Are the Ruby Rose Accusations Delusional?

Ruby Rose

Model turned actress Ruby Rose performed as the lead for the first season of Warner Bros. Television version of Batwoman. She left the show after that season and recently made serious accusations against other actors, the production staff, and the crew.

Ruby Rose claims both her serious injuries and another’s occurred on set because of negligence and corner cutting. In addition, Ruby Rose claims there was pressure to return to work while still injured and that several fellow actors were abusive to women on set.


Batwoman, now in its third season, continues to receive reasonably good reviews and moderately decent ratings for the network it is on. There is a lot of ill-feeling toward Batwoman because it is generally considered to promote a “Woke” agenda. Ruby Rose herself is an outspoken proponent of the LBGTQia+ (yes, I had to look that up) community.

Needless to say, there are quite a few outspoken people happy to believe both the worst and best about Ruby Rose and her accusations. That being the case, I’m seeing plenty of hot opinions on these accusations.

The Response

The actors accused of behaving in a toxic fashion deny it completely. The company claims it was Ruby Rose who behaved badly on set. Warner Bros. claims they fired her because of her own bad behavior, showing up late, treating crew badly, not knowing her lines, storming off set in a rage on multiple occasions.

What Really Happened

It’s likely we’ll never really know what happened but my suspicion, without any kind of conclusive proof, is that Ruby Rose is exaggerating minor events and possibly even fabricating much of what happened. If that’s true, then why is she doing it when it’s pretty clear those she accused will dispute her claims?

One of the strange things in human nature is the ability to become completely delusional about reality. It’s my opinion that is in play here with Ruby Rose. She’s surrounded herself with Yes People who fuel this delusion. Online she gets endless support from those who tie their own belief system to that of Rose and they will support anything she says.


Here is where I think I’ll lose everyone reading along, nodding their heads in complete agreement, the Ruby Rose haters. I honestly think former President Trump, and many of his allies, engage in this practice almost constantly. They are surrounded by True Believers who tolerate the most abhorrent behavior and fuel it to levels of delusional insanity.

We must disagree with people we like and support when they do things with which we disagree. If we don’t, we create evil monsters, capable of damage beyond comprehension. If we continue down that road this country is in serious trouble.

I say to you, stand up for what is right, no matter who says it. Fight against what is wrong, no matter the source. The world will be a better place.

Tom Liberman

Small Turnout at the Trump Rally Shows Enlightened Self-Interest

Small Turnout at the Trump Rally

I wrote an article yesterday about Enlightened Self-Interest in regards to the Aston Villa futbol team and today I’m taking on the same topic in regards to the small turnout at the Trump Rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

President Trump flaunted Covid-19 restrictions by holding a large, indoor, rally and it was poorly attended. This is going to be a major news story today in various outlets for all sorts of reasons but the underlying, and most vital, is the display of Enlightened Self-Interest by those who chose not to attend.

The small turnout at the Trump Rally is going to be cheered on by the left because they imagine it shows an erosion in his support. The small turnout at the Trump Rally is going to engender a million explanations from the right and particularly the president who will undoubtedly blame his perceived enemies as an excuse.

The libertarian community should be cheering on the small turnout at the Trump Rally as a triumph of enlightened self-interest. Trump still has many supporters, more than enough to fill BOK Center to capacity many times over. They didn’t show up and that is important but perhaps for reasons both of the mainstream political parties don’t understand.

President Trump in particular, certainly because he’s an absolute moron and viciously sadistic, doesn’t care about Covid-19. He doesn’t care about his supporter’s health and certainly enjoys the image of his many perceived enemies suffering. However, intelligent people are also against draconian restrictions in relation to Covid-19, not because they relish the suffering of enemies, as does Trump. Not because they don’t understand the nature of a highly infectious disease, but simply because they believe people have the ability to show their own Enlightened Self-Interest and should be trusted to do so because they are adults in charge of their own lives. Count me among such.

The small turnout at the Trump Rally displays our point. People care about their health and the safety of their loved ones more than any political figure. Trump supporters they certainly are; but they are people who are worried about their own safety and that is a wonderful thing. I applaud them for not showing up, not because they have abandoned Trump, but because they are acting like Libertarians. Good for you!

My hope, my dream, is that those who didn’t show up might consider the fact their chosen candidate doesn’t much care about their health, frankly, he doesn’t care much about anything other than himself and everyone is well-aware of it. You don’t have to vote for a Democrat, who have plenty of their own problems, there is another choice. Her name is Jo Jorgensen.

Tom Liberman

You have been Buying Wine Properly All this Time

Buying Wine

Have you been buying wine properly? That’s the premise of a clickbait Facebook post from Naked Wines that’s circulating through my friends’ timeline. Lots of people are buying wine and there is certainly an interest in doing it properly. It’s not so much the article but the comments that interest me.

The premise of the article is that more expensive wines are largely the same as less expensive wine but you are paying for marketing, brand recognition, and overhead rather than the simply the wine in the bottle. The comment section was predictably filled with people who laughed at those fools who purchased expensive wine opposed to those who ridiculed bumpkins for their unsophisticated palate in cheap, sweet wines. What a surprise.

The reality of the situation is pretty clear. When buying wine, you should purchase what you want. While I might wax poetic that such is the mantra of the Libertarian, the reality is we all feel this way. We all, largely, buy the things we want to buy for a variety of different reason. Perhaps you like inexpensive wines, perhaps you don’t particularly like cheap wine but you lack the funds to purchase the wine you enjoy more, maybe you don’t have the money but want to treat yourself, maybe you find the taste of cheap wine vile and only purchase expensive bottles. In the immortal words of Tripper Harrison, it just doesn’t matter.

