Why A Grenade Needs To Get Thrown At Me

grenade_paratrooper_1943_700

I was at another dinner and the  guy who bought and runs  a major chain of yogurt stores in the United States stared straight at me, past about five other people in between us and said, his face slightly red, his voice raised,  “I’ve done two tours in Vietnam. Nobody should be pontificating about wars if he hasn’t had a grenade thrown at him.”

I really do not want a grenade thrown at me so maybe he’s right. I don’t want a grenade thrown at my kids ever either. And if that means they can never talk about war, then I guess that’s one of the things they will have to give up in life, along with heroin via needles,  masturbation via asphyxiation and ever getting into a car when a teenage boy is driving. I have made it very clear that these things are off limits.

(I hope this guy is not aiming at me)

Some conclusions:  I probably should avoid dinners. I get into a lot of trouble at them. Was it really so bad to say the simple sentence: “I can never imagine a situation justifying sending my 18 year old child to a place where a grenade is going to get thrown at her.” ?

And then I wondered about other things I said at that dinner and now I feel even worse. I said that maybe Israel should’ve been put in Montana. The US could’ve handled it. And then we wouldn’t have all this bloodshed in the Middle East. And the Israelis would have a much bigger plot of land to do their thing on and not have to worry about constantly being attacked. Is it any wonder that Jewish people in the US are much more involved in culture and the arts and innovation than Jews in Israel? It’s because they always have to worry about being bombed there! Would Wyoming bomb Montana? Maybe, but I doubt it. Is Wyoming even next to Montana?

(Montana looks like the Garden of Eden)

But now I realize that the host of the dinner, who I have much respect for, is part Israeli. In fact, to top off my humiliation,  I think her mom was “Miss Israeli”. Did I offend?

I really need to stay home at night. I don’t even drink. And yet these things come out of my mouth. Like that movie with William Shatner where everyone had tarantulas coming out of their mouths in this small town and he had to use all his Star Trek and Twilight Zone martial arts skills to save the town.

The guy sitting next to me was a co-founder of foursquare. I asked him if he regretted not taking $100 million off the table when Yahoo offered it about a year ago. He said, “things are going great at foursquare.” That’s a great non-answer.

Another guy walked in. This was at the cocktails pre-dinner. I asked him what he did. He  said he was a businessman. I said, “that’s funny. You look like a politician. As soon as you walked in I said to myself, ‘that guy is in politics’.” He was tall, gray hair, blue suit, red tie, thin.

He said, “well …  I just finished a stint as Governor of Kansas.”

Another guy said, “how did you know he was in politics?”

And I said, “look at him. He looks like the opposite of me and NOBODY would ever say I was in politics.”

(the current Miss Israel)

And then I wondered, “that must be fun to have a “stint” as a governor.” Sort of like a tour of duty in Vietnam with no grenades.

I asked him, “was that fun being governor?” And then I felt bad because that’s the sort of question I would ask governors when I interviewed them when I was twelve years old. In the 31 years since then my interview style hasn’t changed at all.

“Yes,” he said, “I loved the policy side of it. But I’m a businessman at heart.” Good guy. Something about Kansas makes people good guys. Maybe Israel would’ve done ok staking out a part of Kansas. Everyone would’ve left them alone I bet. The ex governor of Kansas made some anecdotes implying that the cost of living in Kansas is about 1/6 that of the cost of living in places like DC and NYC. I might want to move there. I wonder if they need a chain of yogurt shops there.

I was a bit harried when I got to the dinner. I had just been on CNBC’s show “Fast Money”. Some gloomy, suicidal guy, Dick Bove, said that “the end of times were near” if we don’t come to an agreement about the “debt ceiling”.

(on Fast Money right before the dinner)

I said on TV, “no matter what they do over the weekend with the debt ceiling I’m still going to buy my kids candy on Monday and when the ipad 10 comes out I’m probably going to buy it.” And then on twitter someone said if “someone got that guy hair gel he might actually sound smart” which I thought was an odd comment but unless someone has ever thrown a grenade at him I guess he’s allowed to say it. Or not say it. I forget the subtleties of these things when it comes to grenades.

