Archive for the 'Drinking and more drinking' Category

Sep 17 2013

Random thoughts.

When I think of yesterday's events.

First of all, I hate it when someone prescribes, based on their own social conventions and biases, how exactly I am supposed to feel and react to such a horrific event. My values are not your values. So you will forgive me if I don't react in exactly the manner you-or the thousands like you think I should react.

How do I react to an event like yesterday's as an American? Fear, disgust, despair and anger.

Fear because when you look at the names of the victims-one quickly realizes that there is nothing to distinguish them from you. The went to work-to do their jobs-never expecting it would be the end. They had plans, families, dreams, a life. And it was all ended senselessly. Consider:

  • Michael Arnold, 59.
  • Sylvia Frasier, 53.
  • Kathy Gaarde, 62.
  • John Roger Johnson, 73.
  • Frank Kohler, 50.
  • Bernard Proctor, 46.
  • Vishnu Pandit, 61.



They have a lot in common with you-and with me. I don't know their individual stories but I'll bet a couple were prior Navy or otherwise prior service. They just wanted to do their jobs. These are hardly the "moochers" that government workers are portrayed as daily in the halls of Congress and in supposedly "smart" political circles. If I had taken a job in DC ( or LA , or Washington State, or Pittsburgh, or Charlotte) -it could have been me.

Which leads to a second point. I don't understand those who say they were targeted because they were Navy. That they were Navy is actually a secondary consideration. This was a workplace shooting. Nothing more, nothing less. If they had been working for Honeywell, General Dynamics, Merrill Lynch, the Department of State-would their deaths somehow have been less tragic? The Navy was their corporation. They were randomly targeted because the shooter objected to something that had occurred connected with the corporation. This work place had extra security to be sure-but the shooter still got through.

It's disgusting to me that this happened in my own country. Its also less than thrilling to realize that in the grand scheme of things in the world-it is just a drop of water in the sea of violence that engulfs our planet. Consider, in the 24 hours of yesterday:

41 people died in Mexico yesterday due to flooding.

8 People died in Colorado for the same reason.

No one knows how many people died in Syria yesterday.

The most senior police woman in Afghanistan died in as a result of shooting injuries.

36 people died in Iraq over the weekend.

3 people died in Japan on the 16th-as a result of a Typhoon.

64 people died in the Philippines as a result of fighting in Zamboanga.

And the list goes on.

Its here that anger can and should kick in. Its all tragic. Its all unnecessary. Its all fundamentally unfair. Yet we daily see events such as these pass us by and pay no mind to it. We become numb to it-unless it happens to someone we know.

I've been a bystander to a couple of instances of work place violence. During my time as a squadron XO, a Sailor in a sister squadron, after getting a career ending piece of paper, injured another Sailor and shot himself. On another occasion a fellow officer went AWOL and committed suicide. When I was in college-a Freshman refused to come home from leave. So he shot his family in their beds.

The cycle of violence goes on.

Those who survived and were spared, in the sheer joy of being alive, attributed the fact that they did so-because "God was with them". Are we then to surmise that God was not with the dead and wounded? That's hardly fair….or just. What kind of a God just lets random, senseless acts of violence roll on unabated because its some kind of "divine plan"? If it is a plan-its not divine nor is it much of one. Its pretty goddamn twisted and unfair if you ask me.  I'm not getting into the problem of why evil exists. Or how believing people reconcile themselves with the fact that God lets bad things happen to good people. I certainly do not know the answer.

However,  I do know its unfair-that unfairness undercuts His attempts to draw people unto himself.

And, while we’re discussing things that are unfair, here’s another: how the owner of the contracting firm that hired the shooter got so damn rich. Or how he has the balls to blame what happened yesterday on the sequester. Sorry pal-as the purveyor of a product, sequester or no, you still had an obligation to do due diligence. There is more here than meets the eye-and hopefully it will come out.

And if you are not mad about that-then perhaps you should be.

There's a lot more to be angry about-and I have a right to show my anger.  Its the primary feeling I had yesterday-especially since I was pretty sure from the start it was a disgruntled employee and not a terrorist attack-and it appears I was right.

