Sunday, May 31, 2009

Pre-Castro Cuba

Just so we're all clear on this;

ht to Maggie's Farm.
Central Unit (Part 3 by Warrior)

Warrior - Serving fourteen years for kidnapping and aggravated assault. Half Hispanic and Scottish-Irish with family still in Mexico. Brought up by a family steeped in drug commerce. He writes some of the best prison-fight stories on the Internet.
Part 2 left off with Warrior arriving at a lockdown run in Central Unit and two inmates, Mike and Wilo, getting out of their cells to fight each other.

Mike dropped his head and tried to rush Wilo’s legs. Wilo pounded the back of Mike’s head repeatedly. Mike struggled like a fish on the deck of a boat trying to stay alive, yet knowing it was only a matter of time.

Focussed on the combat taking place, I hadn’t noticed the two officers until they passed my field of vision. They both strolled by nonchalant. Like seasoned inmates, they appraised the violence without expressing any emotion.
Both of them were tall, about 6’3” give or take an inch. One Hispanic, the other white. In addition to the traditional officer getup – uniform, shank-proof vests, protective eye goggles – each wore two holsters. One for a state-issued Taser. The other for a monstrous can of mace that resembled a fire extinguisher. The mace canisters were so heavy, the guards were straining to maintain a smooth stride.
“Break this shit up you two, or we’ll fuckin’ mace and tase your fuckin’ asses!” said the Hispanic C.O. annoyed.
The redneck C.O. stood by with a mouthful of tobacco cud, chewing like a bovine. He followed with a “Yeah,” which sounded more like a bellowed moo.
Wilo looked up at the two no more than ten feet away. His eyes were saying, Quit pestering me! I’m in the middle of something!
The C.O.’s released the snap holding the Tasers in place. Their other hands seized the canisters and began shaking the mace.
Capitalizing on the time he had left, Wilo struck Mike again. He then headed to his cell, stepped in, and the bars racked shut.
The inmates on his side of the race war applauded and commended his victory.

The two officers sandwiched Mike in order to pick him up by each arm. At first, Mike’s legs couldn’t bear his weight. He struggled like a baby taking his first steps. When he was finally cognizant of reality, his legs locked in place and he stood firm.
“Get the fuck off me!” he roared, jerking his arms from the possession of both officers.
“Do you need medical?” said the Hispanic C.O..
“Fuck you!” he shouted, and headed back to his cell.
The Hispanic C.O. glanced at the redneck, who in turn just chewed his cud and shook his head.
“At least we ain’t got no paperwork tuh do,” the redneck said.
Both strolled away as nonchalant as they’d come in.

Voices jumped out from the crowd.
“Mike, I’m gonna get atya!”
“Orale, Wilo. Te voy amandar un mensaje!” I’m going to send you a message.
I kept thinking I need to be brought up to speed on what’s going down.

Cowboy lunged to the bars with a “Hey!” mirror in hand.
On edge, I flinched back, but played it off as best as I could that he hadn’t caught me unaware. Being a prison vet, he saw through me and basked in his minute victory. His smirking eyes told me so.
“Homeland Security is back to yella…ur green…ur whatever fuckin’ color is at the bottom. Hell, Bush don’t even prawbly know!” Cowboy said excitedly. “Never a dull moment in this bitch, Warrior. Ha…ha…whew!”
“What the fuck was that about?” I asked.
Cowboy leered to the left and then the right, trying to discover who may be listening. In an attempt to lean in closer and be hush-hush, his mirror substituted the action as he pulled it in. “Since yer peeps ain’t been able to get witcha, I’ll tell ya. Ya see, we on the same team, yer peeps and mines. Ya familiar with the race war right?”

Since the mid 90’s there’d been an ongoing war within the Hispanic race. Some considered themselves Mexican nationals or paisas. Others considered themselves Chicanos, raised in the States. Paisas looked at Chicanos as sell outs for embracing a U.S. mentality. Chicanos looked at paisas as sell outs for maintaining Catholicism and a partial European mindset. Chicanos in Arizona embrace and pursue their Aztec and Mayan roots, denouncing anything that isn’t Central American Indian. Ideologies weren’t the sole reason for the war, but made good propaganda for recruitment purposes. Drug and yard control, along with the money-making hustles were the real reasons.

“Well, we’re backing your people [Chicanos] up these days. The fellas [Aryan Brotherhood] and yer carnarles [La eMe/Mexican Mafia] decided to join sides to get rid of all of the paisas.” Given my light skin and no trace of a Spanish accent, Cowboy had assumed I rolled with the Chicanos.
I was torn, given that I was born in Mexico, raised in the States, and half white. But I knew I would eventually be forced to choose a side.

At this time, there were still a few of us able to maintain a sense of independence from it all. But we were dwindling fast. With the new pact with the Aryan Brotherhood, it would be just a matter of time before the masses questioned independent status as friend or foe. No in between allowed. Choose a side or else.

Cowboy continued, “Word hasn’t trickled down to the yards yet. Yuh know we hear it here first. So we at war with them, brother.”
“I’m rollin’ independent. I don’t believe in what’s going down right now.”
“I hear ya.” Cowboy shrugged. “It’s only a matter of time before yer people expect ya to pick a side to stand on. Independent status don’t exist no more really. In fact, the heads of yer peeps and mine are talkin’ ‘bout not recognizin’ independent status in the system. Them paisas is rollin’ with the Border Brothers [Mexican nationals’ prison gang]. They don’t give a shit ‘bout independents either. They stickin’ all of us. If I wur you, I’d pick a side. Before ya know it, yull be a man without a country. And that ain’t no place tuh be.” What Cowboy said was true.
“I hear ya, but I’ll take my chances. It’s carried me this far.”
Cowboy nodded his head with respect and approval.
“So what’s the deal with these cells opening?” I asked.
“Ah…that’s the fun part. Ya see, this here is gladiator school, and when the cell opens class is in session. These cops think it’s funny to open two cells at once. They get a kick out of it. Remember them cops stagin’ them human cock fights in Cali? Same shit. They bet and get a kick outta it. If they really don’t like ya, watch out. Ya might end up with two against ya. The rules is no sleepin’ durin’ the day ‘cause ya never know when it’s yer cell they gonna open. Stay a good distance from other cells where the enemy is at. They’ll try to cut or burn ya. By yer name, I’m guessin’ ya can chuck ‘em, and ya look like yer healthy and work out. So the rest…just be on point at all times. Or yull be like Mikey there.” Cowboy glanced at Mike who had washed up and was doing pushups. “Ya shoulda been doin’ that from the gate ya fat fuck!”
Mike pretended not to hear Cowboy and continued with his pushups.

Click here to read Central Unit Part 1, including a description of the cell just added on 1st June 09.

Click here to read Central Unit Part 2.

Our friends inside appreciate your comments.

Email comments and questions for Warrior to or post them below. To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

Shaun P. Attwood

Precisely Why the Voting Age Needs to Be Increased

"Performance and sexuality studies major???????"

Holy "I'm never going to be a contributing member to society-daddy-can-you-give-me-more-money-please-while-I-protest-the-capitalist-system-that-afforded-me-this-lifestyle" Batman.

This is an example of the reason this country is damned. Young CHILDREN that never have to grow up.

Saturday, May 30, 2009


People think I resort to hyperbole and rhetoric when writing, some how enhancing my stories for effect. The problem is I wish that were the case because then life would be a lot easier.

Ergo, to prove to you it is that insane in this state of Minnesota, visit Stingernation.

A more social outlook on Minnesota than my hate filled tirades.

You Will Tune In

Or at least download a podcast or something.

Friday, May 29, 2009

First Real Sign the Recession Might Be Over

Actually, I don't believe it will be over for a long time. Not by a long shot. Oh sure, economic growth may go to .1% or slightly positive, but I'm expecting a repeat 1979-1983, 5 year period of absolute crap for economic growth.

That being said, inventory to sales seems to have leveled off. Normally this would suggest an end to a recession, but when you misallocate $2 trillion in a $14 trillion in the form of a "stimulus," well that kind of fiscal policy will mute any traditional, natural means by which the economy heals itself.

