Swearing. Bad Words. These Do Not Exist.

It’s 2015. Can we please get over the idea that “bad words” exist? Shit, it’s fucking ridiculously insane to believe that one is being harmed because they heard the word fuck, or any other word for that matter. If there has ever been a way it’s been that needs corrected, it’s words. The belief that words are good or bad is a major reason that censorship is still so prevalent. Think about that! Wouldn’t you prefer to decided what words you and your children listen to or choose not to listen to?

Words are nothing other than a mathematical arrangement of consonants and vowels that convey meaning from one person to another. They do not do us physical harm. Words are not justification for violence or retaliation. (Re-read that last sentence. Let is sink in.)

A smart person pointed out that in the most extreme cases, we can justify preemptive actions to protect ourselves against some words. An example would be if a villain is holding a gun to you and says that he is going to kill you, you are justified to defend yourself based on his words. This is NOT the same as trying to justify punching someone in the face because they flipped you the bird or told you to go fuck yourself. Extreme means extreme. Chances are you will never find yourself in an extreme situation where preemptive violence is justified at any point in your entire adult life.

Get over the idea that some words are better or worse than others. Words are wind. Sticks and stones may break your bones but words? Words cannot harm you.

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The Curse Of Machinery

If you have read my posts you should be familiar with my style, which I like to think of as an appropriate blend of truth, sarcasm & cynicism, with a sprinkle of humor. It’s the folks who aren’t familiar with my style for which I write the following:

Let me be abundantly clear. There is no curse of machinery. There is no curse of technology. We are being cynical when we use those terms.

As Henry Hazlitt brilliantly explained, technological progress is a basic goal of society. A cursory understanding of real economic theory is all we need to understand that progress benefits all.

Yet as we sit in the year 2015, a full forty-six years after man was (supposedly) put on the moon, we still live in a society where human “engineers” are in control of trains?! What? For real?! How is that possible? We just saw a tragic accident where an Amtrak train derailed and killed multiple people. The “engineer” in charge of the train was going 2x the speed he should have been when he hit a turn that caused the train to derail.

Do you know how many times a computer makes that mistake? Zero. Literally zero times.

How can we still allow human error to be such a negative factor in our lives? Society seems to shun technological progress for fear that allowing computers to control trains would put train drivers out of work, hence the fear of “the curse of machinery”.

This is belief is a harmful fallacy that can be explained and dismissed in just 3 minutes . Do yourself a favor and watch the video. Be smarter than you were a few minutes ago.

 

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The Blatant Hypocrisy Of Ohio Politicians

As we know, true freedom does not yet exist. You and I are not even in control of our own bodies let alone free human beings. Yet we often hear politicians talk about freedom this and freedom that.

The hypocrites.

Often times their hypocrisy can be masked, cleverly talked over or avoided. However what is currently underway in Ohio cannot be avoided. The lame men & women who run Ohio are criticizing the plan of Responsible Ohio to legalize cannabis throughout the state. Not because they don’t want to give the inherent right to use cannabis back to their “free” constituents but rather because Responsible Ohio’s plan is a cleverly disguised legal monopoly.

Previously I had written in support of Responsible Ohio’s campaign to legalize cannabis in Ohio, but presently I’ve been educated about the details of their campaign. Clearly a legal monopoly is not the best result for everyone, just for the people behind the monopoly. And I’m not the only one who understands this. In addition, legislation that legalizes cannabis MUST reverse prior convictions and get people out of steel cages and the plan offered up by Responsible Ohio does not.

Thanks to OTEP (Ohioans To End Prohibition), I’m wiser today than I was yesterday. That’s always a good thing.

Back to the hypocrite Ohio politicians. From quotes found on Cleveland.com, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine called legalizing cannabis “a stupid idea.” Secretary of State Jon Husted voiced an opinion against the plan and Auditor Dave Yost stated that ballot initiatives shouldn’t create monopolies.

Yet Ohio politicians like these granted a monopoly to two companies to run the states four casinos in a completely anti-free market, anti-competition manner. If you or I opened up a casino we could end up being forcibly placed in a steel cage. Think about that.