I'm going to start drinking now because here is where the despair kicks in.

Because nothing is going to change.

Oh sure there will be tighter security-and background investigations for non deluded, non shooting, non messed up people are going to get really painful. Despair that dickheads like Joe Wilson can spout off nonsense. And never get called on it. A year will come and go and he will still be Joe fucking Wilson.

Despair that the clock is ticking till the next place of workplace violence appears-because rather than do the best thing one could do to honor their memories,-namely find a way to keep that next event from happening-the country will slump back into its pit of doing nothing and accepting this kind of mindless violence as the "cost of doing business".

And of course the same government employees now being praised will be screwed when the Congress shuts the government down next month.And it will only be a matter of time until some asshole Congressman tells us that clearly, only more sequestration, more budget cuts, more tax cuts,  can make our troops safe.

Because you know….we can't make any real changes. That benefit someone besides rich people.

As I said-I have a right to be angry. 


One response so far

May 18 2013

A rare sunny day

Two weeks ago the sun actually saw fit to make an appearance here. The S.O. and I decided to take advantage of it and go walking through the woods behind our house and to the nearby town of Waldenbuch. Who, unbeknown to us, was having the festival celebrating their 650th birthday.

Here are some pictures I took along the way:



The pasture is quite open right behind our house-then it feeds into the woods:



After about 3km of walking you come out into the town of Waldenbuch


And it was festival time:


And they had the old cars out on display:



This is an interesting and small BMW:


An Early 60's Opel:


After a few bratwursts, a few beers and some ice cream-it was time to head back into the woods and home:


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Mar 17 2013

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

There has been little free time of late-between the preparations for a fairly large meeting this week-made more complex because of the sequester and the rape of our travel money; my Hebrew classes and the general nonsense.  It has meant I have had to put together a string of electronic video conferences. That's some thing I hate-since "all day VTC" meetings never work very well, and they certainly don't accomplish the confidence building that makes for a good rapport with someone from another nation. Especially a society as complex as that of Israel.

And second, I have been fighting off  spell of birthday induced depression, conjured up by being a year older and no closer to my dream of returning to Asia. Curse the financial burdens that weigh upon me! I want to shed them all and move off to paradise. In the olden days one might have been able to do that-now with the advent of electronic banking- they can hunt you down and find your ass(ets).

I can't even celebrate St. Patrick's day in proper style-as I have to be up and gone very early tomorrow.

More to follow when I can break free. - There's no gentle way to tell you that you're the designated driver on St. Patrick's Day

One response so far

Dec 11 2012

The cycle of mistakes

I have been keeping in touch with friends in Japan, listening to them tell all about the complete stupidity of VADM Swift:


While the specific recommendations that were developed as part of the summit are reviewed, additional, temporary measures will remain in place in addition to the U.S. Forces Japan curfew, an 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. liberty curfew for all U.S. service members in Japan. These Navy specific additional measures include: the consumption of alcohol is prohibited from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. for all 7th Fleet assigned personnel in order to ensure all Sailors will be better able to meet the curfew requirements in Japan and all Sailors with any alcohol-related incidents within the last 3 years be placed on Class “C” liberty risk status which administratively curtails their ability to take liberty off of a U.S. installation..



Suffice it to say there are a lot of upset people. And their should be. These rules are , for one thing,  completely unenforceable-which, as I was taught early on generally makes a rule a bad one. Swift is fooling himself if he thinks that it is going to reduce liberty incidents-and it certainly is not going to prevent the consumption of alcohol after 10 PM.

Lets look at the smart persons strategy to beat this little measure, shall we?

1) Move off base. Preferably far off base and away from other Americans. Just about all of the southern Kanto plain is within a 30 minute train ride of Yokosuka, or Atsugi. Better to have a long commute in order to have some privacy over one's private life.

2) Stock up early. On cash and on beer. Lay in a good supply from the exchange and use some of the cheap supermarkets and 7-11's to keep it topped off.

3) Get an answering machine with phone forwarding. Never, Never, Never answer your phone-let it go straight to voice mail and call back as needed.

