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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

New police procedural

As time went on, the story of the Michael Brown killing gradually changed. At first, the media quoted eyewitnesses who claimed either that Michael Brown was shot in the back as he was running away, or that he was shot when his arms were upraised.

However, the autopsy commissioned by the Brown family found that he had been shot from in front, not in back. One of the original eyewitnesses (Brown's partner in that convenience store robbery) turned out to have a previous conviction for filing a false police report.

The video from the convenience store robbery gave the lie to the "gentle giant" description which had circulated right after the shooting. And more than a dozen new witnesses came forward to say that the officer's account was correct: that Brown had reached into the police car to punch Officer Wilson, walked away, then turned around and charged him.

As these conflicting accounts began to emerge, the media started to lose interest in the actual evidence (though they still gave full coverage to the protests). But the shifting evidence didn't stop certain people from sticking to the original narrative. Among them is Al Sharpton.

At Michael Brown's funeral last week, Al Sharpton said "America, it's time to deal with policing," and "This will be remembered as the time of change," calling for "Congress to have legislation about guidelines in policing."

So, what exactly are the changes in store for the police? Given the way the incident seems to have gone down (and I emphasize "seems," as all the evidence isn't in yet), here are some of the guidelines Sharpton probably has in mind:

Police will no longer be allowed to ask pedestrians not to walk down the middle of the road, even if they're holding up traffic.

Police will no longer allowed to object when someone reaches in to the patrol car to punch them in the face and reach for their guns.

If a man charges them, police are no longer allowed to use their guns to defend themselves, even if the man is 6' 4" and 290 pounds.

And if by chance a policeman does defend himself, the governor of his state should call for a vigorous prosecution, regardless of whether the officer has been charged with a crime.

Ferguson has also set a wonderful precedent for the media to follow. At least one major outlet -- like CNN -- should print a map to the policeman's house for all to see.

Finally, justice.

Monday, September 1, 2014

What gets airtime, and what doesn't

There's been a lot written about Ferguson in the past three weeks. You're all familiar with the story, so I won't rehash it.

This is of course part of a larger pattern, of publicizing killings of blacks by whites (whether justified or not), and ignoring their opposite numbers. Which brings me to the point of this post -- numbers.

From The Color of Crime:

Of the nearly 770,000 violent interracial crimes committed every year involving blacks and whites, blacks commit 85 percent and whites commit 15 percent.

Blacks commit more violent crime against whites than against blacks. Forty-five percent of their victims are white, 43 percent are black, and 10 percent are Hispanic. When whites commit violent crime, only three percent of their victims are black.

Blacks are an estimated 39 times more likely to commit a violent crime against a white than vice versa, and 136 times more likely to commit robbery

Yet, to listen to the one-sided coverage of such incidents, one would think that we're still living in the Jim Crow South, with lynchings commonplace.

An equivalent (slightly more extreme) scenario:

As we all know, rape is primarily committed by males against females. It is also committed, not infrequently, by males against males, especially in prison. It is occasionally committed by females against females.

And on rare occasions, it has been committed by females against males, in the non-statutory sense, as Wikipedia explains here:

A study done by the CDC found that 1 in 21 men (4.8%) reported that they had been forced to penetrate someone else, usually a woman; had been the victim of an attempt to force penetration; or had been made to receive oral sex.

Two myths that men are not able to be raped by women include: Men always want sex, so women do not have to force themselves on men, and men must be aroused to have an erection. However, much like female erectile response, male erectile response is involuntary, meaning that a man need not be aroused for his penis to become erect and be placed in a woman's vagina.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, approximately 1% of those convicted of rape are female. (Of course, this includes female-on-female rape as well as cases of statutory rape).

So, it's safe to say that cases of female-on-male rape are a small minority of forcible sex crimes, and that all the "stereotypes" regarding such crimes are true. Even liberals -- actually, particularly liberals -- would agree that this popular perception is based on fact.

Now imagine for a moment that the media, for whatever reason, decided to only focus on female-on-male cases of forcible rape. Whenever such occurred -- and there probably are several such instances every year -- the media would descend on whatever town it occurred in, put it on the front pages for a few weeks running, write anguished editorials about the epidemic of female-on-male violence.

Meanwhile, the national media could just ignore the vast majority of cases where males are the perpetrators and females the victims.

After years of such coverage, some women might object. But every time a female complained publicly about the biased media, they could just be called sexist and shouted down.

