May 2008

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« I Will Now Read Your Mind | Main | Subjective Humor »



Oh dear, I live in Ohio

Noah Vaile

Sometimes we just out live our happiness.


"and hump Sheryl Crow until it gets boring...”

"... but to even THAT out, she'll only use one square when she wipes het butt. So it'll get boring pretty quick."


Whoever sold the American public that they lived in a democracy did a mighty fine job. Maybe this whole luck-thing can finally turn the tides of belief.

It's a fact that luck is the only thing that gets a US president elected. Best example look at GWB he certainly wasn't democratically elected not? How lucky's that?


Although I do agree that by the stated theory the ideal luck bringing presidency would probably be a rigged lottery organised for poor, socially outcast and phisically handicapped people. They would make an ideal president.

...and now that I've written this I'm starting to think that would probably really be the case. Come to think of it it's really difficult to make more of a bungle-up than the last 7 years!


So then W's getting elected used up so much luck we got hit with 9/11?

Chrisgiraffe's presidential advisor

I think you err when you say, "All of the major candidates for president of the United States are qualified. They know the issues. They’re smart. They’ve all shown leadership, and they obviously know politics."

Most of these candidates won't be elected president, thus they might know politics, but certainly not enough to get elected.

Second, "they've all shown leadership." Yeah, the way lemmings lead the pack over the precipice. Any moron in front of a herd can lead. Any moron assigned a leadership position can lead. Doesn't mean the leadership is good.

Third, "They're smart." Yeah, right. Einsteins, every one. They weren't just lucky as hell. In fact, let's imagine all of them were magically born in 1936 to Jewish parents in Germany. Their 'intellegence' really wouldn't matter as it doesn't now. They were just lucky to be born in positions with great opportunities. Example- How many women are lawyers? How many married a guy who ran for Governor in a state that would have elected a mongoose because even a mongoose could have done better than the incumbant? How many of those had a husband who played sax, had charisma and ran for president at a time when the country would have elected a mongoose, because even a mongoose could have done better than the incumbant. In fact, I see a pattern with the Clintons on this one.

Moving on, number four, "they know the issues." Fifth graders know the issues. Condoleeza Rice knows the issues. Bush knows the issues. Anyone who reads Newsweek or the Economist knows the issues. Knowing the issues doesn't really seem to be important. In fact, Bush ignores the issues regularly and he's still president.

And fifth, "all the candidates are qualified." I think the only qualifications to be President are that you must be a natural-born citizen of the United States, at least thirty-five years old, and must have been resident in the United States for at least fourteen years. Consider that Bush used to snort cocaine, Obama used to do crack, McCain walks through bad neighborhoods with tanks and calls them nice neighborhoods, Hillary can't admit she made a mistake, Romney is actually Frankenstein's monster (i.e. look at the shape of his head and cold dead hands), and Gulliani is, well, I don't know, some kind of New Yorker which is always trouble since New York is way overpriced- then the question is then, Who isn't qualified?

My vote is for the mongoose even though the Clintons seem to have great success against said mongoose.


I think Kerry's luck ran out when he married into the Hienz fortune. Was that before or after he became a senator? Using Scott's thorem, that's probably why his luck ran out.


Very very funny post. Made me laugh all throughout.

Ashwin R J

Tears running down my face Scott!!!...Tears!!!

Young Mr Grace

If your luck theory holds for countries as well as people then the next president is irrelevant…..
The US has been very lucky…
Becomes independent to avoid tax and gets FRENCH(!!) help to do so
Discovers that land it wants to claim is occupied only by bronze age hunter gathers who have no immunity to childhood diseases
Manages to sit out 2 world wars until combatants are exhausted then steps in to claim spoils
Puts man on the moon
Only rival for world domination is communist – so economic basket case set on self destruct
Becomes sole superpower….
The early luck has to turn sometime…. Hanging chads give leadership of nation to GWB…..

Compare China….
Invaded by Genghis Khan – kills millions
Slow economic decline
Brits push opium
Brutal Japanese invasion kills millions
Communists take over – great leap forward and cultural revolution kill millions
The luck has to turn sometime……get Hong Kong back and market reforms make it 4th largest economy and growing….

If your theory holds then it makes no difference if its Clinton or Rommey or whoever. Could be that the US is just getting comfy in an open topped car in Dallas while China’s just been told its talk show is being syndicated coast to coast…It’s time to sell dollars and buy yuan….

