Saturday, July 15, 2006


The entire Bush presidency captured in the snap of a photo.

Friday, July 14, 2006


One of the things I love about this Yahoo Answers thing is reading what other people write. For example, someone wanted to know why people lie. An earnest question that deserved a thoughtful response.

But as I started wading through the answers, I was shocked to read some of the crap people were offering up. Many of the responses were written by people who were clearly under the impression they had never told a lie in their life. People were ripping on people who tell lies, casting stones from within their glass houses, accusing liars of having genetic deficiencies and sociopathic tendencies. Yes, really. Someone actually wrote that we lie because of a "flaw in our genetic makeup."

I started to wonder if this Yahoo Answers thing was a good idea after all, what with all the garbage being passed around as fact. So I decided to pile some garbage of my own into the heap, figuring my garbage would be a little easier to sort through, and, hopefully, a little closer to the truth.

So why DO people lie?

Flaws in our genetic make up? I don't think so. Let's not make this out to be any more complicated than it is.

Lying is a form of manipulation. It stems from our desire to exert influence over our surroundings. We lie when it is to our advantage to do so - to cover things up, to protect our reputation, to get something we want, to hurt people, to make us look better, etc. There are plenty of specific reasons people lie, but they all have to do with one thing: control.

Lying is learned behavior. Even while our parents may teach us that lying is wrong, we all practice it in some form, and starting at an early age. Most of us even lie to ourselves and don't realize we're doing it. Or, we lie to our loved ones because we know the truth would hurt them. Lying is natural, even if we feel guilty when we do it.

Lying is a communications strategy. Many believe a poor one, but one that has been around since we first started speaking to one another, and one that doesn't figure to go away any time soon. There's too much value in being able to shape the perceptions of others with a few words, albiet false ones. And there is a great deal of power in a good mistruth; the control afforded by a good lie is too often too tempting for even the most well-intended individuals.

Part of growing up is learning the power of a good lie. Children experiment with lying as soon as they realize they can influence the behavior of the people around them with the things they say. Most of the time they are reprimanded for it and told that lying is not a successful strategy because the truth is always a better policy. Think Peter and the Wolf.

But as we get older, we come to understand that the truth hurts. So we judiciously adopt a policy of telling the truth when it makes sense, and lying when we need to in order to get the things we want - without hurting the people we love if possble. The risk in lying, of course, is that once a lie has been discovered, it becomes difficult for people to trust you. That's why people will go to great lengths to protect a good lie, often telling more lies to cover up the original one. What a tangled web we weave when at first we practice to deceive.

There's a lot of value in giving someone our word. And when there's no longer currency in that, we become powerless. So while lying can afford us a little control now and then, those who do it as a matter of custom do not tend to fare well in the long term.

In today's interconnected world - a world in which we depend on the actions of others to survive - lying is central to the human experience. This is not to paint all of humanity as a caldron of deception, but let's at least acknowledge the difficulty we would encounter living life out loud. If we always spoke exactly what we thought, no one would have anything to do with us. That's because our self-interests often conflict with the self-intrerests of those around us. And even the most trustworthy among us are capable of withholding the truth now and again if it is in their self-interest.

But don't despair - while lying is normal, it is not the norm. Most people tell the truth most of the time. Just be careful who you choose to believe and when. Ask yourself what's in it for them, as life is about incentive. If the incentive is high enough, people will lie to you. And you will lie to them.


Who wants a bare hug?

Oh my, I'm so embarrassed I just typed that! That's not what I meant at ALL.

Or was it? Hmmmmmm.....


Thursday, July 13, 2006


Man, do I love answering the peoples' questions. Love it, love it, love it. It's so sweet. Just wish I had some milk to wash it all down. Here's my latest answer, which was rated best.


"Do Europeans and Americans castrate their boys? The Chinese do. Read Chinese history."

Best Answer - Chosen by Asker (my reply)

Actually we DO castrate males in our society. The ritual is called "marriage," after which a man's testicles become the permanent property of his wife.

Asker's Rating:

***** (5 stars)

WOW !!!
This is the BEST answer i have ever seen

Thanks for enlightening me !!!!


Another satisfied customer. I really do amuse myself. If only you people loved me half as much as I love myself.


Here’s a mind-numbing game sure to leave you swearing.

It’s a brainteaser in which a number of cartoon figures take turns standing up and sitting down, depending on which ones you feel like clicking. The goal is to get them all to stand up at the same time. Sound easy?