We can argue subjective versus objective but I’ve done that before. If you like the cheap wine then drink it. If you prefer buying wine of an expensive nature, for whatever reason, then do so. Most importantly, the kind of wines someone else purchases are their business and the only reason you are annoyed by that is feelings of inadequacy in yourself. Your underlying lack of self-worth is what drives you to criticize others in this regard, doing so makes you feel better. That’s the crime in all of this.

If you find yourself criticizing the choices of others; the wine they purchase, the sport they enjoy, their hobby, who they choose to ignore on Facebook, or any other choice, then you are the problem, not them. Look in the mirror.

If you find yourself constantly ridiculing those with different tastes than your own then you have a significant problem, not them. If you get enjoyment by putting others down, demeaning them, calling them names, it is you who is failing life.

If you want lead your life in this fashion, whatever. I’m happy with the way I am and I don’t really care all that much. Be a shit if you want but don’t expect me to care about your opinion.

As for buying wine and drinking it? My advice, enjoy.

Tom Liberman

The Vulnerability of the Faithful to Scams

Vulnerability of the Faithful

With Covid-19 spreading around the United States and the rest of the world I wanted to address a topic that has long been on my radar, the vulnerability of the faithful to scams. People of deep religious convictions are considered faithful. This means they believe in their deity without proof, I do not mean to ridicule, that’s the necessity of faith. If their deity were to reveal itself in absolute terms, that would eliminate the nature of faith which is crucial to many of the devoted. This belief without proof makes those so inclined, in my opinion, vulnerable.

The vulnerability of the faithful is not something new. Turkey has an entire industry devoted to giving tours to the wreckage of Noah’s Ark. Confidence tricksters have long known that attaching the words “good Christian” to their endeavors will allow them to take money far more readily from the faithful.

This vulnerability of the faithful was first demonstrated to me years ago when an acquaintance of mine got involved in a patent scam. She paid tens of thousands of dollars to get the patent approved. I happen to know a very good patent attorney and when I tried to dissuade her from the path, to speak with him, she just looked at me and told me that it was a “good Christian company.” I gave up.

We are once again seeing the vulnerability of the faithful, this time in relation to a terrible disease. Cures are being peddled across the United States and often their targets are good Christians. They appeal to the faith of these people. This appeal is the main weapon such confidence tricksters have in their arsenal. Believe me, trust me, I know better than those other people, those scientists. I know you’re afraid but give me some of your money and I’ll make it all better.

I completely accept those of faith believe in their deity with absolute conviction and there is little or nothing I can say to dissuade them. That being said, please, keep your faith to religion. Do not let it drive your thinking in more practical matters. Don’t buy a car on faith. Don’t send your child to a daycare on faith. And, absolutely, do not buy a cure for Covid-19 based on faith. It’s not only your life at stake but those around you. Not to mention the money.

Tom Liberman

Wesley So and the Question of Pragmatism over Glory

Wesley So

Today was an interesting day in the chess world when Wesley So decided on a pragmatic course of action when he had an opportunity for glorious victory. It was a complicated decision with a number of factors but I thought it was the correct choice; I am interested in what other people think. Let me explain.

There is a chess event called the Grand Chess Tour in which the top players in the world compete in a series of individual tournaments. The top four point getters in all the tournaments advance to a big money final. Each of the tournaments themselves have significant prizes for finishing in the top spots. Wesley So was invited to participate even though he had a relatively subpar chess season the previous year. He is considered one of the weakest players in the event. Weak being relative, he is a fantastic chess player by any standard.

In the first stop of the tour he did reasonably well, fourth out of ten players, and is having an excellent tournament in the second stop, this is where he made his pragmatic decision.

The current stop on the Grand Chess Tour, Croatia, has more points available to get into the finals than other events because of the format. It also has a somewhat different structure than other tournaments in that the players play eleven games in twelve days with only a single rest day after the sixth game.

Wesley So is doing exceptionally well. Going into the penultimate round he was in clear second place behind only World Champion Magnus Carlsen who is playing some of the best chess of his career. He was also a full point ahead of several players who were tied for third place. In a chess game you get half a point for a draw, 1 point for a win, and 0 points for a loss.

This situation means if he drew the game against Carlsen it almost certainly guaranteed Wesley So would finish the tournament in second place. This finish would gain him significantly more money and points than finishing tied for third or worse, a distinct possibility if he lost the game against Carlsen.

Wesley So was playing with the white pieces which is considered an advantage and generally speaking the player with white is the aggressor and the player with black is trying to draw the game, although this is certainly not absolute.

I know I’ve spent considerable time setting up the question but I think it’s important that we weigh all the factors, overall Grand Chess Tour position, individual event position, general fatigue, the state of Carlsen’s play, etc.

In any case, Wesley So played a relatively passive game and quickly settled for a draw with Carlsen. This almost guaranteed him second place in the tournament and also allowed him to rest up for the final round of a tournament in which fatigue certainly plays a role.

Many people are being critical of this decision, they think he had a chance to win the tournament and he should have gone all out, even though doing so against an in-form Carlsen was extremely dangerous. Wesley So weighed the benefits of drawing against the negative potential of losing and decided the former was the wiser course of action. I happen to agree with him but I can see the other point of view.

So, what do you think?

Should Wesley So have gone for Glory or was a Pragmatic Draw the right decision?

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Tom Liberman

No Planning means no Military Parade

Military ParadeThere’s an interesting story in the news about plans, or lack thereof, for a military parade in Washington D.C. The parade was on but then it was off again. I wasn’t that interested in the story until I read the sequence of events that led to President Trump announcing the parade was cancelled, not that I think it is permanently cancelled, the president is a man of mercurial whim and anything can change. That being said, I think this incident gives us some insight into the nature of his administration. Lack of planning.

Trump wanted to have a military parade ever since he saw the Bastille Day celebration in France back in July of 2017 and has been credibly reported as saying he wanted something similar in Washington D.C. He’s been talking about this idea with various members of the Armed Services and others for over a year now. Apparently, his insistence finally started some action but this is what I want to discuss.