4). Learn Japanese and start going farther afield. Plenty of great bars away from Roppongi. Most with "Stay or Rest" hotels nearby. Bring cash-and don't go back to the ship till after 6AM. Talk to your buddies in Korea who have been avoiding "courtesy patrols" for years. Japan offers ten times the options that Korea does.

5) Write your Congressman and tell him-in strongest possible terms that the 7th Fleet commander has lost his mind. Then next week write him again.

6)For those of you with a Japanese girlfriend-submit a request chit making your girlfriend's apartment an approved overnight location. If they turn you down-submit another one. This has the added bonus of pissing off the American female Sailors who hate the fact that so many of their male counterparts ignore them and go after nice looking Japanese tuna.

7)Remind any khaki in sight-that his children enjoy more privileges and a later curfew than he does.

8) Non Seventh Fleet Commands should refuse to be dictated to by Seventh Fleet. This has the two fold affect of showing the powers that be that the restrictions are unnecessary-and it creates friction with the prisoners assigned to Seventh Fleet units. That kind of pushback led to easing of these stupid restrictions before and will again.

9) Take lots of 5 day leaves to Thailand. If they insist you take a buddy, get a friend to go-and then stay at hotels on the opposite ends of Sukhumvit.

Seriously, it strikes me as just an arrogant course of action. This is not acceptable in a home port. No commander could legally get away with it in Guam, San Diego, Puerto Rico or even Norfolk. Yokosuka may be on Japanese soil-but it is first and foremost a homeport. Treating it as a liberty port is not only a basic violation of the Sailors rights and American law-its unsound policy.

Oh and as an extra added benefit-better train some more rape facilitators. Because you will have more sexual incidents in the barracks and the ship. When you want it bad, you get it bad.

Clearly VADM Swift is being poorly served by his advisors-more importantly is being clearly misled about what the Japanese really want and expect. What most folks fail to realize is that most of the "outrage" by the Japanese is feigned-to produce a reaction among fellow Japanese and not with Americans. Like noise complaints-the real agenda is about squeezing the Japanese government-especially when it comes to Okinawa. I am surprised that Swift and company cannot understand that.

What the Japanese do want of Americans-is to have serious criminal offenders, like the guys accused of the Okinawa rape ( who incidentally were NOT Seventh Fleet Sailors), turned over to the Japanese criminal justice system. And for the good of the people who don't get in trouble ; the 98% of Americans assigned there-they probably should be.

Willard got this wrong in 2003, They got it wrong in 2005 and again in 2008. They are still getting it wrong. If you want your Sailors to behave like adults treat them like adults-and stop meddling in their personal lives.

Look! I'm smarter than a three star……..

15 responses so far

Sep 21 2012

Can’t lose in a crowd….

Back in the bad old days, before cell phones, e-mail, VTC's and women on warships-people used to amuse themselves ashore with dice games in bars. I was thinking about those games, and those days tonight.

As I may have mentioned before, I love bars. All kinds of bars. Dive bars, high brow bars-in between bars. I know I shouldn't-but I just do.

And back in the day-part of the fun in bars was dice games. Games played for drinks-or played for money.

Now before the Navy went on its morality kick and out lawed fun of any kind-it used to be a time honored tradition to go to the Officers Club. There upon as beer and other spirituous beverages were consumed, at some point in the evening someone would "bring em out!". Bring out the dice that is.

It usually took a lot more booze before any thing else came out.

Now the favorite game when rolling for drinks was "Horse". Learning the ins and outs of this rolling of the dice used to be a right of passage in a squadron and it was the duty of the older members to teach it to the younger ones. We know now, of course, that does not happen-because every one is too afraid of the morality police. Ah but once upon a time…………

The object is to create the best score of the dice. The scores, ranked from high to low, are five of a kind, four of a kind, full house, three of a kind, two pair and one pair. Straights or runs do not count in the game of horse. One variation of the game has aces, one dot on the dice, as wild. This increases the scores in the game. In a proper game of horse with a lot of players-the goal was to reduce the number down to two as quick as possible. Thus the origins of the phrase, "Can't lose in a crowd". Until you do. In most bars I played in four of a kind on the roll was an "auto-out" till you got down to some pre-determined number of people. ( Usually four). Prior to the that the dice would be rolled once. You took the hand you got-if you were low, you were still in. If you went out-well, God bless you. Go order the drinks.