"Another Reason to Hate the Baby Boomers"

At least Uncle Jay is honest.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Barock Ekonomuks II

I originally made a post on Burak Ekonomucks a while ago, but seriously, this is NOT funny.

If this is the quality and caliber of his "economists" well freaking A. They're about as good as Lehman Brother, AIG, GMAC and other economists out there.

I can't wait, I really can't wait, until all those people who were so damn foolish and ignorant when it came to economics who voted for Barack Obama ACTUALLY THINKING HE KNEW HOW TO FIX THIS ECONOMY get to suffer the consequences.

ht to One Conservative Voice

Your Captain Has Failed

Unbeknownst to all of you your Captain had entered a competition for charity called "One Man Minneapolis." It was sponsored by Absolut Vodka and was essentially a "most eligible bachelor competition."

I qualified for the first round which necessitated a professional photoshoot, however, I unfortunately did not make it to the second round. That being said, the photos of your lovable adorable Captain are available for your entertainment (my female friends say 43, 44 and 79 are the best), and if you happen to be in the Minneapolis area, the competition still goes on.

Also, permit me (should you ever have the need for a professional photographer) to endorse Ingrid Wertmann. Not only is she a professional, but she is also quite witty, funny and personable. You would do yourself a good service getting her to meet your photography needs.

Taleo/Brass Ring

I never claimed to understand the HR profession, largely because I don't believe it to be a real profession. Sure doing benefits and compensation is a real profession. And studying and researching the labor market like outfits like Mercer is absolutely a profession. But the 24 year old HR generalist ditz that asks me questions like;

"What is your favorite color and why"

who at the same time is presumably the first line of defense to help in (what would seem to be the INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT TASK OF) finding the best labor,

ehhhh, not so much a profession. More like "accounting was hard and I like having power... err...I meant, I'm a people person" kind of hobby.

But there is one thing I do not get and that is Taleo/Brass Ring or any one of those online application software packages. Not that having an online application program is a bad thing, but the only question I want answered is;


Uploading the resume I can understand.

Entering my work experience in individual, organized text fields.


But oh no, they want you to duplicate your work.

Thus, I ask all of you Cappy Cap readers, does anybody have the answer to this?

And no, I will not be taking answers from HR people. I want an engineer or a hiring manager or something outside the political machine to give me the real answer.

POST SCRIPT - I have received enough e-mails/posts from HR professionals (which I recall quite clearly not asking for) lecturing me about the merits of this double entry data system. They fall into two categories.

One- as cited by those in the computer science fields which makes much sense - is in regards to parsing. That if one is to effectively screen for the skills/experience/talent/etc. you need to enter it twice, providing searchable data yet providing a ready-resume for reference. And that was the answer I was looking for. The logical, rational explanation why I was seemingly doing pointless work twice. I will now go forth and enter the data twice, should I ever decide to grace the labor market with the opportunity to avail themselves of my talent.


Two - the condescending tone of (obviously) HR professionals (who were self-admitted) about how "If you can't enter data twice, then what kind of worthless employee would you be?"

Gee, I don't know, the same kind of worthless employer/manager/management type that makes people jump through worthless hoops to prove their aptitude for being a corporate bitch...err...I mean...ummm..."prove their aptitude for being a "LOYAL" employee?"


No, sounds more like a screening tactic to find out who you can get to be your corporate bitch (sorry for my cursing, but I am adamantly insistent this is one of the major flaws of corporate America that will bring about it's end) than any sincere desire to find talented ADULT employees.

This is precisely the response I wanted because it does prove that these HR people are:


who have no real skill or talent, but above all else are;


What sick twisted minds come up with a WORTHLESS test to simply test whether people will pointlessly do things? What it tells me is what we've already known.

Corporate America wants compliant people. Not smart people. Smart decisions are reserved for nepotists, connected cronies, and people who sleep their way to the top. And if you want to become part of "Lehman Brothers" or "Goldman Sachs" well your schmoozing tactics must be top notch.

And if you don't believe that I'm right, that I'm just some embittered kook, well then, why don't you just take a looksie at the profits of all those "established" "fortune 500" corporations and "bulge bracket" "elite" Wall Street firms?

Wouldn't the "BEST TALENT" have inoculated them against this housing crash and subsequent economic crisis?

Oh, that's right, I don't play corrupt ball. And people like Shiller and Schiff are morons.

In the meantime, enjoy hiring the MBA's who've been trained to tell you what you want to hear and not what you need to hear. Let alone anybody with any real skill, talent or insight that might actually lead your company out of this economic morass and into prosperity. I'm sure you'll become as innovative and efficient as Japanese Kieretsu's.

Effing morons.
A Doomed Sock (by Polish Avenger)

Polish Avenger is one of the brightest men I met during my incarceration. He is serving a 25-year life sentence. He recently agreed to start writing for Jon's Jail Journal.

While attending our local school of higher education, namely the Arizona Prison's Work-Based Vocational Training, I've found that trying to learn complex tasks is not helped in the least by the standard-issue sack lunch provided by the guards. Whatever brain food might be, it is definitely not processed turkey offal. Thus I try to provide for myself. For the last year, I have been smuggling in baggies of peanut butter, so I don't have to eat the rot-meat. Smuggling is required as we are officially prohibited from bringing food from our cells into the school.

Everything had been going splendidly until last week. I was on my way to school, and for the first time, the baggie stashed in my sock gradually slid its way south.
Uh oh, I thought, trying to discreetly wriggle and squirm it under my arch, so it wouldn't burst. There were too many guards around for me to remove my boot and fix it properly, so I just had to roll with it, stepping gingerly all the while. About half way there - pop! Squish. Oh dear.

At school, I hobbled to the W.C. to inspect the damage.
Maybe it's just a pinhole, I thought.
Alas, it was anything but. Peeling back the elastic revealed the empty bag mashed up by my toes, and the entire underside of my foot heavily slathered with a thick coat of peanut butter. Hmph. It seemed lunch was no longer on the schedule.

I stripped off the oily befouled sock, flipped it inside out, and placed it lovingly atop the rubbish bin. It looked as if it had been used to mop up a bowel eruption with.
I went on my way, a bit hungry yes, but consoled by the thought of the poor soul who had to empty the trash that day.

As this is Polish Avenger’s first blog for Jon’s Jail Journal, your comments and questions would be greatly appreciated.

Email comments and questions to or post them below. To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

Shaun P. Attwood

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Recession Medicine

More recession medicine;

Family Guy - Stuck behind Robert Loggia
Vezi mai multe video din Animatie »

"Prayer" Will Not Suffice

Unfortunately my uncle had taken ill and I went to visit him in the scenic eastern Wisconsin town of Menasha. This necessitated a much loathed drive literally across the heart of Wisconsin because the most direct route goes through the middle-of-freaking-nowhere. Towns such as "Curtiss" and "Seymour" and let's not forget the bustling metropolis of Wausau. Yes, you have your choice of


for the entire trip in terms of sustenance.

But even more limited is your choice of radio stations, for while there are many radio stations, they all fall into two distinct categories;



Jesus stations.

I literally heard a song called "That's Not My Truck in Her Driveway."

Only to change the channel and hear a southern-accented man (of which there are none in Wisconsin) yelling, "Jeeeeeeezus, will saaaaaave yeeeeeeew!"

And there's only so many games you can play to entertain yourself. Games like "count the number of strip clubs" (4 of them - Shooters, Chubby's, The "Rear End, and Up North, NONE of which suggested anything less than metric tonnage on the stage), "Cows and Graveyards" (pick a side, north or south, one gets cows, the other gets graveyards, whichever side gets the most WINS!) and "Pull Over and Go to the Bathroom A Lot Even Though You Don't Have to Go But Really Just Need a Break from the Mundacity."

Regardless, I'd get intermittent reception of Rush Limbaugh or talk radio so I was able to make it, but I heard three things on the radio that made me think and thought this worthy of writing.

The first thing I heard was on the news, this nut job woman who essentially killed her child because when he daughter went into a coma instead of taking her to the hospital, had A PRAYER RING so that God might save her.

