Guilt by association

You may have more in common with Joe Lhota than you think

Another political rant, but this time on local elections. Sorry, it’s the season.

For those of you that don’t know, in part of my day-to-day real life, I deal with trademarks. What a trademark is, is shorthand for actual critical thinking.

For example, if you buy a good cuppa joe at a place with a green mermaid called “Starbucks” for a while, you eventually learn that you can expect roughly the same level of quality at any other place with a green mermaid.

Recently, I’ve been involved in a dozen or so conversations with friends asking them the following about New York City:

  • Are you pro-NYC charter schools, which tend to help lower-income and minority children?
  • Are you pro the legalization of marijuana?
  • Are you pro-same-sex marriage?
  • Are you pro-abortion rights?
  • Are you anti-new taxes?

Across the board, everyone answered yes. The funny thing is that those positions are exactly what Republican for mayor Joe Lhota has according to this NY Time article.

De Blasio has essentially said he will cripple the charter school system and will raise taxes – something that Democratic Govenor Cumo said is both (a) not going to happen under his watch because it is (b) dangerous for NY since it will force people to move to more welcoming areas.

When I pointed this out to most people some changed the topic completely, several got (very) angry, and one put up a passive-aggressive link to look up things on Google.

But not one could point out a reason why they would vote for de Blasio over Lhota.

It’s little different from the Republicans that are just furious over Ombamacare even though it was an initially Republican conceived plan.

It’s disappointing how little thought – let alone critical thought – people I know in real life actually give to the issues that matter to them.

And the reason behind this is because everyone believes very easily whatever he fears or desires.

The person that posted the passive-aggressive link and one of the people that’s furious with me both wrote about how much the charter school program meant to them. So I asked them both why they didn’t support Lhota if they were so passionate about it.

Obviously, you don’t know what you’re talking about if you think [a Republican] is pro-charter schools.


Location: -120 mins, making sure the boiler was on
Mood: disappointed
Music: I’m stuck with them and they’re stuck on you
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What the hell is going on with the Republican Party?

Why would you want something you didn’t earn?

We had a mouse in the house recently. Spent the better part of the weekend hunting it down with nothing to show for it – well, that’s not entirely true, the place is spotless.

Now that I got the green light from the doc to wrassle again, been easing back into it.

The ranking system of my school is: White, Blue, Purple, Brown, and Black. After some five years of doing it – on and off because of work and injury – I’m still only a white belt. It is what it is.

Here’s the thing: I’ve spent in excess of $3,000 to be a white belt. That’s not counting the $3,500 for surgery and rehab.

I could simply go buy a black belt for $22.95. It’d be here in less than 24 hours and I’d get to skip over the additional 12 years it takes to earn one.

But that’s not really the point is it?

Things are only as valuable as the meaning we put behind it. After all, what’s the difference between a $100 bill and a scrap a paper if not the meaning we put behind it?

For those of you that’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know I’m either a liberal conservative or a conservative liberal.

Having said that, this whole government shutdown nonsense has been bothering me precisely because it seems that the Republican party wants the trappings of achievement without having earned it.

The law was passed. The Supreme Court upheld it. The Republican party lost this round.

And yet, here we are.

In other words, they didn’t earn their black belt, but they’re not above trying to simply buy one.

It’s more than disingenuous, more than underhanded.

It’s embarrassing.

It’s embarrassing to throw a tantrum after losing. It’s embarrassing to screw everyone else because it didn’t go your way. It’s embarrassing that because you didn’t win, everyone else must lose.

I’d be just as embarrassed if I walked in the door tomorrow with a shiny $22.95 black belt.

There’s no shame in losing. There’s shame in trying to take something you didn’t earn.

Even some deeply loyal Republicans are seeing this.

It cannot possibly be a good thing that embarrassment – not pride, not satisfaction, not admiration – is what people once loyal to the party of Reagan and the end of the Cold War, the party of Lincoln and the anti-slavery movement, now feel.

Why would you want this for the party?

And why would you want something you didn’t earn?

Location: at the rents
Mood: embarrassed
Music: We don’t wanna leave, no. We just wanna be right now

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Explaining Libertarianism and writing a date book

Accept the world as it is, not the way you wish it to be

Getting ready to see the doc in a few hours. Nerve-wracking.

