Close

Take a look at this: That's Bonds' 715th on Sunday. See the two guys in white T-shirts in the center of the frame, one with the black ballcap turned backwards and the one with the red cap? My wife's brother and brother-in-law. Man, that was close to quite a payoff. (photo via MSNBC)


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Better Safe than Sorry

That's what they say, anyway. Personally, I've never even come close to living that way. I think if I had to identify the one thing that's predominantly responsible for the success of Western Civilization in general and America in particular--by which I mean leading the world to virtually everything I consider important--it's a certain sort of willingness to take risks when there are potentially big payoffs at stake. Without a willingness to undertake risk, nothing much ever happens. So that's what I thought of when I heard about that fiasco in Washington on Friday and later read Kyle's take on it. It's no surprise. Did you really think that any of those people--a single one of them--are the sort who would or could ever make the world a better place because they were willing to take a big risk for a big payoff? Any Da Vincis in there? Magellans? Einsteins? Henry Fords or Rockefellers? Were there even any take-charge civilians there? Any Flight 93 genetic material? Nope. Not a single one. That's not where you find such people, and the events of Friday showed that fact very clearly, which of course raises the question: what sort of people do you...


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Caring

In the same vein as my last entry, I'm just sitting here outside the New Leaf Community Market off Hwy 9 in Felton, CA up in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Lot's of spiritual people up here and that's what I aspire to, above all. Yep. Just sitting here under an umbrella outside sipping my organic coffee, which also happens to be fair-trade certified (of course). I gotta say, too: these new Sony TX-series notebooks (all 3 lbs. of them) with the built-in wide-area data network are quite sumthin'. This thing now goes with me everywhere, and in general, if I can get a cell signal I can get on line with connection speeds far in excess of dial-up. I'm just generally feeling the love, the peace, the wisdom. Yes; Wisdom. The ancient kind. Like this, the bulletin board outside the store that I snapped with the Treo a moment ago and emailed to myself in order to get it into the notebook, here, wirelessly--and then published out to the blog wirelessly. Check out all the opportunities one has up here in the peaceful, enlightened society to gain real wisdom--not to mention serious opportunities to get laid. Ok, gig's up. I...


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Democracy Now!

I got this link to an article about John Travolta's "little place" the other day--the one with the B-707 parked out front. It's a little laborious to get through. It violates my "no horizontal scrolling" rule and the person who put it up needs to be beat about the head & shoulders for that one. That said, surely the couple must be gobsmacked by what they have pulled off? Do they ever look around...at possibly the world's most elegant private airport...the two planes parked in their front yard and just...giggle? "Oh yea," they laugh in unison. "Every single day." Well. "Chortle" might be a better description, don't you think? I'd just like to know where Travolta and Preston get off. Who do they think they are, taking for themselves such a very large slice of our social pie? Huh? 6,700 square feet of residence, 9 acre estate, and a tarmac large enough for a 707 and a Gulfstream II. It boggles the mind, such useless and excessive consumption. Disgusting. The thousands of gallons of fuel--for a single trip. The pollution. Yuk! They need two jets? How many people are living in poverty around the world, going hungry because John and...


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I’ll Tell You Why

Neal asks: Why delete James Shott's comment? I'll tell you why. This is my blog. I make no claim to objectivity. It exists entirely -- without equivocation or apology -- for my own selfish pleasure. When I deem that controversy, arguments, even personal insults in comments serve my ultimate interest, such comments remain (99%, so far; at least). If not: delete button. I always (at least I know of no time when I haven't) give commenters one free shot at me. I shoot back, and unless the repartee is a tone-down, getting down to the argument, I dump it. Unless the conversatation is intersting, I don't want a 50+ comment flame war that wastes a lot of my time. Shott's follow-on comment was 80% insult, some of it of a clearly dishonest and manipulative nature. It was long. To answer it was simply: not worth my time. So I deleted it. No apology whatsoever. My blog. My rules. I'll tell you what. If you were to look at the record of comments, there's lots of insults, even in the 2nd and 3rd round and beyond. That's because the person was at least making some argument worthy of being addressed. Shott...


