Victor Niederhoffer

Back up a bit. It must have been about 10 years ago -- '97 or so -- when I last walked the streets of New York City. Whenever I'm in a great city -- be it New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc. -- it is my consistent habit to be out and about fairly early in the morning. Lots of reasons why, but I suppose it's primarily that I like seeing the things come alive as they do. Back then, I recall grabbing a sausage, egg & cheese croissant, tater tots and coffee from a Burger King and then browsing the tables of a sidewalk book vendor. Fitting, I thought -- seeing as I was in NYC -- to pick up this book, The Education of a Speculator, by Victor Niederhoffer. But through some set of circumstances I no longer recall, I got sidetracked somewhere near the beginning of the book, put it down, and forgot about it. Then I saw it two weeks ago amongst my significant book collection that I keep up at the cabin. Seeing as I now trade virtually full time, I took it down, began reading, and began googling here...


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Radley Roundup

Another victim of commonplace police and prosecutor criminality is set free after being held as the slave of Los Angeles County for 20 years. Meanwhile, other similar criminal behavior is exposed for the 200th time. [BalkoLink] What do you think would happen to you if you got drunk, argued with a police officer about whether you were fit to drive, then pulled out a gun and shot him? Why not a paid vacation? Two of the three cops who broke into 92-yr-old Kathryn Johnston's place in Atlanta last November, murdered her, planted drug evidence, and solicited the help of an informant to lie about a drug buy go down in a plea of manslaughter in exchange for testimony as to how the Atlanta Police Department is a band of thugs and criminals. One to go. Note: this is some justice being served on these two thugs. Kathryn Johnston can't get any justice. She's dead. Patterico (Patrick Frey), the LA County assistant DA (criminal prosecutor) gets it wrong, as usual. He's not the only one. You can dig through the comments if you like, in search of a good argument as to why -- should your home ever be invaded by...


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Seascape

Looks like it's been about three weeks since I told you I was going to build a marine aquarium. Well, I've been telling everyone who has any idea of how difficult this is to get right that I'm embarrassed because it's just going so damn well. I've never had a tank go so perfectly, but I think I owe that to using 100% live sand (wet sea sand actually bagged and shipped out from Fiji and other tropical regions) and my live rock was well cured. Essentially, this gives you all the bacteria and other micro-organisms you need for a stable saltwater environment. Then, of course, you've got to keep it that way, unless you want to do water changes every week. A competent saltwater aquarist ought not have to do any more than a 20% water change once per month. Alright, so here's where we are, so far. Ideally, that link takes you into a new tab or window and Quicktime will play the video in highly resolute 640x480. All those corals and polyps are live, of course, and there'll eventually be a lot more. You have to add stuff slowly, so as to not overwhelm the creatures that...


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One Man’s Tale

A well written, very credible account of one man's experience with the exceedingly corrupt Dallas SWAT, Dallas Sheriff, Dallas Police, Dallas Code Enforcement and the Dallas District Attorney; along with their partners in crime at Granada Entertainment and A&E Broadcasting. Make no mistake: all of the above are the criminals in this story. The show of force and weaponry brought by the cops was simply outrageous and unjustified, given the circumstances, but, then again, are they enforcing the law or making a TV show? You decide. How much of this do you suppose goes on against those unable to express themselves as well as this innocent man, the victim of legal predators.


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A Friday Afternoon

Alright. What a week, what with the Va-Tech massacre and attendant gun-control lunacy in wake. Rather than another post about why there's no guarantee attached to "gun free zone," I thought I'd just go out and reaffirm my own disposition. Those shots were aimed at the head on the left. Not too bad, I'd say, since it's been like 1988 since I shot one-handed (I'm holding the cam in the other hand and we're shooting at 10 yards). Yea, you don't need to let me know that it's a hostage target and I'm not supposed to shoot the guy on the right. I didn't want to buy another target, okay? What you can't see in this version (it's reasonably clear in the native file) is the Colt .38 I show sitting on the bench. That was my grandmother's "snub-nose," and it sat on her bedside table (loaded) for as long as I can remember as a kid. My grandfather had a .38 as well, but with a long barrel. I'll leave you with Ted. Update: Oh, yea. It's a Sig-Sauer P-229; .40 S&W.


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A Comment

I imagine that in those awful, brutal moments during the assault; with sounds of pop, pop, pop; with people screaming as the marauder rampaged from room to room... many must have been wishing, lamenting that the government had just done something more -- somehow -- to halt the proliferation of guns. Can you just imagine -- in their final moments of life or safety -- how they must have yearned and longed for guns to have just been banned altogether? On the other hand, perhaps they all just wished they had one in hand. What would you have wished for? That was my comment to the morons, dinks and imbecils commenting here. Other than Brian Ross and Dana Hughes, the morons, dinks and imbecils are easily identified by their moronic, dinky, and imbecilic comments. That's all.