If you speak with the women and men charged with planning any sort of a parade, even a kindergarten march through the school, they will explain to you the necessity of making plans. Lots can go wrong in such events and a military parade through downtown Washington D.C. is something that I hope anyone, regardless of political affiliation realizes, is a complex affair. There is much organization and coordination between various groups required.

City officials were notified on August 8, 2018 to be aware planning for a parade was under way and they would be involved. The letter from Homeland Security listed one detail and that one being vague, it would happen on or around November 10, 2018. The announcement the parade was cancelled because of cost came on Aug 17, 2018. That’s eleven entire days. Which is hardly enough time to make a proper estimate, but it gets much worse.

The city didn’t receive any other information about the parade until Aug 14, 2018. Even then officials were not told how long the parade would last, how many people were involved, what route was planned, what military equipment was involved, or apparently much of anything. They were then asked to estimate the cost to the city!

It’s hard for me to put into words how idiotic is this request. How can anyone make an approximation without at least some information? The data given to them made it impossible to make an estimate. City officials then threw out a number, a mistake if you ask me, of $21.6 million. I’m guessing they looked at expenses for other such events with extra pay for police, fire, and emergency services, cleanup costs, etc. Still, they should have just told the White House they had no idea and needed more information before any sort of an estimate could be offered.

The Pentagon has apparently long resisted this parade and someone began throwing out numbers with one being $92 million. General Mattis, who would supposedly be in a position to know about the plans, in an overt admission said that no one had any idea how much the parade would cost and any estimates should be discounted. Mattis at least had the courage to admit no one planned a damn thing and it was impossible to guess the cost. Maybe he hoped no one would comment on the incredibly stupidity of the entire organizational failure. Wrong. General Mattis, you bear some responsibility for this nonsense.

The worst part about all of this is that it seems like standard operating procedure for this administration. If you support it, please take note of how lack of planning is a sure-fire recipe for disaster. From tariffs, to immigration, to travel bans, the entire administration simply fires on the whim of the president. Maybe you like that, maybe you support that, but don’t come complaining to me when things go horribly awry. Without plans, as even the most ardent support of the president knows in their heart, chances are things will spiral into disaster.

Tom Liberman

Polish Poker Players are from Poland and Play Poker

pokerI was watching one of my favorite poker streamers the other day when someone posted in chat a question about Polish Poker players. What did Tonkaaap think about them? He replied, without much thought, that he supposed they were poker players. This seems like a small thing but it struck my Objectivist ideology with an arrow shot to the heart.

The idea behind the question is that in the poker community there are those who think players from various countries have particular traits and certain tactics might be used to have better results against such people. Tonkaaaap dismissed this idea casually and with barely a moment’s thought. He was right to do so, naturally, but I wanted to spend some time discussing the nature of tendencies and why they mean nothing about an individual.

It’s absolutely true that groups of people have tendencies based on the cultural and social norms from where the originate. It’s quite possible that a certain percentage of poker players from Poland will behave in some general fashion during the course of the hand. This tendency is a natural product of spending time with a similar group of people.

I’m going to use chess as an example. I played chess as a youngster but the number of people I played against was limited by geography. We had no internet and the only way to play was staring at the person across a physical board. This meant I played the same people all the time and they, of course, did the same. This meant that we all fell into tendencies based upon the limited pool of opponents. If you were to play against someone from St. Louis you might find we play a similar game. However, you could not make such generalizations about all players from St. Louis and if you did would certainly be setting yourself up for defeat as you encountered stronger players from the region. That’s Tonkaaap’s point. He is playing for real money. He can’t afford to make assumptions about individual players simply based on their geographic location. He must play against each player as an individual, analyzing their tendencies, and making the best decision possible at that moment.

This is, in a nutshell, Objectivism. We certainly can and do judge people based on superficial things like place of birth, gender, sexual orientation, skin color, heritage, age, appearance, and any number of other things. But, when we do so we not only do them a disservice, we set ourselves up for failure. If you discount or even simply refuse to consider someone because of these things then you are hurting yourself.

Let’s imagine you are the coach of a baseball team. It’s quite clear that men are bigger and stronger than women on average. The best baseball players in the world are all men. If a woman tries out for the team and you refuse to give her a chance you might be missing out on a player who can help you succeed. This goes for all aspects of life. Groups of people have differences, but we can’t let these general tendencies guide our decision-making processes. We must judge individuals on their actual performance.

Another thing to consider is the nature of globalization. Getting back to my chess. I now play people from all over the world thanks to the internet. I am no longer constrained by geography. This has improved my game tremendously and also largely eliminated all the tendencies I learned playing a boy.

This exposure to new ideas and things means we are all losing our geographic based tendencies. It means anyone, from anywhere, can succeed or fail based solely on their merits. And that’s a good thing.

Tom Liberman

The Decision of an Objectivist is not Static but that does not make it Subjective

objectivist thinking
It is my opinion there is a large and important debate going on in the world between those who hold an Objectivist philosophy and those who favor the Subjectivist point of view. One idea, objectivism, is that each problem has a correct path to follow and that an objective person should attempt to find it. The other idea is that there is no real correct path, the decision that I choose is always correct simply because that is what I wanted at the moment. This morning, as I was deciding on breakfast at Whole Foods, I made an interesting realization about these concepts and much of the confusion they engender.

My story goes as follows: Whole Foods generally has two breakfast sandwiches that interest me; a breakfast burrito and a breakfast muffin. Both cost the same amount but one, the burrito, is significantly larger than the other. However, I enjoy the taste of the muffin more. The subjectivist will say there is no right answer. I might choose one today and another tomorrow. The objectivist will suggest that one choice is right for me and the other wrong. The reality is one day I might be hungry or have less money for a later lunch purchase and thus the burrito is the correct choice. Another day I might have more money or be less hungry and the muffin is a wiser decision.