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May Report Card

Profits of $21,369; a 24.2% return on cash. I reported on April here. Click on the Market Trading category for the whole series, in reverse chronological order (start at the bottom, work your way up). Well, any concerns expressed in April as to the low volatility numbers (resulting in lower credit premiums) have been cured. If you follow the markets at all, you may be aware that last week offered a moderate correction on all indices. It was due. Unfortunately, I didn't listen to my prudent and conservative side and got myself into trouble. It's not manifest in this month, which for options-expiration purposes, closes out on the third Friday. But for June I've been scrambling rather significantly. More on that later. I realized that my method of reporting results was flawed. To date, I've been reporting results based on the expiration month of the option, regardless of when it was opened or closed. This really gives a skewed view of returns month-by-month, when in reality, my account has pretty much been increasing continually. Since I'll now be mixing options months, then return on risk, as I've done in the past, will no longer calculate correctly. I'll just use a...


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Tell me again…

...why voting is so important? Now, don't get me wrong. Voting is "stupid" (I've other words, too) per se, but within the raw, closed-logic of the thing, Kim's right on. Update: as I was saying.


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“Illegal”

Someone in email, referencing a VDH article about the immigration issue: Seems the most intelligent man on earth doesn't have a problem with the term "illegal." I should care? Hansen is educated and smart. He's right about the terrorist threat--but that's because Hansen is a war historian. Read any of his history books, like Carnage & Culture? I have. You can borrow it. Here, he's out of his element and his league, in spite of his book Mexifornia. Hansen understands culture and geopolitics. He understands might and the power of the state and how the big events in history come to pass. I don't know if he understands the sovereignty of individual rights as they ought to be understood. Look, I'm right, even if I'm the only goddamned person in the world saying it. I don't give a damn who says otherwise, or how many there are. There's one word that blasts the concept of legality out of the water, completely and totally: slavery. Think about it. I got this, yesterday: The word "illegal" is the key word here!!! No, it's not. That's a cop out, and I think you know it. And uttering it makes just about anyone who...


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That About Sums it Up

I just received something in email that about made my blood boil. That's been dealt with severely. Let me tell you conservatives and Republicans something: You disgust me with your incessant and evil harping about "illegal" immigration. You have lost completely and totally the spirit of what America was all about. Completely and totally. Nothing is left. You think it was about a constitution and laws. It was about leaving oppression and misery behind, risking it all -- including your very life -- and seeking new opportunity in a new land where you could trade in peace and hopefully earn for yourself and your loved ones a better life. It was about Declaring your Independence from those who would prevent you by force from exercising what you believed was your God-given (not government given; not democratically given) right to the honest and peaceful pursuit of your own life, liberty, and happiness. And you've lost it all. Now, it's no more important or sacred that some effing government-issued ID Card that amounts to essentially nothing less than a license to live where you wish to live, work where you wish to work, and for whom, and raise your children where you...


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The Very Exceedingly Complicated Nature of Society

Man... I keep linking Radley Balko. So often, there's just no damned way around it. From the guy I link to probably second only to Balko myself. Here's what I said recently, and Billy agreed. And I've got seven of Balko's posts at the ready for yet another roundup when I get a chance here. The post Billy is linking to is one I'd read just minutes before, but it was not one I'd intended to blog. Then I saw this: Look: everything is wrapped-up -- necessarily implicit -- in the first clause of that first sentence [...so long Congress continues to spend...], and that first clause, itself, requires analysis to uncover the fact that this ability to "spend" stands on the power to steal. Not one of you reading these words is authorized to go to your neighbors and take from them what is theirs in order for you to transform it into something that you think is good for them. There is no such moral right. And you know it. You would not have any of them do that to you. There is no way that any such right comes to existence by numbers of you gathering to...