Andrew Bennett

I will vote for the first presidential candidate who is an honest politician (I know its an oxymoron). Short of him being the KKK or a Neo Nazi, I would elect just about anybody who just plain told the truth.

Even if they sucked as a leader and a president, I still win, because the democratic and republican party might realize that a crappy, but honest runner beat out a competant scumbag, and then nominations might start going to more honest people, which I think is a good thing.

You know what that means? It means that my method of voting for the president has a 100% success rate, because even if the President sucks, I still win, and so does the American public.

-Andrew Bennett


i think your "theory of luck" makes sense.

another example: "You will win the election but you will lose the presidency, but to even things out, you'll be a popular speaker and embraced by Hollywood and be the poster boy for Climate Change."

this guy's luck evens out that running for president again is a stale mate.

on a serious note, there's this guy who is so unlucky, physically, but still in bliss. in his own words:

"So, to sum it up: I'm a quadriplegic. I live in poverty. I'm the happiest man on earth."


Declan Chellar

July 10th was Clerihew Day. While your biographies don't rhyme, they are hilarious! I will do everything I can to spread the concept of the "Adams", a pithy paragraph that contrasts the good and bad fortune of the subject's life, linked by the phrase "but to even things out".


I quite like this piece on good or bad luck. On Wall Street, the slang term for somebody with permanently bad luck is a hoodoo. I often think that when I meet someone with stories of all the bad luck that they have had, that at some point they must be causing the misfortune themselves, they must have some repetitive behavior, that caused success once in the past, and since then they have been repeating it with worse and worse results. People with bad luck, for example, always seem to enjoy buying lottery tickets, or gambling. They also usually claim to have a winning system.

Below, are exerpts from two wall street books on the topic of 'The hoodoo'.

Where the Money Grows, by Garet Garrett

The Hoodoo

In New Street, which is the hallway of Wall Street, one may observe the hoodoo. From ten to three o’clock he leans against the area railings and acquires the brand of his misfortune, which is a horizontal, threadbare line across his coat at the small of the back. There is about him an air of departed prosperity which is unmistakeable. What manner of existence he has from 3PM to 10AM is no other mans concern. Nearly everybody knows him. He was once a member of the New York Stock Exchange, or the son of one, or what’s-his-name that was Gould’s broker twenty years ago. He is most knowing of speech and would easily fool you if you were not warned. All the past he understands, and the why of everything, but for the present and the future he is the source of fatal ideas and a borrower of money.

There is an indestructible fiction that Wall Street people are superstitious. Ask any Wall Street man if this is true and he will deny it lightly. Ask him if he believes in hoodoos and he will become petulant. But take him off his guard and ask him if he ever knew a hoodoo. He has – many a one. He can tell you more strange things about the individual hoodoo than were ever imagined. He recalls two whose presence in his office threatened to deprive him of all his other clients. He tried to break the spell for at least one of them. He bought 100 shares of Sugar for one, and sold 100 shares of Sugar for the other, at the same time and at the same price, on his own credit, in order that one of them should be bound to make a profit. Both of them lost. How? Well it would be a long story. He recalls a certain broker, a fine fellow, who ran the gamut of misfortune, and had at last to sell even his furniture. His chairs matched the chairs of another broker, who bought them for that reason. He cared nothing for a hoodoo. But he was very sorry afterward. “No, indeed,” says the broker, “there is no doubt that some people are just hoodooed.”

The hoodoo is often a man who everybody likes, speaks well of and recommends to everyone else, with the one reservation – he is a man who unaccountably has not succeeded. There is nothing whatever against him else; he is honest and shrewd, and everything but successful.

The hoodoo once he becomes known as such, must attach himself to the new comers – those who do not know, have not been warned, or are so new and confident as not to care. Each connection he makes will be a little less desirable, until he has reached the stage at which he is ashamed of his associations, having made them in the demi-monde of finance because he could make them nowhere else. Even they fail him at last, and then you meet him in New Street.

Victor Niederhoffer has a chapter in his book ‘The Education of a Speculator’ on hoodoos, and writes that while “bad luck can arise from bad luck alone, more likely excess of greed, rashness, cowardice, bad temper, or plain moral turpitude are the cause of the hex. Like most successful operators, they made their own luck.”