The second thing was the on-going saga of the nutjob "naturalistic" parents in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota who made a run for the border so that their son Brian may avoid chemo-therapy and enjoy death-inducing cancer.

But the third was the one that did it. It was a Jesus station I had temporarily tuned into and the radio show host, who was a pastor, was calling on his listeners to PRAY FOR THE COUNTRY SO THEY MIGHT OVERCOME THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION.

Now, it is no secret that I am pretty much anti-religion. I think religion is essentially just a hold-over of ancient forms of government, becoming obsoleted as science proves more and more of their beliefs incorrect, which essentially makes them just cults of brainwashing or "clubs" people join to make themselves feel better. But what particularly irks me is that this displays the "spectator sport" attitude of what I think infects most of the people on the right. They think "praying" is somehow going to help bring about the end of the wave of socialism sweeping the nation. It also makes it incredibly difficult for conservatism, capitalism, or libertarianism to mount a counter-offensive in that the religious right, with inane statements like this, is intertwined, particularly with the Republican party.

Now I know people on the right don't want to hear this, but right now, in the midst of the worst recession since the Great Depression and as the country IS leaving its historical, constitutionally founded past and RAPIDLY pursuing an anti-freedom, socialist agenda we have REALLY got to shed these irrelevant battles for/against social issues such as gay rights, abortion, etc., and focus on the one that is most pressing and most relevant and that is the economic issue.

The Republican party is delusioned with ancillary arguments and causes that are frankly irrelevant to the future of the nation. It needs to realize the immediate threat is economic. And, being the economist, I will argue that if economic freedom is THE MOST IMPORTANT freedom in that if it is lost, then all other social freedoms will be lost. It is the "key stone" freedom that ensures and guarantees all others (which is why if I am king I will make a constitutional amendment that the governments, state federal and local, cannot confiscate more than 25% GDP). Furthermore more, the Republican party has got to grow a pair and make a clear distinction between them and the democrats. Oh I know the country wants socialism, but look how well you've done for yourselves capitulating to their desires and leaving true republican standards becoming "socialists light." You lost everything. The best thing for the Republican party would be to instead of looking at the next election (which is short termism) start looking long term which means making a clear distinction between them and the socialists, which means standing on principle and STICKING TO IT REGARDLESS OF THE IDIOCY/PARTICULAR MOOD OF THE NATION, and the reason why they should do this is that when the country is suffering in the throes of socialism they will have a clear and distinctly different alternative. Not just "socialism light" which I'm sure will become the next fad in about 15 years or so, but it would more or less guarantee a "reign" of sorts that would last more than 4 years, not to mention complete control of the congress. Heck, to help expedite this, the Republican party could actually become more moralled than the Democrats. The Republican party could go so far as to make it a party by-law that no republican shall have more than three terms in any government office...

Of course I'm just dreaming, but that is certainly more feasible than anybody's prayer being answered to get Obama out of office.

Stop Blaming it on Bush

The most obvious criticism of Obama is that he is spending too much.

The knee-jerk, complete lack of thinking and intellectually honesty response from brainwashed leftists, particularly the youth, is that Obama is just carrying on what Bush started.

Try to show them figures. Try to explain Obama "quadrupled down" on what Bush did (which behooves the question why was GW so bad when Obama is Bush X's 4). They still PURPOSELY CHOOSE TO IGNORE REALITY and still blame it on Bush.

Ergo, I get sick of these infantile arguments from infantile children who just want to bitch and cheer for socialism and not ever grow up and have an adult conversation. But the little video below might, just might, get these Obama/Socialism zealots the slap across the face they need;

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Steve Martin in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

"We're the weaker sex. Men don't live as long as women.
We get more heart attacks, strokes and prostate trouble.
I say, it's time for a change.
I say, let them give us money.
Let's live off them for a while."

So I'm curious, is it sexist to be for this or are you a hero of feminism if you're for it?

I'm just confused and want clarification.

Ah, isn't it great when leftist philosophy inevitably reveals it's hypocrisy?

It's Not Just Me

It's Newsweek too!

ht to Steve

"I Have a Boyfriend in the UK"

The swing dance renaissance of the late 90’s brought out the best of my generation and provided us with arguably the best times we were ever going to have in our lives. Men were dressing in suits and women were dressing in dresses. People cared about what they looked like, not in a slutty, going-to-the-meat market sort of way, but more in a “how close can I get to look like Cary Gran/Audrey Hepburn” sort of way. It often reminded me of a theory I had that if the architecture in a city looked better then the people would be happier as it gave them something visually pleasing to look at. And the way the masses dressed I theorized would be no different and thus if the people would dress better then the masses would be happier. But if there was one thing to look at in the entire swing dance scene and something that would certainly make the men happier as it would be visually pleasing to look at, one had to go no further than the illustrious and moxified Jennifer Fondulac.

Jennifer Fondulac was every guy’s dream come true. She was a short, petite redhead whose specialty was not just fashion, but retro fashion. She would regale the men in the swing scene with beautiful 1950’s dresses, heels that were so classy they would put most of the Fredrick’s of Hollywood line to shame, and that classic 1950’s style of hair and make up. She was a naughty June Cleaver with a masters degree and her own company. She was, in the simplest terms, heavenly.

Fortunately for me I was one of the best swing dancers which invariably meant I got to not only dance with this heavenly creature, but I got to know her as well. She invited me over to a couple parties and soon, after enough conversation, she invited me out for a ride on her little moped. Sure enough, I showed up, and there she was on her vintage Vespa, pigtails coming out of her helmet and all. She took me for a joy ride through St. Paul and I dared to think that maybe, just maybe I should ask her out.

Of course in retrospect I was well within my rights to ask her out. We had danced, we were roughly on par with one another in terms of looks. Same intelligence level and she had invited me to not just parties, but now a one on one outing where she was giving me a ride on her moped. And so with great confidence that I was soon to be courting this hot red-headed number I asked her on a date. To which she responded,

“Oh, I’m sorry, but I have a boyfriend.”

I was shocked. Never before in the past 4 months of me knowing her had I seen nor heard of a boyfriend. And given she had a passion for dancing, I figured he must have been on the swing dance scene as well. Completely confused as to his whereabouts I said,

“You have a boyfriend? Well where the hell has he been? I’ve never seen you with a guy before.”

And then the jaw-dropping moment came that would knock Jennifer from a heavenly, naughty, June Cleaver with red hair and a moped to just another childish, middle-schoolish girl,

“Well he lives in the UK.”

A face that can only be described as the Shrek-Donkey face when they see the Doluc welcome song took to my face.

Here was NOT a 13 year old child, but a 25 year old “woman” who “had a boyfriend in the UK.” I thought women left this childish crap back in middle school.

Now the reason I bring this up is that not only do I need to establish a historical record of what I had gone through during my twenties so you all know why your beloved Captain came out the way he did, and not only have I heard of this excuse being used more and more by older and older girls/women and therefore find it necessary to discuss it, but there are no doubt millions of young, middle school/high school boys where it is a ritual that they have to tolerate this vapid crap and are left even more confused than they already were (which was already an unacceptable amount of confusion anyway). Ergo let me explain;

1. That’s precisely what the “I have a boyfriend in Chile/UK/Russia” line is; vapid crap. There is no line or logic to it. If you get this excuse it’s because the girl doesn’t really want to have a boyfriend, but just likes to have the “status” of having a boyfriend.

2. I don’t know if it’s because girls are afraid of intimacy or what the specific reason is why girls resort to this, but you can see the inanity of it regardless when you ask the natural follow up question of “how often do you see him?” This is the logical question in that half, if not 90% of the point of having a boy/girlfriend is the kissings and the snugglings and (presuming you’re old enough) the sexings. The inanity is proved when they almost always say, “every 6 months he flies over for 2 weeks, but (are you ready for the eye-roller?) WE E-MAIL EVERY NIGHT," as if that has now validated this pointless relationship. I know it doesn’t make any sense, but it is key to understand you don’t have to concern yourself with making heads or tails of it. All you have to do is realize that you ARE dealing with a little girl and is probably somebody you don’t want to go out with anyway.

