Sunday, February 28, 2010


It looks like next week will be quite busy for me. I have a ton of appointments. They are going to rob my mornings. I'm not looking forward to it, but at least I can anticipate it.

I always put undue stress on myself when I expect myself to generate a post every weekday. But if I explicitly "excuse" myself from writing for particular reasons, I somehow feel better about missing a few days. So I'm going to do that today: Next week, I likely will not have time to write effectively every day. If you don't see a new post each day next week, you know the reason.

Still, I am not tired at all. My inspiration level is as high as ever. I constantly get new ideas. Life is interesting and fresh. It's just that a whole crosscurrent of banal crap converged in one week; and I know it's going to keep me from writing.

There you have it. Thanks so much for reading my posts. And remember to always check the archives or--if you're feeling adventurous--try a word search. I always amuse myself by typing in certain concepts in the dialog. It reminds me how much stuff I've written about so many different subjects. It makes me proud, actually. I have a complete record about my beliefs on every issue that matters in my life. And it will last beyond my years!


Friday, February 26, 2010


Советские Решения Современных Экономических Проблем в Америке Обамы

By : Mr. Lavrenty Pavlovich Beria, Member, Communist Party of the Soviet Union; Commissioner, National Office of Internal Affairs (NKVD)(1938-1945); Senior Investigator, People's Commissariat to Eradicate Spies, Traitors and Unpatriotic Defeatists Uncommitted to the Public Good (1934-1948); Close Confidant to Joseph Stalin (1926-1953); Orchestrator of Soviet Wartime Production (1941-1945); Manager of Undesirable Population Relocation Program to Central Asia (1941-1951); People's Prosecutor against Lithuanian, Polish, Latvian, Estonian, Ukrainian, German, Hungarian, Czech, Romanian, Slovak and Yugoslavian Traitors and Capitalist Counter-Revolutionary Troublemakers (1938-1953); Pistol Enthusiast and Marksman; Executed 1953; Resurrected 2010.

I am here in America at the request of the Chairman of the Federal Reserve System, Mr. Ben Shalom Bernanke. This Mr. Bernanke--Jewish capitalist intellectual counterrevolutionary though he may be--is a capable man. He understands that your country is in grave danger. He knows that the American economy is teetering on the brink. Most importantly, he understands that traditional "American" methods will not return your country to prosperity. That is why he called me.

Let me briefly summarize my conversation with Mr. Bernanke. He said that the United States is now suffering from a "persistent recession" that has resulted in massive unemployment. He attributed this "recession" to unregulated banking practices and large-scale greed among large financial firms. He also informed me that government has begun playing a much larger role in private financial affairs. He even said that government has paid billions to private banks in order to prevent them from failing. I believe I say this correctly: Your government "bailed out" the wealthiest capitalist pigs in order to allow them to continue loaning money to everyone else.

I applaud America's new commitment to government intervention in the economy. Although it does not come close to the Soviet example, it nonetheless represents a step in the right direction. In Stalin's Russia, we regulate everything. There is no private property. The State owns the banks. If a miserable little banker gets out of line, we shoot him and bury him in an unmarked grave. We even shoot his children and wife. That's how we regulate bankers in Russia. True, this frightens bankers. But it also prevents them from defrauding the people. Sometimes pistols are more effective than laws.

I understand that your country is not the Soviet Union. Mr. Bernanke informed me, however, that these ungrateful bankers have actually taken government money and used it to pay their own bonuses. Additionally, they have thumbed their noses at the very government that saved them from ruin. Mr. Bernanke told me that "something must be done" about these devious, greedy bankers. He asked my advice on the subject.

I am happy to lend my expertise in dealing with your banking problem. First off, let us understand the situation. Your government has taken an unprecedented step to rescue private banks from their own capitalist follies. It has actually given State money in order to prevent them from failing. In return, government can expect allegiance from the banks. In essence, "bailed-out" banks are no longer private. By taking government money, they have subjected themselves to government regulation. They have ceded their private nature. As such, they must listen to your orders. If they don't, they must suffer serious consequences.

Yet now the bankers act as if they never took your money. Worse, they have used your money to invest in the evil New York stock market, where they earned spectacular profits. Rather than return the money to you, they have insolently awarded themselves monstrous bonuses and sent their children on European vacations. They have renovated their villas and hired high-priced prostitutes for week-long champagne orgies at sultry Caribbean hideaways. They have purchased long yachts, "cigarette boats" and Bentley automobiles. They have gallivanted on million-dollar ski trips. All the while, they have refused to hire more workers or act in the public good. To the contrary, they have done little but enrich themselves. They are having the time of their lives--all thanks to government funds.

I share your disgust with these ungrateful outlaws. I am pleased to offer my assistance in "regulating" them. They are Enemies of the People.

We must increase our regulation efforts. Your country must cease relying on "laws" and "procedures" to tame wayward bankers. You will only stop naughty bankers by adopting Soviet-style banking regulations. Bankers are ruthless pirates by nature. Ruthless pirates only understand one language: Brutality. If America wishes to rein in these pirates, it must start regulating with pistols.

Let me explain what I mean by "pistol regulation." As Commissioner of the Secret State Police in the Soviet Union, I became an expert in the craft. Here’s how it works: Once I identify an enemy of the People, I quickly dispatch agents to his home at about 4:30 AM. Generally, most people are either asleep or just waking up at that time--even ambitious capitalist pigs like your wayward bankers. They are in no position to resist ten armed police agents. Most surrender without a fight. In fact, very few ever know we're coming. We investigate in secret.

Once taken into custody, my agents bring the enemy to a secret building with no windows. There, a State security agent informs the enemy why he is an enemy, then tells him to explain himself. This is just a formality: Nothing he says will save him. Basically, it just gives us an opportunity to have a good laugh while the man pisses himself, falls on his knees and begs for mercy. After we've laughed enough, we bring in an officer who says he has judicial power to pronounce sentence. He gravely tells the enemy that he has been found guilty of treason, at which time several armed guards take him into another dimly-lit room. They push the enemy face first against the wall, then shoot him in the back of the head with a pistol like this one:

After that, the guards clean the blood, skull fragments and brains off the floor, remove the body and send it off for cremation. Then I release a press statement describing the enemy's crimes against the people. I close the statement by noting that the "dangerous enemy" has "faced justice for high treason."

Now, once your naughty bankers know that they may face "pistol regulation" for squandering State funds, they will think twice about buying new homes and throwing lavish dinner parties. In fact, some might even invest their money in public projects or--God forbid--hire some people. As you can see, "pistol regulation" carries two benefits. First, it eliminates bad behavior, like embezzling public money. Second, it encourages good behavior, like reducing unemployment. After all, no one wants to get that knock on the door at 4:30 AM. Bankers start behaving much better once they notice that their greedy colleagues aren't in their offices anymore.

You have made a wise decision to enlist my help in regulating your financial industry. You understand that your traditional "American" methods will not impress these rapacious profit-hounds. To the contrary, your entire constitutional system--with its burdensome right to counsel, "independent judiciary" and "proof beyond a reasonable doubt" procedure--favors the accused. Worse, when the accused has money--as these bankers do--it is even more difficult to convict them. Even then, it takes years for appeals to pass. Plus there's a chance that banker-friendly judges will free their pals. Under your laws, you can't even execute these piratical bankers for their offenses.

This is simply unacceptable: You need Soviet "pistol regulation" or these dogs will walk all over you with "procedures."

Still, you can do it. You have already made an unprecedented step by allowing the government to intervene in the economy. Now, you must take the next step by holding bailed-out bankers to their bargains. If a banker takes government money, he must do as the government says. No more can you tolerate their ingratitude. It is not just embarrassing. It is bad for the country.

To that end, I will do my part to hunt down these criminals. Their lawyers and cash bribes will not stop my agents from putting bullets in their brains. I have wide experience sniffing out wrongdoing; nothing escapes my notice. We will work together to send a simple message: "If you take government money, you had better not use it to pay your own bonus."

I will find every banker who scoffs at government regulation. Believe me, they won't be scoffing after my agents show up at their swanky penthouses at 4:30 in the morning. In fact, they'll be crying, begging, moaning, wailing, pissing and shitting themselves. A few will get angry and shout. But my men will pistol-whip them until they behave.

Enough talking. Let's get to work. We have an industry to regulate. And we have Enemies of the People to eliminate.

Thursday, February 25, 2010



During the Cold War, America faced a serious intellectual challenge. It fought several wars and invested its entire economy into proving that its free market economic system was superior to communism.

Between 1945 and 1990, communism appeared a viable alternative to the free market. In both theory and practice, the Soviet Union and China loomed as proof that major world powers could function under communist governments. During this era, America did what it could to demonize communist countries: They were repressive; they did not allow free expression; they made it hard to earn a living; they were gray, forbidding places; they did not offer limitless opportunities for wealth; you couldn't own a home. Yet until the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, America did not have really tangible arguments to show that communism was ineffective. After 1991, it gained a valuable new rhetorical weapon. From then on, free market defenders could say: "See? Communism doesn't work. Look what happened in Russia. Our system is better. I told you so."