What I think it is critical to understand is that just because I made two different choices on two different days doesn’t make either of my decisions subjective. I analyzed my desires at each moment and made the correct, objective, decision in both cases. The subjectivist will incorrectly argue these events prove their point. The circumstances of the moment changed the resulting choice. They will say there is no “right” answer. All answers are subject to the circumstances and opinions of the moment.

This is where I think most subjectivist go understandably wrong. The decisions, while different, are objectively correct both days. This is the heart of the objectivist position about how to conduct your life. We try to make decisions that are going to best improve our lives taking into account the affect of the decision both in the short and long-term.

It is clear I made two different decisions on subsequent days. It appears the decision itself is completely subjective but it is actually quite objective both days. This is a difficult and fine nuance. A subjectivist believes that it doesn’t matter what I choose on either day, it is the right choice because I made the decision. An objectivist believes there is a correct decision on both days. The difference is illustrated when we imagine a third party weighing our decision.

I’m not particularly hungry, I prefer the taste of the muffin sandwich, I have an early lunch date planned with Emily Ratajkowski, and I decide to have the muffin over the burrito. From a third-party point of view that is clearly the correct decision. This demonstrates the clear delineation between an objective decision and a subjective decision. If I chose the burrito under the circumstances outlined it would have been objectively the wrong decision.

In this case, the wrong decision doesn’t lead to dire results. I’m simply enjoying my breakfast less and, being full, decide to cancel my date with Ratajkowski. On second thought, maybe the results are catastrophic!

In our lives we are faced with thousands of decisions each day. It is by making objectively correct choices that we improve our lives and the circumstances of those around us. That’s the goal. The sum of all these decisions often determines the course of our lives. The more objectively correct decisions we make, the better off we will be in the long run.

This is why I think it’s important to sweep aside the ideas of subjectivism. What is good for me is good for those around me. When, as individuals, we start to make a greater percentage of objectively good decisions, we improve the world around us. The more people who engage in such behavior the better the world becomes. A society filled with people making good decisions rises while one filled with people making bad decisions fails.

It is a numbers game. If 5% of the people in one group are making good, objective decisions, and 10% of the people in a second, relatively equally sized group, are doing the same. The second group will largely be better off. The idea is to give people the foundation of objective, critical thinking, so that all our lives are improved.

Tom Liberman

Solving Animal Abuse at Intensive Animal Farming Facilities

intensive animal farmingThere are two apparently diametrically opposed sides in the animal husbandry industry. Animal Rights Activists and owners and operators of Intensive Animal Farming Facilities. One of the positive takes I have about being a Libertarian and Objectivist is that I’m not ideologically tied to any particular side in an issue.

On one side are the activists who see the abuse of animals and feel an ethical obligation to do everything in their power to help the largely defenseless creatures. On the other are people trying to provide goods to paying customers, employ willing people, and make a profit while doing so. What we see are two groups of people doing all they can in court, on social media, and in various state legislatures to attack one another.

I, on the other hand, do not see the two groups as necessarily needing to fight one another for the minds of public opinion. I think there is a place for both sides and a happy middle ground. I understand getting the entire population of the world to turn to a plant-based diet is a hopeless endeavor. People will always want to eat meat and someone will provide this product. I am also truly disgusted when I see the videos animal rights activists’ post when they gain access to such farms.

If we take a Libertarian and Objectivist point of view, I think the inevitable conclusion is there will always be such farms but that animals should not be tortured and brutalized while they are living their short lives. When videos come out showing horrific abuse of animals the owners and operators of the facilities always express outrage but I find words to be largely meaningless. I want to see action.

That brings me to the point of this article. How can the owners and operators of Intensive Animal Farming Facilities and Animal Rights Activists work together in a pragmatic way to reach some reasonable solution? This is important. It must be remembered when the two sides attack one another this takes time, effort, and money. These things could be channeled into productive activities that make a difference.

The simplest solution is for Animal Rights Activists to purchase, install, monitor, and maintain cameras at various points in the facilities. If the owners of such farms truly are concerned for the welfare of their animals, as they express time and again, they will have no problem with such a system. It costs them nothing and ensures workers are being monitored for abuses to animals that certainly affect production.

It will also help the public make informed decisions about their purchases. If I can go online and watch how the animal is being treated at the farm before and during slaughter that helps me feel good about my purchase. If I know the animal is reasonably well-cared for and not being tortured, I am happy to spend my money on the product. I imagine that I’m not alone in this feeling. If I knew that an animal was horribly abused before getting to market, I would probably not make the purchase. This ripple effect causes those farmers who practice treating their animals with respect gain market share.

This changes the Intensive Animal Farming industry as a whole. If people are well-informed in their purchasing decisions and farmers who treat animals well are rewarded, then the farmers who have less healthy practices are driven from the business.

This is a desired result. It is good for the ethical farmers, it is good for the purchasing public, and contributes to the welfare of the animals themselves. I don’t think anyone would have an objection to this outcome except those who enjoy abusing animals. Let us not pretend that such people do not exist and are not attracted to jobs that allow them to carry out their perverse desires. They must be curtailed.

From my perspective, the important thing here is to try and work together to come up with solutions to problems rather than simply attacking one another. I find that ideological differences can be overcome when you are willing to examine practical solutions and work with each other. I also believe when you refuse to engage in such compromise you are setting yourself up for long-term disaster.

Neither the Intensive Animal Farming industry or the Animal Rights Activists can truly win this war alone. They need each other.

Tom Liberman

Pay Frank Giaccio for Mowing the Lawn

Frank GiaccioThere’s a feel-good story making the rounds about a fellow named Frank Giaccio who wanted to mow the White House lawn. There is a lot of good in the story but there is one small thing that bothers my Libertarian sensibilities.