The finale came when it came down to you vs one other person. At that point-mano y mano-may set aside any of the dice to build his score, and continue with a second roll of the remaining dice. He may roll a total of three times but is not obligated to. He can stop after any roll if satisfied with the score. Less rolls the better. Loser bought the round-which could be a big bill ( like the $75 round I bought in AFSOUTH once).

Now if one were more sporting-you played the money games. In the Navy there were primarily two: "Ships Cabin Crew" and Klondike. Klondike was a favorite with P-3 guys for some reason and some games-such as those at the Flytyrap in Sigonella could run into serious money. I knew a guy who refurbished his living room off of his Klondike winnings.

A banker rolls the dice first and players then roll the dice in turn trying to beat the combination first thrown. Only one throw is allowed. Numbers rank high to low as 1, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2. Any die not used in a combination is ignored. If a player rolls a combination equal to the banker's the banker wins. The payoffs are made by the banker at even odds. i.e.. players get their stake back with an equal amount. Winning combinations in descending order are as follows.

  • Five-of-a-kind
  • Four-of-a-kind
  • Full House (Three-of-a-kind and a pair)
  • Three-of-a-kind
  • Two pairs
  • One pair

Obviously, the ability to stay and to put up a big stake were required.

The final game, I used to love was Ships Captain Crew. I played a lot of that at the Rodman O'Club in Panama in 1992. One night I walked out $150 dollars richer than I walked in-and that was in spite of buying several beers. In this game you rolled all five dice with first goal being to "qualify" . To do that you had to get a 6–5-4 in less than three rolls. You put money on the bar to place your bet-and in some games you also had to ante like in poker. In the simple 6-5-4 version you must first have the ship (6) before you have the captain (5); likewise, you must first have the captain before you have the crew (4). This can be very frustrating when you fail to roll a six, and have a score of zero. As you shoot each one of these points in order, you can pull that die out of the cup and set it aside. Alternatively, you can elective to put as many of the dice in the cup and try again (this is stupid, since it does not improve you odds, but it is legal).  Each player gets at least one and no more than three flops (toss of the dice cup) in the two player game. The score is the total of the two dice left over after the Ship, Captain and Crew have been completed. A 2 is the lowest score and is called a "minimum" while 12 is the highest score and is called a "midnight".

The highest score wins. If there is a tie in a two player game, they just play another hand and ante more money into the pot. If there is a tie in a multi-player game, then then players who tied for high score play shoot two dice again for highest score. This process continues until you have a winner.

Obviously in a more player game-the chances of a tie go up.

I have not played any of these games in years. But oh I do miss them so.


2 responses so far

Aug 29 2012

Returning to the scene of the crime.

Tomorrow I will get on an airplane and fly to sunny Palma de Majorca. I am going back to pay my respects to a whole lot of dead brain cells I killed in that port in various port visits during my mis-spent youth. I have not been there since 1995.

Palma was my first ever Med port visit in 1981-and one of only four we got during the Voyage of the  Damned that year. ( With Palma also being our last port visit of that God forsaken cruise).

It is also one where, a few years later,  I went out with the officers of FGS Freiburg and ended up sleeping on their ship that night. I also learned the hard way the next morning-not to let them send you back to the carrier in their whale-boat. For some reason, carrier OOD's get more than a little upset with German Whale Boats showing up uninvited to the after brow. ( This a whole post in itself-but suffice it to say I had some explaining to do).

How I convinced the SO to go was simple. She had looked at Zurich's weather and worried it would be rainy there." Fine-you want sunshine?. I'll give you some sunshine "( and women sunbathing topless). And I bought a weekend package there.

Camera at the ready-pictures to follow. Tapas and paella on the menu to be sure. Daiquiri Palace anyone?

One response so far

Aug 02 2012

The Olympics drinking game

No reason you can't set your own records while watching the Olympics. And one benefit of being able to watch the Olympics on BBC-is half these items are never said by British announcers.

For those of you stuck with Bob Costas…….well, it sucks to be you. Drink up!