Such coverage, and such perceptions, could rightly be termed intrinsically dishonest, could they not?

Friday, August 29, 2014

"Feminists are not just ugly, they're manly too!"

Chateau Heartiste isn't known for pulling punches. Although most wouldn't give voice to it, it's hard to argue with his observations about the results of a study measuring the testosterone levels of feminists vs. those of other women.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Spreading the good word

Last night I asked a friend who is a Middle East expert what he thought we should do about ISIS, what with their convert-or-die ultimatums, their killing of journalists, their intent to commit genocide against the Yazidis, and their desecration of sacred Muslim relics.

He shrugged helplessly and said the situation over there is as bad as he's ever seen it. He said they would have to be stopped eventually, and that Iraq would probably have to be carved up into three parts. The Kurds, in the north, will have oil. And the Shiites, in the south, will also have oil. But the Sunnis, in the West, will be left without oil. These ancient blood rivalries and the unequal distribution of wealth are why ISIS, essentially a Sunni movement, plans to capture the oil fields in the Kurdish north.

It was when I was driving home after dinner that it hit me: the only reason there is so much strife in Iraq is, they don't yet appreciate that their diversity is their strength!

All we need to do is go over and teach them this philosophy, which has worked so well here in the U.S. In fact, that's all we need to do all over the globe.

The Israelis and Palestinians will learn to coexist in peace, as soon as they realize that their diversity is their strength.

Ditto for the Ukrainians and ethnic Russians in the Ukraine. All their problems will be over, as soon as they get the good word.

The Chechnyans and Russians? Same simple solution.

All we Americans need to do is export our superior wisdom.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A hypothetical question about immigration

Yesterday's NY Times had an editorial titled Deported From the Middle of Nowhere, about the plight of the young illegal immigrants at our southern border. A few excerpts:

When the influx of young Central American migrants to the border erupted as a crisis this summer, President Obam correctly called it a humanitarian crisis….But the treatment of hundreds of these migrants in a makeshift detention center in Artesia, N.M., is appalling evidence that this promise was empty, according t a lawsuit filed Friday in federal District Court by a coalition of civil rights organizations…..

For weeks after the center was opened, there were no protocols that even allowed lawyers inside, raising fears that people may have been deported without representation at all…..The solutions are obvious: Mr. Obama news to suspend all deportations until he can create a system that meets the basic standard of giving a fair hearing to every detainee who expresses a fear of persecution. He should allow the 300 women and children who have already been deported to return and have their cases re-examined. 

Now, let's conduct a little thought experiment.

Imagine for a moment that these young immigrants were not of Hispano-Indian stock, but of European stock. Let's say, for argument's sake, that they were of German and Polish and Irish descent. And let's say that there was zero chance they'd join the Mexican Mafia or Nuestra Familia or MS-13, and that their loyalty would not be to La Raza. But, let's say that a few of their illegal brethren who had slipped over the border in the past had eventually joined the Aryan Brotherhood, Christian Identity, and the Ku Klux Klan. And let's say that when they did get their citizenship, instead of becoming automatic Democrats, they would almost certainly vote Republican.

Would the New York Times continue to see this invasion as a "humanitarian crisis?" Would they continue to agitate for the legal rights of these teenagers who weren't getting adequate legal representation? Would they demand not only an immediate suspension of all deportations, but also the return of those who have already been deported so that they could have their cases reexamined?

And what, for that matter, would President Obama's attitude be? Would he still be considering a blanket executive amnesty on humanitarian grounds?

Something to ponder.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Saw Sabotage last night. I'd been expecting just another dumb action movie, mindless entertainment for a Monday night. It wasn't bad. It had a nice, complicated plot with some unexpected twists. The dialogue was occasionally clever. And Arnold Schwarzenegger actually underacted, the first time I can ever recall seeing that.

The movie got mostly lousy reviews. gave it a 20% positive rating by critics, no surprise. The 37% rating by audiences was a little unexpected though: who goes to a Schwarzenegger flick about a group of rogue DEA agents expecting anything more than a shoot 'em up? (There was enough gore to sate the most bloodthirsty palate.)

But what I was most struck by were the two main female characters. In this strange, wondrous land called Hollywood, white policewomen evidently disparage their black male colleagues' masculinity, and intimidate big steroided up biker types. And female DEA agents evidently empty their machine guns clips into Mexican cartel members and then exult by pumping their fists in the air and bellowing with joy.