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Larry Hincker

That's the moron so roundly put down and kicked about yesterday by every rational person with keyboard, blog, and righteous rage. Well, it seems like the moron himself feels qualified to write on these matters. The only real difference between his screed and the thousands of imbecilic screeds like it is that he bet against the odds of being proved stupid, and lost. Guns don't belong in classrooms. They never will. Virginia Tech has a very sound policy preventing same. Well, mutherfucker, your "sound policy" and $3.50 will get you a latte at Starbucks, you brainless and dangerous shithead. (Aaron)


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What I’d been wondering but didn’t mention

There are reports -- granted unconfirmed at this time -- that several students were forced to line up, kneeling, and executed from behind. I pray to the old gods -- the gods of war and blood and thunder -- that this is not the case. I pray that some students went down fighting. Because as bad as this is -- and this is a horror -- as bad as this is, if fifty some-odd people were injured and killed by one person whilst on their knees begging like so many Eloi, like a herd of sheep -- if no one stood up and fought back, then this is becomes an example of evil. Not the evil that allows a man to kill other men -- although that is here in abundance. No, I am speaking of the putrescent evil which convinces good men not to fight back; the sordid filth of the soul which allows one bad man to prevail against fifty -- or 25,000 -- good men because good men have been systematically denied the mindset required to meet with, engage and defeat evil -- even if all you have is fingernails and rage. One man. On a campus...


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Worthless

I don't know about you, but I have nothing but a deep and profound loathing for that whole cop-scene looping continuously on the news surrounding the Virginia Tech mass murder. I hadn't a chance to watch any TV while things were unfolding yesterday, but I flipped around the dial last evening and was just appalled by the display. Don't know I could put it any better than Billy: ...where all the video shows us these slug-ass cops running to & fro with all their fine army-man wannabe costuming. Bunch 'a pussies. Losers. You got that, Blacksburg Police Department, County Sheriff, SWAT, BATF, and all the rest of you dipshits who got all dressed up so's you could parade your worthless carcasses around the TEEVEE all day looking all toughass? You're putrid and disgusting. Every one of you. Actually, you're worse than worthless. I could be grudgingly satisfied -- or at least resigned -- with worthless. But what you guys do is actively perpetuate the fraud -- you get that: fraud -- that honest and peaceful people are safe around you -- that you'll protect them; when in point of observable fact, you're either preening your costumed candy asses in front...


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Eerie

What can you say? It has only been thousands of years of civilization and yet "we" still don't seem to understand the distinction between good people of honest character and bad people of a predatory bent. There's no guarantee that this would have prevented or stopped what happened at Virginia Tech, today, but it's a certainty that disarming the former kind of people did nothing whatsoever to discourage, prevent, or stop the latter kind of person. Let's go ahead and just quote that entire article. Tell me you don't get a very eerie feeling reading it. All emphasis of irony and stupidity, mine. Gun bill gets shot down by panel by Greg Esposito A bill that would have given college students and employees the right to carry handguns on campus died with nary a shot being fired in the General Assembly. House Bill 1572 didn't get through the House Committee on Militia, Police and Public Safety. It died Monday in the subcommittee stage, the first of several hurdles bills must overcome before becoming laws. The bill was proposed by Del. Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah County, on behalf of the Virginia Citizens Defense League. Gilbert was unavailable Monday and spokesman Gary Frink...


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“Duke”

Well, I think Radley's about one-thousand percent right about this. Until Republicans stop supporting the War on Drugs Americans; stop calling for "tougher laws;" stop angling for harsher prison sentences; stop vying for mandatory minimums; stop cheering for "more cops on the streets" ... they can all go fuck themselves. I'm not interested in what any of them have to say about the Duke matter. They have no qualifications, much less a scintilla of credibility in such matters. Update: as I was sayin'.


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“Nappy-Headed Ho” Redux

Here is likely the best analysis of the whole Imus incident and its political and cultural underpinnings. But first, along the way, there's this gem about Howard Stern: Whenever I listen to Stern, I feel unclean, as if I have been in the presence of cretins who live in a sewer and revel in it and mock anyone with pretensions higher than a sewer. Me too, though I understand Stern has his fans; and so far as I can determine, neither he nor them are hurting anyone at all; everyone else is free to ignore them as much as they want. He goes on to talk about blacks who use racially loaded language (usually directed at whites) to get a laugh, or for whatever other reasons may suit them. Like Myrhaf, I often enjoy this sort of making fun. I understand that there are differences between races and cultures, I'm glad for it, and sometimes those differences are funny. People and their habits and quirky dispositions are funny. I often think we take ourselves far too seriously where we oughtn't and don't take ourselves seriously enough where we ought. What is the difference between Tom Joyner’s racism and Imus’s? In...