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May 24 2012

My advice is to start drinking heavily……..

As Sam Kinison once said, " These fucking bastards-GET OFF OF OUR BACKS!"

The Navy will kick off its Breathalyzer beta test on Thursday at 13 commands. The tests, which include the U.S. Fleet Forces Command staff and 12 other units, were announced Wednesday.

Rear Adm. Mark D. Guadagnini, FFC’s deputy commander for fleet management, met with the representatives of all the selected units for the initial fleet introduction. Testing will run for the rest of the fiscal year.

“Commands will start collecting data tomorrow, May 24, and we expect to wrap up the beta test on Sept. 30,” said Fleet Master Chief (AW/NAC) Mike Stevens, the top enlisted sailor at FFC. “Once the tests are complete, we will submit the data and the proposed Navy-wide policy up the chain to leadership, who will decide the next step.”

It is so refreshing to see that the Navy has it's priorities straight. They can't seem to get around to firing people for outright negligence-but they can get their panties in a knot over a non-issue.

2 responses so far

May 15 2012


On Sunday-the S.O. and I went to a the Stuttgart Spring Fesitval in Bad Cannstaat. ( Where the Porsche company is headquartered). Took the train which thus allowed consumption of mass quantities of German Beer. What's not to like about that?

On the way there, we first stopped in Stuttgart and walked down Konigstrasse-where they were having an animation festival at the Schlossplatz:


After a quick walk around the plaza it was off the to the festival:

For some reason the Germans seem to have a fascination with the American west, so much so they built a "Western Village" :

But of course, the main attraction was in the big beer hall-tickets required, but for some reason we got in:

And more beer and more girls:

And of course, its never too early to get your tickets for the fall fest:

3 responses so far

Apr 21 2012

Be careful what you wish for……

Well might as well beat the dead horse some more. About the Secret Service "scandal"-which is not a scandal really, but a minor incident that has been blown WAY OUT OF PROPOROTION.

The New York Post is printing pictures of some of the girls in question-wonder how much they paid for those-and rummaging through agent's facebook pages and finding new and innovative ways to smear men who by all accounts knew how to do their jobs.

All part of the "moral push" by hypocrites to shape people into their own pre-conceived notions of how one should think and act. I find it interesting that no one has asked the two most important questions:

1) Did the men know their jobs?

2) Did they show up for work each day on time?

If the answer to the above two questions is yes-THEN WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU CARE WHAT OR WHO THEY DO ON THEIR TIME OFF?

That's right Rep ISSA-I said it-why the fucking "moral outrage?"

Over at GI Korea it was brought up that this smells a lot like 2002 when people where shocked, shocked!-that their might be sex going on out in town:

You can read more at the link but this sounds much like when Fox News did their big expose’ on prostitution in Korea back in 2002. People were shocked about the prostitution going on in Korea even though it had been going on since the 1950′s and by the time Fox News did their report it had greatly scaled down compared to prior decades. Since that report it has scaled down even further. By the way does anyone know if USFK is still showing that Fox News report to new personnel as part of inprocessing?

I have never been to Columbia but I did have a real good conversation with a US military servicemember who did, so take for what it is worth, but he told me that Columbia is filled with women looking to hook up with Americans. He said it was kind of like going to Angeles City in the Philippines. Has any ROK Heads been to Columbia and can confirm this? So it appears that what these guys were doing is something that had been going on for a long time and everyone turned a blind eye to it until the media got hold of it like what happened with prostitution in Korea.

Be careful what you wish for-unless the organizations you want are to become just a bunch of no risk taking, non-drinking, religious zealots. We have already seen how well that has worked in the United States Air Force, haven't we? Hasn't seemed to lower the amount of sex going on-but it sure did increase the amount going on between service members.

I shake my head and weep when I think back to the way things were in the "the good old days"-if you had applied the "Secret Service Standard" to just about any Navy squadron  in the 80's during a port visit or detachment to (fill in the blank of your favorite sin city liberty port)-you would have wiped out a lot of very good people.