Dan, my business partner, and his dad were watching the segment. Dan told me later he turned to his dad right then and said, “James couldn’t tell you three things about the debt ceiling and now he’s on national TV talking about it.”

When I got home around midnight my kids were still up. I don’t think they ever sleep. What do they even do? They don’t have to work. Or plan things. Or even think about debt ceilings. Why are they always up puttering around?  If I were a kid right now I would not waste precious time puttering around. I would sleep as much as possible.

We were going to a water park the next day. I tried on a bathing suit I had just bought. They were laughing hysterically when they saw me in it. I haven’t worn a bathing suit in about fifteen years. Or shorts. I hate shorts. I grumbled something and went to sleep in my bathing suit upstairs. I had to break it in like a baseball glove.

The next morning, Claudia asked me how the show, the dinner, and everything went the night before. We were drinking our first cups of coffee. Outside it was gray, little specks of rain hitting the windows, the neighborhood cat peeking in the window on occasion. I said to her, one of these days I’m going to write a post and say it was quite possibly the best night this universe has ever experienced.  And she laughed because that could only mean that many things had gone horribly wrong.

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  • Jon

    I laugh out loud on this line:  “I had to break it in like a baseball glove.”   Well done James.

  • Jon

    I laugh out loud on this line:  “I had to break it in like a baseball glove.”   Well done James.

  • http://twitter.com/sandman_va Dave Sandrowitz

    I say ridiculous stuff at parties and social gatherings all the time, but my wife always gets on my case about it.  It isn’t that she doesn’t want to be embarrassed, she just thinks that I’m not sensitive enough to other people’s feelings.  She is right, but I also think it is destructive to one’s own state of mind to constantly filter your thoughts before letting them out.  If you ask me a question, why shouldn’t I say what I really think?

    Good for you for saying what you feel, James.  If people cannot take it, the issue is with them and their desperate hold on a false reality built from equal parts cognitive dissonance and incuriousity.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      It’s a tricky thing. I always try to not hurt anyone’s feelings but it’s also important to state your mind. that’s what makes you you at these types of events. Sometimes you can’t achieve both objectives though. 

      • mousekateer

        You dont own anyone, therefore you dont own THEIR feelings.  You are not responsible for someone else’s feelings.  If your INTENT was not hurt their feelings, then you are not to blame.  Now if you are just being a crappy person and a dick, then you should have a grenade thrown at you.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gos-Blank/100000686017357 Gos Blank

        I’ve given up trying not to hurt anyone’s feelings.  I piss some people off — I understand that; I just don’t give a f*ck.

        And I’ve learned that “hurt feelings” is generally a euphemism for emotional blackmail.  As in, “What you said hurt my feelings, therefore you shouldn’t have said it, and having said it, you should apologize.”  Typically speaking, people get “hurt feelings” most grievously when they are confronted with a truth that they’d rather not deal with.  Should I retract the truth?  Should I apologize for giving voice to it?  Should I be ashamed of myself if I refuse to do either in the face of someone’s “hurt feelings”?

        F*ck that.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      It’s a tricky thing. I always try to not hurt anyone’s feelings but it’s also important to state your mind. that’s what makes you you at these types of events. Sometimes you can’t achieve both objectives though. 

  • http://twitter.com/sandman_va Dave Sandrowitz

    Do hosts have to make cracks about your hair every single time you appear?  I know that most of those people have no personalities, but you’d think that someone could write them better one liners than dumbass hairbrush jokes.

  • Amey Stone

    James, you really can write.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Amey! So can you. How are things?

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Amey! So can you. How are things?

  • Amey Stone

    James, you really can write.

  • Amey Stone

    James, you really can write.

  • Amey Stone

    James, you really can write.

  • http://twitter.com/fzeng96 Feng Z

    ‘Something about Kansas makes people good guys.’