The first couple were pretty simple - I got them in 5 or 6 clicks. Then it starts to get a little more interesting. I would give you a hint, but I want you to be as lost as I was when I started.

Check it out!


If you’re a fan of the Office, you’ve got to check out these public service announcements.

First you have to sit through my favorite FedEx Kinko's commercial. But after that, click on the Fake PSA's link. Good stuff in there.


I'd like everyone to imagine something for a moment.

Let's imagine that there are a bunch of people from Mexico sneaking into our country. Okay, so that's not much of a stretch. But let's imagine our government decides to send some troops down to patrol the Rio Grande in an effort to plug the leak. A little extreme? Maybe. Others might say necessary. Regardless, let's just imagine that's the scenario. Troops on the border.

Now imagine one night a handful of Mexicans sneak across the border and kidnap a couple of American soldiers. They announce they are holding them for ransom and make a number of ludicrous demands that could never be met - like releasing all people of Mexican descent from jail, or making the burro our national equine.

To solve the crisis, our government declares the abduction an act of war and starts launching airstrikes against unrelated targets in Mexican cities, demanding the Mexican government be held responsible for returning our soldiers. We roll tanks across the border and start shelling everything in sight. I know - this seems a little far-fetched, because even the most war-hungry nation on the planet wouldn't react in such an irresponsibly volatile way. It's completely insane, right? We'd probably go through the United Nations first and accuse Mexico of engineering weapons of mass emigration, then gather a coalition of reluctant, well-funded allies to support a few calculated military strikes and a coup d'etaco.

The point to this geopolitical finger painting is that it isn't far removed from what's going on in the Middle East right now. TODAY.

Israel has, for all intents and purposes, invaded Lebanon - bombing airports and other targets of interest - following the abduction of military personnel on the border. Granted, they have every right to be mad as hell, but a full scale military invasion? That's like pouring rocket fuel on a hibachi. This wasn't the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand here. It was a random act of terrorism. How is this response justified? And why is the U.S. supporting Israel's incursion into Lebanon as an act of self-defense?

It is becoming all too clear that the precedent we set in pre-emptively invading Iraq may have unintended consequences we never could have imagined.

Put me in charge. New policy decision: Israel can do whatever it wants, but we're staying out of it.


Is anyone else interested in buying some oceanfront property in Alaska? Get it now while it's cheap! With all of the glaciers breaking up, the sheets receding, the caps melting, and the climate fully expected to grow dramatically warmer in the coming years, I'm thinking Alaska is going to be a vacation paradise in about a decade.

Don't forget to pack your Alaskan Tropic sunscreen.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006



"I have read your stuff since when you only had a Topica mailing list. I have always enjoyed your viewpoints. Thank you for taking the time to write them.

Way back in the middle part of 2004 (I *think*) you wrote something about Politics is a Family affair. Republicans were Dad... Dems were Mom. etc etc. (BTW... who are the third party candidates?)

Anyway... I can't find it on your blog... Have anyplace you post some of the older stuff? I remember it was very well written and illustrated your point perfectly.

Thank you! -- Connor"


Connor, I believe this is the post you are looking for from March 5th, 2004:


Well, my conversion is official. I am now a liberal. I don’t know how
exactly it happened, but somehow over the past four years I abandoned
the safe harbor of conservatism and swum for more liberal waters – this
according to the political ideology selector on I’d
like to give G-Dub the nod for showing me the light, but I don’t believe
his evangelical narrow-mindedness is necessarily typical of all
conservatives – so I won’t give him full credit for alienating me. But I
do think his policies have opened my eyes to some of the harsh realities
I’d been ignoring.

Political insider and popular talk show host Chris Matthews often likens
the two major parties to heads of household. When you think about it,
conservatives are traditionally your father figures, while liberals are
your mother figures. The Republicans are the party of strict values,
laws, discipline, and defense. Dad lays down the law. He’ll whip you
with a belt if you get out of line. You’re afraid of dad because he’s
short-tempered. But dad’s the one who keeps the roof over your head. And
dad’s the one you run to when you feel most threatened. Dad keeps you
safe, if uncomfortably so.

