What logic should not make sense but does anyway?

Rules of inference and symbolic logic.

Take, for example, the following argument with 1 as the original premise, and 2 through 5 as rules of inference:

  1. A
  2. A or ~B · addition
  3. ~B or A · commutative
  4. ~(~B) → A · material implication
  5. Therefore, B → A · double negation

Now replace A and B with the following statements: A = apples taste delicious, and B = Batman exists. Let’s translate the above argument:

  1. Apples taste delicious
  2. Either apples taste delicious, or it’s not the case that Batman exists
  3. Either it’s not the case that Batman exists, or apples taste delicious
  4. If it’s not not the case that Batman exists, then apples taste delicious
  5. Therefore, if Batman exists, then apples taste delicious

It makes no sense. But it follows the rules of logic.

Should a 15-year-old girl be able to carry a weapon to defend herself in case of being attacked? If so, what should she carry?

Yes. A 15-year-old girl should carry anything permissible and that she feels confident using. I’ll guess that at 15, her options probably range from a pocket knife to collapsible baton or pepper spray.

Of course, permissible limits to where she is and what rules apply. If she’s going to say that criminals don’t follow the rules because they’re criminals and will carry whatever they want anyway, I agree. She’ll just have to weigh the risk-reward of her situation between protection against violence versus protection against legal action.

In addition to carrying a weapon, she should realize that everything is a weapon. She should carry several friends with her, a cell phone, sobriety, awareness, alertness, mindfulness of likely threats, backup transportation, a quick exit plan, several contingency plans, a well-rehearsed set of responses to the threats she’ll most likely face, and her dad and his friends carrying weapons.

It sounds overboard, but hey, I have a 15-year old daughter. I want her to have every advantage in coming back home to me. If she’s not allowed to carry a weapon, I’ll carry it for her. And if I’m not allowed, a real dad would carry anyway to do everything he can to protect her.

If I enlist, what must I do to become an officer? And how long would it take?

Depends on the route, but at least a few years while you complete (or get close enough to) a bachelor’s degree. I’d say it depends on whether you’re active or reserve, whether by an officer you mean W-grade or O-grade and on which of the four officer programs if you mean O-grade.

Generally speaking, if you’re on active duty, either the military will send you to college, or you’ll finish it on your own. If the military sends you through some commissioning program like ROTC, awesome. But then you owe some years after that.

If you finish a four-year college degree yourself, it’ll cost you money and sleep, and you’ll still need to complete the equivalent of OCS.

Whether active or reserve

I’ll presume that you’re starting from basic and not entering the military (as some do) later in life and with an advanced degree, but who just want to do their time. I’ve known of Soldiers in the Army (for example) with law degrees, medical degrees, other doctorate-level certification, who said, “Forget all that. I want to be a Private (E-1).” Oh, they exist.

If you just graduated high school and have successfully entered the military at Private (E-1), then congratulations. You made it. If you’re on active duty, good luck. It’ll be difficult but not impossible to complete a four-year degree while juggling your workload.

I did so as an active duty U.S. Marine, enlisted, Sergeant (E-5). I don’t believe I could’ve finished without stopping while as a junior enlisted Marine.

If you’re in the reserves, I think you’d have an easier time. But that depends on what you’re doing when you’re not drilling or conducting annual training (AT).

There exist four types of commissioning programs, which I’ll get to below. One type is a direct commission, which usually means doctors or lawyers. Direct commission means no equivalent of boot camp to commission. In the Army Reserves and Guard, one can direct commission from enlisted to officer without being a doctor or lawyer.

Whether W-grade or O-grade

There exists a high school to flight school program, that will, if you succeed, bring you into the Army as a Warrant Officer (W-1) and a helicopter pilot. I think it sounds awesome.

But if you’re already an E-1, it’ll take some years to go Warrant Officer, and it depends on the job. Most military jobs require between 4 years to 8 years to go Warrant. I knew a Specialist (E-4) who got accepted into flight school on his second application, and he was only in year three of his military career.

If you mean O-1/O-1E (Second Lieutenant or Ensign), it’ll take a few years. Depending on current policy and the commissioning program, you don’t have to have a bachelor’s degree. You can commission with an associate degree, but with those programs, the rule is that you must soon finish a bachelor’s degree.

