The Louder the Weaker

I’m learning a handy shortcut to spot which side of an argument is weakest: Whoever goes to the extreme first is wrong. They typically then repeat that extreme continually, getting louder each time.

Take the Presidential race. Each reference to Barack “Hussein” Obama makes me much more likely to support him. It signals the fumes that his opponents are running on. How his middle name given to him by his parents at birth has any real bearing on his ability to lead this country is beyond me. Obviously, what’s more plausible is that it is a weak cue to scare the least informed. It’s pathetic argumentation.

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Or what about the gay marriage issue. I was sent this audio today…it’s a clip from earlier in the week from the radio show The Savage Nation. Please, please, please take a listen…

Let’s follow along this enlightening discussion:

“Aren’t you tired of the propaganda that every newspaper you pick up today shows old, ugly women getting married?” Hmm…not really an argument, just an insult. So I suppose I’m fine with this one. Though the word ‘propaganda’ seems out of place. Whatever your thoughts on gay marriage, it was a major news event for same-sex couples to be married for the first time in the nation’s largest state. Any newspaper would be obligated to report on that. Of course, this is the first sign of the preposterousness to come…any mention of gay marriage becomes “propaganda.”

“It’s not a joke when you steal an institution as fragile as marriage and then pervert it with a mockery.” Steal marriage? A mockery? This all relates back to the idea that makes no sense: allowing gay people to get married affects the lives of straight married couples. No one ever says how, they just say that it does. Count me entirely unconvinced.

But that line of thinking is tame compared to where the discussion goes next……to the extreme…..

“Our children are being destroyed by this…the children don’t know what to make of it….its a giant propagana machine trying to pervert children.” Oh boy. Here we go. I hope the ridiculousness speaks for itself, because I have no words. I can’t fathom how an adjective like ‘destroyed’ would come up. I mean…what? And I get lost when he says that “IT” is a propaganda machine. What is this “IT” he is referring to?

Let’s listen on, a caller sheds some light on how the children are being destroyed…

I had to explain to my young son why two men were holding hands the other day.” Sweet Mary and Joseph, heaven forbid a father has to explain something to his son about diversity in the world. Wouldn’t parenting be so much easier if there were no differences of any kind, so that fathers wouldn’t ever feel awkward. How selfish of gay couples. Why don’t they just stop loving each other, so fathers can avoid conversations with their children.

But this particular father, luckily, was prepared. His lesson…

“I told him, ‘its the wrongest thing you’ve ever seen.'” Whew, crisis averted.
I’m glad we have father’s like this passing on pearls of wisdom to impressionable young kids so that the evil homosexuals aren’t able to fill them with propaganda. Grammar isn’t as important as the Bible.

Our venerable host is there to praise this great parenting…

“We have to explain to the children why God told people this was wrong.” Yes, God delivered this important message in his prepared remarks in Sept. of 1945. I think the audio file can be found in some archives.

But Michael doesn’t stop there, he presses on with sage advice to all parents on ways to make the point clear to the kids…

“Just take them down to a duck pond and show them boy ducks and girl ducks, and then show them ducklings. And say that there must be boy ducks and girl ducks to have babies…same with dogs…You have to explain this to the children in the time of mental rape that’s going on.” I knew it wouldn’t take long before we got to animals. It is always wise to show how your enemy (in this case the homosexual) is less smart than even dogs and ducks. I’m particularly impressed that he threw in the trigger word ‘rape.’ Well played Michael.

But wait…he ends on a high…

“Children’s minds are being raped by the homosexual mafia. That is my position.” Amen. What a finish. Finally we know what the “IT” is….the gay mafia. Of course. We should have know that all along. The underground web of criminals and manipulators. The secret society that binds every gay person on the planet. Thank God we have Michael to open our eyes.

Alright, I can’t play the game any longer. In the course of a 3 minute conversation, the arguments here busted way past ‘extreme.’ If this isn’t the clearest indicator of the wrong side of the issue, I don’t know what is.

But do you know what really kills me: This is the third most popular radio show of any genre in the entire country. 8.5 million listeners a day. Besides this, Savage has written several books that were all #1 New York Times bestsellers.

I know we have whack-jobs on every side of every issue. But I long for the days when the whack-jobs were the people slumped over in the corner of the pub talking to the passed out drunk on the stool.

Desert Island CDs

When Tracie suggests something, you do it . No questions. No discussion. No thinking about it. No wasted time.

On that note, if I was on a helicopter that was crashing into a deserted island and I only had time to grab five CDs before making a jump for it, these are the five I’d take…

(These are in no order)

1. “Fly” – Dixie Chicks

2. “Double Live” – Garth Brooks

3. “Thriller” – Michael Jackson

4. “Hotel California” – The Eagles

5. “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” – Elton John

You’re turn. Go.

Retirement makes NO sense

Perhaps the most influential book that I’ve read in the last two years is called The 4-Hour Workweek. Even though I’m living on a shoestring budget, I deemed it important enough to plunk down the $19.95 to own my own copy.