Giaccio mows local lawns in the Washington D.C. area and contacted the White House about his desire to perform the service for them. Someone read the letter and invited the young, he’s eleven-years-old, man out to do the job. He was loaned a mower by the National Parks Service and went to work.

I applaud Giaccio for his entrepreneurial spirit and his eye toward publicity. I congratulate the White House and the Parks Service for setting up the event. The young man got a personal visit with the president. All this is great. However, what he didn’t get was paid.

I understand the publicity about the event was worth more to Giacco than any small remuneration, but I’m telling you if I had been president, I would have insisted on paying his normal fee. That’s the message I think is missing in all of this. I’m reminded of the events of Atlas Shrugged when Dagny Taggart and Jon Galt go sightseeing in The Valley. They rent a car from a friend. It’s a small but important moment in the long novel. They don’t borrow the car, they rent it. When services are rendered, payment should be given. If you do something for someone, even a friend, they should pay you for your efforts.

This is the heart of capitalism.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think this is some major transgression by the White House, the Parks Service, or even young Giaccio. I’m not triggered. I just think it would have been a good lesson to insist on paying the lad. He did the job, pay him.

Tom Liberman

Investment Advice from the Comments Section

investment adviceI’m not exactly sure what it is that makes people think they are financial wizards but there is an inordinate amount of bad investment advice in the comments of every financially orientated story that make its way into the news. Generally, one person starts off with solid advice about Index Funds, finding good companies, buying a reasonable amount compared to your savings, trusting a good advisor, and what not. Then come the replies.

The stories themselves are usually, but not always, filled with good advice. Beware any story that is sponsored. Other than that, it’s usually solid investment strategies. Make sure you keep enough cash on hand to survive for six months if you lose your initial investment. Avoid the small caps and absolutely stay far away from microcaps. Talk to a financial professional and heed her or his advice. Keep your portfolio varied with a mix of different investments so as to avoid disaster if one sector is badly hit. Mix investments with growth and hold stock and be aware of your retirement date.

Anyway, all good advice. The problem with all this good advice is there is no get rich quick plan. Naturally, most of the advice from the comments section involves making a lot of money quickly.

There is a strong, mythical almost, and unfounded belief that precious metals are a good investment. They are not. A small foray into such is not a disaster but they pay no dividend and offer little growth potential, only sharp swings which is pretty much a guessing game.

Another tip I see frequently is to get out of the market now! This strategy is apparently employed by many people and it is disastrous. The idea is you sell all your stocks for cash when you suspect the market is going down and then rebuy after it starts to go back up again. The problem with this strategy is the same as with precious metals but even worse. You don’t know when the market is going up or down. No one does. It’s purely a guess. Maybe you’ll get lucky once or twice but on average you’ll lose because the market generally goes up. In addition, you pay fees to sell and then repay when you repurchase. If you just held the whole time it’s likely your investments would have grown and you won’t have paid any fees.

I also see lots of advice on how to make millions buying microcap stocks. These are often called penny stocks. The idea is you can buy a million shares of some company and if it goes up by fifty cents you make a lot of money. The problem with these companies is they are often highly manipulated by shady dealers. Basically, a single investor buys the stock very low, plants a bunch of false information, pumps some of their own money back into it as it rises, and then sells when it reaches a particular height. The issue here is the average investor is often locked out of early transactions, they occur before others are even given the opportunity to buy. Thus, the vast majority of investors buy high and sell low while the manipulator does the opposite.

Then there is the derision for those who give sound financial advice. Anyone, like me, daring enough to tell people to avoid precious metals, commodities in general, a high-turnover strategy, in and out, and microcaps is immediately assaulted as being stupid and wrong. Therefore, there becomes an impression that the majority of people are advocating a particular strategy and it must be the best one. It is not.

Like a lot of things in life, there is no simple answer. Anyone who insists that you can get rich, solve a complex problem, or improve your physique with this one easy step is almost certainly lying in order to get you to behave in a way that benefits the liar. Be aware.

That being said, it’s your money to spend how you want and everyone who invests foolishly puts money into the market. This money slowly and steadily enriches me and other wise investors.

Now you know.

Tom Liberman

Jeff Sessions, Hawaii, Stupidity, and Humor

jeff sessionsI wasn’t planning on writing about Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his comment about being amazed that a judge in Hawaii could put a hold on an Executive Order. Then he tried to pass the entire thing off as a joke, complaining that no one has a sense of humor any more.

So, anyway, now I’m going to comment. This strategy of covering up for a stupid statement by pretending you are joking is a clear indicator of lack of character. Sessions said something stupid in two ways. He referred to Hawaii as an island in the pacific as if that made if somehow less of a state, then he stated amazement over a point of law that he should well understand, he being the top law-enforcement officer in the United States.

If Sessions parents had taught him a little something called personal responsibility he would have handled his statement differently. He would have admitted that the word amazed was improperly used. Perhaps he doesn’t like the fact that we have a system of checks and balances in the United States but he certainly should not be amazed by it. He was also clearly making a derogatory statement about Hawaii and the judge in question. He should have apologized. That’s what a man of character would do.

It’s not up to me to speak for Sessions. He can speak for himself. However, I do get to judge a person by their words. Again, the original statement was rude and he probably misused the word amazed. I’m angered by his trying to pretend he didn’t make a mistake at all. That he didn’t insult the state of Hawaii.

I said something wrong, insulting, and stupid. To cover up this fact, I’ll pretend I was telling a joke. Shame on you for not having a sense of humor. Nope, not shame on me. Shame on you for a complete lack of personal responsibility.

This seems to be the standard way people excuse their mistakes these days. Well, it’s not really a mistake, I was just telling a joke, and it’s your fault for not getting the joke. I hear it all the time in conversations with friends, the highest levels of political discourse, from various media sources, sports figures, and on and on.