Since I’ve not been able to do much with my free time with my leg, been working on a book on dating I’ve been meaning to write for a while. It’s a little different from what’s out there already but if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, it’s probably exactly what you might expect.

One thing I have is a list of baseline beliefs that one has to have to get anything out of what I write and the first – very first – baseline belief is to “accept the world as it is, not as you wish it to be.”

It sounds simple, but it’s something that I don’t think I myself really did until I was in my 30s.

Brought this up with someone who immediately scoffed and said, “What about Rosa Parks? If she did that, black people would still be sitting in the back of the bus.”

Which I thought was odd because Rosa Parks is a perfect example for my baseline belief; I’m sure she wanted to punch that guy in the face. Or sue them for discrimination. But neither would have worked in her world. Which didn’t mean not to do anything, but to do things that made sense in her world. And quietly sitting there fit into that world.

And now, the ability to sue for discrimination exists in our world, because of her working within the restraints of her’s. Because it doesn’t mean giving up on wishing for it to be different.

It’s a fine distinction, which is why it’s so difficult.

Fast forward to now and we’re in our current US government shutdown. For those of you not in the US, there’s a brand of politics called, Libertarianism, which essentially calls on as little government as possible. People should just be responsible for themselves.

It’s one of those things that in theory is great; personal responsibility is great. But in practice, it’s difficult if not impossible. I admit that when I was younger, I was a firm believer in it.

As I got older I realized that the reason it’s near impossible is because what George Carlin said is true: Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.

In short, Libertarianism it only accepts the world it wants, not the world as it is.

I’m off to get poked and prodded now, so I leave you with a paraphrase of a column by The Week, June 21. In it, Michael Lind asked a simple question: “Why are there no libertarian countries?”

Modern states have tested all kinds of political philosophies, from fascism to communism to social democracy. But not one of the world’s 193 sovereign states – not even a tiny one – has adopted a full-on libertarian system, with very limited government, an unfettered free-market economy, decriminalized drugs, and no welfare or public education system. Yet libertarians still insist we’d all be happier in a system with an absolute minimum of government. Lacking real examples to prove their point, libertarians are forced to make lists of nations where there is a lot of “economic freedom,” with the lowest taxes and least regulation. That list includes such countries as Singapore, where economic liberty is paired with an oppressive police state, and Mauritius, a tiny island country with double the infant mortality rate of the U.S. and nearly triple its maternal mortality rate. Would you prefer to live in either place? Libertarianism, clearly, is based on a fantasy—that regulations, social safety nets, a strong military, and engagement abroad are unnecessary nuisances that can be discarded. Libertarians live not in reality, but in an “imaginary Utopia.”

Location: waiting to see the doc
Mood: bummed
Music: Entre le royaume, des vivants et des morts

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We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are

We reveal a lot more of ourselves than we realize

Got injured in my ribs about two weeks ago so I’ve not been wrassln for a bit. Went back for the first time on Monday and it seemed fine. When class is over, we all stand in line to be dismissed.

While standing there, I realized I couldn’t breathe right as I couldn’t get my diaphragm to move. Things started to get get wonky and the next thing I knew I was on the floor.

Ended up being fine but the funny thing is that as it was happening, the first thing I thought was, “If you end up in the hospital again, the wife is totally not gonna let you wrassle or fence any more. Don’t hit your head going down!”

Being married really changes how you look at the world.


Regarding my post from last week about mixed-race couples, someone I only kinda know on FB contacted me. We ended up chatting about China in general:

Him: Have you even been to China before?
Me: Actually yes, several times, in fact.
Him: As a tourist I bet.
Me: Nope, I was there on business.
Him: I bet you just saw all the tourist sites and had pictures of yourself eating dumplings.
Me: Neither, I didn’t have time to see anything, I was pressed for deadlines the entire time. And I don’t think I had any dumplings while I was there; in fact, I don’t even think I have pictures. And why pick on dumplings? What they’d ever do to you?

He finally ended up saying that, because I had a Caucasian wife and that must mean I don’t find Asian women attractive.