Many Americans accept this argument without further thought. If educational and social indoctrination did not suffice to bias them against communism, the "Soviet example" put the nail in the coffin. "Our system is better," goes the argument, "because the Russians lost and we won."

But why exactly did the Soviet Union "fail?" And why do Americans use the Soviet failure to claim that "communism does not work?" In my view, the answers are not so simple. To the contrary, the Soviet failure does not reflect that communism is theoretically flawed. It merely reflects that communism did not work in practice in Russia. More vexingly, Americans base their conclusion that the free market is "superior" to communism only after making some embarrassing assumptions about human nature. In a word, capitalist defenders must admit that human beings are greedy, rapacious, egotistical scoundrels in order to sustain their argument that "the free market is better" than communism.

Think about how Americans craft their traditional responses to the Soviet failure. They say: "Well, communism might be great in theory, but it doesn't work because of human nature." What exactly does that mean? After all, in theory, Marxism posits that every human being is equal and that every human being deserves dignity and respect. It warns against the divisive influence of private property on human relationships. It also posits that labor is free and that no man should exploit another for profit. Further, Marxism posits that government has a responsibility to care for people because government is essentially humanitarian. From a Marxist perspective, the people deserve care, not merely the freedom to exploit one another for money. Moreover, Marxism supports these principles by assuming that human beings are naturally good. It also places great emphasis on individual worth as opposed to economic "instrumentalization" that sacrifices individual identity for "usefulness."

Are these bad principles? Do they reflect a vicious attitude toward our fellow man? Certainly not. If anything, Marxism espouses an extremely positive--even brotherly--approach to human nature. Yet according to the capitalist defenders, this approach fails because it misapprehends what humans are "actually like." To defeat the Marxist vision, the capitalist defender must say: "No, this system does not work because humans are not brotherly. Rather, they are conniving rascals who seek at all times to enrich themselves, even if that means backstabbing and betraying their brothers. Individuality is only useful to the extent that some individuals can reduce other individuals to economic servitude. Additionally, this system does not work because humans do not live for equality and dignity, but rather for crass personal gain, even if that means oppressing and exploiting their fellow man. Finally, government does not exist to care for these rascals, but rather to allow them to engage freely in rascalry, because self-interested rascalry leads to economic prosperity."

In a word, the American response to communism confesses that human beings are ruthless, savage, insensate exploiters who have no duty to their fellow man. In a sense, it admits that the communist vision is admirable. But it discounts that vision by sighing: "We are not so noble." In a strangely depressing way, capitalist defenders take solace in the recognition that human beings are brutal competitors without decency or compassion. After all, that brutality and competitive spirit keep the shelves stocked and the children fed. Who cares about theoretical appeal when merciless self-interest gives you all the shaving creams, sneakers, steak varieties and breakfast cereals you could possibly desire?

In this light, I do not believe that the Soviet failure theoretically debunks communism. No historical event will ever discount Marx's hopeful vision of human society, nor will any one State's experience tarnish the communist ideal in theory. Perhaps communism will never escape its theoretical constraints. Perhaps no State will ever live up to its high theoretical ideals. Perhaps we are just not good enough.

But sometimes ideas are beautiful, even if they are not realizable in present circumstances. I think communism fits in that category. We can all dream about utopia, even if utopia is not attainable given our limitations. Still, that does not detract from the dream. If anything, it merely shows that we are not capable of living the dream. And that is not something to be proud of. It is just an embarrassing confession that highlights our weaknesses.

Maybe human beings will never successfully practice communism. But that does not prove that communism is "bad in theory." It merely proves that we are weak, selfish, fungible, vicious creatures. Non-communist governments accommodate that weakness and harness it to good effect. Yet I would argue that there is nothing laudable about our natural weakness. The sad truth is that free market prosperity depends on inequality, exploitation and savagery. Although the benefits might outweigh the burdens, it does not change the fact that it is an ugly business. And the individual only matters to the extent that he can use other individuals to enrich himself. That is pretty bleak.

But this is what makes America strong. What a strange business. In the end, the question is: "Who am I? What am I worth? Does anyone care about me?" The communist says: "You are a valuable individual. Everyone cares about you. If you are in need, you will receive help." The capitalist says: "You are nothing unless you make something of yourself. And if you don't, that's your fucking problem, because no one is going to help you, pal. So get out there and start earning."

Guess which perspective won? So much for humanity.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010



By : Mr. Davy B. Hutchinson V, Esq., CEO and Chief Executive Officer, Greater Hutchinson Properties LLC (Dallas, Texas); University of Virginia (J.D. 1982; M.B.A. 1984); Owner, approximately 35,000 acres in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas; Author, It's Hard to Break Even When You've Got a Damn Payroll (Aspen Business Press 2009); Republican; Married; Father of three; No criminal record.

For over two years now, our country has labored through difficult economic times. Although very few people have the courage to say it, we are in a Depression. No matter what the pundits on CNBC say, this is no Recession. It's not even the so-called "Great Recession." We won't get anywhere in these tough times until we are honest with ourselves. Don't be fooled: We are in a Depression. The sooner we recognize that, the sooner we can move forward.

We are in a Depression because it feels like it. Depressions are about perceptions. When employers think there's a Depression on, they don't hire. Unemployment goes up. When that happens, people have less income to spend in the economy. When people don't spend money, companies make fewer profits. And when that happens, companies cut more workers and even close down. Panic spreads. People lose their homes and fortunes. They start begging the government for help. Then their government aid runs out and there they are: Back in the Depression.

This is not good for America. Our country depends on private employment to survive. When average people can't get jobs in the private sector, we are in serious trouble. Let's be honest: It costs a lot of money to hire someone. And companies don't want to threaten their margins by taking a chance on a new hire. They could spend their money in much more profitable ways. Workers are expensive. It doesn't make any sense to hire them unless you can be damn sure they will bring in way more than they cost.

So what do we do? The Depression will not end until every American has a good, high-paying private sector job that pays the bills. The Depression will not end until companies feel secure enough to start hiring again. In a nutshell, we need to create good jobs so that people have money again. And to create jobs, the private sector needs money to pay wages to everyone else. Problem is, the private sector does not have enough money these days. We need to find a way to make sure private companies get enough money to start taking chances on workers again.

Since the Depression hit, economists and politicians have mulled almost every conceivable way to create jobs: Stimulus packages, government incentives, tax breaks and even cash bailouts. Nothing has worked; private companies still don't have enough money to hire people. Things aren't getting any better. To the contrary, they are getting worse. Government is not up to the challenge. As soon as you bring in government, it just makes things more difficult and more complicated. Americans don't want complexity. They just want paychecks.

Americans will get their paychecks soon enough. We simply must be inventive. We are Americans. We are smart. And we always find a way to make money in the end.

It is time for innovative solutions to save our economy. Today, I am happy to say that there is a vast, untapped source of prosperity within our very own borders. Our salvation lives among us and we do not even know it. Our salvation is African slavery.

We can break this Depression by reinstituting slavery in the United States. Our economy is in ruins today because nonslave labor costs too much. Hiring people in today's economy imposes an intolerable financial burden on private enterprise. Corporations have shareholders to worry about. Shareholders want quarterly profits. They can't get quarterly profits if they spend more than they make every month on employee payroll. And when corporations aren't profitable, they can't cut anyone's paycheck.

Nonslave labor has failed. We need to free corporations from payroll servitude.

Slavery will solve virtually every economic problem in the United States. There are 35 million Africans in this country. By abrogating their citizenship and designating them personal property, we immediately create an enormous, cost-free workforce. Companies with slave labor will be able to report quarterly gains again. That, in turn, will allow them to spend money on new hiring. Once they do that, more people will get paychecks and more people will start spending money in the economy.

Opponents will doubtlessly claim that slavery is no way to resolve our country's economic woes. They will inevitably say that "common decency," "dignity," "equality," "the Constitution" and even "history" prevent the United States from once again enslaving Africans. They will say that as bad as our economy may be, slavery is forbidden.

We can answer all these concerns. But before addressing our opponents' arguments individually, we must mention that saving the economy is more important than anything else. Americans would rather have jobs and a paycheck than a "Republic dedicated to equality and decency." Americans would much rather have a healthy economy than the vague assurance that "every man has an equal right to succeed" in this country. In fact, it is precisely the unwillingness to entertain slavery that landed us in this mess in the first place. If we really want to beat the Depression, we must be bold. That means embracing slavery, not running from it.

First, the Constitution poses no barrier to reinstituting slavery. True, the Thirteenth Amendment bans slavery and involuntary servitude in the United States. But the Constitution can be amended. If amended once, it can be amended again. Once Congress and the People see the enormous economic benefits to be won from slavery, we are confident that they will swiftly amend the Constitution to reinstitute it. And we are also certain that average Americans will appreciate that slavery will solve their economic woes once and for all. That will lead them to pressure their representatives to repeal the constitutional ban on slavery.

