I suspect that it always snows in Buffalo, New York. I think it snows in Buffalo, New York during the Fourth of July.
That’s what you get for living in Buffalo fucking New York.
Today, it also snowed in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington.
Big fucking deal.
That’s what you get for living in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington.
Hey, listen up. You chose to live in the Northeast. That’s the decision you made, a choice which encompasses all the repercussions of dealing with occasional bad weather. And, according to my calendar, today is March 12th. That date places us squarely in the season known as Winter. W-I-N-T-E-R. Spring is still more than one week away.
Okay, so let’s say it snowed 12 inches a month from now, sometime during April. Then perhaps you can make a case for acting all surprised and going full ape mode. But right now, it’s still wintertime. News Flash: It snows during the wintertime.
I just don’t get what’s the big deal about the weather. I don’t. Unless there’s a hurricane brewing off the Gulf Coast or a tornado has touched down in Oklahoma and people need to evacuate, I see no purpose whatsoever in covering nor discussing the weather. Ever. It’s a total waste of time. There’s nothing we can do about it anyway. So, just deal with it. Live with it. And if you must talk about it, do so among yourselves because of the rest of us living in other parts of the country really don’t give a shit.
This is not news.
I live in Las Vegas. You don’t hear those of us who live in Las Vegas crowing about the scorching temperatures during the summertime, now do you? We don’t say, “Hey, look at us — it’s 110 degrees today!” That’s because we know it’s going to be 110 degrees in July, just about every single day. It’s also going to be 110 every day in August. That’s because we live in the fucking desert! It gets hot here. Just like it snows in the Northeast, sometimes even in mid-March.
You think people living in Seattle bitch about it raining 364 days a year? Hell no! Well, maybe they complain just a little. But it’s never a national news story. Same with bone-chilling temperatures in North Dakota. You know what they call 32 degrees in Fargo in the middle of January? A heat wave.
Nobody in North Dakota complains about cold and snow in the Winter. That’s what bars and fireplaces were made for. They man up. They toughen it out. They go on with their lives and don’t give a rat’s ass about the weather.
But all of you so-called “tough guys” living in the Northeast get a few inches of snow and all the sudden milk and bread flies off the shelves like you’re stocking a nuclear fallout shelter. Wanna’ know something? Tough guys don’t bitch about snow. Tough guys don’t even notice it.
I just thought of a better use for the pejorative insult-of-all-insults during this post-election season: Ladies and gentlemen, what we have here are way too many snowflakes.
Any religion that forbids enjoying life is a straight jacket. I mean — what kind of routine requires that you pray five times a day? Why doesn’t someone in that faith jump up and say,“how come we’re praying more than anyone else on earth, and we’re still the poorest motherfuckers on the planet?”
Defeating the scourge of Islamic terrorism will take some creative thinking.
What we’ve been doing so far, isn’t working.
So, let’s all quit pretending we’ve got the tiger by the tail, because we don’t. Drastic times call for drastic measures, and I’ve got what I believe is the perfect solution.
Open up a shitload of bars and nightclubs inside every Muslim country. Carpet bomb them with liquor. Do it. Forget about dropping humanitarian leaflets and care packages and trying to reason with fanatics. Instead, ship in bar stools, announce it’s happy hour, and let the free-pouring begin. Then, crank up the music and make it loud.
Take a look at the faces of the terrorists. Who are they? They’re almost always young men in their late teens or early 20’s. Given our biology and genetics, what do most young me in their late teens and early 20’s want?
Answer: Beer and ass (not necessarily in that order).
Imagine what it must be like living inside a hard-core Muslim society. It’s brutal. They’re basically living inside giant prison camps. You’d go mad. Every sphere of daily life is suffocated by religion. Since drinking alcohol is strictly forbidden by the Koran, most of these countries don’t have a single bar or nightclub where people can go and hang out. Look at the nations which engage in terrorism, and you won’t find any bars.