    That’s my favorite line in this article :)

  • raznick

    me too james. me too.

    • Nicole Lapin

      Bam! Both of you are!

  • raznick

    me too james. me too.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_G7W7BRK25PMITFB4LQFXLFJOWU JohnL

    I’m so sick of hearing people telling other people what they should or shouldn’t say.I never had a grenade thrown at me and I’ll talk about whatever the hell I like.I refused induction into the U.S. military during Viet Nam conflict and I’m damn proud I did.Vets who say they fought for my right to speak then say I don’t have that right are simply wrong.My right to speak was not given to me by God or anyone;I take that right by my own actions.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      I wrote recently a column on a Buddhist site about my anti-war stance. The amount of “negative thumbs down” I got was astonishing. The idea that we should never really send the 18 year old children of mothers to get killed is really bad for some people. And I was surprised at the negative response I got from a peace-oriented site. But you never know the anger that hides within people. 

      • Anonymous

        We (America) have really come to a weird place on this subject. I wonder how many Americans even know we are funding an insurgence (war by any other name) in Libya? Probably have Special Forces on the ground right now. I’m betting something like 50% of Americans are aware.  Do we accept this as normal now?  There’s no end to these “little wars” and we can always justify the cost with the old tried and true “make the world safe for democracy” spiel.  I hope the next president finds a way to disengage from this crap.

        • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

          I think it was someone in these comments on another post who pointed out that the House hasn’t approved a war since 1941. The House is the only (constitutionally speaking) branch that is supposed to declare wars. This could be why the wars we get in become so wishy-washy and hated by the rest of the world. And yeah, there’s no end. 

          • Brad Derf__

            What that guy said to you is B.S.

            Similiar logic to: “Hey you’ve never been mugged, therefore you’re not allowed to talk about how wrong it is!”

            Talk about it all day long. Let the best ideas win.

            We should go back to only going to war when Congress declares it. And then we do go to war, we need the draft.

            Makes people really think about whether we should go to war, no?

            This guy does such a much better job of discussing: http://johntreed.com/militarydraft.html
            http://johntreed.com/declarationofwar.html

            Oh yeah, before anyone spews their hate on me, I did 2 tours in Iraq.

          • JoeJ

            Seems to me the House has declared war recently. On it’s own citizens. Practically treasonous of them.

      • Samantha

        Wow that really is sad and astonishing. Had to watch my parents say goodbye to my brother after he was killed in Iraq. They just crumbled. If you think something is worth fighting for, imagine never seeing your child’s face again. Ever. Those are glasses of a different color aren’t they. If you’re being totally honest, there is really very, very little that is worth it. This war certainly wasn’t.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      I wrote recently a column on a Buddhist site about my anti-war stance. The amount of “negative thumbs down” I got was astonishing. The idea that we should never really send the 18 year old children of mothers to get killed is really bad for some people. And I was surprised at the negative response I got from a peace-oriented site. But you never know the anger that hides within people. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_G7W7BRK25PMITFB4LQFXLFJOWU JohnL

    I’m so sick of hearing people telling other people what they should or shouldn’t say.I never had a grenade thrown at me and I’ll talk about whatever the hell I like.I refused induction into the U.S. military during Viet Nam conflict and I’m damn proud I did.Vets who say they fought for my right to speak then say I don’t have that right are simply wrong.My right to speak was not given to me by God or anyone;I take that right by my own actions.

  • Jvinsel

    I think Missouri would have been a good place for Israel – it’s the location of Eden according to the Mormons :)

    Seriously, if Israel is so dangerous why not have the population emigrate here. Think of all those great engineers and scientists…

  • Jvinsel

    I think Missouri would have been a good place for Israel – it’s the location of Eden according to the Mormons :)

    Seriously, if Israel is so dangerous why not have the population emigrate here. Think of all those great engineers and scientists…

  • S34ndad

    Bathing suit pictures to follow? Okay how about just a hair gel spoof shot. Thanks for making me smile and laugh 1st thing in the morning.