Second, our history does not frown on slavery. We are not "going back to the Dark Ages" by returning Africans to bondage in the United States. To the contrary, our country has a rich and vibrant slavery tradition. Slavery existed when this country was founded and it existed legally all the way until 1865. Since then, Africans have lived as virtual slaves: They die at younger ages; they do not attain educational eminence; they rarely attain economic prosperity; they live in much greater poverty than comparable white Americans; and they constantly claim that they have been "victimized," preventing any meaningful progress. If anything, then, the United States has long been friendly to slavery. Slavery helped shape this Nation in the past. It has always defined us. And now slavery will save us from economic ruin.

Despite all rhetoric to the contrary, history shows that America was a better country with slavery. America suffered no crippling Depressions before 1861. In fact, our national economy boomed in the pre-Civil War years precisely because the South churned out cotton without labor costs. After 1865, labor costs imposed intolerable burdens on private enterprise, resulting in several terrible Depressions. This shows that slavery provides insulation against economic collapse at the same time it generates healthy profits for private business owners.

We will make no progress against persistent economic malaise by turning to the government. Rather, we will only rescue the economy by reinvigorating the spirit of private property ownership that has always driven America forward. We will only regain our prosperity by refreshing America's passion for private enterprise solutions. We do not want handouts and bureaus. We want economic freedom.

Slavery delivers on all these points. By returning Africans to "property" status, we immediately create a huge new commodities market. That will allow for vigorous new exchange, as well as bank financing and stock market revitalization. Advertisers will win new contracts promoting slave sales, while interstate transportation entities will relish new business ferrying slaves from State to State. Housing contractors will also have a role to play by building accommodations for slave populations. In short, slavery will not only affirm America's commitment to private property ownership. It will also stimulate immensely beneficial free market activity.

Slavery also delivers significant indirect benefits. For one, by reducing the number of American citizens by 35 million, government will not need to spend as much on social entitlements. Social security and Medicaid payouts will decrease. With fewer necessary expenses in the budget, Congress will be able to lower taxes. That will allow private enterprise to hire more workers and reinvest their capital in profitable endeavors. Additionally, Federal labor laws will not apply to slaves, so private companies will be able to increase productivity without increasing wage costs. That will lead to a spike in production and more profits for domestic companies.

We need to worry about production in the United States. Without slavery, our economy sank into a dangerous trade deficit. Crippled by labor costs, entitlements, taxes and health care obligations, private companies could not produce enough to compete with countries like China and India. But slavery will correct the imbalance. Now, African slaves will cost employers next to nothing, allowing them to boost production and increase profits--all without commensurate increases in cost. Armed with increased profits, companies can invest in skilled workers, researchers and technology in order to propel American into a new Golden Age. The bottom line is that slavery will allow us to go toe-to-toe with China. Slavery works.

We are confident that the American people will see the merit in slavery. For too long, Americans have been brainwashed to believe that "slavery" is a dirty word. They reflexively recoil from it. But they must merely learn to understand that slavery is the key to our economic renaissance. As soon as disgruntled, underemployed American workers understand that slavery will get them a paycheck, they will quickly drop their hostility to it. When they see that slavery gets them a comfortable job, a nice new home, a beautiful two-car garage and even a few acres for themselves, they will stop fretting about dignity and equality.

Moreover, slavery is environmentally friendly. Enslaving Africans does nothing to poison water or air supplies. Enslaving Africans does not result in deforestation, nor does it threaten endangered wildlife populations. It is a "green" solution in the truest sense: It will not only make Americans money; it will result in clean air, too.

In a word, slavery has always played a role in American life. We have never fully moved away from it. It is time to get back to our roots and embrace it again. Our country was strong when private employers did not worry about crippling payrolls and social security taxes. Our country never suffered Depressions when we prized economic freedom over fanciful commitments to racial equality. And any American will tell you that he'd rather live in a country that does not suffer rampant unemployment than live in a country that forbids slavery. After all, abolishing slavery never paid anyone's rent or landed anyone a job.

Slavery means more jobs for all. Slavery means more private property ownership. Slavery means increased American production and viability on the world economic stage. Slavery means American prosperity. Slavery means home ownership and college education. Slavery means healthy waterways, wetlands and environmental protection. The list goes on and on.

In this light, let us speak out for economic freedom. Let us declare our independence from circular economic failures. Let us free ourselves from the tyranny of expensive labor. Slavery is our solution. It is our salvation. When America returns its Africans to slavery, no country in the world will ever threaten our dominance.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010



I am getting older. Every day, time leaves new marks on my body. When the light shines a certain way, I notice time's inscriptions. Lines emanate away from my eyes, especially when I smile. I have more wrinkles on my forehead. My hands are starting to look cracked, crooked and worn. Hair is sprouting up in places I'd rather not discuss. And my teeth aren't so pearly white anymore; in fact, I can feel them getting weaker by the week.

Our bodies doomed to decay. That's the problem with bodies. Beauty and youth please us. But we understand how fleeting they are. We understand that time is never on our side. When we see a beautiful person, we know they won't be so forever. It's all just a matter of time before remorseless months and years erode even the supplest beauties.

Aging is a natural process. But that doesn't make it any more appealing to us. Death is a natural process too; and very few people like death, either. Still, natural processes can be both scary and reassuring. They are scary because no one wants to get old and die. On the other hand, they are reassuring because everyone reliably knows they will happen. Just as everyone knows a flower will wilt and turn brown, so too does everyone know that we all will die one day. That is just what happens in nature. You can see it. And you can apply it to your own life. It is rhythmic. You can count on it.

But let's get back to the scary part. While nature might provide us analogies to understand what will happen to us in the end, it is no less unpleasant to consider. We are, after all, rather vain creatures. We do not like the idea that our youth and appeal may one day fade. We do not like the idea that our beauty will wilt like the flowers in the garden. We experience so many pleasures in youth. And God forbid that time will steal them from us. It is not a pleasant thought.

Still, we must confront it. I confront it a little bit every day when I notice the new little injuries time has left upon me. In a strange way, it makes me reflective. When I notice something going wrong with my body, it makes me remember how long I've been here. It makes me remember how much I've seen and experienced. I go back through the years and I remember the times when my body did not ache the way it does now. I remember when there was no hair in the places it grows now. Our bodies are like fossils; and our memory confirms to us how long we have been here. Although I do not like the idea that I am decaying, I can at least take some pride in the idea that I have made it this far.

Having said all this, my teeth are doomed. I think they are even more doomed than the rest of my body. My constant coffee abuse, advancing age, lack of insurance and insufficient funds portend a dental disaster of unspeakable magnitude. Last year, I managed to scrape up enough money to get an examination, along with a cleaning and whitening (I am still paying interest on the visits). The dentist scraped unbelievable amounts of plaque from places in my mouth I barely knew existed. Then she flossed mysterious cracks in those unknown regions. She drew blood almost every time she hit the gum.

Toward the end, she said: "It's been a while since your last visit, hasn't it?" Then she offered me some Tylenol.

My poor, doomed teeth. It does not help that I have English ancestry. Genetically, the English have bad teeth. My own circumstances make my naturally bad genetic situation even worse. Every day, I notice my gums getting whiter. There are stains between a couple teeth that were not there before. And I can feel my teeth moving in my gumline in a way I have never felt before. Plus, they tell me I have impacted molars that must be removed before they burrow into my nerves. Put simply, I am in dire dental trouble.

But this is what happens when you get older. Time brutally flogs our bodies. There is little we can do about it. It just happens. Sure, we can live as healthy as we possibly can. We can eat right, exercise and even think positively about the future. But these are mere salves: Nothing can stop time's slow, steady, corrosive assault on our flesh.

It would be nice to escape our bodies for a while. While our bodies might offer numerous ways to experience the world's pleasures, they are also enormously restrictive. They can produce as much pain as pleasure. Time's corrosion is just another terror our bodies must confront. Still, it is so easy to put trust in our bodies. It is banal in the truest sense. We know our bodies better than anything else in our lives. We are stuck with them. We see them every day. We monitor them and scrutinize them. We must endure their chemical tempests and painful discomforts. They matter to us because they place insistent demands on us: Feed me; relieve me; give me rest; make me comfortable; make me feel pleasure. If we ignore them, we suffer pain for it. And we learn from earliest memory that pain is not good. So we slavishly pander to our bodies.

It is no accident that the law targets the body. Almost everyone cares about his own body. If there is something no man wants to experience, it is bodily discomfort. So the law threatens to inflict bodily discomfort on anyone who transgresses its commands. While some exceptional people hold their bodies in contempt, they are too rare to make a difference. The law concerns itself with efficacy: It knows that almost everyone fears bodily punishment, so that is what it threatens to maintain order.

So we spend our lives worrying about our bodies until time slowly eradicates them. It is quite a pathetic lot if you think about it. Still, it is completely natural. As living organisms, we want to stay alive. To stay alive, we must preserve our bodies. We fear death largely because it means we can no longer enjoy what life has to offer our bodies. We know that we will die in time because we see what time does to others' bodies. So we fear aging, because we know what it leads to.