I watched the movie with an Afghanistan vet, who seemed to feel that this portrayal of swaggering, gun-toting females was, to paraphrase him, a tad misleading.

Poor guy. He must have just been with the wrong unit.

Verdict: worth watching, just for the insight into the Hollywood mindset.


I got the following comment this morning on the Robin Williams post: 

wow most of these comments are so venomous and hatefilled it makes me cringe and I bet most of you claim to be coos [good] christians. I'm so ashamed of all of you, try operating thru love and compassion. nobody knows what this person suffered thru and he was far more humanitarian than any of you hatemongers.

I replied:

Loving anonymous person --
One person's hatemonger is another person's truth teller.

And, after all, what are you doing here but being judgmental and condemnatory -- and hateful -- yourself?

By the way, I don't call myself a good Christian. I'm somewhere between atheist and agnostic. But it sure sounds to me as if you're "hatemongering" against Christians.

"Hate" is an interesting term. Liberals love to ascribe it as the motivating force behind anyone guilty of pattern recognition. This thought process seems to involve a lot of projection. I've known a lot of liberals in my life, and also a lot of conservatives. (I grew up surrounded by liberals.) And it's always seemed to me that most of the conservatives I've known have been polite and well-mannered, whereas the liberals were much more jeering, sneering, posturing, bilious types. There are certainly exceptions, but in my experience, they are usually just that.

(I'd bet good money that commenter is a liberal.)

To call someone a "hater" is an argument of last resort. It's a little like when an argument about affirmative action, race, and IQ breaks out and the liberal calls his opponent a "Nazi," or a "racist." Name-calling is what you do when you don't have the facts on your side. It's essentially an admission that you've lost the argument, and an attempt to intimidate your opponent into shamed silence. (Shame on you, for bringing up hate facts like that.)

Fortunately, more and more people seem to be catching on to this game. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Mystery of Baer supporter solved

The person who had been commenting on the Prison pen pals VII post about Fredrick Baer sent in another batch of comments on that post again recently.

The case for Baer's sociopathy is open and shut, as I detailed on that post and again here and here. But no matter how clearly I explained this, the commenter, who claimed to be a therapist, kept making ridiculous excuses for him, blaming all of his actions on crystal meth, and saying he was a caring and empathetic individual who was now doing wonderful work for children.

I eventually started to wonder about the commenter, so I asked what kind of therapist he or she was, and whether the commenter was male or female. (I had gradually gotten the sense that the commenter was female.)

The commenter wouldn't answer my questions, but instead lashed out at me. She called me a destructive sociopath, said I must have come from a bad family background, and even suggested I might be a murderer myself.

Right after this, another commenter wrote in, asking the first commenter if she were Baer's German girlfriend/pen pal. (Up until then, I hadn't heard about her.)

At that point, the scales finally fell from my eyes. That must be who this commenter is, and she obviously suffers from hybristophilia. (Think in terms of those unbalanced women who have been drawn to killers like Ted Bundy and Richard Ramirez, and who flocked to their trials and essentially become their "groupies.")

All this time, I was using facts and logic to convince this commenter that Baer was a sociopath, but I was basically talking to a crazy person. Which sorta makes me crazy as well, for thinking I could talk sense to her.

My other mistake was in assuming that when she said she was a "therapist," that she was a psychotherapist of some sort. She could be an aromatherapist, an occupational therapist, a massage therapist, or any number of other things. To call oneself "a therapist" if you're one of the latter, particularly in the context of a discussion of psychology, seems intentionally misleading; but I still shouldn't have made that assumption.

When I told my son that I had finally gotten the sense that the commenter was a woman, he laughed at me. "Of course it's a woman," he scoffed. "No one else could be that mushy-headed. It took you that long to figure it out? You're an idiot."

Guilty as charged.

But, she's not just any woman. She's a very special kind: a hybristophiliac.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

What kind of women do black men prefer?

Some of you may remember how, during the Presidential campaign of 2008, it was said that Barack Obama was a particular favorite among black women voters because he had chosen a real (i.e., dark-skinned) black woman to be his wife.

The fact is, most extremely successful black men, if they don't marry white, choose to marry light-skinned black women. It doesn't matter whether the men succeeded in politics, sports, entertainment, or business. It doesn't seem to matter whether the men themselves are light-skinned or dark-skinned; it doesn't seem to matter how much they dislike whites. They all want a wife with as much white blood as possible.