Him: It points to a lot of self-hatred.
Me: That’s a pretty big leap. OK, do you think Brad Pitt’s a good looking guy?
Him: (pause) I guess so.
Me: I do too. But if he asked you out right now, what would you say?
Him: I’m not gay .
Me: Nor am I. But, what you’re saying is that you find him attractive, just not in that way. You have preferences.
Him: It’s not the same thing!
Me: Why? Are you saying one’s natural and one’s unnatural? We all like what we like. Attraction is not a choice.

That’s when I realized it was all a waste of my time.

This woman named Anais Nin once said that, We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.

Her: He thinks you hate being Chinese? You love being Chinese!
Me: I know! We’re lovely and have the best dumplings.
Her: Well, those are just Chinese ravioli.

Location: not the gym
Mood: hungry
Music: sailed to Hong Kong harbour, the winds were warmer then
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Logan’s 40

Joy inevitably comes

The Grace Building in NYC

Like you, I was glued to the television watching the bombings in Boston.

The first thought that came to mind were words I can’t print here, but they rhymed with “mothers that drive trucks.”

My second was: The people that point and the people that run in. Around every tragedy, you will find the people that point and the people that run in.

The people that point are the ones that use a tragedy to push their own personal agendas: Religious, political, or simply, look at me because I will be different than all the others because I need to be noticed.

Regarding this pointing, on FB I had a two guys talk about all the people that die in Afghanistan and that it somehow means we shouldn’t mourn the people here. But that was pretty much the extent of it.

How many did you have? Make note of those people. Those are the ones that want, desperately, to be heard.

Regarding the people that run in, that was on full display that day as Patton Oswalt eloquently noted. It gives me some hope for our kind. I hope he’s right that that the people that run in outnumber the others. The ones that harm. The ones that point.

Today, I’m 40.

Had this whole long rant about being so old and creaky but instead, let me simply sum it up by saying this: I’m old and I’ve seen a lot more things than I’ve ever wanted to see.

The world is an ugly place. But it is made bearable by the good souls. The ones that bring us grace and mercy.

The fact that I’ve only had two really stomach turning posts on FB since this thing happened is a small indicator, I think, that I’ve managed to have more good souls than not in my corner of the world.

Years ago, wrote about Bernard Malamud who said that Life is a tragedy full of joy.

Having been on this planet for 40 short and long years, I’ve learned that tragedy inevitably comes, but the joy also comes.

And so I wait for the joy. Hope you do as well.

And like every year on (or close to) my birthday, I ask you to wish me a happy birthday, all of you bastards that read me and never say anything.

Here’s my stupid mug at almost 40. I would have taken one recently but I’ve been beat.

Logan Lo

Location: with family in my slice of the world
Mood: hopeful
Music: Don’t you keep me waiting for that day
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One of the rarest fears in the world is the fear of weapons

Don’t understand many things. Such as how the universe can constantly be expanding. Or the meaning of life.

Or how some people like Victoria Soto find the courage to give up their lives to protect others, while some others can do nothing but stand by the sides and point.

One of the rarest phobias is hoplophobia – the fear of weapons. It’s so rare that this is probably the first time you’ve ever heard of it.

Don’t understand that.

If you should fear one thing, it’s something that spits 800 bullets a minute.

In an ironic twist, the exact same thing that happened here with Sandy Hook happened on the same day in China. There, not one person – child or otherwise – was killed. The only difference between the two events was the lethality of the weapon used: in China, it was a knife, in America it was a gun.

There are 310,000,000 non-military guns right now in America – those are nine digits. Why do we need even one more?

Because it’s in the Constitution?
So is slavery.

Because it’s tradition?
So was the aforementioned slavery and lack of women’s suffrage.

Because we need to protect ourselves from the government?
The government has stealth bombers and nuclear weapons. That’s laughable. I’m writing this on the most powerful weapon against oppressive government and this has been proven repeatedly through history both very old and recent.

So why then do we continue to add to that 310 million figure? Let’s be honest here:

It’s so people that love guns can continue to have them and the gun manufacturers that make a buck it from it can continue to do so.

This, I understand even less.

And I’m not discounting the need to discuss mental illness – I’m all for discussing mental illness – but it’s not a binary thing. It’s not (a) deal with mental illness or (b) have less guns. It’s both.