3. I can understand younger girls (such as middle school or even freshmen in high school) doing this in that they are LITTLE GIRLS and prone to playing with Barbie Dolls and make-believe and living in lala land. But good lord and all that is Godiva Chocolates and fat wiener dogs, women who ARE IN THEIR 20’s???????? Now as I said before, this was quite some time ago when I ran into the 25 year old, but I’m hearing this as a more common event.

Thus, for all the Cappy Cap women out there, could some of you please explain to me what the heck is going on? In the meantime could we all make it a law or something this excuse is never used upon graduating from the 8th grade?

The Bubble Society

Understand that Americans, forever eschewing hard work and increases in efficiency and productivity, have become progressively more and more reliant upon bubbles to help sustain their standards of living. The Dotcom bubble was one such perfect example where it triggered such economic (albeit unsustainable) economic growth that social security was (foolishly) projected to have a surplus and the federal budget was actually running a surplus. Or the housing bubble where people relied on increasing home values to magically afford them a new SUV without any additional increase in work.

But the biggest bubble, and one that has yet to deflate fully, is the retirement bubble. Yes, tens of billions of dollars flooding religiously and regularly every month into the stock market because the federal government has just magically decided that stocks and mutual funds are now the defacto retirement vehicle for the masses. And with tax benefits granted via the 401k/IRA/403b and other plans, how can you not throw your money into the stock market?

Regardless, this behavior engrains in the American psychology that rising asset prices HAS to occur simply because we've invested so much in it. That Barack Obama CANNOT fail because we've put our hearts and souls into it. Or (on the other side of the political isle) America CANNOT fail because it's America and Americans are great because Sean Hannity told me so, tee-hee, I want an SUV and a rich husband, tee-hee! It is a religious belief rather than a calculated financial investment that drives market sentiment and thus why you have this;

Oh, yeah, THAT'S reassuring;

"America is still getting sucky, we're just getting suckier at a slightly less sucky rate."

And how does the market respond to this?

Up 2% I last saw today.

Oh yeah, like the market just isn't looking for ANY reason for prices to go up.


Monday, May 25, 2009

Germany (Photos) - Nazi/Stasi Prison "The Rote Ochse" and Halle Park "Peisnitz Insel"
Germany (Part 3)

The People

The Germans are friendly provided you are introduced to them, but initiating small talk with strangers is a no-no. When I said hello to an old couple walking a dog in the park, they recoiled as if I had pulled a gun on them. Kathi yanked my arm, and scolded me for behaving outside of the German norm.

The Peisnitz Insel

Is the park opposite Kathi's house.
"If a tick drops from a tree and sucks your blood, do not pull it out. We must see a doctor," Kathi said at the beginning of our first romantic stroll in the park.
"Why?" I asked, looking up at the branches and quickening my pace.
"If you pull the body out, the head stays under your skin, and you can get Lyme's disease. My friend's mom got very sick from this."
Through the forest, we descended down to the River Saale. Kathi bought me a delicious lemon ice cream. We stopped on a bridge to watch a beaver swimming by the bank. We took a mini train ride, the Peisnitz Express, operated by a driver and a little boy in a dark-blue GDR uniform who waved coloured signals, and frowned at all of my attempts to initiate small talk with him.

The Rote Ochse

This former prison, now a museum, is a ten-minute walk from Kathi's. The cell furniture and carpenter's workshop are decades old, but walking a run of cells reminded me of some parts of Joe Arpaio's jail system. Then I came to the execution room, death cell, and the room for the disposal of corpses. It was hard not to imagine what horrors had happened here. Outside of the routine torture in the Rote Ochse, the Nazis killed 549 people, and the Stasi an unknown number. Mostly political prisoners.
Kathi's neighbour, Mario, told me that the Russians transporting prisoners into the Rote Ochse were a prisoner short so they just snatched a local person and imprisoned him. "The Russians were not too nice," Mario added.

Food and Drink

Kathi is a vegetarian, a rarity here. So I've only viewed typical German meals such as bratwurst, schnitzel, and roulade from a safe distance in restaurants and they did not look inviting.
"All Germans love Sauerkraut," Kathi said.
"That's why the Americans call us Krauts," Paul added.
Kathi has catered to my vegetarian needs, even going so far as to cook curry for the first time. I've been trying many kinds of cheese. My favourite is Saint Albray mild & würzig. I can't get enough of the strawberries, salted macadamia nuts and flavourful yoghurts such as Landliebe Jogurt.
I like the paprika bread. In general, the bread is grainy, less processed and strong tasting. Germans do not go for sliced loaves, but for fresh bread from the bakery. Kathi thinks English bread is too sweet.
East Germans are serious beer drinkers. Two favourites are Hasseröder and Becks. But I prefer less manly drinks such as the fruity Eiswein.
I also like the blood-orange juice.

Sex on the TV

Breasts are prevalent on daytime TV. In the words of Jörg, Kathi's brother: "In Germany they only don't show the vagina and the penis when it is hard." Anything else goes, and at nighttime the commercials for sex 900 numbers are pornographic. I was quite enjoying this until an old age pensioner came on, fondling her breasts, giving them a good slow roll while urging me to pick up the phone to talk to a 60+ year old for 99 cents a minute.
"Look, Shaun, Look!" Kathi just yelled.
It's 11:21pm and Kathi's pointing at the TV: a couple are having sex on the bonnet of a car. And on another channel, four female tongues are licking a whipped substance off two pairs of pierced breasts. God bless German television.


I set off for the high street in the hope of buying a distinctly-German T-shirt. I was delusional. All of the clothes are American and English. In every other store I could have bought a T-shirt with New York, Los Angeles or Chicago on it. I resorted to asking sales assistants where I could find German T-shirts, only to be laughed out of several stores.

In Summary

My vacation is almost over, and I've had a great time. Kathi has spoiled me in every way possible, and I feel fully revitalised after my workaholism in England. We only fell out two times. Once after I told a sales assistant with pink, red, and silver streaked hair that her hair looked cool: Kathi didn't take kindly to this. The second time was in the disco, Objekt 5, when Kathi introduced me to a friend, emphasising how handsome he was: I didn't take kindly to this but I guess it was her form of payback. So it looks like Kathi will be visiting me in England in late July to continue this romance.

A new writer: the next blog is from a lifer I met in prison who is joining our team at Jon's Jail Journal.

Germany (Photos) - Kathi's Apartment

Sunday, May 24, 2009

How to Stimulate the Economy #324

Much of the solution to get the US economy growing again involves destroying bottlenecks that keep or hold back production.

For example if we were allowed to get rid of children that disrupt class and thereby lessen the quality of education for the remaining 80%, imagine what levels of learning those kids could learn?

Instead of having "commuter lanes" that nobody uses or light rail systems that benefit the minority, why not build 12 lane highways so people can not only get to work on time, but spend more time with family, less time on the road, and if you are a true environmentalist, burn less fossil fuels as they zip quickly along.

We could even shoot the majority of bankers and mortgage brokers that caused the economic crisis we're in. Imagine a functional and accurate financial system that assesses risk and return precisely and allocates resources accordingly (not to mention the additional honesty we'd receive from bankers as "The Great Banker Purge of 2009" is fresh in their memories).

But of all the many bottlenecks we could destroy there is one that would cause immense economic growth;

The grocery store lane.

You see right now in Minnesota you get a 50/50 chance of having a self-check out lane at most grocery stores. Those 50% WITHOUT self-check out lanes are the culprits in holding back our economic recovery. Yes, I, along with many-a-bachelor have availed ourselves of this great time saving device. We save the grocery store money in that they needn't hire labor to check us out. And with the time saved, it gives us all that much more time to contribute to GDP and lead this nation out of recession.

But oh, there are those grocery stores that insist on holding us hostage, waiting behind Tilly and her $173.45 worth of groceries, keeping us from our heroic economic calling of contributing to GDP. Oh no, we're not allowed out of the slow grocery store lane. No, we have to suffer looking over worthless rags/magazines about Julia Roberts and Brad Pitt interspersed between the trashy romance novels. Only to be condemned to a lengthier sentence as Tilly pulls out her coupons.

