Thursday, January 31, 2008


I've got nothing today. I hope the two people who look at this blog aren't too disappointed.

I can't believe Giuliani endorsed that pain-in-the-ass McCain.

-- Satan

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Ask Satan

Reader Übermilf writes, “Who would Satan like to see win the presidency?”

Dearest Milfesty,

It’s been a long and pretty sad day here in Hell.

I’m generally a little reluctant to make endorsements. In some cases they come out spectacularly well, such as the 2000 South Carolina Republican primary, but more often than not they don’t. Still, in response to your question I was ready to use this space to endorse my favorites in both parties: John Edwards in the Democratic party, and Rudy Giuliani in the Republican. But today, each of them withdrew from the race.

John Edwards embodies a degree of mental flexibility uncommon even in politicians. In his career as a trial lawyer, Edwards made his name and his money gaining spectacular punitive damage awards in medical malpractice lawsuits, doing his part to drive up the cost of malpractice insurance and health care. As a legislator and candidate, he’s altered his viewpoint, arguing for changes in tort procedures and affordable health care for the poor. This type of flexibility, being able to completely change one’s position up to 180 degrees in response to what helps you at the time, is invaluable to a president.

I think Rudy Giuliani’s record stands for itself, really. National security could not be safer than in the hands of a man who has run more show trials than anyone. On immigration issues, who has cracked down on the petty crimes committed by more immigrants? Who better to unite the country than a man who has been a Democrat, an Independent, a Republican, and run on the Liberal Party ticket? Who could have better relations with business than the man who set up huge public subsidies to the Yankees and in return is paid by them through his security consulting business?

Well, with both of these fine gentlemen out of the picture, I will have to reconsider my positions. At least the next-best Democratic candidate is obvious, though I think I shall not make an endorsement hastily after what happened today.

Sadly yours,

-- Satan

Have other questions or want advice from Satan? You can email them to Satan or post them in the comments for this blog entry.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Today's Quote

In honor of today’s faux Democratic primary in Florida, here’s a quote from John McCain. Accused (accurately) of being a carpetbagger in the 1980 race for Arizona’s 1st congressional seat -- McCain’s first run for elected office -- he snapped back:

Listen, pal. I spent 22 years in the Navy. My grandfather was in the Navy. We in the military service tend to move a lot. We have to live in all parts of the country, all parts of the world. I wish I could have had the luxury, like you, of growing up and living and spending my entire life in a nice place like the first district of Arizona, but I was doing other things. As a matter of fact, when I think about it now, the place I lived longest in my life was Hanoi.


Just a quote, not an endorsement.

Ask Satan will return tomorrow.


Monday, January 28, 2008

Ask Satan

Reader Übermilf writes: “Is laundry avoidance a sin? I ask for a friend.”

Dear Übermilf,

First, I must say, I’m flattered that you chose to ask me. The Catholic Church would, of course, advise that you go across the way and direct your question to Father Bob. I’m pretty sure he likes cupcakes.

As I’m sure you know, there are multiple schools of thought – you might call them legal traditions – within the Catholic Church on how to determine if something is a sin or not. One simple approach is to ask whether anyone is harmed by your friend’s action, or in this case lack of action. Now, unless the dirty laundry is growing colonies of contagious disease or your friend’s children are getting beat up at school for wearing the same shirt with mustard stains three days in a row, it’s likely that putting off the laundry doesn’t hurt anyone. So by this logic, laundry avoidance is not a sin.

Of course, most thought in the Catholic Church doesn’t follow such libertarian tendencies. It would be far more common to interpret avoiding the laundry as an embodiment of Sloth, one of the deadly sins – albeit this example of Sloth would be only a minor venial sin.

A critical element of Catholic theology is the role of the conscience. Ultimately, in matters such as this, the conscience of the individual is the deciding factor. The conscience is informed by the teachings of the Church, and cannot go against points of infallible dogma, but much of the Church’s teachings are just the opinions of humans, and the individual has the right and obligation to follow his or her own conscience.