But what about life beyond the body? Is it possible to achieve some mental satisfaction without worrying about the body's inevitable decay? Throughout history, we find examples of men who did not put all their faith in bodily comfort. There have been men who lived for something beyond placating their bodies and avoiding death. In fact, we tend to revere men who lived beyond their bodies because they are so rare. It is no accident that Jesus Christ is the central hero in Western Civilization: He gave up his body so that others could enjoy theirs. There is a nobility in life beyond the body because so few people can effectively ignore their bodies. Most people fear aging and death. Most people simply live to experience the pleasures the body can give. Love it or hate it, that is just how we are.

I am no martyr. I am just as worried about my body as the next man. But I fear pain more than I fear death. I wish I could hold my body in contempt. Yet the body is rapaciously insistent; it is difficult to ignore its demands for long. No matter how strongly I believe in abstract principles and ideas, I cannot say whether I could maintain my commitment to them in the face of torture, hunger or agony. I am worried about my hair and my teeth, for goodness' sake; imagine how I would feel if confronted with genuine bodily scourges?

But death is different than pain. Pain is about the body and its limitations. Death is about existence and non-existence. Death rules out the body altogether. In that light, it is easier to romanticize non-existence than pain. In fact, non-existence lends itself much more to abstract principles than mere contempt for the body. Death frees us from concern about the body. Death liberates us from the body's incessant demands and penalties. True, death might cut short our ability to experience the body's joys. But it also forecloses the body's ability to torment us any longer. There is some objective, rational appeal to that possibility. If bodily life--on the whole-- appears to offer more pain than pleasure, why go on living at all? It is better to cease to exist in order to avoid pain than to exist for nothing more than pain.

Yet this broaches another conundrum: What if death does not end our pain? After all, no one has ever reported to us what death is like. No one has come back from that "undiscover'd country from whose bourn/ No traveler returns." Hamlet, Act III, sc. i, lines 80-81. We have all seen aging and pain because living people experience aging and pain. We see what happens to them. They can tell us how bad they feel.

But no one has experienced death and lived to tell about it. Who knows what awaits us there. That is what makes people fear death: Unknowability. Maybe something dreadful happens once we die. No one knows. No one can know. No one can sense anything once they die, let alone communicate what they sense. And that is why death continues to terrify us. So as bad as bodily life may be, we choose to "bear what ills we have,/ [rather] Than fly to others that we know not of." Hamlet, Act III, sc. i, lines 82-83.

I have argued before that it is unreasonable to fear death because death cuts short our bodily ability to sense anything. But once again, we see that humans are not invariably reasonable. They fear death even though death eliminates their sensory capacities--including the capacity to experience pain--because they fear the unknown. That fear is not reasonable because reason is based in human sense. Death obliterates sense, so it is not reasonable to fear it.

It is actually more reasonable to fear aging than death. We can sense our bodies aging. We can feel our bodies weakening. We know that aging will bring us more pain and less bodily satisfaction. We can sense all these things. Our reason has something to grasp in that situation.

I reasonably worry about my teeth. I have every reason to believe they are doomed. And I know it's going to hurt.

But with death: Who knows what I'll feel? That is strangely reassuring.

Monday, February 22, 2010



Last Friday, disgraced PGA Golf Champion Tiger Woods made big news when he made his first public appearance since allegations arose last fall that he perennially cheated on his wife. In a prepared statement, he publicly acknowledged that he "cheated," "acted irresponsibly" and "was unfaithful" by engaging in serial extramarital relations with over ten women while married to his wife, Elin Nordegren. He showered apologies on everyone from his "business partners" to his wife, children, mother, friends, their friends, fellow golfers, the game of golf and even Buddhism.

Despite Mr. Woods' technical contrition, however, many viewers felt that he did not put his heart into the performance. Many commentators claimed that he was "wooden" and "robotic" while reading his statement. They claimed that he must have been coached to deliver his remarks in order to smooth over any future employment problems, as well as to maintain favorable commercial relationships with endorsers. In fact, many commentators said that they did not believe anything Mr. Woods said. Rather, they contended that he just was "saying what he had to say" in order to remain professionally viable.

Reason, Commerce, Justice and Free Beer worked all weekend to determine Mr. Woods' true sentiments. Thanks to our tireless efforts--as well as to some fortunate conversations with lawyers and publicists close to Mr. Woods--our agents discovered that Mr. Woods prepared his own statement weeks before his presentation last week. Through some luck and journalistic ingenuity, our agents actually found a copy of Mr. Woods' original remarks. Our agents learned that Mr. Woods' lawyers and publicists urged him never to deliver these remarks. According to our sources, Mr. Woods' took their advice and asked a team of trusted lawyers and publicists to draft his statement. Ultimately, Mr. Woods delivered that version last week.

But here at Reason, Commerce, Justice and Free Beer, we believe that men have a right to speak their minds. We also believe that honesty is central to American discourse, especially discourse involving public figures like Mr. Woods. No matter what our opponents say, we think that America deserves to hear what Mr. Woods actually thinks about the scandal that has transfixed the Nation for almost three months. While we sympathize with Mr. Woods' contention that his behavior is essentially "private," the news story is not. For better or worse, Mr. Woods' serial philandering has entered the lexicon of American civilization: We all know about it. And we want to know more.

For those reasons, today we are pleased to present Tiger Woods' Alternate Remarks:

February 19, 2010

Good morning, motherfuckers,

You know something? I got just about one thing to say to everybody seated here today and all a y'all sitting at home watching me on TV: "Fuck all a y'all. I ain't apologizin' for shit."

Do you motherfuckers know what you've done to my life? Look at my hair! Holy shit, man, I'm going bald over this. Do you know how much you've embarrassed me in front of my wife? Don't you have any respect for a man who's just trying to get an honest nut up in here? Shit, it's not like I'm the only player out there trying to get a little bit on the side. In fact, if a white man cheated on his wife, y'all probably wouldn't even say anything about it. But as soon as a successful black man stands up and wants to get a little extra pootie, you step up and try to lynch me.

Y'all are giving me a hard time because I'm black.

Well, fuck y'all. I'm pissed.

I didn't do anything wrong. I was just doing what any man would do in my situation. In fact, y'all wish you could be like me. Y'all wish you could have my money, cash and hoes. Yeah, I'm a smooth-talking, smooth-walking, good-looking, money-having player. I get millions for driving golf balls down the fairway. I get my picture taken with a Tag Heuer watch on. Then I go out to the VIP champagne room and sink a few mo-fuckin' putts with some smokin' hot honies. I ride around in Bentleys and I live in a palace. My wife is a Norwegian model, BI-ATCH! What the fuck you thought?

And you say you don't like me. You say: "He unfaithful." Sheee-yit, I know every last one of you men out there wants to be doing exactly what I've been doing. And don't you deny it, you hypocritical motherfuckers.

Let me just say one thing to you right here: "A player got to play. Don't hate the player; hate the game." Stop hating me because I play better than you. If you don't like the game, don't play. But don't hate me just because I'm the big bad mack daddio who gets all the hoes.

No, no, no. You got it all backwards. All a y'all jealous motherfuckers are wrong, not me. I mean, leave my wife and kids out of this. This ain't none of your business. This is between me and my family. Stick your cameras somewhere else. So what I banged some big-booty hoes in the club. So what I brought a couple freaks to the house while my wife was away. So what if we busted out the ice cubes, whips and whipped cream. What the fuck does that have to do with y'all? That's my motherfuckin' business! Stay out of it! Leave a brother alone!

And so what I if was unfaithful? You try being faithful when you're a young, good-looking black man and ten scorching hot women start wagging their titties in your face. You just try it. You sit up there talking about "responsibility," "honor" "integrity" and "decency." That shit don't matter much when fifteen or twenty hoes be circling round the long dong. Shit yeah, biatch, my shit is strong. Say whatever y'all want about it. You wouldn't be acting all high and mighty if hot-ass porn stars treated you the way they treat me. See what I'm saying? Y'all are just jealous.

And that's another thing I want to bring up: Why y'all trying to pin all the blame on me for being unfaithful? You think I was the only one doing wrong here? What about the hoes who got butt-booty nekid when I was just trying to mind my business? I didn't ask 'em to sit on my face: They just did it. Was I supposed to say: "I'm sorry, my dear, but my marriage relation compels me to ask you to remove your vagina from my lips"? What about my cold-hearted wife who treated me like shit at home? Sometimes she don't wanna fuck for months on end, then she asks me to do motherfucking chores around the house. Fuck that.

I'm just a man. You put me in some tight situations and I'm gonna do some freaky things. That's just how we roll. So basically what I'm saying is this: I'm not the only one to blame here. I'm just a man.

So back the fuck off and leave me alone. I don't need no help. I don't need no "sex addiction therapy." Player, what? Sex addiction? Sex ain't no addiction; that shit be natural. Just because I bagged some nice-looking ass don't mean I got a "problem." Shit, most brothers would say I did good. What the fuck is with all a y'all? As soon as you get good at fucking that means you gotta check into the hospital for "sex addiction? " Say what?

This is what I've been saying all along: Y'all just can't cut a successful brother a break. Y'all wish you could be doing what I've been doing, but because you can't, you say: "Tiger gotta get help."