The type of people who excel in the military or other entities are senusal, excitement driven,  people. I have no doubt that carries over to sex lives as well-and if the kind of person you want is the staid, Casper Milquetoast type-well then that's not a world I want to be a part of. Besides it always begs the question of where is the line between ones private and professional life. Given the answer we hear  now repeatedly-the "man" wants to run it all. I think that's an unfair and unAmerican standard.  I believe that these Secret Service agents adn the military personnel involved are being given a raw deal. Whose life when put under a microscope can stand up to scrutiny?  This is the humorless, bland world you want?

I sure as hell don't.

9 responses so far

Aug 08 2011

The 7% solution

In two weeks-my savings and investments have lost almost 6% of their value. Money that it took me years to cobble together-gone. At least for now. But it could have been a lot worse-A LOT WORSE. Fortunately, I got some good advice and have invested in some pretty strong stocks-so they weathered the storm better than most. Same is true with my mutual funds.

I am sticking to the advice of the professionals and not panicking -but trying to think long term. Keep investing, getting more shares now than before and when the market comes back I will be better than ever.

Except-I’m not so sure the market is coming back. At least not anytime soon. When do I get to be angry? Angry about this totally unnecessary and self inflicted wound? When do I get to see some S&P executives hauled away in handcuffs for committing the financial equivalent of murder? At a minimum-everyone of those assholes ought to be audited and be made to suffer at least a financial penalty for their malfeasance.

So too should our Galtian overlords in Congress who brought this on. And who-like the spoiled and selfish children they are-continue to deny any of it is their fault. What part of “the continued refusal of the Republicans to consider revenue enhancements leaves us no choice” don’t you understand?

And yet we get stuck with useless men like our boy Allen West who refuse to confront reality. I have a message for you Article 15 boy-”The downgrade message, whatever you think of S&P, they mentioned the need for increased revenues and for revenues being on the table three separate times. They absolutely indicted the fashionable intransigence of the Republican party right now in Washington. . . . We did something insane with getting that close to defaulting on purpose.”  You and the tri-corner hat wearing slobs who support you,  created that atmosphere-and then you whine when someone calls you on it?

Oh-and as a bonus-today I got my layoff notice.  Another unnecessary piece of paper created by a three star’s malfeasance. I wish I could blame Congress for it but I can’t-the blame lies closer to home with some really stupid decisions by people in and out of uniform. I knew it was coming-but it is scant consolation. By giving it to me almost two months ahead of time-they don’t have to give me a severance package. And since they are trying hard to find me another home-as am I- it is more of a formality than anything else. So I  bear no grudge against my company. Against our customer though…………..well some things are better left unsaid.

Every black cloud does have a silver lining though. Bank of America took a 20% hit today. Goldman lost 6%. The rest of the big banks took major hits-Morgan Stanley lost 24%.  Could not happen to a nicer bunch of guys. And if I do end up unemployed-it will give a reason to get relief from my alimony. That alone might make the whole thing worth it. Notice I said might-actually it will suck.

And tomorrow-as Scarlett said, is yet another day.

12 responses so far

May 05 2011

Some Cinco de Mayo

The S.O. had her knee “scoped” today. So I am sitting at home trying to keep her from getting up off the couch.

And drinking Margaritas. She can’t drink them-I need to: - I'm not above using obscure Mexican battles to justify my drinking

But doing it …..safely! - This Cinco de Mayo, let's drink and ogle each other responsibly

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Apr 21 2011

Understanding Charlie Sheen

Charlie Sheen was in Washington DC two nights ago, I read about the performance of his so called “Torpedo of Truth” tour-and I felt sorry for the man. Lots of people are expressing the same emotion, but mine is based on a far different reason than most of those shaking their heads and dismissing the man.

My reason is that I kind of understand why he feels compelled to humiliate himself this way. Most folks do not. They simply are shaking their heads and” tut-tut”- ing because they think he should just quit drinking, or snorting, or whatever it is he does, and if he doesn’t then it implies that there is some defect with him.  Actually, the defect is not with Charlie ( really) it is with them-and their views of what right of control they think they have to exercise over his life.