The attempt is to change the course of the conversation away from your misstatement. Rather than admit a mistake, it’s better to attack your opponent with whatever weapon you have available. Accusing someone of not having a sense of humor forces them onto the defensive. I do too have a sense of humor. I like to laugh. Suddenly we’re no longer talking about the original statement. We’re talking about my lack of humor.

It would be pleasant if people had the character to admit mistakes. It’s one of the most telling things you can learn about someone. When they make a mistake, do they admit it or do they attempt to cover it up by accusing you of lack of humor? You can’t change them. Sessions is the man he is, there is nothing I can do about it. The only person I can change is me. I now understand Sessions is the sort of fellow who won’t admit a mistake.

Good to know.

Tom Liberman

Lots of Hate for Julia Stephenson on Being Too Beautiful to be Faithful

julia-stephensonIn case you’re not fully aware, the Internet is filled with people willing to express their opinion. In the case of Julia Stephenson that opinion is almost universally negative. Stephenson wrote an article for the Daily Mail in which she lamented her physical attractiveness led to unfaithfulness and the end of her marriage.

As you can well imagine, the comments generally lashed out at her for not being particularly attractive and for laying the blame of her failed marriage on her beauty rather than the choices she made.

I decided I’d read her original article and get a feel for what she wrote. Not surprisingly the headline summations don’t really tell the real story. Yes, Stephenson blames her blossoming and the attentions of handsome men for the end of her marriage but she also accepts responsibility for it.

What’s interesting to me is the complete lack of objective reality that most of those commenting display. Someone who is good-looking is absolutely going to have more temptations to be unfaithful than someone who is less attractive and those temptations will be with people, well, more tempting.

I’d recommend reading Stephenson’s original article all the way through for it is not nearly as shallow or delusional as the headlines suggest. However, what I’d like to address is something called the Moralistic Fallacy. This fallacy is behind much of the criticism of Stephenson.

The idea is:

It is wrong to leave your spouse because someone else more attractive is suddenly available. Therefore it does not happen.

The only reason Stephenson left her husband is because she chose to do so. Her blossoming, gaining confidence, and having men of a social station and appearance that never before looked at her giving her attention had no bearing on her choice to end her marriage and engage in a series of short-term relationships.

This is simply people pretending that reality does not exist because reality is unpleasant. Certainly Stephenson chose to end her relationship and bears the responsibility for doing so, which she admits in her article. But it is clear that when suddenly presented with opportunities not available earlier, we all face difficult temptations. Certainly some resist, many do not.

I’m saying it’s absolute nonsense to pretend that changing circumstances do not influence behavior.

Stephenson left her husband for several reasons. One of which is that she had new opportunities available to her that she did not when she married him. It is not the only reason, of course. But it is certainly one of them and to pretend otherwise is to engage in a Moralistic Fallacy.

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Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Gray Horn
April 2017 Release: For the Gray

Breezewood PA Clashes with the Objectivist Idea of Self-Interest

breezewood-paSelf-Interest. That’s the mantra of this Objectivist. When I act in my own self-interest I help those around me. Now I read about the interstate near a place called Breezewood, Pennsylvania and it brings the philosophy into question.

Let me explain. Breezewood is a community that exists largely because there is a connecting road missing. Highway I-70 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike almost intersect at Breezewood … but they don’t. The reason they don’t is because travelers who want to get from one interstate to the other can’t do so without exiting one, driving through town amidst an almost constant traffic jam, and arriving at the other.

Without this little traffic jam the city would probably not exist. People would simply transit from one highway to the other without stopping. Some would stop for gas or a bite to eat certainly, but most would go merrily on their way. There is plenty of blame to go around.

Government regulation prevented tax dollars from building the interchange because one road was a toll road and the other was not. That regulation was removed eventually but the loop through Breezewood was already built by then. The Congressman from that district prevented any construction for years.

It’s clear millions of dollars and tens of thousands of hours of driving could easily be eliminated and yet it doesn’t get done because the people who live there don’t want it done. It’s in their interest not to have the interchange.

Where does that leave this objectivist? The people of Breezeway are doing exactly what my philosophy says they should do. Act in their own self-interest. In doing so they are inconveniencing many, many more people. They are wasting time and money. They are causing unnecessary pollution. What they are doing clearly helps those immediately around them but hurts the vast majority of people who travel that part of the country.

I’m all for the people of Breezewood doing what they think is in their best interest but where are the politicians from Pennsylvania and the United States? It’s in their interest to build that interchange and save a lot of people a lot of hassle. Yes, jobs will be lost in Breezewood. People will suffer. That’s the nature of the world.

The problem here isn’t objective self-interest, it’s the lack thereof. Far more people suffer because the people of Breezewood are acting in their interest. The solution. The people of Pennsylvania and the surrounding states need to elect officials who will solve the problem. They are the one’s not acting in their own self-interest.

It’s not always easy to be self-interested. The people of Breezewood live together, vote together, have a common issue. Those who need the interchange do not. It is more difficult for them to act in unison. I admit it.

We live in an age where people can share information and causes at the click of a button. With the right leader and a strong voice that interchange would be built. I still believe in self-interested objectivism but it’s not always easy.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Gray Horn
Next Release: For the Gray

I know I shouldn’t but …

say-what-you-meanOne of my Facebook friends just shared a post from one of her friends that started off with the following sentence: I know I should not … but I can’t help myself.

What a coward.

I am using the word coward intentionally and I mean it. I am not being sarcastic. I am not trying to tell a joke. I am not saying something I know I shouldn’t but doing it anyway. Why? Because I am exhibiting a character trait called personal responsibility. I am standing behind my words and saying what I want without pretending that I’m not saying it. I’m not a coward.

I’m ranting a little bit today because this business of “I was being sarcastic”, “I was just kidding”, “I was telling a joke”, “I know I shouldn’t but …”, “No offense but …”, are all cowardly and dishonest. Using such words demonstrates a complete lack of character.