I'm going to say this one time and one time only: "I don't need no motherfucking help." I'm fine. I'm doin' exactly what a man is supposed to do when he's rich, famous and good-looking. I'm supposed to get a reward for all my success, right? I'm supposed to enjoy my life, aren't I? Apparently not, you fuckers. Nope, y'all want me to sit at home, take Elin's shit and watch TV on Saturday night. Well let me tell you something: That's not what players do. And I'm a player. I'ma play.

Not only that, how is "therapy" supposed to stop me from fucking? What are we supposed to talk about up in there? Talk about finger-painting? Crayons? What I brought for lunch? What am I, nine fucking years old? Therapy, what? Pleeeeze. Y'all just can't stand the idea that a black man be getting everything in life you wish you had, so you say he's "sick" and throw him in the hospital.

I got something to say to my business partners. I know y'all are important, so I'm gonna say something to you right about now. Don't cut me loose. I got nothing but love for ya, baby. And people who buy shit I endorse are still gonna buy it. Hey, people love a player. People love a mack. Don't you know that? Look at P. Diddy: He sells every last thing he touches. Let's face it: Quiet guys who wear golf sweaters aren't usually very exciting. But when they see me wearing a golf sweater, they'll say: "Oh, shit, is that Tiger in that three-button cardigan? I got to get me one of them. Then I'll get me all the hoes!"

Think about it. I'm marketing gold. Most people think golf is fuckin boring as hell. But with me, I spice it up and turn it into a crunk party.

So that's about it. I ain't sorry for anything I've done. I didn't do anything wrong. I'm still the best motherfucking golfer alive; believe that. Y'all can try to lynch me all you want. Ain't gonna stop this player. I'm gonna keep sinking putts on and off the course. Watch me.

And in the meantime, stay the fuck away from me and my wife. This ain't none a y'all god damn business.

Thank you. And kiss my black Thai ass, you racist player-hating bastards.

Saturday, February 20, 2010



You might think that title is a joke. It isn't: I actually saw it printed on a New York City bus.

I thought I had seen everything in advertising. I thought I had cataloged every species of commercial dishonesty. But I should never underestimate commercial speakers: Their innovation knows no bounds. They push the limits every time. And in cases like this, they push straight into the surreal.

What the fuck does Dutch beer have to do with African-American identity and history? How does Heineken in any way relate to the black experience in the United States? How does Heineken reflect this country's poisonous racial legacy, or in any way symbolize it? I have no doubt that many African-Americans like Heineken beer. But would an average black man in America instinctively associate Heineken with black issues?

I can understand associating George Washington Carver, Crispus Attucks, Martin Luther King, Jr., Scott Joplin or even Snoop Dogg with Black History Month. All those men achieved prominence in American life through the decades. But Heineken? Where was Heineken during the Freedom Marches? Where was Heineken during the Civil War and Reconstruction? And where the hell was Heineken during the L.A. race riots?

Heineken is not African-American. It is not even a person. It is a beer. What role could it possibly have played in a Nation's development?

To suggest that blacks should celebrate their history in the United States by breaking open a Heineken is just asinine. After all, it was a Dutch merchant who brought the first African slaves to Virginia in 1619. That's not to say that Heineken reflects modern Dutch views about slavery. But the fact remains that the Dutch played a very dark role in the history of American slavery. In that light, it is especially perverse to suggest blacks should celebrate their history by drinking Dutch beer.

Heineken's ad is not just historically incongruous. It also shows just how little taste--or sense--most advertisers bring to their work. In this case, the advertisers did not ponder the embarrassingly weak connection between African-American history and Heineken beer. No, they merely identified a potential market (i.e., African-Americans), then matched their product to an important month in the "African-American calendar." Perhaps Heineken intended to forge a mental link between "African-American pride" and Heineken. Perhaps they wished to dupe African-Americans into believing that Heineken played a substantial role in their history. Maybe Dr. Dre likes Heineken. Maybe Duke Ellington drank it after his shows in the 1940s. Who knows?

Heineken simply concluded that African-Americans represent a "market:" Namely, a discrete body of potential buyers and sellers at a particular time and place. Any advertising that incites a market to spend money on the advertiser's product is worth the price. It does not matter if the message is crass, off-color, inappropriate, incorrect, counterfactual, counterintuitive, silly, ridiculous or just wrong. Those concerns pale next to the advertiser's mandate to generate profits.

In the end, advertising is not about consistency. It is not about respect, either. Rather, it is about implanting mental connections so that people spend money. In advertising, facts need not be accurate. Indeed, facts are not even necessary at all.

And taste? That's the least concern. If taste mattered, what self-respecting student of American history would dare to assert that Heineken beer has anything to do with the plight of African-Americans in this country? The thought is almost too embarrassing to entertain.

But that didn't stop Heineken from entertaining it. There is no shame--or dignity--in commerce.

That's another reason I'm not good at it. Damned ethics!

Thursday, February 18, 2010



For three years, my close friend Joe Simeone composed an operatic adaptation to the 1952 play "Dial M For Murder." Last week, I attended an opening in which he presented several passages from his work. In brief, the opera follows the same intricate plot as the play: A man named Tony blackmails both his wealthy wife, Margot, and another man named Lesgate; Tony exploits the blackmail to entice Lesgate to murder his wife; the plan goes wrong and Margot kills Lesgate in self-defense; Tony manipulates the evidence to pin the murder on Margot; the police arrest Margot and she is sentenced to death; an enterprising police detective worries about the verdict and discovers that Tony orchestrated the result; Margot goes free and discovers her husband's betrayal.

Through the operatic form, Joe Simeone tells the story with a keener eye for emotion than plot. He did not compose an "operatic thriller;" he composed an opera. As such, he explores the emotional relationship between Tony and Margot with greater detail than the play. At the outset, Simeone tells us that Tony's and Margot's marriage was "loveless," but that Tony had recently begun to shower affections on his wife. To make that point, the opera begins with a sweeping aria in which Margot reveals that she has "rediscovered" her love for her husband. This is ironic, of course, because Tony has already betrayed her; he is even planning to kill her. During the aria, Margot sings a remarkable line: "It's a risk to believe love is real."

Margot may seem naïve for daring to believe that her devious husband actually loves her. But she is not alone. We all want love in our lives because love is a tantalizing pathway to happiness. Yet love is a troublesome thing because it cuts in two directions. We can love and we can be loved. Real happiness exists only when both elements find expression in a relationship. When only one person loves, the result is unrequited disappointment because the other does not return the feeling. And when only one person receives love, the result is awkward discomfort. Put another way, love only really "works" when there is no disparity between the emotions on both sides.

Sigmund Freud said as much. In Civilization and its Discontents, Freud explained that human beings generally "strive after happiness; they want to become happy and remain so." Civilization and its Discontents (Strachey, trans. p. 25). He went on to explain that happiness has both a "positive and negative aim," namely: "[the] absence of pain and unpleasure and the experiencing of strong feelings of pleasure." Id. Additionally, Freud noted that happiness cannot arise as long as unhappiness exists in a person's life. And unhappiness is "much less difficult to experience" than happiness. Id. at 26.

Freud identified three main sources for unhappiness: (1) our own bodies, which are doomed to aging, pain, discomfort and decay; (2) the external world, which can "rage against us with unimaginable forces of destruction;" and (3) our relations to other men. Civilization and its Discontents at p.26. He went on to say that unhappiness flowing from our "relations to other men" represents the worst possible unhappiness: It is the unhappiness of betrayal, deception, unfaithfulness, personal disappointment, spurned love, heartbreak, frustrated yearning and all the other bitter emotions that arise when our relations with others do not follow the path we wanted.

If so much unhappiness can flow from relationships with others, why do people bother with them? Freud posed the same question. He offered one surefire way to avoid "relationship unhappiness:" "Against the suffering which may come upon one from human relationships the readiest safeguard is voluntary isolation." Civilization and its Discontents at p. 27. He called this the "happiness of quietness." By eliminating a source for unhappiness, a person makes it easier to experience happiness.

But Freud acknowledged that "voluntary isolation" is not very satisfying. After all, mere freedom from unhappiness is nowhere near as fulfilling as experiencing positive happiness. For that reason, Freud explained that human beings constantly gamble on love to satisfy their "passionate striving for a positive fulfillment of happiness." Civilization and its Discontents at p. 32.

Put another way, freedom from unhappiness and pain is not enough. People want the ecstasy and joy that flows from real, positive happiness. And positive happiness flows most strongly from that most dangerous category: Relations with other men. Still, the potential emotional payout from love is so great that people all too willingly take their chances with it. Nonetheless, Freud warned: "The weak side of this technique is easy to see; otherwise no human being would have thought of abandoning this path to happiness for any other. It is that we are never so defenseless against suffering as when we love, never so helplessly unhappy as when we have lost our loved object or its love." Id. at 33.