Yes, Tilly saved $1.02.

But it cost the economy $3,506 in lost labor and production.

Ergo, when I am king, I shall mandate that all stores have self-check out lines so that the movers and shakers and true GDP-producers may pay for their wares, get out of the store and get on with their lives, while Tilly and her coupon cutters can hold each other up.

Wolfram Alpha

Will somebody please explain what the big deal is about this thing? I tried looking up a couple things and don't really get the purpose of it aside from another means by which to order and structure information.


No wonder my generation is having troubles dating.

That being said, I can only imagine the dating hell young boys today are going to have to battle through when they are older. These girls literally are brought up to think they're princesses.


Friday, May 22, 2009

Obama Beta

Ah, California. A spoiled state filled with spoiled people who think money grows on trees and you can have the government pay for everything while crippling the productive citizens with taxes, regulation and psychotic environmental standards. AND nothing bad will happen. Couldn't have happened to a more deserving group of people.

Understand though, California is nothing more than a beta trial version of Obama 1.0, which will roll out for the nation in a couple years.

In the meantime, how much you want to bet the children of California are going to ask states with more responsible people to bail them out with a federal hand out?

What an overrated state, simply (and this is how simple it is) because of the weather.
Germany (Part 2)

I'am in the roof of a 120-year-old house in Halle, Germany, the birthplace of George Frideric Handel. I am in Paul's bedroom. He is Kathi's 18-year-old hippy son. He credits his fluency in English to playing Grand Theft Auto for up to 12 hours a day for the past 5 years. When he is not playing video games, Paul is an artist. He painted the bedroom walls lime green with white spots. There are two windows. They slope with the roof, and the blinds are pulled over them, so most of the illumination is coming from the 32" computer screen I am facing. I am sat on a tiny dark-blue sofa next to Paul's bunkbed. It is a metal bunkbed. Not unlike a prison one except it is twice as broad. His mattress is on the thin side. He is a man of simple sleeping needs. I can relate to that. I am typing slower than normal because the arrangement of the keys is not what I am used to and there are letters I am unfamiliar with such as ü, ö, and ä that I keep hitting accidentally.

When I first arrived Paul was eating cheese that made the whole apartment stink like feet that hadn't been washed in a decade. Let's go back to that day.

In order to get by the emergency door in the middle of the plane - surely the safest place to sit? - I was one of the first to board the Ryan Air flight. When the staff in blue uniforms demonstrated what to do in the event of an emergency landing, I sat there committing every instruction to memory. I even visualised myself in the water, pulling the correct chord to add extra air to my inflatable, before being rescued by heroic fishermen. Taking off, I hoped the effects of the alcohol I'd consumed would last for the one-and-a-quarter-hour flight. The sweet smell of wine on my breath reassured me.
The flight went smoothly until the landing. Descending over a forest, the plane wobbled a few times, sobering me up.

Formerly a Russian airbase, Altenburg Airport is tiny. It has one baggage-claim machine and two passport-control kiosks. Approaching the customs agent, I feared my FBI and Interpol records would show on his computer screen. That I'd be stripped naked and subjected to German shephards sniffing my backside. But he just looked at my passport and nodded me through.

I picked up Kathi and kissed her. She was with another MySpace couple, Nici and Stefan. We joked about us all having met on MySpace.
Outside was hot. Not Arizona hot, more like Spanish-summer hot. I regretted bringing three sweaters.
Through coutryside, Nici drove on the American side of the street. The cars looked different. Many BMW's, VW's, Daimlers, Opels, Renaults, and Skodas.

Getting into Halle, I noticed the abscence of houses as we understand them in the West. No single one- and two-story homes. All three- and four-story buildings joined in rows. I admired the old architecture and the sturdy character of the buildings. I hadn't seen so much graffiti since driving through South Central L.A..

There were many bicycles in Kathi's hallway. I wondered about the axe on the floor. With my 15 kilos of luggage permitted by Ryan Air, climbing the 63 stairs to get to her apartment was a workout. I arrived at her front door sweating, and obeyed her order to take off my sneakers. As soon as I walked in, her interior-design skills struck me. So many vibrant colours. It felt as if I were walking into a good mood. One that rubbed off on me right away.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Because American Youth are Stupid

My conservative, libertarian and other capitalists friends still seem unable at times to come to grips with how precisely Barack Obama got elected. And while I try to explain to them that the American public is more interested in American Idol or "how the Twins are doing" than they are things like the federal budget, constitutional law, etc., they still don't seem to understand, that yes, a critical mass of the population is hopelessly ignorant and it is a hopeless situation. However, permit me if you will a chart that will explain a particular group of people who are particularly responsible for electing Barack Obama and are particularly stupid;

Young Americans.

Young (latin for - idiots who are too young to know what they're talking about and should not be able to vote until they're 35) Americans voted in droves for Barack Obama. Why they did this can be summarized why they voted for Stevie or whoever it was that won the latest round of American Idol. It was a popularity contest. Nobody bothered to look at his projected spending. Nobody bothered to see whether there was enough money to pay for his promises. Nobody held him up to any kind of standard or rigor that should have been applied to the president of the United States. And the reason why is that's "lame man. Why do you have to kill our good time? Why do you have to be such a downer, man? Who cares about economics and finance and the budget. Can't you just be for hope and change? Besides he's cool. Did you see his pecks? Geez, you're such a nerd!"

The problem is their ignorance has finally caught up with them. For while the Baby Boomers will it seems die before they have to pay the piper, Gen X and Gen Y will not. And all they've done in voting for "hope and change" is essentially indebt themselves further to the tune of several trillion dollars (I'm just saying "several" trillion because it's going to be more than three, but less than 60...I hope) In other words, no Gen X'er who voted for Obama looked at the chart below which shows how much additional federal debt has been added each year per person and shows they quite frankly, just got totally screwed;

It's frankly appalling that the government has burdened everybody (or projected to burden them) with more debt than we ever did in the history of the US. Not even in WWII when there was a crisis of genuinely epic proportions did we burden the American public so. And FDR indebted Americans NOWHERE NEAR THE AMOUNT TODAY (I adjusted for inflation). This is simply just idiots voting themselves bread and circuses who are too damn stupid to realize they've essentially turned themselves and their children into slaves to afford these things.

Now if you really want to do something funny today, print off the chart above and then show it to a young Obama supporter and watch them hem and haw and then DISMISS IT AS IRRELEVANT or "I DON'T KNOW WHERE YOU GOT THOSE FIGURES" simply because they are too damn ignorant (or too damn ashamed) to realize they should have buyer's remorse. They will literally adhere to their ideology when you've just shown them they've swallowed, hook line and sinker indentured servitude. That is the definition of stupid.

The Captain's Wares

Tis time for the monthly shameless plugging of the Captain's wares.

Yes, the Captain's wares. It puts food on his table, pays the mortgage and helps him pay taxes to the beloved Obama!

Take a class on personal financial management

Learn how to invest in stocks

Buy his awesome book

Buy his "I contribute to GDP" apparel (and impress the opposite sex at the same time)

Or take a dance class (or buy his instructional dance dvd's if you happen to not be conveniently located in Minneapolis)

Go, do it now! Quick!

And the Winner Is....

Tom, with his simple, yet humorous chart showing pirates killed by presidents;

Tom, e-mail me at and claim your prizes!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Who the Ef Needs 10,000 Nukes???

OK, look, I'm all for nuclear weapons. But geez, what is the possible earthly reason for having 10,000 of them?
16 May 09 12:42pm

Germany (Part 1)

The last thing you need when you are terrified of flying is a tall imposing black woman approaching you in the check-in line and insisting you carry things in your luggage for her.
Bomb came to mind as I told her no.
"Why not?" It was not like I knew this lady and had promised to carry things for her only to change my mind at the last minute, but by the way she was yelling at me, the ten onlookers probably thought so.
"It's a security risk."
Her face spasmed at my answer. Hissing all kinds of curses, she barged past me to the front of the line, and accosted the first available Ryan Air staff member. I hadn't experienced such behaviour since prison.