  • S34ndad

    Bathing suit pictures to follow? Okay how about just a hair gel spoof shot. Thanks for making me smile and laugh 1st thing in the morning.

  • Caromusa

    It`s scary to know that some people judge a person`s thoughts by their hair.

    • http://www.outsidetheherd.com Edward Daciuk

      I think he was being funny but you never know…

  • Caromusa

    It`s scary to know that some people judge a person`s thoughts by their hair.

  • Sandra

    You wrote, Dan, my business partner, and his dad were watching the segment. Dan
    told me later he turned to his dad right then and said, “James couldn’t
    tell you three things about the debt ceiling and now he’s on national TV
    talking about it.” 

    This is probably true for about 95% of what we hear, read and see in the media for any given issue at any given time.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Yes, I agree. One time I was giving a talk at a major newspaper. Afterwards some of the reporters came up to me and basically said “when the market goes down we just write something like ‘oil worries’ “. I don’t say this in a mean way, but basically nobody has a clue. Its not mean because its impossible to have clues to this massive puzzle we live in. The key is to just focus first on your own health and happiness. Avoiding the news, for me, is part of that since I don’t want to get swept up in whatever this week’s hysteria is. 

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Yes, I agree. One time I was giving a talk at a major newspaper. Afterwards some of the reporters came up to me and basically said “when the market goes down we just write something like ‘oil worries’ “. I don’t say this in a mean way, but basically nobody has a clue. Its not mean because its impossible to have clues to this massive puzzle we live in. The key is to just focus first on your own health and happiness. Avoiding the news, for me, is part of that since I don’t want to get swept up in whatever this week’s hysteria is. 

  • Sandra

    You wrote, Dan, my business partner, and his dad were watching the segment. Dan
    told me later he turned to his dad right then and said, “James couldn’t
    tell you three things about the debt ceiling and now he’s on national TV
    talking about it.” 

    This is probably true for about 95% of what we hear, read and see in the media for any given issue at any given time.

  • http://www.brookefarmer.com Brooke Farmer

    If I got invited to as many dinners as you, I would never have to worry about going hungry. 

    There is a girl in L.A. that claims to be one of the founders of foursquare. I’ve always been skeptical of her, but I have always been too lazy to put in the brief moments on Google that it would take to prove or disprove her claim. She runs in some of the same circles as I do. I can’t imagine her having turned down such an offer from Yahoo though. 

    I think it’s better to say the wrong things if they are the things that come natural to you. But then, maybe that is why I don’t get invited to dinners. 

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Funny. I wonder who she is. 

      • http://www.brookefarmer.com Brooke Farmer

        The funny part is I don’t know her real name. She’s a roller derby girl and we have some friends that compete on the league with her. I’ve only ever known her by her derby name. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/tad.dunville Tad Dunville

    James, thanks for a great post and the great Kansas comments. Governor Parkinson is a heck of a guy and a fellow Jayhawk. He is a true “CNBC politician”, the kind that will talk business rather than partisan crap. 

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Yeah, I was very impressed with him. Very much a straight shooter. 

  • http://twitter.com/snydr Sam Snyder

    Was the businessman Mark Parkinson? I live close to a yogurt shop in Kansas. It’s really popular. Kansas also has a Garden of Eden: http://www.garden-of-eden-lucas-kansas.com/

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Yes. Great guy. Good to know about the yogurt shop!

  • Anonymous

    Laughed out loud quite a few times dude, thanks James 
    You scare me a bit only because I scare myself a bit…in a great way!

  • Anonymous

    I always thought somewhere in the California desert would be a good place for Israel. Somewhere near Palm Springs. That way the climate would be more familiar : )

    On war:

    “War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives…A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small “inside” group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.”

    –Marine Major General Smedley Butler, 2 time Medal of Honor winner.

    I spent 2 months in Iraq. No grenades thrown at me, but I saw enough. The above is as true a statement as can be made. Contractors retired at 26 years old providing office supplies and building materials. No, I can’t imagine sending my 18 year old to a war zone either. Misery, death and money is a sick combination and when you’ve observed it up close it makes you wonder about our species’ capacity for avarice.