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Calling the Kettle Black

I enjoyed reading Dan Brown's novel, The Da Vinci Code. You might have noticed the Da Vinci quote at the top of this blog and that book was where I first read of it. Also, the background is a cropped portion of a Da Vinci sketch that I manipulated in one of those 'photoshop' things. I saw the film last evening in a packed theater that must have been 90 degrees. Ugh. Could have done without that. The film was OK, I suppose. It hit the main points of the story, but almost in a mechanical and rushed way. It naturally wasn't nearly as entertaining as the novel. As an aside, his Angels & Demons (written and published prior to TDVC) was a far better, more action-packed novel, in my view. What a kerfuffle we've got here, eh? Up. In. Arms. To say the least. Wow. Y'know, I found the excitement concerning the novel to be quite charming and entertaining. Here you had people recommending it and talking about it in hushed tones to others as if it were a legitimate, scholarly refutation of core beliefs. I suppose that where intelligence, reason, logic and the scientific method won't suffice, you've...


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Staying on the Bus

So's you can go the back of the bus... That's what's all the rage, now. It's great to be the victim of racism. The racists...they're everywhere. Don't miss out. Be a victim today. Cultural Racism: Those aspects of society that overtly and covertly attribute value and normality to white people and Whiteness, and devalue, stereotype, and label people of color as “other”, different, less than, or render them invisible. Examples of these norms include defining white skin tones as nude or flesh colored, having a future time orientation, emphasizing individualism as opposed to a more collective ideology, defining one form of English as standard, and identifying only Whites as great writers or composers. Well, it's been blogged all over the place, so I'm not sure who'd I'd give credit to. Call a nude white person nude: your a racist. Claim your individuality: racist. Plan your future: racist. Call proper English proper: racist. Mention a good writer or composer who happens to be white, while not also mentioning one who happens to be black, brown, red, or yellow: racist. My god. What it must take to bend a human mind around to the point where it 'works' like this. Indeed. Update:...


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A Convenient Lie

During a visit to the cinema last evening, I was "treated" to the trailer for the upcoming Al Gore film: An Inconvenient Truth. Knock yourselves out. If you're unable to detect the difference between real science, and an agenda that cherry picks out-of-context material for use in post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacies, then what the hell? -- you're a moron, a scientific ignoramus, and there's really no point in you being anything different. Just be you, and keep entertaining the rest of us. Just Googling around, I'm amazed at all the "most important film" hoopla from people who don't know a goddamned thing about "greenhouse" gasses, their effects, their possible causes, their possible benefits, the scale of the data, the scope of the data, the reliability of the data prior to the whole issue...and on and on. For the 1% of you capable of getting through something that actually deals with the science scientifically, albeit completely inaccessible to sycophants like Micki Krimmel, then you could start with places like junkscience.com.


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Chaos and Mass Civil Unrest Narrowly Averted

Well I just got home and undertook to walk the two terrorists (Rotor and Nannuk) cleverly disguised as cute little rat terriers. Here's some recent pics of Rotor while on stud duty. He's the brown-faced one. I digress. So we went out on the normal course around the block and I could see down the RR tracks that there was some commotion involving the police. There were at least a couple of cars and a cop on a bike. Must have been something serious. By the time I got around to the other side of the block and walked by, there were six cops on scene. Four police cars, one with a blown-out tire from ramming the curb. They were all glad handing, high fiving and generally spreading the glory. What lay there on the street, hands cuffed behind his back, was not some gang of thugs intent on wreaking havoc on the peaceful, but a lone, brown-skinned man of Latin descent. He weighed all of 130 lbs., and he was choked up trying to talk to them. I saw no weapons or anything else that might represent a threat to me or anyone else. Frankly, I don't know whether...


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Just Another Day Here in the “Land of the Free”

Make sure you watch the video associated with the story Billy Beck links to. You know, it has been a good 10 years now that I have been toying with the idea to someday create a massive online public ostracism database for placing swine such as Natalie Preston of the Baltimore Police Department. Perhaps one of these days I'll post something about it.