There are all sorts of questions that such an observation raises, not least among them: are blacks are themselves "racist" against darker-skinned blacks?

Note: the subject of this discussion is not black men who eschew black women altogether, like Tiger Woods or A-Rod or James Earl Jones. Nor is it black men who marry black early in their lives but then dump their wives and subsequently marry white women, like Sidney Poitier or Michael Jordan or OJ Simpson. Nor is it black men who get married before they become successful. The subject is black men who marry black women after they've become successful.

Here are some successful black men in entertainment:

Eddie Murphy with first wife Nicole:

Murphy with second wife Tracy Edmonds:

Don Cheadle and longtime partner Bridgid Coulter:

Ving Rhames and second wife Deborah Reed:

Idris Elba and baby mama Naiyana Garth:

Forrest Whitaker and wife Keisha Nash:

Jay Z with his (equally famous) wife Beyonce:

There are famous black actors, like Denzel Washington and Samuel L. Jackson, who have dark-skinned wives. But both of their marriages pre-dated their stardom, and both men seem to be the exception rather than the rule.

Athletes seem to follow the same pattern.

Mike Tyson with first wife Robin Givens:

Tyson with second wife Monica Turner:

Mike Tyson with third wife Lakhia Spicer:

The list of top athletes with light-skinned wives is far too lengthy to do any justice to here, but at least three-quarters of the time, whenever I see a picture of a famous black athlete with his wife, I'm struck by the pattern.

I don't blame any of these men for choosing those women; I actually find some of them attractive myself. The guys pictured above are neither political figures nor racial agitators. They are simply entertainers or athletes or who have been successful, and want to enjoy their lives. There's certainly nothing wrong with that.

But blacks who have made a career based partly on racial animus are another matter. Spike Lee is well known for his incendiary comments about race. Most recently he decried the white people who have been moving into Bedford Stuyvesant for ruining the character of the neighborhood. Did he marry a "real" black woman? Here he is with his wife:

Spike actually managed to find himself a black wife with blond hair.

Or how about Eric Holder, our Attorney General, who for years ignored the knockout game as not being worthy of his attention, but then, the very first time a white guy did it to a black man, brought federal hate crimes charges against him? (His other initiatives generally reflect that mindset.) Here's Holder with his wife:

Holder is Barbadian, or "Bajan," as they call themselves. (Holder was brought up mostly in New York, but was always conscious of his Barbadian roots.) In Barbados, the government is run by blacks, but they are mostly blacks with skin color the hue of Holder's. Upper class Bajans are careful to only intermarry with other light-skinned blacks.

Holder has famously said that after Trayvon Martin's death he sat his son down and had a serious talk with him once about how he should deal with the police, who will discriminate against him because of his skin color. Should dark-skinned blacks sit their children down and have a serious talk with them about how some light-skinned blacks like Holder subtly discriminate against them?

In cases like Lee's and Holder's, gravitating towards such extremely light-skinned spouses does seem a bit hypocritical. After all their fulminating against "racist" whites, it appears they are actually practicing some subtle "racism" themselves.

I'm not suggesting marriage should be a political statement -- it is, theoretically, a matter of love -- but the uniformity of choice of skin tone among successful black men does make a loud statement. (The fact that nobody is willing to talk about it in polite company makes an even louder statement.)

Question: if Barack Obama has a real black woman for a wife, then, by that definition, are all of the women pictured above merely fake black women?

My impression is, the only rich and famous black guys willing to marry a woman darker-skinned than themselves are gay guys who want a beard.

Monday, August 18, 2014

What type of women do lesbians prefer?

The feminist mentioned two posts below scolded me about how the average woman is programmed by "a lifetime of insidious brainwashing so subtle she doesn't notice it" by Barbie dolls and the like, and how "men aren't judged primarily on their appearance, as women are." After getting that tongue-lashing, I thought to myself, well, lesbians themselves -- who tend to be the most vocal and militant wing of the feminist movement -- must certainly have better values than men.

I thought, these right-thinking liberal lesbians must not subscribe to the unfair standards of beauty promulgated by the patriarchy. They must be happy to be with another woman who is overweight, with ordinary features, and who looks, in the immortal words of feminists, like a "real woman."