Yet, we are “free” people.

Then there’s the Ohio Automotive Dealers Association, a legal monopoly that politicians like DeWine, Husted & Yost allow to operate and to thrive in an anti-free market environment that they enjoy so much, they sued to keep Tesla out of Ohio. The hypocritical politicians who say they believe in freedom have made it so that Elon Musk, one of the world’s foremost innovators, isn’t allowed to sell you or I a vehicle without going through a dealership. If a dealer has to get paid, the dealer’s cut must come from somewhere…either at Tesla’s expense or the customer’s expense. Regardless it’s bad for you and I as customers as we end up paying more either way.

But, freedom?!

While Responsible Ohio may not be the answer to legal cannabis in Ohio, the hypocritical people who run Ohio are not the answer to anything. They have shown time and time again that they either do not understand true freedom or they do not care. Regardless, they need voted out and replaced with free market men & women who will reverse the culture of oppression that today’s leaders have created.

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Pelotonia 2015: One Goal = END CANCER!

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As you may know, I’m a big fan of Columbus’ grass roots bicycle riding campaign to end cancer, Pelotonia.

2015 will be the fourth consecutive year of what I hope are many more years to come that I am able to ride in & support the cause.

In the previous three years, your generosity has helped us raise thousands of dollars towards the millions that have cumulatively been donated.

Thank you very much!!

If you can, please consider donating to this years campaign. I’ve committed to raising at least $1,250, but I’d like to crush that goal and set a new personal record!

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Our magic # is $1,636 – can YOU step up and help? Every bit helps. Whether you donate or not, please pass this link along to as many of your friends and family as you can. If everyone donates $25 and gets two others to do the same, we’ll raise thousands in no time! Click here to donate to my campaign or copy this link: [https://www.mypelotonia.org/riders_profile.jsp?MemberID=183315] to send to your friends and family! Thank you so much!!

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First Trip To The Masters At Augusta National Golf Club

The 2015 Masters tournament was my first of hopefully many visits to Augusta National Golf Club. Continuing to run well in random lotteries and jackpots, I was fortunate to win four tickets to the Monday practice round of April 6, 2015. Along with my sister & parents, I enjoyed a day that is hard to put in to words. So hard, in fact, that I’m not even going to try to do so other than to say that walking in, I was not in tears but I was overwhelmed to the point that for just a second, I thought I may have an anxiety attack. The feeling soon turned to one of awe, reverence & excitement as we spent the next 10 hours traversing every square inch of Augusta National Golf Club.

For any golf fan, let alone a fan as big as myself, the Masters at Augusta National is quite literally the #1 experience in all of golf. With this expectation in mind, I was still blown away. My expectations were exceeded in every way, shape and form. Suggestions for first time visitors to the Masters would be to get there early, bring a smile and bring your pocketbook. While the tales of food & beverage being as cheap as can be are certainly true (see pics), the golf shop can entice even the most prudent of shoppers to spend hundreds of dollars or more. After all, the golf shop at the Masters is the only place to buy first hand, brand-new items that bear the iconic Masters logo.

Below are just a sampling of the 600+ photos I took on April 6, 2015 at Augusta National. While we were not lucky enough to see Sir Nick Faldo, we did see Tiger Woods! I hope that you get to enjoy the course in person as I have – it’s truly a unique & uplifting experience that is not paralleled anywhere on Earth.

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Augusta National Golf Club, the Masters, April 6, 2015

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Just a small sampling of hats

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The Golf Shop @ Augusta National Golf Club, the Masters, April 6, 2015

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As happy as I can be!