I'm writing this from Stansted Airport, London. I'm sat at the Globe Express Cafe + Bar, contemplating a glass of wine to settle my pre-flight jitters. I haven't flown since my deportation in December 2007. I am hoping my flight is a smooth one, and I attract no more lunatics with luggage problems. I am contemplating whether to get a medium or a large white zin. I take that back: I am getting a large. I'll be right back.

I haven't touched alcohol since March. I just took my first sip of white zin, and I already feel more confident about flying even though the alcohol could not possibly have pinged my brain yet. I am going to time my sips so the drink lasts until I have to board; that way I should still be tipsy during the worst time of the flight for me: the landing.

Through the full-length windows are planes docked at various gates. Further out is a control tower below low gray clouds. The smells of coffee and tea are wafting from the cafe. Sat around are couples and parties of British holidaymakers with pale pasty skin and lively southern accents. Most of them are drinking alcohol at much faster rates than me, including the tiny old lady sat at the nearest table who is half way through her second large red wine. I am telling myself they are all drinking because they are all as nervous about flying as me. I'm not sure whether I believe this or not, but it is making me feel better about my own nervousness and that I'm resorting to wine to deal with it.

The wine is affecting my brain now, and I'm pondering the fact that today, May 16th, is the day I was arrested by a SWAT team back in 2002. Today is also the birthday of the woman I'm on my way to see in Germany: Kathi. My mind is playing the linking game, for example, without my arrest, I would never have met Kathi, and I wouldn't be here drinking wine wondering if the black lady managed to get something explosive onto my flight, and whether there are sharks in the water I'm about to fly over.

I'm about to board, so I'd better head to Gate 56.

Ramirez Strikes Again

I think he has got to be the best political cartoonist ever;

Monday, May 18, 2009

Another Reason Not to Buy the Economist

I caught a lot of flak for daring to make a post about the merits of NOT having children and opting to lead a childless life. Of course this begat a bunch of hate-mail from people who seem to think that I, along with others, have no independence nor right to make our own decisions and by our mere existence are mandated to breed and bring children into this world (whether we want them or not or are able to bring them up or not).

And so to irk these nazis further I've decided to post another chart from The Economist which, once again, seems to betray its namesake in that it didn't adjust for certain simple economic factors. This chart shows the median income of (essentially) married people versus single children. They cite the incomes of people with a spouse and two children versus that of a single person. They then herald this "amazing" discovery that single people do not make as much as married and child-full people.

And that natural question I ask;

"Did you adjust for this income on a per capita basis?"

I didn't think so.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Latest Broadcast

Hi All,

Here's the latest broadcast;

Some of my better work actually. Feel free to listen whilst you go and do your daily chores on Sunday. Actually you won't regret it.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Cigarettes, Lottery Ticket, Pay by Check

I am often asked, "Captain, what would you do if you were president to get us out of this mess?"

And of the many things I'd recommend including eliminating corporate taxes, phasing out medicare and social security and welfare, as well as banning government finances of 2-year degrees and all liberal arts degrees, there is one that would come first and foremost;

Assassinating all people who insist on getting ahead of me in line at the gas station who then;

Ask for a pack of cigarettes
Who then debate what kind of cigarettes they want and talk through their thought process
Oh, guess what. They don't have menthols. Do you want another?
Hmmm...let me see. How about filtered?
The process restarts then, and inevitably a cancer stick of choice is chosen.
And upon finally getting those cigarettes, without fail, they buy at least one lottery ticket.
But not without first going through the same tortuously slow process of picking a type of cigarette.
Sure enough a stick that will kill them and a piece of paper that will impoverish them further is chosen. And how do these people pay for it?

With a check.

Of course by this time a line of 40 people has formed behind these people and we've all missed whatever previous engagement we had. And the economy has tanked an additional 6.2% GDP because these people are the plaque that clogs the arteries of America's economy. But that's alright, society accommodates for these people because it's more important to inconvenience the masses and tank the economy and grind all progress to a halt than to let the rest of us get on with our lives.

In any case, just sharing that with you guys that this would be my first act as president.
From Two Tonys (Letter 11)

Two Tonys - A whacker of men and Mafia associate serving multiple life sentences for murders and violent crimes. Left bodies from Tucson to Alaska, but claims all his victims "had it coming." Recently diagnosed with liver cancer, and is in chemotherapy fighting to prolong his life.


That Johnnie Bennett Battaglia that left a comment is the kid of Johnnie the Bat. The Bat came in my club one night with Charlie Batts’ wife and entourage, and had a drink. Charlie was in prison at the time. I didn’t pick up good vibes, so we all just glanced at each other. They didn’t stay long. He was over in Arizona on parole from California. He was doing a diamond score and a good one at that. Me and my partner turned it down. But the Bat did it and got away with it. Then they got him for violating his parole by going to another state. We heard he died in prison. The heist involved a jeweller named Newt Pfeiffer. Pfeiffer did a swan dive off the Pioneer Hotel without a parachute. That’s what happens to gangster groupies. Keep you day jobs, folks!

You remember my main guy, Jim Hogg. Yeah, the 280 lb hunk of rock some refer to as Rolling Thunder. Well, he’s always looked out for me in here. You know that. When I come back from the hospital, he meets me at the gate and tells me I’ve been moved to his pod. He is right across from me and he is godsent. He does so much for me, I feel both guilty and old. He’s my big-headed boy, and I got big-time love for him. But he goes home soon and I’ll miss him a lot.

Ya know, as screwed up as my life has been, I’m very fortunate with friends who actually want to look out for me. There’s a group of good solid nasty white boys I’ve known for quite a while who came to me and wanted me to move to their pod. Jim Hogg was with me, and told them I’m staying with him till he leaves. They put up an argument, but to no avail.
Hey! What can I say? Good guys all of them. Maybe society doesn’t care for them and probably with their own good reasons. But these are my people, and everyone knows it. I earned their respect and love not by being here, but by my conduct.

And while I don’t want to make this the T.T. loves T.T. blog, I’ve done some reflecting and pondering of my life’s journey. And as fucked up as it is now, there’s poor souls out there in the same boat as me who have worked, paid bills, raised families, went to church…. But are lonely and don’t have nowhere near the love and moral support I’m getting. As I reflect on this life, I realize, yes, I’ve taken guys out and they didn’t get 6-7-8 months to reflect on their fucked-up deeds. It was 1-2-3 – see ya – bam, it’s over.

Ok, moving on. If you read my Bad Weather blog, I’ve done that several times. Interfered in hits when possible or when I thought they were out of line. From prison yards to gangster business. I even talked up for a guy scheduled for a hit, and got it cancelled. And I was going to be part of the whack. Just the set-up guy, but I knew him well. I had just been a pallbearer at his baby’s funeral. Now I’m supposed to bring the guy in for slaughtering. That’s another blog. But that’s saving a life ain’t it?
Pulling a 3 year old from a ranch well, and assisting in his resuscitation. That’s like saving a life. A life on a child, that’s a good life. I don’t want a medal or any of that shit. What’s funny about the kid and the well is that his mom made me a whole chocolate pie, my favorite, the next day. But within 3 months, the kid’s old man is putting out word he’s going to blow my head off if I step on ranch property. Once again, I refer to Old Blue Eyes, “That’s life.”

But when I get up and read these blog comments from Ghost, Jose in San Diego my ese, Jayne, Barry from up there in Tonopah, Will, your Mom and Dad, Geoff, Big W., Cindy, Sue O, August, Hammy, all of these folks have inspired me with good advice, strong-hearted advice, fuck-the-odds advice, and I don’t know what to say.

I don’t consider myself a religious man. I’d like to have that blind faith that’s sang in songs, written in books, shouted about on street corners. But I can’t honestly say “Oh yeah!”
I’ve lived this life of robbing, stealing, killing, fucking over the weak and now as the moment nears, I can’t jump up and say, “OK. Forgive me. Sorry about all the sadness I caused families. I’m now a good Christian.” I’m having trouble in my mind with that. Sure I can say it.