If you know you shouldn’t be saying something, I’ve got a recommendation. Hopefully you can figure it out.

If you say something nasty and vile about someone that turns out to be false I’ve got some advice for you. Apologize. Don’t claim you were joking.

I’m not saying that a joke never goes awry because sometimes it does. I’m just suggesting people take responsibility for their words. Don’t preface it with “I don’t mean to be insulting but …”, “No offense intended but …”.

Those are the words of cowards. People who don’t have the courage of their conviction. If you don’t like my opinion then let me know and tell me why with good arguments. If I’m wrong, I’ll apologize. That being said, this post represents what I meant to say. It is not a joke. It is not something I know I shouldn’t say.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Gray Horn
Next Release: For the Gray

Treadmill for a Legless Person a Bad Thing? Price is Right

danielle perezThere’s an interesting little news story making the rounds about an episode of the game show The Price is Right where a double-leg amputee won a treadmill as part of her prize package. Apparently some people were upset by this although, judging by the comments, the majority of people don’t have a problem with it.

The game show issued a perfectly satisfactory explanation and I’m not sure I need to elaborate much upon it but I did want to discuss the idea that some people found the episode uncomfortable and consider their point of view, or at least the rationale behind it.

The prize, of course, was determined long before the contestant was chosen. There is no way the show can match every prize to every contestant. I would imagine many of the contestants simply sell their prizes in order to pay for the taxes on the earnings so it’s rather pointless to worry about what the prize is to begin with.

The contestant, Danielle R. Perez, seemed enthusiastic about the prize and made no mention of the fact that a treadmill wasn’t the most appropriate prize for a double-amputee and the host also made no mention of the seeming incongruity. But the real question is why were people upset?

Do people get upset when a man wins a product generally designed for a woman or vice versa? What was it about this particular episode that got people thinking?

It’s my opinion that people generally want to be good, they want to be helpful. It makes us feel better about ourselves when we do something nice. The idea here is that people came to an erroneous conclusion, Perez was in need of help or sympathy. She wasn’t. She’s just fine the way she is and happy with the prizes.

I don’t think it’s a bad thing to want to be nice to people and to help those suffering from real harm. That attitude is one of the good parts about being a human being. But it becomes a bad thing when we try to help people who don’t need it for the sole purpose of making ourselves feel better.  It’s quite clear that Perez didn’t need anyone to help her. People are trying to do so largely because it makes them feel better about themselves.

This is a difficult thing to fully grasp. We want to be good people and do good things and thus we seek out ways to affirm our goodness. In this era of instant communication people use Twitter and other social media platforms to show the world how wonderful they truly are. They stick up for the downtrodden by spending a few seconds writing a Tweet and Liking a post but they aren’t really a good person for doing it.

It’s not easy to examine our motivations deeply but I think the world would be a better place if we did. The next time you want to help somebody, take a moment to examine if that person actually need any help. Examine your motivation.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Black Sphere
Next Release: The Girl in Glass I: Apparition

Rush Limbaugh and the James Bond Controversy

idris-elbaHuge news story hitting the world right now!

There is talk of replacing Daniel Craig as master British Secret Service Agent James Bond. Craig has done a masterful job of bringing back the edge to 007 after the series turned rather comedic with Roger Moore and those who followed. I’ve loved Craig as Bond and I’d be sorry to see him go. So what’s the big controversy?

One of the actors being considered to replace Bond is Idris Elba. Elba is a dashed handsome fellow from England with a good history of movies and television credits to his name. So what’s the problem? Rush Limbaugh thinks Elba should be disqualified from the role because he is a black man. Bond, James Bond, is white you see, at least according to Limbaugh.

I’ll dispel with any suspense about my opinion on this one. The actor who does the best in the audition and who the casting director and the director of the film think will do the job should be awarded the part. Anyone who says anything different doesn’t believe in capitalism. I’m talking to you, Rush. Racism? Maybe. Dirty, filthy, anti-objectivism – absolutely! To suggest that Elba should be disqualified from the role regardless of his ability to play it makes my blood boil! Out, out foul villain. Not in my house.

People argue that Bond is a fictional character and thus open to interpretation. Not relevant. I don’t care if it is a historical character. If a black man kills in an audition for Eleanor Roosevelt he should get the role. If a white man destroys in an effort to depict Ghandi, he should get it. Oh wait, he already did (well, half-white). If a ginger-haired, fair-skinned woman is best as Nelson Mandela then so be it. Anyone who says differently will face my wrath!

This is what Ayn Rand is talking about when she writes Atlas Shrugged. This is a meritocracy. This is the way the world should be. Whoever does something best should be rewarded. Limbaugh shows us here that he doesn’t believe in Rand, he doesn’t believe in capitalism, and that he is certainly not an Objectivist.

I see this so clearly. I know I’m right. I know Limbaugh and anyone who agrees with him is wrong. Dead wrong. That is the kind of thinking that holds back a society. Maybe we shouldn’t hire someone who does the best because they are a devout evangelical. Nope. Maybe we shouldn’t hire a woman to be head of our security department because women aren’t qualified? My advice? Hire the person best qualified under any and all circumstances. It’s your security!

I don’t even know what else to say to make my point. Hire the person best qualified. Period. Anything else is wrong.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Black Sphere
Next Release: The Girl in Glass I: Apparition

Is a Boy with Long Hair a Bad Thing?

English Boy 1871I just read an interesting article written by a mother whose son prefers long hair and is often mistaken for a girl. My own opinion is that young boys and girls haven’t begun hormonal changes and are largely the same from a physical standpoint anyway, so who cares? I expected the comments to be along the same lines and I was sorely surprised.