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A delicious ice cream sandwich, Georgia Peach, the Masters

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The food menu @ Augusta National Golf Club, the Masters, April 6, 2015

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Pimento cheese?! Yes, please! #Masters

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With my family @ Augusta National Golf Club, the Masters, April 6, 2015

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#Masters #selfie, Augusta National Golf Club, the Masters, April 6, 2015

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#16 @ Augusta National Golf Club, the Masters, April 6, 2015

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Augusta National Golf Club, the Masters, April 6, 2015

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Augusta National Golf Club, the Masters, April 6, 2015

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Tiger Woods @ Augusta National Golf Club, the Masters, April 6, 2015

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Tiger Woods @ Augusta National Golf Club, the Masters, April 6, 2015

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Tiger Woods @ Augusta National Golf Club, the Masters, April 6, 2015

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Pine needles, Augusta National Golf Club, the Masters, April 6, 2015

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Founders Circle @ Augusta National Golf Club, the Masters, April 6, 2015

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With my family at Founders Circle, Augusta National Golf Club, the Masters, April 6, 2015

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Just a small sampling of items I bought at the golf shop @ the Masters!

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Of course my #Masters hat got its own bin at airport security

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Tiger Woods @ Augusta National Golf Club, the Masters, April 6, 2015, photo by C. Ryan Fightmaster

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Sometimes Players Will Tell You Exactly How They Play. You Just Have To Listen.

I could not help but laugh (to myself, mind you) when I overheard a player in my local $2/5 no-limit game make the following statement: “I wanted to raise you but I didn’t have it.”

Clearly this gentleman was a recreational player, just looking to have some fun in the poker room. This is great! He’s exactly the type of player we want at the table. But as his opponent, it’s our job to use every tool available to us to gain an edge on him (and all opponents.) In this case, he’s practically handing us part of our edge on a silver platter as he’s honestly talking about his inability to bluff raise and his likelihood of having a strong hand when he does raise.

Simply by listening to our opponents we gain valuable information. If we were wearing headphones or doing other things that disengage us from the gameplay we may create the wrong kind of atmosphere for players to go off as well as miss crucial tells such as this.

Whether we like it or not, we all give away some information no matter how hard we try not to. The difference is that some of the time our opponents will actually verbalize this information. By paying attention we can deduce what level they are thinking on, and then simply adjust our game to play one level higher.

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Legalizing Cannabis In Ohio

6 May 2015

Below is a post written in mid-March 2015 regarding legalizing cannabis in Ohio. I’m keeping the original text up, but I can no longer support the group “Responsible Ohio”. I’m still 110% for legal cannabis (aka ‘freedom’) however my understanding of free market economics cannot let me back the proposal made by “Responsible Ohio.”

Here and here are two reasons why. Instead of trying to explain, simply read the wise words on those pages. Then refresh yourself on basic economics and how limited competition is bad for us all.

Original post 16 March 2015:

You don’t have to use cannabis to understand how unfair, illogical and oppressive it is to arbitrarily ban the plant. Just keep an open mind when reading my thoughts (including my open letter to Governor Kasich) and learning about Responsible Ohio, the group leading the charge to give Ohioans back the inherent freedoms they were born with.

I hope you’ll take just a few minutes to click the links herein to learn about and support the cause. Here is where you can share your story. Don’t be shy. Ohio needs other normal men & women to step up and be heard: you are the only person who should control what goes into your body, including cannabis, marijuana, nicotine, alcohol, coffee, soda pop, sugar, red meat, gluten, bath salts, etc. Below is a copy of what I submitted for my story

I am a life long Ohio resident and small business owner in Columbus. I’ve dealt with anxiety and depression since I was a child, making my first visit to a psychologist before age 10 and continuing to talk with a professional to this day. Since 2013 I’ve dealt with PTSD after being involved in a fatal crash in St. Lucia. Talking with a professional has helped immensely. In addition, cannabis has been a magical substance for me, alleviating many of the symptoms that find their way into my brain and cause me to fall into severe “ruts.” I do not understand how our lawmakers, who seem more like “overlords” in this case, can arbitrarily ban something that grows naturally on our planet and not see how oppressive and unfair it is to their constituents.

I hope that other “free” human beings will step up and let their voice be heard. You don’t have to use cannabis to understand how unfair and oppressive the laws are. It’s not up to anyone but you to decide what you put into your body.