And what better proof of this could there be than the partners of rich and famous lesbians, who obviously have their pick of women? I would certainly hope that these successful role models and powerful spokespeople for the movement, would lead by example and not subscribe to those male-dominated standards of beauty which feminists so bitterly denounce.

So, I Google-imaged Rosie O'Donell, Ellen Degeneres, Martina Navratilova, and Melissa Etheridge and their partners, confident that all these rich lesbians must have happily settled for women who looked, well, like them.

Here are some of the results of that search:

Rosie O'Donnell and her first wife Kelli Carpenter:

Rosie O'Donnell and her subsequent girlfriend Tracy Kachtick-Anders:

Rosie O'Donnell and current wife Michelle Rounds:

Ellen DeGeneres and former girlfriend Anne Heche:

Ellen DeGeneres and former partner Alexandra Hedison:

Ellen DeGeneres and wife Portia de Rossi:

Martina Navratilova and (former Miss Texas contestant) Judy Nelson:

Martina Navratilova and more recent girlfriend (and former Miss Universe contestant) Julia Lemigova (on left):

Melissa Etheridge and former partner Tammy Lynn Michaels:

I admit, these pictures were culled for effect. There are prominent lesbians, like Rachel Maddow and Cynthia Nixon, who have partners who look more like stereotypical lesbians. But enough of the rich and powerful ones have paired up with traditionally pretty women (Jodie Foster recently married Alexandra Hedison, who is pictured above with Ellen DeGeneres) that it can't possibly just be coincidence.

It's not just those piggish men who, when given their druthers, prefer Barbie doll types.

Saturday, August 16, 2014


The weather is warm, so the residents of Ferguson, Missouri, are using the death of Michael Brown as an excuse to loot the stores of people who had nothing to do with Brown's death. (Riots never seem to occur in winter.)

This is a scene we have witnessed countless times. Sometimes the reason is a police killing (which may or may not have been justified). Sometimes it's a police beating. Sometimes it's just a hurricane or power outage.

Whatever the excuse, when the temperature is balmy, a young man's fancy turns to arson…and vandalism…..and stealing.

C'mon, what would you rather do, pay $35 apiece for those bottles of Johnny Walker Red, or just smash the store window and get them for free? You don't have to have taken Econ 101 to know which is the better deal.

So, as the warm breezes blow and the sun gently sets in the West, the young men gather to take advantage of the low, low prices. It's sort of like the day after Thanksgiving sales, but better.

Ah, youth.

A feminist at her best

Got two comments on Thursday on Finally, a worthwhile protest, the post about the topless FEMEN protester who burned a Barbie doll in effigy in May of last year at the opening of a giant dollhouse in Berlin, Germany.

One comment:

"Which would you be more traumatized by, that scene -- or a doll which does not have precisely correct anatomical proportions?"

Well, gosh, lets see –
one more weird 2-minute incident among the thousands that make up an average childhood, or a lifetime of insidious brainwashing so subtle she doesn’t notice it, that causes the kind of neurotic crazy that men always bitch about?

Gee, that’s a tough call, huh?

This comment is wrong on several different levels. First, the demonstration had to have lasted more than two minutes. Second, it's highly doubtful that an "average" girl witnesses "thousands" of incidents as weird as that. 

Third, the question I posed compared witnessing that scene to owning a Barbie doll. This feminist changed the question into which was more traumatic, witnessing that scene or a lifetime of "insidious brainwashing so subtle she doesn't notice it."

(Why is it that some people can only "win" arguments by putting words into your mouth?)

Fourth, note her use of the word "bitch," a term feminists usually object to on the grounds that it's "gender-loaded."

And fifth, as to that subtle insidious brainwashing, aren't both sexes exposed to idealized stereotypes? You never hear men complain about the "insidious brainwashing" of a lifetime of watching action/adventure movies with impossibly heroic protagonists.

The other comment:

"why do only women protest this sort of thing?"

good question. Maybe because men aren't judged primarily on their appearance, as women are.
Maybe because men just passively accept whatever metric they’re judged by and dive right into the competition, and never question whether it makes any sense at all….

It is true that women are judged more on their looks than men are (she did use the word "primarily" as a qualifier), although men too are judged on their looks. (Women have better values: they often judge men more on earning power than appearance.) 

I'd guess there are as many men as women who question basic values, though that's certainly hard to quantify.