Most of those looking down on Charlie Sheen just think that he needs to shuttle himself off to treatment. Take a couple of bouts of treatment, and everything will be all better. They generally say this while they themselves shuttle off to the refrigerator for another beer, or pour themselves some more wine, or mix themselves another drink.

Because they labor under the illusion-fostered and encouraged by America’s gigantic treatment machine-that the issue is simply about getting Charlie Sheen to stop drinking. Anyone can quite drinking for a period of time. Sailors prove that every cruise. Charlie however-and I am pretty confident in saying this-has discovered for himself what it is to be victimized by America’s ever growing machine of coerced 12 step treatment. And he, like many others,  is not liking it very much. As a result he is angry-more than a little I’d say. The problem, my dear Scarlett, is not with Charlie Sheen’s drinking-its with understanding he can never quench his anger. The machine that is coerced 12 step treatment will never allow that. No matter how right one may be-it is simply a fight you can never win. And so the people who victimize you, get a free pass to go on victimizing you.

Because treatment for substance abuse-as practiced in the Whining States of America is not about quitting drinking. It’s about losing control of your life-where once you had it. When one is thrown into the pit of the treatment industry, the devil’s bargain they demand is that you cede control of your life to someone else. Or many someone else’s. Even if you continue to show up for work on time and do your job every day-as the majority of those shoved into the twelve step pit do. And nine times out of ten-that person you are forced to cede control of your life to-is even more fucked up than you ever will be.

And, their view-and the view that they have sold to many in books and TV shows like Dr. Phil , Dr. Drew and the rest of the herd-is that you can never have your life back.

And so-rightfully so- Charlie Sheen is angry as he discovers the magnitude of the sacrifice these hypocrites demand that he make. Eventually-Mr. Sheen will discover that living life on your own terms, without interference from the hordes-is the best revenge you can hope to make. However, until he learns that-his anger will remain unrequited.

And he probably has a right to be angry-but his very public playing out of  this drama does not do him any favors. Sometimes-as disgusting as it is-you have to play the game, cooperate and graduate, and bide your time. Certainly every moment he spends on the tour is not doing his downstream prospects any favors. Of course when you are really angry-its hard to see that.

Because now-no matter what he does, no matter what changes he makes in his life-he (and they) will be forever stuck with albatross of the scarlett “A” wrapped around their necks. If he returns to drinking-they will hold the A up in his face. Which is really amazing when you consider a couple of really important statistics:

1)      Better than 65% of folks who have difficulties with alcohol or other substances recover on their own. And many, if not most, of them are able to resume drinking, contrary to the orthodoxy put forth in treatment literature.

2)      The majority of people shoved into treatment-are not and never will be –“dependent”  in the classical definition.

3)      The overall success rate of people in 12 step programs is actually worse than those who deal with their issues through other means.

Now mind you-I am not giving Charlie Sheen a pass for any actions that he may have taken that violated the law, his contract, or any other professional obligation. If he in fact broke those-and it appears he did-then he should be punished as required.

But beyond that-it’s his life to live. And eventually he will come to grip with the fact that he-and only he-has to take responsibility for that life. Most people do. Some people don’t. But it is their choice to make.

But that does not make it all right for an employer-or the state-to compel him or anyone else to go to treatment against his will, nor does it give them the right to dictate a particular outcome ( e.g. abstinence) in any particular case. This is especially true with respect to the America’s self-reinforcing cooperation between its traffic courts and its multi-billion dollar treatment industry. Especially since in any given year-barely 15% of those arrested for DUI meet the clinical standards to be qualified as “dependent”-whatever the hell that means.

When individuals become subject to coercive judicial or treatment systems, they are likely to be especially confused, self-doubting, and vulnerable. Great damage can be done at such times times which call for careful assessment and options. ..

Especially when you are forced into a program whose unstated goal is nothing less than religious indoctrination. Isn’t that right Mr. Bill?

Eventually though-I am confident he will find his own path. And it will probably include a drink or two and “goddessess”. I sure hope so.

5 responses so far

Jan 01 2011

There is always a record.

Slow new years day today. We've been watching Alabama play-and taking down the tree. I may need to head for my first nap of the New Year.