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Speaking With A Mental Health Professional

A cursory glance of the world will show that humanity is not in the best of places mentally. Sure, there are the elite people who seem to have it all figured out but they are few and far between. The rest of us are but mere mortals and undoubtedly we can be shaken up from time to time, figuring out life as we go along. This is ok!

What is not ok, however, is that most people do nothing about it. Most people are horrified at the idea of talking to their inner circle about what is bringing them down, let alone reaching out to a stranger for help with their feelings.

Why is this? What is so scary and/or taboo about seeing a mental health professional? Most civilized adults have their teeth professionally cleaned & checked once or twice a year. Most of those same people also have regular eye exams and a good percentage see their general health doctor on the regular. Women are even more likely to regularly visit a doctor, given the amount of “women” things that only happen to women’s bodies (sidenote: it can suck to be a woman.)

Yet when it comes to mental health, all bets are off. Society seems to have scarred the idea of colloquially talking about visiting a psychologist, psychiatrist or “shrink”, with negative or embarrassing connotations being attached to those and similar terms. As a result most people never even consider seeking out professional help, instead simply adhering to their way it’s been mentality and ultimately accepting mental mediocrity.

I’d like to change that. I’m not afraid or embarrassed to admit that I regularly see a psychologist. Hell, I’m proud of it. I’ve been fortunate in my business and investments that I’m able to afford an insurance plan which allows for me to see a fantastic PsyD for just a $25 co-pay per visit. Aside from discussing my feelings about any particular problem or issue, we also discuss life, business and all things esoteric. I consider him a trusted and valued advisor, life-coach, & mentor as well as a fantastic doctor. He is one of many sharp people who I surround myself with to help me be the human I can be.

If you’ve ever considered reaching out to someone for help, now is the time! Don’t let your pride get in the way. Don’t worry about what others may think of you. No one is going to ever care about your mental health more than you should. Step up and ask your doctor for a referral and then add your mental health professional to the list of doctors you regularly visit.

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Would You Rather Be Right, Or Dead?

Look both ways!

Look both ways!

It amazes me how people take things for granted. Or perhaps they just have too much faith in other people. Take for instance the man I witnessed randomly crossing a busy street in the vicinity of a cross walk. He simply had his head down and paid no attention to the cars the may or may not be coming on either side of him. He saw that I was coming but simply took the initiative to start crossing the street figuring that I would stop as opposed to hitting him.

This is a critical mistake and one that nearly all people (97% or more) make. It is not as simple as blindly cross the street and assume the car will stop in lieu of hitting you. There are countless other options, many of which involve the car hitting you, smashing you, running you over and killing you. All it takes is one idiot to be texting or doing any other number of things they could be doing to take their eyes off of the road for a split second for your assumption to become a deadly incorrect one.

Part of me wants to help educate people on simple ways they can improve their lives by thinking about things like this and not assuming their own safety. But the other part of me wants to let Darwinism have another shot.

If you value your life, don’t be that guy. Realize that if you are in a cross walk or parking space or just crossing a street, there is no magic force field that keeps vehicles from turning you into pavement. Cross walks do not keep us alive – common sense & keen awareness of the world around us does.

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Uber’s Travis Kalanick’s Wii Tennis Skills Get Him Added To ‘The People Fund’

New to Uber? Click here to join & we both get free rides!

New to Uber? Click here to join & we both get free rides!

Despite being a huge fan of Uber’s business model and product, until recently I knew nothing about their CEO, Travis Kalanick.

It took just one article about Travis’ skills in Wii tennis to convince me that he’s ideal material for The People Fund, alongside similar visionaries, Elon Musk, Richard Branson & Jeff Bezos.

Unfortunately, as of this writing in early 2015, Uber is not publicly traded and I have no way to acquire stock at this time. Not to fear, I look forward to keeping an eye on Travis and hopefully being able to get in on the Uber IPO.

New to Uber? Click here to sign up (for free!) In addition, for using my link we will both get free rides. Uber makes getting around as easy as can be. Cheers!

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