A Short Trip, But A Long Journey Home

It’s July 14th, the sun set about an hour and half ago. This afternoon, your mother and I brought you home from the hospital. One day, when you are ready, I will share this letter with you because I think reflection is important for personal growth. I can hear Mishifu downstairs meowing and I’m sitting next to your mom on the bed while she’s feeding you. Every now and then, I can hear you breath or suckle. It’s calm and peaceful. Right before sunset, I walked you down the block in your stroller. I brought you home to your mom, and then I did a small workout carrying some weights around the block. It feels almost normal. Almost. This year, has been a strange year. So strange, that to use the numbers that represent it would detract from this letter. There has been a pandemic going for about four months now. Most people are wearing masks around when they are in public, and taking your home from the hospital was a relief. At the same time, I’m reflecting on what it means to bring you into this world during this time.

Biology

When you witness birth, you can see a lot more clearly. We construct so much man made apparatus, both physically and mentally, which distracts from the very real and unpredictable biology of life. Our biology is a mix of the genetics from our two parents, and a bit of mutation. Some might call it luck, others might call it an arbitrary but particular combination of genes, cells, and hormones, Either way, it’s messy. Biology isn’t like computers or software, you can’t completely control it, at least not yet, not at the time of this writing.

Right now, biology is center stage in the world. There are news articles being updated multiple times per day, every day. Everyone is nervous about what this means for the future. We hope and think there will be a vaccine, but there’s a lot of uncertainty. This uncertainty extends to our deepest thoughts. I ask myself everyday whether I can keep you safe, but I think I can. I keep telling myself, we had 20,000 ancestors that felt essentially zero security about the future, but they did it anyway. They succeeded. Every. Single. Time. Looking backwards, they succeeded every single generation, without fail. So, I guess what we bringing you into is more similar to what our ancestors went through than any time in recent history. Until the last four months, as a society, we had grown very comfortable, and fallen into a state of believing we could control almost every natural phenomenon. Perhaps the uncertainty we feel today is a more natural state. Perhaps, we are feeling what all of our ancestors felt.

Culture

Culture is so many things. It’s the way we treat each other, it’s our collective psychology. It’s the technology, finance, government and economic system. All of these things are inextricably linked to our identity. Even with the uncertainty, we have more control over our lives than we’ve ever had. Finance and technology have given us the ability to express our own desires, good or bad, so much more powerfully. But, we are forever tinted with the color of our own subconscious biases ingrained in us from birth within our own culture. Our own personal wills are so often unconsciously expressed in the very real context of our own culture.

I will attempt to instill in you an appreciation for your own culture. I hope you never have to feel guilt or fear about your own ancestry and culture. At the same time, I hope you grow up to have a deep curiosity, and appreciation for other cultures. I hope you never come to the conclusion that our culture is great because their culture is terrible. That is a broken way to look at the world. We can be great, and they can be great. Cultures evolve and survive in a manner not all together different than biological populations of creatures, but they don’t need to go to war.

It will not be easy, but our future depends on how well we treat each other ( Ray Dalio my 2020 man crush).

Individuality

Your culture and your biology are but the clay from which you are formed. The foundation. The fine grained detail and specific permutation of who you become will combine this foundation with a lot of hard work from your mother and me, but will ultimately depend on you. Your biology, culture, and our parental influences will forever have an effect on you, but in the end you will have to decide what you want in life. You will have to decide what you are passionate about. The best advice I can give is that chasing something you are passionate about will lead to greater success than grinding through something you don’t love. That’s not to say that you won’t still have to grind. If you love something the grind will be worth it, but if you don’t love it, it won’t pay dividends.

Your mother and I will always try and be supportive of helping you discover what you are passionate about, but we will not be able to do the work for you. You will have to decide how much you can put in, but let me assure you the more you put in, the more you will get out of life. Whether it’s financial, recreational, residential, or social in nature, it will require passion and hard work. Neither is enough alone.

Conclusion

The future is uncertain, but I promise you that I will do the best that I can do to provide you a good life. This family is surely my passion, and so I will work hard.

The hospital we brought you home from today was only a couple of miles away, but it’s been a long journey. You’ve already been to Italy and Greece in your mother’s belly and I hope this world rights itself so that we can take you to see more of it. I hope we ride dirt bikes in Ecuador, speaking Spanish together, and eating great food. Or, perhaps, we will do none of this because you would prefer to do something else. Either way, I will give it the same level of passion and hard work.

Love You

Dad

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There’s a Liquidity Crisis of Fucks

So, I’m at the gas station today and and this guy starts screaming at me. He says, “listen buddy, I don’t like he way you’r…” and I cut him off. I pull out my wallet, open it in front of him, and scream, “you see this fucks wallet? It’s empty buddy!!!”