Four commissioning programs

There exist many different names and different programs, and they vary per branch. Generally, there exist four categories of commissioning programs: direct commission, Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), Officer Candidate School (OCS), and the five service academies (West Point, Annapolis, Colorado Springs, New London, and Kings Point).

Direct commission

Usually for doctors or lawyers, but open to other jobs in the Reserves or Guard. There have also existed (although very rare) battlefield commissions, where enlisted members have been commissioned on the spot.


Many four-year colleges offer the program. You’re probably better off attending ROTC before joining the military.

If you just arrived at your unit and serve on active duty, your unit will seem reluctant to release you to attend an ROTC program, such as Green to Gold in the Army, but it could be an option. By the way, once there, you could possibly ride ROTC out through a master’s degree.

I remember that the Marine Corps had a few programs available to active duty Marines, such as MECEP, which serve as the equivalent of ROTC programs. The Marine Corps makes it tougher for Marines to commission than for civilians off the street. Why? Don’t know. So I commissioned into the Army. I get paid the same.


This is the route I took. The Air Force calls it Officer Training School (OTS). You typically already need at least a bachelor’s degree to attend. It’s officer boot camp.

Service academies

There exist five of them. You can attend any academy to commission into any service branch, but typically each academy leads into one branch; e.g., West Point into the Army.

If you’re already an E-1, you’ll need to jump through hoops to attend, and probably even more so than you had applied as a civilian.

I hope that answers your question. Good luck, brother.

User-friendly advertising

I’ve started using Udimi and it has helped, a lot. It’s a bit of a shortcut in advertising. This is how user-friendly the site is:

  1. Find a solo ad provider
  2. Give him the link you want to promote

A solo ad is an email promotion. So, a solo ad provider, or seller, is an email marketer. But you’re not paying per email; clearly, because that would be too easy to screw you over with, by just blasting out junk.

You’re paying for high quality clicks to the link you want to promote. You also don’t have to write the email (ad copy) yourself if you don’t want to. You may simply send the link and leave the ad copy to the seller. The better sellers have higher success rates.

You can filter the sellers by how successful they are. The Udimi platform also has a built-in tracking system to allow you to follow along with your seller’s progress.

If you choose a good product to promote, it’ll convert well. I added a link to the sidebar as well as here: Udimi.com (my affiliate link).

Good hunting,


What’s the craziest lesson you learned while deployed?

That being a liaison officer (and brown) at a U.S. Embassy is awesome!

The embassy

My job at that time required that I correspond with the host-nation military to authorize U.S. cargo through the country. Man… these guys never responded to my memos. Not once. Ever! I sent emails and faxed. Did I call? A few times in the beginning, but what for? No one ever picked up anyway.

I could’ve failed to apprise them of incoming cargo, and it probably would’ve gone through anyway. Because it’s America.

Here’s a rule of thumb that veterans secretly carry: The further away from the flagpole, the better. Or as the saying goes, “Cat’s away, mice will play.” And we played!

I didn’t wear my uniform once while there. I’d show up to work later and later, then leave earlier and earlier. I went from suit-and-tie, to no suit, to no tie. And I drove all over the place. I had this apartment that could fit like three families. It was huge.

I did all my work. I just didn’t bother volunteering for more. I had to check into a meeting via video teleconference once a week with my parent unit. I always said that the camera was broken so that I could sleep during the meeting.

Being brown

The security briefs would say to avoid talking to the locals. Eh. Apparently, they didn’t believe I was American anyway. And if you claim to be Canadian, it’s like being American but not as contentious.

But I didn’t even need to do that much. My family background is Spanish-Filipino, and I speak both languages (moderately well). In the Middle East, Filipinos are slave labor. They didn’t see me as worth anything anyway. And so, it was like I was too worthless to become a target.

In the U.S., if someone asks me, “Where are you from?”, he means, “Why are you not black or white?” Or, “What country are you from? Not what state.” Because apparently being brown disqualifies me from being American.

The funny thing is, the rest of the world seems to believe that, too.

What do most people not understand about our military?

Here’s a post I wrote for Quora.com last night. 9,800 views, 32 upvotes, and 1 share in 21 hours.

Most people don’t understand that if you play the game right, you could score big. Your chain of command will give you shit about going to medical, for example, but fuck that. Climb your own ladder.

Will you care what they think when you’re sleeping in and retired early, all while they’re out in the field or on staff duty? Maybe. While you imagine them saying must be nice, you can nod knowing that yes, it is very nice.