But there's another, more essential difference here. The post was not a condemnation of all women; only of those who would protest a Barbie house. The vast majority of women have far too much common sense to get incensed about Barbie dolls, and realize that -- as I said in the post -- there are far more worthwhile things for women to be concerned about, such their treatment in Muslim countries.

The feminist, on the other hand,  is happy to condemn all men as a group, saying that they "just passively accept whatever metric they're judged by and dive right into the competition, and never question whether it makes any sense at all…." That is a blanket condemnation of an entire gender, not only for being "passive" but also for not being logical. Isn't that the kind of assumption that feminists are forever castigating men for making? Yet this feminist seems perfectly comfortable doing it herself. 

I like -- or at worst, am indifferent to -- the majority of women. This feminist seems to harbor a deep resentment against all men.

The other thing it's hard not to notice is her bitter sarcasm. By using this sem-hysterical tone -- one you rarely hear from men -- she is demonstrating how feminists are essentially unequal. Mission accomplished.

(I expounded on that inequality theme at more length here.) 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

"20 Wonderful Inspirational Quotes From Killers and Psychopaths"

Thank you to Jon Leaf, who forwarded this hilarious compilation by Jim Goad.

The pictures accompanying the quotes are perfect.

More on Robin Williams

An article in this morning's NY Post titled Williams fell off wagon with drink on TV set outlined the problems the rest of the cast on his recent ill-fated TV series had with him. The relevant excerpts:

While taping “The Crazy Ones,” Williams frequently engaged in his trademark frenetic shtick, veering off script and forcing co-star Sarah Michelle Gellar to improvise her responses, the source said.

His antics infuriated the cast, even though he had been hired to try recreating the madcap spirit of “Mork & Mindy,” on which he often riffed unscripted, the source said.

He also indulged himself by taking his pet pooch, a rescued Pug named Leonard, to work….

Williams….­often complained that he hated the show’s unedited daily rushes.

He also griped that he “had a bad feeling” about the lack of chemistry on set, while the rest of the cast blasted his constant need for attention, the source said.

Ad libbing and forcing other cast members to improvise is pretty selfish behavior. To then turn around and complain about the daily rushes seems hypocritical. And wanting to constantly be the center of attention is really just another form of selfishness.

It's hard to blame the rest of the cast for feeling as they did. 

If someone is beloved by the public but despised by those who know him personally, that's a pretty sharp dichotomy. 

Usually, it's the people who've had personal contact who have the more accurate picture.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Robin Williams

Robin Williams has died, and the fulsome plaudits are flying.

Williams was hardly a brave comedian. I can recall seeing him mock dumb whites, rednecks, inbred Appalachians, and Republicans. I can't recall ever seeing him take on blacks, or Hispanics, or Jews, or Asians, or liberals, even individually.

One of his favorite targets was the Nazis, those timely sources of topical humor. He resurrected them on a number of occasions in order to roast them; he must have figured this would please his bosses in Hollywood.

(Is there anything less funny than a political correct comedian who picks only on safe targets?)

On top of that, it turns out he was a well known comedy plagiarist. (If he was such a comic genius, why did he have to steal so much material?)

But even the jokes Williams stole didn't seem all that funny. I saw his standup routine several times, and each time I was left thinking, if you took his words and set them down on paper, nobody would laugh. It always seemed that people laughed was because they thought they were supposed to, because of all his onstage histrionics. It was almost as if Williams acted so frenetic to hide the fact that he had nothing really cutting, or cutting edge, to say.

In his movies, he was far more over-actor than actor. He chewed the scenery ravenously and shamelessly tried to steal every scene he was ever in. All the while looking very pleased with himself.

This treacly scene from Patch Adams is a good example.

Or this "heartwarming" trailer, from Jack.

(I always wondered what would have happened if Williams and Jim Carrey had ever been cast together, as both men desperately needed to be the center of attention.)

Williams had "neglected child" written all over him. To his credit, he admitted as much, according to Wikipedia, saying that his upbringing had "left him with an acute fear of abandonment and a condition he described as 'Love Me Syndrome'."

Williams provided trusts for his three children, also to his credit. But he was evidently having financial difficulties, and in 2013 was on the verge of declaring bankruptcy. That may have had something to do with his suicide. That, and the fact that he no longer commanded the same attention he once had.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

"Who are you to say….?"

One of the most annoying formulations anybody ever offers in an argument is to imperiously interject, "Who are you to say [such-and-such]?"