In this case, the bottom line is whether your friend feels guilty about not doing the laundry. If so, it’s a sin. This situation is technically known as a ‘mindfuck.’ An important corollary is, “If you have to ask, it’s a sin.”

Now, if you want my advice (not that you asked), tell your friend the hell with the laundry. She should do it when she feels like it and shouldn’t worry about it otherwise. Then it’s not a sin, see? And if her kids need clean clothes, you know what? I bet they’re old enough to learn how to wash and fold their own clothes. You know what else? You can pay other people to wash your clothes.

Take it easy,

-- Satan

Have other questions or want advice from Satan? You can email them to Satan or post them in the comments for this blog entry.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Ask Satan

Reader CTK writes: “I think the blogreading public would like to get Satan’s take on modern sustainable farming practices in the face of globalization, an overheating planet, and Britney.”

Dear CTK,

Ok, here you go.

Britney: I suppose I could give a smartass answer about client privilege or not commenting on ongoing negotiations, but the fact is I just don’t care. I have no opinion.

Overheating planet: Speaking professionally, I love global warming. It creates so many moral choices, especially lots of nice small ones. You think burning gas is bad for the world but you still drive your SUV? Those are the little things that add such nice flavors to your soul. Tasty. And global warming isn’t just about seasoning – it’s got the big bold flavors too. The industrialized world was built up on cheap coal and oil, but now, you see, you know better, you’re going to have international climate treaties and convince China and India that shouldn’t dam their rivers and burn their sulfurous coal as they try to do the same. Oooh, moral indignation, and, yes, a little bit of racism. Good with a nice chianti.

Now, for me professionally, it doesn’t really matter whether the earth is getting warmer or colder, or whether humans did it or not. It just matters what people believe. So unfortunately, the people who sincerely don’t believe the world is heating up overall aren’t worth anything to me. Stupidity has no flavor. (Of course, there is willful ignorance – that’s not a bad taste.) “But it’s been getting colder here!” Such a nice educational system, people can’t tell the difference between a local measurement and a global average over many local measurements – but that’s another story altogether.

Now, the real questions are these: is it your fault, and can you do anything about it? The first one can legitimately be argued, unlike the fact of warming itself. There’s pretty strong evidence that greenhouse gases cause global warming. There aren’t legitimate scientific grounds for challenging the existence and sign of the effect any more. But the size of the effect is open to doubt. A lot of climate models predict much more warming than we’ve actually seen, some predict less. Climate science can’t prove that all the observed warming is caused by humans, only that some is. And hey, the world has had much bigger temperature changes in the past without humans to blame.

Now, from a policy point of view, the remaining ambiguity doesn’t matter, or shouldn’t. If there was actually something politically feasible that could be done about it, there’s more that sufficient cause to do it. But I’ve known you humans a long time, and it’s just not going to happen. Collectively, you just don’t have the resolve. The $500 barrel of oil will cut gas consumption more than any government policy, even in California. Of course, it will also make a lot of new sources of oil financially viable. Heh. By the way, are you sure that if you try to make people pay even a fraction of the environmental cost of the energy they use, you won’t lower their quality of life more that global warming ever will?

I think, in the end, you’re all just going to adapt to changing climate, wringing your hands all the while. Meanwhile, I’ll enjoy how your souls taste.

I’ll save the farming question for next time.

Stay warm,

-- Satan

Have other questions or want advice from Satan? You can email them to Satan or post them in the comments for this blog entry.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Welcome Back

Welcome back to my blog.

Really directed just at myself, I think. I doubt a blog with only two posts both over four months ago actually has any readers.

Well, if Ubermilf can blog every single day, maybe I can manage once a week at least. Tell me, hypothetical readers, what would you like to see here? An “Ask Satan” advice column? The usual blog fodder of random things I see that amuse me? Satan’s football picks? Explanations of how it all really works, from an insider’s perspective? My own comments on the high school reunion I went to over two months ago with Ubermilf and CTK?

Let me know.