Super awesome benefits

  • Retirement before 20 years under Chapter 61, and still draw a military pension (2.5% x ret. base pay x years of service). With Ch. 61, you only need to score 30% disabled to trigger this benefit. And that measurement doesn’t affect the VA rating below.
  • VA disability, on top of that, at which 100% disability is a lot easier than you realize (from $3K/mo to $4K/mo). The answer to this test is Title 38 C.F.R. Part 4 for primary disabilities. There also exist secondary disabilities, which, if you research it, means that you can claim just about anything. Search Google for “easy VA claims,” for quick wins.
  • SSA disability, too, at which you can use your VA rating to support a claim (amount varies on employed years and number of dependents).
  • Continued medical coverage, kind of an obvious one, but very helpful.
  • Army Career Skills Program (CSP), lets you get out six months ahead of your end of active service, still get paid as if on active duty, and intern somewhere. Some of these approved places are at community colleges. Totally sham or at least something you want to do, versus have to.

Additional coolness

  • Post-9/11 GI Bill pays you BAH (the housing stipend), which varies by location but probably about $1.2K+/mo, and in effect, it pays you to go to school.
  • Unemployment compensation, it’s not a lot, but you’d probably say yes to it.
  • If you’re a female, for some reason, this is all that much easier. I’ve checked. Women score these benefits much more easily. If you’re female, don’t leave money on the table. Take it.
  • Get a four-plex with the VA Home Loan Guaranty, at 0% down, and rent out the other three units. Even more free money hacks by playing the game.

That’s quite a few sources of income you could collect on, for a very long time, without having to work a job much, if any, depending on what you choose. The first three mentioned above (retire, VA, SSA) you can pull off under 10 years, and net close to maybe $6K+/mo, depending on your family situation.

State-level and local-level greatness

Some more cool free tips while you’re playing the game. There are federal benefits. And then there are state benefits. States like Texas and Florida provide:

  • A homestead exemption, or no property tax on your primary residence, but only if the equivalent of VA 100%.
  • Free tuition for your children up through a bachelor’s degree. So, ha! No need to save for that if you score. But also, only if the equivalent of VA 100%.
  • Free licenses or permits, such as at national or state parks, hunting and fishing, and in some places riding public transportation. Disability rating to qualify for this, varies.

Why work if you don’t have to? If you want to, go for it. You can find veterans doing all these things. Play the game! There are plenty more hacks, but those are some of the biggest.

Ways to prepare for boot camp

I started contributing to Quora.com some time ago. Here’s a post I wrote today in response to Daniel Fidelis (username) asking for ways to prepare mentally for Marine boot camp.


Sun Tzu said that a commander wins a battle before ever stepping onto the battlefield; not through magic, but through preparation. Here are my own three tips to prepare to crush any military school:

How to prepare

  1. Create flashcards. Use for 30 min upon waking up, and 30 min before bed. There’s an academic portion. It’s no secret. Search the internet. Memorize as much as you can.
  2. Create a PFT chart. Use it twice a week; make it Wednesday afternoon and Saturday morning. You can find an app to calculate your score. The physical fitness test (PFT) consists of three parts: pullupssitups, and three-mile run. Take a PFT a couple times a week. Write it down. Yes. Write it down on paper, and put it on the wall. Try to beat your previous score each time.

    Expand your PFT chart beyond to include ruck marching. A good pace means 40+ lbs on your back, 1 mile every 12–15 min (or 4–5 MPH), for 6 miles. See if you can reach 12 miles in under 3 hours. Some tips on ruck marching: Cut your toenails and file them smooth. Wear two pairs of socks; one black dress liner inside, and one thicker green pair outside. Wear your socks inside-out, to point the stitches away from your feet. And here’s a secret to really give you an edge… set a habit and a safe route to ruck while barefoot. It’s dangerous. Especially with the extra weight you’re carrying. Be careful.
  3. Look for patterns of success. Read books, interview Marines, and watch YT videos. You’re not looking for individual tips. You’re looking for patterns in thinking that lead to success. I’ll guess that success in this case means passing boot camp the first time. Look for patterns that work. Look for patterns that don’t. I’d say that for the time being, anything beyond graduating and helping those beside you graduate, is a shiny object tempting you towards distraction. You may put that off for now. Everyone else’s philosophies about the military can wait until after you become part of the military.