There is, of course, no logical rebuttal to such a nonsensical question, which implies that you not worthy of even engaging in a discussion of the matter at hand.

There are, however, several things you can say which point out the absurdity of such a line:

"What would you like me to do, whip out my resume and recite my qualifications before offering an opinion? I could ask the same of you, but don't you think that would be sort of ridiculous?"

Or, "Who am I? I'm someone who's observed [such-and-such] his entire life."

Or, "The subject of discussion isn't me, as much as you'd like to turn this debate into an ad hominem attack. It's [such-and-such]."

Or, you can mock them by thundering back, in even more imperious tones than they used, "Who am I? Who are you to ask such an impertinent question?!"

Of course, people who'd use such a moronic line in the first place probably aren't even smart enough to see they're being made fun of.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Stallone less vain than he appears

There are movie stars who are so vain that they refuse to appear alongside better-looking actors, thinking it will make them look shorter, older, weaker, or uglier by comparison.

It would be an easy assumption that the 5' 7" Sylvester Stallone, he of the 'roided up torso, multiple plastic surgeries, and shaved torso, might be just such an actor.

But he is, in fact, the opposite. He consistently picks the handsomest, toughest-looking actors he can find to star against him.

His latest ventures have been The Expendables series, in which he surrounds himself with every macho, good-looking action hero of the past three decades, including Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, plus heavyweight mixed martial artists Randy Couture and the Nogueira twins. All of these men are taller, more muscular, and more imposing than Stallone. Other cast members include Jason Statham, Mel Gibson and Robert Davi.

Bravo for Stallone that he doesn't mind being surrounded by taller, younger, stronger, more athletic, better-looking men.

Of course, you could say that the entire marketing gimmick of The Expendables was its assemblage of all these older action stars in one movie.

But Stallone has always surrounded himself with bigger, younger, better-looking guys. In Rocky V he hired then unknown Dolph Lundgren to be his opponent. Stallone looked like a homely, misshapen dwarf next to Lundgren, but that didn't seem to bother him:

In the more recent Bullet to the Head, he hired the 6' 5" Jason Momoa, possibly the best-looking guy in movies today, to be his nemesis, and that didn't seem to bother him either. Below, Stallone striking his trademark obligatory pose with Momoa:

Again, bravo for Stallone.

Of course, the other interpretation might be that Stallone actually feels he holds his own looks-wise with these other actors. In which case he is the vainest man who ever lived.

In anger veritas

Whenever people say "That wasn't me, it was the alcohol talking," what they're really saying is, "I would never have blurted out the truth like that if I hadn't become so uninhibited thanks to my drinking."

I suppose this is why people talk about blowing off some steam with a few drinks.

Being angry is like being drunk: it makes you tell the truth. I might as well say, that wasn't me talking, that was just the anger. As a nondrinker, I usually refrain from harsh truths unless I'm angry -- other than on my blog.

Which, in a roundabout way, sorta makes this blog my substitute for drinking.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

More on Sheila Jackson Lee

I'm evidently a little late to the party on Representative Jackson Lee. There's an entire meme on the internet devoted to her. A few more tidbits:

From the National Review:

During the 2011 hearings on Islamic terrorism, held by Representative Peter King (R., N.Y.), Jackson Lee railed against them as “an effort to demonize and to castigate a whole broad base of human beings.” She then lamented that the committee was not spending its time on genuine terroristic threats: “the cold cases of the civil-rights movement,” for example. She encouraged the committee to hold hearings to determine “whether Klansmen still roam today and terrorize individuals in parts of this country.”

[Jackson Lee] even complained that devastating natural disasters are used to promote racism, telling the Hill in 2003 that hurricane names are too “lily white” and that “all racial groups should be represented.” She suggested more hurricanes named “Keisha, Jamal, and Deshawn.”

Jackson Lee made her thoughts clear to her onetime Capitol-office executive assistant, Rhiannon Burruss, years ago: “I am a queen, and I demand to be treated like a queen.”

But along with such penetrating insights she would also bring to DHS a reputation as one of the worst bosses on Capitol Hill, according to Jonathan Strong, now a reporter with National Review Online. She is known to throw tantrums, regularly screaming and swearing at her staff. A few years ago she effectively replaced one employee’s name with “you stupid motherf***er.” “It’s like being an Iraq War veteran,” one staffer said.