Against this background, Margot sang more than she knew when she observed: "It's a risk to believe love is real." Love is an extremely dangerous risk. When a person dares to abandon himself to love, he makes himself "defenseless against suffering;" he even risks "helpless unhappiness" if he does not get the emotional payout he expects from the relationship. Worse, these unhappy results depend exclusively on "relations to other men." Specifically, the "love pathway to happiness" depends on how another person acts and feels. We humans are subjective creatures. We know only what we sense. Facts exist only to the extent that we manifest a subjective belief in their reliability. In that light, it is very difficult to gauge whether another person feels any emotion as we do, let alone love.

Beyond risk, love is about knowledge. Freud said that love has two components: Loving and being loved. We only feel love's joy when we know another person feels strongly about us, too. It is not enough to feel strongly about another person. Rather, love's intoxicating pleasure only really arises when we are satisfied that another person feels as strongly about us as we do about them.

But how do we know that? It is hard enough to know what exists in anyone else's mind. Yet when we risk our happiness on love, we force ourselves to decipher what another person feels and thinks. This is extremely difficult; in fact, it is nearly impossible. There is no way to know for certain whether another person loves us, because we cannot literally step into that person's mind. Rather, we must examine secondary facts to make inferences about the other person's beliefs. This is an imperfect method at best, but it is the only one we have. Even direct statements from our love interest are not definitive proof of what he feels. Humans are, after all, infamously dishonest.

In this light, it is easy to see that love is no easy thing. It does not just a risk; it demands some faith, too, because the facts necessary to establish love are unknowable.

Again, the question arises: With these thematic difficulties in mind, why bother with love? Consider just how much is at stake. By daring to love, a person opens himself to boundless unhappiness and pain flowing from "relations to other men." True, if his love pans out, he feels overwhelmingly positive emotions: That is the potential payout from the "risk." But in order to experience love, a person must satisfy himself that another person feels a certain way. It is impossible to certainly know what another person feels, so love actually involves a double risk: (1) Risking the relationship in the first place; and (2) Risking that a person will feel the way you expect. Disappointment can arise from either risk. There is nothing you can really do to stop it; you can't control how another person thinks or feels. In this sense, love is also a risk because a person must entrust his happiness to the subjective whim of another person over whom he has no control. And because human beings are notoriously untrustworthy and inconstant, it almost seems an unreasonable risk.

If love is so unreasonable, then why do so many people pursue it? The fact that human beings--like Margot--blindly risk love is testament to the assertion that reason does not rule us. If human beings were entirely rational, they would probably never love. After all, rational thinking involves balancing risks against benefits. A rational mind analyzes the potential pain that could result from a transaction and queries whether the potential pleasure is worth the chance. As Freud explained, love can yield immeasurable pain. And because that pain flows from forces largely beyond our control (i.e., the whims of others), it really makes no rational sense to take the risk. Although love offers a huge benefit in pleasure, a reasonable man would immediately see that it always presents an intolerable risk in pain. That risk would invariably outweigh the benefit in pleasure.

But we know that human beings live to love. They cast reason aside. They take the risk, even though it is unreasonable. Put simply, love's emotional payout in happiness is so intoxicating that it overwhelms human reason. Love's pleasure is so hypnotic that it submerges all potential pitfalls. Among those pitfalls is the dangerous need to place individual emotional well-being in the hands of another person--and that person is probably not trustworthy. Men ignore those risks when they love because it just feels so, so good. If reason held men in check, they would never allow themselves to remain blind to the dangers. But blind they remain; they dive headlong into the risks because it just feels so damn good.

"It's a risk to believe love is real." In one line, Margot expressed the timeless--yet perilously uncertain-- human quest for love. She hinted at the risks. She knew there was a danger. But love made her feel so good that she willingly blinded herself to it. She suspended her reason. Objectively, that might appear foolish. But we all have done it. And we probably always will. Love is never objective.

In short, we all desperately want positive happiness. We are not content with the "happiness of quietness." No, we crave "relations with other men." We gamble on positive happiness by playing familiar games. Those games are rarely reasonable. In fact, most are extremely dangerous.

Love is probably the most dangerous game of all: Enticing, risky, unknowable, unverifiable, tempestuous, fickle, maddening; yet offering pleasure beyond imagination. It is a recipe for unreasonable risk every time.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010



By : Mr. Woodrow D. Beakman, L.L.M., a Chicken; Escapee, Selma (Alabama) Poultry Processing Plant; Formerly Known as a "Grade D Fryer - Strong Style;" Self-taught in English and Human Communication; Avian; Honorary Master's Degree Holder in Human Rights Law, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C. (2008); Author, "Fried Chicken Holocaust : America is a Death House for Birds Everywhere" (Forthcoming, HarperCollins™ 2010).

America is a great Nation because it respects life. It fights for dignity and freedom abroad. It believes that all living creatures have a right to exist. America trusts life because it knows that life represents potential greatness for all. Life is good. It is worth saving. In short, America stands up for life.

Yet America has failed to stand up for life when it comes to chickens. To the contrary, America has committed heinous crimes against chickens everywhere. In every State, America allows men to ruthlessly imprison, mistreat, pluck, murder, slaughter, dismember, disembowel and process helpless chickens on an industrial scale. Worse, America even encourages bloodthirsty criminals to butcher chickens in the name of "commercial advancement."

This is an outrage against life and dignity. As chickens, we demand that America cease its genocidal campaign against us at once. We may be chickens. But we are people, too. We deserve to live just as much as a brain-dead human child or an endangered humpback whale. We refuse to allow our brethren to die in poultry slaughterhouses so that greedy profiteers can sell our breasts, thighs, wings and gullets. We refuse to allow our mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers to end their existence beer-basted and fried at the bottom of some God-forsaken Styrofoam bucket. Put simply, we demand that America respect all life--including chicken life.

Why does America refuse to see us? Indeed, America seems almost willfully blind concerning our daily ordeals. Rather than express outrage over our horrific treatment, Americans actually praise the men who orchestrate our slaughter. Just last week, for example, the Wall Street Journal ran a piece analyzing the "highly successful business model" employed by two notorious chicken butchers: Harlan David "Colonel" Sanders and his protégé Dave Thomas. According to the Journal, these two "entrepreneurs" devised an "exemplary food processing and delivery system," in addition to creating "a shrewd marketing scheme designed to maximize consumer interest in chicken meals." As a result, said the Journal, "Sanders and Thomas stand as giants in the business community." In conclusion: "Every food service entrepreneur should study the Sanders/Thomas Method well."

Giants in the business community? Exemplary food processing and delivery systems? Sanders/Thomas Method? Does the Journal even understand what made these men "giants?" Does any American really understand what methods made these men "successful?"

Sanders and Thomas are not heroes. Rather, they are evil chicken butchers who scorn life. They achieved their "success" by purposely breeding, corralling, beheading, gutting and packaging millions of innocent chickens. Yet Americans celebrate these butchers every day, not just in the Wall Street Journal, but also in rundown chicken shacks from coast to coast. Every day, Americans sing praises to Sanders and Thomas as they greedily feast on the flesh of our kin.

This is not dignity. This is not respect for life. This is genocide.

According to international law, "genocide" means the intentional killing of any identifiable ethnic, national, racial or religious group because of animus against that group. Chickens are a racial group. Our genetic combinations result in a unique racial identity. Racially, we are chickens. And because villains like Sanders and Thomas hunt us down and kill us because we are racially chicken, that makes them genocidal mass murderers, not entrepreneurs.

America should think long and hard about glorifying these killers. It should think about its principles. After all, America prosecuted Nazi war criminals for genocide after World War II. It prosecuted Slobodan Milosevic for "ethnic cleansing" in Yugoslavia. It even investigated Iraqi officials who allegedly killed minorities in that country. Hollywood superstars have lobbied for aid to Darfur, where ethnic groups make war on each other.

In short, America says it cares about stopping genocide. Why, then, does it call "Colonel" Sanders an "entrepreneur" rather than a chicken-slaughtering thug? America says it recoils from systematic, racially-motivated killings worldwide. Why, then, can it not see that chickens endure racially-motivated killing every single day? Chicken genocide proceeds on an unimaginable scale. Only 400,000 Rwandans perished in that country's genocide. Yet billions of chickens have been left writhing to die in grime-covered barrels since America took a liking to "Original Recipe" hot wings. And that's just in America. Other countries like to eat us, too. China, for instance, does not just violate human rights. It massively violates chicken rights, too. Put simply, no human genocide in history can compare to the intentional butchery chickens have suffered.

Chickens deserve to live the American dream. They deserve a chance to live in peace, prosper, propagate and find some happiness before they die. America guarantees that dream to all humans who live in its borders. It also says that all life is valuable. If that is true, why does America condemn chickens to systematic exploitation, pain and death? What about a young chicken's dream? Don't chickens get a chance to go to school, find love, work at a job and go to the movies on weekends? Don’t chickens get a chance to raise children and find meaning in life? Humans do. Why not chickens? We are living, breathing creatures, too. We have cells and brains. Our brains may not be as large as men's brains. But that is no reason to pluck us alive, cut our throats, batter us, fry us and feed us to a Little League team along with Grape Soda and potato salad.