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Dear John

Well, taking just the non-gibberish portions of your comments... "Well, you know, when I read of millions of people being 'consigned to dung heaps' - children too, I guess - I think that in such circumstances I'd prefer to be numbered among the dead myself." You have been. You are. You will. Humanity has been consigned to the dung heap, by nature, for all of history, John, and you are condemned to join them. Don't you get it? Hell, even large swaths of human myth understand that fact, as well as the convenience it offers for conjuring up unprovable, mystical ways out for the lazy and ignorant. For tens of thousands of years, man lived a few short years in miserable conditions and general discomfort. And now he doesn't. Not because of myths, but because of what the few accomplished--because those heroic ones were able to control our very environment, the very nature of our existence. And there's no reason it should end there. In times past, the 99% of the population who are functional morons and imbeciles just shut up and did as they were told while the few, uncrippled by stupidity, went and built a civilization for the...


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Preview of May Report Card

Well, what a day. If you've been following along, you'll see I've been keeping things in the black. Tomorrow is expiration day for May options on the SPX, so as usual, the Wednesday and Thursday of expiration week are lively and focused. Today was no exception. Here's what I just posted to my trading discussion list. Subj: I Wimped Out Alright, when I saw that 1272 break and go all the way down to 1267, I decided to pull the trigger. One of my cardinal rules is that once I decide to roll, I roll, no matter what. I could see the picture improving in the background as I was "livin' it up," but no matter. All in all, here's how it went: 1270/1280 put: debit of $6.4, so the 20 contracts cost $12,800. I then looked to roll out to a June put, but then realized I was out of balance to the downside for June, so my only alternative given maintenance constraints was to go the topside, which I really hate to do because it violates my rules; but I had no choice--I tend to keep my account pretty loaded without much on the sidelines. So: 1300/1310 call:...


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Europe or Bust

Well, just booked flights on Air France from San Francisco to Paris Chales DeGalle, leaving Monday July 3. We'll make a three week trip of it, returning the 24th. Can you imagine what kind of time and effort it takes to plan a three week touring vacation, particularly if the wife is allowed any input? So can I, which is why the extent of our firm reservations is airline tickets and a reservation at the Hertz counter (670 bucks for three weeks--not bad at all). The soft, sort of we'll see how it goes-plans include staying a few days in Paris, heading down south through Orleans and on to Toulouse. Then maybe down as far as Valencia, Spain where we'll intercept the Med. Then We'll just run the course through Barcelona and all the way up to Marseilles where we enter my old stomping grounds, including Cassis, Bandol, my former residence of Toulon, and of course St. Tropez, "St. Raf," Cannes and Nice. Then it's on to Monte Carlo and over into Italy and on down to Rome--and maybe Napoli if it's looking like we'll have time. Then it'll be northwest marking our way back to Paris, which might include...


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Me: School Teacher

That's right. All next week, an hour per day. My wife's 5th grade class. For years she's been telling me about the Junior Achievement program to bring business and economics to the classroom. There's a different curriculum for each grade level and upon a cursory review of the 5th grade material, it's pretty good. Of course, I'll be adding an insight or two of my own . We'll see how it goes and I shall report.


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You Can’t Fight City Hall

Jeff Michael brings up something I always find bizarre and ends up referencing a couple of my past posts in the process. The tax protester movement amuses me to no end, especially the sort that claims that the tax law in reality does not require the payment of some sorts of taxes, or withholding, or what have you and that the IRS is just not following its own rules. It's the most bizarrely circular sort of thing, don't you think? Here we have a government that could lock you up for more than 100 years if you violated enough tax laws, and regularly does lock up people for non-compliance with the tax code, which, morally, is the equivalent of being locked in jail for running away from a mugger. Given that reality, does anyone really believe that the IRS really cares what the finer points of the tax code might be? If someone could actually get a judge to go their way, how long do you think the code would remain "ambiguous?" Look, don't pay any of these hucksters any money, because that's all it is. They want you to think there's some magic silver bullet that gets you out...


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