That’s the problem.
So, what do these young people do instead? They sit around in frustration and feel sorry for themselves. They look around at the rest of the world and observe other young people having a blast. Drinking. Dancing. Partying. Fucking. And some of these Muslim fundamentalists decide, “Well fuck that! If we can’t have it, they can’t either. So, let’s go blow their shit up!”
Pretty much sums up the situation, doesn’t it?
Think deeper. The problem is far more serious than just the lack of booze. Contemplate a society where young men can’t mix and mingle with young women, without supervision. A culture where the simple act of a man talking to a woman openly on the street might lead to arrest. Really, think about what a psychological cluster fuck that creates for a populace. You really want to know why some of these radicals go bat shit crazy and decide to blow themselves up? It’s because they aren’t getting any beer or ass.
Go ahead, think about that. I’m right.
Look at the Muslim societies which produce the most terrorists. Where are they? Saudi Arabia. Yemen. Syria. Libya. The U.A.E. Always the strictest societies. Places where God’s crazy capos walk around with billy clubs and act as the morality police. Places where there are no bars and the women don’t show any flesh. Countries where women are forced to cover their faces. Places where there’s no pornography. Where adultery can get the offender the death penalty. Do the simple math: No beer + no ass = terrorism.
No, this isn’t just a Muslim thing. Not at all, Contrast this with the Republic of Turkey, a modern secular democracy that’s 99 percent Muslim. They have more bars than mosques in that country. More bartenders than imams. Nightclubs that rival what you would see in London or New York. Check out Turkish newspapers — nude women plastered all over the pages. In Turkey, they even have nude beaches. Notice anything unusual about Turkey when contrasted with its neighbors? No terrorists. Except for the Kurds of course — but they don’t count since they’re fighting a separatist movement. Besides, the Kurds aren’t getting any beer and ass either, so that pretty much makes my point.
So, we see that banning booze and shackling the shorts seriously mind fucks with people’s heads. Even the terrorists responsible for the 9-11 attacks were so messed up psychologically by the time they finally made it to America that they tipped off what for them was the essential frustration of their lives. What did they all do the nights leading up to committing suicide attacks and killing thousands?
That’s right. They went to strip clubs and hired hookers. In other words, they went all out for the beer and ass.
Look at this miserable fuck.
You think if this poor guy drank a couple of Budweisers every night after work and got some fresh ass on the weekends he’d mastermind blowing our shit up? Sigmund Freud could have a field day with this guy’s mental charts. He’s a fruitcake factory, all because he didn’t grow up like the rest of us. He didn’t get smashed every now and then while in high school, or spend most of his youth hunting for shaggable tail.
Too bad he missed out. He might been the life of the party. Come to think of it, he does look a little bit like Ron Jeremy.
So I’m thinking the solution to the world’s terrorism problem goes something like this:
(1) First, get them to ditch that bullshit religion of theirs. Any religion that forbids enjoying life is a straight jacket. I mean, what kind of routine requires that you pray five times a day? Why doesn’t someone jump up and say, “how come we’re praying more than anyone else on earth, and we’re still the poorest motherfuckers on the planet?” Wake up, people!
(2) Lend them a shitload of IMF money with only one stipulation. The loan must be used to build bars and nightclubs. Not dams and roads and bridges. Fuck that. Bars. Clubs. Places where people can hang out and have fun.
(3) Bombard them with Lady Gaga music or whatever else they might listen to that makes everyone take their clothes off and start fornicating. Once they start the national bang fest, they won’t give a flying rats ass how to detonate a C-12 plastic explosive. They’ll all be too busy screwing each others brains out to join ISIS.
(4) Forget those failed advertising campaigns trying to sell “freedom” and “democracy” to the people. Not working. Instead, hammer them over the head with silly commercials and billboards of different kinds of beer, showing an oasis of ice cold brew in the hot desert. Freedom doesn’t sell. Fun sells. Sin sells.