The Democrats, meanwhile, are more nurturing – focused more on things
like education, health care, social security, and welfare programs. Mom
gets you out of bed in the morning. She gets you clean, dressed, and off
to school with a full belly. And if you should feel sick that day, mom
takes care of you. But mom sometimes has a tendency to baby you. And she
doesn’t always trust you to do the right thing. Dad will let you learn
from your mistakes…mom doesn’t give you the opportunity to make them in
the first place. So you’re pampered and well fed with mom – even fat and

So who do you want running the country – mom or dad? Sometimes, like in
times of war, or global uncertainty, you want dad. You don’t want Jimmy
Carter – you want Ronald Reagan. You want a practical, no-nonsense guy
who’ll speak loudly and carry a massive stick. Other times, when we the
world is a pretty stable place, we elect mom. We don’t want Bush, we
want Clinton. We want someone to feed us, pamper us, and keep us

Dad trusted you to take the car on your own, where mom would have been
happy buying you a new bicycle every year to keep you off the road and
out of harm’s way. Dad raised you to be independent, rational, and
responsible. Mom raised you to be polite, courteous, generous, and
respectful of others. America today is a pretty good mix of the best,
and worst, of both mom and dad. And when we sense too much mom or dad in
the mix, we go back the other way.

Right now the Republicans are trying to convince voters that we need
more dad. Their message is that the world is an extremely dangerous
place and we need a leader who won’t let us get pushed around. We need
someone who means what he says and isn’t afraid to make tough decisions
where national security is concerned. The Democrats, on the other hand,
are showing us all of the sick, hungry, unemployed people we’re
neglecting. They’re telling us the world is nowhere near as dangerous a
place as the Republicans would have us believe. It all depends on who
you choose to listen to.

Personally, I’m done listening to both of them. Mom and dad have been
arguing so much I’m sick of it. Some example they’re setting. Why can’t
they sit down and compromise, I wonder? Why are they always accusing the
other one of infidelity? Is dad REALLY sleeping with the Texas oilman?
Is mom really banging all of her lawyer friends? Can’t dad see the merit
in any of mom’s ideas? Mom says dad is too strict with the children. Dad
keeps trying to tear up mom’s credit cards because she’s always out

I’m looking into a marriage counselor by the name of Ralph Nader. He
says mom and dad both need to stop bickering and listen to the children.
We’re the ones, after all, who end up suffering in the end.

I’m out, friends. Have a good one. That’s all you need to know.



This post was originally mailed to the AYNtK subscriber list prior to the 2004 Presidential election. It's clear that a lot has gone on in the American household since then.

Dad became a control freak and started eavesdropping on our phone calls. He then claimed the authority to beat us with a broom handle any time he felt so inclined - to protect us from ourselves, of course. He admitted there was a leak in our basement but said a little agua down there would be a good thing. He's still out late every night, getting drunk on oil and fighting. And when mom criticizes him for tearing the family apart, he smacks her down swiftly and calls her a whiny little bitch. Mom feels powerless, and is forced to watch the family suffer. Our health is getting worse and we can't do anything about it because the family debt is at an all time high. The kids are beginning to wish dad would move out of their big white house for good. The kids all agree that mom should dump this loser and get a new boyfriend - but at the very least she needs to kick dad out of the house so we can all sleep in peace.

Monday, July 10, 2006


"To think of life is to think of death, as the two are inseparable truths - and time the space between."


What a busy weekend I had - answering questions. I can't get enough of it. People are curious about life, and I'm not one to hoard all the answers. Some of the questions I answered this week included:

How long after someone dies is it okay to date again?
Do or do not - there is no try?
Which feels better, sex or masturbation?
Has anyone ever seen House M.D.? (my answer was voted best)
Do child molesters deserve any rights?
Will North Korea bomb the U.S.?
Is anyone else here drunk?
Who is better, Guns N Roses or Led Zeppelin?
Why do they ask you if you want cheese when you order a Quarter Pounder with Cheese - WTF? (my answer was voted best)

And about 50 other burning questions deserving of insightful response.

And then this morning I received my first warning from the abuse department at Yahoo! informing me that some of the content I had posted had been removed for violating the terms of the community. Apparently, when I asked the question: "I am starting a money collection - who wants to help?" I was embarking upon a commercial enterprise, which is not condoned. I sent a reply to Yahoo! explaining that the question was clearly for amusement, and that people clearly understood this as evidenced by the responses that had been posted. I then suggested they spend more time censoring the wide array of objectionable content I'd encountered involving sexual predators and people seeking illicit encounters than rounding up serial smartasses.

Anyhow, I'm moving forward with my money collection if any of you would like to help. I'm running low on beer money.


Bobby Earl wanted me to share a pic of this must-own grill accessory (which was custom-built to scale at my place, as evidenced here).