Been very ranty lately. I’m usually not. But I’ve repeated a quote on FB that I feel bears repeating ad nauseam:

The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do harm, but because of those who look at it without doing anything. – Albert Einstein

Victoria Soto gave her life to do something. The least we can do is ask of those that profess to represent us to do something about this beside talk.

Beside trade hot breath and lies.

People on my Facebook page were upset because I wrote that “I am shocked at how little anything shocks me any more.”

  • 310 million guns already, more being produced.
  • Mental illness as a stigma rather than a health issue that needs to be dealt with.
  • The Snookification of fame – where it doesn’t matter how or why you become famous, but merely that you get famous.

How is this – honestly – shocking to anyone? In 2012 alone we had sixteen (16!) mass shootings.

Don’t understand why more people don’t have hoplophobia and I don’t understand how any one can honestly be shocked by this.

Angry, upset, heartbroken, furious, livid, despondent – these words I can understand.

But shocked? Shocked?

I seriously doubt anyone is truly shocked that something like this happened.


Here are 10 Arguments that Gun Advocates Make and Why They’re Wrong.

Location: my head
Mood: disappointed
Music: There is no music today.
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An Open Letter to Christine Quinn Regarding Chick-fil-A

New York City from Hoboken

Dear Speaker Quinn;

First of all, congratulations on your recent nuptials! Having just been married myself, I was told that my life would be the same but completely different afterward. I find that to be true.

However, I write this letter to discuss something less pleasant – which is this whole Chick-fil-A matter. Frankly, I don’t like where it’s going politically.

Specifically, you recently sent a letter to the NYU President, which you wrote on government stationary and opened with the words: “I write as the Speaker of the NYC Council.” In that letter you asked the President to break a legal agreement NYU signed with a corporation who’s view you term “repugnant.”

This comes on the heels of similar letters by the mayors of Boston, Chicago and San Francisco that have threatened to treat Chick-fil-A differently than any other person and organization for no other reason than that you find them “repugnant.”

While I too find them repugnant, as a citizen – and a minority – I also find this all even more unsettling.

A while back, I wrote about this judge 100 years ago named Stephen Johnson Field that hated the Chinese. Absolutely hated them. While sitting on the bench, he was called to judge the constitutionality of the Pigtail Ordinance. Without getting into the specifics of the law, suffice it to say that it was meant to make life hell for a group of people he personally despised.

In other words, he found us repugnant.

I’ve always found this odd because we’re a lovely people but that’s neither here nor there.

In any case, everyone expected him to uphold the law precisely because they knew his personal opinion. He did not. Instead, he struck down the law as unconstitutional.

His reason was simple: As much as he hated the Chinese, he respected the letter of the law more.

His office trumped his personal opinions.

A more recent example is the so-called Ground Zero Mosque. You stood with Mayor Bloomberg when he said that cancellation of the mosque would be a “sad day.” I assume because, in that instance, the party singled out you felt personal sympathy with AND it was on the right side of the law.

Here, you don’t feel personal sympathy with Chick-fil-A yet, like the mosque, it is on the right side of the law.

In both examples, the law is clear: An organization cannot be discriminated against because of its beliefs.

Speaker Quinn, integrity means that one is the same person in public as one is in private. It requires consistency.

It demands that if you defend the constitution for a white person you must defend the constitution for a Chinese person.

The judge in the Pigtail Ordinance, while racist, had integrity. 100 years later, that means something.

I humbly submit that you’re letting your personal feelings interfere with your respect for the law. It’s easy to defend the defenseless and sympathetic; it’s harder to defend those that you personally find repugnant.

  • The law allows a mosque to rent a space without concern that the government does not like its opinions.
  • The law allows a corporation to rent a space without concern that the government does not like its  opinions.

As a life-long New Yorker, I admit had conflicted feelings about having a mosque so close to where 9/11 happened. But in the end, the law is the law. And in the end, I supported it being there.

I would not want someone saying that I cannot live someplace because I am a Christian, or Chinese-American, or terribly clumsy.

I support citizens boycotting Chick-fil-A. I support citizens marching. I support citizens ripping them to shreds online.

But I draw the line at government telling us that its opinions supersede the law.

It’s dangerous when government officials use their positions of power to further their own personal agendas. To think otherwise sets a dangerous precedent.

History has shown, time-and-time again, that a world ruled by someone’s personal opinion is not a safe place for Chinese, gay, black, Jewish, Muslim, disabled people to live.