I did, however, stumble on this blog of "Texts from Last Night".  They had a list of the best New Years Eve texts. I thought it was pretty funny so I am taking the liberty of sharing it with you:


The Best NYE Texts from Last Year.

(919): I had a new years resolution not to be a whore anymore, but I think I’m gonna wait till 2011

(704): so I got guilt tripped into giving her a new years kiss, and she proceeded to try and eat my face while mounting me.  when you give a mouse a cookie…

(408): i woke up in the lobby of Holiday Inn on a chair sitting up straight

(334): The bartender let me pay my bar tab with my itunes giftcards.

(626): Just got the American Express annual summary.  The amount of bars we visited last year is impressive.

(508): champagne bombs.  Yes, i think that is where things may have gotten out of control.

(763): dude 8 am is too early to start pregaming for new years eve
(608): clearly you are not from wisconsin

(541): I cannot remember December 31 for the past 3 years. it might as well not even exist on my calendar anymore

(336): nothing can go wrong this weekend. $1500 to spend. i have options for hookups every night. my backup plans have backup plans

(269): Lots of explosions. Minor nudity. Full penetration and lots of tuxedos.

(304): i am officially better prepared for a hangover tomorrow than i was for christmas.

(714): im goin to the NYE party with a tuxedo painted on my body. i know a girl who does it. wanna join?

(805): My phone now changes “me” to “mrrrrrrrrh”, thank you new years.

(606): A 21st bday and NYE should be illegal to have in the same week…

(904): nothing says happy new years better than a black eye from shooting yourself with a champagne bottle

(918): my new years resolutions dont apply when im drunk

(724): the only reason i even kissed her was because we were having sex when it midnight, and i heard people yelling “happy new year.”

(814): there was enough confetti in my bra to throw another NYE party

(512): I just got a standing ovation when i made it to work on New Years Day. good thing?

(410): new years resolution: more sex, less car punching, more chipotle.

(617): we just watched the ball drop on the spanish channel. best mistake of my life.

(732): The only problem is i have violated all potential new years resolutions at the new years party.

(229): New years is officially the only time its okay to drunk dial your parents.

5 responses so far

Mar 20 2010

Things to do in Denver…

When you miss your flight and have to hang around until the evening to be on standby to get a seat………

A jack-knifed tractor trailer made me late getting to Denver. I was five minutes late to get on board. Options? Not many. I was lucky I made it then-the further north you went from Colorado Springs the worse the roads got.

1) Go on the standby list for the only other flight to Dullsville. Waiting time 7 hours.

2) Get a new reservation leaving on Sunday-SUNDAY-and pay an added 400 dollars for the privilege. Nothing available on Saturday going anywhere.

I take option one.

But I wasn’t going to hang around the airport. I head back to Hertz and rent me a car-might as well prowl a little.

The snow was still coming down as I made it on to 70 West-but the traffic was moving. I soon found myself downtown, looking for a parking space, and something to do. As I came around the streets I finally see the huge neon DINER sign on the corner of the building. There was an open street parking space right across the street. The snow is coming down heavier now.

“Screw it-I’m going inside”.

Turns out, the Rocky Mountain Diner is a pretty cool place to linger over a meal-when you are not going anywhere soon. Bought a paper and sidled up to the counter.

“Today’s soup?”

“Homemade clam chowder”

Perfect! And as it turns out it was homemade-very good with real bacon in it. Order a tuna sandwich and settle down to read my paper. As I glance up, the snow is not stopping-it’s getting worse. What day is tomorrow? Oh yea, the first day of spring…………

Having dragged out lunch as long as I could, I found my way over to a Borders book store somewhere in South Denver. I had passed a movie theater-and thought hard about going in-but opted to go to Borders books instead.

Which proved a wise choice. When I went  in it seemed the snow was tapering off.- I was wrong, it was just winding up for act II. As I meandered around the shelves it slowly dawned on me that the level of snow was increasing exponentially-so much so, I might not make it back to the airport.

I opt for a tactical retreat back to DIA. An hour later (Now close to 5pm) I am back in line at security. Time to hunker down at the bar.

The flight finally departed at 9:30 PM-I was lucky enough to get a seat.

So how was your day?

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