Here’s a final thought. Let’s look at history. Look at what worked in the past.
The Cold War wasn’t won with guns and bombs. It was won with rock n’ roll and blue jeans.
The West never fired a single shot over the Berlin Wall. We never had to. We let the natural advantages and attributes of our society overwhelm our adversaries, until the time when they became just like us — wanting the exact same things. Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy weren’t the heroes. The Beatles and Levi Strauss were. When everything came crashing down, the Soviets and Eastern Europeans weren’t quoting politicians. They were singing to the music of Pink Floyd.
There’s a lesson to be learned here. A generation ago it was popular music and cool clothes. Now, it’s cold beer and ass.
That’s the solution to the global terrorism problem.
Something happened today that’s causing me considerable mental anguish. Perhaps you will help and might offer some advice.
This morning, I went shopping at the local Costco. While in the parking lot, I noticed a man loading his SUV with several boxes. He reached into his back pocket and took out his wallet. Next, he put the wallet on the top of his vehicle, and then proceeded to load remainder of the cargo.
Just as I walked past, the man got into his Hummer, started the engine, and then began to drive away. The man’s wallet tumbled off the top of his car and landed on the pavement, right at my feet. I picked the wallet up and tried to flag the man down. However, he drove away too quickly and I wasn’t able to get his attention.
However, I did notice something quite interesting. The Hummer had a “TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT” bumper sticker on one side and an NRA decal on the other. The car sped away as I was yelling for him to stop.
There was only one thing I could do. I looked inside the wallet and found the man’s ID, along with his home address. He also had several business cards which listed his phone number. Also, to my astonishment, I found $870 in cash stuffed inside the wallet.
So, now my dilemma is this. Perhaps you can advise:
Should I fire the whole wad of cash tonight on LSU +3, or use it to pay some bills?
Writer’s Note: Most of this story is purely fictional. However, I did shop at Costco today.
You’re looking at one of the last photos ever taken of James Foley.
He was a war correspondent who reported on the Syrian Civil War.
On August 19, 2014, some 44 days after being captured and taken into captivity by ISIS, he was forced to his knees at an undisclosed location in the desert. An evil man wrapped in a black turban wielded a mighty sword, lifted his instrument of death towards a gorgeous blue sky, and then thrust the blade violently downward, instantly severing off the head of an American.
He was a reporter for The Oakland Post, who regularly covered events within the African-American community. Bailey was highly-respected by peers and readers alike for his tireless work ethic. He was particularly adept at uncovering local corruption and was then working on a story that was particularly sensitive to people known for violence.
On August 2, 2007, Bailey was walking from his apartment to work, just as he did every morning. While strolling up 14th Street, a lone gunman wearing black clothing and a ski mask approached Bailey and blasted three bullets into his body, which killed the journalist instantly.
She was a correspondent with Time magazine assigned to the war in Chechnya.
Elbaum worked as a photojournalist. She captured the horrors of that terrible failed war for independence in the breakaway state of Chechnya. Elbaum was particularly remarkable for her courage, not just a willingness to risk her life in one of the world’s most dangerous regions, but also because she was one of the few female journalists daily in the line of fire.
She paid the ultimate price to bring us news, sending back images that most of us barely gave a glance at, perhaps only for a few fleeting seconds while parsing through an old issue of Time while waiting in a doctor’s office. We don’t think much of the dangers and sacrifices it took to bring us the things we read and see. We’re oblivious to those risks taken by the brave.
He wrote from The Washington Post and The New York Times.
On April 3, 2003, Kelly was traveling in a Humvee along with American troops dispatched to a war zone in Iraq. The vehicle hit a land mine, and exploded into flames, killing everyone trapped inside — including Kelly. Thus, he became the first journalist who was killed in Iraq.
Michael Kelly was 46. He left behind a wife and two children. [READ MORE HERE]
You’re looking at the wall of the Newseum’s Journalists Memorial, in Washington, DC. This is just a partial collection of members of the media who have been killed doing their jobs.