Imagine a world where Michele Bachmann’s personal opinion ruled it.

We put up with opinions that are different than ours – even repugnant to us – because it’s what we do. The word is “tolerance.”

One doesn’t tolerate things, people, and opinions one finds lovely. One tolerates things, people, and opinions one finds repugnant. It’s what we do.


Logan Lo

Location: in front of my first cuppa joe for the day
Mood: curious
Music: if everybody looked the same we’d get tired of looking at each other


My Experience with Kirkus Indie Book Reviews

Did not have a pleasant experience with Kirkus

For those of you that don’t know, Kirkus Reviews was a book review magazine known for having very harsh reviewers, rarely giving a positive review to anything.

In 2004, they launched a service whereby someone could pay for an honest review. In theory, this sounds great because it fulfills a need; few ebooks by unknown authors are given a chance to be read by a reputable house.

Unfortunately, this didn’t seem to help them enough financially and they announced that they would close at the end of 2009. However, a man from the Indiana Pacers swooped in and saved them so that they were able to continue their business model (as Kirkus Indie Reviews).

That’s the backstory.

A few months back, I wrote this post which I can tell you now was about Kirkus Reviews.

I sent them The Men Made of Stone, because: A real artist ships, otherwise you’re just a nutcase with a notebook. Putting my money where my mouth is, requested a review.

And as I said, I got a scathing review of the first 30 pages of my story. Almost half the review – 102 out of 304 words – is spent talking about a minor character that’s killed on page 24 out of a 296 page book.

The hero of the book is given 13 words in the review and called a “minor character” by the editor. The antagonist wasn’t mentioned at all.

That’s like writing a review of Hamlet and saying it’s about the witty banter between Bernardo and Francisco and some punk kid named Hamlet. With no mention of Claudius.

Put another way, that’s writing a book review on The Godfather and saying that it revolves around Bonasera and Fredo.

And if you don’t know read crime thrillers to know what that means, that’s fine, because neither did the Kirkus reviewer, who called the story “completely unrealistic.”

But just like The Godfather, The Men Made of Stone, while fiction, is a roman a clef; the scenes that the reviewer said could not have happened, actually happened.

In any case, I exchanged emails with the editor and asked him to just refund my money, which he refused to do. He essentially said, “We’re Kirkus, our reviewers are anonymous and you can’t do anything about it.”

After countless emails back and forth, I just opened a complaint with the credit card company, printed up the emails we had, and sent in my side of the story.

After about three months, my credit card company said that after hearing from Kirkus and reading everything, they decided that Kirkus Reviews did not, in fact, provide what they were supposed to provide: an honest review by a qualified reviewer who read my book.

Logan: 1
Kirkus: 0

Now, logic would say I should just pocket my returned funds and keep quiet.

But it was never about the money. It was about the unfairness of it all. I can brook a lot but I can’t put up with bullies. If I didn’t just get a refund, I woulda just gone to court.

Moreover, I believe in my story and my editors. Enough to write this entry.

For those ebook writers that ask, “Is a Kirkus Review worth it?” For me at least, the answer is no.

I’m not saying that this is going to be your experience with Kirkus – but it is my experience. Moreover, my opinion is that in order to make money at that model, you have to churn quantity. Assuming an average reading speed of 250 words a minute, skimming is an attractive option. Since it’s anonymous, all the more so. As I neither get paid nor am anonymous in my reviews, I know of what I speak.

So take this post as you will.

Kirkus Editor: I’d hope you could appreciate the subjective nature of reviews. [If you go to court, you’ll lose].
Me: Your review make it seem as if my book is about a guy named C and a guy named TT. My position is simple – that is not what my book’s about. I’ll take my chances. Thanks.


I did get a positive review on the San Francisco Book Review but more on that next week. Or just read it for yourself:

The Men Made of Stone - Logan Lo

Location: getting dressed for work
Mood: vindicated
Music: takes more than what you got to frighten me


Then kunckle up and swing


Her: (watching the tourists at 30 Rock) It’s funny. People come all the way here to see our town.
Me: Yeah. It’s not notice things when we live here.

Had a date night with the wife; we don’t do it often enough but it’s nice when we get around to it. Went to the same place we went around last year.