    • cowboy_monkey

      Palm Springs is just too darn hot. The populated areas of the current state of Israel have a more Mediterranean climate (warm but not hot summers, mild winters) like the coastal areas of So Cal. A good place to re-locate Israel would be Orange County.

      Furthermore, correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t a lot of Jews in Israel relocate from Russia where it is colder than a witch’s tit? Hence, they would prefer a balmy climate which Montana doesn’t offer.

    • Anonymous

      Yup was there too and all wars are fought for money and not mine and I believe Cali is a better pic than Montana they might figure out how to fix California’s economy. Just think All those Israeli Girls hitting Pacific Beach in SD cause bikini sales in Montana are not that hot.

    • Anonymous

      As an aside, not many Americans are familiar with this fascinating story involving Gen. Butler:

      “In 1934 he was involved in a controversy known as the Business Plot when he told a congressional committee that a group of wealthy industrialists had approached him to lead a military coup to overthrow Franklin D. Roosevelt.
      The individuals that were involved denied the existence of a plot, and
      the media ridiculed the allegations. The final report of the committee
      stated that there was evidence that such a plot existed, but no charges
      were ever filed. The opinion of most historians is that while planning
      for a coup was not very advanced, wild schemes were discussed.”

  • http://twitter.com/marcobresba Marco Bresba

    Long time reader here. Love your stuff. IMO, you’re being paraded and mocked on tv like Peter Schiff was in  2007.  You will eventually get the last laugh.

  • http://www.736hundred.tumblr.com 736hundred

    The best thing about when James in on CNBC is the mood lightens and people never say anything substantially contrary to challenges his points – they basically are left thinking, laughing with a smiles on their faces.  Left only to retreat to the company line of sell the fear.
    _____
    It would serve some of those guys-in-ties on CBNC very well to at least attempt to individualize their on-camera persona.  Most of them look like a career Ken doll right off the self of Toys-R-Us.

  • http://www.736hundred.tumblr.com 736hundred

    thank you for the link.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      I think I get better on TV the less nervous I get. then I feel I can just state my mind. For some reason I get nervous on TV but I dont get nervous public speaking. 

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      I think I get better on TV the less nervous I get. then I feel I can just state my mind. For some reason I get nervous on TV but I dont get nervous public speaking. 

      • http://www.736hundred.tumblr.com 736hundred

        You don’t appear nervous to me, you look real, and actually quite comfortable in your skin….Whatever you are doing, I think it’s working for you. 

  • Esther

    Completely cracking me up!!!!  And I love “The Montana Solution.”

  • http://www.bloggingbookshelf.com TristanH

    “Nobody should be pontificating about wars if he hasn’t had a grenade thrown at him.”

    So people aren’t allowed to say that rape is bad if they’ve never been raped?

  • Sooz

    why does the military man(in the photo) above have a smile on his face? 
    strange photo~op suggesting this man is happy with an explosive in his hand.

     

    • Sooz

      I would have probably responded with something really stupid like..
      ‘The Deer Hunter’ is one of my all time favorite movies.

  • Sooz

    why does the military man(in the photo) above have a smile on his face? 
    strange photo~op suggesting this man is happy with an explosive in his hand.

     

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UBOT3INVLVN5VKDC3ODMORGDLE MartinD

    You should be allowed to say whatever you like. After all, isn’t that a right the gentleman was dodging grenades to protect?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UBOT3INVLVN5VKDC3ODMORGDLE MartinD

    You should be allowed to say whatever you like. After all, isn’t that a right the gentleman was dodging grenades to protect?

  • Anonymous

    It’s strange, I wandered onto this blog not having a clue you were famous on TV or had ever particularly done anything.  It is just an interesting an entertaining blog.  The layout is better than most.  And you post very regularly without flooding google reader with entries even I can’t get round to (and my google reader feed is hard working) .  But you tell us everything about your inner life without telling us anything which is a rare skill.  Who knows what it is, but it works.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      “you tell us everything about your inner life without telling us anything”. I am really trying though. Its an interesting process. Thanks for the comment. 