A few specifics on that subject, from The Daily Caller:

A Jackson Lee aide recounts the time her parents came to Washington to visit: “They were really excited to come to the congressional office. They’re small town people, so for them it was a huge deal. They were actually sitting in the main lobby waiting area….[Jackson Lee] came out screaming at me over a scheduling change. Called me a ‘stupid idiot. Don’t be a moron, you foolish girl’ and actually did this in front of my parents, of all things.”

Yet another staffer remembers requesting a meeting early on in her tenure to ask how best to serve the congresswoman. Jackson Lee’s response: “What? What did you say to me? Who are you, the Congresswoman? You haven’t been elected. You don’t set up meetings with me! I tell you! You know what? You are the most unprofessional person I have ever met in my life.” With that, Jackson Lee hung up the phone.

According to the same staffer, Jackson Lee “would always say, ‘What am I a prostitute? Am I your prostitute? You can’t prostitute me.'"

...Even though she delays others for hours, Jackson Lee won’t wait a second for her demands to be met. “She expected you to run – all the time,” says a former staffer. “There was no walking. Nobody could walk, you always had to run – everywhere. She viewed walking as being lazy, so everyone always had to run.”

Another former aide added that the congresswoman would clock her on how long it took her to run an updated schedule print-out from Jackson Lee’s office in the Rayburn building to the House floor. “She would actually physically time you in terms of from office to getting to the [House] floor and finding her, hunting her down,” the staffer said. Then Jackson Lee would demand, “what took you so long?”

Her former drivers say the congresswoman demanded they run red lights and drive on highway shoulders around traffic. This caused at least one accident.

Somehow, it all fits. The narcissism, sense of entitlement, rudeness, arrogance, promiscuous accusations of racism, and stupidity all just seem to mesh seamlessly.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

U.S. Representative Sheila Jackson Lee

A few days ago the Washington Times ran an article by Robert Knight, Impeaching the Truth, about Sheila Jackson Lee, a Democrat from Texas. A few excerpts:

U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Texas Democrat, impugned the motives of Mr. Boehner for bringing to a floor vote Wednesday a resolution to sue Mr. Obama for usurping powers delegated by the Constitution to Congress. The measure passed on a party-line vote of 225 to 201.

"I ask my colleagues to oppose this resolution for it is, in fact, a veiled attempt for impeachment and it undermines the law that allows a president to do his job," Mrs. Jackson Lee said...

She claimed, as reported by the Daily Caller's Chuck Ross, that Democrats who were upset over the war in Iraq "did not seek an impeachment of President Bush, because as an executive, he had his authority. President Obama has the authority..."

Mrs. Jackson Lee seems to have forgotten that she was one of 11 Democratic co-sponsors of a resolution introduced by then-Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich, Ohio Democrat, in June 2008, titled, "Impeaching George W. Bush, President of the United States, of high crimes and misdemeanors." 

In January, she said that Americans have done little to help the poor, and that the word "welfare" should be replaced by "transitional-living fund."

As noted on the website, she declared in 2005 that the United States has been a constitutional republic for 400 years (not 217 years at the time), and that astronaut Neil Armstrong planted an American flag on Mars (not the moon).

She outdid herself in 2010 when she took to the House floor to say that, in Vietnam, "Victory had been achieved. Today, we have two Vietnams, side by side, North and South, exchanging and working. We may not agree with all that North Vietnam is doing, but they are living in peace."

The North won the war in 1975 and absorbed the South into the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in 1976.

This article is reminiscent of those lists of dumb mistakes that high school students make. You know, the ones which give you a good chuckle about how amazingly stupid some teen-agers are.

But Jackson Lee is a United States Congresswoman. She is, theoretically, one of our foremost experts when it comes to understanding and implementing complex legislation.

Jackson Lee got her undergraduate degree from Yale University in 1972 and graduated from the University of Virginia Law School in 1975.

What's most mind-boggling is that at one point Jackson Lee served on the House Science Committee and on the Subcommittee overseeing space policy and NASA.

(Everybody who knows that Neil Armstrong went to the moon and not Mars would seem better qualified than her for that role.)

It certainly gives the lie to all those lectures your parents gave you about how you had to study hard to get ahead. It makes you wonder if studying hard for those history exams in high school was really worth it.

It make one question how much of a meritocracy we live in. It even makes one question the value of democracy.

About the only thing not in question here is the level of Ms. Jackson Lee's intelligence.