Napoleon famously said when interviewing a general for a key battle "I know you're good and qualified for this job. But are you lucky ?"


All things considered I would rather hump Sheryl Crow and molest Meredith Viera (until it gets boring or I die of old age which ever comes first!) than be president!


All of the canidates may be qualified, but there are too many senators/repersenatives running. If you can't have luck, it's better to have someone with real leadership experience and sadly, being a rep/senator is more about consensus building. That qualification just put a red flag on McCain and all the main democrat contenders, leaving us with Romney and an iffy Rudy Guliani.


Your theory kinda sucks. There is no more luck than being the president of the U.S. So, every president was the luckiest one of the candidates.


yay! 2 blogs a day from now on! yay! and mitt romney for president! (so we can have some one to blame...)

jerry w.

Some quote, starting with the world famous one who must be correct because his last name starts with an "A", the incredible Scott Adams:

"The world is being run by a handful of ultra-rich capitalists, and our elected governments are mere puppets. Our survival depends on hordes of clueless goobers electing competent leaders. That’s about as likely as a dog pissing the Mona Lisa into a snow bank."

And then to balance a bit, from the second half of the alphabet:

"Those who cast the votes decide nothing.
Those who count the votes decide everything."
- Joseph Stalin

And back to the front of the alphabet:

"Amen to that, Brother!"
- George W. Bush

le Big MAC

the problem with being lucky is people want to have your good luck, and when they don't get it they target you for bad things to happen. I guess it's so their luck will appear better. Consider:
the movie star who makes $20 million or more a movie; $19 million goes to paying off blackmailers, ex-wives, lawyers, extortionists etc. And then one real stinker of a movie later, they get mocked until they become alcoholics from the shame, and the vultures move to the next carcass.
The politician who rises to the pinnacle of governmental power: mayor of San Francisco. Or something in Washington. Where s/he is immediately blamed for everything bad that happens in people's lives, regardless of whether s/he did anything to actually cause it. Plus s/he inherits the vultures from the failed movie star, who flew East to get away from smog.
And then there's the people you know:
The person who rises up in your company, roosts in management, and in two years is so stressed out s/he has a stroke and ends up a janitor in a corporate park across town.
The attractive person you dream of having sex with, or who conversely stole the person you were having sex with or was trying to. They end up an extremely wealthy and mentally unstable movie star. Or bankrupted by said vultures over divorces, medical bills from venereal diseases, statutory rape accusations etc.


Allow me to explore the logical limit of this idea. To quote exactly: “everyone is born with a similar quantity of luck, but it’s distributed unevenly over a lifetime”. The obvious way to exploit this to the country’s greatest advantage would be to find a candidate who meets these two criteria: 1) they have experienced little good luck to date thereby preserving their “reservoir” of luck; and 2) they are guarantied to be near the end of their life thereby ensuring that their remaining time will be filled with the out pouring of pent up luck.

So by your Luck theory you should be looking for the oldest person alive who has had nothing but bad luck his or her whole life thereby saving it up for a burst of luck while in office. I suggest you start with Africa; there are literally millions of people many of them old who have most certainly not spent their life’s allotment of luck. They would presumably make very fine Presidents. Some of the historically poor areas of China too would be producing some great Presidential material. Perhaps the indigenous population of Australia would be good candidates too in that they have had little opportunity to waste their luck in their early lives. We should not overlook our own Native American population who also hold vast reservoirs of those who have never experienced luck but are not close to end of life.

If I may make a modest proposal, and I think you will agree that this is brilliant, one other sure fire source of those who have not "wasted" their luck life allotment would be a terminally ill child. Now that is the President I would vote for!


>>Julián Rodriguez Orihuela posted: “USA people should know that their decisions affect the whole world.”<<

USA’s decisions only affect the countries that the current administration dislikes. It’s the US Federal Reserve that affects the whole world.


The current president had an enormously lucky life up until very recently. He even managed to win re-election in 2004 despite obviously being an incompetent idiot.

While his presidency has been bad for America it has not been as bad for the president himself. I think it has yet to be bad enough for the president to consider his luck to be at break even.

Question: Would a disastrous war with Iran finally bring the ledger into balance for GWB ?


In New Zealand for the last several years we’ve gone with the woman with the lowest voice. It hasn’t worked out too badly – even if they make their male colleagues sound like schoolgirls by comparison.

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