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The Liar’s Name is Crystal Gail Mangum

Let's hope nobody ever forgets it. Note to the liar, Crystal Gail Mangum: people have rightly ended their own lives on far less justification. Think about it. And the very least the media networks could do -- who so promoted and pumped this false story, this obvious lie, for all it was worth -- is fire each and every "newsperson" who piled on, and then reimburse the $3 million in legal fees incurred by the three completely innocent men and their families. (Venlet)


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“Enlightenment” in the Service of the Infantile

I've never seen or listened to more than about three minutes of Don Imus. My impression of him is negative, which may be accurate or inaccurate according to my values, but I really don't care enough about him, one way or the other, to find out whether I'm missing anything I'd rather not miss. I was driving home from a grocery run and NPR had the nappy-headed hos Rutgers women's basketball team on with their press conference and I just couldn't help but laugh my ass off. Jesus Christ. On and on. Poor little babies. They got called names. Just look at those pathetic faces. Reminds me of my 4-year-old nephew, Hunter, when he thinks he's got an angle on some sympathy. Reminds me... Shit; it's exactly like my 4-year-old nephew. Aren't children supposed to have learned the sticks-&-stones meme before going off to college? Look; I'm not adverse to the general enlightenment (which is exactly what it is: racism, bigotry, and what have you, is chiefly a symptom of ignorance). This is not enlightenment. This is the politics of victimhood and pond scum like Jesse Jackson, et al, are happy to chew these pawn-girls up in the service of...


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Collective Assimilation

I've never once made any bones about the fact that I spent eight years as a U.S. Navy officer because it seemed like a cool and fun thing to do. It was. I never once regretted it (quite the contrary). It was a job. I signed a contract. I performed on that contract and was paid (well) for my services. Truth be told: I have always felt as though I got the better end of the deal. And you know what? If military service isn't your thing, then by all means stay as far away as you can. The flag-waving patriotic bullshit is bullshit. "Serve your country?" Fuck that. Do your fuckin' job; do it well, or keep the eff out. If working in the military isn't something you can respect and be enthusiastic about qua JOB, then "service to society" becomes for you an insolent and miserable self-sacrifice likely motivated by guilt you haven't a good reason in the world to harbor. All this to preface a letter by Donald Bourdreaux to the Washington Times responding to this Op-Ed piece. Since it's buried in an archive, I'll post the whole thing. Dear Editor: Brendan Conway is charmed by Philip...


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Big Fucking Impact Man

I believe I've come across the perfect little character attribute that best serves to differentiate me from the eco-freaks and other assorted lefties. Just a couple of hours ago I was in the car listening to NPR and this guy, Colin Beavan, was on. I didn't link up any particular entry on that blog because I looked at a few and any one is about as insane as any other. Sort of. I don't really begrudge him his crazy values. Hey, if he wants to fantasize about what a great guy he is because he takes his own cloth napkin to a restaurant and a host of other meaningless (to me) and empty (to me) acts, fine. In fact, there was a portion of the radio interview where I actually had some respect for the guy. He said that for years he had bitched and moaned about what all sorts of laws we need in order to compel people to do this and that (uphold his values) and at a point he realized that he just needed to go and worry about himself, about his own "impact on the planet." He learned to kind of mind his own business and...


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Factual Relativity

Back in 1999 when we moved out of an apartment in downtown to a fixer-upper in the 'burbs, I took down my large marine aquarium that I'd maintained for a number of years. This was a big reef tank -- 220 gallons in all -- with a good 300 lbs. of live reef rock and other stuff. In terms of dimensions, we're talking larger than a coffin. It was big. But the immediate future held lots of work for me on the new house so I took the tank and all the equipment down to Henry's shop. I always figured I'd set up another system and a few weeks ago a friend in our building set up a reasonably large one (150 gallons) and I pitched in with a bit of advice from my experience -- though as a PhD in chemistry this sort of thing is right up his alley. So I caught the bug again. Interestingly, things have changed; it's become easier, actually, so yesterday I went about setting up a smaller system -- about 50 gallons. I'll try to get into all that later, but for now, it's 6 a.m. on Easter Sunday so I must post...


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I love it when a plan comes together

I really do love craigslist. What a value, and yet I've never paid them a dime -- not that I wouldn't, should they ask. The first time they got me out of a jam was a few years back. I got an eye for a new travel trailer of a hybrid design. You may have seen them. They're like a normal trailer, but all the sleeping compartments fold out from the side, sheltered with tenting. This affords the advantage of having your sleeping surfaces available 24/7 rather than having to break down and set up tables to sleep on, etc. At any rate, I owned a Coleman pop-up trailer and the dealer for the new one would only give me two grand in trade. I thought I might be able to get more, so I went ahead and bought the new trailer and the dealer assured me with a handshake that if I couldn't sell my pop-up for more within a couple of weeks, he'd still take it for the original offer. So I went home, awoke the next morning and went to work on it. I spiffied up the Coleman and called my brother to post to his pop-up...


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