Indeed, this could be a much longer article. In fact, it could stretch on and on with hundreds of thousands of words. In all, a total of 2,291 writers, journalists, photographers, cameramen, and other members of the media have been killed in the line of duty.
Two-thousand, two-hundred,, ninety-one. Let that figure sink in.
The 2,291 gave their lives largely out of insatiable curiosities to which we — the readers and viewers — were the ungrateful beneficiaries. Rarely thanked, but so often criticized, they trekked into zones where others dared not to travel. They asked questions others dared not to ask. They took photo and video of events that were not supposed to be seen.
The least one might expect for this work and those who do their best follow in their hollowed footsteps is — a little respect.
You’re looking at the screen shot of the tweet that was sent out yesterday by the President of the United States.
He called the mainstream news media, “the enemy of the American People!”
I have received a fair amount of criticism lately for my harsh words and many of the brutal things I’ve said about President Trump. I recognize that my actions and use of language is not suited for all tastes. However, as a regular consumer of daily news and someone who has known and worked with a great many dedicated members of the media, I can’t help but be profoundly disturbed by the events I’m witnessing. I can’t help but get emotional about such a grotesque lack of respect and dignity, by the President, no less.
Where’s your outrage? Where’s your sense of decency?
I’ve been asked once or twice or perhaps a hundred times if I’m a compulsive gambler.
That’s a fair question. Yes, I do fit the classic description. I’ve spent most of my life gambling. Check. I’ve lost vast sums of money at various times, sometimes even seriously harming my financial standing. Check. I’ve spent absurd amounts of time inside casinos. Check. I blow many hours on sports handicapping and watching ball games on which I’ve bet money. Check. I’ve driven across town to get down on the best number, and I’ve driven hundreds of miles to play in poker games. Check. My personal reputation is heavily tinged by gambling. Check. All this and more, it seems, makes me fit the description of a “compulsive gambler.”
However, what I’m about to reveal might be shocking. After nearly four decades spent gambling, and having experienced just about all the highs and lows that one could possibly imagine (keep in mind there are some stories I’ll never tell) — ideally, I’d love to be in the position where I didn’t have to gamble at all. I’d much rather read a good book or go on a hike than watch a basketball game. If I had enough money to live comfortably for the rest of my life, I don’t think I’d bet on sports again. What would be the purpose? Sure, I might still play poker purely for fun occasionally since the game is just as much a social engagement and a gambling exercise, but that would be the extent of it. I’d have no interest in playing table games or other forms of gambling. In short, gambling doesn’t excite me. I could take it or leave it. And, to be perfectly honest, I wouldn’t mind leaving it.
That might seem like a bizarre thing to say by someone who’s made various types of gambling his life’s mission. I stumbled into this career quite by accident and given all that I now know and who I know, I’d be foolish to throw all that knowledge away and start anew into something else. But if I had my way, and had a real choice in life, I’d probably spend most of my time doing something else, something completely different, rather than gambling.
So, the answer is no — I’m not a compulsive gambler.
Coping often requires that we deceive ourselves into thinking we have choices in life when usually we don’t. And the older you get and longer you live, the fewer choices you’ll have. Age is an alarm clock and we never know when the bell will ring and our time is up. Late in life, choices become extinct and you’re stuck with a fate over which you have no control.
This isn’t a discussion of free will, and more precisely, whether or not we have it. Put more plainly, we’re all chained by common habits. We become dependent on jobs. We’re wielded to family members and responsibilities. We’re rooted in our communities. We’re expected to act and behave a certain way, especially by all those around us. Break the mold and do something different, and then eyebrows raise and whispers begin. Too often, we’re discouraged from breaking molds. Indeed, most of us are trapped in what writer Henry David Thoreau famously called “lives of quiet desperation.” Misplaced values cause us to attempt to fill this void of quiet desperation with money, material possessions, and accolades. But as studies have shown, those superfluous things don’t necessarily make us happy. There’s absolutely no correlation between society’s common definition of success (mostly measured in wealth and fame) and personal happiness.