We are more valuable than vegetables. We are living, breathing avians, not plants. We are not inanimate turnips or cabbage heads. Put simply, it is morally wrong for America to discriminate against us because we have feathers and small brains. We have webbed feet and gizzards. So what? America says it values diversity. Yet it kills us because we have gizzards and humans do not. America can benefit from all life, including creatures with gizzards. The fact that we have gizzards does not make us inferior. We are no less alive than a college professor or a superstar athlete. We all breathe the same air. We all give birth to young. True, we lay eggs and humans pop children out alive. But our distinctive reproductive methods are no reason to slaughter us and eat us; they are part of "who we are."

Federal law and the United States Constitution prohibit discrimination based upon reproductive capacity. It is no answer, then, to say that "chickens deserve differential treatment" simply because they lay eggs. In a word, America says it values equality. Like humans, we are "living things." Viewed in that light, we are equal. We demand EQUALITY NOW.

But this debate is not just about the law. This debate is about America's conscience. After all, how can America continue preaching about equality, dignity and "respect for life" when it condemns an entire segment of its living population to industrialized slaughter? How can America maintain its moral rectitude when it sets aside an entire segment of its living population to be greedily eaten along with sweet-n-sour sauce, cole slaw and biscuits? And how can it maintain its respect for individual autonomy when it refuses to allow chickens to form their own identities?

Every chicken is special. We refuse to be labeled "Grade A Fryers," "Finger-Lickin' Drumsticks," "Nuggets" or "Dark Meat Specials." We are unique individuals with thoughts, dreams and desires. America exists to allow every living individual to reach his maximal potential in all things. America exists to protect everyone's right to live. In that light, we demand that America live up to its principles. It must stop praising chicken butchers like "Colonel" Sanders and Dave Thomas. It must stop dooming our relatives to frozen death in microwave dinner boxes. In short, how is it American to allow a human to go to college and prosper, while allowing a chicken to live a wretched existence before being thrown into a steel plucking machine?

It is time to stand up for what is right. It is time to stand up for life. Chickens have so much to contribute to American life. We do not just exist to die and fill human stomachs. We do not just exist to peck around farmyards and cluck. No, we are living, breathing creatures. We can achieve great things. And if America cares about stopping genocide, it can start by bringing men like Sanders and Thomas to justice, not calling them "successful food industry entrepreneurs."

There is nothing "entrepreneurial" about mass murder. As chickens in a Republic that values diversity in all living things, we demand a voice. We refuse to be exterminated, chopped up, bagged and drowned in barbecue sauce any longer.

That is not our destiny. And that is no way to treat an entire race in America.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010



We remember moments in life. It is hard to remember particular days, or even particular eras in our lives. But certain moments inscribe themselves in us with uncanny detail. I think that's interesting, because moments are much shorter than days or eras.

On the other hand, it makes sense that we remember moments because they are sensory. Memory is little more than "stored sense" that fades over time. In a particular moment, we see, hear, feel or taste particular things. Sometimes our senses leave an impression. Most times, they do not. After all, we need to sense to survive; we can't possibly remember every little thing we sense. No, we only remember moments that are, well, worth remembering.

I have a lot of really good memories. My good memories generally fall into two categories: Moments when I felt inwardly good about a situation without external recognition; and moments when I overcame some external obstacle or achieved some popular reward.

I can give examples. First, I remember a night in November 1994 when my best friend and I frolicked shirtless through a school field in rural Connecticut. No one was there but us. The moon was shining. We laughed and screamed all night. We fell in the grass and just looked up at the stars. I talked about whatever came in my head and everything I said just seemed to be right. It was unusually warm for that time of year. Then we got into my car and just went home.

That was a "good memory" that did not involve any external recognition. I remember the things I saw, heard and felt. No one else witnessed what my friend and I did that night; yet it remains a cherished memory. I did not win any accolades for it. I just remember feeling so, so good. And I can relate that feeling to the things I saw, heard and felt that night in 1994.

Second, I remember several days in January 2004, during my first year in law school. I had just taken my first law exams and I was extremely nervous. I felt as if my entire future depended on how I did on those tests. For the previous four months, I had worked harder than at any other time in my life to that point.

New York Law School published exam results through a computer system. Every day, I nervously logged in to my account to see whether they had posted my results. I had to type in an ID code to access my information. There was always a brief delay between the time I entered my code and the time the webpage came up. I always held my breath during that moment. I remember that my heart even raced. I remember that I perspired a lot then, too. I remember feeling droplets of sweat fall from the top of my armpit onto my side.

After about a week of nervous checking, I finally saw results. I had gotten mostly A's on my exams and wound up with a Grade Point Average of 3.79, which placed me in the Top 10 of my class of 400. I felt a bizarre mix of relief, exultation and new confidence. Professors and friends congratulated me after the yearly rankings went public. I relished my success. It felt really good. I had overcome a huge barrier and received external praise for it.

Unlike the nocturnal moment in the field with my boyhood friend, this was a "good memory" that depended exclusively on official judgments. It was still "good," but for entirely different reasons. And I remember it differently, too.

But I am not ashamed to admit that I remember bad experiences as much as I remember good ones. In fact, I think I have learned more about myself by reliving my less-than-heroic moments and understanding why they were so bad. Our failures defines us as much--if not more--than our successes. After all, just as we can succeed in many ways, so too can we fail in many ways. We can fail externally, as through school grades or critical condemnation for "poor work." Others can tell us we have failed to reach an "acceptable" standard, and that feels bad. Or we can fail internally, as when we lose our composure or sacrifice our beliefs. We don't need other people to tell us we've failed when we fail internally.

I have suffered both kinds of failure. But I find external failure much easier to bear than internal failure. After all, you can always blame your judge or your critic if you fail externally. Maybe they just didn't like you. Maybe the test was unfair. It's easier to justify external failure.

But you can't run from yourself: When you fail internally, you've failed to meet your own standards. And you can't point your finger at some test-grader or theater critic for that.

I'm far, far, far from perfect. I have failed so much in life. In most cases, I can move beyond my failures. But I never forget them. I try to learn from them. Still, they sting me when I recall them, especially when I failed myself.

Here's a moment I'm not proud of. Last October, my partner, Steve, went to the hospital after suffering an acute manic episode. For several weeks before that, his condition had steadily worsened. He did not sleep for 60 hours straight at one point. He constantly busied himself with "tasks;" he woke me from bed every 15 minutes every night to help him re-clean the apartment or find some random webpage. He drew up long, detailed lists every day and tried to accomplish every little thing on the list, like buying a gurtel at some far-away store he found on the internet. He became angry when he did not complete everything on the list each day. Then he became hostile and profligate. He picked fights with random people on the street. He spent thousands on useless things, like Christmas ornaments and big rolls of fancy platinum ribbons for Thank You cards.

By the time Steve went to the hospital, I was ready to strangle him. Yet this was the man I had loved for ten years. I could not believe I was feeling the way I was. But I was so exhausted and so emotionally battered that I just wanted relief; and it seemed the only way to find relief was to cast him off. I felt better when I recognized that he had a serious disease. I tried not to take his abuse personally. The words still hurt, though. I was happy that he got the medical attention he needed. I was even happier to get a three-week break alone to rebuild my mental constitution.

I remember feeling somewhat disappointed when the doctor called to tell me that Steve was ready to come home. I felt a swirling mix of fear, resentment, childish selfishness and fatigue. I did not want to endure the same problems that arose when Steve fell ill. I didn't want to be woken up again every 15 minutes. Plus, I felt as if I had just caught my breath after a grueling bout, and now I would have to grit my teeth and start fighting all over again. Still, I tried to put on my most positive face when I went to pick Steve up at the hospital. I could not deny that I still loved him. I thought: "Maybe he'll be better now." I allowed myself to hope, even though my overall mood was dark and frustrated.

Steve was in surprisingly good shape when I brought him home. His doctors had found the medication he needed to achieve emotional stability, and he was on the path to a "new normalcy." I was glad to see that. We even went out to lunch late that afternoon. Steve moved very slowly. His eyes looked exhausted and glazed over. He was heavily medicated. One medication made him drool and he had to wear a bib. I had to help him walk from place to place. He used a cane because he was unsteady on his feet. Naturally, all these things aroused my pity. Steve cut a pathetic picture now. It hurt me deeply.

And I still felt past resentments. My temper was short. I was in no mood for any additional challenges. But sure enough, while we walked home from the restaurant, a challenge arose. As we crossed 4th Avenue at 12th Street, we tried to hail a cab. When the cabbie saw Steve's cane, he made a dismissive gesture and said: "No, no, no," then drove off. That made me angry. It also cost us time; the light was about to change. Steve was too slow to make it across 4th Avenue before the oncoming traffic got a green signal. It was around 5 o'clock. As we passed in front of a guy on a motorcycle, the horns started blowing. The guy on the motorcycle rolled his eyes at me and Steve as if to say: "Get going, will you?"

