyst, you must have the capacity to manipulate things well: graphs, stocks, market trends, adverse information. Good manipulation skill starts at home. And who are we to judge? It’s better to have a trained manipulator working for you than someone who does not know how to manipulate his own genitals.

Mr. Robert F. Pullman, Senior Financial Analyst, Friction Partners, L.P.

REJECTED CANDIDATE #547: Have you ever skinned a live sea otter? It is such a rush, man. You just grab hold of that furry little critter and tear into him with a butcher knife. Fuck the tree-huggers; killing defenseless animals is fun, fun, fun. Last month I went on a company cruise with some of my buddies from the office. We tracked down some otters, caught them in a net then tore them to little pieces. You should have heard them squeaking and yelping as we peeled their skin off. Boy, was it a blast. Good thing I had my rubber boots on, because it got pretty bloody. We weren’t after their pelts. We just wanted to have some fun and kill some mammals. If you ever get a chance to skin an otter or some other cute, warm-blooded sea creature, book the flight. You’ll have the time of your life. And we only have one life to live.

Mr. A.J. Bulow, Foundation for Compassionate Medicine of Greater North Carolina

REJECTED CANDIDATE #609: Did you know that most Americans live in the United States? Up to 99% of the entire population of this entire country lives here. Believe it or not, 54% of all graduating high school students thought that most Americans lived in Turkey. This goes to show that Americans have a long way to go when it comes to learning world geography. We need more funding to educate our children, not less. Americans need to learn that most Americans live in the United States, not Turkey. When Americans know that most of us live in the United States, we can confront problems like hunger, poverty and health care with real dedication. After all, how can our country tackle issues if our children think 99% of Americans live in Burkina-Faso, not the United States? Geography is important. I think Americans should learn it.

Ms. Cassandra E. Willard, The American Intellectual Curiosity Institute – A Non-Profit Organization (Seoul, Maine)

REJECTED CANDIDATE #1,755 : Pollution is a wonderful thing. When I get up in the morning, I love to see trash littering my front lawn. I also love watching smokestacks pouring huge plumes of acrid, purple smoke into the atmosphere, killing pesky sea gulls and insects. Personally, I think all this stuff about “green technology” and “electric cars” is for the dogs. I drive a gas-guzzling truck without a muffler, and I’m damn proud of it. I’m not afraid to send my garbage to closed landfills, and I don’t mind patronizing full septic tanks. I never was much of a tree fan, anyway. If trees die, that’s fine by me, as long as I keep my job. That’s the thing the environmentalists will never understand about me: I’d rather work than save a cactus. If my job requires pollution, then give me pollution—lots of it.

Mr. Charles E. Schmutz, Working People for Better Times, LLC

REJECTED CANDIDATE # 248 : There is nothing wrong with making a profit. Intellectuals, professors and even celebrities think it’s “cool” and “hip” to be a left-wing socialist nutjob. Well, I think it’s cool to inherit family money, invest in real estate and just kick back and rake in cash. Just look at Donald Trump. He’s cool and he makes a profit. Profit also makes you get up in the morning. When I think about profit, I’m up before dawn on my way to work. I want more money in my account tomorrow than I have today. In today’s world, profits pay. It’s not about fairness; it’s about having more than the other guy. I’m not ashamed to say it. It may not be fashionable to say you like profits anymore, but you can call me old-fashioned. If it came between a profit and my mom, I’d take a profit. Sorry, mom!

Mr. E. Travis Gladbank, Chief Financial Officer, Ninth Amalgamated Property Management Associates, LLP

We hope you have enjoyed reading these alternative perspectives. We salute Starbucks for broadening public discourse. But here at Reason, Commerce, Justice & Free Beer, we give air to all values, not just the values deemed appropriate by Starbucks’ editorial staff. Because when we let every voice be heard, we guarantee freedom for all. We believe in freedom, no matter how you slice it. We hold true to our motto: We believe in freedom “notwithstanding taste or decency.” We know that you believe in freedom, too.

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