  • Anonymous

    It’s strange, I wandered onto this blog not having a clue you were famous on TV or had ever particularly done anything.  It is just an interesting an entertaining blog.  The layout is better than most.  And you post very regularly without flooding google reader with entries even I can’t get round to (and my google reader feed is hard working) .  But you tell us everything about your inner life without telling us anything which is a rare skill.  Who knows what it is, but it works.

  • Joe Adkins

    I don’t know why….but your stuff is sort of poetic. “Outside it was gray, little specks of rain hitting the windows, the neighborhood cat peeking in the window on occasion.”

    Out of the hundreds of blogs i’m subscribed to…yours is the only one where I read every post…

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Thanks Joe!

  • dylan

    I don’t understand the argument of not being about to comment about war unless you’ve fought in one.  I think that somebody who isn’t an American can’t come to America and tell Americans what they can or can’t say.  If this Israeli person doesn’t like that then maybe they should go back to a place where they have an increased chance of being bombed by people who hate them.  Also in that place everybody can talk about grenades due to obligatory military service which I would think would decrease the chance of fighting a war unless the public viewed it as absolutely necessary. 

  • http://twitter.com/SitePicker John F. Krug

    Your posts usually get me thinking, which I appreciate even if I don’t agree.  This one also made me laugh, so thanks. 

  • http://www.yardley.ca/ gyardley

    Fun post, Jim, but Israeli Jews are great at pumping out startups.  Maybe they’re behind in ballet or what-have-you but they seem pretty innovative to me.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Very true. Invested in one Israeli startup myself. Hopefully they stay away from all culture and just pump out sales. 

  • Jared A. Chambers

    It’s funny….  I positively disagreed with your war post that caused all the anguish….  Not just on the substance, either.  It was horrible writing sitting on top of 4-year old logic.  Kind of a “if nobody had bombs and everybody just made friends with the bad guys, then maybe they wouldn’t be mad and punch us for our lunch money no more.”  Sophmoric.

    Even so, the guy who says you can’t pontificate on war without being in war committed the more egregious logical fallicy.  Not even worth responding to.  So keep on keeping on, James.  Your post reminds me of that old song “Garden Party.”  So, you can’t please everyone, so you just may as well please yourself.

    Jared A. Chambers

    PS:  Got fired today, and I have to say it was a little awesome.  Some of your better writing along the way helps with having a positive perspective on this.

  • http://www.toddandelin.com Todd_Andelin

    Its understandable why your military friend was frustrated.  Here is an interesting quote.

    General Lucias A Paulus (229-160BC) :

    “Commanders should be counseled by persons of known talent, by those who have made the art of war their particular study, and whose knowledge is derived from experience, by those who are present at the scene of action, who see the enemy, who see the advantages that occasions offer, and who, like people embarked in the same ship, are sharers of the danger.
    If therefore, anyone thinks himself qualified to give advice respecting the war which I am about to conduct-let him not refuse the assistance of the State, but let him come with me into Macedonia.  He shall be furnished with a ship, a tent, even his traveling charges will be defrayed, but if he thinks this is too much trouble, and prefers the repose of a city life to the toils of war, let him not on land assume the office of pilot.  The city in itself furnishes abundance of topics for conversation.  Let it confine its passion for talking to its own precincts and rest assured that we shall pay no attention to any councils but such as shall be framed within our camp”

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Thats a great point, although i think a little different. I’m not suggesting how war should be conducted. I’m just saying there’s never any reason to send an 18 year old kid into it. If a war is going to be conducted (and this guy made this point last night as well) it has to be fought to a conclusion of some sort. Part of his frustration was that a war like vietnam had no real goal or conclusion, just like many of the wars we fight. part of my frustration is that many of the goals of war are miscommunicated and lied about to further ends the masses don’t understand. 