To have any long-term chance of winning at gambling decisions must matter. Making decision (or choices) is the difference between games of skill and games of chance, although many forms of gambling include both.
So, in lives with so few choices left, gambling does become a convenient de facto substitute. When many gamblers say they feel alive again, what they’re often really expressing is the freedom of making their choices and then seeing the outcome within minutes or even seconds. That choice and the prospect of a win can be exhilarating.
Games which provide a long-term possible positive outcome include poker, blackjack, sports gambling, and horse racing. Some could argue there are advantage players in video poker, also. In each of these forms of gambling, the player must make choices. Those decisions determine the outcome of the wager, at least in part. Hence, the gambler — to some extent — controls his own destiny.
The 2016 World Series of Poker ends, which means now I have the entirety of all my days and nights totally free, and that’s not necessarily a good thing. The next eight weeks get spent mostly lounging out in the back yard, drinking white wine by day and red wine after sundown, and betting baseball from noon until midnight. Baseball is the only thing going in the doldrums of summer, aside from the occasional Euro or South American soccer bet that captures my gaze. The refresh button on the portable laptop pops a spring and breaks off from being punched too many times. With thousands of dollars riding in action daily, baseball updates on ESPN.com and MLB.com become what the stock ticker represents to a Wall Street investor.
Averaging 10 to 15 wagers a day, seven days a week, which is nearly every waking hour, that means there’s a pitch being thrown somewhere in the country at any minute which has some bearing on my financial standing. After awhile, it all becomes a blur, a mental fog. One becomes numb to the inevitable bad beat of a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth in a game where you held a comfortable 2-0 lead and the bases were empty and you’d already circled the game with a bold “W.” One also becomes desensitized to the wins just as much, that occasional +230 flash in the pan underdog which cashes and reinforces the dangerously false self-deception that you’ve finally got this baseball thing figured out and can coast to an easy living the rest of your life.
Given my volume of wagers, there’s also the inevitable mistake. Since I began betting on sports full time, on more than a few occasions I’ve mistakenly clicked the wrong box on one of five online betting apps I use. That means, I thought I bet on one team when I actually bet on the other. That’s happened more times than I care to admit, and don’t tell me it evens out because it doesn’t. Years ago, I once bet $3,000 on a Seattle Seahawks halftime line which seemed like a lock. I almost never lay points in the second half, but this time I accidentally clicked my offshore account for $3,000 on the ‘Hawks laying -2.5. The other team covered easily, and that sloppy mistake ended up costing me a swing of $5,700. That’s the worst brain fart I can remember.
I’ve also double clicked bets, which means when I thought I was laying $400 on a ball game, I was actually risking $800 because my fat fingers turned the keyboard into what amounted to a bingo sheet. Earlier this year in college football, I took Rutgers for (what I thought was ) one unit, which was very much competitive up until kickoff and ended up losing 79-0. A double click made the defeat all the more costly.
But the worst betting mistake I can recall making was the “no bet” on a ghastly baseball game that lasted an ungodly 19 innings. Given my distaste for the game, the only thing worse that following a baseball game is sweating a ball game that goes into extra innings. I’d bet the under in the Cleveland-Toronto game played in July and despite a marathon match which extended even beyond a double header, more than 6 mind-numbing hours in all, the teams combined for 2-1 pitchers’ duel where my under was never in any serious danger. Dull but easy money, or so I thought.
Upon checking my account balance the next day, the ledger came up exactly $400 short. What the fuck happened? Apparently, I’d put in the bet but then failed to hit “confirm.” So, I sweated a 19-inning baseball game for absolutely nothing. That was like getting sucker punched. I don’t know why, but breaking even on the game was worse than losing.