You know, since word hit the yard I’m on my last legs or soon will be, I’ve had at least 5 inmates come up to me. 2 gave me books on Jesus and 1 on Jehovah. One had his people send me a student bible to study. Their thoughts are nice.
Now these ain’t pooty-butt guys. They’re guys you would get scared about if you run into them in an alley. They’re not chomos or rapos [child molesters or rapists]. They’re guys, I guess you would say, who’re all looking for change and answers.
I’m not rude, I take their books out of politeness. But to be honest, I haven’t cracked one of them open.

I told the cancer oncologist last week as we met over the TV-set hook up, “Hey, Doc, let’s keep it on the up and up here. I’m not afraid of death. In fact I’m trying to look at it as a possible new journey.” I’ve faced death before, but adrenaline was flowing, survival value was full-tilt boogie. There was never time for reflection or pondering. Now this is all I have time to ponder and reflect. I sure had a lot of fun, and an issue of sadness that never lasted long. Fun always seemed to override the sadness. I told the Dr. what I fear is the pain. He told me they can and will handle the pain. We’ll see.

You can tell I like that word ponder. I’m using the hell out of it. I hope this didn’t bore you. C’mon, let’s get back to having fun at the blog. What do you want to kick around? War? Politics? The Mafia? Prison?

Shaun, I’m really happy with your progress. Now get to work.


Two Tonys

ps) Jim Hogg wanted to write to you so I told him to have at it. I’m worried about him and his release. But what the fuck? Look at the adventure. This place becomes a nest and some of these guys are like baby birds. My advice: Fly, motherfucker, fly.

Our friends inside appreciate your comments.

Two Tonys is dying from cancer. You can send well wishes for Two Tonys by emailing or posting them below. To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

Shaun P. Attwood
15 May 09

Dawn of a New Adventure (Part 3)

I was travelling most of yesterday as I just gave my first presentation to a school. 100 14 to 15 year olds at Bishop's Stortford College in Hertfordshire. The jitters began the night before. I kept jumping out of bed at all hours, writing down additional stuff to speak about. I knew if I failed, I would lose the job I’d just relocated to the other side of England for. The pressure was on.

Nervous about speaking to an audience, I only ate half of my breakfast before I set off. Dwelling on how this talk was my chance to raise myself in society, I was scared of sabotaging such a fantastic opportunity.

It took over two hours – two trains, two lines on the London Underground, and a taxi – to get to the school. Once there, I met the contact teacher, Claire, a wonderful woman who gave me an invaluable prep. She knew it was my first presentation, and she suggested various techniques to engage the students, such as asking some of them to volunteer to read excerpts from my blog and book. She said some previous speakers on drugs had glorified their crimes. One had even used the F word, and she had to stop the presentation. She advised me to keep emphasising how my decision to do drugs had led to the horrible jail conditions.

The room designated for my presentation was like a drama theatre. It consisted of a stage facing rows of seats that went higher towards the back. Claire asked if I needed anything, and we set up a table to put my water and reading excerpts on. I refused a podium as I knew I couldn’t stand still. I expected to pace.

When it came time to talk, my nervousness peaked. Facing all of the little people in school uniforms gazing at me was an experience like no other. I’d prepared a detailed introduction, but my mind went blank and I introduced myself in a few short sentences that lacked enough information. Faltering, I wondered if I was not cut out for public speaking?

Some students showed up late, and I’m glad they did. I pounced on the opportunity to start again:
“For the benefit of those students who showed up late, I’ll start my introduction again. I am Shaun Attwood. I went to school in Cheshire where I did well. I went on to Liverpool University and graduated with a business degree. I moved to America, became a top-producing stockbroker, quit that, and then became a tech-stock millionaire during the bubble. But I lost everything because of drugs. On May 16th, 2002, a SWAT team knocked my door down, and I ended up in America’s toughest jail.
So how did I go from where you are today to getting a 9 ½ year prison sentence? When I was about four or five years older than most of you I took Ecstasy for the first time. The rave scene had just started in Manchester…”

I am pleased to report my speaking flowed better from there. I could still feel my tension, but I remembered the words of Dr. O at Tucson prison: “It’s all energy. Just channel it in the right direction.” Breaking it up with the students reading excerpts allowed me to take breathers, drink water, and mentally prepare what I was going to say next. Thinking on my feet, a lot of what I’d prepared to say never came out, but I had so much material to draw on I was actually still talking into the time allocated for Q & A.

The students at Bishops Stortford College were pleasant and bright. So many hands went up, there was not enough to time to answer all of their questions, ranging from the prevalence of prison rape to legal questions about my case.

Even with all of the applause, I wasn’t sure if I’d done well or not. That changed when the teachers surrounded me, and congratulated me on doing such a good job. Fascinated by my story, they had questions of their own.
The group of girls who had shown up late even stayed behind to apologise and ask me further questions.

I left on a natural high, and immediately called my parents, who popped a bottle of a champagne that night.

If you are interested in booking my presentation click here.

Tomorrow, I’m off to Halle (Saale) to visit Kathi for two weeks. She lives in the roof of a 120-year-old building in East Germany.
I’ll be blogging from Germany, including a letter from Two Tonys and the story of Smiling John, in his own words. He’s a murderer who escaped from prison and ended up on America's Most Wanted.

Email comments or questions to or post them below. To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

Shaun P. Attwood

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Penny Budget

I remember teaching at a 2 year business college where the kids were so damn stupid they didn't know the difference between a million vs a billion vs a trillion. I then had to spend a day explaining the concept of moving a decimal three places. So hopefully this simple (yet brilliant) analogy will penetrate the thick skulls of all the 20 something children who voted for Obama because he was "cool."

Brought to you by The Deets! YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE DEETS!!!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

If You Paid Half as Much Attention to Government as You Did Sports

I am old.

Or at least that is what I am told by the 20 somethings who tend bar at my favorite watering hole in my favorite town.

I am old.

I am also reliably informed that I am nerdy.

Never mind that I'm quite dashing. Never mind that I can dance the night away with any femme fatale I want. Never mind that I have probably had more than my fair share of dates with the local lovelies.

No, I'm a nerd.

And the reason I'm a nerd is that when I walk into my favorite bar, it is a 100% guarantee that the "game" is on. And it is also a 100% guarantee that all the 20 something staff, either on or off duty are watching the game. And when I walk into the bar and ask, "So is that team with the blue jersey's going to try to hit the ball with the wood stick harder than the team with the red jerseys are?"

"Boy, I sure hope he runs fast around that diamond in the dirt they placed for him there."

"Ooo! Look, one set of guys on skates are trying to hit the black disc into a net while A SEPARATE GROUP OF GUYS try to do the same, but to the other net! What chaos will ensue?"

"Wow! I hope the guys in the gray throw the orange sphere into the circle more than the guys in the purple do!"

It is a practical guarantee I am lectured, "Dude, you're such a nerd! Don't you know who that is! That's JOE MAUER!"

I then sarcastically point to the idiot in the bar wearing a Joe Mauer jersey with "MAUER" on the back and say, "Well wait, how can Joe Mauer be on the TV swinging the wooden stick when he's sitting at the bar."

Of course the larger intellectual point is lost on these twenty somethings, but that's just the point.

Watching sports is stupid.

Playing them, well now that's fun. There's a purpose in that. You get exercise, you get to play and have fun, there's also good ole fashioned competition. But to sit there and buy a $60 jersey and pin your happiness and hopes on one group of guys with white jerseys throwing the ball further than the other group of guys in the blue jerseys is bordering insane.

But here is an interesting thought, and one I cannot claim I concocted for I heard it on the Michael Medved show,

"What if people paid half the amount of attention to government than they do sports?"

Well I'll tell you what would happen, the country would not be in recession right now. Matter of fact, it may never be in recession again. For you see this is a democracy (anybody e-mailing me about this being a republic will be summarily ignored) and if the masses are ignorant and stupid, then the government is also going to be ignorant and stupid. Conversely if the masses are informed and educated, then the government would implement sound and effective laws and policies and standards of living would easily reach $250,000 income per capita.