It was written by a 28-year old guy who offers a different way to prioritize one’s life. Essentially, he posits that we all undervalue time and overvalue money. Everyone probably ‘knows’ that to be true, but so few people ever actually do anything about it. Instead, most people follow the same path of work, work, work, retire….sprinkled with occasional short vacations. We’ve got one crack at this life, and that plan just doesn’t make sense.

From the book…

Retirement is flawed for three solid reasons…

a. It is predicated on the assumption that you dislike what you are doing during the most physically capable years of your life. This is a nonstarter–nothing can justify that sacrifice.

AKA…If your job is so miserable that you dream of retiring…then get a NEW job.

b. Most people will never be able to retire and maintain even a hotdogs-for-dinner standard of living. Even one million is chump change in a world where traditional retirement could span 30 years and inflation lowers you purchasing power 2-4% per year. The math doesn’t work. The golden years become lower-middle-class life revisited. That’s a bittersweet ending.

c. If the math does work, it means that you are one ambitious, hardworking machine. If that’s the case, guess what? One week into retirement, you’ll be so damn bored that you’ll want to stick bicycle spokes in your eyes. You’ll probably opt to look for a new job or start another company. Kinda defeats the purpose of waiting, doesn’t it?

It’s pretty clear. Retirement as the ultimate ‘goal’ makes no sense. It is akin to wasting away the prime years of life for some utopia, that, if lucky enough to reach, is eventually discovered to be less worthwhile than the work beforehand.

The book has many more thoughts on alternatives. But I’ll save those for later.

Think about it though, how many retired folks do you know who are truly happy? The only ones I can point to are people who ended up getting different jobs after retiring from old ones.

Memorized Movies

I like new movies as much as the next guy…though that guy is becoming increasingly skeptical of the garbage being made.

However, most of the time I prefer to watch movies that I’ve already seen. Ha. If I know what mood a particular movie will put me in, I seek it out…like medicine. In that spirit, here’s a ranked list of movies I’ve seen enough to memorize each line. This doesn’t at all mean these are my favorites or the best. They’ve just been burned into my eyes continually.

NUMBER 5
Brokeback Mountain. I was fascinated by this, so I kept watching. Plus there aren’t a whole lot of lines, so its easy to memorize.

NUMBER 4
The Lion King. I don’t know how Disney did it, but they somehow got everyone on the planet to watch each of their movies endlessly.

NUMBER 3
Braveheart. Its long. But you see people’s limbs get cut off every 15 seconds…that was enough for me.

NUMBER 2
Dumb & Dumber. Every guy my age memorized this movie. It was a requirement in school.

NUMBER 1
Beauty and the Beast. I have no idea why. For some reason I watched it every day for a year straight when I was 8 years old. Mostly for this scene…

What movies can you recite backwards and forwards?

Eat More, Move Less

This is a joke. But close enough to a possibility that it is hysterical…



New Wearable Feedbags Let Americans Eat More, Move Less

“It’s hot steamy food in your face right now.”

“Sometimes I don’t feel like moving my arms. So this way you can just have it on your face, close to your mouth.”

“The innovative design does away with the hassles of chewing and stopping to breathe while eating.”

Simple Pleasures

I was thinking about something this morning: What are your favorite simple pleasures in life?

By that I mean, what regular, average, uninspiring thing that happens on most days do you think that you enjoy more than others?

The one that comes to mind for me right away is my first cup of coffee. I literally live for mornings and first cups of coffee. The first few sips. I am rarely more content than during those moments. I’ll drink half a pot throughout the day, but nothing compares with that first one.

What are yours? Tying your shoes? Sneezing? Hearing the sound of your laptop booting up in the morning? Hearing someone make a deep, belly laugh?

This question genuinely interests me. Remember….something that happens on most days that, for some reason, you enjoy more than other people.

RWE

My all-time favorite American ‘thinker’ is unquestionably Ralph Waldo Emerson.

I am still working my way through all of his writings, but what I have read strikes a chord. I will refer to some of his well-known ‘truisms’ often; they are short nuggets that seem to capture big, honest assessments of life in simple terms.

Here is one I read that is particularly fitting to start with:

“Our best thoughts come from others.”

This one strikes me today because (1) By using the quote I’m actually fulfilling its message; (2) I sometimes honestly wonder if I have ever had an original thought in my entire life. If I am truthful about it, almost every opinion that I have, observation that I make, or idea that I spout has been taken directly from some other mind that happened to strike me as true when I first heard/read it. Even when I think I come up with a unique insight, I eventually realize that it was just some rephrasing of something else I had gotten from others.

I don’t think this is a bad thing. But I’m learning that it is particularly true. Even Emerson got most of his ideas from things that had been written before (i.e. The Bhagavad Gita).

Cats That Look Like Hitler

This is priceless. Via future Dr. Shari Geiger…

…Adding… I love the introduction from the website:

Does your cat look like Adolf Hitler? Do you wake up in a cold sweat every night wondering if he’s going to up and invade Poland? Does he keep putting his right paw in the air while making a noise that sounds suspiciously like “Sieg Miaow”? If so, this is the website for you.