Then, I logged in to my bank account online and showed him the zero balance in my fucks account.

I “spoke to the manager” but they wouldn’t loan me anymore fucks. The manager told me she was sorry but the bank has a minimum reserve of fucks, and the Federal Reserve of Fucks isn’t printing anymore.

This scared the people inline behind me at the bank, so even with FDIC insurance, there was a run on Fucks. Everyone started withdrawing all of the Fucks they had.

Even in this Fiat Fucks system, which isn’t backed by shit, there still aren’t enough Fucks in the system. They said something about national output, and GDP, and unemployment.

And now, there’s a Fucks liquidity crisis. Great (in slow indignant voice)

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He Is Eternally at The Office

He Is Eternally at The Office

My father never worked at an office. He wasn’t the type of guy to even have a home office. Hell, there were times when he didn’t even have a home, much less an office. Nonetheless, the cover on his burial niche says “at the office” on it.

This requires some explaining. My father, Don McCarty, as he lik d to refer to himself when he was angry, spent a lot of time drinking coffee at a local diner called Country Kitchen. I mean, a lot of time, like all night long, every night, for years. When I wanted to see him, I would just drive up there and hang out a while.

He wasn’t the only one. He had a slew of guys (and a few women) that he was friends with who were also there almost every night, and almost all night. Vick, Tom, and the crazy lady. He was also friends with the waitresses, and the police officer that was there on the weekends (Roger). The drag queens on Saturday night, the homeless people, the weirdos, the freaks. They were all there, especially on weekends.

My dad, my sister and I would refer to this gathering place as “the office.” Hey, are you going up to the office tonight? I didn’t see you at the office yesterday. Why wasn’t Vick at the office last night? This is how we talked about it. A crazy diner, in a rust belt town, called Akron, Ohio.

So, when my father passed away in 2009, we debated putting something normal on his plaque like “rest in peace” or “when we meet again” or “always in our hearts” but nope – my sister and I decided it had to be “at the office.”

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Enjoy Your Time at The Top of The Food Chain

Enjoy Your Time at The Top of The Food Chain

This morning, I was walking with a friend of mine after getting coffee. Suddenly, he stopped and was looking down at something. I stopped and leaned over to look. There was this nestling bird moving it’s wings and legs helplessly. We stood and looked for a second, debated what we might do, looked for a nest around, and couldn’t find one. We both had a sinking feeling, and decided to walk on. It took five or ten minutes to walk back to my car. The whole time, I couldn’t focus on what my friend was talking about. I was multi-tasking, searching Google to figure out if there’s anything that can be done. It just bothered me to do nothing. Once you are emotionally engaged with a problem, it’s hard to let go. The question is, was I failing to be Zen because I couldn’t accept, or did I feel guilty for not trying when I knew I could?

I read on the Audubon site that you should not help fledglings, but that you should build a nest for nestlings like this one. So, when I got to my car, I drove back to check on him. I had this half-hearted plan to try and help it somehow. By the time I got back, it was already dead. I felt a sense of relief. No more suffering – for the nestling or me.

Like Nihilist Arby’s says, enjoy your time at the top of the food chain #Nihilism #EatArbys

 

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Drunk Driving is Less Dangerous than The Common Flu

Drunk Driving is Less Dangerous than The Common Flu

I’m pissed and you should be too! Our government is taking our rights away and destroying our economy. Here are some facts!!! People hate facts:

  • Fact:Drunk driving (or as the British call it, Drink Driving – they’re so crazy) kills substantially less people than the common flu. In 2018, the flu killed an estimated 61,099 while drunk driving only killed 10,511.
  • Fact: Drunk driving is WAY more fun than the flu (or CoronaVirus)
  • Fact: Drunk driving barely affects children. In 2018, the common flu killed 643 children between the ages of 0 and 17, while drunk driving only killed 1,233 children between the ages of 0-14. This is totally worth it.
  • Fact: I have a video on YouTube that explains these facts, and it was going viral with over 5M views. YouTube took it down. They HATE dissent. They didn’t tell me why, they just took it down. I’m not saying there’s a conspiracy, but what am I saying? You know…you know…
  • Fact: People can get better at drunk driving if they practice. It only takes a small amount of improvement to the skill of drunk drivers to achieve herd immunity
  • Fact: if you are scared of drunk drivers, you can stay home
  • Fact: There are federal DUI laws. This is “the kind of totalitarian thinking and conduct that has cost millions of lives in recent world history.” (Ron Coleman, a prominent First Amendment lawyer). States should be allowed to develop their own laws, even on Federal property!
  • Fact: only those that haven’t learned to drive drunk should be under quarantine. This could easily be solved with testing and tracing who the qualified drunk drivers are.
  • Fact: over a ten year period from 2009 to 2019, people over the age of 65+ are the fastest growing segment of drivers who cause fatal crashes, growing 35%. This “vulnerable population” is the group that should be restricted from driving drunk, or after 2AM.
  • Fact: Facebook is disclosing your drunk driving posts to local law enforcement. This is both a violation of privacy and can also lead to your being charged with a DUI.
  • Fact: predatory targeting of drunk drivers is destroying the service industry. Many bars and restaurants have had to close since drunk driving laws have been implemented. The damage in the millions of dollars US.
  • Fact: DUI laws are racist and sexist, targeting white men more than any other demographic and men more than women.