However, this is not the case. People much rather watch a pointless score of how many times a rubber disc was shot across the ice and into another team's net than they would calculate the government deficit as a percent of GDP. People would much rather in a twisted (or perhaps complete lack of) logic apply relevancy of a football team's performance to their own personal lives than the tax rate they pay. People would much rather pin their success and happiness on the outcome of a basketball game than they would taking stewardship in this democracy, informing themselves about the issues, and in their citizenship duty vote in a competent government that would make effective decisions that would improve the lot of society.

In short, people would rather talk about Joe Mauer's batting average (which does not affect their lives in the slightest) than the medicare crisis (which most certainly will.)

Now, normally one would chalk this up to economics being "boring" and what "nerd" would want to talk about economics? However this moldy, boring study of economics seems to be getting a little bit more play and relevancy. As more and more people are being laid off and more and more of the dads of the 20 somethings are losing their jobs, now the kiddies are starting to realize there is the potential, though remote, that they might actually have to save some of their check to pay for rent instead of blowing it on booze in that there is the remote possibility daddy will not pay it for them (as daddy just recently was foreclosed upon or lost his job). Or that the tips are not coming in as much as the bar is only half as full as it used to be and people are tipping half as much.

Now of course we're a long way from 20 somethings putting as much effort into studying the federal budget as much as they do their fantasy football picks, but soon the desperation of the economy will more or less compel them to set the Iphonepoddiamondblue/blackberry down and maybe think or at least ponder, "Gee, how am I going to pay for my Crackberry Bill?"

Of course, this is the just the first step in a long and tortuous journey of discovering the truth. Of course it is already too late as these 20 somethings like Prager and Medved will inevitably become "Me too" conservatives only after they've pissed their lives away voting for people to destroy their futures, because this process takes 10 years to undo all the brainwashing. But at least it's a start and maybe some day...some day...these 20 somethings, albeit 40 somethings by the time they realize it, will come around. Of course, by that time it will be too late, but at least they'll understand why the country collapsed.

Because we all cared more about whether Brett Favre was going to play for the Vikings versus whether Obama was bankrupting the nation by bailing out inept and incompetent corporations.

Now go buy those dumb ass big styrafoam hands with the "#1" on it and wear your jerseys and "support your team" while the rest of the country dies because of a lack of real men.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Why I Had a Vasectomy

It angers me or at least annoys me when, presumably I am a free man and am allowed to live my life as I choose, I get lectured or this visceral, almost instinctive response from people when I tell them I had a vasectomy.

"WHAT!? Are you crazy? Why would you do that!"

"Well what's wrong with you? Why don't you want kids?

Some go so far as to even call it "selfish" that I don't want to endure the 18 year pain and agony that is known as a child.

But despite the obvious benefits to never having children, these benefits do not seem so obvious to the masses. And therefore as a benefit to the masses (not to mention to get these pro-children zealots off my ass) I have decided to explain, in detail why I decided not to have children so you may see there is actual rhyme and reason to such a decision and that you may really want to seriously think about it yourself.

First off there is the cost of a child. Forget it. Depending on the figures you use, a kid can run anywhere from $200,000 on the cheap to $500,000 on the average. I made a post once about the ROI of a vasectomy and basically you don't have to worry about paying for your retirement if you don't have kids. Amortized over 18 years (22 if you pay for college) you get an annualized rate of return (or technically savings) of around 47%. But forget investing it in the stock market, just think about the opportunity costs of that $500,000. A house, a boat, a car. All bought and paid for if you just refuse to have children. And if you think about that house, boat and car, isn't that why you're already an indentured slave anyway? What if you already had your house paid off by the age of 40? Retirement wouldn't be such a worry now would it? So I don't want to hear about people saying, "it's only money and you can't hug money." No, but I sure can hug a boat or a Pontiac Solstice.

Second is the issue of time. Time is empirically and economically the same thing as money, but that assumes you can choose to work. You don't have a choice when it comes to children. You have to allocate time to them. So when you are done working for 10 hours with a 2 hour commute, guess what, that kid is still going to need attention. You essentially have not only committed your personal financial resources, you've really and literally have committed yourself to becoming a slave for 18 years. And guess what? Every time you have another one, the sentence is renewed. Sorry, I get one shot at this life and it isn't going to be baby sitting a child, or multiple children. It's going to be doing what I want to do. And no that isn't being "selfish."

The reason it isn't being selfish is (third) the fact I know I would be a bad father. In knowing I don't want to have children, I spare any would be children from what would be guaranteed to be a horrible upbringing. THIS IS INFINITELY MORE COMPASSIONATE THAN SOMEBODY WHO HAS A CHILD, FINDS THE CHILD INCONVENIENT AND THEN SENDS IT TO DAY CARE OR HIRES A NANNY TO TAKE CARE OF IT. This is INFINITELY MORE COMPASSIONATE THAN THE THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE TODAY WHO HAVE CHILDREN BECAUSE THEY "WANT A CHILD" JUST LIKE THEY "WANT AN SUV" OR A "EUROPEAN TRIP." AND THIS IS CERTAINLY INFINITELY MORE COMPASSIONATE AND CARRYING THAN HAVING A CHILD TO COLLECT ANOTHER WELFARE CHECK ALA OCTOMOM. Call me selfish all you want, I at least care enough about children to know that unless I would be home with them or my wife would, then I shouldn't even bring them into this world.

Fourth, along the same lines of caring enough about a child to not have one is the issue of slavery. Oh sure slavery is illegal, but I'm sorry, have you seen the entitlement spending commitments this country has burdened future generations with? That $1.4 trillion deficit the government ran? Yeah, that's just a mere fraction of the estimated $10 trillion in new debt future generations will be saddled with by the "compassionate and caring" socialists in the government. And social security and medicare? You see the commitments on those programs? What worsens it is that I adamantly refuse to have my child grow up to become anything but a productive member of society, which only guarantees he'll be a battery or host for future parasites whose parents were not so adamant about instilling an honorable work ethic, if not brainwashed them that the "man" was out to get them and they were disadvantaged and poor and were entitled to sit on their asses and achieve nothing while, essentially making my child a slave for them. Forget it. Again, my unborn child does not deserve that and will never have to face that.

Fifth, I see this more and more in Minnesota. The legal risks of having children. You can't spank them, you can't discipline them no matter how much of a beating they need. No they need "time outs." They need "stern words." I can see it now. I will be prohibited from effectively disciplining my child which will result in a mini-Kim Jong Ill dictator who, with the help of the public schools brainwashing him, will turn me in for false charges of child abuse or (give it 10 years) failing to recycle. I'll be as effective as the UN.

Finally, and this is what I don't get, is the lifestyle. What is so damn wrong with wanting to have a lifestyle of no children? Look, 6 billion people on the planet and 50 billion before them have done what we've always done and that is;

have children.

Well yipdeefreakingding.

Having children is NOT a new experience. It's NOT unique. And if people would stop and think about it for one genuine second and ask "Hey, I only get one shot at this life. What do I want to achieve?" I think more and more people would start to realize they are finite and get only one shot at this life and would start to agree more and more with me. I'm about to take a month long vacation. I get to sleep in till 10 AM everyday. I get to keep my house in whatever order I want. I get to go fossil hunting and shan't leave this planet until I go dustdevil chasing in Australia. I get to salsa dance every night. I get to do whatever I want, whenever I want and even at this early age have already achieved and lived more than most people twice my age.

And the reason why is that children, no matter how lovely or loved, still handicap your ability to go and live this life as contrasted if you were without them.

Now I know people do have children and do genuinely love them and do genuinely appreciate them and would have it no other way. But for god's sake, can society at least accept or acknowledge there are damn good reasons NOT to have children? Can society at least respect another individual's wish not to have a child? And for the love of all that is chocolates and ice cream can you people with "baby-rabies" that find it your place to lecture others about not having children back off? Besides which, we all know why you insist everybody have children just like you.

Misery loves company.

POST POST - To the ignorant people who do not understand the vasectomy procedure, I am not a eunuch. Look it up and get informed. For those regular Cappy Cap readers you have no idea how many comments I've deleted simply because morons think I'm running around'the boys." I apologize for having to explain this simple anatomical lesson.

POST POST POST - If you think this was insightful, buy my book. My bachelor pad ways needs financing. Tumblers of scotch don't pay for themselves you know!