It appears that a healthy percentage of people think it’s wrong for a boy to look like a girl when young. That long hair on a boy is a bad thing. I wonder what they would make of the fact that until modern times it was pretty common to put boys in dresses until they were older. I suppose nowadays we’d be criticizing mothers who did such a thing as turning their children gay. At least that’s what seemed to be a fairly widespread point of view among those commenting. That and the poor boy would be traumatized for life.

I think the problem largely rests with a sexualized society in which people apparently judge a young child by the length of their hair. It’s ridiculous because they are merely children. As I mentioned earlier, hormones have yet to kick in. Except for a boy’s penis and a girl’s vagina there’s hardly an outwardly observable difference between the two. You’d pretty much have to do a blood test to see the difference. They are interested in things that interest children. Sexual roles aren’t part of the equation and when we try to force them on these children I don’t think we’re doing them a service.

Be a man? Girl’s are supposed to be pretty? How about be a child! Enjoy it. Play with your friends. I can’t believe that forcing a young male child to look like an adult man is good for his long-term mental health. It’s society that is somehow embarrassed by a boy who looks like  girl or a girl who looks like a boy. The reality is they pretty much look the same until hormones begin to turn them into adults.

I’m reminded of the recent incidents where a man smacked a two year old boy for wearing a pink headband that belonged to his mother and then verbally abused the woman and the airport brawl where a drunken traveler attacked a man for wearing a pink shirt.

The problem is not with the child, it’s with the person who has an issue with long hair or a ribbon. How many boys with older sisters didn’t play dress-up or wear their mother’s heels and clomp around the house? It’s not a matter of gay or straight, boy or girl, man or woman. It’s a matter of pre-pubescent child.

We are far too interested in other people’s business in this country and the politicians we elect reflect that misguided ideology. Back when men were men, as we like to say, no one gave two rats asses about a boy wearing a dress and having long hair. No one! It doesn’t make us more manly to care about it now, it reveals our own insecurities as a society. Our own paranoia and fear.

It seems the more we care about things that just don’t matter the less we care about important things. That can’t be good.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery Fantasy with a Libertarian Edge
Purchase The Broken Throne today!
The Black Sphere Coming Soon!


Heddon Street Kitchen No Shows – Rude and Rude

Heddeon Street Kitchen and Gordon RamsayThere’s an interesting story in the news this evening about celebrity Chef Gordon Ramsay and the opening night for his new London restaurant.

On opening night his restaurant endured 100 no shows out of a total of 140 bookings. The inference that Ramsey makes is that a rival restaurateur was behind all the false reservations.

When I perused down to the comments, as I always do, I anticipated a lot of people expressing their joy and this comeuppance for Ramsay. The reason I suspected as much is because Ramsay comes across as arrogant and cruel on his various television shows. He yells at young chefs and calls them names when they fail to prepare a dish to his standards. He is harsh and abrasive to say the least.

According to those who know him, this is somewhat of a facade to generate ratings and interest in his various restaurants. I don’t have any doubt that Ramsay is somewhat of a perfectionist who doesn’t tolerate stupidity. He also seems very loyal to those who are good at their jobs and it is well-documented that he has helped other chefs in their careers. So when I got to the comments I was prepared for the worst.

I was quite surprised that the comments were largely along the same line as my thoughts on the subject. Whoever pulled this “prank” is a selfish prick. In addition to hurting the owner of the Restaurant they also financially hurt every employee. Ever person who worked very hard to get that place open on that night and was hoping to be rewarded for their hard work. That’s what a Libertarian like myself believes is one of the most important societal events. People who plan, work hard, and accomplish something must be rewarded.

It’s entirely possible the new restaurant will fail. Perhaps Ramsay was counting on his reputation to carry Heddon Street Kitchen to success and he cut corners. On the other hand, it’s entirely possible the restaurant will be a great success. That the employees of that restaurant will go on to create their own dining establishments. That they will learn from Ramsay what it takes and eventually create dozens of great restaurants; and thus we all benefit. That’s Objectivism.

This action, by whomever took it, was not a prank. It was a violation of everything a Libertarian holds dear. It was also theft and not just from Ramsay and his employees. There were surely many people who wanted to go that night but couldn’t because it was booked. They were robbed of a meal. They were robbed of spending their money willingly and happily.

If you want to beat Ramsay then open a better restaurant next door. That’s the Libertarian way. This? Rude and wrong. For shame!

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery Fantasy with a Libertarian Edge
Purchase The Broken Throne today!
The Black Sphere Coming Soon!

Do you want to be a Millionaire?

MillionaireThat’s the question that I saw posted on Facebook and the vehemence of my reaction surprised me. Fuck no.

I want to earn millions of dollars. I write my books and I want people to love them. I love writing them. I want people to read my books and understand the philosophical ideology behind them. That we make our destiny in this world of ours. That those who work hard and treat others with honor earn their millions. Don’t give me a million dollars because I picked a randoms series of numbers.

I want people to buy my books by the millions. I want movie studios to understand the power of the words I write and offer me millions, tens of millions of dollars because turning my books into movies will entertain countless fans and earn money for other people. I don’t want you to spend your $2.99 on my books to make me a millionaire. I want you to spend that money because you love reading my books. I want you to spend that money because the ideas of decency, fair-play, hard-work, personal responsibility, and independent action resonate with you.

I do not pursue millions of dollars. I pursue doing things I love. I pursue writing books I love. I pursue a fulfilling life. I pursue spending my time with interesting people who enrich my life.

This is what Ayn Rand was writing about and she was right. Howard Rourke did not pursue wealth. He pursued the glory of his craft. John Galt did not pursue millions nor did Dagny Taggert and Francisco d’Anconia. Those who think the point Rand made was that money is the motivator don’t understand her and they won’t understand this post.


No, I do not want to “be” a millionaire. I reject the notion out of hand. I want to earn millions, tens of millions, hundreds of millions. I want you to read my books. I want you to love reading my books as much as I love writing them.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery Fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Purchase The Broken Throne today!
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