So, please, let’s stand together and wake these #sheeple up to the #truth!!!

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Comparing the Covid-19 Response The Right Way

Comparing the Covid-19 Response The Right Way

Background

The right way to compare the Covid-19 response is by Metropolitan Statistical Area in the US, or a roughly equivalent methodology which most other countries use (Example: Germany uses Metropolitan Regions). These metro areas are the best unit of measurement when comparing a country’s response because of several reasons:

  1. A metro area represents a unit of people that lives and works together
  2. The virus spreads through the interaction of people
  3. There is much less travel between metro areas right now
  4. The virus grows exponentially, so it will create hot spots mostly confined to these metro areas
So, as an example, let’s see how well the US is doing compared to Germany on April 10th, 2020 as I write this article. All all numbers are cited with links:

Germany

Berlin has a population of 3.7 million and about 165 Covid-19 deaths today, which makes it’s death rate approximately 1 in 22,424. Like Washington DC in the US, Berlin is both a city and one of Germany’s 16 Federal states. This makes it easy to find Covid-19 data, which makes it a good foreign metro area to compare the United States to.

United States

Detroit

The Detroit Metro area has a population of 4.2 million which covers most of Wayne, Macomb, and Oakland Counties. There have been 2451 (910 Wayne + 698 Macomb + 843 Oakland) deaths, making the death rate approximately 1 in 1713. The death rate is literally 13X as high in Detroit as it is in Berlin.
 

New York City Metro

The New York Metro Area has an estimated population of 23.7 million. There have been 19,200 deaths, making the death rate approximately 1 in 1234. The death rate is 18X as high in New York City as it is in Berlin.

Boston

The Boston Metro Area has an estimated population of 8.3 million. There have been 4557 (Norfolk, MA 635, Plymouth. MA 384, Suffolk, MA 703, Essex, MA 625, Middlesex, MA 1169, Worcester, MA 420, Briston, MA 260, Hillsborough, NH 40, Rockingham NH 27, Stratford, NH 9, Providence, RI 285), making the death rate approximately 1 in 1821. The death rate is 12X as high in the Boston Metro Area as it is in Berlin.

New Orleans

The New Orleans area has a population of 1.3 million. There have been 2,213 deaths, making the death rate approximately 1 in 587. The death rate is 38X as high in New Orleans as it is in Berlin.

Conclusion

I’ll let you do the math for other Metro Areas in the US, but I think it’s pretty hard to say that the United States’ response has been a 10 out of a 10 compared to the rest of the world.
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Celebrating our Survival

Celebrating our Survival
I am not celebrating his death, I am celebrating our survival. I’m celebrating the ones that try. Survival is savagely satisfying. Each day is a blessing. Within each of us burns the desire to survive; given to us by our ancestors spanning 15-20K generations of hard work.
Through cold, rainy, hungry days. Through dry, thirsty, and sun burned days. Some weeks and months, suffering even more, through child birth, sickness, and broken bones.
For 330K years our ancestors slogged. Each and every one of us have this strength within us. Our family, our friends, our neighbors and even our enemies. The next time we have the luxury of being in a public place and glancing at thousands more of our kind, think about this. Celebrate this. We are all awesome. We are the best if the best, forged in suffering and the will to survive.
They fought their asses off to get my daughter and me here. I don’t take the responsibility lightly.
Placing human values on mother nature is peculiarly human. She does not have feelings. He decided that the game didn’t apply to him and he lost. I wish his descendants 20K more generations of success.
In a statement, his wife writes, “Johnny loved life and everyone he knew with his whole heart. We ask you to remember we are a family mourning an unbearable loss. Use this as a reminder to continue practicing social distancing and keep each other safe.”
We can debate about what ought to be, but stupidity *is* a death sentence. It always has been and always will be. It’s the natural order of things. Stay hungry, stay alert, stay safe.
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