Okay… do NOT read the below if you want to continue to keep the ideal view that the commercials sell. It’s a job. The job is brutal, rough, and aimed more at filtering you out than helping you succeed. These next tips are dirty, but real. Here are those patterns of success while in the middle of the shit:

Dirty but real · Patterns of success

  1. Remain invisible. Maybe you want to be the best. You definitely want to pass. The better you do at work, the more of it you’ll get to do – especially if it’s something undesirable. And you can only do so much. Don’t try to stick out too much; that means both avoiding trying to outshine others, and falling too far behind.

    This means, too, disappearing as soon as possible. It’s hard for work to find you when you’re not there.

    This also means keeping your mouth shut and downplaying all skill. Work will skip you when you’re not available, as well as when it believes you can’t do the work. However awesome you were outside of boot camp (or whatever difficult school you’re in), it doesn’t matter. Bragging will volunteer you for more work. Let others do the bragging, act impressed, and hold them accountable to their bragging by giving them the extra work. “Recruit Smith, you were a CrossFit champion before this. Since you’re the strongest one here, everyone needs you to carry the heavier ammo cans… And to wake up earlier to do [whatever]. Thanks, brother.”
  2. Sandbag (v.). Sandbagging means deliberate underperformance. Why do this? Uncertainty. Your instructors will push you to 110% knowing full well that you have miles to go. Can you sprint a marathon? Play the game. It is a game. And the game is a marathon.

    You don’t need to give 110% to pass; you just need to appear that way. Act the part. Look the part. Sandbagging means pacing yourself and not trying to burn out at each event, especially when you don’t know what the next event is or when it’ll happen. You’ll get smoked anyway. That’s why it’s boot camp.

    But never sandbag at the expense of someone else. He’ll notice and find a way to get back at you later.
  3. Volunteering… it’s up to you. I avoid volunteering for extra tasks at work, usually. In a training environment? If I hear, “Give me [X NUMBER OF] bodies!”, I come running to volunteer! Why? ’Cause it’s a game. Play the game. Sometimes the game is that everyone who did not volunteer gets punished with some nonsense. Playing makes it fun.

    Also, this is hard on your instructors, too. When you volunteer, it makes work that much easier for them.

A few more quick tips: Don’t expect anyone to thank you; not with words, but people will reciprocate your sincere efforts to help. Let go of trying to win first place at anything. If it happens, it happens. Remain optimistic. Any craziness you experience makes for a great story later. The crazier, the better the story.

Good luck.

Best affiliate program for active military

How to sift through the noise

If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth writing.

— Benjamin Franklin.

Hey, team!

I’ve switched over from Wix to WordPress. Wix proved way too slow, and not user-friendly. It’ll take a while to transfer all my previous blogs.

Book about active duty military side hustling

I’m writing a book on the topic and plan to upload to Amazon by my upcoming 38th birthday in mid-October. I started in July of this year, 2019.

About a half-dozen active military and veteran hustlers offered to contribute their stories. Most of them found success through real estate.

Of course, there exist plenty of other opportunities in other areas, such as e-commerce (physical products), info marketing (or simply digital marketing), local business, and personal services (such as gigs) that grow into something much larger.

Affiliate marketing while on active duty

Starting as an affiliate marketer can prove extremely rough. Google and YouTube will eventually reveal great info, but only after sorting through mountains of bullshit: insincerity, scams; irrelevant content; or flat out useless info.

Digital side hustling appeals to the active military life in that it fits so well. Of course, the fit will depend on what you like and what you understand.

What makes it so appealing? Well, given how busy we get, a digital product requires less overhead both in terms of the product on hand and in terms of relocating (e.g., PCS or TDY or even on leave). It’s digital. It’s location-independent.

The challenge

It’s confusing. Especially if you don’t feel inclined towards computers or connecting with digital technology. But even then, you probably use social media. So it shouldn’t feel too unfamiliar either.

To [very] briefly explain the typical affiliate business model: (1) Sign up with a vendor to obtain an affiliate link; (2) Promote that link by driving traffic to it.

Step (1) proves easy enough. Search for Amazon Associates, ClickBank, CJ Affiliate, for example. Or search Google for “affiliate networks.” Open an account and obtain an affiliate link in the form of a URL.

Step (2). If this came easy, I’d spend more time doing it than writing about it. Marketers shrug at the idea of driving traffic and instead frame it this way: identify an audience already a fan of the product or something similar, then present it where the audience already congregates.