Afterward, we took a nice stroll back home. It’s good, being tourists in your own city.


Work’s finally slowed down a bit, for better or for worse. Had some time to work on some other projects of mine.

NYer Lionel Trilling once said, “Our culture peculiarly honors the act of blaming, which it takes as the sign of virtue and intellect.” I add that to that old Chateaubriand quote, “You are not superior just because you see the world in an odious light.”

Just don’t get why people think negativism equals reasoned intellect. If anything, unsupported criticism just makes you look like a churl. And a douchebag.

There’s this company with the following business model: for a fee – they’ll read your book and write an honest review of it. So I put my money where my mouth is and requested one.

What I got in return was a scathing review, which was disappointing. But then I read the review closely, noticed some odd things. The reviewer:

  1. only mentioned the hero in one sentence
  2. didn’t mention the antagonist – at all
  3. didn’t mention anything that happened after page 30.
  4. didn’t mention any themes (revenge, loyalty, etc) or really anything of substance
  5. instead focused a third of the review on a single minor scene (on page 24) out of 276 pages.

That’s when I realized that this guy just skimmed it, dashed off a review, and took my dough. There’s nuthin honest about that.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, saw that the reviewer, amongst other things:

  • doesn’t understand how to use a colon
  • doesn’t know the difference between “blonde” and “blond,”
  • doesn’t know how to spell “plot lines.”

There’s more, but that’s enough for now. And that’s when I went from being disappointed to feeling ripped-off.

So I actually contacted an editor and told him that I’m not just some disappointed author, I’m someone that reviews books regularly. And I know the difference between a real book review is and a slap-dash quickie dollar.

And I posited this simple question to the editor: “Do you and your company stand by this review?”

  • If he doesn’t, I want my money back.
  • If he does, I’ll print the review here and let you decide if it’s a valid review.

Should note that when I write a book review, my name is on it. I own it, good or bad. In this blog, on FB, at the NYJB, at Lawline. I own what I put out into the world and I stand by it.

Here’s an anonymous review from someone that clearly doesn’t understand basic rules of English, who didn’t read my book, and tells me it’s no good.

If you read me regularly, you know that I can handle lively debate or a fair disagreement. What I can’t stand is horses__t and bullies.

It’s like that time that guy ran out and said he would drop me. Remember thinking, You must not know ’bout me.

Told that guy to knuckle up and swing because I knew something he didn’t: I was qualified for the task at hand.

As he sulked away, he and I both knew he was not similarly situated.

And now, it appears we’ve arrived at a similar junction.


Location: yesterday, celebrating Easter
Mood: offended
Music: “Do you believe what you’re sayin’?” Yeah right now, but not that often.


2012 Project 1 – MMA in NYS


The above is onea my pet projects.

Did y’know that in Utah, drinks can be served but not seen until the customers get them. This means, no joke, that alcohol must be poured behind a curtain in a bar so the buyer can’t see the alcohol being poured.

Is that pure idiocy or what?

It’s onea those laws I like to call: laws cause someone’s got an opinion. Supposedly, it’s because it’s protecting someone. But really, it’s making a value judgement as to how Person A was brought up against how Person B was brought up.

Mixed-Martial Arts is something I enjoy as a spectator. It’s simultaneously one of the oldest and newest sports in the world and available on BROADCAST television, meaning you can turn on any old set in America and catch a match.

But you can’t go to a live event in NYS. In fact, if you hold or participate in a live event, you can go to jail. All this cause one guy thinks it’s wrong.

Lemme put it another way: someone could go to jail because someone else has an opinion on something that is totally legal in 45 other states. If you cross the river to New Jersey you’re an athlete; if you don’t, you’re a criminal. Moreover, each of the sports that make up MMA is totally legal in NYS but if you combine them, it becomes illegal.

Does any of that sound right to you?

It doesn’t sound right to me. It makes me want to ask what’s real and what’s for sale. In a time of dire economic striats, should even a penny be lost to another man’s opinion?

As a rule, I don’t suffer bullies well. But bullies, coupled with idiocy is beyond the pale. It’s offensive to me. It should be offensive to you too.

Sign our petition and say something.

Location: about to have breakfast with the wife
Mood: offended
Music: Don’t give me that do goody good bull____