      • http://www.toddandelin.com Todd_Andelin

        What are the reasons an 18 year old kid would  voluntarily join the military?

        Im not sure.  Maybe some want structure.  Maybe some want leadership, others want adventure.  Is it a way to climb socially?  Become a hero.  Live without regrets.  Service to country?  Get away from home and college is too expensive?  The lifelong fraternity? You never even had a father.  Do you want to prove you aren’t a pussy?  Are you tough and smart and you want to prove you will do anything for your country because one day you will lead it?

        Even if most kids knew the actual war they were fighting was a total scam, would that even matter?

        Is going to war a symbiotic relationship between conspiring evil geniuses and the naive masses?  Do they need each other?
        One wants money the other wants glory.

        Is war just a proof on concept, to show ‘The Gods’ you are willing to sacrifice yourself  for some bigger picture?  Eternal glory.  Eternal gladiator-fuck-you-you weren’t there, I own this land because I fought for it attitude. 
        Maybe we need wars, good or bad to keep the animal-man-machine moving in some carnal vector direction.
        Maybe man going without war is like a man going without sex. 
        Is a made up war like pornography you jerk off to since no woman is around?  Either way you ejaculate.

        I tried to join the military after college.  Part of it was to get rid of my student loans.  I aced everything except the physical.  Defective knee-automatic disqualification no exceptions.  My dad was ecstatic when he found out.

        I take it “joining the military” will not be on your next “alternatives to college” list.

  • Dave

    So, Israel should have been plopped down in the middle of Kansas or Wyoming or where ever  the hell  bumfuck Montana is. No wonder the Vietnam vet is disgusted with you and your glib opinions. Who cares what the redneck farmers, ranchers and American Indians might think of a few million Eastern European Jews thrown onto their lands. I can understand the plight of the Palestinians a bit better now-they weren’t asked, they were told by some smarty pants New York Jew whose got lots of money and goes to fancy parties with the rich and beautiful. And if you hate war so much you should take it up with your brethren-Douglas Feith, Paul Wolofwitz, William Kristol, David Frum, Charles Krauthammer, Max Boot etc. Always beating the war drums but never stopping by the Army recruiting station. 

  • http://twitter.com/DailySuicide Jscott

    You just linked and solved my frustrations involving marriage, religion, life choice, and family.  

    These are times I wish anonymity did not exist.  Thankfulness can not be fully expressed without it.

  • Anonymous

    Little did my Vietnam Bro know he fought for your right to pontificate and I had to google that word. Maybe you should order takeout at “Fast Money”.

  • Anonymous

    Do you ever get nervous that the people who put you on tv will read your blog? Or do your worlds run parallel? I enjoyed this post very much.

  • Anonymous

    Being a guy born and raised in Kansas, I want to thank you for your kind words concerning Kansas. Maybe it will catch on? But I doubt it, most folks picture the scene from the great movie ” Planes, Trains, & Automobiles ” w/ Steve Martin & John Candy. Were their flight from NY to Chicago gets re-routed to Wichita due to the winter storm. In which our women folk are portrayed as being as strong as mules, & being able to have our children “come out sideways”

    Enjoy the link, (one of the great all time movie scenes!)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qB84vzRjjMs&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  • Bparrish2

    I think the GI owes you an apology.  The fact that you don’t want your daughter to be in the trajectory of a live gernade, seems logical to me.  Perhaps he may consider his experiences as reason enough for others to not wish war onto thier kids.  Perhaps he is a decent guy with a chip on his shoulder, maybe he was treated unfairly on upon his return from Vietnam.  Regardless, he owes you an apology. 

  • Anonymous

    James I was wondering is there a particular hair gel that makes someone sound smarter or is it any particular hair gel? There may be a hair gel brand out there that isn’t aware of this benefit and how they can use it in their advertising  ; )

    • http://twitter.com/BetterTrading Chris Beanie

      They meant this hair gel, the kind that does this to you:  http://bit.ly/rpYi59

  • Matt

    Your blog is just amazing. Been reading it for a couple months now and just decided to start my own blog. Thanks for the inspiration?