Find, fix, finish, follow through

How do you find these congregations? If you search Google for “competitive intelligence tools,” you’ll find blogs that review websites such as Alexa, Buzzsumo, SEMrush or SimilarWeb. Some of these tools offer a freemium version – free, awesome, yet designed to encourage a higher paid version.

These tools let you analyze the traffic of a site you want to promote. Note that first, you must find something similar to your product. (Hint: Start with analyzing the traffic to your product’s website.) Use a tool like SimilarWeb to find similar sites.

From there, look for both the winners and losers. Find the sites with the best and worst traffic. Compare. Do more of what wins. Less of what doesn’t.

Ask how traffic found those sites. Some tools, like Adbeat.com, even show you the winning ads. Copy those. Well, not exactly; you don’t want to get in trouble. But you can find a freelancer through Fiverr.com or Upwork.com to create a similar enough ad.

Place your ad in the same places (the target congregations) that the winners do. There. You found what works, modeled it, and placed it where the data shows people are already viewing and engaging with it. No need to reinvent that wheel.

The typical model vs. long-term relationship

The front-end or short-term: If you setup ads that go to a sales page, with enough traffic, then you’ll eventually get a sale. The typical affiliate model ends right there. These sales will probably only occur one-time per consumer.

The back-end or long-term: Best practice in the industry consists of building an ongoing relationship; in particular, through building an email list. That means that as a consumer, you opt in with your email address in exchange for more.

Over time, the reader receives (hopefully) useful content, along with the occasional promotion. This allows a relationship to build. Trust to develop. As an entrepreneur and presuming that you are not an insincere asshole only trying to peddle useless garbage, the products you promote will prove relevant and helpful to the audience.

The affiliate program that I like

It took me a long, long while to find an affiliate product that I like and that would fit my schedule while serving on active duty. All of that above (setting up the front-end and the back-end), takes a lot of time and sophistication.

Yes, I feel dedicated enough to learn to do it. But what if I found an affiliate program that further narrowed my focus onto one thing. The program I found allows me (and will allow you) to focus on presenting to the congregation, or driving traffic. Full disclosure, these are two of my affiliate links:

For further transparency, the Ambassador Program, which I use, is not cheap. Along with it comes a suite of tools offered; also super amazing, but not necessary in focusing on traffic. No, it’s not cheap but it does fit my style and schedule, given my unpredictable work commitments.

It’s simple. But not easy. You wouldn’t want success to be easy anyway. It’s a great program. The business offers amazing training and tools that I also use.

If you think I’m full of shit and wrote this article only to serve as one long sales pitch, feel free to comment. =) And especially comment if you find better affiliate programs! We’re on this journey together. I’m open to better ideas.

Thank you! Love you, guys! Peace.

Sonicare toothbrush hacks

Hey, team!

I know I haven’t written in a while. I’m in the middle of writing a book, Side Hustling for Working Adults. It’s got a catchy subtitle, 11 chapters, and three appendices. As of today, I’m on chapter 5 and have total of 108 pages. Expect me to launch by 18 Oct. 2019.


Because this needs to get shared, especially if you care about your teeth. Also, the brush heads are expensive, and if you don’t change them every few months, they get gross.

I brush twice daily and in the picture above, I haven’t changed the brush head since this January. That’s about nine months and it still looks pretty good! So here are three hacks…


It comes with a hard plastic cover. The cover traps moisture and encourages yuck. Sure, it protects the brush head, but from what? If you leave the brush at home and your cats don’t jump on the counter to play with it, you can do without.


And, rest the brush with the bristles facing downward. Why? Gravity. It lets the moisture fall away from the brush entirely.

You’re thinking, “Well, so does standing it up.” Yes that does, but notice how the moisture flows down the brush head, and into the magnets where it connects with the Sonicare.

Try it for a few months. You’ll notice how much cleaner it stays.


If you do this, the brushing motion becomes 2x more violent. Or more efficient, seemingly.

If you do this while brushing, it seems to clean more powerfully. I don’t know whether it really does clean more powerfully or whether it simply makes twice the noise, but hey, it feels cleaner.

If you do this immediately after brushing, you’ll notice that it shakes out the trapped moisture. More so than if you simply left on without pressing your finger against the back of the stem.

Hope you found that useful. Your teeth will thank you.

I make work easier and more fulfilling for the next person

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