It touched a nerve. I completely lost my temper. I stopped right in the middle of the street and said: "What the fuck are you looking at? Can't you see I'm trying to help this man?" In the meantime, Steve made his way to the other side of the street. But I stayed. My voice rose and my heart pounded hard. I continued yelling. I remember saying: "So you think you're special because you're wearing that fucking hat, huh?" As I stood there cursing, the traffic started moving at full speed all around me. I was so enraged that I did not even recognize how much danger I faced. The guy on the motorcycle didn't say a word. He just smiled at me and shook his head as if to say: "What a fucking nut." He drove right past me. Another guy in a car almost rolled over my right foot. I remember feeling the tire graze the front of my sneaker. I was too livid to comprehend what was going on.

Ultimately we got a cab and headed home. Steve told me that my voice changed and that my eyes had bulged while I was out yelling in the street. After a few minutes, the adrenaline passed from my body and I started to feel extremely bad about what had just happened. I felt that I had made a fool of myself. Steve just shook his head. I tried to explain that I lost my temper because I was upset that people were so insensitive about his condition. That was partially true; I was also just really angry about having him back in the house again. Thankfully, the subsequent weeks proved that anger moot; Steve never went manic again.

I recount that story because it's a moment I'm not proud of. I take pride in my reason. I like to feel that I can coolly handle any situation with dignity. But on that day in October 2009, I completely abandoned my reason and fell headlong into dangerous emotion. Make no mistake: I do not flee from emotion; in most situations, I even relish it. But extreme emotion is dangerous. It undermines everything. I felt uncontrollable rage that day. It was as if I stepped from my own skin and became a wild beast. In addition, I reproached myself for the petty selfishness I felt that whole day. I knew that selfishness fanned my underlying anger, and that anger exploded into fury. That was out of character for me. I failed myself.

Still, I learned a lot from that moment. I learned that human reason hangs by a thread. Despite all our claims to rational intelligence and equanimity, pressures can drive the human mind straight back to animal depths in an instant. It is just a question of circumstance, mood and stimulus. After all, we are but sensory creatures. Sense might lead to science and discovery. But it can also lead to wrath and destruction.

Having said all this, I can still find some justification for my outburst. I truly feel anger toward people who are callous about Steve. I won't deny that. I love Steve. He is handicapped; it is obvious. When people look at him funny or rush him on the street, it really bothers me. For the most part, he stays indoors now because he knows that he can't handle the barbarians outside.

Most people just don't understand. I can't expect them to, either. But that doesn't stop me from feeling anger about it. I wish I didn't. I'm not proud of it. Yet I can learn a lot about others--and myself--when I reflect on it.

Monday, February 15, 2010



Attorneys at Law Specializing in Mergers & Acquisitions

"We Help You Combine. Every Time."™

DATE : February 15, 2010

TO: Ms. Gabriella D. Purdy, B.A. (no relevant accolades) ("VALENTINEE")

FROM : Mr. Herbert J. Plainman, Esq., Senior Partner (Top 100, American Lawyer P.P.D. (Profit-Per-Deal List)); Silver Medal Winner, Monopoly Advocates of America, LLC (2008)("VALENTINOR").

RE : Valentine's Day

Ms. Purdy,

Pursuant to applicable law, rules and any provision of the Civil Procedure Law and Rules of the State of New York (NYCPL), please accept this Expression of Valentinary Intent (hereinafter "Valentine") done on or before February 15, 2010, in the City of New York, County of New York, State of New York, Country of the United States of America, from aforementioned attorney Mr. Herbert J. Plainman, Esq. (hereinafter the "Valentinor")(State Bar No. 987125).


Now, therefore, comes VALENTINOR, and in recognition of certain amorous feelings, having arisen in aforementioned Valentinor, and subject to all limitations applicable under any relevant law, ethical guideline, handbook, employee manual, offer, contract, pamphlet or written item having direct pertinence hereon, and giving due deference thereto (and disclaiming any intent to violate any such limitations, liability wherefor is hereby expressly disclaimed), Valentinor hereby presents this certain "Valentine" to and for aforementioned Valentinee.

It is expressly and unequivocally understood that Valentinor finds certain bodily and psychical characteristics in aforementioned Valentinee "appealing," both as a matter of taste and as a matter of law. Those characteristics include--but are in no wise limited to--her lips, hips, chest, legs, eyes, face, stomach, voice, charm and fashion choices. According to the Court of Appeals, "appealing" means "objectively pleasant to the satisfaction of any office or officer duly appointed under law to judge pleasantness, be that pleasantness aesthetic, erotic, artistic, intellectual or otherwise bearing upon the human senses." See, e.g., Quaker v. Booty-Licious Bumshakers Dance Hall Ltd., 4 N.Y.3d 165,190 (2005)(Kaye, C.J.).

In view thereof, and in view of Valentinor's express finding (under all relevant State evidence rules) that Valentinee is "appealing," Valentinor hereby concludes that it is both reasonable and prudent to present this Valentine, unless Valentinor in any way concludes that Valentinee is not appealing, either in body or spirit, in his sole and unreviewable discretion. Valentinee's expression of affection for any persons--or animals--other than aforementioned Valentinor shall result in the immediate rescission of this Valentine in toto, with treble damages not to exceed $400,000, U.S. currency, to be assessed against Valentinee as liquidated compensation therefor.

This Valentine serves as a symbol of Valentinary Intent and no more. This Valentine is not a contract. It creates no legal duty or obligation in Valentinor. Valentinor's failure to perform according to this Valentine creates no claim whatsoever in Valentinee. Valentinor is under no obligation whatsoever to show good faith in the performance of this Valentine, nor must Valentinor continue to show affection in any appreciable way beyond a time reasonable for showing affection consistent with office protocols or any other applicable decency standards, including the criminal law. (Valentinee is hereby advised that Failure to Appreciate Your Employer is a crime under New York Law.) But upon acceptance of this Valentine, Valentinee assumes an absolute and nondelegable duty to show Unlimited Affection (hereinafter "UA")--in both mind and body--to Valentinor, in excess of the customary employer-employee affection expected in the course of office service. UA includes, but is not limited to: Making remarks as to Valentinor's good looks; praising Valentinor's masculinity; rubbing Valentinor's body in all places directed by Valentinor; dressing in an appropriately alluring way as directed by Valentinor (subject to Valentinor's rejection and imposing a duty to cure such rejection upon Valentiee); removing aforesaid clothing at any time (and at any place) directed by Valentinor; shaking any body parts in any manner directed by Valentinor (in this context, "shaking" includes erotically oscillating movement both in contact with Valentinor's body and outside Valentinor's body), and delivering various gifts to Valentinor subject to decency and Valetinor's request. Valentinee's failure to perform any of above-mentioned duties under this Valentine shall result in immediate termination, negative reporting to all major credit bureaus and referral to police authorities for disorderly conduct.

Valentinor herewith acknowledges that this Valentine comes one day late. In view of the fact that the Holiday commonly known as "Valentine's Day" fell upon February 14 in this calendar year, and in view of the fact that February 14 fell upon a Sunday in this calendar year, Valentinor hereby submits that it was legally impossible to deliver this certain Valentine on a Legal Workday (see, i.a., 5 U.S.C. § 6103). Legal Impossibility is a defense to any action based in contract. See., e.g., Combs v. Work-It Records, Co., Inc., 84 N.Y.2d 143, 150 (1994). Pursuant to law, Valentinor had no duty to deliver this Valentine to Valentinee on Valentine's Day; and Valentinee hereby waives any cause of action for Valentinor's failure to deliver this Valentine on February 14, 2010, any exception in the common law of the State of New York, the law of the United States or the Constitutions of the United States and the State of New York absolutely notwithstanding.

In the alternative, Valentinor asserts that this Valentine is purely gratuitous and may not be enforced against Valentinor in any way whatsoever. But because Valentinor is Valentinee's employer, Valentinor reserves the right to enforce this Valentine against Valentinee to the full extent of law, morality, decency, justice, right and any other authority deemed controlling hereon, including Valentinor's subjective jealousy and envy.

Valentinee is under no obligation to accept this Valentine. According to law, acceptance is only valid if it is free and voluntary. See, e.g., Morris Carburetor Repair of Queens Boulevard v. Fuggett Supply House, Inc., 1 N.Y.3d 363, 370 (2004). But if Valentinee does not accept this Valentine, Valentinor cannot warrant Valentinee's future employment at this firm, nor can Valentinor warrant Valentinee's future employability or income. Valentinor further promises that he will make best efforts to torpedo Valentinee's career if Valentiee does not freely and voluntarily accept this Valentine without qualification. Valentinor therefore must advise Valentinee to accept this Valentine and all duties appurtenant thereto, it being a relatively small price to pay for incumbent benefits.

Valetinee has no right to bargain for or alter the terms of this Valentine. This Valentine represents the full and final agreement of the parties hereto, any prior or contemporaneous oral declarations thereagainst notwithstanding. It is offered solely on a "take-it-or-leave-it" basis.


In view of the foregoing, would you please by my Valentine, subject in all events to controlling legal authorities, limitations and exclusions, unless those authorities be held invalid prior to acceptance?

I have hereby set my hand hereunto, this 15th Day of February, 2010,

Mr. Herbert J. Plainman, Esq.