  • http://twitter.com/BetterTrading Chris Beanie

    James, you have a wicked tongue.  I luv it!  Good stuff.

  • Gordon White

    Amazing as ever. Some days it sounds like you’re minutes away from enlightenment. Go yoga!

  • Pimathman

    You seem to capture true stream of consciousness in your writing.

  • http://twitter.com/kamalravikant Kamal Ravikant

    What a great, fun, post.  You managed to put in Israel (always a touchy subject no matter what one says), politics, the debt ceiling, war, and a chain of yogurt stores into one post.  And made it humorous.  Well done.

  • Kevin M

    I love the way you totally disarmed the Fast Money crew. Like, “oh crap, I have no comeback, quick make fun of the hair and make everyone laugh as a distraction”. Also, I’m not sure what I like best about this entry, but it is great.

  • Anon

    Wow, aren’t you the guy who said BAC would be double by the year’s end (when they were at 15)? Hilarious. Lots of credibility. I can only imagine who is giving you money to trade for them.

  • Anonymous

    We’ll know that the US has finally hit the blessed and much awaited Rock Bottom when Americans finally see militarism for what it is and stop worshiping soldiers, sailors, marines, and their leaders.  This perverse tendency is, quite literally, killing us.

  • JoeSchmoe

    Boy you dropped some real gems of a post but lately you have been horrible.  Maybe you need to start drinking to find some inspiration??

  • Williamjacobs

    Lessee, the Mormons speak of Missouri as the promised land.  Close enough?

    If God had given Jacob Kansas, they would have worshiped the local native animal spritis os the Kanzas tribe, been banished to Navajo territory, only to return to Topeka to rebuild their temple.

    Obliterated by the Canadians after numerous occupying powers had suppressed the Jews, the Jewish state of Kansas could be re-established after a foreign war in Europe by a collective body of the victors.  That Kansas wasn’t involved in the territories that fought seems a bit odd.

    The Yanks that lived there weren’t that thrilled with people just waltzing in and squatting on land cuz some Europeans said it had been their land thousands of years ago and they should be put in Kansas because the Bible tells them it is theirs.

    Some Kansans cope and get along well enough. others make trouble and end up in Colorado, Idaho and Utah and occasionally plot a return of Kansas to WASPs.

    Thanks for the speculative history romp.

  • Anonymous

    Hey! I’ve been saying that for years, that if America were really a friend of the Jewish people, we would have just given them a piece of America.

    Instead, the Anglo-Americans USED the Jewish people to further their own agenda. 

    That is what the state of Israel is: the dirtiest trick the goyim ever played on the Jewish people.

    It’s like finding a crack house in the ghetto, sending a few toughs to push all the gang related crackheads out, and saying to your ‘good friend’: happy birthday! You can live here now, I just got you this fantastic house. Enjoy living there!

    The only reason they were dumb enough to accept is because of religion.

  • http://kymira.blogspot.com/ Chimera Swa

    fun read. You are not only philosophical but you have an amazing sense of humor. I think you are getting yourself a new fan :) 

  • http://www.facebook.com/sam.thebutcher.10 Sam TheButcher

    Yeah, i know. you probably posted this years ago but here’s how I came upon it. I often wondered if it was truly necessary to have a Jewish homeland, but even if so, why not locate it somewhere a whole lot nicer and friendlier than the Middle East. It’s sort of like setting up a gated community in the worst part of Detroit and then complaining about the neighbors. I had even thought of allocating a parcel of land in some large, sparsely populated western state, although it was more along the lines Kansas than Montana. that’s why I was impressed to find you were on the same wavelength in this snippet: “And then I wondered about other things I said at that dinner and now I feel even worse. I said that maybe Israel should’ve been put in Montana. The US could’ve handled it. And then we wouldn’t have all this bloodshed in the Middle East.”