All these capping and clicks ends up being profitable. But that the end of each month, I’m still short of what’s needed to pay the bills. Hence, my betting bankroll continues to evaporate and instead of being able to wager more money on games and eventually step into the class of 55 percent winners and a steady income because I”m now betting $1,000 a game, I’m now having to downshift back to $300 per game because a cold streak could wipe me out.
What I need is a big win. I need to find the right opportunity.
During the NFL offseason, the insufferable St. Louis Rams move west back to their old home in Los Angeles and become the first professional football team to play in the nation’s second-biggest city in the last 20 years.
Many bettors chose to skip preseason football. Even so-called sharps ignore it. I’m glad. That leaves more opportunity for those of us who take these “meaningless” football games quite seriously and invest lots of time studying lineups and motivation. I could explain more as to why preseason football is actually easier to handicap than the regular season or playoff games (which means they are sometimes more predictable), and will do so another time. But for now, just go along with me that I’m really smart and know what I’m doing.
The Rams are scheduled to open up their 2016 schedule with an exhibition match versus the perpetually over-hyped Dallas Cowboys. They’ll play in the ancient but refurbished L.A. Coliseum, which according to media reports gets sold out instantly, despite this being a preseason game. Most NFL stadiums are half full with bored fans during the preseason. However, 92,000 excited local supporters of the new team are expected to turn out and welcome the Rams back to Los Angeles.
There’s more compelling reasons to love the Rams in this opener. Head Coach Jeff Fisher has just been inexplicably resigned to a contract extension. He’ll be fired three months later. But entering the 2016 season, there’s reason for optimism. Fisher appears to be popular with his players and has the support of management. The Rams are coming off a lackluster 7-9 season. But this appears to be a great spot for them since they’re facing the downtrodden Cowboys, who went 4-12, their worst record in 26 years when Jerry Jones first bought the team.
I figure the Rams will make a definitive statement in this game. They’ll play hard. No way that Rams ownership wants the team to come out on a perfect August Saturday afternoon and lay an exploding lump of dog shit in the first game back in Los Angeles — in front of 92,000 paying customers eager to gobble up plenty of new merchandise. If ever there was a “phone call” from upper management down to the coaching staff and players saying, “win this game, or else….” this was it. This was the game I’d been waiting for. This was the right opportunity.
The opening line comes out at Rams -3 over the Cowboys. The number quickly gets bet up to -5, then drops back down to -3.5
I get nervous laying points in preseason football games. So, the more viable alternative seems to play the Rams on the moneyline. What that means is — I just have to win the game. No points are involved. So long as the Rams beat the Cowboys, I win money. And so, given this rare opportunity where one side seems to have so much the best of it and all the motivation to win, I decide to fucking fire.
Laying the round number of $7,000 to win back close to $3,800 (in profit) means that I’ve got a swing of $10,800 on a single preseason football game. That’s quite a step up from betting $100 a game on baseball back in April, or the ultimate in degeneracy depending on one’s perspective. The spread even dips down to -3 for a short time, and I contemplate firing more on the game. However, one can never be too cautious in gambling.
It’s announced that Dallas won’t even suit up several of their starters. Star quarterback Tony Romo won’t play. Dallas, which suffered a rash of killer injuries last season, announces though head coach Jason Garrett, they just want to “say healthy.” Lots of scrubs, which is the term used for bust outs who will get a couple of weeks in training camp before ultimately being cut back to civilian life and a life of anonymity, will see plenty of action. Then, right before the game, the Cowboys suffer another setback when the second-string backup quarterback gets hurt and won’t play. Dallas’ first round draft choice, running back Ezekial Elliott also suffers an ankle injury and will be out. Meanwhile, the Rams appear healthy and hungry. This is looking like the lock of the century.
Come the time for kickoff, the Cowboys field a goulash of starters which includes an unknown starting quarterback drafted in the fourth round who has never taken an NFL snap. His name is Dak Prescott.